Rich Moist Chocolate Cake

rich moist choc cake slice (700x532)

Some people like cake.   Some people prefer ice cream.   I am definitely a cake girl.  I love to eat cake, any cake, but that doesn’t mean I am always in the kitchen baking.  Despite my previous few posts all being about cake,  I actually don’t make that many cakes myself, but each time I make one, I want to make another, and with Easter upon us and chocolate on my mind, what better time to do some baking.

So of course when I was sent a few baking products and asked if I would like to make and a recipe on I could hardly turn down the chance to have a go.  Baking Mad has a huge selection of all types of sweet and savoury baking recipes and you can search for exactly what you want to make, including specifying what ingredients you’d like to include and what ingredients you’d like to avoid, which is a really useful feature, unless you try to be too specific and then there are no results.  I also liked the fact that when reading through the method for the recipe there were extra tips you could click on for each stage, which is a really useful feature for anyone not at all confident at baking.

I chose to make a chocolate cake as I haven’t made one for a long time, well apart from a chocolate cheesecake, and with Easter coming up, it just felt like the right type of cake to make.  I was seduced by the name, rich moist chocolate cake.  It sounded like exactly the sort of cake I wanted to eat. It had good reviews, 4 stars and was described as easy. Perhaps most importantly, it looked good.   The recipe sounded interesting, containing marmelade, which I thought might give it a slight orange flavour, although I couldn’t actually taste it in the finished cake so I would just use any jam or preserve if I was making it again.

The cake turned out really well.  It was indeed rich and moist, as the recipe said.   I didn’t cook it for quite as long as the recipe stated as it was ready after 70 minutes, but maybe my oven was little hot.  The chocolate icing was easy to make and set to just the right consistency to cover the top of the cake easily without running down the sides.  I also used a few wafer daisies to decorate it and give it a spring/Easter look.

rich moist choc cake slice & whole (640x700)

Ingredients – Serves 10 -12 Recipe from Baking Mad

150ml sunflower oil

150ml yoghurt

5 tbsp marmalade (I used rindless)

175g unrefined dark muscovado sugar (I used Billingtons)

3 free range eggs

225g white self-raising flour (I used Allinsons)

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Icing Ingredients

175g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

50g unsalted butter

How to Make Rich Moist Chocolate Cake

1. Heat the oven up to 170C or 150C fan. Grease and line a 20cm (8inch) round cake tin.

2. Put the first 5 ingredients (oil, yoghurt, marmalade, sugar and eggs) into a food mixer and beat until well combined.

3. Sift in the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda.  Beat them into the wet mixture and stop as soon as there are no dry bits left.

4. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours but be aware of how hot your oven is.  Mine was ready sooner.

5. Let the cake cool in the tin for about 10 minutes and then turn it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. To make the icing, either put the chocolate and butter in a bowl above a pan of boiling water or put them in the microwave and microwave for 30 seconds and then 10 seconds at a time.   Keep taking it out and stirring it until all the chocolate has melted and then leave it to cool and thicken but don’t let it harden completely.

7. When the chocolate has cooled and is a thick spreading consistency, pour it on top of the cake and use a palette knife to spread it around.

Blueberry Almond Muffins

Blueberry almond muffin1 (500x287)

If you ask me what my favourite flavour of muffin is, I would say blueberry.   I also love ground almond in anything, so how could I say no to making these muffins?   They are very moist inside with a slightly crisp crunchy surface on the top, almost like the top of a brownie.   I found most of the blueberries sank to the bottom, but that really wasn’t a problem.    The only thing I would warn you about, is that they are very sweet.   If you don’t have a sweet tooth, maybe these aren’t for you.   On the other hand, if you love sweet things, you will love these, and anyway, I made them quite small, so you don’t need to feel guilty.  No, not at all, not really.

I found the recipe for the blueberry almond muffins on Jane’s Adventures in Dinner, which was my Secret Recipe Club Assignment for April.    I wasn’t surprised to read that Jane had actually worked as a chef in the past as she has so many delicious recipes on her blog and the photographs to go with the recipes are amazing too.   I could quite happily have a made all sorts of lovely dishes, but I just happened to be in a dessert mood.

