Food, History & Traditions

Friendly Friday Challenge Guest Post – Nostalgia

The Guest post for this week’s Friendly Friday theme of Nostalgia, comes from Lorelle, an Australian Mum of two, passionate traveller and foodie enthusiast, who blogs at A Mindful Traveller.

I had the immense pleasure of meeting the lovely Lorelle a couple of years ago and she has been so kind to write a beautiful narrative about a very different kind of cake, one that is not only full of tradition but also has a special meaning for her and her family.

Two bloggers meet in Melbourne

Lorelle writes:

Nostalgia

“Interestingly, there are two forms of nostalgia, restorative and reflective.

For me, Nostalgia is purely reflective. Stepping down memory lane with no need to recreate the past, is gratifying. The memories and more importantly, the feelings associated with those memories, are forever embedded with us.

Food is a remarkable trigger for Nostalgia, as it is a powerful sensory recollection. We all associate certain foods with memories and feelings.

Sri Lankan Connection

Coming from a Sri Lankan family, food is an important cultural way of life. And when I reflect on the vast variety of delicious and tasty Sri Lankan foods, there is one particular dish that is not only my favourite but one that holds special memories as it is only prepared and eaten at that all-important sacred feast of Christmas.

These customs and traditions allow us to preserve our important ancestral history. Unique, individual stories, wisdom and in this case recipes, passed from generation to generation. As Sri Lankan migrants, my parents continue to pass on their significant heritage to their children, and at important celebrations of the year where family gather, recipes like Sri Lankan Love Cake remind us of where it all began.

Sri Lankan Love Cake

History of Sri Lankan Love Cake

This traditional Sri Lankan cake was inspired by the Portuguese from the 1500’s. As the name suggests, Love Cake was originally made to win the heart of an admirer. It is made from cashew nuts, semolina and candied winter melon/squash called puhul dosi (pumpkin preserve).  Exotic spices and floral essences create a fragrant, sweet, spiced cake with a soft chewy inside and a crunchy crust.

There are many different variations to Love Cake, with each “Aunty” insisting her recipe is better than the other! Practice is also another requirement. Don’t be alarmed if you do not succeed the first time. Adjusting ingredients or oven temperatures may be necessary.

Sri Lankan Love Cake Recipe

In the recipe below, I have used a bain-marie of water to create that soft chewy centre. By placing a tray of water at the bottom of the oven, the moisture stays within the cake and doesn’t dry it out.

So, it is here that Christmas and its celebratory traditional cakes, bring great Nostalgia of our original family home, my grandparents and the sense of togetherness and family love.

Sri Lankan Love Cake

Makes: 2 rectangular baking trays

Prep Time: 30 mins (Eggs need to be at room temperature)

Cooking Time: 2 hours 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 450g butter, softened
  • 450g semolina
  • 650g cashew nuts (pulsed in a food processor until finely chopped, keeping some larger pieces. Do not blend to a powder consistency)
  • 12 egg yolks (at room temperature)
  • 7 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 700g caster sugar
  • 500 g preserved pumpkin (puhul dosi), finely chopped or pulsed in a food processor
  • 50ml rosewater
  • 2 tbsp almond essence
  • 50ml honey
  • juice of 1 orange
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 2 tsp cardamon, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp clove, ground

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan forced)
  2. Grease two rectangular cake tins and line with foil and then baking paper.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy.
  4. Combine the softened butter and semolina together in a separate bowl using your fingers. Add this to the egg and sugar mixture in thirds, beating to combine.
  5. Transfer mixture into a very large mixing bowl and using a wooden spoon incorporate the nuts, pumpkin preserve. Then add rosewater, almond essence, honey, juice and rind, stirring well. Add remaining dry spices and mix.
  6. Whip the egg whites into soft peaks and gently fold through the egg whites into the cake batter in two batches, do not over beat mixture. The egg whites will loosen up the mixture.
  7. Pour batter into prepared cake tins.
  8. Place a large tray of water on bottom oven shelf.
  9. Bake the cakes at 160°C for 20 mins on middle oven shelf.
  10. Reduce heat to 150°C and bake for a further 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  11. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil.
  12. Once cooked and brown on top, remove cakes and allow to cool in trays before transferring. Cut into rectangles or squares when cool.

