Nigella’s Chocolate Cloud Cake

Serves: 8

I haven’t watched much Nigella, though the impression I get from the snippets I have seen is that when it comes to desserts, Nigella is all in.

Melted chocolate being poured into more chocolate, whipped cream being folded into egg yolks, zoom in, zoom out, chocolate.

This cake therefore perfectly embodies Nigella and it really couldn’t be any easier a dessert, qualified for a dinner party.

Cook the base in the afternoon, whip the cream and refrigerate and prep just when you’re ready to serve.

Ingredients

250gm dark chocolate
125gm unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs, 2 whole, 4 separated
175gm caster sugar
500ml cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cocoa powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c and butter and line a 23cm springform pan with paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate and stir through the butter until it melts.
  3. Beat the two whole eggs and 4 yolks with 75gm of the caster sugar and then gradually add the chocolate mixture.
  4. Beat the 4 egg whites until foamy and then gradually add the remaining 100gm of sugar and continue beating until the whites hold their shape but are not too stiff.
  5. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the cake has risen and cracked and the top is no longer wobbly.
  6. Beat the cream until soft and then add rather vanilla and continue beating until the cream is firm but not stiff.
  7. Fill the crater of the cake with the cream and then dust the top with cocoa powder.

Nigella’s Pea Risotto

Serves: 4

How can you not love Nigella?

She is everything in food we want but dare not eat: butter, lard, bread, chocolate and cream.

Which is probably why it has been years since I last cooked this particular recipe, though memorable enough that it beat hundreds of recipes in the backlog to make it online.

The pea puree component is on another planet and you will be strong not to eat it in isolation.

Also, adding the oil to the butter apparently stops the butter from melting though in this buttery, cheesey, gooey mess of goodness, you’re not seriously going to pull back from a drop of oil?

Open a beer, cook this and stay warm one winter’s weekend lunch.

It is worth every calorie.

60gm butter
150gm frozen peas
1l chicken stock
Grated nutmeg
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 small onion, finely chopped
Drop of oil
200g arborio rice
80ml white wine or vermouth

Method

  1. Melt 1/3 of the butter and add the frozen peas. Cook for 2 minutes until defrosted then remove 1/2 the peas and add a ladle of stock to the remaining peas. Pop on the lid and boil for 5 minutes until soft. Puree this with 1 tbsp parmesan, 1 tbsp butter and a pinch of pepper and nutmeg. Check the seasoning and dial up the nutmeg if you so desire.
  2. Turn the heat down and melt the remaining butter and the drop of oil. Add your onion and cook for 1 minute. Don’t let it brown. Add the rice and stir to coat, turn the heat down and add a ladle of stock, cooking down until absorbed. Repeat for 10 minutes, adding a splash of wine or water if and as need be.
  3. Add the reserved peas and continue to cook for another 5 – 10 minutes, continuing to add the stock and reducing slowly.
  4. When the risotto is cooked, beat in the pea puree and the extra tbsp. of parmesan and serve.

Nigella’s smashed avocado

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Oh yeah! 

Serves: 2

I type this recipe up on Valentine’s Day morning and so you can guess what I have just eaten and been made for breakfast!

This is better than any Hallmark card. In fact, it is better than any smashed avocado and tomato number that you’ll likely get at your local breakfast haunt, what with the addition of the chilli, ginger, dill, a squeeze of lemon and the radish sprinkled on top.

I added a few slices of tomato to my plate as well.

This is my new healthy breakfast favourite. Except for Nat’s incredible Mexican Eggs, reserved for my once-a-year birthday.

Happy Valentine’s Day turtle. You are the one.

(Thanks also Nigella!)

Ingredients

1 avocado
Juice of half a small lemon
Half a bunch of dill, chopped
Good pinch chilli flakes
2 good pinched of grated ginger
Rock salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 thinly sliced radishes
2 – 4 slices of toasted soy and linseed bread
1 tomato, sliced 

Method

  1. Mash the avocado together with the lemon juice, dill, chilli flakes, ginger and salt and pepper.
  2. Spread the avocado mixture liberally on the toast.
  3. Throw a few radish slices on top and the tomato if using.
  4. Enjoy!