Sunday, 28 April 2013

Vanilla Bean Semifreddo

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for a Vanilla Bean Semifreddo. It uses only 4 ingredients, and is simple to make. You don't need an ice cream maker - just a whisk and some elbow grease!
I made this a few days ago, and then left it in the freezer overnight, and it was perfect the next day served with fresh fruit. The vanilla flavour is amazing, and the texture is silky smooth.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Egg Yolks
2. Double Cream
3. Sugar
4. Vanilla Pod

Bismillah, let's begin!

Fill a saucepan with one inch of water and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Take 7 eggs.

Separate the whites from the yolks. You need the 7 egg yolks for this recipe, and with the egg whites, you can make my yummy strawberry pavlova.

Place the 7 egg yolks into a heatproof bowl. This bowl should be able to fit over the saucepan.

Add 5 and 1/2 ounces sugar.

Whisk for 3 minutes until thick and pale in colour.

Take a vanilla pod.

Add the seeds of a vanilla pod to the mixture.

Whisk in the vanilla beans.

Place the bowl over the pan with the simmering water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the hot water. Cook the custard whilst constantly whisking for about 10 minutes.

Strain the hot mixture through a sieve.

Set aside to cool whilst you whip the cream.

Take 12 fluid ounces double cream.

Whip the cream until it has stiff peaks.

Add the custard mixture to the whipped cream.

Whisk together for 1 minute until smooth and creamy. 

Take a loaf tin, and line with clingfilm. Make sure the clingfilm is overlapping over the sides.

Pour the mixture into the tin.

Wrap the clingfilm on top of the mixture, making sure it's covered.
Place into the freezer overnight.

Unwrap and place the ice cream onto a platter.

Decorate with fresh fruit e.g. strawberries.

Slice ..

.. and serve! I served it with fresh whole strawberries and freshly cut pineapple chunks.


Aloo Palak (Potato and Spinach Curry)

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for Aloo Palak. It is a potato and spinach curry, which is perfect for a weeknight supper, because it cooks so quickly. It can be served with naan, roti, boiled rice or even my personal favourite - hot buttered toast!
A tip to make this dish even faster is to prep all your ingredients before you start to cook - so chop all the vegetables and measure out the spices.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Baby Spinach
2. Potatoes
3. Onions
4. Tomatoes
5. Salt
6. Vegetable Oil
7. Ground Turmeric
8. Ground Cumin
9. Ground Coriander
10. Red Chilli Powder
11. Garam Masala
12. Cumin Seeds

Bismillah, let's begin!

Heat a few tablespoons vegetable oil in a large pan.

To the hot oil, add 2 teaspoons cumin seeds. Fry for 30 seconds.

Peel and finely chop 2 onions.

Add the chopped onions to the pan.

Stir in the chopped onion.

To the chopped onions, add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Cook the onions until golden brown.

Peel and chop 7 small potatoes into large chunks.

Add the potatoes to the pan.

Stir to combine.

Next, roughly chop 2 tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes to the pan.

Stir in the tomatoes, and cook for 2 minutes.

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Add the spices to the pan.

Stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes.

Take 180 gram bag of baby spinach, wash and roughly chop. You could use normal spinach too.

Add the chopped spinach to the pan.

Stir in and cook for 1 minute.

Cover the pan and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Stir to combine.

Serve with roti, naan or even rice!


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

This recipe is for Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. 

Do you ever come home and find a strange smell pervading your kitchen? 

You look around trying to find the culprit, and you end up at the fruit bowl. That bunch of bananas that you bought fresh at the supermarket a few days ago, have now turned an unpleasant shade of brown. And, you've found the source of that strange smell.

This is what happened to me a few days ago. But instead of throwing the bananas away, I baked these amazing muffins with them. Bananas are at their best to bake with when they are ripe. They have a natural sweetness to them and keep everything moist.

I've used ripe bananas before to make my amazing banana bread with maple syrup butter. This time I combined the sweet bananas with milk chocolate chips - heaven! The smell that will go through your kitchen when you have these baking in the oven is divine. 

You have got to give them a try! 

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Margarine
2. Ripe Bananas
3. Ground Cinnamon
4. Eggs
5. Salt
6. Vanilla Flavouring
7. Milk Chocolate Chips
8. Caster Sugar
9. Demerara Sugar
10. Self-Raising Flour
11. Milk

Bismillah, let's start!

Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. 

Place 6 ounces (170 grams) softened margarine or butter into a mixing bowl.

Add 6 ounces (170 grams) caster sugar.

Whisk the margarine and sugar until light and creamy.

Take 3 ripe bananas, peel and mash them.

Add the mashed bananas to the bowl.

Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavouring. If you find it difficult to buy non-alcoholic vanilla flavouring from the supermarket, try this from Amazon.

Add 2 large eggs.

Whisk everything until well combined.

Add 8 ounces (230 grams) self-raising flour.

Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Stir until just combined. Add a few drops of Milk, if the batter is a little too stiff.

Add 1 packet (100 grams) milk chocolate chips.

Stir to combine.

Spoon the mixture into muffin cases.

Sprinkle the tops with a little demerara sugar.

Bake for 20-22 minutes at 180C / Gas Mark 4.

Allow to cool slightly before having a munch. These muffins are great as a snack or for breakfast. Trust me, after you've baked these you'll never throw away any ripe and smelly bananas. 

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