by John Whaite

introducing The Hungry Dog Artisan Chocolates. My new online chocolate shop. Limited edition: only 20 boxes a week are made. Each chocolate is completely hand made from start to finish. The Hungry Dog Hunts Best 

Moroccan Spiced Meatballs in Bean Broth

There’s something rich and satisfying about the lightness of this meal. I know, that’s a terrible contradiction in terms and makes me sounds as though I’m waffling just to sound indulgent and intelligent - like so many do - but it’s true. The first part that is: the bit about the lightness giving richness.

In spite of the broth being made from just an onion and, basically stock water, it’s so delicious and fulfilling. The meatballs leach out their meaty juices and flavour the broth with their spice. That’s why only chicken or vegetable stock is used. Anything bolder would overwhelm the delicacy.

Although I’m not an advocate of calorie counting, if shared between two there is only a measly 482 calories each, which, let’s face it is next to nothing for a supper or evening main course. 

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

500g lean minced beef

1tsp ground turmeric

1tsp ground coriander

1/2tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

For the Broth

1tsp olive oil

1 small onion, very finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, very finely sliced

Zest of ½ orange

1 x 400g can cannellini beans

750ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 fat red chilli, deseeded and cut in half

The leaves from 2 sprigs flat leaf parsley

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. To prepare the meatballs simply put the mince with the spices, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and squish together until the spices are evenly dispersed. Divide into 8 and roll into balls. Place onto a plate and put to one side.
  2. For the broth heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole over a medium heat and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until really soft. Add the garlic and orange zest and stir. Add the can of beans – water and all – and the stock and chilli halves, along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Heat a frying pan over a high flame. When it’s hot add the meatballs and allow them to brown on the outside, then remove from the heat and add to the broth. Simmer uncovered for 35 minutes. Just before serving skim off any foam and then add the parsley leaves. 
Berry and Mascarpone Pancake Cake 
Ingredients 
For the Pancakes 
225ml whole milk 4 large eggs, separated 225g plain flour 1tsp baking powder 50g melted butter
For the Filling 
350g mascarpone cheese 100g icing sugar Zest of 2 lemons 
Fruit 
175g raspberries 175g blueberries 175g strawberries, quartered 
Raspberry Sauce 
50g caster sugar  50ml water 100g raspberries 
Method 
To make the pancakes, whisk together the milk and egg yolks, then sift over the flour and baking powder and fold together. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, then gently fold into the batter along with the melted butter. Allow to rest for 20 minutes to relax the gluten. 
Heat a heavy based frying pan over a medium flame. Add a small chunk of butter and allow that to melt. Spoon a ladleful and a half of batter into the pan and spread it out to a disk of about 16cm. Fry on one side until the the pancakes stops bubbling, then flip it and fry for about 30 seconds more until well cooked. Allow to cool, and repeat until you have 3 equal disks of pancake. 
For the filling, simply beat the mascarpone, icing sugar and lemon together until just incorporated, and then load into a piping bag fitted with a 10mm plain nozzle. 
To assemble place one pancake onto a cake stand or plate and pipe blobs of the filling around the edge of the pancake. Then arrange some of the raspberries in a circle on the inside of the filling blobs. Pipe another circle of blobs then arrange some of the blueberries in a circle. Finally, throw some of the chopped strawberries into the centre then top with another pancake and repeat. 
Top with the third and final pancake, and pipe blobs around the edge. Scatter the remaining fruit inside of the blobs - the more random the better. 
Finally make the sauce. Boil the sugar and water together in a small pan for a minute, then add the raspberries and boil until they turn mushy. Pass the sauce through a sieve and drizzle over the cake. 

Berry and Mascarpone Pancake Cake 

Ingredients 

For the Pancakes 

225ml whole milk 
4 large eggs, separated 
225g plain flour 
1tsp baking powder 
50g melted butter

