I would say that roughly 70% of my week is alkaline. And by alkaline I mean food of course, I’m not conducting some weird science experiment in my storage loft; although that would be cool. I could wear a white … Continue reading
No i haven’t misspelt ‘Soccer’ silly. Although this is my kind of football talk.
Socca, or more traditionally known, Farinata, originates from Genoa and has become a rather quintessential dish of the Ligurian Sea coast, which trails a path from France to Italy. It all sounds very beautiful doesn’t it? All these typed words about the sea, can only bring accompanying images of sun and holiday to mind.
So when in my tiny patio garden in the heart of Redland, Bristol, the sun lights up for just a wee hour or two. There was the vision. We’d been talking about holidays, how we wish we were away abroad walking along a sandy coast. Alas. My mini herb garden lit up and I wanted something fresh. Pizza please.
I did question myself, should I walk to the supermarket to get a horrible gluten free pizza from the frozen section? I have been very anti- supermarket of late and after watching Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket, where Suffolk based farmer Jimmy Doherty takes on Tesco at giving affordable free range options, I just can’t get the images of water pumped mush chicken out of my head. Still it was only pizza I was after.
Sunday and not partial to walking but rather baking, I digged up my notes from a year back where I’d been experimenting with flatbreads and there lie a ripped out bit of newspaper with a plain Socca recipe on it. Chickpea flour- check. Water- check. Olive oil- check. Is that really all I needed?
After buying some French Comte cheese from the lovely Ruby and White butchers on Whiteladies Road, the plan for melted cheese on Socca had begun.
Perhaps I’ll go for fiery Szechwan pepper and spring onion next time.
For a proper pizza, I would simply add some rich passata to the equation. If you are adding other toppings like mushrooms, I would fry them before you top the Socca base as they simply won’t cook through.
Enjoy, in hopefully a burst of sun.
Rosemary, Garlic and Comte Socca
Serves two big or 4 small
100g chickpea flour (aka gram flour)
225ml lukewarm water
Strand of Chopped Fresh Rosemary
1 Chopped clove of Garlic
Salt and Pepper
100g of grated French Comte cheese
In a bowl whisk together the Chickpea flour, Chopped Rosemary, Chopped Garlic, water, one and a half tablespoons of Olive Oil, half a teaspoon of salt and some pepper until the batter is smooth.
Take a small nonstick frying pan or ideally a skillet and brush lightly with oil.
Place the pan over a high heat for a couple of minutes.
Reduce the heat slightly and pour in some Socca batter until it lightly covers the pan, like a crepe thickness.
After two minutes or so use a spatula or any other flat flipper you have to hand to carefully release and flip over when it’s coming away freely from the pan.
Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle over all the Comte cheese, put on the heat until melted.
Enjoy on it’s own or with some Homemade Tomato soup. Mmm.
I’m back. ‘Finally’ – I hear you cry. Oh you guys!! *blushes* and I’m married –double yay! So no longer do I have to spell out my surname ‘Kreczmer’ numerous times to people I can now simply go ‘Carter’ and pretend I’m an American news reporter. Badass.
We went to Paris for our honeymoon and I have to be brutally honest and say, although it was lovely- we did have a few issues and in retrospect we wished we just went for a lazy beach scenario. Our first hotel although it was good for a base hotel, didn’t quite have the romantic charm or attentive service that we needed for our honeymoon so we did a swift move to another which was better located in the 1st arrondissment and near to Pierre Herme’, the latter pretty much sealed the deal for me.
It was an expensive holiday, and the most affordable (and most enjoyable) for me was going to the supermarket. Yes. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc d’Triomphe -forget it, the supermarkets is where it’s at. Particularly in the Galleries Lafayette Gourmet. It was foodie heaven. I could have spent hours trying all the delicious produce but alas we was on a tight schedule and I had a feeling the husband was getting nervous with the amount of money I was spending on chocolate. I seem to however go into this ‘money-no-object’ state when I’m in foreign supermarkets; I think it’s because you never really know what things cost unless you have an amazing ability to convert instantly.
My best purchase wasn’t found in the supermarket (although they also sold it there) but in one of the most famous tea rooms in Paris – Angelina. Their hot chocolate is arguably (but debated consistently on trip advisor) as one of the best in Paris. I bought a box then…naturally.
My return home to England was depressing to say the least, we only had a 5 day honeymoon which went a bit fast (we hope to go somewhere longer next year) and I STILL didn’t think I bought enough food back with me. Disaster! On the upside though I’m now back to share with you this recipe, which I put together in my mind on the flight back. A bit weary of cooking cake with chocolat chaud but let me tell you…this did not disappoint.
There’s something very child-like about messing around with hot chocolate in the kitchen, I remember mixing all kinds of cream/milk/caramel syrup concoctions when I was young. This went all through university as well. You just can’t grow out of that indulgent simplicity.
This Hot chocolate maderia cake though is not recommended for children however, it involves Crème d’Abricot (Apricot Liqueur) and I did get drunk in the process of testing. You can use any Liqueur really but I found this one a bit different and it also gives it an almondy taste that is lovely with sweet chocolate.
Either put the icing on top or use it as a side cream- this cake is particularly nice when heated up! Either way Ash loved it.
Hot Chocolate Maderia Cake with Creme d’Abricot Mascapone Icing
225g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g gluten free plain flour
25g Ground Almonds
2tsp of Xanthan Gum
2 tsp baking powder
100g hot chocolate powder (at least 50% cocoa)
2 Tablespoons of Apricot Liqueur (and a drizzle extra)
Cream Cheese 200g
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Butter the sides of a loaf tin and grease well with butter.
Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light.
Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract to the butter mixture, beating all the time.
Sift in the flour, almond flour, Xyanthm gum, Baking powder, milk and mix slowly.
Fold in the sifted cocoa powder.
Place the mixture into the loaf tin
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Turn the cake out and leave to cool.
(Optional) Once cool, use a pastry brush and brush the top with liqueur evenly.
Top cake with icing :)
Mix the Mascapone with the Cream Cheese and beat together.
Add the icing sugar.
Add the liqueur bit by bit till its to your taste.
Next blog post I’ll do something healthy :P Promise.