(Reprinted with permission from Adrienne Hedger)
And here we are landing firmly in the month of May. This year is flying by, if you ask me… First Monday of the month means fun. It is Reveal Day for The Secret Recipe Club, that event in which bloggers are paired in secret and cook a recipe from their assigned site. This month I got a food blog that was new to me: Chit Chat Chomp, hosted by Leigh, who blogs from Melbourne, a place I would love to visit one day. Leigh’s site is a thing of beauty, very stylish, elegant, amazing photos, and great prose. Basically, a must-read food blog! She summarizes her approach to cooking in a delightful way:
Recipes inspired by my travels through France, adapted for everyday simplicity and filled to the brim with nutrition. Mostly gluten and refined sugar-free, my recipes lean towards food that inspires, heals and nourishes, but above all else, it’s fresh, organic and simple.
Recipes inspired by my travels through France… She’s got my full attention! In fact, she describes herself as a lover of all things French. You can imagine the smile I opened when I read that line, right? I spent quite a bit of time stalking her blog, but jumped on a recipe right away for a reason I will classify as “The Swedish Effect.” Small parenthesis is needed. We have an undergraduate student from Sweden in our lab called Olivia. She happened to mention that April 15th was her “name day” back home. I was puzzled, but then learned that in Sweden each day of the year is associated with a particular name, as you can see in this site. April 15th is the name day for Olivia (girls) and Oliver (boys). Olivia said that her Grandma always gave her a nice card on that day to celebrate the occasion. So, I thought it would be cool to bake something starting with the letter O and bring to the lab on that day. Orange-Chocolate mini-cakes seemed perfect! Obviously, I jumped on the recipe with no hesitation whatsoever. But, my decision had a small problem associated with it, which led me to make a second recipe for today’s reveal. Read on…
ORANGE-CHOC MINI CAKES
(from Chit Chat Chomp)
Makes 6 mini-cakes
1 cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 Tbsp rice malt syrup or raw honey
handful of raw cacao nibs
handful of sunflower seeds (I omitted for lack of sunflower seeds)
Heat oven to 320 F and line a mini cupcake pan with 8 cupcake papers
Place the orange in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Allow to cool.
Chop the cooked orange into chunks and place in a blender and blitz until smooth. Add all other ingredients (except cacao nibs and sunflower seeds) to the blender and pulse until combined.
Divide the batter between your cupcake papers, filling close to the top as they will not rise by much, and top with the cacao nibs and sunflower seeds. Pop into the oven for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
to print the mini-cake recipe, click here
Comments: As Leigh mentioned, the only tricky part of this recipe is to boil the orange. Tricky in the sense that you need to dedicate one hour for that step. Essentially hands-free, though. The smell in the kitchen as the orange simmers…. wonderful! Once the orange is ready and cooled down, the batter will be ready in minutes. Now, let’s talk about the “small problem.” The recipe made six cupcakes, enough for each of our lab members to enjoy, but Phil and I could not have any. In short, I made a recipe for The Secret Recipe Club, but never got to taste it. I had only one way to restore my dignity as a blogger: choose a second recipe from Chit Chat Chomp, and make it too… and that’s what I did, so today you get two recipes instead of one. How’s that for problem solving?
Without further ado… my bonus recipe from Leigh’s great blog:
(from Chit Chat Chomp)
1 + 1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cups arrowroot flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 + 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 large zucchini, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pepitas.
Heat the oven to 325 F and line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal, arrowroot, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs lightly with the apple cider vinegar. Add zucchini, carrot and cheese and mix well.
Add the egg mix to the dry ingredients. Mix to combine. Pour the dough into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle with pepitas.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top starts turning golden and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool for five minutes before cutting into slices.
to print the Veggie Bread recipe, click here
Comments: We loved this bread! It is obviously gluten-free, no regular flour, but the texture reminded me of quick breads, except that this had considerable more moisture. Not too dense like some gluten-free breads turn out. Leigh said it freezes well, but we did not get to test that, in three days it was gone. I enjoyed a slice at lunchtime, and was surprised that Phil did that too, he prefers his bread to be loaded with gluten. This one had so much flavor that the lack of wheat flour was not a big deal. Once it sits in the fridge for a while, the best way to bring it back to life is toasting it… paired with juicy tomatoes, it was out of this world delicious!
I wanted to try to make croutons out of it. Not sautéed because I am afraid they would crumble, it is a very delicate bread. But maybe spraying the croutons with coconut or olive oil then toasting them in the oven. I bet they would turn out amazing on a kicked-up version of Caesar salad, or over a massaged kale concoction. Definitely a bread to play with.
I must say it was not easy to decide on which recipe to make as the bonus. I really wanted to make her Savoury Muffins, not only because the recipe enticed me, but for the write-up about it. You gotta go and read it… it has to do with France… And, if the weather was a little more appropriate, I would love a bowl of her luscious Carrot Soup… Another heavy contender was the Zucchini Noodle with Kale Pesto, which is pretty much my favorite type of meal these days.
Leigh, I loved getting your blog as my assignment this month, and feel sorry I could not taste those cute mini-cupcakes… Thinking back, I should have made a double batch, but I only thought about it after they were all baked and I had no time to boil another orange and start over. It was getting close to bedtime then… oh, well. Such is life!
Please make sure to click on the blue frog sitting patiently at the end of this post, so you can marvel at the posts that my virtual friends from Group A made for their assignments.
Adrienne, thank you again for allowing me to share your cartoon on the blog!
I love your work!
ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, May 2015
TWO YEARS AGO: P90X3, a Review of Tony Horton’s Latest Fitness Program
THREE YEARS AGO: Pasta and Mussels in Saffron Broth
FOUR YEARS AGO: Triple Chocolate Brownies
FIVE YEARS AGO: Shanghai Soup Dumplings
SIX YEARS AGO: Bite-sized Chocolate Pleasure