Rum Balls

Ingredients

3/4 cup crumbs of plain genoise (see recipe below)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons dark rum
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons whipping cream
chocolate sprinkles to decorate

Icing

1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, chopped
1 oz semisweet chocolate, grated
2 teaspoons dark rum
warm water

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, combine cake crumbs, sugar, almonds, rum and lemon juice.
  2. Melt chocolate in a bowl or top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water.
  3. Add to rum mixture with sufficient cream for mixture to hold together when pressed between fingers.
  4. Form teaspoonfuls of mixture into 18 small balls. Refrigerate on a baking sheet 4 hours or until firm.
  5. To make icing, combine and warm sugar, butter, chocolate and rum in a small saucepan. When chocolate and butter softens, add a tablespoon of water.
  6. Warm again and add sufficient water to liquify.
  7. To coat rum balls, insert a poultry skewer in center of a rum ball. Tilt pan of icing and dip each ball. Let excess drip.
  8. To decorate, roll in chocolate sprinkles to coat completely. Refrigerate in a covered container with waxed paper between layers up to 10 days.

Makes 18 rum balls.


Plain Genoise

Ingredients
3 eggs
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and flour bottom and sides of a 14″ x 10″ baking pan. Shake out excess flour.
  2. Combine eggs and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Place bowl in a pan of hot water. Beat until mixture is very thick and just warm. Mixture should form a ribbon when beaters are lifted.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Continue beating until mixture is almost cool.
  5. Fold flour into egg and sugar mixture. Mix in butter.
  6. Pour batter into prepared greased pan; level top. Bake in a preheated oven 20-25 minutes or until set on top.
  7. Cool pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife carefully around the edge. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Use within 36 hours or wrap and freeze up to 6 weeks.

Source: Chocolates & Petits Fours

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Crepes with Sun-dried Tomato, Basil and Cheese

Ingredients

3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened unsalted butter, for cooking

Filling

1/4 cup oil-marinated sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1-1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese

Method

  1. To make the crepe batter, mix together eggs, milk, water, flour, salt, and 3 tablespoons butter in a blender. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate batter for about an hour while you prepare the filling.
  2. To prepare the filling, combine sun-dried tomatoes, basil leaves, cheese, pine nuts, wheat germ, and garlic in a food processor. Hit pulse until blended well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stream in olive oil while the food processor is on low until fully blended together.
  3. Blend pesto mixture with ricotta cheese and add more sun-dried tomatoes if you want. Set aside.
  4. To cook the crepes, grease a crepe pan or skillet with butter and set over medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour in enough batter to cover the surface in a thin layer. When the crepe edges start to brown and the middle does not stick when you try to lift it up, use a spatula to gently lift the edges and flip.
  5. When the second side is lightly browned, remove crepe from pan and place on a warm plate. Keep covered until all the crepes are made.
  6. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
  7. Fill each crepe with about 3 tablespoons of the filling mixture, roll up, and place close together in a baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until warmed through. Serve immediately.

Makes 5 servings.

Source: The Organic Family Cookbook

A Supercharged Dessert with Almond, Oats and Berries

Ingredients

1-3/4 cups frozen mixed berries
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Divide the frozen berries among four one-cup (4-inch-diameter) ramekins.
  3. Mix the ground almonds and oats in a bowl and make a well in the center. Separate the eggs, adding the yolks with the almond mixture and the whites in a separate, clean bowl. Pour the honey, milk, and almond extract into the well in the oat mixture and beat the ingredients together to form a soft, dropping consistency (see note below).
  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and beat one-third of them into the oat mixture. Use a metal spoon to fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon the pudding mixture over the frozen berries, levelling the top.
  5. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the mixture browns, rises, and is slightly cracked and firm to the touch. Serve hot.

Note

A dropping consistency is achieved when the mixture drops easily off your spoon when tapped against the side of the bowl. The mixture should be firm and not sloppy.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Superfoods Cookbook

Spanish-style Tapa with Chicken, Raisin and Pine Nuts

Ingredients

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 1 lb 5 oz in total
5 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup pine nuts
generous 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper

Dressing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup superfine sugar
1 bay leaf
pared rind of 1 lemon
scant 1 cup seedless raisins

Method

  1. To make the dressing, put first four dressing ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in the raisins and let cool.
  2. Slice the chicken breasts widthwise into very thin slices. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, then add the chicken slices and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender.
  3. Add the garlic and pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly and shaking the skillet, for 1 minute, or until the pine nuts are golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the cooled dressing into a large bowl, discarding the bay leaf and lemon rind. Add the extra virgin olive oil and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the chicken mixture and parsley and toss together. Turn the salad into a serving dish and serve warm or, if serving cold, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Tapas

North African-style Stuffed Fish

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 lb sea bass, cleaned and scaled
1 bag prepared salad leaves

Stuffing

large pinch saffron threads
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 green onions (scallions), chopped
1/4 cup ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Method

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, salt, 2 teaspoons of the lime juice, cumin, chili powder and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Make several slashes in the skin of the fish and rub the marinade well in. Cover and leave in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. To make the stuffing, place the saffron in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon hot water.
  4. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add green onions (scallions) and cook for a few minutes until soft.
  5. Stir in apricots, breadcrumbs, walnuts, salt, pepper, cardamom and soaked saffron. Cook for 1 minute then leave to cool.
  6. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
  7. Place the fish on a sheet of well oiled foil and fill the cavity with stuffing. Draw foil up to make a parcel. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes until fish flakes easily when tested with a knife.
  8. To serve, cut into 4 fillets. Arrange on 4 warm plates and keep warm.
  9. Heat the cooking juices in a pan and add the salad leaves. Stir briefly until just wilted then add remaining lime juice. Serve with the fish, and with spicy rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: North African Cooking