Mini Chocolate Cakes with Praline and Red Fruits

Ingredients:   Serves: 4 

90g Dark Chocolate

100g Butter

3 Eggs

100g Castor Sugar

25g Flour

20g Praline

1 mixed red fruits tray (red currants, raspberry, cherry, etc)

Icing Sugar for Decoration

Methods:

  1. Melt dark chocolate with butter, either in a microwave or ‘bain marie. When melted, leave to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Add the beaten eggs, and sugar and then gently fold in the flour and praline.
  3. Pour in a silicon mould or in a tin one, or in greased/floured ramekins. Let the ‘dough’ rest  in refrigerator.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 C. Bake the mini cakes for 8 minutes (The centre of the cake should remain soft and mellow, almost fluid and wet).
  5. Leave to cool until warm and unmold delicately.
  6. Top with red fruits and dredge with icing sugar.

***Okay! I know this seems to be a complex dessert but let me tell you that it’s worth all the pain in the world!! First of all, you are not obliged to use praline in this recipe; modify it with whichever ingredients such as toasted nuts, almonds etc., that crack under the teeth and give this dish a crunchy texture in mouth! 🙂 You have to let the cake mixture or dough rest in the refrigerator, overnight or for some hours as well! Letting it rest will only make it softer and like deep fudge! Secondly, you may use cupcakes for this recipe especially if you are making this for a party, and so on. Now, for a more festive ‘look’, use a crown-shaped cake tin. Or, you may simply use a rectangle tin and cut the cakes into squares and mount them all in a nice way and decorate with red fruits and sprinkle with a snow like powder of icing sugar!! 🙂 You may as well serve these hot, when they are wet and shiny inside with some nice scoops of vanilla ice cream!!! These mini cakes inspire a festive, joyous and homely atmosphere and they are perfect to bake if you are far from home and are feeling homesick or plain hungry for a nice killer chocolate delight! 😛 Lastly, I would suggest that you use a nice chocolate, 70% Cocoa is excellent for cooking, because in the end, the cake’s going to bring out the taste and flavour and quality of the chocolate that you have used, why then use a low quality, greasy and one which contains more sugar than cocoa in it! I sincerely hope you like this dessert!!! It is a small precious treasured dessert!

Bon Appétit

-K

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Spiced Honeyed Pineapple and Mango Bites

Ingredients:    Serves: 6

1 Pineapple

1 Mango

20g Butter

50g Honey

1/2 teaspoon curry powder or  ground cinnamon

1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 star anise

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 160º C.
  2. Peel the pineapple, remove the ‘eyes’ and spikes and cut into 1cm or 2cm sized cubes. Peel the mango and diced int big cubes as well.
  3. Melt half of the butter in a casserole, add mango and cook for about 5-10 minutes in low flame.
  4. Add half of the honey, then half of the curry powder or cinnamon while tossing the mango, so as to avoid crystallization of honey. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Heat the same casserole or pan and put the remaining butter and honey on the lowest flame and caramelize the pineapple cubes, sprinkle the remaining curry or cinnamon. After a few minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. In the same casserole, arrange the mango in the bottom, cover with pineapple bites, drizzle with lemon juice. Add the star anise, cover the casserole and cook in hot oven for 40 minutes.
  7. Before serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds and vanilla ice cream.

***This dish is so comfy! When this type of dish is in an oven, believe me the whole kitchen will be invaded by a nice spicy smell! Your kitchen will emanate odours and scents like it’s a Morrocan Spice shop!! 🙂 Of course your guests will be utterly charmed by these embalming fragrances! They will think you made a tacky dessert when as you have noticed, this is very easy yet classy as dessert! If you serve this after a light dinner, and there still is some place left in your guest’s stomach, do try to serve this dish with a crème anglaise or a custard sauce; one which has a pouring consistency! Not a porridge one! Also, kids will adore theses bites served with little madeleines cakes and custard sauce! You can eventually replace the fruits with plums, apricots or peaches, apples or pears! Choose whatever you like but I prefer this combination as it screams tropical fruits and we can only think of summer , the sun and countries surrounded by the deep blue sea! (Thank God I live in Mauritius 😀 )… When served hot with a freezing vanilla ice cream, the contrast of temperature makes the ice cream melt quickly and things like that are culinary delights for the eyes and palate! 🙂 Pretty simple things, ingredients or dishes can elicit a smile, admiration or even love from your guests or from yourself! You can only thank yourself for daring to cook, to try new recipes and share what you have learned with your loved ones! After all this is what cooking is about! 🙂 Hope you’ll devour this sweet and spicy dish! 😀

