Today was my first morning off since returning to work from Christmas. The business has had a busy start to the year, so I've found myself going into the studio more than usual. My morning off was, all in all, a 2 hour window while Arthur was at playgroup. But it was two hours peace and a chance to tidy up the house and prepare for my mid week lunch to which I invited my yoga ladies for a long overdue catch-up. Lunch was simple: Carrot, Ginger & Coriander Soup, followed by a dense Chocolate Loaf Cake.
It's been a while since I shared a recipe here on Buttercup days as I tend to 'save them up' for my weekly posts over at Heart Home. So see it as a rare treat.
The soup is not a recipe, its far too simple to have such classification. Basically, peel a bag of carrots cutting them into fair thick chunks of around 3 - 4". Tip into a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and season. Peel a thumb sized piece of ginger and finely grate over your carrots. Give it all a good mix and then roast in the oven for roughly 25 - 30 mins or until the carrots are soft and caramelised in places. Tip the carrots into a large saucepan and add a generous handful of chopped coriander. Make up some vegetable stock (around 1 - 1.5 pints) and add enough to cover the carrots. Blend with a blending stick until smooth and then add further stock until it reaches your preferred consistency.
The Chocolate Cake is a 'Nigella' and big favourite of mine. Perfect for all chocoholics out there.
Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake.
225 g soft unsalted butter
375 g dark muscovado sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 g best dark chocolate, melted
200 g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas5.
Grease and line a 23x13x7cm cm (9x5x3in) loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well.
Next fold in the melted and cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but do not over beat.
You want the ingredients combined: you don't want a light airy mass.
Gently add the flour, to which you've added the bicarb, alternately spoon by spoon, with 250 ml of boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter.
Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170C/gas mark 3 and cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so an inserted cake tester or skewer won't come out completely clean.
Place the loaf tin on a rack and leave to get completely cold before turning it out. It improves if left for a day or so before eating. This cake will probably sink in the middle because of its denseness.