Raspberry Cupcakes

Raspberry Cupcakes 2

Happy National Cupcake Week Everyone!

Raspberry Cupcakes

Makes 12

Ingredients:
120 g plain flour, sifted
120 g caster sugar
50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 ½ tsp baking powder
120 ml milk
1 large egg
pinch of salt
6 fresh raspberries, chopped into small pieces

For topping:
250 g mascarpone cheese, cold
4-5 tbsp icing sugar, more if raspberries are on the sour side
6 fresh raspberries, chopped into small pieces
3-4 tbsp Framboise liqueur or any other raspberry liqueur

Also you will need: 12 cupcake cases and cupcake tin

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Place paper cases in cupcake tin.

Put flour, caster sugar, butter, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using handheld electric whisk beat on a slow speed till nicely combined.

In separate, small bowl beat an egg, milk and vanilla essence. Slowly pour into flour mixture and beat slowly for few minutes until all is well mixed.
Place paper cases in cupcake tin and divide chopped raspberries between 12 paper cases.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.

Let the cupcakes cool completely before putting topping.

For the topping:

In a large bowl place mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. Using handheld electric whisk beat very slowly. Then add chopped raspberries, raspberry liqueur and gently beat for 1 minute. Juices will release at this point and your frosting will get nice, pinky colour.

Pipe or spoon over each cupcake and serve!

Bon appetit.

Butternut Squash Chips

Chips 700

Craving chips? Well here is my healthy alternative that actually taste good and is simply dietriffic! Give it a go.  I guarantee that you will love it!

Butternut Squash Chips

Ingredients:
medium size butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into stripes
3-4 tbsp oil
salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Peel butternut squash, cut in half and scoop all the seeds out.
Using a sharp knife cut butternut squash again in half (width wise) and then cut into wedges or matchsticks so that they resemble french fries shape. More or less chunky. You choose!

Place on a roasting tin and drizzle generously with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook for 20-30 minutes, turning a few times through baking process to avoid burning.
Chips are done when they are starting to brown on the edges and get crispy.

Serve hot. Sprinkle generously with salt.

Healthy Bon appetit!

Asparagus with butter

Asparagus with butter

Mmmm asparagus. Scrumptious! Wonderfully luxurious! And simple steaming brings out the unbeatable flavour. Add small knob of butter and voila all ready to serve! It’s so simple!

 

Asparagus with butter

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh asparagus
2-3 tsp butter, melted
salt to season

Wash asparagus and trim off bottom of stems by about 2-3 cm. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave and set aside.
Prepare your steamer and when it’s ready place asparagus in the middle. Steam for 5 to 7 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus or until asparagus is tender.
Serve immediately on warm dish and pour butter over the tops.

Bon appetit!

Kippers on toast with Dijon mayonnaise

Keepers 3 700

It is good to take the time to cook something nutritious for breakfast.
And kippers are good source of of proteins and omega-3 fats which means just one: healthy, balanced diet!

Kippers on toast with Dijon mayonnaise

Ingredients:
3-4 small smoked kippers with butter
4 bread slices (granary or wholemeal)
6-8 small lettuce leaves
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3-4 small lemon wedges
chive, for sprinkling
black pepper

Dijon mayonnaise:
Place mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl. Whisk together until combined well. Refrigerate if required.

Place kippers in a saucepan of boiling water and cook according to package instruction.
Grill or toast bread slices. Place lettuce leaves and kippers on a top of each slice. Spoon generously Dijon mayonnaise and sprinkle pepper and fresh chive. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and voila! Breakfast ready!

Rosemary wedges

Rosemary wedges 700

Crusty and delicious. And what’s more they are extremely easy to make! Great with tomato ketchup and mayo!

Ingredients:
500-600 g potatoes, cut into wedges
6-8 fresh rosemary springs
3 tbsp oil
black pepper
sea salt

Preheat oven to 190°C.
Cut potatoes into wedges; no need to peel them.
Place in a roasting tin, pour 3 tbsp of oil over and scatter rosemary. Season well with salt and pepper and bake for 35 minutes, or until crisp on the outside and lovely and fluffy on the inside.

Voila! All ready to serve.
Enjoy.

Red and white quinoa salad with halloumi cheese & roasted vegetables

Red and white quinoa salad with halloumi cheese & roasted vegetables.

