Pumpkin is in abundance at the markets these days, you can’t miss it. It comes in all shapes and sizes and this colourful squash can be used in all manner of forms and tastes good with a variety of different flavours.
Tag Archives: Yummy
I give you a combination of earthy meets sweet, I give you Purple Velvet.
For weeks, I have been talking about making these little gems. I only recently started using fresh beetroot in my cooking and thought it would go really well in some baked treats. The colour that comes out of a freshly cooked beetroot is extraordinary, splashes of vibrant purple are scattered over the kitchen counter tops when I get my hand stuck into them.
My usual Sunday since moving to Perth consists of heading down towards Apple Cross to watch the Irish boys don their shorts and head out for a day of football. Not just to perve mind, but to support, as my boy plays with a local team here and is quite passionate about it.
A while back, I went along to a cookery class run by Porcini Restaurant in the Ritz Carlton Hotel here in Doha. The head chef, Alessio Corda used to run the classes on the first Saturday of every month. 11 of us went along to get a sneak peak at some real Italian cooking. I had previously been to one of the cookery classes and loved it so much. We were presented with our aprons and recipe cards and soon got down to business.
The first time I came across this tasty condiment was in the Cake Cafe a couple of years ago. My sister and her beau were adamant to bring me here one morning. So, with 3 sore heads and ravenous tummies, we headed off into Pleasant’s Place and treated ourselves to eggs and soldiers with a grand helping of red onion marmalade and thus my love for onion marmalade began.
I had been meaning to make pesto for such a long time and when I looked in the fridge to see what my options were, a big bunch of bright, green, fresh parsley was gleaming out at me. I had never had Pesto al Prezzemolo before but surely it would be just as yummy as the traditional basil version.
I got all of my ingredients out, some fresh garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, a dash of olive oil and a big ole bunch of parsley.
Here is how you do it…..
What you need:
150 g Fresh Parsley
50 g Pine nuts
50 g Grated Parmesan
200 ml Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic
Pinch of salt
In a food processor, blend the pine nuts with the garlic and salt.
Slowly add in the parsley leaves and pulse.
When all of the parsley has been added in, drizzle in the olive oil and let the pesto come together.
Mix through the grated parmesan.
Season with some pepper, to taste.
Serve with some antipasti or mix through spaghetti.
Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny,
Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns!”
“Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be“
Sharing a Hot Cross Bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year and who could resist a warm plate of hot buns? Half for you and half for your friend and everyone is happy! Especially after the abstinence from yummy treats throughout Lent, I think we all deserve a deliciously sticky, spiced fruity bun
This being my 3rd Easter away from the nest, I thought it was finally time I got around to making some traditional Easter treats and what better than Hot Cross Buns! I had never made these before but I have memories of gobbling them up after being toasted and lathered in butter. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, but as I was away from the kitchen, today was my day to experiment. I researched quite a few recipes and decided that this was my favourite method. It’s a traditional hot cross bun recipe with a twist: spiced, candied apples. So easy and yet so scrummy.
The buns are allowed to expand twice which makes them extra bunny, if that makes sense!
Here is the recipe, I hope you have your own Easter adventures in the kitchen this weekend to share too…..
- 325g caster sugar
- 750 g Plain Flour
- 1 lemon
- 2 Apples (I used Pink Ladies) peeled, cored and diced
- 150g sultanas
- 15 g (3 x 5g sachets) Bakers Yeast
- 3 tspns Ground cinnamon
- 1 tspn Ground nutmeg
- 1 tspn Allspice
- 1 tspn salt
- 400 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 100g butter
I used the remaining syrup from the apples and lemon, combined with 1/2 tspn cinnamon. Heated it up and brushed it generously over the buns, transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes and get ready to gobble!
Start off heating 275 ml of water and 260 g castor sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Add the juice of half the lemon along with the apples. The other half of the lemon can be cut into small cubes and added into the pan.
Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes until apples and lemons are soft and translucent.
Drain the fruit and reserve the syrup separately. When the apples and lemons have cooled down, dice them.
In a mixing bowl, combine 700g flour, sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, yeast and salt and the apple and lemon mixture.
Combine to ensure it is evenly mixed. Make a well in the centre.
In a small pan, over a medium heat, pour in the milk, add the butter and when melted, whisk in the egg.
Add this milk mixture to the mixing bowl.
Stir to form a soft dough.
Knead for 8-10 minutes to aerate the dough,
Place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film.
Place the bowl in a warm area (I use an oven heated to 60 °C) for about 30 minutes, until it has expanded.
Take the dough out, place on a floured surface and knock back the dough.
Divide the dough into at least 15 buns.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the buns on to this with at least 1 cm space in between them to allow them to expand.
Cover with cling film once again and place back into the oven or a warm area for another 30 minutes to expand further, at least doubled in size.
Mix 70 ml cold water and 50 g flour together and, using a piping back make crosses on top of the buns.
Preheat the oven to 220 °C, place the buns in the centre of the oven and after 10 minutes reduce the heat to 200 °C and cook for a further 10 minutes.
