Saturday, 7 April 2018

10 minute Tiramisu



I love Italian food and a pasta dish features at least once a week on my weekly menu planner. If I have time at weekends, I do like to make my own pasta from scratch but weeknights this is not possible after a hard day at work. On these days I do buy ready made pasta and also the pasta sauces. I am really fussy in my choice of shop bought pasta so I only buy products that I can be sure are made using the best ingredients.


My first choice for pasta is Marks and Spencer’s. Did you know that they been working with their pasta supplier in the Dolomites since 1997? The pasta sauce they sell is made by Saor, a third-generation family business in Calabria, Southern Italy. The sauces are classically made with a soffritto base - vegetables slowly cooked in Italian extra virgin olive oil, then combined with Italian tomatoes and fresh herbs which are grown in the fields outside the factory.

Their dried pasta is made by Riccardo Felicetti and his family who use their traditional recipe dating back to 1908. They only use the finest wheat and water from a spring 2,000 meters above sea level, in the Latemar mountain district of the Dolomites. All the pasta is air dried in the Italian Alps.
I can certainly say that I can serve the M&S pasta to my family totally guilt free knowing that it is made and sourced in the best way possible.


Any pasta dish calls for a traditional Italian dessert to finish the meal, what better dessert to serve than the Italian Tiramisu. Again you can buy all the components for this delectable dessert from M&S and it takes less than 10 minutes to put together the most drool worthy dessert.



This Tiramisu is really a cheats one as all the ingredients are readily available in Marks and Spencer's, all you have to do is to assemble the different components to make the most wonderful Italian dessert.






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Tiramisu
A delectable Italian dessert make with sponge fingers dipped in coffee, topped amaretti biscuits with a vanilla custard and creamy mascarpone cream with a generous dusting of Cocoa.
Ingredients:
  • 100g Sponge Fingers
  • 1/2 cup Coffee
  • 150 ml Double cream
  • 125g Mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons Icing Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
  • 100 ml Custard
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa
  • 8 Amaretti Biscuits
Method:
1. Break the sponge fingers so that they fit the base of your single serving bowl (This recipe will make 4 individual servings or 1 large to serve 4 people.)2. Dip the sponge fingers in strong coffee and make a layer in the bottom of your bowl.3. Spoon a layer of custard and crush 1 Amaretti biscuit on top.4. Repeat with another layer of sponge fingers soaked in coffee. and crush 1 Amaretti biscuit on top.5. Whisk together the the cream, icing sugar, mascarpone and vanilla.6. Spoon a thick layer of the cream mixture on top of the sponge fingers.7. Dust generously with Cocoa Powder. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
Details
Prep time: Cook time:0 Total time: Yield: Serves 4



This post is in collaboration with Marks and Spencer's.

To read more about M&S Italian month head over to Heidi's blog Kitchentalk and travels

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Spiced Berry Overnight Oats



One of my favourite breakfasts is overnight oats, I love being able to have a speedy breakfast that I have at hand in the mornings. The advantage of this recipe is that you can add any seasonal fruits or flavours to it to suit individual taste. It also makes a super “on the go” breakfast if you prepare it in a jar, all that remains is to put a lid on and take a spoon.

For a festive Easter twist, I’ve added a heaped teaspoon of Nutella to recipe. Did you know a portion of Nutella is 15g and one heaped teaspoon and can be eaten as part of a varied breakfast and enjoyed by the whole family?


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Spiced Berry Overnight Oats
Aromatic spices combined with seasonal berries makes these overnight oats perfect to serve for your Easter morning breakfast.

Ingredients:
  • 90 g Rolled Oats
  • 150 g free from low fat Greek yoghurt
  • 100 ml Skimmed Milk
  • 60 g Blackberries
  • 1 small Ripe Banana
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Chia Seeds
Ingredients for Topping
  • 60 ml free from low fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons Granola
  • 2 Strawberries
  • 30 g Blackberries
  • 2 heaped teaspoons 30g  Nutella

Method:

1. In a blender add the banana, cinnamon, nutmeg and milk and blend it until its smooth.
2. Divide the oats equally in two serving glasses or jars.Add the banana milk on top and make sure the oats are submerged. 
3.Spoon the yoghurt over the oats together with the black berries and chia seeds. Cover and place the jars in the fridge overnight.
To Serve 
4.Take the jars of overnight oats out from the fridge.
5.Slightly crush the remaining blackberries with the back of the spoon and mix them with the Greek yoghurt.
6.Top the oats with the berry mixed yoghurt and sprinkle with the granola to add extra crunch. Garnish with the strawberries and blackberries.
7. Finally for the finishing touch, add one heaped teaspoon 15 g of delicious Nutella to each glass to spread a little happiness at breakfast.

