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Expert chat: Enthusiastic Consent & Conditional Consent (Wed 21st February)

Hey everyone!

On Wednesday 21st Feb at 6.30pm, Sarah our expert, will be running an expert chat about Enthusiastic Consent and Conditional Consent.

Sarah is the co-founder of Scarlet Ladies, a community of women with the aim to destigmatise and normalise the conversation around female sexuality.

Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after experiencing a number of traumas, including rape, Sarah is reclaiming her body by engaging in bodybuilding and powerlifting. Taking back control of her sexuality, she is currently remaining abstinent. Working and campaigning with other women for the sexual empowerment of women has been an integral part of her healing journey.


Come along and join us! Find out more here
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Post of The Month

One-in-a-million is our Post of The Month winner voted by the community for the following post:

"Just a bit of fun here if you could create an advent calendar what would you put in it and why.

For me you would still get chocolate 😆😆
But inside each door is a task for the day. Something that includes you helping/talking to others, doing something festive and spreading Christmas cheer
For example

1. Tell your parents/carers you love them
2. Say hello when passing an OAP (that might be the only thing someone says to them all week)
3. Watch a Christmas movie
4. Help someone in need e.g put some spare change in a charity box, buy a warm drink for the homeless person who sits on the corner, dothe washing up ha ha ha😂
5 make hot chocolate
6. Visit your grandparents (if you don’t already) They will more than likely love to see you.
7. Sing a Christmas song with a friend
8. Dress up in something Christmasy when you do your shopping.

You get the idea 😂😉 my reason for this is to get people in the mood and understand what Christmas actually means.

What would yours have and why."
(Click for full post )
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Weekday Recipes

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  • Weekday Recipes

    I'm going to be posting some nice and easy recipes for weekday enjoyment. Or even for weekends when we have more time. This is simple food, always comforting on cold rainy days, but also for when our British weather unexpectedly changes to warm.

    Fishcakes.

    Fishcakes are one of my favourite comfort foods. These can be made with any good quality fish, some chapped parsley and an equal weight of nice buttery mashed potato. We usually make ours with with un-dyed smoked haddock, obtained from our local fishmonger, but sometimes bass if it's available or even mackerel. These quantities will make 12 fishcakes, but they freeze well and can be cooked from frozen. Also included is my recipe for lovely mashed potatoes to use for either these fishcakes or any other recipe.

    For the fishcakes:
    100 g un-dyed smoked haddock fillets or sea bass if in season
    600 g mashed potato (see below)
    1 tbsp chopped parsley and half of snipped chives
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    A chunk of lemon for squeezing over

    Put the fish in a pan, cover with boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the fish, and when it's cool enough to handle, skin it and flake into a large bowl. Add the mashed potato and parsley and/or snipped chives, then mix it all together with your hands. Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste, adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Shape the mixture into 12 cakes, then chill to firm up for at least an hour.

    Beat two eggs in a bowl and put breadcrumbs in a separate dish. Pass the fishcakes first through the egg and then through the breadcrumbs. (I save breadcrumbs and toast them lightly for extra crunch).

    To cook immediately, pour half an inch of oil into a large frying pan and place over a moderate heat. When the oil is hot, carefully lay the fishcakes in the pan and cook for four to five minutes, until golden brown underneath, then carefully turn them over and fry for four minutes on the other side. Drain on kitchen paper, and serve with a nice crispy salad dotted with halved cherry tomatoes.


    For the mashed potatoes (recipe serves 6):

    Serves 6

    900g King Edwards, Maris Piper or Mayan Golds
    250g small diced unsalted butter
    120-250ml whole milk, brought to boil and kept hot
    sea salt to taste

    Starting with cold water, boil unpeeled potatoes until a fork meets barely any resistance (this may take 30 minutes or more). Peel the potatoes while still hot. Push the potatoes through a ricer into a pot and stir over a very low heat until steam no longer escapes (about 5 minutes).

    Add butter, vigorously stirring the potatoes until incorporated. Add 120 ml of milk in a slow stream while vigorously whipping the potatoes with a wire whisk, incorporating air into the mixture. Add salt and more milk as necessary.
    "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
    -Hans Zimmer.