If you are wondering about preserved pumpkin, Lorelle writes to tell me that:

Preserved pumpkin or Puhul dosi, can be purchased from the Indian/Sri Lankan grocers or you could try to make your own. You can alternatively use preserved or candied squash/winter melon or pineapple. A health food store might stock these items.

About Lorelle and A Mindful Traveller:

Three years ago, I decided to document and share my personal travel and favourite recipes from the many wonderful places I visited locally and globally.

My passion for travel grew immensely and was educated as I discovered new and exciting corners of the globe that I had not been to before.

Living in Australia and being quite distant from the rest of the world has its advantages and disadvantages.

Now, as we fight our way through a worldwide pandemic, the ambivalent questions of when we will be able to travel overseas again are daunting.

This presents another opportunity to further explore my own country and improve my knowledge for the country I was born in. The open outback, rugged coasts and stretched roads are calling….

Photo by David Jia on Pexels.com

Many thanks to Lorelle for sharing this delicious recipe and giving us an insight into the background and traditions around this a small piece of ‘nostalgia.’

orange and cinnamon cake
Cakes, Community, Food

Ten Minute Orange Cake Recipe

Reminiscing about my Danish Grandmother who used to cook Orange cake for Sunday afternoon tea, I remembered how, as a child, I looked forward to visiting her house as I could smell the aroma of baking, as we arrived.

Anyone can find ten minutes to spare, right?

How long does it take to post on instagram with all those hashtags that must be included?

You can abandon convenience food a.k.a. supermarket style prepared cakes, in favour of a freshly baked treat and know that it is not difficult nor time-consuming.

And it tastes SO much better!

This cake took me less than 10 minutes to prep, due to speedy preparation in the processor.

Then you simply wait for the oven timer to ring, while you check your social media or email and voila! Time for tea!

Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon this quick and easy recipe will have your mouth-watering for more. Apart from the sugar content, and a small amount of necessary butter, there are no extra unhealthy ingredients; plus it has the advantage of a bit of Vitamin C and delightful orange flavour.

Processor Orange Cake

A cake that is good for you! Yay!

Delicious as is, there’s no need to add any frosting or topping, eat it straight out of the oven.

A dusting of vanilla/icing sugar, or a simple mix of icing sugar and small amount of juice to soften to a clean frosting would be a nice option, if you aren’t counting calories or sugar content.

recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Caster or fine grain sugar, but ordinary sugar will do.
  • 1 cup Self Raising flour (Self Raising flour is the same as 1 cup plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • 2 tablespoons extra of normal plain flour
  • 2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) soft butter
  • 2 eggs

Method:

1. Combine sugar, flours, and orange rind in food processor with butter. Blitz sporadically until just combined.

2. Pour Orange juice through the chute with motor on.

3. Add eggs and blitz till smooth. Not too much though or your cake won’t be light.

4. Pour into well-greased bar tin (something with a base about 12 x 22cm/ 5 x 9 inch) that has been lined with grease-proof or baking paper.

5. Bake in a Moderate Oven 180º C, ( 375º F), for 40 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Ensure the cake cools for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack.

If would be nice with a Cream Cheese frosting.

When you are unsure of what to serve for tea, let them eat cake –

Orange cake – No fuss to ponder about.

stpa logo
Community

Lemons – The Good News

Why are Lemons a Good Thing to Have?

Acidic by nature, lemons and limes are alkalizing once eaten, due to their high alkaline mineral content. It is not the pH of the food in its natural state, it is the effect it has on the body that is important.


Delicious in a lemon cake, or freshly squeezed over vegetables, salad or washed, sliced and left to permeate in drinking water, here are a few of the benefits of lemons:

Benefits

  • Lemons are antiseptic
  • Lemon water aids digestion and can ease heartburn and bloating
  • Lemons cleanse and stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Lemon juice contains calcium, magnesium and potassium
  • Lemon juice has been known to relieve asthma
  • Because it is high in Vitamin C, warm lemon water is a favoured remedy for colds/flu
  • Lemon juice is a great skin cleanser
  • It can kick start one’s metabolism when taken first thing in the morning.
Lemons

Tips

  • Always wash your lemons thoroughly to remove any residual spray – or purchase organic lemons. Even better, plant a lemon tree of your own.
  • Just be sure not to clean one’s teeth for at least half an hour afterwards. Otherwise, the enamel on your teeth might begin to break down.

