Archive for March, 2017

Pumpkin Fritters and South African Style Cooked Pumpkin

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Pumpkin Fritters

These sweet pumpkin fritters have been a real hit with my daughter and I. Growing up in South Africa, Nick was used to these delights as a breakfast, using up leftover South African style cooked pumpkin which they would have eaten the day prior with boerewors and putu pap with corn and tomato salsa. It’s taken a long time to introduce them to us though, and it makes for a great alternative to pikelets for breakfast.

Pumpkin Fritters

The combination of the sweet pumpkin and cinnamon is really lovely. The recipe is quite simple, I think the hardest thing about the fritters is making sure they are cooked through and don’t burn. We have recently just been making the cooked pumpkin solely for breakfast the next morning. As there is no stirring involved, it is easy to just set a timer for every 15 minutes to check it isn’t burning (it takes about an hour to cook the pumpkin, and you can always make less or more depending on how much pumpkin you have).

Pumpkin Fritters

Pumpkin Fritters

Makes: 18 pikelet sized fritters
Serves: 2-4

450-500g South African Style cooked pumpkin (recipe below)
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
butter, for pan
lemon juice and cinnamon sugar, to serve

Mix the pumpkin, flours, salt, cinnamon and eggs in a medium bowl using an electric mixer until combined.

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Heat a non stick crepe pan over medium heat. Place a small amount of butter in the pan and wipe with a paper towel. Place heaped spoonfuls of mixture onto the pan, cooking for a few minutes each side until cooked through. (The mixture is thicker than normal pikelets, so they take a bit longer to cook. Be careful not to burn the fritters, removing from heat or turning it down as necessary).

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PumpkinFrittas09

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You may wish to keep the earlier fritters warm in a low oven whilst you cook the remaining fritters. Serve with generous amounts of lemon juice and cinnamon sugar

South African Style Cooked Pumpkin

Recipe by Nick and Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

Cooking Time: 1 hour
Makes approx 840g cooked pumpkin

1.1 kg jap pumpkin, cut into 2-3cm cubes
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar
10g butter
pinch salt

Place the pumpkin in a medium saucepan, followed by the sugar, butter and salt.
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Cook over medium/high heat for approximately 15 minutes with the lid on. At this stage there should be liquid coming out of the pumpkin. Don’t stir.
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Turn down to just above low and cook for a further 15 minutes. Don’t stir.
The pumpkin should be soft at this stage.
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Take lid off and cook for a further 15 minutes. Check. Don’t stir.
Cook a further 15 minutes to try and get the liquid absorbed or evaporated.
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At this stage, most or all of the liquid should be gone.
Serve warm as a side dish, or cool and use for pumpkin fritters
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Mango and Yoghurt Ice Blocks

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Mango Ice Block

Mangoes have been beautiful this past summer. I’m not a big mango fan, but have been buying 2 a week for Nick and my daughter. I do love these ice blocks though! They may be a little bit icy, but they are a wonderful alternative to many of the bought varieties, and you know children (and adults) are eating a nice healthy snack.

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Mango and Yoghurt Ice Blocks

Makes 10-12 small (1/4 cup) ice blocks

2 medium/large mangoes, flesh (~400g)
3/4 cup (180g) yoghurt (vanilla, coconut or natural)

Blend mango flesh in a food processor until well blended. Place pureed mango and yoghurt in a bowl and mix to combine. Spoon into ice block moulds and freeze until frozen, or overnight.

Nachos

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Nachos

Nachos are a big hit with my family. Introduced to our family by Nick, they have become a regular favourite, so it’s great to put this recipe up on the site so everyone can enjoy it whenever they please.

It’s a very easy recipe to make, we often have most of the ingredients on hand. Don’t be turned off making it if you were after one with meat, as it’s so delicious, you won’t even notice its absence.

Nachos

Nachos

Recipe by Nick at Leave Room for Dessert
Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
2 x 400g cans red kidney beans, rinsed thoroughly
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

shredded lettuce (approx 1 large leaf, or 40g per person)
corn chips (approx 40g per person)
grated cheese (approx 30g per person)
guacamole, avocado, tomato, sour cream and jalapenos, as desired

Combine salt, sugar and spices in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions for 10-20 minutes (lowering temperature as needed), until soft and caramelized.

