Berry And Almond Yoghurt Cake

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It would seem I had my bake on this weekend.

After a visit to the wonderful Ramsgate Organic Markets (near Brighton-Le-Sands in Sydney) on Saturday morning, I baked 2 dozen Hot Cross Buns, then on Sunday a Berry Almond Cake and a humongous crusty Italian loaf, all of which ended up at mum and dads for our usual Sunday family feast.

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Though I didn’t end up tasting the cake I was told it was ‘the best cake ever’ so I thought I’d share…

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Berry And Almond Yoghurt Cake

150g butter – cut into cubes

155g castor sugar

2 eggs

10g vanilla extract

250g plain flour

15g baking powder

200g plain Greek style yoghurt

100g fresh blueberries

100g fresh raspberries

85g flaked almonds

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Preheat oven to 180oC. Butter a 19cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar, using an electric beater or stand mixer, until light and fluffy. In a small bowl lightly whisk the eggs and vanilla then very slowly add to the butter mix being sure to scape down the sides a couple of times. This should take a couple of minutes, you don’t want to rush this part or the mix will split.

Sift together the flour and baking powder and add half to the butter mix along with half the yoghurt. Stir until just combined then add the rest of the flour and yoghurt and a few berries and stir until combined. Try not to over mix it.

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Spoon into baking tin and smooth the surface. Scatter with the almonds and remaining berries and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Take out of the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 20 – 30 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve as is or with a spoonful of yoghurt.

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Enjoy…

Hot Days and Chilled Yoghurt Soup.

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It’s too hot. It’s too humid and we’ve definitely over-indulged over the last few weeks.

Oh by the way…Happy New Year to everyone…

Just about everyone around me ate and drank too much and I know this because I ate and drank right along side them.

My family celebrate on Christmas Eve. All my siblings with their families and some friends that have become part of the family head over to my mum and dad’s around 7ish where there is always too much food.

We spend the night singing (out of tune) way too loudly, we dance way too wildly and we laugh like a bunch of lunatics, and would never change any of it for anything. This year was extra special because my sister, niece and nephew arrived from New Zealand at 7ish on Christmas Eve and are here for the holidays.

I only wish I had some photos to share with you of our crazy night. Maybe next year….

Anyway, too much food and wine time is over for a little while. Time to give the old body some healthy and that’s where this delicious and disgustingly healthy and cooling soup comes in.

Cold Yoghurt and Cucumber Soup with mint and garlic. It’s perfect as an entrée or served with Riz (rice and egg noodle pilaf. Check out the link for the recipe) or grilled lamb or just in a big bowl as it is.

You’ll need:-

350g natural Greek style yoghurt

1 large clove of garlic – crushed

2 lebanese cucumbers – either sliced or diced

some fresh mint leaves – finely chopped

250 ml icy cold water

salt to taste

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Now here’s the really hard bit..whisk together the yoghurt and water in a big bowl then stir in the rest of the stuff and serve.

Perfect…

Enjoy…

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Lamb with Onion, Ginger and Coriander Relish

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I’ve had to renew Tessa Kiros’ ‘Falling Cloudberries’ from the library because there are still a few recipes I want to try.

January’s The Cookbook Guru book is one I’ll have to buy I think. Problem is I have no more room left for any more books. Well, that’s something I’m going to have to deal with…

This particular dish looked too good to pass up.

It calls for a 1.3kg leg of lamb but with only my husband and myself to cook for, it was way too much so I de-boned a leg of lamb and cut off a 700g piece (the rest got cut up and put in the freezer for next time). This was enough for dinner and sandwiches the next day.

My sister is actually waiting for this post so she can make it. Better get on with it then.

To a bowl add 250g plain yoghurt, 4 cloves grated or crushed garlic, 1 tsp each allspice, sweet paprika, ground cumin and ground coriander, 1/2 tsp each ground cardamom, salt and ground black pepper. Give this a really good mix.

Put your lamb in a container where it will fit compactly and smoother it all over with the yoghurt marinade.

This amount of marinade will probably be enough for a whole leg of lamb.

Cover and leave to marinade overnight, or as long as possible, in the fridge. (I managed to leave it for 4 hours)

Take the lamb our of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking it it let it come to room temperature.

Lift the lamb from the marinade but don’t scrape any of the yoghurt off.

The recipe says to lay the lamb on a wire rack and bake for 1 hour at 200oc but I lay the lamb on some chunks of potato that I’d coated in garlic, oil, salt and lemon juice and baked at 160oc for nearly 2 hours, turning the meat over after 1 hour.

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While the meat was absolutely delicious, I really loved the relish that’s served with it. So fresh and tangy.

Finely dice 1/2 a brown onion and gently saute in 2 Tblsp olive oil until starting to go brown on the edges. Add 3 Tblsp of water and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the water has reduced and the onions are soft. Take off the heat and add 2-3 tsp finely grated ginger and leave this to cool. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the juice of 1 lime, a big handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves and a dash or two of some chilli oil or a bit of sambal oelek. Give it a really good stir.

Leave the lamb to stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing up and serving with a spoonfull of the relish.

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The meat came out so tender and juicy. I’ll be making this again and again and again….

Enjoy…