Click on the title of any of the Cakes/Cookies listed below for recipes of delicious and easy ways to incorporate lemon into your diet.

Scroll further down for a no-fail Lemon Cake recipe that I can recommend.

Lemon and Ricotta Ring Cake

IMG_20150215_161353 (Small)

Lemon Madeira

lemon madeira

Lemon Biscuits

Lemon Cheesecake

LEMON Cake Recipe

(from The Australian Woman’s Weekly)

INGREDIENTS

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (75g) plain flour
  • ½ cup (125ml) milk – fill to within 1/8 Inch of brim of measure with milk, then top up with lemon juice

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to moderate (180°/160°C fan-forced)
  2. Grease a deep 20cm round or large loaf pan, then line the base with baking paper.
  3. Beat the butter, rind and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions.
  5. Stir in the sifted flours in two batches with the milk.
  6. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake in a moderate oven for about 35 minutes or until the cake is cooked when tested.
  8. Allow cake to stand for 15 minutes before turning the cake onto a wire rack to cool.
  9. Pour icing (see below), over cake whilst still warm

Note: I don’t make icing or a topping, as the cake is sweet enough and nice enough without, but if you wish to make it, and add even more lemon juice, here it is……

Icing

Combine ½ cup (125ml) lemon juice and ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar in a jug and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the topping over the cake whilst it is still warm from the oven.

This cake is suitable to freeze but not suitable to microwave.


Community

Something light for Tea

You may have heard me espousing the benefits of almonds and walnuts in recipes such as salads, or the Almond and Walnut Muffin recipe, I have previously posted, but what about  the benefits of incorporating cinnamon in our diet?

cinnamon almonds.jpg

I have to confess to being quite a fan of the cinnamon, especially in the crumble toppings you might find on a apple rhubarb dessert or a gourmet muffin. Combining cinnamon with almonds and walnuts, which are a fantastic source of Vitamin E and Magnesium, was a way of creating a light, and more importantly, HEALTHY cake recipe that if cut into bite-sized servings, is only a teeny bit decadent. Altogether a Perfect combination for a healthy morning or afternoon tea. Find the Recipe below.

cinnamon walnut streusel cake
Cinnamon Nut Streusel Cake

What are the Health Benefits of Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is astonishingly good for you. Would you believe that a mere teaspoon of cinnamon contains 28 mg of calcium, almost one mg of iron, over a gram of fiber, and quite a lot of vitamins C, K, and manganese?

[Source:cinnamonnutrition.com/index

In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used for its mild anti-inflammatory effects, and to treat digestive ailments such as indigestion, gas and bloating, and diarrhea. As little as half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control.  Improving insulin tolerance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease.  Read More here.

Streuselkuchen

Cinnamon Nut Streusel Cake

Ingredients

Base:

  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup (55grams) soft Butter
  • 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 1egg
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

Top Layer:

  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoon Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons (or more), of Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons soft Butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts – I used a combination of walnuts and flaked almonds

Method

Base:

  1. Preheat Oven 175 ° C and Grease or line a 9″ x 12″  or 20 x 30 cm slice tray
  2. Cream butter and sugar in mixer
  3. Add remaining base ingredients and mix well
  4. Spread out evenly in the tray.

Streusel Topping:

  1. Mix Streusel topping ingredients together
  2. Spread about 1/4 of the Streusel topping onto the base layer and lightly swirl through with a skewer or knife.
  3. Spread the rest of the Streusel topping thinly over the top of the base.
  4. Bake for 20 – 35 minutes or till cooked through, when pierced with a skewer
  5. Allow Cake to cool and cut into small squares to serve.

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Something healthy and delicious to savour about

winning scones
Food

Pumpkin – Eat Yourself to Good Health

Showing signs of fatigue, dark circles or puffiness, allergies, nasal congestion?

Then pumpkin is for you.  It’s contains 245 % of  the average person’s daily needs of Vitamin A, as well as antioxidants, alpha and beta-carotenes, and it’s a fantastic source of vitamins C, K, and E. Furthermore, it has magnesium, potassium, and iron, and fibre.

