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Baking

Tokara’s Orange Polenta Cake

I was recently invited to lunch at Tokara in Stellenbosch and had the opportunity to enjoy an olive oil tasting followed by a tasty lunch in the deli. The dessert was just incredible, a Orange Polenta Cake served with Orange Ice Cream, Orange Crème and Candied Oranges and as we were lucky enough to get the recipe afterwards, it was a given that I was going to make it and share on here. Tokara offers some of the most incredible views in the Cape winelands and is a must do when visiting wine farms in the area. The winery makes a fantastic range of wines, brandy and olive oils. The main restaurant on the farm, with the kitchen under the able helm of chef Richard Carstens, makes a regular appearance on the country’s top top 10 restaurant list. The deli offers a more informal but as delicious dining option as well as a shop filled with products to take home. I love baking with ground almonds and this Orange Polenta Cake is one of my new favourite bakes. It is incredibly flavourful as you boil 2 whole oranges, blend it too smooth puree and add it to the cake batter meaning the orange flavour is intense and delicious. I did not mess with the original recipe except for adding some vanilla extract and salt to the cake batter. I sliced and froze the leftover cake and it defrosts within a few minutes remaining as delicious as when it is freshly baked and soaked with the spiced syrup. The dried orange slices used for decoration could not be easier to make. I have made them before for the Chocolate Fruitcake and all you need to do is sprinkle the slices with some caster sugar and let them dry in a low oven of about 80 degrees C, turning once or twice until they have dried out. Enjoy! Some good news to those readers who have asked, our next Food Photography Workshop will take place on Saturday the 23rd of September 2017. It falls on a long weekend so I hope it will make it easier to fit in with busy schedules. Our goal for the day is to create a space where we all can play, learn from each other and have a lot of fun doing it. Come be inspired, get creative, get more comfortable with your camera and most importantly play. All the details can be found here and do let me know if you would like to join us for the day at the most beautiful location. Print Yum Tokara’s Orange Polenta Cake IngredientsCake: 2 oranges, skin on and washed 270g caster sugar 5 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 170g ground almonds 50g polenta 1 tsp baking powder half a tsp salt grated zest of an orange 100ml olive oil Syrup: 1 vanilla bean 230g caster sugar 250ml water 4 cardamon pods 2 star anise good pinch of salt 50 ml brandy InstructionsMake the syrup by splitting the vanilla bean in half and placing in a small pot with the sugar, water, spices and salt Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat Add the brandy and let the syrup infuse for 30 minutes Strain the syrup and set aside Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C Grease a 24cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper Place the oranges in a small pot and and cover with water and gently simmer for 75 minutes Remove the oranges and cool for 30 minutes Roughly chop the oranges with the peel on, remove the pips and blend in a food processor to a smooth puree Whisk the eggs and sugar, add the extract and beat well Add the almonds, polenta, baking powder, orange puree, zest and olive oil and mix well Pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake for about 45 minutes until light golden and firm to the touch Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, turn out on a wire rack and let the cake cool completely Transfer the cake to a plate and use a toothpick to prick the cake all over Spoon spoonfuls of the syrup over the cake, allowing it to soak through the cake before adding more Continue until all the syrup is finished Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/tokaras-orange-polenta-cake/ A few more of my favourite gluten free baking recipes: Orange Pistachio Cake Lemon Ricotta Cake Pistachio Lemon Cake More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook YouTube

Fig and Brown Butter Clafoutis

I am spending the Easter weekend in Prince Albert and have seen boxes of what must the last of sweet Adams figs in all the shops. Fig season is nearly over so this Fig and Brown Butter Clafoutis is an apt farewell till these luscious fruit come around again. Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of fruit baked in a thick flan-like batter. Almost a rich sweet omelette. The clafoutis is dusted with caster or icing sugar and served lukewarm, sometimes with cream or a dollop of creme fraiche would be as good. The traditional recipe is with black cherries but you can use many other fruits that are in season at the time. You could use red cherries, plums, apples, pears, blueberries, blackberries or as in this recipe, figs. It has to be noted that if you use any fruit other than cherries it is called a flaugnarde. I used a Raymond Blanc recipe and loved the idea of the brown butter – called a beurre noisette – added to the batter. Be careful not to allow the butter to burn or it will become bitter and carcinogenic. Raymond’s tip is that you bake the clafoutis as you start your meal. That way the Fig and Brown Butter Clafoutis will be the right temperature when you eat it. It should be warm and not hot. To that, I can add it is pretty good cold too. It really is a lovely dessert that is quick and easy to make. Use a medium sized shallow dish to bake the clafoutis in as you want the fruit to show. You can also amp up the flavour by steeping the fruit in some liquour and sugar to macerate for about 2 hours and pouring the liquid in the bottom of the dish before baking. I hope you enjoyed this recipe for Fig and Brown Butter Clafoutis. Share it with me by tagging @heinstirred and using the hashtag #heinstirred Print Yum Fig and Brown Butter Clafoutis Ingredients20g butter, plus extra for greasing 2 large eggs 3 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling ½ tsp vanilla extract 1 heaped tbsp flour 50g (60ml) full cream milk 75g (90ml) whipping cream good pinch of sea salt 8 large ripe figs, halvedInstructionsPreheat the oven to 180 degrees C Grease a shallow baking dish with butter and sprinkle with sugar Shake the sugar around the dish so that it is evenly coated, then tip out any excess For the batter, heat the butter in a small pan until it turns a pale hazelnut colour Do not allow the butter to burn as it will become bitter Remove the pan from the heat and set aside in a warm place In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until creamy Add the flour, whisk until smooth, then slowly incorporate the milk, cream, salt and brown butter Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish Place the figs cut side up in the batter Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is slightly domed and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean To finish, sprinkle with caster sugar and serve warm with the leftover cream softly whippedSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/fig-and-brown-butter-clafoutis/ A few more of my favourite baked puddings Molten Salted Caramel and Chocolate Puddings with Smoked Salt Dutch Baby Malva Pudding with White Miso and Marmalade

Olive Oil Pound Cake and an Olive Oil Giveaway

I tracked down the recipe for this Olive Oil Pound Cake after seeing a photo for the most beautiful bundt cake on Twitter. I suffered some serious bundt pan envy for a while and thanks to Google Translate I was able to get the jist of the recipe as the original recipe is in Spanish. I loved the use of olive oil in the recipe and knew I had to bake it.  The result was a delicious moist cake with ample citrus and vanilla notes. The original recipe mentions that the cake is at its best two days after baking but I have to confess I popped the slices in the freezer the day after baking it as I had to stop eating it. So if someone has the self control to make the cake last that long please let me know if it is at its best after two days. The recipe calls for the olive oil to be infused with citrus peel and spices for 24 hours. I tweaked the recipe slightly and omitted the spices of cinnamon and star anise and just used a vanilla pod. And I replaced the orange with naartjie (tangerine) peel. You can stick to the original recipe and use orange or replace it with any citrus fruit of your choice. I think lemon would work particularly well and it is available all year round. (The recipe also calls for limes and I always zest limes when they are in season and freeze the zest so I have available during the year). Another addition is a cup of fortified wine like sherry. I was a bit stumped as to what to use as I did not have any and did not want to buy just for this recipe since I hardly ever drink sherry (much to my friend Conrad’s – who is a sherry connoisseur – dismay). So I replaced the sherry with Amaretto which I think worked perfectly. You can also serve the cake with a glass of Amaretto on crushed ice. The cake bakes a crown/belly which you need to cut off (and eat) to be able to let the cake stand evenly. Serve the cake simply dusted with icing sugar and fresh berries or citrus segments on the side. Or a chocolate ganache for a more decadent cake. **GIVEAWAY** One subscriber will receive a bottle of Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All you need to do is make sure you are a subscriber to the blog (the option to subscribe is to the right of this recipe) and tell me where Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil is produced by leaving a comment below before the 4th of September. *The giveaway is only open to readers based in South Africa* Print Yum Olive Oil Pound Cake IngredientsTo prepare the bundt tin: 3 tbsp melted butter 1 tbsp flour For the pound cake : 250ml Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil the peel of one orange (or other citrus fruit to your taste) 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways with a sharp knife 380g cake flour 10g baking powder 1g salt 430g sugar zest of two limes 5 large eggs 250ml Amaretto (or sherry) icing sugar to decorate and fresh berries to serve InstructionsOn the day before, place the olive oil, peel and vanilla bean pod in a saucepan and heat over a medium heat until it reaches 90 degrees C Pour the oil into a glass bowl, remove the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and return the pod and seeds to the oil Cover the oil with plastic wrap and leave to infuse for 24 hours Prepare a non stock bundt baking tin by greasing it with butter and dusting with flour Turn the pan over discard any loose flour Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C Sift the flour, baking powder and salt 3 times Remove the peel and vanilla pod from the olive oil and use an electric beater to beat the sugar and olive oil until well combined Mix in the lime zest Add the eggs one by one and beat well after each addition Add half the flour and mix with a spatula until well combined Add half the Amaretto or sherry and mix well Repeat with the remaining flour and Amaretto Pour the batter into the bundt tin and bake for about 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean Let the cake stand for at least 15 minutes, unmold and let the cake cool down completely Once cooled, slice off the crown/belly and put cut side down on a serving platter Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and fresh berries or citrus fruit Store the cake in an airtight container Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/olive-oil-pound-cake-and-an-olive-oil-give-away/ Some more Baking inspiration here More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook ** Disclaimer: Olive oil sponsored by Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil I am proud to be associated with Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil and use it whenever a recipe requires Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The South African cold press extra virgin Olive Oil is produced in the Riversdale area, has a whiff of fresh cut grass and aromas of green tomatoes, almonds artichokes and green apples.

Banana Malva Pudding with Toasted Coconut Dukkah

It took a few tries to get this Banana Malva Pudding with Toasted Coconut Dukkah just right and I think this is a lovely twist on this classic South African dessert. I wanted to come up with another malva pudding reinvention after last year’s Malva Pudding with Miso and Marmalade (which I still think is one of the best desserts I have ever made) and found the inspiration on a recent shoot at the One & Only Cape Town. I was photographing the new winter menu of Reuben’s and one of the desserts were a banana malva. I thought it was a clever idea and decided to make my own version. It was while chatting to my friend, the divine fellow foodie and author Christine Capendale that we came up with the idea for the toasted coconut dukkah as a topping and to replace the usual cream in the sauce with coconut milk. The first two tries did not work that well but after relooking at the recipe and reducing here and increasing there I think I have created a great new malva pudding. The pudding is a bit of malva and a bit of banana bread, not overly sweet like many malva puddings can be and has been given a modern and interesting twist with the coconut dukkah on top. The dukkah is a quick and easy mix of toasted coconut flakes and banana chips with some ground cinnamon and some sea salt flakes. It adds much needed crunch with a bit of a salty banana undertone. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Banana Malva Pudding with Toasted Coconut Dukkah . If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. Print Yum Banana Malva Pudding with Toasted Coconut Dukkah IngredientsPudding 150g white sugar 2 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 15 ml vinegar 15 ml apricot jam 180g cake flour ½ tsp salt 2 ½ tsp bicarb of soda 125ml milk 230g ripe bananas, mashed Sauce 50g sugar 250ml coconut milk 125ml water 1 tsp salt 100g butter Banana and Coconut Dukkah 30g toasted coconut flakes 30g dried banana chips 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp sea salt flakes custard to serve (optional) InstructionsPreheat the oven to 180 degrees C Grease a 2.5l ovenproof dish Beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy Add the vinegar and jam and mix well Sift the flour, bicarb and salt and mix alternately with the milk into the egg mixture, mixing well after each addition Mix in the mashed bananas Pour the batter into the dish and bake for about 35 – 45 minutes until cooked through and brown Start making the sauce about 10 mins before the pudding comes out of the oven Bring all the sauce ingredients to a boil while stirring, reduce the heat and keep warm As the pudding comes out of the oven, prick it all over with a fork or toothpick Spoon the hot sauce over the pudding Let it stand for about 10 – 15 minutes until most of the sauce has soaked in (you can place the pudding back in the switched off warm oven to keep the pudding warm while it soaks) Make the dukkah by placing all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a rough crumb (you can also chop it by hand) Serve the malva with a sprinkle of dukkah and splash of custard Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/banana-malva-pudding-toasted-coconut-dukkah/   More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Facebook A few more of my favourite baked pudding recipes : Baked Lemon Pudding with Lime Yoghurt Molten Salted Caramel and Chocolate Puddings Malva Pudding with White Miso and Marmalade

Breads

Mumbai Cheese Toastie

If truth be told, this Mumbai Cheese Toastie should be called the “I Am Not Giving You Any Of My Toastie” Toastie. It is that good. The recipe for the cheese toastie comes from Diana Henry’s new book titled Simple – Effortless Food, Big Flavours. The book is without a doubt one of my favourite books. I love the photography (I think the cover is one of the most beautiful recipe book covers) and the recipes are hassle free, yet interesting, packed with flavour and delicious. The Mumbai Cheese Toastie was one of the first recipes to catch my eye and I had to get in the kitchen and make it. Diana writes that a friend told her about these sandwiches that are sold as street food in Mumbai. She was a bit sceptical about cheese with spices but it works really well. The fresh chutney that comes with the recipes is lip smackingly delicious and I would suggest you make double the chutney so you can dip the toastie in the chutney as you eat it. Any leftover can be stored in the fridge and served with another meal the next day. I used jalapenos (that is what I had) for the chutney and think they are a good choice of fleshy chillies without being too hot. I did reduce the lemon juice a bit from the original recipe as I found the chutney a bit too wet and the bread will go soggy so just add a splash or two for that acidic flavour. This is perfect Friday night in front of the television food. Make double the quantity (I promise that you will want more) and serve with some ice cold beers. Cheese toastie and beer, a meal fit for a king in my book. Enjoy! I have partnered with Nikon South Africa and will present a Food Photography Workshop on the 16th of March 2017 in Cape Town. I will spend the morning showing how I create and style an image and then hand over to participants to style and photograph their own images. I am really looking forward to this workshop and hope to see you there. Follow this link to book your spot. Print Yum Mumbai Cheese Toastie IngredientsFor 1 Sandwich: Fresh Chutney half a jalapeno chili handful coriander 10 large mint leaves 1 garlic clove, crushed sea salt flakes ½ tsp caster sugar squeeze of lemon juice For the Sandwich 2 slices of white bread 50g strong cheddar cheese. Grated 1 tomato, sliced ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced pinch of ground cumin pinch of ground ginger pinch of ground cinnamon pinch of ground coriander butter ¼ tbsp vegetable oil InstructionsPut all the chutney ingredients in a mortar and pound it with a pestle Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and set aside Spread the chutney over both slices of bread Lay the cheese, tomato and onion on one of them and sprinkle with the slices Top with the other piece of bread Melt a knob of butter and the oil in a frying pan and cook the sandwich for about 3 minutes on each side, pressing it down a few times with an egg lifter, and cook until the cheese is melted. Careful not to burn the sandwich and serve immediately From Simple by Diana Henry Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/mumbai-cheese-toastie/ More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook YouTube

Avo on Toast 6 Ways

I read that avocado consumption has hit record highs due to the pandemic, not only do we want to eat and live healthier but we are eating more at home. It is said “healthy eating is the post-pandemic luxury”. According to Wikipedia, Gwyneth Paltrow has been credited with the popularization of avocado toast and as the popularization of the food grew with social media it was recreated by food bloggers and followers of the “clean living” trend. A trend that has reportedly increased the price of avocados. But be that as it may, avo on toast is absolutely delicious, packed with nutrients and other health benefits and worth making no matter the trend. Since we are heading into the festive season, where time spent with family or relaxing next to the pool is much more important than being stuck in a kitchen, avo on toast is a quick and easy meal on its own or as part of a bigger spread. Here are 6 ideas for brunch, breakfast or lunch this coming holidays. Chickpeas and Chorizo. The spiced smokiness of the chorizo works so well with the creaminess of the smashed avo.  The chickpeas add more texure and all those colours look so inviting. 1 large avo, mashed with lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper 2 slices sourdough toast 200g chorizo sausage, sliced splash of vegetable oil 1 sweet pepper, deseeded and sliced 1 tin chickpeas, drained chopped fresh parsley Heat a splash of oil over medium-high heat and fry the chorizo slices till crisp Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and fry the pepper slices until softened Add the chickpeas and chorizo and cook for another 5 minutes Spread the mashed avo on the toasted bread Spoon the chorizo and chickpeas on top Sprinkle with the parsley Season as preferred and serve Lemon Labneh, Cucumber Ribbons and Edamame Beans. This is summer on a plate. Cool, fresh, zesty and the prettiest of greens together. 1 large avo, thinly sliced and fanned 2 slices sourdough toast about a ⅓ cup labneh juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 small cucumber, shaved in ribbons a handful edamame beans Mix the lemon juice into the labneh and spread on top of the toast Place the avo on top and fan the slices Top with the cucumber ribbons and edamame beans Sprinkle the lemon zest on top Season as preferred and serve Miso Creamcheese, Grilled Mushrooms and Sesame Oil. This idea packs a punch of umami from the miso and mushrooms. The black sesame seeds add texture and some drama colour against the green of the avocado. Taste as you add the miso to the cream cheese to get the right flavour, too much miso will be overpowering and spoil the sandwich. 1 small avocado, peeled and cubed 2 slices sourdough toast 1 clove garlic, mashed 4 black mushrooms, sliced olive oil for frying about a ⅓ cup cream cheese, softened 1 – 2 tsp red miso sesame oil and seeds to serve Fry the garlic in the oil over medium heat until soft Add the mushrooms and saute for another 5 minutes or so until cooked While the mushrooms cook, mix the cream cheese with 1 tsp miso Taste and add more miso until you have the desired flavour Spread the cream cheese on the slices of toast Arrange the mushrooms on top Top with the avocado cubes Dress with the sesame oil and seeds Season as preferred and serve Aleppo Pepper Prawns and Aioli. Prawns and avocado is a winning flavour and colour combination. Here I added Aleppo pepper, named after the Syrian city but now largely grown in Turkey due to the war. It is a spicy pepper with tangy fruit and cumin undertones and is delicious. Not the easiest to find, so if you ever see it, grab a lot! You can use any dried chili flakes or paprika as an alternative. 1 large avo, sliced 2 slices sourdough toast 8 large prawns, deveined and peeled vegetable oil for frying 1 tbsp Aleppo pepper 2 tbsp aioli (garlic mayonnaise) snipped chives for garnish Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a pan and flash fry the prawns until cooked through and pink Arrange the slices of avocado on the slices of toast Top with the prawns and sprinkle liberally with the Aleppo pepper Drizzle with the aioli and sprinkle with the chives Season as preferred and serve   White Bean & Roasted Garlic Hummus and Dukkah. I can’t do a post about avo on toast and not do a vegan version. The roasted garlic adds a much richer garlic flavour than raw and using white beans for “hummus” makes a delicious change from chickpeas. 1 large avo, mashed with lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper 2 slices sourdough toast 1 tin cannellini beans, drained 3 cloves garlic, roasted until soft and squeezed out of the skins when cool 3 tbsp tahini 1 tsp ground cumin juice of half a lemon 1 tbsp dukkah Place the beans, garlic, tahini, cumin and lemon in a food processor and pulse until smooth Season as preferred, adding more lemon juice if needed Spoon the mashed avocado on the toast Swirl the bean hummus on top Sprinkle with the dukkah Season as preferred and serve Asparagus, Boiled Eggs and Harissa Mayo. A poached egg is synonymous with avo on toast but if your poached egg skills are as bad as mine, boiled eggs come to the rescue! Add some asparagus, mix some spicy harissa with mayo and you have the most delicious sandwich. 1 large avo, sliced 2 slices sourdough toast 2 boiled eggs, halved 6 asparagus spears, steamed 3 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tbsp harissa paste Place the avo slices on the toast Top with the boiled eggs and asparagus spears Mix the mayo and harissa and spoon on top Season as preferred and serve I hope you enjoy these recipe ideas for Avo on Toast. If you’ve made any of the versions, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoy. All the images in this post has been shot on the new PEACH GALETTE surface from my range of surfaces and backgrounds available for sale at shop.heinstirred.com. Do you have a look around, your favourite new surface may just be a click away. If you are looking for more quick, easy delicious meal ideas, my cookbook, DRUNK AND HUNGRY is available as a digital download. As the title states, the book consists of easy and flavourful recipes for when you find yourself drunk, and hungry. Savoury, sweet, vegan, vegetarian, bacon, cheese, spice, and carbs are packed into 15 easy recipes to satisfy your hunger while tantalising your tastebuds. The book has just been announced as the South African winner in the Digital Books category in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. It will now compete for Best in the World later this year at the Cookbook Fair in Paris. Purchase the book by clicking on this link

