Rice and shine : MUSHROOM AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO RISOTTO

I think this recipe has officially been my crowning glory, if I may say so myself! I’m not sure if this is the perfect risotto in Gordon’s Ramsay’s books, but it tasted pretty damn good and that’s all I care about really. So don’t be intimidated; the main things that really matter are texture and timing, and this recipe is pretty forgiving in both departments.

The traditional Italian risotto doesn’t leave ‘mush’ room for flavour, so I had to throw in the sun-dried tomatoes (and the pun) to spice things up a little bit. They undoubtedly brightened up the flavour, cut through the blandness(?) of the mushrooms, and proved to be a perfect match made in food heaven. This is a recipe that you would definitely want to experiment with, and by all means do! (I tried a wacky combination of leftover bulgogi and mushroom risotto and it was amazing!)

Although the addition of the Cheddar might offend those purist risotto aficionados, Nigella would have to bear the brunt of it for starting us off on that trend. Never tried this recipe with the traditional Parmesan but be my guest, and I’d love to know how it turns out! Continue reading

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Gettin’ figgy with it : CARAMELIZED FIGS

Ok, first of all I have to say, making this is SO easy, I could probably make a dozen in the time that it takes to write this post. And once you’ve gotten the figs out of the way, all you need is ice cream, and you’re ready to serve up an elegant, healthy(ish) dessert!

You can serve these warm, or at room temperature; I obviously didn’t have the patience to wait for them to cool, and my husband and I chomped our way through them in record time!

I presume that these would taste equally satisfying with plain yogurt, freshly whipped cream and even just as they are, really. Continue reading

MOIST CHOCOLATE CAKE

I came across this gem when I was looking for a cake recipe for my grand mom’s birthday a few years ago. The instructions were simple to follow, but what really caught my attention was how moist it looked. It turned out that the pictures weren’t that deceptive after all, and basically..I was SOLD.

I’m no expert chef, and I have had no formal training in the culinary arts, but I have never been one to follow recipes “as is”. This is an adaptation of Robyn Stone’s chocolate cake recipe, only, I substituted the milk for butter milk (I tried the former, but found the cake to be a little too dense, and anyway, this just happens to be a low-fat alternative, so who’s complaining?)  I cut down the quantity of sugar by half (get a taste of the batter before it goes in the oven and add more sugar if you wish to). Also, I decreased the cook time by 10 minutes.

The strong coffee in the batter not only moistens the cake, but it also intensifies its chocolate flavour. And the taste, you ask? You wouldn’t be able to taste a hint of the coffee in the cake!

I’ve used a simple chocolate frosting that I whipped up with a hand whisk to get it light and aerated, when the recipe just calls for a regular spoon&bowl mix-up.

This chocolate cake has it all – it’s super-easy, it’s quick, cooks evenly and most of all, tastes divine! I say that about a lot of cakes, but the fact that I’m not really much of a chocoholic should add to the credibility of that statement.

This is hands down the best chocolate cake you would’ve tried! Continue reading