  • #2
    Today I'm making a super Mac 'n' Cheese adapted from Rick Stein's travels in San Francisco. In our food pantry are lots of cheese that needs eating up (Parmesan and Gruyère),a large bag of macaroni that's out of date, but it doesn't matter since it's dried, and also a large slab of lovely Davidstowe mature cheddar. Perfect. In my adaptation there is going to be masses of cheese and plenty of smoked bacon.

    You will need a 35x20cm/14x8in ovenproof dish.

    Prep time: less than 30 mins
    Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour
    Serves 6

    Ingredients:
    100g/3½oz butter, plus extra for greasing
    100g/3½oz plain flour
    1 tsp Dijon mustard or use Colman's if you have it
    1.2 litres/2 pints full-fat milk
    75ml/2½fl oz double cream
    1 bay leaf
    400g/14oz mature cheddar, grated
    pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    500g/1lb 2oz dried macaroni
    100g/3½oz smoked bacon lardons or smoked bacon, rough chopped
    60g/2¼oz white breadcrumbs (I'm using sourdough breadcumbs as it's extra tasty)
    50g/1¾oz Parmesan, grated
    60g/2 oz Gruyère, grated (opional)
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and grease a 35x20cm/14x8in ovenproof dish.

    Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the plain flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the mustard, take the pan off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Add the bay leaf.

    Put the pan back over the heat, stirring constantly, until it boils and thickens. Take the pan off the heat again, remove the bay leaf and add the cheddar.

    Stir until the cheese has melted. Season with lots of black pepper and some nutmeg.

    Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and stir in the macaroni. Cook for 10 minutes, or until al dente, drain well and add to the sauce.

    Fry the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Stir into the macaroni cheese and pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish.

    Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan (and Gruyère if you have it) and scatter over the top.

    Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.



    "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
    -Hans Zimmer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Along with a couple of lamb shoulders and a pack of bacon lardons, Jules brought home a hansome piece of beef. She could not have been more tuned in to my thoughts because I was considering making a hearty beef stew that would please cook and food writer Elizabeth David, so instead I'm adapting my beefy stew to become a lovely French Daube de Boeuf Provençal. Perfect for our chilly winters.

      All along the southern French coastline up to the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, daube is made by French housewives who have their own recipe, handed down through generations. Being French, I have my own so while the mac 'n' cheese above is doing in the oven, I'm typing out this scrummy French daube recipe. If you can't find some of the ingredients, adapt to what's available in the kitchen. Add some suet dumplings, just because they're so good! Add them about 20 minutes before the daube is cooked.

      French Daube de Boeuf Provençal will serve 6 in this recipe.

      Preferable ingredients:
      1kg beef sirloin, or beef rump, or chuck steak
      4 tbsp olive oil
      150g bacon lardons, diced
      2 red or white onions, chopped
      2 medium carrots, chopped
      2 cloves of garlic, chopped
      2 sprigs of fresh thyme
      1 sprig of fresh rosemary
      2 strips orange zest - don't use satumas, their skins are too thin to zest
      a whole bottle of decent red wine
      a nice square of 70% dark chocolate (chocolate enrichens the daube)
      4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
      250g button mushrooms or brown field flatties, chopped
      12 black green pitted olives though black olives will do
      4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
      grated zest 1 lemon
      mashed potato or pasta, to serve

      For the dumplings:
      150g of self-raising flour and a inch of bicarb to make 'em fluffier
      75g of suet
      a pinch of dried thyme and a pinch of dried parsley
      1 tsp salt and a little freshly ground black pepper
      water


      Start the Daube.
      Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/Gas 1.

      Cut the beef into 2.5 cm cubes and season with salt and pepper. Heat half the oil in a flame-proof casserole dish and fry the lardons for 5 minutes until golden, remove with a slotted spoon. Add the beef to the pan, in two batches, and fry over a high heat for 5-6 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon.

      Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the onions, carrots, garlic and herbs with a little salt and pepper for 10 minutes until softened. Return the meat to the pan with the orange zest, wine and tomatoes.

