eating

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You wish you could be this Awesome: almond-orange-rhubarb cake and cointreau rhubarb jam

Published April 14, 2013 by The Feminist

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I wasn’t quite sure whether to post all of this or not. It suddenly seemed more appropriate to lay low and hold back my awesomeness, so I wouldn’t intimidate you…

Ha! Silly me! If you can’t handle my insane level of awesome creativity, that is your problem, not mine. Besides, Albert Einstein once said : “Creativity is contagious: pass it on” And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now!

This cake is all about bringing spring into your kitchen with the tangy, fresh and in-your-face pink rhubarb. I am a girly girl, so you can probably imagine that I get really excited over pink fruit. But aside from Miss Rhubarb’s beauty, she just really tastes delicious. The cake is light, moist and the orange zest lifts the whole thing to another dimension. Don’t be scared of its overt girliness, because even the most macho “Where is my steak?” man will shed tears of utter happiness over its deliciousness.

If you’re thinking right now: “Wow, things cannot get more awesome than this!” Think again! Because with the remaining rhubarb and orange I made the most scrumptious jam in the world: a cointreau orange and rhubarb jam! Once you’ve tasted this, breakfast will never be the same!

So if you would like to give these recipes a try (Frankly, you would be crazy not to!), just remember: Anyone can be cool, but awesome needs practice…

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Almond-orange-rhubarb cake

Ingredients:

For the sponge:
• 190gr unsalted butter
• 190gr plain flour
• 60gr ground almonds
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1tsp cointreau
• 10gr flaked almonds
• 25gr natural yoghurt
• Zest of one orange
• 190gr caster sugar
• 3 eggs

For the stewed rhubarb:
• 4 to 5 stalks of fresh rhubarb, chopped into 2cm pieces
• 50ml orange juice
• 1 tbsp cointreau
• 70gr caster sugar
• 20gr butter

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease a loaf tin with butter.
2. Place the rhubarb in a saucepan along with the sugar, butter, orange juice and cointreau. Cook on a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb softens. Set aside to cool completely.
3. For the sponge, cream together the butter and sugar and orange zest until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Tip the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and whisk together on low speed. Add the yoghurt and cointreau.
5. Pour half of the batter into the tin and then spoon the stewed rhubarb on top. Top with the remaining batter and finish with the flaked almonds.
6. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Cointreau-orange and rhubarb jam:

Ingredients (for 2-3 jars):

• 300gr jam sugar
• 500gr fresh rhubarb, cut into 1cm pieces
• Flesh of one orange
• 4 tbsp cointreau

Method:

1. Place your fruit into a saucepan along with the jam sugar and cointreau.
2. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the jam reaches setting point.
3. When the jam has reached setting point, carefully ladle it into the sterilised jars.

Make Dinner, Not War: 3 stress-free dishes

Published April 10, 2013 by The Feminist

Let’s be honest here: Now and then we all get really annoyed with other people.

• When someone is constantly talking about his or herself in a very boastful “I’m the Greatest Star this world has ever known” kinda way.
• When someone is too lazy to get his or her ass off the couch and watches TV shows all day, while you’re working your butt off.
• When you’re trying to have a conversation with a teenager who has a very big attitude. “Wha’everrr”
• Sometimes, even the slightest noise, movement or snort can get under your skin.

Yes, we’ve all been there. But instead of letting all the anger boil up inside of you – or worse – instead of yelling all nasty things at that particular person, why not maintain the peace and start cooking? I find cooking to be incredibly soothing and relaxing. Besides, it is also more convenient, because you can now actually use your dinner plates to serve your food on, instead of smashing them to the ground.

