From Food

The doughnut dream

It must have been all that country air or something, because I started making doughnuts a couple of years back and got hooked. Well- that’s half the story.

Then, close to a year ago, we spotted an Airstream caravan for sale on the side of the road. It wasn’t until I made a comment about it to the lady in a nearby store, that we discovered it was for sale.  That was it. I may as well have kissed goodbye to 2016, because I have never been so totally, utterly and entirely immersed in something [sorry about that friends and family]. It has been the most challenging and headscratching task- but unbelievably rewarding. And finally, FINALLY… she is ready to go.

Sweet&Savage is the combination some of my most favourite things: doughnuts, coffee and people.

Come and find us in Akaroa this summer!

Here’s a few before and after shots, because who doesn’t love a good reno? xx

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unnamed-3AFTER:

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Ain’t she cute?!

[Last two pics by our lovely friend Peta Mazey] x

 

Lemon, fennel and ginger tart

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I love the change of seasons and arrival of the cool, crunchy mornings- but I would actually skip winter in a heartbeat were it not for lemons. Lucky us, arriving here to find a lemon tree right next to our house. We enjoy a steady stream of lemons most of the year from a little tree that barely so much as makes a squeak.

However, it turns out there is a catch with the beloved lemon tree. Around this time of year, we have to share it with the possums. I hear them gorging themselves at night, and arrive to a graveyard of de-gloved lemons scattered under the tree in the morning.  It makes me mad. Mad enough to pick in a wild frenzy, taking waaay more than I need.

Like this particular day. Which is why I needed to rustle up something justifiably ‘lemon’ to account for my pocket-filling greed. And a great use of those precious lemons, if you ask me.


L E M O N ,   F E N N E L   A N D   G I N G E R   T A R T :

  • 100 ml / 3 fl. oz lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger

Place lemon juice in a small saucepan or microwavable bowl. Crush fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle. Grate ginger [or powdered ginger will do] and add to lemon juice. Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to sit for a few minutes. Remove from heat, strain and set aside.

  • 1 sheet of flaky pastry [or any shortcrust pastry you wish]
  • 1 egg white

Heat oven to 220°C / 420 °F / gas mark 7. Line small pie dish with baking paper. Press pastry into dish and prick base of tart. Brush with Place a sheet of baking paper over base of tart and fill with baking weights or a layer of rice. Place in oven for about 10 minutes, until the sides are lightly golden. Once out, remove baking paper and weights/rice and brush base of tart thoroughly with remaining egg white. Reduce oven temperature to 150 ° C / 300 ° F / gas mark 2

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream / unsweetened yoghurt

Whisk eggs, sugar, sour cream and lemon juice together. Pour into tart tin and bake for around 20 minutes, or until filling has set. Better to slightly undercook than over- if it’s a little bit wobbly in the centre, it will cook further while its sitting. Cool at room temperature before placing in the fridge. Served here with ginger cream [1/2 tsp grated ginger in whipped cream] and a dusting of powdered ginger. Sourbunga! caravan1

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Date and coconut caramel sauce

Datecoconut1

Datecoconut

Date and coconut should probably get married.

D A T E   A N D   C O C O N U T   C A R A M E L   S A U C E :

  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml /  4 fl oz fragrant tea [I used stir tea coconut cream, but any fragrant black tea, or chai will be delicious]

Leave dates to soak in tea for 30 minutes [the longer the better].

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 100ml / 3 fl oz coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt [or to taste]

Melt butter in saucepan. Spoon dates into butter, try and squeeze out as much of tea mixture as you can. Fry dates in butter for a few minutes until fragrant and mushy. Add remaining tea liquid to saucepan and simmer for around 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and salt. Cook briefly until coconut incorporated. Using whizz stick [or food processor], blend until mixture is smooth and most lumps have gone.

Served here with caramelised bananas and a dollop of vanilla creme fraiche. Use poured over yoghurt, ice cream or cake. [Or just eat it straight, it’s delicious]. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Makes about a cup.

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Apple, date and coconut cake with cream cheese, maple and cinnamon whip

But before we talk cake, I’ve been thinking.