The buns should sound a little hollow when ready.
Heat the apple and lemon syrup in a small pot over medium heat and add in 1/2 tspn cinnamon. With a glazing brush, generously coat the buns with this syrup. Move to a wire rack and cool.
Lather in butter and devour!
Also, whilst I was researching the buns, I discovered some interesting history behind them. Aside from traditionally being eaten on Good Friday, it is also thought that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the Goddess Eostre.
Hot Cross Buns also have a lot of superstitions associated with them. Because of the cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year. So, next time you grab a hot cross bun out of the toaster, think of the years of history that came with that yummy bun!
Ok, this is the last of the chocolate extravaganza for a looong time! I promise :p
I had just enough raw chocolate left over to make this amazingly rich boozy vegan mousse recipe. There is a warning attached to it, be prepared for a major chocolate kick. As the raw chocolate is completely different to any shop bought chocolate, it is that little bit stronger on the taste buds .
There is enough in this mixture to feed 8 chocolate booze hounds. The addition of the rum is glorious. It gives it a bit of an oomph and would be perfect to finish off a dinner party with these little treats.
It was my first time using silken tofu in a dessert and I loved the idea that these were completely vegan.
The recipe is simple and you can serve them warm but they are amazing when chilled in the fridge for an hour.
12 oz Silken Tofu
10 oz Dark Chocolate
3 tablespoons Agave Nectar
1 tspn Vanilla Extract
1 tblspn Dark Rum
Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water
In a separate bowl, blend the tofu. Leave to the side.
When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat.
Add in the agave nectar and melted chocolate to the tofu, stir to combine.
Pour in the rum and vanilla extract.
Blend the mixture in a food processor or a hand blender/whisk.
Divide into 8 mini dishes and chill in the fridge for an hour.
Simple and Divine!
Chili con Cacao, sounds good right? Who couldn’t resist this traditional Spanish dish, infused with my very own raw chocolate. Simmered over a low heat for the day and served up with basmati rice, this dish was perfect for the Irish Foodies Chocolate Cookalong. It was my first time experimenting with savoury and bitter sweet and I really enjoyed the flavours and so did my guinea pigs. A little more chili for an extra kick is more than welcome. I was a little apprehensive about using chili and only used 2 red chilis in this but I think that 4 would have given it the desired POW! factor.
Here are the ingredients and feel free to mix it up a little bit. Make a dish your own by adding in your favourite flavours.
500g Minced Beef
2 large onions
3 cloves garlic
2 cans of tomatoes (diced)
4 tspns cumin
1 tspn oregano
2 bay leaves
2-4 red chilis
2 tspns salt
1/2 tspn pepper
2 cans of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
80g Raw Chocolate
1/2 glass of wine
1 cup of rice
Heat a saucepan with olive oil.
Dice the onions and garlic and add to the pan. Sweat for about 15 minutes.
Add the meat and brown.
Add in the cumin, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pepper.
Cook for 10 more minutes to release the flavours.
Pour in the two tins of tomatoes.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Tipple in the red wine.
Break in the chocolate and allow to melt.
After draining the kidney beans, throw them in to the pan with the chili.
Leave the chili on the lowest heat and simmer for about 2 hours.
Boil up the cup of rice with 2 cups of water and serve with the chili.
Sprinkle with some cheddar and devour.
I left my chili cooking for 4 hours in total and I feel it needed every second. It had the chance to release and absorb all of the flavours, the meat was tender and the flavours had combined to form a rich and exotic taste.
It was followed by these mini chocolate and rummy cakes. The guinea pigs had a great feast! I’d be lost without them
When the Irish Foodie’s Cookalongs announced that the April Cookalong would be chocolate themed, I got tremendously excited!! My mind was racing with ideas about what to make and THEN I remembered that I invested in a ‘How to make your own Raw Chocolate Kit’. That came out and I whipped up some beautifully creamy bittersweet bars of chocolate in preparation for these chocolate and rum cakes for the chocolate cookalong.
They were gobbled up after the Chili con Cacao.
The recipe is Nigella Lawson’s and I added in a tipple of some rum just to give it that extra ooomph!
70g soft unsalted butter
350g Pure Raw chocolate
150g castor sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g plain flour
6 individual pudding moulds, buttered (I used ramekins)
Tipple of Dark Rum, about 4-5 tblspns
Heat the oven to 200°C. Place a clean baking tray in the oven.
Butter the ramekins/moulds.
Heat a pot of water to about 50°C and place a heat proof bowl in to it.
Add in the chocolate to the heatproof bowl and allow to melt.
In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
When pale and fluffy add in the beaten eggs, vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
Sift in the flour and whisk together to combine all the ingredients.
Add in your tipple of rum, I used about 4-5 tablespoons of dark rum.
Pour in the chocolatey goodness and mix.
Make sure the mixture is combined and all ingredients are mixed well.
Pour in to ramekin dishes/moulds.
Remove the dry baking tray from the oven and place the ramekins on it.
Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
When the cakes are ready, pop them on to a plate, sprinkle with icing sugar and devour the creamy richness with a kick!