PicsArt_04-22-02.39.13

Being such a fantastic source of good nutrition, one has to wonder why the humble Pumpkin is so maligned?  Children often turn up their noses at the thought of it and the Irish once considered it only good for pig food! Perhaps it is a little boring: after all, there is only so much roast Pumpkin one can eat. 

Here are a few creative ways for incorporating Pumpkin into your diet.

Ways to Eat Pumpkin

  • Once you roast it,  leftover Roast Pumpkin goes well in a Spinach and Rocket Salad sprinkled with a bit of Feta and balsamic vinegar. Delicious!
  • Incorporate it into a Roast Vegetable Frittata – Find that recipe here
  • Add some diced Ham, Mushroom and Caramelised onion pieces to a Roast vegetable pie.
  • Replace Pumpkin in any recipe that needs squash.
  • Dice into small 1 inch pieces and roast with Rosemary and Thyme til crisp. Sprinkle with Sea salt and eat as a healthy alternative to  Hot Chips.
  • Pumpkin seeds called Pepitas can be used to make Crispbread, Salads, Muffins or as a healthy afternoon snack.
  • Being a sweet vegetable it is great to use in Cakes, Scones or Pumpkin Pie.

When talking sweet Pumpkin recipes, my absolute favourite is Pumpkin Scones. Here is how I make them: –

Pumpkin Scones Recipe

scones

Ingredients:

  • I cup of mashed Pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • pinch of Salt
  • 2 cups Self-raising Flour

Method

  • Beat first three ingredients together.
  • Add Egg, Salt and Flour and mix gently.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of Milk*, enough to make a wet Scone Dough that you can easily roll out to a floured board. * Often it is already of a good consistency and no milk is needed.
  • Roll out to 3/4 inch or 3 cm thickness on a floured board and cut into circles.
  • Place on a greased tray and brush tops of Scones with a little dab of Milk.
  • Bake in Hot Oven 250 degrees for 10 minutes

Hint:

To make Pumpkin puree to use in Scones:

Prepare to roast a whole Pumpkin by stabbing it with a knife once or twice to vent the steam, put the whole Pumpkin on a baking sheet, cook in a moderate oven at 175 C for an hour or so, until you can easily stick a knife into it.  Cool, then scoop out the seeds and string middle or pull out with tongs.

pepitas

Pumpkin Seeds

(Pepitas)
Pumpkin seeds, called Pepitas, are loaded with minerals, and it’s claimed they have an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as help to protect against prostate cancer and osteoporosis. A quarter cup of seeds has about 1.5 grams of fibre.

Hint: To prepare the seeds:

Let them dry on paper towels, then oil and salt them (add any other seasonings you want) and slow roast them in a 150 C oven until they smell good – about 45 to 60 minutes.

Stir them every 15 minutes or so. Cool and Store in an airtight jar.

Selection and Storage

  • Choose a Pumpkin that has firm skin, (no wrinkles), and feels heavy for its size. Knock on it with your knuckles.  If it sounds woody, it is ready to eat.  Stay away from the larger pumpkin, as a smaller and denser is better, in this case.
  • Whole Pumpkins should keep for up to 6 months, if kept in a cool, dry place.
  • A sheet or two of newspaper underneath the Pumpkin will absorb any dampness.
  • Once cut, Pumpkin will only keep for a few days, unless you remove the seeds and stringy centre and leave unwrapped in the lower part of your fridge.
  • Cooked Pumpkin will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

To read nutritional information about Pumpkin, click here.

Grow Your Own Pumpkin plants

The plant is a fast-growing vine, in my yard; it self-sows from my compost bin, creeping along the ground surface.  But throw a few Pumpkin seeds in the garden and nature will do the rest for you. You may have to water them as the vines do get thirsty.

Pumpkin’s health benefits are Something we should all Ponder About

baking recipes
Community

Raspberry and Almond Shortbread

I am at a loss to remember where I found this recipe, but it was handwritten on a scrap of paper which mysteriously turned up in my cupboard last week, so rather than throw it out, I tried it out! It could well have stemmed from a binge Pinterest session or some online Scandinavian recipe site, but who knows?!

