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Simple but cooking time critical.

  • Stuff:
    • 125g of butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 200 g sugar
    • 175g dark chocolate (best use 70% cocoa or above)
    • 150g walnuts in pieces
    • 1 teaspoon raising powder
    • a few drops of vanilla extracts depending on your taste
  • Put the chocolate to melt. In the meanwhile, in a bowl, soften the butter with a fork, then add sugar and eggs alternatively, mix until smooth and white-ish. Add the chocolate (preferably not too hot) and the vanilla extract. Add the nuts and flour. Put in a well greased tin, 20-23 minutes in oven at 175 C.

The difficult bit is to find the best cooking time so that it's not dry but not too sticky. It may be quite under 20 minutes depending on thickness.

Chocolate fridge cake

No need for an oven.

  • Stuff:
    • 250g digestive biscuits
    • 100g margarine
    • 15ml golden syrup
    • 40ml drinking chocolate powder
    • 100g dark chocolate
  • Smash the biscuits (this is fuuuun !), but not too much, biscuit particles of approximately 0.5mm equivalent diameter will make for an interesting texture. Melt the margarine (microwave), add golden syrup and drinking choc powder, mix. Mix with the biscuits. Poor everything in a tin lined with greaseproof paper. Melt the chocolate and top the mixture with it. Put in the fridge for about 2h.

Add brandy for the alcoholic version (beware the effect as there is no cooking to evaporate the alcohol!)

Quatre-quart (modified french cake)

Quatre-quart means four quarters, because you use equal mass of eggs, sugar, flour and butter.

  • Start with:
    • 3 eggs
    • 200 g butter (about, weigh eggs if unsure)
    • 200 g sugar
    • 200 g flour
    • 1 teaspoon raising powder
    • a few drops of vanilla or almond extracts depending on your taste
  • Dice the butter, then mix with the sugar until you get an homogeneous white paste.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mix until homogeneous between each
  • Add the raising powder+vanilla/almond extract
  • Add the flour and mix. You can also add chocolate chunks.
  • This all goes in a well greased loaf tin and cooks until done (about 45 min-1 h at 180 C).

An interesting addition: before cooking, poor some jam on top of the cake.


Mississippi Mud Cake

  • Start with:
    • 250 g butter
    • 150 g chocolate
    • 450 g golden caster sugar
    • 3 tablespoons brandy or Tia Maria
    • 250 ml warm water
  • Melt until completely dissolved, and then cool in a bowl for 15 minutes, th en add:
    • 250 g plain flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 25 g cocoa powder
  • Mix into cooled chocolate mixture, then add 2 whisked eggs
  • Pour into greased baking tin, and cook at 160 C for 1.5 hours. Cool 1/2 ho ur and then remove from tin to cool some more.
mississipi mud cake


  • 150g self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 cl half milk half water
  • 1 spoon oil
  • beer
Melt flour with beaten eggs, add water+milk, add oil. add more water+milk till liquid, add a little beer, cook

Tarte Tatin

  • Pate Brisée:
    • 500g flour
    • 20 cl water
    • 3 eggs (yoke)
    • 250 g butter
    • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Tarte Tatin
    • 1 kg apples
    • 150g butter
    • 125g sugar
  1. To make the dough, put the flour+sugar in large bowl, add egg yokes and butter (diced). Mix (fingers do well), add water, mix. Leave to rest.
  2. Place the butter+sugar in a baking tray and melt (I do that in the oven, low heat), meanwhile, peal and cut the apples in large sections of similar sizes. When the butter is melted, mix to distribute sugar, then add the apple sections quite densely packed as they will reduce. This need to caramelize for a while (I leave it about 20-30 minutes in the oven, 180-200 C).
  3. Roll dough on floured surface, and put on top of apples when nicely caramelized, bake for another 30+ minutes at 180 C (ish).
  4. TIP: it is quite difficult to extract nicely from the tray. Take the tray out of the oven and put it in 2-3 cm cold water for a few minutes. Then turn tray over a plate and tap until all is unstuck.
tarte tatin

Pippa's shortbread biscuits

  • 2 Oz of sugar (56.69905 g)
  • 4 Oz of butter (113 g)
  • 6 Oz of flour (172 g)

Mix, make biscuits, cook until done (ca. 10 min) in oven at 200C ish.
Nice: a touch of orange marmelade on one side of the biscuit, then dip in molten chocolate and leave to solidify.

shortbread biscuits

Richard's Butternut Squash soup

feeds four:
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 chilli (optional)
  • Vegetable stock
  • Butter (or olive oil if vegan)
  • Mixed herbs
  1. Finely chop the onion and chilli. Peel and chop the potatoes and squash (discard the seeds!) into ~2 cm cubes.
  2. Fry the onion and chilli in the butter. When the onion goes soft, add the squash and potato and saute for five minutes.
  3. Add enough vegetable stock to cover the ingredients. Add herbs, and extra butter if you want.
  4. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, until the potato and squash are soft.
  5. Blend smooth, and return to the heat until hot again.
  6. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and crusty bread.
butternut soup
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