I couldn't resist buying some of these beautiful small purple artichokes recently. The weather being hot, a simple recipe was called for. This is based on a recipe in 'Chez Panisse Vegetables' by Alice Waters. I suggest serving the stuffed artichokes with salad leaves for a light lunch or as an accompaniment to lamb. They would probably be good with green puy lentils too.
<br />Serve at room temperature. They keep well in the fridge for a couple of days in the cooking juices.
Orange and black (olive) chocolate cake
With its hidden flecks of orange and black olive, this rich chocolate cake is a crowd-pleasing treat which satisfies with an almost brownie-like crumb. A cinch to whip up, the dessert is a nod to those olives-on-fingertips days of youth, delivering simplicity and sweetness in one scrumptious form — all ages welcome, no olives evident in the taste.
<br />It came to me when eating a black olive; I thought: "Mild, moist and a little bit salty? Those are a few perfect attributes for a cake ingredient!" I decided on a black-on-black batter: dark cocoa and black coffee to mingle with the tiny bits of olives. A heap of orange zest would add a citrusy tang, and a good dose of vanilla would soften it all. The result was just as I’d hoped: a spongy, moist and deep-dark dessert enjoyed by many.
<br />Decorating the cake with a stencil of contrasting white powdered sugar leaves the possibilities endless for themes. A witch or jack-o-lantern stencil will turn the orange and black ingredients into a festive Halloween cake.
<br />This recipe first appeared on my web site, buttersugarflowers.com
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