Marzipan or Sugarpan?

Make your own Marzipan

Day 8 of my Christmas countdown, as promised yesterday in my Late Christmas Cake recipe  today’s recipe is for home made Marzipan.

Although I personally do not favour a traditional Christmas Cake, preferring something lighter & less sugary, I know, for a lot of people, Christmas would not be complete without one. The cake in yesterdays recipe is a variation on the good old traditional theme. Today’s marzipan recipe is prepared using fresh natural ingredients & also makes you aware of the additives & preservatives used in most store bought Marzipan or Almond paste, as it is also known.

Do you head to the super market & grab a pack of ready -made Marzipan? Have you read the small print on theback?  It should really be called Sugarpan, because the main ingredient is, guess what, SUGAR!!  OK, most recipes call for half ground almonds & half sugar, but even in the more respected stores, ground Almonds only account for 25% of the product, the rest being made up with the afore mentioned sugar & other additives. So here goes:

HOME MADE MARZIPAN

. G/F. V. Low Fodmap  Allergens: EGG. Cooking Time Nil. Covers 1 10cm Cake or smaller cake with enough left over to make chocolate marzipans.

Ingredients:

450g Ground Almonds (Good Quality)

225g Icing Sugar

225g Caster Sugar

2 Small Eggs

Juice of half a lemon

1. Tbspn Rum or Sherry

1.Tbspn Orange Flower Water

Few drops Almond Essence

METHOD

Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl & mix together well.

Pour in the lightly beaten eggs & add the other liquids, mixing with your hands, to form a smooth paste.

DO NOT USE A FOOD MIXER. When the ingredients have bound together, forming a smooth paste, wrap in cling film & chill for a couple of hours. Over working the paste will result in an oily paste, caused by the oil being released from the almonds. Ifyou do not wish to use alcohol in the recipe, replace with Elderflower Syrup.Use fresh, free range eggs, as the rich yellow yolks, produce a good coloured Marzipan.

Use as required, rolling out on a board which has been dusted with icing sugar, to prevent sticking.

Any left- over Marzipan can be rolled onto balls or cut into shapes & dipped in melted chocolate & used for decoration. If you are feeling creative, you can always whip up a boozy Christmas Stollen with your lovely home made Marzipan in the centre.

Until tomorrow, when the recipe will be “The Icing on the Cake”. Have a lovely evening

Ground Almonds,Marzipan,Marzipan recipe,Cake covering,Icing
Christmas Stollen with Home made Marzipan

Lemon Mincemeat

How to make Vegan Mincemeat

We all like those little pies full of tangy, vine fruits & spices, I say all, but, thats not quite true. Vegans are appalled by the addition of suet, in these festive fillers. 

All is not lost dearest Vegans, you shall have a pie. For I have created this luscious mince meat, especially with you in mind. Bursting with a tangy lemon flavour, using dried, cherries, berries & ginger & soaked in a shot or two of Greek Metaxa. Delicious.

Vegan, Mincemeat, Lemon, Mincepies, Homemade,
A taste of Sunshine

Vegan Lemon Mincemeat

Makes 2.5 kg      Time taken 1 hour  G/F D/F Vegan, Vegetarian  Allergens: NUTS

Ingredients:

6, Large Unwaxed Lemons

450g, Mixed Dried berries, cherries & cranberries.

225g, Crystalised Ginger or other fruit to your liking.

100g Shelled, green Pistachio nuts.

5, tbspns Olive Oil.

700g, Soft brown sugar.

1/2 level tspn each of nutmeg, ground mixed spice & cinnamon

200ml Brandy. ( I use Metaxa 5* Greek)

Method

Halve the lemons & squeeze out the juice & reserve.

Quarter the lemon peel, remove flesh & excess white pith

Place the prepared skins in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil & simmer for 30mins.

Drain, cool slightly & place in a food processor, with the crystallised ginger,

Process until finely chopped.

Turn into a bowl & add the olive oil, pistachio nuts, dried fruits, strained lemon juice & sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Add the spices & brandy, stir well again & pack into sterilized jars. Cover & seal.

This is a gorgeous & unusual recipe for mincemeat with a tangy flavour. Can be used immediately, but improves with keeping.

Dried fruit, Mincemeat, homemade, food, cookery
Dried Berries & Cherries

Tomorrows Countdown to Christmas recipe will be Pastry, plus a gluten free version. Also a fool proof rough puff, with a difference.

Until tomorrow. Have a great evening

West Wiltshire Magazine

I found a publication on Issuu that I think you’ll love. Find out more about our Cookery Lesson in this months issue of The West Wilts Magazine.