Ingredients – Makes 18 small muffins

4 eggs

250g caster sugar

80ml olive oil

135g ground almonds

85g self-raising flour

200g blueberries (I used frozen)

How to Make Blueberry Almond Muffins

1. Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until the contents turn pale.

2. Fold in the rest of the ingredients gently until just combined.

3. Spoon into the muffin cases.   Bake in the oven at 180C for 25 minutes.

4. Cool on a wire rack.

If you’d like to see what other Secret Recipe Club participants have made, then click on the link below:


I am also linking these to Tasty Tuesdays, hosted by Honest Mum.


Mary Berry’s American Style Chocolate Cheesecake

chocolate cheesecake slice (700x568)

I love cheesecakes.  Who doesn’t?  They are up there among my favourite desserts and I am almost unable to turn one down.   Well actually, I can’t turn down a delicious fruit cheesecake or vanilla cheesecake, especially not if it has a traditional biscuit base and some berries in some form or another with it.   But wait, this is a chocolate one.  Well, sometimes you just don’t get a choice about the type of cheesecake you make.   In fact, sometimes you don’t even get a choice of which recipe to make out of the whole book.  Or even which book to use.  I should be thankful I picked a cheesecake.

If you know Dom of Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipe challenge then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.  This month he’s teamed up with Caroline Makes and The More Than Occasional Baker for a fantastic joint challenge where Random Recipes meets Alphabakes.  I picked Mary Berry’s Baking Bible as I felt it only fair to do some baking.   I then randomly selected the 18th item in the ‘a’ section of the index, which turned out to be American Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake, something that I knew straightaway would make my lovely husband happy, but wouldn’t have been my first choice.

I set about making the cheesecake but as I began I read the instructions and became a little doubtful about the recipe.   The list of ingredients said 1 egg but the recipe said to add the eggs one at a time.  I decided to do a little research online to check if other people had made the recipe and how many eggs they’d used.   After all, I didn’t want to ruin the whole cake.  I soon discovered that the recipe should have had 2 eggs in it.   I also discovered that most people had put over twice as much sugar in – 225g rather than 100g as my Baking Bible was telling me.   They described the cheesecake as very sweet and having a lot of sugar in it.   Now, I’m not an expert on cheesecake and how much sugar to add, but 100g of sugar to 700g of cream cheese didn’t sound like very much, especially as it contained dark chocolate which wouldn’t be so sweet anyway.  I decided to settle on a nice round 200g of sugar in the end.  I also used more biscuits in the base and upped the butter too as quite a few people said there weren’t enough biscuit crumbs to cover the base of the tin.  I was glad I had in the end as I felt I only just had enough.

The moral of the story is, you can’t always trust a bible, not even Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. On the positive side however, the cheesecake did turn out exceptionally well.   My husband loved the chocolate digestive base and the chocolate cheesecake topping was just as I wanted it to be.  It cracked on the top as it was cooling in the oven but aside from in looks in was pretty near perfect.  You may notice there’s not much of a ripple in my cheesecake. Well, I was worried I would lose the vanilla layer completely so I didn’t attempt the rippling. Maybe next time.

chocolate cheesecake (700x630)

Ingredients for the Base – Serves 8-10

150g plain chocolate digestive biscuits

75g butter

Ingredients for the Filling

700g cream cheese

200g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g chocolate

2 eggs

How to Make Mary Berry’s American Style Chocolate Cheesecake

1. Put the butter in a saucepan and heat gently to melt it.   Put the digestive biscuits in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin.   Take the pan off the heat and stir in the biscuit crumbs.

2. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a loose bottomed 20cm cake tin that has been greased.

3. Put the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave and heat gently until melted.   Keep taking it out and stirring so it doesn’t cook too much.

4. Put the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk until soft.   Add the sugar and whisk until combined.   Add the vanilla and whisk again and then the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each one.

5. Spoon about half of the mixture into the cake tin on top of the biscuit base.

6. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl with the remainder of the cheese mixture.   Stir in well and then pour into the cake tin.

7. If you want to try and make ripples, you can use a knife to run through the mixture, swirling the two colours together.  I didn’t do this as my mixture was quite runny and I was worried I would just end up with one colour rather than the ripples I wanted.

