Collard Greenz

Food, recipes and everything in between


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Decadent Dark Chocolate

Last week I posted about my desire to make something molten, sinful and downright dangerously decadent in honor of Chocolate Week, and that I did. The final vote went to my husband, since he was the one who would be consuming most of it, along with me of course, but I was happy with any option, as long as it contained a serious amount of delicious, dark chocolate.

This recipe is more of an occasion recipe due to the sheer amount of (a) calories – that I try not to think about as I write this, knowing how much I consumed over the course of the past few days – and (b) effort. But please be patient as this chocolate chestnut mousse cakes reaps serious dividends in the form of an amazing, impressive dessert, worthy of the most elaborate of dinner parties or celebrations.

1lb good quality dark chocolate (min 60%) roughly chopped

6 eggs, room temperature

2tbs rum or brandy

1.5 cups ground chestnuts (cooked and vacuum packed are easiest)

3tbsp sweetened chestnut puree

3tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting on top to serve

1.5cups freshly whipped cream

Pre-heat oven to 325*F and grease 9in round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl on-top of a pot of simmering (not boiling) water, ensure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl and stir occasionally until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.

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Put the eggs in a separate heat-proof bowl and add the rum or brandy. Put the bowl on-top of a pot of simmering (again not boiling) water and don’t let the water touch the bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer on high for approximately 5-7 minutes until light, frothy and foamy. Remove from the heat.

Using a metal spoon, quickly and lightly fold the chocolate, ground chestnuts and sugar into the whisked eggs. Fold in the whipped cream and pour the mixture into the cake tin – do not over stir, try to keep as much air as possible. Put the cake tin in a water bath that comes up about half way.

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Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked in the center of the mousse cake. Let it cool for at least 2 hours in the cake tin on a wire rack before removing it.

IMG_7614Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and drizzle of sweet vanilla cream (heavy cream, vanilla bean paste and icing sugar lightly whisked). This cake is fudge-like, almost like eating a slice of a rich, smooth chocolate bar. It lasts a good few days in the refrigerator when wrapped in cling film.

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Spaceman Eggs

rozie13:

So cute love this. Thank you Cooking Up the Pantry for this idea!

Originally posted on Cooking Up The Pantry:

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This isn’t really a recipe!

When the boys have gone through fussy stages with eggs, these eggs have always remained popular.

Ingredients

1 egg

1 slice of bread

Method

Preheat a non stick frying pan and the grill.

Using a gingerbread man or lady cutter, cut out the centre of the bread, making sure the crusts are still intact.

Put the cut bread and figure into the frying pan.

Crack an egg gently and pour the egg white into the hole in the bread, starting at the bottom.

Pour the yolk into the head area to create the helmet.

Fry until the white is beginning to become opaque, then, pop under the grill just long enough for the white to solidify but the yolk to remain runny.

Use  the toast man to dip into the spaceman’s helmet!

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Mmm tea

There is something sacred about that sip of hot steaming tea before bedtime. The chaos of the day is calmed with each soothing sip, helping to relax the mind and unwind. Tonight I am sipping a new seasonal tea that I discovered at Trader Joe’s, it’s simply too good not to share.

Introducing Harvest Blend herbal tea – with subtle apple, hibiscus and warming spices like ginger, it really encapsulates autumn in a tea.

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Sweet dreams


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It’s Chocolate Week, say what?!

It’s national Chocolate Week in the UK, a glorious week indeed! One which I celebrated in earnest for the 10 years I spent living there. Why there are no similar festivities on this side of the Pond is beyond me, especially considering how much chocolate is consumed in the USofA. Who doesn’t love chocolate in some form? For me, it’s all about the dark stuff, I need a minimum of 55% cocoa, but preferably at least 70%. Sometimes it’s with sea salt flakes and toasted almonds, other times, it’s all about a Mexican inspired bar with chilli & cinnamon. Last night I indulged in a few squares of a bar with cherries and almonds wrapped in the smooth, complex flavors of dark chocolate. How could I NOT have at least a few squares, it would be a disservice to this festive week!

