Naked Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

I made this cake for my first God-son’s birthday as usual I make him a cake. This time I’m trying to make a more fanciful grown up cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 9 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• ¾ cup unsweetened natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys)
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• 2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
• 1 cup fresh blackberries
• 1 cup fresh blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and Irish Cream.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans evenly and cover with aluminum foil. (The will make the cake moist and light)
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 35 to 40 minutes or more.
Buttercream
10. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
11. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
12. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
13. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
14. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
15. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
16. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
17. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
18. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
19. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
20. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is hands down the best cake I have ever made and I didn’t even have to cover up my work with frosting because it turned out so well. This is an attention grabbing cake and is worth all the time and effort for a special birthday cake. This had a wow factor and was loved by all. The cake was light and moist and the ganache was shiny and with the addition of the fresh fruits it cut the sweetness of the buttercream. I was very proud of myself and this has given me the confidence to tackle a proper layered cake. I had very high hopes and this turned out smashingly.

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

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Salmon Salad

Salmon Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Clean eating at its finest. Such a simple and wholesome recipe that is great for lunch or dinner.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• Salmon fillet
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Dried oregano, to taste
• Dried basil, to taste
• Green beans, trimmed, handful
• 12 Gem baby potatoes, halved
• 8 Grape tomatoes, halved, handful
• Spinach leaves, stems removed, handful
• Orange bell pepper, sliced
• Cilantro, removed from stem
• 8 Klamata olives
• 1 tsp Capers
• ¼ of Red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
• ¼ of an English Cucumber
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
• 2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp poppy seeds
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of black pepper

Assembly
Salmon Salad

1. Using a frying pan pour a little extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
2. Season salmon with salt, pepper, oregano and basil.
3. When oil has reach temperature place salmon fillet skin side down about 80% of the way, then flip using a spatula, and cook the flesh side the remaining way through.
4. Place on a plate and set aside.
5. Using a small pot filled with salted water over high heat, steam green beans and then immediately place in a ice bath and set aside.
6. In a medium sized pot of salted water over high heat, boil potatoes until cooked through.
7. Prep tomatoes, spinach, cilantro, olives, capers, red onion and cucumber.
Lemon poppy Seed Dressing
1. In a small bowl pour in all ingredients and stir well together.
2. Let chill in fridge for 1 hour.
3. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This takes a little time to assemble; but this is a great healthy recipe that I will make time and time again. Fresh salmon served on a bed of veggies with a citrusy homemade dressing is just sublime.

Vietnamese Meatball

Vietnamese Meatball - Candy Coated Culinista

A carb free dinner that comes together in a snap.

Yield/Serving: 4
Start to Finish Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Milk Street Tuesday Nights

Ingredients
• 3 tsp grapeseed or neutral oil, divided
• 1 pound ground pork
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs, to serve
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 6 scallions, white and light green parts minced, dark green parts thinly sliced
• 5 tbsp fish sauce, divided
• 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp white sugar, divided
• ½ cup lime juice
• 1 or 2 serrano chillies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
• Lettuce leaves, to serve

Assembly
1. Coat a large plate will 1 tsp of oil and set aside.
2. Using a medium bowl combine, pork, 3 tbsp water, cilantro, pepper, minced scallions, 2 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tsp sugar.
3. Mix vigorously until combined and let the mixture become soft and sticky.
4. With lightly moistened hands, form 20 balls and place on oiled plate.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
6. In a small bowl stir lime juice, 3 tbsp fish sauce and the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.
7. Add the chilies until the sugar dissolves and set aside.
8. Line another plate with paper towels and add remaining oil to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
9. Add meatballs and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes and then turn and cook the other side turning meatballs for 4 to 5 minutes.
10. Transfer to plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
11. In a small bowl, toss carrots with 2 tbsp of lime juice sauce.
12. Serve the meatballs with carrots, cilantro sprigs, sliced scallions and lettuce leaves for wrapping.
13. Spoon the remaining sauce onto the wraps.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my second time making Vietnamese meatballs and I remember why I enjoyed them so much. The flavours are bright, salty and exotic. Using lettuce wraps is a wonderful way to be carb-free and I have started enjoying one of two meals a week without carbs. These meatballs also freeze well for a later date.

