Monthly Archives: November 2013

Peri Peri Sauce

Today’s post is going to be a quick one because I think today is the last day to get entries into Bangers and Mash’s new challenge The Spice Trail.  Vanesther chose chillies for this month’s theme and so I give you a recipe with a whole 20 hot chillies in it.  This is not for the faint hearted but if you are a chilli fan then you have to try this.  Peri Peri sauce or (Piri Piri sauce) was brought to South Africa by the Portuguese and has since been popularised in the UK by Nando’s.  It makes a great marinade for roast chicken and another very popular dish in South Africa is Peri Peri chicken livers.  I have used the very hot Scotch Bonnet chillies because they are readily available here in the UK but if you can get African Bird’s Eye chillies then even better.

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Peri Peri Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 500ml

Peri Peri Sauce

Ingredients

  • 200g Scotch Bonnet chillies, deseeded
  • 1 head of garlic (about 12 cloves), peeled
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 80ml white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tblsp paprika
  • 250ml water
  • 25ml cornflour

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except for the water and cornflour into a mini blender and pulse together until well combined.
  2. Pass this mixture through a sieve and into a pan.
  3. Bring to the boil.
  4. Mix the cornflour and a small amount of the water to a thick paste.
  5. Add this paste and the remaining water to the chilli mixture and continue to stir until your sauce has thickened.
  6. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  7. Place your sauce into a sterilised bottle and store in the refrigerator.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2013/11/28/peri-peri-sauce/

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Homemade Almond Paste

It’s been a couple of months now since I last participated in the Bake Along challenge so I was keen to try this month’s challenge which is an Italian Almond Tart.  One of the main ingredients called for is Almond Paste which I have never come across here in the UK.  A quick search on Google revealed quite a heated debate amongst the baking fraternity. It would appear that Almond Paste means something different depending on which country you come from.  What I did learn is that Marzipan (as we know it in the UK) is not the same as Almond Paste.  Almond Paste generally has equal quantities of ground almonds to sugar whereas Marzipan has a much higher ratio of sugar to almonds.  I did have a look at a couple of brands of Marzipan and the quantity of almonds was only 25%.  I also didn’t recognise a lot of the other ingredients which is never a good thing.  Having established the ratio of sugar to almonds, the next deciding factor is what binding agent to use.  This is where you see the difference between the different countries.  I found recipes which used egg white, egg yolk, whole egg, water, sugar syrup, honey and some even had alcohol in them.  I opted for the whole egg but only because I didn’t want to have to deal with the problem of a stray yolk or 1 egg white to use up.  I also added Cointreau but to be honest I couldn’t taste it in the finished product.  The end result was delicious and made for a perfect Almond Tart.  It is really quick and so easy to make and freezes beautifully.  No excuses… you have to try and make your own homemade almond paste.  You won’t regret it.

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Almond Paste

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 500g

Almond Paste

Ingredients

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tblsp Cointreau (optional)

Instructions

  1. Sieve the caster sugar and the ground almonds into a mixing bowl.
  2. Give the egg and the Cointreau (if using) a quick mix to combine.
  3. Add the egg to the sugar and almond mixture.
  4. Mix together until a stiff paste is formed.
  5. Use immediately or wrap in cling wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Notes

Almond paste may be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. Bring back to room temperature before using.

http://mygoldenpear.com/2013/11/26/homemade-almond-paste/

Chocolate Oat Cookies

This week has not been without its fair share of kitchen disasters.  I have been trying to perfect a chocolate mousse terrine and gave up after my third attempt – never wanting to see another chocolate mousse again.  I also tried my hand at deep fried cauliflower.  Why? When I don’t like deep fried food and I don’t like cauliflower.  I was not converted!  By the end of the week I was looking for familiarity.  Something that I knew would work.  Something comforting.  A good old fashioned oat cookie, crispy and perfect for dunking was my answer.  These oat cookies were part of my Mum’s baking repertoire when we were growing up.  We used to know them as Gypsy Creams and I was always intrigued as to where the name originated from but have never managed to find out.  My Mum used to sandwich them together with a buttercream icing but I generally leave them plain as they last longer in the tin.  For this batch I sandwiched them together with some leftover Mars Bar sauce (which, by the way is perfect over  vanilla ice cream).

Right – time for a cup of tea and a….

Chocolate Oat Cookies1

Chocolate Oat Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 30 single cookies

Chocolate Oat Cookies

Ingredients

  • 200g butter
  • ½ tblsp golden syrup
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2½ cups porridge oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Chocolate filling:
  • 1 standard size Mars Bar
  • 80ml single cream
  • 20g dark chocolate (about 3 squares)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Melt the butter and syrup in a pan over a medium heat.
  3. Mix all the remaining dry ingredients in a bowl and then add the butter and syrup mixture.
  4. Mix well to combine.
  5. Using your hands, roll the mixture into small balls about the size of a walnut. (You do need to work it together a bit - as if you are using a stress ball).
  6. Place on a baking tray and flatten with a fork. Reshape if necessary. (These biscuits do not spread much so flatten as much as possible).
  7. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes. They will still be soft when you take them out the oven but will firm up once cool.
  8. Sandwich together with butter icing, chocolate filling or leave as is.
  9. For the chocolate filling:
  10. Chop the Mars Bar into small pieces and melt over a medium heat together with the cream and dark chocolate.
  11. Mix to a glossy sauce and then refrigerate until it is thick enough to spread on the cookies.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2013/11/22/chocolate-oat-cookies/

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY. This month the theme is cooking with oats and is hosted by Vivian of Vivian Pang’s Kitchen.

