Culinary Adventures

Jessica's Recipes

Gooey Chocolate Orange Cake

May 3rd, 2009 by

This really is a delicious rich choocolate cake. You can make it without the orange and Grand Marnier if you prefer. The cranberry compote is also optional, but works really well with the orange flavour of the cake.

Read this post »

Rocky Roads

May 3rd, 2009 by

Gooey, crunchy, chocolatey little cake bars, and you don’t even need to cook them!

Read this post »


April 15th, 2009 by

This is a Persian recipe for a type of Granita. With its delicate rose flavour it is very refreshing, and ideal for a hot summers day.

Read this post »

Chocolate Chip Cookies

April 15th, 2009 by

Everybody loves Cookies! They are the ultimate comfort food. This is a recipe for what I believe to be the perfect Cookies – Crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle….

Read this post »

Blender Bearnaise

April 15th, 2009 by

Béarnaise and Hollandaise were sauces that always scared me. The traditional method is time consuming and can easily result in curdling of the egg yolks or separation, if you add the butter too quickly.
But nothing beats a good piece of steak with a buttery Béarnaise sauce, and the ‘out the jar’ and ‘packet mix’ versions just don’t cut it!
So I’ve fiddled around with a number of different recipes and think I’ve finally cracked the easiest and tastiest blender Béarnaise.

Read this post »

Aubergine Parmagiana

March 25th, 2009 by

3 or 4 Aubergines, sliced lengthways
Olive oil

Tomato Sauce
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Red Onion chopped finely
Olive oil
Red wine
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Herbs to taste (basil, oregano, thyme, mixed herbs)
salt and pepper

Bechamel Sauce
50g Butter
50g Flour
1 pt Milk
Salt & pepper
a pinch of nutmeg or cayenne pepper
Strong Cheddar & Parmesan Cheese (as much as liked)
1 tbsp Creme Fraiche
1 Egg Yolk

Spread the aubergine slices on oiled baking trays and spray them with olive oil before baking them in the oven (180C) until they have softened and browned a little.

Make the tomato sauce – fry the onion until soft, adding crushed garlic towards the end of cooking, add the other ingredients, seasoning to taste and leaving to stew for at least 15 mins.

Make the Bechamel – Make a roux with the butter and flour, allowing the flour to cook slightly. Draw off heat and add milk a little at a time, blending fully each time. Put back on the heat, stirring until the sauce thickens (best done with a balloon whisk). Add cheese and seasoning – I sometimes use a little freshly grated nutmeg or a pinch of cayenne to bring out the flavours. Add the creme fraiche (to taste) and lastly beat in the egg. Take the sauce off the heat so as not to overcook the egg.

In a lightly oiled baking dish, layer the aubergines, tomato sauce and bechamel, finishing with a layer of bechamel.

You can either simply sprinkle cheese on top – preferably parmesan – or you can use a mix of fine breadcrumbs, cheese and garlic.

Bake in the oven until nicely browned (180C) for around 30 minutes.

This is a dish that re-heats well, so it can be made in advance and slightly undercooked.

Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

Venison Casserole

March 22nd, 2009 by

600 Grams(s) Diced Venison
1 tbs Plain Flour
1 Pinch(s) Salt
1 tsp Peppercorns
1 tsp Juniper Berries
1 Finely chopped Onion
2 tbs Olive Oil
250 Grams(s) Shallots
250 Grams(s) Chestnut Mushrooms
1 Handful Dried Porcini Mushrooms
1 Dash Balsamic Vinegar
1 Glass Red Wine
1 Litre(s) Beef Stock
1 Seasoning

Crush peppercorns and juniper berries together with a pestle and mortar. Mix with salt and flour and toss the venison in this mixture (easily done in a plastic bag).

Crumble the Porcini and set to soak in a small mug of hot water (or stock).

Brown the meat until sealed in the olive oil. Remove from the pan and set to one side.

If necessary, add a little more oil. Brown the shallots (whole) and the onion and fry until golden. Add the mushrooms (halved) and continue frying. Add the meat back into the pan. Add any remaining flour and seasoning mix and stir in.

Add red wine, balsamic vinegar, Porcini (including the liquid they have been soaking in) and enough stock to cover the meat and stir well (you can use a good quality stock cube and hot water).

Season to taste.

Cook on the hob or in the oven at 160C / 325F / Gas Mark 3 for 2 hours or more until the venison is tender. Stir once or twice during cooking.

Check seasoning and serve – excellent with a garlic mash, carrots and a green vegetable.

Tuna & Sweetcorn Flan

March 22nd, 2009 by

100 Grams(s) Ground Almonds
100 Grams(s) Butter
35 Grams(s) Brown Rice Flour
1 Pinch(s) Salt & Pepper to taste Seasoning
35 Grams(s) Oatbran
175 Grams(s) Tinned sweetcorn
150 Milliliter(s) Skimmed Milk
1 Tbsp Parsley
1 Egg(s)
1 Finely chopped Onion
Optional Ingredients:
1 Small pot low fat Yoghurt, natural
175 Grams(s) Tinned (in brine) Tuna (optional)

Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5

Mix the ground almonds, brown rice flour and oatbran with a little salt and pepper.

Mash this together with the butter to form a soft dough.

Lightly grease a small flan dish and press the mixture in to form a solid base and side crust.

Beat the egg and milk(or alternatively yoghurt)together.

Place the tuna (optional),onion and sweetcorn evenly in the dish and season to taste.

Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and pour over the egg mixture.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes until pale gold.

Serve with salad.

Red Onion & Brie Tarts

March 22nd, 2009 by

25 Grams(s) (1 oz) Butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Red Onion(s)
150 Milliliter(s) (1/4 pt) Red Wine
1 tsp Caster Sugar
1 Package(s) (375 grams) Puff Pastry
1 tbsp Milk
150 Grams(s) (5 oz) Brie
4 sprigs Thyme

Preheat oven to 200C, 180C Fan, 400F, Gas 6.

Heat butter and oil in a frying pan and add onions, cut-side down. Pour over wine, sprinkle in sugar and season. Cover and cook for 25 minutes until tender, turning once. If there is any liquid left in the pan, remove lid and let it evaporate. Cool for 20 minutes.

Divide pastry into four and roll each quarter into 15cm (6in) circles – large enough to encase most of the onion. Brush the edges with milk.

Halve onions from root to stalk. Place an onion half, cut side up, in the centre of a circle and top with a wedge of Brie. Scrunch the pastry round it, leaving the top uncovered. Tuck some thyme down the side of the pastry and repeat with the remainder.

Scrunch foil into 4 circles to sit the tarts on and place on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Penne con le Acciughe

March 22nd, 2009 by

350 Grams(s) Penne or thick Macaroni Pasta
2 tbs Olive Oil
5 tbs Mayonnaise
1 Clove(s)(s) Garlic
2 tbs Parsley
47 Grams(s) Can Anchovy Fillets
2 Hard-boiled Egg(s)

Cook the pasta ‘al dente’, drain and rinse briefly under cold running water. Drain again and put into a bowl. Toss with the oil.
Put the mayonnaise (home-made or good commercial), garlic, chopped parsley (or marjoram or chives) and anchovies in a small bowl and mash together with a fork.
Before serving, stir into the pasta and garnish with the hard-boiled egg, cut into wedges.