Recipe: courgette and chilli fritters

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Sometimes I forget how genius some dishes are. Like fritters. They’re always satisfying to eat (any time of day) but never too heavy. And they contain vegetables which basically means they’re healthy right?!

 

Courgette fritters, makes approx 10

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

2 medium courgettes

1 tsp sea salt flakes + extra to taste

1/4 red chilli, finely chopped 

1 egg

black pepper

72 g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

oil for frying

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the ends of the courgettes and grate coarsely. Place in a bowl and mix in 1 tsp salt. Leave for 10 minutes the wring out the courgette either using your hands or a clean tea towel. 

Mix the grated courgette with a bit more salt for seasoning (1/4 tsp is perfect), the chopped chilli, black pepper and egg. Mix flour and baking powder and stir into the courgette batter. 

Heat up a frying pan on medium heat, pour in oil. Drop dollops of the mixture into the pan and fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel and place on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes until crisp and cooked through.  

Parmesan yoghurt crème

200 ml Greek yoghurt

1/2 lemon, zest only 

2 tbsp grated parmesan

salt, black pepper

Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste. 

 

 

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Avocado and cucumber salad

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I was lucky enough to have two weeks of fairly decent summer when I was in Sweden in August. So I seized the opportunity to cook as many summery dishes I could think of. This delicious salad is cool and soothing – perfect with a BBQ after a day at the beach. But just as nice now in the beginning of autumn when we can’t quite let go of summer just yet.

Recipe courtesy of one of my favourite food blogs; Smitten Kitchen.

 

Avocado and cucumber salad, serves 4

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

1/2 cucumber, washed and chopped into chunks

1-2 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 large avocado, pitted and diced

2 tbsp mayonnaise (homemade or Hellman’s)

1/2 lime, juice only

hot sauce (I used Tabasco)

salt

chopped coriander or parsley to garnish

Combine cucumber, spring onions and avocado in a bowl. Whisk together mayo, lime and seasonings, adjusting to taste. Drizzle (or in my case, mix) salad with dressing and garnish with herbs. 

 

Chocolate fudge cake

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I baked this moist and lovely chocolate cake with fudge frosting for the office last month to celebrate the October birthdays and it certainly went down a treat among the colleagues.

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I had also made a very straight forward vanilla cheesecake (with the muscovado substituted for regular caster sugar) and my mother’s oat crisps – a real crowd pleaser.

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The recipe for the lovely chocolate cake is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen one of my favourite food blogs out there. It is really easy to make, very moist thanks to the buttermilk and not too sweet. It is also incredibly easy to spread frosting over as it doesn’t crumble. The frosting is quite sweet and therefore works well with the less sweet cake. However if you haven’t got a very sweet tooth I would recommend a less sweet frosting.

I am certain this will become a staple in my repertoire as it is so easy to handle and tastes great. The cake was demolished within a few hours but I am fairly certain it will keep for a few days in the fridge if not eaten immediately.

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Chocolate fudge cake, serves 12

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

230 g butter, at room temperature
380 g dark brown sugar
135 g caster sugar
4 eggs
475 ml buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla 
345 g plain flour
115 g cocoa
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Fudge frosting:

55 g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
350 ml icing sugar (no need to sift)
115 g butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp single cream or whole milk
1 tsp vanilla 

Pre-heat oven to 160°C. Line the bottom of 2 approx 21Ø springform with parchment paper. Grease parchment and sides of tin. Using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, beating each in until just incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl. Add vanilla, then buttermilk. 

Place flour, cocoa powder, bicarb, baking powder and salt in a sifter over the mixing bowl and sift ingredients in. Beat or stir dry ingredients into batter until just combined; scrape down bowl again. Divide batter between the two tins. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the tins then remove and leave to cool completely before frosting it.  

Beat the butter for the frosting until light and fluffy with an electric mixer, then add the sugar and melted chocolate, followed by the milk or cream and vanilla. 

Place one cake, upside down, on a cake plate and cover the top with half of the frosting. Place the next cake on top, also upside down, and cover the top with the rest of the frosting. Decorate and serve. 

Amazing chocolate chip cookies

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These cookies will be the most annoying you’ll ever make. The dough is just so incredibly crumbly. You might swear a little and think there is something missing in the recipe. But then you cut them up and pinch them together on the baking sheet and place them in the oven and suddenly your kitchen smells like heaven. Chocolate heaven.

And then you bite into one, still warm from the oven. And bliss.

Despite the annoying texture pre-bake these cookies are some of the best I’ve ever tried. And according to the blog Smitten Kitchen, where I found the recipe, they could in fact contribute to world peace.

Amazing chocolate cookies, makes about 25-35

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. Original recipe by Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets.

