The cooking Journal

Posts in 'Recipes'

Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse
This luscious chocolate mousse is very easy to make and an ideal dessert.  If you're not sure about using aquafaba, give it a try and you may surprise yourself.


75g aquafaba (chickpea water)
40g caster sugar
¼ tsp xanthan gum
75g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids (dairy free)
100ml coconut cream
Strawberries to garnish

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Break the chocolate into pieces and put it into a medium bowl over a small saucepan half filled with water. Bring the water to a simmer and leave the chocolate to melt.

  2. Whisk the aquafaba in a bowl with an electric whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually whisk in the sugar a tablespoon at a time and then continue to whisk for up to 10 minutes until glossy and thick.

  3. Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir gently to ensure that it is free of lumps.

  4. Put the coconut cream in a small saucepan and heat gently to boiling point.

  5. Add the xanthan gum to the aquafaba mixture and whisk for a further 3 minutes.

  6. Pour the hot coconut cream over the melted chocolate and mix well. Gently fold the meringue into the chocolate, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  7. To serve put a large scoop of chocolate mousse on the plate and garnish with strawberries.

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White Bean, Coconut & Roast Red Pepper Stew
White Bean, Coconut & Roast Red Pepper stew by Nicki Webster, Rebel Recipes

This warming and delicious recipe from the brilliant Rebel Recipes is both vegan and gluten free.  It works well in the summer too when there is a glut of red peppers and tomatoes.  You can vary the selection of beans too.

2-4 Servings

2 organic red peppers chopped roughly
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
3tbsp olive oil + to drizzle
2 onions chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
4 large organic tomatoes or 20 cherry tomatoes sliced or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
250ml water
1 can organic cannellini beans, drained
1 can organic butter beans, drained
1 can organic haricot beans, drained
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper
1-2 tbsp. coconut yoghurt or coconut cream
handful of fresh thyme
pinch of chilli flakes

Cooking instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 160C. Put the peppers and cherry tomatoes to a large baking tray and drizzle them with olive oil, turning the pieces so they are coated.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft.

  2. Put the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil to a large saucepan and add the onions.  Fry the onions until soft and browning slightly, approximately 10 minutes.  Then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

  3. Now add the tomatoes, stir, turn to low and cover and cook for approx. 5 minutes.

  4. Add in the roast peppers, water, beans and a little fresh thyme.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Finally season with salt, pepper and more fresh thyme.  Stir in the coconut yoghurt and sprinkle with chilli flakes.

  6. Top with the roast tomatoes and serve.

For more information about Rebel Recipes click here

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Blackberry and Chambord Jam from foraged fruits
Foraged Fruits  - by Sarah Leary 

My recent move to a village has unexpectedly turned me into a forager overnight. A grimly determined one at that, no fruit or berry is safe from my plundering paws, anything vaguely edible is in danger of being preserved, pickled or fermented.

Only recently I stumbled upon a huge bounty of juicy blackberries quivering enticingly in the hedgerows very close to my house. There’s something intensely satisfying about picking your own fruits returning home with your haul and immediately turning it into something else, somehow you feel more connected to the ingredients.

Foraging can be a great pastime, getting one out into the fresh air and often learning surprising things about quite unassuming plants. The humble nettle for example can be transformed into a flavoursome soup or even beer and chickweed is similar to spinach and can be used in winter salads or stews.  It is of course vitally important to know what you are picking and to forage responsibly. The UK’s wildlife relies on wild food, so only pick from plentiful populations and bear in mind that the plant needs to propagate itself for future generations.

I plan to continue foraging fruits responsibly and am delighted to share my recipe for foraged blackberry and Chambord jam. Watch this space, there will be more…..

Blackberry and Chambord Jam

Makes 4-59 450g jars- this recipe is easily halved


1kg blackberries

Juice of 1 lemon

1 x 1kg packs jam sugar (with pectin)

3 tbsp Chambord liqueur

Cooking Instructions

  1. Before you begin you will need to sterilise your jars and lids. Heat the oven to 120c/ gas mark ½. Wash the jars and lids thoroughly in hot soapy water and leave to drain. Place on oven trays and dry in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Put a couple of small plates in the freezer.

  2. Put the berries, lemon juice and sugar into a preserving pan. Heat gently to slowly melt the sugar and release the juices from the fruit.

  3. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and using a teaspoon drop a little of the mixture onto one of the chilled plates. Push your finger through the jam, it should wrinkle and have started to set (the wrinkle test). If it doesn’t, boil for 2 minutes more, keep testing and repeating until setting point is achieved. Make sure you remove the pan from the heat each time you test so that the fruit doesn’t overcook.

  4. Stir the Chambord liqueur into the jam and leave to settle for 10-15 minutes, this will help to prevent the fruit from floating to the top of the jars. Carefully skim off any scum that rises to the surface.

  5. Pour or ladle the still hot jam into the sterilised jars, top with a wax disc and seal. The jam will keep for 1 year unopened, but once opened, store in the fridge.

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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.

For more Indian recipes take a look at my book A Cupboard Full of Spices

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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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