Feijoa Apple Crumble

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Crumbles are possibly the easiest dessert to make. I usually make apple crumble which goes down a treat. After being inspired by this video I decided I would give other fruit crumbles a go. It’s feijoa season here in NZ. If you’re anything like me, you binge eat your feijoas before they ever make it to the desserts you planned on making with them! Every year I tell myself that I won’t be greedy and gobble them up in one go. This year that actually happened! The previous owners of the house we moved into planted 3 feijoa trees. That’s pretty much why I decided to move into this house hahahah. Anyhoo, we’ve been blessed with a bounty of fejoas as you can see in the picture above. Sadly we had a bit of a moth problem, however some neem spray seems to have solved that so we didn’t lose too many fruit in the end!

Now, back to the recipe. This crumble does have some apple in it, which you’re probably thinking defeats the purpose. You can totally go ahead and just use feijoas and forget the apples BUT be aware that feijos are a mushy fruit, so you’re not going to have much texture from the fruit alone. This is my only reason for adding the apples. It adds bulk to the fruit component of the recipe (I mean let’s face it, I still ate most of my feijoas while trying to make this) and it keeps it’s texture. As feijoas have such a strong scent a flavour, you actually don’t taste the apple at all.

I often like to add spice to my crumbles. This of course is 100% optional. When you use such flavourful fruit as feijoas, you’re really not gonna get the big spice kick. The spice is more of a light after taste. I like that, so I’m going with it.

Lastly, a note on the sugar in this. I personally don’t like a lot of sugar in my crumbles. I drizzled over some honey on the fruit as a had a few underripe feijoas in the mix. You can totally leave the honey out and reduce the sugar a bit. I mean, we’re not making health food here guys. Feel free to use this recipe for a healthier crumble alternative.

Feijoa Apple Crumble
Serves 4

500g Feijoas
2 Apples, medium sized
2 Tbsp Honey
1/4 cup Plain flour
50 g Rolled oats
50 g Desiccated coconut
50 g Soft brown sugar
40 g Unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
2 tsp Mixed spice, divided

Heat oven to 180C and grease a baking dish. You’ll need a 1 Litre capacity dish for this.

Cut each feijoa in half and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh in to your dish. Peel, core and finely slice your apples and place in dish. Drizzle honey and sprinkle 1 tsp of the mixed spice on the fruit and mix it in the dish. Arrange the fruit in a even layer.

Now we make the crumble. Put the flour, oats, coconut, brown sugar and mixed spice in a medium bowl. Give the dry ingredients a quick toss with your hands. Now add the butter. Using your hands, rub the butter into the dry mixture until you have a fine sandy mixture. Spread the crumble over the fruit and pop into the preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crumble is crunchy.

Once done remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve warm in bowls with vanilla ice cream or greek yoghurt.

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

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Pound cake. I don’t know what it is about pound cake that just gets me going. Perhaps it’s that buttery taste, or the tight crumb that melts in your mouth, or the insanely delicious smell it creates in your kitchen when it’s baking. It’s basically heaven. Who can say no to that?!

Pound cake is actually easy to make. Most recipes have a very similar set of ingredients and are often called sour cream cakes or even butter cakes. Essentially, they use the same ingredients in varying quantities to achieve a given result. If you’re a geek like me, watch this video that shows you how the varying quantities affect the end result of the cake. Otherwise, just take my word for it, this stuff is good!

One thing I always took for granted with baking, was the temperature of the ingredients. I really learned the effects of it when I once make pound cake with sour cream straight out of the fridge! The cake ended up being stodgy inside as the cold of the sour cream made the butter in the batter firm up into little globules. Not ideal! Since then, I’ve always used room temperature ingredients. Your butter, eggs and sour cream and the crucial ingredients that should always be used at room temperature. Trust me.

Lastly, I confess that I did not measure the amount of chocolate chips I put in this pound cake. I like a lot of chocolate chips, so I cut up some chocolate and added it in. If it didn’t look enough when i stirred it through the batter then I added more! I estimate at least 1/2 cup of chocolate chips will be needed. I recommend buying a bar or chocolate and chopping that up rather than using chocolate chips from the baking aisle. It just doesn’t taste as good!

