chocolate self-saucing pudding.

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This dessert is insane. It’s saucey and chocolatey and perfect and almost entirely native to New Zealand and Australia. You’re gonna love it.

Unfortunately, it does NOT photograph well. I promise you it is delicious – in fact, despite being the easiest thing in the world to whip up, it remains one of my top three desserts. So please take my word for it, and just make it next time you need something quick for pudding. You will NOT regret it.

And having said that, I have been recipe testing this for ages now, and this is what I believe to be the Perfect self-saucing pudding (yes, many tastings were necessary).

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cheesy relish soup dippers.

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When I eat soup – and I eat soup a lot – it’s really about what I’ve got to dip in the soup. Usually, it’s regular toast soldiers, sometimes it’s a nice artisan type bread that I’ve made myself, and every now and then it is something extremely awesome like this.

We’ve been making an obscene amount of relish recently, and so I’ve introduced my boyfriend to the wonders of relish toasts (essentially, smother a piece of toast with relish, dump cheese on top and fling it in the oven until it’s crispy).

So one night I figured, why wouldn’t that work with toast soldiers?

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roast lamb and mint risotto.

I promised I’d post this recipe yesterday morning and while I made another batch of it the night before, I completely forgot to write about it. Sorry!

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I made this lovely roast of lamb a while back, Tuesday I think it was, and I used the bones and veges to make some stock – partly because I was testing out my new Le Creuset dutch oven, and partly because I’m a poor student who can’t stand to throw anything away before I’ve used it for everything I possibly can. O, and partly because I’m obsessed with stock.

But then, I had two litres of lamb stock sitting in my fridge and no idea what to do with it. I was telling a customer at work about my situation (she’d come through with some lovely sounding lamb and rosemary soup) and she was all, ‘Why don’t you make some risotto?’ And I was all, ‘now why didn’t I think of that?’

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fabtastic roast lamb.

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This was the best roast lamb of my entire life.

I’m sorry about this picture. I really am. But what happened was, before it was even finished resting, we ripped into it. It just smelled so damned good.

I do, however, have a pretty good picture of the roast after I seared it.

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le creuset 29cm oval cocotte (dutch oven).

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I was planning to write a full on review of this “gorgeous babe-o-rama”, as one of my friends on facebook called it, but let’s face it – everyone knows they’re amazing.

So far I have used it for searing, roasting, making stock and gravy, and finally making risotto (you may have guessed that I scored a rather large roast from my parents – they’re farmers – so everything has been lamb so far, even the risotto which was delicious, and which I’ll post a recipe for).

AND IT HAS ALL WORKED OUT BEAUTIFULLY – the roast was, no jokes, the best of my life. And my mum is a farmer’s wife – she knows how to roast.

And may I say – it washes beautifully too! Following gravy-making it had these nasty looking baked on streaks down the side, and I thought gosh – that’s gonna be hard to clean off. But it came right off with no trouble at all! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’m never using another dish.

 

Another point I’d like to make, in case anyone got here by google searching “How do I remove the label from my Le Creuset?” I google searched that! I did! And you know what, there were no solutions apart from one lady who soaked it in WD-40 for four hours. My goodness!

So I just threw it in the oven with the label on (and the roast in it, obviously) and after about an hour at 160 degrees Celsius, I pulled the edge with a pair of tweezers and it lifted right off.

 

I really hope this helps someone, because I was tearing my hair out.

 

O, and as an intriguing aside: in the 1950s, Le Creuset purchased a rival company called Cousances. Fun fact: my grandmother actually owns a Cousances pot – I’m guessing they’re pretty rare given that all of the ones made after they were bought by Le Creuset are stamped with Le Creuset rather than Cousances. Anyway, Mum’s using it at the moment (though not for roasts! What!) and it will obviously be mine eventually. What I love about these things is they simply never give up.

 

Recipes to follow of my kickass roast and risotto!

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