Peanut Butter

I've been thinking about making home made peanut butter for weeks if not months!
Little did I know that it really took minutes to make!

Here is what you need - roasted peanuts!
Here is how to do it - blend!

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All you need to do is to place your roasted peanuts in a blender or a liquidizer and blend until it looks like what peanut butter should look like.  

What you need to keep in mind it that it WILL happen! Don't give up, eventually the peanuts will just cream into peanut butter.

And the added value is that there is no added transfat or any other unwanted ingredient found in most commercial versions. 

Is it old or new ?!

Have a look at this link from Food 52.

It's been a while since I've seen it published or publicised for that matter. It's an old family dessert made with jelly and whipped cream. It was also very boldly referred to as mousse back in the 60s.

We also used to make it with whipped chilled tinned milk and it works very well.

Make sure not to serve this to any vegetarians however!

Here is the link to the recipe made from scratch as suggested by Amanda from Food 52 - Blackberry Fluff

GIANT Cupcake it is

My little princess is turning 10 and had her school birthday party this weekend.

Here's the final version......

and this is how is was made!

After making my madeira cake, I divided the batter into 4 bowls.  I added more mixture to each new bowl, so it had more than the previous one.  Dividing the mixture equally would not have given the desired effect as below.

I just wanted to make the topping of the cupcake a rainbow cake so the tip (the cherry on the cake) needed less batter than the next layer and that layer needed less than the layer after it and so forth till the cake was complete.

and once the cake was cut, the surprise was revealed!
If you need a recipe for a simple madeira, find me on twitter! 

It's chocolate week chez-nous!

So my chocoholic daughter is off on a school trip and as part of her luggage will contain a few snacks, she has specially requested a chocolate selection of midnight snacks!

Anything would do really; chocolate cake, chocolate biscuits as long as it is of course CHOCOLATE! But then we settled on chocolate chip cookies and some truffles.

If you need some chocolate inspirations, here are some of mine:

Chocolate orange fudge cake - 
Banana choc-chip ice-cream - 

Pasteis de nata

Having spent a good amount of time chatting to a foodie who happens to be Portugese, I became intrigued with the Portugese custard tarts or as they are referred to locally " Pasteis de nata"

The original recipe for these delicious little tarts is guarded by few and in most cases taken to their grave. So I cannot really claim to have the original recipe!

Having said that I think I came quite close to the original version. My first attempt was based on a Portuguese recipe. Luckily I know enough Italian to be able to comprehend! Must confess that the custard needed to be cooled further before pouring over the pastry. Having said that, the judges (or guinea pigs, depending on how you look at it) were very pleased with the result.

And another confession is

1- I made a giant Pasteis (9 inches) instead of tiny ones
2- I used ready made puff but worked it a little extra.

I shall try and post the recipe shortly.

Is making bread the new black?

I love the expression "the new black". Admittedly is it mostly (and should be) used for colours, nevertheless I like to sprinkle it into different contexts and seeing people's reaction!

So is making bread the latest in thing?

I must admit that I am a big fan of home made bread. The scent of freshly baked bread around the house really turns the house into a home. But what if you have no time to make it? What if you work 9 to 5 and cannot be bothered with this sort of "waste of time".

Well my answer to that, my dear sir (or madam) is to plan it as a weekend project.

If this is your first or your umpteenth attempt at making bread, you need to know or you already know that this is not to be rushed!

This week I finally got down to making my own starter, i.e. my own natural yeast which takes a number of days before it can be used. And here is my little baby. I called her Do-do or dough-dough!

Easy peasy guacamole !

If you've never tried making it yourself, you might think that making guacamole requires fine Michelin chef skills ! On the contrary, all you need is a knife, fork and a bowl!

There are many versions of this simple dish online, but here is mine. It is a twist on Paul Hollywood's recipe.

You will need:
1 avocado
Juice of half a lemon
I clove of garlic finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream (I used vitalinea fromage for a lighter version)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

Mash it all up with a fork and serve!

Sorry about the pic but I realised that it's pretty hard snapping a decent guacamole photo.

Easter week

So finally seems like we're having some sunshine in Belgium and I am certainly NOT complaining! Easter is synonymous with everything yellow, orange and green and that means green grass and a nice bright sun shining over it!

Here are some inspirations to help you though this gluttonous week.

Ruth from the Pink Whisk shows us how to make beautiful little chocolate eggs. Her step-by-step instructions with matching pictures are just perfect!

Paul Hollywood was on the BBC yesterday and made some Portuguese inspired chocolate custard tarts.

and here is the recipe for the Maltese Figolli. Almond filled pastries that are a must in Malta!

I wish you all a peacful Easter, Pâques, Pascqua, Ghid!

The 'd' word

February has started so hopefully magazines and blogs will stop inundating us with the avalanche of health tips and diet plans! Not that I would refuse any healthy advice, but enough is enough!
2013 had a few diet plans proposed; the Ducan diet, 5 + 2 or the Paleo.
Fancy fasting for 2 days out of 7 or eating like humans did in Paleo times? Well that is exactly what these diets are. I have still to come up with my own opinion on these diets, mainly by sticking to them for a few days then seeing the results (or lack of them).

In the meantime, here are a few links you might want to refer to:

5:2 book review -
5:2 fasting days recipe ideas -
The Fast diet -

Paleo -