      Bring to the boil, cover and bake in the oven for 3 hours. About halfway though the daube's baking, drop that piece of chocolate in and stir to incoporate.

      Stir in the mushrooms and olives, return to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Combine the parsley and lemon zest and serve alongside the beef with the mashed potato or pasta.

      The dumplings.
      Combine the flour, suet, herbs and salt in a large mixing bowl.
      Start to slowly add a little water at a time and begin to mix in with your hands until a dough starts to form.
      Once you have a soft dough with specks of the suet still visible stop mixing, as you don't want to overwork the dough. If it is too sticky, add a tiny bit more flour.
      Roll the dough into small balls using the palms of your hands.
      Place the balls on top of a simmering (not boiling) stew for the last 20 minutes of its cooking time. By this point, they should be fluffy and ready to serve.

      Variations.
      Before adding the water to the flour and suet, different flavourings could be added to the mixture. Try adding chopped herbs such as rosemary or thyme, some chilli flakes or mustard powder for a little heat, or some grated cheese.
      The dumplings can also be baked in the oven for 10 minutes before adding to the stew, which will give a crispy exterior to the dumplings.
      "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
      -Hans Zimmer.

      Comment


      • #4
        And now for a meal that is cheap to make and very moreish: Lamb and rice tagine with dried cherries by Helen Graves

        A good lamb tagine recipe can be just the thing to wow friends and family alike, and this recipe is a fantastically comforting one-pot meal. The brown basmati rice is cooked with the diced lamb shoulder and spices to soak up all of those wonderful flavours, while dried cherries add an alluring sweetness to the dish. For extra sparkle (I suggest) though it's optional, is adding about 50g pomegranate seeds (available from Asda or Sainsburys). Could make a super Saturday night meal.

        No tagine? No problemo! Use a large stainless steel pan with a lid instead.

        Recipe takes about 2 hours 15 mins to cook through and serves 6 though for 4 means more.

        How about making your own Ras el Hanout spice? The spice mix tastes great and making it is much cheaper!
        Recipe from BBC Good Food.
        Can be made 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. Makes approximately 2-3 tablespoons.

        Ingredients:
        1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
        3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
        1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
        1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
        1 teaspoon paprika (Note Hungarian paprika comes in either mild or hot. Choose mild because the hot version is HOT!
        1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
        1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
        1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

        Toast coriander and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until aromatic and slightly darkened, about 4 minutes.
        Transfer to a spice mill and let cool.
        Add crushed red pepper flakes. Process until finely ground. If you don't have a spice mill, use a pestle & mortar.
        Transfer to a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix.

        Ingredients for Lamb and rice tagine with dried cherries

        400g of lamb shoulder, diced into 3cm cubes (OR, use neck of lamb fillet for quickness)
        1 tsp cumin seeds
        1 tsp coriander seeds
        3 cardamom pods
        1 tsp ras el hanout
        3 small onions, diced (or 1 large onion)
        500g of lamb stock, or chicken stock
        750ml of water 250g Brown Basmati Rice (I use Tilda)
        75g of dried cherries
        200g of baby spinach, or chopped regular spinach
        20g of tarragon leaves * *, picked

        * * Warning about Tarragon: It's a very pungent herb, so use fresh parsley or coriander instead. It's just as good.

        To begin, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan then grind them with the cardamom in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder

        In a wide heavy-based pan, soften the onions in some olive oil, then add the ras el hanout and other ground spices to the pan.

        Cook out for a couple of minutes, stirring so they don't burn.

        Remove the onions from the pan, turn up the heat and add the lamb, stirring occasionally until browned all over. Once browned, reduce the heat, add the stock and 500ml water and pop the onions back into the pan. Cook with a lid on over a very low heat for an hour.

        Add the rice, dried cherries, some salt and pepper, and another 250ml of boiling water and cook for another 40–45 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.

        When the rice is almost ready, place the spinach in the pan on top of the tagine and put the lid back on to wilt the spinach for a minute. Once wilted, stir it into the dish. Finally, stir in the tarragon (or fresh parsley or coriander) and serve.
        "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
        -Hans Zimmer.

