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Tag: cardamom

Pistachio Cakes

Here she is. After many, many years of being loved, lost, forgotten, and then finally found again, I present to thee, the pistachio cake. As a very much non sweet tooth person, this is one of my top three favourite cakes, ever. They are fragrant with almonds, pistachios, and marzipan with just the slightest hint of cardamom. They are perfection.

A quick note before you start baking – the marzipan isn’t very intense. It’s mainly there for texture and to be a supporting role to the pistachio flavour. I used to add a few drops of almond flavour, but I don’t think it really needs it. You can also add green food colouring to really bring home that pistachio component, but again, that’s completely optional.

Pistachio cakes with marzipan and a hint of cardamom

Originally found in a (in the meantime lost) Delicious Magazine add-on

Makes 12

80g skinned ground almonds (if you’re feeling fancy, you can replace this with equal amounts ground pistachios)

20g salted pistachios, finely ground in a food processor

30g extra salted pistachios, roughly chopped

100g unsalted butter, softened

80g white sugar

80g marzipan, chopped or torn into small pieces

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla essence

30g semolina flour (Semolina flour is a lot finer than semolina, but if you can’t find it, semolina will do. Polenta also makes an excellent substitute if you want to make this gluten free. Just remember, the texture will be a little coarser than what you’d get with semolina flour.)

1/4 tsp ground cardamom, from about 5 cardamom pods

Icing

50g butter, softened

100g cream cheese 

50g icing sugar – you might need less, or more, depending on how sweet you want it

a few drops of rosewater

½ tsp vanilla essence

Toppings (optional)

1 dried rose bud, crumbled 

12 extra whole salted pistachios

1 Tbsp finely chopped salted pistachios

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with muffin cases.

In a large bowl, smush together the softened butter and the sugar until combined (you obviously skip this step and start beating the two with a hand-held mixer, however, I’ve found that this will prevent the sugar from flying out of the bowl when you turn on the mixer). Grab your mixer and beat the butter sugar mixture until well-combined and fluffy. Add the pieces of torn marzipan and beat for another minute. Don’t worry about there being lumps – there are few things better than the surprise of a nugget of molten marzipan when biting into one of these. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.

Add the ground pistachios, the ground almonds, the extra chopped pistachios, the vanilla essence, the semolina flour and the ground cardamom and beat thoroughly.

Fill the muffin cases about halfway, starting with about 1 Tbsp batter per case and dividing the rest. Transfer the muffin tin into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The cakes are done once they’ve taken on a golden hue and don’t sink in when gently poked with a finger. Remove from the oven and cool.

For the icing, mix together the butter and cream cheese until well combine, than gradually stir in the icing sugar, one spoonful at a time, until you have a lump-free icing of your desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla and rose water.

To assemble, top each cake with as little or as much icing as you’re in the mood for, dotting with the whole pistachio and a sprinkling of the chopped pistachio and a pinch of crumbled dried rose petals. 

Mulled Winey Goodness

mulled wine‘Tis the season my friends. Time for mulled everything. Everyone is trying to top everyone else in winging about how cold it is, but secretly they love it, because who doesn’t love a steaming mug of something spiked warming up their frozen nose hair. Warmed nose hair for everyone! We’ve had hot buttered rum before, which went down a treat – but now it’s time for the antioxidant-rich grape to take centre stage and charm our socks off.

mulled cloves

This recipe calls for the creation of a complexly spiced syrup, to which later you add some red and a few splashes of ginger wine. That way you can either store it in the fridge for a few weeks, use half, or have it all straight away. This method also ensures that most of the alcohol is still present by the time of serving. None of this boiling-wine-for-two-hours business. And honestly? Most bars, no matter how craft and boutique and amazing they are, their mulled wine won’t be as good as this. Promise.

mulled orange

Delicious Mulled Wine

via the Guardian

This will make about 12 servings. If you aren’t up for cracking open two bottles of red because you’re a smallish group, make the syrup and only use half, combined with half of the rest of the ingredients. The syrup will last for a few weeks in a jar in the fridge.

2 oranges, washed
1 lemon, peel only
150g raw sugar
5 cloves, plus extra for garnish
5 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 bottles of fruity full-bodied red wine – Shiraz-Cabernet for me please
150ml ginger wine

Remove the peel from one orange using a vegetable peeler, then squeeze out the juice. Add both to a big saucepan along with the lemon peel, the sugar and the spices. Add a few small glugs of wine, enough to cover the sugar, and let it simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. You should be left with a thick syrup. If I have the time I like to let it sit for a bit to let the flavours meld.

