Monday, 22 December 2014

Gingernut Tiffin




How's your Christmas preparation going? Good? Or are you in a last-minute rush where you'd like to give someone something edible, homemade, and special, but don't have the time to do it?

I've got you covered.

This tiffin is dead easy to make with under 30 minutes actual effort time. Just leave a couple of hours for the thing to chill and you're good to go. Its the perfect Christmas treat - rich, sweet, crunchy, crumbly, buttery, and ginger-y too.



I made this for a friend who has nut allergies, so I used Wowbutter spread for my take on the traditional recipe. It will work just fine with regular smooth PB too. The ginger adds a lovely subtle festive taste, especially when combined with the dried fruit.


Now, to track down the recipe I'll be using for Christmas dessert... I've been very organised this year with regards to presents but food on the day is always a last-minute haphazard affair! Happy festive season everyone :)

Gingerbutter Tiffin

by Shonalika Tilak
Ingredients (Makes 6-8 squares*)
  • 50g peanut (or other nut/seed/soya) butter
  • 5 tbsp milk (I used soya)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp ginger (or more to taste)
  • 3 ½ digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 30 g golden sultanas
  • 100g dark chocolate
Instructions
1. Melt the first 6 ingredients together on the stove.
2. Add remaining ingredients (apart from the chocolate) and mix well.
3. Press mixture firmly into a lined tin and chill for one hour.
4. Melt the chocolate (I use the double boiler method) and pour over mixture.
5. Re-fridge until set, another hour or so.
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*This recipe makes a highly indulgent square with a thick chocolate topping! I like it this way, but if you would rather have a thinner slice, feel free to spread the mixture out more during the pressing stage.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Middle Eastern-Italian Fusion Linguine




I'm back! Just in time for Christmas:D

This pasta was first created as a direct result of me being in student accommodation in Norway with no access to any fancy ingredients. Just veg, pasta, wine, and a giant tub of strange slightly solid hummus that we bought from a Middle Eastern supermarket - the idea of it being, I think, that you would just whisk in any additional flavours and seasonings you wanted and thin it out to your desired consistency. Basically, no blender bother.  Quite clever really.



I'd seen a recipe before for hummus in noodles, which I'd wanted to try for a while, so I figured, why not try the same in pasta? My guess was that it would serve as a great base for a thick creamy sauce, and it does. So well. I thought it would be fun to mix traditional hummus-y flavours with Italian ones, and the result is a tangy, highly unusual but quite delectable dish. The roasted bell peppers just take it over the top. Try it out!

Middle Eastern/Italian Fusion Linguine

by Shonalika Tilak
Ingredients (Serves 2)
  • 2 servings dry linguine or spaghetti*
  • ¼ cup heaping basic hummus (chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt) or just use your favourite
  • ¼ cup milk (I used soya)
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 large white mushrooms
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 green chili
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
1. Slice bell peppers into thin strips and cook in pre-heated oven for 15-20 mins.
2. Finely dice the remaining vegetables and sauté on a medium heat.
3. In the meantime, mix hummus, milk, white wine and chilli powder into a thick sauce.
4. Cook linguine according to packet instructions. (Salt the cooking water!)
5. When the vegetables have cooked until broken down, add the hummus sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add linguine and most of the bell peppers.
6. Serve and garnish with remaining peppers and seasoning.

Notes
* I know, I know, its not linguine in the photos. These are from  the second time I made it, which wasn't as good as the first. I genuinely think half the reason was that the pasta wasn't linguine. The flavours just don't distribute as well. So USE LINGUINE. (And definitely don't miss out the wine!)

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