Here are some really yummy stress-relieving dishes:

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Indonesian chicken wraps

Ingredients:

• Good quality shop-bought wraps
• 4 chicken breasts, diced
• 300gr of bean sprouts
• Fresh coriander
• 3 spring onions, chopped
• 1 mango, finely chopped
• 1 apple, in fine slices
• 1lime
• Chopped cashew nuts

For the marinade:
• 2tbsp ketchup
• 1tbsp fish sauce
• 1tbsp soy sauce
• 2tbsp honey
• 1tbsp mirin
• 1tbsp sesame oil

For the satay sauce:
• 200ml coconut oil
• 40gr of peanut butter
• 1 small red chilli
• 1 tbsp garam massala
• 2cm piece of ginger
• 1tsp brown sugar

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Method:

1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and stir through the diced chicken breasts. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
2. For the satay sauce, mix all the ingredients together – et voila! – done! 😉
3. Mix the bean sprouts together with the coriander and spring onion and sprinkle over some lime juice.
4. Fry the chicken until brown and tender.
5. Make your own awesome wrap with the beansprout salad, mango, apple, chicken and of course the scrumptious satay sauce and finish with some chopped cashew nuts.

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Tutti Frutti prawn curry

Ingredients (serves two):

For the curry paste:
• Two small red chillies
• 3cm piece of fresh ginger
• Coriander stalks
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 onion
• 1 tsp garam massala
• 1tsp brown sugar

For the fruity prawn curry:
• 16 prawns
• Half a pineapple, diced
• Half of mango, diced
• 1 banana
• 400ml coconut milk
• 1tbsp peanut butter
• 1tbsp fish sauce
• Fresh coriander to decorate

Method:
1. Make the curry paste by mixing all the ingredients together in a blender.
2. Fry the curry paste in a large wok in some vegetable oil until fragrant.
3. Add the coconut milk, the peanut butter and fish sauce. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the prawns, pineapple and mango and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Finally add the banana and heat through.
6. Sprinkle some chopped coriander on top.

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Italian meatloaf with homemade pasta and basil-sundried tomato pesto

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the meatloaf:
• 750gr minced beef
• 1 courgette
• Cherry tomatoes, on the vine
• 1 onion
• 1 clove of garlic
• 15gr grated pecorino cheese
• 1 egg
• 1tsp dried oregano
• 1tsp paprika
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp garam massala (You’re now probably shouting: “Garam massala?? In an Italian dish??? Well, it actually works 😉 )

For the pasta:

• 350gr plain flour
• 4 eggs
• Salt

For the pesto:
• 200gr semi dried tomatoes, in oil
• 30gr pecorino cheese
• 2 cloves of garlic
• Handful of cashew nuts
• Bunch of fresh basil leaves (lots and lots of them!)

Method:

1. For the meatloaf, line a baking tin with baking parchment. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips off the courgette and line them in your tin. (This will create a lovely courgette blanket for your meat)
2. In a bowl, mix together the meat with the chopped garlic and onion and grate in some of the remaining courgette (the white part). Add the cheese, the egg and the spices and mix through.
3. Put the mince in the courgette baking tin and put in a preheated oven at 200°C for 35 minutes. Take the loaf out of the oven and put the vine cherry tomatoes on top. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes.
4. For the pasta, pour the flour into a mound onto a flat surface and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and gradually mix with either a blunt knife or your hands. Knead until well blended and the dough is soft and flexible. Leave the pasta to rest for about 15-30 minutes. Cut it into your favourite pasta shape.
5. Cook the fresh pasta in boiling water for 3-5 minutes and immediately drain the pasta and coat it with the fresh pesto.
6. For the pesto, mix all the ingredients together in a blender and season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve the meatloaf and pasta with a rocket salad with balsamic dressing.

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The Rum Diaries: the most exotic dessert you’ll have ever tasted

Published April 6, 2013 by The Feminist

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When my mother walked into the kitchen this morning and asked what I was baking this time, it was very hard to find a suitable name. That’s what happens when you combine at least three different recipes and top it all off with your own personal input. I guess that you could best describe this dessert as an “exotic trifle” or maybe “Rum Baba Revisited”. Basically, it’s just the cake version of my two favorite cocktails: a caipirinha and  a pina colada.

Needless to say that , after I had mentioned the word “cocktail”, my mom didn’t need to hear any further details. She knew it was going to be an amazing dessert. God bless my mom for always believing in my cooking skills!

Or maybe she just believed in the power of rum. Because, quite frankly, everything tastes better with rum. I know that. You know that. Jack Sparrow knows that. It is common sense. Just like one plus one equals two, sugar plus rum equals heaven. It is basic mathematics.

