Citrus Flavours

Citrus Flavours
Photo by Scott Bauer

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This blog has been designed to enlighten the world to sweet and savoury cusine. Personally, my favourite ingredient in cooking is citrus fruits, particually lemons, so I will try to inspire your inner chef to share the interesting flavour of lemons in the most indulgent cupcakes, muffins, cakes, slices, cookies and of course savoury dishes. My collection of recipes can be applied to any situation; formal or informal, in any case they are delicious and will interest your guests! Enjoy preparing and sharing the following recipes for what will be a memorable gathering with friends and family for any occassion.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Coconut Biscuits

Recipe from Favourite Muffins, Biscuits, Cakes and Slices
Images by Yasmin

(makes approximately 35 - 40)

I made these biscuits just in time for the new school year. They remind me of Anzac Biscuits, but they have a more refreshing flavour; just what one needs in an exhausting school day. The tang of lime and the unique flavour and texture of coconut combine perfectly in a citrus blend, to make these wonderful biscuits, suited well for packing lunches, having a snack or serving for afternoon/morning tea. I recommend this new recipe.

  • 1/2 cup butter, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup SR flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup desicated coconut
  • 2 tsps finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tblsps lime juice

Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine. Make small balls of mixture and place them well seperated on a greased tray. Press down to make a circular shaped biscuit. Cook at 180'C fan-forced for 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve.

Dutch Pancakes

Original recipe from NMAA Cooks, modified by Yasmin
Image by Yasmin

I have my moments on some mornings were I crave for sweetness. My solution.... Dutch Pancakes. A Dutch Pancake is very similar to the average packet mix pancake except it has added goodness; fruit. My favourite combination for these pancakes is shredded apple dusted with cinnamon. However, any combination of fruit and seasoning can be created, depending on what is available at the time and your craving. For another example, try sultanas, shredded apple and jam, or diced dried apricots and coconut. The possibilities are endless!

  •  125g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + yolk extra
  • 250ml milk
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tblsp melted butter
  • canola spray

Sift flour and salt, make a well in the middle, and break in the egg and yolk and stir. Add milk and water gradually and stir until smooth. Stand for 1 hour, then add melted butter. If desired, add a fruit and seasoning combination (some are suggested above). Stir slowly until mixed through. Heat frying pan and when hot spray with canola oil. Pour pancake batter onto the middle of the pan to the desired size (remembering that it will spread). Cook until bubbles form around most of the pancake. Using a spatula, flip the pancake onto the other side for only a few minutes. Then, using the spatula, transfer to a plate. Repeat the cooking process until all the batter has been used (stacking the pancakes). If desired, reheat in the oven for a few minutes at 180'C. Serve plain, with ice-cream dusted with cinnamon, or one of the suggestions below (if fruit has not already been added into batter).

Topping suggestions:
  • sugar coated with lemon juice
  • Ricotta cheese, sugar, cinnamon, sultanas
  • Berry jam with cream
  • 250g fuit mince softened in 1 tblsp brandy
  • 125g cream cheese, 2 tsp lemon juice, 4 tblsp chopped walnuts
  • chocolate sauce
  • honey or golden syrup
  • nutella spread

Friday, January 21, 2011

Whole Orange Cake

Recipe from Super Food Ideas
Images by Renata and Yasmin

(serves 12)

The first time this cake was made in our household it was prepared by my mother. I watched intricately as she showed me the important steps preparing this cake; you must boil the oranges whole, with skin, twice. This is done to remove the bitterness of the orange and softening the peel and pitch; leaving a sweet taste for the cake. I have now successfully, as my friends told me, made a replica of this cake - following my mum's example. Everybody enjoyed devouring this cake at afternoon tea along with a wide collection of my favourite recipes; Gooey Caramel Muffins, Rum Balls (which will sadly not feature in this blog as it contains chocolate) and Scones (an old family recipe). Everybody always has a great time when surrounded by friends, family and great food!