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake (Adapted from SBA)
Makes 1 loaf
220g all-purpose flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
230g butter, softened to room temperature
200g granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, put your flour, baking powder, and salt. Give it a little whisk to combine. Set aside.

With a handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar and vanilla, until creamy, about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add the eggs one at a time and beat in between additions. Add your sour cream and beat once more. Now add your dry ingredients. Mix using a spatula to give better control. You don’t want to overmix the batter! When the flour is nearly combined with the batter, add your chocolate chips and mix until fully incorporated. The batter will be very thick and creamy, as it should be.

Spoon batter into loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden. Check at 40 minutes to see if the cake is browning too much. If so, cover the top with some foil and continue baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool inside the pan for 5 minutes. turn onto a cooling rack. Once cool to touch you can slice it up and eat it. It’s best to wait until it’s fully cool as that makes cutting easier.

Vanilla Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is a popular Italian dessert. The name literally translates to cooked cream. It’s one of the easiest desserts you could make and you can easily change up the flavours or accompaniments to suit your liking. This recipe is for the classic vanilla panna cotta which is a great place to start if you’ve never had this dessert before.

to me this dessert is like a cross between a jelly and a custard. The texture is similar to a thick custard, but the flavour is super creamy and decadent. Best of all, it requires a minimal amount of ingredients, and effort! What could be better than that!

Usually panna cotta is set in a mould and when you’re ready to serve you turn it upside down on a plate to release it. Honestly, I’ve never bothered with that! I just put my panna cotta in a glass, or jar or whatever container looks pretty. It’s so much easier and you don’t have to faff around trying to de-mould each panna cotta whilst praying it doesn’t collapse. Also this means you don’t need to grease your moulds either. See, I’m all about the quick and easy.

I decided to top my panna cotta with some raspberry coulis. You can use pretty much any fruit you like. I would opt for something tangy to cut through the rich panna cotta. Balsamic strawberries is a classic, but you could also try other berries or even a jelly of your choice. There’s also the lazy option of just eating it as is. Either way, it’s still enjoyable.

Vanilla Panna Cotta ( Adapted from HERE)
Makes 4-6
1.5 cups cream
1.5 cups whole milk (use all cream for a decadent version)
3 tsp gelatin
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Pour the milk and cream into the saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over top. Let soften for 5 minutes or until the surface of the milk is wrinkled and the gelatin grains look like wet sand.

Turn the heat on the lowest setting and allow the gelatin to dissolve. Dissolve the gelatin over low heat: Set the saucepan over low heat and warm the milk gently, stirring or whisking frequently. The milk should never boil or simmer; if you see steam, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool down. The milk should get hot, but not so hot that you can't leave your finger in the pot for a few seconds. The gelatin will dissolve quickly as the milk warms; it melts at body temperature so this step should go quickly.

Check to make sure the gelatin is dissolved: After about 2 minutes of warming, rub a bit of the milk between your fingers to make sure it's smooth. Or dip a spoon in the milk and check the back for distinct grains of gelatin.

Dissolve the sugar: Stir the sugar into the milk and continue warming until it dissolves as well. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes total to dissolve both the gelatin and sugar. Again, never let the mixture boil.

Whisk in the cream and flavorings: Remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the cream, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.

Pour into the ramekins and chill: Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared ramekins and put in the refrigerator to chill. If serving straight from the cups, without unmolding, chill for 1 to 2 hours. If you want to unmold the panna cotta, chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Blueberry Orange Pancakes

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Blueberry Pancakes

I usually make pancakes for breakfast on special days or on mornings where I want an excuse to have something sweet for breakfast. I've been striving for the perfect pancake recipe for a long time now. I've tried a lot of different recipes in the hope to find the perfect one. I think this is it!

I like my pancakes to be light an fluffy. Almost every time I tried a recipe the pancakes would be flat and dense, which isn't the end of the world, but it wasn't the fluffy texture that I wanted. After much experimenting, I've achieved my goal. The fluffy-ness comes from the egg whites! I seperate my eggs and whip the egg whites then I add it to the batter at the very end. The addition of the egg whites at the end gives the batter a lighter texture which translates into a fluffy pancake! Presto!