Ukrainian Garlic Bread

My current favourite recipe book is Mamushka by Olia Hercules. A friend told me a while back how interesting and delicious Ukrainian cuisine was and when I read about the book on Twitter towards the end of last year, I immediately ordered a copy. The cuisine is something that is totally foreign to me and I have loved reading about the food and the traditions Olia recalls. I have been itching to bake some of the fantastic breads in the book (amongst an array of recipes I want to try) and this Ukrainian Garlic Bread is the first recipe I want to share from the book. Olia’s introduction to the recipe made it impossible to resist baking the bread : “The word pampushka can be used to describe a gorgeous plump woman and is one of my favourite words. Pam-poo-shka! The pampushky are traditionally served with red borshch. In Ukraine, we would use regular garlic, so if you can’t find wet (new) garlic don’t worry – it will still be delicious. The recipe is easy (I did amend the quantity of yeast a bit and let the dough come to room temperature the next day) but you need to plan just a bit as it does prove overnight. It is such a delicious and beautiful loaf of bread, glistening with the garlic oil poured over it as it comes out of the oven. I have no doubt in my mind it will be an absolute winner at your next barbecue! Print Yum Ukrainian Garlic Bread Ingredients10g instant yeast 1 teaspoon caster sugar 225ml warm water (blood temperature) 400g white flour, plus extra for dusting 8g fine sea salt 3 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for oiling 20g wet (new) or regular garlic, crushed half a bunch parsley, finely chopped 1 egg, beaten to glazeInstructionsDissolve the yeast and sugar in the water Add 200g of the flour and mix roughly Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove in the refrigerator overnight Remove from the fridge and leave the sponge at room temperature for 30 minutes Add the rest of the flour and salt and knead on a well-floured work surface until the dough is smooth and comes away from your hands easily Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into round buns Put them side by side in an oiled round overnproof dish or caketin (20cm diameter), cover and let them prove in a warm place until doubled in size. They will join together just like hot cross buns Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C To make the garlic oil, simply stir the crushed garlic through the oil with a small pinch of salt and the parsley and let it infuse When the pampushky look plump and ready, brush them generously with some beaten egg and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until they form a golden crust Take the bread out from the oven and baste with the garlic oil Serve immediatelySchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/ukrainian-garlic-bread/   More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook 

Grilled Fig and Labneh Tartines

We’re at the the peak of summer and figs have finally made their appearance. These Grilled Figs and Labneh Tartines are a super quick and delicious way to use the fruit in more of a savoury dish. The idea is loosely based on fig recipes I have seen in Ottolenghi’s Plenty More and Joudie Kalla’s Palestine on a Plate, both some of my favourite cook books I often look at for inspiration. Tartine is really just a fancy name for an open sandwich and with these Grilled Fig and Labneh Tartines are a wonderful combination of chewy bagels, salty labneh, sweetness from the grilled figs and a tangy, almost sour counterbalance from the pomegranate molasses you use to marinade the figs in.  You can add some crunch to all those layers of flavour and textures by topping the tartines with chopped pistachios or dukkah. I love labneh and think the soft cheese makes a great base for these tartines. It is so easy to make at home and you can get the recipe by clicking here. I also have a range of recipes with labneh which you can fine on this link – labneh recipes. Enjoy! Our next Food Photography Workshop will take place this Saturday, the 17th of February 2018 and there is still a space or two available. Our goal for the day is to create a space where we all can play, learn from each other and have a lot of fun doing it. Come be inspired, get creative, get more comfortable with your camera and most importantly play. All the details can be found here and do let me know if you would like to join us for the day at the most beautiful location. Print Yum Grilled Fig and Labneh Tartines Ingredients12 small figs, halved lengthways (I used Rode de Bordeaux figs) 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses 1 tbsp Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tbsp water good pinch of sea salt leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme 2 bagels, halved 75g – 100g labneh (store bought or homemade) 1 tbsp chopped pistachios or dukkah (optional) few sprigs of thyme for serving InstructionsPreheat the oven grill and place the oven rack about 10cm below Mix the molasses, olive oil, water, salt and thyme leaves and gently mix the figs in the marinade Spoon the figs cut side up into an ovenproof dish and drizzle with the rest of the marinade Grill for 10 minutes until beginning to caramelise (keep watch that they do not burn) While the figs are grilling spread the labneh liberally onto the bagel halves Let the figs cool for a few minutes and spoon on top of the labneh Drizzle with some of the syrup in the oven dish Sprinkle with pistachios or dukkah and thyme for garnish Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/grilled-fig-and-labneh-tartines/ ** Olive Oil provided by Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I am proud to be associated with Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil and use it whenever a recipe requires Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The South African cold press extra virgin Olive Oil is produced in the Riversdale area, has a whiff of fresh cut grass and aromas of green tomatoes, almonds artichokes and green apples. A few more of my favourite recipes using figs : Fig Salad Vegan No Bake Granola Bars  

Breakfast

Strawberry Polenta Cakes

This recipe for Strawberry Polenta Cakes is a delicious sweet twist on the usual polenta recipes out there. Drizzled with maple syrup and custard they make for a delicious dessert. Cut the custard and you have a tasty breakfast treat. The thought of sweetening polenta has never crossed my mind but it kind of made perfect sense when I saw the recipe on What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today (how amazing is that name for a blog). Marta’s blog is a joy to read and the photography an absolute visual feast. I want to photograph like that… I adapted the recipe slightly and replaced the cinnamon with vanilla extract (I wanted to use a pod but did not have one but think it is a better option than using extract purely for visual purposes.) I chucked out the goji berries as I did not think they would add anything to the dish and to make things easier I just grilled the top of the pudding instead of frying each square as I thought it would be a mission with the strawberries falling out when turning over. One tip is not to place the strawberries too close to each other in the dish. Keep space so you can get the polenta in between the strawberries and not just on top. Serve the cakes with fresh strawberries for added splashes of colour and texture. Eat the cakes warm or at room temperature – it gets a bit rubbery when it cools down and gets cold.   Print Yum Strawberry Polenta Cakes Ingredients1 cup polenta 2 cups full cream milk 2 cups water ? cup sugar ½ tsp vanilla extract good pinch of salt 200g strawberries, halved melted butter for grilling fresh strawberries to serveInstructionsLine a 20 x 30cm rectangle pie dish with baking paper and place the strawberries cut side down Mix the polenta, milk, water, sugar, salt and vanilla in a pot and bring to the boil Turn down the heat and cook the polenta for about 15 minutes while stirring until thick and smooth Pour the polenta over the strawberries and smooth the top Let it stand for an hour Preheat the oven grill Brush the top of the polenta with butter and place under the grill until golden brown Turn the polenta out, cut into squares and serve with fresh strawberries, maple syrup or custardSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/strawberry-polenta-cakes/  

Spicy Baked Eggs

Another name for these Spicy Baked Eggs could easily be Hangover Breakfast. They combine all the elements that I want in a breakfast when the night before might have been too much fun: gluten, fat and spice! And if a breakfast pizza, loaded with cheese, eggs, bacon, sausage and chilli is not in easy reach (why do so few places make breakfast pizzas?), this is a great alternative. And even if the evening before does not need to be medicated with comfort food, this is a much less stressful way of serving breakfast for a crowd. Forget about getting the timing of each one’s fried eggs right or the scrambled eggs drying out. Also known as the North African dish, Shakshouka, the orignial recipe is vegetarian in nature and does not have any cheese or meat, while in the Middle East and Spain you can find it served with spicy sausage. There is also the famous Mexican version, Huevos Rancheros, but the eggs are usually scrambled and not kept whole. I think adding the ground beef just makes preparation easier and means you have breakfast pretty much all in one dish. Adjust the chilli to your personal preference. Try to get the best bread you can to mop up all that delicious sauce. Print Yum Spicy Baked Eggs Ingredientssplash of olive oil 1 red onion, finely sliced 1 clove garlic, mashed 1-2 fresh chillies, chopped (seeds removed if prefered) or 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes 500g ground beef mince 1 teaspoon beef stock (fond or powder) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin Tomato Sauce splash of olive oil 1 red onion, finely sliced 1 clove garlic, mashed 1-2 fresh chillies, chopped (seeds removed if prefered) or 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes 2 x 410g tinned chopped tomatoes 1 teaspoon sugar good pinch of salt and cracked black pepper Other 4 – 6 eggs 100g grated mature cheddar cheese To Serve mature cheddar cheese sliced pickled jalapeno 1 avocado, cubed chopped corianderInstructionsHeat the oil and add all the ingredients. Brown the meat over a high heat. Once browned, simmer over a medium high heat while stirring regularly until the beef is cooked and all the liquid has evaporated – about 10 minutes. Set aside. Tomato Sauce Heat the oil and add all the ingredients. Bring to a fast boil and reduce the heat to medium high and simmer the sauce, stirring regularly, until it has thickened a bit – about 10 minutes. Check the seasoning. Assembly Preheat the grill of the oven. Spoon the ground beef into an oven proof dish. Cover the meat with the tomato sauce. Make 4 – 6 (depending on the amount of eggs you are using) indents in the mixture and break an egg into each indent. Sprinkle with 2 thirds of the grated cheese and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the white of the eggs have set but the yolks still runny. Serve with some more grated cheese, chopped coriander, sliced pickled jalapenos and slices of good bread.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/spicy-baked-eggs/

Mumbai Cheese Toastie

If truth be told, this Mumbai Cheese Toastie should be called the “I Am Not Giving You Any Of My Toastie” Toastie. It is that good. The recipe for the cheese toastie comes from Diana Henry’s new book titled Simple – Effortless Food, Big Flavours. The book is without a doubt one of my favourite books. I love the photography (I think the cover is one of the most beautiful recipe book covers) and the recipes are hassle free, yet interesting, packed with flavour and delicious. The Mumbai Cheese Toastie was one of the first recipes to catch my eye and I had to get in the kitchen and make it. Diana writes that a friend told her about these sandwiches that are sold as street food in Mumbai. She was a bit sceptical about cheese with spices but it works really well. The fresh chutney that comes with the recipes is lip smackingly delicious and I would suggest you make double the chutney so you can dip the toastie in the chutney as you eat it. Any leftover can be stored in the fridge and served with another meal the next day. I used jalapenos (that is what I had) for the chutney and think they are a good choice of fleshy chillies without being too hot. I did reduce the lemon juice a bit from the original recipe as I found the chutney a bit too wet and the bread will go soggy so just add a splash or two for that acidic flavour. This is perfect Friday night in front of the television food. Make double the quantity (I promise that you will want more) and serve with some ice cold beers. Cheese toastie and beer, a meal fit for a king in my book. Enjoy! I have partnered with Nikon South Africa and will present a Food Photography Workshop on the 16th of March 2017 in Cape Town. I will spend the morning showing how I create and style an image and then hand over to participants to style and photograph their own images. I am really looking forward to this workshop and hope to see you there. Follow this link to book your spot. Print Yum Mumbai Cheese Toastie IngredientsFor 1 Sandwich: Fresh Chutney half a jalapeno chili handful coriander 10 large mint leaves 1 garlic clove, crushed sea salt flakes ½ tsp caster sugar squeeze of lemon juice For the Sandwich 2 slices of white bread 50g strong cheddar cheese. Grated 1 tomato, sliced ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced pinch of ground cumin pinch of ground ginger pinch of ground cinnamon pinch of ground coriander butter ¼ tbsp vegetable oil InstructionsPut all the chutney ingredients in a mortar and pound it with a pestle Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and set aside Spread the chutney over both slices of bread Lay the cheese, tomato and onion on one of them and sprinkle with the slices Top with the other piece of bread Melt a knob of butter and the oil in a frying pan and cook the sandwich for about 3 minutes on each side, pressing it down a few times with an egg lifter, and cook until the cheese is melted. Careful not to burn the sandwich and serve immediately From Simple by Diana Henry Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/mumbai-cheese-toastie/ More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook YouTube

Xmas Morning Muffins

Keep these in your arsenal for Xmas time to impress any annoying in-laws. Mix the dry ingredients the night before, combine with the fruit mince and other wet ingredients first thing Xmas morning and let the smell of fruit and spices waft through the house as the family and guests awake to these tasty delights baking in the oven. They make the perfect light Xmas morning breakfast. Serve as is or lightly buttered and topped with some mature cheese. I used a muffin tin with cavities 2x5cm (I had few tablespoons of mixture left over which I baked in a mini loaf tin at the same time) Print Yum Xmas Morning Muffins Ingredients2 cups self raising flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda ¼ teaspoon salt 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp mixed spice 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder ½ cup brown or caramel sugar 250g fruit mince 1 heaped teaspoon orange zest 300ml buttermilk 1 tsp vanilla extract 60ml vegetable oil 1 egg ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts brown sugar to sprinkle Icing sugar to dust (optional)InstructionsPreheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line the muffin tin with muffin cases of your choice. Sift the flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon, spice and coffee powder in a bowl. Add sugar, fruit mince and zest and stir to combine. In a separate jug, mix together the buttermilk, vanilla, oil and egg. Fold into the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Fill the muffin cases with the mixture, sprinkle with the nuts and sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Let the muffins cool a bit and dust lightly with some icing sugar before serving.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/xmas-morning-muffins/  

Cocktails and Drinks

Gin Fizz

The alcohol ban has been lifted (for now), it’s that February summer heat in Cape Town that makes me count the days to autumn and it is Valentines Day this weekend. I think that is reason enough for a cocktail or two and have taken a classic gin fizz and given it a bit of a makeover. According to Liquor.com, the first printed recipe for a Gin Fizz appeared in the 1876 edition of “The Bar-tenders Guide” by Jerry Thomas. The gin fizz is the frothy, bubbly, protein-packed cousin to the Tom Collins, which combines gin, lemon, sugar and soda. It is a super refreshing cocktail with the foamy top created by adding an egg white to the mix. Shake all the ingredients without the ice as this helps the ingredients to combine with the egg white. Then shake again with ice until ice cold and strain the contents into your glass for that foamy layered look. To make a gin fizz fit for Valentines Day, I added a few drops of red food colouring (use sparingly so it does not end up looking like a bloody broken heart), and a few drops of rose water for a beautiful floral flavour. Keep it local using one of the many delicious craft gins made in South Africa. I hope you enjoy this post for a Gin Fizz. If you’ve made it, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoy. The images in this post has been shot on two brand new surfaces from my range at shop.heinstirred.com. COOKIE CUTTER and SUNKEN PAVLOVA are without a doubt my current favourites and I have to stop myself shooting everything on them. And talking about the alcohol ban that was lifted, if you are looking for more quick, easy delicious meal ideas, my cookbook, DRUNK AND HUNGRY is available as a digital download. As the title states, the book consists of easy and flavourful recipes for when you find yourself drunk, and hungry. Savoury, sweet, vegan, vegetarian, bacon, cheese, spice, and carbs are packed into 15 easy recipes to satisfy your hunger while tantalising your tastebuds. The book has just been announced as the South African winner in the Digital Books category in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. It will now compete for Best in the World later this year at the Cookbook Fair in Paris. Purchase the book by clicking on this link

Festive Espresso Freddo

The best souvenir from a recent trip to Greece was the introduction to the Espresso Freddo, the chic Greek version of an iced coffee, enjoyed by most Greeks come rain or shine. So I think it’s apt that the last post for 2022 is two festive twists on this coffee. The Espresso Freddo is a double shot of hot espresso, poured into a cocktail shaker or jug with a few ice cubes and then blended with a handheld frother until ice cold and foamy.  Pour it into a glass over fresh ice, sweeten to taste if preferred and enjoy. The key is that you do not crush the ice while frothing, it is not a frappe, the ice is just there to cool down the coffee. If you do not have a frother you could shake the coffee and ice in the cocktail shaker until foamy. For my first festive twist on the Espresso Freddo, pour tonic water in the glass before topping up with coffee and watch the coffee slowly blend with the tonic. This is so delicious and if you’ve never had a tonic and coffee I do suggest you give it a go. The second Espresso Freddo twist is a spin on an Irish Coffee and great as an after lunch (or dinner) drink. All you do is add a tot of brandy, whiskey or liqueur of choice to the coffee before frothing. Decorate with a gingerbread biscuit and enjoy. I hope you enjoy these festive ideas for Espresso Freddo and wish you a you a safe and delicious festive season. Thank you to all the lovely comments here and on Instagram during the last year. Remember to always share your photos with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed. My 1 on 1 Lightroom training sessions are now live. Whether you are new to photo editing and want to learn from scratch or looking to refresh your skills, these online sessions are geared to your personal requirements and a great way to start 2023 with a few new skills. We do them online which makes it easy to schedule at a time that works for you. Another offering is Listening Partner Sessions, creating a space for you to chat to someone who has been there, started a food photography career (not having a clue) and have felt stuck themselves more than once. I am here to listen, give advice (creative or technical), discuss ideas and spark inspiration. I am the listening parter who knows how you feel but will not steal your clients or jobs.    

Cucumber and Ginger Fizz

I think this Cucumber and Ginger Fizz is the perfect drink to welcome Spring. The sun is definitely setting later and this refreshing drink is a gentle forecast to those long summer nights just around the corner. The recipe calls for a ginger cordial and I used a local cordial made in Wellington by Louise Steenkamp of Wild at Heart Cocktails. I had the pleasure of meeting Louise last year when I did an article for the first issue of Market Day – a journal published by Russel Wasserfall Food documenting a few of the vendors and their offerings at the Neighbourgoods Market on  a Saturday. I got to spend a wonderful day with Louise and her team, chatting about where it all began, watching them harvest fragrant rose geranium for one of the cordials and seeing the process right to end with bottles filled with sweet hand made cordials of Buchu, Lemon, Rose Geranium and Ginger. I remember how excited I was to get back to Cape Town – with a car filled with the aromatic scents of rose geranium and buchu – to create a few recipes for the journal using the cordials. The fizz is wonderfully refreshing as is but you could easily add a tot of vodka or gin to the mix for an adult cocktail. Don’t throw away the drained cucumber that you’re left with after collecting the liquid. Make a quick tzatziki and serve it on toasted bruschetta with the drinks. You will find Louise at the Oranjezicht City Farm every Saturday – do have a taste of her incredible cordials and make sure to stock up for summer. Print Yum Cucumber and Ginger Fizz IngredientsPer serving: 2 tbs cucumber juice 1 tbs Wild at Heart Ginger Cordial Ice cubes Sparkling water A wedge of lime Cucumber slices or ribbonsInstructionsPlace the cucumber juice and ginger cordial in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes. Give it a good shake and pour into a tumbler. Top with sparking water, add a squeeze of lime juice and garnish with the cucumber slices or ribbons. Serve immediatelySchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/cucumber-and-ginger-fizz/ * This recipe first appeared in Market Day Issue 1 and is available at selected retailers. More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook       

Apple, Ginger and Lemon Spritzer

Summer is in full swing in Cape Town and this recipe for a homemade Apple, Ginger and Lemon Spritzer will go a long way to refresh and cool down on those long, hot days ahead. Made from scratch with a homemade fresh ginger syrup,  apple juice and fresh lemon, it makes for a refreshing drink that is made with real ingredients not overloaded with sugar. And it is made even more delicious by carbonating it in the ultra sleek BIBO Fizz Bar. The BIBO Fizz Bar is unlike any other soda machine out there as it will add bubbles to anything. Tea infusions, juices, water, flat beer, cold drink or wine, you name it, the BIBO Fizz Bar will bring the bubbles. The fizz bar is not only sleek, stylish and compact but is a handy accessory to the kitchen. It requires no electricity or batteries, is super simple to clean, and easy to use. I have used the BIBO Fizz Bar for the last 5 months and not only found it to be easy to use and so convenient but it looks pretty good on my kitchen counter. Making the ginger syrup for the Apple Ginger and Lemon Spritzer is super easy but you need to make it in advance as it does need a few hours for the ginger to infuse. I purposely used less than a cup of sugar for the syrup as I did not want to overload the drinks with sugar. I think we are so used to sugar sweet carbonated drinks that you will need to taste and adapt the sugar in the recipe to your preference. Fruit juices are loaded with sugar so bear that in mind when you use  fruit juice as a mix. Store the unused syrup in the fridge for up to a month. You can replace the apple juice in the recipe with other juices. Grape juice will work really well but I think something more tropical like pineapple juice could be so good with the ginger. The slices of fresh apple really makes the drink so much more interesting (and delicious to nibble on once you have emptied your glass). Enjoy! Click here for more drinks recipes Print Yum Apple Ginger and Lemon Spritzer IngredientsSyrup: 150g fresh ginger ¾ cup sugar 1 lemon pinch of salt 2 cups water Drink: 2 cups clear apple juice ½ cup water ½ cup ginger syrup juice of ½ lemon To serve: 1 lemon, sliced 1 apple sliced InstructionsSyrup: Grate the ginger on the coarse side of a cheese grater Place the ginger in a small pot and add the sugar Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind of the lemon (make sure there is no pith) and add to the ginger and sugar as well as the juice of the lemon Add the salt and 2 cups of water and bring to the boil while stirring Remove from the heat, cover and let the syrup stand for a few hours to infuse and come to room temperature Strain through a strainer to remove the ginger and zest and store in an airtight container in the fridge Drink: Mix all the ingredients together Taste and add more ginger syrup or apple juice as desired Carbonate in the BIBO Fizz Bar as per instructions Serve with ice and garnished with lemon and apple slices Store the rest of the syrup in the fridge for up to a month Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/apple-ginger-lemon-spritzer/ More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook YouTube ** Disclaimer. This recipe was created for and paid by BIBO Fizz Bar. I was provided with a BIBO Fizz Bar at no cost to create recipes for BIBO and for my personal use.