That marvelous sweetness from the coconut rochers, that fragrant zing from the lime custard and that splendid fruitiness from the pineapple, all coated in a wonderful blanket of spiced rum syrup.

Cocktail sweetness

Ingredients (makes 6 glasses)

For the lime custard:
• 1,5dl lime juice (4-5 limes)
• 0,5dl water
• 150gr caster sugar (for the lime syrup)
• 50gr caster sugar (for the egg mixture)
• 25gr corn flour
• 2 egg yolks
• 1,5dl double cream

For the rum syrup:
• 0,5dl white rum
• 1,25dl water
• 65gr caster sugar
• 6 cardamom pods

For the decoration:
• Good quality shop-bought soft coconut rochers
• Half a pineapple, finely diced

Method:

1. Crumble a layer of coconut rocher on the bottom of each glass.
2. To make the lime custard, pour the lime juice, water and 150 grams of sugar in a sauce pan and bring to the boil.
3. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and 50 grams of sugar until light and creamy. Add the corn flour and mix through.
4. Pour a little bit of the hot lime syrup into your egg mixture and whisk well. Then pour the egg mixture into your pan of lime syrup and, on a low heat, whisk constantly until it starts to thicken.
5. Remove from the heat and pour the custard into a baking tray and cover straight away with cling film and set aside to cool completely.
6. To finish the custard, pour the double cream in a bowl and beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. Gradually fold the whipped cream into your cooled custard.
7. To make the rum syrup, add the ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil. Let it reduce by half.
8. Spoon three to four teaspoons of rum syrup over each layer of coconut rocher and pour the remaining syrup on top of your chopped fresh pineapple.
9. Scatter some pineapple over the coconut layer and then spoon a good dollop of lime custard on top.
10. Generously finish with al layer of boozy pineapple. (and decorate with some desiccated coconut if you like)

From “Meh! Vegetables” to “Yeah! Vegetables”

Published March 26, 2013 by The Feminist

Confession: I am the biggest vegetable lover on this planet.

It’s true! I love every type, shape, size, taste, smell of vegetables. To my mind, vegetables are awesome! For some reason, however, a lot of people (and I mean A LOT of people! ) don’t like their veggies. They think of them as plain and boring.

Let me tell you something: if you are one of those people, you just don’t know how to cook them right. There are so many fun and original things you can do with vegetables! They are the true masters in versatility! So what the f*** is wrong with you people?? Eat your vegetables! They’re not only good for you, they are also one of a kind!

We had a “Hurray, it’s spring!”- brunch a couple of days ago. On the menu: grilled asparagus wrapped in pancetta (heaven!), pecorino, courgette and broccoli quiche( double heaven!) and a Middle Eastern cauliflower salad (triple heaven!). The irony was, however, that exactly on the day of our spring welcoming, it was bloody snowing outside. But hey, when you’ve got so many yummy vegetable dishes in front of you, who cares?

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Pecorino, courgette and broccoli quiche
Ingredients:

• One sheet of shop-bought puff pastry
• 50gr pecorino cheese, grated
• 1 small broccoli, in small florets
• 1 small courgette, diced
• 1tbsp dried oregano
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• 2 eggs
• 200ml single cream
• 50ml whole milk

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 210°C. Grease a 23cm loose-bottomed tart dish with butter and gently line the tin with the sheet of puff pastry . Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Blind-bake the puff pastry case for 8-10 minutes.
2. Blanche the broccoli for a couple of minutes in salted water. Drain and rinse under cold water.
3. Sauté the diced courgette with the dried oregano in a tablespoon of olive oil.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream and milk. Mix through the grated cheese and chopped parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper.
5. Put the vegetables on the bottom of your blind baked pastry and pour over the egg mixture.
6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

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Middle Eastern cauliflower salad

Ingredients:

• ½ large cauliflower, blanched and chopped finely.
• 3 spring unions, chopped
• Handful of raisins
• Bunch of fresh coriander
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• Handful of chopped almonds
• 1tsp cumin
• 4tbsp olive oil
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Easy! Put all the ingredients in a bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and mix through. Voila!