This recipe is actually very basic and can be altered to suit the flavours you like. I decided to flavour my pancake batter with blueberries and some orange zest. Blueberries are cheaper now as we are at the end of the season so now's your chance to make good use of them. You can always use frozen berries if they aren't in season. You can pretty much use any berry you want, and if you're not a fan of fruit, you can always go down the chocolate chip route. Or keep things simple and just add a bit of cinnamon. Once you have the basic batter made, you can put in whatever you want. Your options are endless!

Blueberry Orange Pancakes
Makes 10 pancakes
2 eggs, seperated
1 & 1/2 cups standard flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar, optional
pinch of salt
1 cup milk of choice
3 tablespoons butter, melted (use margarine for dairy-free option)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange blossom water
zest of 1 orange
1 cup blueberries

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

Beat egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl; add milk, melted butter, vanilla, orange zest and orange blossom water. Beat to combine. Once combined, pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until there are no more flour pockets left. Lastly fold in beaten egg whites and blueberries.

Cook the pancakes on a hot greased griddle on one side until the edge looks dry and bubbly and the bottom is browned. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until nicely browned. Serve immediately with maple syrup and more blueberries. Whipped cream is good too!

Enjoy!

xx
Ugeshni Khan

Harissa Paste

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Harissa is a North African spice paste often used to marinate meats. The traditional paste is a combination of various chillies, cumin and coriander. Some also add caraway seeds and rosewater. I'm keeping mine simple by using what I have.

The first time I made this I didn't have any fresh chillies on hand, so I used dried red chillies instead which I softened in boiling water. I noticed that the dried chillies had almost a smoky flavour to them which changed the flavour of the paste and I loved it. I have made this paste several times over, changing a few things here and there until I got what I felt was good enough. The best thing about these kind of recipes is that you can easily customize it. You can use whatever chillies you have on hand, dried, fresh, frozen will all work. If you don't have the cumin or coriander seeds, you can used powder instead. Start with half the quantity though as ground spice is often stronger than whole spice.

I make my harissa paste in my Vitamix blender coz I like mine fairly smooth and Vitamix is pretty good at blending things. You can make your paste in any blender or food processor or even in a mortar and pestle, which I believe is the traditional way. I always make a big jar of paste and keep it in the fridge. I use it mostly to marinate chicken or fish but it also makes a good dressing. I often mix it with Greek yogurt or mayo and spread it on all kinds of things. Harissa mayo is heavenly! I use it in burgers a lot. Harissa as a dip is great with carrots or simply spread over vegetables and roast them for a nice roasted veggie salad! The possibilities are endless.

The ingredient quantities in this recipe may seem extreme to you, but remember that it makes a lot. In fact it makes enough to fill a 500ml jar. Also, regarding the amount of chilli, you can definitely adjust this to your liking. I like a spice kick, so I'm using quite a bit, but you can always use less. Alternatively, you can make the paste as per the directions below and mix it with yogurt just before marinating. The yogurt dumbs down the spice levels.

As mentioned, you can use whatever chillies you have on hand. Fresh or dried, all work well, just make sure you know how hot the chillies are before you use them! The ones I used were of a medium heat, if yours are hotter, use less and taste test as you go.

Ugeshni's Harissa Paste
Makes 1 jar
12 dried red chillies of choice
5 large garlic cloves (about 9 small cloves)
2 Tbs cumin seeds
2 Tbs coriander seeds
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup tomato paste (not tomato sauce)
1 Tbs coconut sugar (replace with brown sugar if you wish)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lemon, juice only

If using dried chillies, soak the chillies in a bowl by covering them with boiling water. Let stand for about 20 minutes then remove from the water. Reserve the water if you want to make a runnier paste.

Place chillies and all other ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. You should end up with a fairly think paste. If you prefer it thinner, you can add some of the chilli water to thin it out.

