Honey roasted fig & almond tart

Honey roasted fig & almond tart

Delicious, sweet and fruity pud, great served with cream or ice cream – make the case with bought pastry

ready in 1½ -1¾ hours, plus chilling time

MORE EFFORT

SERVES 8

Ingredients

 

500g pack shortcrust pastry at room temperature, thawed if frozen

8 ripe figs, stalks trimmed

finely grated zest and juice of one large juicy orange

 

 

1 tbsp clear honey

200g softened butter

200g golden caster sugar

200g packet ground almonds

2 medium egg yolks

Method

1. Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a shallow loose-bottomed 25cm flan tin. Make sure the pastry comes above the rim – it may shrink in baking and the filling could spill. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut the figs in half lengthways and sit them cut side up on a roasting tray. Mix the orange juice and honey in a bowl, pour over the figs and roast for 10-12 minutes until just soft. Drain off any juice into a saucepan and reserve.

3. Prick the base of the chilled pastry case all over with a fork, then line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to fan 130C/conventional 150C/ gas 2. Leave the pastry case to cool slightly before filling.

4. Cream butter and sugar in a food processor or with an electric beater until smooth and pale. Tip in the ground almonds and zest and whizz briefly to combine. Add egg yolks and 1 tbsp of the reserved fig juice and whizz again until smooth. Spread evenly over the pastry case.

5. Gently press the figs cut side up into the almond mixture. Bake for 11⁄4 hours or until it’s golden all over (don’t worry if the centre still seems soft – a little gooeyness is good). Leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove sides and transfer on its base to a wire rack to cool.

6. Before serving, take the tart off its base and transfer to a flat platter or board. If you have juice left from roasting the figs, bring it to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes until sticky and syrupy. Brush this over the figs and serve as soon as possible, while the syrup is still glossy on the figs (it will start to seep through into the filling if you leave it too long).


Honey roasted fig & almond tart
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Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing

Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing

I recently found myself with several over ripe bananas and leftover Buttermilk.  I know over ripe bananas usually mean a batch or two of Banana Bread, but I still had a few loaves in the freezer.  Besides I wasn’t in the mood for Banana Bread.

I was however in the mood for cake!  So why not bake some banana cupcakes?  Then I remember that a local bakery sold this yummy banana cake with Chantilly Icing.  I think Chantilly icing must a a local Hawaii favorite because the recipe isn’t too easy to come by.

You might be wondering what Chantilly Icing is.  Well it’s sort of hard to describe, it’s sweet, creamy, and buttery; kind of but not quite like the frosting on a German Chocolate cake.

In Hawaii Chantilly icing is used on Chantilly Cake which is very similar to a German Chocolate Cake but with macadamia nuts instead of coconut flakes.  It’s also used to top Liliha Bakery’s Coco Puffs, those delectable chocolate cream filled puffs. It’s also used on Banana Cake!

So to make these really yummy Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing I used 2 different recipes.  The Banana Cake recipe and a recipe for that delicious Chantilly Frosting.  The frosting I made was more than enough to ice the cupcakes.  I refrigerated the leftover frosting and used them on a chocolate cake a few days later.

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Butter, softened to room temperature

2 Cups Sugar

3 Eggs

1 Tsp. Vanilla

1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon

2 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed

2 Tsp. Lemon Juice

3 Cups Flour

1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 Tsp. Salt

1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees

Line Cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers

Cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.

Beat in vanilla and cinnamon.

Add lemon juice to mashed bananas and stir until smooth.

Add to butter mixture.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture.

Mix well.

Pour batter into cupcake wraps about 3/4 full.

Smooth tops.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool.

Frost when completely cooled.

Chantilly Icing

Ingredients:

1 2/3 Cup Butter

1 1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk

1 1/2 Cup Baker’s or Caster Sugar

2 Tsp. Vannilla

2 Eggs

2 Egg Yolks

2 Tbs. Corn Starch

Directions:

Melt Butter in saucepan over medium low heat.

Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Whisk in milk, sugar, and vanilla.

Then whisk in eggs and yolks one at a time.

Cook on medium hear until it comes to s low boil.  Whisking is it intermittently.

Once it boils cook for another 2 minutes continuing to whisk intermittently.

Remove from heat then quickly sift in cornstarch while whisking.  Whisk cornstarch quickly and hard to prevent it from lumping.