8. Bake in the oven at 160C for an hour until the mixture is rising around the edge of the cake but still quite soft in the middle.   Turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven.

9. When cooled, take out of the oven and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

AlphaBakes Logorandom recipes new logo


Ham and Mushroom Calzone

ham and mushroom calzone (500x242)

I’ve been trying to get calzones right for a few weeks now.  The first time I tried there was too much filling and too much liquid in it.   I struggled to pinch the dough together as it was so stretched over the packed filling.  I managed it, but then it split in the oven and because the filling was too moist, I had liquid running all over the baking tray and a cooked but slightly soggy bottom.    They tasted good, but they weren’t something I felt I could share.

This time I’ve got it right.  No fresh tomatoes in sight, but a thin spreading of tomato puree over the dough to give that tomatoey taste that you really need in a pizza.   I also cooked and then drained the filling in a sieve while cooling to remove any excess liquid.  I was also careful not to overfill the calzone.   I could have stuffed all the filling in, but it would probably have burst in the oven.   I restrained myself and left plenty of room around the edge of the filling to pinch the sides together.   I then just enjoyed eating the extra filling in a rather Nigella-type way.  Of course, you could serve it on the side.

This recipe just serves one but you could easily increase the quantities and serve more, as I did previously in the attempts which didn’t quite work.   My lovely husband was getting bored of eating sub-standard calzone and so I made this successful one when he was out.

Ingredients – serves 1

1/3 of pizza dough from this recipe

3 mushrooms, sliced

2 slices of ham, chopped

1/2 ball of mozzarella, sliced

1/4 courgette, cut into batons

1/4 red onion, sliced

1/4 tsp dried basil

Small clove garlic

Black pepper

1 tbsp tomato puree

How to Make Ham and Mushroom Calzone

1. Put a little oil in a pan and fry the onions, mushrooms and courgette.  Sprinkle over the basil and black pepper and add the crushed garlic.   Don’t cook for long, just so everything softens but doesn’t break down.

2. Put the contents of the pan in a sieve to cool and to drain away the excess liquid that the vegetables have released.

3. Heat the oven to 220C. Roll out the pizza dough and spread with the tomato puree.   Put the contents of the pan on one half of the pizza.   Don’t overfill.   Any extra can just be eaten on the side.  Lay the slices of mozzarella on the top.  Fold the other half of the pizza over and pinch the edges together. Prick with a knife a couple of times so the steam can escape when it’s cooking.

4. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Serve with salad.

I am linking this to Our Growing Edge, run by Bunny Eats Design and hosted this month by I’ve Got Cake. This challenge is for recipes which encourage you to push yourself to try something new. I am also linking to Brilliant Blog Posts, hosted by Honest Mum. As the calzone was made from scratch I am also linking to Made with Love Mondays, hosted by Javelin Warrior’s Cookin w/luv.

our-growing-edge-badgebrilliant blog postsMadeWLuvMondays

Halloumi, Vegetable and Pomegranate Molasses Salad

halloumi pomegranite salad (700x412)

I had a craving for vegetables at the weekend.   I think it may have been due to feeling guilty at eating nowhere near the now-recommended 7-a-day.   I used to easily eat 5 a  day but have been a bit lazy recently.  When I thought about it I realised that the only fruit and vegetables I had eaten all day were 2 small clementines.   An unhealthy dinner would just have to put be off until the next day.   Vegetables were in order.

After looking in the fridge and looking at all my bottles of sauces, I actually started to feel excited about creating something healthy.   There was a bottle of pomegranate molasses that I had barely touched, apart from when I added some to the tonkatsu sauce I made recently.   There was also some slightly wilted coriander, maybe it would have been better in a curry but it was still green and tasted ok so I decided that could go in too.   I also had an unopened pot of sumac in the cupboard.   I love the lemoniness of sumac and before long my salad was beginning to take shape.

Now, a girl can’t just live on salad, especially not when 38 weeks pregnant, and luckily I had some halloumi in the fridge.   Halloumi is quite salty but because of that it goes really well with the sweetness of the pomegranate molasses and the sourness of the lemon juice.   In fact, my husband always says it reminds him of bacon!

