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Quick Tiramisu (no egg version)

Quick Tiramisu (no egg version)

You know when you fancy FANCY fancy something?

Well this happened recently and I had to have some Tiramisu pronto. This is a tweaked and eggless version, whipped up in 5 minutes.

What you’ll need
550ml double cream
250g tub mascarpone
75ml coffee liquor or marsala – I used Baileys Irish cream – didnt have anything else!
5 tbsp golden caster sugar
300ml strong coffee, made with 2 tbsp coffee granules and 300ml boiling water
175g pack sponge fingers
25g chunk dark chocolate
2 tsp cocoa powder

Put the cream, mascarpone, booze and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until the cream and mascarpone have completely combined and have the consistency of thickly whipped cream.
Get your serving dish ready. Put the coffee into a shallow dish and dip in a few sponge fingers at a time, turning for a few secs until they are nicely soaked, but not soggy. Layer these into your dish until you have used half the biscuits, then spread over half of the creamy mixture. Using the coarse side of the grater, grate over most of the chocolate. Then repeat the layers (you should use up all the coffee), finishing with the creamy layer.

Now if you can wait –
Cover and chill for a few hours. This can now be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. To serve, dust with cocoa powder and grate over the remainder of the chocolate.

I’ll be posting the icecream cake version shortly.

Enjoy! 🙂 x

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Chili con carne

Chili con carne

If you look up chili con carne you’ll find hundreds of varied recipes. Here’s my take!

500g lean minced fresh beef – ask your butcher to mince it fresh, that way you’ll be sure to get lean beef and no trimmings
2 medium onions – 1 minced one cut in half
2 cloves of maltese garlic
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1.5 tablespoons smoked paprika – difficult to find but worth the hunt. (I finally found mine from K’mart halal supermarket in Gzira)
good pinch of oregano – i use the scotts organic
2 fresh red chilies – i use seeds too. For a less spicy version split the chilies and remove the seeds. (Make sure to wash your hands after handling chilies!!)
400ml beef stock
1 tin of kidney beans

Method
Start off by peeling the onion and garlic.
Mince one of the onions and reserve the other.
In a heavy bottom pan, start frying off the minced onion, chilies, garlic and beef. Put a secure lid on pot and let them sweat. Lower heat. Once the meat has browned – add paprika and turn the heat up again. Fry for a few minutes.
Once you’ve got all that done, add the kidney beans – I use tinned for this one – you can use dried (as per packets instructions you’ll need to soak and boil).
Add the beef stock, season and allow to simmer until for approximately 45mins.
In the meantime. I mentioned the other onion remember? well I like to roast it in the oven – skin on, cut in half sprinkled with oregano. When the chilli is ready, I usually chop up the sweet caramelised onion and add it to the chilli. Adds that finishing touch.. If you like super spicy chilli con carne like I do – you can roast a couple of those fresh chillies (whole) in with the onion and place it on the plate when served!

I like to serve this with tortilla chips, homemade guacamole and soured cream or greek yoghurt.

Enjoy 🙂 x

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Baba ganoush fritters

Baba ganoush fritters

I love anything fried or with a crunch to it! If you like the smoky flavour of baba ganoush you’ll love these!

For the baba ganoush.

3 aubergines
3 garlic cloves, crushed with a teaspoon of salt
1 lemon, juice only
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp olive oil
black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Prick the aubergines with a fork. Bake aubergines until the flesh feels soft when you press it (this will take approx 25-40 minutes, depending on the size of the aubergines.

Once softened allow to cool a bit. I use a gas hob for this part – you could grill the aubergine but I love the smokey smell that comes off the skin while I char it on an open flame.
In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic with the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and pepper.
When cool enough to handle, cut the aubergines in half and scoop out the flesh. Mix the soft flesh with the remaining ingredients until smooth.

That is your baba ganoush ready. You could place this in a bowl topping with some olive oil and dig in at this stage OR you could make the mix into fritters which are doubly lovely!

To make the fritters you’ll need to add a few tablespoons of plain flour to the mix. What you’re looking for is a gooey, gluey type of mixture.

Heat a pan, add some oil and fry a big tablespoon of the mixture until golden, flip and repeat till mixture is finished.

These should be served immediately. Yum!

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Falafel

Falafel

Falafel (/fəˈlɑːfəl/; Arabic: فلافل‎, [fæˈlæːfɪl] is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Arab food, usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa; “falafel” also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze.

Ingredients

400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Garlic clove, chopped

Handful of fresh coriander leaves

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1⁄2 tsp chilli powder

2 tbsp plain flour

1 small red onion, roughly chopped

Method

Drain the canned chickpeas and ip into a food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, spices, flour and a little salt.

Blend until completely smooth, then shape into patties with your hands.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the patties, then quickly fry for a couple of minutes on each side until lightly golden.

I like to serve this dish with a yoghurt and mint dipping sauce. Yum.

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Easy peasy – no bake chocolate tart.

Easy peasy - no bake chocolate tart.

Impromptu entertaining? No problem. This super easy, never fail dessert is such a crowd pleaser and can be made in no time at all. It’ll need a minimum of an hours’ fridge time but hey – you’ll still be eating your mains till then.

What I love about this choco tart is that it’s all store cupboard items. So keep these things in the fridge/cupboard and you’ll be the ultimate domestic goddess!

Store cupboard items –
Packet of digestive biscuits
packet of ginger nut biscuits
Jar of crystallised ginger
2 bars of great quality chocolate – we’re looking at 60% minimum cocoa solids quality here. Various available.
1 pack butter
roasted hazelnuts (optional)

What you’ll need to buy is cream or double cream. You could use long life and have it in the fridge with the rest too 😀

Method

200g pack biscuits, I like to mix half and half the above
100g butter
100g bar dark chocolate
100g bar milk chocolate
200ml cream or double cream

In a food processor, crush and mix biscuits and butter, till a breadcrumb consistency. Alternatively, and this gives me more pleasure –
Crush the biscuits by putting them in a large, strong, plastic food bag and smash with a rolling pin! Melt the butter then stir in the biscuits. Press onto the base of a spring bottom or loose bottom tart tin, up the sides and chill while you make the filling.
Finely chop one piece of crystallised ginger (optional) Break up the two chocolate bars and put in a large bowl. Melt chocolate over a simmering pot of water. Whip the cream until it just holds its shape, then fold into the melted chocolate. Pour into the prepared tin and voila!! Chill for at least 1hr (or for up to 2 days – yeah right!)

Before serving, remove from tart tin – top tart with crushed hazelnuts and gloat about how fabulous you are!

Enjoy x