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    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    Mothers Day Treats

    Yesterday was Mothers Day and of course in our family lunch was to be held.
    Our son and daughter-in-law hosted us all…no restaurants for this family, everyone
    always wants to cook…in fact I couldn’t help myself and made the Chocolate Cake below.
    I saw the Divine Delia make it on Food TV and thought it sounded superb…and it was.

    The first course was a Grilled feta cheese with olives…
    what a fabulous texture the cheese develops it is like a custard.
    Just serve with some pita bread or crisps.

    Then we had yummy chili with rice and then the cake.

    Our 8 year granddaughter off her own bat wrote the menu on her blackboard.
    Even the children like to get in the act.

    So first the Grilled Feta Cheese.

    1 onion sliced
    1 red pepper seeded and finely sliced
    Big pinch of dried oregano
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
    Extra virgin Olive oil

    1 block of feta cheese
    2 tbs runny honey
    Handful black olives

    Sauté the onions and red pepper in some olive oil in a medium hot pan till soft…sprinkle with oregano and salt & pepper
    Meanwhile heat the oven to 180◦
    Into a heatproof dish place the feta cheese, surround with the onions and pepper,and the olives…Drizzle the honey and then a little extra olive oil
    and bake for about 10 minutes.

    Serve with some pita bread or pita crisps…excellent first course or even just to have with drinks.

    Now the Prune Chocolate Cake.

    This is really easy. Now I think I have mentioned I am not really much of a baker but I have been having some success lately and I am inspired to try all sorts of cakes.
    I will post a couple more that I made this week for a staff member’s birthday and another just because I wanted to try it out.
    But that’s later.

    Take 1 packet of prunes
    ½ cup cognac or brandy

    Soak the prunes in the cognac at least 24 hours before making the cake.

    Then you will need

    6 eggs separated at room temperature
    140 gms golden castor sugar if you can’t get golden use the usual.
    56 gms good cocoa powder well sifted

    Big bar 70% cocoa solids chocolate…you can get this at any supermarket now
    1 packet Crème Fraiche

    Grease and flour 2 round sponge pans 20- 23 cms size

    First beat egg whites till soft peaks,
    Then beat egg yolks with sugar till you get a ribbon trail.
    Sift the cocoa into the beaten yolk mixture and mix in well.

    Add one spoon of egg white stir…then carefully fold in the remainder of the egg whites till blended. Don’t forget you are trying to keep all that air in the mix.

    Divide between the 2 pans and cook in 190◦ oven for 15 minutes.
    Cool in tin and then turn out onto rack.

    While the cake is cooking carefully melt chocolate over simmering water.

    Remove 12 prunes from marinade and dip each one in the chocolate and reserve.
    Into the blender add the rest of the prunes and ¾ of the packet of Crème fraiche.
    Whiz up and spread over 1 of cakes.
    Put the other cake on top.
    Add the remainder of the crème fraiche into the chocolate...mix well.

    Use this to ice the top of the cake and decorate with the chocolate covered prunes.
    Just like a clock face.

    So rich and delicious…but really simple. Doesn't it look great?
    A little whipped cream on the side to cut down the richness completes this decadence.