Chocolate

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

I have mentioned before that quinoa is not one of my most favourite ingredients but when I saw the recipe on What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today for this Quinoa Breakfast Bowl I was so intrigued that I had to make it and try it out. And I was pleasantly surprised. I think using quinoa as a breakfast “cereal” really works. But then I don’t eat breakfast anymore so this was more of a sweetish late lunch for me. I decided to try Intermittent Fasting after reading about it in an article written by James Clear and have been following this pattern of eating for the last 4 months or so. The reasoning to try it was simple as due to being a food photographer I am constantly surrounded by food and I had to find a way of managing how I eat, without the agony of a calorie counting diet. I easily fell into a routine after the first week and have increased my fasting period to about 18 hours a day for 5 – 6 days a week. But I am not fanatic about it either. If I get invited to a lunch then that day I don’t follow my eating pattern and relax about it. I feel great, seem to have much more focus in the mornings when I work and don’t seem to be nearly that hungry during the morning if I had had breakfast to start with. The centimetres have fallen off and are still falling off while I am able to indulge (all within reason) in the delicious food I create and get to photograph. A win win in my book. I am not advocating this for anyone, just sharing how it is working for me in my situation. Right, back to this delicious Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. I have been seeing many breakfast bowls lately and Marta’s version looked so good. It is insanely easy to make and I tweaked the recipe to suit my taste. I cut the agave and used a whole banana for sweetness instead. I also cut the spinach and added a tablespoon of peanut butter. You can use any other nut butter for that extra protein boost and flavour. Use vegan milk like almond or coconut milk for a vegan bowl and start with half a cup and add more milk as needed to get the consistency you prefer. I had frozen blueberries in the freezer so used that rather than the strawberries in the original recipe. Choose the toppings as to what you have available but I think the more texture you add the better. Enjoy! More delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes here. And some more quinoa recipes here More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook Print Yum Quinoa Breakfast Bowl Ingredients½ cup uncooked quinoa, then cooked as per the packet instructions 1 cup frozen berries of your choice a whole banana 1 tbsp peanut butter (optional) ½ – 1 cup milk (use vegan milk for a vegan bowl) 1 tbsp cacao pinch of salt For serving: seed and nuts coconut flakes berries InstructionsPlace the fruit, milk, cacao and salt in a blender and blend well Combine the blend mix with the cooked quinoa and serve with seeds, nuts, coconut and berries Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/quinoa-breakfast-bowl/

Boozy Chocolate Sticky Buns

It does have a nice ring to it doesn’t it? The softest buttery brioche, plump boozy raisins and lashings of brandied caramel with hits of slightly bitter dark chocolate.  It all makes these sticky buns fantastic for a Christmas treat and very hard to resist. There is something so satisfying about baking with yeast. You cannot hurry the process and it is such a tactile, almost ritualistic experience. Getting your hands into slightly warm dough, kneading it to a silky smooth texture, diving in with both hands into the stringy dough after the first rise, punching out the air and preparing it for the next phase. I came across Drizzle and Dip’s recipe for Hot Cross Cinnamon Sticky Buns with its distinct Easter feel in April this year. It looked delicious and I immediately saved it, knowing that I would want to make a Xmas version, adding numerous splashes of brandy and definitely some dark chocolate for an added bit of Xmas decadence. She really had done all the hard work in writing the recipe, making it quite easy for me to adapt while not having to change too much to the basics of the recipe. Don’t be too intimidated by all the steps as it is pretty straight forward. Make the dough, rise, roll out, add filling, roll up, make sauce, cut into rolls, rise, bake and eat. It is quite a bit of work but I found following the steps quite relaxing. You can’t rush this, so having breaks to make some tea, see what’s happening on Twitter and begging for attention from the cat, makes for a relaxed morning of making something really good. I made it in one morning; it was a bit cool so I helped the rising process along by wrapping the dough in a duvet to create a warm bubble. Make sure the chocolate is not too finely chopped into a powder as you want small chunks that will melt in spots through the sticky buns. And my only insistence would be not to use milk chocolate but stick to a 70% dark chocolate, otherwise it will be just too sweet. These sticky buns are decadent enough as is and I don’t think they require the traditional cream cheese icing at all. Best eaten still warm fresh from the oven, the buns freeze well. I would take them out of the freezer for about an hour until defrosted and blitzed them in the microwave for 10 seconds or so to gently heat through. Print Yum Boozy Chocolate Sticky Buns IngredientsDough ¼ cup warm water 10g instant dry yeast 1tsp sugar 1/3 cup white sugar ¾ cup milk 50g butter, plus extra for greasing 3 large eggs 1 heaped tbsp finely grated orange zest 1tsp salt 4 cups flour (and extra for dusting) Plumping the raisins 1/3 cup boiling water 1/3 cup brandy Filling ½ cup muscavado sugar ¼ cup light brown or caramel sugar 1tbsp + 1tsp ground cinnamon 1tsp mixed spice 2 heaped tbsp candied citrus peel, finely diced 100g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks or blitzed in the food processor (not too fine) 1 cup raisins 40g butter, at room temperature Topping 115g butter ¾ cup muscovado sugar ¾ cup cream 1tbsp liquid glucose ¼ cup golden syrup 2 tbsp brandy 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp chocolate extract ½ cup raisinsInstructionsMake the Dough Combine the water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside for 5 minutes to dissolve and become frothy. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with only 3 of the 4 cups of flour. Fit a paddle attachment and mix on a low speed until just combined. Change to a dough hook attachment and mix. While mixing, slowly add the remaining 1 cup of flour, and continue to mix for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Grease a mixing bowl with butter and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the top with some more butter, cover with plastic cling wrap and set aside in a warm area to rise until doubled in size. (this can take about 1 – 2 hours) Plump all the raisins Place the raisins for the filling and topping in a bowl. Cover with the boiling water and brandy and let it steep for about 30 minutes. Strain into colander and let it drain. Divide into the quantity needed for the filling and sauce. Make the filling Combine all the ingredients except the butter and plumped raisins and mix. Set aside Assemble the buns Punch the risen dough down and tip onto a floured surface, sprinkle with more flour so the rolling pin does not stick and roll into a rectangular shape about 45cm long and 30cm wide. Dust off any excess flour and spread the softened butter for the filling over the entire surface. Sprinkle the sugar and chocolate filling evenly over this. Scatter 1 cup of raisins over the sugar mixture and gently press the filling down. Starting from the longest edge, roll the dough and filling up until you have a long log. Brush off any excess flour as you roll and keep the join seam underneath. Let the log rest where it is while making the topping Caramel Sauce Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat, and then add all the other ingredients except raisins. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has come together and is golden brown with a nice sheen (about 3–4 minutes). Pour ¾ of the glaze into baking pan (about 22cm x 32 cm), swirl this around to evenly coat the bottom. Set the rest of the sauce aside. Sprinkle the raisins over the sauce evenly. Trim the edges of the log and then cut it into 16 even pieces. Place the 16 cut slices of log on top of the caramel and raisins, allowing some space in between for proving. Cover with a tea towel and let it prove in a warm spot for about an hour. Baking Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C and bake the buns for 35 minutes until golden brown. Check the buns halfway through. If they are browning too fast, cover loosely with tin foil to prevent over browning. Remove from the oven and spread the remaining glaze over the buns. Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack. Tip out onto a large serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/boozy-chocolate-sticky-buns/ With my Flourless Chocolate Fruit Cake, it will be the only Xmas baking for this year and I think I have it pretty much covered. If you would like some other Xmas baking ideas, check out last year’s batch of recipes: Xmas Morning Muffins, Espresso Meringue Mince Pies and Chocolate Fruit Cake. But do subscribe to the blog as there are some other lovely Xmas ideas coming up!  

Chocolate Fruitcake

Also affectionately known as the “Get Me Out of Betty Ford Fruitcake” I am brave enough to say this cake is better than my mother’s and grandmother’s (on both sides) fruitcakes. I absolutely love fruitcake, could it eat all year long and have yet to buy a cake from a retailer that is really good. It is not a cheap cake to bake but for a little bit more than what you’d pay to buy a small cake I do think it is worth baking yourself. The cake started out as Nigella’s Chocolate Fruitcake but is now in its 3rd version. My first attraction to the recipe was the simplicity, the addition of coffee and cocoa which adds a wonderful depth to the cake as well as the relatively short resting period after baking which means you can still produce a fantastic cake in just over a week before Christmas. I increased and varied the fruit and alcohol as I like the cake to be rich, dark, with masses of fruit and very moist. The original recipe did not call for soaking the fruit overnight but I definitely think it improves the flavours. It is so good that I do imagine anyone would want to escape the Betty Ford clinic to try the cake! Tip: when it is winter and oranges are in season – zest a whole batch and store it in the freezer to have a summer stash of orange zest available. Print Yum Chocolate Fruitcake Ingredients350g dried prunes, chopped 250g prepacked dried fruit cake mix 125g raisins 125g sultanas 100g glace cherries 175g butter 175g brown sugar 175ml honey 100ml Tia Maria or coffee liqueur 50ml Van der Hum liqueur juice and zest of 2 oranges 1 teaspoon mixed spice 2 tablespoons cocoa 1 teaspoon instant coffee pinch of salt 3 eggs, beaten 175g flour 100g ground almonds 100g mixed nuts of your choice, roughly chopped (optional) 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 100ml rum or brandy 50ml sherry brandy or rum for brushing during restingInstructionsPlace the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, orange juice and zest, Tia Maria, Van der Hum, mixed spice, cocoa, coffee and salt in a saucepan and slowly bring to a slow boil while stirring. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and let it stand overnight in the fridge. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap touching the mixture to avoid a skin forming. Remove the fruit from the fridge the next morning and let it come to room temperature for a couple of hours which will make it easier to mix with the other ingredients. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees C. Line the sides and bottom of a 22cm loose bottom cake tin with baking paper. The sides of the tin needs to be about 7cm and use two strips of baking paper to line the sides – it is easier to work with than one long piece. Also make sure the paper is about 3cm higher than the edges of the tin. In a large bowl, add the eggs, flour, almonds, nuts (if used), baking powder, baking soda and salt to the fruit mixture and mix well. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 2 hours until the cake is firm and the top is quite shiny. Start testing if the cake is cooked 15 minutes before 2 hours are up by inserting a sharp knife into the middle of the cake. Do not worry if there is a very slight bit of moist batter attached to the knife. If the cake is too uncooked return to the oven for another 15 minutes and test again. Cover the top with foil so that the cake does not become too dark on top. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and pierce some holes with a sharp knife. Mix the brandy or rum and sherry and carefully pour it over the hot cake. Let the cake cool down complete and remove from the cake tin. Wrap tight in tinfoil and let it rest for 10 days in an airtight container. After 5 days of resting brush the cake liberally with some more brandy or rum, wrap again in tin foil and rest for the other 5 days. Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/chocolate-fruitcake/ Wine recommendation from Conrad Louw: I love the words luscious and decadent when it comes to describing food and wine, yet I use it sparingly and only when fitting.  Well, this cake is decadent and a must bake.  Pairing a drink with it, I thought had to be different to my favourite Potstill, and neither something cloyingly sweet such as a Port style wine.  Yet, I wanted something sweet and Brandy-ish.  That’s when I grabbed one of my bottles of  Nectar de Provision NV from uniWines in the Breedekloof. This is 100% Colombar, one of the widest planted white varieties in SA (after Chenin Blanc) but usually produces rather dull bland wines – hence it mostly being destined for distillation.  The Colombar grapes were picked late and ripe, fortified with brandy (anything between 15.5 – 16.5%) then aged in a solera system.  This has added to its complexity and luscious layers so it can stand next to the cake without the one overpowering the other.  The solera obviously must have given the amongst others some orange peel notes on the nose and palate, further complimenting the ingredients of the cake. Do yourself the favour – once you have baked the cake (and it’s a must) –  start looking for a bottle of Nectar de Provision.  

Molten Salted Caramel and Chocolate Puddings with Smoked Salt

If you are going to do puddings you might as well go all out and do it properly. And these Molten Salted Caramel and Chocolate Puddings with Smoked Salt is my valiant attempt at doing it properly. I certainly think I have succeeded. I can’t take any of the credit though. I was wide awake one morning and I while scrolling through Instagram at 4am, an image of Gizzy Irskine’s Molten Caramel and Chocolate Puddings appeared on Matt Inwood’s feed. I immediately knew I had to make these puddings. The puddings are just fantastic. Molten hot or ice cold (the refrigerated leftovers the next day was so amazing). As Izzy writes, they are messy, gooey, salty, sweet and chocolatey. The puddings are a delicious flavour  play with the bitterness of the chocolate and salty depth of the caramel. I changed the recipe slightly and reduced the sugar by almost half and I eliminated the maple syrup (purely for the reason that I did not have any syrup at the time). I always add coffee when baking with chocolate so added a teaspoon of instant espresso powder. And for the fun of it I used smoked salt when making the salted caramel. The smokiness does not come through as a distinct flavour but I would like to believe it adds depth to the caramel. I don’t think you need to serve crème fraiche with it as in the original recipe – it is far too rich. Serve it with a bit of the left over caramel. You can put in a bit less in the ramekins and keep more for serving, that will cut the sweetness a bit for the non sweet tooth people. And these Molten Salted Caramel and Chocolate Puddings with Smoked Salt makes an easy dinner party dessert. Make the caramel in advance, get all the other ingredients ready and then just melt, whisk, bake and eat. I have been wondering what it will taste like if I add about 3 tablespoons of peanut butter to the caramel. Could be pretty good. I will have to try it. Enjoy! Click here for many more festive recipes Print Yum Molten Salted Caramel and Chocolate Puddings with Smoked Salt Ingredients150g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing 160g good-quality dark chocolate 50g cocoa powder 1 tsp instant espresso powder small pinch of sea salt flakes 4 free-range eggs 120g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 3 tbsp double cream For the caramel 150g caster sugar 65g butter, diced 100ml double cream 1 tsp sea salt flakes (or smoked salt) InstructionsButter six medium ramekins (or a 5cm x 11cm baking dish) To make the caramel, melt the sugar with a splash of water in a saucepan over a medium heat until it is a light golden colour Whisk in the butter, then the double cream and finally the salt Pour the caramel about 1cm deep into the base of prepared ramekins or dish, then leave in the fridge for 20 minutes to set Reserve any caramel left over for serving. When the caramel has almost set, start making the chocolate pudding Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C Melt together the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee and salt in a heatproof bowl over a bain-marie, stirring until it is smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and well creamed Beat in the vanilla extract and double cream, then pour in the chocolate mixture and combine well. Pour the pudding mixture on top of the set caramel and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s puffed up and set on top but still has a slight wobble in the very centre. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for five minutes Serve with any left over caramel or left over double cream thinned down Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/molten-salted-caramel-chocolate-puddings/ More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook YouTube

Chicken

Whole Roast Masala Chicken

This recipe for Whole Roast Masala Chicken made its way to me via a Telegraph article written by Diana Henry about quick Indian dishes to make at home. She in turn got the recipe on twitter from FoodWithMustard. The sound of the recipe was just too good for me not to try and it is absolutely fantastic. The kicker in this recipe is the overnight yoghurt marinade and the incredibly delicious masala butter that you spread underneath the chicken skin. The yoghurt tenderises the meat and the masala butter flavours the meat with the curry spices. I often cook and bake with yoghurt and have a number of recipes on the blog that I absolutely love : Yoghurt Marinated Lamb Curry, Apple Yoghurt Cake and this delicious No Churn Banana Peanut Butter Frozen Yoghurt. I have used the terms perfect and best quite a few times with various chicken recipes, The Perfect Roast Chicken and The Best Peri Peri Chicken Ever and I can say this recipe is certainly amongst these as one of the best chicken dishes I have made. Granted that an overnight marinade is not a quick meal but with a bit of preplanning it is so worth it. It smells absolutely amazing while it roasts and the meat is soft, juicy and melts in the mouth. I did not make my own masala mix and used store bought which I had in the cupboard. But taste the strength of the masala you use and add a bit more chilli if needed. The better the spice mix the better the flavour of the chicken. I served the chicken with crispy roast potatoes, plain yoghurt and fresh coriander. Piled onto a warm naan bread you will be in foodie heaven. Enjoy! Get some more divine chicken recipes here. More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook Print Yum Whole Roast Masala Chicken Ingredients1.8kg chicken For the yogurt marinade: 500g plain full fat yoghurt 6 fat cloves garlic, crushed 2cm piece ginger, peeled and finely grated ½ tbsp chilli powder 1 tsp turmeric or 2cm fresh, peeled and finely grated For the masala butter: 100g softened butter 1 ½ tbsp garam masala mix OR make your own : 1 tbsp ground coriander ½ tbsp ground cumin 1 tsp hot chilli powder (or to taste) 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp ground turmeric 2-3 fat cloves garlic, crushed 1cm piece ginger, peeled and grated InstructionsMix the yoghurt with the other marinade ingredients Place the chicken in a large freezer bag and spoon the yoghurt over the chicken and into its cavity. Leave for at least two hours but ideally overnight, in the fridge turning occasionally. Mix the butter with the spices, garlic and ginger Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C Remove the chicken and leave to sit at room temperature for about 45 minute Remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe off the excess Carefully make a pocket underneath the skin of the breast by slipping your fingers in between the skin and the flesh and loosen the skin over the legs and thighs. Spread the masala butter underneath the skin, down over the legs, thighs and breast on both sides Spread the remaining butter on top of the skin and sprinkle with sea salt and place on a roasting tray. Roast the chicken for one hour and 10 minutes, basting with the butter a few times Cover the chicken lightly with foil if it browns too dark When it is cooked, the juices between the leg and the rest of the bird should run clear, with no trace of pink Cover the bird with a double layer of foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes before serving with the cooking juices Serve with roast potatoes, plain yoghurt, fresh coriander and naan bread Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/whole-roast-masala-chicken/  

Chicken and Chickpea Curry

This is one of those dishes with maximum reward for absolute minimal effort. Make the marinade, pop everything in a bag and leave it overnight in the fridge, it can’t get easier. I first came across the recipe on my friend Selma’s fantastic blog called Selma’s Table. The dish was aptly named Extraordinary Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Chickpeas and she had won a Food 52 contest for “The Best One Pot Meal” with the dish.  A few days later I asked her if I could make it for this blog and she graciously agreed. I also had the audacity to ask if I could give it my own twist and she was more than happy for me to twist away. So this Chicken and Chickpea Curry is the delicious end result. I wanted to simplify the ingredients even more so had two ideas. If it was summer, I would keep the aromatics in the yoghurt marinade to just lemon, garlic and loads of rosemary. All flavours that work fantastic with chicken, potatoes and chickpeas. I think it would make a wonderful summer dinner with a crisp salad and a bottle of wine. But since we still have the odd cool day at the moment, I decided to go the spicy route and add a curry mix (and some more chilli). I was so happy with the results that I made it twice in one week, playing with different flavours. With the potatoes and chickpeas I don’t think you need to worry about rice and I just added a few naan breads which I bought from the Eastern Food Bazaar, just around the corner from me. Add some plain yoghurt, chopped coriander and a few bottles of beer and you have a pretty satisfying dinner. Perfect for when you have some friends over during the week.   I do love a delicious curry and I have another fabulous recipe on the blog, this Chicken and Chickpea Coconut Curry, which is one of the most popular recipes I have posted and definitely worth a try as well. Print Yum Chicken and Chickpea Curry Ingredients1 tin chickpeas (400g) 700g baby potatoes, halved if on the small side, otherwise quartered. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and bashed 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or thighs and drumsticks Marinade 1 tbsp olive oil Juice of 1 large lemon 100ml plain yoghurt 2 tbsp fruit chutney 2 1bsp curry powder or curry paste of your choice 1 tsp (or more) chilli flakes (optional and to taste) 6 cardamom pods – bruised 1 heaped tsp turmeric 1 tsp saltInstructionsMix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place with the chicken, potatoes and garlic in a large freezer bag or plastic container. Add the marinade and give it all a good mix. Close the bag or container and place in the fridge for about 24 hours (or at least over night). Turn it over every time you open the fridge. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C Place all the ingredients in a single layer in a large roasting tray and cover tightly with foil. Roast for one hour. After an hour check the potatoes. If still slightly raw, pop it back in the oven, covered with foil for a further 15 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for a further 15 minutes until the chicken and potatoes begin to crisp. Keep a close eye that the marinade does not start to burn. Serve with plain yoghurt, chopped coriander, naan bread and beer Adapted from Selma’s TableSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/chicken-and-chickpea-curry/ Wine suggestion by Conrad Louw, CWM: Curry is always a great culinary pleasure to pair wine with.  If it is mild, go for a fragrant white such as a well-made Riesling; Gewürztraminer or Bukettraube.  Especially when using cardamom pods, which makes it very fragrant, the pleasure will be there.  As a personal preference, I like hot curry, which makes the “chicken or beef?” option very easy – go for red, and by red I mean “local is lekker” – Pinotage.  My latest 2 top Pinotages are without a doubt Wildekrans Pinotage 2012 available at selected shops, or at their cellars in Botriver.  And then if you feel like really treating yourself – Rijk’s Pinotage Reserve 2010. Now that is a big red wine that can complement any BIG curry.  Fairly pricy – but spoil yourself!  

