Chocolate, Espresso & Raspberry Cake

Cravings in Amsterdam cake

Port is one of those things that I always have in my pantry. I love to cook with it because I love the wonderful richness it adds to a dish. But this time I did something different. I’ve partnered with Offley to create a recipe that you can pair with their Ruby port. ‘

Their Ruby is a young port with red fruit tones. I paired it with a rich chocolate dessert to balance out the sweetness of the port. This cake has a layer of fresh raspberries at the bottom, followed by a rich espresso brownie layer and it is finished with a dark chocolate ganache with a hint of espresso.

I invited Eliane from Instagram blogger to come taste my dessert. We had a lovely afternoon enjoying this dessert with the port.

Cravings in Amsterdam cake 2

For all the Dutchies, Offley is organizing a cooking workshop where you can make dishes to pair with their port. And you can win tickets to attend the event with a +1. The workshop takes place on Saturday 24th September at the Smulweb Kookcollege in Amersfoort. If you get a bottle of their port, you will get a code with it to participate. But I have a code especially for you guys! You can participate by filling in this code: OVABLG01C in the Offley website.

This dessert is best eaten cold, so keep it in the fridge.

This recipe is for a 21cm round cake mold with a detachable bottom.

Ingredients:

For the brownie:

140grs of fresh raspberries, broken into pieces

120gr of dark chocolate, chopped (I used 63% cacao, but you can use a higher percentage. Especially if you want to pair it with port)

57grs of butter

125grs sugar (1/2 a cup)

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

½ a teaspoon of vanilla essence

50grs of self-rising flour (1/3 cup)

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 shot of espresso, cooled

For the ganache top:

200grs of dark chocolate, chopped

250ml of whipping cream

1 full teaspoon of instant espresso powder

20grs of butter

1 tablespoon of sugar

Extra:

A handful of red currants for decoration

 

Start by preheating your oven to 180C/350F. Line the bottom and sides of your cake mold with parchment paper.

First make the brownie layer. Place the chopped chocolate with the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it in 30 seconds intervals, stirring in between until it has completely melted. Set it aside to cool down a bit. If it is too hot, it will curdle the eggs.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs with the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Then slowly whisk in the melted chocolate. Then add the shot of espresso, flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until everything is well combined.

Spread the broken raspberries over the bottom of your prepared baking mold. Carefully pour over the brownie batter. Tap it gently a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake it for 20 minutes.

When the brownie has cooled down to room temperature, start to make the ganache.

Place the cream, sugar and espresso powder in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk it until the sugar and espresso have completely dissolved into the cream, and the cream has come to a simmer. Then add the chopped chocolate and butter. Lower the heat to low and stir until everything has melted.

Then pass it through a fine mesh sieve to make sure that there are no lumps.

Carefully pour the ganache over the brownie. Let it set in the fridge overnight.

The next day, carefully remove the cake from the mold and carefully remove the parchment paper. To make a clean cut, use a sharp knife and rinse it under hot water before slicing the cake. Serve it with some fresh red currants.

Enjoy it with a glass of Offley Ruby port!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Frisée, Gorgonzola & Bacon Salad with Cherry and Port Dressing

frisee salad cherry

This past weekend, I saw cherries for the first time at the market and of course I had to get some. Besides snacking on them, I saved some for this salad. For the dressing, I used frozen cherries just because they already come pitted but you can also use fresh ones. I love the combination of the slightly sweet dressing with the bitterness of the frisée, the salty bacon and creamy gorgonzola.

This recipe serves 2.

For the dressing:

1 cup of frozen cherries, pitted

1 shot of port

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt to taste

For the salad:

5 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled

½ a head of frisée, torn into bite sized pieces

80grs of gorgonzola, crumbled into small pieces

1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and sliced

 

Start by making the dressing. Place the cherries in the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes to thaw. Then blend them and pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the cherry juice into a medium saucepan. Add the port, balsamic, olive oil, honey and garlic powder. Cook for about 4 minutes over medium heat, until it thickens a bit and the alcohol evaporates. Add salt to taste. Then pour it into a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To assemble the salad, just divide the frisée among two bowls. Add the gorgonzola, cherries and bacon. Serve with the dressing on the side. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Eggplant Bolognese (Vegetarian)

IMG_6678

A vegetarian version of this traditional meaty dish. It still packs a lot of flavor because the garlic and eggplants are roasted in the oven. And besides the red wine, I also added a bit of port. If you want to save time, you can also roast the garlic and eggplant the day before.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

1 head of garlic

2 eggplants (medium sized) cut into small cubes

1 red onion, chopped

3 tablespoons of olive oil

500gr of tomato pure

1 shot of port

1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup of red wine

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of dried basil

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of sugar

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Extras:

350grs of dried pasta, I used Armoniche pasta

Grated Grana Padano for serving

Fresh basil for decoration

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.

Trim the top off the head of the garlic to expose the top of the garlic cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and wrap it in foil.

Place the chopped eggplants in the prepared tray with the garlic. Drizzle some olive oil over the eggplant and add some salt. Roast for 1 hour. Stir the eggplant half way.

Once the garlic is roasted, press it to push out the garlic cloves. Chop them.

Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the roasted garlic, eggplants, port and red wine.  Let it cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Then add the tomato puree, stock, oregano, basil, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to mix it and let it cook for about 20 minutes until it becomes a sauce. Taste for salt and pepper, and remove the bay leaves.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package. Then place the drained pasta in the pan with the sauce and mix it until well combined.

Serve with some grated Grana Padano and fresh basil leaves.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.