Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Black Forest Gâteau – Kick-Back Indulgence

Black Forest Gateau

An indulgent but delicious cake featuring chocolate and cherries with a light chilli kick to it. Despite the cream filling and topping, this Black Forest gâteau is a light, flavoursome, not too sweet and delightfully squidgy bake. It makes an excellent dessert as well as a party showpiece. It has the added bonus of being gluten free.

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Berry and Rose Kefir Smoothie

Rose Berry Smoothies

Following on from the success of my Red Berry Smoothie in a Bowl, I thought I’d try a smoothie in a sundae glass and eat it with a spoon. If you are going to eat something with a spoon, it encourages you to sit down – and a sit down breakfast is a rare treat for me.

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Chocolate Amaretto Biscuit Cake – A No Bake Delight

Chocolate Amaretto Biscuit Cake

No Bake | 27th November 2013 | By

A luscious, boozy, not-too-sweet, no-bake, dark chocolate tiffin. This chocolate Amaretto biscuit cake is simple to assemble but guaranteed to please. Perfect for dessert, afternoon tea or snacking.

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Sour Cherry Brownies – A Miracle

Brownies & Blondies | 28th June 2013 | By

This is another post that’s been sitting in my archives for a very long time and one I keep thinking I must post as it might be useful to others. I call these miracle brownies, because just as I thought they were a complete flop and I was panicking about running out of time to make a substitute, a long shot paid off and they came together quite miraculously.

Sour Cherry Brownies

In my humble opinion, no self respecting cake display is complete without some brownies. So when I was planning what to bake for my friend’s house party, I knew some sort of brownies would need to be included. As it happened, I came across a recipe for Chocolate and Cherry Brownies in Green&Black’s Unwrapped when I was looking for another recipe. Brilliant, I had two bars of G&B’s sour cherry chocolate I’d bought at some point just waiting for the right occasion. I have a particular fondness for this bar, it’s a 60% dark chocolate packed full of sour cherries. The bitter, sweet and sour makes for a terrific combination. So substituting this for the dried cherries in the recipe, adding some cocoa and scaling it down by a third, this is what I did:

  • Melted 200g unsalted butter in a pan over low heat with 2 x 100g bars of dark cherry chocolate.
  • With electric beaters, whisked 300g vanilla sugar (granulated) with 4 eggs (1 duck & 3 medium hen’s) and a pinch of Pink Himalayan salt for several minutes until thick and tripled in volume.
  • Stirred the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  • Sifted in 130g flour (half wholemeal, 1/2 white) and 1 tbsp cocoa then folded in until just incorporated.
  • Poured into a 9″ sq cake mould and baked at 180C for 25 minutes.
  • Left to cool and tried to cut into 36 squares BUT disaster, the mixture had not only sunk but was still liquid! Having spent the day baking cakes, I’d had enough at this point, so covered them up and went to bed.
  • In the morning with a clearer head, I thought there was nothing to lose by attempting to rebake them. So back into the oven they went for a further 12 minutes.
  • Amazingly, the mixture rose again – it was a miracle!
  • At this point, I was convinced I’d overdone them, but on cooling and cutting this time, they were just about perfect.
Sour Cherry Brownies

So, I learnt a really useful lesson here. Brownies can be doubly baked with no harm coming to them at all. The brownies were so good, I vowed I would make them again as soon as possible – nearly two years on, I still haven’t done so.

Apple & Cherry Wensleydale Chocolate Chip Cake

Loaf Cakes | 10th December 2012 | By

Earlier in the year, the more than occasional baker made an apple cake using Wensleydale cheese with added cranberries. Well, I was intrigued by this and her description had me bookmarking the recipe immediately. As with most of the recipes I bookmark, it’s taken me some time to try it out, but try it out I eventually did. The Wensleydale I used was one studded with cherries. With my recent discovery that chocolate and cheese go very well together I also added some chocolate, but this could of course be left out if it is deemed to be overkill.

I was recently sent a few Fairtrade goodies from the Fairtrade Foundation and I was keen to try them out.