Fakeaway Peking Chicken

This is another “fakeaway” recipe, a homemade meal that replicates your favourite takeaway from a restaurant and I think the timing is just right to share this Fakeaway Peking Chicken recipe. It could not be shorter or simpler for a Friday evening dinner. But first, I am thrilled to introduce the Heinstirred + @arkworkshop range of wooden homeware. Crafted by hand just outside of Cape Town and made from indigenous Kiaat and Oak, each piece reflects the natural beauty and distinct character of the wood grain. The range consists of 6 spoons of various sizes and functions, a spreader and a cake lifter. The design focus was the flow of form to proportion with slightly exaggerated lengths for the latte, serving spoons and salad servers. The concept behind the colourful handles of the salad servers was to bring the outdoors to your table , bright, bold and certainly fun. For your table, your kitchen, your studio or a treasured gift. You can view the range as well as my currently available ceramics by clicking on this link. This recipe for Fakeaway Peking Chicken could not be easier and if I remember correctly I saw it on Brendan Pang’s Instagram stories a while ago. Mix the sauces, vinegar and oil, baste the chicken, roast, baste again, rest and serve. If you don’t have plum sauce, replace it with plum jam but add a bit more vinegar to cut the sweetness. If you like it spicy add more chili oil. I made “proper” spring onion pancakes and served the chicken with sliced cucumber and spring onions, and extra hoisin sauce on the side. You could also make these spring onion pancakes by Bill Granger which is more of a traditional pancake batter with added spring onions. They will be delicious. If you rather want to make this over the weekend for your barbecue, just marinade the chicken overnight in the sauce and cook on the barbecue. I hope you enjoy making this recipe for Fakeaway Peking Chicken . If you’ve made it, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoy. If you are looking for more quick, easy delicious meal ideas, my cookbook, DRUNK AND HUNGRY is available as a digital download. As the title states, the book consists of easy and flavourful recipes for when you find yourself drunk, and hungry. Savoury, sweet, vegan, vegetarian, bacon, cheese, spice, and carbs are packed into 15 easy recipes to satisfy your hunger while tantalising your tastebuds. Purchase the book by clicking on this link

Asian Inspired Shredded Chicken Salad

There is a definite chill in the evening air lately but the days are still gloriously warm which makes this Asian Inspired Shredded Chicken Salad a delicious salad meal in autumn. And perfect for a long weekend Monday like today.   A great way of utilising left over cooked chicken the salad packs a punch of flavour, texture and colour. I think soaking the shredded chicken in the salad dressing amplifies the flavour just that much more rather than adding the dressing at the end. Serve the salad as a light meal but it will be as good as a filling for a sandwich, wrap or in a toasted pita. Cut the carbs completely by making the wraps with large lettuce leaves. Print Yum Asian Inspired Shredded Chicken Salad Ingredients2 cups cooked chicken, shredded 1 cup shredded baby cabbage 2 spring onions, thinly sliced 2 carrots, grated 1 cucumber, sliced into strips ½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint ½ cup roughly chopped fresh coriander or parsley Dressing: 2 tbsp lime juice 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar 1 tbsp chili sauce (like Sriracha) 1 clove garlic, mashed 1 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp fish sauce 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce 1 tbsp sesame oil To serve: 3 tbsp cup roughly chopped peanuts sliced chilli – optionalInstructionsCombine all the dressing ingredients and whisk well until the sugar has dissolved Add the shredded chicken to the dressing, give it a good mix and let the chicken soak in the dressing while you prepare the rest of the ingredients Once the salad ingredients have been prepped, combine them in a bowl and top with the dressed chicken Toss the salad gently until combined, sprinkle with the peanuts and chilli and serveSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/asian-inspired-shredded-chicken-salad/ We’ve had a number of enquiries for the next Food Photography Workshop and I am pleased to confirm the 15th of May 2016 for the next one. Let me know if you would like to attend. More details here . ** This recipe first appeared in the Sunday Times Food Weekly More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook 

Christmas and Holidays

Karak Cheesecake

I am a latecomer to Karak and Lotus Biscoff biscuits but it has been pretty much love at first taste and this Karak Chai Cheesecake is a dessert I wanted to make ever since that first taste. Karak has its origins in Indian and Pakistani households where Masala Chai is a way of life. Roughly translated as “tea with spices”, the flavourful and milky tea has become part of Qatari tradition. I saw a post on Ayesha Mayet’s Instagram feed about Karak tea and she kindly sent some tea for me to try. Also in the parcel was a pack of Lotus Biscoff biscuits I have never tasted before. The combination of the spicy and sweet cardamon infused tea and crunchy biscuits were delicious. I immediately thought the taste combination of the tea and biscuits could make a delicious creamy dessert, a “fridge tart”, a cheesecake or something along the lines of a tiramisu. I wanted to keep the dessert easy so decided to make individual cheesecakes served in glasses. Layers of crunchy biscuits, creamy karak cheesecake mix of cream cheese, yoghurt, vanilla and double cream with a dollop of melted Lotus Biscoff spread on top. All crowned with another biscuit.  I kept the added sugar to the minimum, the tea mix and biscuits are quite sweet, but do taste as you go along. You could easily make the dessert in a large glass bowl, trifle style. Quick, easy and so delicious. The plate used in the images is a piece from my handmade tableware. Each piece is handmade by myself, with the focus of the pieces are on textures, forms, shapes and colours, indulging in the beauty of perfect imperfections, thereby ensuring no two pieces are alike.  Click here to view the current selection of pieces. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Karak Cheesecake. If you’ve made it, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed.   If you are looking for more quick, easy delicious meal ideas, I have a new e-cookbook, EVERYDAY TRAYBAKES, and it is now available as a digital download. The aim of the 18 recipes in EVERYDAY TRAYBAKES is to spark fresh cooking inspiration with new ideas and interesting flavour combinations. From Asia to the Middle East and Mediterranean, while firmly remaining within the realm of easy cooking, the book is proof that delicious, wholesome meals do not need hours of prep. The recipes range from unpretentious weeknight family dinners, spur of the moment entertaining, easy breakfasts for a crowd and modern ideas with vegetables. No book of mine will be complete with a sweet ending and there are 4 sweet baking recipes that require no special baking skills, in fact the pudding is mixed in the dish you will bake it in. Recipes include Thai Green Curry Spatchcock Chicken, Oven Baked Masala Omelette with Paneer, Salmon and Leek Traybake with Herb Dressing, No Boil Pasta Bake with Shiitake Mushrooms and Pangrattato, Sichuan Pepper Chicken and Potatoes, Rocky Road Squares and Vanilla Milk Soak Sheet Cake You can get the book by clicking here  ** Add Drunk and Hungry to your EVERYDAY TRAYBAKES purchase and only pay R120 ($8) for both books

Baked Ricotta Tart

This Baked Ricotta Tart is the first recipe of the new year and the new decade. And I think it is such a delicious and versatile recipe to start 2020 on heinstirred. Great for brunch, lunch or dinner and the topping combinations are endless no matter what the season or occasion. The inspiration for this Baked Ricotta Tart comes from Delicious Australia, and the ricotta base forms a blank canvass that you can dress up as you please. A combination of ricotta, mascarpone and parmesan, mixed with two eggs and baked. It is crustless and glutenfree, making the tart suitable for all tastes and preferences. As it is summer in South Africa at the moment, I kept the topping seasonal and summery. A slather of pungent and herby basil pesto topped with fresh multi coloured tomatoes. Stock up on heirloom tomatoes at your next visit to the farmer’s market and adorn the ricotta tart base with them. You can change the toppings depending on the season and the occasion. The pesto forms a good base of flavour but it does not have to be basil. A red pepper pesto or rocket pesto would work great as well. A beetroot pesto would look so good and probably tinge the top of the ricotta tart to a light pink colour. Keep it vegetarian, there is enough protein in the base so I don’t think it needs meat in the topping. Roast the tomatoes as a variation, or roast beetroot or butternut. If you roast the veggies, you lose some texture so a roasted vegetable topping would need some texture in the form of roasted and topped nuts. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Baked Ricotta Tart. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred I love baking with ricotta, savoury or sweet. In fact, the most popular recipe on heinstirred is this Lemon Ricotta Cake posted right at the beginning of heinstirred about 6 years ago.  The cake is utterly delicious and so worth baking. Enjoy! Print Yum Baked Ricotta Tart Ingredients750g ricotta cheese 250g mascarpone cheese 40g parmesan cheese, grated zest of 1 lemon sea salt flakes and ground black pepper to season 2 eggs, lightly beaten 130g basil pesto 350g fresh heirloom tomatoes, halved fresh basil leaves InstructionsPreheat the oven to 180 degrees C  Grease and line a 20cm round baking tin with baking paper Place the ricotta, mascarpone, parmesan and lemon zest in a bowl Mix until combined and season well Mix in the eggs until combined Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top Bake for 1 hour, cover with foil and bake for another 15 minutes until firm and golden (it should have a slight wobble in the middle) Cool the tart completely in the tin Once cool, remove from the tin and place in a serving platter Spread the pesto on top of the tart  Place the halved tomatoes on top and decorate with fresh basil leaves Serves 6Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/baked-ricotta-tart/

Peanut Butter Caramel Slices

These Peanut Butter Caramel Slices should come with a warning. They are insanely good and it takes a lot of self control to not have a next one and another after that. If there is one recipe you ever make from this blog I think this one is it, especially with all the holidays coming up and cookie jars that need to be filled for arriving friends and family. I first came across the recipe on Cook Republic‘s Instagram feed and thought I would make these for Cookie Swap 4 a while back, but of course when Cookie Swap came around I had completely forgotten of my plans made. The original recipe did not have peanut butter as an ingredient but I thought the peanut butter would work really well with the caramel. It is not overly “peanutty” but gives a good background flavour. Food is all about texture and cookies and biscuits are some of the best vehicles to play with textures. The peanut butter cookie base has a crumbly, almost sandy like texture and on top of that is the smooth, gooey and rich caramel topping. I took the caramel to quite a dark bake – keep an eye on the oven and make sure you do not burn the delicious topping.   These slices are very sweet and utterly rich so keep them on the small side when cutting. From the tin I used, I managed about 30 squares and for most people (myself excluded) one slice at a time will be more than enough. I also think  replacing the vanilla extract with coffee extract would add a tasty variation. On baking, the caramel did stick to the baking paper around the edges so you will have to trim it a bit but was quite easy to do and I didn’t lose too much biscuit. Print Yum Peanut Butter Caramel Slices IngredientsCookie 130g peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) 100g butter 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla extract 3/4 cup desiccated coconut 3/4 cup caramel or brown sugar 1 1/2 cups flour Topping 125g butter 385g condensed milk 1/3 cup golden syrup pinch of salt InstructionsPreheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a baking pan of about 20cm x 30cm with the baking paper hanging over the edges. Make the cookie base Melt the butter and peanut butter. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Place coconut, sugar, flour in a bowl. Add the melted butter mixture and mix until well combined. Press the mixture thinly into the bottom of the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until golden. Make the caramel Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the condensed milk, golden syrup and salt. Stir constantly over a low heat to avoid sticking and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the caramel has thickened and smooth. Pour caramel mixture onto the baked cookie layer. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the caramel is bubbly and a golden brown. Remove from the oven. Cool for a couple of hours until firm and then slice and serve. Adapted from cookrepublic.comSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/peanut-butter-caramel-slices/

Negroni Sbagliato

This recipe for Negroni Sbagliato comes from Nigella Lawson’s new book At My Table that was published a week or so ago and as we are heading into Spring with longer days and warmer evenings, I thought it was just the right first recipe to make from the book. Negroni Sbagliato is more of a spritz with prosecco (or in my version a local MCC sparkling wine), replacing the gin in the original Negroni recipe. Nigella writes that it is said the Negroni Sbagliato had been created by a happy accident in the Bar Basso in Milan in the 60’s. “Sbagliato (roughly pronounced “sbalyato”) means mistaken in Italian so this is best translated as Messed-Up Negroni.” As Nigella says, her recipe messes up the Negroni Sbagliato even more and she changes the proportions of the bubbly, Campari and Vermouth, serving it in a pitcher rather than making individual cocktails. I am all for the pitcher idea, it makes it much more fuss-free than hassling with tot measures and guests are encouraged the help themselves. At My Table is the 5th Nigella Lawson book I have and from all of those this is the most “toned down” book. The recipes are pretty straight forward and very much simple home cooking fare. I think some people might be disappointed as it is not on that sumptuous level of Feast or How To Be A Domestic Goddess.  I have been spending quite a bit of time with the book and it has slowly but surely been growing on me. I love the recipe for the White Chocolate Cheesecake that’s only got 7 ingredients (I’m thinking of a peppermint crisp version) and the Spatchcock Chicken with White Miso and Sesame Seeds (that will be so good on the braai). The Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse has also catched my eye so I am sure to make and share a few more recipes from book. Serve the Negroni Sbagliato with loads of ice and orange slices. Enjoy! I hope you enjoy this recipe for Negroni Sbagliato. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. I am pleased to introduce my new cookbook, Drunk and Hungry available as an epub and pdf download. As the title states, the book consists of easy and flavourful recipes for when you find yourself drunk, and hungry. Savoury, sweet, vegan, vegetarian, bacon, cheese, spice, and carbs are packed into 15 easy recipes to satisfy your hunger while tantalising your tastebuds. You can purchase the book by clicking on this link.     A few of my favourite cocktails and drinks : Passion Fruit Champagne Espresso Martini Cucumber and Ginger Fizz

Deli

Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms and Garlic Toasties

This post is in collaboration with La Motte Wine Estate. The inspiration for this Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms and Garlic Toasties came from the reality of reaching that stage of the lockdown where I had only one bottle of wine left.  So enjoying that bottle wine with a delicious bowl of autumn comfort was not negotiable. It was a bottle of La Motte Millenium, a South African interpretation of the famous Bordeaux-style red blend with Merlot (44%), Cabernet Franc (37%), Petit Verdot (9%) and Malbec (10%). It is a complex wine with a dusty, earthy nose with raspberry and mulberry fruit, cinnamon spice and a hint of mint that pairs well with mild curries, creamy dishes and mushrooms. So I took my cue from a recipe by Chef Eric Bulpitt, Executive Chef of Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant to create a comforting and homely mushroom soup to enjoy with the Millenium. It has been a while since I have done a soup for the blog, and I think this Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms is a delicious addition to the collection of recipes on here. The creamy mushroom soup is served with marinated mushrooms, and not only do they add texture but the acidity of the marinated mushrooms cuts through the rich creaminess of the soup. A bowl of soup needs crusty bread, so I toasted some ciabatta bread slices, smashed a clove of garlic, and mixed it into some extra virgin olive oil with chopped fresh parsley. A spoonful spread on the slices of bread is delicious. You could swap out the oil with salted butter and slather that on the slices of bread. If you find raw garlic too strong, roast a few cloves and squeeze the soft garlic out of the skin and mix with parsley and oil. I used portabellini mushrooms to marinade and a mix of shitake and portabellini mushrooms for the soup, but you can use any mushrooms of your choice and what you can find when you head out to the shops. The more flavourful the mushroom the more delicious the soup will be. If you want to keep the soup vegan, replace the cream with coconut milk. There may be some marinated mushrooms leftover, spoon them on a piece of sourdough with a slice of mature cheddar – so good! I hope you enjoy this recipe for Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed. Print Yum Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms and Garlic Toasties IngredientsMarinated mushrooms 200g small portobello mushrooms, cleaned and halved 50ml apple cider vinegar 50ml extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 thyme sprig sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper Mushroom Soup 100g shallots, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, mashed olive oil for frying 100ml sherry 600g mushrooms such as portabellini, shitake, porcini, cleaned and roughly chopped 1 sprig thyme 500ml warm vegetable stock 250ml cream (or coconut milk) sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper Garlic Toasties 1 clove garlic, mashed handful, chopped fresh parsley 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil slices of bread, toasted InstructionsTo make the marinated mushrooms, place all the other ingredients except the mushrooms in a saucepan and bring to a boil then pour over the cut mushrooms Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours to cool Make the soup by heating some oil in a saucepan and add the shallots and garlic Sweat the vegetables over a low heat until soft and translucent Deglaze with the sherry and add the mushrooms and thyme Give it a stir and cook for a few minutes Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes Add the cream or coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes Season to taste Use a stick blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency and keep warm while making the toasties Make the garlic toasties by mixing the garlic, parsley and olive oil and spreading onto the just toasted bread Serve the soup in bowls, topped with some marinated mushrooms and the toasties Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/mushroom-soup-with-marinated-mushrooms/

Fries with Homemade Furikake Seasoning and Wasabi Mayo (Seaweed Fries)

In hindsight with all the big sport events of the past weekend I should have posted this recipe for Fries with Homemade Furikake Seasoning and Wasabi Mayo last Monday already but have been so focussed with shooting my first feature for a magazine in Germany that planning relevant blog posts flew out of the window. Also known as Seaweed Fries these fries make a delicious delicious umami rich snack and once you start they are hard to resist. The recipe for the Furikake Seasoning makes more than enough seasoning for countless portions of piping hot fries but you can also use it to jazz up roasted vegetables, popcorn, grilled corn on the barbecue in fact any dish that needs a bit of jazzing up. The options are endless. Plus there is a trick to eating these fries. First of all make sure the fries are crunchy golden and piping hot. Give them a good sprinkle of the Furikake Seasoning and then a good shake to make sure all the fries are coated. Dip a few fries in the wasabi mayo, then for a second dip in the Furikake Seasoning and they are ready to be devoured. Repeat the process until satisfied or the fries have run out! Furikake Seasoning is a dry Japanese seasoning usually sprinkled on rice and vegetables. It is made of benito flakes, chopped, dried seaweed (I used nori sheets), sesame seeds and some salt and sugar. You dry fry the nori sheets until crispy, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a fine texture. I love seaweed. I am always buying those roasted seaweed snacks from Woolies and when I saw the seaweed fries on a friend’s instagram account I had to make them. Finding benito flakes was a bit tricky but I managed to track them down at Chefs Warehouse on Bree Street in Cape Town. As mentioned, the seasoning will perk up many other ingredients so keeping a batch handy is not a bad idea at all. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Fries with Homemade Furikake Seasoning and Wasabi Mayo. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. Print Yum Fries with Homemade Furikake Seasoning and Wasabi Mayo (Seaweed Fries) IngredientsFurikake Seasoning : 4 sheets nori 45g sesame seeds 10g bonito flakes 2 tsp sugar 2 tsp sea salt To Serve: Hot Fries Mayonnaise mixed with wasabi (to taste) InstructionsDry fry the nori sheets individually in a pan over a medium heat for about 7 minutes until it starts to brown and break apart easily Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a course mix Place the hot fries in a large bowl Dress liberally with the furikake and mix well Serve immediately with some wasabi mayo and more seasoning on the sideSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/homemade-furikake-seasoning-seaweed-fries/ More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Facebook A few more of my favourite snack recipes : Polenta Crumbed Haloumi Chips Sweet Potato Fries with Coriander Yoghurt Zucchini Labneh Naan Pizza      