Add the tomatoes, kidney beans and spice mix to the onions and cook for 10-20 minutes on medium heat, until red kidney beans are softening. Roughly mash the mixture with potato masher.

Nachos

Place shredded lettuce on a plate, followed by corn chips and then cheese. Place nacho mix on top and serve with sour cream, guacamole, avocado, tomato and jalapenos as desired.

Nachos

Nachos

Nachos

Cream Cheese and Dulce de Leche Eclairs – MasterChef 2016

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Eclairs

I saw a lot of dishes I would love to eat on MasterChef Australia last year. So far I have only managed to make this one, due to busy times at home. In previous years I have made some creations that took a full day or two to prepare, which in itself didn’t bother me, as I love experimenting and I love a challenge, although it does get harder to justify using all that time when priorities have changed.

These eclairs were given great reviews from the judges, so much so that I questioned my go-to recipe for eclairs (a custard and cream eclair topped with dark chocolate, that I will need to post some day soon). After making the filling for these ecalirs, my instant reaction was how sweet it was, which may or may not have been contributed to by the bought caramel rather than dulche de leche (which I couldn’t source and didn’t want to make).

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I decided to put dark chocolate on top of some, to cut some of the sweetness, and leave white chocolate on the other half, to try the original recipe and give an honest opinion on the recipe.
The result was as expected, the dark chocolate made the eclairs less sweet, but lost a lot of the subtle flavours in the filling, whereas the white chocolate was a bit too sweet for most people’s liking. (This didn’t stop all eclairs being eaten, they really were lovely). I’m just unsure whether I would make it again, as custard and cream filled eclairs are the perfect balance of everything (according to me and my family, that is 🙂 )

Cream Cheese and Dulce de Leche Eclairs

Recipe by Chloe Bowles on MasterChef

Eclairs:
1/2 cup milk
80g butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Cream Cheese Filling:
200g ready made dulce de leche (I used Nestle Top N Fill Caramel)
1/2 cup double cream
50g coverture white chocolate callets
200g cream cheese
1/2 cup icing sugar

Pecan Praline:
1/2 cup pecan nuts
120g sugar

White Chocolate Topping:
200g coverture white chocolate callets

Preheat oven to 210C.
For the Eclairs, line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside. Make a choux pastry by placing milk, butter and ½ cup water into a saucepan over medium heat until butter is completely melted. Add flour and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.

Transfer dough to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until the dough has cooled to room temperature and is no longer steaming. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until mixture is smooth and glossy. Scrape sides of bowl occasionally if needed

Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe onto the paper lined baking tray in 10 cm lengths. Use fingers to flick a little water over the choux to help create steam in the oven. Place the tray into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pierce the sides of the eclairs with the tip of a sharp knife. Reduce oven to 190C and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

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Remove from the oven and transfer eclairs to a cooling rack set over a baking tray and set aside to cool. Once cooled, use a serrated knife to cut eclairs in half lengthways. Turn top halves, cut side down, onto the cooling rack and set aside.

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For the Cream Cheese Filling, combine dulce de leche and cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to just under boiling point. Remove from heat and add white chocolate. Stir well until smooth.

Place cream cheese and icing sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, add cooled dulce de leche mixture and whisk until combined. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside in the fridge.

For the Pecan Praline, line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread pecans over the lined tray and roast in the oven until slightly golden, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, melt sugar in a small frypan over low heat until amber in colour then pour immediately over roasted pecans and set aside to cool and completely set. Once set, break into chunks then transfer to a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Set aside.

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For the White Chocolate Topping, place white chocolate into a bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until completely melted, then spread over the top halves of the reserved Eclairs. Tap the wire rack so that excess chocolate drips away.

To serve, pipe some Cream Cheese Filling onto the bottom halves of the Eclairs. Top with the white chocolate coated top halves and sprinkle with Pecan Praline.

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