Huevos De Caja

Huevos De Caja – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s always funny that you never notice ingredients in the grocery store until you need it…

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Nopalito

Ingredients
Huevos De Caja

• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 2 homemade soft corn tortillas or store-bought
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 1 tbsp white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup Frijoles Negros Refritos or good quality refried beans, warmed
• ¼ cup salsa cilantro
• ¾ cup grated jack cheese
• Chopped cilantro leaves
Frijoles Negros Refritos
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
• 1 can black beans drained.
• 1 ½ tsp dried organo
Salsa Cilantro
• 4 large tomatillos, husked and rinsed
• 1 jalapeno
• 1 clove garlic
• Salt
• 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
• 2 tbsp white onion, chopped

Assembly
Huevos De Caja

1. Boil water and season with salt and vinegar.
2. Lower heat to a simmer.
3. Crack egg into a small bowl and ease into water.
4. Cook until the outsides are set and the inside is still runny, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
6. In a small pan cazuelas or cast-iron skillet, place tortillas in pan followed by refried beans in a next shaped. Then tip poached eggs into centre and divide the salsa pouring on top.
7. Sprinkle jack cheese and bake in oven until completely melted for about 5 minutes.
8. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro
Frijoles Negros Refritos
1. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot.
2. Add onions and stir occasionally until a dark golden bron, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add in the oregano and let cook for another 1 to 2 minutes and let beans get hot.
4. Smash the bean mixture until slightly chunky.
5. Add a little water if need to reach the desired consistency.
Salsa Cilantro
1. Using a medium saucepan, combine tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic and enough water just to cover and season with salt.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes, or until tomatillos and jalapenos begin to dull in colour.
3. Transfer mixture discarding the water to a blender and blend until salsa is smooth, but the seeds are still visible.
4. Pour into a bowl and chill.
5. Add in onions and cilantro just before serving.
6. Add additional salt if necessary.

Tips
• The recipe for Frijoles Negros Refritos calls for 1 cup canola oil; which I found to be a huge amount of oil even using the full 6 cups of black beans. I used 2 tbsp of canola oil with one can on black beans.
• I served mine with homestyle Mexican salsa, chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce.
• Purchase green Mexican salsa and add some cilantro if you don’t want to make Salsa Cilantro.
• You can also do step 6 & 7 using a frying pan and serve in a plate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have walked by the Mexican food section for many years in the same row with the Asian and Indian foods I pick up and yet I never saw them. I will start grabbing the Mexican salsa from now one instead of the Amaericanized salsa brands in the other aisle. This is another massive recipe. This book really serves a crowd and I’m happy I batched down the refried beans as I was only making it for this recipe. I used the leftover refried beans in some shrimp taco’s. I must say I made this recipe purely because the photo caught my eye; even though I didn’t think I liked refried beans and the last poached egg I made didn’t turn out the best. When this was a pleasant surprise with a runny egg served with two types of salsa, refried beans, adobo peppers. I served mine with some shrimp and with Agua de Jamaica and oh so tasty.

Huevos De Caja – Candy Coated Culinista

Italian Stuffed Shells

Italian Stuffed Shells – Candy Coated Culinista

A striking Italian meal that is great for a dinner party or a Sunday dinner.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 36 Jumbo shells
• 1 lbs ground beef
• 1 tsp canola oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp season salt
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 cup pasta sauce
• 2 cups spinach, stems removed and chopped
• ¾ cups ricotta
• 1 egg
• ½ cup grana padano
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Over high heat boil shells in batches and cook until al dente draining and setting aside. Ensure not to break or cook a few more just to be safe.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat add canola oil and onion and garlic and cook until softened.
3. Add in ground beef and spices and brown.
4. Add in ¾ cups pasta sauce in ground beef mixture and set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
6. Set out two casserole dishes and pour a thin layer of pasta sauce into each casserole dish.
7. In a medium sized bowl add spinach, ricotta, egg, grana Padano, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and combine.
8. Start assembling the shells by adding ground beef first followed by ricotta mixture and place in casserole dishes.
9. Shred a little more grana padano and mozzarella cheese overtop and drizzle more pasta sauce overtop.
10. Bake for 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil and then serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was very time consuming more so than a lasagna; but if you make a few batches like I did it is well worth the while. I made two meat filled shells casserole dishes and one vegetarian casserole option and these tasted great all be it a touch messy to eat. The shells were the perfect amount of meat, cheese and veg and very eye catching. I would definitely make this again; just not in the next few months. Also this is not a weekday meal, unless you start as soon as you get home from work as this took me almost 2 hours from beginning to end.

