Saturday, 19 February 2011

Eating around the web

I'm very erratic with food reading on the web. There's a few blogs that I check regularly, but otherwise things just seem to turn up. From links friends post on facebook or message boards, mostly. Or sometimes I google an ingredient, and find something on some totally random site. I've had the chance to try quite a few things recently; with this crazy weather anything from salad to porridge is an option.

I googled quinoa a while ago and found a nice quinoa porridge. At the same site, a recipe for quinoa pilaf took my fancy. Now, as the bloke hates corn and walnuts, I had to make a variant. But the general idea is very adaptable. Quinoa cooked in stock, then fried up with onion, spices, and vegetables. It's good with that dark Tuscan kale, but you could try spinach or silverbeet. I served it as an accompaniment to some quick grilled lamb chops from that new Dickson butcher.

And 35C one day, 15C the next, it's still possible to have porridge. I was quite intrigued by this idea, cooking brown rice in a crockpot. I almost followed the recipe, except that I used low fat milk instead of full-fat, and coconut milk and a 1/4 cup of sugar instead of the sweetened condensed milk. And raspberries on top instead of cranberries or raisins cooked in. So, yeah, almost the same. The result is, well, OK. The bran separates off, while the inner rice goes squishy, which gives it more of a porridge texture than a rice pudding texture. Also I think it needed less sugar. I couldn't put maple syrup on top since it was already quite sweet enough for me.

Serious Eats crops up quite a lot, since I'm a facebook fan. This American site has some wonderful discussions. Check out this hilarious recipe for boiled water, and don't miss the reader comments. These chocolate chip cookies are from Serious Eats. I made them before Xmas, and have two sausages of dough still in the freezer waiting for the next cookie occasion.

And then there's this chocolate cake. I simply could not resist making this, as it is just so very weird. It's gluten-free - it uses not chickpea flour but actual chickpeas. I liked the flavour in the end. The chickpeas add some flavour, but it's quite neutral tending to nutty - a reasonable match to chocolate. The texture was less of a hit. It came out quite dry. I found that it was OK when tempered with a dollop of icecream, and B2 liked it, but B1 did not. So, variable.

I did edit the recipe slightly for Australian measures, so here you go.

Recipe: Chocolate Chickpea Cake

1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
150g dark cooking chocolate
2 x 420g tins of chickpeas
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Grease a small loaf tin with the butter, and "flour" it with the cocoa.
  • Drain the chickpeas and rinse them well.
  • Weigh out 2/3 of them, and set the rest aside for some other use.
  • Put them in a food processor, with the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and baking powder.
  • Puree until very smooth.
  • Melt the chocolate, and blend it into the rest of the mix.
  • Pour the cake batter into the tin and smooth surface.
  • Bake at 180C for 45-60 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before inverting to cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

I used the extra chickpeas in a mixed veggie curry. You could also add them to a soup or a salad, or mash them up with garlic, lemon and tahini to make hommous.

I like to melt chocolate in the microwave - break it up into a glass bowl, zap it for 20 sec, stir well, and repeat until all is melted. Much easier than a double boiler, or the old bowl over boiling water technique.

1 comment:

Shari said...

All my foodie friends are in love with the new butcher in Dickson - we had some EXCELLENT stakes from there on New Years Eve. And I really enjoyed the 'boiled water' post...thanks

Shari from