        Comment


        • #5
          This afternoon while taking my dog for a walk, I happened on some mussels growing on a breakwater. How wonderful! Free food!

          Here is a classic recipe for Moules marinière with cream, garlic and parsley. Takes no time at all using a splash of white wine or cider. Serves 4. Ingredients:
          1.75kg/4lb mussels
          1 garlic clove, squashed under a fork
          2 shallots, finely chopped
          a knob of butter
          a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves
          100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine or cider though beer would also do
          120ml/4fl oz double cream
          handful of parsley leaves, coarsley chopped
          crusty bread, to serve

          Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won't close when lightly squeezed or tapped.

          Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife.

          Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.

          Soften the garlic and shallots in the butter with the bouquet garni, in a large pan big enough to take all the mussels - it should only be half full.

          Add the mussels and wine or cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes.

          Give the pan a good shake every now and then.

          Remove the bouquet garni, add the cream and chopped parsley and remove from the heat.

          Spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread.
          "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
          -Hans Zimmer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Real chocolate spread without that nasty oil is hard to find, but I have a recipe that is so delicious, you'll want to lick the knife clean!

            Takes just 10 minutes to prepare.

            Ingredients:
            1/4 cup water
            3.5 oz granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
            1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
            pinch of salt
            1 teaspoon bourban vanilla extract
            4 oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
            5 oz unsalted butter softened and cubed

            In a small saucepan, combine the water, granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt.
            Place the pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar and cocoa powder dissolve.
            Continue to heat the pan, stirring frequently, just until it reaches a simmer.
            Once simmering, remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract, chopped chocolate, and cubed butter.
            Whisk until the chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is completely smooth.
            When it's freshly made, this spread will have the consistency of hot fudge sauce.
            Pour the spread into a jar or other container with a lid.
            Press a layer of plastic wrap on top of the chocolate to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate it until it thickens.
            If it's too cold to spread easily, let it sit at room temperature for a short while before serving.
            Store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. But it won't last that long.
            "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
            -Hans Zimmer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Gingernuts!

              These crunchy ginger biscuits have been a national treasure going back generations. Sweet and moreish, they are fabulous for dunking or just snacking on throughout a chilly morning or when studying. Here are two recipes: Crunchy & Chewy and both are very good, take no time at all and make 36.

              Crunchy Gingernuts takes 20 mins prep, 15 mins bake

              225g (8 oz) self raising flour
              110g (4 oz) golden caster sugar
              1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
              110g (4 oz) unsalted butter
              1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
              pinch of salt
              2 tablespoons golden syrup, warmed in pan, then slightly cooled

              Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease two baking trays, or line with parchment.
              Warm the golden syrup in a saucepan slightly, then cool a bit.
              Combine flour, sugar and ginger. Rub in margarine. Mix in bicarb.
              Add the flour mixture to the warmed syrup in the pan. Stir well till combined. Take a small walnut sized piece of the dough and roll into a ball and space evenly apart between the two baking trays.
              Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Surface of each biscuit should be slightly cracked when ready. Remove from tray then cool on wire rack.


              Chewy Gingernuts

              These are very fragrant and moreish and can fill your house with the delicious scent of home-baking. The recipe I adapted it from said that you could freeze them afterwards, but I'm lucky to get them further than the rack they cool on before they've all been eaten!

              100g unsalted butter (at room temperature) - plus extra for greasing
              175g golden caster sugar
              1 medium egg
              1 and a half tablespoon golden syrup
              250g plain flour
              1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
              pinch of salt
              2 teaspoons of ground ginger
              6oz (or vary to suit your taste) of crystallized ginger chunks, chopped

              Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease two large baking trays. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Add the egg and golden syrup and continue beating until well combined. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ground ginger into the biscuit mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in the chopped, crystallized ginger to distribute it evenly amongst the mixture.

              Shape the sticky dough into 20 walnut-sized balls and place 10 on each tray, leaving enough space for them to spread as they cook. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden (I give them 15 in mine).