Check this out:

 

 

Dying for Dessert

Recipe,Apple Shortcake

Good afternoon foodies. The weekend is here. As you might have a little more time on your hands, I thought you may like a recipe which is equally good served hot for a Sunday Lunch dessert, or cold as a tea time treat.

APPLE & CLOTTED CREAM SHORTCAKE.  Serves 4. Vegetarian. Time taken 20 mins +  30 mins cooking.  Oven temp 200c ,Gas 6 , 400F    18 cm shallow cake tin.

INGREDIENTS: SHORTCAKE

130g Plain Flour

2 tspns Baking Powder

1tbspn Caster Sugar

50g Butter

5 Tbpns Milk

Pinch of Salt

INGREDIENTS: TOPPING

3, Eating Apples. Cored, peeled & cut into thin wedges.

150ml Double or Clotted Cream

75g Soft Brown Sugar

2 Large Egg Yolks.  Use the whites for meringues, or add to scrambled eggs or an omelette

1/4tspn Freshly grated Nutmeg

METHOD.

Put all the ingredients, except the milk) in a food processor & pulse until the mix becomes fine breadcrumbs. Add the milk, pulse to mix to a smooth dough. Remove from processor & spread over the bottom & up the sides of the tin.

Beat together the topping ingredients.

Arrange the apple over the top of the shortcake & pour over the cream mixture.

Place in the centre of a preheated oven, bake for 30-40mins, lowering the temperature to 180c, Gas 4, 350F after 15mins.  Until golden brown.

You can alter the fruit in this recipe according to whats in season. In the summer, raspberries are absolutely delicious especially served with ice cream & raspberry liqueur.

If you have made this recipe, please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy Sunday Foodies

Recipe for the Spice of life

Happy New Year Foodies. Hope you all a fantastic Christmas and are facing the New Year with a fistful of positive thoughts and a desire to eat healthier & save money.

Hopefully, the recipe I am going to give you below will not only help you to get creative with some vegetables, but it may also help you save money.

To the basic recipe, which is gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan, you can add whatever leftovers you may have.  You could add cooked chicken, beef, lamb, pork if you are meat lovers. For the Pesco-vegetarians among us you could add, fish, canned or fresh, or sea food.  Change the veg if you like and stir in a couple of table spoons of crunchy peanut butter to give a Satay like flavour. Variations are endless. TRY IT.

BASIC RECIPE. Serves 4.  GF/DF/V/Vegan.   Time taken 20mins + Cooking. Varies on Veg used & size of chunks.  ALLERGENS IN BOLD.

The video clip above gives yo a view of the different cooking stages.

2. Tbspns Olive Oil

2. Large Garlic Cloves, peeled  chopped

1 Large Red Onion, Peeled & finely sliced

2 Fresh Chillies, Finely Sliced. ( Seeds removed if you like less heat)

2cm Fresh Ginger, Peeled & finely chopped

2 Tbspns Tandoori Spice Mix

1 Tbspn Ground Coriander

2. Large Parsnips, Peeled & Cut into chunks

2. Med Pots, Peeled & Cut into chunks

1 Large Aubergine, Halved & Salted for 20 mins ( Removes the bitter juices)

400 ml Can Chickpeas, drained & rinsed

4, Leftover chopped soft Fresh Tomatoes or a Tin of Tomatoes

Seasoning

Chopped Coriander.

Aubergines,vegetarian,vegan,vegetables,low calorie
Salting Aubergines

METHOD.

Heat the oil in a large pan on the hob over a medium heat.  Add the chilli, ginger & onion & fry for 5 mins. Add the potatoes & parsnips & sir fry for a further 5 mins.

Stir in the ground coriander & the Tandoori Spice & Stir Fry for a further 5mins. Add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, partially cover & simmer until the veg are soft.

5 mins before the end of cooking, stir in the chopped garlic & the rinsed, salted aubergine, which has been cut into chunks & the Chickpeas.

Season to taste. Sprinkle on the chopped Coriander.

Serve with warm naan bread,  thick Greek yoghurt, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds & lime pickle. Alternatively served with boiled rice or pearled spelt.

This dish is even better, reheated the next day & is equally delicious served cold as a lunch box salad.

If you would like a cookery lesson on a 1 to 1 basis, or a group demonstration, find out more on our Cookery Tuition Website  >>  Cookery Lessons

Happy Eating.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Health to your Christmas

Here at TRUFFLEicious, as the nights draw in & the season changes, we have been devoting our time to recipe creation. As the festive season draws nigh my thoughts turned to that great overload of rich, sugary foods, which become, in these modern times the spirit of Christmas.

“Hark the herald angels sing”. Our new recipe creations have been born.

THE ultimate #Christmas #Cakes. Rich, moist, dark, fruity & nutty and above all. #Gluten & Dairy free.

My first cake ( pictured above) is Beetroot, Apple & Hazelnut.

The sugar content has been lowered, as both the apple & dried berries add an element of sweetness to this rich moist cake.  Not being a fan of sugary icings, marzipan or butter icing, I have decorated the cake with a mixture of curd cheese & natural yoghurt,which adds a creamy, refreshing contrast to the richness of the cake.  Off course, if you are totally dairy free, the topping would be a NO NO.

My second cake. Carrot, Courgette, Date & Poppy Seed

Is again, gluten & dairy free. The picture on the right is decorated with the same topping as above and therefore not suitable for those totally dairy free it is sprinkled with grated lime rind & a few cranberries would also look effective. The cake on left is just dredged with icing sugar, for a seasonal effect & both would look good as a centre piece with a red pillar candle stood in the middle.

Cake No 3. Sweet Potato, Pecan, Maple Syrup & Caramel

Cake, Sweet Potato, Pecan & Caramel

Once again a rich, moist nutty cake, but with a slightly higher sugar content with the addition of maple syrup & homemade caramel and again the topping contains yoghurt & curd cheese.  This cake also contains an amount of gluten as it is made with Spelt, which give it a nice nutty taste & a rich dark colour.

All the above cakes, could also be served as desserts.  They keep well stored in an air tight tin, but if topped with the yoghurt & curd cheese, need to be stored in the fridge. Not suitable for people with NUT allergies.

In my next blog I will be dealing with gluten/Dairy free Chocolate Cakes & Mousses.

You can also hear me on BBC Radio #Wiltshire. Sue Davis Show on Sunday Mornings at 10.15 for the next 6 weeks talking about recipes from this blog.

Until next time #Foodies.

TRUFFLEicious Chocolate Truffles.

Fancy some chocolate? Bet you do. So, instead of nipping into your local super store for your fix. Head for the kitchen, don your apron &  rustle up some gorgeous chocs that contain good quality ingredients and do not contain those nasty additives, colourings & sack loads of added sugar.

P1010576 (480x640)

DARK & WHITE STRAWBERRY TRUFFLES.  No added sugar, Gluten Free. Makes 50 Truffles.

INGREDIENTS.

50g Unsalted butter.

150ml Double Cream

450g Good quality White Chocolate (I use Callebaut)

3 Tbspns Flavouring of your choice. Liqueur, Fruit puree, etc

METHOD

Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan, over a gentle heat,. Bring to the boil.

Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly & add the chopped chocolate & flavouring.

Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted & combined with the other ingredients.

Pour into a bowl, allow to cool & become firm.

Break off small pieces & roll into balls, at this stage you can roll the truffle centres in nuts, grated dark chocolate or whatever takes your imagination.

Or you can temper some dark chocolate & dip the centres, leaving them to cool & harden on non stick baking parchment,

When they are set, drizzle with more melted white chocolate, to decorate.

Happy Truffling Foodies. Until next time, have a sweet time.

 

 

 

 

Don’t fritter it Frittata it.

In today’s world none of us have money to fritter away, yet we frequently throw away food.

The media and supermarkets tempt us  with new products on a daily basis, prompting us to disregard the food already lurking in our fridges and buy yet another product. Fine for them, more money into their already swelling coffers, but not so good for us.

We are being lured into an ever increasing circle of wasting food, – our money – and in many cases eating unhealthy, processed food stuffs which contain little, or no nutritional value.

In the time it takes to open a packet and microwave a container you can whip up a nutritious Frittata and top it with what ever takes your fancy, or those leftovers from the fridge. Add some salad or veg and tuck in.

This recipe is equally good served both hot or cold. Good cut in wedges for a picnic or the kids lunchboxes, Place inside a chunk of Granary bread for a giant sandwiches.

The recipe below is for a basic Cheese and Tomato Frittata. (Pictured above)  But the method is the same for any of the suggested ingredients listed below.

Cookery, Eggs, recipes, pizza, healthy eating
Cavolo Nero & Mozzarella Frittata

Serves 4-6       Gluten Free.   Time taken 20 mins.

Equipment:  Frying pan.   Pre-heated Grill.

INGREDIENTS:

Tbspn Olive or Rapeseed oil.

