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Trembom - English version

Trembom is about good food, food that excites, foods that speak of one's life

Updated: 2018-02-18T04:47:31.025-08:00


New Address


I will no longer post at this address. I am moving to A wee bit of sugar, Cupcakes do Trembom and Trembom. I would love to see you there.

pork and beef ragu


I am not a great meat eater any longer. However, I do like to prepare meat dishes every so often. Having been very busy at work and barely having time to cook properly during the week, over the weekend I decided to prepare some food for lunch and this ragu proved a great treat. It is very versatile: can be eaten with rice, polenta (not that I like it), with pasta, in cannelloni, as pie filling. The spices add a wonderful taste to the ragu, very elegant and gentle. I fall in love with every mouthful I take of this delicious ragu. When it comes to seasoning, it is important not to overdo on the salt otherwise the beautiful flavour of the cinnamon and nutmeg will be lost.
When I do not happen to have sage at home, I use rosemary instead. After approximately 1 hour of the cooking of the meat, I like to add approximately ½ cup milk. I feel that it reduces the acidity of the ragu.



30g butter
¼ cup olive oil
8 sage leaves
2 onions finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1cm pieces
2 stalks of celery, halved lengthways and cut into small pieces
2 leeks, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
Large pinch of ground nutmeg
1 stick of cinnamon
250ml red wine
500g minced beef
500g pork mince
2 cups beef stock
2 cups passata
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Heat butter and oil in a large heavy based saucepan, and add sage leaves, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, leeks and spices and cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat por approximately 10 minutes. Add red wine and cook for 15 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced quite a lot. Add the beef and pork, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, and then stir the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Just go easy on the salt. Bring the mixture to the boil, then cook, covered over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally or until the meat is very tender.

Source: Gourmet Traveller

Cauliflowers and Weekend Herb Blogging


It is that time of the week when I post my contribution to Kalyn’s Weekend Herb blogging. Being a weekly event I always have something to look forward to for my English language posts. If you are reading this post and do not know about Weekend Herb Blogging, please click on the link to get more details about the rules and who is hosting the events in the different weeks. This week it is being hosted by Amy and Jonny from We Are Never Full. WHB is reaching its 3rd birthday and it is indeed a reason for loads of us to celebrate the opportunity to meet so many interesting people who often take part. This week my post is also part of an event that I host at one of my Portuguese language blogs. I was glad that Kalyn was Ok with this dual contribution. I also recommend that you pay Kalyn's blog a visit - Kalyn's Kitchen. it is packed with lovely and very healthy recipes. I have always loved cauliflower – baked, raw, in soup. Reading a bit more about it in order to write this post I learnt that there are other varieties apart from the white one – the green and purple types. I am not too sure that I have seen them yet. It got me really curious. I did read that it is very rich in fibre, and is also has potassium, is high in vitamin C ( I had no idea), is equally a good source of protein, phosphorous and calcium. It is terribly low in fat and calories. Perfect for a snack. If you decide to boil it, by squeezing lime juice in the water the cauliflower will keep its beautiful white colour.In this recipe I chose to have it fried. For the first time. It is not deep fried, just shallowed fried. In the end it is coated in lovely spices: coriander, fennel and cumin. I absolutely adored the final result. So unexpectedly delicious. Makes a great side dish to grilled meats. I do confess that I had it on its own as I could not stop picking it. My inspiration was the wonderful book Moro East by Sam & Sam Clark. Ingredients:1 tsp coriander seeds½ tsp cumin seeds¼ tsp fennel seeds8 peppercornsSunflower or peanut oil for frying1 medium head of cauliflower, stalk removed, broken into florets(Maldon) sea saltLemon wedges to serve Grind the spices with the peppercorns and set aside. Pour 1cm depth oil into a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. When hot, add the cauliflower and fry on all sides until tender and slightly golden. Drain well on kitchen paper and season to taste with salt. Mix the spices with the cauliflower by scattering the mixture all over them. Serve with the lemon wedges on the side, and if I were you I would leave the remaining spice mixture at hand just in case you want to sprinkle some more over the cauliflower. It will be difficult to resist. [...]

sweetcorn polenta and aubergines - weekend herb blogging


I have become a huge fan of Yotam Ottolenghi..The funny thing is that my recent admiration is for reasons savoury whereas my initial attraction to his work was all to do with sweets bites and his beautiful shop Ottolenghi which can be found at different parts of London. When I bought his book it was for the sweet reasons and then I discovered this wonderful savoury side. The book has some great salad dishes as well as sweet recipes. I know that Kalyn also bought the book and I wonder what she makes of it. Ottolenghi now contributes weekly to one of the Saturday papers in the UK and I have been getting more beautiful recipes as this one here. This recipe attracted me for the use of sweetcorns. I have been getting some in my basket and the thought of making some sweetcorn polenta was irresistible. What with the lovely aubergine sauce to go with it. I thought that this week’s weekend herb blogging event deserved some beautiful corn. Firstly because corn is one of my favourite ingredients. I lived a great part of my life in a state in Brasil that is big in corn and we would always have it in all forms and shapes: ice cream, soup, croquettes, on the cob smeared with butter, etc. Secondly because of the fabulous goodness in it. Corn contains Vitamin B1 (thiamine, Folate, Vitamin C, Phosphorus, Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid, Vitamin A (more in the yellow corn), Manganese, and several antioxidants including ferulic acid and phenolics. It is an awful lot of benefits and cannot be ignored. Plus sweetcorn tastes so good. Most recently I read the extract below from a scientific study:The researchers purchased sweet corn and cooked the kernels in batches at 115 degrees Celsius (239 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10, 25 and 50 minutes. Liu says that the cooking increased the antioxidants in sweet corn by 22, 44 and 53 percent, respectively. The scientists measured the antioxidants' ability to quench free radicals, which cause damage to the body from oxidation, increasing the risk of cancer and heart disease..In addition to its antioxidant benefits, cooked sweet corn unleashes a phenolic compound called ferulic acid, which provides health benefits, such as battling cancer. "It's not a free acid," says Liu. "It's bound to the cell wall and in the corn's insoluble fibers. We found that ferulic acid was substantially increased after the sweet corn was cooked at high temperatures and by cooking it at the same temperature over a longer time." Sweetcorn polentaPolenta:6 corn ears 0r 560g scraped kernels500ml water40g butter200g feta, crumbled½ tsp saltFreshly ground black pepper Aubergine sauce:150ml vegetable sauce1 medium aubergine, cut in medium pieces2 tsp tomato paste60ml white wine200g chopped peeled tomatoes( fresh or tinned)100ml water½ tsp salt½ tsp sugar1 tbsp chopped oregano, plus whole leaves to garnish To prepare the sauce: Heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the aubergine on medium heat for 15 minutes, until nicely browned. Drain and discard as much oil as you can. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for two minutes on medium heat. Add the wine and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, water, sugar, salt and oregano, and cook for five minutes to get a deep flavoured sauce. Set aside. To prepare the polenta: Shave off the kernels from the corn. Place them in a medium-sized saucepan and pour in the water, to cover. Add half the butter and cook on a low simmer for 12 minutes. Then lift out the kernels with a slotted spoon – don’t throw the water out as you will need it, and transfer them to a food processor or blender. Process for a few minutes to break as much of the kernels as possible, and add a bit of the cooking water if the mixture is too dry. Retun the corn paste to the water in the pan, over a low heat and stirring all the while. Let it cook for about 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens to the consistency of mashed potato. When it reaches this consistency it is time to fo[...]

