Tag Archives: hazelnuts

Griddled Cauliflower with Hazelnuts and Pickled Red Onions

Cauliflower 4This is another ‘centre of the table’ or ‘mezze’ style dish made for sharing. Seasonally this is a winter salad which can be served warm or at room temperature. You can  prepare this well in advance, just put all the elements together before serving. Cooking cauliflower on the fire with oil gives it a really unique flavour. I also roast off cauliflower in the oven which has the same nuances. This combination is really different and is always well received.  It  works well with any other dish on the table, fish, meat, or as a vegetarian/vegan dish.

Ingredients (serves 4 or 6 if part of a mezze meal)

1 small, or half a large cauliflower
20g roasted hazelnuts
10g parsley
1 small red onion
25ml red wine vinegar
Honey
1 tbsp capers
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Prep List

Cut the onion in half and slice it thinly. Mix the vinegar and the honey (or sugar) together. Put the cut onions into the same bowl and push the onions down with your fingers so they are covered with the vinegar.

CauliflowerCut the cauliflower across the body of it as oppose to florets as seen in the photo. Half of it will hold together, the other half will break into small pieces, but it doesn’t matter.

Make sure the hazelnuts are roasted, quite often they are already roasted, if they have no crunch then pop them in a hot oven for 5-8 mins, don’t forget about them.

Chop the parsley.

Measure out the capers.

Method

Cauliflower 2Put your griddle pan or frying pan on a high heat, or fire up the gas bbq. When hot turn down to medium heat. Toss the cauliflower in olive oil and put each large piece on the pan first, then after do whats left of the smaller pieces. Cook it well, you want some bite left in it but not too much. The cauliflower needs to almost burn a bit, crispy caramelized cauliflower is what you want. When it as all done cut the bigger pieces into bite size bits. Put into a mixing bowl with the capers, half the onion, salt and pepper and half the parsley.

Mix the ingredients in a bowl, taste, always taste everything, for seasoning. Lay onto a plate, then finish off the garnish with the rest of the onions and parsley.

Festive Cookies

CookiesThis recipe will give you a seriously good cookie. The combination of chestnut flour, allspice, orange and fig resonates with the festive season. I just cross referenced a normal cookie recipe from the internet and all of them were in the region of 100g of butter and 225g of sugar. This recipe uses no butter, 60g of sugar and has the added bonus that it is gluten free and tastes as moorish as a normal cookie. Most health food shops will stock chestnut flour. You can use a different flour if you are not bothered with gluten free eg; spelt.

Ingredients (makes 10 to 12)

100ml oil
100g chestnut flour
60g demerara sugar (or Xylitol)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsps ground allspice (or nutmeg)
1 egg
50g hazelnuts
100g dried figs
Zest and juice of half a large orange
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the hazelnuts into a pyrex dish and roast them for around 10 minutes or until they have a slight golden colour. Remove and leave to cool down. Turn the oven down to 160.

With an electric whisk (or by hand if you don’t have one), whisk together the egg, sugar and vanilla. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and allspice and lightly mix together with a spoon or spatula. Roughly chop the hazelnuts or crush them with the back of a frying pan. Cut the figs into small squares, add the orange zest and juice and give a good mix together.

Cookie2Your mix will yield 12 cookies so use that as a guide to size. Spoon onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray – you will probably need two, approximately two inches apart as they will spread a little when baking. Lightly press them down with the spoon. Place into the oven. After 8 minutes or so, remove from the oven and press them down with your hand. The total cooking time will be 15 to 20 minutes – you could turn them over for the last couple of minutes, to ensure they are totally cooked underneath.

Leave to cool completely, as they firm up even more in the cooling process. If they last longer than one hour store in a tupperware or biscuit tin.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake

Its that time of year where we have time to indulge in such luxuries as cake making.  Smells filling the house, warming it up rather than over heating it (we live in Spain). This is a Nikki recipe. We are experimenting with different no gluten flours that are not heavily processed like some of the branded gluten free flour on the shelves.

Pumpkin is really popular with cakes and desserts in the America. In Europe we tend to go for different roots like carrot or beetroot. This cake is dense and will last forever getting better day by day. It would of been called ‘hippy cake’ where I am from, not that thats a bad thing. Its the chestnut flour that gives it that texture. I really like it for its longevity and it can also double up as a winter dessert.  Serve it with yoghurt and honey or yoghurt agave or vanilla ice cream. Failing that it works really just with a cup of tea.

If you find this cake a little dense or you cannot find chestnut flour, you can use ground almonds instead.

