Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chocolate Dates

I do love the taste of dates in many desserts, but this recipe puts them at centre stage!


Chocolate Dates




















Ingredients


  • 125g pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds
  • 30g softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange-flavoured liqueur
  • Finely grated peel of two mandarins or limes
  • 60g of dark chocolate
  • To Finish: Pecan or walnut halves or pitted dessert dates or extra dark chocolate melted


Combine chopped dates, nuts, butter, liqueur and peel. Heat the 60g chocolate, until soft and mix well into date mixture.

Cover and chill until firm enough to shape.  With your fingers, shape teaspoonfuls of the mixture into small ovals.

To finish the sweets press each oval of date mixture between two pecan or walnut halves.

Melt extra chocolate in microwave or over hot water, allow to cool and thicken.  Place briefly over heat again until it is fluid enough for dipping.  Using a fork or two skewers, dip ovals into chocolate.  (You can also partially dip the other two versions for a pretty affect).  Let stand until set in foil or greaseproof paper.

Store all sweets between sheets of greaseproof paper in an airtight container, and keep in a cool place.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz.
Leticia

Monday, August 25, 2014

Camembert Gougere Puffs

Oh cheesy, herby bread!  Can there be anything more divine!


Camembert Gougere Puffs

Ingredients

















  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 125g camembert, cut into tiny cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


In saucepan, combine water, butter, salt, mixed herbs and pepper.  Heat until boiling.  Add all flour at once.  Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball. Cool for 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Drop by scant tablespoon size rounds on lightly greased tray.  Bake at 200 degrees celsius  until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.

Puffs are best served hot with a lovely slashing of butter.  They can be stored overnight at room temperature in an airtight container, or wrapped and frozen for up to a week.  Reheat briefly in a moderately hot oven before serving.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!
Leticia

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pineapple Walnut Quick Bread (Tea cake)

Tea cakes ready and waiting for those lovely afternoon tea brakes, or Sunday get togethers with friends or family are one of my favorite things!  Enjoy this citrus delight of Pineapple Walnut Quick Bread!

Pineapple Walnut Quick Bread (Tea cake)

Ingredients























  • 225g can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups self raising flower
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped coarsely



Drain pineapple in a sieve, pressing out all the excess liquid.  Sift flour into a bowl, add nutmeg, carrot, pineapple and sugar.

Make a well in centre of ingredients, mix in butter, egg and sufficient milk to make a soft dropping consistency.  Fold through the walnuts.

Spoon mixture into well greased 20cm ringed cake pan.  Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 25-30 minutes.  Cool slightly, turn out onto a wire rack.

For a bit of extra flavor, when cold, spoon over a lemon glace icing (icing sugar mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice and butter until you have an icing consistency).  Decorate with extra walnuts and this strips of lemon rind.

Cocinar, comer, y ser feliz!
Leticia



Sunday, August 10, 2014

Garlic Mushrooms

The dilemma of what to serve as a little starter, that won't overwhelm another dish.  I love this little button sized morsel of delight, which can be served as is, or with yummy toasted french bread!



Garlic Mushrooms













Ingredients

  • 60g of butter
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 gloves of garlic, crushed
  • 24 button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Melt butter in a frying pan.  Add onions, sauté until tender.  Add garlic and cook for a minute.

Stir in mushrooms.  Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add cream and bring to the boil.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Transfer to a serving dish.  Sprinkle with parsley. 

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!
Leticia


Monday, August 4, 2014

Stuffed Mushrooms


All hail the humble mushroom.  Often relegated to a chopped vegetable, it can have it's place as a main meal if done right!  I love this delicious stuffed mushroom, you can vary ingredients to make it vegetarian friendly swap the bacon with some finely chopped aubergine/eggplant.

Stuffed Mushrooms















Ingredients

  • 8 to 12 large flat mushrooms
  • 30g of butter
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 125g lean ham or bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded tasty cheese

Remove stalks from mushrooms.  Chop stalks finely. Set aside.

Melt butter in a frying pan.  Saute shallots and ham for a few minutes. Add parsley, cream, worcestershire sauce and mushroom stalks.  Cook for 2 minutes.

Divide mixture evenly between each mushroom.  Top with a little cheese.  Cook under a hot griller until cheese has melted and golden brown.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!
Leticia
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