Coconut berry Friands

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I have altered an AWW recipe to make these delicious gluten-free Friands. The coconut flour adds a great taste as well as being a substitute for normal flour
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Ingredients
3 egg whites
90 gms unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
3/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup frozen berries

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Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees, grease a 12 hole friand (or muffin) tin.
Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold in butter, almond meal, sugar, baking powder and coconut flour. Gently fold in berries then spoon into friand tins.
Bake friands for around 20 minutes, cool in pan for 5 mins then turn out onto a rack. Dust with icing sugar once cooled.
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Two interesting salads

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I have been making an effort lately to eat my 5+ a day. Some days its easy, and other days it seems a struggle to get those 5 serves of veges in.
I found two great recipes in Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. If you have bought this book you will know how amazing it is for fresh, tasty recipes. If you can’t afford it, or don’t buy a lot of cookbooks, you will find many of Ottolenghi’s recipes on his column in the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/series/yotam-ottolenghi-recipes.

Both of the recipes I have picked today are really interesting in both flavour and texture. They would also be nice the next day, and would be lovely for work lunch.

Baby spinach with almonds and dates
Ingredients
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 red onion thinly diced
1 cup of pitted medjool dates chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small pita bread cut into triangles
70 gms (one small packet) of whole almonds, roughly chopped
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
2 tsp sumac (if you haven’t used this spice before, I would hunt it down. It is delicious)
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 bag of baby spinach
2 tbsp of lemon juice
salt and pepper

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Method
Put the onion and dates into a small bowl with the vinegar and a pinch of salt, squash a bit with your fingers and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add the pita bread, almonds and pumpkin seeds and toast until bread is crispy and coloured.
In a salad bowl mix the spinach & date mix together. Add the pita bread mix, sprinkle over the lemon juice, chilli, sumac, salt and pepper then toss to combine.

Roasted  cauliflower with Hazelnuts
1 head of cauliflower (broken into small florets)
5 tbsp olive oil
1 large stick of celery (finely sliced)
1/2 cup of hazelnuts (skin on)
1 cup of green grapes
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

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Method
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and once hot place cauliflower on an oven tray with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Roast for around 20 mins. Turn the oven down to 170, add the whole hazelnuts and roast for a further 15 mins.
In a bowl, mix together the celery, grapes and parsley. In a small jar mix the pomegranate molasses, cinnamon, mixed spice, remaining olive oil and vinegar together and shake to combine.
Tip the cauliflower and hazelnuts onto the celery etc, pour over the dressing and mix to combine.

Gingernut biscuits – two ways

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This basic gingernut recipe is really lovely. Unfortunately it doesn’t have the tooth breaking crunch of the supermarket version (they simply are the best dunking biscuits!) but it is still super yummy.

I could easily eat a whole tray of these on their own, but instead I used the biscuits for two difference desserts.

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Basic biscuit dough
INGREDIENTS

200g butter, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup golden syrup
3 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

METHOD
MAKES 24
Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. In a small saucepan, combine butter, sugar and golden syrup. Stir over a low heat until melted and combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
Using an electric mixture, beat mixture until light and fluffy. Allow to cool slightly. Sift flour, spices and soda together. Fold into butter mixture until well combined.
Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls. Arrange on trays, allowing a little space between each. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Serves 4
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8 Giant ginger biscuits (made with the recipe above)
Ice-cream of your choice. I made Whiskey, caramel ice-cream by using this recipe https://afleetingaffair.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/nana-dulcies-ice-cream/ but I used 2 tablespoons of whiskey instead of the Cointreau, and stirred through homemade caramel sauce.

Scope the ice-cream into the biscuits, squash together and eat before all the ice-cream drips down your arm!

Layered Lemoncurd cheese cake

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Gingernut biscuits as above
1 small bottle of cream
1 tub (250 gms) of cream cheese
The juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup icing sugar
Lemon curd https://afleetingaffair.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/lemon-curd/
Strawberries for garnish

Method
Whip the cream cheese in a small bowl until smooth. Add the lemon juice and sugar and mix again. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks. Fold through 2/3rds of the cream into the cream cheese mix and set aside.
Crumble some of the gingernuts into the bottom of a glass or small jar (you want to be able to see the layers) add a layer of lemon curd and smooth, add some of the cream cheese mix. Repeat the layers finishing with a final layer of plain cream. Crumble a few crumbs on the top, and place the strawberry.

