how to make the perfect dinner snack plate

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When it comes to meal times I am always on the look out for not only new ideas and inspiration but ways to makes things easier too and as a family who love to eat snack plates and a variety of foods in one sitting, finding a cracker that I can make a meal of (in a good way) and pile up all of those foods on top of is awesome! And when they taste as good as the new Caramelised Onion or Sesame, Cumin & Coriander Huntley & Palmers Baked Flatbreads – even better!

I find it a delicious challenge coming up with meals that are both simple to prepare and involve as little cooking as possible especially when it comes to Sunday afternoons, and it is a bit of a tradition at home to have shared snack plate dinners at home on a Sunday (I am not a fan of cooking roasts, I just like to eat them!)

Using the new Caramelised Onion and Sesame, Cumin & Coriander Huntley & Palmers Baked Flatbreads I have come up with an easy-to-prepare snack plate dinner that involves lots of fresh vegetables and only a very little bit of cooking.

Psssssst, when you have finished reading make sure to get yourself in the draw for the perfect summer entertaining GIVEAWAY!

flatbreads3To match with the Caramelised Onion Baked Flatbreads I put together a simple selection of prosciutto, blue cheese, rocket and some lightly sautéed (this is the only cooking needed) asparagus in lemon juice, garlic and pepper and for those who don’t like asparagus some sliced green apple. The taste of caramelised onion really shines through in these crackers and they are just as delicious on their own.
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To match with the Sesame, Cumin & Coriander Baked Flatbreads I whipped up a quick guacamole – with just the juice of one large lime and some salt & pepper and then a mexican corn & bean salsa, then had some chopped fresh chillies & coriander on the side to add. Spread the guacamole on the flatbread, then add some salsa and top with chillies and coriander if you like it a little hot.

For the mexican salsa:

– 1 can of sweet corn kernels drained and rinsed
– 1 can of kidney beans drained and rinsed (any beans or legumes can be used here)
– 1 TBSP of olive oil
– the juice of 1 large lime
– finely sliced red onion as much or little as you like
– 2 medium tomatoes diced
– 1 small red pepper diced
– salt & pepper to season

This salsa tastes best if let to sit for an hour or 2 but can be eaten straight away also. And if you have any leftover it’s great the next day for lunch, YUM!

I have a few essential dinner snack plate ingredients that are always on the shopping list, these are:

  • a selection of good cheeses think brie, aged cheddar and harvati
  • fresh vegetables carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, celery, snow peas or radishes
  • fresh fruit: sliced apples, strawberries, grapes, pears think of flavours that match the cheese you choose
  • a good cracker, Huntley & Palmers Baked Flatbreads are perfect
  • pickled onions, olives, sundried tomatoes, gherkins and artichoke hearts
  • salami, ham, prosciutto, cold roast chicken or marinated mussels
  • a selection of dips & condiments either home-made, store bought or a mixture of both

Put all or some of the above ingredients onto a platter or large serving board depending on how many people you are serving making sure to put things like the olives or gherkins into little bowls to keep them from making too much mess, include a few good cheese knives and you have the perfect easy going dinner and there is no cooking involved! WINNING!!!

The Huntley & Palmers Baked Flatbreads are so yummy both with lots of toppings, a simple dip or even just on their own. They are definitely on the shopping list from now on and will be coming camping these summer holidays for sure!

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COMP CLOSED – Winner is Clare Jennings, please email here or PM me through my Facebook page here with your best delivery address. YAY!!!

Thanks to Huntley & Palmers I have the perfect summer entertaining GIVEAWAY up for grabs, which includes my essential dinner snack plate goodies – a wooden serving board, 2 lovely cheese knives, a few little serving bowls and of course a couple of packets of the new Caramelised Onion and Sesame, Cumin & Coriander Flatbread by Huntley & Palmers.

Comment below and tell me the toppings you would most like to eat on a Huntley & Palmers Flatbread. Get in quick! The Winner will be announced here on the blog on Thursday December 10th!ABM_1448249277

Thanks to Huntley & Palmers for making this post possible.

delicious carrot cake – have your cake & eat your veggies too!

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 Have your cake and eat…..your fruit & veggies too! I have ALWAYS loved carrot cake and after figuring out the secret ingredient that gives it that delicious rich flavour I have also been playing around with the recipe to give it my own twist too.

