Monthly Archives: February 2015

Lemon Lime Tart with Toasted Almonds and Strawberries

dessert
cake whole

Who doesn’t like lemons? Did you know that lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C? The juice from one lemon has about 40mg of vitamin C, which is almost 100 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for adults.
This lemon lime tart is so refreshing, light and perfect for summer!

Here it’s the recipe, you will definitely like it! This recipe serves 6-8 people

Ingredients for the shortcrust pastry
140 g unsalted butter
100 g icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain all purpose flour, sifted
2 tbsp ground almonds
pinch of salt

Ingredients for the filling
6 free-range eggs
4 free-range egg yolks
370g caster sugar
300mls of double cream
Juice of 4 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
Very fine zest of 1 lime
Icing sugar for dusting
Toasted flaked almonds
Fresh strawberries and double cream for serving

Using a mixer with a paddle beater, beat the butter and the icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at the time while continuing to whip, then add the vanilla.

Turn the mixer to the slowest speed and add the flour, ground almonds and salt and mix until everything is well combined.

Divide into two equal-sized balls, wrap in cling wrap and chill or freeze until ready to use (I do recommend to do it the night before or to keep it in the fridge for several hours).

Once ready to bake the tart preheat the oven to 170C (340F).

Roll the pastry out on a bench dusted with flour to an even 5-7mm thickness and place into a greased tart tin or ring. Press tightly into the tin, trimming off any excess. Chill the pastry case for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Remove pastry ring from the refrigerator or freezer and line with greaseproof paper. Fill with some raw rice, pasta or dried beans. This will prevent the pastry from lifting or getting air bubbles during cooking.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and rice/beans and continue to bake the pastry case for another 2 minutes to ensure the centre of the base is cooked.

Remove from oven.

For the filling, whisk the whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a large bowl until well combine, then whisk in the cream. Stir in the lemon and lime juice and zests, mix well, then pour into a pouring jug.

Place the empty tart shell back into the oven. Carefully, pour the lemon-lime filling into the empty tart shell, just to the top, being careful not to allow any to spill over the edge, as this will make the tart stick to the ring.

Bake at 160C (320F) for 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set.

Remove from oven and cool. Cut into wedges, dust with icing sugar and serve with toasted almonds, fresh strawberries and a good dollop of double cream. YUMMM!!

Please give it a try and leave your comments!

HAPPY BAKING!

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Beef Fillet with Cauliflower Puree, Mushrooms and Wilted Spinach

beef

Looking for a main to impress your guests? Follow this recipe and you will!
It does take time but you won’t regret it. I have made this dish over three times now and it’s definitely one of my favourites!

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Serves: 6 people

Ingredients
1k-piece beef eye fillet, trimmed, trussed
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season
100g unsalted butter
400g button mushrooms, halved
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g spinach, trimmed

Red Wine Sauce
4 oxtail bones
2 tbs olive oil
2 carrots, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 leek, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 Swiss brown mushrooms, quartered
500ml (2 cups) beef stock
250ml (1 cup) red wine
6 white peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 thyme springs
3 parsley springs

Porcini crumbs
3g dried porcini
100g (1 cup) sourdough breadcrumbs
1 tbs olive oil

Cauliflower puree
60g butter
2 tsp olive oil
300g cauliflower florets
1 small onion, finely chopped
250ml (1 cup) milk
125ml (1/2 cup) cream

Method
1. Preheah oven to 220C. To make sauce, place oxtail bones on an oven tray and roast for 30 minutes or until browned.

2. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until softened. Add oxtail bones and remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced by half. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, into a bowl, discarding solids. Return sauce to pot over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly.

3. Reduce heat to 200C. Brush beef all over with oil and season. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add beef and cook, turning, for 6 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer beef to an oven tray and roast for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes to rest.

4. Meanwhile, to make porcini crumbs, reduce oven to 150C. Using a mortar and pestle, grind porcini with 1 pinch of salt and pepper to a fine powder. Combine breadcrumbs, porcini mixture and oil in a small bowl. Place on an oven tray in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden.