Cauliflower fritters with lemon yogurt

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This is my take on an Ottolenghi recipe, which I found via toast-nz.com. I really like Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes as they are fresh and full of flavour.
Serves 2 for lunch
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Ingredients
For the Fritters
Half a head of cauliflower
1/2 cup of flour
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 clove of garlic crushed
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sumac (don’t panic if you don’t have any, but it adds a lovely flavour)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

For the yogurt
1 cup of natural yogurt
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped parsley
The rind of 1 lemon
The juice of two lemons (save the rind off the second lemon for garnish)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Method
For the yogurt
Mix all the ingredients in a jug and set aside.

For the fritters
Chop the cauliflower into small florets, discard the stalks and leaves. Place in a pot of boiling water, and boil for 15 mins or until really soft.
While the cauliflower is boiling, mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Heat some neutral oil in a pan until hot (or use a non-stick pan) drain the cauliflower, then stir through the batter. Using a large spoon, dollop the fritters into the hot pan. Press them down slightly, and cook at a medium heat. They will need approximately 3 minutes on each side.
Serve on a plate with the yogurt drizzled over, and some fresh greens.
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Focaccia with whipped Feta dip

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This Focaccia will make a great summer starter, especially with the whipped Feta dip. I served this with oven roasted tomatoes
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Ingredients
For the Bread
1/2 tsp caster sugar
500 ml lukewarm water
2 1/2 tsp dried yeast
50 ml olive oil
800gms plain flour
3 tsp salt
Green olives (with no stones)
Rosemary
Sea salt

For the Dip
1 packet of salt reduced feta
The juice of 1 lemon
1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Paprika to dust

Method
For the bread
Combine the sugar and 250 ml of the water in a jug and sprinkle over the yeast, set aside for 5-6 minutes. Pour the yeast mix, olive oil, remaining water and about 1/3 of the flour and the salt into a large bowl (or your mixing bowl if you have a dough hook) mix with a wooden spoon gradually the rest of the flour using your hands when it is stiff to stir (You might not need all the flour).
If you are using a dough hook, knead for around 5 minutes. If you don’t have a dough hook turn the dough on to your bench and knead by hand for around 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl in a warm place to rise (for around 1 hour)
Preheat the oven to 220 C, Grease a rectangle roasting dish. Knock back the dough and spread into the roasting dish, Poke holes into the dough and add an olive to each hole. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary and then drizzle with a little extra oil.
Bake for 25-30 mins
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For the Dip
Break the Feta into chunks and add to a food processor with the lemon juice & garlic, blend then slowly drizzle in the olive oil (you can add a little water if its too thick)
Once creamy, dollop into a bowl and sprinkle with paprika
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Bali food adventures – Part 1

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I recently went on holiday to Bali with my husband and two friends. I had never really tried Indonesian or Balinese food and I guess I didn’t have much of an opinion about it. I was blown away but the flavours and freshness of the local cuisine. There was so much flavour without too much spice (Unless you were like the men I was travelling with and added spicy sambal to EVERYTHING)
I have some photos and two recipes to share, in part 2 I will try to recreate some of the dishes at home and will share those as well.

I started nearly every morning with fresh coconut as part of my breakfast
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They are such a great way to stay hydrated when you are skeptical of the water
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This was the first Balinese meal I had, slow cooked pork curry with rice and the best bean salad. I will have a recipe for this simple salad in Part 2
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Benn and I took a cooking class at Bali Niksoma Hotel. This was our welcome drink
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We learn to cook two dishes, the first was Sate Tusuk (Char-Satay). These were skewers of beef, chicken and pork cooked in Balinese spices and a peanut sauce.

The lesson was outside on the grass, everything was spread out so beautifully
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These were the ingredients for the peanut sauce
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We diced the meat and loaded up the skewers
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They were then cooked over a BBQ which was fueled by coconut husks
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Another shot of all the fresh ingredients
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We were taught how to make a garnish with the tomatoes and cucumber, I quickly learnt that my knife skills and attention to detail needed some work.
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After the satay is cooked, we plated up and enjoyed our first dish
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Char-Satay
Ingredients

400 gms of meat (chicken, pork, lamb or beef) cubed
20 bamboo skewers
For the seasoning
100ml of sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis)
2 chopped shallots
2 sliced Kafir lime leaves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 stalk of lemon grass chopped
For the satay sauce
200 gms fried peanuts
25 gms fried shallots
25 gms fried garlic
3 fried, diced red chillies
25 gms palm sugar
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
50 ml water
1 sliced Kafir lime leaf

Method
Add 3 pieces of cubed meat to each skewer. Blend all the seasoning ingredients into a fine paste. Coat the skewers in the seasoning and also season with salt and pepper. Cook the skewers over the BBQ or grill until cooked through.
To make the Satay Sauce, Grind the peanuts, shallot, garlic and chilli into a paste. Add the palm sugar, then water, sweet soya, and lime leaf, cook over a medium heat until bubbling.