Details:
Prep time: 5 mins plus overnight Cook time:None Total time:Yield: Serves 2





This post is in collaboration with Nutella.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Lemon, Rose and Pistachio Mini Bundt Cakes~Recipe Swap



This is the second time I am participating in the recipe swap club. The aim is that you are paired up with a fellow blogger and you have to recreate a recipe from their blog. This month I was paired with Jagruti from Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey. Jagruti is a very good friend of mine and she has a lovely blog show casing vegan and vegetarian recipes. She is an expert cook and experiments with lots of textures and flavours. I spent hours looking through her blog and there were so many recipes I wanted to make. I short listed a few of my favorites such as her Instant Raiti Gor Keri -sweet mango pickle, her vegan Boussou Tmssou- Algerian cookies and her Rasjasthani Dal Bafla recipe to name a few. But what caught my eye was her recent post where she featured her Middle Eastern semolina Bundt cakes. The rose and lemon combination with the pistachio are my favorite flavours so I decided  to recreate this recipe at the weekend. Wow what a hit, we loved this mini gorgeous spongy cakes that oozed Middle Eastern flavours to the core. This is definitely a keeper recipe that I can see my self making it again and again.

I did make a couple of small changes to suit my taste, the original recipe can be found here.


I have a mini bundt tin so I made mini bundt cakes rather than 4 large as in Jagrutis recipe. I also reduced the amount of sugar syrup in the recipe to a half and it was more than enough to sweeten the little cakes. The cakes turned out delicious served with strong Moroccan coffee.




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Lemon, Rose and Pistachio Mini Bundt Cakes
Mini bundt cakes with mouth watering middle Eastern flavours of rose, lemon and pistachio make these cakes delectable and simply delicious.
Ingredients:
  • 250 g Coarse Semolina
  • 1 tablespoon Corn flour
  • 85 g Melted butter
  • 85 g Caster Sugar
  • 125 g Plain Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon zest
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 level teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • 30 ml Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Pistachio slices
    For the Syrup
  • Sugar 125 g
  • 150 ml Water
  • 1 Lemon (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon Rose water
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • Few Rose petals for garnishing
Method:
1.Preheat oven to 180 degrees -C 375 degrees F 2.In a bowl add the bicarbonate of soda and yoghurt and mix together. Leave aside for 10 minutes.3. In another bowl add the semolina, sugar, lemon zest, melted butter and mix together.4. Add in the yoghurt mixture and mix together, add the milk a little at a time until the batter is dropping consistency.5. Grease and dust the bundt tin with melted butter and flour.6. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted in them comes out clean.7. In another pan add the sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon slices and bring the mixture to a boil, once the sugar has melted simmer on low heat for 5 minutes .Turn off the heat and add the rose water.8. Leave the cakes in the bundt tin after taking them out of the oven. While they are still warm, spoon on top of each cake a generous spoonful of the syrup. Wait a few minutes and add another spoonful. 9. Once the cakes have soaked up the syrup, gently take them out of the bundt tin and arrange them on a serving platter, spoon another teaspoon full of syrup on the cakes and garnish them with the pistachio slices and rose petals.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 cakes

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Sabudana Khichdi (Potato and Sago curry)


In the Hindu religion there are many religious days in the year where people observe fasting. There are different ways of fasting, some people fast by eating one solid meal only, others fast by eating certain groups of food and many fast where they only eat food that contains no salt. These fasting dishes are known as "vrat ka khana"
Although I am Hindu I do not really fast but that does not mean that I do not enjoy the fasting foods most are full of carbs and are super delicious.
The recipe I am sharing today is one my mother use to make every time she was observing a fast. Its like a potato stew made in a peanut and sago gravy. It has simple flavours but tastes amazing.


What is Sago?
Sago is a spongy starch extracted from the tropical palm trees. It comes in many forms. The sago I am using in this recipe is commercially produced in the form of small white pearly balls that can be re hydrated by soaking in water and then added to recipes.


