Leinster Express Delicious Dishes with Imelda Tynan

Crunchie chocolate gateaux.
Almost everybody has a speciality dish whether it’s a slow roasting stew or an amazingly tasty chicken curry.

Almost everybody has a speciality dish whether it’s a slow roasting stew or an amazingly tasty chicken curry.

The Spaghetti Bolognaise recipe this week is one of those special recipes. The secret to this dish lies in allowing the dish to simmer so that the sauce reduces to a lovely flavoursome and thick consistency. The cake is a twist on a chocolate and meringue cake. It’s really combining two desserts together and is perfect for a child’s birthday party. The crunchies can be replaces with whatever is the favourite treat in your house.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

1lb Lean Steak Mince

6oz Rindless Smokey Bacon Rashers, finely chopped

4oz Sliced Mushrooms

2 Carrots, finely chopped

2 Celery Sticks, finely chopped

2 Onions, finely chopped

2 Garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp. Tomato Puree

2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes

2 tbsp. freshly chopped herbs - a combination of Basil, Oregano, Thyme

2 tbsp. Olive Oil

¼ pint White Wine

1 Pint Beef stock

2lbs Cooked Spaghetti

4oz freshly grated Parmesan

Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, mushrooms, celery, garlic, carrots and bacon and cook for about ten minutes until browned, stirring all the time. Add the mince and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir in the wine, tomato puree, tomatoes and all of the stock. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add the fresh herbs and cook for a further 30 minutes until the sauce is well reduced and the flavour has intensified. Season to taste. Toss the spaghetti with the bolognaise sauce and serve with freshly grated parmesan.This dish freezes really well. It’s a good idea to make an extra batch or two to freeze for later.

Crunchie Chocolate Gateau

2oz Cocoa Powder

8floz Hot Water

4oz Softened Butter

10oz Caster Sugar

2 Eggs

6oz Self raising flour

½ tsp Bread Soda

1 ½ pints Double Cream

2 Crunchie Bars, roughly chopped

Icing Sugar, for dusting

For the Meringue:

4 egg whites

8oz Caster sugar

Heat the oven to 160 Fan. Butter and line with parchment paper (bottom and sides) 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Make sure to bring the parchment paper up over the side of the tins. Mix together the cocoa powder with boiling water and set aside. Whisk together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fully combined. Add the eggs one at a time, then pour the cooled cocoa mixture into the creamed mixture. Sieve the flour and bread soda over the mixture and fold together to form a smooth batter and divide between the two tins. Set aside to make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites and sugar together to form a meringue. Pour the meringue into a piping bag and pipe on top of both chocolate mixtures. Bake for 40 minutes.

When the cakes are cooked, leave to cool completely. Whip the cream. Transfer one cake to a serving plate, meringue side up. Top with fresh cream and then cover with other cake, meringue side up. Add another layer of cream and sprinkle with crunchies. Dust with icing sugar to serve.