First Snowfall Chocolate Mud Cake.

Made last week, but writing it up now because all cooking has become very simple due to Jon’s dentist appointment.

The icing turned out delicious and quite cute and snow-like with the split between icing sugar and cocoa and the sparkles of plain sugar, though it was far too runny and looks more messy than anything. Need to work on my cake decorating skills!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 700g flour and raising agents
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped brazils
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped into chips
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3tbsp plain cocoa powder
  • 5tbsp sweetened cocoa powder, milk or white
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, coffee granules

For decorating:

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate powder
  • water as needed
  • whole brazils
  • white grain sugar

Utensils:

  • mixing bowl and spoon
  • small mixing bowl and whisk
  • greased, nonstick, lined cake tin

Recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Mix the dry cake ingredients.
  3. Stir in the egg and honey.
  4. Add water until a batter forms.
  5. Pour into the tin. Bake until a skewer comes out with sticky crumbs on it: not dry, but firm.
  6. Put aside to cool.
  7. Mix the icing sugar and white chocolate powder. Add water a few drops at a time and stir into a thick paste. I’m not too impressed with the melting snowfall look, so just blend it thoroughly and set aside to cool a little.
  8. Pour the cool-ish icing over the cold cake.
  9. Stick whole brazils on it.
  10. Sprinkle with white sugar before it completely sets.

snow-cake

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17 Random Questions.

Saw this over at Dorkchops’ blog and decided I may as well give it a go for something fun.

1. How did you get your blog username?

Jon and I were chatting about my blog I was starting to keep me on track with my objectives and after I explained the pokemon section (sidebar), I asked what I would be if I were a pokemon. The response was “a Slaviswife”, so it started as the provisional name and it stuck. From that and the theme of self-betterment, I got “Your Wife Is Evolving”.

2. If you could change your name to anything, what would it be and why?

My real name? I actually changed it. My parents are apparently cool with that, because my original name was very long, complicated and hippie, whereas I’m not really that way inclined. I chose my new name based on family surnames and a first name that is used a lot in the family and has a meaning I relate to.

3. If you could go back and give your younger self advice, what would it be and why?

It isn’t really worth your time. You can do well at almost anything you want to. So stop worrying about paperworks, qualifications and social standards. Just keep doing what you like and things will work out.

4. How old were you when you first learned how to blow a bubblegum bubble?

Probably around six or seven. We weren’t regular candy eaters as young children.

5. What did you want to be when you were little?

When I was very little I wanted to be a dog rather than a human because it looked easier and I liked them more. When I grew out of that stage I wanted to be a painter or a writer.

6. What do you order at Starbucks?

The directions to the nearest decent coffeehouse with WiFi.

7. When’s the hardest you’ve ever laughed?

Jon makes me laugh pretty much every day. He’s probably not to everyone’s taste, but we seem to sync very well in terms of daft, dark and dirty humour.

8. If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be and why? 

The violin. Sharp sounds, melancholy and the general weight of it are wonderful.

9. What’s your favourite thing to do when your upset?

Play very loud, very fast techno or vocaloid-style music and pace. It evens my temper and gets me calmed down enough to refocus on work.

10. What’s your favourite movie?

“The Duty Pharmacist” or “May”. Very, very dark and gruesome in quite a sweet, kookie manner. Like “The Addams Family” was an actual horror film. I have no idea why more people haven’t seen them.

11. What’s one food you can’t live without?

Pork. My go-to meat. Cheap even when it’s well reared, tasty, high in fats, sweet tones, nice raw or cooked.

12. What is your favourite dessert?

Very dark chocolate on or in anything, or on its own.

13. Favourite pizza topping?

BBQ sauce.

14. Would you rather have the super power to read minds or to become invisible?

Become invisible. The sort of person whose mind I’d most like to read are either people who are pretty transparent anyway or people whose mind I would not like to read the remaining 99% of the time. Becoming invisible would be handy when I am in introvert-mode, for my hunting and for when society collapses and I have to raid places.

15. What did you do last for your birthday?

Stayed home with Jon and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

16. If you could have one personal “selfish” wish, would would it be?

Elective immortality. I can’t die unless I actively choose to.

17. If you were a pokemon, what would you look like? And what would you be called? 

Well, it would have to be Slaviswife again. I would probably be something far too pink with some weird, creepy, mutant parts, like visible bones or enormous fangs, and puppy-like features here and there.

And those are 17 totally random questions answered.

Your turn!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Fish Pie, Chocolate Cheese Pudding.

The best recipes this week were the fish pie I made on Thursday and a pudding that I and my brilliant cousin made together on Saturday night.