Boerewors Nachos

This Boerewors Nachos is one of the recipes featured in the past weekend’s Sunday Times Food Weekly. The brief was to create some delicious snacks to give the rugby fans something to cheer about. Even if the game might not be going their way. It is tasty, filling, cheesy, crunchy, colourful and I think does a good job at keeping everyone happy while watching the big game. I wanted to add a local flavour to this delicious snack and thought that boerewors – a local beef sausage spiced with coriander – will give it that true South African touch. Use any of your favourite local sausages to replace the boerewors. Lamb, Pork, a good Chorizo or even a flavourful chicken sausage will be as good. Or cut out the meat completely. I find that store bought nacho chips can easily go soggy and made my own chips by dividing flour tortillas into eights and toasting them in the oven. This yielded a more substantial chip that did not go soggy but use the store bought chips if you are pressed for time. In my experience you can never have enough guacamole or salsa so you might as well double the recipes for those and keep any leftovers in the fridge as there are so many uses that it won’t go to waste at all. Print Yum Boerewors Nachos Ingredients8 tortillas (or a large packet of Nacho chips) 1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese 400g of your favourite boerewors Guacamole: 2 ripe avocados handful fresh coriander half a red onion, finely chopped handful baby tomatoes, diced 1 fresh chilli, chopped (optional) juice of 1 lime seasoning to taste Salsa: 1 cup baby tomatoes 1 red pepper 1 fresh chilli (optional) 1 tbsp red wine vinegar pinch of sugar seasoning to taste sour cream or crème fraiche to serve sliced pickled jalapeno to serveInstructionsIf using the tortillas, preheat oven to 180 degrees C Cut each tortillas into 8ths, place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden and crispy Cook the boerewors your preferred method. Once cooked, slice into bite sized pieces and keep warm While the boerewors cooks make the guacamole by mashing the avocados roughly with a fork Add the coriander, onion, tomatoes and chilli and mix Add the lime juice, season to taste and mix well Make the salsa by chopping the tomatoes, pepper and chilli and mix with the red wine vinegar and sugar Season to taste To assemble: Arrange the tortilla or nacho chips in an oven proof dish, sprinkle with the cheese and place under the grill until the cheese has melted and starts to bubble Top the tortillas with the boerewors, guacamole, salsa and a scoop or two sour cream or crème fraiche Serve with the pickled jalapenoSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/boerewors-nachos/ ** This recipe first appeared in the Sunday Times Food Weekly  

Mackerel Pate with Quick Pickled Red Onion

This recipe for Mackerel Pate with Quick Pickled Red Onion is one of those minimal effort with maximum flavour and reward dishes. And I think it offers a tasty alternative to the usual salmon pate which appears on all menus over the festive season. Bonus that it is easily made from tinned mackerel and I guarantee no one will guess that it is made with tinned fish. You can be quite flexible and change the sour cream with a smooth cream cheese or mascarpone but make sure you add enough lemon juice to counteract the richness of the fish and the cream. The pickled red onion adds acidity and lifts the flavours of the pate. It is a cinch to make and adds colour and texture to the pate. Mackerel appears on the SASSI green list so this a great “responsible” fish dish to make over the festive season ahead. “Started in 2004, the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) was established to drive change in the local seafood industry by working with suppliers and sellers of seafood, as well as informing and inspiring consumers to make sustainable seafood choices. WWF-SASSI promotes voluntary compliance with the law – specifically the South African Marine Living Resources Act – through education and awareness. It also aims to shift consumer demand from over-exploited species to more sustainable ones. To support consumers in understanding their sustainable seafood options, SASSI provides a few easy-to-use tools that categorise seafood species according to a ‘traffic light’ system of red, orange and green. These tools include a credit card-sized pocket guide, a free app and a mobile SMS service, aptly named FishMS. By sending our service an SMS including the name of the fish you’re about to eat, we’ll send you an immediate response telling you whether to tuck in, think twice or avoid a particular seafood.” Enjoy! Click here for more festive recipe ideas Print Yum Mackerel Pate with Quick Pickled Red Onion Ingredients2 x 190g cans smoked mackerel fillets in oil, drained 1 tsp English mustard (hot or mild as per taste) 50ml sour cream pinch of chilli flakes good squeeze of lemon juice freshly ground black pepper Quick pickled red onion: 1 small red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced a good pinch caster sugar 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp finely chopped dill (or parsley) salt and freshly ground black pepper to season InstructionsPrepare the pickle by placing the onion, sugar, vinegar and dill in a bowl Mix and let stand for 10 minutes Taste, add more sugar, salt or pepper as needed, and set aside until ready to serve Make the pâté by placing all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor Blitz to a paste Taste, (add salt, if necessary as the fish is usually quite salty), add more pepper or lemon juice to taste Serve the pâté spread thickly on toast or crackers, topped with pickled onion Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/mackerel-pate/ This recipe first appeared in the Sunday Times Food Weekly More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook YouTube  

Desserts

Honey Roasted Nectarines with Vanilla Yoghurt

These Honey Roasted Nectarines with Vanilla Yoghurt is one of those desserts that makes the most of summer and its delicious bounty of stone fruit.  It shines in its simplicity yet delivers with full on goodness and flavour. On top of that the recipe is super easy and the most effort is to stone the fruit. Add to that a whole lot of variations and you have a winning dessert which does not break the bank (unless you want it to). I kept this version cheap and cheerful by using ginger biscuits, or as my friend Roger calls them, poor man’s biscotti. I think the ginger works really well but you could upgrade it to a shortbread or the Italian classic, amaretti biscuits. Another option is to splash the filled fruit with a liqueur like Amaretto or a hazelnut liqueur. If you want to keep it fruity I think a cherry liqueur would also be pretty fantastic. There are many options of what to serve the fruit with and in this recipe I kept it simple with a good double cream yoghurt with a splash of vanilla paste. I think the fruit is sweet enough so did not add any sugar to the yoghurt but just a drizzle of honey on top. You can serve it with a dollop of double cream, a good vanilla ice cream or even a spoon or two of vanilla custard. We are thrilled that Corinne de Haas of Potters Gallery in Kleinmond is so generously providing us with ceramics for our Food Photography Workshop next weekend. It is going to be a joy to capture food on some of her work. Print Yum Honey Roasted Nectarines with Vanilla Yoghurt Ingredients6 ripe nectarines 8 ginger biscuits, crushed 3 tbsp honey plus extra for serving ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste 125ml double cream yoghurtInstructionsPreheat the oven to 180 degrees C Cut nectarines in half and remove the stones Place the nectarines cut side up in an ovenproof dish Fill each cavity with the crushed biscuits and drizzle with honey Bake for 30 minutes until the fruit is cooked through While the fruit is baking add the vanilla to the yoghurt and mix Let the fruit cool down for 10 minutes Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, drizzled with more honeySchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/honey-roasted-nectarines-with-vanilla-yoghurt/ ** This recipe first appeared in the Sunday Times Food Weekly More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook 

Homemade Spiced Dulce de Leche

No matter how convenient convenience might be, few things can beat homemade. This Spiced Dulce de Leche is just one of those little work, high reward homemade dishes. But be warned. It is utterly delicious and addictive. Made from a tin of condensed milk, it is slowly heated and as it cooks it changes flavour and colour. It is very popular in Latin America and the French also have a version, called Confiture de Lait. Here in South Africa we can get a (sort of ) version of it known as Caramel Treat, which is a key ingredient in the well known Peppermint Crisp tart. I actually used that tart as inspiration and took it to a whole other level with this Peppermint Crisp Parfait. There are various ways of making Dulce de Leche from condensed milk, including popping it into a pressure cooker and the other method is to boil the closed tin in water for a number of hours. None of those methods really appeal to me and it dawned on me that when baking it in the oven as I’ve seen done, I could add extra flavours to it. I wanted the spices to be as aromatic as possible and decided to use, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom pods to flavour the milk while it cooks. The result is a heady, spicy and sweet, thick sauce which is just delicious. The ways to serve it are endless. Dollop a spoonful on a warm baked chocolate pudding, mix some into whipped cream to serve with dessert or use it as a spread to sandwich cake layers together. The delicious spicy sweetness will add so much more flavour. Enjoy! Also a reminder that we still have a few spots left for our Food Photography Workshop on 14 June. Give me a shout if you want to book your seat for an inspirational and super fun day. Print Yum Homemade Spiced Dulce de Leche Ingredients1 x 385g tin condensed milk good pinch of salt 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 cinnamon quils 5 cardamom pods, lighty bruisedInstructionsPreheat the oven to 210 degrees C. Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized glass or ceramic pie dish. Cover tightly with foil and place in a roasting tin. Fill the tin with warm water until the water reaches halfway up the side of the pie dish. Bake the milk for an hour and half until thick and a dark golden brown colour. Remove the spices and whisk until smooth. If there a few lumps left pass it through a sieve to smoothen.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/homemade-spiced-dulce-de-leche/ More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook  

Olive Oil Polenta Cake

This Olive Oil Polenta Cake came to being after I was asked by Olive Central to develop a recipe using South African Olive Oil. A request I gladly accepted. But before I chat some more about the cake I wanted to present my two new stop motion videos. For these videos I collaborated with the super talented Claire Ferrandi who did the styling and Eden Weiss who did the editing. I am used to doing all the cooking and styling and then photographing the dishes on my own so these collaborations are huge fun as you have an immediate sounding board and the flow of ideas is just inspiring. Here are the latest two videos we have produced. A divine and beautiful open sandwhich on toasted sourdough, peas, poached egg and spek and the most delicious quick and easy baked stone fruit tart :           Back to this week’s recipe. Olive Central is a portal that connects consumers to the South African olive industry. A handy resource of producers, products, news and tips. When Dax asked me to create a recipe my immediate idea was to take the oil into a sweet realm. Either ice cream or a gluten free bake. This simple cake is surprisingly delicious. The olive oil adds a definite richness, making the cake moist, rich and definitely moreish. The polenta adds texture to the cake which I think adds interest to the usual almond meal bakes. Some people might find it the polenta too gritty but I like it . Remember the polenta is raw when it goes into the cake so it is worthwhile pulsing it in a food processor to a finer texture. It definitely requires the sharpness of the berries when serving to cut the richness of the cake and add a splash of colour.   Print Yum Olive Oil Polenta Cake Ingredients300g caster sugar 250g polenta (pulse for a few minutes in your food processor to get a finer grain) 200g ground almonds zest of two lemons 1½ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp of salt 4 eggs, beaten 225ml extra virgin olive oil double cream for serving raspberries for servingInstructionsPreheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Combine the dry ingredients and zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Pour in the olive oil and mix well to ensure a smooth batter. Bake for 75 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. (If the top browns too quickly, cover loosely with some tin foil. Allow to cool in the tin before removing. Serve with a dollop of double cream or whipped cream and a few raspberries Adapted from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/olive-oil-polenta-cake/ More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook 

Honey and Tahini Cookies

I love how ingredient trends come and go, highlighting ingredients and making us see them in a brand new light. Granted, at some point we get a bit tired of yet another recipe but I do think some of the ideas remain with us, changing the way we use the ingredient.  Tahini is a huge trend at the moment and I am jumping on the bandwagon with these gluten-free Honey and Tahini Cookies in a chewy and delicious way. No longer just a paste you add when you make hummus or baba ghanoush, there are loads of ways to use the paste, sweet or savoury. And this cookie is all kinds of sweet sesame goodness. The recipe comes from my friend Christine Capendale. Christine is well known for her wedding cakes, baking and catering and is currently working on her 3rd recipe book, due out next year. Christine was so kind to let me photograph the cookies she baked and share it here on heinstirred. I wanted to use the cookies as an ice cream sandwich cookie and they worked perfectly. The cookies have a great tahini and honey flavour. Strong enough to hold the ice cream but soft enough not to squash all the ice cream out when you take a bite. For the shoot, I used a shop bought vanilla ice cream but I think a bit of caramel mixed through the ice cream will be really good. A toffee or chocolate ice cream or frozen yoghurt will a perfect marriage to the tahini flavour too. Or have them all on their own for a delicious and guilt-free afternoon pick me up. These Honey and Tahini Cookies are in fact the 2nd batch of tahini cookies on the blog. Have a look at these Almond Tahini Choc Chip Cookies for another tahini interpretation. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Honey and Tahini Cookies. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred Print Yum Honey and Tahini Cookies Ingredients150g almond flour ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp salt 110ml honey 80ml tahini 1 tsp vanilla extract 125ml sesame seeds zest of 1 lime InstructionsPre-heat the oven to 160°C Combine the almond flour, bicarbonate of soda and the salt in a bowl In another bowl mix together the honey, tahini, vanilla and the lime zest Add the honey mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well to make a dough Roll small balls in the palm of your hands – about the size of a large cherry Roll the balls in sesame seeds and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a Silpat, leaving about 5 cm between them Flatten each ball with a fork or use your fingers Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown Remove from oven and cool completely Recipe by Christine Capendale Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/honey-and-tahini-cookies/ A few more of my favourite tahini recipes : Tahini Choc Chip Banana Bread Pink Lady® Apple Galettes with Spelt Crusts and Tahini Butterscotch Sauce Almond Tahini Choc Chip Cookies      

Fast and Easy

Butter Beans with Salsa Verde

I am a huge fan of Meera Sodha’s recipes, and this Butter Beans with Salsa Verde is another delicious recipe of hers. It first appeared in the Guardian Feast, a weekly food magazine in the UK that I wish I could get my hands on more often. How often I get to read one all depends on who comes to Cape Town, bringing a few copies in their suitcase. But since it is 2020, that has not happened this year. Luckily most of the recipes are available online once published so it’s a quick click when I have seen a recipe I like on either Meera or the Feast’s instagram accounts. The Butter Beans with Salsa Verde is a lovely, light recipe for the summer days ahead. Serve it with the freshest sourdough to mop up the juices (toast it for more texture), add a chilled, crisp glass of wine and you have a winner on your hands. Salsa Verde is an uncooked, green sauce with its origins in Italy and France. As Meera writes, “if you’ve not encountered it before, is one of Italy’s finest sauces, usually made with sweet herbs and olive oil, which are given a smack around the chops with garlic, vinegar and pickled capers. It is in my opinion, a good match for the sleepy, creamy butter bean.” I did not make any changes to the recipe as I thought it is pretty much as I would make it. I do suggest though that you make the sauce by hand and chop it with a knife. I feel the coarser texture of the sauce adds much more flavour and texture than one made in a food processor. The images in this post have been shot on Arctic Salt, one of the backgrounds from my newly launched Heinstirred Collection, available for sale online at shop.heinstirred.com. Do you have a look around, your favourite new surface may be just a click away. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Butter Beans with Salsa Verde and that it will become a family favourite. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed.   Recipe by Meera Sodha

Thai Coconut Broccoli Soup

If you love Thai flavours you will love this Thai Coconut Broccoli Soup. If you love easy dinners within 30 minutes you will love this even more.   After our rather extravagant two weeks in France working on the new book, I am in need of light and fresh meals. Being in Autumn does not make that always first choice but luckily Donna Hay came to the rescue with this divine soup in her latest issue. Not only is it super healthy but also quick and easy which scores full marks in my book.   I tweaked the recipe a bit (as you do) and did not add any coriander but only a garnish at the end. Somehow I don’t want a thicker soup like this with coriander. If it was more of light broth I would not have minded but the recipe called for 2 cups of the herb. And coriander is always a tricky ingredient to serve to guests – people either love it or hate it. Be careful about the chili strength of the curry paste you use. Rather go for a milder more fragrant paste. As I experienced when making the soup, too strong chili in the paste overpowers everything else and you want that fragrance of the green curry to play with the broccoli and spinach rather than chili blanketing it all. I think the fresh spring onion garnish is a must – it adds a crisp freshness to the dish. Click here for more delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook Print Yum Thai Coconut Broccoli Soup Ingredients50g green curry paste (taste the paste for chili heat before using whole quantity) 1 x 400ml can reduced fat coconut milk 500ml water 450g broccoli, chopped 200g baby spinach (reserve some leaves for garnish) salt and pepper to taste 1 spring onion, sliced coriander leavesInstructionsPlace the curry paste in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 10 minutes until tender. Add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and using a hand held stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between 4 serving bowls and garnish with the rest of the spinach leaves, coriander and spring onion. Serve immediately.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/thai-coconut-broccoli-soup/ I am happy to report that we have had a wonderful response to our Food Photography Workshop and have decided to repeat the day on the 14th of June. So if the May date did not suit you, please send a mail to book for June. We plan to make the day as informal, fun and delicious as possible so grab your camera and join us on the day.

Chicken Roasted in White Wine with Lemon and Herbs

Autumn is playing hide and seek with us in Cape Town at the moment. Two week ago it seems autumn was skipped and we were straight into winter and the last two days we’ve been back to summer. But I spent a few days in the winelands and the vineyards have turned ochre and orange and red so the wonderful cooler temperatures of autumn is bound to finally appear. And when it does you can’t go wrong with this super easy and delicious Chicken Roasted in White Wine with Lemon and Herbs recipe. The recipe is so simple and definitely a great contender for a quick and easy midweek meal. All it takes is to fry the chicken, add all the aromatics and roast the chicken for another 20 minutes. While the chicken is roasting, quickly cook the couscous in some warm stock for extra flavour and get a salad ready or simply steam some veggies. I remove the zest as soon as the chicken comes out of the oven to avoid any lingering bitterness in the gravy as that would spoil the dish. I am proud to be associated with Baleia Olive Oil and use it whenever a recipe requires Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The cold press extra virgin Olive Oil is produced in the Riversdale area, has a whiff of fresh cut grass and aromas of green tomatoes, almonds artichokes and green apples. Print Yum Chicken Roasted in White Wine with Lemon and Herbs Ingredients6 chicken thighs Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying 3 garlic cloves, mashed ½ cup dry white wine ½ cup chicken stock the juice and strips of zest of 1 lemon (use a vegetable peeler) 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs, chopped (mix of sage, parsley, and rosemary) salt & freshly ground black pepperInstructionsPre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C In a large, oven-proof frying pan, heat the oil and fry the chicken until golden brown Remove from the chicken from the pan, lower the heat and fry the garlic until soft Add the wine, stock, lemon and herbs and bring to a boil Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes until the juices of the chicken runs clear Remove the zest to avoid any bitterness Serve with couscous to soak up the gravy and a crunchy fresh saladSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/chicken-roasted-white-wine-lemon-herbs/ We’ve had a number of enquiries for the next Food Photography Workshop and I am pleased to confirm the 15th of May 2016 for the next one. Let me know if you would like to attend. More details here. * This recipe first appeared in the Sunday Times Food Weekly ** Disclaimer: Olive oil sponsored by Baleia Olive Oil More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook

Smoked Salmon Labneh Board

This Smoked Salmon Labneh Board is more of an idea than a recipe and is inspired by the Butter Board trend that started on TikTok, where it seems all food trends start now, good and bad. A butter board is a spin on a charcuterie board but using soft butter spread over a wooden cutting board, sprinkled with condiments and ingredients and scooped up with bread or biscuits. In my version this Smoked Salmon Labneh Board replaces the butter with labneh, one of my favourite ingredients and so simple to make if you can not find it in the shops. Just click here for the method to make your own. Once you have the labneh sorted the options for your labneh board is pretty much endless. Since I am now living in Abu Dhabi I added some flavours of the Middle East to the familiar ingredients of smoked salmon and capers. Once I had the labneh layer, I sprinkled it with lemony and tangy sumac followed by pieces of smoked salmon rolled into rosettes. Then a layer of za’atar, possible the most famous Middle Eastern spice mix and so delicious. After that come the capers and dill. Serve with lemon wedges and crispy crackers or biscuits for a delicious festive starter, light lunch or nibble with drinks. Click here for a step by step video. Oh, and skip using a wooden board. Rather use a ceramic platter or plate. Much safer from a health point of view and much prettier too. I hope you enjoy this recipe idea for a Smoked Salmon Labneh Board. If you’ve made it, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed. And do follow this link if you want to explore more Labneh recipes such as Ottolenghi’s Lemon Labneh Posset, Pavlova with Brown Sugar Labneh and Strawberries or Zucchini Labneh Naan Pizza

