Sometimes I want to eat nice food, but don’t want to spend all evening cooking it. There are so many chefs jumping on this bandwagon and writing cookbooks that work beautifully if you are a professional, but for mere mortals, are impossible.
I thought I’d write some recipes that can be made with very little effort and time, and that are pretty good even if you get the cooking a bit wrong!
We had this today. Chocolate cherry frangipane pudding. Frangipane is light, almondy cake. It is easy to make if you have a food processor. You can keep all of the ingredients in the cupboard.
[By the way, I have the oldest, most broken Kenwood food processor. Only one speed works. It mixes and it grates and is perfect for most jobs. If you haven’t got a food processor, put a cheap one, with a grater disk, on your Christmas list.
Chocolate cherry frangipane pudding. Serves 4-6
135g ground almonds
135g caster sugar
[This is 45g of the main three ingredients to each egg if you want to scale it up or down].
50g dark chocolate…one you like the taste of.
1 can of cherry fruit pie filling.
I use Princes black cherry fruit filling. Or, just some fruit…pears, bananas, raspberries, blackberries, etc.
If you have a food processor, blend the almonds, sugar, butter, eggs and chocolate together until the chocolate is chopped to tiny pieces. If you don’t have a food processor, mix the almonds, sugar and butter, beat in the eggs one at a time. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave (for 30 seconds at a time, then stir, then 30 s microwave, then stir…until melted). Mix the chocolate into the almond mixture.
Spread the fruit into an ovenproof dish…I use a square Pyrex glass dish about 20 x 20 cm. Spoon the almond-chocolate mux over the top and spread to cover the fruit.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160C Fan (170C not fan) or Gas 3-4 for 25-30 minutes. It is done when the frangipane top has risen and feels spongy when you press it (it springs back a bit when you poke it). It is quite a moist pudding, so it doesn’t matter if it is underdone or overdone…it will just be a bit crispier or a bit more gooey…play around until you like the end result!
Serve warm with pouring cream (or the squirting stuff from a can…we’re not pudding snobs). And chocolate sauce if you can be bothered (see below). And extra fruit if you like.
Easy chocolate sauce
100ml double cream…about half a mug full
30-50g chocolate…any will do.
Syrup to taste…golden syrup or maple syrup.
Heat the cream in a jug in the microwave. Be careful not to let it boil (messy).
Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Add a bit at a time if you’re not sure how chocolatey you like it. Add syrup if you want it sweeter.
This is what we had tonight…
…and this it what it can look like if you make a bit more effort with presentation…
Either way, it is quick to make, bakes while you eat your main course, is pretty failsafe and tastes delicious.