Weekend Herb Blogging round up


We received 23 contributions to Weekend Heb Blogging – including my own. I loved reading every single post that came along. The recipes where quite varied and herbs as usual take central stage. I would like to thank everyone who took part and who have made last week another eventful WHB week. I know that I will be experimenting with some new ways of preparing old friends as well as with new ingredients. I hope you also enjoy reading all the posts. I have had some problems with editing so apologies in advance if the final post is not the best looking one. And here is the round up:I prepared some butternut squash in a new way - stuffed withvegetables and cheese. It is a very versitile dish and I have alreadyplanned on using different fillings for it.This is my week's contribution to this event that I am sofond of.Cheryl prepares some lovely tilapia – one of my favourite fish, with lemongrass from her own garden. As a bonus she gives a tip about growing lemongrass plants to cat owners. In her post you can read about all the nutrients found in the fish as well. Look for parchment tilapia, lazy style in Gluten Free Goodness.Brii who lives in the beautiful Lake Garda in Italy,sent us a lovely recipe of mint flavoured sugar to helpuse up this herb. The result is a sugar that can be usedin many different ways and that will give whoever triesit great pleasure. Check her post at briggis recept och ideer.Jude teaches a lovely recipe with rice flour which is an ingredient that I believe many of us can really do with learning a bit moreabout it. This recipe of gyun-dan – Korean sweet rice balls is very versatile and there can be many different ways of stuffing them. Do check it out at Apple, Pie, Patis & Paté .Pam from Sidewalk Shoes prepares a really simple but dead nice herbal rub for pork loin - pork loin arista . She came across the recipe when trying to find a quick way of adding flavour to a piece of pork which she had forgotten to thaw in advance .The source of inspiration was The Wine Lover Cooks Italian: Pairing Great Recipes with the Perfect Glass of WIneRachel who is based in Saratoga County and writesThe Crispy Cook has a great recipe for brussel sprouts:brussels sprouts with lemon balm vinaigrette.The lemon balm is from her own garden and it is still resisting the arrival of autumn. What a lovely way to present the sprouts.Anna tell us about apple butter all the way fromMill Valley California. She prepares her mum recipeand best of all, she manages to reproduce it exactlyas her mum used to make lovely is that?! Sheuses sorghum molasses. It is a warm post with a greatintroductory poem. The blog is Anna's Cool Finds. Andrea writes from Virginia in the USA.Her blog is Andrea's Recipes.She gives us a lovely recipe of mint ice cream,with spearmint picked from her own garden. Theinspiration came from one of her favourite cookbooks, Cooking with Shelburne Farms.Pam from Backyard Pizzeria delivers a great hummus recipe,hummus bi tahini. She seems to know her food well. Her posttells a bit about the hummus preparation process and shepresents us with a mouth watering photo that makes one wantto prepare the hummus straight way.Haalo who has the blog Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once,has a wonderful recipe of black-eyed beans with chorizo andchimichurri. The dish is flavoursome and so nutritious. She hasmanaged to marry some fabulous flavours here.On top of that it is also a stunning dish to look at.Marija from the lovely blog Palachinka contributes tothe event with a twist on a classic: a grape stuffed gnocchi.The grapes look like lovely dark pearls inserted intothe delicate gnocchi pieces.They are served with gratedcheese, pepper and chives. What a lovely meal they willmake. Natashya is the host of the blog Living in the Kitchen with puppies and a lover of basil. She grows various types:Thai, lemon, greek, spicy bush, opal and sweet basil. For this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging she prepared a[...]

Stuffed butternut squash and Weekend Herb Blogging


This week is my turn to host the Weekend Herb Blogging event. I am so excited. It is a very successful event that has been in the blogsphere for quite some time and has quite a faithful group of followers. Since Monday I have already been receiving various emails from people who have sent their contribution already. I am amazed at people’s dedication and organization. Thank you to all of you who have already been able to post your share. Contrary to my own record – I tend to post on the last day; I have already prepared my first contribution to the week. If you are new here and are not familiar with the Weekend Herb Blogging event, it is a weekly occurrence in the English language blogsphere where should you choose to take part, you need to select a main ingredient for your post, prepare a dish with it and in addition to sharing the preparation method with all, also tell us about the ingredient of your choice. Kalyn from the lovely blog Kalyn’s Kitchen is the master mind behind this event. She is one of the sweetest persons I have come across, very kind and due to the success of this event that has been going on for over 2 years I am not the only one who thinks that. If you want to take part in future events, check this link for details about the event, who is posting and future dates - Weekend Herb Blogging. My ingredient of choice this week is the butternut squash. Last week I received one in my weekly veggie basket and I immediately ran to prepare it. In one of the magazines that I buy every so often, Delicious, they had a recipe for stuffed butternut squash and I just had to prepare it. It is a very versatile recipe as you can play with it and mix and match ingredients of your choice. It just so happened that I used most of the ones in the recipe this time. However whilst preparing and eating it I already thought about how it can be done differently next time. Not because I didn’t like it, on the contrary.It is just that the sweetness of the butternut squash can go so well with many other ingredients, plus it is a fairly quickly dish to put together. And it is full of good things for you. I was reading about butternut squash for this post and found out a few interesting facts: It seems that it was eaten in the Americas over 5,000 years ago – cultivated by the Incas in the 15t CenturyIt belongs to the same family of the pumpking, cucumber and courgette. The butternut squash falls under the winter harvested squash, whereas cucumber and courgette are summer squashesIt is rich in complex carbs and low in saturated fat and sodium. It is also a very good source of vitamin A and C, plus betacarotene, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassiumThey are the longes keeping vegetables. If kept in a cool and ventilated place they can be kept for 2 months or more – I would have never thought that. However, if kept at room temperature or in the fridge they will deteriorate quite quickly There is also the additional bonus that they can be used in so many different types of dishes: gratin, soups, purees, curries, pasta dishes, risottos.. This is how I prepared my dish: The ingredients chosen were:2 buttenut squash halved as described below; olive oil, onions/shallots, garlic, spinach, crumbled goats cheese, sal, black pepper, juice of ½ lemon, pinolli I preheated the oven to 180oC. I took two butternut squashes and cut off the long halves of each squash. I got the seeds out of the round end as well as a bit of the flesh. I drizzled it with a bit of olive oil and put it in the oven on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes. In the meantime I peeled the long bits and chopped them in little pieces. I also chopped some shallot. I heated a non-stick frying pan, put some olive oil on it and softened the shallots and crushed garlic. I then tipped the chopped butternut squash and cooked until starting to get soft – I added a few dro[...]

