Monday, 14 July 2014

Schwarzwälder kirschtorte


120g caster sugar, 3 eggs, 100g self raising flour, 50g cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1L double cream, 25g dark chocolate, 3 tbsp cherry jam, 4 tbsp kirschwasser liquid plus cherries to decorate.
Preparation: 1 hour

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany and my final recipe as they won last night!. Following my glorious adventures with Kirsch, I knew that my final dish for Germany would HAVE to be the iconic Black Forest Gateau. Chocolate and cherries are a marvellous combination and this simple chocolate sponge, laced with kirsch and smothered in cream to form a moist, trifly concoction is utterly moreish.

1)  Cream together 100g sugar and 100g butter using an electric whisk, then whisk through the cocoa powder and eggs, one egg at a time.

Add a tablespoon of the kirsch syrup and sift together the flour and baking powder. Whisk into the cake batter, then bake in a buttered tin for 35 minutes at 155 degrees or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack to cool completely before slicing in half horizontally.

3) Whisk the cream using an electric whisk or hand beater until stiff peaks form and transfer to a piping bag. If you wish you can add vanilla seeds and icing sugar before whisking but I'll be honest, I think the clean taste of the cream is necessary to cut through the richness of the chocolate and the heady, boozy cherries.

4) Spoon the remaining kirsch syrup onto the top layer of the chocolate cake (it will absorb more easily if you do this on the cut side rather than the top side, alternatively you can poke a few holes with a skewer into the top) then sandwich it together with a layer of cherry jam and whipped cream in the middle and the remainder of the cream on the top.

5) Shave the chocolate using a grater and sprinkle liberally over the cream. Stud with cherries and allow to rest in the fridge until chilled before serving.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014



1lb cherries, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 1 cup alcohol (beer, brandy or red wine, are traditional) 1/2 tsp vanilla essence, 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Preparation: 20 minutes

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany. Kirsch is a glorious, heady cold fruit soup consisting of essentially booze and whole, pitted cherries. In researching this recipe I found so many variations from those using milk or soured cream to those using beer or red wine. In the end, I went with a mixture of sloe gin and brandy simply because that was what I had in my cupboard and I can assure you that it is a knockout combination!

1) Pit the cherries, discarding the stones and add the fruit to a milk pan

2) Measure in the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla essence, top up with the booze and either 1/2 cup water or the excess cherry juice if you are using canned cherries (I used fresh fruit so I topped this up with a little apple juice).

3) Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Revel in the utterly divine smell. REVEL I SAY.

4) Chill and serve! I tried this with a blob of soured cream and also with sweet dumplings and I'll be honest I preferred it just on its own!

Saturday, 5 July 2014



2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk or water.
Serves: 2 Preparation: 45 minutes

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany. Spatzle are a sort of cross between a noodle and a dumpling - thicker and fluffier than pasta - and are served tossed with butter and sausage, sometimes lentils and vegetables. I served mine with spinach and cheese because SCREW YOU IT'S MY BLOG! I should also warn you that should you have had the impression I did, that pushing something through a potato ricer or colander would make actual noodles, well you'd be wrong. Spatzle translates to "little sparrow" which (aside from being highly disrespectful to Edith Piaf in my humble opinion) apparently explains why this is supposed to look like little gobbets of chewed up bubblegum, scraped off the bottom of your Docs. Looks aren't everything though, and this tastes delicious!

1) Sift the flour and salt into a bowl if using a hand mixer, or into your stand mixer if you have a Kitchen Aid (bastard.)

2) Whisk the eggs together, make a well in the flour and add the eggs and milk/water. Get your dough hook out and let it going for about 20 minutes, until you see holes in the dough as it pulls away from the sides.

3) If you're mixing this by hand... I have no advice for you except that you're probably mad and or have terrific arm muscles.

4) Squidge the dough through a colander or potato ricer and into a pot of boiling water. Once the noodles float to the top they're done! Strain them and transfer into a bowl of ice water to cool down, then dry off and either put them in the fridge to use later or toss them in a little butter before serving with meat or cooked in the sauce of your choice!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

BBQ ribeye steak in Jack Daniels sauce


150ml Jack Daniels, 1 onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tsp chipotle chilli paste, 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp dark muscovado sugar, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp groundnut oil.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 20 minutes, plus 1-2 days for marinating

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of America. Steak and baked potato with soured cream is an American institution, and sexing up the steak with this luscious, mouthwatering, sticky Jack Daniels sauce certainly made my husband very happy!

1) To make perfect baked potatoes, please see my previous recipe. Serve with a little butter mashed through and a generous dollop of soured cream. I also finely diced some salad onion and chive but this is a matter of taste of course!

2) To prepare the marinade, peel and finely dice the onion, crush the garlic and sautee in the groundnut oil until completely soft. Add the sugar and bring to the boil until it melts into a gorgeous, dark caramel liquid.

3) Remove from the heat and stir in the chipotle chilli paste, pomegranate molasses, soy sauce and salt. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a tupperware box or ziplock bag and add the meat, rubbing it in to ensure maximum coverage. Leave to marinate at least overnight, but for best results for 2 days before cooking.

4) To cook, simply add (from room temperature) to the BBQ and sizzle. I cooked these for a minute and a half on each side to ensure the centre was still nice and pink and juicy, but this is of course a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014



1/2 Cucumber, 2 large tomatoes, 1/4 white onion, 2 tbsp soured cream, 1 tsp dill, 1 tsp parsley, 1 tsp white vinegar, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 5 minutes (plus half an hour for chilling)

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany. Most of you will know my feelings about raw onion by now, I absolutely LOATHE it with a fiery passion and never include it in my own food, including coleslaw which is a common side dish in German cuisine. As I have, however, posted many coleslaw recipes before from the conventional carrot and cabbage combination to those including beetroot and pear, I decided to force myself to eat raw onion by making Gurkensalat instead, a cucumber and tomato salad with a creamy mustard and vinegar dressing given depth by dill and parsley. Did I pick out the onions after tasting it? Yes. Was it otherwise delicious? Absolutely.

1) Whisk together the soured cream, vinegar, herbs, mustard and sugar. Rather than use it immediately, I allowed it to rest for half an hour in the fridge for the flavours to really come together and the soured cream to thicken back up a little.

2) Slice the onion and cucumbers finely enough to be translucent when held up to the light and the tomato as it comes.

3) Stir in the dressing and serve! If, like me you are not so fond of onions, scatter them on the top and after trying them and dress the rest of the salad later!

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