  • 2 small (400g) oranges
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups SR flour, sifted
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
  • Orange zest to decorate
Orange Icing:
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 10g butter
  • 2 tblsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 160'C fan-forced. Grease a 24cm (base) fluted ring pan (as seen below).

Place oranges in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Drain. Cover with cold water. Return to the boil. Drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Roughly chop oranges in quarters. Remove and discard seeds. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Stir  in butter, milk, eggs, flour, sugar and almond meal until combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in cake comes clean. Stand cake in pan for 10 minutes. Use a knife to lightly cut around the edge and middle to separate cake from edges of the tin. Turn onto wire rack and cool.

To make icing: Place sugar, butter and orange juice in a heatproof bowl  over pan of simmering water (bain marie). Stir for 5 minutes or until smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over cake. Top with orange zest. Stand for 15 minutes or until set.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jam Rings

(makes about 15)

Recipe from I Love Sugar
Images by Yasmin

This recipe has come with a collection of recipes in my newest book called I Love Sugar. It was given to me by my darling sister in Japan for Christmas, so I was just dieing to start baking. For some variation to the original circle biscuit design, I cut the biscuits in the shape of a love heart - because I love my sister and baking! This thought can be applied to any cutter shape as long as it is large enough to cut out a hole in the centre. Be warned though, this recipe is extremely calorific! Recommended only 1-2 per sitting and keep a glass of water handy!!!

Biscuit (base and top):
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting (or icing sugar)
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 280g plain flower (approx 2 cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 55g butter, softened
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 5 tblsp jam (of your choice), warmed (more if needed)

Put the butter and caster sugar into a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon, then beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Sift the flour and salt into the mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Halve the dough, wrap in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190'C fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Unwrap the dough and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper. Stamp out 30 biscuits using a cutter shape and divide evenly on the trays (making sure there is enough tops for bottoms). Before placing half the biscuits on to the tray, cut out the centres with cutters and roll out some more biscuit bases and tops. Space well apart on tray to allow for spreading.

Bake in the preheated oven for 7 minutes, then remove and brush with egg whites and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for a further 5-8 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to the wire racks to cool completely.

For filling, beat the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl until smooth and combined. Spread the filling over the whole biscuit and top with a thin layer of jam. Place the ring tops on top and press gently together.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Curry Egg Halves

Recipe and Images from Yasmin

I really enjoy making this little extra side dish when helping prepare our weekly family BBQ. This dish would take under 10 minutes to cook, prepare and serve. I love the different textures of egg and paste, combined with the different herbs and spices. A truly wonderful and fun, extra dish to serve.

  • eggs (as many as needed - half the quantity of the quests)
  • mayonnaise (enough to make a smooth paste)
  • 2-3 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • chopped herbs (usually chives or parsley) (optional)
  • pinch of salt (if needed)
  • iceberg lettuce leaves to decorate (optional)
  • paprika (to dust)

Hard boil eggs in a medium or large pot. When cooked, cool in cold water. Shell the eggs. On a cutting board, cut the eggs in half. Scoop the hard yolk into a bowl. Add about 2 tblsp mayonnaise and mash with the back of a fork. Add enough mayonnaise to make a smooth paste. Do not make the paste runny. Add the diced onion, cut herbs, curry powder and salt. Combine with fork. On the serving plate lay out the lettuce and position the egg halves. Spoon in the yolk paste, enough to overfill the eggs (there may be some left over). Dust with paprika. Serve as a side for dinner.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dried Fruit Balls

Recipe from Great Aunt Marie
Image by Ifood

(makes about 35)

I'm sure everyone is well educated in the many variations of the classic Rum Balls. This is a very old and much healthier varitation given to me by my Great Aunt Marie. Although I do love the classic, this recipe has a naturally sweet and scrumptious twist. These are perfect for something to nibble with a cup of tea.