Open lasagne of mushrooms and spinach - Weekend Herb Blogging


This week's Weekend Herb Blogging event is being hosted by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. Next week I will be hosting it and I am so excited. I really like this event. It has been literally the soul of the English version of my blog. It was a long time ago that I told Kalyn, the event creator, that I would love to host it one day. This week I will make it by the skin of my teeth. I have had a really busy weekend and just had time to stop and prepare something an hour ago to be exact. I have been thinking about this open lasagne since Tuesday. I wanted to have a light lasagne and also a very seasonal one. So I chose mushrooms.This is what I read about mushrooms which I did not know: The Pharaohs thought they were food from heaven; the Romans spread them throughout their Empire and from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance they were an autumn feast.I love them because they taste delicious and also because I know that they are a good source of minerals - specially potassium, a good source of vitamins - specially vitamin B, low in fat and have no cholesterol, low in calories, its protein is superior to that of many other vegetables, and they are in season.I watched this show on BBC2, What to eat Now, and found out that I could watch the first episode on the website. It is all about seasonal food. This is where my inspiration came from.The first show followed Valentine Warner, the new cook on the block – he says that he is not a chef, walking in the woods with a mate collecting mushrooms and truffles. They gathered quite a few mushrooms but no truffles. And they ended up preparing some scrambled egg with truffles that Valentine’s friend had in his pocket. Valentine prepared this lovely oven baked lasagne as well when he got home. I decided that I wanted mine to be an open lasagne. I just thought that it would be much lighter and I wanted to try my idea. I had no special recipe - just what i saw on the show. I had a bunch of different types of mushrooms which I sliced and cooked in a very hot pan with a bit of butter, finely chopped garlic and thyme. Towards the end I seasoned it with salt. You could add black pepper if you like. I then set the mushrooms aside, boiled water for the pasta and proceeded to prepare the spinach. In the same pan where I had prepared the mushrooms I threw a big bunch of spinach with more chopped garlic and let it wilt. I then seasoned it with freshly ground nutmeg and a wee bit of salt. I transferred the spinach mixture to a colander and let the excess water from the spinach drain. I cooked the lasagne sheets and then once cooked I heated a non stick frying pan and threw a tiny piece of butter in and a bit of ras el hanout, that beautiful Moroccan style spice which has amongst other things rose petals. I just fried it a bit in the oil and then just threw the lasagne sheets in, one by one, so that they got a bit of the ras el hanout on them. I then assembled the dish: one sheet of lasagne, a bunch of mushroom, another sheet of lasagne, bunch of spinach, another sheet of lasagne and some grated parmesan cheese on top. I thought of adding goat’s cheese to the spinach originally but in the end decided not to. [...]

Red peppers wiht couscous and yogurt her sauce - WHB


This week’s Weekend Herb Blogging evTent is being hosted by Zorra from Kochtopf. As you all must know by now, Kalyn from Kalyn’s kitchen is the master mind of this great idea that has been going very successfully for the last two years. She has got a very faithful bunch of bloggers who contributed regularly. The recipe I chose for this week had been prepared previously for the event but in the end I decided to go for a completely different one. This time I prepared it again and I am glad that I am going ahead with it. Capsicum is native to the Americas, and they were already cultivated by the native people of that continent. It can now be found worldwide.There can be red, green or even yellow. Each 100g contains 29kg calories, 1,3g proteins, 0,1g fat, vitamin A, B1, B2, B5, C, 140mg potassium, 16mg sodium, 20mg calcium, 0,5mg iron. I much prefer them roasted as their flavour seems at its best in my opinion. Stuffing them is a great way to prepare. I have done loads of stuffings with meat and herbs, or even rice,meat and herbs. I do much prefer the couscous stuffing. It adds a nice texture, together with the pine nuts. Oh pine nuts, they just lift most of the dishes they are added to. The first time I prepared this dish I added some chopped anchovies to it and the result was quite exciting. I had none in the house this time so had to leave them out. Perhaps you would like to try the combination yourself. Ingredients:2-3 medium to large, ripe peppers200g couscous6 spring onionsOlive oil2 cloves garlic½ tsp ground paprikaGrated zest of half lemonLarge handful chopped mint leavesLarge handful chopped coriander75g toastes pine nutsFor the yogurt sauce:200g plain,thick yogurtHandful each of chopped coriander and mintPinch of paprika Preparation:Preheat the oven at 180oC. Cut the peppers in half, clean them out from seeds and lay all of them cut side up in a baking tin.To prepare the stuffing, prepare the couscous as per instructions in the packet. I like to use vegetable stock instead of water.Meanwhile finely chop the spring onions and let them soft in a glug or two of olive oil over a moderate heat. Just before they start to colour, add the garlic, paprika and grated lemon zest ( reserve the lemon juice). Stir in the chopped herbs and the toasted pine nuts. When all is fragrant and starting to darken a little in colour, stir in the couscous and lemon juice. Season to taste.Pie the stuffing into the peppers, sprinkle some ground black pepper over it and drizzle over a little more olive oil. Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 45 minutes.Mix the yogurt with the coriander, mint and paprika and serve. [...]

