Category: Ancho

Nutty Nutella Cake… with a Meringue Topping

Just as we finish a good meal with something sweet, so shall we round out the month of madness with one of the kookiest recipes I’ve seen lately.  And here it is: 

Nutty Nutella Cake
Nutty Nutella Cake

 Looking at that photo, I know what you are thinking.  And you know what? 

Some of you are mean!!!!

Have you been taking lessons from my family?

So these are not the best looking cakes in the world.  There is a definite dip in middle of all of them.  The texture is kind of rough….then again….that rough texture is also kind of crispy and there is a delicious fudgy layer in the middle. And who doesn’t love a fudgy layer?

Nutty Nutella Cake2
Nutty Nutella Cake2

 But remember the Twinkie Defence?  I’m about to launch the Picnic Defence. The Picnic is one of the best chocolate bars ever. Chocolate, caramel, wafer, peanuts.  So good.  The only problem?  It looks like a big old turd.

 But so good to eat.

And the Nutty Nutella Cake is the Picnic bar‘s next door neighbour in “Dammit we taste so much better than we look” Street.

You know what else makes this cake so special?  I’ll tell you in a moment but first, let’s take a walk down Pronunciation Avenue and talk about Nutella.  In Australia ( and I believe England), we call this super delicious chocolate hazelnut spread Nut-ella.  Because it’s made of nuts.  And….ella.  Ella being an Italian euphemism for a shit ton of sugar.

However, definitely on The Splendid Table Podcast and I’m sure a few others I listen to, I have heard Americans call this stuff Noo-tella.

WTF?  I can get over that whole tomato / tomayto thing.  But Noo-tella is a step too far. 
It’s NUT-ella.  End of.

Nutella Cake3
Nutella Cake3

I first found this recipe on the Masterchef site.  However, it has since been taken down.  Only a picture remains. And yep, phew…Matt Preston’s cake is as ugly as mine…

http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes

 Possibly even uglier.

But I was able to find a copy in Matt Preston’s latest book and in the same spirit of adventure in which I made muffins from ice cream and flour a few years back I decided to give it a whirl.  And you know what else….there’s obviously some weird psychic connection between Matty P, and me because in the same book, he has a recipe for “bread” made from you guessed it, ice cream and flour!

 So, you wanna know what’s in these ugly but delicious sweet treats?

Nutella Cake Ingredients
Nutella Cake Ingredients
  • Nutella…or if you’re cheap like me, supermarket brand hazelnut spread. 
  • Eggs
  • Vanillla

That’s all folks.  C’est tout.  Three ingredients.  To get this….

Nutella Cake 4
Nutella Cake 4

And you know what?  That little dip….don’tcha just want to fill it up with all sorts of deliciousness?

I went for a contrast – still warm cake with some of my ancho berry sorbet and a couple of leaves of chocolate mint – direct from the garden!!!

Nutella Cake and Ancho Sorbet 1
Nutella Cake and Ancho Sorbet 1

But you could have any flavour of ice cream, or some salted caramel sauce..or even some normal frosting…

DSC02387Or what if you added a big dollop of nutella into the dip and then made a meringue over it?  OMG.  I am so making that….stay right here.  I”ll be back…..

Just got to fill these cakes….

Filled Nutella Cakes
Filled Nutella Cakes

 Then whip up a meringue….

Meringue top
Meringue top

And bung ’em in the oven for a bit….

And then…..

Meringue Topped Nutella Cake
Meringue Topped Nutella Cake

 I am giggling like a little girl and dancing round my kitchen.  My, face, my hands, my camera are all smeared with chocolate and meringue and am feeling both a little nauseous and like I have died and gone to heaven….

We only had three of the cakes left and I have just eaten two of them….they were that good!!!!

Scuse the fingers….but you’re lucky there are any photo’s I was so busy shoving these into my gob taste-testing to ensure the highest possible quality standards.

