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Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

That Special Cake - Blueberry Yogurt Cake


I love homemade cakes: delicious, beautiful and simple cakes made by us for Mum’s birthday party, for a friend, for Easter, for Valentine’s Day, served on a nice cake plate because these little details make a difference!

Today, in the various cake shops available to us, we can choose dream cakes which perfectly brighten up our table. But, sometimes, we also want to make ourselves a special, tasty cake without that wow effect.


So, here’s a gorgeous cake recipe that will make a difference for your guests! I already posted this recipe in 2015 but I have decided to publish it again. This time the decoration is different and the taste is slightly different too. I made it with blueberries instead of the wild fruits (strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants) I used previously. I made this cake in early February for no particular reason other than to give us a special treat because that day I had received good news that made me very happy…




Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 blueberry yogurt with fruit pieces
2 yogurt pots of sugar (or 3 if you like very sweet cakes)
1 yogurt pot of oil (sunflower)
3 yogurt pots of self-raising flour
100 g blueberries

Preparation:
1 - Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
2 - Add the eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil and flour to a large bowl.
3 - Mix well.
4 - Add the blueberries towards the end and don’t mix much after doing so.
5 - Place in a greased mould that has been sprinkled with flour.
6 - Bake in the oven for about 40 mins.
7 - Allow to cool in the mould.

Topping:
250 ml cream
1 tablespoon of icing sugar
200g blueberries
Mint leaves to taste

Whip the cream with a little sugar. When ready, pour over the cake and decorate with the blueberries and mint.







Friday, 3 March 2017

Pistachio Cake


I made this delicious cake in mid-December. That weekend I was alone and I concocted a great programme for myself: a cake to go with tea, a good book to read, short walks here and there and swimming.

Okay, so back to what matters, the cake recipe. This delicious pistachio cake is scandalously easy to make - and it is to eat and cry for more. You can’t go wrong, honestly.

If you are a fan of pistachio cake like I am, you will adore this moist cake that has a good amount of ground pistachios in it. I have adjusted the quantity of ground almonds so that the cake is more pistachio than almond.


Ingredients:
250g softened butter
200g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
70g ground almonds
150g ground pistachio nuts
50g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Grated zest of 2 lemons

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, a little at a time, and beat until firmly incorporated.

3. Stir in the ground almonds and pistachios, the flour, the baking powder and the lemon zest.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool and unmould.

Et voilà!

Recipe from “Good Food Channel”




Friday, 24 February 2017

Cuba Libre Cocktail




Ingredients for 1 person
6 cl Cuban Rum
4 cl Lime juice
15 cl Coca-Cola

Make the “Cuba Libre” directly in a tumbler.
Pour the lime juice and rum on ice cubes, then add Coca-Cola. Stir slowly. Decorate with a slice of lime.

History of “Cuba Libre”
This simple and prestigious cocktail was created in 1900 just after the Second War of Independence between the United States and Spain (1895 to 1898). Two years after the war, in 1900, a captain and his troop of American soldiers met in a bar in the Old Quarter of Havana. The captain had ordered rum and Coca-Cola (which had just been imported into Cuba) on ice, with a quarter of a lime.
This awakened the curiosity of the soldiers who were accompanying him. They asked the barman to serve them the same cocktail. When the soldiers ordered a second round, a soldier suggested a toast to “Cuba Libre!” (Free Cuba!), to celebrate the liberation of Cuba.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Valentine’s Day Gift Idea - Plum Chutney

I made this plum chutney in the middle of November and then hid it in the cellar to be able to offer it for Valentine’s Day. We love chutneys and this red one is a pure delight and quite original too. I had never heard of plum chutney, so I just experimented and love it a lot. It is very quick and easy to make, you just can’t go wrong.

Ingredients (makes 6 small jars)
1.5kg plums
1 onion
250g of yellow sugar
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon clove powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
250ml of cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
1. Remove the stones from the plums and cut them in half. Finely chop the onion.

2. Put the plums, chopped onion, all the spices, sugar and vinegar in a pan and season with a little salt and pepper. Stir well to mix together all the ingredients and bring to the boil.

3. Reduce the heat to minimum and cook about 30 to 40 minutes until it is a soft, very aromatic mixture.

4. Place chutney, while still hot, in previously sterilised jars, close and store in a dry place.

5. Decorate with a pretty sticker and write down the serving suggestions.

To sterilise jars, wash and thoroughly rinse them in hot water. Place wet jars in a low oven to dry off and keep warm. Fill with hot chutney and cover with a waxed disc (waxed side down). Leave to cool, place a cellophane disc over the top and seal with an elastic band.


Monday, 6 February 2017

Teacup chocolate fondant

On a November Friday evening, after getting home, I desperately wanted something sweet, intense and chocolatey. In my cupboard, I found Cailler 64% Cocoa Dark Chocolate and this recipe came spontaneously into my mind.