180 gplain flour

5 tbsp + 1 tsp cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

160 g softened butter

120 g soft light brown sugar

4 tbsp caster sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla

140 g chopped dark chocolate

Mix flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl beat butter until fluffy. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla and beat until creamy.

Add the flour mixture and place a tea towel over the bowl (to avoid flour dusting all over your kitchen) and beat on low speed until the flour has been incorporated. Beat as little as possible. It needs to be mixed but the dough will have a very crumbly texture. Add the chocolate and pour the crumbs out onto a baking table and divide into two heaps. Press each heao into a roll, 2.5 inches thick and cover with clingfilm. Refridgerate for at least three hours.

Pre-heat oven to 160C. Cover two baking trays with parchment paper. Cut 1 cm thick slices of the cookie dough rolls and place on the trays, about an inch apart. The dough will crumble but just press the crumbs into a rough cookie shape.

Bake for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven. They won’t look done, but they will be. Leave to cool on a wire rack or tray and serve.

Buttermilk sponge cake with sourcream chocolate frosting

IMG_3294When I went to New York for the first time last summer, I was actually shocked over the portion sizes in some restaurants, although of course I knew  what to expect.

And the same thing happened to me with this cake. It is an American recipe so I expected a large cake. But not this giant. Oh well, it doesn’t matter as it went down a treat and disappeared very quickly at the office despite its size.

And no wonder. The sponges are very light and super moist (thanks to the buttermilk in the batter). And the very strange frosting, consisting of little else but dark chocolate and sourcream, is neither too rich nor too sweet.

All in all, I would say this is a pretty perfect cake!

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Sponge cake with buttermilk, 2 large round cakes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

480 g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

225 g unsalted butter, softened

400 g caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla

4 large eggs, at room temperature

475 ml buttermilk 

Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease to springforms, about 22 cm in diameter and cover with a round of baking parchment in the bottom. 

Mix flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a bowl. Beat butter and sugar creamy in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla. Then add the eggs one at the time. Mix well in between each and scrape down the sides. Then add the buttermilk and don’t over-mix. Add the flour mixture in batches. 

Divide the batter between the two tins. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins and then let cool completely on wire racks.

Chocolate frosting with sourcream, enougn to cover a large cake with two sponges

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

425 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

530 ml sourcream – N.B! at room temperature!

ca 60 ml corn syrup, to taste

3/4 tsp vanilla

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Leave to cool until at room temperature. 

Mix sourcream with corn syrup and make sure it is at room temperature. Add the tepid chocolate in batches. In case of lumps use a wire whisk and they should disappear. Leave to set in frdge for about 30 minutes or until spreadable without being runny. 

Place one sponge on a cake plate and cover it with frosting. Place the other cake on top and cover the top and sides with frosting. Keep in fridge until serving. 

Carrot cake pancakes

It is not the first time I got so inspired by a Smitten Kitchen post that I had to try it straight away. Yesterday I saw Deb’s latest post on carrot cake pancakes and last night I had it for supper.

These pancakes are of course even better for a lazy weekend breakfast or at a brunch with friends. Either way, you just have to try them. And of you’ve had a substantial lunch they’re pretty good for supper too (evidently).

The original recipe is from Joy the Baker but Deb at Smitten Kitchen made a few changes and I made some. My only change really was to omit cinnamon to the cream cheese topping and instead add lime zest to it, which I normally have with a carrot cake. To me it was the perfect touch of freshness the pancakes needed.

Carrot cake pancakes, makes about 15-16

Adapted from this recipe.

Pancakes:

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1 egg

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 cup butter milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)

butter for frying

Cream cheese topping:

115 g Philadelphia

1/4 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

grated zest from 1/2 lime

Mix flour, bicard, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Mix butter milk, egg and sugar in a smaller bowl. Add the grated carrots to the wet mixture then transfer to the large bowl and mix it all together. Leave to rest for a few minutes whle preparing the topping.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla and lime zest and combine.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Use about 2 tbsp mixture per pancake and fry 3-4 at the time. Keep the fried ones warm in the oven until you’re done with all the pancakes. Serve with a generous dollop of the topping. Dig in!

 

Crisp salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies

I found the recipe for these irresistible cookies on the Smitten Kitchen blog (do check it out if you haven’t already).

I knew immediately after seeing the recipe that I had to make them. I am not one who can resist white chocolate or the salt-chocolate combo. And it was equally difficult to resist eating say five when the first batch came out of the oven.

I really enjoyed these, they are really crispy on the outside and with salted butter and the added salt in the recipe they have the perfect salt balance to the sweetness I think.

Making these also gave me the opportunity to finally use my lovely cup measures I got from my birthday. They are in the shape of babuschka dolls and incredibly cute. 🙂

Since I for once followed the recipe, there is no need for posting it on here, instead use the recipe on Smitten Kitchen’s website. You find it here!