A late leisurely breakfast or brunch is such a treat at the weekend. In fact, brunch has become my favourite meal. It seems I’m not the only one. It’s been rising in popularity over the last few years and is now said to be the nation’s best loved repast. This recipe for Mexican Huevos Rancheros with smashed avocado is a great brunch standby. It’s simple to make, pushes the boat out a little and kicks ass.
As promised for this month of Veganuary, I’m trying to up the number of vegan meals I eat. This has been massively helped by the acquisition of two recently published vegan recipe books authored by talented fellow food bloggers. You’ll find reviews of the books below along with a recipe for veggie chilli which has been rather heavily adapted from one of them. Twas ever thus …
The first time I remember eating Mexican food was in that well-known Hispanic enclave, Loughborough, when I was a student many years ago. In those days, even tortilla chips were hard to get hold of and I felt quite hip eating such an unusual cuisine. I fell in love with the vibrant punchy flavours and have never looked back. These corn spinach polenta triangles may not be authentic Mexican cuisine, but they are certainly inspired by it.
In cold weather, there is nothing more warming and comforting than a big bowl of steaming soup. Or do I mean stew? I’m not entirely sure whether this Mexican bean soup is actually a soup or stew, but with a generous amount of vegetables, beans and spicy Mexican flavours, it certainly makes for a satisfying meal. It’s especially good when served with some hearty soda bread spiked with a little smoked chilli honey.
This recipe from Green Seasons by Rachel Demuth has been bookmarked for a very long time. Using mangoes, limes, chillies, cinnamon and of course chocolate, it combines some of my favourite ingredients. I was given this cookbook by some dear friends at least three years ago and they hinted broadly that this was a recipe I ought to make. It took a basket of beautiful green limes, sent for review and Chris to choose Mexico for his monthly Bloggers Around the World event for me to finally take the plunge
Green Seasons is the third vegetarian cookbook written by Rachel Demuth, a leading vegetarian chef who runs the acclaimed vegetarian restaurant Demuths and the highly successful Vegetarian Cookery School in Bath. I’ve made quite a few of the recipes in the book, which include vegan and gluten free ones too; they have all been successful and delicious. You can find out more by reading my review of Green Seasons. The book has recently been made available for iPad so if on-line cookery books are more your thing, you may want to take a look. As well as the book, I can highly recommend the courses at the cookery school, at least the one I attended on Middle Eastern mezze anyway.
The pudding may be Mexican by name, but possibly not by nature. I’m not sure where the cinnamon or the chillies came from, but I don’t think there was a single ingredient of Mexican provenance. However, Latin American it certainly was: the 100% chocolate bought on a recent trip to the Eden Project was Colombian, the rum was Cuban and the limes hailed from Brazil. The chocolate, very handily, came in two 125g blocks, which made it a breeze for me to halve the recipe – after all, there was only CT and I to indulge in them and even for us, a pudding to serve eight seemed a little excessive. Sadly, the limes arrived with very little information, but they did appear to be waxed, so I made sure I scrubbed them well with warm water and washing up liquid before using.
This is how I made:
Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Chilli and Lime Mango Slices
- Melted 125g of Colombian 100% chocolate in a small saucepan over gently heat with 150 ml of milk. Stirred until almost smooth.
- Took of the heat and added 1 tbsp of white Cuban rum.
- Creamed 25g unsalted butter with 75g vanilla (caster) sugar.
- Beat in a yolk from a duck egg and put the white in a clean bowl.
- Beat in the chocolate mixture.
- Sifted in 20g wholemeal spelt, 10g cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp baking powder. Stirred gently until just combined.
- Whisked the egg white until stiff and folded into the chocolate mix. Spooned into four buttered ramekins.
- Placed the ramekins in a tin and filled to about 1 cm with water.
- Baked at 180C for about 17 minutes.
- Peeled and sliced a ripe mango (rather messily)
- Dissolved 2 tbsp cardamom (caster) sugar in a large pan with 1 tbsp water over a low heat.
- Turned up the heat and added 1/2 tsp chilli flakes followed by the mango slices.
- Allowed to bubble away for a few minutes until the liquid had turned syrupy.
- Removed from the heat and added the grated zest and juice of one well scrubbed Brazilian lime.
- Ran a knife around the edge of the puddings to loosen them, then turned out onto plates. Dusted with cocoa and added some reserved lime zest to the top.