So firstly the secret to getting that rich, almost caramel type flavour in your carrot cake is Chelsea Raw Sugar, is really does make all the difference, unlike refined white sugar, raw sugar retains its natural syrup coating which gives it a golden colour and adds an extra depth to baking and cooking, perfect for baking a delicious carrot cake!

And to celebrate me perfecting the carrot cake with raw sugar, I will share with you my latest take on it . For this recipe I have added some extra vegetables and some fruit too.

Oh and at the end of this post there is a competition too, so make sure you enter to WIN 🙂

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CARROT & ZUCCHINI CAKE

Ingredients:

For the cake –
3/4 cup of self raising flour
3/4 cup of wholemeal flour
1 TBSP baking soda
1 cup Chelsea Raw Sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 free range eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups walnuts
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini/courgette
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (thoroughly drained)

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For the icing –
150 grams cream cheese (not spreadable)
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups of Chelsea Icing Sugar
50 grams of softened butter

For the topping-
This can be as little or as much as you like, I used:
pumpkin seeds
raw pistachios
dried appricots
dried cranberries
freeze dried blueberries

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Method –

Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C conventional or 160ºC fan forced.
Sift flours, spices and soda into a large mixing bowl.
Lightly beat the eggs and add to mixture then add the remaining ingredients and stir until just combined (do not beat)
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth out the surface.
Bake for 1 hour or until cooked, best to check with a skewer. Once removed from oven, allow the cake to cool completely before icing.

For the icing use a beater or mixer, add the cream cheese, lemon zest and butter then add a little of the icing sugar slowly as you mix it until you get the consistency right and a smooth consistency. Ice the cooled cake and decorate with all, some or none of the topping options above.

This cake is moist and so delicious, a favourite with everyone in my house, the kids thinks it’s funny that there are vegetables in their cake, I love the addition of pineapple and the raw sugar really does give the cake extra depth and a rich flavour.

This recipe is an adaptation of our favourite carrot cake recipe which you can find here

COMP CLOSED – Winner is Annie Anderson, please email me with your best delivery address here or PM on the MBS Facebook Page 

I have a really cool $50 Chelsea pack which contains a variety of Chelsea Sugars and Syrups to GIVEAWAY to one lucky reader! To enter comment below with your all time favourite cake and make sure like the Facebook post here as well to get in the draw and for an extra chance to win, share this recipe with your friends on Facebook tagging MyBelovedStyle when you do!

The winner will be announced here on the blog on November 27th (NZ residents only sorry)

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Thanks to Chelsea Raw Sugar for making this post possible

our favourite snack plate choices

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will know that we are a family of snack plate lovers and my children especially love to eat snack plates and help to make them too. We are always mixing up what we have on our snack plates but we definitely have a few firm favourite choices that appear on almost every one! These faves cover most of the food groups and also provide lots of colour and variety too.

  1. Vegetables – In our house the top 2 are carrots and cucumber, they are easy for the girls to help prepare & we can cut them into cool shapes. Some days they are the only vegetables they will eat, no joke the carrots and cucumber appear on every snack plate and on the side of every meal too – homemade pizzas or a curry with a side of carrots and cucumber is the norm here.  snack plates6
  2. Fruit – Our number 1 fave fruit would have to be apples, but not just any old floury apple (nothing worse), it has to be Yummy Apples! They have been grown in NZ, for NZ by the same family since 1862!! My girls know to look out for the Yummy sticker to guarantee it will be a super tasty, fresh & crunchy apple because Yummy pride themselves on delivering crunchy apples all year round. There are even some great varieties available to mix it up a little, with the Lemonade & Rose apples being my girls favourites, I personally love the Mariri Red! Yummy Apples are also a great addition to our pudding snack plates, but that is another post all together 🙂snack plates5
  3. Cheese – We eat Edam here most of the time and again the girls love to help with cutting or grating, we sometimes even cut the cheese up with cookie cutters to change it up a bit.
  4. Kumara chips – Sometimes we make our own, slicing them thinly with a sharp knife or mandolin (no kids help there!) and brushing with olive oil, sprinkling with sea salt and popping in the oven at about 180 until golden & crispy and other times (mostly) we buy them.
  5. Pretzel  Sticks – A standard addition to all of our snack plates.
  6. Dried Cranberries – My girls are not big fans of raisins but LOVE dried cranberries, I try to keep these to a minimum due to their sticky sweetness but when we have our Yummy Apples on the snack plate its good to know the apples are helping to clean some of that stickiness away, I encourage the girls to leave some apple till last for this very reason.snack plates3

Snack plates can be a great way to get your kids interested in both eating healthy foods and helping to prepare them too. You can make silly faces on the plates or patterns or colour co-ordinate the foods even and when you are looking for an easy dinner option you can add some sandwiches, cold ham or a chicken drumstick and you have what we call a snack plate dinner 😉

If you make your own snack plates make sure to take a pic and share them with my over on Instagram or Facebook, I would love to see your snack plate creations!

