Rich Chocolate and Pear Cake

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

This recipe came to be as an experiment after trying a simple apple and walnut cake at my friend’s house a few weeks back. The cake was perfect but as we have 100s of pears from our tree at this moment I wanted to create a pear version of it. Simple swapping the apples for pears and losing the nuts wasn’t going to cut it as the pears are so juicy, so I baked and baked until I achieved the perfect chocolate and pear cake, which is quick and super easy to make.

The cake is very chocolaty and indulgent. I used both dark chocolate and raw unsweetened cocoa powder. The taste of your cake will depend on the quality of these two ingredients, so please have it in mind whilst out shopping. I have found through my baking that some cakes are much more forgiving about swaps than others are. I tried to bake it with drinking chocolate instead of the raw cocoa but it simply doesn’t work, you can taste that something is off… also, I found using milk chocolate instead of a dark one is also a no go… the cake really becomes way too sweet.

Total time: 1h

Baking time: 35min

Serves: arguably 9 large portions

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

Ingredients:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 3 medium-size ripe pears
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tbsp raw unsweetened cocoa
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Line with baking paper one 8”x8” brownie baking tray.

In a small saucepan over very low heat melt the butter. Once melted add the chocolate and stir making sure it is totally melted and combined then set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; add a pinch of salt and mix well.

Wash, peel, core and then chop the pears into 1cm x 1cm cubes, then pop them into the bowl of dry ingredients mix and gently stir so that all the pear pieces are coated evenly.

In another small bowl beat the eggs; then add the vanilla essence and beat some more. Add this mixture to the cooled down butter and chocolate mixture and stir well until fully combined.

Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and with a silicone spatula gently mix until everything is combined and forms an even mass. You are after the texture of your cake being similar to a cookie dough – firm and pliable.

Move your mixture into the earlier prepared baking tray and again using a silicon spatula spread out the mix till it is even and flat then pop into the oven.

Bake at 180C for around 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tray to cool completely.

Enjoy!

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

The perfect fusion between a brownie and a cake – crisp, crumbly outside meets moist, yet fudgy and gooey middle; deep rich chocolate meets sweet aromatic pear… a match made in heaven!

12+ Delicious Beetroot Recipes

Beets, those sweet and earthy tasting, red, yellow or white root vegetable are packed with nutrients and vitamins. They have amazing health benefits and can be incorporated into our diet in a variety of ways from salads, soups to smoothies or even cakes.

Today I would like to share with you a round-up of delicious beets based recipes, which hopefully will inspire you as much as they inspired me.

Baked Beet Falafel

Beet & Blueberry Bruschetta

Beet & Spinach Tart

Beet Banana Breakfast Smoothie

Beet Hummus

Beet Lentil & Quinoa Burgers

Beet Pizza with Beet Leaf Pesto

Beetroot & Garlic Sauce Zoodles

Beetroot Goat Cheese Salad

Borscht – Healthy Beet Soup

Detox Kale and Beet Salad

Raw Beetroot and Caper Salad

Roasted Garlic Beetroot Soup

 

How do you like to eat your beets?

What’s your favourite beet-based dish?

Chicken Livers with Pomegranate and Coriander

Super quick and simple yet extremely satisfying dish which combines some wonderful flavours creating an unforgettable dining experience. Soft livers, slightly sour hard pomegranate seeds finished off with the citrusy aroma of fresh coriander leaves… what’s not to love?

Super quick and simple yet extremely satisfying dish which combines some wonderful flavours creating an unforgettable dining experience. Soft livers, slightly sour hard pomegranate seeds finished off with the citrusy aroma of fresh coriander leaves… what’s not to love?

If you like livers (and even if you don’t) you should really give this recipe a try. I know your first reaction might be “meh” but trust me, give it a try and you will love it.

I am a huge fan of quick meals. Often there is nothing better than a yummy dinner or supper on the table ready within minutes, not hours.

Livers cook quickly but they can be tricky… The longer you cook them the tougher they become, so overcooking them is a big no-no. Another tricky part relates to salt… added to soon makes them tough in the same way as overcooking, so salt goes always last when it comes to cooking livers.

Super quick and simple yet extremely satisfying dish which combines some wonderful flavours creating an unforgettable dining experience. Soft livers, slightly sour hard pomegranate seeds finished off with the citrusy aroma of fresh coriander leaves… what’s not to love?

