Sunday, 9 March 2014

 Salty and Sweet the best combination ever!

Veggischmooze Thai Green Mango Salad
 After trying this fabulously spicy dish at our local Thai restaurant we yearned to make it at home. We are thrilled with the results – the perfect salty, sweet, spicy, sour and bitter combination and fabulously refreshing. And still perfect the next day. Hold back the dressing and add when needed.              

Serves 10

1 green mango – 250 gm peeled flesh
2 large fresh carrots peeled
150g bean sprouts 
200g daikon or mooli peeled
3 spring onions finely chopped
1 large red mild chilli deseeded and finely chopped
25g fresh basil finely chopped
50g fresh coriander finely chopped
40g flaked or desiccated coconut
100g salted peanuts
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Grated zest and juice of 1 small lime
2 tablespoon soft brown sugar
Process or grate the carrot, green mango pieces, daikon and place in a large bowl. Add the bean sprouts, finely chopped spring onions, chilli, coriander and basil.  
Put the coconut and the salted peanuts on a baking sheet and heat gently for 10 minutes on a low oven – C gas mark   for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool. Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Save a few nuts to top and sprinkle the remaining toasted nuts over the salad. Mix in well. Serve as a starter or with an addition of toasted tofu – delicious and healthy!

Variation – not strictly right but the addition of 20 g finely chopped fresh mint increases the refreshing qualities.

 Veggischmooze Salted Caramel Pecans and Almonds

These moorish nutty nuggets epitomise the salty sweet theme, and are perfect to serve to family and friends. So evocative of holidays abroad. Once you start you can’t stop!  
Prepare a baking sheet by lining with baking parchment

100 g pecans or pecans and almonds mixed
100g castor sugar  
3 tablespoons water
½ - 1 teaspoon teaspoon sea-salt depending on taste

Combine the nuts, sugar and water in a medium thick–bottomed pan and cook over a gentle heat. After the sugar dissolves, start stirring. The sugar will change its character and begin to look like crystals. Reduce the heat to allow the crystals to melt and colour on the base of the pan. Now sprinkle on the salt and shake the nuts well then dropping them onto a sheet of baking parchment. Tease apart with a metal skewer while they are still warm. Cool completely.
Mmm can you eat one??  

 Spiced Apple Cake with a Salty Sweet Lemon Drizzle Topping

This easy- to-make cake celebrates the Bramley. Its olive oil base is ultra-moist, has wonderful keeping qualities and makes either one large 20 cm cake or one 18cm cake and a small loaf tin 18cm x 8 ½ for family nibbles! Enjoy with a cuppa and a good chat. Makes a wonderful pudding warm with custard.         

Serves 10
Line an 18cm tin and a small 18cm X 8 ½ cm tin or 1 large 20cm tin
400g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
375ml mild vegetable oil – we used olive
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
215g soft brown sugar
3 free-range organic eggs
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

Apple Mixture
I large Bramley apple peeled cored and chopped into 3 cm chunks
1 teaspoon of the juice of the lemon
½ teaspoon cinnamon    

For Salty Sweet Lemon Drizzle
remaining juice of the lemon
4-5 tablespoons soft brown sugar
½ - 1 teaspoon salt depending on desires

In a large bowl sieve the flour with the salt, spices and baking powder.
Peel core and chop the apples and grate the lemon saving the zest. Squeeze the lemon halves and add I teaspoon of the juice to the peeled apples to prevent them from discolouring. Add the one teaspoon of spice to the apple mixture and stir well.
Process or mix the oil with the soft brown sugar until lighter and the sugar well dissolved – maybe five minutes. Add the lemon zest and the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time. When the mixture looks well blended pour this mixture into the bow with the flour adding the apple mixture as well. As soon as the mixtures are combined pour the fragrant batter into the tins and bake for 1 hour + 10minutes for the smaller cake version or 1hour and 20 minutes for the larger cake, or until golden on top and a metal skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool while you make the drizzle mixture. Spear the cakes with a cocktail stick and pour over the drizzle mixture.

Mmm Moist and luscious. 

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