Saturday, December 22, 2012

Healthy Christmas Cake

I hope everyone is enjoying the lead up to Christmas. I have been flat out and am now just getting a moment to breathe. Looking forward to spending time with family and friends over the holiday period. Good food and company, nothing quite beats that. 
I've never been a big fan of christmas cake or pudding. I often find that they are quite overwhelming and heavy. However, Teresa Cutler comes to the rescue with a great healthy version of a christmas cake. It is perfect served in a small portion with thick plain natural yoghurt or a light custard. See below for a great little recipe for a light custard.
Recipe from Teresa Cutler via the Healthy Chef 
Serves 20 small portions
600 g mixed dried fruit (you could use dates, apricots, raisins, prunes, figs, cranberries, sultanas)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or paste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
zest and juice from 1 orange
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs
200 g (2 cups) ground almonds
50 g walnuts
1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees.
2. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper on the base and the sides.
3. Combine the dried fruit, orange juice and zest, vanilla, spice, olive oil and eggs.
4. You will then need to add the walnuts and almonds. Mix these ingredients through.
5. Place the butter into the tin and bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Use a skewer to check if it comes clean. If not, continue baking. The top may over brown so to avoid it cover it with baking paper.
6. Cool the cake first prior to removing it. You can store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.

500 ml (2 cups) milk (I used skim milk)

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract

tablespoons maple syrup or 1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoons cornflour 

Pinch nutmeg

1. In a saucepan heat the milk with vanilla and honey. Just before it reaches boiling point remove the saucepan from the heat. 
2. Beat the eggs and cornflour  in mixing bowl until they are combined. Pour the hot milk over the eggs and whisk well.
3. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. 
4. Quickly remove it off the heat and pour back into the mixing bowl. Whisk well to cool a little and smooth it out and ensure there are no lumps. You can also pour it through a sieve to ensure there is no lumps. 

5. Can be served hot or cold.   

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Paris Part One - The streets, the this, the that

Next stop after London was Paris. We took the Eurostar train and what a smooth ride it was. Paris was the city I was looking forward to the most. I had such high hopes and boy did the place exceed my expectations. What an amazing place. It definitely was breathtaking. While we were there we stayed at on the border of the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain. Such a great location. A walk from the River Seine, the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. 

This post is all about the streets. I really felt like taking a photograph of everything. Can't wait to go back.

The view from our hotel balcony.
Sunday afternoon by the River Seine, friends and family having picnics by the river
Our first glance at Paris after getting off the train at Gare du Nord train station
No this man does not look impressed
Just outside the Eiffel Tower
Gay and Lesbian parade
Our hotel
The chandelier in our hotel room. It definitely fulfilled my chandelier obsession.
Hotel stairwell
Lamp in our hotel room
Statue outside our hotel room door

Friday, October 12, 2012

London: Part Four: The food and the Rest of It

This is my final London post. Here are some photos highlighting our food adventures during our stay in London. 
While we were there we had dinner with my husband's cousin Ms K at Barbecoa, a Jamie Oliver collaboration with chef Adam Perry Lang. Great service and great food. The restaurant has a reputation for great beef. All their beef is hung on site in their dry aging room.
Salmon gravadlax with schnapps, soured cream, lemon, dill and mustard
Bourbon chicken wings with watermelon, chilli and coriander
Crispy calamari with smashed avocado, lemon and rocket
1. Short beef rib with worcestershire glaze and watercress
2. Brined chicken breast with creamed sweet corn, bacon and mushrooms
3. Dry-aged rump steak
Baby gem salad with creamy bacon dressing
Duck fat chips
Fleur royal cocktail: St Germain Elderflower and black rasberry liqueur 
The amazing view of St Paul's Cathedral from inside the restaurant
Layered chocolate brownie with raspberry and pink pepper sorbet

London pub

While we were there of course we had to try some traditional English pub food.


Mark's & Spencer

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