Very easy chocolate cake

The easiest peasiest chocolate cake. Fabulous when you need something quick and easy!!

2 cups s/r flour
1½ cups sugar
½ cup cocoa
3 eggs
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water
¾ cup oil

. Preheat oven to 170C (fan)

. Mix dry ingredients

. Add wet ingredients

. Put into largish greased baking tin

. Bake 50-60 minutes depending on shape of tin

. If making in 2 tins check after 40-45 mins although may still need 50 mins


Shabbat dinner – Chanukah!

I loved the Butternut squash and sage latke recipe L sent but don’t fancy standing and frying all that at the moment.

Looking at keeping it simple for 8. So plan at the moment is:

Roast butternut squash soup (may even cheat and buy it ready peeled and cut.

Roast chicken – probably just lemon and garlic but other options welcome. I see there’s still some rosemary alive at the back of the garden.

Carrot mash with honey, lemon juice and cumin. Peas and beans, which are good left on hot plate with spring onions and even a bit of lettuce. I know it sounds a bit nunu but the French even have a name for it!

Hassleback potatoes which I had to google at first but they look like fun alternative to normal roast pots.

And for dessert I have gingerbread in the oven to serve with Swedish glacé vanilla – yummy!!

Shabbat dinner – orange and lemon chicken

Celeriac and parsnip soup – soften onion, add veggies, then stock. Blitz. Bit more water. Yum!

Dead simple roast chicken – poured over lemon juice, orange juice and olive oil and stuffed with lemon, orange, garlic and onion. Would have included thyme and rosemary if I’d bothered going into the wet garden to pick them. Cooked in 180 fan oven with Nigel Slater’s top tip – 20 mins for each 500g plus extra 20 mins. Added water to bottom of the pan when it started to go dry. Cut up and put on hot plate with plenty of liquid in bottom and covered.

Cut up white potatoes and red onion into medium chunks and roasted in hot oil, adding sliced garlic half way through. Also yummy with chunks of aubergine, cumin and coriander. Takes about 40 mins at 180 fan.

Grated carrot salad with lemony dressing and dried cranberries.

Apple Crumble with Paul Hollywood inspired topping. Mixture of plain white and wholemeal flours, oats, brown sugar and chocolate chips. Just used sunflower oil to bring it together which was fine but you don’t get a crunchy, crumbly texture without using butter/marg. Cooked at about 160 fan until fruit is soft and top coloured nicely. Good on hot plate, just be careful of condensation softening the crumble if you cover it – I find tea towels work a treat.

Elegant ‘n Easy Fruit Torte

1 cup marg (4oz)                     24 halves plums/apricots/peaches/sliced apples
1 cup sugar                            Sugar
2 eggs                                    Lemon juice
1 cup s.r. flour                        Cinnamon

. Preheat oven to 350F (gas 4, 160C)
. Cream sugar & marg
. Add lightly beaten eggs & mix well
. Add flour & mix well
. Put batter in round loose bottomed tin
. Bake 50-60 mins

Shabbat lunch – aubergine rolls

Sliced aubergine lengthways 1cm thick. Still don’t understand salting them because they are so salty even when wiped and cooked! Baked in oven on lightly oiled baking sheet until soft and browned. Leave to cool with silver foil over them to stop sticking to tray. Filling was meant to be mixture of ricotta and mascarpone but SO expensive in kosher shops so used soft white ‘noodle pudding’ cheese and yoghurt with some nutmeg. Quick tomato sauce using canned plum toms, blitzed with roasted garlic and reduced over low heat. Put bit in bottom of pan, roll ball of filling in each aubergine slice and lay seam side down, pour rest of sauce over and sprinkle with grated cheese – no Parmesan so cheddar did nicely! Sat on hot plate really well.

Salad – iceberg shredded, grated carrot and red cabbage, green and yellow pepper diced, dried cranberries. Balsamic, honey, rapeseed oil and crushed garlic dressing.

Easy chocolate cake and leftover crumble with alpro custard for dessert.

‘To Die For’ chocolate cake

This is the one where you save half the raw cake mix to use as icing. Don’t try to take it off the base because if it’s still very gooey in the middle it will collapse.

150g plain chocolate
¾ cup cocoa
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
300g marg
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1½ cups s.r. flour
1 cup sugar

. Preheat oven to #4 (180°F, 160°C)
. Melt in saucepan chocolate, cocoa, sugar, water and marg
. When cool enough add 6 eggs yolks lightly beaten
. Put aside 1 cup of mixture for icing (optional)
. Beat whites till stiff then slowly beat in sugar
. Fold ½ whites into chocolate, then flour then remaining whites
. Bake 40 minutes till knife comes out clean, do not overbake!
. When cake is cold spread over icing

Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

The ultimate honey cake – sans honey! Best when still slightly gooey on the inside.

1 lb tin golden syrup
½ pt cold water
8 oz sugar
8 fl oz oil
3 eggs
1 lb s.r. flour
2 level tsp mixed spice
1 level tsp ginger
1 level tsp cinnamon
l level tsp baking powder
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
5 Tbsp kiddush wine

. Preheat oven to Gas mark 3 (325°F)
. Put syrup, water, sugar & oil into pan
. Heat gently until mixture is smooth
. Leave to cool
. Beat eggs thoroughly
. Pour syrup mixture onto eggs beating
. Add flour sifted with spices & baking powder
. Mix through
. Put bicarbonate of soda into a cup
. Pour on kiddush wine, mix
. Stir into cake mixture
. Pour into oiled and bottom lined rectangular roasting tin
. Bake in slow oven for 1½ hrs or until cake well risen and firm

Carmella’s Cookies

An incredibly easy and delicious biscuit recipe which can also be made on Passover as the mixture has no flour.

3 egg whites
¾ cup of sugar
300 grams of flaked almonds

. Preheat oven to 160C (fan) #4 gas
. Mix everything together – no need to beat the egg whites
. Cover a baking tray with baking parchment
. Put little blobs of the mixture on the tray at reasonable intervals.
. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown all over
. Allow to cool
. Peel the biscuits off the paper