Italian Stuffed Shells (Pre-Oven) – Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats a carrot cake for Easter dinner and this recipe is one I come back to over and over again even with a few tweaks here and there.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” round cakes plus 6 cakelets
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: approx. 35 – 40 min.
Difficulty level: Time-consuming

Ingredients
Carrot Apple Cake

• 2 ½ cups un-sifted all-purpose flour
• 2 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
• 1 ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 cup oatmeal crisp maple nut cereal, crushed
• 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 ½ cup vegetable oil
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups carrots, peeled and shredded
• 2 granny smith apples, peeled and shredded
• 1/3 cup fruit mix, chopped
• 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
• 1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Cream Cheese Buttercream
• 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 (250g) package cream cheese, softened
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Zest from 1 tangelo

Assembly
Carrot Apple Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the shape of the pan on pieces of parchment paper.
3. Spray the pans with vegetable oil spray and place parchment paper inside the baking pan.
4. Using a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and cereal and mix and set aside.
5. In a large bowl beat sugar, maple syrup, vegetable oil and eggs.
6. Shred carrots and apples using a food processor.
7. Add the carrots, apples and fruit mix until just combined.
8. Incorporate the dry ingredients, using a whisk until just combined.
9. Mix in the nuts.
10. Pour the batter into the three pans and cakelet pans and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
11. Let cook in pans to cool and then let cool on a wire rack.
Whipped Cream Cheese Buttercream
1. Using and electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine butter and cream cheese.
2. Add in confectioners’ sugar followed by vanilla extract and continue to mix.
3. Lastly add tangelo zest.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
3. Place first layer on the bottom layer and spread some cream cheese buttercream frosting over top.
4. Then place the next layer over and spread more cream cheese buttercream frosting over top.
5. Place final layer over and cream cheese spread buttercream frosting over top and along the sides.
6. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
7. When crumb coat is firm using an offset spatula frost the cake entirely.
8. Decorate as desired. I made a swirl pattern on top; added some sprinkles and added some Easter coloured M&M’s.
9. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• If you are making cream cheese buttercream omit 1/3 granulated sugar from the carrot apple cake, as there is enjoy confectioners’ sugar in the frosting to compensate. Otherwise, keep the full amount of sugar in.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Okay so I so love a carrot cake and adding in the apples was just perfect. This cake had a little bit of a Christmas cake feel with the nuts and fruit mix. I loved the amount of cream cheese in this frosting as it didn’t tasty too tangy and the tangelo flecks added a little extra something. I tried a new piping technique on top and it turned out wonderfully with a little bit of sprinkles scattered about. This recipe is really a process of love as it’s time-consuming; but so worth it.

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Rafanata

Rafanata – Candy Coated Culinista

I had never heard of Rafanata before and it took Jamie Oliver to get me loving this simple little appetizer or lunch dish.

Yield/Serving: 8-12
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hour & 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Jamie Cooks Italy

Ingredients
• 1 ½ lbs potatoes
• 2 knobs unsalted butter
• 2% milk
• 1 ¾ oz pecorino or Parmesan cheese
• 2 inches fresh horseradish, plus extra to serve
• 3 large eggs
• 3 ½ oz piece of smoked pancetta
• ¾ cup coarse stale bread crumbs

Assembly
1. Peel potatoes, chop into big even chunks, then cook in a pot of boiling salted water for a5 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
2. Drain and leave to steam dry for 2 minutes and return to pan.
3. Add 1 knob of butter and a splash of milk, finely grate in cheese and peeled horseradish and crack in the eggs.
4. Mash ingredients, mix well, season, and put aside.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F.
6. Slice pancetta and place in cast-iron skillet. Over medium-high, heat let the pancetta sizzle and add bread crumbs.
7. Cook until crisp and golden and then mix into the mash.
8. Press mash into the frying pan, smoothing it out with a slight curve.
9. Fry on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, jiggling the pan to create a nice rounded edge.
10. Loose edges with a spatula and life slightly and place the last knob of butter into the pan underneath.
11. Once melted, put a plate on top of the pan, carefully flip over, and slip the rafanata back into the pan.
12. Bake in over for 30 minutes, or until golden and hot through.
13. Place a mixture of small greens and shredded cheese on top.
14. Serve with extra horseradish finely grated overtop, to taste.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a great little appetizer for dinner guests; just serve a slice with a dollop of creamy horseradish. This recipe did take a lot longer than I expected for the simplicity of it all. The rafanata with its crispy crust and mashed centre with horseradish and pancetta inside adds a flavorful combination I have never tasted before.

Sunday Roast Dinner

Sunday Roast Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

I really can’t get enough of a roast chicken and this one is high up on my list. Roast chicken is such a simple protein to make and yields leftovers for another meal soups or salads.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 70 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Simple

Ingredients

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon
• 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3 tbsp thyme leaves
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• ½ small preserved lemon, seeds discarded, flesh and skin roughly chopped (2 ½ tbsp.)
• 1 lemon, finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 ½ tbsp.
• Salt
• Black pepper
• 1 whole chicken
Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill
• 1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• Salt
• Black pepper
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• ¼ cup sliced almonds
• 3 tbsp baby capers, or regular capers
• ½ cup dill, rough chopped
Sweet Potato Mash with lime Salsa
• 2 lb sweet potatoes, unpeeled and cut in half lengthwise
• ¼ cup olive oil
• Salt
• ¼ cup basil leaves, finely chopped
• ½ garlic cloves, minced
• 2 limes, finely zest to get 2 tsp, then juice to get 1 tbsp
• Black pepper