Whatever it origins, the hungry hordes in my house scoffed the finished product down with gusto. Undoubtedly, a good seal of approval.  The biscuits have a lighter texture, akin to a shortbread. In fact, one could easily substitute rice flour if one wanted to avoid wheat!

wp-image-1231837151

Ingredients

1 cup Butter ( softened )

2/3 cup Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Almond extract ( can also use vanilla if you don’t have almond)

2 cups Flour

Pinch of Salt

1 Egg

1 tsp Milk or Kefir ( can also use yoghurt)

1/2 cup Raspberry Jam

Method

Preheat oven at 180 degree °C or 350°F

Cream butter and sugar and add the almond or vanilla extract and egg.

Mix well.

Add in salt, flour and milk/kefir and mix gently but well.

Take heaped teaspoons of cookie mix, and roll into a ball shape

Place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on a greased/lined tray.

Press your thumb into the middle of biscuit and fill the cavity with jam.

Bake the biscuits 14- 18 minutes in preheated oven. Cool 1 minute.

If you are pedantic, you can even drizzle a mix of icing sugar, mixed to a liquid with almond essence, over the top of the biscuits, if desired  – I don’t do usually this, but you might like to do so.

Enjoy!

Calorie content:  Feel free to do the math…..


Tantalizing Tuesdays

Something Edible to Ponder About

 

 

 

 

pikelets
Cakes, Community, Food, Motivational

Picky about Pikelets – Anzac Day Traditions

Princess Would it be crass to say that I am the Queen of Pikelets?

Well, I’ve said it, so if I am crass, it is because these Pikelets have won awards for many years at the Royal National Show. Seriously!  If the reactions of others are anything to go by, they really are impressive, well, as much as a pikelet can be, I suppose.  I have always kept my recipe a closely guarded secret, but today being April 25, Anzac Day; a significant, almost sacred national day for Australians and New Zealanders, (that you can read more about here), I’ve decided to spread the love that only an Aussie pikelet can do, and share this recipe with you!!

pikelets

Pikelets are very definitely entrenched as a home bake favourite in the vernacular Australian and New Zealand cuisine and are much better than the much touted Anzac biscuits, [find that recipe here] -an oh so popular wartime ‘cookie’ that entered Australian and New Zealand folklore as one of our few traditions that are uniquely our own, but today – today it is all about Pikelets!

Meanwhile, some of you are probably thinking: ” Just, what ARE Pikelets?” Right? Continue reading “Picky about Pikelets – Anzac Day Traditions”

Community

Sweet Saturdays – Traditional Icelandic Cake

As I get a little older, (I am clearly a little in denial!), I have to watch the waistline a bit more than previously and thus look forward to the weekends to indulge in baking and eating some sweet treats, and sticking more to rabbit food rations, through the working week. This week I was reminded of the wonderful ‘Hjonabandsaela’ or Blessing of the Marriage cake at a lunch!  It is not only light and delicious, it is traditional comfort food at its best, and it originates from Iceland!20161011_101255

Fridays are the traditional wedding day in Iceland. The pagan Icelanders believed the day was dedicated to Frigga, who just happened to be the goddess of marriage! Engagements sometimes last for 3 -4 years, so after waiting that long,  it is little wonder that cake features prominently in the celebrations!

20161011_101255

At the wedding feast itself, a ‘Kransekake’ or traditional Scandinavian wedding cake, is eaten. This the wonderfully Scandinavian stack of crispy, concentric almond-based pastry rings, decorated with icing and flags, which looks and tastes incredible.

Another Icelandic tradition is for a groom to send presents to bride’s family, on the morning after the wedding.  Whilst the ancient tradition is by and large, forgotten in modern times, it is still customary for a bride and groom to exchange personal “bed gifts and cake.” The traditional religious ritual, the ‘Blessing of the Marriage’ is undertaken by the priest, after the wedding couple leave the wedding feast, when the bride and groom are finally alone! This is the cake for such an occasion!!!

This weekend’s sweet treat!

Hjonabandsæla -Blessing of the Marriage

20161011_101320.jpg

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1  cup plain flour

1 cup dark brown sugar

150 gram butter

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cardamon (optional)

Rhubarb jam or other not very sweet jam such as cranberry.