Nutella Meringue Cake2
Nutella Meringue Cake2

 And look at that…the light as air toasty on top meringue, the oozy melty nutella and the cakey base….

What a way to end the month!!!!

I am racing to get this out because I am heading up to the sunshiney Gold Coast very early tomorrow morning for a couple of days – sadly mostly work and not much play – but by the time I can post again it will be February….which is as scary as hell.  Where did January go????

Have a great week where ever you are and what ever you get up to.

 

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Nutella Meringue Cake
Yields 10
A delicious chocolate cake with a base of three ingredients. Good by itself or topped with your favourite flavours for a super delicious treat!
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For the Cake
  1. 4 large eggs
  2. 240g Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread of your choice
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
For the topping
  1. Additional Nutella - 1 tsp per cake
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 1 1/2cup of sugar
For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C.
  2. Lightly grease your cupcake liners and place in a tray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs on top speed until they have tripled in size (approx 6 minutes but this will depend on the power of your mixer).
  4. Place the Nutella in a metal bowl with the vanilla extract and stir over a pan of boiling water until the Nutella softens. (You can also do this in a microwave - use a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds).
  5. Turn the mixer down to low and drop spoonfuls of Nutella into the egg mixture. Repeat until all the nutella has been added and the Nutella is completely mixed in.
  6. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl with a spatula to ensure there is no Nutella sticking to them and stir a few times by hand.
  7. Pour the Nutella mixture into the prepared cases, filling them about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for approx 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into a cake comes out clean.
  9. The cakes will look lovely and round when they come out of the oven but they will collapse as they cool.
  10. Once cool, add a spoonful of Nutella into each dip.
For the Meringue
  1. Separate the eggs and place the whites in a clean, dry bowl.
  2. Beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  4. Spoon or pipe this mixture onto the cakes.
  5. Place under preheated grill for 1-2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Alternatively, use a culinary blow torch to lightly grill the meringue
Notes
  1. This cake is also great topped with a scoop of your favourite icecream, would be awesome with a salted caramel, berries and cream etc.
  2. I used a coconut oil spray to grease the cupcake liners which added the slightest hint of coconut to my cakes.
  3. The meringue quantities above will cover an entire batch of cupcakes.
Adapted from Matt Preston's Idiot Cake
Adapted from Matt Preston's Idiot Cake
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

 

 

 

The Ice Iced Vovo with Ancho Sorbet

Ice Iced Vovo 4

 All right, Stop.  Collaborate and listen, I am back with a brand new invention….

Thanks to my lovely friends at the Spice Peddlers we are mixing up the flavours of Mexico with an Australian icon to create a dessert that has more contradictions than a Katy Perry song.

This baby is hot and it’s cold, it’s sweet and it’s sour,it’s crunchy and gooey, it’s pretty in pink but it packs a wicked punch and it’s fruity and boozy…ok, technically, those two aren’t opposites but this is awesome and fucks with your head in the best  possible way. Et voila, the Ice Iced Vovo.

Ice Iced Vovo 4
Ice Iced Vovo 4

  But first, for those of you not familiar with the Iced Vovo, it is probably the most legendary biscuit in Australia. 

Well….right behind the Tim Tam. And the Anzac.

We are a nation of biscuit lovers.

Anyhoo..it’s right up there. 

Iced VovoAccording to the Arnott’s Biscuits website:

An Iced VoVo is a lovely biscuit topped with two strips of pink fondant and a strip of strawberry jam, all sprinkled with coconut – a symphony in pink!

A much smaller symphony in pink than what I remembered from my childhood but a symphony in pink nonetheless.  Anyway, forget about them for a while.  Think of this as a play. Australia has exited stage left.

Because we need to talk about sorbet.  More specifically this sorbet which I made from some ancho chillies (sent to me by my friends at the Spice Peddlers), some raspberries, tequila and lime.  Enter Mexico stage right….

