Tag Archives: almonds

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

Strawberry Salad

Strawberries are in season…and at the moment they are at their sweetest and most delicious. I was reading the other day about the “not so well known” strawberry combinations and came across nectarines, black pepper and almonds. I decided to make a strawberry carpaccio with feta + naartjie + almonds + black pepper. It is quick, simple and definitely my favourite flavour combination of 2016

The salad
Slice a few strawberries, sprinkle with small pieces of feta, a few almonds, scatter a couple of naartjie segments and sprinkle with course black pepper. For the final touch, I added fresh mint leaves. You will not need a salad dressing – the juiciness of the strawberries and the juice of the naartjie is a built-in ‘salad dressing’.

It’s so simple but the salt and sweet …and then that pepper tang is a perfect combination and a perfect lunch – to be washed down with a glass of bubbly of course. What better way to celebrate Spring?

Strawberries- Anel Potgieter

Strawberry Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market
This Saturday strawberry season will officially be celebrated at the Stellenbosch Slow Market. Visitors can expect strawberry cocktails from Dr. Juice, strawberry tea and even strawberry bread from Fine Pastries. Native Chocolates will provide strawberry chocolate delights, and everyone should try the strawberry burgers from Flamed. And of course there will be strawberry fudge, strawberry sushi and even strawberry liqueur from Kaapse Liqueur. Ollie’s Sausages, who never disappoints with a variety of sausages of all types, will also be selling a uniquely created strawberry sausage.

See you there.

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amarula spoons – simple seduction spoon by tempting spoon

amarula spoons – simple seduction spoon by tempting spoon

Amarula, dark chocolate, almonds, pears … These ingredients are the shortest route to seducing my husband in the foodie sense, taste bud for taste bud. I wanted to make something that he could pop into his mouth and then eat the whole dessert. Something I could serve him on a cold winters’ night in front of the fire. I set about making some devious plans 🙂

{his delicious recipe was inspired by an ingredient list (see list + rules at bottom of this post) I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #5 competition..}

Watch me make this by clicking here.

amarula spoon

I created an edible spoon from almond brittle, then painted the inside of the spoon with the dark chocolate, topped it with the creamiest Amarula ice cream and squared it off with blocks of pear compote.

Ladies and gentlemen, all I can say is that this is just devilishly delicious. There is this subtle decadence that just gives way to this lingering seduction of flavours, spoon by tempting spoon.

Postscript: The next day I got a bunch of sunflowers (my best!), a wink and a smile and five second-hand recipe books (my husband knows how much I love them). One of the books he brought back for me was a real gem: “The Ark” with a foreword written by *drum roll* the one and only James Beard! #happiness

SONY DSC

Tips for making Amarula spoons
1. If you don’t have a spoon mould just make your brittle on a big baking tray, flatten it, once cooled break it into big pieces.
2. You can always use less butter if you like – the less you use the clearer and harder the toffee will be.
3. If you don’t have almonds you can use any other nuts.
4. Use a melon scoop to make the small balls of ice cream.
5. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pop the custard overnight in the fridge and use – it is thick enough to sit on the spoon.

amarula spoons – simple seduction spoon by tempting spoon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 spoons
Ingredients
  • Amarula Ice Cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup Amarula
  • pinch of salt
  • Almond brittle spoons
  • 4 tbsp water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 70g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup PnP blanched almonds, toasted
  • 50g dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • Silicone spoon mould (I bought the silicone spoon mould from Banks)
  • Pear compote
  • 150 g unpeeled Forelle pear, sliced into small blocks (retain some of the red of the skin for serving)
  • 70 g sugar
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Ice Cream - Beat egg yolks and sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Heat the Amarula, cream and salt. Do not let it boil.
  3. Add the Amarula mixture slowly to the egg mixture - stirring briskly throughout the entire process.
  4. Place over a double boiler, stirring continuously until you have a mixture that is of a custard consistency. Set-aside and allow to cool down.
  5. Process through your ice cream machine until set.
  6. Almond brittle spoons - Add the sugar and water in a pan and cook until the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Add the butter and salt and cook until it reaches the hard-crack stage, or 300ºC on a candy thermometer. The mixture needs to have a deep golden colour.
  8. Stir in the almonds and pour the mixture into the spoon silicone mould. With a metal spatula smooth the top of the mould and scrape off all the excess mixture from the mould. Set aside to cool.
  9. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.
  10. Remove the spoons from the mould and paint the inside of the spoon with the melted chocolate.
  11. Place the spoons immediately into an airtight container until needed.
  12. Pear Compote - Put all your ingredients in a small pot and let it simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes. The pears must be translucent but not mushy; they should still retain some firm shape but with a thick, syrupy reduced consistency. Put aside to cool down.
  13. To assemble - Add a small, marble sized dollop of ice-cream to each spoon.
  14. Add a few blocks of the pear compote and finish off with a few shavings of fresh raw pear skin.
  15. Tips for making Amarula spoons
  16. If you don’t have a spoon mould just make your brittle on a big baking tray, flatten it, once cooled beak it into big pieces.
  17. You can always use less butter if you like – the less you use the clearer and harder the toffee will be.
  18. If you don’t have almonds you can use any other nuts.
  19. Use a melon scoop to make the small balls of ice cream.

Ingredients + Rules for challenge #5
Amarula
Dark chocolate
Pears
Cream Crackers
Blanched almonds

You may omit one ingredient – except the Amarula – from the list above.
You may add one ingredient of  your choice from the food aisles of PnP
Your dish must  must feature a custard-based recipe.
You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, whole-wheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs, Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)

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banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana 1 800

Ever since I started writing my blog my husband has been pestering me to bake a banana bread. He is just crazy about the flavour, sweetness and cake like texture. It’s such an easy thing to bake and we always have a few overripe bananas loitering in our fruit bowl. What I do like about banana bread is that it is a no fuss thing – and very easy to put together. Once you have the basic recipe you can always add raisins, nuts, chocolate chips – actually just about anything you fancy to make it your own.

Watch me make this by clicking here.
banana bread

The way I made this a lifeisazoobsicuit banana flan bread was by:
#1 changing the shape – I decided to bake it in a flan pan and serve it in a tart of sorts instead of a loaf and then
#2 I added three components that work extremely well together with bananas – white chocolate buttons, amaretto biscuits and almond flakes
#3 I was not keen to serve it with the traditional icing – so I opted to serve it with the crème fraiche instead.

My hubby, Rick had three helpings … Need I say more?

banana 3 800

A few banana facts or fiction I found on the www 🙂

1. Bananas float in water, as do apples and watermelons.
2. More than 100 billion bananas are eaten every year in the world, making them the fourth most popular agricultural product.
3. A cluster of bananas is called a hand, and a single banana is called a finger. Each banana hand has about 10 to 20 fingers.
4. Thanks to its oil, rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite – will help keep it from itching and getting inflamed.
5. To whiten teeth naturally, rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth for about two minutes every night. If you gargle with salt water, this will heighten the effect. Expect results in about two weeks. It works because of the effect of the potassium, magnesium, and manganese in the banana peel.
6. If you peel a banana from the bottom up (holding on to the stem like a handle), you will avoid the stringy bits that cling to the fruit inside.
7. Bananas are low in calories and have no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol. They contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.
8. More songs have been written about bananas than about any other fruit.
9. Bananas are the only fruit that contains the amino acid tryptophan plus vitamin B6. They help your body produce serotonin—a natural substance that alleviates depression.
10. If you put a banana in the refrigerator, the peel will turn dark brown or black, but it won’t affect the fruit inside.

source: thebananapolice.com

banana bread

 

 

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 60ml Butter at room temperature
  • 125ml Castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Bananas smashed
  • 1t Vanilla essence
  • 250ml Cake flour
  • 1t Baking powder
  • ¼t Salt
  • 50g White chocolate buttons
  • 50g Amaretto biscuits – broken into pieces
  • 40g Almond flakes
  • Crème Fraiche for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Butter a medium loose bottom flan pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then add the egg and mix it in with the butter and sugar mix.
  3. Mix the bananas and vanilla essence into the mixture.
  4. Add all the dry ingredients gently – be careful not to over mix – and pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a few dollops of crème fraiche

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semolina halwa with peach puree = easy indian dessert

semolina halwa with peach puree = easy indian dessert

Semolina Halwa with Peach Puree

Indian desserts remain for me a somewhat tricky and challenging thing – I find them extremely sweet and I struggle to actually fall in love with the flavours. So I decided to experiment with a very well know Indian dessert – Semolina Halwa. This is an easy dessert to make. In this instance though I decided to use a lot less sugar and added sultanas and raisins and served this together with a peach puree. What is also great about this recipe is that you do not need to use an oven for this dessert – just a warm plate. Live a bit beyond the ordinary and give this one a sample….

 

semolina halwa with peach puree = easy indian dessert
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup semolina
  • 3T Ghee
  • 25g Sultanas (small handful)
  • 25g Raisins (small handful)
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Cardamom seeds (shelled)
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ - 1 Cup cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Puree
  • 100g Drained tinned peaches
  • 1t Sugar
  • For serving
  • 30 g Pistachio nuts crushed
  • 30g Almonds flakes
Instructions
  1. Melt the ghee over medium heat and add the semolina, sultanas, raisins, cinnamon stick and cardamom seeds.
  2. Let it cook to a point where the fruit is nicely swollen and the semolina turns somewhat of a pinkish colour.
  3. Add the water and let it simmer until the semolina is cooked. Remember to stir.
  4. Add the sugar and allow it to cook for a minute or two.
  5. Add the cream and salt and cook over low heat for a few minutes.
  6. Blend the peach and sugar together for the puree.
  7. To serve - Make two quenelles per person.
  8. Put some of the peach puree on the side of the quenelles and sprinkle with almond and pistachio nuts.
  9. Serve luke warm or cold.


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