My spinach cake with lemon is a super simple version of le gâteau vert or green cake and it tastes delicious too. I was inspired after seeing this week’s episode of Great British Bake Off. I’ve made it with wholemeal spelt, but you can use whatever flour you prefer. The batter is made with spinach puree and the icing is coloured with spinach too. I’ve filled it with lemon ricotta and topped it with pistachios.
It’s been many a year since I set foot in an Iceland shop. I moved back down to Cornwall from Leamington Spa nearly twenty years ago and I certainly haven’t been to one since then. However, when I was challenged to “Go Frozen with Iceland” and create a tasty and nutritious meal, an idea for a green vegetable galette sprang to mind. It was time to track down an Iceland store and see what I could find.
When I set banana as this month’s ingredient for We Should Cocoa, I didn’t have anything particular in mind, but with the run of wet weather we’ve been experiencing down in Cornwall over the last few days, I needed comfort and cheer. It had to be pancakes. Not just any old pancakes, but something a little luxurious which was also healthy, delicious and above all comforting, Banana pancakes it was then – with added ricotta. Oh! And chocolate sauce, of course.
It’s National Chocolate Week 2012 and I fancied some brownies. I had a tub of ricotta to use up and some Cornish apples from my mother’s garden. So to celebrate this most auspicious week, I decided to experiment and make some apple ricotta cheesecake brownies.
This is how I made them:
- Peeled, cored and sliced two medium apples weighing 200g (unspecified Cornish variety) and placed in a pan.
- Added 50g vanilla sugar (caster) and a tbsp of water.
- Simmered for 5 minutes until the apples were soft and no longer wet. Allowed to cool.
- Stirred in 250g ricotta.
- Beat in 1 medium egg.
- Melted 100g unsalted butter in a large pan on low heat.
- Broke up a 100g bar 85% dark chocolate (G&B) and added to the pan.
- Added 200g dark muscavado sugar and stirred well until all smooth, then left to cool.
- Beat in 2 duck eggs and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
- Stirred in 75g wholemeal spelt.
- Spooned half of the batter into a 9″ square mould, covered this with the cheese and apple mixture and then topped with the remaining batter.
- Dragged the end of a teaspoon through the mixture to try and swirl it a bit, but it stubbornly decided to stay a sandwich rather than have a marble effect.
- Baked in the middle of the oven at 180C for 25 minutes when the top had set but the middle remained slightly squidgy.
The chocolate gods must have been smiling on me because these turned out to be a fitting tribute to National Chocolate Week. They had a crusty sugar top, which turned deliciously chewy in a toffeish sort of way. They were soft in the middle and would serve equally well as a pudding eaten with a spoon. They retained their shape, however and could be eaten perfectly well using fingers, as CT can testify; I did have to shoo him away from the tin. The cheese was sandwiched elegantly in the middle and acted as a foil to the dark richness of the brownie. The 85% dark chocolate combined with the slight tartness of the apple, helped to counteract the sweetness, making for a very pleasant eating experience.
As these brownies contain local and very seasonal apples, I am entering this into Simple and in Season, guest hosted this month by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen.
I’m also entering this into Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays as it is all made from scratch – of course!