You don’t need an ice cream machine for this middle eastern inspired ice cream. The crumbled halva adds a wonderful sweet hit balanced by the fresh fruity pieces of blackberry. Delicious served with fresh fruity blackberry sauce too.
This wonderfully fresh tasting chicken broth is nothing like Granny would make. Packed with oriental flavours, shreds of chicken and fresh crunchy vegetables then topped with a taste exploding spoonful of naturally sweet berry fruits mixed with chilli and rice wine vinegar.
This warming soup will soon leave you feeling restored.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 33 minutes
1.2 litre (2 pints) good chicken stock (ideally homemade, see tip below)
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced, white and green tops kept separate
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1-2 Thai birds eye red chillies, halved, deseeded, to taste
1. Add the stock to a large saucepan then add the white spring onion slices, carrot, chilli, ginger, garlic, lime leaves, fish sauce and ketchup manis or soy sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring then add the whole chicken breasts, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Test by piercing the centre of one of the chicken breasts, there should be no hint of pink juices.
2. While the chicken pho simmers, add all the sambal ingredients to a saucepan, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved then boil rapidly for 10 minutes until the fruit is soft and pulpy. Break up the fruit if needed with a vegetable masher then spoon into a dish and leave to cool.
3. When the chicken is cooked, lift the pieces out of the pan with a draining spoon then tear into fine shreds on a chopping board using a knife and fork. Add the choi sum leaves and stems to the broth and cook for 2 minutes then add the bean sprouts and coriander and cook for 1 minute.
4. Divide the noodles between 4 deep serving bowls, top with the chicken shreds then ladle over the broth. Top with spoonfuls of the sambal to taste. Any leftover sambal can be kept in a screw topped jar in the fridge up to 2 weeks.
Don’t throw the chicken carcass away after you have had a roast chicken, take all the meat off the bones then add the bones to a saucepan.
Add 1 roughly chopped onion, 2 sliced carrots and whatever extra odd veggies you have in the fridge, a slightly soft tomato, half a pepper, half a leek or a little swede or parsnip.
Cover the chicken with cold water, add salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Cover and simmer for 1-11/2 hours then strain.
Cool and freeze the stock in handy sized portions in the freezer up to 3 months.
Defrost before use.
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A real girly pink, this American style whisked sponge cake is made with pureed strawberries and vegetable oil rather than butter so is light but still moist and moreish. You don’t need any fancy tins to make this, just 2, 20cm (8inch) springform tins that you can easily pick up from the supermarket.
Who can resist a slice of warm fruit pie? Don’t stick to the old favourites of apple or apple and blackberry, try this tangy berry mix in a deliciously crumbly rich pastry.A perfect dessert to follow a family Sunday roast. Any leftovers taste equally good cold too.
Sort out those New Year hangovers and January blues with this vitamin and antioxidant bursting berry juice. Full of natural sugars it will soon boost energy levels leaving you feeling brighter and revitalised.
Prep: 10 minutes
225g (8oz) or about ¼ red cabbage
225g (8oz) or about 1 large beetroot, trimmed, scrubbed
175g (6oz) raspberries
100g (4oz) blueberries
2 teaspoons runny honey or to taste
Cut the red cabbage and beetroot into pieces that will fit in your juicer shoot then press through an electric juicer.
Puree the raspberries and blueberries with a little of the red cabbage and beetroot juice in a liquidiser until smooth then add the remaining juice and sweeten to taste with honey.
Pour into two glasses and serve immediately or pour into a sports drinks container, seal well and take to the gym for a post workout energy boost.
If you don’t have a juicer then puree the raspberries and blueberries with 300ml (1/2 pint) bought cranberry and raspberry juice or pomegranate juice.
Blackberry & goat’s cheese tarts : Be my Valentine
Super quick and easy to put together, simply unroll readymade puff pastry and cut into heart shapes with a knife. You don’t even need a special cutter, just draw a heart shape that is about 12cm (5 inches) long and the same wide on a piece of baking paper or piece of card and use this as a template.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 24-25 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
15g (1/2 oz) butter
2 red onions, halved, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons caster sugar
150g (5oz) blackberries
3 stems fresh thyme, leaves torn from stems, plus a little extra for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
375g (12oz) packet ready rolled chilled puff pastry, or defrosted if frozen
Beaten egg, for glazing
100g (4oz) goats cheese, cut into 4 thin slices
tablespoon red wine vinegar
tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
100g (4oz) mixed rocket, spinach and watercress salad
175g (6oz) raspberries
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), Gas Mark 6.
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Add the sugar and fry for 5 minutes, stirring more frequently until lightly browned.
Mix in the blackberries and thyme then season with salt and pepper.