Pasta with aubergine and pine kernels - Weekend Herb Blogging


I spend my whole week thinking of a recipe that is good enough to take part in Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging event - click on the logo above to be taken to the site and find out more about it. I prepare various things and in the end I post my favourite item. This week the event is being hosted by Gretchen from Canela & Comino . I already had a lovely red pepper dish to post, but when I got the paper this morning I came across this aubergine pasta dish, and I decided that I had to prepare it because it might be worth taking it into consideration. In the end I chose this recipe. If anything because it was such a different way to prepare aubergine with pasta. Did you know that aubergines and tomatoes are related? That’s right. They are from the same family, and some say that growing them can be similar to growing tomatoes. They don't like cold weather.They are also known in the English speaking world as eggplant or brinjal. My friends from India always say brinjal which makes me think of 'berinjela'which is the portuguese world. Their shapes go from oval to round to sausage shaped. They also come in a variety of colours: dark purple, violet, stripy purple, yellow, white. There are big ones, little ones. When buying them it is best to look for smooth, unblemished and glossy skinned ones. They should feel firm to the touch. They are apparently not particularly high in any single vitamin or mineral. However, they do have the benefit of supplying few calories and being virtually fat free. I was amazed to read that for a while in Europe it was believed that they could cause madness, leprosy, cancer and even bad breath. Only on 18th century it was established that it was a good food item both in Italy and in France. There are so many ways of preparing them, and I just loved this new way – new to me anyway. I got the recipe from Nigel Slater. Ingredients:measure pasta for four people2 large auberginesOlive oilA large handful of basil leaves½ lemon4 tbsp pine kernels Preparation:Preheat oven – 200oC- 180oC fan assisted. Cut each aubergine in half lenghtway, then make criss cross cuts on the flesh nearly all the way down to the skin. Brush with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes or until soft. Boil the water for the pasta and whilst that is getting ready toast the pine nuts on a non stick frying pan.When ready scrape the flesh out of the aubergine skins to a mixing bowl. Pour the olive oil gradually mixing it with the aubergine flesh until you get to a smooth paste. Season it to taste. I used salt and black pepper but next time I might use some cumin. Drain the pasta, and mix it with the aubergine to coat it really well. Add shredded basil and the pine nuts. Be generous with them as they add a lovely nutty taste to the dish. As a last touch squeeze a wee bit of lemon. That will bring all the flavours together. Enjoy!!![...]

Onion, sweet corn and mascarpone tart - Weekend Herb Blogging


This week’s Weekend Herb Blogging event is being host by Ulrike from the bilingual blog Kuchenlatein. Kalyn from Kalyn’s kitchen is the master mind of this great idea that has been going very successfully for the last two years. Every week it is hosted by a different blog host.This week I wanted to make a tart. I took the base from an old recipe favourite – with walnut. I also usesd buckwheat flour instead of normal flour. I do have to say that perhaps I ought to have mixed buckwheat with normal flour as I feel that the final result was not the best. I do list only normal flour in the ingredients as this base recipe has been tested and approved. I just love the filling of this tart as I have been getting so much corn at the moment. I lived for a long time in a part of Brazil where corn is very abundant, and we also had it in our diets: corn soup, corn sauce, corn croquettes, corn dessert..Corn is high in nutrients: vitamin B1 ( aids the digestion of carbohydrates), vitamin B5 (helps with physiological functions), vitamin C ( fights diseases), folate ( generation of new cells), rich in many goodness in it. And it tastes just wonderful. You can use frozen corn here but I had my kernels taken straight from the cob. It is thererefore a very seasonal recipe.And with a great green salad it constitutes a meal in itself. Walnut tart ingredients – 6 of 10 cm tart tins250g flour40g natural yoghurt100ml walnuts, toasted and ground125 cold butter, gratedCold waterMix the flour, yoghurt and walnuts in a bown, then add the butter and mix it all with your fingertips until you have a crumb like texture. Start adding water bit by bit until you reach an uniform dough. Wrap with cling film and rest for 2 hours in the fridge. Filling: 2 talblespoon olive oil1 ½ cups sliced onions/leeks1 ½ cups slightly cooked corn grains3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil½ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon pepper1 cup mascarpone½ cup heavy cream2 large eggs at room temperature3 tablespoon finely grated parmegianno cheese To prepare the filling:Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook, stirring often for 2 minutes. Stir in the basil, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl, and cool for 10 minutes.To prepare the crust:Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it in out. Distribute it among the six tart tins. Take it back to the fridge for 30 minutes.Back to the filling:In a medium-size bowl, beat together the mascarpone, cream and eggs until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the onions and corn mixture and mix together until the ingredients are well blended. Transfer the filling into the crusts, and sprinkle lightly with the Parmesan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the filling is set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.Serve it on a bed of greens.[...]

Tomatoes in Coconut Cream - Weekend Herb Blogging


This week’s Weekend Herb Blogging event is being host by Katie from the exciting blog Thyme for Cooking. Kalyn from Kalyn’s kitchen is the creator of this lovely event that has been taking place every week for the last two years. Every week it is hosted by a different blog host.I am rushing to post this recipe. It has been a very busy week as I hold a blog in Portuguese which is only about events and this week I had loads to do on it.This beautiful recipe was one I prepared for WHB as it just seemed perfect. It is a gorgeous tomato dish with beautiful spices and coconut cream. I could not stop eating it. Honestly. I baked some ciabatta bread and just over ate. I know, not a nice thing to admit to. Tomatoes are just so wonderful and full of goodness. Tomato is a good blood purifier, it is a natural antiseptic therefore it can help protect against infection, they can be helpful to reduce blood cholesterol, thus helps prevent heart diseases, they contain lycopene (the red pigment in tomato), this pigment is a powerful antioxidant that can also fight cancer cells.In the summer they are plentiful and I am always looking for different ways of preparing it. This time Nigel Slater inspired me with this beautiful dish which was in the Sunday issue of the Observer Magazine. Ingredients:3 tbsp olive or groundnut oil2 cloves garlic chopped1 hot, green chillie chopped with seed and all – ok. If you don’t like heat, leave the seeds out of itA thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped really finely½ tsp chilli flakes1 tsp ground coriander1 tsp ground turmeric½ tsp cumin seeds6 green cardamom seeds, slightly crushed12 moderately large tomatoes, cut into slices50g creamed coconutHandful of coriander leavesPreparation: Heat the oil on a high-sided frying pan and then add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Let it all soften over a moderate heat without colouring it. Add the chilli flakes, coriander, turmeric, cumin seeds and cardamom and stir them in. Once they have warmed through throw in 4 of the chopped tomatoes and stir in 100ml water. Mix it all and bring it to the boil. Add the remaining tomatoes, add the coconut cream, mix it all, let the coconut cream dissolve and warm through. From now on the sauce should not boil, just keep the heat. Once the tomatoes are tender, sprinkle the coriander leaves and serve with slices of toasted lovely bread.[...]

