4/27/2020

Chocolate Chunks and Courgette Loaf

There's nothing like chocolate for cheering a day up. I was given a large bar for Easter, so wanted to stretch it out by using it in a cake. I love loaf cakes, and this is one of my favourites. It uses courgettes as well as chocolate, and I just happened to have one medium sized one that needed using up. It also uses soft brown sugar, a bonus as I've no more caster sugar!

You need: 2 eggs, 80ml honey, 120ml sunflower oil, 100g soft light brown sugar, 2 tspn vanilla exctract, 1/2 tspn baking powder and 1/2 tspn bicarb, 1 heaped tspn coffee granules, 45g cocoa powder, 210g plain flour, 2 small courgettes or 1 medium grated, and 200g dark chocolate cut into chunks and divided into  2 x100g portions

Preheat oven 170C/gas4           Grease and line a 200g loaf tin

Whisk together the eggs, honey, oil, sugar and vanilla. Sift together in another bowl the flour, bicarb, baking powder, coffee and cocoa: mix together then gently add to the egg mixture. Fold in the courgettes and half the chopped chocolate.
Pour into the tin and scatter the other half of the chocolate over the top.
Bake for about an hour [N.B.turning down the heat if necessary to stop the cake burning, as I nearly had a burnt cake!]
Cool in the tin for 15 mins then finish cooling on a wire rack.






The cake is full of chocolate flavour,and I love the pockets of molten chocolate chunks.  It's lovely soft moist crumb comes from the courgettes. A different sort of chocolate cake, but one of my favourites.

4/17/2020

Little Pecan Tartlets

In these difficult times, we’re all using up what we have in our store cupboards. Finding some pecans, a bit of golden syrup and some ground almonds made me think of a recipe I’d kept from a supermarket magazine ages ago. I had plain flour, so that would be fine for the pastry.

Preheated oven 190C/gas5.   2 x deep bun tins

Pastry: 100g plain flour, 25g caster sugar, 50g ground almonds, 85g butter, 1 egg and 2 tspn lemon juice.

Put the flour, sugar, almonds and butter in a processor and blitz till crumbs ( doesn’t take long)
Add egg and juice through the feeder tube and bring together using your hands.
You can also make the pastry in the traditional rubbing in way.
Wrap in film and put in the fridge for about 15 mins.
Roll out thinly then cut out 18 circles using a 7-8 cm cutter. Press carefully into the tins. Prick the bottoms then leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Filling: 70g melted butter, 50g light muscovado sugar, 2 beaten eggs, 2 tbsp golden syrup, juice of 1/2 lemon, 100g chopped pecans

Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, syrup and juice together then add the nuts. Fill the pastry cases with this mixture. Bake for 15-20 mins till golden.
Cool in the tins for 10 mins the cool on a wire rack.


These are really just small American pecan pies. They are very rich, but moreish. I like the contrast between the soft pastry and the sweet but crunchy filling. A nice treat with a cuppa or as a dessert with cream or ice cream.


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