              Leave on the baking tray until cool, and firm, enough to transfer to a wire rack (they will be very soft as you take them out of the oven but firm up as they cool). Allow the cookies to cool completely before serving. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days (if you are lucky enough to get them as far as that)!

              Click image for larger version

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              "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
              -Hans Zimmer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lamb Chops with Pineapple Salsa

                I made this for lunch today. It was delicious! To accompany I did some potato stovies sprinkled with fresh rosemary, which went perfectly with the lamb.
                Takes 30 minutes and serves 4

                12 lamb chops
                2 tablespoons oil, but a fruity olive oil is nicest

                Pineapple Salsa
                ½ or a 1 ripe pineapple (or 400 g/14 oz drained tinned pineapple, but it doesn't taste the same)
                1 large red onion, finely chopped
                1 fresh red chilli, seeded and diced - or, ¼ level teaspoon cayenne
                1 tablespoon cider or rice vinegar
                1 teaspoon sugar
                2 tablespoons chopped mint

                Trim the meat of excess fat (if any). Brush the chops with oil and season with 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper.

                To make the salsa: Peel the pineapple, remove the core and eyes and dice the flesh. Toss with the onion, chilli, vinegar, sugar and mint, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

                Cook the lamb chops in a frying pan or a cast iron plate for 2–3 minutes each side, turning once, until just tender. I like my lamb slightly pink inside, but it's up to you. Serve with the pineapple salsa.
                "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
                -Hans Zimmer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mousse au chocolat

                  This is a Sunday Special for independent_ Eleanor The Chocolate Elf

                  Make this recipe to celebrate the end of those awful exams! You like me need a little chocolate to perk us up, so for this very delicious chocolate mousse I recommend choosing a good quality, dark cooking chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids, which is what will give the essential ‘chocolatiness’, but don't go over 80% or the mousse's flavour will go bitter. Choose for Green & Black’s or Lindt, but if you have a favourite brand then use that. This is quite an easy bung-it-in recipe, though ask your mum to help with separating the eggs like I asked badass aunty.

                  For perfect results, you need to be careful to heat the chocolate gently, being careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the simmering water in the pan below. Break it up to speed up the process and stir it occasionally until just melted. Overheating will result in it becoming thick and grainy and there is no rescuing it if that happens.

                  Just remember that a good mousse needs at least four hours in the fridge to chill to perfection, so if you are able to make it the day before serving, it will be all the better for it.

                  Serves 6

                  Ingredients:
                  150g dark chocolate, preferably at least 60% cocoa solids
                  25g butter
                  3 eggs
                  2 tbsp caster sugar
                  100ml double cream

                  Grate 50g of the chocolate and set aside in a bowl in the fridge. Break up the remaining chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Either set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water until melted or place in the microwave on medium for 1½-2 mins, stirring halfway through.

                  Leave the melted chocolate to cool for a few minutes. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large bowl and stirring the lightly beaten yolks into the melted chocolate. Whip the cream until it just hold its shape, then fold into the chocolate and egg yolk mixture.

                  Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar. Fold one third of the egg whites into the chocolate, using the whisk blades to cut through the mixture until evenly combined, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon carefully into six small dishes, or glasses, and leave to set for at least four hours, or overnight. Just before serving sprinkle with the reserved grated chocolate.

                  Tip 1: To fill the glasses neatly, spoon the mousse into a large food bag, snip off one corner and pipe the mousse into the glasses.
                  Tip 2: If the mousse mixture does go grainy, then fridge it til firm, then scoop the chocolate mixture into odd lumps or shape into balls, drop in cocoa and there you will have delicious chocolate truffles instead. It's a win-win recipe!
                  "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
                  -Hans Zimmer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mirabelle View Post
                    Mousse au chocolat

                    This is a Sunday Special for independent_ Eleanor The Chocolate Elf

                    Make this recipe to celebrate the end of those awful exams! You like me need a little chocolate to perk us up, so for this very delicious chocolate mousse I recommend choosing a good quality, dark cooking chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids, which is what will give the essential ‘chocolatiness’, but don't go over 80% or the mousse's flavour will go bitter. Choose for Green & Black’s or Lindt, but if you have a favourite brand then use that. This is quite an easy bung-it-in recipe, though ask your mum to help with separating the eggs like I asked badass aunty.