fennel and feta with pomegranate seeds with sumac


This week’s Weekend Herb Blogging event is being host by Srivalli from the wonderful blog Cooking 4 all Seasons. Kalyn from Kalyn’s kitchen is the creator of this lovely event that has been taking place every week for the last two years. Every week it is hosted by a different blog host. I bought the Ottolenghi cookbook for the cakes recipes. Having been to their stores many times I just dreamt of being able to recreate some of their creation. Funny enough I have used a lot of their salad recipes quite intensively. In fact I have barely baked any of its cakes. I hear that Kalyn has purchased it as well and I really hope that she I enjoying it. One of the things that drive me to choosing this or that recipe to take part in the weekly Weekend herb Blogging is trying to add something new and exiting to this event. Kalyn is always preparing amazing salads in her blog and I feel that I ought to keep the game up. This salad is so refreshing and crunchy. As I have already mentioned here, crunchiness in a salad is something that I cannot resist. The original recipe had salt in it but I chose not to use because of the feta cheese. Tarragon which is used here, is a herb full of medicinal properties. The ancient greeks chewed it to treat tooth infection I have read.Why you might ask, because it numbs the mouth. It is also known to being a very good digestive. Fennel which is the main actor, is full of so many great properties: vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, folate..Not only is this salad delicious as it delivers a handful of healthy benefits in very mouthful. I had mine with some smoked trout. And it worked a treat. Ingredients: ½ pomegranate2 medium fennel heads1 ½ tablespoon olive oil2 teaspoon sumacJuice of 1 lemon4 tablespoons tarragon leaves2 tablespoon roughly chopped flat leaf parsley70g greek feta cheese piecesSal and black pepper to taste Preparation: 1.Start by releasing the pomegranate seeds. Some people swear by the wooden spoon treatment: Place half of the pomegranate on one hand, cut side facing down. Hit it with the back of the spoon and you will see the seeds start falling on your hand2. Remove the leaves of the fennel, keeping a few to garnish and the rest for future use. Trim the base of the fennels, and slice it very thinly lengthwise – I chose not to. Put the olive oil, black pepper, sumac, lemon juice and herbs in a bowl and mix. Throw the fennel slices in the bowl and toss well. I chose not to add salt because the feta cheese has enough salt on it.3. When ready to serve, place the fennel on the serving dish first, followed by the feta cheese and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with the dill leaves and sprinkle some sumac if you like[...]

Mixed mushrooms with cinnamon and lemon


This is my contribution to this week Weekend Herb Blogging event which is being hosted by Marija from the blog Palachinka. To the blogsphere novices, this event was created by the lovely Kalyn from the lovely blog Kalyn's Kitchen which is packed with great recipe and posts. WHB is now 2 years old and it is a very successful event. This week I have opted for a mushroom salad. As last week's, this recipe was taken from the Ottolenghi the cookbook. It is one of my favourite books at the moment. I read that mushrooms contain vitamins A, B, C 7 D. There is a cancer research facility that even suggested that they may prevent cancer. When it comes to preparing them, remember that they should not be washed. Instead, they should be brushed to remove the dirt on them. The only mushroom that should be washed before cooking is the morel variety. Every one has a favourite mushroom. I am personally very addicted to shitake. Unfortunatelly I could not get hold of any for this dish. I used button, oysters, enoki and abalone. You can pick your own selection. A lovely thing is to have a nice bread to eat with this salad- use it to mop up the juices Ingredients for 6-8 people – adapt the quantities depending on how many you will feed: 400g button mushrooms 400g chestnut mushrooms 300g shitake mushrooms 400g oyster mushrooms 200g enoki mushrooms 160ml olive oil 30g chopped thyme 10 garlic cloves, chopped (I crushed mine) 100g flat leaf parsley, chopped 6 cinnamon sticks 25g coarse sea salt 1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper 60ml lemon juicePreparation:Get your mushrooms ready – clean them without adding water, just using a brush;put a large non-stick frying pan over medium-heat and add the olive oil to it so that it can heat slightly. Then sprinkle the thyme, the garlic, the parsley and cinnamon stalks. Add the button mushrooms and let them cook for about 5 mins without disturbing them. Then give the pan a good shake and add the oyster mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Stir it a bit and then let it cook for about 3 minutes. Add the enoki mushrooms and then turn the heat off. Add the lemon juice, give it a good shake. Serve still warm with slices of brown bread.[...]

Cucumber and radish salad


This is my contribution to this week Weekend Herb Blogging event which is being hosted by Divya from the blog Dil Se. For the ones of you who do not know, this event was created by the lovely Kalyn from the equally lovely blog Kalyn's Kitchen which is packed with great recipe and posts. WHB is now 2 years old. When I was not able to publish in English one of the things that I missed most was taking part on this event. So glad to be back. I missed last week 'sas the posts had to be submitted by the Saturday and I got ready to post my entry on the Sunday, the last day.This salad is inspired on a recipe from the Ottolenghi book which I purchased in early June. I used to live just down the road from the first Ottolenghi shop in London and have grown quite fond of their creations. When trying to select a salad for the event I thought that this one would be just perfect. I love a crunchy salad, the ones that make lovely little noises as you chew. They make the jaws work hard, and on top of satiating they also turn out to be great fun – in my eyes anyway. I have mixed feelings about cucumber and whenever possible I try to avoid the seedy ones as they are very watery. I tend to stick to Lebanese cucumbers as they are crunchier. I give it a good wash and try not to peel it as the vitamin A is mostly on its skin. This salad is very simple, very few ingredients, but full of goodiness. Plus it looks so pretty with its greens, reds, whites and the sprinkle of poppy seeds.We tend to take cucumber for granted many times, but it is rich in vitamin A and C, folic acid and potassium. When I was in my teens I was really into my natural beauty treatments and the cucumber slices over my eyes were popular with me. Raddishes are not only beautiful with their lovely colour but contain a significant amount of vitamin C as well and are linked with anti-cancer properties. As one would say, not only a little pretty thing. Ingredients: Lebanese cucumbers Radishes Parsley Poppy seeds Olive oil Sal White wine vinegarPreparation:Wash your cucumbers and radishes, pat them dry with kitchen towel. Chop cucumbers diagonally, in medium thickness pieces. The radishes should be sliced not too thinly. Throw both of them in a bowl. Chop the parsley very thinly and sprinkle it over the cucumber and raddish. Make the dressing with olive oil, vinegar and salt.Remember the ratio 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar and you will be fine. The poppy seeds are added last. It is ready to eat. Very simple and sure to give you a lot of pleasure.[...]