Sadly there are no photos of the pudding, but take my word that it was delicious and she did an amazing job of the presentation!

Fish Pie.

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Ingredients:

-400g fish pie mix (ours had cod, haddock, smoked mackerel and smoked salmon, shellfish are also good)

-2 filets fresh salmon

-2 filets fresh pollock or basa

-500g potatoes

-5 spring onions

-1 red onion

-100g butter

-50ml olive oil

-salt

-pepper

-onion granules

-herbes de provence

Utensils:

-chopping board, peeler and knife

-masher

-small pot

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Cube all the fish so it’s the same size. Place in the tray. Season with salt and pepper and rest.

2: Peel any uneven, dirty or thick skin off the potatoes. Cube and place in the pot to boil.

3: Finely dice the spring onions and red onion. Add to the fish.

The innards of the pie.

The innards of the pie.

4: Once tender, drain the potatoes and mash with 50g of butter and the oil.

5: Dust the fish with herbs and add the butter before spooning the potatoes on top.

6: Bake at 160C for 2h.

Chocolate Cheese Pudding.

Ingredients:

-300-400g cream cheese

-300g greek yoghurt

-5tbsp cocoa powder

-3tbsp plain sugar

-3tbsp icing sugar

-2tsp honey

-1tsp orange flavouring

-crushed chocolate for decoration (optional)

Utensils:

-bowl

-blender

Recipe:

1: Mash together the cheese, yoghurt and cocoa powder.

2: Blend whilst adding the sugars and honey.

3: Continue to blend. Make sure to slowly raise and lower the blender if it is hand-held, to get some air in.

4: Adjust by adding either more cocoa or more sugar, as you see fit.

5: Fold in the orange.

6: Quickly serve whilst still light. Sprinkle crushed chocolate, toblerone, terry’s chocolate orange or similar on top for decoration.

And those were the best main course and pudding we had this week.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

What have you been cooking? Got any recipes or anecdotes to share?

WWW. Cheap to Glorious Burgers and Frozen Cakes.

Seeing as Jon’s work is now very different, the Wok will be a little different. Rather than making the nicest, most elaborate or most interesting meal on Wednesday, I will make them as and when he needs them and choose the best food of the week for the Wonderful Wednesday Wok instead.

This week, the main’s some burgers that I made turning cheap, value brand, reduced price beef mince into something with the bite and texture of steak mince and the flavour of a BBQ patty. And the pudding’s an ice-cream cake in a cup I made for Valentine’s day. There were five flavours: pear, blackberry, pear and currant, strawberry and peach. I had the pear and currant one as a carby treat on Valentine’s, but the rest were Jon’s for the week.

The rest of the Valentine's meal.

The rest of the Valentine’s meal.

Cheap to Glorious Burgers.

Ingredients:

-500g cheap mince; ground beef is not suitable, but cheap, unfrozen pork mince or turkey mince would work too

-1 egg

-2tsp herbs

-2tsp onion granules

-2tsp paprika

-2tsp salt

-1tsp pepper

-1tsp soy sauce

-butter or tallow for frying

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-frying pan

Recipe:

1: With high quality beef you’re told not to overwork the mince or the burger will lose its consistency. With cheap mince you want to do the opposite. Mash it together before adding the spices and the egg. Mash thoroughly until everything is mixed in.

2: Form patties by making a ball, flattening it in the palms of your hands and pinching the middle so it’s got a little “bowl” at either side. This ensures good browning and even cooking.

3: Heat the fat in the pan at medium temperature until all melted. Add the burgers.

4: Cook for 5 minutes either side.

5: Serve with sides of choice. I went for salad, Jon went for beans and cheese.

The burger’s texture is firm and meaty, the taste is subtle, salty and very beefy, the grease levels are minimal and the crust on the outside tastes of soy sauce BBQ.

burgj

burga

Fruity Ice-Cream Cake in a Cup.

Ingredients:

-1 conference pear

-1 peach

-15 blackberries

-8 strawberries

-40g mixed currants

-150ml double cream

-50g 85% chocolate

-80g 55% chocolate

Utensils:

-microwaveable bowl and a fork (not to be put in microwave, obviously)

-chopping board and knife

-mixing bowl and blender / food processor

-jelly molds or other freezable cups/pots

Recipe:

1: Crush the 85% chocolate and share between the bases of the containers.

2: Cut up whatever mix of fruit you like and share between the bases of the containers, leaving room for the chocolate ice cream to drip through.

3: Microwave the cream and 55% chocolate together on medium until they form a smooth chocolate paste.

