Seamore pasta. Sustainable. Gluten free.

The other week we got sent some Seamore seaweed pasta to try. Although excited to try out a new recipe, I must admit I was a bit dubious to try this one. I am happy trying new ingredients but I was a little wary about how this one would taste and what the texture would be like (I think I had had a stressful week, it always makes me wary about my cooking skills). However, this was a dream to cook (I just followed the instructions on the pack), the texture was good, it had a slight bite to it and it wasn’t overpoweringly seasidey tasting. I think it would be a great alternative for people with coeliac disease as I am aware gluten free pasta can get quite soft.

Now the benefits of Seamore are so numerous they provided me with this helpful inforgraphic for you. After all a picture paints a thousand words.seamore infographic

Anyway, as a sea themed meal, I served my Seamore pasta up with baked seabass for a quick weeknight meal.

For baked sea bass and Seamore pasta you will need:

1 sea bass fillet per person

1 preserved lemon

Olive oil

Chilli Flakes

1 handful cherry tomato halves per person

1 serving Seamore pasta per person

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Boil your kettle and start cooking the Seamore pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Place your sea bass skin side down on a baking tray. Sprinkle over the chilli, chop your preserved lemon and tomatoesand disperse evenly over the fish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for approx. 15 minutes until the sea bass is opaque.

Serve the fish, lemon and tomatoes on a bed of your seaweed and enjoy!

We both really enjoyed this recipe and trying something new. Sometimes its good to get out of your comfort zone.

Seamore pasta is available to buy online and at Wholefoods stores. For more information click here.

Thai style beef salad

If there is ever such a thing as leftover steak in your house (a rare predicament in mine, but we bought 5 minute steaks yesterday) this recipe is perfect for you. It is a lighter way to enjoy steak and its great for warmer days or if you’re watching what you eat a bit more. While this is not strictly a Thai recipe, there are a lot of elements of Thai cooking in this. A perfect Summer meal. (Plus I am feeling not a small amount of pride that D has started eating

For a salad to serves 2 you will need:

2 minute steaks

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

The juice of one lime

8-10 cherry tomatoes

1 large handful coriander

2 spring onions

1 large handful spinach

100g rice noodles

1 teaspoon cornflour

1 teaspoon soy sauce

 

Prepare the marinade; mix the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, chilli and oil. Slice the spring onion and shred the coriander and add to the liquid.

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Slice the steak into strips. Put the frying pan onto a high heat and add a little oil. Add the steak and the flour and fry for about 1 minute. Put the steak strips in the marinade and allow to cool.

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Half your tomatoes. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the pack. Then rinse the noodles with cold water. Toss the noodles, tomatoes and spinach in the salad.

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If you like you can toast the sesame seeds, but we were too hungry and I sort of forgot to do it. (I had that Monday feeling…)

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Blueberry yogurt swirl brownies (dairy and gluten free!)

Anyone who is a regular follower of this blog knows I periodically post another variation on brownies. What can I say? I like a good traybake and occasionally get a massive craving for brownies. Anyway, these came about while thinking of cheesecake brownies and wondering if I could make a swirl type brownie without using dairy products. Turns out it works pretty well and I managed to do it without using any wheat or gluten containing products. Perfect for treating your friend with the dietary requirements as you can still get all of the ingredients in your local supermarket.

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To make a batch of brownies you will need:

100g coconut oil

200g good quality dark chocolate

250g brown sugar

30g cocoa powder

4 large eggs

100g cornflour

2 tablespoons vanilla soy yogurt

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 handful frozen blueberries

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a deep baking tin with baking paper or greaseproof paper. Using an electric whisk beat together your eggs and sugar until the mix leaves a trail on the surface. In a separate bowl melt your chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Set this aside to cool and then slowly fold this into the egg mixture.

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Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold this into the mix. Pour this into the lined baking tin.

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Mix together the yogurt, blueberries and maple syrup in a small bowl. Swirl this over the chocolate mix, but down mix too thoroughly to create a fetching pattern.

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Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes out almost clean.

Share with your friends, especially the poor one who usually has to pass on all baked goods for dietary reasons.

