There’s something deeply satisfying about Easter baking. Perhaps it’s the promise of brisk spring walks, followed by lazy afternoons spent feasting on Simnel Cakes and toasted Hot Cross Buns.
To add a little chocolate baking bliss to your Bank Holiday celebrations, we’ve lined up an exclusive recipe for Pastel de Chocolate Oaxaqueno from Rosie Lovell’s new book ‘Supper with Rosie’. Meanwhile acclaimed food writer and allergy expert Grace Cheetham shares her recipe for Gluten-free and Dairy-free Chocolate and Pear Tart. Happy Days!
Rosie Lovell’s Pastel de Chocolate Oaxaqueno
The framework for this recipe comes from Elizabeth David’s classic dark chocolate cake. After a recent trip to Mexico I started to think about how I could adapt her recipe to make it deeper and more Latin.
In the Day of the Dead market in Oaxaca, I drank a delicious and really cinnamony hot chocolate with ‘churros’ so for this recipe I’ve twisted and tweaked Elizabeth David’s original version to include the heady, dark smells and volcanic mountains of mole that dominate this honestly joyous market.
150g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
20ml shot of espresso
20ml shot of Marsala
150g dark muscovado sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra for dusting
20g desiccated coconut
90g ground almonds
5 large free-range eggs, separated
Ricotta, to serve
Butter a 20cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin and preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Measure out the chocolate, coffee, Marsala, sugar and butter into a mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir until everything is melted and homogenous.
Take your time doing this. Beat in the cinnamon and cayenne pepper, and then taste the mixture to check you are happy with the spicing. Finally, stir in the desiccated coconut, ground almonds and egg yolks.
Place the whites in a separate, clean mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Using a slotted spoon, gently fold a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate batter to loosen it.
Now gently fold in the rest of the whites, being careful to maintain the lightness. Turn the mixture out into the buttered cake tin and bake in the oven for 55 minutes until it is raised and cracked on top like an arid landscape. Leave to cool and set in the tin for a few hours, and then turn out onto a wire rack. Dust with cinnamon and a little cayenne. In the absence of requesón (Mexican fresh strained cheese), serve with a spoonful of soft ricotta.
The Observer described Rosie Lovell as “a Nigella for the next generation.” Besides hanging out with musicians at her hip café Rosie’s Deli in Brixton market, she organizes monthly supper clubs, writes a sassy blog for Selfridges and publishes recipes in Observer Food Monthly and Grazia.
Following the success of her first cookbook, ‘Spooning with Rosie’ in 2009, comes ‘Supper with Rosie’. The book is presented as a culinary scrapbook and incorporates the tastes and aromas of Rosie’s extensive travels through Asia, Australia and the Mediterranean.
The recipes draw on seasonal and store-cupboard ingredients to conjure up budget-friendly, laid-back dishes that are bursting with flavour, from comforting classics like Cinnamon Moussaka to exotic teatime treats such as Saffron Scones. ‘Supper with Rosie’ is published by Kyle Books on 3 May 2012, priced at £16.99 and is available to pre-order here.
Grace Cheetham’s Gluten-free & Dairy-free Chocolate and Pear Tart
This tart is truly heavenly. A rich chocolate tart, with soft, sweet pears – and a very gooey middle. In theory, you should bake your tart until the filling is completely set but the rich, oozing middle in this one defies all rules. It tastes too good to cook it any longer!
The pastry can, of course, be made by hand. To make this super-easy, I’ve shown how to make it in the food processor. It’s still light-textured, holds together and a little crumbly when you bite into it.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus making the pastry
Cooking time 35 minutes
4 pears, peeled, halved and cored
150g dairy-free dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped or broken into pieces
50g Xylitol, fruit sugar or caster sugar
50g dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
4 eggs, beaten
75g rice flour, plus extra for dusting
75g gram flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
50g ground almonds
50g Xylitol, fruit sugar or caster sugar
80g chilled dairy-free margarine, diced
1 large egg, beaten
To make the pastry, sift the flours and xanthan gum into the bowl of a food processor and blend well. Stir in the almonds and Xylitol or sugar. Add the dairy-free margarine and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and blend for 20–30 seconds until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough. There should be a little extra moisture at the base of the bowl. If it is too dry, gradually add 1–2 tablespoons chilled water. If too sticky, add a little rice flour. Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Grease a loose-based 20cm tart tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Liberally dust a chopping board with rice flour and roll out the pastry into a circle slightly larger than the tart tin, to allow enough pastry for the side, then neaten the edge, using a sharp knife. Be careful, as the pastry will still be slightly sticky. Put the tin, face-down, on top of the pastry and turn the board over to drop the pastry into the tin. Ease the pastry into place, pressing down carefully to remove any air pockets, then prick the base all over with a fork. Line the pastry case with a piece of baking parchment and cover with baking beans.
Bake for 8 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment and beans. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the pears on a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, make 5 slices down each half, starting about 1cm from the top. Leave to one side.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and rest it over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted. Add the Xylitol or sugar and stir in thoroughly, then add the margarine and stir until melted. Add the eggs, a little at a time, and stir in thoroughly.
When the pastry is out of the oven, put the pears onto the base, fanning them out slightly if there’s room (it will depend on the size of the pears.) Pour the chocolate mixture over, taking care to cover all the pears.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until just darkening on the top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then carefully put a plate on the top, turn it over, remove the tin and put a serving plate on the top. Turn the tart back over onto the serving plate. Serve hot or cold.
Grace Cheetham is an acclaimed food writer, cookery teacher and judge for the Great Taste Awards who is passionate about good food and allergy-free living. Her first book The Best Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes has sold almost 100,000 copies worldwide. Jayney Goddard, the President of the Complementary Medical Association declared it: “vital to anyone who has wheat, gluten and dairy intolerances.”
Her second book, Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free published in April last year, was equally well-received. Jane Curran, the Food Editor of ‘woman&home’ wrote: “This is thoroughly modern food – quick, healthy and utterly delicious. Grace takes the fear out of cooking for special diets – you’ll be amazed how simple she makes it!”
For further inspiration, visit Cheetham’s website where you’ll find a one-stop resource for people on restricted diets – with recipes and information on different diets and ingredients. She also posts weekly recipes on her blog.
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