Store in a jar in the fridge when not in use.

xx

Ugeshni

Shakshuka

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People often think KSK is a place for just desserts. Whilst I do enjoy a good dessert, I don't just sit around eating sweet stuff all day. I enjoy savoury too! This year I plan to add more savoury recipes to the site, so stick around for more of them. To kick the savoury year off, I'm starting with the most important meal of the day - breakfast! Shakshuka comes from North Africa and is basically eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It's traditionally eaten for breakfast but it's also pretty good for a quick lunch or dinner!

Where I come from (South Africa), we have a similar dish which people have for breakfast. We call it egg chutney. The only difference to shakshuka is that egg chutney is scrambled eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. Either way, I love it! Spicy tomato gravy, or chutney as they call it back home, is by far my most favourite type of sauce. It's so versatile that you will find people adding all kinds of things to it like sausage, dried fish, meatballs (which we call kebabs), boiled eggs etc. Shakshuka is really no different in this respect, you can add pretty much anything to it. As this is predominantly a breakfast meal, sausage would be great or even mushrooms or chickpeas if you're going down the vegetarian route.

Shakshuka
Serves 4-6
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1 small hot chilli, finely diced (sub chilli powder or leave out if you don't like spicy)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
6 eggs
S&P

Heat olive oil in a large, deep oven safe pan. Add onion, capsicum and chili and cook until the onion has softened and become a little charred. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. You should have a thick paste sort of consistency at this point. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and taste to adjust seasoning. If your tomatoes are sour, you can add a tsp of sweetener to it.

Once you are happy with your sauce it now time to add the eggs. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Make a well in the sauce and drop in your egg. Repeat for the other 5 eggs. Allow to simmer in the sauce for 1 minute then transfer to the oven to finish cooking the eggs to your liking. If you like your eggs runny, then it will take seconds for the tops to set.

Serve immediately with crusty bread!

Enjoy!
xx
Ugeshni

Tropical Pavlova

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Tropical Pavlova

Pavlova, or pav for short, is a great kiwi classic that's often eaten during the festive season, mostly because that's when the best fruit is around! Pavlova is basically a large meringue covered in whipped cream and fruit of your choice. It's not just any ole meringue though. Unlike standard meringues that are crunchy and dry, pavlova is crunchy on the outside but soft and marshmallowy on the inside. This is achieved by using cornflour and vinegar in the meringue mixture. Once it gets to the oven, the egg whites react with the cornflour and vinegar to form a crunchy shell whilst keeping the inside moist and fluffy. Isn't science cool?!

Pavlova is the perfect base for whatever toppings you love. As mentioned it's usually topped with fruit, but you can top it with whatever else you desire. As you know I'm quite the fruit lover, so obviously I went down that route. Berries and cherries are what you normally find on top of a pav, but I wanted to take things up a notch and go tropical. There's a lot of good mangoes around at the moment at reasonable prices so it was a no-brainer that mango would be on here. I wanted something tangy or sour to cut through all the sweetness, so I used some passionfruit topping. You can find this in the dessert section of your supermarket. There's a couple of brands that make it. I chose the one with the least amount of sugar added! Passionfruit tends to be rare and expensive here, but if you have access to fresh passionfruit then definitely use fresh. Of course any tropical fruit like, paw paw, lychee, banana etc will work too. You can use fresh or tinned. If using tinned drain the syrup or else the fruit will slide all over the place.

If you're living a gluten free and/or dairy free lifestyle then this dessert is great for you. There's no flour in this recipe. Cornflour is used which is gluten free. Do check the brand of cornflour that you buy though, as some have other things added in there.  The only dairy in this dessert is the whipped cream on top which can easily be subbed with whipped coconut cream. Coconut cream also adds to the tropical vibe so that's an extra bonus. Really, we can all enjoy this dessert!

I highly recommend that you make the pavlova a day in advance as it takes quite long to cool. Just like any meringue, pavlova bakes at a low temperature. Due to it's texture though, it is quite delicate and is susceptible to moisture and temperature changes. For this reason, once the baking time is up, you need to turn the oven off and leave the pav in there until it cools down completely. No opening the door! If you make it the night before, it can cool in the oven over night. It takes a good few hours to cool so don't rush it. Nobody wants melted cream dripping off their pav!

This dessert has a high sugar content, so smaller portions are recommend. It can easily serve up to 16 people so it's great for a party or special gathering. If you don't have a lot of eaters at your home, you can do what I did - decorate half the pav and keep the other half for another day. I'm sure you won't have trouble getting rid of it!

