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Smoked Rainbow Trout Salad

Thursday, December 31, 2020

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A healthy, convenient and super quick dinner with just a few of fresh and good-for-you ingredients. You may add some boiled potatoes if you're looking for a salad that's a little bit more filling. Give it a twist and use smoked mackerel instead of trout. Throw in some fruits and nuts if you wish.

  • 75 g Lamb's lettuce (or your favourite salad greens)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, deseeded and sliced
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Red onion, cut into rings
  • 400 g Smoked rainbow trout
  • Lemon wedges and slices
  • Pink peppercorns, optional
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Flat parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar, cover tightly, and shake. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Pile the lamb lettuce on two plates and divide the cucumber, cherry tomatoes and red onion rings between them. Flake over the smoked trout.
  3. Shake the dressing again and drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle some pink peppercorn over. Serve with lemon wedges or slices aside. | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Macadamia Tart

Monday, December 28, 2020

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Sweet buttery shortcrust pastry with a creamy nutty filling that's literally melts in the mouth. If you don't have macadamia, try some other nuts. Pecans and hazelnuts are great alternatives. Tarts like this can be served on their own but you can serve it with whipped cream or ice cream. Do not skip pre-baking the tart crust. Prebaking the tart shell keeps the crust from getting soggy.

  • 180 g White spelt flour
  • 120 g Cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 50 g Fine raw sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Egg, medium
  • 100 g Unsalted butter, at room-temperature
  • 80 g Fine raw sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 Eggs, medium, at room-temperature
  • 45 g Molasses
  • 120 g Macadamia nuts, finely ground
  • 60 g White spelt flour
  • 150 g Whole macadamias for the topping
  1. To make the crust, in a large bowl whisk together the spelt flour, sugar, and salt. Add in diced butter and egg. Use your hand to mix everything until the dough comes together. Shape dough into a disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the dough is firm.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F fan forced. Roll the pastry dough between two sheets of baking paper. Roll out the dough to a 28cm circle and about 2mm thick. Remove the baking paper and place the dough over a 24cm tart pan with a removeable bottom. Lightly press the dough into the bottom and side of the pan. Trim the overhang. (I then shaped the rest of dough into a cookie)
  3. Line the crust with baking paper and fill with enough dried beans or pastry weights to cover the bottom and side of the crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove weights and paper, then bake for a further 5 minutes or until tart shell is light golden brown and the base is cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Cream butter, sugar, salt and nutmeg together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at time, then the molasses until fully combined. Add in finely ground macadamias and spelt flour. Fold to combine.
  5. Tip the filling into the crust and arrange the macadamia nuts on top. (the filling was a bit much, so I baked the rest in a tartlet paper liner.) Bake for 30 minutes until filling is firm to touch in centre. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
  6. Carefully remove the tart from the pan, then dust with icing sugar and serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream if you wish. | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

May the New Year bless you all with health, wealth, and happiness!

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Italian Herb Wings with Goat Cheese Dip

Friday, December 25, 2020

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These crunchy chicken wings with a creamy goat cheese dip are packed with Italian flavours and are the perfect pick-me-up. To achieve the crispiness you need to dry off the wing well. Otherwise the moisture will keep them from browning. Besides that, roast the wings at a high temperature. These wings are baked at 250C/500F degrees for about 30 minutes. After baking, heat the broiler and broil for a couple more minutes if necessary. Mine turned out really brown and crisp, so I didn't broil them. You can also bake them on a metal wire rack.
Italian seasoning is a blend of dried herbs that are “characteristically Italian,” such as basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage and savoury. If you don't have the mix, you can easily make your own substitute at home. Simple combine equal amounts of each herb. But if you don't have all the herbs listed, just use basil and oregano, equal parts.

Goat Cheese Dip
  • 1.2 kg Chicken wings without tips, split at the joint
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 30 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2.5 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Flat parsley leaves, chopped for garnishing
  • 120 g Goat cheese log
  • 3 tbsp Yoghurt or sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Minced garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Combine the goat cheese, yoghurt, olive oil and garlic in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in the fresh chopped basil leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
  2. Preheat oven to 250C/500F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside. Prepare chicken wings by separating them into 2 parts: drumette and flat. Using a paper towel, dry off the wings as much as possible. This will remove excess moisture, which will make wings nice and crispy. Add wings to a large bowl. Add olive oil, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the wings and toss with your hand, massaging the chicken as you mix. Place chicken wings on the prepared baking trays in one even layer.
  3. Bake wings for 15 minutes in the upper rack of the preheated oven. Rotate the baking sheet and bake another 15 minutes. Remove and transfer to a large serving plate and scatter the chopped parsley over. Serve the wings with dipping sauce. | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Matcha Marble Gugelhupf

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

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Matcha has been gaining popularity worldwide thanks to its health benefits and unique earthy flavour, which works really well in baked goods. Tender, moist, full of flavours and with bold green tea swirls, this buttery marble gugelhupf cake is great to accompany an afternoon tea and perfect for anyone who enjoys matcha. The cake is drizzled with white chocolate glaze and sprinkled with some rose petals, but it's optional. You can bake this in a loaf or springform pan.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Wonderful Holiday! May it be filled with lots of love and laughter, delicious food, and much joy.