To be honest, I avoid making this recipe because it is dangerously good. But I missed these yummies so much…I prefer to cook this cake in a teacup, it looks gourmand and it is original to serve a classic dessert in teacups.

For those who do not know, a chocolate fondant is obtained when a cake is baked until it is done on the outside, but soft and gooey in the centre. The secret to keeping the centre of the cake runny is to refrigerate the mixture for an hour before placing it in the oven.

Ingredients (4 teacups)
125g Cailler Cuisine Noir 64% (Cailler 64% Cocoa Dark Cooking Chocolate)
60 g butter
3 eggs
70 g sugar
30 g flour

Preparation: 15 min
Refrigeration: 1 hour
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Material: 4 teacups of 7-8 cm of diameter

1. Lightly butter the inside of the teacups and place them on the cold baking tray. Leave outside the oven.

2. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Add the butter cut into small cubes and mix to a smooth cream.

3. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar with an electric beater until they are pale and slightly foamy.

4. Pour in the chocolate cream and, using a spatula, gently fold in the flour.

5. Place the bowl with the mixture in a refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.

6. Fill the teacups with the preparation and place in the oven preheated to 200°C. Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.

7.  Let them cool a little before serving.

Note: This is a slightly adapted Cailler recipe.


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Irish Lemon Cake

Today I will take you on a trip to Ireland. I made this cake last November. This is a moist cake with an intense flavour of lemon that gives it its freshness. A real treat which I highly recommend for teatime or summer picnics.  It is very easy to carry and store.
A piece of advice, keep some slices in reserve for yourself, because your loved ones will leave you only crumbs...I know what I'm talking about...

Ingredients:
175 g butter
175 g sugar
175 g flour
3 eggs
Zest of 2 lemons (bio lemons preferably)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Lemon syrup
115g sugar
Juice from the 2 lemons

Preparation:
1.  Preheat oven to 160 ° C
2. Mix the softened butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs, one after another, while continuing to mix.
3. Gently incorporate the flour, baking powder and the lemon zest.
4. Pour into a cake mould and bake 45-50 minutes at 160°C (Check if the cake is cooked by pricking with a knife, it should come out clean)
5.  Remove from the oven, but leave the cake in the mould.
6.  Meanwhile, prepare the syrup.
7. Gently heat the lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved.
8. Pour the warm syrup over the cake. Wait until your cake is cold before you unmould.

Serves 8


Friday, 13 January 2017

Pink Grapefruit Mint Crush

Cocktail recipe with or without alcohol! (from “2001 Diary Year Planner”).

Makes 1 litre

50g caster sugar
200ml water
Fresh mint (a handful of leaves)
1 litre of pink grapefruit juice (I used a 50:50 mix of freshly squeezed and ready made grapefruit juice)
Crushed ice, to serve


1. Place the caster sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes, until you obtain a thin syrup.

2. Add the mint leaves to the syrup, reserving a few for decoration. Leave to completely cool down.

3. When you are ready to serve, remove the mint leaves from the cooled syrup and discard. Mix together the minted syrup and pink grapefruit juice.

4. Pour the mix over crushed ice and serve with extra mint leaves and sliced fruit.

If you want you can add gin or vodka to taste.

Note: If you cannot find pink grapefruit juice use ordinary.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas Gift Idea - Apple Chutney

For Christmas I always add a DIY gift that I have made to the main present that I offer. In the middle of November, when I saw this recipe, I knew it would be a spectacular Christmas gift idea. You see, in my entourage, we all love exotic things and Indian food. As luck was on my side, there was a huge promotion on Swiss apples here in the area. So, I prepared this recipe on a Saturday afternoon. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Ingredients (Makes 6 small jars)
1.5kg apples (Golden apples if you prefer a sweeter chutney, Belle de Boskoop apples if you want it more tangy/acidulous)
1 onion
250g of yellow sugar
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon clove powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
250ml of cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


Preparation
1. Peel the apples, remove the cores, and cut them into not too large cubes. Finely chop the onion.

2. Put the apples, chopped onion, all the spices, sugar and vinegar in a pan and season with a little salt and pepper. Stir well to mix together all the ingredients and bring to the boil.

3. Reduce the heat to minimum and cook about 30 to 40 minutes until it is a soft, very aromatic mixture.

4. Place chutney, while still hot, in previously sterilised jars, close and store in a dry place.

5. Decorate with a pretty sticker and write down the serving suggestions.


To sterilise jars, wash and thoroughly rinse them in hot water. Place wet jars in a low oven to dry off and keep warm. Fill with hot chutney and cover with a waxed disc (waxed side down). Leave to cool, place a cellophane disc over the top and seal with an elastic band.