For the Filling 

350g mascarpone cheese 
100g icing sugar 
Zest of 2 lemons 

Fruit 

175g raspberries 
175g blueberries 
175g strawberries, quartered 

Raspberry Sauce 

50g caster sugar  
50ml water 
100g raspberries 

Method 

  1. To make the pancakes, whisk together the milk and egg yolks, then sift over the flour and baking powder and fold together. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, then gently fold into the batter along with the melted butter. Allow to rest for 20 minutes to relax the gluten.
  2. Heat a heavy based frying pan over a medium flame. Add a small chunk of butter and allow that to melt. Spoon a ladleful and a half of batter into the pan and spread it out to a disk of about 16cm. Fry on one side until the the pancakes stops bubbling, then flip it and fry for about 30 seconds more until well cooked. Allow to cool, and repeat until you have 3 equal disks of pancake. 
  3. For the filling, simply beat the mascarpone, icing sugar and lemon together until just incorporated, and then load into a piping bag fitted with a 10mm plain nozzle. 
  4. To assemble place one pancake onto a cake stand or plate and pipe blobs of the filling around the edge of the pancake. Then arrange some of the raspberries in a circle on the inside of the filling blobs. Pipe another circle of blobs then arrange some of the blueberries in a circle. Finally, throw some of the chopped strawberries into the centre then top with another pancake and repeat. 
  5. Top with the third and final pancake, and pipe blobs around the edge. Scatter the remaining fruit inside of the blobs - the more random the better. 
  6. Finally make the sauce. Boil the sugar and water together in a small pan for a minute, then add the raspberries and boil until they turn mushy. Pass the sauce through a sieve and drizzle over the cake. 

Deep Filled Mince Pies in Caramelised Puff Pastry

I’m not even going to try and insist on the importance of mince pies at christmas. These though are simply the best. Not only is the mincemeat sensationally light and full of flavour, but what really makes these is the method of rolling the puff pastry in icing. 

This makes enough mincemeat for 24 pies, but the following recipe only makes 12. It can be kept for weeks in a sterilised jar in the fridge. 

The method with the pastry is exceedingly simple, though sounds a little tricky. This instagram video makes is perfectly clear: http://instagram.com/p/gsbeAgJfSo/

Ingredients 

For the Mincemeat 

  • 200g dried prunes, finely chopped
  • 200g dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 200g jumbo raisins
  • 150g dried morello cherries 
  • 150g unrefined dark muscovado sugar 
  • 1/4tsp ground clove 
  • 1/4tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 1tsp ground ginger 
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • 6tbsp malt whisky 
  • 200g pecans, roughly chopped
  • Pinch sea salt flakes 

For the Pastry 

  • 500g all butter puff pastry
  • 150g icing sugar  

Essential Equipment 

  • 12 deep hole muffin tin 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. To make the mincemeat place the prunes, apricots, raisins, cherries, sugar, spices, juice and zest into a saucepan and set over a high heat. Stirring constantly, warm the contents of the pan until the sugar dissolves and everything is fairly sticky - just a few minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then stir in the whisky, pecans and salt. 
  2. Dust the countertop very liberally with icing sugar, then roll out the pastry - moving it frequently so it doesn’t stick - into a large square of pastry, about 3mm thick. Tightly roll the pastry up into a spiral, then cut this into 12. Dusting the counter again, take a piece of pastry and place it spiral-side-down onto the counter. Flatten it into a rough disk, then roll out until it is big enough to line one of the holes in the tin with a few millimetres poking out of the tin. Repeat with the remaining pastry portions. 
  3. Fill the pastry cases with the mincemeat, leaving just a few millimetres at the top, then bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up, beautifully bronzed and flaky. 
  4. These should be removed from the tins immediately and set on a wire rack to cool before the sugar hardens and sticks them into the tin. 

katesainsburysblog asked: Congratulations on a great blog! We thought you might like to know that we have reviewed your site as part of a special collection of Food Bloggers we love on our corporate website. We hope you like what we’ve written and we have used a photo from your blog on the Sainsbury's food blogger network. If you have any problems with us using your photo, please say and we will remove it. We also have a couple of tickets available to The Cake & Bake Show Manchester

Hello - i have only just read this. Sorry and thank you x 

Never thought I’d be one for floral; but I love it!

Never thought I’d be one for floral; but I love it!

Reunited with my girl

Reunited with my girl

Cronuts, dosants and creignets

Cronuts, dosants and creignets

The Cake and Bake Show London

Come along to watch John on stage at the Cake and Bake show, Earls Court, London. John will be demonstrating some of his favourite bakes, as well as answering questions from the audience, and signing copies of his book John Whaite Bakes. 

Tickets and main site here.  

Fig, Stilton, Quince and Proscuitto Pizza

This may sound like a truly bizarre combination of flavours, but believe my reassurance that it is a truly brilliant combination. 