  • 300 g Refined spelt flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 200 g Butter, softened plus extra to coat the baking pan
  • 125 g Raw sugar (or up to 250 g if you want a sweeter cake)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 5 Small eggs
  • 200 g Crème fraîche
  • 3 tbsp Whole milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla paste
  • 15 g Matcha green tea powder
  • Icing sugar, for garnishing, optional
  • 150 g White chocolate, for garnishing, optional
  • Rose petals, for garnishing, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 24cm bundt pan well and dust with flour, shaking out the excess. Sift together the spelt flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined after each addition. Beat in crème fraîche until just combined.
  3. Place half of the batter into a separate bowl. Add milk and vanilla in one bowl and mix well. Add matcha to another half, and mix well.
  4. Drop alternate spoonfuls of mixtures into the pan and swirl gently with a fork to create a marble effect.
  5. Bake cake in the middle of hot oven for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack cool.
  6. Dust the cake simply with powdered sugar or glaze with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with rose petals if desired. | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Nut Free Pumpkin Fruitcake

Friday, December 18, 2020

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Studded generously with dried mixed fruits, this nut-free, deliciously dense and rich pumpkin fruitcake is easily made well in advance, which saves you valuable time when entertaining, and perfect with your morning or afternoon cuppa too. For extra depth and flavour, soak dried fruits in the alcohol of your choice (Port, rum, brandy or whisky-based liqueur) a week prior to making the cake. If you don't want to bake this in a cake pan, try to divide the batter in 6 jumbo muffin cups and bake for 40-50 minutes. Test for doneness by placing a wooden skewer in center of muffin. If it comes out clean, it is done. Be careful not to over bake. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week and much longer if you use alcohol.

  • 250 g White spelt flour
  • 12 g Baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 250g Butter, softened
  • 200 g Coconut sugar
  • 2 Large eggs, room-temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla paste
  • 220 g Hokkaido pumpkin puree (butternut squash would work great too)
  • 500 g Dried mixed fruit (I used a mix of ginger, apricot and cranberry)
  • 60 ml 3.5% Milk, room-temperature
  1. Grease a 22cm heart shaped or round spring-form pan thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F.
  2. Whisk together the spelt flour, baking powder and salt together.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and coconut sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined.
  4. Add in vanilla paste, pumpkin puree and mixed fruits and stir until combined. Alternately fold in spelt flour mixture and milk until combined. The batter is rather thick.
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared pan and smooth surface. Bake for 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Poppy Raisin Rolls

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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Made with enriched sweet yeast dough, a filling of Poppy Seed and raisins, sliced and baked until golden-brown. A fantastic alternative to the classic cinnamon roll and if you are a poppy seed fan, you definitely need to try this. I used Dr. Oetkers ready made poppy filling mixed with some Port soaked raisins for the bread, but you can make your own. This one sweetened with dates and coconut syrup is my favourite.

  • 250 g Dr. Oetker poppyseed filling
  • 150 g Port soaked raisins
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp Almond slices for topping, optional
  • 60 ml Lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp Coconut sugar
  • 20 g Fresh yeast (or 1 package / 7 g active dry yeast)
  • 120 ml 3.5% Milk, lukewarm
  • 50 g Butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • 2 Eggs, Large
  • 50 g Coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest
  • 130 g Wholewheat flour
  • 300 g Plain flour
  1. Pour warm water into a small bowl, stir in sugar, then crumble the fresh yeast into the water. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add butter to the hot milk and stir until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add in yeast mixture, milk-butter mixture, eggs (reserving 1 tablespoon for the topping), coconut sugar, salt, vinilla and lemon zest.
  4. Combine wholewheat flour and plain flour together. Add the flour in 2 additions. Continue mixing on low for 10 minutes until a rough dough forms. Increase the speed and knead for another 5 minutes until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. The dough will be smooth, soft and a bit sticky.
  5. Turn out the dough and shape into a ball. Lightly grease the mixer bowl with a bit of olive oil or butter. Return the dough to the bowl and cover the bowl with a clean cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until double in size, 1 to 2 hours. I usually let my dough rest in the oven, turned off, with the light on.
  6. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and cover with the clean cloth and set aside for 10 minutes.
  7. Combine together the poppy seed filling with raisins and lemon zest. Line a 26cm spring-form pan with baking paper.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangular, about 30cmx40cm. Spread the filling on top of the rectangle of dough, leaving a 1cm border free from filling. Roll up from the longer side and pinch the edges to seal. Cut into 8 pieces. Place into the prepared pan. Cover with clean cloth and let rise again for about 1 hour until double in size.
  9. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Brush the top of the dough with the reserved egg and sprinkle the almond slices over if using. Bake the bread in the middle of hot oven for about 35 minutes until nicely golden brown and cooked through. | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Spekuloos Cookie Butter

Monday, December 14, 2020

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Cookie butter is typically made from powdered spekuloos (spiced holiday cookies), butter (or oil, but nothing tastes as good as butter), condensed milk and/or sugar until it’s spreadable like nut butter. But to make it even richer, I am using dulce de leche instead of condensed milk and sugar. (Place a tin of sweetened condensed milk in your Instant Pot covered with water and pressure cooked for 15 minutes. That's it. ) To speed the things up, I am using the store-bought butter spekuloos for the recipe, but you can bake your own spice cookies.
Enjoy the cookie butter spread on toast, pancakes or waffles, or to bake a Cookie Butter Raisin Loaf and of course, it also tastes great enjoyed straight from the jar on a spoon!

  • 200 g Butter spekuloos cookies, store bought or homemade
  • 50 g Butter
  • 200 g Dulce de leche
  • 50 ml Whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  1. Place the speculoos cookies in a plastic zip-top bag. Remove the air and seal the bag. Lightly crush the cookies into coarse granules using a rolling pin. Transfer the crushed cookies in a food processor, then pulse to a fine powder.
  2. In a small saucepan, add in butter, dulce de leche, and cream and cook over low heat until well combined.
  3. Add butter mixture to the cookie powder with cinnamon and cloves. Mix until everything is combined and smooth. You can crush a couple of cookies and mix into the cookie butter for extra crunchiness.
  4. Transfer the cookie butter to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cookie butter should be good for up to 2 weeks. | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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