Monday, 21 April 2014

Desert Island Puddings #3: Fairtrade Chocolate Lava Cake (melt in the middle!)

Well, I just couldn't possibly survive in my island without a chocolate dessert, so this next recipe is of a Fairtrade Melt in the Middle Chocolate Pudding, AKA "Lava Cake".

There is something simply perfect about a well made Lava Cake... with it's crunchy exterior and melted chocolate center... you will feel like you are being transported to heaven...and it's also surprisingly easy to make, here's all you need to do:

-100 gr Fairtrade Dark Chocolate
- 100 gr Butter (plus a bit for the ramekins)
- 2 free range eggs
- 90 gr Fairtrade sugar
- 4 teaspoons (or so) of cocoa powder (unsweetened if you have it)
- 100 gr plain flour

1) Heat your oven to 160 C
2)  Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it with the butter in the microwave. Do it for 30 second blasts, stir well in between them to make sure you don't burn the chocolate.

3) Once melted, mix well until the chocolate and butter come together, then place in the fridge to cool for a little while.

4) Whisk the eggs with an electric mixer until they are pale and glossy.
5) Add the chocolate mixture when cool and whisk again.
 6) Butter the ramekins and add about a teaspoon of cocoa powder to each and turn to make sure it coats as much of the surface as possible.

7) Sift the flour into the chocolate and egg mixture little by little and fold it in.

8) Place the ramekins in the oven for 15 minutes.

9) When you take them out they should feel hard on the top... but still wobbly.

10) Leave them to cool until you can hold them, then using a knife cut around the edges and turn over. Cross your fingers now... and hope they come out whole!!!!

Decorate with some Fairtrade icing sugar and some strawberries, serve cut open and enjoy the lovely chocolate lava in the middle!!!

Oh yes, leave me stranded in an island with this type of volcano anytime!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Dessert Island Puddings #2 : Flan

I have been thinking a lot about what desserts I could 'cope with' eating on my island forever... and this second choice, also from my childhood, is certainly one I could eat over and over and not tire of it. 

It's called a Flan, and its origin is not clear, some recipes I found claimed it was a typically from Spain, whilst others claimed it was a Mexican dessert, in any case it's certainly very popular throughout Latin America, and I read that it might be perhaps because when condensed milk tins started to be imported  they used to have the Flan recipe printed on the label! I think it's certainly very much like the French dessert:  'Creme Caramel', although I'm not sure if the recipes and cooking methods are alike.

Anyway, here's the recipe, and I must say, it's really very simple!

1/2 cup Fairtrade Sugar
1 tin of Evaporated milk (standard UK size 400 g)
1 tin of Condensed milk (standard UK size if 400 g)
3 large free-range eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Orange zest (optional) 

1) Heat your oven to 170 C
2) Melt the sugar on a pan to form a caramel 
3) Mix the egg, milks, vanilla and zest in a bowl 

4) Coat the bottom of you mold or ramekin with the caramel, making sure it covers the entire bottom surface 

5) Add the milky mixture 

6) Place the ramekins or mold on a 'Banne Marie' (that is, swimming in about an inch of boiling water) 

7) Cover with foil paper and bake for about an hour. You can test it's completely cooked by inserting a knife close to the middle, if it comes out clean, you are there. 

9) Leave it to cool completely and place in the fridge until you need to serve it, although I recommend taking it out an hour or so before you plan to eat it so the caramel is runny when you carefully turn it out. 

9) If you fancy decorating it like I did, just melt a bit more sugar and once you have caramel make whatever design you fancy on top of a non-stick surface. I tried to make mine like the sails of a boat that I will build in my island! (of course you have already guessed by seeing the picture!) 

That's it. One of my all-time classic favorite desserts. Try it out! it's simple and homey, but can deliver on the wow factor with a bit of imagination!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Won 2nd place in the Fairtrade Banana Nut Bake-off!!!

After nervously waiting for what seems like forever, results of Liberation's Fairtrade Banana Nut Bake-off are in... and I've just found out that I've won second place!

The competitions featured in Good Housekeeping, Love It magazine, Student Noodles as well as on Facebook and Twitter, generating lots of interest (including over 1,000 entries from Good Housekeeping).
After all the entries were reviewed, Chris and I found out last week that we had made the final 6 in the shorlist, and then early this week the baked all our recipues and the judging panel formed by:Allegra McEvedy (celebrity chef:, Harry Hill (famous comedian ) and nutritionist Fiona Kirk | Fat Bust Forever (w tries them all and selected the 3 winning ones... and mine came second, with a special mention on the decoration!

So, a great way to start the weekend... knowing that I have a basket full of Fairtrade Goodies for my cooking experiments on the way! Happy days!