Cream Egg Brownies (Gluten free)

So I’ve heard some shocking reports of how Cream Eggs aren’t being made with Dairy Milk chocolate this year. While this may be true I was feeling kind when D had his friend to stay last weekend so I made them some brownies (which also made it to our respective workplaces). While cream eggs are a chocolate traditionally associated with Easter and I notice Easter chocolate seems to appear in the shops earlier and earlier each year; it does mean that you can enjoy the decadence of these babies for longer which can only be a good thing. Just be careful, these are very rich, so a little goes a long way.

This recipe is also homage to House of Herby’s recipe. The beautiful blogger (I think) originally did this recipe a while back. However, I used one of my own brownie recipes just because I am so used to it I don’t really follow a recipe anymore. Either way, I have wanted to make these for quite some time and I am pleased that I have not put it off any longer.

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To make cream egg brownies you will need

4 large eggs

250g soft brown sugar

100g cornflour

200g dark chocolate (Green and Blacks dark chocolate is gluten free)

100g butter

30g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

2 packs mini cream eggs

 

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a deep baking tin with baking paper or greaseproof paper. Using an electric whisk beat together your eggs and sugar until the mix leaves a trail on the surface. In a separate bowl melt your chocolate and butter (in the microwave) and slowly fold into the beaten eggs and sugar.

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Sift in the cornflour, baking powder and cocoa powder.

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Pour into your baking tin. Halve your cream eggs at the join and put these on the surface (although don’t faff around being too decorative as some halves may sink). Bake for around 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out nearly clean.

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Serve on its own with a good cup of tea or warm with vanilla ice cream. (Or while drinking beer watching wrestling…)

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Pavlova

I am well aware that Pavlova is generally more of a summery food than one for the depths of winter. However, hear me out. Frozen berries work wonderfully in this recipe and this recipe is amazing following a Sunday roast or for a special occasion. Plus, as its Valentine’s Day coming up, do you really want to pass up an opportunity to say “This my darling? Why, I just threw this together, it was no trouble”? (You can imagine your loved ones gazing at you in awe now…)

Anyway, I adapted the meringue recipe and the big meringue on a baking sheet recipe from The Model Foodie’s recipe which uses summer fruits and looks beautiful. I took the bulk of the Pavlova into my work and one guy wanted to stick his face into the thing, that’s how much he enjoyed it. I see that as a baking success.

To make your very own Pavlova you will need:

For the meringue

6 egg whites (I had some in the freezer left from making ice cream)

300g caster sugar

A pinch of salt

For the vanilla cream

600ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod

1 tbsp icing sugar

For the fruit topping

300g frozen fruit (I used mostly raspberries with a handful of strawberries)

100g white chocolate

 

Preheat your oven to 150°C and line a baking tray (approx 40cm x 25cm) with a sheet of greaseproof paper or a silicone baking sheet. Remove your fruit from the freezer. Make sure your mixing bowl is really clean (no grease or water) and whisk your egg whites until peaks form.

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Slowly and gradually add your sugar while continuously whisking then add the salt. Turn your whisk up to the highest setting and whisk for a further 7-8 minutes until your meringue is smooth and glossy.

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Spread your meringue onto the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 1 hour until the outside is crisp. Leave to cool. By this point I had run out of space in my kitchen so I left mine to cool on top of one of the living room shelves, vowing to wipe a surface.

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In a clean mixing bowl add your cream, vanilla and icing sugar. Whisk until the cream goes thick and it leaves a trail across the surface. Whisk for about 10 seconds more and then spread on top of the meringue.

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Top with your fruit.

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Melt your white chocolate and drizzle artfully over everything.

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Serve to your adoring fans. Fun fact from my Kiwi friend DC: Australians and New Zealanders often debate over which nation created the Pavlova.

Now, I appreciate anybody who cooks lovely things with a hint of false modesty, but if anybody happens to say “Oh this, I’m sure it wasn’t difficult” or the like you have permission to give them a black eye and not let them have any of this. A good Pavlova is a thing of beauty.