Chocolate Biscuits


I have already been a great cookie/biscuit eater. Nowadays I have greater self control - much needed self control with extra pounds that insist on staying with me, like a best friend. However, that does not stop me from recognizing a good recipe when I see one. And I try to treat my friends with them. If I cannot have them I might as well see other people having pleasure. In this spirit I chose this recipe for my good friends Namrita and Prashant who work in the Singapore office but were in the London office for 5 weeks. Elson, who joined their team about 6 months ago, was also in London so he also got a nice treat. I only made a change to the list of ingredients below. Instead of using plain flour I used 100g brown rice flour and 50g chestnut flour. The biscuits turned out quite lovely and I will be making this recipe again in the near future. Ingredients: 100g dark chocolate , chopped coarsely 80g butter, chopped 1 cup ( 220g) caster sugar 1 egg beaten slightly 1 cup (150g) plain flour 2 tablespoons cocoa powder ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ¼ cup(40g) icing sugar Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. I tend to wait until it is all quite melted, I then remove it from the heat and the heated saucepan gives enough heat to finish off with the melting process.Transfer mixture to a bow.Get the caster sugar, plain flour, cocoa and flour, and sieve them into the chocolate mixture. Add the egg, and mix it all well until you reach a firm consistency. Transfer mixture to the fridge for 15 minutes. Meanwhile heat the oven – 180oC/160oC oven assisted. Grease and cover baking tray with parchment paperl.Make little chocolate balls and roll them in the icing sugar. Place the icing sugar covered balls on the baking tray, leaving at least 5 min between each one. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool on tray. [...]

Fruity friand slice


(image) I am a tad obsessed with friands (financiers). I will try any new twist on these gems. The first one I prepared was not nice. And I felt so disappointed – nearly sad. I followed the recipe to the letter but the final texture definitely did not please me. However, I was very determined to try this little beauty. And I carried on hunting for other recipes. My future attempts were all very successful and in a way I ended up preparing it my way.
This recipe is great and you can use any frozen fruit you have – I had raspberries and that is what I used. I just take them from the freezer when it is time to add them. I like sifting all the dry ingredients, and tend to use a fouet for that. It mixes everything and at the same time leaves the mixture quite aired.
If I could have shared those with someone it would have been Paz. She has always been such a great supported of this blog – even when I stopped posting in English. She visits my Portuguese language blog – which is frequently updated, and leaves lovely messages. ‘Thank you sweetie!'

You will need:

4 egg whites
100g butter, melted
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (125g) almond meal
1 cup (160g) icing sugar
1/3 cup (50g) self raising flour
1 vanilla bean
2/3 cup (100g) frozen fruit chopped coarsely

Then just do like that:

1. Preheat oven – 170oC/150oC fan assisted. Grease 19cm x 29cm slice pan; line base and two long sides with baking paper, extending paper over long sides
2. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix very gently. Add milk and extract, followed by egg whites. Split vanilla bean in half lengthways, scrape seeds from bean, and stir seeds into the mixture, using the fouet - mix gently to incorporate the ingredients. The butter is added last and then mixed until completely incorporated to the batter. It might look as if there is too much butter – have faith and keep mixing. You will see how the amount is just right.
3. Pour mixture into pan, sprinkle fruit over mixture. Bake for 30 min. Stand in pan for 10 min before lifting slice onto wire rack to cool. Dust with sifted icing sugar, if desired.
Keeps really well in a tin – tastes even more moist the day after

In Memorium


(image) Even though I have not been posting very regularly in English, I felt rather saddned by the news of Sher's passing. Her blog is What did you Eat. I visited her blog many times in the past. This flower is for Sher, wherever she is now.

rubharb friands


I was away in Asia for nearly a month. Despite having had a wonderful time and having eaten fabulous food throughout I really missed my kitchen. Whenever I went to the supermarket to get bits and bobs I always wished that I could buy food items to cook. So when I finally got back home I could not wait to start planning and cooking. The first few days were spent tidying my kitchen up. This was because I left in a bit of a hurry after a very busy period and could not leave my kitchen as I wanted to find it. A mistake never to be repeated. Once the kitchen was ready again I started playing with new recipes. I subscribe to the Good Food magazine, and the last issue brought a lovely variation on a friand recipe : rhubarb friand. I just love friands, these lovely and delicate French treats also known as Financiers. Using friands was a lovely twist and it also meant making them seasonal. The tangy taste of the rhubarbs go really well with the sweetness of the friands. Ingredients: 200g rhubarb 2 tbsp icing sugar For the friands: 100g butter 140g icing sugar 25g plain flour 85g ground almonds 3 egg whites Heat the oven to 200C/ fan assisted 180C/gas 6. Cut the rhubarb in 4cm pieces and arrange them in a single layer over a non-stick baking tray. Sift over the icing sugar bake for 12-15 minutes until the rhubarb is tender, then leave to cool. Melt the butter, use a little to brush the friands/muffin tins, then leave to rest to cool slightly. Sift together the icing sugar and flour, then stir in the ground almonds. Whisk the eggs whites to a gentle foam. Then fold into the dry mix and mix well with a whisk. The butter goes in last. Mix it all. Half-fill the tins, add pieces of rhubarb to each, then cover with the remaining cake mix. Top with the remaining rhubarb. Bake for 17-20min until golden and firm to the touch. Cool in the tins for 5 mins, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. Dust lightly with icing sugar to serve. [...]