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Grilled asparagus wrapped in pancetta

Ingredients:

• 250gr thinly sliced pancetta
• 350gr green asparagus, ends trimmed
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Steam the asparagus al dente.
2. Wrap the asparagus with pancetta in bundles of five.
3. Heat a frying pan with olive oil. Add the bundles and fry to colour for one minute on each sideand sprinkle some lemon juice over the top and season with pepper.
4. Serve!

Eating noodles like a boss: seafood curry soba noodles

Published March 21, 2013 by The Feminist

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The frequent visitors of my blog will probably already know that I have a huge soft spot for noodles. I mean, what’s not to like? Can you honestly think of anything more fun than slurping noodles with chopsticks into your mouth? Ha! I think not!

This dish was very quick and easy to make, as are all noodle dishes. The fragrant spices of the curry blend so well with the omega-3 goodness that comes from the seafood and fish. It’s almost like a Brad and Angelina wedding… Too good to be true. 😉
But sometimes dreams DO come true! And lucky for me, every time that happens I get to eat the outcome:

Seafood curry soba noodles:

Ingredients

For the curry paste:
• One 5cm piece of fresh ginger
• 2 red chillies
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1tbsp garam massala powder
• 1tbsp vegetable oil
• 1tbsp mirin

For the noodle stir fry:

• 300gr soba noodles
• 200gr vegetables (beansprouts, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, leeks,… The choice is yours!)
• 300ml coconut cream
• 2tbsp fish sauce
• 200gr seafood mix
• 200gr fresh prawns
• 200gr firm white fish, cut into pieces of approx. 2cm
• Fresh coriander, to decorate

Method:

1. To make the curry paste, blend all the ingredients together in a blender or pestle and mortar until you get a smooth paste.
2. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
3. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok and stir fry the curry paste for a couple of minutes until it starts to smell really fragrant. (This is by far the loveliest kitchen perfume!)
4. Add the vegetables and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut cream.
5. Toss the seafood, prawns and fish together in a bowl with a tablespoon of garam massala and a good pinch of chillli powder and fry them for a couple of minutes in a non-stick frying pan.
6. Add the cooked noodles to the vegetable curry and add the fish sauce.
7. Gently stir through the cooked seafood and fish.
8. Sprinkle on some chopped coriander and start to slurp, y’all!

Me against the marshmallow: the most delicious battle imaginable! S’more Brownies

Published March 18, 2013 by The Feminist

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It was a hard battle, ladies and gentlemen! I had just baked the most ooey gooey brownie goodness in my entire life and all I had to do next was simply cut it in squares and eat it. Sounds easy, right? Well, I can tell you one thing: it was easier said than done! From the second I put my knife in the marshmallow layer I knew something wasn’t right. I should have known that once I was going to start cutting the marshmallows, they were going to stick to my knife, my fingers and practically everything else! For a brief moment my kitchen literally turned into a battlefield! (Imagine the stress I was under! ) But like any brave warrior I overcame my fear and fought back! And I totally kicked the marshmallow’s ass!

Do you want to know what my master plan was? Scissors. Yes, ordinary scissors! (Life can be so simple sometimes! 😉 )

Battles aside, however, these S’more brownies were the most amazing chocolaty gooey treats on the planet! The intense flavour of the brownies worked so well with the buttery sweet biscuit layer and the gooey palate-sticking marshmallows turned the dessert into a true comfort food showstopper!

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S’more brownies

Ingredients:

For the base:
• 200gr digestive biscuits
• 125gr unsalted butter

For the brownie:
• 115gr unsalted butter
• 120gr dark chocolate
• 190gr muscovado sugar
• 130gr caster sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• 4 eggs
• 140gr plain flour

For the topping:
• 400gr large white marshmallows

Method:

1. Line one 20×30 cm baking tray with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2. To make the biscuit base, blitz the biscuits in a blender into crumbs and melt the butter I a small pan. Pour the melted butter into a bowl with the biscuit crumbs and stir through. Set aside.
3. To make the brownies, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted.
4. In another bowl add the sugar and salt and pour the melted chocolate into the bowl. Stir to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.
5. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a shiny batter.
6. Sift in the flour.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tray and sprinkle the biscuit crumb mixture over the top.
8. Bake for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out mostly clean.
9. Place the marshmallows in a row on top of the baked brownie and place bake in the oven for 3 minutes to soften the marshmallows. Then carefully toast the marshmallow under the grill.

