Saturday, 19 April 2014

Coconut Cream Almond Joy Easter Egg Recipe

Happy Easter!! To all my readers. As it's Easter, here is a simple to make Easter egg recipe for you.

Bee on the lookout, as tomorrow I will have a recipe for a classic chocolate Easter cake.

Coconut Cream Almond Joy Easter Eggs

Serves: 15
Coconut Cream Almond Joy Easter Eggs: A classic and simple to make Easter egg, with a white centre of butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and coconut studded with almonds and coated in chocolate. Great for kids to make with you at home.

Ingredients:

115g (1/4 lb) butter, softened
225g (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
900g (2 lbs) icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
400g (15 oz) flaked coconut
600g (22oz) dark chocolate chips
30 almonds

Method:

Dice the butter and mix in a bowl with the cream cheese. Place in your microwave and cook on full power for about 30 seconds, or until softened.

Cream the ingredients together then add the icing sugar, about 100g (1 cup) at a time beating thoroughly to combine after each addition. Now ad the salt and vanilla extract, mixing thoroughly to combine.

Add the coconut and mix until blended. Place the resultant mixture in the freezer and chill for 20 minutes.

After this time, remove from the freezer, divide into 15 pieces and shape these into eggs.. Sit each egg on a baking tray covered with kitchen foil. Now press two almonds into the top of each egg.

Return to the freezer and chill for 30 minutes more.

In the meantime, melt the chocolate chips either in a bain-marie (double boiler) or in a microwave. Taking each chilled egg in turn, dip its base in the melted chocolate, then transfer to a small, flat, dish.

Take a large spoon and pour over some melted chocolate onto the top of each egg. Spread it over with a round-blade knife, then transfer to a foil-lined baking tray.

When all the eggs are done, return to the freezer and chill for a few minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened. Sit each egg in an individual paper case.

Store in the refrigerator, covered with aluminium foil.

For hundreds more classic Easter recipes from around the globe, why not visit the Celtnet Easter Recipes and Information pages?





Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Whole Orange and Chocolate Cake Recipe

I've been submitting savoury, main course and snack recipes for a while now — so it's time to add a recipe for a cake, particularly as it's almost Easter.

This cake is unusual, as it's base is a whole orange that's cooked until tender before being added to the cake batter.

Whole Orange and Chocolate Cake

Serves: 12
Whole Orange and Chocolate Cake: A rich chocolate dessert cake, excellent for Easter, made with a whole parboiled orange as the flavouring. Guaranteed to be loved by anyone who likes cakes, and certainly anyone who likes chocolate!

Ingredients:

175g (6 oz) butter, softened
1 small orange (about 200g [8 oz])
100g (4 oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100g (4 oz) ground almonds
175g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar
4 eggs, separated

Method:

Place the orange in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, partly covered, for 60 minutes, or until completely tender. Drain the orange then set aside to cool.

Halve the orange and remove all the pips. Chop finely (do not peel) then place in a food processor and pulse to a smooth purée.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, spices and cocoa powder in a bowl then stir in the ground almonds.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and the puréed orange then fold in the flour mix.

Add the egg whites to a clean and dry bowl and whisk until stiff. Fold these into the cake batter, adding them in tow batches.

Pour the batter into a 23cm diameter cake tin that's been buttered and lined. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for about 40 minutes, or until firm and slightly golden on top.

Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Satay Pork Recipe

Today's recipe is for a classic Indonesian-style dish of pork strips in a sweet chilli marinade that are cooked on a barbecue (grill) and served with a peanut and coconut milk sate sauce.

This recipe can serve two as a main meal or four as a starter. It also makes an excellent addition to any barbecue.

Satay Pork

Serves: 2
Satay Pork: Classic Indonesian-influenced dish of pork strips in a sweet chilli marinade cooked on a barbecue (grill) and served with a peanut-based satay sauce

Ingredients:

450g (1 lb) thin pork loin steaks
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
2cm (4/5 in) length fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1 garlic clove, crushed

For the Satay Sauce:

1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp chilli-infused oil
175g crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
150ml (3/5 cup) coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped

Method:

Slice the pork into 2cm wide strips. In a bowl, combine the dark soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, ginger and garlic. Add the pork and toss to coat then cover the dish and set aside to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, place wooden skewers to soak in a large bowl of water for 2 hours.

For the satay sauce, fry the garlic and chilli in oil for about 90 seconds. Gradually add the peanut butter, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat then immediately take off the heat before stirring in the coriander leaves.