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 400g chicken livers
  • 1 large pomegranate
  • 1 large bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp pepper

Method:

Wash and chop the livers into smaller, bite-size chunks.

Wash and finely chop the coriander.

Deseed the pomegranate.

Preheat a heavy bottom frying pan, once hot add both butter and oil.

Once piping hot add the chopped livers, cook for 7 minutes stirring and tossing them continually.

Then add ¾ of the pomegranate seeds; cook for additional 2 minutes, continue stirring.

Add salt and pepper and ¾ of the chopped coriander; cook for an additional 1 minute.

Serve onto a plate or shallow bowl. Garnish with the remaining coriander and pomegranate seeds.

Serve with some nice buttered bread or best of all some nice hot buttered toast.

Enjoy!

Super quick and simple yet extremely satisfying dish which combines some wonderful flavours creating an unforgettable dining experience. Soft livers, slightly sour hard pomegranate seeds finished off with the citrusy aroma of fresh coriander leaves… what’s not to love?

Spanish Eggs

Eggs baked on top of a rich tomato-based sauce topped with olives and parsley… a wonderful flavour combination, which is perfect any time of the day.

Eggs baked on top of a rich tomato based sauce topped with olives and parsley… a wonderful flavour combination, which is perfect any time of the day. Recipe created by Fiona Hunter, nutrition consultant, writer & broadcaster, to celebrate Spanish Olive Festival, which took place last month in London and was organized by Olives from Spain and Nudge PR.

Recipe serves: 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 75g pitted black Spanish olives e.g. Hojiblanca or Cacereña, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Spanish olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • ½ tsp of smoked paprika
  • 100g chorizo, diced
  • 2x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 medium eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Crusty bread to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas mark 6.

Heat the oil in a non-stick, ovenproof frying pan.

Add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the pepper, garlic and paprika continue cooking for 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, chorizo and seasoning to taste. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the olives. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Using the back of a tablespoon make an egg-shaped hollow in the tomato mixture and break one egg into the hollow, repeat with each egg.

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the eggs are set but the yolk is still runny.

Scatter over the parsley and serve with crusty bread.

 

Cooks tip: To make this a more substantial meal and boost the fibre content add a can of chickpeas.

Eggs baked on top of a rich tomato based sauce topped with olives and parsley… a wonderful flavour combination, which is perfect any time of the day.

Chilled Pickled Cabbage

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

If you use locally sourced vegetables then you will know that the cabbage season is almost upon us, which makes now a perfect time to start preparing some cabbage based meals for the weeks to come.

I have discovered that cabbage is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including a high content of vitamin K and C, folate, iron and vitamin B6 to name just a few of the common ones. Additionally it’s a perfect weight loss food – low in calories, high in fiber and packed with necessary nutrients. Eating cabbage can help detox our bodies, lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar; cabbage also has anti-inflammatory, probiotic and antioxidant properties; it promotes brain health and can improve our defences against neural degenerative conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

You can read more about cabbage in my earlier post “Is Cabbage a Superfood?

Now I have you are all excited about the wonders of the amazing cabbage I want to share with you my recipe for a fridge pickled cabbage salad. The only slight problem is, it has to be made in advance, allowing it the time it needs to truly to pickle. If you like crunchy salads as an addition to your meals, you should really give it a try, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

The ingredients below will yield three 1 l jars.

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots
  • 2 onions; medium
  • 1 white cabbage; medium
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large bunch of parsley
  • 350ml sparkling water*
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 125ml vinegar 6% strength is best
  • 150g sugar
  • 1tbsp salt

*this is a must add ingredient; you can’t make it without it

Method:

Wash all vegetables, then shred or chop them julienne style into fine strips and place in a large bowl.

Add all other ingredients, including the sparkling water which is essential and mix well.

Allow standing for 5 minutes then mix well again.

Pack tightly into some clean sterilized jars (you want to get mostly veggies in there with some small addition of the liquid), then place them in the fridge.

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

The salad is ready for early consumption after only 3-5 days, more ideal after a week or two. The longer you leave it, however, the more pickled it will become and tastier.

The salad will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Enjoy!

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.