Today is rather humid so I think we are going to see a thunderstorm or two. I may venture into the kitchen later but for now I need to catch up on my blog and website and get a few jobs out of the way before the weekend arrives.
My books are on offer next week from the 10th of July and will be reduced to 99p for the week. So why not treat yourself and grab an e-book copy while you can. If you have kindle unlimited you can get a copy for nothing from the lending library.
I am planning on baking something for the children as a treat this weekend but as of yet I haven’t decided what. Something along the lines of a chocolate brownie cake might be good. I would love to add peanut butter to the recipe but then only my husband and myself would eat the cake and at the moment I am trying to be really good and not eat too much sweet foods.
Today, I am adding another ingredient to my ingredient page on my blog as I am still trying to add the ingredients which I had on my website before I add new ones. Cocoa is the ingredient of the day.
Cocoa comes from the cocoa beans which are grown on the cacao tree. The cocoa is extracted in liquid form and dried to form the fine powder.
Drinking cocoa is made from Dutch powder which is the unsweetened cocoa powder treated with an alkali to neutralise the acidity of the natural unsweetened cocoa which is generally used in baking. This unsweetened form of cocoa is okay to use in baking as normally sugar is used in baking to mask the bitterness of the cocoa. I have found that the cocoa which is commonly available from the supermarkets can vary greatly in the colour and this can affect the amount which is added in the recipe. This is more so important when selling at the market where the cakes every week had to be of the same standard quality.
Cocoa can be substituted with chocolate if you happen to run out of cocoa. If you have ever tasted cocoa powder straight from the container it does leave a bitter after taste. I feel the cost of the cocoa powder makes no difference to the quality of the cocoa powder and it certainly doesn’t make a better cake if you use a more expensive cocoa.
Cocoa does have some health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease. Cocoa has a high level of the antioxidants and flavonoids which are important in the reduction of cardiovascular disease. Cocoa rich foods appear to reduce blood pressure. This is the reason why it is encouraged to eat dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids to help to combat heart disease.
Cocoa is mainly used in chocolate cake making. It can be added to cookie recipes and even pastry to add a different flavour to the recipe, for example a chocolate flavoured pastry with a lemon filling covered in meringue. A different version of lemon meringue pie and one that I have tried and the end result was delicious.
I still have my Strawberry Cheesecake recipe with photos for the different stages of making it to add to the other recipe site which I have joined recently so I am going to spend some time working on that this afternoon. I am going to change my recipe of the week today to the Strawberry Cheesecake recipe which I made the other day. This cheesecake was a great hit on the different social media sites and recipe sites I have shared it on.
Other food related things on my mind today are what to add to quinoa to make Vegetarian Burgers for a barbeque that we have been invited to. I am thinking along the lines of mushrooms, onion, ketchup and sweet potato. The sweet potato will help to combine the ingredients and thicken the mixture up to make it easier to shape into burgers before cooking. I will share the final recipe and photos when I make these burgers.
To accompany the burgers, I have thought of an idea for using the radishes up which are in my fridge. I am going to mix them into a Potato & Radish Salad made with creme fraîche and mustard. I think the mustard brings out the flavour of the radishes and is a welcome change to slicing them up on my salad. When I make this dish I will share some photos.
Later tonight, before I head off to bed, I am going to make some bread dough which I will leave overnight to prove. We will use this dough tomorrow, to make some Bread Rolls for dinner to serve with bacon and fried eggs. A really healthy dinner – not. Just something quick and easy for the family to enjoy as tomorrow is going to be rather hectic.
I have an awful lot still to get through and by the looks of things a lot of photos to take and recipes to record. It looks like the weekend is going to be busier than I thought. See you on the other side. 🙂