When marinated, thread the pork onto the soaked skewers (discard any left-over marinade). Place either on a barbecue over hot coals or under a hot grill (broiler) and cook for between 8 and 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serve hot, accompanied by the satay sauce and lime wedges.

As well as pork, this dish can also be made with lamb, goat meat, chicken or even beef.

For hundreds more barbecue (grilling) recipes, why not visit the Celtnet Barbecue and Grilling recipes pages.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Sticky Lime and Coconut Drizzle Loaf Recipe

I love limes, I really do... so I am always on the lookout for a new recipe that uses this tart and citrusy fruit.

The marriage of the acidity of citrus with the sweetness of coconut milk is an ideal one (and a combination found throughout the tropics). This makes an unusual cake, that is nonetheless very tasty and goes well as an accompaniment to tea or coffee.


Sticky Lime and Coconut Drizzle Loaf

Serves: 10
Sticky Lime and Coconut Drizzle Loaf: A classic tea or coffee time loaf cake flavoured with lime zest and coconut milk that's finished with a sweetened coconut milk, lime zest and lime juice drizzle

Ingredients:

100g (4 oz) butter, softened
175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
175g (6 oz) golden caster sugar
2 eggs
400ml (14 oz) tin of coconut milk
finely-grated zest of 2 limes

For the Icing:

400ml (14 oz) tin of coconut milk
200g (8 oz) golden caster sugar
finely-grated zest of 1 lime
juice of 3 limes

Method:

Beat the butter, flour, baking powder, golden caster sugar, eggs, coconut milk and lime zest in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Turn this batter into a 900g (2 lb) loaf tin lined with baking parchment.

Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch.

To make the icing, combine the coconut milk and 150g (6 oz) of the sugar in a pan. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, or until syrupy. Stir in the lime juice then take off the heat and set aside. In a bowl, mix the remaining sugar with the lime zest to a paste and set this aside too.

With the cooked cake still in the loaf tin pour over the icing a little at a time. Each time wait for the cake to absorb the icing before you pour any more over. Set aside to cool then carefully remove from the tin. Sprinkle over the lime sugar then slice and serve.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Country-style Blackberry Pie Recipe

OK, so it's only early spring... but at this time I like to clear out my freezer to remove some of the autumnal glut that wasn't eaten over winter. During the clear-out I came across a very large bag of blackberries.

As well as a blackberry suet pudding (my personal favourite) I also prepared a rustic-style pie that works well both as a dessert or as a tea-time treat. This is a very rich pie with an even richer pastry, given the twist of adding a little custard powder to the mix, which both helps colour the pastry and also gives it a subtle custard flavour.


Country-style Blackberry Pie

Serves: 6–8
Country-style Blackberry Pie: Rustic blackberry pie (also for blueberries, tayberries, bilberries or blackcurrants) with the twist that the pastry is coloured and flavoured with custard powder.

Ingredients:

For the Pastry (Dough):

250g (2 cups) self-raising flour
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp custard powder
250g (1 1/4 cups) chilled butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
60ml (1/4 cup) water
1 tbsp raw cane sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten, to glaze

For the Filling:

4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
900g (2 lbs) fresh blackberries, washed and drained
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp finely-grated orange zest

Method:

For the filling, blend the cornflour with 8 tbsp water to form a smooth slurry. Pour into a pan and mix with the sugar, orange zest and 1/4 of the blackberries. Bring to a boil and cook gently for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

For the pastry, combine the flour, icing sugar, custard powder and butter in a food processor. Pulse for about 15 seconds, or until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg and water and process for 15 seconds until the mixture comes together as a dough (add more water as needed).

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead for about 2 minutes, or until smooth. Cove with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and set aside to chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until smooth.

After this time, take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out on a well-floured work surface until large enough to cover the base and sides of a 23cm diameter pie plate. Spread the cornflour mixture evenly over the base then top with the remaining whole blackberries.

Roll out the remaining pastry until large enough to cover the top of the pie. Brush the edges with egg and press along the edges to seal. Trim the edges neatly with a sharp knife and brush the top with the beaten egg. Using a fork, crimp the edges tightly to seal then pierce with the tines of the fork.

Sprinkle sugar over the top then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180°C and bake for 35 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Allow the pie to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve hot, sliced into wedges and accompanied by cream or ice-cream.

This pie can also just as easily be made with blueberries, tayberries, bilberries, blackcurrants or even raspberrires/

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bacon, Tomato and Walnut Pasta Recipe

Today's recipe is for a quick, easy to prepare and healthy pasta dish, made a little richer by the inclusion of smoked bacon. This makes an excellent lunch or light supper, but can also be served as a starter.

