A sneaky way to add more veggies into your treats, we love this easy recipe! There are plenty of easy substitutions to make these brownies more virtuous; instead of butter we use Irish rapeseed oil but of course melted coconut oil can be used. Coconut sugar can be used instead of caster sugar but the granules don’t perforate the batter as well as regular sugar does – this will result in a denser, drier mix, but can be resolved by adding a small amount of extra oil or using a mix of regular caster sugar (or other sweetener) and coconut sugar. To make these gluten free, swap the flour and baking powder for good-quality all purpose gluten free versions.
- 500g cooked beetroots, vacuum packed
- 100ml rapeseed oil (or coconut oil, melted)
- 250g of 70% good quality dark chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
- 140g plain flour
- 75g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g pecans, roughly chopped
For the icing:
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp beetroot juice
- Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm cake tin with baking parchment.
- Remove the beetroot from the packaging but be careful not to spill the juice – it stains quickly! Save this for the icing later.
- Chop 1/3 of the beetroots into small cubes and set aside. Blitz the remainder in a blender or food processor to a puree, then stir in the oil.
- Melt the chocolate slowly in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and leave to cool slightly. Use an electric whisk to beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl until pale, fluffy and tripled in size. Carefully fold the eggs into the beetroot mixture, followed by the melted chocolate. Sift and then fold in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder, then add the pecans and diced beetroot cubes.
- Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 20-25 mins. The brownies should still be slightly gooey in the middle. Allow to cool.
- Stir in 1-2 tbsp reserved beetroot juice with the sieved icing sugar to get a runny icing – dilute with water if you need but go slowly, teaspoon by teaspoon.
- Take the brownies from the tin, drizzle with the icing and cut into squares.
While they may have begun as a way of using up rich foods, like eggs, milk & sugar, before Lent, pancakes are a pretty delicious thing capable of transforming your breakfast, lunch or, indeed, dinner.
Sweet or savoury, we hope your Pancake Tuesday is flippin’ filled with delights! Here’s one of our favourite recipes that’s just a little bit different.
Serves 4 (or just 2 if greedy)
125g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cardamom
2 large eggs, separated
1 blood orange, zested
1 tbsp blood orange juice
50g butter melted
1 tbsp caster sugar
icing sugar, to dust
1. Combine the flour, baking powder, cardamom and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk, egg yolks, orange zest, juice and butter. Whisking to prevent any lumps, pour the wet ingredients into the dry to form the batter.
3. In a third clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then add the caster sugar, whisking to combine, and then fold this into the batter mixture.
4. Butter your frying pan and place on a medium-high heat. Spooning 1tbsp of the batter onto the pan in batches of 4/5, allow to cook and until bubbles form and then turn, cooking for a further minute (or until golden).
5. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot. Enjoy!
A special treat that’s suitable for anyone avoiding gluten, this is deliciously indulgent! We made it as a birthday cake for our Events Manager Angi and it didn’t last long in our kitchen…
For the gateau:
330g brown sugar
330g softened butter
6 eggs, separated into bowls
330g grated dark chocolate
330g ground almonds
For the ganache:
250g dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a 9-inch spring form cake tin with baking parchment.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until fully combined. Gently fold in the egg yolks, once fully combined fold in the ground almonds. Once this mixture is fully combined fold in the grated chocolate. Whip up the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until they hold stiff peaks, then fold into the rest of the mixture.
- Pour into the lined cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Cool on a rack. Only when it’s cool should you take it out of the tin and onto a wire rack for icing or your serving platter.
- Once fully cooled, prepare your ganache for icing: bring the cream to a boil in a pot, once it has begun to boil remove and pour over the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
- You can pipe your message on in white chocolate like we did or sprinkle toasted flaked almonds over the top.
We’ve always thought that wellbeing is the combination of a happy body, mind and belly so what better way to positively begin a new year than cooking up a recipe that does just that! This dish is warming and comforting, but nourishing and you can feel good about eating a bowl of this. Couscous, quinoa or brown rice are excellent accompaniments.
- oil for frying
- 2 onions, peeled & chopped
- 1 red chilli, seeded and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 450g diced lamb
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3 cardamom pods, bashed
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 400ml chicken stock
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- Fist-sized bunch each of mint & coriander, roughly chopped
- Seeds from ½ a pomegranate (tips on how to get the seeds out here!)
- ½ a cucumber, seeded and sliced
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a deep pot, and saute the onions for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the chilli and garlic and allow to cook for a minute, then add the lamb and cook for 5 minutes until browned.
- Stir in the spices, fry for a minute, then add the stock, tomato purée and molasses/honey. Cover with a lid and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chickpeas, season to taste and cook for another 30 minutes until the lamb is tender.
- Scatter the mint, coriander and half of the pomegranate arils over the lamb and serve with the remaining pomegranate tossed with the cucumber in a separate dish.
As soon as we see those delicate white starry flowers we know a seasonal treat is on the way! Whipping wild garlic (also known as ramson) up into pesto is one of the easiest ways to enjoy it.
- 2 bunches of wild garlic, washed
- 2 small bunches of parsley, washed
- 120g toasted pine nuts, toasted
- 120g Parmesan cheese (Pecorino Romano also works well)
- 300ml olive oil
- 2 dashes of lemon juice
- black pepper
Place all ingredients except the oil into a food processor and blitz for a minute or two. Then slowly pour in the olive oil until it is all mixed through.
Pour into sterilised jars, top with an extra drizzle of oil to create a seal. They will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks – if you can manage to keep them that long!
We love to drizzle this over pasta, use as a spread for crostini and bruschetta, serve with roast vegetables, or rub over a chicken before it goes in the oven for roasting. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays and keep it until needed.
Top Tip: We put parsley in ours as sometimes the taste of wild garlic can be quite overpowering. This way we keep the green colour and get all the flavour!