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Sabudana Khichdi ~Potato and Sago Stew
A lovely flavoursome stew made with potatoes, crushed peanuts and sago.
Ingredients:
  • 6 Medium red potatoes 
  • 2 tablespoons Sago
  • 40 g Peanuts
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 2 medium Tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Whole cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons Salt or *Sendha namak
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Fresh Coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sunflower oil
  • 150 ml Water
Method:
1. Coarsely grind the peanuts and keep them aside.2. Wash the sago and soak it in some water for 30 minutes.3. Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 inch cubes.4. Finely chop the tomatoes and slit the chillies.5. In a pan add the oil, when its hot add the cumin seeds followed by the chilli slits and tomatoes, stir fry for 1 minute.6. Add the peanuts and saute for 1-2 minutes to remove the rawness of the peanuts.7. Add the potatoes, salt, black pepper, and water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the sago and add it to the potatoes .8. Cook the stew for another 5-10 minutes until potatoes are fully cooked. Add the lemon juice and mix .9. Transfer the stew to serving bowls and garnish with chopped coriander.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 4

**NB -Senda Namak is a type of rock salt that is eaten during fasting


Other Fasting Foods you may like are:

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Apricot Ice cream


This week the weather has been awful and it foiled all my plans to go outdoors. So on my day off I decided to have a clear out of my pantry. You will be surprised to know that there were so many ingredients that were out of date and just needed throwing out, I felt really guilty as my mother never used to waste any food and she always brought us up to be frugal. She hated to waste money and always came up with innovative ideas to recreate dishes from left over produce.I have always tried to follow my mums teachings so when I did find a couple of items that were just within date and needed to be used up I put my thinking cap on.One such item was an organic jar of Biona Apricot and apple puree. This stuff is not cheap so I definitely did not want to waste it. I was thinking what to make with it ? My first thoughts were pancakes or adding it to smoothies, but my family were not too keen on either idea and so the jar sat on the kitchen counter for a few hours looking rather sad.

Finally whilst I was clearing out the fridge, I saw a can of condensed milk and some double cream so I decided to make ice cream. Obviously it was a silly idea according to my family, as it was minus temperatures out side. Never the less I did make the ice cream as it would keep in the freezer for another day so that is how this  ice cream came about. I have never had apricot ice cream before so I was hoping that my efforts would not go to waste. Trust me they didn't as the ice cream was delicious. So I think it would be rather appropriate to dedicate this post to my mum for Mothers day which is this Sunday 9th March as she would be proud that I did not waste!!!



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Apricot Icecrean
A really quick and easy ice cream to make using store cupboard ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 1 Jar 350g of Biona Organics apricot and apple puree
  • 1 Can 397 g Condensed milk
  • 1 250 ml Double Cream
  • 6 Dried Apricots finely chopped
  • 4 Dried Apricots finely chopped
Instructions
1. Whisk the double cream and keep it aside 2. In the Optimum 9400 or any other blender add the apricot puree and the condensed milk an blend together. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the double cream. Fold the two ingredients gently.3. Transfer the mixture to a tupperware container with a lid and place in the freezer for 4 hours.4. After four hours take the semi set ice cream out of the freezer and add it to the Optimum 9400 blender and whisk for 30 seconds 5. Transfer the ice cream back to the tupperware container and fold in the chopped apricots. If you do not like bits in your ice cream, you can add the apricots to the blender and whisk them up instead. Freeze the ice cream overnight.6.To serve take the tub out of the freezer and keep aside for a 2-3 minutes. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the ice cream into serving bowls. Garnish with chopped apricots and dried coconut flakes
Details
Prep time: Cook time: None Total time: Yield: Serves 4

Despite my family thinking I was mad to make ice cream when it was so cold, it did not stop any of them wanting a try when it was ready, and believe me there was none left for a warmer day.


To blend this ice cream, I used my best friend in the kitchen the Optimum 9400 blender by Froothie. I absolutely love it and can't recommend a better machine.

The blender is capable of blending most ingredients including frozen fruit and gives you the correct texture. It is easy to clean and maintain too.

The Optimum 9400 is currently on offer for £339, and you also get a 750 ml mini jug valued at £50.00 absolutely free. Froothie also offer 0% finance on products over £ 299 and only require a 10% deposit. That's not all, the fab people at Froothie are offering you lovely readers FREE DELIVERY too (for a limited time).  Just use this code 1572 FREE AMBASSADOR DELIVERY in the comments box when making your purchase, the delivery charge will then be refunded.

You may like other icecream recipes:

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