Two weeks ago I told you about my bloggy collaboration with Fabrizio from Holyart.com, a website that promotes products produced by monasteries. Fabrizio sent me two food items produced by monks in Italy to use in recipes of my choice.
The deal was that in return for receiving the edible products, I would link to the Holy Art UK website. I've already told you about the cream tea we enjoyed using the Italian gooseberry jam. The second item was a beautifully packaged bar of chocolate, Il Cioccolato Di Roma, no less. So delightfully packaged that we almost didn't want to eat it. Once we'd opened the chocolate it did seem a shame to cook with such an objet d'art, so we ate half of it as it was, neat. Unsurprisingly it was delicious.
What to do with the other half?
My usual policy is not to get involved in reality TV shows that will sap hours from my life and that promote the culture of celebrity. It's the holidays though, so I broke the rules and accidentally watched the first episode of The Great British Bake Off last week.
Maybe the reason I don't watch reality TV shows is also because they are so emotionally draining. I know it's 'just a cake' as Husband reminded me several times, but I couldn't help but shed a tear when the woman whose non-setting chocolate mousse filling showed her sloppy chocolate cakey mess to the judges anyway. And as for poor musician Stu (who was the first to exit the competition) and his creative cakes that didn't impress...The best way to show solidarity with him and his Black Forest Gateau made with beetroot, was to make one too.
Not a four layered thing, that would be just too extravagant, but Jamie Oliver's Epic Chocolate and Beetroot Cake (you can find the recipe here) sandwiched with creme fraiche and cherries. Beetroot and cherries makes two of your five-a-day, and with no flour or additional fat (other than that in the chocolate) required and a relatively insignificant amount of sugar, this cake can only be a good thing...
In deference to the GBBO, I asked for feedback on my 'chocolate work' decorating the top of the cake. "I don't think you can call melted Italian chocolate spread around with a fork 'chocolate work' ", said Son. I guess I won't be entering any baking competitions soon, but the cake was still scrumptious or even, to use Jamie Oliver's description, epic. Thanks to the grated beetroot it's very rich, moist and chocolatey. I did have to buy some Co-op dark chocolate to top up the Italian stuff to the volume required in the recipe. (In fact the Italian chocolate was Al Latte and probably wouldn't have been dark enough on its own (so it really was a good and useful thing that we ate the other half on its own)).
This is a cake to be savoured slowly, just like Il Cioccolato di Roma.