Mix  thoroughly softened  (not melted) butter with the sugar. Add flour, bicarbonate of soda and oats

Press 3/4 of dough into greased tin. Spread jam on top, sprinkle the rest of the dough on top.

Bake in medium hot oven approx  30 -40 minutes.

To Make your own Jam

Bring to boil:

2 cups chopped rhubarb

juice of 1 orange

1/2 cup strawberry or cranberry (lingonberry) jam

2 tablespoon sugar

Cook 10  minutes and allow to cool. You can add more sugar if you think it is too tart.

NB Tips:

  • If mixing by hand, use quick cook rolled oats, instead of whole oats.
  • Instead of rhubarb jam, you can try cranberry, blackberry or plum jam.

Something to Ponder About

 

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salmon pie
Community

What’s for Dinner? – Salmon [Fiesta Friday]

I think it must be a common family scenario, but I’m not sure?

Location: A suburban family kitchen. Time: 5pm, any day of the week. The pantry door swings open and shut several times; a low groan is emitted from a junior family member, quickly followed by a, “There’s nothing to eat,” kind of mantra.  As the cook of the house, my first reaction, to hearing this mantra, is to ignore it and keep working. I find that is best.

But as each family member wanders into the kitchen, clearly starving and desperate for a crumb of sustenance after a long day at work, my resolve wavers.  Collectively, their next move is to inspect the pantry, a second time, with the due diligence of police detectives at a crime scene, and it is then they hit me with the ‘kicker’, that eternal question, the one that makes me inwardly cringe………..

This is me inwardly cringing
This is me inwardly cringing

“What’s for dinner, Mum?”

And it is not only them. So attuned to hearing the ‘What’s for dinner?’ mantra, the canine members of my family become edgy at this hour too, and begin to pace up and down at the kitchen entrance, chiming in, in their own special way, to pressure me for food.

It is at this point, I have to steel myself and feign deafness, [clearly unsuccessfully], as I am always asked a second time, a little more urgently, “Hey, Mum. What’s for dinner?”

“Salmon,” I have to say, on this particular day, albeit through slightly gritted teeth, to which the response is anything from a contorted grimace, (coming from the fish-hating child), to unenthusiastic moans/yawns from the adolescent man-child/children.

canned_salmon_l1
Source:http://img.thrfun.com/img/089/862/canned_salmon_l1.jpg

Salmon!

It may be the ‘Steak and three veg’ of the hipster movement,  and it’s almost certainly still a popular dinner for both the weight-conscious and the seafood lovers of the world, but in my family, salmon is, ostensibly, boring and unappetizing, for dinner. [I can’t understand this, myself.] Now, thanks to a dear friend sharing her treasured family recipe with me, I can serve a seriously good Salmon Pie, that effectively nips the ‘What’s for Dinner’ groans, in the bud.

I hope you feel tempted to try it for yourself. It may just be something you ponder about for dinner.

2016-04-14 13.49.54

Salmon Pie

[Salmon is considered by some to one of the world’s healthiest foods, and contains Vitamin B12, D, Niacin, Omega -3 fatty acids, Phosphorus and Vitamin B6]

To make the Pie Crust:

1 and 1/2 cups of Plain All Purpose Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1 cup Grated Cheese (I use tasty)

125 g Butter

Method:

Rub butter into flour, until it is well mixed. It should still be crumbly at this point, not mixed up together into a dough*

*[A food processor is the easiest way to do this, especially if the butter has not yet softened].

Press 3/4 of this mix into a greased pie dish with your fingers, to form the base and sides of the pie. Reserve the remaining 1/4 of the mix for the topping.

Pie Filling:

220 grams Salmon (flaked and boned)

I Onion, finely chopped

3 Eggs

375 g Sour Cream

1/2 cup Grated Cheese

2 drops Tabasco Sauce (optional)

Combine all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl and pour on top of the base.

Crumble the remaining 1/4 of  the pie crust mix over the pie filling.

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes at 180° Celsius or until slightly browned.

Allow to cool and serve warm with a Garden/Greek salad or cold.

 

 Linking to FiestaFriday.net

For more fantastic menu ideas visit:

hostessatheart

toozesty.wordpress.com

Community

Tantalizing Tuesday – Yema Cake

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Juhls at the Not So Creative Cook posted a recipe that had me intrigued: Yema Cake with a condensed milk frosting. – That sounds different, I thought! A traditional cake from the Philippines: great!