If you haven’t had pomegranate molasses before, it is quite sweet so you may want to add a little less than I did and then add more to taste afterwards.   If I’d had a pomegrante at home, a few seeds sprinkled over the  top would have also made a nice addition.   Oh well, next time.

Ingredients – Serves 2

150g block of halloumi, sliced into 6 sliced

3 carrots. grated

1/4 red cabbage, finely sliced

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp chopped coriander

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 tsp sumac


black pepper

How to Make Halloumi, Vegetable and Pomegranate Molasses Salad

1. Prepare all the vegetables and put them in a bowl.

2. In another bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, sumac, black pepper, salt and pomegranate molasses.   Pour half of it over the vegetables and toss together.

3. Slice the halloumi and put it in a dry frying pan.   Cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

4. Divide the salad between 2 plates.  Put the cheese on top and drizzle over the rest of the dressing.

I am linking this to No Croutons Required, hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa’s Kitchen, to Made with Love Mondays, hosted by Javelin Warrior’s Cookin w/Luv. I am also linking to Souper Sundays, hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.

No Croutons RequiredMadeWLuvMondaysSouper_Sundays2

Chicken, Green Bean and Hazelnut Salad

chicken, green bean and hazelnut salad

As the weather is getting warmer, at least most of the time, it’s starting to feel like it’s time to eat lighter meals.   To fill up on healthy vegetables and protein and to leave some of the carbs aside.  With this salad you can do exactly that.  Or not, if you fancy some bread on the side then go for it.   Who am I to judge?

You may notice that this is yet another meal using griddled chicken.   Yes, I  have been getting my griddle pan out rather a lot recently.   I love using simple marinades on white meat and then serving the meat with a fresh salad.   This time I was keen to use the Maille Hazelnut Oil I’d been sent.  It has a sweet roasted hazelnut flavour and I felt it would go well with a bit of lemon juice.   It did.  After marinating the chicken, I griddled it and it stayed lovely and moist but with delicious caramelized bits around the edges and where it had browned against the griddle pan.

The salad with the green beans, apples and lettuce is fresh tasting and complements the chicken really well.   The dressing, made almost the same way as the marinade, just brings it all together.  I could happily eat this salad again and again.

Marinade Ingredients

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp Maille Hazelnut oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

Salad Ingredients

2 chicken breasts

100g Green beans

1/4 Iceberg lettuce, shredded

1/2 apple, cored and cut into matchsticks

Handful of hazelnuts

Dressing Ingredients

Juice of 1 lemon

4 tbsp Maille hazelnut oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

How to Make Chicken, Green Bean and Hazelnut Salad

1. Prepare the marinade by mixing together all the marinade ingredients. Butterfly the chicken breasts or slice them in half horizontally to make them thinner and easier to cook on the griddle.  Pu the chicken in the marinade and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

2. Brush a little oil onto a griddle pan.   When it’s hot, put the chicken on to cook.   Griddle for about 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.   When ready, sliced into about 4 strips.

3. Boil the green beans for about 3 minutes and then drain and place in cold water immediately.

4. Put the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan.   Keep shaking every 30 seconds to turn them.   When they begin to turn golden, remove them from the the heat and let them cool a little.  When they are cool enough to handle, chop them into halves or quarters.

5. Slice the lettuce so it is in long ribbons.   Chop the apple into matchsticks.

6. Drain the green beans and pat dry.   Mix the beans, lettuce and apple together and toss with some of the dressing.   Divide between 2 plates.   Scatter on a few hazelnuts.   Top with the chicken.   Scatter on a few more hazelnuts.   Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the top.   Serve immediately so the chicken is still warm.

I developed this recipe as my second contribution to the Maille Culinary Challenge and was sent a free sample of the Maille Hazelnut Oil.

Tagliatelle with Chorizo, Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes

sundried tomato chorizo tagliatelle (500x373)

This could be a really easy quick meal for you – not many ingredients, not much preparation, ready within 15 minutes.   And not a Jamie 15 minutes – A real 15 minutes.   Just so long as you don’t make your own pasta, which I did.   But it was still quick because it was leftover pasta.   I’d made it the day before – I just needed to drop it into some boiling water and cook it for a few minutes.

