“This recipe came from necessity. I needed a dessert for a catering job that was Christmas themed and gluten free, so I adapted my mud-cake recipe to include some Christmas flavours. The result was a super moist cake that works brilliantly as a warm dessert served with ice cream or custard and a hearty cake for your Christmas celebrations. If you don’t need it gluten free then substitute regular flour. For the dessert cake I slightly undercook it so it is still fudge and moist inside. Enjoy”
375g dark chocolate
600ml water (or red wine)
300g almond meal
200g gluten free self raising flour
400g dark sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
150 chopped walnuts or almonds
1kg Christmas mince (Recipe on “Christmas Mince Pies” post)
Place chocolate, butter and water (or red wine) in a saucepan and bring to a medium heat, stirring occasionally until all ingredients are melted and combined. Allow to cool.
Combine in a mixing bowl the almond meal, GF flour, sugar and spices.
Beat the eggs and mix into the cooled chocolate mixture.
Add the Christmas mince to the chocolate mixture and stir through.
Pour the chocolate mixture and the nuts into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour into a large flat lined dish or several smaller ones. I use one that is 35cm by 24cm. If you try to use a traditional cake pan it will take ages to cook and burn around the edges. You want the cake to be about 4cm tall (It won’t rise much at all)
Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 45 minutes or until just set. As long as there’s no movement in the cake when you move it and a skewer comes out relatively clean it should be fine.
Allow to cool in the pan in the fridge before turning out and cutting.
“Who doesn’t like chocolate brownies? Well, from the speed these flew off the plate, I’d say no-one! I’ve made so many different versions of the humble brownie: date, white chocolate, GF with almonds, the list goes on. This was one of those fortuotous moments when I had a container of diced dried figs sitting on the bench from a previous recipe and only a short amount of time to cook something. So my brownies got a healthy dose of figs at the last minute. I love the extra texture and flavour they impart. I’ve also found that grinding my own almond and hazelnut meal gives me more control over the texture. I like to process the nuts with the skins on and mill to a slightly bigger grain than the store bought versions. Finally, the trick in getting a really good brownie is having the courage to take them out of the oven before they feel totally cooked. You just have to trust your own judgement and get used to your oven. But even if they’re slightly underdone they’ll still taste amazing. Enjoy!”
(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)
300g dark chocolate
1/4 tsp flaked salt
150g dark sugar
150g white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
175g Self raising flour
130g almond or hazelnut meal
25g cocoa powder
150g chopped dried figs
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
In a medium saucepan on medium heat melt the chocolate and butter, stirring regularly. Once melted stir through the salt. Leave to cool slightly.
Mix together the sugars with the eggs and vanilla until combined.
Add the flour, almond/hazelnut meal and cocoa and mix until combined.
Pour in the chocolate mixture and figs and stir to combine.
Spray a 20cm square baking dish with baking spray and line with baking paper.
Transfer the brownie mixture to the pan and bake for 40-50 or until the brownie stops wobbling in the pan and a seeker comes out with a few crumbs on it.
Allow to cool to room temperature or eat warm with ice-cream. Brownies also freeze really well, so make another batch to keep for later!
“I love a recipe that is born from necessity. In this case it was from trying to make room in my freezer for some kick-ass chilli con carne I’d made. So it was time to use the numerous over-ripe bananas that I’d frozen so I wouldn’t have to throw them out. The first loaf I made was delicious but lacked a certain something. Chocolate of course! After a few more attempts I settled on this combination. I can highly recommend taking it straight out of the oven, slathering it in butter and devouring a couple of pieces before anyone else finds out. Enjoy!”
2 cups self raising flour
1 tsp bicarb
1 tbsp mixed spice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 over-ripe bananas
1 cup milk
100g dark chocolate chips
50g dried figs
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C
Mix the flour, bicarb, mixed spice, sugar and cocoa together
Process the bananas with the milk and eggs
Add to the dry ingredients.
Cut up the dates and figs and stir into the mixture along with the chocolate chips.
Grease and line a loaf tin and fill with the mixture
Bake for 50 – 65 minutes until the loaf is cooked in the middle. (The chocolate makes this cake very moist so when a knife is inserted it will still come out with some moisture on it. It’s trial and error I’m afraid.)
Eat hot with lashings of butter then go straight to the gym!
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!