Upside down banana cake


The reasons why we decide to prepare a recipe are so varied. I was once asked about what drives me. It is difficult to pinpoint. This time I was driven by a present. I have this wonderful girl friend that lives in Japan and she sent me a pair of really beautiful mugs. I wanted an occasion to have my first cup of English breakfast in them. Flicking through the latest issue of Olive, the magazine, I came across this lovely cake. I cannot resist banana in cakes. In Brazil they are terribly popular. Bananas are fairly abundant and popular commodity. Once you bake with bananas you understand why they are favoured. There is some sort of magic alchemy that happens to them in the oven and they become little wonders. This cake is dead easy, and does not take long to get ready. I used currants instead of sultanas because I had none in the house. Rum was also not to be found so I used vodka instead. Once the cake is ready and you open the oven door there is this most beautiful smell, a smell of the sweet baked banana…I then got my kettle to boil and finally got to use one of my beautiful mugs. A big thank you to my lovely friend Clarice for the lovely pressie, and I so wished she were here, drinking tea with me and eating cake away. Ingredients: 100g sultanas 50ml rum 4 large or 6 small bananas 6 tbsp golden syrup 75g butter softened 100g caster sugar 1 medium egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 175g self-raising 60g pecan, chopped Soak the sultanas in the rum for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 160oC/ 140oC fan assisted oven. Grease a 23cm13cm loaf tin and line its base with baking paper. Peel and cut 2 bananas in half, and mash the rest of the bananas.Pour the golden syrup along the base of the tin and cover with the banana pieces. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy – about 3 mins. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat a bit more. Add the mashed bananas using a metal spoon, followed by the flour, nuts and raisin.Spoon the mixture onto the bananas, being careful not to move the bananas at the bottom. Bake it for 45mins or until cooked through – test with a skewer.Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10min so the syrup soaks into the cake. Only then turn onto a plate and serve with crème fraiche or yoghurt. [...]

Beetroot Salad with Pistachio Sauce


It has been a very long time since I last posted here. It is not very easy to maintain two blogs when one has a very busy work schedule. I have however missed this little corner here and the wonderful people that I have met through the English version of my blog. I have a very dear friend who is an English speaker and reads no Portuguese at all, who has been a great incentive in me coming back to writing in this blog. I dedicate this post to her.My dear friend Paula. Here you are darling, finally got my act together. I am also using this post to go back to posting for the event Weekend Herb Blogging which is being held by Anna from Anna's Cool Finds. I am a massive fan of beetroots. Really adore them. Did you know that beetroot is a great source of fibre? This recipe here came about because I had received quite a few beetroots in my weekly organic box and roasted all of them at once. This one recipe asks for raw beetroots but, eventhough I never had it with raw beetroots, it goes very well with roasted ones. The beautiful pieces of pistachio, like little emeralds, add such beautiful colour to the dish together with the herbs. This is a winner of a salad. Fabulous on a winter day when there are quite a few gray days in this part of the world. The inspiration came from Moro East by Sam & Sam Clark.Ingredients:500g raw and peeled beetroot, finely sliced - you can also use baked beetrootssmall handful fo flat-leaf parsley2 teaspoons lemon juice2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil For the sauce:100g shelled unsalted pistachios, finely chopped either by hand or using a food processor2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley1 dessertspoon finely chopped fresh mint1 dessertspoon caster sugar7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1/2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest4 tablespoons water1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water ( optional)Mix all the last 7 ingredients first and season with salt and pepper. Add the pistachio. Mix some more.Add the sauce once you are ready to serve the salad.[...]

Coconut cake with roasted pineapple and ricotta cream


Flicking through one of the issues of an Australian Vogue I came across this recipe. I was attracted to the unusual way of serving this cake, with ricotta cream. And the roasted pineapple. The recipe is very straight forward, the cake dough gets ready in no time. You just have to wait a little bit for the pineapple but boy, it is worth it. Plus I am sure that whoever you serve a slice of this cake to will just love it. How couldn’t he/she? 150g self-raising flour ( or plain flour with 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder) 55g ground hazelnuts 275g caster sugar 110g dessicated coconut 125g melted butter, unsalted 3 eggs, separated 125ml buttermilk 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted peeled hazelnuts Roasted pineapple: Pineapple, peeled and chopped diagonally in medium-small pieces Lemon juice Brown sugar Ricotta cream: ½ cup ricotta 125g plain yoghurt 2 tablespoons honey Preheat oven to 160oC/ fan assisted oven 150oC. Grease and line the bottom of a 10cm x 21 cm loaf tin and reserve. Combine flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar and coconut in a bowl, then add butter, egg yolks, buttermilk and lemon zest and stir until combined. Using a mixer whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into coconut mixture. Pour the coconut mixture into the loaf tin and sprinkle with combined Demerara sugar and chopped hazelnuts. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in tin for 30 min before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely. For roasted pineapple increase the oven temperature to 200oC. Place pineapple pieces in an oven proof dish, drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with brown sugar. Roast for 10 minutes, then baste with the juices and place under the hot grill until the pineapple turns golden ( it is not really necessary so feel free to skip the grill bit). For the ricotta cream just mix all the ingredients together. Serve slices of cake with roasted pineapple and ricotta cream. Yum![...]

La Festa al Fresco 2007


(image) (image)

Lis and Yvonne, the ever-so-enthusiastic-duo, are holding a ‘festa’. I just could not miss the opportunity to take part and decide to make a special effort here. I say special effort because I have been really struggling with my time recently.

I got some lovely fresh fennel plus some other ingredients and decided that a lovely and refreshing seasonal summer salad would be a lovely choice for this end of season event. Yvonne and Lis, here is my contribution to the party.

Just check out how simple and delicious this great summery fennel salad is:

The ingredients used were carrots, raddish, cucumber and fresh fennel the quantities will depend on how many hungry mouths you will feed.

Just chop the vegetables to your favourite shapes. Display them on a salad plate.

Prepare the dressing:

Olive oil

Grainy Dijon mustard

Lime juice

Adjust the quantity of the dressing ingredients to your liking. Some people like to add a wee bit more salt to it.

Drizzle the salad with it and enjoying crunching away. It is a really refreshing and summery salad.