Here is my quick-fix lunch idea. Easy, tasty and oh boy …so filling!
Great summer dish.

 

Red and white quinoa salad with halloumi cheese & roasted vegetables

Ingredients: 

250 g ready to eat Red & White Quinoa – Merchant Gourment is simply the best!
150-200 g halloumi cheese, cut into 5-6 mm slices
100-150 g chick peas, drained and rinsed
10-12 cherry tomatoes
6 baby corns, cut into bite size chunks
6 baby courgettes, cut across and then in half
1-2 tbsp oil
5 fresh mint leaves
5 fresh crimson king basil leaves
squeeze of lemon juice
100 ml natural yogurt
1 tsp harissa paste

Cook quinoa according to pack instruction. In a mean time mix yogurt and harissa in a little cup and set aside. In a large salad bowl toss chick peas and lemon juice and add quinoa when cooked. Mix all nicely and set aside.
Heat the non-stick grill pan. Toss courgettes and corns with 1-2 table spoons of oil and place on a grill pan. Grill for 3 minutes. Then add cherry tomatoes to the vegetable mix and grill for another 3 minutes or until charred and tender. When cooked add to quinoa and chick peas and gently mix.

Wipe the grill pan and heat to hot. Place slices of halloumi cheese on griddle and grill till nice and golden on the edges, then turn it over. When ready scatter the halloumi cheese over quinoa and vegetables. Gently toss.

Dress with yogurt and harissa dressing, scatter fresh basil and mint leaves and squeeze more lemon juice all over.

Bon appetit.

Ginger Mint Lemonade

Ginger Mint Lemonade

Something to keep cool and survive summer heat waves!

Ginger Mint Lemonade

Ingredients:
freshly squeezed lime juice (1 small lime is just enough)
5 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 litre water
40 g fresh ginger, thinly sliced
15-20 fresh mint leaves, plus few to garnish
ice cubes

In a saucepan place sugar, ginger, mint leaves and 300 ml of water. Simmer for 10-12 minutes and occasionally stir with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Discard ginger slices and mint leaves. Add freshly squeezed lime juice and remaining water. Stir and taste – it should be slightly on a sweet side. Remember that later on you will top it up with ice cubes so it cannot be too weak.

Pour mixture into large jug and chill in a fridge for an hour.

Serve in a glasses with 3-4 ice cubes (depending on how strong you like it).
Garnish with fresh mint leaves and thin lime slices (optional).

Cheers!

Strawberry & Banana Milkshake

Strawberry & Banana Milkshake

Milkshake time! Perfect especially on a hot summer day. And here is my very simple,  quick-fix recipe. It will take you 5 minutes to prepare.

Strawberry & Banana Milkshake

Ingredients:
15-20 fresh, ripe strawberries
1 banana, cut into slices
300 ml chilled milk
1 tbsp clear honey

serves: 2

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses.
Voila! Ready to drink.
Enjoy!

Mojito

Mojito 500

Mojito

Coming… Wimbledon finals! Nervous? Why not to sit with a refreshing cocktail or two to get through the match?!? Try Mojito! Fresh, evergreen and zesty – just what is needed to cool down and enjoy… game, set, match!

serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 lime, cut into wedges
10 mint leaves
50 ml Bacardi rum
2 tsp brown sugar
soda water
ice cubes

Place mint leaves in a glass and gently crush them to release mint oils. Add sugar and squeeze juice out of 3 wedges of lime and gently stir. Add 3-4 wedges of lime and 50 ml of rum. Add handful of ice cubes and top off with soda water. Stir well and garnish with a mint sprig. Enjoy!

Strawberries & Cream

Strawberries & Cream 650

Strawberries & Cream

Strawberries + Wimbledon = arrival of summer. So here we are! This season’s must try! Sweet, juicy strawberries swimming in the whipped cream.

Ingredients:

2-3 handfuls strawberries
300 ml double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/3 tsp vanilla essence
fresh mint leaves to decorate

Cut strawberries into quarters.
To make a whipped cream: in a large mixing bowl place double cream, vanilla essence and sugar and using a handheld electric whisk, whip till thick.
Pipe or simply spoon whipped cream into serving dishes of your choice and top it up with strawberries. Decorate with fresh mint leaves.
Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Bon appetit.