Nutella Ice Cream

This recipe is an absolute dream for any people who are simultaneously obsessed with both Nutella and ice cream. For the rest of you, I honestly don’t know what is wrong with you. Currently I don’t have an ice cream maker but, although making ice cream can be time consuming without the kitchen gadget, the wait is well worth it. I cannot tell a lie though, I was hovering around the freezer waiting for the ice cream to set. This recipe makes a bit more than 1 litre of ice cream so you’ll need your ice cream machine or a heavy duty tupperware container that can hold 2 litres. The pictures I have taken do not do this ice cream justice.

To make Nutella ice cream you will need:

350ml double cream

350ml Hazelnut or almond milk

6 egg yolks

A pinch of salt

140g caster sugar

A jar of Nutella (not going to give you an exact amount but I used over half a jar)

A vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

If using a vanilla pod split the pod and extract the seeds. Place the vanilla, cream and milk into a saucepan and heat until the mixture starts to simmer. Leave for 10 minutes to cool and to allow the flavour to infuse.

Whisk the eggs and the sugar until pale and fluffy.

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Add the cooled vanilla cream mixture to the egg mixture slowly using a ladle. Once all the mixture was added I gave everything an additional whisk.

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Pour your mixture back into the saucepan and heat on the lowest possible setting for 10-15 minutes. You want the egg yolk to cook slowly and thicken the mixture. Stir occasionally and check the consistency of the custard you are making, it should start to look ever so slightly thicker on the back of your spoon.

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Allow this to cool slightly. During this time heat your Nutella for approx 20 seconds in the microwave. Add 3 to 4 large spoonfuls of the Nutella to your ice cream base. Mix well (every time you come to this mix again or the Nutella will settle).

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Transfer to a tupperware container.

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Refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold. At this point those of you who are lucky enough to have an ice cream maker can put it into that. Otherwise put it into your freezer and periodically (about every 30-40 minutes) beat the ice crystals from the edge of the container with a fork. When your ice cream has nearly frozen put it in your food processor or use a hand blender to break the ice crystals before freezing until hard.

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I like to serve mine in fancy cornets. Portion control is never a bad thing and it allows you to enjoy this for as long as possible.

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You can thank me later…..now to find my digital camera.

 

Dark chocolate truffles aka a stupidly easy way to win friends

For once in this whole blogging thing I am being super organised as opposed to my usual writing up recipes weeks after they have been eaten. Why? Christmas is coming! I am fully aware we have a full month to Christmas at the time this post is to be published but this recipe would make the perfect thing to take to a Christmas meal, or to give as a gift to a real chocoholic. I made these for a Friday night gathering at my friend RP’s house and they finished off a delicious meal nicely.

The truffle filling on this is rich but not too sweet. This recipe is easy enough for even notice cooks to follow. However, you will need to make these with enough time for the ganache to set. An extra pair of hands is also very helpful (and makes truffle making all the more fun). Ed helped me roll out the cooled ganache and decorate these (she was far more particular about the shape of the truffles than me!).

To make these you will need

For the ganache

200ml extra thick double cream

200g dark chocolate (I used 70% cocoa)

40g butter

To decorate

100g vanilla infused white chocolate

100g milk chocolate

Sea salt (optional)

Cocoa powder

 

Break up your dark chocolate into small pieces in a medium sized bowl.

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Don’t be tempted to nibble or your ganache might not set properly

Heat your butter and cream together until the butter is melted. Add this to your dark chocolate and beat until all the chocolate is melted into the cream.

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This cream looks positively sinful

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Chocolatey goodness

Leave your ganache to cool overnight. If you’re short of time 3 hours should be sufficient.

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Use a teaspoon to portion out your ganache and roll into bite sized balls onto greaseproof paper.

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Ed’s beautiful hands!

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To decorate melt your white and milk chocolate. I made white chocolate coasted truffles, milk chocolate and sea salt truffles and cocoa dusted truffles. For the chocolate coated truffles use a cocktail stick (or bamboo skewer) to dip your truffles into the chocolate. I added a few crystals of sea salt to the milk chocolate truffles but they’d work without if you don’t like mixing salty and sweet flavours. When you run out of chocolate you can either run out to the shops to buy more or dust the remaining truffles with cocoa powder.

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Once the chocolate on your truffles has set place in a pretty container (or a giftbox if you’re feeling fancy!)

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