Blogmas 2020, Cooking at home with Kaya

Blogmas – Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake

Good afternoon friends,

Today I’m sharing a recipe, one that I’ve made before, but will no doubt become a new Christmas tradition.

This Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake, can be prepared, baked and decorated in just over an hour. A simple recipe, with the most delicious smooth, light and flavoursome cake.

Although Nigella labels this a cake, I wouldn’t personally, as it’s flourless and doesn’t have this consistency, I would say it’s more of a gooey spiced pudding.

Photo from Nigella’s site

Click on the link below for the recipe, or read on for the information and a few step by step pictures.

Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake

Recipe

For the cake

  • 150 grams chopped dark chocolate (I used 1 while Terry’s Dark chocolate Orange)
  • 150 grams soft butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 grams ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • zest of 1 clementine (or satsuma)
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
For the topping

  • juice of 1 clementine (or satsuma)
  • 15 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50 grams flaked almonds

Method

  • Take anything you need out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature. The only truly important thing, however, is that the eggs aren’t cold, so if they are, just put them into a bowl (I use the KitchenAid bowl I’m going to whisk them in later) and cover with warm water for 10 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF. Butter the sides and line the bottom of a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl, in a microwave according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or suspended over a pan of simmering water, and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick, pale and moussy. They should have at least doubled in volume, even tripled. If you’re using a freestanding mixer, as I do, this is effortless.

  • Gently fold in the ground almonds, cinnamon, cloves, clementine/satsuma zest and espresso powder, taking care not to lose the air you have whisked in, then, finally, pour and scrape in the melted, slightly cooled, chocolate and butter, folding gently again.

  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, by which time the top of the cake should be firm, and the underneath still a bit gooey.

  • Remove from the oven, and sit it on a wire rack, draped with a clean tea towel, to cool completely.

  • To make the topping for the cake, put the clementine/satsuma juice into a small, preferably non-stick, frying pan with the butter, sugar and cinnamon and melt everything together, then let it sizzle for a minute or so and begin to caramelize before adding the almonds.
  • Stir everything together, and occasionally tip the pan to keep it all moving; what you want is for all the liquid to disappear and the nuts to look shiny and be coated thinly in a fragrant, orange-scented toffee.

  • Remove to a plate and cool.
  • Unspring the cake and transfer to a cake stand or plate; I am brave enough to take it off its base sometimes, but don’t if you’re scared. Remember this cake, however intense and elegant within, has a rather ramshackle rustic appearance on the outside.
  • (My cake was curved at the top and a bit crumby, I flipped mine over, which I think looks more enticing)

  • Scatter with the almonds, mainly letting them pile up in the centre of the cake, but drop a few here and there all over the top. And serve with the cointreau cream.
  • My cake did not look anything like the picture, it wasn’t as ‘stable’, but it tasted like a dream. I dropped off slices to family, and to our neighbour with a variety of double cream, whipped cream and custard.

    If you give this recipe a go please let me know!

    Kaya •

    Blogmas 2020, Cooking at home with Kaya

    Blogmas – Christmas Day Cooking

    Good morning friends,

    Christmas day for as long as I can remember is all about seeing family and friends, as many as you can cram into one day.

    Multiple minced pies, crackers pulled and countless cups of tea. Well, we partly did that!

    We had a relaxing morning, opening presents, listening to Christmas music

    We only had a light breakfast and cuppa’s during the day, ready for our festive feast.

    We social distanced with family, face timed and called loved ones.

    And for the first time ever, I cooked Christmas dinner. In years past I would have assisted here and there, but this year I cooked Christmas dinner and all the trimming, and absolutely loved it.

    I seasoned the chicken, I went rogue, shocker, taking it out every 25 minutes or so to baste it, as add the roast potatoes that seasoned in the juices, all was cooked to perfection.

    I minted the lamb chops and smoothered the carrots and parsnips so that they were honey roasted.

    Pigs in blankets were another ‘must’.

    I had to be clever with the arranging of the trays, the doubling up and timings, but all went to plan

    I over cooked, as we will have meat and stuffing sandwiches, chicken curry, chicken soup etc for meals through out the next couple of days

    After dinner, and a sit down all was packed away ready for the next couple of days, watched Home Alone and had a tipple

    Is it just my family tradition, or does everyone cook a little extra for the coming days?

    I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas X

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Semolina Cake Recipe

    Good evening friends,

    This year, almost everyone has gone a little baking crazy, not to mention we’re half way through The Great British bake off… It’s hard not to bake up a storm each week.

    Today I’m sharing one of my ultimate favourite desserts.