The second dish we made was Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali (Grilled fish in Balinese Spices) We used snapper for this fish, but any firm white fish would be lovely. You could also use chicken or lamb.
There were 2 parts to this dish, the marinade of Balinese spices, and the Tomato dip (Sambal) that accompanies the finished dish.

The ingredients for the Bumbu Bali
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The ingredients for the sambal
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The ingredients in a form now which was blended to make a paste
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The fish being cooked on the BBQ after being coated in the blended Balinese spice mix
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More knife skills for the garnish
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Our finished dishes
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Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali
Ingredients

400 gms of snapper
100ml oil
3 Kafir lime leaves sliced
salt and pepper
For the Balinese Spices
20 gm galangal
25 gm garlic
25 gm onion
20 gm ginger
2 tsp turmeric
4 stalks of lemongrass
5 hot chillies
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp coriander seed
For the Sambal
2oo gms tomatoes
100 gms chillies
50 gm garlic
50 gms onion
40 gms palm sugar
2 Kafir lime leaves sliced
100 ml oil

To make the spice mix, cut all ingredients into small pieces and blend in a food processor until smooth. Then mix with the oil, lime leaves and salt and pepper. Marinate the snapper fillet in the spices then grill the fish on a BBQ or hot plate until cook.
To make the Sambal, dice the tomato, chilli, onion and garlic and add to a pan with the oil. Fry until half cooked. Blend together and add back to a pan with the remaining ingredients. Simmer until flavour has developed.

During our holiday we also went to a wonderful restaurant called Bali Asli http://baliasli.com.au/
It is run by an Australian girl but specialising in Traditional Balinese Cuisine. The menu changes daily depending on what is available at the market

Spiced water
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A starter of different fish and vegetable puffed chips with 3 different dips
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The restaurant
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The view!
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When we ordered we could choose 4 dishes. I had young coconut cooked in banana leaves, a chicken salad, a bean salad and a pork broth. It was absolutely stunning, and I can’t stop thinking about the beautiful flavour combinations.
Nasi Campur
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Chicken salad
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Pork Broth
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Ottolenghi Carrot Cake

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This recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi. He is an Israeli born chef living in the UK. His recipes are flavourful and delicious with a focus on real food and real ingredients.
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Ingredients
Ingredients, cake:
160g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
270g sugar
200g sunflower oil
1 egg
1 additional egg separated
1 extra egg white
50g walnuts, chopped
50g shredded coconut
135g carrot, grated

Icing
50gms icing sugar, sifted
70g unsalted butter (room temp)
One tub (250gms) cream cheese (room temp)
1 tbs maple syrup or honey

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line an 8inch (20cm) cake tin.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon & cloves in a bowl, & set aside.
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Beat together the sugar & oil until combined. Add in the egg & egg yolk & beat until completely mixed in. Pour in the flour & mix until combined, then add in the carrots, walnuts & coconut & mix until blended.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the eggs whites into the cake batter, 1/3 at a time. Pour the batter into the tin & bake for 1 hour, to 1 hour & 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (it is ok if there are a few cake crumbs, just no wet batter)
Allow to cool on a wire rack completely before icing.
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Icing
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, Add the cream and maple syrup until well mixed and there are no lumps
Ice the cake, and decorate as you wish. I used dried apricots, walnuts and sunflower seeds but be creative.
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Roasted Rhubarb with Baklava topping

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I love rhubarb, and I know it is delicious as a crumble or in a pie but I wanted to give this recipe my own twist.
There are two parts to this recipe, roasting the rhubarb which can then be used in this dish, or topped with yogurt, or added to the top of my Vanilla Honey Pannacotta recipe. The second part is the Baklava topping.
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Ingredients
Roasted Rhubarb
4 cups of rhubarb chopped into 5 cm pieces
The juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup of runny honey
5 whole cloves