Assembly

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place butter, thyme, garlic, preserved lemon, lemon zest. ¼ tsp salt and black pepper in a food processor and combine.
3. Loosen the skin away from the breast and spread most of the butter mixture underneath. Spread the remaining butter over the legs.
4. Place chicken in a baking pan and drizzle lemon juice and sprinkle ½ tsp salt and pepper.
5. Roast for 70 minutes, basting every 20 minutes or so, until golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a small knife.
6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix asparagus with 1 tbsp of oil, salt and pepper.
3. Arrange on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spaced well apart and roast for 8-12 minutes until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places.
4. Transfer to a large serving plate and set aside.
5. Put butter into a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat.
6. Once melted, add almonds and fry for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently until almonds are golden brown.
7. Pour almonds and butter over asparagus.
8. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to saucepan and place over high heat, once hot, add capers and fry for 1 – 2 more minutes, stirring until crisp.
9. Using a slotted spoon remove capers from oil and sprinkle over asparagus along with dill.
10. Serve warm.
Sweet Potato Mash with lime Salsa
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Rub potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil and season with ¼ tsp of salt.
3. Place of parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side down and roast for 30-35 minutes, until very soft.
4. While potatoes are roasting, prepare the salsa.
5. Place remaining 3 tbsp of oil into a small bowl with basil, cilantro, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and salt and stir to combine.
6. Once potato is cool enough to handle, remove the skin or scoop out the flesh and mash.
7. Add salt and pepper, transfer to bowl, and serve with salsa on the potatoes or on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I really can’t resist a roast chicken Sunday dinner as it reminds me of my mom. This spring chicken was so delicious I have made it twice already and it will be a new way to enjoy my Sunday chicken. I even made a preserved lemons weeks before. The flavours were bright and fresh with a little spin.

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon – Candy Coated Culinista

Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill – Candy Coated Culinista

W is for Watercress Winter Salad

W is for … Watercress Winter Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I just love when I can get my hand on those winter fruits. It’s one of the few things I look forward to when it’s frigid and icy.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Winter Salad

• Watercress, bunch, stems removed
• Spinach, medium sized bunch, stems removed
• Parsley, handful, stems removed
• Persimmon, ripe & sliced
• Physalis, handful halved
• Kumquats, sliced
• ¼ pomegranate arils
• Blackberries, handful
• Extra creamy Danish blue cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup pecans tossed in vinaigrette
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
• 1/3 persimmon, rough chop
• 2 kumquats, rough chop
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
Winter Salad

1. Place watercress, spinach and parsley on a large serving plate.
2. Add persimmons, physalis, kumquats, pomegranate arils, blackberries and set aside.
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
1. In a food processor add persimmon, kumquats, apple cider vinegar, olive oil & maple syrup until smooth and combined.
2. In a small bowl place pecans along with a tablespoon on vinaigrette and toss.
3. Sprinkle blue cheese and pecans over the salad and drizzle vinaigrette.
4. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a wonderful winter salad with such a great combination of well everything it was a delight to eat. It doesn’t take a little longer than a regular salad; but it’ worth in.

Semolina Almond and Blood Orange Syrup Cakes

Semolina Almond and Blood Orange Syrup Cakes – Candy Coated Culinista

A chance to use blood oranges in my baking … yes please.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 18 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Modern baking

Ingredients
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
• 1 cup natural Greek-style (thick) yoghurt
• ¼ cup light-flavoured extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp finely grated blood orange rind
• 1 cup fine semolina
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
• 1 tsp baking powder, sifted
• 1/3 cup almond meal
• 2 blood oranges, thinly sliced
• 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar, extra
• Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
Blood orange syrup
• ½ cup blood orange juice
• ¼ cup water
• 1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease 12 x ½ cup capacity muffin tin.
3. Using an electric mixer place eggs and caster sugar in bowl and whisk on high for 3-4 minutes or until pale and thick.
4. Add yoghurt, oil, vanilla, orange rind, semolina, flour, baking powder and almond meal and fold to combine.
5. Spoon mixture into tins and top each with an orange slice and sprinkle with extra sugar.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden or a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
7. Allow cakes to cool slightly in tins before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
8. To make blood orange syrup, place juice, water and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat.
9. Bring to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.
10. Spoon the blood orange syrup over the cakes and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I am really enjoying cakes with semolina and almond flour. I adds a more sophisticated element to the cake and the vibrancy of the blood orange syrup made these cakes outstanding. Still a little too much sugar; but that seems to be a theme in this book. I made some mini cakes of varying sizes to test out the cake as I knew this was one I’d want to make again and again and the mini cakes turned out great.

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