I have made butter icing, royal icing, even cream cheese icing, but never condensed milk icing, so I decided I had to make it for Lin’s recipe challenge.

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Yema cake  is a traditional Filipino recipe and often eaten with Yema Balls: sweet balls of condensed milk goodness, rolled in sugar!! Wow!! My kids would have loved these when they were younger and thought it was a great sugar-fix especially with Easter so close!

YemaBalls
Source: Not So Creative Cook

However, they are now older and a cake is more eagerly received, so my contribution for the challenge will simply be the oh- so- divine texture of Yema Cake.

The cake itself has a sponge like texture and looks very similar to a sponge or Madeira cake. Jhuls called the base a ‘Chiffon cake’ and it does feel a little like a soft light texture on one’s palette! I pretty well stuck to the Yema cake recipe posted below, apart from two small variations. The first, a variation in cooking times that can probably attributed to my oven/cooktop’s fastidious ways, and secondly, when it came to the frosting, me being me, I couldn’t resist adding a bit more lemon juice to the mix.

So what did I think of the cake?

If truth be told, before I was able to add the frosting, half of it disappeared down my family’s gob!!! [embarrassing smile]

The frosting itself is quite rich: it is, after all made with condensed milk, and whilst this is a bit rich for my liking, those who are condensed milk fans will absolutely love it.

Jhuls recommended cooking the frosting for 30 minutes but I found it was set and thickened after 10-15 minutes, no matter how low the thermostat on my stove was set.

Rating:  10/10 – A winner!

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The remainder left – ready for frosting!

YEMA Cake Recipe

[Source: Not so Creative Cook]
  • Servings: Yield one 10-inch cake

Ingredients:

For the Chiffon Cake:

  • 1¼ cup cake flour**
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs (yolk and white separated)
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar

For the Yema Frosting:

  • 1 14-oz. can condensed milk
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

Ed’s note: ** As I don’t have access to cake flour, I removed 1 1/4 tablespoon of flour from the flour and replaced this with cornflour. 

For the cake:

  1. Slightly grease one 10″ round baking pan. Preheat oven to 350ºF. [I used a silicone mould lined on the base with baking paper – Ed]
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Make a well in the middle and add the egg yolks, milk, oil and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. In another bowl, combine 4 egg whites and cream of tartar. Using a mixer on high speed, mix until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and continue mixing on high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  3. Fold in the meringue (egg white mixture) into the flour-yolk mixture until well combined. Pour mixture over the prepared baking pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25 -28 minutes [my oven took 35 minutes to cook the cake – Ed] or until cake tester/toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool down in pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer on a wire rack. Allow to completely cool down.

For the frosting:

  1. In a saucepan, mix all ingredients using a whisk until well combined. Cook with constant stirring over low heat for 30 minutes or until thick and spreadable.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool down.

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To assemble:

Carefully cut the cake into two even layers. Place the first layer on a cake dish. Spread about 3/4 cup frosting on top. Put the second layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Using a fork, create lines on the frosting. Sprinkle your choice of toppings, or you can just without.

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Yema Cake – Good to eat whilst Pondering About Something

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Check out Lin’s recipe exchange here

Community

Blueberry Muffins with Brown sugar

Blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries

We must take advantage of blueberries when they are in season. They are cheap as chips and so good for you, protecting against diseases and ageing, as well as helping to metabolise carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which is excellent if you are wanting to loose weight. Not yet convinced? Read more nutrition facts below:

Thus, I will share with you my recipe using brown sugar and a little butter. Nutritious, easy on the waistline, simple and quick to make, and very few dishes to wash up. That is the kind of recipe I like to ponder about on Tantalizing Tuesday.

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN RECIPE

2 cups Plain flour ( this means general all purpose flour)blog pictures 002

3 teaspoons of Baking powder

3 Tablespoons of Brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup ( 55 grams) melted butter

1 punnet fresh blueberries (that is around 125 g)

1 tablespoon brown sugar, (extra)

Method:

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.

Melt butter in separate bowl, let cool slightly, then add milk and egg and mix well.