Of course, you don’t need to make your own pasta.   This will still be lovely with bought pasta.  I’m just having a bit of a love affair with my pasta machine at the moment and that’s why most of my pasta dishes have changed from penne to tagliatelle.   If I wasn’t making pasta, I’d have used penne for this, but that’s just me.   You can use any type of pasta you like, even spaghetti, which is always way down at the bottom of my list.   I accept that some people may love it.   And that’s ok.

It wasn’t just the pasta that was a leftover.   The sundried tomatoes were too.   Both were leftover from the same dish I posted a little while ago – Basil, sundried tomato and mozzarella ravioli with sunflower seed pesto.   Even the parmesan that I grated on top (after the picture was taken) was leftover from that pasta dish the day before.  Both dishes might have used a few similar flavours, while at the same time being completely different.   This was a more Spanish flavoured dish and the chorizo, garlic and tomatoes together are a taste combination that I love.   The sundried tomatoes add a lovely rich tomatoey strength to the dish and the fresh just slightly soft wedges of tomato add a  burst of juciness each time you eat one.


Ingredients – Serves 2

Dried pasta – enough for 2 people.   Or see my fresh pasta recipe here.

Olive oil

Approx 15cm piece of chorizo, sliced

2 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes

2 fresh tomatoes, sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Black pepper


How to Make Tagliatelle with Chorizo, Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes

1. Heat a little olive oil in a wok or frying pan.   Add the chorizo and cook until it begins to crisp up a little.

2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Then add the sundried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Cook just until the tomatoes begin to soften but not break down completely.

4. Add the pasta and a little of the cooking liquid to the pan with the chorizo.   Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce and then serve with  a little parmesan grated on the top.

I am linking this to Tinned TomatoesPasta Please, hosted by Slice Off Me this month. The theme is olive oil. As I used leftovers for this I am linking to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary’s No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Jibber Jabber UK this month and also to Credit Crunch Munch, hosted jointly by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours.

pasta please logono waste food challengeCredit-Crunch-Munchbrilliant blog posts

Banana Flavoured Turtle Cake

Turtle Cake (700x433)

This cake may look good for a beginner, although a bit amateurish if you’re an expert already, but it really is about the easiest cake you can make.   No beating of separate ingredients and then mixing together, you just throw everything in the food mixer and it’s done within a few minutes.   Ok, you do need to mash the banana with a fork first, but that should take less than a minute if the bananas are nice and soft.

I have used the same mixture and made it as a turtle but also just as a plain round cake to snack on and it really does stay lovely and moist however you choose to serve it.   It doesn’t need the icing if you’re just making it as an everyday cake for snacks.   But, because banana cakes tend to be denser than ordinary cakes, it stands up very well to being decorated, which is why it’s a great cake to consider for children’s birthdays.

You can also try and tell yourself the banana is healthy.   I’m not saying that’s not true, but in my experience, wherever cake is concerned, it’s often good to have an excuse like that lined up.   You never know when you might need it.


2 overripe bananas

200g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

150g sugar

150g butter, at room temperature, chopped

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

To decorate

Blue, red, green, black and white ready to roll icing

2 tbsp Jam

1-2 tbsp Icing sugar

How to Make Banana Flavoured Turtle Cake

1. Put the bananas in a bowl and mash with a fork until you get a puree.   Alternatively blend them in the food processor.

2. Put all the ingredients in a bowl or food mixer and whisk until you get a smooth batter.

3. Grease and line the cake tins.   I used a 14cm and a 21cm hemisphere cake tin but you could just use an ordinary round 20cm tin.   Put the batter in the cake tins.  Rest the tins on metal biscuit cutters so that the tins balance.    Bake in the oven at 160C for 40 minutes for the small cake and an hour for the larger one.

4. Turn out onto a metal rack to cool the cakes completely before beginning to decorate them.

5. Heat the jam the microwave so it goes runny.   Put the cakes on a cake board and brush the jam thinly over the top of the cakes.

6. Sprinkle icing sugar over the work surface.  Roll out the green icing and cover the head.  Then roll out the blue icing for the body and the feet.   Roll the red icing between your hands to make long thin sausage shapes and then make the markings on the turtle’s back, as well as the mouth.  Roll out a little white and black icing to make the eyes.   If the icing doesn’t stick, just dab a little jam on the back.