Ancho Sorbet

So I whipped up the sorbet.  And it was delicious Mind you, with those ingredients how could it not be?

It is really good just on it’s own. 

Ancho Berry Sorbet
Ancho Berry Sorbet

 But anyone can have ice cream in a cone.  It tasted great,  but I was feeling a bit blah about the presentation. I actually made this ages ago but because I didn’t love it, I found it really hard to write about.  When I feel that way about most things, I just don’t write about them.  But this one haunted me, I had to write about it but the cone just seemed so boring.

So, after pondering about it for a few weeks, I thought maybe an ice cream sandwich would be a bit more interesting.  So I hightailed it down to the supermarket to buy some biscuits.  I had in my head something like a shortbread or those cats tongues?  And then I saw the Iced Vovo’s. 

So I had my components.  My first idea was a very simple ice cream sandwich:

Ice Iced Vovo 1
Ice Iced Vovo 1

 This looked great and was pretty much what I wanted.  However, the main problem with it was that when you bit into it all the sorbet oozed out over your hands.

Ice Iced Vovo 2But it was good, it had the flavours and a normal person would have probably left it there.  Luckily for you, I ‘m not normal.  I liked the sandwich better but was still not absolutely inspired.  Then, this morning I was writing my journal and it came to me….

The strip of jam down the middle of the vovo was the same colour as the sorbet….so what if…..you took a biscuit, any biscuit and you put a  little line of sorbet down the middle?  Then instead of fondant what if you took some of those little baking marshmallows….hmm…how would you stop them rolling off?  What if you toasted them?

If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it. Check out the hook while my djay revolves it.

Ice, Iced Vovo

Ice Iced Vovo 3
Ice Iced Vovo 3

These are best eaten straight away, when the marshmallow is still gooey and before the sorbet melts…so good…and once you’ve made the sorbet it takes about 3 minutes to make. Super easy, super good.  Seriously the hardest part is making sure the marshmallows don’t fall off the biscuits as you put the tray in the oven!

I ‘m going to be thinking up some more kooky recipes for the rest of the month of crazy.  Have a great one whatever you do.  Meanwhile, enjoy the duclet tones of Mr Robert Van Winkle AKA Vanilla Ice.

 

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Ice Iced Vovo
An Australian classic heads to Mexico for a cheeky twist!
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For the Sorbet
  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1 ancho chilli, chopped and deseeded
  4. 1 cup frozen raspberries
  5. juice of 1 lime
  6. 30ml tequila (more or less to taste)
  7. pinch of salt
For the Vovo
  1. 1 pack plain biscuits
  2. 1 pack mini marshmallows
  3. Dessicated coconut for sprinking
Instructions
  1. Place the water, sugar and chiles in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to the boil and stir frequently until the sugar melts.
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Pick out the chilli pieces
  5. Place the frozen raspberries, the chilli syrup, the lime, tequila and salt into a blender and mix until well combined.
  6. At this point you can choose to strain the mixture to get rid of the raspberry seeds. I didn't bother.
  7. Place in a pan in your freezer until set, overnight is best.
  8. Remove the sorbet from pan and place back in the blender and whiz for a couple of minutes to break any ice crystals then pile it back into the pan and the freezer to reset, about 4 hours.
  9. Just before you are ready to serve, toast the coconut until it is golden brown. Turn the grill to high.
  10. Place the biscuits on a baking tray and place two lines of mini marshmallows down the sides of each biscuit, leaving a gap between them.
  11. Remove the sorbet from the freezer and, using a biscuit as your guide cut rectangles of sorbet just slightly shorter than the biscuit and the same width as the gap between the marshamllows.
  12. Place these back in the freezer.
  13. Place the tray of biscuits under the now hot grill. In less than a minute the marshmallows will start to caramelise. Remove the biscuits from under the grill.
  14. Take your sorbet slices from the freezer, place inbetween the lines of toasted marshmallows.
  15. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. If you can't be bothered making the ancho sorbet, you could use a store-bought raspberry sorbet.
  2. Any biscuit can be used for the base.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Century Scallop Ceviche with Ancho Chillies (Spice Peddler)

About a billion years ago, the wonderful team at the Spice Peddlers sent me some fabulous Ancho Chillies to have my evil way with.  I had never cooked with Ancho chillies before so this was a totally new and delicious experience for me.