Bacon, Tomato and Walnut Pasta

Serves: 4
Bacon, Tomato and Walnut Pasta: A light lunch or supper dish of pasta dressed with tomatoes, smoked bacon and garlic cooked in butter and served with fresh basil.

Ingredients:

350g (12 oz) penne pasta (or pasta spirals)
8 plum tomatoes, halved
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
50g (2 oz) butter
110g (4 oz) smoked bacon bits
50g (2 oz) walnuts, coarsely chopped
50g (2 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. add the pasta and cook for between 10 and 12 minutes, or as directed on the packet. Drain in a colander.

In the meantime, place the tomato halves on a grill pan with the cut side uppermost. Brush with 2 tbsp olive oil then sprinkle over the sugar and season with salt and black pepper. Place under a hot grill (broiler) and cook for about 6 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to char. Remover from under the grill and set aside to keep warm until the pasta is cooked.

Heat half the butter in a frying pan and add the bacon pieces. Cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes, until they begin to crisp then remove from the pan.

Add the remaining butter to the pan and tip in the walnuts, breadcrumbs and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the breadcrumbs turn a golden brown. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the basil and bacon pieces then season to taste with salt (if needed) and black pepper.

Pour the remaining oil over the pasta and stir in the bacon, tomato halves and the walnut mixture.

Serve immediately.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Tsoureki (Sweet Greek Easter Bread) Recipe

Tsoureki is a sweet, Greek, Easter bread that, traditionally, was baked to end the Lenten fast. It is often eaten for breakfast, accompanied by cheese. The traditional way of preparing is by plaiting and inserting red-dyed eggs at either end before baking, though it can also be shaped into an Easter crown.

Tsoureki (Sweet Greek Easter Bread)

Serves: 12
Tsoureki (Sweet Greek Easter Bread): A classic rich ans sweet bread from Greece that is traditionally used to break the lenten feast. Shown decorated with whole eggs for Easter,

Ingredients:

500ml (2 cups) milk
2 x 7.5g (1/4 oz) sachets of active, dried, yeast
950 to 1050g (8 to 9 cups) white bread flour
350g (1 3/4 cups) sugar
125g (1 cup) ground almonds
1 tsp salt
finely-grated zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp ground mahlepi (mahlab cherry pits)
1 tsp ground mastic (optional)
50g (1/4 cup) butter, melted
5 eggs, well beaten
fresh eggs, dyed red with food colouring (optional)
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp milk
65g slivered almonds

Method:

Warm the milk to blood heat then pour into a bowl and stir in the yeast along with 100g (1 cup, scant) of the flour and 50g (1/4 cup) of the sugar. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) or a damp cloth and set aside to prove for 60 minutes.

Sift 850g (7 cups) of the remaining flour into a bowl and mix in the ground almonds, salt, remaining sugar, orange zest, mahlepi and mastic. Form a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture, along with the melted butter and eggs. Working from the outside inwards, bring the flour into the wet ingredients, stirring the mixture with your fingertips until a dough begins to form.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and begin kneading and adding more flour, as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hands (about 12 minutes). Shape the resultant dough into a ball, place in an olied bowl (turn to coat) then cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) or a damp cloth and set aside in a warm, draft-free, spot to rise until doubled in volume (about 80 minutes).

After this time knock back (punch down) the dough then divide into six equal-sized pieces. Take three of the pieces and roll into ropes about 5cm (2 in) in diameter and 30cm (12 in) long. Lay the three elongated pieces next to each other and pinch together at one end. Braid the strips at the other end then pinch the ends together to seal. Transfer to a parchmntn paper lined baking tray and, of desired, nestle a red-dyed egg at either end of the braid. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces to make a second loaf.

Cover loosely, then set aside to raise in a warm place for about 80 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

Beat the egg yolk with 2 tbsp milk and use this mixture to glaze the tops of the loaves. Scatter over the slivered almonds, then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (360ºF), setting the loaves on a low shelf.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden brown (but check after about 20 minutes to ensure the loaves are not colouring too quickly --- if they are drape kitchen foil over the top and continue baking) and the loaves hound hollow when tapped on the base.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool before slicing and serving.

For hundreds more Easter recipes, why not visit the Celtnet Easter recipes and history of Easter pages? If you would like to learn more about Greek cuisine, visit the Celtnet Greek recipes and cookery pages.

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