Valentine’s day is almost here! A celebration of love as they say. This week calls for chocolate of course. And what a better way to show your love than a home-made gift? Made of chocolate of course.

But one doesn’t have to be in love to indulge. This is perfect to give to any loved ones, friends, family, whoever really. Even yourself.

What are we making this week? A chocolate slab of course!

In our very own valentine’s slab, we are using pistachio nuts to add some crunch. And raisins for a chewy texture. Plus, both of these go great with white chocolate which we secretly love.  This white chocolate has vanilla as well!

Chocolate slabs are also a brilliant way to use whatever leftover chocolates that you have sitting around. Same goes for nuts and dried fruit. Or marshmallows. Anything really. This recipe idea is so versatile, you can use whatever you’ve got available.

Three-ingredient chocolate slab

1 bar of good quality white chocolate

a small handful of pistachios and raisins

Melt the chocolate of your choosing in the microwave or using a bain-marie. Be very, very careful to melt but not burn the chocolate. Don’t forget to stir very often as you go along.

Once melted, gently spread the chocolate on a greaseproof paper. Lick the spatula. Place the pistachio nuts and raisins on top of the chocolate. Here you can either sprinkle them or carefully place them one by one. Let the slab cool down so that the chocolate hardens. Once hard, break into pieces and indulge. Or give as gift, we forgot about that!

   


Some flavour pairings are very familiar to us. Take chocolate and nuts for example. It’s everywhere you look, from the artisan hand crafted truffles to the cheap candy-store bar. You probably have thought of pairing honey and nuts. Being used to these flavours it so happens that often we crave for something different. Something completely new. Something that we haven’t tasted before.

Indeed, the thought of pairing tahini, chocolate and honey may never have entered your head. Until now. Until you taste them together. Then you will be in love.Put together the exciting bitterness of dark chocolate, the comforting nuttiness of the tahini and nuts, and the sweetness of honey and you have something truly unique. Oh and gluten free!

As always, we’re here to inspire you. So go ahead, gather your ingredients and as you are melting the dark chocolate think of how exciting experimenting can be. And you know what they say, once you’ve tried something so exciting, you are already on the other side.
For a small tray you will need:

140g tahini
60g honey
100g dark chocolate (we used 85%)
40g pistachios, walnuts or other nuts
200g oats

In a saucepan on very low heat or using a bain-marie melt the chocolate, tahini and honey. Be very careful not to burn the ingredients. Remove from the heat and add the nuts. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add the oats and stir until all oats are covered in chocolate and mixture is compact. Place in a baking tray and press the mixture firmly together. Let it cool. Once cooled down, cut in the shape of your choosing (rectangular, squares). Savour with your eyes closed.


Apple Day is almost here and at Oliveology we always support initiatives that celebrate seasonality. Next to our shop at Borough Market, one can find myriad apples of different sizes, colours and flavours. They are simply too tempting to resist.

And we know exactly what to do with them. Marianna’s mum makes the most delicious and moist cake. She uses extra virgin olive oil instead of butter and uses whatever she has left in the kitchen, be it apples, pumpkin, carrots- nothing goes to waste. One of our favourite things in the world is when hand written old recipes are handed down to us. Today it becomes much easier “take a pic of your mum’s apple cake recipe and send it to me”, and within minutes, you can enter the kitchen and start baking.

Kalliopi’s Olive Oil Cake

1 cup extra virgin olive oil 
3 cups grated (or cut in cubes) apples
2 cups of sugar
2 eggs, preferably organic
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs baking soda
1 tbs of cinnamon
1 cup almonds or walnuts

Mix together the sugar and olive oil. For this recipe, we go for our  22°C organic extra virgin olive oil, made with semi ripe olives. Its mellow, fruity aroma and silky texture are ideal for this cake. You see, olive oil is one of the main ingredients, yet it should not overpower the rest.

Whisk 2 eggs and then slowly add 2 cups of all purpose flour, the baking soda and cinnamon. Add the grated apples, and if you feel like it, 1 cup of coarsely chopped nuts – we went for almonds. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon and transfer into a baking dish. Bake at 180°C for approximately 35-45 minutes or until cake is golden brown on top and cooked through.

Now, you can serve the cake as is, or preferably with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of our limited edition apple oil.

If you’re in London visit us at Borough market to celebrate the glorious apple season with us on Sunday the 23rd of October.


Ingredients:


4 large eggs at room temperature, separated
150 g good – quality dark chocolate, broken  (I used Piura Porcelana by Original Beans. Just note : being raw, it WILL keep you up at night (but it works perfectly with this fruity, award -winning olive oil)
70 ml 17oC lemon & thyme infused olive oil
70 -80 g caster sugar (depending on cacao content of chocolate used)
Pinch of instant coffee granules
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp sumac and a little bit extra to garnish
Chopped, toasted pistachios

Method :
Melt chocolate in microwave (20s blasts, stirring in between), or in bain marie. 
Allow to cool slightly.
Beat egg yolks, 30g sugar, sumac, salt and coffee granules until pale yellow and fluffy. Whisk in olive oil. Slowly whisk in melted chocolate. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Taste chocolate mixture.

Add 40-50g sugar to egg white mix depending on desired bitterness of mousse. 
Beat until hard peaks form. Mix a large spoonful of egg whites into chocolate mix until completely incorporated. Pour chocolate mix into egg white mix, fold in gently. Pipe into desired glasses (as in photos), or into a big sharing bowl and leave to set for a few hours in the fridge /overnight.

Garnish with sumac pistachio mixture. Serve with shortbread (or pistachio biscotti, perhaps?)

by Jackie