- Served with some the mango slices.
This may look like burnt pie and chips, but what it lacked in appearance, it more than made up for in sensuousness. It was very rich, very dark, not too sweet and it reached into places other puddings rarely do. The cinnamon supported, as well as ameliorated the strong and robust nature of the chocolate. We ate them warm whilst the centre was still gooey. The sweet, sour and fiery mango slices were delicious in their own right but also acted as a great foil to the chocolate. CT had only one thing to say about this: “sex on a plate”. In fact he was probably right, these would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Thank you to Chris of Cooking Around the World for choosing Mexico for this month’s Blogging Around the World – he finally got me to make this rather wonderful dessert.
Kate of What Kate Baked has chosen Perfect Puddings for this month’s Tea Time Treats. Hmmm, perfect looking my puddings aren’t but I think they might hit the perfect button for taste, smell and touch. This monthly challenge is co-hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.
Bookmarked for more than three years, this has to be a contender for Jac’s Bookmarked Recipes over at Tinned Tomatoes.
Those two romantics Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes have a valentine’s theme for this month’s Calendar Cakes with My Achy Cakey Heart. Well as already described, this may not look that pretty but it’s very likely to win over your Valentine.
Finally, I think, I am submitting these to Simple and in Season as limes are in full season now. Started by Ren of Fabulicious Foods, this month’s host is C of the fabulicious Cake, Crumbs and Cooking.
Cornwall is my home and I hate to leave it. However, the pull of friendship can be strong, so this weekend, we headed upcountry to some chocolate loving friends in Glastonbury. With time in fairly short supply, I decided to make some chilli muffins from Unwrapped, the Green & Black’s Original chocolate cookbook. These Mexican Mole Muffins appealed, not only because they were quick to make, but also because they had a lot of chocolate in them – ideal for the aforementioned chocoholics. With the cold winds and hail storms we’d been experiencing, the chilli seemed like a nice warming idea too.
Luckily I had recently been sent a load of chocolate goodies from Dr Oetker, so I had plenty of chocolate to choose from. As the above recipe called for a high cocoa content milk chocolate, the 33% Cook’s chocolate was ideal.
This is how I did it:
- Chopped 100g 33% milk chocolate into shreds with a sturdy knife.
- Chopped half a de-seeded rocoto chilli finely.
- Sifted 200g flour (half wholemeal, half white) into a bowl along with 1 tsp baking powder, 25g cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp fine sea salt.
- Added 110g vanilla (caster) sugar.
- Stirred in the chocolate and chilli.
- In a large jug, beat 2 medium eggs with 100ml sunflower oil.
- Whisked in 225g milk and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.
- Made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and poured in the wet.
- Mixed together gently until just incorporated.
- Divided the mixture between the muffin cases, making a complete mess as I did so – the mixture was very runny.
- Baked at 180C for 20 minutes.
They didn’t rise as much as I expected, but they were nonetheless delicious. The rocoto generated a gentle heat, which allowed the flavour of the chilli to come through. But after the muffin had gone, that same chilli buzzed around the mouth and was much more noticeable. Although liberally studded with chocolate, which gave a satisfying sweet crunchy burst, the chips had sunk to the bottom half, which was a bit disappointing but inevitable given the wetness of the batter. Anyway, between us we managed to devour most of them in fairly short shrift and used them to power us to the top of Glastonbury Tor.
Many thanks to Dr Oetker for this great chocolate themed toolbox. I’m looking forward to making lots of fun things with the remaining items, although I have already made some scrumptious cookies with the white choc chips – recipe to be posted later.
This is what I received:
- 150g bar of cook’s 33% milk chocolate
- 150g bar of cook’s 54% dark chocolate
- 150g bar of cook’s 72% dark chocolate
- 100g bag of white chocolate chunks
- Pack of chocolate ready to roll icing
- Giant milk chocolate stars
- Chocolate flavour writing icing
- Milk and white chocolate flakes
- Chocolate flavour strands
- Vanilla extract with seeds
- Cake release spray
If you would like a chance at getting your hands on this chocolate baking and decorating extravaganza just in time for Christmas, then please fill in the Rafflecopter below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random from the entries received. If you are commenting anonymously, please give me some way of identifying you as I will be verifying the validity of entries. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address.