Tropical Pavlova
Serves 16
6 egg whites
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp cornflour (check for gluten free)
1 tsp white vinegar

Topping
1 cup cream, whipped (use coconut cream for dairy free version)
1 mango, diced
3 Tbs passionfruit topping
toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 130 degrees Celsius (not fan bake). Line a baking tray with baking paper, and draw a 18-20cm circle on it using a plate as a stencil. Set aside.

Place your egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer. Use a clean glass bowl if you're using a hand mixed. Start whipping the egg whites on medium speed until they become frothy. Gradually add caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is on. Once all sugar has been added turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is very thick and glossy. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the cornflour and vinegar.  Using the beater from the mixer, by hand, gently fold in those last ingredients until combined. Your meringue is now ready!

Take your bowl over to your baking tray. I like to dot a bit of meringue on the under side of my baking paper so it will stick to the tray. Spoon the rest of your meringue mixture into the circle on the baking paper, making sure the base is covered well. I like to hollow out the middle a bit so it's more bowl shaped. If you like you can smooth the mixture out to create a flat surface or do some swirls if you're feeling fancy.

Place your tray in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the pav in there to cool completely without opening the oven door. It's best if you leave it to cool over night. Don’t worry if the pavlova has a few cracks in it – this is completely normal. It's actually a sign that the top is gonna be nice and crunchy! The cracks will be covered with cream, so it will still look pretty anyway.

Once the pav has cooled, you can top it with with your whipped cream and fruit. A sprinkling of toasted coconut and a few sprigs of mint are a nice touch but you can leave it out if you don't have it. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in the fridge. If you're making this a few days ahead of time, store the pav in a large dry, air-tight container and add the toppings just before serving.

Enjoy!

xx
Ugeshni

Apple Blueberry Crumble

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It's common knowledge that when fruit is in abundance, I make dessert. It's also common knowledge that I love using spices in my baked goods. So it should be no surprise to you that this recipe contains both, along with a crunchy topping too.

Crumbles, or crisps as they call them in the west, are the easiest way to use up a lot of fruit. Due to the simplicity of the recipe, crumbles can easily be adapted to suit your dietary requirements. I like to keep mine plant based, so I often use coconut oil, margarine and maple syrup instead of butter or sugar. There is very little difference in the overall taste though, so no matter what you choose to go with, you won't be missing out.

I've made this recipe several times over. I usually stick to using 6 apples, but this time I reduced the amount of apples and added some blueberries instead.  You can stick with all apples, or use any other berry of choice. Blueberries are in season now, so it's a good time to use them if you like them! You can use frozen if you have them on hand. No need to defrost them either!

The best part of this recipe is that it's really simple to make. It's one of those, dare I say, dump-and-go recipes. The hardest part of the recipe is actually peeling and chopping all the apples. If you've got kids, or a loving partner, now's the time to get them in the kitchen to help with all that peeling and chopping!

Apple Blueberry Crumble
Serves 8
Filling
4 medium apples, cored, peeled and sliced (I use pacific rose)
2 cups blueberries (use any fresh or frozen berry of choice, or two more apples instead of the berries)
1 tbsp butter, melted (use margarine, or coconut oil if vegan)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 cup maple syrup (substitute with caster sugar if need be)
Juice of half a lemon

Crumble/Topping
1 cup standard flour (use almond flour, or GF flour for Gluten Free option)
1/3 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup sliced almonds (save some to sprinkle on top)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
120g butter, melted (use margarine, or coconut oil if vegan)

Preheat oven to 180ºC. First we make the crumble. In a medium bowl place your flour, sugar, coconut, almonds and walnuts in a bowl. Pour over the melted butter and rub the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles course breadcrumbs. Set Aside.

In a large bowl, place all your filling ingredients. Give it a good toss so that it's all coated evenly. Pour it into a 2L capacity baking dish. Crumble over the topping and place in preheated oven for 25-30minutes. The topping should be golden brown when it's done.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, custard or even coconut yoghurt.

Enjoy!

xx
Ugeshni