CLOSED – WIN! WIN! WIN!

I have a $100 Prezzy Card up for grabs for one lucky reader, just tell me in the comments below what would be your must have snack plate addition, then head to the Facebook post here LIKE it and tag 2 friends you would share your snack plate with and you are in the draw!

Competition is open to NZ residents only and closes on Monday 2nd November at 8pm. The Winner will be announced here on the blog.

WINNER is Alana Steyn – please email me at aimee@mybelovedstyle.com with your best delivery address 🙂

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This post was made possible thanks to Yummy Apples but all ideas and opinions are my own

 

turkish inspired meatballs with cucumber & mint yoghurt sauce

Due to popular demand…..always wanted to say that haha! And also a little late sorry! Here is my recipe for turkish inspired meatballs with cucumber & mint yoghurt sauce.

This is a super easy recipe, I don’t really do complicated and you can even buy the yoghurt sauce rather than making it if you prefer. I serve this one way for the adults and another way for the kids.

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Ingredients & Method:

For the meatballs

  • 500 grams or so of lamb mince
  • 1/2 cup of (uncooked) couscous made following the couscous packets instructions
  • zest of one small lemon (keep the rest of the lemon for serving)
  • 1 TBS of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 block of feta cheese broken/crumbled into small pieces (this is optional but does give the meatballs a lovely flavour)

Mix all of the above ingredients except for the feta together in a large bowl, add the feta and mix through gently. Mould into small meatballs and flatten a little, then heat a little oil on a medium heat (I use rice bran) in a non stick pan and cook the meatballs in batches, some may crumble apart but they still taste good! Make sure all meatballs are cooked through, then remove & place on a paper towel/kitchen paper to soak up any extra oil.

For the yoghurt sauce

  • 1/2 cup of plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 TBS of chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup of cucumber grated, mixed with some salt & then drained through a sieve to remove excess moisture
  • 2 -3 finely chopped mint leaves
  • dried chilli flakes (optional) add to your taste
  • salt & pepper (remember if adding a lot of salt to the cucumber you won’t need much more

Put all of the ingredients together and mix, then store covered in the fridge until needed. I like to make mine in the morning ready to use that night.

To build the meal for the adults

  • turkish pita breads or in my case I used tortillas heated in a dry pan until slightly crispy
  • lettuce, I use mesculun or rocket but any lettuce will do
  • cucumber sliced
  • red onion finely sliced
  • feta cheese
  • beetroot slices – either canned or you go next level and roast your own
  • a little squeezed lemon juice

For the kids

  • turkish pita breads or tortillas as above but cut into pieces
  • cucumber sliced
  • carrot sticks
  • oven fries or homemade chips

You can put it all together in whichever order you like, my preference is a little yoghurt sauce spread over the bread then add lettuce, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, beetroot, meatballs, squeeze of lemon and then drizzle more yoghurt sauce over the top and ENJOY!

If you make these I would love to hear what you thought!

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my stir fry beef donburi

I am a total sucker for Japanese food and and even bigger sucker for those donburi meal places you see pretty much everywhere now, but not so keen on the stingy helpings of 3 shreds of carrot and 2 pieces of coriander…..I am not joking! So why not make my own I thought, its the perfect meal to give my girls with the choice of what they add themselves and therefore they get that “I made this myself” feeling and I get to have as much carrot, coriander and everything else as I like! Plus its a super simple meal to make too, with no complicated ingredients.

Here is my simple recipe for beef donburi PLUS a selection of some of my other favourite Japanese meals to make over on bite.co.nz

Ingredients:

1 cup of basmati rice (or rice of your choice) cooked as per the instructions

For the stir fried beef 

500 grams of beef rump steak – cut thinly (make sure you have a sharp knife) you can cook more or less depending on how many people you are feeding. This amount of beef served 2 adults and 2 children
1 tsp grated ginger
3 TBS Reduced Salt Soy Sauce
1 TBS Hoisin Sauce
1/4 dried chilli flakes (optional)
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
Thinly sliced red onion (optional)
Ground black pepper to taste (no salt required)
1 TBS of your preffered oil – I used rice bran oil

Method

Cut the beef thinly and place in a bowl then add the above ingredients (except the oil) mixing to combine and leaving for a good half hour or more to marinate. Once ready heat 1/2 the oil in a frying pan or wok, then add half of the marinated beef, stir fry until cooked to your preference then remove and place in a bowl. Then add the remaining oil & marinated beef and repeat cooking as per the first batch. Depending on how much beef you are cooking you may like to split this into more batches. The reason for cooking in batches is to stop the meat from stewing.