Bon Appétit

-K

Minty Green Salad

Ingredients:    Serves 4

1/2 An Ice berg Lettuce

1 Bunch of Watercress

1 Green Pepper

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Mint leaves

50 ml French Dressing

Methods:

  1. Wash lettuce and tear leaves.
  2. Wash and trim watercress.
  3. Wash, de-seed and cut pepper into rings. (personally i like it diced or finely cut into strips)
  4. Put lettuce, watercress, green pepper and dressing into a large mixing bowl and gently toss the ingredients together.
  5. A French Dressing is simply 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar, salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, a pinch of sugar and few drops of worcester sauce(optional). Use a shaker to emulsify the dressing so that it has a ‘cloudy’ texture.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped mint leaves. Serve immediately if mixed with dressing!

***In case you don’t have lettuce or the watercress at your disposal,  you may then use mâche or any other salad green. Make sure the taste is balanced though! Well this is a basic kind of recipe for a green salad. You can definitely add a lot of other ingredients and modify this recipe. For instance you may add feta cheese or parmesan, even toasted croutons, and even Spinach!!! Please savor this healthy salad with a grilled steak or grilled chicken and a glass of homemade iced tea and why not accompany that with a nice golden brown potato mash! 🙂 I find this recipe excellent for a brunch with friends and even kids will like this! Of course this is only a starter for famished people 😛 So make sure you prepare something else if you are receiving friends over because this is ultimately only salad!! and we have a hearty appetite! 🙂 A BBQ is perfect along with this salad, so is a soup if it’s a party dish! 🙂  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as i love it! 🙂

Bon Appétit

-K

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:    Serves 2

2 hard boiled potatoes

25g butter

3 tablespoon Cheddar cheese-grated

50g chicken ham-finely diced

Salt and Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven, 200º C. Grease an oven-proof dish.
  2. Wash potatoes, pressure cook for 15 minutes. Drain and cut hard-boiled potatoes in half.
  3. Scoop-out the centers, leaving a thin wall of flesh.
  4. Mash the scooped-out flesh with butter and half of the grated cheddar cheese.
  5. Add diced chicken ham, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Fill the potato shells with the mixture, mounding it with a metal spoon. (It has to have an arc-like shaped, fill the potato and make the half look like a whole with the filling! The metal spoon will help make it stand in place)
  7. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top and bake it in hot oven, 200º C for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Serve hot as accompaniments.

*** This recipe is very easy as you may have noticed. This is best served with wholewheat buns or grilled garlic and butter (let’s be crazy) toasted bread, and of course a salad! 🙂 why not a lettuce/apple/orange salad? This will add flavour and pep to this dish! 🙂 Be careful if you are using cheddar cheese for this recipe… Cheddar is naturally salty. I have tried different cheeses with this recipes and i have to say, mozarella, parmesan and emmental, all suits this recipes!! 😛 Do take into consideration the cheese you use and the amount of salt you will add! Moreover, chicken ham may be replaced by the excellent Bayonne ham 😉 or why not pancetta (salt!!) Different ingredients will give different tastes to this dish and that is it’s magic! You can have various interpretations of this recipe each time you try it and you never get bored of it! It is so easy and time saving, especially if you have unexpected visitors staying to eat! 😀 It tastes awesomely good as well! Those who don’t fear the F word will definitely add cream to this recipe! Sorry for late posts! Assignments are killing me! In the meantime don’t stop cooking or eating for that matter! 🙂

Bon Appétit

-K

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