Quick frozen desserts in today’s Sunday Times


You will find recipes for my easy summer frozen desserts in today’s Sunday Times of Malta.  This photo was taken by Stefan Stafrace during a live tv show.

‘Food gives us enjoyment when we prepare it, share it and eat it. During our hot summer days, there is nothing more welcoming than a frozen dessert. Preparing desserts should be fun, but so many people seem to get overwhelmed..

Source: Sunday Times: Quick frozen desserts


My ice cream comes from Carrefour at GS Superstore, fresh fruit by Big Fresh,  spices by Schwartz, icing sugar by St Georges Brand and kitchenware by Tescoma.

Baked bananas with Quick Banana Ice Cream

baked bananas 3

Baked Bananas with Soft Serve pure bananas on a bed of blackberries and strawberries [Fruit by Big Fresh, Tableware C&H Bartoli, Disposable tableware  AMC]

Hot Baked Bananas with quick Banana Ice Cream

For the baked bananas you will need:


1 banana each portion
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon of your favourite liquor or use 1 tablespoon aronia liquid concentrate
1 tablespoon muscovado sugar
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 vanilla stick
1/4 teaspoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon butter


Prepare an ovenproof dish with non stick baking spray.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Peel the bananas and slice in half lengthwise.  Lay them on the ovenproof dish. Mix together the vanilla and liquor or aronia, cinnamon, olive oil, melted butter,  nutmeg, lime juice and rum and pour half of the mixture evenly over the bananas. Sprinkle the muscovado sugar over the bananas. Drizzle the remainder of the liquid ingredients on top. Cook in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.

For the banana ice cream you will need:

Allow half a ripe banana per portion
¼ teaspoon fresh lime juice

To serve: Fresh raspberries, strawberries and blackberries

Peel the bananas and chop them roughly. Add the lime juice.
Cover with cling film and freeze for a couple of hours. Add the vanilla
Use a hand blender to process the bananas.
The mixture will break up, keep going and eventually this will turn creamy and very thick, just like soft serve ice cream. You can also put in an airtight container and freeze to solidify like traditional ice cream or serve as it is.

To assemble:

Scatter some fresh blackberries and strawberries onto the serving dish.  Lay 2 baked banana halves on top of the berries.  Then pipe some soft serve banana ice cream or use a tablespoon if you have refrozen it.  Dust with icing sugar and serve.

This recipe is gluten free.



Burrata with Strawberries and Orange Zest

Burrata and strawberries

Simplicity is best: Burrata with Strawberries and Orange zest topped with Agave Syrup Photo: Illumina Media

‘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:

burrata (I use small individual ones)
Lots of fresh strawberries and orange zest
Agave or honey

To assemble, cut the burrata in half.
Arrange on a plate
Scatter orange zest and drizzle agave or honey.  Garnish with mint leaves.

burrata and strawberries goodfoodeveryday

As seen on TV, Fresh Burrata from Puglia is flown in to Malta every day, Photography Illumina Media


Raw Carrot Gluten Free Coconut Balls

‘Sweet potatoes are grown locally and they are becoming more popular as an ingredient.  The variety we used for this recipe had white flesh and if you use sweet potato with yellow flesh instead, the coconut balls will be a brighter yellow.  There are so many varieties of sweet potato and I believe our white ones here are known as the ‘Hannah’ variety.’

fit for a queen carrot

During the kids corner in the kitchen, they made Carrot Coconut Balls

For the Carrot Coconut balls you will need:

3 cups of sweet potato, cooked and mashed
3 cups coconut
5 tablespoons honey
1/2 packet apricots
1/2 vanilla pod
1 cup shredded carrots
a grating of nutmeg
a pinch of ginger
1 pinch of mixed spice
grated zest of an orange
2 cups coconut to cover

Mix all the ingredients together. Use a hand blender to make a smooth paste. Leave in the refridgerator for at least an hour. Form balls and roll in coconut. Leave in the fridge overnight before serving.

