Chocolate Orange Cake

This has been in the family for years and years. I think our mother found it in one of those booklets that come with a food mixer. I added the idea of putting a sticky syrup on the top. Like our Crunchy Lemon Squares, I think it’s best make in a big tin and cut into individual squares which can then be frozen and eaten when the fancy takes you. If you put it in your lunchbox when it’s still frozen it’ll be just lovely by the time it gets to coffee break.

About the ingredients

Use 70% chocolate, which doesn’t have to be at all expensive. All I need to say is Lidl and Aldi. Don’t even think about using some rubbish 40% chocolate or milk chocolate because it will be just plain cheap and nasty and far too sweet. The walnuts are entirely optional. They give a little more density and, well, nuttiness to the cake but you can easily leave them out.

Makes 16 little square cakes


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Super-Quick Courgette and Pea Soup

This is ridiculously easy but has the lip-smackingly great taste of something much more complicated. It always gets comments of ‘yum how did you make this?!’

I didn’t make it up, it comes from the River Cafe Easy book.  I scrawled it down from a friend’s book, and I can’t remember if I’ve adapted it, but I think not. The quantities below are based on what I’ve end up doing myself, as I do it from memory when I make it, but it’s basically River Cafe’s recipe. 

I use a net bag of value courgettes, and cheap frozen peas. It takes about half an hour from ‘ooo I fancy some soup’ to spooning it into your mouth. What’s not to like?

The trick, as with many of the recipes on this blog, is in the GARNISH. It’s all in the garnish, man, if you leave out the parmesan and basil at the end, it’s still nice, but it’s not….. quite as lush.

Here’s how to make it:


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