I am also linking to Made From Pinterest and Sweet and Savoury Sundays.

Mango Vinegar Marinated Chicken and Mango Salsa

chicken and mango salsa

Since making the mango and turkey stir fry I’ve become very into mango in savoury dishes.   It goes fantastically well in a salad or salsa and is great with white meat. What I have also become addicted to in the past week is Maille Mango Vinegar, a blend of vinegar and mango puree.   It is sharp from the vinegar but sweet from the mango and is a lovely irresistable orange colour.   I love marinating chicken or turkey in it with a little olive oil before cooking on the griddle, which is exactly what I did with this recipe.

Making a homemade salsa is another sign that the seasons are changing.   It might be cold and wet at the moment but once we can get the barbecue out in the garden again, this salsa is going to be a staple.   Lovely sweet red tomatoes, cucumber and mango with a generous helping of fresh coriander, and of course more of that mango vinegar.   It made me feel that summer was on the way.   Or maybe that’s being too optimistic.

This recipe is my contribution to the Maille Culinary Challenge.   I was recently asked to chose a couple of Maille products to create recipes with and the Maille Mango Vinegar was my first choice.  Maille is well-known for producing gourmet mustards and I do love mustard in cooking but I chose the mango vinegar as I wanted to try something that at least for me was a bit new and different.   So far I’m delighted with my new discovery.

Marinade Ingredients

3 tbsp Maille Mango Vinegar

1.5 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

2 chicken breasts

Mango Salsa Ingredients

1/2 Mango

2 tomatoes

10cm piece of cucumber

1 red chilli pepper, most of the seeds removed

2 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp Maille Mango Vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

How to Make Mango Vinegar Marinated Chicken and Mango Salsa

1. Mix up all the ingredients for the marinade.   Butterfly the chicken breasts by putting your hand on top of the breast and then carefully cutting through sideways but stopping just before you slice the breast in half.  Put the breast in the marinade.   Coat and leave to sit for at least 30 minutes.

2. Chop up all the salsa ingredients.  Put in a bowl and add the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  Mix together and leave to sit until the rest of the meal is ready.

3. Brush a griddle pan with oil and place the chicken breasts on the griddle.   Cook on a high heat for about 4 minutes on each side, depending on how thick the meat is.

4. Serve the chicken with the salsa.   Drizzle a bit of extra mango vinegar over the top.  I also served it with some basmati rice with fresh coriander and lemon juice stirred through.




Crispy Polenta-Crusted Chicken

polenta crusted chicken (500x349)

This week l did something I have never done before and something I didn’t expect I would ever do, I bought a bag of dried polenta.   That may not sound very exciting, and it’s probably something I would never have done if I hadn’t come across the idea of using polenta in place of breadcrumbs.   You see, I don’t really like polenta.   I know some people may be reading and thinking that maybe I just haven’t had it cooked well.   That may be the case, but I have tried it in restaurants where I loved everything but the polenta.   I don’t hate it, I just don’t really enjoy it.   Give me good mashed potato any day.

I also have to admit to not coating things in breadcrumbs very often as I find the whole flour, egg, then breadcrumbs process quite messy and so I just tend to avoid it.   With this recipe, you don’t need any egg, you don’t need any flour and I found far less polenta sticking to my fingers than I do when I use breadcrumbs.   In fact, it was quite a revelation to me.   I would be very surprised now if I didn’t buy polenta again.   I used a spice mix that contained salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander and nutmeg, but you could use any combination of spices that you like, or even none at all.   I also think the polenta coating would be great for homemade fish fingers, which is now one of the next plans on my  list.

Ingredients – Serves 2

2 chicken breasts

100ml buttermilk

100g polenta

1/2 tsp seasoning (I used one I often use for potato wedges)

How to Make Crispy Polenta-Crusted Chicken

1. Slice the breasts lengthways so each breast is in 3 pieces.  Put them in a bowl with the buttermilk and leave in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes or a little more.

2. Put the polenta in a bowl and mix in the seasoning.

3. Roll the strips of chicken in the polenta to thoroughly coat with the crumb mixture.

4. Place the chicken strips on a baking tray.   Drizzle with olive oil.

5. Bake in the oven at 200C for 25 minutes.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.comsweetsavoury sundays