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For the salad 

You can really choose whatever you like here but my top choices are –

Cabbage purple and/or green thinly sliced
Carrot grated
Bean sprouts
Celery thinly sliced (I use a mandolin)
Cucumber sliced
Fresh Pineapple chopped
Sugar snap peas chopped
Red chillies
Coriander
Cashews and/or peanuts

Other options are avocado, diced apple, broccoli, beetroot, peas, lettuce, tomato or whatever you like really.

Dressings/Sauces

Japanese Mayo
Siracha

Again you can really choose what you prefer here but the addition of Japanese Mayo really makes it!

To serve 

Place the cooked rice in the bottom of the bowl, then add the salads you like and then the meat. Add the Japanese Mayo & Siracha then top with more coriander, cashews and chillies.

ENJOY!

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As I said I LOVE Japanese food and am trying to increase the Japanese inspired meals I can cook at home, when looking for inspiration I always turn to bite first, it is so easy to search for the meals I want to make and also store them as favourites and in collections to go back to later, plus so many of the meals are from some of my favourite kiwi chefs such as Nadia Lim, Sachie Nomura, Al Brown & Libby Weaver!

You can register at bite.co.nz to become a part of New Zealand’s largest favourite Foodie community and create your own collection of recipes and save all of your favourites too.

Here are some of my next go to Japanese meals to make from bite, saved in my Japanese collection:

Pork and Kimchi Gyoza by Grant Allen

Chicken Karaage by Warren Elwin

Salmon Sashimi with Ponzu by Nadia Lim

Japanese Style Pickled Vegetables by Bevan Smith

Miso Ramen Noodle Soup and Gyudon Bento by Sachie Nomura

bitenz japanese

COMPETITION CLOSED – Winner is BRENDA HELLIWELL – I want to try that pie!!! Please email me at aimee@mybelovedstyle.com with your best delivery address and I will get your prize on its way to you!

I have a $100 Prezzy Card to GIVEAWAY, just LIKE the My Beloved Style Facebook page tell me in the comments below your favourite meal to cook for the family, then tag a friend or 2 in the Facebook post here and you are in the draw to win.

Competition is open to NZ residents only and will be drawn on the evening of Saturday 26th September.

a match made in lemon & yoghurt heaven

As previously mentioned we currently have an abundance of lemons and mandarins to get through & I refuse to let them go to waste, so next on my list of things to make with citrus is my lemon and mandarin curd, which also happens to be my absolute favourite pancake or muesli topping to serve with beautiful natural yogurt made in my new EasiYo mini maker, its a match made in lemon & yogurt heaven!

The new EasiYo mini maker makes 500g at a time, and uses the NEW 500g SIZE SACHETS especially made for this mini yogurt maker. The new mini maker means less waste and easy storage and is available at New World and Pak n Save supermarket nationwide.

To make my lemon & mandarin curd you only need 5 simple ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, using 2 whole eggs and just the yolks from the other 2
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 80 grams of unsalted butter – chilled
  • zest and juice of 4 small mandarins or clementine oranges
  • zest and juice of 1 lemonlemon curd yoghurt12

Method: Heat a medium sized saucepan filled about half way with water. In a glass bowl (that will sit safely over the saucepan, but do not place over the heat yet) whisk the 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks with the sugar until smooth, then place the bowl over the saucepan of boiling water and add the butter, juice & zest and whisk continuously until thickened. The best way to tell if it is ready is that is sticks thickly to the back of a spoon, I find it normally takes between 10 – 15 minutes of whisking. Once thickened remove from the heat and let the lemon curd cool, once cooled put into sterilised jars and keep in the fridge for 2 -3 weeks if it lasts that long (it doesn’t in our house!)

Serve with EasiYo natural, vanilla or greek yogurt on top of muesli, weetbix or pancakes or whatever you like really.