Baklava Topping
15 sheets of flaky puff pastry
75 gm packet of slivered almonds
75 gm packet of pistachio nuts roughly chopped
1 tsp of cinnamon

Rosewater syrup
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of honey
1 tablespoon of rosewater (you can leave this out if you don’t have any)
1 cinnamon quill
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Method
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
Put the rhubarb into a roasting dish, pour over orange juice and honey then sprinkle over cloves, pour in 1/2 cup of water.
Roast until the rhubarb is soft but maintains its shape, remove from the oven and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, mix the nuts and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
Pour the rhubarb into a smaller dish (around the size of your puff pastry). On a chopping board, lay down one piece of pastry and brush with butter, repeat 5 times and then place on top of the rhubarb. Sprinkle with half of the almonds and pistachio nuts. Repeat the pastry with another 5 layers, and again add to the rhubarb and sprinkle over nuts. Add the final 5 layers of pastry to the rhubarb.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden. While the pastry is baking, make your sugar syrup. Put sugar, honey, cinnamon and rosewater in a pot with 1 cup of water. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, continue to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Once the pastry is cooked, pour over the sugar syrup and serve with ice-cream

Indian slow cooker Lamb shanks

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These are so easy and delicious with very few ingredients. Perfect for those chilly week nights.
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Serves 4
Ingredients
4 decent size lamb shanks
1 jar of Rogan Josh or Tikka Masala sauce (I use Patak’s)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 Onion diced
2 cups of pumpkin chopped into cubes
2 cups of brown rice
2 cups of green beans
2 tsp of sesame seeds

Method
Put the lamb shanks, jar of sauce, tomatoes, onion and pumpkin in the slow cooker and mix. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet
Steam the green beans (I just put them in the microwave with 1/4 cup of water for 3 minutes)
Sprinkle the beans with sesame seeds and serve on top of the rice with the lamb shanks and a ladleful of sauce and pumpkin.

Banana cake with Caramel Swiss meringue buttercream

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I made this recipe last night for a work celebration (at my real job!) It is the cake on the left, with hazelnut brittle in the front

The Banana cake recipe comes from Little and Friday, and it is amazing. The link is attached here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10795656 I then made Caramel Swiss meringue butter cream, and Hazelnut brittle to top.

The caramel buttercream came from this recipe by Call Me Cupcake. She is one of my favourite food bloggers, take a look through the rest of her posts! http://call-me-cupcake.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/banana-cupcakes-with-caramel-frosting.html
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Make the Caramel one day ahead to allow it to cool as otherwise it may split the buttercream.

Swiss Meringue buttercream
2 cups of sugar
500mls of cream
3 egg whites
120 grams sugar
135 grams butter, softened and chopped

Place the first measure of sugar in a small bowl, and add water until the sugar resembles wet sand. Bring to the boil but do not stir, brush down the sides with a pastry brush if any sugar starts to burn. Boil until the sugar has turned golden in colour, if the sugar is colouring at different rates you can swirl the pan (but don’t stir!)
In another small saucepan heat the cream to boiling. Remove both from heat and slowly pour the cream into the sugar while stirring. It will puff up so be careful. Beat until smooth and set aside.

When you are ready to make the Buttercream, pour the egg whites & sugar into a clean, heatproof stainless bowl (I use my mixer bowl if you have a metal one) and place over a double boiler on the stove. The water under the bowl should be simmering. Whisk the eggs and sugar constantly so that they don’t curdle, watch the temp as you don’t want scrambled eggs. Rub some of the mixture between your fingers to ensure the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and whip until white, fluffy and cool. This could take up to 10 minutes. Start adding the chopped butter a few cubes at a time. If it looks like curdling keep whipping. If it cools too quickly pop it back on the heat. If it is too hot and the butter is melting rather than mixing pop it in the fridge. Once all the butter is added, slowly add 1 cup of the caramel you have made and mix well

Hazelnut brittle
1 cup of hazelnuts
1.5 cups of sugar
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Place the hazelnuts into a tea towel and crush using a mallet (or your rolling pin) Place into a tray that is lined with baking paper or a silicon mat. Remove any loose skins.
Put the sugar into a small saucepan and add enough water to look like wet sand. Place on the stove and boil (as you would making the caramel above) Once the sugar has turned amber in colour, pour over the hazelnuts to ensure they are all coated. Leave overnight to set.