October 2, 2010

Dawn Flambe Surprise Muffins

Sunshine Contest – Round 2, 12 Aug 10

I thought I’d better make up the recipe to go with the name (seems right, for Sunshine, to make up a recipe). After some thought I decided it would work better to flambe muffins, or a mixture on top of muffins – so I took a stock muffin recipe and fiddled with it a bit – changing spices, quantity of butter (increased by half) and amount of sugar (reduced – I know, Sunshine wouldn’t have, but I like the effect). Oh yes, and adding fruit, pecans or walnuts, and chocolate.

So, muffin mix:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons (tsp) baking powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 cup chopped canned peaches (fresh would probably work even better but I’m working with what’s in the cupboard mid-winter)
1/4 to 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate (I used 60% cocoa)
zest of one mandarin (this really lightens up the flavour, so to speak)

Mix wet ingredients, add dry ingredients and stir through fruit, choc and nuts at the end just before putting into muffin tins – with paper cups so you can remove and flambe them with ease. Bake at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes. Try not to eat them before applying flambe mix (this is tough, I lost three to sampling before getting the mix on).

So, while the muffins baked, I made a quick sticky fruit mixture to flambe. This turns out to be the tricky bit (for someone who hasn’t done much flambe cooking anyway). I wanted to use raspberries, but only had peaches and a mixed berry combo with black currants, raspberries and blueberries. Actually the blackcurrants gave the mix a lovely zing that contrasts well with the muffins.

Berry flambe mix
1 cup berry mix
1/4 cup peaches
3 tablepoons soft brown sugar (molasses sugar might be a good substitute)
75 grams butter
brandy or amaretto to flambee

Melt together in a saucepan until berries are mushy but still holding their shape. Remove from heat, stir through liqueur of choice – I found some apricot liqueur, but brandy or amaretto would also work well.
Apply about a tablespoon of mix to each muffin just before it is consumed, making sure there is a small hollow in the middle of the mixture to contain the alcohol, and light! (Don’t eat until the flames have gone out of course). … I should mention that it took several goes for me to get the brandy to light. So much for instant vampire flambe.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Lissy, 7 June 09, ‘Favourite Pancakes and Fillings’ thread

The recipe I use is from Canada (thanks Squirrel Camp folks) and is as follows:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil

Mix all dry ingredients. Form a well in the centre & add liquids. Fold through. Use 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Fry in butter till golden on both sides. This recipe works fine with egg replacement powder so long as you are careful when flipping the pancakes.
Enjoy!

Halloumi Salad

Lissy, 8 June 09, ‘Summer Foods’ thread

I love to eat halloumi salads in summer – grilled halloumi cheese with veges, also grilled – most importantly capsicum, I prefer this with yellow and red capsicum.

I mix up a dressing of olive oil, basil pesto, garlic and lemon juice (if no pesto available, processing fresh basil with the other ingredients works fine). Some of the dressing goes on the cheese and veges, the rest is reserved for post-cooking drizzling. Meanwhile, toast some almonds and (if you can) pick crisp lettuce leaves and rocket. To make a full meal I’ll also cook cous cous, then toss the lot together. Yum.

Long summer evenings with this for supper with a chilled Marlborough Sauvignon blanc – I look forward to that! The only trouble is that it’s very difficult to get decent halloumi in nz – it all melts far too fast compared to the Cypriot version.