Chicken Wontons

 

I know, I know, traditional Chinese wontons should be made of minced (ground) pork. My mother always makes wontons with minced (ground) pork and prawns (shrimp). However, I wanted to try with chicken. Why? It’s not that we don’t dig on swine, it’s just because we don’t eat much pork these days.

The filling consists of minced (ground) chicken thighs, shiitake mushrooms, spring (green) onions, water chestnuts, Chinese leaf (napa cabbage) and seasonings. Continue reading

Panforte di Siena

 

Ahh… our Christmas cake… I’m not sure if we can really call it a cake, it’s more like a piece of chewy confectionery. It originates from Italy and is packed full of dried fruit, nuts and honey.

This cake is traditionally baked in a round cake tin (pan). However, I broke out of the norm this year and baked it in a loaf tin (pan). The cake was cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) pieces, making them easier to enjoy, instead of gnawing a huge slice. Continue reading

100% Whole Wheat Stollen with Almond Paste

 

The traditional German Christmas bread just got a little healthier! This version is made with 100% whole wheat flour, studded with plump fruit, and stuffed with almond paste. It’s perfect for breakfast or with a cup of tea or coffee.

It was in 2008 that I first tried my hand at stollen. This was because the varieties available in the shops grossed me out. The resulting loaf was a little bit of a disaster. 2009 was my first year of stollen success. This is a great recipe, however I wanted to try out Reinhart’s recipe and he did not disappoint. Continue reading

Dutch Honey Cake (Honingkoek)

 

This delicious loaf is also known as breakfast cake. It’s suitable for dairy-free individuals. The texture is somewhat closer to bread than a cake, and is typically enjoyed with lashings of butter. It’s easy to make, chewy, lightly sweet, nicely spiced, low in fat, and the flavor only gets better with time.

It was J (not surprisingly) who introduced me to this cake. Continue reading

Saucy Lemon Souffle Pudding

 

Saucy lemon soufflé pudding you say? Yep! I’ve been planning to blog about this delicious dessert for months! I tried it almost a year ago, but it was so good, that I didn’t get a chance to take any photographs. 

The pudding is packed full of flavor and absolutely delicious. It’s light and fluffy on the top with a creamy lemon custard base. It’s a true delight for lemon lovers.  Continue reading

Dairy-Free Fruit Trifles

 

Ashamedly, the only homemade trifles I grew up with were made from the Bird’s strawberry trifle mix. The box contained a packet of jelly (jello) granules, custard powder, sponge fingers, instant “cream” and sprinkles. Believe it or not, it was a treat! The other trifles I enjoyed were from the locally run, East Midlands confectioner’s, known ironically as Bird’s. I miss that place – they sell the best cream cakes ever! We’re talking meringues, cream slices, apple puffs, cream buns, elephant feet, éclairs and more… ok, now I’m drooling.

As I grew up, my tastes (and budget) allowed me to spend more on my food. I started to buy the “luxury” fresh trifles Continue reading

Jammy Angel Food Cupcakes

 

I’m pretty sure that everyone has heard of devil’s food cake. It’s rich, chocolatey, and packed full of all the naughty stuff. Angel food cake on the other hand, is light and fat-free. Before I made these cupcakes, I’ve never made either, which must mean that I was in purgatory or something!

I had bags of frozen egg whites that needed to be used up. Instead of making the obvious choice of meringues or macaroons, I decided to try my hand at angel food cake. Instead of making it in a tube cake (Bundt) tin (pan), I decided to make them into cupcakes, and add a little strawberry jam on the bottom. You can of course, leave them plain or use your favorite jam or even apple sauce. Continue reading

Chicken, Pumpkin and Potato Coconut Curry Soup

 

One of the best things about the passing of summer is the availability of pumpkins! I use the term pumpkins loosely here, I also mean winter squash. We love winter squash; we love homemade soup; we love coconut milk and we love Thai curry… so, this soup was born! It’s the perfect winter warmer.

Chicken is simmered with delicata squash (or kabocha) and potatoes (or rice) in a coconut curry soup base. It’s creamy, well-flavored and has all the major food groups. If you’re vegetarian, feel free to substitute the chicken for tofu. Continue reading

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins – Gluten Free & Vegan

 

Five years ago, I would never have thought I could walk into a bakery and not buy anything. I love my cakes, muffins and pastries. The only problem is that I’m allergic to American dairy. Eating anything is a little bit of a risk for me. Although I can drool at the cakes, I rarely eat them and when I do, I take a very small bite.

It was time to try another recipe from the Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking book. I love this recipe book, but unfortunately it has a few editorial errors. Continue reading

Seeded Whole Wheat Rye Bread

 

There’s nothing seedy about this bread… ok, I lie. Everything about this bread is seedy! It’s wholesome, packed full of flavor and absolutely fantastic. You will never believe that this bread is made with 100% whole wheat flour (i.e. no refined white flour).

It’s healthy, delicious and packed with four different seeds – linseed (flax), sesame, pumpkin and sunflower. Just to counteract its saintly goodness, I slather it with butter or enjoy it with mature (strong) cheese. It makes the perfect sandwich bread or dinner accompaniment. Continue reading

Orange and Almond Cake

 

I’ve been making this delicious cake for almost ten years. However, this is the only photograph I have of it. It was shortly after taking this that I dropped it on the floor (ooops)… well, P. liked it. The only piece we could enjoy was the one in the shot. I’ll try and take a better photo next time around.

It’s moist, light and packed full of orangey goodness. Enjoy with a simple dusting of icing sugar and/or a zesty orange sweetened whipped cream. It’s perfect for afternoon tea or dessert. I’ve even made it as a birthday cake. Continue reading