Archives for posts with tag: chocolate

It was meant to be a low-key Christmas. And then ALL THE FOOD happened.

Boerewors, baked and fresh veggies with feta and sprouts, wine, more wine, and the richest cheesecake in the world. And that was only Christmas eve.


Part One: boerewors

Being a foreign orphan at Christmas means you get to toy with your traditions from home and make new ones. This time it turned into making South African boerewors for the first time. Traditional braai (barbecue) food, but not so much for Christmas dinner.

A friend and I decided we will try our hand(-s) at it. And… It is surprisingly easy! Playing with real intestines didn’t turn out nearly as slippery and gross as expected. It was actually fascinating working with them and feeling the strength and texture. Amazing stuff.

We learned some things that we “knew” before, but now we definitely know. Boerewors is all about the right spices and the texture. We used beef and pork mince, but next time we will be grinding our own. The texture needs to be rough enough so that you see bits of meat and fat in the sausage. Not giant globules though.

We used this recipe for our first attempt at wors:

South African Sausage (Boerewors)
I’m a bit of a boerewors snob. At home I almost exclusively have “Stilbaai Wors”. If you’ve had it, you’ll understand…  But, since their recipe is staatsgeheim, a state secret, this recipe will do just fine. We were very happy and shocked at how easy it was to make wors. I’ve spent the last 5+ years suffering crap sausages needlessly!

*I will post a separate boerewors recipe once we perfect our craft… We’ve already made more, but haven’t cooked and taste-tested yet. Watch this space.


Part Two: salmon and spinach roulade

Food for friends.

Christmas day was a big chill with friends and drink and food and movies. Everyone made and brought some food and we grazed all day. Perfect for a very rainy day in Scandinavia.

This salmon and spinach roulade is very easy to make, especially after you’ve made it once. I use a lot more spinach than the recipes I googled, partly because it’s not expensive and partly because I like it.

I based my own rolls on this recipe:

Spinach and egg rolls with smoked salmon and cream cheese,

but I googled around for a few recipes and used a combination. There really is no right or wrong with this kind of recipe, other than separating your eggs properly.


Part Three: brownie cheesecake

Wowsers. This cheesecake is incredibly rich and creamy and chocolatey. It is actually almost impossible to overeat because it is just so rich.

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Brownie cheesecake in its naked, natural form.

I used this amazing recipe from the All Day I Dream About Food blog, of course:

Brownie cheesecake – low carb and gluten free.

This is my first time ever making a baked cheesecake, so I’m very happy that it turned out (a) round and (b) edible. Point is, if you’re scared of f-ing up, don’t be! Follow the recipe above word for word and you’ll be fine. 🙂

I added the raspberries and I cannot imagine not having them there. They bring a zing that both breaks and compliments the creamy richness. Next time I’ll also use much less erythritol – I don’t think quite so much is necessary.

I keep looking at this post as a useful reference for ganache:

How To Make Chocolate Ganache for Any Dessert.
I don’t make it often and the ingredients aren’t exactly cheap (crap or fake dark chocolate is not worth it), so definitely don’t want to mess this up.

This cheesecake is beautiful with a strong cup of coffee. 🙂

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Brownie cheesecake clothed in ganache and raspberries.

This was my first “orphan” Christmas, and it was wonderful. Good friends and good food is all one can ask for. 🙂

Sometimes a good thought strikes when you least expect it.

Today I wanted something after spending a few hours in a cold pool teaching many a kidlette how to swim.

Something warm and smooth, preferably.

And there it is!
Well, this is what it is:


50g plain Philadelphia cream cheese

2 teaspoons deepest darkest cacao

Dash of cinnamon

Microwave 45sec.

Mix it up.


Success! 😀

This post is a good two months overdue, which is crazy considering how much I love these two things!

I’ve made chocolate torte a few times now. Traditionally a type of layer cake with minimal flour, it’s a winner when you get it just right.

The basis of this torte is butter, chocolate and eggs. That’s it.

The tricksy bit is in the making and baking of. Overbaking the batter is fine, you will just end up with drier and more cake-y torte. Erring the other way is actually better. Underbake it a little and… oh my, it is beautifully dense and moist (yes) after warming it up a little the next day. I don’t care if it’s meant to be eaten warmed up or not, that’s the way I want it.

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Heated torte with cream cheese frosting!

Optional, and highly recommended, toppings include a simple cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache for even more chocolate, or even just whipped cream with strawberries.

The mother of all partners for a warm bite of torte is, however, a fresh batch of cold, rich, creamy ice cream! Yes please!