  • 1 cup dried fruit medley (apples, apricots, sultanas)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup skim milk powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup desicated coconut

Combine dried fruit medley, raisins and dates. Pour boiling water over fruits and leave for 15 minutes. Add skim milk powder, nuts and half the coconut and mix thoroughly. Using clean hands, form into 2cm balls, roll in remaining coconut. Refrigerate, covered, for a few hours before serving.

Variation: Press mixture into a slab tin which has been sprinkled with coconut. Press remaining coconut on top.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cheesecake (lime) Tarts

(fills roughly 12-18)

Recipe from Ruth Gilmore and Yasmin
The original recipe is below for this delicious cheescake; however, it is very simple to modify to suit the flavour wanted. As I love citrus flavours, I replaced 1 tsp of vanilla essence with the juice and rind of 2 limes. This can also be flavoured with the juice and rind of any citrus fruit. Be sure though not to make the mixture too runny. Another variation to the original recipe is serving the cheesecake in larger tart cases with fruit on top, serving it as a dessert with ice-cream and dusting it with icing sugar and lime zest. You can decorate and serve it however you please; be creative.

  • 225g Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • tart cases (can be bought at local supermarket)
  • Fresh fruit, to decorate (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180C. Beat the cream cheese with the sugar. With the mixer running, slowly add the eggs and vanilla. Arrange tart cases on a tray. Fill 3/4 (1-2 tblsps) of cases with the mixture. Bake for 15 minutes and leave to cool. When completely cooled (or after refridgeration), decorate with fruit (optional). Serve for afternoon or morning tea with a bowl of mixed fruit.

Mango Chicken Leaves

Recipe from Helen Gilmore

This is one of the many beautiful and exotic entrees that I was served when I visited some family friends. My family was treated like royalty and were showered with many delicate, little masterpieces before lunch. This is one of those pieces. It is so simple and easy to prepare, as well as being healthy too!

  • Chicken, cooked, cooled, cut into strips
  • Cos lettuce leaves
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder
  • mango, chopped in small cubes
  • 2-4 tspmango chutney
  • 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
  • paprika, to dust

Place small lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Spoon about 1 tblsp of mango cubes onto lettuce leaf. Place cooked chicken strip on top of mango base. In a bowl, combine Greek yoghurt, curry powder, and mango chutney. Spoon mixture in tblsps on to the chicken. Dust lightly with paprika. Serve as an entree.

Blueberry Custard Loaf

Recipe from Coles
Image by Melita Baker

The first time I took a bit of this mouth watering dessert, it was Christmas. While we still had the traditional Christmas pudding this second option immediately became a favourite among friends and family. My cousin prepared this dessert and simply explained it as a blueberry ice cream loaf. What forms the ice cream effect is the frozen cream and custard, a beautiful blend. Personally, custard is one of the many things that I do not like, but I was encouraged to try this dessert and I strongly recommend everybody try this dessert. The custard and cream mix and set well, complementing each other perfectly. As a fussy eater, I can honestly say that I could not specifically taste the custard - the flavour of the blueberries and cream is stronger. NOTE: For greater ease in preparation time, this dessert can be made up to one week in advance.

  • 250g Unibic Sponge Finger Savoiardi Biscuits
  • 2 tblsp Orange Juice
  • 500g Premium Style Custard
  • 300ml Thickened Cream, whipped
  • 2 x 125g punnets blueberries

Line an 11c x 24cm (base measurement) loaf pan with baking paper, allowing the long edges to overhang by 5cm. Arrange half the sponge fingers, crossways, over base of prepared pan, trimming edges so they fit snugly. Drizzle with orange juice. Gently combine custard and cream. Pour half the custard mixture over the sponge biscuits. Top with another layer of biscuits. Scatter over half the blueberries and pour over remaining custard mixture. Scatter over remaining blueberries. Place in freezer overnight to set. Remove from freezer 10 mins before serving. Use baking paper to lift custard loaf out of pan. Cut into slices and serve.