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I am also linking up to this month’s Alphabakes challenge which is shares by The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes.  This month’s letter is ‘O’ and is hosted by Caroline Makes …

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Link up your recipe of the week

Lamb Curry

Way back in September I can remember wondering what I would do with all my time now that both kids are at school.  Two months in, and I can honestly say that I have not had one day where I’ve had nothing to do.  In fact I seem to have less time to do ‘my’ things like blogging.  On Monday I decided I would spruce up the guest bathroom by giving it a quick lick of paint.  It is now Thursday and my small job has turned into a complete over haul with me painting the walls, the woodwork, removing the old tiles and putting up new ones, varnishing the floor and fitting all new accessories.  I do love the whole process of DIY but everything else gets put on the back burner including cooking and housework.  This is where my freezer becomes my best friend.  First thing in the morning I can take out a precooked meal and half an hour before hubby is due home it is in the pot getting heated up.  A perfectly good home cooked meal on the table in less than half an hour and I’ve managed to spend the day decorating the house.

One of my standby meals for the freezer is this Durban Lamb Curry.  It is just a good, no nonsense spicy curry which originates from South Africa and in particular the area of Natal which is where I was born many years ago.  I have toned down the spices ever so slightly so that my hubby can eat it and even my five year old daughter enjoys ‘that spicy meat stuff’.  A real family favourite in our house.

Well that’s enough sitting around, coffee break over, it’s back to the painting….

Lamb Curry

Lamb Curry

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Serving Size: 6 servings

Lamb Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 tblsp ghee (or sunflower oil)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (5cm), peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tblsp hot curry powder
  • ½ tblsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1.2 kg stewing lamb, cubed
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 tins (800g) chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tblsp apricot conserve
  • 250ml lamb stock
  • 1 tblsp white vinegar
  • 250 ml frozen peas (see note)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  2. Melt the ghee in a large pan.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry lightly until just starting to brown.
  4. Add the curry powder, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, ground ginger and continue to fry for a few minutes.
  5. Add the lamb and fry until nicely browned, 8 - 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cinnamon stick, chopped tomatoes, apricot conserve, stock and vinegar and stir together.
  7. Transfer everything to an ovenproof dish and cover tightly.
  8. Bake in the oven for 1½ hours. (If you are adding peas then only add them in the last ½ hour)

Notes

It is not traditional to add peas to a Durban Curry but I like the colour and the freshness that they add.

http://mygoldenpear.com/2013/11/14/lamb-curry/

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As this curry contains chilli and I love cooking with spices I am submitting my post over to Vanesther at Bangers and Mash and her new challenge The Spice Trail.

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Link up your recipe of the week

Chocolate Blancmange

There is no denying that I love my desserts.

  When looking through a menu it is always the dessert section that I head to first, the same when I pick up a recipe book or when I’m looking through somebody’s blog.  Sadly for me I very rarely get to make a dessert.  My hubby has no interest in anything sweet and I don’t want to overload my kids with creamy, sugary food when they are more than happy with fruit or yoghurt.  So the only time I really get to indulge myself is if we have friends round for dinner and then I tend to make something quite elaborate.

Chocolate Blancmange7When I heard about the new Dead Easy Desserts challenge over at Maison Cupcake I was more than happy.  That was until I realised that you had to be able to complete them in less than 30 minutes.  Yikes!  I can’t remember ever having made a dessert in such a short time except for my Lemon Ping Pudding but I had already blogged that.  It was only a few days later that I thought about this Chocolate Blancmange recipe which was one of the first things I learnt at school.  It is super quick and so easy it is almost fool proof.  You can serve it as is or layer it with some fresh cream in a glass and serve with a shortbread biscuit for something a bit more elegant.  You can also play around with the flavour by adding a touch of Cointreau or Baileys Irish Cream.  When served just plain with a few shavings of chocolate over the top it is a perfect quick treat for the kids.

It’s quick; its rich, it’s chocolaty – what more do you need.

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Chocolate Blancmange

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Chocolate Blancmange

Ingredients

  • 50g cornflour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 570ml milk

Instructions

  1. Sieve the cornflour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and sugar into a bowl.
  2. Add about 2 tblsps of the milk to the bowl and mix until you have a smooth paste.
  3. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan until just beginning to boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and add to your paste mixture, stirring until well incorporated.
  5. Add your mixture back to the pan and continue to cook on a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  6. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before pouring into your serving dishes.
  7. Leave to one side to cool completely before serving.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2013/11/07/chocolate-blancmange/

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My chocolate dessert made in 20 minutes for

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I am also submitting this recipe to November’s Calendar Cakes challenge which is Puddings – hosted by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes.

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