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It seems you’re nobody these days, unless you’re a kickboxing, cleaning eating, kale juicing junkie. My ‘A’ for effort is my zeal for kale salads. When asked if kale really needs all that ‘massaging’, I explain that the challenging dark green leafy fibres are broken down by the concentrated acidity in limes and lemons, but I’m no scientist. For me it is the difference between chewing a pale woody indigestible leaf versus chowing down an appetising salad of vibrant tender leaves. When laced with a hefty dressing (I use tahini but you can use peanut butter instead for a similar consistency) a kale salad can be very satisfying. Pomegranates are a luxury, adding an exotic twist, but you can mix and match sultanas, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, grated ginger, nuts and even turn it into a main course salad with fish or chicken.
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A chocolate roulade makes an elaborate centrepiece at this time of year, so why not give your family a fabulous festive treat with this chocolate roulade. My flourless chocolate roulade is deliciously light and gluten free. Combining cherries, orange and a rich chocolate mousse like filling, it is the perfect prepare ahead dessert as it tastes even better when made the day before. Flavours such as brandy, cointreau, coffee, sweetened chestnut purée and even ginger can be added to the chocolate sponge or filling.
Decorate into a Yule log for an elaborate, luxurious seasonal centrepiece.
200g dark chocolate (max 55% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
5 eggs, room temperature, separated into yolks and whites
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g dark chocolate, broken into squares
250g butter, softened
40g icing sugar, sieved
2 tbsp milk
10 slices of smoked salmon
2-3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
200g crème fraîche
200g cream cheese
1 tbsp of freshly chopped dill
salt and pepper
For the Cucumber:
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dill
1 tsp salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
Mince Pies play such a big part in a typical Christmas. My grandma made them every year and while she always made her pastry by hand, she only ever used a jar of mincemeat. I start to bake mince pies at home from the first week in December. While my kids love the taste of them, they love making them even more with this easy recipe. They make gorgeous presents wrapped up in florist cello-wrap and tied up with a festive ribbon.
Since I bake alot, I find my muffin tins have the perfect size hollows for filling deep mince pies. If you have a shallower tins, be careful not to fill them to the brim as the mincemeat filling will expand while being baked. Make them in advance and leave in the freezer uncooked and bake them when you need them.
There are lots of ways you can add your own signature to mincemeat. You can add some extra crunch with toasted chopped hazelnuts or bitter...
Hallowe’en is big business these days. If you leave it until the eleventh hour, you may run out of time to invent a blood curdling costume or paint a convincingly devilish face. Come October 31st, by noon, most shops will be sold out of pumpkins. So a great way to get in the spooky spirit is with some frighteningly easy baking ideas. Before you start, throw open the cupboards and gather those festive sprinkles, food colourings, icing and cutters. You’ll be surprised at how much creepy fun you can add to your bakes once you have all the necessary decorating supplies. With the school mid-term commencing, there will be lots of time to squeeze in a bit of baking. It’s the ultimate activity to warm up little monsters as they prepare for trick-or-treating escapades. If your main concern is who is going to eat all those cakes, fear not, an impromptu Hallowe’en, neighbourhood, bake sale is a wonderful way to raise money for a good cause. The annual...
If you don’t have coconut milk, you can combine cream and some chicken stock to create a sauce. There are many different ways to add that subtle coconut flavour. I often add in some dessicated coconut...
4 chicken fillets
100ml natural yoghurt
1 clove garlic
1 tsp turmeric
For Korma Sauce
50g butter or oil
2 cm piece fresh ginger
pinch chilli powder (or fresh chilli, or tabasco)
half teaspoon cinnamon
6 cloves (optional)
1 tin full fat coconut milk (use creamiest part in tin)
salt and pepper, to taste
25g flaked almonds
25g fresh coriander herb, to garnish
To serve: 1-2 cups rice
Carrot cake fans seem to fall into two categories: those who vehemently insist their carrot cake should be light, fluffy and cloud-like; and those who equally strongly believe the perfect carrot cake is dense, moist and rich. I fall into the latter. The only thing the two camps seem to agree on is that the cake should definitely include a thick layer of cream cheese frosting with a citrusy hint. Historically carrots were a good source of sweetness when sugar and dried fruits were extremely expensive. Carrot cake seems to have its roots in a sweet meat dish. Much like mincemeat, it slowly lost its meat and gained sugar over the centuries. During the second world war, carrot cake took off, making the best use of a home grown source of sweetness. The oil in the mixture means this is a beautifully moist cake which will keep very well. Once the frosting has been added, the cake should be refrigerated. A butter-based cake will firm up in the fridge, but the oil in this cake means...