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Freshly made ice cream with a hot piece of torte in the middle! Life is peaking.

My sister has an ice cream maker, which is a dangerously awesome kitchen appliance to have standing around. We’ve been making mostly vanilla ice cream (it’s fantastic), but we decided to go for broke and try adding green tea after receiving a giant bag as a gift.

And, green tea ice cream is amazing! The flavour isn’t overpowering at all, it blends just right with the mixture of creamy vanilla. And it definitely makes a great partner with dark, dark chocolate.

Real ice cream is very energy dense, so humble portions are the order of the day:

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Yum and yummo.

 

Okay, recipes!


Chocolate torte

*Recipe adapted from here, credit where credit is very much due.

  • 200g dark chocolate (preferably 85% + cocoa)
  • 200g butter  (can also experiment with coconut oil)
  • 5 large eggs
  • erythritol to taste (I add about 3 tablespoons, not more, but I like bitterness. I also cannot stand the aftertaste of stevia, so use it if you prefer it!)
  1.  Brown butter in a saucepan.
  2. Once the butter is nice and brown, add the chocolate in pieces and melt slowly. Don’t burn anything.
  3. Add sweetener to taste.
  4. Turn off heat, pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool in the fridge for a little while or until your patience runs out.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 celsius.
  6. Whisk in one egg at a time. Keep an eye on how the texture is changing as each egg is whisked in! It’s pretty cool to watch.
  7. Pour into a pan (recommended size is roughly 20x20cm). The larger the pan, the thinner the batter will be and the shorter the baking time. For a smaller pan and thicker batter, try baking a little longer.
  8. Bake for around 20min. *This is where experiment helps. If it is very underbaked (i.e. very jiggly like unset jelly), bake for another 2 minutes at a time. I recommend baking it until it still jiggles a little. If it is completely firm, the cake will end up a little drier, but it’s not a disaster at all! If it’s too dry, just add some good cream cheese frosting!
  9.  Eat now, OR keep in fridge. Warm up a piece in the microwave (gasp) for about 20 seconds the next day. 

Cream cheese frosting

  • 100g butter
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons cream or almond milk
  • erythritol/sweetener to taste
  1.  Brown the butter.
  2. Add cream cheese and melt.
  3. Add cream/almond milk and sweetener to taste.
  4.  Mix everything well until smooth, let it cool for at least two hours. Spread on torte OR, if you are going to heat up the torte in the future, spread on after heating.

 

Ice Cream

Real, real ice cream!

We play around with the recipe, but we’ve decided that for now we like a very rich ratio of 3 large egg yolks per 1 cup of heavy creamAdd some vanilla and erythritol (we like about 3 tablespoons in a full batch of ice cream with 6+ eggs) for a good vanilla base.

(And now you see why good ice cream really should be a treat: it’s very energy dense, quite a bit of effort if made properly, and not at all cheap to make tons of.)

We, um, operate a bit on the sacrilegious side of life here: we don’t cook the egg custard like you are traditionally meant to. Yikes. I recommend that you do, as you want to make sure you don’t end up with some funky Salmonella inside of you: FDA recommendation. Or you can just use already pasteurised eggs.

Once you have your (preferably cooked and bug-free) custard, put it in the ice cream maker and follow the instructions.

Usually you need to place the finished ice cream in the freezer for another twenty minutes or so until it is a little more firm, but, sometimes you just cannot wait that long:

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Green tea ice cream! With bonus torte floater.


 

Edit: shucks, forgot to add a photo of the green tea we got! A lovely gift from really great neighbours. I have no idea what it says on the packet (I hope not: “do not use in ice cream”), but we love it:

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No, actually, please don’t!

However, if there is one thing you read today or this weekend, please make it this:

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weightloss. Here’s How by John Bohannon.

Eat chocolate daily, concludes German researchers. Sound so professional.

This is a sublime demonstration of seemingly legit science that quickly gets gobbled up by a gullible media looking for clickbait and revenue. It is downright scary.

If you read all the way through, you will hopefully get a better grasp on why nutritional science has been sending us on a rollercoaster of conflicting recommendations. Eggsarebadyouwilldie! Margerinegood! Noeggsarehealthynow! Eatdinnerforbreakfast! Norathereatlotsofsmallmealsaday! Margerinethedevilnow! Brainfreeze. How on earth are we meant to take any recommendations seriously again.

Hopefully the future will bring us rigorous, irrefutable nutritional studies. And maybe one day science won’t be drowning in the statistical spin that just serves to hurt the entire scientific community.