Pour into a shallow bowl and cool to room temp.

Cover and refrigerate about 3 hours or until it’s in a spreadable consistency.

Frost cooled  cupcakes.


Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing
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Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing
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Banana Cupcakes
Chantilly Icing
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Sunflower Granny Square Blanket – Free Pattern

Sunflower Granny Square Blanket – Free Pattern

Lately I’ve been pretty much staying home as much as possible, I’m sure many of you are too.  I’m not complaining, but finding things to do is getting more difficult as the days and weeks go by.  After all I’ve been home since March!

I’ve been cooking, baking, canning, sewing, painting, drawing, and doing just about everything I can think of just to stay busy and productive; after I get all my “real” work done because I have also been working from home.  Anyway in the spring when the lock down began I made some crocheted turtles for my grandsons in Italy using some of the yarn in my “stash”.  Since then I’ve been looking for other crochet projects.

Recently I came across this free pattern from Crochet 365 Knit too.  The pattern is call Sunburst Granny Square, then she changed up the colors and made this cute Sunflower Granny Square, it’s amazing what a difference the color changes made!

The sunflower part of the pattern uses puff and bobble stitches worked in rounds.  Once the flower is complete it’s framed in a square making it a granny square.  The squares in the pattern were stitched together to make a really cute bag.  But I though how cute it would to join squares to make a small lap blanket or throw.

I made 36 Sunflower Granny Squares which I joined together using the Zipper method.  I joined 6 squares across and 6 down to use all 36 squares.  Then I crocheted 5 rounds of boarder using a combination of single  and double crochet rounds.

I used Red Heart Medium weight yarn in Coffee, Chamois, Goldrod, and White.  The first 3 colors were from my scrap yarn stash (which was a good thing because yarn seems to be hard to find recently, at least in my state of Hawaii).  The white used the most yarn, but I always have multiple skeins of white yarn.  If you don’t have these colors or simple can’t find any at the store, no worries, use whatever yarn colors you have on hand.  Keep in mind that sunflowers come in different shades of yellow!

The pattern I used for the Sunflower Granny Squares is by Crochet 365 Knit Too!  It’s free!  Click hear for the pattern. 

The Zipper method of joining squares is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  Here’s a step-by-step on how to do it from Look What I Made.  

As for the border I wanted to keep it simple so I used a dc in every stitch after joining the squares.  In the corners I did 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc.  The last DC was joined the to beginning DC.  Then I made 4 rounds of SC using 3 sc, ch 2, 3 sc in the corners.  If you prefer a different border you can use any style you want.

This cute lap blanket is perfect for those chilly autumn evenings!

 

Grilled Cheeseburgers

Grilled Cheeseburgers

Level: Easy

Total: 25 min

Active: 25 min

Yield: 6

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds ground beef

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for the grill grates and buns

6 slices American or Cheddar cheese

 

6 seeded hamburger buns, split

Lettuce leaves, tomato slices, red onion slices, ketchup and mustard, for serving

Directions

1. Prepare a grill for medium heat. Divide the ground beef into 6 even pieces and shape each into a 1-inch-thick patty. Press in the center of each patty so it is slightly thinner than the edges. Sprinkle generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the grill grates.

2. Grill the burgers, flipping once, until well browned and medium rare, 6 to 7 minutes per side, topping with a slice of cheese in the last few minutes of grilling. Lightly brush the buns with oil and grill until lightly toasted. Put the burgers on the bottom buns and top with the lettuce, tomato, onions and top buns. Serve with ketchup and mustard on the side.


Grilled Cheeseburgers
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Beer Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue

Beer Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue

Level: Easy

Total: 2 hr 30 min

Prep: 1 hr

Cook: 1 hr 30 min

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients:

One 12-ounce can beer

One 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken

2 tablespoons Basic Barbecue Rub, recipe follows

2 cups cola Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows

Basic Barbecue Rub:

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup sweet paprika

3 tablespoons ground black pepper

3 tablespoons kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon hickory salt

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons celery seeds

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

Cola Barbecue Sauce:

1 cup cola

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

3 tablespoon steak sauce, (recommended: A-1 Steak Sauce)

1 teaspoon onion flakes

1 teaspoon garlic flakes

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: 