Three possible explanations for the origin of those wild apple trees growing on the roadside [in order of personal appeal, least to most]:

  1. They sprouted from cores thrown from apple-eaters in vehicles driving on road [totally unexciting]
  2. Some Johnny Appleseed type character covered the country on foot, planting apple seeds for our enjoyment [bravo, Johnny!]
  3. They were planted following the war, in memory of the soldiers who were lost in battle by loved ones.

While I can’t vouch for the historical validity to #3, two people have told me this in recent weeks. I’ve decided it is the most humbling, fascinating and lovely thing I have heard in a while. To have a tree planted in your memory must be a great honour. Weathering the seasons in and out, and dropping the most delicious fruit after each glorious Summer: there would seem like no better way to celebrate life. I’m rolling with #3.

So while driving past fallen roadside apples recently, a friend and I exchanged a knowing glance. We parked the car and trekked up to the tree. You can’t help but marvel at the sheer resilience of their existence. No fancy treatment. No fuss. Just delicious apples.

So, let us eat cake. Refined sugar free, gluten free and gloriously apple laden cake.

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A P P L E ,   D A T E   A N D   C O C O N U T   C A K E :

  • 2-3 medium apples, quartered and sliced thinly [you can peel skin if you wish]
  • 3/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup / 250ml / 8.5 fl oz. fragrant tea [I used Stirtea earl grey blueflower]. You could also use chai.
  • 100g / 0.8 stick butter or100g coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour [or regular/your choice of flour]
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 pistachios [or any nuts of your choice. Walnuts, almonds, macadamias etc would work just as well].
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

M E T H O D :

Place dates, tea and apple in a saucepan and simmer over low-medium heat until softened. You can even do this overnight [once simmered and softened, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator]. You’ll just need to make sure apple mixture is sufficiently cooled before adding to rest of cake mixture.

Preheat oven to 170° C / 325° F / gas mark 3. Grease two 22cm / 8 ” cake tins and set aside.

Place butter, eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder in food processor and blend until all ingredients combined. Add pistachios and blitz a few times until they are chunkily chopped. In second bowl, mix apple/date mixture and coconut. Mix all ingredients together and place into cake tins.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes [if you decide to make one cake, it will be about 30-40 minutes]. Once cooked, remove and leave to cool in tin.

C R E A M   C H E E S E ,   M A P L E   A N D   C I N N A M O N   W H I P :

  • 250g / 8 oz cream cheese, softened [leave at room temperature a couple of hours before, if possible]
  • 1/4 cup/ 2 fl oz maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • toasted pistachios or coconut etc to decorate

Beat cream cheese until light and whipped. Stop to scrape sides down, if required. Slowly dribble in maple syrup with beater running on medium speed, then add cinnamon. Once combined, add icing to the top of one cake and sandwich other cake on top. Spread remaining icing over cake and top with nuts, coconut or whatever takes your fancy.

Or serve with dairy free yoghurt mixed with maple and cinnamon if you’d prefer your cake dairy free.

*You can also make this cake with bananas in place of the apples, just add about a cup of banana [or 3 medium bananas] to food processor with cake mixture and blend until combine. You’ll need a bit of extra baking powder, so I would add a total of 2 tsp, instead of 1 1/2 tsp. Walnuts and bananas are an awesome match, try using walnuts [if you have them] instead of pistachios [but any nuts will do]. It makes a dense but delicious cake that will last well for a few days, and definitely tastes better the day after baking. Cool bananas!

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Chocolate fudge cake with peanut butter toffee

Don’t think I haven’t tried, but I’m generally not a chocolate person. However, just to contradict myself, every now and again I want to eat the kind of chocolate that will knock my socks off. This fudgy cake does exactly that. Rich [but not sweet], and not for the faint hearted. It can be made days in advance, and reheated prior to serving, if you wish. 

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C H O C O L A T E   F U D G E   C A K E :

  • 50 g / 1/3 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml coffee [I used stout, but you could also use tea]
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 150g chocolate, melted [I used dark, but milk chocolate is great too]

M E T H O D :

Preheat oven to 200 ° C / 390 ° F / gas mark 5-6

Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl over saucepan of boiling water, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat. Cream butter and sugar together. Lightly beat eggs with vanilla, add to butter and sugar and beat until combined. Sift cocoa powder into mixture, add ground almonds and gently mix through. Add coffee/stout [whatever takes your fancy]. Finally stir through melted chocolate. Place in small cake tin [I used a 15cm terracotta saucer] greased and lined with baking paper.  You can also cook these in small muffin tins and serve them as individual cakes.

Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until cooked. Smaller cakes will be done in about 10 minutes. Leave to cool in tin. Once cooled remove and place in airtight container. Serve with marscapone or yoghurt, peanut toffee [alternatively toasted nuts or some fresh or preserved fruit] and dust with cocoa powder.


P E A N U T   T O F F E E :

  • 115g / 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter [I used Fix and Fogg super crunchy]

Place butter, sugar and saucepan in heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure butter and sugar are melting evenly. Mixture will start to bubble and start to turn to a golden colour. Add peanut butter to mixture, once stirred through, spread out over tray lined with baking paper. You can cut it up while warm and still malleable if desired, otherwise it can be broken up once set. Store in an airtight container.

[Toffee can be a fickle thing. If you’re more patient and less uncouth than me, you’ll enlist the help of a thermometer and [probably] get it right every time. You need the butter and sugar to melt at the same rate. Sometimes, towards the end of the bubbling process, the butter will start to separate from the toffee. You can often remedy this by adding 1-2 tablespoons of boiling water and mixing through over the heat until it all sort of sticks together again.  If all else fails, and there is residual butter on your toffee, leave to cool, then place a teatowel over top to absorb it all. The toffee might be a bit buttery. but will still taste awesome. Omit the peanut butter if you wish. It’s just as delish].

Kapow. Chocolate fix sorted!

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Pumpkin and eggplant curry

[ M A K I N G   A   F U S S   O F   F E N N E L ]

We’ve had a blast with wild fennel this summer. I think I’ll start claiming fennel [and blackberries] as residents of our vegetable garden. They grow better than anything I ever grow, and they need zero love! At the moment, those vibrant yellow ‘licorice’ flowers have all but disappeared and we are being treated to the tastiest fennel seeds. Hence this ‘curry’ [or some kind of an interpretation of a curry. I can’t attest to its authenticity, but I can attest to its tastiness]. And pumpkin seemed an obvious choice, given its abundance at the moment!

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Curry

 

P U M P K I N   A N D   E G G P L A N T   C U R R Y  :

[serves 4 hungry adults]

P A S T E :

This paste can be made in advance and stored in the fridge. I make this amount, use half to make this curry and keep the rest for a soup paste or a meat rub a few days down the track.

  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp tumeric
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 heaped Tbsp tomato paste
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp fresh chilli/chilli flakes [optional, or add more to taste. Whatever it takes to keep your crowd happy]

Stir together, it should make a thick but mixable paste. [If using later, store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. This will keep for a least a week].

T H E   R E S T :

  • 1 pumpkin, cut into 2cm chunks [or thereabouts]
  • 1 eggplant, cut into similar sized chunks
  • 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes [I used cherry tomatoes]
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 400 – 500ml coconut cream or milk [I love the AYAM brand, so i would use most of 2 x 270ml cans]
  • 1-2 Tbsp fish sauce [or to taste]
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar [or to taste]
  • Toasted cashews, coconut and shredded coriander [optional, we have none so I used parsley]
  • oil for cooking

M E T H O D :

Preheat oven to 100-150 ° C / 200-300 ° F / gas mark 1-2.

Scatter pumpkin on a roasting dish, drizzle with oil and toss pumpkin to coat each piece. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven, turning occasionally until pumpkin soft. They can sit in there for an hour or two, just check on them from time to time. [Cover with foil/baking paper if they are starting to get to crisp on the edges].

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add paste, stirring until aromatic. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Add eggplant and leave to do its thing- simmer until eggplant is soft and absolutely saturated in sauce. This can take some time, I like to walk away and let mine simmer away for at least an hour or so- but if you’re strapped for time, crank up the heat and have it ready sooner that that- just keep a watchful eye it doesn’t burn. Remove eggplant briefly, add coconut cream/milk, fish sauce and brown sugar. Best to do these last two in baby steps, you can always add more but hard to redeem a major over salting/sugaring! Once happy with how it tastes, return eggplant to pan and heat through again. You can stir pumpkin through briefly, if you wish.

