Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Food, Glorious Food, a book review.

I recently received a cook book to review. Not any old cookbook, but a cookbook that has the same name as my Blog and Facebook page, and is based on a TV series on ITV3. Of course, the book is Food, Glorious Food and many thanks to Fiona from Octuopus Publishing for my review copy. I have watched a few episodes of the show, and to be honest, I don't think the show truly shows the diversity and imaginative recipes as the book does.  The book features dishes originating from every continent, and am quite impressed with the number of South African inspired recipes, such as Bobotie and Turmeric Rice and South African Chicken curry as it is a cuisine I an unfamiliar with, so this has given me the opportunity to try some new dishes.

I presumed the cook book would be split into chapters covering starters, mains and puddings, however the book is split into regional areas;
* South - West
* South - East
* North - East
* North - West
* London
* The Midlands

I can only imagine that the recipes were split according to the regions, as that is the style of the show. The recipes are very, very diverse and imaginative, and nothing that you will see in many other cookbooks. As each recipe is given by a contestant, all the dishes are easy to replicate in home kitchens. I also like how every recipe is accompanied by a picture of the cooked/ baked dish, and it also features a note by each contestant, which gives the reader an insight to the background of the recipe.
 So far I've made double chocolate brownies with chocolate ganache, aloo keema and South African Bobotie with turmeric rice.
Other recipes that have caught my eye are: Somerset chicken, Coconut curried whiting and shrimp gratin, meat and potato pie, fiery ginger cake and carrot cake. My only criticism to this book (which is more to do with personal preference) would be the two recipes which contains game, game pie and damson jelly and game lasagna. I am unsure as to whether these two dishes would go sell particularly  well as not everyone likes game. I strongly recommend this cook book for anyone who fancies trying a variety of new, unique and delicious recipes (that will be everyone then) as I have tried and enjoyed a few recipes that I would never usually try.
The recipe I will share with you is my first creation, chocolate brownies with chocolate ganache. This recipe is from Samantha Egan who described these brownies as the perfect combination of baking and chocolate. Now, I've made brownies on several occasions, but this recipe is unique to me as I usually do not top my brownies with anything, but this recipe uses chocolate ganache to top the brownies, which makes them super chocolatey. I will share further recipes from this book, but thought I'd get this one out the way first.
Here is how my triple chocolate ganache brownies turned out:
Triple chocolate ganache brownies.
I have also made Mishbah's Aloo Keema, which turned out to be superliciously spicy and tasty.
Aloo Keema
I also made Jane White's South African Bobotie with turmeric rice which was delicious and a new way of using mince for my evening meal.

Triple chocolate ganache brownies.
I first started by melting dark chocolate with butter and left to cool.
Dark chocolate and butter.
Dark chocolate and butter melted.
In a separate bowl, I beat the eggs with vanilla essence.
Eggs and milk

I then added the eggs and vanilla essence to the chocolate mixture.
Eggs and milk added to the chocolate mixture
I sifted the flour and coco and folded into the mixture. I then placed the mixture in a square tin and placed pieces of white chocolate in the mixture, around 10 pieces.
Brownies pre bake

I left to bake in the oven for 20 minutes, and once baked, left to cool.
Brownies baked

Once baked, I began to make the chocolate ganache, I tend to use chocolate and butter to make my ganache, instead of the more common cream and chocolate method, suggested in the book. I melted milk and dark chocolate in a bowl on top of simmering water.
Chocolate and butter for ganache

Once melted, I left to cool and thicken before spreading on top of the brownies.
Ganache on top of brownies

I placed the brownies topped with the chocoalate ganache in the fridge to set which took around 3 hours.
Chocolate Ganache set on brownies.
I then cut into square pieces and thoroughly enjoyed.

Ingredients - serves 9
135g dark chocolate
125g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
200g caste sugar
2 large eggs
1 vanilla pod, split open length ways (I used 1 tbsp vanilla essence)
80g plain flour
1 heaped tsp coco powder
25g white chocolate chunks (I used 9 pieces of white chocolate)
25g milk chocolate chunks
25g dark chocolate chunks

For the ganache
150g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
150 ml double cream
25 butter

(I used 100g dark chocolate, 50g milk chocolate and 125g butter)

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Butter a 20cm (8 inch) square baking tin and line it with baking parchment.
Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Give it a good mix to ensure all the chocolate has melted, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Leave for 5 minutes to cool a little.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla seed/essence. Add this mixture to the chocolate a bit at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and coco and fold together. Finally, stir in the chocolate chunks, distributing them as evenly as possible.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn on to a wire rack to cool.

To make the ganache, put the chocolate and cream (or use butter instead like I did) in a heated bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, give it a good mix then remove from the heat and add the butter mixing until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Spread the ganache over the brownies sponge, then place in the fridge to set for at least a couple of hours.

I received a copy of Food, Glorious Food for review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

1 comment

  1. As soon as I saw that show, I thought of you! Those brownies look so good!


© Charlene Flash | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig