Walnut Strudel Cupcakes

Walnut strudel cupcakes

Walnut Strudel  Cupcakes

180 g butter – softened ¾ c brown sugar – firmly packed
2 eggs
2 c self-raising flour
2 tsp. instant coffee, mixed with 1 tbsp. boiling water
¾ c milk
1 tsp. vanilla bean extract

100g g walnut pieces
1/4 c brown sugar firmly packed
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

 

Pre heat oven 180’c.  Line a 12 pan muffin tin with paper cases.  Cream together butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and then add vanilla. Alternate flour with milk, add coffee. Spoon into cases.  Mix walnut pieces, sugar and spices together and pile on top of cupcakes.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven. Delicious served warm  with a dollop of lightly whipped cream with a drizzle of runny honey or wait until cold and ice with a coffee water icing.

Apple, Lime and raspberry shortcake

Raspberry and apple slice
Raspberry and apple slice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While ice cream is  for summer, oh, come on……………..ice cream is for all year, and no matter how full you think you are , there is always  room for ice cream.  Autumn puddings hot out of oven but still on the light side of the big winter pudding (that I so love) can only be improved with ice cream.

Originally this recipe was for morning tea, but I really couldn’t resist a small morsel while hot, then the ice cream came out and the whole recipe turned on its side with the addition of a hot raspberry sauce swirled around the side.

While this recipe is the double whammy. Wonderfully light and moist because of the apples, dust with icing sugar, or swirl on some whipped cream topped with more toasted almonds, or drizzle with a very lemony drizzle icing. This multitasking recipe will be a winner, no matter which way up you decide to serve.

Apple, Lime and Raspberry shortcake

150g butter – softened
½ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cup plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 apple – peeled and sliced thin
½ cup frozen raspberries
½ zest lime
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2-3 tbsp. sliced almonds

Method.

Pre heat oven 180’c. Line a 22cm square tin with baking paper.  Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract. Add eggs in one at time and beat together.  Add flour and baking powder. Mix together. Take ¾ of mix and place in tin and smooth out. Top with sliced apples, scatter raspberries, and zest over lime.  Sprinkle over brown sugar. Top with spoonfuls of remaining mix, and spread out lightly. Top with almonds. Bake in middle of oven for 25 minutes.   

Belinda Lombard, owner Lemongrass Catering.  www.lemongrasscatering.co.nz
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Carrot Cake

carrot cake

 

 

 

 

 

While I play around with recipes and love experimenting, there are some recipes that have stayed with me for a long time and are defiantly firm favourites.  Some corporate clients only ever want this carrot cake and shortbread.  15 years in Scotland………. I defiantly can make shortbread.  Never did make Haggis, because there is something’s you need to leave to the locals.

So this recipe has travelled around the world and now resides back home in the kitchen.  Absolutely no fail, quick to make and if allowed, stores well. Great for Mothers day with a cup of tea.

Carrot Cake

1 c self-rising flour
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 lemon zest
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
½ cup golden syrup
2 ½ cups grated carrots
½ cup chopped nuts – walnuts, pecans

Pre heat oven 160’c. Line a tin with baking paper.  Sift all dry ingredients together. Toss carrots into dry mix, and ‘fluff’ through, coating all the carrots so you don’t get a bit clump of carrots. Mix wet ingredients together and stir through carrot mix with chopped nuts. Bake for 45-50 minutes.   Let cool and ice with a traditional lemon cream.

Lemon Cream –250g cream cheese, 60 g butter – softened, 1 ½-2 cups icing sugar, zest of lemon and lemon juice.  Beat cream cheese and butter together, add icing sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to desired consistency.

Belinda Lombard, owner Lemongrass Catering.  www.lemongrasscatering.co.nz
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Caramel Pecan Slice recipe

When 3 pm rolls on and that terrible thirst for something sweet, seems to over whelm you, that no  cup a soup, orange wedge or indeed a brisk walk will  fend off those cravings.  Give in to temptation and make this incredibly easy slice, ( Cook early on the day to avoid, scolding burn marks to the roof of your mouth, because you just didn’t wait long enough for that caramel to cool), using tinned caramel and for a little crunch and  chopped pecans.

If you don’t have any pecan substitute with walnuts, unsalted cashews or crushed macadiam nuts.

While you could spend hours simmering away a tin of condensed milk to create a beautiful cameral, using the pre made tins is just much easier.  

Store in an airtight container, but to be honest, it won’t last very long in there!!

 

Caramel pecan slice

Base: 180g butter – softened ¼ c caster sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 ½ cups plain flour – sifted ½ c rolled oats

1 x can readymade caramel ½ cup chopped pecans / nuts

Pre heat oven 180’. Line a 23cm x 23cm slice tray with baking paper.

Cream together butter and sugar, add vanilla. Stir in flour and oats mixture together to make a moist crumble mix.

Press ¾ quarters of mix in base and top with dollops of caramel, scatter over pecans. Scatter the remaining crumble mixture over top and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool in tin for 10 minutes, and place on cooling rack.  Cut into small slices and serve.

Belinda Lombard, owner Lemongrass Catering.  www.lemongrasscatering. ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook/lemongrasscatering, to follow what we do during the week.

Beef Curry – 29 August 2013

29 August 2013

I absolutely love a curry.  Not a hot one mind, as my tastes buds lean towards a medium heat, and slowly I have converted my kids away from a mild butter chicken to something a little stronger.

This curry, is curry in a hurry, throw it all in at once, and cook really slowly over a couple hours. Try this recipe using pork pieces for a delicious pork curry.  Look out in the supermarkets for bottle of lemongrass, karrir lime and fresh coriander as cupboard staples; add a teaspoon of each in to the curry to alter to a Thai flavour with ease.

While I haven’t tried this receipt in the slow cooker, cooked on low heat, this recipe will lean itself to bubbling away while you are at work.  Just add in all ingredients, and on return in the last half hour add the coconut milk and turn up on high.

For the more adventurous, add a little extra heat with finely chopped fresh chilli.  Just in case you have over heated the curry.  Serve on the side a cooling Raita – 250ml natural yoghurt, ½ cucumber- grated, no seeds, large hand full fresh mint leaves – finely chopped, salt to season.  Mix together and serve on top of curry.

 

Beef and vegetable Curry 1 kg casserole beef – diced 1 large onion – diced 1 -2 carrots – diced 2 sticks celery – diced 1 red pepper – diced 200g mushrooms – diced 3 tbsp. curry powder 1 tbsp. cumin – ground 2 fat cloves garlic – finely chopped 1 inch piece – ginger, finely chopped 1 400g chopped tomato, plus 1 can water or stock 1 tin coconut milk Fresh coriander

Method;

In a large pot, add a couple tbsp. of vegetable oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, cook for two minutes. Add curry powder and cumin powder cook for a further two minutes. Add in beef, stir together. Add in tinned tomatoes and water/stock, simmer for 1 ½ hours. Stirring from time to time, add additional water/stock if required.  Add mushrooms and peppers and cook for a ½ hour and finely add coconut milk and simmer for 20 minutes. Finish with loads of fresh coriander.

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Blueberry slice recipe

blueberry-slice

Blueberries are one of Mother Nature’s miracle foods.  When fresh there is nothing better to cook with, but frozen are the alternative for all year round supply. They hold their shape well and don’t go as icy as some as some other soft berry’s berry when frozen.

Practically perfect in every way, blueberries add that splash of colour to transform the normal into ‘wow’.  Look out later in the year for a blueberry cheesecake that requires sunglasses to look at because it is so vibrant.

Blueberries added to the traditional muffins, smoothie and are  the perfect purple accompaniment to desserts as a coulis, purple may be the new thing this summer!

So get add a splash of colour this week’s recipe is a scrummy shortcake base with a meringue topping.  I double the ‘base’ of this recipe to create a thicker slice.

 

Blueberry Meringue shortcake

Base
1 c self-raising flour
1/3 c caster sugar
¼ c coconut
130g butter – melted
Topping
1/3 c coconut
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tbsp. corn flour
1 egg – lightly beaten
1 cup blueberries

Pre heat oven 180’c. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine flour, sugar, coconut and melted butter together. Press in to base of tin. Top with blueberries. Combine topping ingredients together and spread on top of blueberries.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in tin and then place on cooling rack.  Finish with a drizzle of lemon water icing when cold, if you like.

 

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Marshmallow Slice

Soft, flurry and crystal clear pure white, it is hard to believe that marshmallow starts its life off on the stove as a thick clear liquid and only the magic of time, some patience and the speed of a mixing machines turns it to soft cloud like pillows.

The only thing that could make this better is the raspberry jam that cuts through the sweetness of the marshmallow and a crumbly shortcake base. Try using apricot jam, as this works very well also.

Homemade marshmallow is wonderfully soft and will become extremely addictive and great if you have some gluten free friends or family.  You often see on packaging that marshmallow is ‘fat free’, which  indeed it is , however, don’t be lulled into the false sense of security, as sugar not burnt off, turns to fat…………..oh it’s a wicked world !!!

 

Marshmallow slice 120g butter – softened 120 g caster sugar 2 egg yolks 250 g plain flour 1 ½ tsp. baking powder 6 tbsp. milk ½- ¾ cup raspberry jam

Cream butter and sugar until light and flurry, add egg yolks, fold in dry ingredients and add milk to make soft dough. Press into a lined rectangle baking tray. Place in pre heated oven 180 ‘for 15- 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, cool and spread over jam and top with marshmallow. Allow to set and cut into pieces.

Marshmallow 250 g sugar 3 tsp. powdered gelatine 1 ¼ c cold water ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Place the sugar, gelatine and water into pot, bring to boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Place in a clean mixing bowl and leave to cool for about 20 minutes. Add the vanilla. Using a mixing machine beat until thick and glossy. 

Belinda Lombard –Owner – Lemongrass Catering.  www.lemongrasscatering.co.nz.    ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook/lemongrasscatering to follow what we are creating during the week.

Seafood Chowder – 22 August 2013

22 August   2013

 

Like the elephant in the room, the same can be said about those annoying half packets of ‘stuff’ that knock around the deep freeze.  Every time you go delving deep, there are those items that you always promise to use up…….one day…………or worse still, are saving for a special occasion!

So on a mission to de clutter the deep freeze and to finally use up that half bag of frozen seafood medley, I pondered on what to cook with this sad little bag of mixed seafood. 

Next problem, what else is knocking around the fridges………pumpkin, onion and sweet corn.  With a cold wintery day, what else but some hot warming comfort food, fresh bread and seafood chowder!

While I have given you quantities of ingredients, these can be altered to what you have  on hand, there is no wrong ingredients…………….well…………. be prepared , if you do use  that single beetroot in the bottom of the vege crisper……….it will go a lovely colour pink!

Seafood Chowder

50 g butter
1/3 c plain flour
1 medium onion – small dice
500g seafood  mix – ‘marinara’
1 carrot – small dice ½  buttercup – small dice
1 large potato – small dice
1 c frozen corn 4 c stock or water
½ c cream
¼ c chopped parsley or chives

Melt butter in a heavy based saucepan on a medium heat. Add onion, carrot, pumpkin and potato. Cook, stirring for about 8 minutes. Add flour, cook for a further 2 minutes while stirring. Gradually add stock, stir and simmer un covered for about 20 minutes. Add corn, seafood and cream.  Cook for a further 10 minutes.  Finish with chopped herbs and serve.

Serve with crusty bread with lashings of butter!

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Mushroom Pithiver

 

11 July  2013 – Mushroom Pithiver

 

Mushrooms can be a life saver when you have a vegetarian guest coming round for dinner, and this week’s recipe is perfect for dinner parties as you can make this well in advance and do the final cooking when you require it.

Pick the biggest mushrooms you can find.  If they are all small use a couple for each person.  If you have time and having a cocktail party you could make the mini version with little mushrooms, but be prepared for some fiddly work in the kitchen, they will however look fantastic.

Clean your mushrooms with a handy towel, if you use water they will become water logged.  I have used blue cheese, but you can change to brie or try a mozzarella filling which would be fabulous. If you are wondering about the photo and why you’re mushroom won’t look like this……David Stewart the Green Grocer from Gate Pa Fresh Market gave me this 500 gram, yes half a kilo, mushroom for this recipe, sadly these are few and far between!

While I always make my kids have a token gesture of all things on their dinner plates, I have to admit that even though I always try a token mushroom, my tastes buds, always say ‘no more’ ………I do have the same aversion to black rum………something to do with being 16 years old and a hip flask of black rum, say no more about that!!

Enjoy this week’s meatless dinner suggestion.

 

Mushroom Pithiver
2 sheets of puff pastry – I used Edmonds pre rolled
4 large mushrooms – wiped with a handy towel
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 c Arborio rice
50 ml white wine
half small onion – finely diced
2 -2 ½ cups stock – vegetable or water
1 lemon – zest
50g butter – softened, cubes
salt and white pepper
blue cheese – break off 4 pieces/or use brie

1 egg – lightly beaten – for glaze

Method:

Pre heat oven 180’.  Place mushroom on baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and pinch of thyme. Roast for 5-7 minutes depending on size. They don’t have to be cooked through.  Take out of oven and place on some handy towels to soak up any liquid.

Place olive oil in pan and add onion, cook until translucent about 5 minutes, add rice, stir, add white  wine, lemon zest and  add stock in a cup at a time, until absorbed into rice, and rice is cooked. About 15 minutes.  Add cubes of butter folded into mixture. (You will have more risotto than you need, but good for lunch the next day)  Place in a bowl, cover and cool till ready to use.

Place pastry on table and cut into 4 squares. Place a spoonful of rice in middle, top with a piece of blue cheese and top with mushroom.  Brush egg around the outside. Cover mushroom with another piece of puff pastry and shape into a dome.  Fork around the edges to seal, and then using a pastry cutter, cut out a round shape. Place on a lined baking tray, either place in fridge till ready to cook, or cook for 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.  Serve with some greens.

Belinda Lombard, owner Lemongrass Catering, www.lemongrasscatering.co.nz

4th July Red, white and Blue Cheesecake.

 

4th July 2013

Please……. all standing, as the streets are lined with more ticker tape than there is trees, large floating  balloons  held onto by  stars and striped trouser wearing stilt walkers,  and the bang of 1000 fireworks exploding in the sky above the Westpac building……….. As we say Happy 4th of July to all Americans on your Independence Day.

I didn’t really know much about Independence day, so I had to do a ‘goggle’ and in a nut shell – July 4th is the declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain…….but it appears that it was July 2nd that it was approved in a closed session in congress……….. Then debated and revised the wording of the declaration, finally approving it on July 4th-………………. what would we do without Wikipedia huh!

So to celebrate the red white and blue…………….here is a recipe that is red, white and blue.
Happy 4th of July, now go and enjoy your  “quad venti, half-caff, one pump sugar free vanilla, two pumps sugar-free, hazelnut, extra hot, ristretto latte, with half soy, half low-fat organic milk with two paper cups  coffee”…………… and in NZ………… a flat white ,with this all American cheesecake !!! J

Red, white and blue cheesecake

125 g plain biscuits- crushed fine
60g butter – melted
4 tsp. gelatine powder
¼  c cold water
500g cream cheese
½ c caster sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
300ml  cream
½  cup blueberries – frozen/defrosted
½  cup raspberries – frozen/defrosted

Line the base  a 6 inch round spring form tin with baking paper. In the food processor add biscuits and processor till they resemble breadcrumbs. Melt butter. In a bowl, mix together and press into the bottom of the tin.  Place gelatine and cold water in small bowl and leave for 4 minutes. Microwave for 20 seconds to bring back to liquid.  Clean processor of crumbs. Place cream cheese and sugar in food processor, blitz together until smooth. Using a rubber scrapper, scrape around the edges of the bowl. Pour in cream and mix together. Scrape down again.  Pour in gelatine and blitz together.  Working quickly divide the mix into thirds, leaving one portion in the machine, add the blueberries and pulse together. Spread this mix in the bottom on biscuit base. Top with the white portion of cheesecake. Rinse processor bowl and place in third mix with raspberries and blitz. Add this to the top of cheesecake, smoothing out.   You could marble by dragging a knife through the mix. Place in fridge for at least 4 hours.

If you want to enhance the colours add a drop of purple and red food colouring, or use a tablespoon of ‘fresh as’ fruit powders to the mix.