Special equipment:  4 to 6 cups hickory or apple wood chips, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, drained
  1. Pop the tab off the beer can. Using a church key style can opener, make a few more holes in the top of the can. Pour out half the beer into the soaking water of the wood chips. Set the can of beer aside.
  2. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat the grill to high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Remove the packet of giblets from the body cavity of the chicken and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water, drain, and blot dry inside and out with paper towels. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the rub inside the body and neck cavities of the chicken. Rub the bird all over on the outside with 2 teaspoons of the rub. If you have the patience, you can put some of the rub under the skin being careful not to tear it.
  4. Spoon the remaining 2 teaspoons of rub through the holes into the beer in the can. Don’t worry if it foams up, this is normal. Insert the beer can into the body cavity of the chicken and spread out the legs to form a sort of tripod. Tuck the wing tips behind the chicken’s back.
  5. When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss all the wood chips on the coals. Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour.
  6. Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken in its upright position on the beer can to a platter and present it to your guests. Let rest 5 minutes, and then carefully remove the chicken from the beer can. Take care not to spill the hot beer and burn yourself. Quarter or carve the chicken and serve with Cola Barbecue Sauce.

Basic Barbecue Rub:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to blend together. Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat or light and it will keep for at least 6 months.

Cola Barbecue Sauce:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy non-reactive saucepan and gradually bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat slightly to obtain a gentle simmer. Simmer the sauce until reduced by 1/4, about 6 to 8 minutes. Use right away or transfer to a large jar, cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. The sauce will keep for several months.

 

Cook’s Note

You can also barbecue a chicken on a can of cola, lemon-lime soda, or root beer.

 


Beer Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue
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Beer Can Chicken with Cola Barbecue
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Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kabobs

Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kabobs

Kalbi KabobsOne of our favorite food is Korean Kalbi, or barbecued beef short ribs.  We usually order this at one of the local fast food Korean restaurants, but it’s pretty pricey; you get 3 thin short ribs, a couple of scoops of steamed white rice, and a choice of 4 side dishes (kim chee, bean sprouts, tofu, etc.) for a over $12 a plate.

My husband’s main complaint about the local restaurants isn’t the the price or the serving size of the kalbi, it’s about the flimsy plastic utensils they provide which usually snaps in half the moment you try to cut into the meat.  Hence he has decided not to patronize any of the fast food style Korean barbecue joints.

There are sit down Korean restaurants where you can grill your own meats, the meal comes with many side dishes, soup, and steamed rice; but they also come with a hefty price tag.  The last time my girlfriend and I stopped at one for lunch it cost us a little bit over $65, and that’s without drinks or tip! Not to mention that was the least expensive barbecue dish on the menu!  The food was good, specially the kalbi, but I’m sure we won’t be repeating it often.

To solve all these issues I’ve found a great Korean Kalbi recipe to make at home.  I make it of our Sunday barbecue and it was a big hit with my family.  I used thin cut boneless beef short ribs which I threaded  on to bamboo skewers to make them into kebabs.  You can use bone-in short ribs and don’t have to thread them on to skewers, I do however recommend that you use the thinner cuts so that the marinade will infuse the meat better.

I served this with steamed white rice, macaroni salad, and kim chee cabbage;  it was even better than the plates we get at the Korean restaurants at less than half the price! (The short ribs cost $6.97 a pound, if you get the thin cut that’s 6 short ribs).

Another way to serve this is on small white corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, just like the Korean Kalbi Tacos from the food truck in L.A.!  We served it this way for my mom’s 80th. birthday party a few years ago.

Just in time for your Labor Day barbecue!  Here’s my recipe!
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Makes 18 skewers
Ingredients:
3 lbs. thin cut boneless beef short ribs (you should get 18 short ribs.  You can use bone-in ribs if you prefer)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbls. fresh ginger – finely grated
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 tbls. white sesame seeds
1 tbls. black sesame seeds
2 stalks green onions – chopped
Directions:
1.  Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don’t cut them.
2.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Mix until sugar dissolves.
3.  Pour marinade into large ziplock bag.
4.  Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
5.  Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness.  If you’re not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Serve hot immediately off the grill.
Looking for more grilling inspiration?  Check out PersonalCreations.com and see how people grill around the world!

 

 

 

Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Skewers 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Skewers
Instructions
  1. Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don't cut them.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour marinade into large ziploc bag.
  4. Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
  5. Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness. If you're not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
  6. Serve hot immediately off the grill.
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