Fruit Plait

No big story this time.

I made this for after lunch at mum and dad’s.

It turned out really good so I thought I’d share. That’s all…

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Dough:

300g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp dried yeast

90g milk

60g butter

1 egg

80g castor sugar

Filling:

500g apples, peeled, cored and chopped

140g sultanas

175g brown sugar

1 tsp ground mixed spice

Icing:

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 tsp water

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To make the dough gently heat the milk and butter, either in the microwave or on the stove, just until the butter has melted. Leave it to cool slightly then mix in the egg. Place the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar a bowl. Pour in the milk, butter and egg mix and bring it all together to form a sticky dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Now make the filling by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan and cooking until the apples are soft. Leave to cool.

(I found I had to strain the filling a little once it was cooked and cooled)

Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle 35 x 20cm and spread the filling down the centre.

Make slant cuts in the dough along either side of the filling. Take a strip from each side and cross them over the filling to make a plait. Tuck the last two strips underneath and lightly press to seal.

Leave on a baking paper lined baking sheet in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated 190oc oven for 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Mix the icing sugar and water to form a smooth paste (I coloured half with a little food colouring) and drizzle over the plait while still warm.

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Slice and serve.

Enjoy…

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Crushed Olive Oil Potatoes and Baked Flathead with mint and Caper Dressing

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This months The Cookbook Guru book of choice is Karen Martini’s Cooking at Home. Delicious recipes made easy.

I couldn’t decide which recipe I wanted to make so I let my shopping expedition decide and the flathead with an amazing mint, parsley and caper dressing got the all clear. The flathead in the local seafood shop window looked too good to pass up. Not to mention the herbs in the garden are growing madly and need to be harvested and eaten. Good thing we love fresh herbs.

For the mint and caper dressing mix together:-

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup finely chopped mint

2 Tbls finely chopped capers

1 finely chopped gherkin

1 finely grated clove garlic

1 finely chopped green chilli

2 Tbls finely chopped red onion

1 Tbls finely grated lemon zest

2 Tbls lemon juice

3 Tbls olive oil

1 Tbls sherry or red wine vinegar

freshly ground black pepper

Mix really well and set aside for the flavours to develop.

Boil up 2 desiree potatoes. Drain them well and crush them with a fork. Stir in 2 Tbls finely chopped red onion, 3 Tblsp olive oil and a little salt and pepper. (The onion is optional, mum use to do this with potato all the time)

Preheat oven to 220oC. Place the fish on a baking paper lined baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 7 – 10 minutes (depending on how thick the fish is)

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To serve put some of the potato on a plate. Top with the fish and dressing.

The dish needed a little more colour so I also served a tomato, onion and purslane  salsa on the side.

Ended up being a delicious and disgustingly healthy dinner that took hardly no time to prepare. What more could one ask for?

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Try it and enjoy…

Chocolate and Ginger Cupcakes

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I think I went a little mad on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

The baking bug got a hold of me and wouldn’t let go easily.

I ended up with banana bread, choc. Ginger cupcakes, rocky road biscuits, ginger and date scones and a gluten free sponge cake with cream and jam. Madness I tell you, but oh so much fun.

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Everything ended up going to my mum and dads for Sunday lunch. What a feast.

I’m still not done baking though. Hot Cross Buns I think. Yeah I’ll be making some today.

In the meantime enjoy these lovely rich cupcakes.

For 12 cup cakes you need:-

65g butter

150g golden syrup

80g castor sugar

2 eggs

160g plain flour

10g baking powder

40g cocoa

5g bicarb.

10g ground ginger

3Tbls finely chopped glacé ginger

Chocolate Fudge Icing

70g butter

3Tbls water

80g castor sugar

180g icing sugar

3Tbls cocoa powder

To make the cake place the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar has melted. Leave to cool about 5 minutes.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients until well combined and spoon evenly into patty lined muffin tins.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool completely before icing.

For the icing combine the water, butter and castor sugar in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa together in a bowl and stir in the water and butter mixture until smooth.

Refrigerate until set.

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When you’re ready to ice your cakes simply beat the icing mixture a little to make it easier to spread.

I was feeling a little fancy so I piped the icing but spreading it on the cake is very acceptable.

These went down a treat after Sunday lunch at my mum and dads.

Enjoy…

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Lamb Cawl – Happy St. David’s Day.

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Happy National Welsh Day.

My husband has some Welsh ancestory so we thought it would be nice to indulge ourselves in one of Wales’  favourite meals. Cawl.

Its a stew with lots of leek, root veggies and meat. In this instance lamb.

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So I got:-

2 Tbls oil

6 lamb chump chops (or small shanks)

2 cups sliced leek

1 cup diced pumpkin

1 medium carrot – chopped into small chunks

1 cup sliced cabbage

some herbs  i.e.  thyme, rosemary, bay leaf

salt, pepper, cinnamon

water

Season lamb with salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Heat oil in a large saucepan, add the lamb and brown on all sides. Take the lamb out of the saucepan and throw in the leeks, carrot, pumpkin and herbs. Fry for a minute or two stirring. If it gets too dry add a little water.

Return the meat to the saucepan and stir in with the veggies. Add about a litre of water, stir well, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and leave it to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Take the lid off and continue to simmer for another 30-40 minutes or until the meat is very tender and the sauce has thickened up a little.

Add the cabbage for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

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I served it with some mashed potato and toasted sourdough bread (and a glass of Shiraz)

It went down really well.

Enjoy…