                    For perfect results, you need to be careful to heat the chocolate gently, being careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the simmering water in the pan below. Break it up to speed up the process and stir it occasionally until just melted. Overheating will result in it becoming thick and grainy and there is no rescuing it if that happens.

                    Just remember that a good mousse needs at least four hours in the fridge to chill to perfection, so if you are able to make it the day before serving, it will be all the better for it.

                    Serves 6

                    Ingredients:
                    150g dark chocolate, preferably at least 60% cocoa solids
                    25g butter
                    3 eggs
                    2 tbsp caster sugar
                    100ml double cream

                    Grate 50g of the chocolate and set aside in a bowl in the fridge. Break up the remaining chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Either set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water until melted or place in the microwave on medium for 1½-2 mins, stirring halfway through.

                    Leave the melted chocolate to cool for a few minutes. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large bowl and stirring the lightly beaten yolks into the melted chocolate. Whip the cream until it just hold its shape, then fold into the chocolate and egg yolk mixture.

                    Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar. Fold one third of the egg whites into the chocolate, using the whisk blades to cut through the mixture until evenly combined, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon carefully into six small dishes, or glasses, and leave to set for at least four hours, or overnight. Just before serving sprinkle with the reserved grated chocolate.

                    Tip 1: To fill the glasses neatly, spoon the mousse into a large food bag, snip off one corner and pipe the mousse into the glasses.
                    Tip 2: If the mousse mixture does go grainy, then fridge it til firm, then scoop the chocolate mixture into odd lumps or shape into balls, drop in cocoa and there you will have delicious chocolate truffles instead. It's a win-win recipe!
                    Aww Belle I may have to try this Thank you for sharing!!
                    "Truely independent person who doesn't do quotes, just dates".. (29.04.17)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by independent_ View Post

                      Aww Belle I may have to try this Thank you for sharing!!
                      I knew you'd love 'em though the little pots of chocolate we made were very rich! Dark chocolate stimulates our endorphins which create feelings of pleasure, so chocolate is a definite mood lifter, but it's important not to eat too much. Easily said, but also very easily not done. Chocolate also contains another neurotransmitter, serotonin, also a mood lifter. I didn't know that.

                      Aunty found a useful website explaining 11 things we need to eat when we're in a terrible mood. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-e...oosting-foods/

                      I think I should make a new topic called "All Things Chocolate". Then everyone can jump in to make their favourite chocolate fix!
                      "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
                      -Hans Zimmer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Whether you're into St Valentine's or not, here are some sensational recipes that are sure to be memorable!

                        Vegan No Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake

                        Such a pretty cake though only 12 cm, so it’s tiny and cute.

                        Recipe ref: http://www.callmecupcake.se/2015/03/...heesecake.html

                        Click image for larger version

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                        The author says this cheesecake is completely gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free. Makes 1 tiny cheesecake (12 cm/5 inches), but you can of course double the recipe to make a bigger one! Serves 4.

                        Ingredients

                        Crust

                        1/2 cup pitted dates
                        1/2 cup almonds
                        pinch of salt

                        Filling
                        3/4 cup cashew nuts, soaked in water overnight then drained *
                        2 tbsp lemon juice
                        Zest from 1 small lemon
                        3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
                        1/3 cup coconut milk (full fat)
                        1-3 tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
                        1/4 cup (25 g) fresh or frozen (but thawed) blueberries

                        Topping
                        Freeze dried blueberry powder
                        Fresh blueberries
                        Shredded coconut
                        Edible flowers

                        * If you’re in a hurry you can let the cashews soak in very hot water for 1 hour instead of overnight.

                        Author's Instructions

                        1. Soak the dates in warm water for 15 minutes then drain. Put almonds in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the dates and salt and pulse until a paste forms.

                        2. Press mixture into a 5-inch springform pan (if you don’t have a springform pan, use a pie tin or a regular cake pan covered with parchment paper). Put the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

                        3. Put all ingredients for the filling in a blender and mix until mixture is as smooth as possible. Pour the filling into the crust, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours.