I use spices and vanilla by Good Earth, honey by 3 leaves and vegetables and fruit by Big Fresh Mosta

Sicilian Cuccidati, getting ready for Christmas

Sicilian Cuccidati Photography Ian Noel Pace

Sicilian Cuccidati
Photography Ian Noel Pace

I adore mince pies but this is a Sicilian version I like to add to our Christmas baking. You may find recipes for Cuccidati that require cooking the filling with added sugar. I have not added any sugar to mine and whizzed the filling to produce some amazing textures. You will need:

For the pastry

250g flour
115 g butter
80g sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon tangerine zest
2 tablespoons milk

cuccidati ian noel 3

Sicilian Cuccidati As seen on TV Photo Ian Noel Pace

Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, zest. Mix. Add the eggs and start to bind the pastry. Add the milk. A spoon at a time until you have the right consistency. Add more if necessary as the temperature and humidity levels of where you live make a difference to how much liquid the pastry needs.

For the filling
150g dried figs
1 tablespoon honey
50g raisins
100g dates
Zest of a tangerine
120g almonds, I used skinless untoasted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
35g grated dark chocolate
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons juice of a tangerine
1 tablespoon oats
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use a handheld blender to whiz into a paste. place in the fridge for an hour.

To assemble:

Divide the pastry into two pieces. Roll out it out into a long strip on a floured surface. Place the filling in a long strip in the center.

Preparing Cuccidati

Preparing Cuccidati

Roll it and seal it with a brush and some water. Cut the log into the size of your choice. I made mini rolls here but you can make longer ones and shape them into a crescent which is another traditional shape.
Place the cookies on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
If you do not intend to ice the surface, remember to brush them with egg wash before baking.

1 cup icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk
Few drops clear vanilla extract
Coloured Sprinkles

Mix the icing sugar with the milk and vanilla extract until you get a smooth paste. Drizzle over the top of the cooled down pastries. Immediately top with some sprinkles or dip them for a more intense color.

Tahini Walnut Cake with oranges and honey (lactose free)

#Tahini Walnut Cake Photography Ian Noel Pace As seen on TV

#Tahini Walnut Cake
Photography Ian Noel Pace
As seen on TV

This cake is one of my usual all-in-one, just folding in the liquids with the dry ingredients, barely mixed using a large metal spoon. I use no added sugar or butter and the cake is ready in no time at all. Result: looks great and tastes even better than it looks. All those Mediterranean flavors mingled together in a light and fluffly consistency.

A slice of Tahini Walnut Cake As seen on TV this week Photography Ian Noel Pace

A slice of Tahini Walnut Cake
As seen on TV this week
Photography Ian Noel Pace

You will need:

3 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
1 cup walnuts
1 cup sultanas
1 cup tahini with honey, I used prepacked
1 cup stevia
1 tablespoon orange liquor
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
a pinch of allspice
a pinch of cinnamon
a few drops good vanilla extra
grated zest of an orange
4 eggs
Enough water to add to the batter for dropping consistency, keep aside
1 spoon sesame seeds to sprinkle on the surface before baking

Sieve the flour in a large bowl and the bicarbonate of soda. Add the stevia, walnuts (keeping 10 walnut halves aside to decorate the top), nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and salt. Give is a good stir to mix in the ingredients to an even consistency.

In a separate bowl place the eggs, tahini with honey (I use a shop bought mix) orange liquor, fresh orange juice, vanilla extract, orange zest and sultanas. Use a hand blender to make a puree.

Add the liquid mix into the dry ingredients and fold in using a large metal spoon. Add 2 spoons of water at a time until the mixture achieves a dropping consistency (a thick consistency that drops off the spoon).

Pour the batter into a 23cm springform cake dish with a film of non stick baking spray. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on the surface and decorate with the walnut halves. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 35 minute. Check the center by piercing with a skewer. Brush the surface with teaspoon of warm honey.

Allow to cool before serving.


Bakewell Cake with Mincemeat

I’ve just finished writing a piece on the history of Victorian baking and the good old bakewell came to mind again.  This week I used more or less the same ingredients of the tart filling and with the addition of my homemade mincemeat and made a Bakewell Cake. I reduced the sugar and fat content but still left enough to give that rounded taste.

Apple Bakewell Cake

Apple Bakewell Cake

You will need:

200g ricotta
35g butter, melted (just)
250g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g ground almonds
50g finely chopped almonds
grated zest of half a lemon
juice of half a lemon
a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
a little bit of vanilla
1 tablespoon apple vinegar
Enough water added a little at a time until you achieve dropping consistency
4 eggs

For the surface
9 x 1/2 teaspoons mincemeat
35g flaked almonds
1 spoon warm honey to brush the surface after baking

Use a non stick baking spray to make a film over a loose bottomed cake mould. I used a square 18 cm loose bottomed tart dish here.