4: Share the paste between the containers, making sure to get it down into the chocolate later and to cover the fruit. Freeze.

5: Blend the remaining fruit into a smoothie-like paste.

6: Once the chocolate ice cream is frozen, add the fruit paste on top and refreeze.

7: To serve, gently warm the container’s sides only, turn it upside down and squeeze or tap until the cake is released. Leave a little to soften for easy eating.

Pear and currant version.

Pear and currant version.

So those were, in my opinion, the best meals we had this week. What was the best meal you had this week? Recipes, anyone? 🙂

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Chicken Sage & Onion Pie and Chocolate-Chip Flapjacks.

Back to routine cooking again. And with it comes the wok.

Jon and I had something a little different this week. Rather than cook from scratch I used some leftovers and bits to cook a wholesome, rich meal and a tasty pudding.

Recipe 1: Chicken Sage & Onion Pie.

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Considering the success of sage and onion stuffing for roast chicken, I decided to try it as a flavouring for this pie. It was actually rather mild, but Jon liked the fact he could alter the flavour himself a bit more than usual.

Jon’s rating: 8/8.

Ingredients:

-300-400g/10.6-14.1oz cooked chicken

-3 small carrots

-200g/7oz broccoli

-1 medium onion

-400g/14.1oz potato

-400ml/14.1floz double cream

-5 leaves of sage

-1tsp salt

-1tsp pepper

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-small pot

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Slice the carrots, onion and broccoli finely. Boil until softer, but not quite tender.

2: Dice the chicken and mix it with the vegetables in the baking tray.

3: Put the potatoes on to boil.

4: Finely slice the sage and add it to the chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on top.

5: Pour the double cream over the mix.

6: When the potatoes are softened, layer them over the chicken and vegetable mix.

7: Bake at 160C/320F for 30min, or until the potatoes are golden brown.

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Recipe 2: Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Flapjacks.

Another calorie dense Celt-cake, seeing how fond Jon is of them. Reduced the size this time, seeing as he doesn’t eat his sweets half as quickly as I do!

Ingredients:

-200g/7oz self-raising white flour or flour plus raising agents

-200g/7oz porridge oats

-150ml/5.3floz cold water

-3tbsp sugar

-3tbsp pumpkin seeds

-40-50g/1.4-1.8oz chocolate (I used a mix of sugar-free white chocolate, 90% dark chocolate and 85% chocolate with raspberry bits)

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-greased or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mix the flour, oats and sugar.

2: Stir-in the pumpkin seeds.

3: Roughly break the chocolate and stir it in.

4: Add any raising agents and the cold water. Mix well.

5: Pour into the baking tray.

6: Bake at 160C/320F for 10min.

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Wonderful Wednesday Wok. Tortilla and Brownies.

This week has been FAR too busy for someone sleeping so little. I’m going to need to pace myself a bit more, methinks.

 

Anyhow, this is what I made for Jon’s lunch yesterday. The vegetables appear mysteriously, but will be explained at the end of the week. [Part of a project. :)]

Recipe 1: Spanish Omelet with mixed veg and chicken.

20140402_072157

Ingredients:

-8 eggs

-around two bowls worth of mixed boiled vegetables

-1 chicken drumstick

-any bacon you have lying around

We got our chicken drumstick and bacon off a roast chicken I made as a mid-week meal. Here it is in all its glory:

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Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-large frying pan with heat-proof handle

Recipe:

1: Scramble four of the eggs and take them off the heat.

2: Add the stew and break down the chicken drumstick and bacon. Ensure an even spread.

3: Break the remaining eggs carefully over the mix. Make sure everything is surrounded by runny egg.

4: Cook on the stove-top until the sides are firm.

5: Place under the grill and cook until solid.

Recipe 2: Dark Chocolate and Walnut Brownies.

Abusing everyday flour lately has been having the obvious effect on my gut, so I’d recommend using something safer if you’re not used to much flour. Not making a substitution and eating less is not an option. These are delicious.

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Ingredients:

-400g flour

-75-100g butter

-3tbsp pure cocoa powder

-3tbsp sugar/honey/sweetener

-70g crumbled dark chocolate

-12 shelled and crushed walnuts

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-greased or non-stick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa powder.

2: Add the butter and mash it in.

3: Add water, continually stirring until the mass holds together, but is pourable, like a syrup. Use warm water if the butter was hard to properly mix.

4: If you used warm water, let it cool. Mix in the chocolate pieces and walnut.

5: Pour into the tray.

6: Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 35min, or until a fork comes out clean (of mass, the chocolate bits will stick to it!).

7: Serve with cream, ice-cream or a milky drink.

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