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My current favourite go to snack is made placing a layer of  frozen blueberries & chia seeds on the bottom of the EasiYo lunch taker (or a mini mason jar) then a layer of natural or greek EasiYo yogurt, topped with the lemon & mandarin curd DELICIOUS!

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-BabyYo Mini Maker with Breville Hand Mixer

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Winners are Amby Cowe & Melyssa Duffster

Please email me at aimee@mybelovedstyle.com with your best delivery address 🙂

Thanks to EasiYo I have 2 awesome packs to GIVEAWAY – the prize packs include EasiYo’s new mini yogurt maker, two packs of mini yogurt sachets and a Breville Control Grip stick mix. Value $150 (see the prize in the pic above)

To enter just tell me in the comments below your favourite food to pair with EasiYo yogurt and you are in the draw, be sure to tag a friend in the facebook post here too so that they can get themselves in the draw as well.

COMPETITION CLOSED

This post was made possible by EasiYo. The views expressed above by the author(s) are 100% honest and to the best of their knowledge at time of publication. 

 

a pizza party

Some years I go all out for birthdays and other years I go quite the opposite, this year I decided to go for something in the middle and make things easy for myself where possible. It was Miss now 4’s turn for a ‘real’ party this year which in our house means a party at home and inviting a few of your friends. When I asked Miss 4 what kind of party she would like her first answer was ‘Frozen!’ which made me groan inside, so I asked again if there were any other ideas and a pizza party with lollipops was the next answer so we went with that 😉

Planning was fairly simple we came up with a guest list that I managed to keep under control, it was decided that the kids could all make their own pizzas and a request for a lollipop cake was made.

To make things simple I contacted the lovely Julie at Pop Roc Parties who pointed me in the direction of her wonderful Pinterest Boards for some inspiration and who also has the BEST selection of party supplies ever, plus Pop Roc Parties have recently started hiring out of their fantastic gear! So that was all of the party wares sorted!

party table set up
party table set up – red gingham bunting hired from Pop Roc Parties

In regards to the cake my first plan was to have one made by someone else for the first time ever, unfortunately that plan fell through due to unforeseen circumstances and rather than put myself in the usual position of baking and then decorating a cake until 2 in the morning , I went with what I think is the best way to have your cake & eat it too, which is to buy fresh baked sponge from the supermarket, sandwich 3 or 4 layers together with fresh whipped cream and strawberry jam and then decorate it yourself. I googled the best way to make butter-cream icing and  found a great recipe with thorough instructions here, so easy & SOOOO GOOD! Had a bit of a go at piping some icing too – not great but not bad and then I covered that cake in lollies and sprinkles and flowers from the garden and was told by Miss 4 it was the best cake ever (even missing the lollipops – they were just way too big for the cake!)  and everyone at the party enjoyed it too!

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the lolly covered cake (no relation to pizza at all!)

For the pizzas I used Laucke pizza base mix, bunged it in the bread maker, let it rest then rolled out the bases the night before, coating each one in some semolina flour then I stacked them up using a piece of baking paper in between each one, wrapped them in a tea towel, stuck something heavy on top to try and stop them from rising to much and hoped for the best. The had risen a fair bit in the morning but they ender up working really well and tasted delicious. I prepped all of the toppings the night before and stored them in little enamel bowls hired from Pop Roc Parties, the kids then spread their pizzas with pizza sauce (the pre made supermarket kind) and covered their pizzas in whatever they chose from the selection, cooking the pizzas proved difficult as of course I could not have them all ready at the same time, but serving them in mini pizza take away boxes went down well.

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pizza toppings

To use up more lemons we juiced a whole lot, added a little honey and lots of soda water in a large mason jar drink dispenser super easy!

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mini milk bottles and crates hired from Pop Roc Parties

For the party bags we just used brown paper bags with a red paper doily stapled over the top – we popped in a lollipop, whittaker mini chocolate bar, balloon, parachute man and one of those really annoying party blower things (sorry parents!)

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party bags

All in all the party was a success I feel and I did not feel stressed once – okay maybe just a little here and there, but most importantly Miss 4 had a great time! Her face says it all!

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my birthday girl!

You can see some more of my birthday cake decorating ideas here.

 

 

homemade cough syrup

So last week I put the call out on my facebook page to see if anyone had any great home remedies for the coughs that seem to be bothering pretty much every little person I now right now, and wow so many great responses with some great ideas of things to try (you can see the actual post here)

Top of the list was either Vicks or a little eucalyptus oil on the soles of the feet with some socks over the top. I have actually been using some Badger Aromatic Chest Rub on both chest and feet and this seems to be helping, its not cheap and I am going to look at making my own…..so stay tuned for that one.

