Monday, December 20, 2010

One for parents of fussy kids...

salmon pikelets from
I've just discovered this fantastic blog from a lovely Aussie lady called Wendy Blume. Vegie Smugglers (don't you love that name?!) will be a godsend to parents of picky kids with its no-nonsense recipes, completely grounded in real life. What's more Wendy writes in a lovely down-to-earth way that's totally free of pretention and full of humour. Which is something many of us food writers could use a little more of, I reckon.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My new Christmas food obsession..... panforte!

This is really tasty, so much nicer than Christmas cake to me. Probably it's the addition of chocolate. Try it Tuscan-style with a glass of sweet wine. Mmmmmm.....

Ginger & cranberry panforte

1 ½ cups chopped nuts – I used 1 cup Tasti Nut Fusions (desserts & cakes) and ½ cup toasted, skinned hazelnuts
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup crystalised ginger, roughly chopped
½ cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup flour
½ cup cocoa
½  teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup honey or golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1 Line a 20cm springform tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 160C.

Step 2 Combine the nuts, raisins, cranberries, ginger and half the chocolate in a bowl. Sift over flour, cocoa and spices, and add lemon zest and brandy. Mix well.

Step 3 Combine sugar and honey or golden syrup in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves; about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add remaining chocolate, vanilla and 4 tablespoons hot water. Mix until chocolate melts.

Step 4 Add sugar syrup to dry ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into tin, smoothing the top level. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until just firm on top. Cool panforte in the tin, then remove and store in an airtight container. Keeps for several weeks and the flavour improves with age.

There's another lovely recipe on the Healthy Food Guide website