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Posts in 'Recipes'

Apple Chundo
Apple Chundo

This is a popular lip smacking accompaniment to theplas, (a traditional Gujarati fenugreek flat breads made of whole wheat flour and chickpea flour combination mixed with spices and fenugreek leaves)

Traditionally apple or mango chundo,  also known as chatni in Hindi, was made by keeping the combination of grated raw mangoes or apples and jaggery in a large covered glass jar in the sun for several days. The heat of the sun would dissolve the sugar and slowly the grated fruit acquired a delicious translucent colour.

The recipe below is for the chundo prepared using jaggery instead of sugar.



500g grated raw apples

200g jaggery – crumbled or grated

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 inch piece of raw fresh ginger

1 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp ground roasted cumin powder

1 tsp chilli powder


Cooking Instructions:


  1. Mix the grated apples, ginger, salt and turmeric powder and set aside for 15 minutes so that the salt and turmeric permeates into the apples.
    Now add the grated jaggery little by little combining all the ingredients together.

  2. Then heat a pan and slowly sauté the mixture till all the jaggery is completely dissolved and the chundo thickens.

  3. Add the cumin at this point and stir in well.

  4. When the bubbles appear and the grated apple begin to glisten with the jaggery syrup and thickens, remove from the heat.

  5. Allow the mixture to cool before spooning into clean sterilised jars.



Cooks Tip 1: Use sweet or raw mangos instead of apples or use both in the same recipe.
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Banoffee Cake
This recipe is a perfect way of using up the couple of black bananas lurking sullenly in the fruit bowl. Our banana cake is topped with caramel buttercream icing and finished with salted caramel fudge pieces and our latest discovery - salted caramel Matchmakers!


For the cake

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
200g light brown soft sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 ripe bananas, broken into chunks
200g self raising flour

For the topping

150g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp Carnation Caramel
150g salted caramel fudge pieces
Handful of salted caramel Matchmakers


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/ fan 160c/ gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20.5cm (8in) deep, loose bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy, this should take about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs one by one ensuring that they are fully incorporated before the next addition, then whisk in the bananas until the mixture is smooth. The mixture may look a little curdled, but this is normal so don’t worry.

  2. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the flour. Spoon into the tin and bake in the middle of the even for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

  3. Meanwhile, make the icing. In a large bowl beat the butter, icing sugar and Carnation Caramel together until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

  4. When the cake is cooked through remove it from the oven, put it onto a wire rack and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the tin.

  5. When the cake has completely cooled spread the icing over the top and scatter over the fudge pieces and Matchmakers.

  6. Enjoy!

This recipe previously appeared in Good Housekeeping March 2011 and I have developed my own version subsequently to take this cake to another level.

#thecookingacademy #banoffeecake #baking #GoodHousekeeping
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The Ultimate Sausage Rolls
Since we have been enjoying an almost uninterrupted stretch of glorious weather our minds have turned to al fresco eating and in particular, one of the great joys of summer, the humble picnic.  In our opinion the mighty sausage roll is the perfect picnic fare and as such we really couldn’t keep our recipe for the ultimate sausage rolls to ourselves. Needless to say it’s super easy to make and ridiculously tasty.


1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tbsp olive oil
450g pork mince (at least 20% fat)
4 rashers streaky bacon, finely chopped
60g chorizo, finely diced
1 tsp fennel seeds
8-10 sage leaves finely chopped
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 heaped tsp flaked sea salt
Grated zest of a lemon
50g panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
1½ sheets ready rolled puff pastry (cut in half)
Extra egg for egg wash
Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Saute the onion, celery and garlic over a medium heat until soft and translucent but not browned. Set aside to cool.

  2. Chop the bacon very finely, so it is a similar grain to the mince, chop the chorizo into small dice

  3. Combine the onion mixture, mince, bacon, chorizo, fennel seeds, sage, salt, black pepper and lemon zest, and use your hands to mix the ingredients well.

  4. Mix in the panko bread crumbs, then mix in the whole egg.

  5. Lay out a rectangle of pastry, with the long edge closest to you. Take ⅓ of the filling and shape it into a long log shape down the middle of the pastry. Ensure that the meat is tight and compact, without gaps.

  6. Roll up the log in the pastry and use some egg wash to seal the edges of the pastry.

  7. Brush with the egg wash then cut the log into four equal lengths

  8. Repeat with the remainder of the pastry and mixture and then sprinkle the sausage rolls with sesame seeds.

  9. Heat the oven to 200c/ gas mark 6.

  10. Place the sausage rolls on a baking tray on parchment paper and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

  11. Leave to cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature

#thecookingacademy #sausagerolls #summer #savoury

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Double chocolate brownies
These delicious brownies are very easy and quick to make for a treat.  Use good chocolate with 70% cocoa solids to get a really good chocolately taste.  They should be fudgy and slightly gooey in texture so keep an eye on the timer!


250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
3 free range eggs
125g plain flour
50g cocoa powder


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/gas 3. Line a rectangular baking tin with baking parchment.  Make a bain marie, by putting a few centimetres of water in a saucepan and use a mixing bowl that fits well on the top of the pan, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the bowl.  Bring the water to a simmer.

  2. Break up the chocolate and melt it with the butter in the bain marie. Stirring occasionally to ensure it is melting evenly and becoming a glossy mixture.

  3. In medium sized bowl whisk the sugar and eggs together until it is smooth and creamy. You can either use a balloon whisk or an electric hand whisk.

  4. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggy mixture, using a spatula to get every last bit out of the bowl! Mix together well with the spatula.

  5. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder into the eggy chocolate mixture, and stir well until it is incorporated and there are no flecks of flour visible.

  6. Pour into the prepared baking tin, smoothing the mixture so it fills the tin.

  7. Bake in the oven, on the middle shelf, for 20 minutes. A skewer or knife should come out a bit smeared with mixture.

  8. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into squares and enjoy.


Cook’s Tip 1: When melting chocolate, don’t over heat it or stir too often as it will “seize” and split.

Cook’s Tip 2: The brownies are delicious served warm with ice cream. They will keep in a tin for a few days...if they last that long.

#thecookingacademy #chocolatebrownies #darkchocolate #fairtradechocolate
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Caponata is a typical Sicilian dish, where a simple local ingredient,  in this case the aubergine, is taken as the basis of the dish, and is then embellished and enriched until the end result is an opulent and almost baroque achievement.


1 Aubergine (about 300g), cut into 2cm dice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel seeds
120g ripe tomatoes, diced ½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
3 tbsp (50g) green olives, stoned and quartered (1tbsp finely chopped)
1 tbsp honey 150ml passata or tinned chopped tomatoes
30ml (2tbsp) red wine vinegar
1 tbsp grated dark chocolate
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 stalk of mint - leaves only – torn

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the aubergine chunks and gently fry until golden brown and tender (don't over crowd the pan; you may have to cook them in batches).

  2. Next add the onion, celery and salt, cook gently for 10 minutes or until the celery has softened and beginning to colour.

  3. Now add the diced tomatoes, chilli, fennel and cumin seeds and fry for another couple of minutes.

  4. Stir in the, olives, honey, passata, vinegar and chocolate and bring to the boil. Check the seasoning; adjust according to your palate.  Turn the heat right down, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes checking towards the end of cooking and taking the pan off the heat if it seems to be drying out.

  5. Take off the heat, add the toasted pine nuts and garnish with a few mints torn mint leaves at the point of serving.

Cooks Tip 1: This dish can be served hot or cooled at room temperature the roughly torn mint, just before serving. Serve with Crostini, Cous Cous, Pilaf rice or on toast.



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