I also have a new manifesto for my Spice Peddler treats – I’m going to try to cook one thing in the spirit of which it was intended and then I’m going to go kind of out there with the next one.  So, to familiarise myself with the anchos and also to push my own boundaries I decided to make a ceviche.    I have  always been terrified to make sashimi or any “raw” fish at home in case it killed me. And before you start shouting, I am aware that ceviche is technically cooked but it’s not like it’s been  crumbed, fried and coated with cheese is it? 

Ancho Scallop Ceviche3
Ancho Scallop Ceviche

 But I did it and hey, still alive!!! 

And it was super delish!!!!

So why the century ceviche I hear you ask?  First I am fond of alliteration but second…the last post I wrote was the hundredth for this blog!!! 

So let’s all raise a glass of something (Jenny, I hope it’s another of those Joan Crawford Cocktails) and join in as I do a little celebratory dance….

 It seems fitting to celebrate this milestone by showing off some of the ingredients from the amazing team at the Spice Peddlers.  They have been such big supporters of this blog and I, in turn adore them and their products!!!  The ancho chilles were a very dark blackish red colour, and quite fleshy.  They were not not very hot at all but were quite fruity and had a touch of sweetness ( this actually went really well with the scallops which are also slightly sweet.

Spice Peddler Ancho Chillies
Spice Peddler Ancho Chillies

The perceptive of you may have noticed from the photos that my ceviche is loaded onto a very un-Mexican pappadam.  I guess traditionally this should be a tortilla chip.  However, we had gobbled all of them with Joan Crawford Danti-Chips and I couldn’t be bothered going back to the shops so pappadams it was.  And in some weird Indo-Mexican affinity they actually worked quite well with the ceviche.

Ancho Scallop Ceviche
Ancho Scallop Ceviche

The last 100 posts have been super fun to do and I am really looking forward to the next 100.  In fact, I have so many ideas for posts at the moment, I feel like I have the next 100 already planned. 

I was going to end this with one of my favourite ever Blur songs “End of A Century” then I realised the key lyric  is “End of a century, it’s nothing special” which is completely wrong because whilst I love doing this you guys are what makes it special.  Thanks to you all for reading and your comments, it is always lovely to hear from you. 

You’re the best. 

Around. 

 So, as you wax on, wax off this week, make it fabulous!

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Ancho Scallop Ceviche

Ancho Scallop Ceviche

Ingredients

  • 12 scallops without the roe, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ancho chilli (seeds removed)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro), plus extra to garnish
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced into 1 cm pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • salt
  • tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 12 tortilla chips or pappadams
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped to garnish

Instructions

  • Place the scallops in a bowl and cover with tequila and lime juice. Stand for two hours – the acid in the lime juice will 'cook' the scallops. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid.
  • Place the ancho chilli in a warm oven (150 C) for about 15 minutes to release it's oils.
  • Then soak in boiling water for about 1/2 an hour and chop finely.
  • Gently mix the red onion, tomatoes, avocado, ancho, chilli with the dressing liquid. Add salt and tabasco to taste.
  • Fry your pappadams and place on absorbent paper to drain the oil off. Or lay out your tortilla chips.
  • Just before serving lightly mix your scallops through the avocado mixture, place a spoonful of this mixture onto each pappadam or tortilla chip.
  • Garnish with additional coriander (cilantro).
  • Enjoy!
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2014/11/17/scallop-ceviche-ancho-chillies-spice-peddler/

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