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Friday, February 6

Cooking in the Extreme.............Cooking on the Devil's cooker

The cooker I have here in Spain is a Gas Butano cooker and it has 2 settings, it is the work of the devil, its either  Hot or  very hot.  Cooking on it has been a real challenge, but  finally I  think I am getting to grips with it.

So here is a selection of things I have been successful with. 

Fig & Apple Chutney


  • 3 Bramley apples, about 650g (1lb 7oz)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1kg (2lb 5oz) dried figs, finely chopped
  • 250g (9oz) prunes, roughly chopped
  • 400ml (14 fl oz) cider vinegar
  • 300g (11oz) light brown soft sugar
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 inch freshly grated ginger
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 200g (7oz) sultanas
  1. Peel, core and finely dice the apples and put into a large, heavy-based pan. Stir in the onion, figs, prunes, vinegar, sugar, chili, ginger and nutmeg.
  2. Put pan over a low-medium hob heat and cook, stirring frequently, to warm the mixture through and dissolve the sugar, about 5 min. Turn up the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 45 min, stirring regularly – the final  mixture needs to be fairly thick
  3. Stir in the sultanas and cook for a further 5-10 min. Ladle into sterilised jars (see Get Ahead tip) and seal. Allow to cool completely, and ideally set aside to mellow for a couple of months before opening.
These Figs are from a friends Finca. I dried them and store them in the Pantry

The Same day the Oranges got a day out
Fresh Oranges and Lemons from Local trees, can't wait for our orchard to be ready to fruit

Then the Cakes, which were a real challenge, there was many a burnt bottom at the beginning.

Chocolate Orange Spice Cake
Recipe for the above cake can be found on Nigella Lawsons web page   

However I made an adjustment and caramelized oranges for the top

Another Nigella Recipe(I am a bit of a Nigella Fan)...

...Maple Glazed Cheesecake

from Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson
For the base
8 digestive biscuits
75g pecans
85g butter, softened
For the filling
600g cream cheese, at room temperature (take it out of the fridge about 30 mins – 1 hour before using)
50g sugar
2 tsp cornflour
125ml maple syrup, plus more for drizzling

4 eggs
1/2 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Blitz biscuits in a food processor, add pecans and blitz again until the mixture is crumbled finely. Add butter and blitz until it all comes together. Press into the bottom of a lined 20cm springform tin and place in the fridge to chill.
2. Put a kettleful of water on the boil. In the cleaned food processor, add cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup and corn flour, and process until smooth. With the motor still running, add the eggs one at a time. Add vinegar/lemon juice and mix until you have a smooth batter.
3. Remove the tin from the fridge and line the outside of the tin with a double layer of foil to prevent water getting in. Pour the filling into the tin and place in a large roasting tray. Pour the boiling water in the roasting tray around the cheesecake until it comes halfway up the side of the tin. Bake in the oven for 1 1/4 hours until the cheesecake is set on the outside but wobbles a bit in the middle. I suggest to check every so often so you don’t end up with a dry, hard cheesecake like mine!
4. Remove the foil layers and cool on a wire rack. When the cheesecake has cooled down, chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. To serve, unmould the cheesecake from the springform tin and place on a serving platter. Drizzle extra maple syrup on the top.
Finally  from
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, melted

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In an electric or stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well , slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.
For topping
In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.
In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If I make this again, I would adjust the recipe a bit and add some chopped apple and or some nuts.

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