Grains, Pulses and Starches

Spelt Flatbreads with Spiced Roasted Chickpeas and Cauliflower

This recipe for Spelt Flatbreads with Spiced Roasted Chickpeas and Cauliflower is my contribution to the Faithful to Nature #faithfulfood Organic Recipe Challenge. The brief was to create a seasonal, vegetarian and organic family meal using only fresh organic produce and pantry products from the Faithful to Nature online store. I loved the idea of the challenge so there was no question that I would want to take part and decided that I would want to challenge myself in the process and work with a product or products I have not used before. I liked the idea of a sharing style family meal that is not only summery, healthy and delicious but where each person can create his or her own meal and the flatbread idea came from that. I decided to make the flatbread with a flour I have never used and the spelt flour caught my eye. From there I just played with various ideas as toppings. I thought the combination of chickpeas and cauliflower would be delicious (and filling) and spiced it with a garam masala I ordered from the online store. Food is not just about taste but also about colour and texture and the coleslaw adds a pop of colour and as well as texture to the meal. I made a quick dressing with some organic yoghurt, fresh garlic, tahini, lime juice and maple syrup for just a bit of sweetness to compliment the spiced cauliflower and chickpeas. Tahini is an absolute must to any coleslaw dressing from now on – it really works for me. I think all these elements work really well together. The flatbread has a wholewheat texture and taste with a great nutty flavour. If you want to add a bit more heat to the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas add a good pinch of dried chilli flakes. Use a mix of red and green cabbage for the slaw and a good squeeze of lime lifts the flavours beautifully. I added some more heat serving it with home pickled jalapenos chillies. Spelt flour is a whole grain non wheat flour. The grain has been cultivated for centuries and have quite a nutty flavour and wholegrain appearance. The gluten in spelt breaks down easily and care should be taken not to overmix the dough for the flatbreads and be sure to let the dough rest. And use lots of flour on the surface when rolling and don’t roll them out too thin – about 15 – 18cm diameter is just fine – they will tear easily if too thin. Enjoy! Check out more delicious vegetarian recipes here More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook YouTube   Print Yum Spelt Flatbreads with Spiced Roasted Chickpeas and Cauliflower IngredientsSLAW WITH TAHINI YOGHURT DRESSING: DRESSING: 1 cup organic natural yogurt 2 tbsp tahini paste Juice of 1 lime 1 tbsp maple syrup 1 clove garlic, crushed Salt and pepper to season SLAW: 1 medium sized red cabbage (or mix of red and green), thinly sliced 2 medium carrots, grated 1 small red onion, thinly sliced SPICED ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND CHICKPEAS: 2 tbsp Garam Masala 1 tbsp smoked paprika ½ tsp chilli flakes Salt and black pepper to season 1 medium head of cauliflower 2 cups of cooked chickpeas melted coconut oil for drizzling SPELT FLATBREADS(makes about 8) : 200g spelt flour ¼ tsp salt 1 tbsp melted coconut oil 120ml water InstructionsWhile the dough rests make the slaw Then roast the veggies and while they roast, roll and cook the flatbreads SPELT FLATBREADS: Place the spelt flour into a mixing bowl with the sea salt and mix to combine. Make a well in the center of the flour and using a fork stir in the oil and water Keep mixing with a fork until the ingredients have come together in a soft dough If very sticky add another tablespoon or so of flour Knead briefly for a minute or so, cover and let it rest for 20 minutes Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, cover and work with one flatbread at a time Roll a piece of dough into a ball and gently roll out to a 15 – 18cm disk in diameter on a well floured surface. Heat a non stick pan over a medium high heat and cook each flatbread for about 1 minute or so until it starts to brown and blister and flip over and cook for another minutes Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough Use 2 pans to cook 2 flatbreads at a time to speed up the process SLAW WITH TAHINI YOGHURT DRESSING: DRESSING: Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well Spoon half the dressing out and reserve Add the vegetables to the dressing in the bowl and toss together until well coated Place the slaw and reserved dressing in the fridge until serving SPICED ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND CHICKPEAS: Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C Place the spice mix ingredients in a bowl and mix together Separate all of the cauliflower florets into bite size pieces Place florets and chickpeas in a bowl and drizzle well with olive oil and sprinkle with spice mix Use your hands to toss everything together until well coated Place the cauliflower and chickpeas on an oven tray (making sure not to crowd the tray) and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until crispy and cooked TO SERVE sliced jalapenos, if desired sesame seeds lime wedges Top each flatbread with the spiced veggies Top with some slaw and add a spoon or two of the reserved dressing Top with some jalapenos, sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime juice Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/spelt-flatbreads-spiced-roasted-chickpeas-cauliflower/    

Sesame Wafu Dressing

A fellow foodie sent the recipe for this Sesame Wafu Dressing from Shu Han Lee’s instagram account a while back. I “banked” the recipe immediately as I thought the dressing looked delicious and would work in a number of different ways.  (Shu Han Lee is the writer of the cookbook titled,  “Chicken and Rice – Fresh and Easy Southeast Asian Recipes from a London Kitchen”.) But first, I am thrilled to share that I am a finalist in the 2020 Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year competition. Two of my images made it to the finals and everyone is invited to the online awards evening on the 28th of April at 8pm GMT. You can join the awards on Facebook as well as the YouTube. Open some bubbles and come join a celebration of amazing work from across the world. The Sesame Wafu Dressing consists of equal measures mayo, rice vinegar and sesame paste or tahini with the addition of soy sauce, brown sugar, and fresh ginger. It makes a great salad dressing for something like a coleslaw (like the original recipe I saw), or added to noodles, drizzled over a batch of crispy baked potatoes or as a sauce to put on burgers. For this post, I roasted pieces of butternut and served it at room temperature with thinly sliced red onion, pumpkin seeds and torn fresh parsley. The sesame wafu dressing drizzled on top adds a great level of flavour.  The dish makes for a delicious late autumnal light meal or as a side dish to a simple roast chicken. There will be dressing left over and it can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days. I used the leftover dressing to marinate chicken pieces for a few hours, then roasted the chicken pieces until the juices run clear. So so good. Make sure you scoop the sauce in the pan too! I hope you enjoy this recipe for Roasted Butternut with Sesame Wafu Dressing. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred Print Yum Sesame Wafu Dressing Ingredients3 tbsp mayo 3 tbsp tahini 3 tbsp rice vinegar 2 tsp soya sauce 2 tsp brown sugar 2 tsp freshly grated ginger ½ tsp chili flakes (optional) InstructionsMix all the ingredients Serve over roasted veggies, fried chicken, on a burger, or as a dressing for a salad, coleslaw, bake potatoes or a noodle bowl Adapted from Shu Han LeeSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/sesame-wafu-dressing/ The world is going through the most uncertain time. Wishing everyone safety and health. Look after yourself and each other. May we come out the other side much stronger and kinder. The Heinstirred Greeting Cards Range has been launched. Inspired by fusing food and nature, distinctive images were photographed and set in original heart-shaped designs. Click here for all the details of the range now available.

Butter Beans with Salsa Verde

I am a huge fan of Meera Sodha’s recipes, and this Butter Beans with Salsa Verde is another delicious recipe of hers. It first appeared in the Guardian Feast, a weekly food magazine in the UK that I wish I could get my hands on more often. How often I get to read one all depends on who comes to Cape Town, bringing a few copies in their suitcase. But since it is 2020, that has not happened this year. Luckily most of the recipes are available online once published so it’s a quick click when I have seen a recipe I like on either Meera or the Feast’s instagram accounts. The Butter Beans with Salsa Verde is a lovely, light recipe for the summer days ahead. Serve it with the freshest sourdough to mop up the juices (toast it for more texture), add a chilled, crisp glass of wine and you have a winner on your hands. Salsa Verde is an uncooked, green sauce with its origins in Italy and France. As Meera writes, “if you’ve not encountered it before, is one of Italy’s finest sauces, usually made with sweet herbs and olive oil, which are given a smack around the chops with garlic, vinegar and pickled capers. It is in my opinion, a good match for the sleepy, creamy butter bean.” I did not make any changes to the recipe as I thought it is pretty much as I would make it. I do suggest though that you make the sauce by hand and chop it with a knife. I feel the coarser texture of the sauce adds much more flavour and texture than one made in a food processor. The images in this post have been shot on Arctic Salt, one of the backgrounds from my newly launched Heinstirred Collection, available for sale online at shop.heinstirred.com. Do you have a look around, your favourite new surface may be just a click away. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Butter Beans with Salsa Verde and that it will become a family favourite. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed.   Recipe by Meera Sodha

Salsa Verde Pasta Salad

Pasta salads must be the ugly stepsister of salads.  Pale (often overcooked) pasta, drowned in even paler mayonnaise, blanketing every other flavour. The idea with this Salsa Verde Pasta Salad was to make it as summery and fresh as possible. I also wanted to keep it totally green and added the peas and broccoli, not just for added texture and flavour but to amp the green colour of the salad. Salsa Verde – it means green sauce – is a classic Italian sauce. Many countries have their own type of green sauce. The French version of the sauce is called Sauce Verte, the Spanish also call it Salsa Verde and the Mexicans use tomatillos and chillies in their version of Salsa Verde. The Argentinians have their famous green sauce, namely chimichurri, which is amazing slathered on a just grilled steak. Many variations of the sauce abound but the main ingredient in all the recipes is parsley. Usually chopped by hand, these days many recipes state the use of a food processor. I kept the sauce rustic and chopped it by hand, as I wanted to see visible pieces of the ingredients clinging to the pasta.  I used farfalloni (butterflies) pasta to make it pretty and to have maximum surface for the sauce to cling to. The sauce is quintessentially summer and packs a flavour punch as a sauce or even marinade for grilled meats, fish and poultry.  It can also be used as a fantastic salad dressing. Keep the sauce in the fridge for up to a week or so – scooping out as needed for a quick salad dressing with some extra olive oil to thin it down if needed. Serve the Salsa Verde Pasta Salad with some grilled fish or chicken for a light lunch or as a salad with a barbecue. Print Yum Salsa Verde Pasta Salad Ingredients20g parsley 20g basil 1 tablespoon capers 6 anchovy fillets 1 clove garlic juice of 1 lemon 120ml extra virgin olive oil 300g farfalloni pasta, (uncooked weight) cooked al dente and drained 1 cup fresh or frozen peas or petit pois (defrosted under running water if frozen) 100g tenderstem broccoli. the florets cut off. (keep the stems for stir fry )InstructionsChop the parsley and basil leaves fine (a mezzaluna works great) and place in a large bowl. Chop the capers and anchovy fillets fine and add to the herbs Chop the clove of garlic fine and mash with the blade of the knife and add to the herbs Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the other ingredients and mix very well until a sauce has formed. Add the peas, broccoli florets and pasta and mix with the sauce. Check seasoning and add another tablespoon of olive oil and dash of lemon juice if the salad needs more dressing. Let stand for an hour and give one mix before serving.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/salsa-verde-pasta-salad/

Ice Cream

Frozen Zabaglione

I saw the link to this Frozen Zabaglione recipe on my Twitter feed and immediately wanted to make it. It was originally published in The New York Times by David Tanis, as part of his column titled “An Inspired Lunch Puts Brunch to Shame”. Brunch seems to be quite the American trend which has not quite caught on here. And when we “do brunch”, it will be for more special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, rather than a weekend ritual. Unless of course I am on no “let’s do brunch” invitation lists! I have always thought of brunch as a late breakfast with dessert. And to be honest having dessert as breakfast is not a foreign concept in this household. Cold leftover baked puddings with custard or chocolate cake slathered with icing to jumpstart the day, is the best part of weekends. I loved the idea of freezing this classic Italian custard and even though it is without a doubt winter at the moment, I did not want to wait for summer to share this recipe. Ice cream in winter is just as good as ice cream in summer! Zabaglione is usually made with Marsala but this version replaces the sweet wine with espresso and brandy, and it is a wonderful combination. I do think other liqueurs could work really well. Cointreau with some orange zest added would be really good. It has a light, airy texture and it does help to let it stand for a few minutes at room temperature to soften slightly before serving. And bonus that you don’t need an ice cream machine to make it. Print Yum Frozen Zabaglione Ingredients6 egg yolks 6 tablespoons sugar pinch of salt 3/4 cup espresso or strong coffee 2 tablespoons brandy cocoa powder for servingInstructionsPut egg yolks in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add sugar and whisk together for a minute, until frothy. Whisk in the espresso and brandy and place bowl over double boiler. (Set the bowl over a saucepan of about the same size, filled up to a quarter with boiling water and making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Reduce the heat to a simmer) Whisk egg yolk mixture rapidly until it is warmed through. Continue whisking as the mixture begins to thicken. After a few minutes or so it would have doubled in volume and have the consistency of softly whipped cream. Remove from heat and whisk for another minute. Pour custard into individual cups. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours or preferably overnight. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Dust with cocoa powderSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/frozen-zabaglione/

Grilled Pineapple and Coconut Sherbet

This sherbet is refreshing, summery and tropical, while the smokiness from the grilled pineapple adds a wonderful depth. A sherbet is usually a sorbet with dairy added which in this instance I replaced with light coconut milk. And I do think we can squeeze it into the “new year healthy eating” category. I mean, who can survive a month without ice cream? It is quite easy to make as you don’t have to hassle with a custard and the only real work is grilling the pineapple and toasting the shredded coconut. Enjoy! Print Yum Grilled Pineapple and Coconut Sherbet Ingredients125 ml water 100 ml sugar 400ml light coconut milk 1tb lemon juice 450g fresh pineapple slices (peeled and cored) Pinch of salt Garnish: a few tablespoons shredded or dessicated coconut – dry toasted in a pan over medium heat until golden brown a few more pieces of grilled pineapple for garnish (optional)InstructionsBrush each pineapple slice lightly with some oil and grill each side for 3 minutes on a hot griddle pan. Once all the slices are grilled, blitz until smooth. Bring the sugar and water to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix the pineapple, coconut milk, sugar syrup, lemon juice and salt and chill for at least 6 hours and then churn in an ice cream maker. Put in a suitable container and freeze until ready to serve. Serve topped with the shredded coconut and pineapple slices as garnish (optional)Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/grilled-pineapple-coconut-sherbet/  

Earl Grey Ice Cream Sandwiches

Think about your morning cup of tea with a piece of toast and marmalade. Now imagine it as ice cream. Or even better, as an ice cream sandwich. This is the second recipe I developed with the wonderful products that was so kindly given to me by the Clemengold team and I just love these Earl Grey Ice Cream Sandwiches. The first recipe I made were the Sweet and Sour Tequila Ribs and I am really chuffed with the feedback I got about the recipe and the photographs. If I had to choose a favourite, then these sandwiches win. But then it is ice cream and ice cream always wins in my book. The creamy, sweet, tea infused ice cream combined with the citrus bitterness of the mandarin peel and crunch from the biscuit is exceptionally good. One of the products in the bag delivered was a bottle of Clemengold Preserve – baby mandarins in a zesty syrup. I immediately started thinking about what I could do with them. It was while browsing flavour profiles, I read that Heston Blumenthal matched mandarin with bergamot. Bergamot is the key ingredient in Earl Grey tea and for some or other reason I immediately thought of ice cream sandwiches. I used tennis biscuits as they are square and fitted easily into the baking pan I was using. Any biscuit will work but I don’t think they should be too thick. They add some much needed texture but you do not want too much biscuit in relation to the ice cream. If you don’t have a preserve like I used, a marmalade of your preference would work as well. But use a marmalade with lots of fruit chunks, the pieces of citrus adds the bursts of bitter flavour you want. Print Yum Earl Grey Ice Cream Sandwiches Ingredients250ml full cream milk 250ml whipping crean 100g sugar pinch of salt 5 earl grey tea bags 250ml double cream 4 egg yolks 75g mandarin preserve, roughly chopped 24 biscuits (12 to fit in one layer in a baking tray)InstructionsMix the milk, whipping cream, sugar and salt and heat the mixture while stirring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags and let them steep in the mixture for 1 an hour. Remove the tea bags (give them a good squeeze into the milk) Add the double cream and whisk until combined. Return to the heat (do not let it boil) Beat the egg yolks and add 2 ladles of the hot cream while whisking. Return the egg mixture to the hot cream and mix well. Continue stirring over a medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and let the mixture chill for at least 6 hours. Make the ice cream as per the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream has churned, add the chopped preserve and mix well. Place in the freezer for an hour to freeze. Line a baking pan with clingwrap (make sure it goes over the sides of the dish) Place 12 biscuits in the bottom of the dish, cover with the ice cream, and top with the remaining 12 biscuits. Return to the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours until frozen solid. Remove from the pan by pulling the clingwrap. Slice into 12 and serve immediately.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/earl-grey-ice-cream-sandwiches/ These sandwiches will make an excellent dinner party dessert and my friend Conrad Louw, Cape Wine Master, gave us a suggestion or two after the recipe. Wine suggestion by Conrad Louw , CWM: There are several wine styles that will pair up with ice cream.  This particular ice cream with the unique taste of Earl Grey Tea and the delicious citrus taste of Clemengold makes it a great challenge.  Think of a medium cream sherry; Noble Late Harvest or a slightly sweet sparkling wine.  The choices are endless.  The wine farm Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch actually do wine and ice cream pairings from time to time.  Check them out. At the same time, try out a wooded Chardonnay, which will compliment both the creaminess and citrus.  But most importantly, try out this ice cream.

