Monday, 25 March 2013

Simple Brownies

These devilishly delicious brownies are so easy to make. Remove the chips if you want it strictly paleo as some chocolate chips use soy lecithin --- read the label. You may also add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper if you are of the adventurous kind. ;)

1 cup almond flour
½ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt (remove if using salted butter)
Handful of dark chocolate chips (optional)

½ cup of melted coconut oil/ghee/butter or combination of any
½ cup of runny honey
3 whole eggs
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod (1 tsp extract is ok too)

1. Combine the dry ingredients (except for the chips) and set aside.
2. Beat the eggs, then add all the other liquids and whisk until the honey is dissolved.
3. Mix the liquid and dry ingredients.  This will be a bit runny.  Throw in some dark choc chips if you fancy.
4. Transfer into a greased 8x8 spring-form.
5. Bake at 175C (fan) for 20 minutes.  On the 20th minute, check by inserting a toothpick/fork into the brownie. If it comes out clean, it should be ok. If not, bake for a further 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Thoroughly cool before cutting. My cake rose at the centre while cooking but actually flattened out once it cooled. 

*Warning: may cause addiction.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Pork Scratchings / Pork Popcorn

Pork (and fat in general) has had a bad reputation. Saturated fat, cholesterol, blah blah blah --- the demonisation of this delicious meat has gone on forever and this has got to change.

O well, a few stuff I’ve read indicate that dietary fat does not directly affect the levels in your blood.   I’m not going to bore you with science bits but what I am trying to say is that pork is delish and not as bad as what it’s been purported to be.

This pork popcorn recipe was lifted from a Gordon Ramsay recipe.  The skin is cooked in two stages and is fool-proof.  You can use long strips of skin or, like me, some irregular diamond cuts as Waitrose already sells their pork scored!

What you only need is pork skin and salt.  If this is not available, take a slab of belly, slice the skin off, maybe around half a centimetre thick. You can use the remaining belly for other recipe.

Stage 1:

  • Generously salt both sides of the skin and wrap in paper towel and keep in the fridge for a day or two. The more dehydrated the skin becomes, the better.

  • When ready, slice the belly however you want it.

  • Heat a pan of oil over medium fire. Ramsay suggests 120C. I just waited about 5 minutes ;)

  • Cook the skin in the oil in batches for 8-10 minutes. Do no overcrowd.  If the temperature is fine, the skin should not blister.

Take out and drain.

Stage 2:

  • Turn the fire to high (or 190C).

  • Fry the pieces again for 2 to 3 minutes. This time they will blister.

Take out and drain.

Season and enjoy!

Word of caution: Hot oil is really HOT! Careful not to burn yourself.