I urge you to try and make this using a pizza stone; they really aren’t expensive and are such a great investment. 

image

Ingredients - makes 4 

For the Dough

  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 7g salt
  • 7g instant yeast 
  • 15g sugar
  • 280ml tepid water
  • 30g butter, melted
  • Sunflower or Olive oil
  • Extra flour and ground cornmeal/polenta for dusting

For the Topping

  • 200g stilton cheese
  • 100g quince jelly
  • 12 slices parma ham / proscuitto
  • 2 large figs 
  • seeds from 1 large pomegranate
  • Fresh rocket leaves 

Method

  1. Make the bread dough: place the flour into a mixing bowl and stir through the salt, sugar and yeast. Add the water and melted butter and bring the dough into a scraggy ball. Knead on the counter for 5 - 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. If you have a freestanding electric mixer, knead the dough in that using the dough hook for about 5 minutes. Roll the ball of dough in a little oil and allow to rest until doubled in size; about 60 - 90 minutes. 
  2. Place the pizza stone into the oven and heat to 250C. If you don’t have a pizza stone, use a flat baking sheet.
  3. When the dough has risen divide into 4 equal balls (weigh it if you must) roll one ball out into a disk of about 7 inches in diameter. Place this onto a flat baking sheet that is extremely well dusted in flour. Crumble on a quarter of the stilton and a quarter of the quince, drape 3 slices of prosciutto over the top, and half of a fig sliced into 4. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then slide off the baking sheet and onto the ferociously hot pizza stone, and allow to bake for 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough and topping. 
  4. Serve with a scattering of pomegranate seeds and a few rocket leaves. 
Malaysian Devil Chicken 
Serves 4
I love spicy curries, but sometimes Indian curries give that near fatal heat without much else. This Malaysian version not only ticks the heat cravings, but it does so in a kind way; with a comforting sweet and sour delivered from the vinegar and sugar. You really do need a food processor, or at least a handheld liquidizer, to blend the curry paste. 
Ingredients - For the Paste

12 dried chillies
1.5tsp yellow mustard seeds
100ml boiling water
1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped (don’t use the woody tip)
10 shallots, peeled and chopped in half
1tsp turmeric
For the Curry

2tbsp sunflower oil
2 onions, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
120ml cider vinegar
3 heaped tablespoons light brown soft sugar
2tsp light soy sauce
500g chicken thigh meat, roughly diced
2 fat red chillies
Method - The Paste
Place the dried chillies and mustard seed into a mug and pour over the boiling water. Leave to soak for about 15 minutes. 
When the chillies are soaked, place them into a food processor - water and all - with the other paste ingredients, and blitz to a gritty, bright paste. 
To make the curry heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat, and 1 tablespoon in a frying pan over a medium. Into the saucepan scoop the curry paste and allow to sizzle for a good 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it burning. Meanwhile, place the onions and garlic into the frying pan and fry for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
Place the cooked onions and garlic into the saucepan with the paste, and pour in the vinegar and mix. Then add the sugar and soy sauce. Bring to the boil then add the chicken chunks (no need to brown). Pierce the chillies with a knife and throw those in too. Add 200ml water and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour, or until thick. 

Malaysian Devil Chicken 

Serves 4

I love spicy curries, but sometimes Indian curries give that near fatal heat without much else. This Malaysian version not only ticks the heat cravings, but it does so in a kind way; with a comforting sweet and sour delivered from the vinegar and sugar. You really do need a food processor, or at least a handheld liquidizer, to blend the curry paste. 


Ingredients - For the Paste

  • 12 dried chillies
  • 1.5tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped (don’t use the woody tip)
  • 10 shallots, peeled and chopped in half
  • 1tsp turmeric

For the Curry

  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 120ml cider vinegar
  • 3 heaped tablespoons light brown soft sugar
  • 2tsp light soy sauce
  • 500g chicken thigh meat, roughly diced
  • 2 fat red chillies

Method - The Paste

  1. Place the dried chillies and mustard seed into a mug and pour over the boiling water. Leave to soak for about 15 minutes. 
  2. When the chillies are soaked, place them into a food processor - water and all - with the other paste ingredients, and blitz to a gritty, bright paste. 
  3. To make the curry heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat, and 1 tablespoon in a frying pan over a medium. Into the saucepan scoop the curry paste and allow to sizzle for a good 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it burning. Meanwhile, place the onions and garlic into the frying pan and fry for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Place the cooked onions and garlic into the saucepan with the paste, and pour in the vinegar and mix. Then add the sugar and soy sauce. Bring to the boil then add the chicken chunks (no need to brown). Pierce the chillies with a knife and throw those in too. Add 200ml water and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour, or until thick. 
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