                        4. Remove the cake from the pan and leave to thaw in room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before cutting. Top with freeze dried blueberry powder, fresh blueberries, shredded coconut and edible flowers. I usually run my knife under warm water (and dry off) before cutting, to make a cleaner cut. Let each piece thaw for a few more minutes before serving.



                        "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
                        -Hans Zimmer.

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                        • #13
                          Apple Frangipan Honey Tart

                          Easy to make, this makes one delicious tart and serves 6 to 8.

                          Recipe ref: http://www.callmecupcake.se/2017/10/...oney-tart.html

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Pie Crust
                          240 g (1 2/3 cups) all purpose flour
                          1 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
                          1/4 tsp. flaky salt
                          175 g (about 1 1/2 sticks) very cold salted butter
                          5-8 tbsp. ice water

                          Cinnamon Honey Frangipan
                          75 g (2/3 stick) softened salted butter
                          3 tbsp. honey
                          1 tsp. ground cinnamon
                          1 medium egg
                          75 g (2/3 cup) almond flour
                          2 tsp. all purpose flour

                          Topping
                          5-6 (450-500 g) medium apples (I used ‘Discovery’)
                          juice from 1 small lemon
                          1 egg
                          1 tsp. water
                          1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom
                          1 tbsp. turbinado sugar

                          Honey Glaze
                          1 tbsp. honey
                          1 tbsp. water

                          Author's Instructions

                          PIE CRUST
                          1. Mix together flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. If you have one, use a cheese slicer to slice the butter thinly – if not, you can dice the butter with a knife. Add the sliced or diced butter to the dry ingredients, and using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until dough is crumbly but there are still some small visible pieces of butter.

                          2. Drizzle with ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, and mix gently with a fork until dough just comes together, do not knead the dough.

                          3. Form the dough into a ball and place it on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc, wrap in the plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least one hour.

                          CINNAMON HONEY FRANGIPANE
                          1. Beat butter and honey until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, egg and almond flour and beat until smooth. Fold in the flour. Cover the bowl and set aside.

                          ASSEMBLY
                          1. Roll out the dough to a large rectangle (slightly larger than the sheet pan in the next step, if using one) on a lightly floured surface, about 1/8 – 1/4 inch (3-5 mm) thick. Make sure to roll and turn the dough so it doesn’t stick to the surface.

                          2. Using the rolling pin, transfer the dough to a 28 x 18 cm (11 x 7 inch) sheet pan, or put the dough directly on a baking sheet covered with a piece of baking paper. Trim the edges of the dough if desired, but make sure to leave a little overhang to shape the edges. You can use the leftover dough to cut out decorative shapes. If you’re baking the tart in a pan, prick a few holes in the bottom using a fork.

                          3. Spread the frangipane over the rolled out dough, leaving the edges free from filling. Place in fridge while you prepare the topping. TOPPING & BAKING Preheat oven to 225°C (437°F).

                          4. Peel the apples and slice them thinly, removing the seeds. Place the slices on top of the frangipane filling. Squeeze the lemon over the apples. Fold the overhang of the dough over the filling and use a little bit of water to stick any shapes or decoratives cut-outs to the crust. Put the tart in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the egg with 1 tsp. of water in a small bowl. Grind cardamom and mix with 1 tbsp. turbinado sugar. Remove the tart from the freeezer, brush the crust with egg wash and sprinkle crust and fruit with the cardamom sugar.

                          5. Bake the tart at 225°C (437°F) for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 175°C (350°F) and bake an additional 30-32 minutes or until crust is golden.

                          6. While the tart is baking, combine honey and water in a saucepan and let come to a boil. As soon as the tart comes out of the oven, brush edges and fruit with the glaze. Drizzle any leftover glaze over the fruit. Let cool a little, then serve with sweetened whipped cream.
                          "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
                          -Hans Zimmer.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How about... a Triple Layered Golden Gaytime Pavlova

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Recipe Ref: http://www.notquitenigella.com/2018/...avlova-recipe/

                            It's not nearly as complicated as it looks. Once you've made the meringue and piped it, it's mostly a triple repeat. Trust me on this, okay?

