oliveoilandlemon

recipes for healthy living

Dark Chocolate Mendiants & Other Edible Christmas Presents

 

I love making edible Christmas Presents especially for somewhere like work if you have a big gang to think of. Here are a few lovely easy ideas for presents which you can tuck into cellophane  bags and give away.

Chocolate Mendiants – Easy to make and delicious for a sweet treat or edible Christmas Present, You can use any selection of toppings you like- I also love to use dried raspberries and crystallized ginger.

200g of 70% dark chocolate, chopped very finely
20g of pistachio nuts, chopped finely
25g dried cranberries
15g desiccated coconut
sea salt flakes, optional

I used a macaron silicone mat for making these but you can simple draw circles onto a sheet of parchment paper and flip it over so you don’t place the chocolate onto the pen or pencil marks!
A simple method to temper chocolate is to very gently melt 90% if your amount of chocolate (in this case 180g) over a very low heat on a bain marie. Take off the heat and stir in the remaining amount (20g in this case) and stir until it has melted.
Working quickly, spoon the chocolate onto your circle marks and spread evenly using the back of a teaspoon, sprinkle over your nuts cranberries and coconuts plus the sea salt if using.
Leave to set then gently peel off and store in an airtight tin in a cool place (Not the fridge) or into small cellophane bags to give away.

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Baci Di Dama – Ladies kisses

Makes 40 (20 pairs)
Zest of 1 orange
150g butter at room temperature
150g rice flour or plain flour
150g almonds
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g caster sugar
Oven at 170C
Grind the Almonds with the sugar until light and floury
Add to bowl with rice flour, salt, rub in the butter
Grate in the zest of an orange and add the vanilla essence
Work the pastry until it comes together, wrap in cling and chill for an hour or more. Roll into small balls (about 10gr ea).
Gently press them to flatten and bake for about 20 mins until light golden.
Sandwich together with chocolate ganache from here or melted chocolate.

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Chocolate Nut Biscotti
250gr plain Flour
250gr golden castor Sugar
5 Eggs beaten lightly
240g Chocolate drops
50g shelled pistachio or other nuts if you prefer
1tsp each espresso powder and vanilla essence
15 gr Confit orange zest (Optional but lovely!)

Oven at 180C
Line two baking trays with parchment paper;
Combine flour, espresso powder, baking powder and sugar.
Make a well in the center, add the eggs and vanilla essence and stir until combined.
Stir in the chocolate, the pistachios, and orange zest if using. Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using cold, wet hands, divide dough into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a log. Place logs a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets; flatten logs slightly then bake for 25 minutes or until firm and light brown. Remove from oven and cool for about 15 minutes.
Use a very sharp serrated knife to cut each log diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on to baking trays and bake for 15 minutes more or until crisp and golden brown. Cool and enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container or cellophane bags at room temperature for up to a month.

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Home made Sweet Potato Based Granola

 

sweet pot granola

You read that right, this is my Secret Ingredient Granola based on sweet potato which has been peeled, steamed or boiled and cooled – I just cook extra and keep some leftovers!

Stores for a week or 2 in a zip lock bag or kilner jar.

Serve with yoghurt and fruit compote for a delicious blood sugar balancing, fulling sustaining breakfast.

Sweet Potato Granola

9oz sweet potato, boiled blended smooth and cooled

10oz oats

2oz pecans chopped

1oz unsweetened desiccated coconut

1tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp mixed spice

½ tsp turmeric

1 tbsp each of chia, flax and poppy seeds

3oz sultanas or other dried fruit of choice

Add the oats, coconut and spices to a bowl, and pour in the sweet potato puree and the oil. Mix well to incorporate until the mixture resembles a dryish cookie dough

Spread out onto a baking sheet which is lined with parchment paper or lightly oiled.

Bake at 170c for 10 minutes then stir the granola to turn over and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until crispy and golden brown.

Let cool then stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Store as directed.

©Grainne Parker 2017

 

Blueberry and Orange Oat Muffins

Blueberry and Orange Oat Muffins

A moist delicious soft crumb muffin which is gluten free and low GI thanks to the oats. Really filling and a much lower sugar muffin than normal. This is such an easy recipe that you can start the kids baking with this one.

 

200g Gluten Free Flour- (or you can use my mix recipe which is below)

100g Oats

50g Ground Almonds

2 tsp baking powder

2tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100gr sugar

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

2 eggs

100ml sunflower oil

125g blueberries

Oven at 170C

Makes 12                 

 Mix the dry ingredients together.

Whisk the eggs with the zest, juice and oil.

Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

Stir in the blueberries.

Divide across 12 cup muffin tin lined with paper bun cases.

Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.

 

Gluten Free Flour Mix 2, 2, 1+1

This mix can be put together using the ratio 2, 2, 1 + 1

2 cups of rice flour – you can use white or brown

2 cups of corn flour

1 cup of ground almonds

1tbsp xanthan gum

Simply mix everything together using a hand whisk to remove any lumps and evenly mix the different flours. Store in an airtight jar until needed. You should follow any GF recipe omitting additional xanthan gum but adding baking powder or bicarbonate of soda as directed.

 

Peanut Butter Fudge

This is my ode to a finger of fudge, one of my all time favourite sweet treats. So easy to make, just 4 ingredients, a lovely little treat, not quite as sweet as the said fudge but that’s no bad thing!.  These need to be stored in the fridge.

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Makes approx 36 pieces

1 cup of coconut butter

4 tbsp chunky peanut butter

2 tbsp chocolate nut butter

1 tbsp honey

Melt everything over a double boiler on a gentle heat until you can stir it to combine everything.

Pour into a cling film lined tin approximately 10cm by 9cm.

Smooth the top until level and put it into the fridge to set.

Remove from the tin and cut into 2cm squares.

If you wish you can cover in chocolate, I did half with 150gr chocolate drops.

Story in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced Lentils, Potatoes and Fish

Spiced Lentils Potatoes and Fish

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This is such an easy dish and you can omit the fish & chorizo if you would like a completely vegetarian meal. Gently spiced, crispy fish, the goodness of lentils, tomatoes and the spices –  a meal the whole family will like. This is spiced with Punchpooran which is a mix of fennel, fenugreek, coriander cumin and nigella. If you can not find this, make up your own using 1 tsp of each.

Serves 4

2 tbsp punchpooran spice mix

1 tsp each of sweet and smoky paprika

2 tbsp oil divided

1 medium onion sliced

50g chorizo sliced

1 tbsp tomato puree

250gr lentils of choice, soaked and drained

1 vegetable sock cube make up in 200ml hot water

½ tin chopped tomatoes

12 baby potatoes, cleaned chopped into 2cm slices parboiled

4 portions of fish of choice, pin-boned

2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander

Method

In a dry pan toast the punchpooran until it starts to release aromas

Tip into spice grinder ( or do by hand) and blend

Stir in the paprika

Heat the oil in a large deep pan or cooking pot and add the onion and chorizo and cook over a low heat until soft.

Tip in the spice mix and stir well and cook for a minute.

Add the tomato puree stir well to combine followed by the tinned tomatoes and lentils.

Cook for about 20 minutes until the lentils are nearly done, then add the potatoes, stir well to cover and complete the cooking about 5-8 minutes. Just as done, stir in 2 tbsp chopped coriander,

Meanwhile heat the oil and on a hot pan cook the fish until done.

Keep warm while you serve the lentils topped with a piece of fish.

 

 

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