Add wet and dry ingredients together and stir gently for 30 seconds, or until well mixed.

Gently fold in blueberries. Don’t fuss too much. You don’t want to smash them like at Cold Rock.

Fill muffin cases 2/3 with mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of each muffin and press down lightly.

A 12 muffin baking tray requires a moderate oven (190 degrees) for 12 – 15 minutes.

Test them close to the end of the cooking time to see if they bounce back when lightly pressed.

This is a good sign to say that they are cooked through.

Enjoy with a dob of sour cream or cream. ( if you are not counting calories, or course)

Makes 12 Muffins

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Blueberries nutrition facts

From: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/blueberries.html

Sweet, juicy blueberries are rich in pro-anthocyanin natural pigment anti-oxidants.

These tiny, round blue-purple berries have long been attributed to the longevity

and wellness of indigenous natives living in the subarctic regions in the Northern hemisphere.

  • Blueberries are very low in calories. 100 g fresh berries provide only 57 calories. However, they possess notable health benefiting plant-nutrients such as soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely towards optimum health and wellness.
  • Blueberries are among the highest anti-oxidant value fruits. In addition, these berries have other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotene-β, lutein and zea-xanthin.
  • Altogether, the phyto-chemical compounds in the blueberry help rid off harmful oxygen-derived free radicals from the body, and thereby, protect the human body against cancers, aging, degenerative diseases, and infections.
  • Further, research studies suggest that chlorogenic acid in these berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus condition.
  • Fresh berries contain a small amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. Altogether these vitamins work as potent anti-oxidants, which help limit free radical mediated injury to the body.
  • The berries also contain a small amount of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
  • Furthermore, they contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
baking recipes
Food

Scandinavian recipes -Waffles from Norway

 

Tantalizing Tuesdays

” Norsk Vafler ”  or   Waffles from Norway are more like a western style pancake in texture than a western
waffle. And are perfect for a  late Sunday breakfast or a mid morning snack, well…. they are nice anytime….

Be warned: whatever you think beforehand, one is never enough!

N.B. (You will need a waffle iron to cook them in the traditional shape seen below)

 

waffles
Norwegian Waffles

West Coast Waffles

Ingredients:
4 eggs (aeg)
4 dl milk  (maelk)
6 tablespoons sugar (sukker)
150 g melted butter (smoer)
300 g Plain flour (mel)

1 teaspoon baking powder (bakepulver)

Melt butter, beat egg and sugar together till really fluffy.
Add melted butter milk flour and egg.
Mix well and let sit for a while.

Optional:You might like to add some cardamon or vanilla sugar.

This mix will keep quite well in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Cook in waffle iron  and serve traditonally with either jam (sylteytoey)
and sourcream, or lemonjuice and sugar.
Even icecream and maple syrup.
Delicious.

 

Try and eat just one…. and email me if you are successful!!! You will then have my endless admiration!

When one is suffering from the munchies or just peckish, you will no doubt ponder about waffles, once you try these for yourself.

baking recipes
Community

Oh so Light Cinnamon Cake

Cinnamon cake
If you want to bake a cinnamon Cake that is as light and fluffy as a sponge follow this recipe

If you want to bake a cinnamon Cake that is as light and fluffy as a sponge follow this recipe and you will be in for a real treat! And check here for another great cinnamon recipe and to find out Why Cinnamon is so good for you.

Cinnamon Cake Recipe

Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Cream the sugar and butter till light and fluffy in a separate bowl, and then add the flour mix .Add milk vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each addition.

Pour into prepared kugelhof tin, ring or small loaf pans, or both, ( it makes a large mix and could well make a standard cake and 2 small loaf tins, 1200 x500mm)

NB – the cake is light and will take longer to cook in the centre, hence my use of the ring cake tin!

Bake 180 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes (25 mins for small loaf pans)

Lay out to cool and decorate with icing of your choice, or cinnamon sugar and melted butter

 

*NB. Tip: Be careful turning out as it is so light, it can easily break. After cooling for 10 minutes on a wire rack,  I invert a plate on the top of the cooked cake whilst it is still in the tin,  then flip over and carefully lift off the kugelhof tin.

Tantalizing TuesdaysGood luck and Enjoy the taste and texture whilst pondering the problems of the world

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