Unroll the pastry then cut 4 heart shapes, transfer to a wetted baking sheet and prick the centre of each heart with a fork, leaving a border about 2cm (3/4 inch) all the way round.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg then pile the onion and blackberry mix in the centre of each pastry heart. Bake for 10 minutes until the pastry is well risen and lightly browned.
Top each with a slice of goats cheese, a few extra thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Bake for 4-5 minutes more until the cheese has just softened and the pastry is cooked.
Meanwhile, fork the vinegar, oil, sugar and mustard together in a bowl to make a dressing.
Add a little salt and pepper then the salad leaves and raspberries and gently toss together.
Arrange one heart per serving for a starter, two for a main course on to plates with a little salad.
If you have some raspberry or blackberry vinegar then use this to make the salad dressing with.
Fraisier strawberry cake
Extra special valentine/Mother’s day special. Wow the special person in your life with this impressive looking cake, this classic French recipe has a few short cuts, so you don’t need to be a master baker to make this version!
Cuts into 10 slices
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 35-40 minutes
225g (8oz) soft margarine
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Grated rind of 2 lemons
4 medium eggs
6 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled
3 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
500g (1lb 2oz) carton luxury vanilla custard
2 tablespoons apricot glaze or apricot jam minus the pieces of fruit
250g (9oz) readymade marzipan
Little icing sugar
Few small strawberries
Few chocolate hearts
Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan) Gas 3. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) heart shaped springform tin with a little oil then line the base with a piece of non-stick baking paper.
Add the margarine, sugar and flour to a large bowl, electric mixer or food processor. Add the baking powder, lemon rind and eggs and beat together until smooth.
Spoon into the lined tin, level the surface and bake for about 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes then loosen the edge, remove the tin and lining paper and cool on a wire rack.
When the cake is cold, cut into two thinner rounds, trimming the top level if it is a little domed, then spoon the limoncello over the cut sides. Wash the cake tin and line the base and sides with two strips of clingfilm. Put one of the cake halves in the tin and pull up the clingfilm if needed so that it slightly overhangs the top of the tin.
Sort through the strawberries, reserve the medium sized ones for the side of the cake and the larger ones for slicing. Cut the medium sized ones in half and arrange in a ring around the outside of the cake in the tin so that the cut edge is pressed against the clingfilm. Slice the rest and arrange as an even layer to cover the base cake.
Add the water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine powder and leave to soak for 5 minutes then stand the bowl in a saucepan of just simmering water and heat until the gelatine has dissolved and become a clear liquid.
Whisk the cream until it forms soft swirls in a bowl then fold in the custard. Gradually fold in the dissolved gelatine in a thin steady stream then pour the custard mix over the strawberries in the tin and chill for 10 minutes until just setting.
Add the second cake half to the tin and press lightly into the custard. Gently spread the apricot glaze or jam over the top of the cake. Knead and roll out the marzipan on a piece of non-stick baking paper then cut into a heart, using the cake tin as a guide. Lift over the top of the cake and press into place with fingertips dusted with icing sugar. Chill for at least 4 hours.
When ready to serve, unclip the sides of the tin, peel away the clingfilm, then carefully lift the cake off and transfer to a plate. Decorate the top with the small strawberries and piped chocolate hearts, if liked.
Not a fan of marzipan then simply leave it out and spread the top of the cake with melted chocolate or simply dust with sifted icing sugar instead.
To make chocolate hearts, melt 50g (2oz) dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water. Spoon into a piping bag made of non-stick baking paper, snip off the tip then pipe heart shapes over a sheet of non-stick baking paper set on a baking tray.
Chill until set then peel off the paper and add to the top of the cake when ready to serve.
Blueberry and yogurt American style pancakes. Gluten free. Start your day right with these quick and easy pancakes that all the family can enjoy, even those on a gluten free diet.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10-15 minutes
50g (2oz) fine cornmeal
50g (2oz) tapioca flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g (7oz) low fat natural yogurt
150g (5oz) blueberries
1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying
A little butter, extra blueberries and maple syrup or runny honey
Mix the flours, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl. Add the yogurt and eggs and whisk together until smooth then fold in the blueberries.
Heat a little of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, wipe out the excess with a piece of crumpled kitchen towel. Drop large spoonfuls of the thick batter into the pan and cook for 23 minutes until bubbles can be seen and the undersides are tinged brown.
Turn the pancakes over with a palette knife and cook the second side for a minute or two. Take out of the pan and keep hot in a folded napkin. Oil the pan once more and cook more pancakes in the same way until all the mixture has been used up, lowering the heat slightly if needed.
Stack the pancakes on to plates, top with a little butter, extra blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.
Fine cornmeal can be found in Indian supermarkets and some larger supermarkets, tapioca flour from your nearest health food shop.
This is a guest post from Seasonal Berries. No payment was received...