10 Favourite Recipes for the Festive Season

We’ve made it to December! And with festive gatherings just around the corner, I thought it apt to share 10 of my favourite recipes published over the years. These are recipes that I make regularly and they remain favourites no matter the occasion. I also want to share that there is a year end sale in the shop. As a thank you to all the support this year I have passed discounts of up to 50% on all the ceramics, wooden tableware and e-books. Knowing the items are used and loved in their new homes is the best feeling plus I need to make some space for the new pieces I’m working on during the holidays (aka yet another South African travel ban). The first recipe is this quick and easy Pesto Parmesan Pastry Tree. A delicious appetiser of puff pastry filled with pesto and parmesan, then cut into the shape of a Christmas tree and baked till puffed up and golden. To see how to make it, click this link to my Instagram account to see the video.  Another great appetiser or snack with drinks are these Courgette and Ricotta Tzatziki Bruschetta. Fresh, summery and delicious. Christmas in the southern hemisphere invariably involves a barbecue and these Pork Belly Kebabs will be a definite hit. With delicious Asian inspired flavours it is a great alternative to the usual Christmas pork belly recipes. Tandoori Roasted Carrots is one of my favourite veggie dishes and one we make constantly make and enjoy. Loved by veggies or carnivores alike as a side or part of a vegetarian main. My favourite way to eat any leftover carrots is piling them on a fresh garlic naan, slathered in yoghurt and sprinkled with chopped chillies. A festive meal is not festive without a large serving of delicious roast potatoes and my top suggestion are Donna Hay’s Polenta Parmesan Roast Potatoes. Christmas in summer makes a frozen dessert the top option and this Frozen Zabaglione spiked with brandy and espresso is the perfect choice. Bonus that you don’t need an ice cream maker. Or keep it classic Italian but still frozen with this utterly delicious Frozen Tiramisu by Donna Hay. Need to bake a cake but don’t want a fruit cake? This Lemon Ricotta Cake is a zesty winner and the most popular recipe on my blog. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of lemon zest, that is not an error, you want all that zesty lemon flavour. The cake is not only delicious but it is also a gluten free treat. Vibrant, delicious and the epitome of a summer holiday you can not go wrong with a glass of Watermelon Lemonade. Beware though, this goes down a treat so you might have to double the recipe. My favourite sweet snack is a batch of Caramel Popcorn with Coffee Salt. Utterly delicious, the golden caramel colour is fit for a glamorous party and once you’ve started nibbling it’s hard to stop. One bonus recipe to make it 11 and this one is so worth it. South Africa’s favourite chocolate bar as an ice cream cake. It will be smiles all round with a Peppermint Crisp Ice Cream Cake. Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and joyous festive season. Who knows what the new year holds for us all but may it be healthy, happy and of course delicious.   If you are looking for more quick, easy delicious meal ideas, I have a new e-cookbook, EVERYDAY TRAYBAKES, and it is now available as a digital download. The aim of the 18 recipes in EVERYDAY TRAYBAKES is to spark fresh cooking inspiration with new ideas and interesting flavour combinations. From Asia to the Middle East and Mediterranean, while firmly remaining within the realm of easy cooking, the book is proof that delicious, wholesome meals do not need hours of prep. The recipes range from unpretentious weeknight family dinners, spur of the moment entertaining, easy breakfasts for a crowd and modern ideas with vegetables. No book of mine will be complete with a sweet ending and there are 4 sweet baking recipes that require no special baking skills, in fact the pudding is mixed in the dish you will bake it in. Recipes include Thai Green Curry Spatchcock Chicken, Oven Baked Masala Omelette with Paneer, Salmon and Leek Traybake with Herb Dressing, No Boil Pasta Bake with Shiitake Mushrooms and Pangrattato, Sichuan Pepper Chicken and Potatoes, Rocky Road Squares and Vanilla Milk Soak Sheet Cake You can get the book by clicking here

Proteins

Naan Breakfast Pizza

Just over a week ago the lovely people at Cobb dropped off their “Kitchen in a Box”  Premier Cooking System. A nifty outdoor cooker that can roast, fry, grill and bake. It even has a roasting rack to roast a chicken! I could not wait to use it and immediately knew what recipe I want to try first. This Naan Breakfast Pizza that crossed my path a while back. Up until now I have just not been able to make a good pizza at home. I am not nearly efficient enough to whip up pizza dough and those days that I actually am, I can never get the base thin enough for a crisp pizza. And frozen pizza bases are terrible! I have tried using pita breads but can never halve a pita bread without tearing it into pieces. But using naan bread is such a great idea. It is thin enough to crisp nicely while baking and has a lot more flavour than any pita bread or frozen base will ever have. The naan bread retains that chewiness without drying out and the edges become deliciously crisp. Here is a video I have made showing how incredibly easy it is to make a Naan Breakfast Pizza : The options really are endless in terms of toppings. It all depends what you like or not. You could pile on the bacon, sausage and left over grilled meats or make a veggie version with mushrooms, roasted peppers and baby tomatoes. These are so easy to make in a conventional oven too. Just preheat the grill and pop them under the grill until the egg is cooked. And since they do not take too long every person can make their pizza with their own choice of toppings. The toughest part of this recipe is going out to get the Naan! Do enjoy! More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook Print Yum Naan Breakfast Pizza IngredientsAs with any pizza, the toppings are really endless. For this breakfast version and I used a spicy tomato sauce, some fried bacon, sliced Spanish sausage, halved rosa tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. And since it was breakfast, I made a slight dent in the middle of all the ingredients and cracked a fresh egg. Sauce: 390g crushed tomatoes generous glug of olive oil 2 crushed cloves of garlic 1 fresh chilli, chopped 1 -2 tablespoons sugar salt and pepper for seasoningInstructionsFry the garlic and chilli in the olive oil until soft. Add the crushed tomatoes and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes until it has reduced a bit. Spoon a thin layer of sauce on top of the naan and top with the remaining pizza ingredients If you do not have a fabulous Cobb system, heat the grill and place the pizzas about 15 cm below. Grill until the cheese is just melted and egg white just set (it will cook some more once you remove it from the heat). Sprinkle with some chopped chives and serveSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/naan-breakfast-pizza/

Honeycomb Cannelloni

I have been wanting to make Honeycomb Cannelloni for years now so I am thrilled to have finally made it, that it not only tasted really good but looked pretty fantastic. All in all, a winner of a dish. You fill the cannelloni tubes with a sauce of your choice and then bake it upright giving a honeycomb effect and therefor the name honeycomb cannelloni. For this version, I made a rich tomato sauce with some chorizo and filled the tubes with the sauce. Then stuffed the tubes with ricotta and topped the honeycomb cannelloni with a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. The options for the filling are really endless. Omit any meat and use a good tomato sauce (homemade is best) with any cheeses of your choice. I have seen versions with pumpkin and spinach or a classic bolognese filling. The key to the success of the dish is having enough sauce to fill the cannelloni tubes and that the dish you for baking it in is high enough for the tubes to stand upright. If too much of the cannelloni tubes stick out over the edge or not filled at least three quarters, the top of the tubes will cook dry and quite tough. I used a 22cm cast-iron casserole dish and the cannelloni fitted just level with the edge. I spooned a third of the sauce in the bottom and then stood the tubes upright in the sauce (push them down into the sauce). Use a teaspoon to spoon ricotta into each tube and push it down (I found my finger to be the best method for this). The rest of the sauce is then spooned over and into the tubes. You need a sauce that is quite liquid and rich but definitely not watery. If you see the sauce not filling the tubes enough, pour another tin of chopped tomatoes over the tubes to fill them. Let the dish stand for 30 minutes or so to soften the pasta, then cover with cheese and bake to cooked through. The chorizo adds a richness and a bit of spice to the sauce but you can easily replace it with ground beef and make a classic bolognese sauce. The honeycomb cannelloni also improves the longer it stands and we found the leftovers to be so good the next day. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Honeycomb Cannelloni. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. If you are looking for more quick, easy delicious meal ideas, my cookbook, DRUNK AND HUNGRY is available as a digital download. As the title states, the book consists of easy and flavourful recipes for when you find yourself drunk, and hungry. Savoury, sweet, vegan, vegetarian, bacon, cheese, spice, and carbs are packed into 15 easy recipes to satisfy your hunger while tantalising your tastebuds. The book has just been announced as the South African winner in the Digital Books category in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. It will now compete for Best in the World later this year at the Cookbook Fair in Paris. Purchase the book by clicking on this link

Drunk and Hungry Noodles

I have two distinct memories from my last trip to New York, just before 2020 arrived in all its might. One memory is of discovering the most delicious (and cheap) scallion pancakes at Vanessa’s Dumplings on a walking food tour through China Town, and the second is of a painted menu outside a restaurant with the words “Drunk and Hungry Noodles”.  We were walking in Brooklyn a few days after Christmas, wrapped up in coats, scarves and beanies, when I saw the menu. My immediate thought was that the dish must be so delicious on a chilly day, drunk or not. We went back to Vanessa’s a few times for more pancakes, but we never went for noodles and sadly I will probably never find the place again.  But the thought of those noodles stayed with me until I arrived back in Cape Town and I have since made a few versions of what I think Drunk and Hungry Noodles should be. Somewhere along the way the idea for a recipe book popped up, with quick and easy recipes that you can make when you get home from after-work drinks. I am, of course, referring to the days we still went to the office and met for drinks after work, but we have to believe those days will come again. Or when friends are over for a glass of wine and before you know it, two bottles are empty and everyone is hungry. Take out is an option but invariably it arrives late and cold.  DRUNK AND HUNGRY provides recipe ideas and inspiration for quick and easy meals, whether you have friends over or it’s just you on your own. With or without a glass of wine. Some recipes are more healthy than others, a few can be done in the time it takes to scroll through an online menu, a few may take a bit longer, but all 15 of them are packed with flavour. Recipes include Spicy Sumac Roasted Chicken Wings, Indian Nachos, Sheet Pan Fajitas, Baked Risotto with Sausage and PeasGochujang Aubergine, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream, and Feta and Za’atar Omelette. The book ends with a handy list of pantry essentials so you can create all the recipes at any time. The book is available for purchase as an instant download of the book by clicking on this link. The cost is R90 (about 6 US dollars). Drunk and Hungry was awarded the South African winner in the Digital Books category in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. It will now compete for Best in the World later this year at the Cookbook Fair in Paris. I will keep you posted on the results. To tempt your tastebuds here is my recipe for the Drunk and Hungry Noodles that inspired it all. It is such an easy, quick fix recipe. Whether you are just hungry, or drunk and hungry. I hope you enjoy making this recipe for Drunk and Hungry Noodles. If you’ve made it, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoy.

Egyptian Feta Salad

This Egyptian Feta Salad recipe comes from one of the Favourite Recipes booklets from Books for Cooks. The lovely cookbook shop in Notting Hill, London where for only 5 pounds you can grab lunch in the demo kitchen where cooks have prepares a meal from one of their favourite cookbooks in the shop. Needless to say, the food is delicious and the lunch so popular you have to get there early to secure your seat. Over the years they have compiled cookbooks featuring some of their favourite recipes in the demo kitchen and the Favourite Recipes books compile “the favourites among the favourites” in a small softcover booklet. The Egyptian Feta Salad with Dill and Mint by Jennifer Joyce from her book The Well-Dressed Salad features in Favourite Recipes from Books 7,8 and 9. I have to admit that we bought a few Favourite Recipes booklets 3 years ago and even though they are filled with the loveliest recipes, I have not cooked from them that much but decided a few weeks ago to get my act together and use them more often as I know the recipes have been tested and made many times before ending up in the booklet. I don’t know how Egyptian this Egyptian Feta Salad is but I can vouch that it is deliciously fresh, packed with flavour and super easy to make. The quantities in the recipe is more indicative than fixed (I tweaked the quantities from the original). Like feta? Just add more. Want more acidity? Absolutely add more lemon juice. Love dill? Add another handful. My only tip would be to lay off on adding salt until you have tasted the salad at the end. Feta is quite salty and it would be a shame to over salt the salad. You can also make the salad in advance by mashing the feta and chopping the cucumber and herbs up to 3 hours before the time but only assemble right before serving. Watch a step by step reel of the recipe by clicking on this link I hope you enjoy making this recipe for Egyptian Feta Salad . If you’ve made it, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoy. The serving spoon in the image is from my range of handmade wooden tableware. You can view the full range by clicking here.

Salads

Barbecued Corn Salad

At your next barbecue, skip the usual corn on the cob and make this flavourful, colourful and super easy salad recipe given to me by a friend who insisted I try it (and put it on the blog). The salad is also fantastic as a meal on its own – cook the corn any way you prefer, mix in a protein like some tuna or grilled chicken breast and you have the perfect mid-week summer meal. Leave out the meat, add some feta cheese, serve with a freshly baked bread and Meat Free Mondays are sorted. Print Yum Barbecued Corn Salad Ingredients3-4 corn on the cob 400g baby tomatoes sliced in half 1 red onion, sliced 2 avocados, stoned and cubed 1 tin (400g) red kidney beans, drained 3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped parsley 1 heaped tablespoon roughly chopped mint 2 heaped tablespoons torn basil 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar salt and cracked black pepper Olive oil for roasting and fryingInstructionsPreheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes. Place the corn cobs in a separate dish and dry roast at the same time as the tomatoes or cook on the barbecue. Once the corn has cooled enough to handle cut the corn from the cob with a sharp knife and place in a large bowl. Gently fry the onion in some olive oil until caramelised. Add the tomatoes and their roasting liquid, onions, avocado, beans, parsley, mint and basil to the corn and stir until just mixed. Add the vinegar and a good pinch of salt and black pepper and mix. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours for the flavours to blend. Check the seasoning and serve. Serves 6 – 8Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/roasted-corn-salad/  

Prawn and Calamari Salad and Feasting off the Beaten Track in Vietnam

This recipe for Vietnamese style Prawn and Calamari Salad is the third recipe inspired by my recent trip to Vietnam with the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The other recipes are the delicious Massaman Curry from Thailand and Khmer Chicken Soup from Cambodia. We spent the Vietnamese leg of the trip on Phu Quoc Island so I think it is fitting that the recipe for this post is a crunchy and colourful seafood dish as we head into spring. South East Asia is one of the most popular holiday destinations for South Africans with its vibrant culture, iconic street food, world-renowned beaches and value for money attracting visitors from all over the world. But these destinations offer so much more outside of the popular and well-known locations where authentic food experiences can be discovered and enjoyed. The Southern Tourism Corridor is a tourism cooperation corridor among Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam established in 2007, with Myanmar invited to join in August 2018. Some of the provinces included in Thailand are Rayong and Chanthaburi, Kampot in Cambodia and Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam and I was invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to explore the corridor from a gastronomy perspective. From Kampot in Cambodia, head to the Prek Chak Border and cross into Vietnam at the Xa Xia Border. Stop for a traditional Vietnamese lunch at The Sammy Hotel in Ha Tien before heading to the Ha Tien Pier and board the Phu Quoc Express to Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam. The island is Vietnam’s biggest island, just off the coast of Cambodia with 20 beaches, mostly visited by local tourists. Dotted with beach resorts catering to all budgets, the gastronomy offering might not be the best example of traditional Vietnamese cuisine for foodies looking for the real experience. But it is at the markets where you will find the real Vietnam. Duong Dong is the largest town on the island with a vibrant market to match. Located next to the river also called Duong Dong, the morning market offers the freshest produce, seafood, poultry and meat. Enjoy the sunrise reflecting on hundreds of fishing boats moored on the riverbank followed by walk down Nguyen Trung Truc Street and take in the vibrancy and energy of the market as the sun rises. Just be careful of the motorbikes hooting at you to get out of the way if you walk too slow! The Cau Sau market is an evening market that sets up shop on one lane of the DT46 highway. This makes navigating the market even more trickier than usual, as cars speed past while locals on motorbikes stop to buy seafood, vegetables and snacks before jumping back on their motorbikes, heading home with their purchases. There is so much to take in and see but here you need to be aware of being in the way of motorbikes and cars.  For a more tranquil experience head to the Truc Lam Ho Quoc Buddhist temple, climb to the top and enjoy a magical sunset with probably the best view in Phu Quoc. Or take the Hon Thom cable car to Pineapple Island and back. The cable car is one of the longest in the world (8km) and offers a breathtaking view of some of the 28 islands that make up the Phu Quoc district. We enjoyed a prawn and calamari salad one evening in Phu Quoc and I loved all the textures and flavours of the dish. I especially liked the idea of spooning some salad on a prawn cracker and eating it this way. The crackers provide loads of texture as you eat the salad. It really is a no fuss dish and you can easily replace the prawn cracker with a savoury biscuit if you’d like. One of the most wonderful things in life is a chance to see something for the first time and even though Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are well known destinations they offer so much more to see and taste when veering off the usual routes. Not only do you get to see something for the first time but you get to see and taste in a very authentic way. I hope you enjoyed traveling with me through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and this recipe for Vietnamese Inspired Prawn and Calamari Salad. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. And click here for more moments from the Vietnam leg of the trip.  The visit was made possible by Tourism Authority of Thailand Print Yum Prawn and Calamari Salad and Feasting off the Beaten Track in Vietnam IngredientsOil for frying 250g uncooked prawns, peeled 250g calamari tentacles, sliced 4 large carrots, thinly sliced 1 large cucumber, thinly sliced 10g mint leaves, stalks removed Handful sliced spring onions 50g mung bean sprouts Dressing 40ml lime juice 40ml cup fish sauce 2 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp minced garlic 1 tbsp finely grated ginger 1-2 red chilies peppers sliced Prawn Crackers to serve InstructionsIn a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside Using paper towel, pat the prawns and calamari dry Heat a frying pan to very hot, add a splash of oil and flash fry the prawns and calamari in batches Place the seafood in the dressing as you remove it from the pan and let it marinate for 10 minutes or so Place the carrots, cucumber, mint, spring onions and sprouts in a salad bowl and mix Remove the seafood with a slotted spoon from the dressing, add to the vegetables and toss it all together Spoons some of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat Serve with prawn crackers Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/prawn-and-calamari-salad-and-feasting-off-the-beaten-track-in-vietnam/

Grilled Nectarine and Lentil Salad with Red Pepper Pesto

I have a recent visit to Webersburg Wine Estate to photograph the food of chef Nadia Roux to thank for this delicious recipe for Grilled Nectarine and Lentil Salad with Red Pepper Pesto. Nadia loves to work with fruit in savoury dishes and after photographing her Grilled Mango with blueberries and Danish Feta Salad I asked for another recipe I could make for the blog.   Overlooking beautiful mountains and a large pond dotted with ducks the bistro is bright and airy. The food Nadia serves is easy, unfussy, bistro style food. All made from scratch by her team. She plays with flavours and textures in her Chef’s Speciality Salad depending on the season and what is available.  “I use a lot of fresh fruit in my cooking and feel that fruit are often overlooked as elements in savoury dishes.  They bring out new bouquets of flavours when paired with meats and other proteins.” says Nadia as she preps the salad to be photographed. I love photographing burgers and the Webersburg Burger does not disappoint. Topped with strong Cheddar cheese, homemade mustard mayo and served in a brioche bun it is a meal of beauty. Nadia serves the burger with hand cut potato chips. She laughs when she says that she is not always sure the hand cut chips was the best idea, it is a lot of work but now there is no way she can take it off the menu – diners love them too much! We talk trends and recipe books. She claims she has too many recipe books but loves all of them. Nopi, the new Ottolenghi book is already a favourite and she says that every foodie and chef should own Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. She reads up about trends but it does not influence the menu that much. “If there are elements that can be implemented into our food, I’ll try it out.  But ultimately our nature is to go back to what we know and like and for that we stand ready with what we offer with our own flair.” Nadia mentions there is always onion, garlic and butter in her kitchen. And what does she cook when she does not feel like cooking? “Pasta with basil pesto – quick easy and tasty”. I tweaked Nadia’s recipe she gave me by adding lentils to the salad to make it more substantial to serve as a meal on it’s own. Nectarines are going out of season now but you can replace it with plums or even pears that are coming in season. I do think the salad will be a colourful and tasty addition to your Easter table. The red pepper pesto would also be fantastic with grilled lamb. The recipe is merely an indication and you can add other ingredients as you please on the day. Below is a gallery with more imges of my day : [metaslider id=5139] Print Yum Grilled Nectarine and Lentil Salad with Red Pepper Pesto Ingredients1 whole nectarine, sliced into wedges (or use plums or pears depending on season) Olive oil 2 cups cooked lentils Apple cider vinegar 3 baby cucumbers, sliced Fresh baby herb leaves 100g Chevin cheese, crumbled Pesto: 2 red bell peppers olive oil handful of cashew nuts, toasted 3 tbsp grated pecorino cheese 1 clove garlic, roasted salt and pepper to tasteInstructionsPreheat the oven grill Make the pesto by rubbing the peppers with oil and placing under the grill Turn the peppers regularly and grill until the skin is black and blistered in spots Place the peppers in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap so that the peppers sweat and cool down Once cooled, peel off the skin and deseed the peppers Place the peppers in a blender with the nuts, cheese and garlic Blend to a paste, adding more olive oil as needed and season to taste Lightly brush the nectarine wedges with olive oil and neatly grill on a griddle pan on each side until griddle marks appear. Set aside Drizzle the cooked lentils with some olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar Add the cucumber and mix through Top the lentils with the nectarine wedges and then with the cheese and herbs Dot the salad with the pesto and serve the rest of the pesto on the sideSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/grilled-nectarine-lentil-salad-red-pepper-pesto/ We’ve had a number of enquiries for the next Food Photography Workshop and I am pleased to confirm the 15th of May 2016 for the next one. Let me know if you would like to attend. More details here . Disclaimer : I was an invited by Red Carpet Concepts to visit Webersburg Wine Estate and photograph the food for heinstirred.com  More photos, food and travel stories on:  Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter  Facebook 

No Mayo Potato Salad

No braai is complete without a bowl of potato salad and everyone has their favourite way of making this dish. For me it has to be a thick garlic and grated onion mayonnaise dressing with some chopped boiled egg or the warm German version with a tangy vinegar dressing dotted with crispy bacon and chopped parsley.