If you’re keen on doing some shmancy decorating, get the remaining orange and the remaining cloves, and make a few (as many guests as you have)vertical clove lines down the side of the orange. slice it into segments  and voilà,  your garnish is complete.

Once you’re ready to serve, add the rest of the red wine as well as the ginger wine, and gently heat the mixture until hot. Ladle into cups and squeeze an orange segment onto the edge of each. Yum!

 

 

 

Hot Buttered Rum

hot buttered rumIt’s time, guys. Spring’s here. Jasmine bushes are exploding all over the place, sunscreen is taking the place of cologne and we can finally leave the house without a scarf. Oh how I love spring. To bid my farewell to winter, and helping you lovelies on the other side of the world ease into the realization the cold is going to come get you, I present to thee: Hot buttered rum.

 

The inspiration for this recipe came from a visit to this charming little bar down the road called Little Mess. If you’re ever in Brunswick, give it a go. They won’t be doing hot buttered rum till winter though. A few months back, when I asked about the ingredients that made up the delicious steaming beverage I was holding between my frozen paws, I was expecting something along the lines of “Ah, sorry. Secret recipe.” Which I did. But my disappointment must have guilt-tripped the friendly barman, so he ended up giving me a tiny insight into a short and incredibly vague list of ingredients make up the magic of which is hot buttered rum. So eagerly I went on home and over the following months taste-tested my own interpretation of it until I was certain that it had well and truly ticked all the boxes. May I present to you, a caramelly, buttery, spiced cup of sweet boozy goodness.

 

Hot Buttered Rum

Serves 1

 

60ml butterscotch sauce (recipe below)

30ml water

1 cardamom pod

1 clove

1 small piece of cinnamon bark

60ml Sailor Jerry’s or other spiced rum

 

Now ideally, try and get this first step done at least 15 minutes before you serve your drink. That way, the spices have a chance to develop and let themselves be noticed. Combine the butterscotch, water and spices in a heatproof mug and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. If you hate microwaves, or just don’t have one, warm the mixture in a small pan until hot, but not boiling. Set aside for 15 minutes.

When ready to serve, add the rum to the cup and heat for a further 30 seconds in the microwave, until nice and hot, but again, not boiling. You, my sweet, are now ready to drink.

 

Butterscotch sauce

Makes enough for at least 5 drinks

 

160ml / 2/3 cup cream

155g / ¾ cup light brown sugar

75g butter, cubed

2 tsp vanilla essence

1/3 tsp salt

 

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and stirring, bring to the boil. Let it bubble away for about 5 more minutes until thickened slightly. Take from the heat and let it cool.

Can be sored for at least one week in the fridge.

Kulfi time

cardamom pistachio kulfi

When I was in high school, my mum and I had a Friday evening tradition of going to our favourite Indian restaurant for dinner. Amongst many other places, we’ve been to India three times together, and I will say without a smidge of shame that one of the main reasons that made us keep wanting to go back was the food. The history and the culture and all that amazingness too of course, but man, that food.

This is possibly my favourite Indian dessert, although I’d rather not have favourites. To all you kulfi-novices-soon-to be-onverted out there, kulfi is a type of ice cream. It is prepared by evaporating sweetened and flavoured milk by slowly cooking it, until it has reduced considerably in volume and has thickened in consistency. This deliciousness is then frozen in little moulds and then people like me stuff their faces with them.

Without further ado, make this, now. Especially if you’re in Melbourne and sweating yourself senseless. Or because you just think you need to impress the pants off yourself.

By all means, replace the milk partially or fully with cream. I’ve just always done it with milk. And basically it’s just a very rare occasion where I find half a litre of cream in my fridge looking at me with big eyes, begging to be made into ice cream. But then again, the dairy section of your fridge might be different.

Cardamom and Pistachio Kulfi

 

400ml mi full cream milk

10 cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely ground

1 big pinch of salt

1 can/379g condensed milk

1 can/354ml evaporated milk

50g pistachios, finely chopped

Combine the milk, the cardamom and the salt in a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from heat and pour into a large square plastic container. Whisk in the condensed- and evaporated milk. Let it come to room temperature, or if your as impatient as me, immediately stick it in the freezer. Every half hour or so, whisk the mixture with a fork so as to break the ice crystals, you know the story. After about 4 hours or more, depending on how good your freezer is, your mixture will have the consistency of slushy snow. Now stir in the pistachios and fill into whatever mould makes you happy. I usually use small cups or those popsicle trays you can buy. If you’re lucky enough to have 2 of those trays, I reckon you could make 14-16. Now put them back into the freezer to firm up. When ready, hold a knife under a hot tap and slide it around the edge of each popsicle until it comes out.

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