    I’ve eaten and loved basbousa since I was a child, and no cake compares.

    It’s sweet, simple and moreish.

    Basbousa Recipe

    Serves 15-20

    Pre time – 20 minutes
    Cooking time – 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    2½ cups coarse semolina

    220 g(1 cup) caster sugar

    75 g(½ cup) self-raising flour

    200 thick yoghurt

    200 unsalted butter, melted

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    25–30 blanched almonds

    Syrup

    330 g(1½ cups) sugar

    250 ml(1 cup) water

    1 tsp lemon juice

    1 tsp rosewater

    Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 190°C. Mix the semolina, sugar, flour, yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla in a bowl.

    If the mixture seems too thick, add a little milk, but it should still be fairly stiff.
    Spread the mixture with your hands into a buttered 30 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm baking tray.
    Cut it into diamond shapes, pressing hard.
    Place an almond in the centre of each diamond.
    Bake for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown.

    Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
    Simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and remove from the heat.
    Leave to cool.
    Pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Cool to serve.

    Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it.

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya, Isle of Wight

    Farmhouse Fayre (Supporting Local)

    Good afternoon friends,

    I hope you’re all keeping well!

    Now more than ever, it is essential to support your local business’s.

    For the past year or so we have been visiting Farmhouse Fayre, our local Green Grocers. Before lock down, we would visit every other Saturday to pick up our goods.

    I dont know if its because I love to cook, or picking out your own fresh fruit and veg subconsciously makes you think your food will taste better? Who know? But our trip to the green grocers always out a smile on my face.

    The staff there are so lovely, helpful and kind. They’re wonderful at recommending what might mix well for certain dish’s, how to cook/cut certain products, and what is best in current seasons.

    They also sell hummus chips… do I need to say more?

    Since lock down we haven’t been able to visit, which was disappointing, but had discovered they are selling online, and also now sell Fruit and Vegtable boxes.

    Hold me back!

    They offer 3 varieties of boxes; Medium £20 (pictured above), Large £30 and extra Large £50

    The standard Fruit and Veg box generally contains the following (subject to seasonal variations):

    2.5kg Isle of Wight potatoes (dirty)

    3 x onions (m)

    2 x red onions

    1 x swede

    1 red cabbage

    1 x cucumber

    5 x apples

    5 x satsumas

    3 x pears

    5 x bananas

    1 baby carrots

    5 x tomatoes (large)

    1 x garlic

    500g red grapes

    1 x lemon

    1 x lime

    2 x kiwi fruits

    1 x little gem lettuce

    1 x cress (punnet)

    1 x cauliflour

    Now that is a heck of alot for £20!

    When ordering these boxes online, you have the option to Click and collect or your box can be delivered for free!

    Before we realised you could get free delivery, the past 3 or 4 times, we have clicked and collected which will have you order ready in about 2-3 days where you can pick between 8.30am and 5pm.

    The green grocers also sell a variety of local produce.

    Meats, milk, Cheeses, eggs etc

    And have recently paired up with another local shop, Grace’s Bakery, who we ordered a fresh loaf of bread from. It was delicious and smelt incredible.

    Since recieving our boxes we’ve been able to increase our fruit and veg consumption.

    Just to name a few, we’ve made, Soups, casseroles, burritos, pasta salads, fruit salads, cauliflour cheese, vegtable curries,stir fry, roasted veg, jacket potatoes, the list is endless.

    The boxes also helped us to have a meat free week (blog to follow in the future) something I’ve always wanted to try but never have. With such a variety of gorgeous fresh ingredients it made it so easy.

    Buying these fruit and veg not only takes the pressure off going to the supermarket, or waiting for an online delivery with at times, ridiculous delivery charges, but you’re also supporting local.

    We have been trying our best to support local businesses over the past couple of months.

    Buying fresh, local produce, and helping the community, is something we should all be taking part it.

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Home made Marmalade

    Good afternoon friends,

    So with trying to stay healthy, we perhaps bought too many clementines.

    Instead of them going to waste, we decided to make Marmalade.

    I bloody love Marmalade, I’m surprised I haven’t made this before.

    (Apologies if the pictures are a bit blurred, I originally filmed this and it didnt work out so I screen shot it)

    Ingredients

    • 4 lbs Satsuma oranges or around 20 clementines
    • 1 fresh lemon
    • 6 cups of granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. butter

    Materials

    • 5 medium Jars
    • 2 large saucepans
    • 1 chopping board
    • 1 large bowl

    Instructions

    Wash and peel the Satsumas.

    Peel off and throw away any pith and put the satsumas to one side on a large bowl.

