Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kedgeree, a delicious British comfort food, and a homemade chocolate cake with chestnut flour and two layers of chocolate icing. And about a quick weekend trip to Tokyo.



Yesterday at home, living a #Travelife, I was in a domestic state of mind, having just gotten a couple of new gadgets and reoutfitted my kitchen

I don't spend as much time in my kitchen as I would like, but I do like to cook for Sunday lunch or dinner when I am not away on a never-ending #Travelife.

Which isn't very often.

THE LIBERA BOYS' CHOIR
IN NORTH FORBES PARK



Last week, I had dinner at the home of the British Ambassador, who is quite a food enthusiast and who is also very lucky to have a very good chef, and so the meals at his home are always delicious and great examples of the best of traditional British cooking.

One occasion, the good Ambassador even told me that he works with the chef to tweak the food to his liking.

Scroll down to read more about how to make 
a chocolate cake with chestnut flour and olive oil...



THE BEST FISH AND CHIPS IN MANILA

It was on another occasion at his home that I had the best fish and chips ever this side of the world. His chef said that the secret to making this very well is in the kind of beer used.

This beer is not a very easily available beer in Asia, but fortunately I have access to this beer easily in Tokyo or in Europe,

MUSIC & FOOD IN FORBES PARK


Last Monday, the Ambassador had a mini-concert of the Libera boys choir, visiting from London, and he served among other things a really delicious kedgeree, which is a typical British comfort food of Indian influence, tweaked to make it milder for British palates.

It was so delicious I actually had three servings.

And for days, I just couldn't get this kedgeree out of my mind. Unfortunately, unless I'm in the UK, or perhaps at the Chinnery Bar of the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong which serves a lot of good British comfort food, there are not many places that actually serve kedgeree. Or at least a very good kedgeree.

SPICES ROASTED AND GROUND.
AND SMOKED TINAPA AND BANGUS.


So yesterday, I finally decided to make my own kedgeree with a little tweaking on my idea of how to make a good kedgeree.

I roasted and ground spices I'd brought back from recent trips to India and Sri Lanka, such as coriander seeds and turmeric, and substituted smoked haddock for a mixture of smoked tinapa and smoked bangus plus salmon. 

WHY ROASTING SPICES
MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE


The roasting and grinding of your own spices makes all the difference in the world.

The result was delicious enough for everyone to get second or third helping, although it still is a work in progress that I think the overall quality of the rice could still have been improved.

FEELING LIKE MARTHA STEWART.
AND HOW TO MAKE CAKE ICING.


Then, since I was on a roll being Martha Stewart for the day, I actually made a chocolate cake for dessert using chestnut flour to make it healthier.

Then I used caramel fudge with sea salt mixed with all kinds of exotic leftover chocolates from the fridge for icing -- yes, you might call me the frugal domestic goddess -- and the result was a truly delicious cake that's encouraged me to bake more and experiment more.

USING CHESTNUT FLOUR
FOR CHOCOLATE CAKE


Chestnut flour makes the cake firmer, but it certainly is healthier.

Chestnut flour gives the cake a nice solid feeling that you can balance with more liquid and some bits of chocolate thrown in for moistness.

And then I put two layers of icing on the cake, hours apart to enable the first coating to harden: one was a caramel fudge chocolate mixture, and the other was a deep dark chocolate mixture.

OLIVE OIL WITH CHILI
IN MY CHOCOLATE CAKE


Interesting, I used very good organic olive oil from Greece for the cake instead of the vegetable oil used in commercial cakes and I'd picked the wrong bottle from the fridge so that I'd actually placed a tablespoon of olive oil with chili into the mixture.

HOT CHILI OIL
WORKED IN MY CHOCOLATE CAKE


Oh no, I thought.

Well, surprise, surprise. The combination actually worked, giving the chocolate cake a very slight spicy taste that actually went well. Absolutely delicious.

MAKING AN OLIVE OIL CAKE

And now I can't wait to try making my own version of a red velvet chocolate cake and an olive oil cake. I'd once had an olive oil cake in Tuscany which I've never forgotten, so I am going to see what I can do about perfecting this recipe.

In Manila, living a #Travelife, but on the way to Tokyo soon for a quickie weekend trip, literally in and out just for the weekend, just to eat some good food and enjoy the last of winter in the First World, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

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