Microwaved chocolate cake (with acknowledgements to the Toshiba Book of Microwave Cooking)
- 4 oz/125g vegetable spread
- 3 oz/75g self-raising flour
- 4 oz/125g caster sugar
- 1 oz/25g cocoa
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 beaten eggs
- ½ tsp baking powder
Whisk all the ingredients together until you get a smooth mixture, and put into a microwaveable bowl or soufflé dish and cook on high in a microwave oven for 6 minutes. Good served as a sponge pudding with cream, ice cream or custard.
Poached pears and marscapone
- 1 pear per person
- 100g sugar
- Glass white wine
- Juice of half a lemon
In a heavy saucepan bring wine and sugar to boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes to burn off alcohol. Add lemon juice and pears. Cook for 10 minutes over medium to low flame. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or tablespoon of marscapone.
Boiled fruit cake
- 12 oz (300g) value mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants and candied peel)
- 4 oz (100g) butter or vegetable spread
- 4 oz (100g) sugar (preferably brown)
- 2 beaten eggs
- ¼ pint (100ml) water
- 8 oz (200g)self-raising flour
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice or ½ tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger
Heat the fruit, butter, sugar and water in a saucepan until the butter has melted, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Leave to stand and cool for 20 minutes for the dried fruit to swell. Add the eggs and stir again, before adding the flour and beating thoroughly. Pour into a 2lb (1kg) loaf tin lined (silicon, non-stick, or lined with baking parchment) or 2 x 1lb (500g) loaf tins. Great for packed lunches or to give as presents, or eat it Yorkshire style with apples and cheese for the ultimate supper by the fireside. An optional dash of whiskey or brandy in the mix adds to the flavour, especially at Christmas time, and then it makes a lovely present.
- 12oz/320g strong dark eating chocolate
- 1 oz/30g unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs
Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Add the butter and allow it to melt with the chocolate. Stir occasionally and take off the heat when they are done, allowing to cool for a moment. Separate eggs into yolks and whites. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks. Stir the yolks into the chocolate and butter mix. Fold in the whisked egg whites very carefully so as not to lose the air. Pour into a dish and refrigerate for a few hours until it is set.