Serve with rice. I like to cook mine with a small handful of shredded coconut. Sprinkle with nuts etc as desired.

[Because if all else fails, the kids will eat the rice. Ha. It’s true].

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Crunchy noodle, beef and lettuce cups

This number was rustled up with the little people [around here] in mind. It also happened to win the big people over too. I mean, iceberg and crunchy noodles- what’s not to love?

Lettuce cups

C R U N C H Y   N O O D L E ,   B E E F   A N D   L E T T U C E   C U P S :

[serves 4]

BEEF/MARINADE:

  • 2-3 medium fillets rump/porterhouse steak
  • 3/4 cup / 6 fl oz. soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tablespoon brown sugar [or to taste]
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

NOODLES:

  • About 400g of dried fine thread noodles [or vermicilli makes a great GF alternative]. I don’t think it is possible to do too many, crunchy noodles always go down a treat.

STIR FRY VEGETABLES:

  • handful of thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely sliced
  • 1 capsicum, finely sliced
  • any other vegetables that take your fancy: I added peas

 

  • 1 iceberg lettuce [to make your cups]
  • generous handful of roasted peanuts [to sprinkle on top].

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER:

Trim excess fat off steak. Mix soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar and vinegar together in a shallow dish. Place steak into marinade, so each piece is soaking up the flavour. This step can be done the night before, the longer it is marinading the better- but a quick dip in the marinade prior to cooking will still be delish.

Carefully peel lettuce leaves from iceberg, doing your best to keep them in their ‘bowl’ like shape. Wash, dry and place out on bench for easy assembling.

Cook noodles in boiling water until soft. Transfer to oven tray and lightly oil. Place in 200° C / 400° F/ gas mark 6 until golden and crunchy on top. Remove from oven and set aside. [Vermicilli can be softened in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drained and placed aside].

Heat frypan/bbq over medium/high heat. Add a dash of oil. Add steak, cooking for about 2-3 minutes each side [or until cooked to your liking]. Remove from pan, cover and rest. Fry vegetables until lightly coloured and remove from heat. Finely slice steak up and toss throughout vegetables.

Add remaining marinade to fry pan, and heat through. You’ll dribble some over each lettuce cup once you’ve filled ’em up.

And… assemble! Or let the hungry peeps do it themselves, the kids have a bit of blast putting them together.

Ca-runch xx

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Eat yo’ greens risotto

I’m a bit ashamed to say that leeks and I have taken a while to hit it off. They’ve been in the same box as silverbeet- the trusty vegetable garden staple that quietly does it thing  in the garden without ever sulking or grumbling- but in the habit of getting overlooked every single time. Then, kapow! Our paths crossed. I really had no place ignoring leeks like that, given my garden is somewhat of a thriving weed circus.  But here we are, we’ve made amends and I am here to sing the leeks praise!

Eatyogreens

R I S O T T O :

[with leek, fennel, asparagus and peas- and/or whatever other greens your garden/fridge has on offer]

STOCK:

  • 1 leek
  • 1 tablespoon butter/ghee/oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 fennel [for a nice aniseedy kick, but you could add a few cauliflower florets, celery, broccoli or whatever else takes your fancy in it’s place]
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1000 ml / 2.1 pint stock [vegetable or chicken]

RICE AND STUFF:

  • 1 tablespoon butter/ghee/oil
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup / 4 fl. oz white wine
  • 1 cup cheddar [I used smoky cheddar]
  • 1 cup frozen peas [or if you have a better garden that I do currently, use fresh ones!]
  • a bunch of asparagus, lightly steamed
  • toasted pinenuts to sprinkle over top [but add in any other nuts you wish]

Melt first measure of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped leek to mix and fry until softened and slightly golden. Add brown sugar. Turn heat down and let the leeks do their thing, until they are looking soft and caramelised. If you have some time to spare, cook the leeks slowly- the longer and gentler you cook them, the better they’ll taste. I had mine cooking for almost an hour- but if you’re in a rush you could have them sorted in 15-20 minutes. Add chopped fennel and garlic to the mix and cook through for a few minutes, followed by stock. Bring this to a simmer and leave until vegetables have softened. Use a whizz stick/blender/food processor to combine ingredients into a puree, then set aside.