Melt the butter. Remove from the heat. Mix the lemon juice and zest. Add the vanilla and stir.

Beat the eggs. Add the ricotta and use a spoon to mix until the mixture is consistent. I used sheep’s ricotta that is so creamy and mild and stirring it in is enough. If you use a ricotta with a more compact consistency mash it beforehand. Add the apple organic vinegar stir and leave aside.

Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds and the nutmeg. Make a well in the middle and add the butter mix. Stir and fold in the ricotta mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish. Put 9 teaspoons (over an 18cm square dish) of home made jam on the surface spread evenly over the surface. Sprinkle the flaked almonds around the apple jam and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 170C.
Before the cake cools down brush with a thin film of honey.

My flour comes from St Georges Brand, flaked almonds from Good Earth, apple organic vinegar by Fiorentini, spices by Schwartz

Chocolate Coconut cake with reduced sugar and no butter

All in one chocolate coconut cake with reduced sugar

All in one chocolate coconut cake with reduced sugar

Some of my readers tell me that they are not able to get used to the taste of Stevia. Of course Stevia is not processed sugar and our tastebuds need to adjust. This chocolate coconut cake which I made during our show this week has equal quantities of sugar and stevia, with the idea of gradually eliminating sugar.

For the chocolate coconut cake you will need:

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup coconut
1 cup stevia
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup olive oil
half a cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a few drops vanilla
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
3 eggs
1 cup water

In a saucepan gently heat the yoghurt, olive oil, water, coffee powder, vanilla and sugar. Stir and do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and stir.

In a separate bowl sieve and mix together the self raising flour, coconut and stevia.

Sieve the flour

Sieve the flour

Prepare a 23 cm tin lightly greased with butter and then dusted with flour. Remove excess flour.

Mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients and fold in.

Adding eggs :)

Adding eggs 🙂

Stir in the eggs. Pour the batter into the prepared cake dish. Sprinkle coconut on the surface.

Chocolate Coconut cake prior to baking

Chocolate Coconut cake prior to baking

Bake at 160C for 35 minutes.

While it was still hot, i brushed mine with warm honey and dusted more coconut powder. The keep will keep moist for around 10 days if kept well in a air tight container.

Photography Ian Noel Pace

No knead Date and Apple Bundt

There is something I find so therapeutic about working with yeast and this week’s bake is worth trying out.

You simply need to mix the ingredients with a spoon for the dough before you go to bed, and the next morning you will wake up to a very springy, airy dough that feels so light to touch. Its amazing.

As much as I try to avoid processed sugar in most of my recipes, I find the best medium for making the most of your yeast is sugar. I know that there are alternatives but nothing achieves the same result.

No knead Date and Apple Bundt as seen on ONE TV

No knead Date and Apple Bundt as seen on ONE TV

For the Date and Apple bundt you will need:

200g dates
250g strong flour
6g instant dried yeast (around half a sached)
pinch of salt
100g sugar (and it also works well with 50g sugar and equivalent of 50g stevia)
3 tablespoons apple jam (I used local wild apples, homemade)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
125ml plain yoghurt
2 drops good vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon

Chop the dates, add the flour, instant dry yeast, salt, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, yoghurt and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon, then bring together to form a loose dough. Lightly oil a large plastic or glass container. Place the dough inside the container and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Leave to prove overnight.

In the morning you will find that the dough has risen and more than doubled in size. Place on a lightly covered surface and bring together. Cut in half.

Grease a bundt tin and dust some flour in it.

Take half the dough and stretch it into a long cylinder. Bring the two ends together, join and drop into the bundt tin. On top of the dough add the apple jam and then with the other half of the dough repeat the process, pull to a long shape, join up the ends together and drop into the bundt tin on top of the apple jam. This means that you will have the apple jam as a layer between the two pieces of dough. Cover again with a clean dish cloth and allow to prove for an hour or until it doubles up in size.

In the meantime preheat the oven to 160C and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool. I topped my bundt with a light coating of warm honey using a pastry brush and sprinkled pistachios on top.

And with the absence of our two photographers this week during the show, Gino on holiday and Ian covering a news story, I took my bundt home to photograph at leisure. Too days later with the photos out of the way, I cut myself a piece and toasted it. Surprisingly the flavors were even better than when it was freshly baked!

Teatime by the sea, no knead Date Bundt

Teatime by the sea, no knead Date Bundt

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