    Cut the peel into very thin strips about a inch long

    Boil 4 cups of water, and then add the chopped peel, and boil for 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile mash the satsumas using the back of a spoon or a fork. Be careful of your eyes, there may be a bit if a spray.
    Once mashed, squeeze one whole lemon into the bowl and mix.

    Go back to the boiling peel, drain and add 2 cups fresh water.

    *Depending on how smooth you like the marmalade, before the next step, you can always decided to pour the mashed contents into a blended for a few second (around 3 seconds)*

    Add to the mashed satsumas on the orange peel and bring to a full boil.

    Add the sugar and butter and cook over medium to high heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Meanwhile thoroughly clean your jars.
    Simply wash the jars and lids in very hot soapy water, rinse, and then fill the sink with boiling water and submerge the jars and lids.

    Once the marmalade is ready, stir and pour into the jar.
    I found this easiest by using a measuring jug to pour the contents in.

    Once all jars are filled, seal with lids and fill a saucepan of boiling water, and carefully place the jars inside for 10- 15 minutes.

    Carefully take the jars out of the saucepan, and sit on the side to cool.

    Once cooled, place in the fridge to set.

    Leave it the fridge for 8-10 hours and enjoy!

    We enjoyed our this morning with tea and toast. It was so fresh and zesty, next time I might channel Monica from friends and make obscene amounts of Jam.

    Let me know if you give this a go.

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Cheesy Fish Pie Recipe

    Good afternoon friends!

    During this pandemic I’ve spent alot of time, maybe too much time, cooking.

    I’d like to share one of my favourite dishes.

    A delicious and creamy meal for a Saturday night dinner.

    Prep 15-20 minutes
    Cook time 45 hour at 180°

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    • 350g Potatoes cut into chunks
    • 200g unsalted butter
    • 4 tbsp flour
    • 350ml whole milk + 2 tbsp
    • 200g cheddar
    • 300g fish pie mix (I use either Morrisons or Iceland fish mix)
    • 100g frozen peas
    • 1 large onion finely sliced
    • Half a lemon
    • 1 tbsp of Paprika (optional)
    • 1 tsp of Pepper
    • Sprinkle of finely chopped Parmesan ontop to serve

    Method

    Pre hear your oven to 180°

    Skin your potatoes, and dice into chunks.
    Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover in boiling water for 15-20 minutes until tender

    Meanwhile,
    Dice up your onion into small pieces.
    On a medium heat, add a few drops of oil/cooking spray in a deep frying pan.
    Add the onions and peas and cook for a few minutes, then add the fish mix.
    This is optional but I love to squeeze in half a lemon and some paprika
    Leave this to cook for 8-10 minutes, and stir occasionally.

    Whilst your potatoes and fish mix are cooking.
    Warm the butter in a deep pan over a low heat.
    Add the flour and stir until you have a paste. Gradually whisk in 350ml of milk until you have a thick white sauce.
    Simmer on a medium heat and stir for 4 minutes .

    Once the sauce is smooth and has thickened, turn the heat down to allow and gradually fold in the cheese.
    Add a pinch of pepper

    Now add the sauce to the onion and the fish mix, and stir until everything is completely covered.

    Mash the potatoes with the 2 tbsp’s of milk. Fold in the remaining 25g of cheese.

    Pour the filling into a large heatproof dish, and spread the cheesy mash potato ontop.

    Cook for 45 minutes until the mash is golden brown.

    Once cooked, remove and sprinkle over your parmesan.

    Dish up and enjoy!

    Please do let me know if you try this recipe!

    Kaya•

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Easy Banana Bread Recipe

    Good morning friends and happy Sunday!

    Last night I popped open a bottle of red wine, and banana bread struck me as a good idea.

    Now you know I love a quick and fuss free recipe, and this ones supplied by the amazing, Mary Berry.

    Banana Bread Recipe

    Prep time: 15 m

    Cook time: 1 h

    Total time: 1 h 15 min

    Ingredients

    100g (4oz)butter, softened

    175g (6oz)caster sugar

    2eggs

    2ripe bananas, mashed

    225g (8oz)self-raising flour

    1 tspbaking powder

    2 tbspmilk

    Essential kit

    You will need a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, 17 x 9 x 9cm (6½ x 3½ x 3½in) base measurement.

    Instructions

    Lightly grease the loaf tin and line it with non-stick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended; an electric mixer is best for this but of course you can also beat by hand with a spoon.

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean.
    Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then loosen with a small palette knife and turn the cake out. Remove the lining paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice thickly to serve.