                            An original recipe by Lorraine Elliott
                            Prep time: 35 minutes
                            Cooking time: 1.5 hours
                            Note: Pavlova is best made one day ahead * Step 2

                            Ingredients for the meringue
                            300g/10.6ozs. egg whites (around 9-10 large eggs), at room temperature (I place the whole eggs in hot water and then separate)
                            2.5 teaspoons white vinegar
                            2.5 cups caster or superfine Sugar
                            2.5 tablespoons cornflour or fine cornstarch
                            2 teaspoons cream of tartar
                            5 tablespoons cocoa powder

                            For filling and topping
                            600ml/21.2fflozs. pure or thickened cream
                            300ml/10.6flozs. full fat sour cream
                            1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
                            6 malt o milk biscuits, crushed (or 1/2 cup Golden Gaytime crumbs)
                            1/2 cup toffee bits (you can also use Skor bars, crushed)
                            1/4 cup shaved chocolate

                            Step 1: Preheat oven to 180C/350F and mark three sheets of parchment with 20cm/8inch circles. Make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are spotlessly clean and free of fat. Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add vinegar and then add the sugar in gradually while the whisk is going. You want it to be stiff and be able to hold its shape. Whisk until you can tip the bowl upside down and the meringue won't move. Fold in the cornflour and cocoa.

                            Step 2: Spread out the meringue onto the three circles using an angled spatula reserving about half of the meringue to pipe on top. Fit a piping bag with a #867 tip and pipe dollops all over the meringue rounds. Place the three baking trays in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 130C/266F. Bake for 1.5 hours and then turn off the oven and leave the pavlovas to cool in the oven overnight. *

                            Step 3: The next day prepare the fillings (and pavlovas are best assembled just before serving). Whip the cream until you get billowy peaks and then add the sour cream and whip until you get a dollopy consistency (we aren't adding any sugar to the cream as the pavlova is sweet as it is). Place in the fridge until needed. Then place the biscuits, toffee bits and shaved chocolate in a bowl and have the salted caramel sauce ready (mine was in a tube, place it in a piping bag if yours is in a jar).

                            Step 4: Take the largest pavlova round and place it on a serving plate. Top with the whipped cream, biscuit crumbs and toffee bits. Repeat with the two other rounds adding the chocolate sprinkles on the top one.
                            "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
                            -Hans Zimmer.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I never thought of making my own Cola, so was surprised how incredibly easy it was to make, taking no time at all having fast-chilled it. Diluted with soda water (to taste), I was amazed at how refreshing and delicious it was. You must try it!

                              Though this recipe was adapted from The New York Times, I made my own caramel for colouring using Delia Smith's very good recipe. It can be used for cream caramel, too, so please save this link: https://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-c...o-make-caramel

                              Cola Syrup

                              Grated zest of 2 medium oranges
                              Grated zest of 1 large lime
                              Grated zest of 1 large lemon
                              1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                              1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
                              1 section of a star anise pod, crushed (note: section!)
                              1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
                              2 teaspoons ginger root, peeled first then grated finely
                              1 one-and-a-half-inch piece vanilla bean, split
                              1/4 teaspoon citric acid
                              2 cups sugar
                              1 tablespoon light brown sugar
                              3/4 teaspoon caramel color powder, optional (I skipped this, but I am curious how that might change the overall experience/trickery)

                              In a heavy 2 quart sauce pan, bring two cups water and zests, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, lavender, ginger, vanilla, and citric acid to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmering gently for 20 minutes or so.

                              Measure sugars into a bowl and place a sieve lined with two layers of butter muslin over top. As soon as infused water comes off the heat, pour through strainer, extracting as much liquid as possible. Discard solids and stir sugars into the hot liquid until completely dissolved.

                              Pour syrup into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator until needed. Mix at a concentration to suit your tastes. A “four parts carbonated water to one part syrup” ratio seems a good place to start.
                              "Seconds of your life are ticking away. If someone says that there's a rule - break it! That's the only thing that moves things forward."
                              -Hans Zimmer.

                              Comment

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