Sunday, November 25, 2012

Walnut and Almond Cake

NO, it's not Valentine's Yet...
Happy Birthday Dad!!!
Today my father celebrated his 63rd birthday and he looked better than ever.  
Two months ago he had a huge heart operation and he went through a lot of trouble.  
I was very pleased to see him today look healthy and happy, surrounded by his loved ones. His close family, cousins and friends were invited for lunch and he prepared barbecue for us.
This is his favorite cake so I had to do the best I could. 

Walnut and Almond Cake

Cake Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs
½ cup peanut oil
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 cup fine semolina
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp clove powder
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 tsp vanilla sugar

Syrup Ingredients
1½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
½ cup fresh orange juice
Orange zest, big pieces
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves

Ganache Ingredients
100gr dark chocolate
100gr milk chocolate
100gr fresh cream
10gr butter
¼ tsp almond essence

Preparation Method
1. Preheat oven at 180ºC.
2. Prepare syrup.  In a small pan add all syrup ingredients and cook, at medium heat, for about 12 minutes. Allow to cool.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs and vanilla for 8 minutes; gradually add oil and continue beating for another 30 seconds.
4. In a bowl, mix the rest of the cake ingredients. With the help of a wooden spoon mix the dry ingredients with the egg mixture.
5. Poor cake mixture in a rectangular silicon pan (25cm x 30cm) and cook for 40 – 45 minutes.
6. Remove cake pan from the oven and poor in it the syrup. Allow to stand for 20 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Allow to cool completely.
7. Prepare Ganache. Bring fresh cream to a boil. Stir in chocolates and butter and incorporate well; then stir in the almond essence.
8. Poor ganache on top of the cake and refrigerate over night.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Healthy Baked Roast Chicken

Healthy Baked Roast Chicken
4 Servings

1 chicken (2kg)
1 red onion, chopped into small pieces
1 tbs fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbs garlic (crashed)
1 tbs ginger, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

1. Separate the chicken skin from the flesh without removing it (use your fingers).
2. Mix spices and herbs. Place the spices/herbs mixture between the flesh and the skin.
3. Cover with a non stick baking paper and then with aluminum foil. Keep it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or better overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Place a wire rack in an oven pan and on top of the wire rack place the chicken.
5. Cover the pan with a baking paper and then with aluminum foil and cook for 1½ hours. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Barbecue Day

In Cyprus we love barbecue.  We usually have "souvla" or "souvlaki", but last Sunday we decided we wanted something different.  The weather was perfect so we enjoyed a lovely barbecue picnic. 

I made some burgers using pork and beef, fresh herbs from our garden and spices.  The pork chops were marinated in soy sauce, herbs and garlic.

The meat was seasoned with sea salt and black pepper.

We usually buy halloumi cheese but this one was my mum's creation!!  Simply delicious! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Organic Peppers stuffed with Cheese

Peppers stuffed with Cheese
Makes 12 medium peppers

12 medium organic peppers (unseeded)
Oil spray

Cheese Mixture Ingredients
150gr Fetta cheese
150gr unsalted Anari cheese (or Ricotta cheese)
1 large egg
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp fennel seeds

Preparation Method
1) Preheat oven at 200ºC. 
2) In a large bowl mix all ingredients, and with the help of a small teaspoon fill the peppers with the cheese mixture.
3) Place the stuffed peppers in a 20cm x 20cm square Pyrex, and spray them with oil.
4) Cook for 20 -25 minutes.

Dream of Cakes


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