In a large frypan or heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add second measure of butter, followed by rice. Cook rice through for a minute or two. Turn heat down slightly. Pour in wine and cook for a few minutes. Then add leek/stock mix to the rice, one cup at a time, stirring until each cup of liquid is absorbed before adding the next. [If you want to semi-prepare this ahead of time, you can pull risotto off the heat and cover once you have added half of the stock mixture.  Then pick back up from where you left off prior to serving, adding the remaining stock- one cup at a time].

Once liquid absorbed and rice is cooked [rice should be firm yet soft] if it’s still hard and crunchy gradually add in some extra liquid until you reach desired consistency. Add in peas and asparagus, followed by cheese. Stir through and serve topped with a few toasted pinenuts.

I mean, who in their right mind could pass up those loveable geeky leeks? Not me. At least, not anymore.

EYGR

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Pineapple and coconut mille feuille

[serves a decent crowd, say 12 people].

Okay, let’s get one thing straight- it’s really just a slightly fancy, slap happy custard square. But a tasty one, at that. We always seem to have custard in the fridge- I don’t know if it’s a hang up from having little babies in the house. These not-so-little-now babies are still avid custard eaters, when all else fails- it is a safe bet and a custard dessert is nearly as good as Santa! And who can go past filo pastry? [“Ha, I hope you have your vacuum cleaner on hand”. That was what my sensible [and cheeky] mum said, when I told her what we were having for dessert. I’d forgotten about that bit, when I last ate filo in 2005]. All crumbs aside, I have nothing but love for that golden, crunchy and messy deliciousness.

millefeuilleMillefeuille2The custard and pineapple can be done days ahead of time, the filo needs to be done the day of. Caramelising pineapple is a great way make your pineapples last [nearly] forever. Sitting in the syrupy goodness enhances the flavour even more. Serving this custard square shortly after you’ve assembled it is best. But sometimes the ducks just don’t line up, in which case your filo might be a bit soft and chewy, as opposed to super crunchy- but still a crowd pleaser.


C U S T A R D :

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4-1/2 cup / 2-4 fl oz. maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch
  • 250 ml / 8.5 fl oz.coconut milk
  • 250 ml / 8.5 fl oz. milk [feel free to alter these quantities, depending on how much milk or coconut milk you have to a combined total of 500 ml ]

Whisk egg yolks, cornflour, maple syrup and about 1/4 cup of above milk mixture together in a bowl and set aside. Heat remaining milks in saucepan over low- medium heat, until almost boiling. At this point, add egg yolk, cornflour, milk and maple to saucepan, whisking continuously until custard thickens. Sometimes this can take a little while, but be patient! In my experience shortcuts are never worth the risk, where custard is concerned. Once you think it’s thickened nicely, place clingfilm snug over top of custard [so you don’t get a rubbery skin on it]. Leave to cool somewhere, until you’re ready to assemble. This custard keeps for a good week in the fridge. [Just do the [very scientific] sniff test before you serve it to your custard square party participants].

C A R A M E L I S E D   P I N E A P P L E :

[adapted from David Lebovitz’s Spiced Caramelized Pineapple]

  • 1/2 pineapple, diced into 1cm thick pieces [but feel free to use the whole lot, just double the other ingredients]
  • 1/2 cup / 4 fl. oz rum, pimms or whatever liquor you have in the cupboard [I used Malibu for a coconut kick]
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup / 3 oz. apricot jam [or marmalade]
  • 1 tsp each cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg
  • a drizzle of maple syrup

Heat oven to around 150˚C / 300˚F / gas mark 2. Place pineapple in a baking roasting dish, big enough that they fit and each piece gets to roast in the juice. Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl and slosh over top of pineapple. Place in oven, checking on it from time to time [every 15-20 mins], turning the pieces and re-coating them with the syrup. This can take around 2 hours- but you can sort of stop and start the process if need be by removing from the oven, or turning temperature down. Once pineapple is looking golden and caramelised- and the syrup sticky and mostly absorbed, remove from heat. Once cooled, place in an airtight container and store in fridge. Pineapple is best served at room temperature, so remember to pull out from fridge a couple of hours prior to serving.

