A Duo of Easter Treats…

I‘ve always been a fan of Easter. Especially since developing a serious ‘appreciation’ for chocolate back when I was designing chocolate biscuits (cookies) for a living. But this Easter I’m more excited than usual.

We have some friends coming to stay for the weekend and they’re bringing their 3 year old. So you know what that means…

Yes! A real Easter Egg Hunt! Yay!

So this week I have a couple of Easter ‘treat’ recipes to get you in the mood.

Happy Easter!

potato rosti

Potato Rosti

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe in his brilliant newish book ‘Jerusalem.’

Since sharing a photo of my rosti on instagram and facebook, I’ve had many requests for the recipe. And I’m glad I’ve finally found an excuse. I love the idea of serving these with runny poached eggs as a special Easter breakfast, especially since they look like little ‘nests’.

But I have to tell you they did go down well on St Patricks Day a few weeks ago with avocado, bacon and lashings of hot milky Barry’s tea. So remember a rosti is not just for Easter!

Enough for about 8 rosti – serves 1 Irishman and 1 pregnant lady
500g (1lb) potatoes
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons flour
small handful chopped chives, optional
oil for shallow frying

1. Scrub your spuds then grate – I use my food processor. Rinse grated potato in cold water. Drain then transfer to a clean tea towel and squeeze the spuds as dry as possible.

2. Heat about 1cm (1/1in) oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.

3. Combine dry spuds, egg whites, flour and chives, if using, in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Then form the mixture into about 8 flat patties, placing each on a clean plate as you go.

4. Gently slide half of the rosti into the hot oil. Shallow fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until deeply golden brown.

5. Drain on paper towel and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the second batch of rosti.

6. Serve hot with a generous dusting of sea salt flakes.

VARIATIONS
potato & parsnip – Ottolenghi uses a mixture of spuds and parsnips in his rosti.

vegan – try replacing with 1 tablespoon ground golden flax seeds (linseeds) combined with 3 tablespoons water. I haven’t tried this so let me know how you get on if you do.

gluten-free – just use your favourite GF flour. I’ve used quinoa flour in the video but GF flour will work.

other root veg – it’s hard to go past the humble spud but I’d consider trying swede (rutabaga) or sweet potato.

mini rosti – make smaller rosti to serve as canapes. Brilliant with a dollop of cold sour cream.

Video version of the recipe.

fudgy 5 ingredient chocolate cake-4

Fudgy 5-Ingredient Chocolate Cake

This is my all-time favourite chocolate cake recipe. It’s gluten free. It’s dense and fudgy, yet at the same time it’s light and lovely.

I’m still not sure how it manages to be both at the same time. But when you’re onto a good thing, I say stick with it!

Enough for 6 or possibly 8 if everyone is feeling virtuous.
100g (3.5oz) butter
200g (7oz) 70% cocoa solids chocolate, chopped into chunks
4 eggs
100g (3.5oz) caster sugar
100g (3.5oz) almond meal

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Melt butter and grease a 20cm springform cake tin.

2. Add chocolate chunks to the hot butter and allow to stand off the heat.

3. Meanwhile, separate eggs. Whisk whites with a pinch of salt until white and foamy and the volume doesn’t seem to be increasing any more.

4. Gently scatter in the sugar and keep whisking eggs for a minute or so. Then attend to the chocolate mixture.

5. Stir the melted chocolate and butter together. Add egg yolks. Stir. Add nuts. Stir.

6. Gently combine chocolate mixture with egg white mixture. Transfer to your prepared cake tin.

7. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top feels firm with a springy mass underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

VARIATIONS
sugar-free – use 85% cocoa solids chocolate and replace the caster sugar with erythritol or a commercial erythritol / stevia blend like Natvia.

‘easter’ cake – serve with a ‘nest’ of marscapone on top and pile on a heap of little chocolate Easter eggs – I used a mixture of white, milk and dark chocolate eggs.

different nuts – I often use hazelnuts or pecans instead of the almond meal. Most nuts will work well here.

nut-free – You could try replacing the nuts with flour, but I’d be worried it would dry the cake out. My first step would be to replace half the nuts with an extra egg and replace the other half with extra chocolate to go for a flourless chocolate cake texture. I haven’t tried this so if you do, please let me know!

milk or white chocolate – again I haven’t tried these because I love dark chocolate so much, but there’s no reason they won’t work.

dairy-free – replace butter with vegetable oil or coconut oil.

vegan – I’m afraid we’re relying on egg whites for texture here so this isn’t a cake for vegans.

Video version of the recipe.

bundle deal 3D cover

eBook Bundle!

I recently put together the first Stonesoup ebook ‘bundle’ deal. Basically it allows you to buy the ‘Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion‘ AND ‘30-Dinners in 30 Days‘ together and SAVE $10.

For more details, before the offer expires, go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/bundle/

With love
Jules x

ps. Not sure if these two ebooks are for you?

Here’s what Patti had to say about the ‘Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion’…
“A few days ago, I bought the tired and hungry cook’s companion. What a great book! This book is a terrific little resource to have right in my iphone for the inevitable times in the supermarket, 25km from home, running around in tiny circles going WAAHHH! WHAT AM I DOING FOR DINNER? and trying to remember what is in the fridge. Jules, thanks a million for such a beautifully-put-together book. I like everything about it. Lovely photographs and layout, nifty features (click the links, hello… not to mention the complete portability…. I have saved it to kindle and evernote so I have a copy wherever I am), and of course delicious ideas in abundance.”
Patti, Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion Reader.

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