When in doubt, eat couscous: couscous with grilled vegetables, marinated feta cheese and chermoula

Published March 17, 2013 by The Feminist

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The only certainty in life is that there are none. Everything changes. Everything evolves. There is one thing, however, that will never be subject to adjustment , and that is my sincere love for couscous.

I mean, what’s not to like? It’s simple, delicious and brings an instant smile to my face. Couscous is my kind of happy food: when everything seems to go wrong, all I have to do is eat a plate of couscous and all of a sudden my mood switches from “leave me alone!” to “Seize the day!”. It is truly magical!

I could use a little cheering up the other day, so I decided to conjure up the following dish: couscous with grilled vegetables, marinated feta cheese and chermoula. Doesn’t eat look and sound absolutely delicious?! Well, it was!

Ingredients(serves 3-4):

• 250gr couscous
• 2 red peppers, in large chunks
• 1 courgette, in large chunks
• 2 parsnips, in large chunks
• 300gr feta cheese
• Bunch of fresh coriander
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• 1 clove of garlic
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• Cumin
• Falafel spice mix
• 2 tbsp runny honey

Method:

1. Grill the vegetables in a searing hot grill pan 2 minutes on each side until grill marks appear/ Transfer the vegetables into an oven dish, sprinkle with olive oil, two tablespoons of honey, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of falafel spice mix. (I you can’t find the spice mix, raz el hanout will do 😉 )
2. Put the vegetables in a preheated oven at 220°C for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Cook the couscous.
4. Cut the feta cheese into large slices and sprinkle generously with olive oil and falafel spice mix.
5. Mix the fresh herbs together in a blender with the garlic, mustard, salt and pepper, cumin (to taste) and 200ml of water.
6. Serve. Eat. Be Happy!

Is it magic? No, it’s me being absolutely brilliant! One batter, two totally different cupcakes

Published March 14, 2013 by The Feminist

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What could be better than a cupcake to go with your afternoon cup of coffee? Two cupcakes, maybe? Two totally different but equally delicious cupcakes? Well, consider it done.

I would like you to meet Mr. Pim Cupcake and Mss. Strawberry Daiquiry Cupcake. Two siblings, made out of the same batter, but each with their distinct flavour and independent awesomeness!

Mr Pim is a very intense man. Although he may look very dark (and chocolaty) on the outside, he literally has a heart of gold (and orange marmalade).

Mss. Strawberry Daiquiry is a true diva. She is light, frivolous and likes to brighten up the atmosphere with her sunny personality. Her pink sweetness may sound very appealing, but her perfect cocktail of fruitiness and Bacardi depth can leave you hung over from time to time.

If you would like to have a personal rendezvous with one of them – or what the heck!- even both, just follow the instructions below:

For the basic cupcake batter:

Ingredients(makes 12-14):
• 70gr unsalted butter
• 210gr plain flour
• 250gr caster sugar
• 1tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• 210ml whole milk
• 2 eggs

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Mix the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together until they form a crumb-like consistency.
3. In a jug, mix together the milk and eggs.
4. Gradually pour the liquid into the butter and flour mixture.
5. Spoon the batter into the paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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For Mr. Pim:
Ingredients:
• 12-14 basic cupcakes (see recipe above)
• 100gr orange marmalade
• 200gr chocolate and orange spread
• Pim/ jaffa cakes to decorate

Method:

1. Bake the cupcakes according to the above instructions. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a sharp knife to make a hollow in the centre of each cupcake.
2. Spoon about one teaspoon of orange marmalade into the hollow.
3. Spread a generous amount of chocolate and orange spread onto each cupcake and top each one with a Pim (or Jaffa) cake.

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For Mss Strawberry Daiquiri:
Ingredients:
• 12-14 basic cupcakes
• 100ml white rum
• 30gr caster sugar
• 110gr icing sugar
• 45gr unsalted butter
• Red food colouring
• Strawberry jam
• Fresh strawberries to decorate (or raspberries, in this case, since I couldn’t find any strawberries)

Method:

1. Baking the cupcakes according to the above instructions. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a sharp knife to make a hollow in the centre of each cupcake.
2. Add the rum and caster sugar to a small saucepan and bring to the boil, allowing it to reduce by half.
3. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of rum reduction in each hollow.
4. Spoon 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam into each hollow.
5. Beat the butter and icing sugar together with the remaining rum reduction and red food colouring. (Two drops of food colouring will give your frosting a lovely pale hue.)

