Finish dinner in STYLE
Award winning food writer Matt Preston whisks us around the world with his new book Yummy Easy Quick, Around the World.
We experience the delights of the world’s greatest cuisines as we visit places like Japan, China, France. Italy, the Middle East and more.
Preston ensures the recipes are quick and easy to make for the home cook — no time-consuming techniques that will have you spending far too long in the kitchen.
But he admits the book is not authentic and definitely not authoritative, in fact he says it should be called ‘Faking It’.
“You’ll soon realise that by combining certain key ingredients a dish quickly starts to take on the unique feel of one or another corner of the world,” says Preston.
This book will help you knock up a tasty and thoroughly convincing pad thai or a samosa pie in less time that it takes to find the local takeaway menu or scroll through your choice of takeaway app.
Following is one of his recipes:
EMMA’S HOT CHOCOLATE TORTE with SOUR CREAM
Emma Warren is my right-hand woman when we do dinners overseas.
As the other half of the Two Warrens, she runs a very tight ship and uses skills that are part steel and part Machiavelli to get disgruntled chefs to surprise themselves with how good they can be. She also writes a mean recipe and, as she’s spent much more time in Mexico than me, it seemed wise to ask her to help with this section.
Emma is also one of those rare chefs who is strong with both sweet and savoury flavours; and, even rarer, she loves to cook at home. This torte is a constantly evolving work in progress, but one that is pretty close to its pinnacle of ease and deliciousness.
Make it once, and I am sure it will become a go-to when you’re under the pump and need a crowd-pleaser to finish a dinner in style.
■ 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids, or go even higher if you want), finely chopped
■ 200g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
■ 4 eggs
■ 80ml (1⁄3 cup) of your favourite coffee liqueur, plus extra to serve (optional)
■ 100g (1⁄2 cup) raw caster sugar
■ 30g (1⁄4 cup) almond meal
■ 1 Tbsp plain flour
■ 2 tsp dried chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
■ 1⁄2 tsp ground cayenne
■ 125g (1⁄2 cup) sour cream
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fanforced. Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and stir regularly until melted and combined. (Alternatively, place in a microwavesafe bowl and melt in the microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds.) Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Add one egg at a time and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the coffee liqueur, then fold through the sugar, almond meal, flour, chilli and cayenne until well combined.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then release the torte from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cut the torte into slices and drizzle with the remaining liqueur. Top each slice with a big dollop of sour cream. If you like, make a well in the centre of the cream and pour in some extra liqueur. Sprinkle with extra chilli flakes and serve.
If you want to be really organised, bake the torte a day ahead. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Bring it to room temperature to serve.
Award winning food writer Matt Preston.
Yummy, Easy, Quick around the World by Matt Preston, Macmillan, $39.99