This weekend I am planning to make some chocolatey goodness as a treat, please let me know your vote in the comments section for the recipe you want to read about:

Option 1: classic chocolate cake with chocolate ganache

Imaryberrychoc

Option 2: oo-ey-gooey chocolate chip cookies

chocochipcook

Option 3: chocolate chestnut flour-less mouse cake

chestnut cake


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Burger Bliss

As you may be aware, I am ardent proponent of clean healthy eating, most of the time. However, every once in a while, I get this craving deep in my belly that only a giant beef burger smothered in cheese and ketchup, nestled between a perfectly golden, toasted sesame bun can satisfy. I am most certainly not referring to the poor excuses for burgers found in many fast food establishments. I am talking about an all-natural, grass fed sirloin cut, recently hand-crafted into a juicy, mouthwatering burger. This craving hit me hard a few days ago and so I suggested to my meat-loving husband that we get burgers, and without any hesitation he willingly agreed with pleasure.

LB logo

 We opted for our local, melting pot of a burger joint, Left Bank Burger Bar, which unashamedly produces ginormous, consistently delectable patties. When we go out for burgers, I often opt for the least heinous option, a small burger, no bun, served with lettuce, tomato and cheese and, much to the dismay of my husband, I rob a few of his French fries in the process. Jokingly, my other half suggested I order the Mac Daddy, thinking I would never in a million years go for the burger wedged between a patty of fried mac’n’cheese and crispy bacon. That’s right, battered, fried, crispy mac’n’cheese with a gooey, molten center, nestled cozily next to perfectly crisp thick cut bacon. Whoever came with that idea, I am eternally grateful.

LB burger

Well, order it, I did. I have never seen such a look of pride and wonder in my husband’s eyes as I did upon him hearing me utter the words, ‘I will have the MAC DADDY burger please, WITH onion rings.’ All this was consumed and washed down with some of his perfectly crisp sweet potato fries and an ice cold brew. Wow, belly bliss!! Just be sure not to make the same mistake I did the last time I had a similar craving a few months back – going for an annual health check-up and blood test the following morning, including testing your cholesterol and blood pressure.

LB burger 2

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Italian dishes? Not quite

I find it so amusing how dishes get seriously lost in translation. Here is a list of Italian American dishes that made me laugh and cry.

Laugh at how humorous it that traditional dishes can be so bastardized and cry how Americans think it is acceptable to serve naked pasta?! What about dry, bad bread swimming in butter and garlic powder, don’t even get me started!

http://italianfood.about.com/od/italylivingvisiting/tp/Ten-Italian-Foods-You-Wont-Find-in-Italy.htm?nl=1


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Krazy Kabocha

In a constant battle to encourage my picky toddler to eat more vegetables and maintain a healthy, balanced diet, I have to rely on the art of deception and wizardry to convince her to consume her vegetables, particularly greens. With autumn thriving and squash continuing to be a mainstay in my kitchen, I opted for a kabocha, greens, asiago and pesto loaf to trick my munchkin into gobbling those greens.

This is a savory squash bread of sorts that is not merely a kid dish, it is simply a means to confer the benefits of vegetables into my kid’s tummy. Between the nutty sweet basil pesto and slightly salty, sophisticated and satisfying asiago, this recipe is no child’s play. It also happens to freeze and toast well, and is hardy, nutritious and delectable – a meal in a slice, perfect for on-the-go lunches and late afternoon snacks.

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3 cups pureed kabocha squash (approx. ½ kabocha cored, roasted and pureed once cool)

1 & ¾ cups flour sifted

1/2tbsp each baking soda and powder

2tbsp pesto*

1/4tsp each sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

½ cup diced asiago cheese

½ cup chopped, steamed spinach

4oz pouch Plum Organics pureed spinach, peas and pear

1/3 EVOO

2 eggs whisked

Sift and mix together dry ingredients. Separately add remaining ingredients to whisked eggs. Combine into dry ingredients. Place in 9inch cake tin, bake at 375*F for approximately 35 minutes. The loaf will not be completely dry when finished due to the amount of squash and the cheese. It needs to set and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before eating.

* If pesto does not appeal to you, consider substituting with a Salsa Romanesco (a cheese free roasted red pepper and almond based sauce). For a Latin American inspired dish, substitute basil pesto with green tomato salsa verde.

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