This is how I did it:

  • Placed 150g unsalted butter in a bowl and left it on our storage heater for an hour to soften (the kitchen has gone into it’s no need for a fridge phase).
  • Sifted 175g flour (half white, half wholemeal) into a bowl together with 1 tsp baking powder.
  • Peeled, cored and chopped 1 large tart apple (unidentified Cornish variety) and tossed into the flour ensuring all surfaces were coated to prevent browning.
  • Chopped 50g of Traidcraft dark chocolate (70%) into chips.
  • Crumbled 125g cherry Wensleydale cheese into small bits.
  • Creamed the butter with 175g golden caster sugar until it was really pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in 2 duck eggs, one by one.
  • Folded in the flour and apple, mixing in 3 tbsp milk when the mixture became too stiff.
  • Gently stirred in the chocolate and cheese.
  • Spooned into a 2lb loaf mould.
  • Cored, peeled and sliced a small tart Cornish apple (variety unidentified) and laid over the cake.
  • Sprinkled over 1 tbsp demerara sugar and baked at 180C for 45 minutes.
  • Allowed to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack and cutting a slice immediately!

The cake looked so tempting with its shiny toffee apple top that I couldn’t wait for it to cool, so I cut a slice whilst still warm. The smell of cheese on toast as I raised it to my lips was slightly disconcerting, but luckily this didn’t put me off. It had a fantastic texture and good flavour, sweet with little bursts of saltiness courtesy of the cheese. As the cake was quite sweet, this worked really well; together with the tart apple and bitter chocolate almost all taste sensations were covered.

I’m submitting this to Jac’s Bookmarked Recipes over at Tinned Tomatoes.

Chocolate Swirled Clafoutis – We Should Cocoa 24

As soon as I heard that Janice of Farmersgirl Kitchen had picked cherries as the special ingredient for this month’s We Should Cocoa, I had clafoutis in mind. For Christmas I received a beautiful red clafoutis dish from my mother and although much admired, I hadn’t actually used it yet. This was the spur I needed.

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Chocolate Cherry Trifle

Dessert | 19th August 2011 | By

Having made one decedent dessert a few weeks ago, I was soon ready for another. I had cherries, I had some crème fraîche that needed using up and some egg yolks left over from the Chestnut Cream Meringue Cake I’d made. Friends from The Viewing Gallery had also just given me a jar of their wild cherry jam. Black Forest sprang to mind.

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Nigella’s Florentines and Spiced Hot Chocolate

The Tin and Thyme Version of Nigella's Florentines

Biscuits, Gifts | 24th March 2011 | By

This recipe is the Tin and Thyme version of Nigella’s Florentines. They’re easy to make, if a bit messy and they are nutty, chewy and delicious to eat. The dark chocolate creates the perfect foil for the sweet biscuits. They make great gifts for family and friends at any time of the year, but particularly at Christmas.

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Cherry, Walnut & Chocolate Birthday Cake

Large Cakes | 30th December 2009 | By

It’s my mother’s birthday tomorrow and a second Christmas celebration for us, so a special birthday cake is required. A few years ago I made my mother Brian Goodwin’s Birthday Cake from Gaia’s Kitchen for her birthday party and it proved to be so popular with the guests that I was inundated with requests for the recipe. Surprisingly, I haven’t made it since – time to rectify this I think!

This is how I did it:
  • Melted 100g bar 85% dark chocolate and left to cool slightly.
  • Creamed 4.5oz unsalted butter with 4.50z light muscovado sugar & grated zest of 1 orange.
  • Beat in chocolate.
  • Beat in 3 medium size eggs, one by one.
  • Sieved in 6oz flour (1/2 wholemeal spelt & 1/2 white spelt) with 2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  • Stirred in juice from same orange with a couple of tbsp of water as it was quite a stiff mixture.
  • Stirred in 3oz natural glace cherries – halved and 2oz of walnuts – roughly chopped.
  • Spooned mixture into a 21cm cake thingy and baked at 180C (gas 4) for 30 mins.
  • Turned out onto rack and left to cool.
  • Rolled out 8oz natural almond marzipan into a round to fit top of cake.
  • Melted 100g bar of 70% dark chocolate with 1/2 oz butter and two tbsp of date syrup.
  • Stirred this until smooth then covered cake with the marzipan and then the marzipan with the chocolate mixture.
  • Decorated with 12 toasted walnut halves.
One of the reasons I remember this cake as being so good is that marzipan lovers like myself are not deprived of this delicacy as is usual with a non-fruit cake. I’m looking forward to trying it again tomorrow.