Chicken Tagine & Cous Cous

Ras el Hanout spice mix

Ras el Hanout spice mix

1 onion, chopped
1 gren pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 courgette, sliced
1 aubergine, chopped
1 can tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
1/2 chicken, cut into smaller pieces
2 400g jars chick peas
12 dried prunes
Ras el Hanout spice mix (see below)

For the RAS EL HANOUT spice mix:
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamon seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Grind and combine the spices.

Fry onion in a frying pan for several minutes until soft. Add the pepper and continue frying on a medium heat. Turn up the heat, add the chicken pieces and continue frying for a further 5 minutes before stirring in the spice mix. Transfer to a pressure cooker together with the aubergine, courgette, tin of tomatoes, prunes, chicken stock and two cans water and mix well. Add the chick peas and season with salt. Cook in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes.
Serve with cous cous.

Orange butter-free cake


The hens have gone into overlay and so I thought it would be a good idea to make a cake to use up some of the eggs I’ve been amassing. This orange butter-free cake uses oil rather than butter – much like a carrot cake. I used the wood-fired oven which is always a bit tricky but was able to get the temperature more or less constant at about 190ºC-200ºC.

If you are using a wood-fired oven, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn through 180º and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove the foil, turn again and bake for 5 minutes and then bake for a further 5 minutes with or without the foil depending on the colour. Test with a metal skewer to check that it is cooked all the way through.

If you are using a standard oven,bake for 20 minutes and then turn through 180º before baking for another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for a final 5 minutes. Test with a skewer.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a baking rack.

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (almond oil, sunflower oil, etc.)
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
zest from 1 or 2 oranges
2 large oranges, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
3 tablespoons orange marmalade (optional)

Heat the oven to 180ºC.

To prepare the tin, brush with a mild oil (almond, sunflower, etc.) and then sprinkle over some brown sugar and shake to completely coat the bottom and sides of the tin. Arrange the orange slices on the bottom of the tin so that they overlap slightly.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy.

Gradually beat in the oil.

Stir in the flour and salt and then mix in the orange juice, marmalade and vanilla extract.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in an over at around 180ºC for 40 minutes or until cooked.