    This paired particularly well with the wine, but I’m sure it’ll be delicious all the same with a cuppa tea!

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    National Shortbread Day

    Who doesn’t love a good bit of shortbread?

    Today is national Shortbread Day, so I thought I’d I make up a batch, and for the first time! How is that even possible?

    I found this super quick and easy recipe, using only 3 ingredients, making between 20 and 25 shortbread fingers.

    Shortbread Recipe

    Ingredients

    I used a traditional recipe but made them my own by using a Batman cutter. The shortbread were bigger so this only made about 15, and for a little something extra, I covered a few in dark chocolate. I’d definitely reccomend it if you havebabnextra sweet tooth.

    Happy Baking!

    Kaya •

    Blogmas 2019, Cooking at home with Kaya

    Blogmas Day 27 – Beef Stew

    Good evening friends,

    Winter is all about food… that’s a lie, life is all about food! And, this is a simple but delicious meal for all the family, especially in the winter months.

    I love a beef stew, my recipe changes slightly almost everytime, and I litrally throw everything together, but this is roughly what I’ve been using the past couple of months.

    Ingredients

    800g of Beef

    4x large Potato (peeled and diced)

    4x Carrots (peeled and diced)

    2x large onions

    2x beef stock cube in 400ml of hot water

    2 table spoons of tomato puree

    1 tea spoon of each – salt, pepper, paprika and cumin

    1 half squeeze of a lemon

    Method –

    I tend to have a few saucepans/frying pans on the go at a time.

    • Peel and dice the carrots and potatos, and boil in a large saucepan until soft.
    • Dice and fry the beef and onion until tender/soft.
    • Defrost the peas
    • Stir the beef stock cubes in 400ml of hot water until they disolve
    • Add all ingredients, stock mixture, seasoning, and the lemon juice to the large saucepan.
    • Put the lid on lightly, lower the heat and let simmer for 1 hour.

    The meat and veg will fall apart and warm you through. And a chunk of buttered bread accompanies it nicely.

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    The best soft and crunchy triple chocolate cookies

    Good morning friends, and Happy Saturday!

    This morning I’d like to share the most scrumptious triple chocolate cooks recipe! These cookies are so easy to make; they’re crunchy around the edges and perfectly soft throughouthe middle. Enjoy!

    Triple Chocolate Cookies

    Active Time20 minutes
    Cook Time9 minutes
    Total Time – *29 minutes

    *plus a minimum of 1 hour Chilling,

    (I completey scrolled past this and then was shocked when I had to wait a hour!)

    Servings *20 cookies (I made at least 30)

    INGREDIENTS

    • 200 g unsalted butter soft at room temperature
    • 90 g soft dark brown sugar you can also use light brown or muscovado sugar
    • 110 g caster sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 260 g plain flour
    • 40 g cocoa powder
    • tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • tsp salt
    • 100 g milk chocolate
    • 50 g dark chocolate chunks
    • 200 g white chocolate chunks

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Melt the milk chocolate (100g). This can either be done in short bursts in the microwave (no more than 20 seconds each time, stirring in between), over a bain-marie, or in a saucepan over a VERY low heat. Once melted set aside to cool.
    • Beat together the butter (200g) and sugars (90g soft dark brown sugar, 110g caster sugar) until fully combined and lighter in colour (this should take 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer).
    • Add the egg (1 whole large egg + 1 yolk) and the vanilla extract (1 tbsp) and beat until fully combined.
    • Sift in the dry ingredients (260g plain flour, 40g cocoa powder, 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, ⅛tsp salt) and mix until fully combined.
    • Add the melted milk chocolate and fold into the mixture until it’s combined.
    • Finally mix in the chocolate chunks (200g white chocolate, 50g dark chocolate) until they are evenly distributed in the mixture.

    • Roll the dough into a sausage shape about 5cm in diameter (I find it easiest to split the dough into two and make two sausages) and wrap in cling film. You may find it easier to use the clingfilm to help you get an even sausage shape as the dough will be a little sticky. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 5 days).

    • When you’re ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan. Remove your cookie dough from the fridge and using a sharp knife slice into round cookies about 1½cm thick. Place them on a baking sheet (lined with greaseproof paper or a non-stick baking sheet). Leave space between each one as they’ll double in size as they cook. Cook for 8-9 minutes until crisp around the edges but still soft in the middle.

    • Once cooked, remove them from the oven. Leave them to cool for a few minutes on the tray before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

    A cuppa tea is strongly adviced, as these are perfect dunking biscuits!

    Let me know if you use this recipe and what yout think of these cookies?

    Kaya •