Ingredients

225g pumpkin (once peeled and grated)
200g chestnut flour
4 large eggs
175g brown sugar (or half xylitol) if you have it, all sugar is fine
225ml oil
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tsps ground ginger
75g raisins
50g hazelnuts (roughly chopped)

Method

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and grease, line and flour (with the chestnut flour) a 23cm (9 inch) springform cake tin.

Sieve the flour, ginger and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, oil and sugar in a seperate bowl until mixed well. Fold the egg mixture into the dry mix and add the carrots, raisins and hazelnuts.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and cook for 50 to 55 minutes. If you insert a wooden skewer into the middle of the cake it should come out completely clean, and feel firm to the touch in the middle.

Leave to cool in the tin for at least half an hour before transferring to a plate.

In the photo it has been served with Quark and a drizzle of agave.

Raw Brownie

This is a real success story.  It´s  a  5/10 in terms of how easy it is to make with superb results.  The first time we made this recipe we  used all cocoa powder.  As we are always trying get more health into our healthy desserts we were trying carob, which hasn’t got great press, unfairly so.  This recipe uses  50g carob powder and 25g cocoa.

Nothing was lost in the taste but a little gained in the originality of using  a fairly unknown ingredient.  I would see no problem in replacing the cocoa for the carob gram for gram.  This is an effective and tasty snack to pack up if you are training to get through to the next part of the day or just in your lunch box as a healthy sweet thing.  Raw Brownie has unlimited shelf life within reason.

Ingredients

300g dried figs
250g peeled almonds or 150g almonds and 100g walnuts
65g hazelnuts
75g cocoa or carob powder
50g dessicated coconut
2 tsps vanilla essence
3 tbsps orange blossom water (if you cannot get this then use either rosewater or fresh orange juice)
50g dried cranberries

Method 

Soak the figs in water for an hour.  Thoroughly drain the water and blend until nice and smooth in a food processor.  Roughly chop the almonds (and walnuts if you are using them), and add to the processor.  Pulse the nuts with the figs.  It is okay if there are a few chunks in the mix.  Chop the hazelnuts and add to the mix along with the cocoa powder, coconut and vanilla essence.  Pulse a few times.  The mix should be starting to come together now.

Remove from the food processor with a silicone spatula and place into a bowl.  Chop the cranberries with a large knife and stir into the mix.

At this point we want to add the orange blossom water.  Do this one tablespoonful at a time, making sure the cranberries are evenly distributed.  Once all the water has been added the mix should be smooth and pliable.

Take a disposable aluminum tray or tupperware container approximately 30cm long and 18cm wide, if you don´t have exactly these measurements that is okay, it will just affect the thickness of the brownie.  The desired thickness is 1cm thick.

With a spatula, evenly press the brownie into the container.  Once this is done, lay greaseproof paper over the top.  Place a heavy weight over the top and leave for an hour.  This is to ensure the brownie is nice and compact.

Place in the fridge for one hour to set, before cutting into pieces.  It is upto you what size pieces to cut the brownie, but they do not need to be big.

Keep in a tupperware container in the fridge.

Buckwheat, Hazelnut and Raisin Pancakes

It has taken me a long time to  like buckwheat.  I have always used it in my cooking as it is a good, relatively easy to find,  gluten free product.  It wasn’t until I made these pancakes that I started to really appreciate the subtlety of this flour with its  unique earthiness.  It took me 20 minutes to make the stack in the photo.  This is great weekend treat that the whole house would enjoy.

Ingredients

100g buckwheat flour
1 large egg
125ml soya milk
125ml apple juice
50ml water
2 tablespoons (30ml) of Greek yoghurt
60g sultanas soaked in water for one hour
50g roasted hazelnuts
Zest of one lemon and one orange

Method 

The batter

Heat the oven to 200 degrees, and place the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and roast in the oven until nice and golden.  Leave to one side to cool.

In a medium sized bowl whisk the egg, soya milk, apple juice, yoghurt and buckwheat flour together.  Use the 5oml of the water to get a good dropping consistency with the batter.  That means so the batter is thick enough so it retains its shape in the pan when you drop it into the pan. If you think that the mix does not look wet enough you can add another 25ml of water being careful not to make the mix too wet.  Drain the water off the sultanas and add to the batter.  Roughly chop the hazelnuts,  zest  the orange and lemon (optional) and add to the batter.

The pancakes

Take a non-stick pan and a plastic or silicone egg slice.  Put the pan on a high flame.  Get the pan really hot then turn down to medium.  Add a little bit of olive oil and drop in about 50ml of the batter (small ladle),  it should set straight away.  Use your spatula stop the batter running by bringing it back into shape.

After  a couple of minutes add a touch more olive oil and flip. It should be a nice even brown colour. It will take a few attempts before you get the hang of it.