Am I dreaming or am I awake: It’s a Maple & Walnut Streusel cake

Published March 10, 2013 by The Feminist

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For the baking nitwits among you: a streusel is a crumblike topping consisting of flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and sometimes-like this one- chopped nuts.

It is truly a dream come true! The streusel is crunchy, buttery and full of flavour and the sweet cinnamon swirl gives the cake a beautiful marble effect. The texture of the streusel works incredibly well with the light and too-easy-to-eat cake. Thanks to the addition of soured cream, the sponge was gorgeously moist and rich. Light and rich at the same time? How could that ever be possible?

Just bake it! You’ll see what I mean! 😉 I know that the cake may look terrifyingly difficult to some of you, but it was actually pretty easy to make. Or to quote Paul Coelho: “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

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Maple & Walnut Streusel Cake

Ingredients:

For the Streusel:
• 50gr moscovado sugar
• 80gr plain flour
• 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 45gr unsalted butter
• 80gr chopped walnuts, plus extra to decorate

For the sponge:
• 115gr unsalted butter
• 170gr caster sugar
• 2 eggs
• 200gr soured cream
• 280gr plain flour
• 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• Pinch of salt
• 75ml maple syrup, to drizzle

For the glaze:
• 50gr icing sugar
• 2 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tbsp water

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170° en grease a Bundt cake tin with butter.
2. To make the streusel, place the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the butter and rub the mixture together using your fingertips until it forms a crumble. Add the chopped walnuts. Set aside.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar for the sponge until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the soured cream.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter.
5. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture into the base of the tin and top with half of the cake batter. Sprinkle the remaining streusel mix on top and then top with the remaining batter.
6. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes. Take out of the oven and while the cake is still warm, drizzle over the maple syrup. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
7. Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar, maple syrup and water together. You should get a smooth and runny glaze.
8. Turn the cooled cake out into a rack, so that it is streusel-side up. Drizzle the top of the cake with the glaze and sprinkle over some chopped walnuts.
9. Remember: Dreams do come true as long as you believe!

Everything tastes better with cheese: Tagliatelle with crunchy Mediterranean vegetables and feta cheese

Published March 7, 2013 by The Feminist

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Have I ever told you how much I love cheese? Never? Really? Damn! How could I just forget to express my love and devotion for cheese? Because cheese is the epitome of comfort food! Cheese is great! Cheese is wonderful!

I’m currently obsessed with Shropshire cheese. It is best described as a cross between Stilton and Cheshire. It has a sharp and strong flavour and a tangy aroma. I daresay it is the best thing to have hit this earth since sliced bread. (It is that good!)

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Another big favourite of mine is feta cheese. The taste of feta cheese immediately transports me to sunnier destinations. Think Greece minus the economic crisis, but with a bottle of retsina and sirtaki dancers. 😉

This pasta dish is so simple and quick you would almost think you were on candid camera: Some idiot would suddenly jump from behind your stove and shout: “Ha! You’ve just been pranked! Did you really think you could make this dish in fifteen minutes?”

Seriously. This is not a joke, this is reality. (And what a wonderful reality it is! ) Cook it. Eat it. Love it.

Tagliatelle with crunchy Mediterranean vegetables and feta cheese

Ingredients (serves 4)

• 350gr tagliatelle
• 2 medium-size courgettes, diced
• 1 yellow pepper, finally chopped
• 250gr cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 red onion, finally chopped
• 1 clove of garlic
• 250gr feta cheese
• 200ml vegetable stock
• Lots of basil leaves

Method

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the courgette, pepper and garlic and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the tomatoes and the vegetable stock ( This will give the pasta a lovely saucy coating.)
3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente. Drain and combine with the vegetables. Toss well.
4. Crumble in the feta cheese and sprinkle over lots of shredded basil leaves.
5. Let the summer begin!