Et  voilà one thing done!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Chai Tea... spicy, sweet and absolutely wonderful!

At  a gorgeous spa I used to go to in Kuala Lumpur, I had the honour of tasting this delicious, warm and wonderful drink for the very first time. They kindly gave me their Chai recipe. I have slightly adapted the spice and sweetness level and I have found the perfect recipe for my palate.

When I returned back home, I integrated Chai Tea into my routine. I drink it as a cure once or twice a month, although Asians traditionally consume it on a daily basis with friends and family and even serve it as an accompaniment to food. I sometimes add miniature cakes, like this gorgeous plate.


There are many ways to make Chai. The way that I learned and that I make Chai is relatively easy; I place all the ingredients in a saucepan with cold water and let the mixture come to a slow boil and turn a beautiful, rich colour. Then, I turn off the heat and add loose leaf tea. I strain the tea before serving.
You can use tea bags instead; allow it to brew for a few minutes (typically 3-5 minutes for black tea). Remove the tea bags. When ready, add three tablespoons of milk and stir to mix it. Pour into a cup; you can decorate with a cinnamon stick.

What makes the Chai Tea so special is all the balanced blend of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper...Here is my mixture, but feel free to change to suit your palate!

Ingredients (makes 3-4 mugs):
1 litre of water
2 teaspoons loose tea leaves (I use Earl Grey) or 2 black tea bags
1 cinnamon stick (plus an optional one for decoration)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon finely ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cane sugar
3 tablespoons milk

The history of Chai, from a book.
“Chai is traditionally a spicy, sweet, milky tea mixed with cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ginger. “Marsala Chai”, literally translated from Hindu, means “spiced tea”. The refreshing and healing power of these herbs is said to calm the mind and nurture the spirit. The Chai tradition originated during colonial India. The British introduced the Indians to the idea of adding milk to tea and the Indians took the practice a step further by blending spices with milky tea…and along came Chai.”


Friday, 11 November 2016

Olive Oil Cake

This recipe was given to me a long time ago by the grandmother of a Portuguese friend who grew up in the Alentejo.

The Alentejo is one of the most beautiful regions of Portugal. It is located southeast of Lisbon and north of the Algarve. It has a medieval, Roman and Arab heritage and its rich gastronomy is one of my favourites, I must say.

This delicious cake has a very distinctive flavour given by the olive oil, honey, cinnamon and the “Erva Doce”. Erva Doce is a mixed spice widely used in Portuguese cooking.


As you can see from the photos, my cake got overcooked, but, you know what? It tasted divine and it smelled really nice in my kitchen.

Ingredients:
2 dl olive oil
2 dl honey
4 eggs
170 g sugar
200 g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon “Erva Doce” (you will find it in Portuguese grocery shops)

Preparation:
1. Mix the olive oil, honey, sugar and eggs, beating well for about 10 minutes.
2. Add the cinnamon and the Erva Doce and the self-raising flour and mix very well.
3. Pour the dough into a large savarin mould, well-greased with butter and sprinkled with flour.
4. Place it in the oven at 180°C to bake for about 40 minutes (check that it is cooked).
5. Once cooked unmould the cake and let it cool.

Serves 12

Note: You can prepare a smaller cake by using the half of the ingredients mentioned here.


Friday, 28 October 2016

Pumpkin Pie for Halloween

My  goodness. It’s Halloween next Monday. How did we arrive at the end of October already? This month was so-so for me... So let’s keep moving forward. I want November to count. To end in style, how about a recipe for a crazy Halloween party?

I made this recipe for the first time 10 days ago for a dinner at home. We loved it a lot, so I thought I would suggest that you try this recipe. This pie is made of a delicious pumpkin cream filling, ranging in colour from orange to brown, baked on a crusty pastry base and rich in flavours.

“The pumpkin pie is a traditional dessert, often consumed in autumn and early winter, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US and Canada. The pumpkin is a symbol of the harvest and is also used in Halloween festivities.” Quotation from the cookbook.

Ingredients:
1 shortcrust pastry
1 kg of peeled pumpkin (560g flesh, I chose butternut)
3 eggs
40 cl sweetened condensed milk
110 g brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used fresh ginger)
3 pinches of nutmeg
Whipped cream (optional)

Preparation:
1. First, cook the pumpkin flesh in boiling water, rinse it and then mash until it becomes a purée. Leave it to cool.

2. Whisk the pumpkin purée, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour into the pastry crust.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 165°C and continue baking for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted an inch into the pie comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Any leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator.

Serves 6-8 people

Note: The tart mould I used has a 28 cm diameter and is 3 cm deep. Shortcrust pastry – you will need enough for one 28 cm pie mould.

For now, I wish you a very Happy Halloween & Pumpkin Day and a tip-top weekend.

P.S. For another option, see last year’s recipe, Pumpkin Fritters.