Soups

Bone Broth Ramen

This Bone Broth Ramen feels like a labour of love. Not a terribly complicated one (like love tends to be but that is a whole other story and post for an entirely different blog!) but it does take more than 24 hours to get to the end result. But the result is a nourishing bowl of goodness which is comforting and slurpily delicious. I am also aware that I am taking a huge creative license in calling it Ramen as this is not at all a traditional ramen broth but ramen’s two main ingredients are noodles and broth. And since I wanted to make my own bowl of slurpy noodles and had been planning to make a bone broth for a long time, combining the two seemed logical. I did quite a bit of reading of how to make a bone broth and it is not difficult at all. Some recipes added vegetables to the bones for cooking while others were quite adamant that it should only be bones. I went the latter route and only used bones for cooking the broth. I got a mix of marrow, pork and beef bones from my butcher. Ask for knuckles, short ribs and neck bones and the bones should have a little bit of meat on them. The method is quite simple. I roasted the bones at a high temperature to brown and caramelise and then placed them in a large oven proof dish with a lid. Covered with water, added cider vinegar, a few bay leaves and simmered it at a low temperature for a good 24 hours. Once it had cooled down a bit, I strained the broth through a fine sieve, removed the cooked marrow from the marrow bones, added it to the broth with a quarter cup of red miso and whisked it in. I then placed the broth in the fridge to cool down and once it was cooled I removed the top layer of fat. If you do not want to use miso to season the broth, season with salt accordingly. I made sure that I removed all the bits of meat from the bones before discarding them. You can add the pieces of meat to the noodles or set them aside to make a pasta sauce or a delicious savoury pie filling. The broth will only keep for a few days in the fridge so rather freeze the broth for later use. Drink it as a light soup or use it as a base for soups, stews and casseroles like you would use stock. Making the ramen or rather noodle bowl is super easy. I reheated some of the broth, removed it from heat and added the noodles to the hot broth to soften. I then added some sliced mushrooms, a boiled egg, baby pak choi, sliced spring onion and chili for a hearty bowl of slurpy noodle goodness. I do hope you enjoy this Bone Broth Ramen. You can find more miso recipes here. For other methods to make Bone Broth check out The Kitchn and click here for the Ultimate Guide to Bone Broth by Kettle and Fire. I am pleased to introduce my new cookbook, Drunk and Hungry available as an epub download. As the title states, the book consists of easy and flavourful recipes for when you find yourself drunk, and hungry. Savoury, sweet, vegan, vegetarian, bacon, cheese, spice, and carbs are packed into 15 easy recipes to satisfy your hunger while tantalising your tastebuds. You can purchase the book by clicking on this link and all you need to read it is a free epub reader such as Apple Books, Fullreader or similar. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Bone Broth Ramen. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. In other news, I am delighted to introduce the Heinstirred Greeting Cards Range. Inspired by fusing food and nature, distinctive images were photographed and set in original heart-shaped designs. Click here for all the details of the range now available. Print Yum Bone Broth Ramen Ingredients2kg bones (a mix of pork and beef – marrow, knuckle, short ribs and neck bones) 2 tbsp cider vinegar 2 bay leaves 1/4 cup red miso or salt for seasoning For the Ramen Medium egg noodles Baby Pak Choi Sliced raw mushrooms Sliced spring onions Sliced chili Boiled Egg Optional: Meat removed from the bones Other vegetables to taste InstructionsPreheat the oven to 200 degrees C Place the bones in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour turning once until browned and caramelised Place the roasted bones (and all the roasted bits in the tray) in a large oven proof dish with a lid Reduce the oven temperature to 95 degrees C Add water to cover the bones by a few cm and add the cider vinegar and bay leaves Cover and place in the oven and simmer for 24 hours After 24 hours, remove from the oven and let the broth cool down a bit Once it has cooled down enough to handle, strain the broth through a fine sieve Remove the cooked marrow from the marrow bones and add it to the broth with a quarter cup of red miso (or salt to adequately season) and whisk to combine Placed the broth in the fridge to cool down completely and then remove the top layer of fat While the broth is in the fridge, remove all the bits of meat from the bones and set aside or freeze for future use Reheat the broth to use as is or as a base for soups and stews or freeze if not using immediately TO MAKE THE RAMEN Reheat enough broth as required Remove from the heat and place the noodles in hot broth to soften Once the noodles are soft add the rest of the vegetables and serve Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/bone-broth-ramen/

15 Minute Ramen

I love a bowl of ramen and this 15 minute ramen recipe is a must-have if you feel the same. Packed with flavour and ready within 15 minutes (give or take a few) you will have a steaming bowl of goodness in your hands when you get home from work. I saw the recipe in one of the recent issues of Delicious Australia and had to make it immediately. Some of the ingredients like the Korean chilli paste and white miso is perhaps not standard store cupboard ingredients here in South Africa but I urge you to get some. Those ingredients easily become standard ingredients if you want to expand your cooking repertoire and tastes. I did not change the recipe much and kept close to the original. Sometimes ground pork mince is not available so feel free to adapt the recipe and use chicken mince if you have. Another idea would be to get the best quality pork sausages and removing them from their casings and use that as the protein. But use the best you can find and not sausages stuffed with cheese or something odd. Super important for this recipe is the quality of the stock. The better the stock, the better the flavour of the ramen. Homemade wins the first prize of course, but you can find stock at many farmer’s markets too. If you do you use a concentrate or powder from a retailer, just be careful about the salt. Remember the miso is quite salty too. If you can’t find white miso, used red miso but halve the quantity as it is much more intense than white. But I do feel that white miso is the best to use for this recipe so it is worth finding. You can easily change the pork or chicken to tofu or even prawns, so feel free to adapt it as you please. Print Yum 15 Minute Ramen Ingredients60ml vegetable oil 3 garlic cloves crushed 2 long spring onions, thinly sliced 100g white miso 1l chicken stock (warm) 1 tbsp finely grated ginger 500g ground pork 1 tbsp Korean chilli paste (Gochujang) 2 tbsp rice vinegar 60ml light soy sauce 1 tsp sesame oil 220g medium wholewheat egg noodles or any ramen noodles of your choice 4 soft boiled eggs sesame seeds to serve nori (dried seaweed) to serve sliced spring onion to serve Sliced fresh chilli to serve InstructionsCook the noodles as per the packet instructions Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat Add the spring onion and cook for 4 minutes Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes Add the miso and stock and bring to a slow simmer Meanwhile heat the rest of the oil in a pan and add the ginger Fry the ginger for a minute and then add the ground pork Cook the pork, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon Fry for about 10 minutes over a medium high heat until the pork crispy and golden brown Add the chilli to the miso broth with the vinegar, soy and sesame oil Divide the noodles and pork amongst 4 bowls Top with the broth and garnish with eggs, sesame seeds and nori Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/15-minute-ramen/ I hope you enjoy this recipe for 15 Minute Ramen. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred   See below for my recipe for Bone Broth Ramen – a super popular recipe on Pinterest Bone Broth Ramen

Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms and Garlic Toasties

This post is in collaboration with La Motte Wine Estate. The inspiration for this Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms and Garlic Toasties came from the reality of reaching that stage of the lockdown where I had only one bottle of wine left.  So enjoying that bottle wine with a delicious bowl of autumn comfort was not negotiable. It was a bottle of La Motte Millenium, a South African interpretation of the famous Bordeaux-style red blend with Merlot (44%), Cabernet Franc (37%), Petit Verdot (9%) and Malbec (10%). It is a complex wine with a dusty, earthy nose with raspberry and mulberry fruit, cinnamon spice and a hint of mint that pairs well with mild curries, creamy dishes and mushrooms. So I took my cue from a recipe by Chef Eric Bulpitt, Executive Chef of Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant to create a comforting and homely mushroom soup to enjoy with the Millenium. It has been a while since I have done a soup for the blog, and I think this Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms is a delicious addition to the collection of recipes on here. The creamy mushroom soup is served with marinated mushrooms, and not only do they add texture but the acidity of the marinated mushrooms cuts through the rich creaminess of the soup. A bowl of soup needs crusty bread, so I toasted some ciabatta bread slices, smashed a clove of garlic, and mixed it into some extra virgin olive oil with chopped fresh parsley. A spoonful spread on the slices of bread is delicious. You could swap out the oil with salted butter and slather that on the slices of bread. If you find raw garlic too strong, roast a few cloves and squeeze the soft garlic out of the skin and mix with parsley and oil. I used portabellini mushrooms to marinade and a mix of shitake and portabellini mushrooms for the soup, but you can use any mushrooms of your choice and what you can find when you head out to the shops. The more flavourful the mushroom the more delicious the soup will be. If you want to keep the soup vegan, replace the cream with coconut milk. There may be some marinated mushrooms leftover, spoon them on a piece of sourdough with a slice of mature cheddar – so good! I hope you enjoy this recipe for Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed. Print Yum Mushroom Soup with Marinated Mushrooms and Garlic Toasties IngredientsMarinated mushrooms 200g small portobello mushrooms, cleaned and halved 50ml apple cider vinegar 50ml extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 thyme sprig sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper Mushroom Soup 100g shallots, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, mashed olive oil for frying 100ml sherry 600g mushrooms such as portabellini, shitake, porcini, cleaned and roughly chopped 1 sprig thyme 500ml warm vegetable stock 250ml cream (or coconut milk) sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper Garlic Toasties 1 clove garlic, mashed handful, chopped fresh parsley 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil slices of bread, toasted InstructionsTo make the marinated mushrooms, place all the other ingredients except the mushrooms in a saucepan and bring to a boil then pour over the cut mushrooms Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours to cool Make the soup by heating some oil in a saucepan and add the shallots and garlic Sweat the vegetables over a low heat until soft and translucent Deglaze with the sherry and add the mushrooms and thyme Give it a stir and cook for a few minutes Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes Add the cream or coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes Season to taste Use a stick blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency and keep warm while making the toasties Make the garlic toasties by mixing the garlic, parsley and olive oil and spreading onto the just toasted bread Serve the soup in bowls, topped with some marinated mushrooms and the toasties Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/mushroom-soup-with-marinated-mushrooms/

Roasted Butternut Soup

I was once told that South Africans have quite an obsession with butternut and with the last few days having been cold and wet I just smiled when I decided to make a butternut soup. I wanted to keep the soup pretty rustic and did not add any cream or orange. What I did decide to do was toss the butternut in some hot curry powder and add a few cloves of garlic while the butternut was roasting and it did add a wonderful flavour to the soup. Print Yum Roasted Butternut Soup Ingredients1kg diced butternut 2 teaspoons hot curry powder 4 whole unpeeled cloves of garlic oil for drizzling 3 cups warm chicken or vegetable stock 1 heaped teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger salt and cracked black pepper for seasoning knob of butter fresh sage leavesInstructionsPreheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Toss the butternut with the curry powder and oil, place in a roasting tray with the cloves of garlic and roast until the butternut is soft and the edges has started to turn dark brown. Let the butternut and garlic cool down a bit. Gently squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins, place in a blender with the butternut, chicken stock and ginger and pulse until smooth. It is easier to do this in two batches. If you want a smoother soup pass the mixture (or half of the mixture) through a sieve. Place the soup in a pot and gently reheat till hot and check the seasoning. Melt the butter in a pan and add the sage leaves. Fry for a few seconds and spoon over the soup. Serve with toasted sour dough bread.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/roasted-butternut-soup/  

Vegetables, Vegetarian & Vegan

Fig Salad

I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of moving to the centre of town a week ago. So it is quite fitting that this Fig Salad came to being after I bought the figs from one of the many fruit and veg street vendors in the city centre. Their stalls are always bright splashes of colour within the concrete of the city and it is a treat to see how the produce change as the seasons progress. The price for the figs was insanely cheap. 4 Punnets for R10 (1 US dollar). You could easily pay R30 or R40 for 6 figs at the retailers. I must have asked him about 3 times if that was the correct price. I was late as it is but there was no ways I was not going to get these beauties so bought them, walked back home to drop them off and was even later for my appointment. But it was so worth it! My initial idea was to bake with the figs but they were just too beautiful to let them disappear into some batter, so  I grabbed my newly acquired Plenty More recipe book from Ottolenghi as I recalled there were some recipes with figs. In there he has a fig salad with roasted red onions and I took that as inspiration for this salad. I wanted to keep it all in the hue of dark reds with splashes of fresh bright green so added some roasted beetroot to the mix. For the leaves I only used baby leaves as I wanted the flavour to be as intense as possible. Roast the onions to a deep caramalisation. That slight burnt flavour and saltiness goes so well with the sweetness of the figs and beetroot. You could add Feta cheese but I liked the salad as is and there is enough salt coming from the roasted onions. Print Yum Fig Salad Ingredients2 large red onions 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil good pinch of sea salt 6 whole beetroot, cooked (preferably roasted) and peeled 6 large figs a mix of baby spinach and baby salad leaves of your choice (try to get some red leaves like radicchio) a handful of fresh basil leaves 1 tbsp balsamic vinegarInstructionsPreheat oven to 220 degrees C. Peel the onions and slice each one into 6 wedges. Drizzle with a tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring once through roasting, until the onions are soft and the edges caramalised and crispy. Remove and set a side. Slice each beetroot into 8 wedges Slice each fig into 4 – 6 pieces depending on the size. Place half the leaves on a platter. Place half the onions, beetroot and figs on top Top with the rest of the leaves Top with the rest of the onions, figs and beetroot Scatter the basil leaves over the salad Whisk the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and balsamic together and drizzle over the salad and serve Adapted from OttolenghiSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/fig-salad/

Pea Hummus

Summer eating has to be easy, colourful and with as little fuss as possible. And as much as the eating must be so must the cooking. And I think this Pea Hummus fits the bill perfectly. The colour is gorgeous, the sweetness of the peas works well with the slight hit from the garlic and the tahini gives it a bit of a earthy base. Pile it on top of some toasted bread and you have a perfect marriage of textures, tastes and colours.   As I had some of the homemade fresh curd cheese left I made that the first layer before topping it with the pea hummus. It looked so pretty and added an extra creaminess to the bruschetta. Not only does the lemon zest add another splash of colour but it adds a little bit of zestiness which I think the hummus needs. If you do not want to use cheese, some roasted baby tomatoes would work really well. And it would look beautiful. The recipe can not be any simpler or quicker. It really is a case of putting it all in a blender and pulsing for a few seconds to the right consistency. If you do not have a blender you can easily make it in a pestle and mortar or mashing it all with a fork will be just as easy. It will make no difference whether you use fresh or frozen peas but I would not use tinned. I think it will be too mushy and the colour quite bland and you want a vibrant green colour. Just a note regarding the garlic. I added quite a large clove of garlic to the mix and the mild creaminess of the cheese balanced it well. It really depends how garlicky you want to go. The sweet flavour of the peas can be overpowered by raw garlic and if you are not that keen on raw garlic, use a smaller clove or half a clove. You can always add more but once you added you can not make it less! Print Yum Pea Hummus Ingredients1 cup fresh or frozen peas and extra for garnish 2 tbsp tahini 1 clove garlic, chopped juice from half a lemon 2 tbsp olive oil 6 mint leaves ½ tsp cumin salt and pepper to taste zest of one lemon olive oil to drizzle mint to garnishInstructionsIf you are using frozen peas, place in boiling water for a few minutes, drain and refresh under cold water. Place all ingredients except salt, pepper and lemon rind in food processor and pulse until smooth. If the mixture is too dry add a splash of lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Make 10 slices of toasted bread. Ciabatta or sourdough. Spread ricotta thickly on the toasted slices of bread (if used). Top with pea hummus. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and lemon rind. Drizzle some olive oil over each slice and garnish with mint leaves and the extra peasSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/pea-hummus/        

Baked Ricotta Tart

This Baked Ricotta Tart is the first recipe of the new year and the new decade. And I think it is such a delicious and versatile recipe to start 2020 on heinstirred. Great for brunch, lunch or dinner and the topping combinations are endless no matter what the season or occasion. The inspiration for this Baked Ricotta Tart comes from Delicious Australia, and the ricotta base forms a blank canvass that you can dress up as you please. A combination of ricotta, mascarpone and parmesan, mixed with two eggs and baked. It is crustless and glutenfree, making the tart suitable for all tastes and preferences. As it is summer in South Africa at the moment, I kept the topping seasonal and summery. A slather of pungent and herby basil pesto topped with fresh multi coloured tomatoes. Stock up on heirloom tomatoes at your next visit to the farmer’s market and adorn the ricotta tart base with them. You can change the toppings depending on the season and the occasion. The pesto forms a good base of flavour but it does not have to be basil. A red pepper pesto or rocket pesto would work great as well. A beetroot pesto would look so good and probably tinge the top of the ricotta tart to a light pink colour. Keep it vegetarian, there is enough protein in the base so I don’t think it needs meat in the topping. Roast the tomatoes as a variation, or roast beetroot or butternut. If you roast the veggies, you lose some texture so a roasted vegetable topping would need some texture in the form of roasted and topped nuts. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Baked Ricotta Tart. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred I love baking with ricotta, savoury or sweet. In fact, the most popular recipe on heinstirred is this Lemon Ricotta Cake posted right at the beginning of heinstirred about 6 years ago.  The cake is utterly delicious and so worth baking. Enjoy! Print Yum Baked Ricotta Tart Ingredients750g ricotta cheese 250g mascarpone cheese 40g parmesan cheese, grated zest of 1 lemon sea salt flakes and ground black pepper to season 2 eggs, lightly beaten 130g basil pesto 350g fresh heirloom tomatoes, halved fresh basil leaves InstructionsPreheat the oven to 180 degrees C  Grease and line a 20cm round baking tin with baking paper Place the ricotta, mascarpone, parmesan and lemon zest in a bowl Mix until combined and season well Mix in the eggs until combined Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top Bake for 1 hour, cover with foil and bake for another 15 minutes until firm and golden (it should have a slight wobble in the middle) Cool the tart completely in the tin Once cool, remove from the tin and place in a serving platter Spread the pesto on top of the tart  Place the halved tomatoes on top and decorate with fresh basil leaves Serves 6Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/baked-ricotta-tart/

Vegan Choc Mint Tart (Raw)

I am a sucker for any combination that involves cream, eggs and butter as I am sure many regular readers of this blog can attest to. But I am similarly fascinated with vegan baking and baking with alternative ingredients so I jumped at the chance to make this Vegan Choc Mint Tart when a friend showed me the recipe on enrichnutrition’s instagram feed. The tart is a crust of almonds and dates, topped with a cashew and coconut cream chocolate mousse with a layer of cashew and coconut cream mint mousse and a layer of melted dark chocolate on top as the grand finale. To me the tart is a vegan version of the classic Peppermint Crisp Tart that we South Africans are so obsessed with. I did tweak the recipe a bit and used half an avo in each of the mousse layers. Since I did not have rice malt syrup I used maple syrup but then discovered that the recipe would still be classified as vegan but can not be called raw as maple syrup is made from cooking down the sap collected from maple trees. (I have subsequently found this Rice Syrup on Faithful to Nature and does seem to be the same as Rice Malt Syrup). You could also use honey if it is suitable to your eating lifestyle. You might find the almond crust to be slightly on the thick side compared the mousses so you could reduce the quantity by about 30 – 40g but I quite liked the thick layer. The chocolate topping is a 70% bitter chocolate so the tart is rich so only a small slice of the tart with satisfy all sweet cravings. You could use a milk chocolate or a combination of milk and dark if you prefer. This Vegan Choc Mint Tart is great for a party where you want to serve something vegan. I am convinced all the non vegans will enjoy this as well. Serve it sliced in bars and it is best eaten within a day or two. I stored left over tart in the freezer. Enjoy! Print Yum Vegan Choc Mint Tart (Raw) IngredientsAlmond cookie base: 270g raw almonds 6 dates 1 tbsp coconut oil Chocolate layer: 75g raw cashews, soaked overnight ½ avocado 2 tbsp raw cacao 2 tbsp rice syrup or maple syrup or honey 2 tbsp solid coconut milk (the top part of a can of coconut milk that has been chilled overnight) 1 tbsp coconut water (from the water underneath the solid coconut milk from a can of coconut milk that has been chilled overnight pinch of salt Mint layer: 75g raw cashews, soaked overnight ½ avocado 2 tbsp solid coconut milk (the top part of a can of coconut milk that has been chilled overnight) 1 tbsp coconut water (from the water underneath the solid coconut milk from a can of coconut milk that has been chilled overnight 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (more to taste) pinch of salt Choc topping: 150g dark or milk (or combo of both) vegan chocolate, melted InstructionsLine a 20cm x 20cm square baking tin with cling wrap Pit the dates and soak them in water Blend almonds in a food processor until they resemble a fine flour-like texture Add the soaked dates and coconut oil and blend until sticky and crumbly Spoon into the tin, firmly press down and place in freezer for 30 minutes Combine all the ingredients for the chocolate layer in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy Spread on top of the base and place back in the freezer for 15 minutes Combine all the ingredients for the mint layer in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy Spread on top of the chocolate layer and place back in the freezer for at least 2 hours Remove from the freezer and spread the melted chocolate on top Place in the freezer for at least another 30 minutes Remove from the freezer, carefully take the frozen layers out of the tin and slice into small bars Adapted from enrichnutrition (instagram)Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1https://heinstirred.com/vegan-choc-mint-tart-raw/ A few of my other favourite vegan recipes : Vegan Caramel Vegan No Bake Granola Bars Cauliflower Kofta with Vegan Mayo How To Make Almond Milk More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook

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