Moist Coconut Cake


Even though I am still not posting at the pace that I want to, I am glad that I have managed to post at least one recipe a week. Baby steps I suppose. This week I will post twice as Wednesday will bring a surprise post in this blog. I have become very interested in the history of Brazilian cookery, the baking aspect to be more precise. Every time I go home to Brazil I buy a book and read, make notes. Our baking tradition has been highly influenced by our colonizers, the portuguese. And a lot of the ingredients we use in baking have either an European influence, an African influence – mostly West Africa, or influence from the Portuguese travels. Obviously there is a lot of local produce such as corn flour, manioc flour - hopefully I will be able to talk about that in future posts. When it comes to coconut, I read that when the colonizers arrived in our continent they already found coconut trees along the Brazilian coast, but our native people did not use it in cooking. It was used mostly for drinking the water – which is very good for you and a habit highly cultivate up to this day, as well as for eating the coconut flesh. The cooking aspect, the use of coconut milk to be more precise, is an indirect influence of the Indian cooking. It was later adapted to baking. We have loads of versions of coconut cake but this one in particular takes my fancy because it is not very sweet despite the fact that it uses condensed milk. The cake becomes really moist because it is drizzled with a mixture of coconut milk & sugar once baked. The end result is a lovely cake which can be consumed cold – if you have a fridge that is big enough you can leave the cake in there for a couple of hours before serving. Moist coconut cake – brazilian style 4 eggs ¾ cup condensed milk – I used a 180ml ¾ cup 165g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 240g plain flour 1 tablespoon baking powder To drizzle the cake: 240ml coconut milk 45g caster sugar Pre-heat the oven – 180oC/160oC fan assisted. Grease and dust with flour a 25cm round baking tray and reserve. Beat the eggs for 5 minutes – they will double in volume. Then add the condensed milk, the melted butter, the sifted flour and baking powder. Mix with a spatula until the mixture is even, without any lumps. Be gentle when mixing. Pour the mixture in the reserved baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes. As soon as you get it out of the oven use a fork/skewer to make tiny holes in the dough and pour the mixture of coconut milk and sugar on it. Let it cool in the tray for about 5 min and then transfer it to a cooling rack. Sprinkle it with grated coconut before serving. Use fresh grated coconut if available;if not dessicated will do fine. [...]

plum and pistachio cake


I have a good friend, with whom I worked in the past, who is again working with me. It is truly great. She is just a really nice girl and we do get on. Not that we always agree about everything, but we respect each other’s opinion. She also loves her food and we get to talk about food as well, and we share grocery shopping. Those things that you buy to keep in the office in case you have hunger pangs, cravings.We both care about food and the quality of what we buy. The other week I really wanted to to bake her a cake. Loads of recipes came to mind. In the end I chose a recipe of plums, so abundant at this time of the year, and pistachio nuts. If anything the beautiful colours of green and red that the main ingredients bring to mind made my mind for me. Cakes do not necessarily have to be covered in amazing decoration. They have to be made with lovely and fresh ingredients, and taste honest. Plums are such great fruit, and go really well in cakes. I already have a recipe that is a terrible success, simple, terribly honest.This one has the extra nutty element to it. After being initally smitten by the ingredients I went to read the recipe and then fell even more in love with this simple cake when I learnt that there would be two layers of plums. Can you imagine how moist this cake will turn out – there is also added nuts to increase the moisture. It tasted as lovely and moist as I suspected it would. Plus it had an added zest. It tasted even nicer the day after it was baked and it kept really well for about 4 days. The preparation was dead simple which is another plus. And I share it here: 500g plums 50g shelled pistachios 175g softened butter 175g caster sugar 3 eggs 175g self raising flour ( or normal flour plus ¾ teaspoon baking powder) zest and juice of 1 lemon icing sugar for dusting Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/ 160oC fan assisted. Butter and line the base of a 20-22cm cake tin with baking parchment. Halve and stone the plums, and then cut them in quarters. Tip the pistachios into a food processor and finely grind. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, lemon zest and juice. Process for 1-2 mins until the mixture is light and fluffy. Spoon half the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth it over. Scatter half the plums evenly over the cake mix, then spoon the remaining cake mix on top. Smooth over and scatter with the remaining fruit. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is firm and golden brown. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then turn out and cool completely. Dust the top lightly with icing sugar for serving.Recipe from Good Food Magazine, September 2007.[...]

Lime, clove and macadamia biscuits


It is a lovely feeling to be able to post here again after nearly two months – I think that is about that long. I had problems with my laptop initially – drowned its keyboard in red wine in a moment of excitement; it eventually stopped working properly; went away on a business trip which was meant to be for only 2 weeks and ended up being for nearly a whole month; came back and still had no laptop for about two more weeks. Paid many visits to different laptop shops and for quite some time gave up on my purchase after being confronted by very unhelpful shopkeepers. Enough of complaining, here I am back. It feels great to post again, and this time a lovely, simple recipe. Ideal for an afternoon tea. A biscuit recipe. The ingredients were the reason why I chose it: lime, cloves and macadamia nuts. How unususual!! I love limes. They are plentiful and cheap back home in Brasil. In the UK where I live they can be easily found in the region where I live but they are far from being cheap. However, I never go one week without buying some. Their flavour is equal to none. Sharper than the yellow variety.There was a time in my childhood when I enjoyed sucking them. I remember pretending that they were like a nectar to me - go figure!! Then there comes cloves. I am a bit fascinated by cloves. I remember this nanny that my brother had who used to chew cloves for a few minutes before going out. It would give her a lovely breath.Fresh. Over the last few years I have developed the habit of having a clove-chewing session every so often. Just for the sake of the taste. I then discard it. In this recipe by Peter Gordon, a new zealander chef who lives in the UK, the limes and cloves come together in this lovey,little recipe. Plus the macadamia. I could not resist it. The page where the recipe is printed on was ear-marked for quite some time and this morning these biscuits finally came to life. In addition to the loveliness of flavours, which go very well together, not in an overpowering way at all, there is also the fact that these biscuits melt in one’s mouth. After being taken from the oven they have to be handled with care when time comes to transferring them to a cooling rack. I didn’t know that and ended up sweeping the kitchen floor which got covered in biscuit crumbs. Lime, clove and macadamia biscuits250g unsalted butter, at room temperature 80g icing sugar 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest 1 teaspoon freshly ground cloves 150g flour 130g cornflour ½ teaspoon baking powder 150g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped Pre-heat oven to 170oC ( 150oC fan assisted oven). Line a baking tray with baking paper and set it aside. Cream butter, icing sugar, zest of lime and cloves until pale. Sift flours and baking powder and mix into butter, then stir in nuts. Divide mixture into 24 balls and place them on the baking tray leaving a lot of space between them – you might have to split them into at least two batches. Lightly press mixture down with your thumb, then bake for 16-20 minutes, until they go just a little golden. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and leave to go cold. If stored in an airtight container will keep well for about 5 days.[...]