5. To make cauliflower puree, heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cauliflower and onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add milk and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain, then blend cauliflower with cream until smooth. Season.

6. Melt half of the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Season.

7. Melt remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add spinach and cook, tossing for 1 minute or until wilted. Season.

8. Divide cauliflower puree among serving plates. Top with spinach. Discard string from beef and slice, then place on top of spinach. Dot mushrooms on plate and pour over sauce. Sprinkle over crumbs to serve.

A delicious main!! Enjoy it!!

Best metabolism-boosting foods

Tired of a slow metabolism holding you back from losing weight? There are plenty of ways to wake your body up and get your metabolism moving. Along with improving your every day diet plan and incorporating regular exercise, there are some foods that can give your metabolism a little boost, making it easier for you to burn fat and lose weight. Add some of these delicious foods into your diet plan and your metabolism will climb…

Apples.
An apple a day is a good start – but for a bigger metabolism boost, take it a little further. Studies have shown that eating three small apples a day will help you to eat less at each meal, resulting in a metabolism spike. Plus they’re full of nutrients and will make you feel alert and energised.

Chilli.
Hot ingredients like chilli, cayenne pepper and salsa can be added into almost any meal, and can increase your metabolism by up to 20%. Good news if you’re a fan of Thai, Mexican, or Indian foods. Make your meals spicier and get your body revved up to burn more calories!

Berries.
Low in calories and high in antioxidants, berries are a great diet food that keep your metabolism going strong. They also have high fibre content, which means you feel fuller on fewer calories, and their natural sweetness makes them feel like a treat without blowing your diet. They don’t have to be so expensive either- frozen raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are usually around $5 for a large box, so pick some up next time you’re in the frozen food section.

Coffee.
Your morning coffee does more than just wake you up-the caffeine also speeds up your metabolism. Some studies have suggested coffee has other health benefits as well, such as promoting better heart health and improving your concentration. Don’t go overboard-too much caffeine will make you feel jittery and anxious, but one to three cups a day is fine.


Water.

Keeping well hydrated is one of the best ways to get your metabolism going. Recent studies have shown that drinking cold water can help to raise your metabolism by up to 30%. So keep a jug of cold water in the fridge and get in the habit of taking a water bottle with you wherever you go. Drinking your eight glasses each day not only helps speed up your metabolism, but helps your body to function properly and help with digestion and detoxification.

Green tea.
Next to water, green tea is the best beverage you can drink for weight loss, a faster metabolism, and overall health. Full of antioxidants, green tea keeps you healthy and gives you enough caffeine to make you feel refreshed, without overloading you on too much. Drink a cup in the morning and put some in the fridge to drink iced later.

Almonds. Full of good fats, fibre and protein, all of which help you to feel more full on less. The essential fatty acids found in almonds actually help your body to raise its metabolism just by consuming them. Of course, fat is still fat, so don’t go overboard-but a small handful of almonds makes a great healthy snack that can help give your metabolism a boost.

Natural Yogurt. Low-fat natural yogurt is full of pro-biotic cultures that help to ensure a healthy digestive tract. It also contains protein and good fats, so it makes a healthy snack that helps raise your metabolism and keep you feeling full.

Whey protein. When your body consumes protein, you feel full for longer and your metabolism gets revved up. Whey protein is a complete, high-quality protein that comes in powder form. Mixing it up into a protein shake is a great way to get your body fired up to burn more calories.

Cabbage. Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are great for improving metabolic function. Load up your meals with lots of green vegetables and you’ll feel fuller, get more nutrients, and burn more fat.

Lemon. Squeeze a little lemon juice into a glass of water each morning and you’ll slow down your digestion, which improves the body’s ability to metabolise fat. This is also a great way to make water more interesting to help you reach the eight glasses mark each day.

Rolled Oats
. Eating rolled oats in the morning gives you body the quality carbs, proteins and good fats it needs to function efficiently throughout the day. So get your metabolism pumping with a small bowl of oats mixed with whey protein and flaxmeal for breakfast.