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21 June 2012
This week's dish is a family favourite and as a winemaker
Elske Sanne had fun brewing a midwinter mulled wine to warm
from the inside out.
Brandied prune and chocolate cake
½ cup water
2 tablespoons brandy
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup castor sugar
150g quality dark chocolate, fnely chopped
1 cup self-raising four
150g quality dark chocolate
½ cup cream
Line a 20cm cake tin and preheat oven to 180ºC. Simmer the
prunes, water, brandy and orange zest in a saucepan for 30 minutes
on a low heat, then cool.
Cream butter and sugar, then add the eggs and fold in the prune
mixture, chopped chocolate and four. Bake for about 45 minutes or
until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
For the ganache, melt 150g chocolate and cream together for two
minutes in the microwave, gently whisk and cool before spreading
over the cooled cake. Delicious with whipped cream and a coffee.
Mulled wine is wine, usually red wine, mixed with spices and
served hot or warm. It is a traditional drink during winter and as
this is the mid winter edition, we felt it a ftting match to Elske-
Sanne's delicious cake. We borrowed Jamie Oliver's recipe for the
2 clementines or mandarins
Peel of 1 lemon
Peel of 1 lime
250g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg
1 whole vanilla pod, halved
2 star anise
2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine
This is dead easy to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass. It's
a lovely celebration of traditional festive spices like cloves, cinna-
mon and nutmeg. If you've got your own favourite spices, then feel
free to add those to the pot too.
Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the favours have
time to mingle with the wine. Peel large sections of peel from the
clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler.
Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the piec-
es of peel and squeeze in the juice from the clementines. Add the
cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of
nutmeg. Throw in the halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red
wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until
the sugar has completely dissolved into the red
wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a roll-
ing boil for 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a
beautiful thick syrup.
It’s important to do make a syrup base frst
because it needs to be quite hot and if you do
this with both bottles of wine in there you'll
burn off the alcohol.
When the syrup is ready, turn the heat down to
low and add star anise and both bottles of wine.
Gently heat the wine and after around fve
minutes, when it's warm and delicious, ladle it
into glasses and serve.
Earliest cooking memory: In the south of Italy
on a family holiday where the neighbour was
a larger than life woman with
a continuous stream of people
through her house and a humun-
gus pot of pasta sauce always
bubbling away on the stove. She
also had square pizzas with fow-
ers on them (zucchini fowers I
Favourite food memory: I was
about three or four when I was
told by my parents that if I didn't
eat my dinner they'd let my older
brother have it -- needless to say
it went down the hatch very fast.
I wasn't really into sharing as a
I wouldn't be without: My
coffee machine! Once you go
espresso there's no going back.
Favourite ingredient: Proper mayonnaise, I'm Dutch
after all. And tomatoes, I use them in everything.
Best local ingredient: Besides the obvious – coffee –
fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden.
Elske-Sanne, and daughters Saskia and Riley
Left -- Mulled wine is dead easy to make and
tastes like Christmas in a glass.
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Most infuenced by: The Edmond's Cookbook -- always reliable
and a great base for anything, especially old treasures (I've just
discovered the delight of bread and butter pudding). Also, Stephanie
Alexander's Cook's Companion, which has an answer or idea for
anything and everything
I love to eat at: Anywhere that is child friendly, especially with
friends or family. It's always great to share good food and wine in a
relaxed environment where you don't have to get up to chase small
children every 30 seconds.
Favourite fast food: Poached eggs on toast is breakfast or lunch in
minutes. For a quick dinner Nasi goreng is great (Indonesian fried
rice), you can throw in any vegetables, meat or egg. I always keep
some frozen cooked rice in the freezer for this.
Best ever foodie tip: Always use the best, freshest ingredients
you can afford to get your hands on. It's better to have a small
amount of something superb than a large amount of something
average that doesn't do justice to what you're making. Lastly, keep
it simple; don't over complicate cooking. There's enough in life
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