‘I have taken to using gram flour (chick pea flour) as often as I can and I promise that you will be hooked. I first came across Socca in Nice, but I am told that in Italy they are known as farinata. The trick: if you do not have a cast iron pan, you can use any non-stick pan or pancake pan and,…
Source: Savoury Flatbreads
I use dried soya beans for this recipe and the best way is to soak them overnight. You can always speed up the cooking process by adding a quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda once the water reaches boiling point. For the burgers you will need: 2 cups cooked soya beans1 medium onion,…
Source: Recipe: Soya Bean Burgers
‘The feast before the fast is with us again and you can watch my good friend Renato Briffa make traditional Prinjolata from an old recipe passed on to him by his dad who owned a well know confectionery in Old Mint Street Valletta between 1956 and 1987. ‘
And to make his prinjolata you will need:
2 teaspoons baking powder
a few drops of a good vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
Rub in the butter into the flour and add the baking powder, vanilla and lemon zeat.
Mix the sugar with the water until it dissolves.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well until it forms a dough.
Form the pastry into a long sausage shape and bake in the oven at 190C for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch it, do not let it burn.
Leave to cool and using a sharp knife slice them into biscotti shapes.
For the butter cream you will need:
900 g Butter
1200g icing sugar
6 drops vanilla
Beat together in a electric mixer until it becomes a smooth butter icing
You will also need:
200g chopped dark chocolate
150g candied peel
100g roasted almonds chopped up
Mix the pastry biscotti with the butter cream and all the rest of the ingredients,
When all the ingredients are combined form the cake in the shape that you prefer. Renato builds a mountain but you can also use a circular pudding basin.
Now you will need to prepare an Italian meringue with :
285 g egg white
Place the sugar in a sauce pan and just add enough water until all the sugar can soak,
Mix with a wooden spoon.
As soon as it comes to boil add e egg whites and whisk with an e,extricating beater until it reaches the hard ball stage. I do this by using a sugar thermometer which is clearly marked ‘hard ball stage’ so it’s very easy this way. Add the egg whites and mix at low speed for 3 minutes.
Cover the cake generously with the meringue and it will set and slightly
You will also need:
200g dark melted chocolate
100g glacé cherries, halved
Decorate the Carnival cake by drizzling melted dark chocolate all over and pressing the halved cherries all around … Sprinkle pine nuts all over…
All ingredients can be found at GS Superstore in Naxxar
‘Another great advantage of living on a small island is fresh fish.
My fishmonger at the Farmers Market recommended skate (‘Hamiema’) this week and how underrated it is.
It needs very little cooking time and for those that do not like the idea of picking bones this is ideal. Succulent, soft and moist flesh literally slides off the cartilage; a delicate flavor and to retain its natural moistness, it is best cooked at a high temperature for as little time as possible.’
And for my roasted skate you will need:
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Toss the cherry tomatoes in some olive oil. Season the skate with salt and pepper and place on the roasting dish. Top with half the tomatoes, half the capers and half the olives. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Roast for 10 to 15 minutes in a very hot oven.
Garnish with the rest of the fresh tomatoes, capers and olives, more freshly ground pepper and some chopped fresh basil.
It is delicious as it is or you can also make a light dressing of 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard, juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil and some more capers. Whisk them all together and pour over the skate just before serving.
‘We are so lucky here, fruit in our kitchen bowls and vegetables on our dinner plates on the same day of harvest and fish available to us on the same day of the catch.
It cannot get much fresher than this.’
Burrata is made up of a mix of fresh mozzarella and cream and originates in Puglia, Italy. A thin, but tough, mozzarella film encases the soft and creamy content and it is now flown to Malta directly from Puglia every day and can be found in most supermarkets. You can find it plain or smoked,…
Source: Have you tried Burrata yet?
Cake Nua just out of the oven. When you make it at home allow it to cool before sharing :)
‘I love the idea of baking a cake with its own filling.
This week’s cake contains pockets of cannoli filling; the filling is piped into the cake batter and the batter encases the filling during baking. On tv due to time constraints, we sliced the cake during the show as it came out of the oven and therefore you cannot see the cake at its best. Allow it to cool completely before slicing it and you will have neat pockets of cannoli filling embedded in your madeira type cake’
You will need:
250g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate
100g sugar or stevia, check the label for conversion
seeds of a vanilla pod
2 tablespoons yoghurt
1 tablespoon organic apple vinegar
Cream the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until the mixture is creamy and white.
Mix the eggs, yoghurt, organic apple vinegar and add them to the butter and sugar mixture, little by little, until they are well blended. Use low speed.
In large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Use a metal spoon to fold in the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
Pour the batter into the cake dish.
For the filling: Mix all the ingredients together and place in a piping bag with no nozzle. Pipe in the filling into the cake, leaving some space between each pocket of cannoli filling.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 40 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before cutting up.
‘from Turkey to Israel, this Middle Eastern dip originates from Egypt and has become the most popular dip in the world today.
So many versions around but I always follow the Lebanese recipe from my childhood. The difference in my recipe today is that instead of using chickpeas I use gram flour [chickpea flour or besan] which gives a creamier texture and is so economical and easy to make’
You will need:
- 1 cup gram flour
- 2 cups water
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- a pinch of paprika and another pinch for garnish
- 50ml yoghurt
- salt and pepper
Add the water to the sifted chickpea flour and use a hand whisk to mix. Place in a saucepan over very low heat and keep whisking so that you have a smooth texture with no lumps. Keep adding water if necessary. There is no magic formula for this recipe and I found that absorption of liquids depends on the freshness of the flour and the humidity in the environment. Keep stirring and bring it to a boil. It will thicken but you do not want a very stiff texture. Add more water and stir.
Remove from heat and completely cool down. It will set to a jelly-like texture.
Once completely cool, and you can store this in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week, place the mixture in a food processor or use a hand held blender. Add all the remaining ingredient. Blend until you get a very smooth puree and if necessary add more water. There is no need to add more oil or more tahini. The texture should be thick and creamy.
Transfer to a container and refrigerate for an hour. Add a few drops of olive oil just before serving with pitta bread, water biscuits and vegetable crudites.
‘It is also delicious with grilled meats.’
‘Simplicity is always best and if you have not yet tasted Burrata make a point of doing so :). You will then find out why it is known as the queen of cheeses’
For 2 persons will need:
To assemble, cut the burrata in half.
Arrange on a plate
Scatter orange zest and drizzle agave or honey. Garnish with mint leaves.