8 Large Free range eggs.   Beaten together.

Seasoning.

Leftover veg, meat, fish, olives, anchovies etc

Cheese or cheeses of your choice.

Garlic & chopped fresh herbs. Optional.

METHOD:

Heat a large frying pan with the oil, over a med/high heat.

Halve 4 Large soft tomatoes, fry lightly, cut side up.

When brown turn the tomatoes over fry for a further minute.

Pour the beaten, seasoned eggs over the tomatoes, scraping  and lifting the edges to allow the unset egg run underneath.

When set to your liking, remove from the heat, scatter with 175g of cheese & grill until melted.

If liked scatter with chopped raw garlic & fresh herbs. Serve either hot or cold

Until next time foodies. Happy, Healthy Eating.

 

Let’s love lettuce

Hi again gluttons. Here I am again hoping to tickle your fancy or fan your flames with  gluts of lettuce!

This week a friend of mine enquired “would you like a lettuce”? Now, I’m as enamoured with green leaves as the next man – or woman-, but a crate of them?  My flames were duly fanned, I was overwhelmed with gluttony and the creative juices began to flow.

Serve with fresh crusty granary bread and a large glass of Chardonnay.

GREEN EGGS.    Serves 4    V.   4, Ramekin dishes, Baking Tray, Pre-heated Grill

4 Fresh Free range eggs, soft boiled. Shelled.

3 Little Gem lettuce or other crunchy variety. Shredded.

25g butter.

1 wineglass of White wine or veg stock

2, shallots, finely chopped.

Butter 4 ramekins, place on an oven proof baking tray.

Melt butter in a pan fry the shallots, until soft, but not brown. Add the shredded lettuce, pour over the wine or stock, cover with baking paper and a lid. Simmer for 4-5mins. Remove from pan, season and divide between the 4 dishes. Place the eggs on top of each dish.

Sauce.

25g Butter.

1 Rounded tbspn plain flour

100g Blue Cheese, use up those left over bits lurking in the fridge.

400ml Milk, warmed.

Melt the butter, add the flour, cook stirring for 2 mins.

Slowly add the warmed milk, continue to stir until the sauce thickens.

Remove from the heat and crumble in the blue cheese. Season to taste.

Divide the sauce between the 4 dishes & sprinkle with browned bread crumbs or crushed potato crisps.

Place under a hot grill until golden brown. Serve at once sprinkled with chopped chives.

Sit back with your glass of wine and congratulate yourself on using up your leftovers and glut of lettuce.

Until next time. Enjoy.

Glutton for punishment.

Veg, vegetables, vegetarian
Courgettes, Courgettes, Courgettes

I know, you’ve spent all that back breaking time in the garden, tilling the soil, weeding and watering, proudly growing your own food and what do you end up with???

You glutton for punishment you. You end up with a glut!! Ok, those first pickings where a joy. Boasting to your friends over Sunday lunch served with your home grown veg, but after the fourth meal served with a side of courgettes you are begining to have had enough.

Let me see if I can help you with your problem. Below I have given you a couple of recipes and a few suggestions on what you can turn your excess of courgettes into.

COURGETTE & CARROT SALAD.  GF/ DF/ V   Serves 4-6 Allergens: Nuts

4, Large Courgettes, Very thinly sliced. ( Use a mandolin )

2, Large Carrots, Scrubbed and either thinly sliced or cut into match sticks.

8, tbspns Home made french dressing.

Combine the above together in a large serving bowl & allow to stand for a few hours.

When ready to serve add:

100g Pitted Black Olives

100g Pine nuts

Large hand full of fresh oregano, chopped

Sprinkle over:

100g Shaved Parmesan cheese.

Serve as a light lunch with crusty homemade granary bread, as a starter or as a side dish to accompany a meal.

If you have a fancy for some hot courgettes

Heat

1 tbspn Rapeseed oil in a wok

Add

4 Chunky sliced Courgettes

2, Cloves Garlic, Crushed

Handful of  Mint & Lemon Thyme finely chopped

Shake to coat the veg. Cover & cook over a medium heat, for 5 mins shaking occasionally

Serve sprinkled with lemon juice, chopped mint & lemon thyme & seasoning.

Other suggestions you may want to try:

Courgette & Feta Fritters

Courgette Soup.

Ratatoullie

Stuffed Courgettes

Courgette & Mushroom Fritatta

Courgette & Oregano Jelly. Lovely with Lamb

Well guys. That’s all for now, until next time when the subject of gluts will be tomatoes.