Just a little glimpse into my kitchen!
Three Bean Soup
I make this nearly every week, for lunches. It is so simple to make, a joy to eat and can be tweaked according to whats in the cupboards!
3 garlic cloves finely chopped 1 tin of chickpeas 1 tin of kidney beans 1 tin of cannellini beans 4 blocks of frozen leaf spinach (but you add fresh if you have it) 1 tin of tomatoes A handful or so of lentils or rice or in my case lovely lovely pearl barley 1 beef stock/ vegstock cube 600ml of water
Slosh two tbs of olive oil into a large saucepan, sling in garlic, give it a minute, so everything smells gorgeously garlicky, then chuck in everything else (keeping the spinach till last). Boil up, then turn down to simmer till lentils are soft. Add your spinach, long enough to just wilt but retain goodness and colour.
Serve up with a hunk of bread!
After my National Trust Chocolate Cake (which should always be capitalised) disaster on Sunday, I have been craving it, as I think it should be! Not crispy for a start! I really dislike dry chocolate cake. It makes me cry! This generally stops me buying it when out and about. I am highly suspicious of coffee shop chocolate cake. I can't bear the disappointment! When I eat chocolate cake, I expect it to be just that: chocolate, full of chocolate flavours and smells, damp and soft, with a melting, smoothness that lingers, meaning each mouthful takes time! Luxurious! Don't ask for much do I?
225 g salt soft unsalted butter 375 g dark muscovado sugar 2 large eggs, beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 100 g best dark chocolate, melted 200 g plain flour 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1Preheat the oven to 190C/gas5. Grease and line a 23x13x7cm cm (9x5x3in) loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well.
2Next fold in the melted and cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but do not overbeat.
3You want the ingredients combined: you don't want a light airy mass. Gently add the flour, to which you've added the bicarb, alternately spoon by spoon, with 250 ml of boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter.
4Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170C/gas mark 3 and cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so an inserted cake tester or skewer won't come out completely clean.
5Place the loaf tin on a rack and leave to get completely cold before turning it out. It improves if left for a day or so before eating. This cake will probably sink in the middle because of its denseness.Perfect when the weather does this!
The fox returns and life continues
3 days ago