I have also been keeping the girls room warm and making sure any water they have to drink before bed is warm or room temperature rather than the ice cold they normally insist on.

But I have to say the best tip I was given was a little recipe for home-made cough syrup from Amilie who had been given it by her GP awhile back. This sounded so easy to make and using only 4 ingredients I had to give it a try and thought I would share it here for anyone else who might like to give it a go. The recipe says this is for children under 6 (but I think I might be using it for myself even) and for children under 12 months DO NOT add the honey. It also says this mixture is for a mild sore throat and/or cough with no signs of chest infection or breathing impairment, so always let common sense prevail and have your child or yourself seen by a professional first in such circumstances.

homemadecoughsyrup

Ingredients

– 2 tablespoons of fresh orange or lemon juice – I used half a lemon and 1 mandarin (YAY another way to use up the abundance we have of these at the moment!)
– 2 tablespoons of Honey – I used local Earthbound raw manuka honey
– 1 tablespoon of Glycerine/Glycerol – easily purchased at your chemist
– 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil – I just used some extra virgin olive oil I had in the pantry

Method

– Mix it all together, my girls did this part and then give 1/2 – teaspoon 2 -3 times a day.
– Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Oh and to finish may I just say BRING ON SUMMER!

oranges aND lemons

 

Jaffa inspired chocolate & mandarin layered puddings

So last week I decided to use up as many mandarins as possible and made a mandarin & chocolate cake as well as some mandarin jellies, and well from there I decided to combine the 2 and make some jaffa inspired chocolate mandarin layered puddings using a little gem I discovered at the supermarket – Meadow Fresh Chocolate Mousse, I was actually there to buy the ready made cheesecake mix (which I did as well! I love easy desserts!) and then saw the mousse and had to have it too!

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So anyway to make the puddings I first made up a packet of Greggs Orange Jelly as per the instructions, I then poured the jelly into the bottom of 10 glasses (I did not eat them all myself I made them for my sisters birthday dinner) and added mandarin segments to the jelly mixture while the water was still hot, I probably used about 15 mandarins here but its up to you how many you want to add to the jelly. I then put the glasses of jelly into the fridge to set over night.

jaffa pudding

Next morning I made up the chocolate mousse which was a simple as emptying the carton into a bowl and beating it with a mixer as per the instructions, I did add some mandarin zest and a little juice from the mandarin to give the mousse some subtle orange flavour. I then spooned the mousse into the glasses on top of the jelly and returned them to the fridge to set for rest of the day.

Just before heading to my sisters place for dinner I added the mandarin & chocolate cake (recipe here) which I had cut into pieces over the top and as easy as that I had my jaffa puddings. You could go even simpler and just add ice-cream to the top, maybe some orange choc chip (oh I am so trying that!) or chocolate or vanilla OR you could just eat the jelly and mousse on its own, either way this pudding is DELICIOUS! Try it you won’t regret it!

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mandarin & chocolate cake

Our neighbours mandarin tree is literally covered in mandarins or clementine oranges as some call them. My girls visit almost daily to pick some of the mandarins and we now have plenty, in fact enough to be able live off mandarins alone for weeks, so I have had to find different ways to use them up aside from just eating them of course. We have made our own “fanta” squeezed mandarins and soda water, mandarins in orange jelly and now cake. I bought some of the new Cadburys Jaffas chocolate and that is what inspired me to look for a classic chocolate & orange combination recipe, so that I could make a mandarin & chocolate cake.mandarin cake

The cake I made used a Nigella Lawson recipe I found here. I replaced the oranges with 8 small mandarins, and only boiled them for an hour rather than 2 as of course they are a lot smaller than oranges, note the first time I completely burnt mandarins YUCK! so make sure to keep an eye on them and replenish the water if need be, one way to get through the mandarins I guess.mandarin cake

I also only blitzed the mandarins in the food processor then removed them and mixed the rest with my mixer, rather than leave in the food processor, it did not take much to mix at all and then into the oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on your over, I made sure to set the timer to 40 minutes so that I could check the cake rather than leave it any longer and at 44 minutes (yes I am exact) the cake was done. Expect it to be a little gooey but still stay together.

This cake is seriously delicious and tastes just perfect on its own, I did not put any icing or syrup over the top it really doesn’t need it.

mandarin cake