January 22, 2013

Fig & Cacao Quinoa Breakfast

The long awaited winter has finally come. I was missing crisp mornings and walking in the invigorating air. After a mild and wet start to the season, the temperatures have finally dropped below zero and soft snow flakes have made the landscape look like a winter wonderland. I like starting the day slowly, waking up with the first lights of the day and thinking of the promises of what lays ahead. My breakfast ritual often includes something warm these days. Nothing can beat a bowl of warm porridge to get me ready for the cold outside. I usually don’t have quinoa for breakfast, but why not, after all? And what a nice change this makes! I added crunchy figs and raw cacao nibs which melted slightly in my bowl. Good morning quinoa choco fig breakfast, you’re my new favourite!

Fig & Cacao Quinoa Breakfast – serves 2
• 100g quinoa, rinsed
• 250ml almond milk
• 7 dry figs, chopped
• 2tbsp raw cacao nibs
• Maple syrup

1. Place the quinoa in a small saucepan with the almond milk, and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for about 15min until the quinoa is cooked. If all of the liquid has been absorbed beforehand, add a bit more milk or water. Mix the chopped figs in.
2. Dish into bowls and sprinkle with the cacao nibs and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve straight away.

Petit Déjeuner de Quinoa, Figues & Cacao – pour 2 personnes
• 100g de quinoa, rincé
• 250ml de lait d’amandes
• 7 figues sèches, émincées
• 2cs de pépites de cacao crues
• Sirop d’érable

1. Mettre le quinoa dans une petite casserole avec le lait d’amandes et porter à ébullition. Laisser frémir environ 15min, jusqu’à ce que le quinoa soit cuit. Si le liquide est absorbé trop rapidement, ajouter un peu de lait d’amandes ou d’eau. Ajouter les morceaux de figues.
2. Servir dans des bols et parsemer de pépites de cacao et arroser de sirop d’érable. Servir immédiatement.

January 14, 2013

Upside-Down Cranberry & Orange Cake

I baked this cake on Friday afternoon to use the last bag of cranberries I had in my freezer, which I had bought over the Christmas period. The unexpected ingredient which I used was almond pulp. I made almond milk for breakfast in the morning and was left with about 100g almond pulp. I usually make a kind of hummus type spread with it, but I got a bit tired of it recently and was keen on trying to use the pulp in different recipes. I was originally going to use a bag of ground almonds to make the cake but decided to use the almond pulp instead. As the pulp still had some moisture, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. But, yeah! It worked really well. The texture of the cake was perfect, moist, but not too much, and still airy and light. Flavours of orange and honey are exactly what I’m after in the wintertime. It gives a comforting feeling to be home and bake cake, filling the kitchen with these wonderful fragrances, and then sharing the cake over a cup of tea. Winter heaven!

Upside-Down Cranberry & Orange Cake – makes 1 cake
• 300g fresh cranberries
• 1tbsp vanilla sugar
• 100g ground almonds (or almond pulp)
• 200g spelt flour
• A pinch of salt
• 1tsp baking powder
• 1/2tsp baking soda
• Zest and juice of 1 orange
• 100g coconut oil
• 100ml honey
• 2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Heat 1tsp coconut oil in a small saucepan, add the cranberries and vanilla sugar and simmer for about 5min until the cranberries are soft.
3. In a large bowl, mix the ground almonds with the spelt flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and orange zest.
4. In a small saucepan, heat slowly the coconut oil and honey until liquid. Take off the heat and add the orange juice.
5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the eggs as well as the oil and honey mix. Mix well until you obtain a smooth batter.
6. Grease an 18cm round cake dish. Spread the cranberries at the bottom of the tin. Pour the cake batter on top. Place in the oven and cook for 35-40min, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
7. Leave to cool down. Unmold the cake, turning it at the same time so that the cranberries are on top.

Gâteau Renversé Cranberry-Orange – pour 1 gâteau
• 300g de cranberries (canneberges) fraîches
• 1cs de sucre vanillé
• 100g de poudre d’amandes (ou de pulpe d’amandes)
• 200g de farine d’épeautre
• 1 pincée de sel
• 1cc de levure
• 1/2cc de bicarbonate de soude
• Zeste et jus d’1 orange
• 100g d’huile de noix de coco
• 100ml de miel
• 2 œufs

1. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2. Faire chauffer 1cc d’huile de noix de coco dans une petite casserole, ajouter les cranberries et le sucre vanillé et laisser mijoter environ 5min jusqu’à ce que les cranberries soient tendres.
3. Dans un saladier, mélanger la poudre d’amandes avec la farine d’épeautre, le sel, la levure, le bicarbonate de soude et le zeste d’orange.
4. Dans une petite casserole, faire fondre tout doucement l’huile de noix de coco et le miel. Retirer du feu et ajouter le jus d’orange.
5. Faire un puits dans le mélange sec et y verser les œufs ainsi que le mélange huile de coco-miel. Bien mélanger jusqu’ ‘à l’obtention d’une pâte homogène.
6. Graisser un moule à gâteau rond d e18cm de diamètre. Etaler les cranberries au fond du plat. Recouvrir de pâte. Mettre u four pour 35-40min jusqu’à ce qu’une pique en bois insérée au centre ressorte sèche.
7. Laisser refroidir. Au moment de démouler le gâteau, le retourner de façon à ce que les cranberries soient sur le dessus.

January 09, 2013

Endive Salad

I wish you all a very happy and peaceful New Year!

I started 2013 being ill, which made me grateful for the 360 or so other days of the year when I am well and healthy. I don’t know for you, but for me, a new year often feels like a fresh start, new beginnings, adventures and possibilities. I am very much looking forward to the journey ahead. I’m not sure if it’s because the end of the world didn’t happen, but I can feel a lot of positive and happy vibes out there.

So, shall we start the year with a salad? I revisited one of my Mum’s old classics while we were in France during the holiday. Humble endives are a winter favourite of mine.

Happy start to the year and much love x

Endive, Apple & Blue Cheese Salad – serves 4
• 3 medium endives, chopped
• 1 pink lady apple, cored and sliced
• 100g Fourme d’Ambert (or other blue cheese), crumbled
• A handful of walnuts
• Salt and pepper
• 1tsp Dijon mustard
• Juice of ½ lemon
• 1tbsp walnut oil
• 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the walnuts in an ovenproof dish and place in the oven for about 10min until the walnuts are golden and fragrant. Leave to cool down then chopped roughly.
2. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, walnut oil and olive oil.
3. Place the endives in a bowl or a serving dish and add the apples, cheese and walnuts. Drizzle the dressing over and serve.

Salade d’Endives, Pomme & Fourme d’Ambert – pour 4 personnes
• 3 endives moyennes, coupées finement
• 1 pomme pink lady, écœurée et coupée en lamelles
• 100g de Fourme d’Ambert (ou autre fromage bleu), émietté
• Une poignée de noix
• Sel et poivre
• 1cc de moutarde
• Jus d’1/2 citron
• 1cs d’huile de noix
• 1cs d’huile d’olive vierge extra

1. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Mettre les noix dans un plat à four and mettre au four pour 10min jusqu’à ce que les noix soient dorées. Laisser refroidir puis émincer les grossièrement.
2. Dans un petit bol, préparer l’assaisonnement en mélangeant sel, poivre, moutarde, jus de citron, huile de noix et huile d’olive.
3. Mettre les endives dans un saladier ou plat de service et ajouter les pommes, la Fourme et les noix. Arroser avec l’assaisonnement et servir.