Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Yotam Ottolenghi has a new book! I don't own it (yet) but my friend Joanna does and I recently spent a pleasurable couple of hours at her place pawing through its pages. As you might imagine, there is so much great stuff in there - Joanna made me the Chicken Marbella, which was amazing - and it's all geared towards simplicity. This cake eschews ovens entirely and constructs a spectacular sweet from the bits and bobs we have in our store cupboards: a partial packet of plain biscuits leftover from making a cheesecake base ages ago, and assorted dried fruit and nuts (whatever you have lying around) are mixed together with some melted chocolate, butter and golden syrup, spread in a tray, stuck in the fridge and that's it. The hardest part is having to wait the couple of hours til it's set to tuck in.
Adapted from Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi
You really could use any sort of chocolate/dried fruit/nut combination you like here. I knew I'd be serving this to sultana-averse friends, so opted instead for dried cranberries plumped in the juice of some mandarins past their prime I had languishing at the bottom of my fridge. The pistachios are hard to pass up as they're so pretty but honestly, anything goes here.
100g orange-flavoured (or mint, salted caramel, whatever you like) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
120g unsalted butter, cubed
100g golden syrup
1/8 tsp salt
100g sultanas or raisins, soaked in 2 tbsp rum for 30 minutes
170g digestive biscuits, roughly broken into 2cm pieces
100g pistachios, chopped
Line a 28 x 18cm baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Put both chocolates, butter, golden syrup and salt into a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir til melted and combined.
Add the sultanas and rum, biscuits and three-quarters of the pistachios (reserving the finer, powdery bits to sprinkle on top). Mix with a spatula til all elements are completely coated in chocolate. Pour into the prepared tray, smoothing the top so it's flat and even and scatter the remaining pistachios over the top. Let cool for 10 minutes, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, until set.
Cut into 24 bars and serve chilled.