Most of us have our go-to recipes, be it for a mid-week lunch, a dinner party pleaser or a sumptuous cake that Nigella Lawson would be proud of. In case you’re stuck in a food rut, however, here are some of our readers’ fail-safe recipes from around the world to add your repertoire. Bon appétit!
Asian Coleslaw with Spicy Soy Sesame Dressing
Sunita Bett, Singapore: “I love this tasty Asian version of a coleslaw – I make it every time I’m tasked with a potluck dish. There’s lots of chopping involved, but if you have a machine that can do that, it’s a doddle.“
For the salad
- 3-4 cups coleslaw (grated carrots, finely sliced green and red cabbage)
- 1 cup precooked frozen edamame (shelled soybeans)
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 small radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
- Spicy soy sesame dressing (see below)
- Slivered almonds
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice blend)
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons almond butter (or substitute peanut butter)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons shichimi togarashi or red chilli flakes
- Salt and sugar to taste
1. Put the soybeans in a bowl and cover with boiling water, leave for a few minutes then drain and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Make the spicy soy sesame dressing. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3. In a large bowl, mix all the vegetables together with a generous amount of the dressing and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
4. Just before serving, add extra dressing, toasted sesame seeds, almonds and chilli flakes.
Indulgent Chocolate Cake
Hayley Reece, UK: ‘I always get asked for the recipe of this yummy chocolate cake. It’s a must for special occasions like birthdays – it’s rather indulgent and not for a time when you’re watching what you eat!’
For the cake:
- 230 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 170 grams unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 350 grams light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 370 grams plain flour, sifted
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 500ml semi-skimmed milk (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the icing:
- 175 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 225 grams unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 grams icing sugar, sifted
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 170 Celsius (with fan), 190 Celsius, or gas mark 5. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper.
- Melt chocolate (in microwave on medium for 30-second bursts or in heat-proof bowl over simmering pan of water); set aside to cool.
- Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Beat egg yolks in separate bowl for several minutes, then slowly add them to the butter and sugar mix while beating well. Add cooled chocolate and beat again.
- Combine flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in separate bowl. Combine milk and vanilla extract in a jug. Add one third of flour mixture to creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one third of milk and beat again. Repeat until all flour and milk added.
- Whisk egg whites until soft peaks start to form, then carefully fold in egg whites using a metal spoon (do not beat as this will take the air out), dollop the mixture equally between the tins and bake for approximately 35 minutes. When cooked, a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes it should come out clean.
- Leave cakes to cool before turning out onto a wire rack. Peel paper from bases.
Directions for the icing
- Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar until smooth. Add chocolate and beat again until thick and creamy; if it looks too runny, keep beating.
- Sandwich the thoroughly cooled cakes together with the icing and cover the top with more. Add sprinkles or other sugar decorations of your choice.
Be Part of The Great Recipe Swap!
If you have a fail-safe recipe you’d like to submit for our next issue, please send the recipe, a photo of yourself and a few words about your dish to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we publish your recipe in our magazine, you’ll take home Going with the Grain!, a healthy collection of recipes transforming grains such as amaranth, barley, buckwheat, quinoa and spelt into delicious salads, soups and stews.