Thinking warm thoughts…


Happy Wednesday one and all!

It’s devilishly cold at the moment in London, and as proud upholders of British tradition we are obliged to open all conversations by mentioning this less-than-extraordinary weather.

If, like us, you could do with some warming/cheering up during this wintry spell, we suggest you give this decadent noodle stir-fry a whirl. It’ll be ready in under 30 minutes and can easily extend to provide dinner and a couple of gourmet lunches for the week. Bonus – it’s comfort food, but it’s almost offensively good for you and your immune system! Don’t tell anybody…


Sake and Ginger Soba Noodle Salmon Stir Fry
From Half-Baked Harvest.
Serves 4

90 ml sake, divided
45 ml + 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 tsp sambal oelek (chili paste)
2 tbsp sesame oil, plus more for cooking
680g (1 1/2 lb) salmon, cut into bite size pieces
6 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp rice wine
2 bunches baby/purple sprouting broccoli, stalks halved lengthwise
225g fresh or frozen edamame beans
80g soba noodles
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
40g roasted cashews

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sake, 1/4 cup of the soy sauce, the ginger, garlic sambal oelek and sesame oil. Whisk until combined, now add the salmon and gently toss. Allow the salmon to sit in the marinade for 10-30 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the soba noodle according to package directions, draining and then rinsing with cold water to stop the cooking.
Heat about a tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok or high sided skillet over high heat. Drain half the salmon from the marinade and cook, turning for 2-3 minutes until just cooked and lightly caramelized. Be careful when turing the salmon as it is delicate. Remove and repeat with the remaining salmon. Cover the salmon loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add the green onions and stir fry for 2 minutes . Add the rice wine, broccolini, edamame and the reserve marinade. Cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until liquid has reduced slightly. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sake and remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Toss the soba noodles, along with the salmon and all of the juices from the salmon, into the wok. Toss well, cook another 3-4 minutes or until warmed throughout and the sauce has thickened. Serve with sesame seeds and cashews.

Thanks to the lovely Half-Baked Harvest for this gorgeous recipe!


Since you were so very virtuous making the above recipe, and, having eaten it, you’re hopefully a bit more inclined to getting off the sofa and making something else, here’s a rather decadent but absolutely irresistible dessert…

From Donna Hay’s blog.


Flourless Date and Walnut Cake with Butterscotch Toffee Icing

200g fresh dates, pitted and roughly chopped
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
¼ cup (60ml) boiling water
¼ cup (60ml) butterscotch-flavoured schnapps
6 eggs, separated
¾ cup (135g) brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind
4½ cups (490g) ground walnuts (see tip)
butterscotch toffee icing
1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
80g unsalted butter, chopped
¼ cup (60ml) single (pouring) cream
2 tablespoons butterscotch-flavoured schnapps

Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line the base and sides of a lightly greased 24cm springform tin with non-stick baking paper and set aside. Place the dates, bicarbonate of soda, water and schnapps in a bowl and mash with a fork until just combined. Transfer to a small food processor and process until well combined. Place the egg yolks, ¼ cup (45g) sugar and orange rind in an electric mixer and whisk for 6–8 minutes or until thick and pale. Fold through the date mixture and the walnut meal and place in a large bowl. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and whisk until thickened. Fold the egg whites through the walnut mixture in 2 batches. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes– 1 hour 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely in the tin. To make the icing, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until just combined. Place a sugar (candy) thermometer in the saucepan and increase heat to high. Bring to the boil and cook, without stirring, for 7–8 minutes or until temperature reaches 160°C (325°F). Remove from the heat and carefully stir through the butter, cream and schnapps. Return to the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and combined. Allow to cool completely at room temperature. Invert the cake onto a plate and spread with the icing to serve. Serves 8–10.

Tip: If you can’t find ground walnuts, it’s easy to make your own – process walnuts in a food processor until a fine meal forms.

Thanks to Donna Hay for the recipe.


If you know anyone who might benefit from these recipes please do share!

And, if you’re really feeling the January blues, there’s never been a better pick-me-up than a good old party. Luckily, all you need is one phone call and we’ll take care of it!


Capital Cooking
020 8244 3039


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