F I L O :

  • 12 sheets of filo
  • 50 g / 1.7 oz melted butter
  • Icing sugar to dust

Heat oven to 170° C /  330° F / gas mark 3 . Lay one sheet of filo out, brush with butter and dust with icing sugar before adding the next sheet. Once you have a made a pile of 4 sheets, slice into 12 even sized rectangles. Place on an oven tray and bake until golden and crispy. Repeat this with remaining sheets, until you have baked 3 full oven trays of 12 rectangles.


T O   A S S E M B L E :

  • 1/2 cup / 4 fl oz. cream, whipped
  • icing sugar, to dust
  • 1/2 cup / 4 fl oz. creme fraiche
  • handful of mint, finely chopped
  • toasted coconut

Get all your components and set them out in area with a decent bit of workspace, ala Subway. Beat up your cream and mix through with custard. Lay out 12 of the rectangles and spread custard over each of them  [use a piping bag if you can be bothered, otherwise just slap a couple of spoonfuls on each piece]. Roughly break up pineapple and add a few pieces on top of custard. Add filo rectangle lid to each of the custard piles. Repeat above step, placing last batch of filo lids on top of each pile. Dust each custard stack with icing sugar. Mix creme fraiche and mint together and add a small dollop a top each rectangle. Finish each stack with a small piece of pineapple, some toasted coconut and a mint leaf.

Bring a plate? Oh yeah, you just aced dessert.

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Bad bananas: the breakfast of champions

For as long as I can remember, we have had pikelets with banana in the batter. Imagine my devastation when I discovered, in my teenage years, that pikelets weren’t actually supposed to include banana! Horror of horrors! Obviously, it comes down to personal taste- if you aren’t a fan of banana, you might want to sit this one out. As for me, having sampled the best, I can’t go back. Hands down, banana is best [wink, wink].

Which brings me to my next point- about them bananas. My sister-from-a-different-mister averted me to a phenomenon a while back: there is either a banana bounty or banana famine in the fruit bowl every week. Considering the quantity purchased doesn’t change from week to week, this can lead me only to conclude that the fickle clientele at this hillbilly restaurant are to blame. So, this is a great way to use up those unloved, b-b-b-b-bad bananas that haven’t taken anyone’s fancy. Thankfully, it’s not a complete tragedy, because as far as baking is concerned, the ‘badder’ the banana, the better!

Pikelets

 

B A N A N A   A N D  C H I A   P I K E L E T S [WITH MAPLE, MINT AND LIME DROWNED FRUIT]:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large or 2 small bananas [mashed]
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 chia seeds [or leave them out if you don’t want crunchy bits in your pikelets]

MAPLE/MINT/LIME SYRUP:

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/6 cup water
  • a handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves, squeezed in your hand to crush them a bit
  • Fruit, sliced/diced: anything that takes your fancy. Apple, pear, orange, banana, strawberries- summer has so much fun fruit on offer.

Put maple syrup, water, mint and lime leaves in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 or so minutes. Then take off the heat and leave mint and kaffir lime to infuse.

Pre heat frypan over mild/moderate heat. Add butter to pan, you’ll add this to mixture once it’s melted.

Place egg and sugar in mixer and beat together until fluffy. Add mashed banana and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients [minus chia seeds]. Mix yoghurt in milk. With mixer on a low speed, add dry ingredients alternatively with milk and yoghurt. Add melted butter. Finally, stir through chia seeds.

Add spoonfuls to the pan, and heat until pikelet starts to bubble through, then flip over. They should be golden brown. Cook until you’ve used all the mixture.

Strain maple mixture then pour over fruit and toss to coat. Pile a few pikelets up, spoon some fruit and maple magic over the top. Top with a generous blob of yoghurt and serve with some fresh mint. Banan-o-rama!

pikelets3Pikelets6Pikelets4

You can make these in advance [store in an airtight container], just heat them through before serving if they need a soften up. They’re even good for freezing. Bad banana pikelets were made for yo’ lunchbox. And hey, if that fruity part sounds like a bit of a palava, you can even just eat them with butter. Yummo.

P.s I’m pretty excited it’s elderflower season, can you tell? xx