Quick Apple Dumplings

If you want a quick fix for Apple Pie but don’t have the time, then this recipe is perfect. These dumplings are very easy to make and hardly take any time at all to prepare. The smell of apples and cinnamon is just so lovely!

Apples with cinnamon and raisins are rolled up in a simple pastry and baked in a sugar syrup. The dumplings are baked in their own sugar syrup which forms a sauce. It’s simply delicious!

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Instead of making the pastry, you can also use two cups of biscuit mix. I used Granny Smith apples and I didn’t peel them. They were just as delicious. If you have a day off from work, then this is just the project for you.

This recipe makes around 20 dumplings.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 45 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups flour

11/2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp melted butter

½ cup milk

2 apples, cored and diced finely

½ cup raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup sugar

Extra butter for spreading

Sugar syrup

11/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 C. Grease enough muffin pans.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together into a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well. Add the milk to form a smooth dough. Adjust the milk accordingly, adding a little at a time. Use more milk if needed. Knead briefly and set aside.

Mix the apples, raisins, cinnamon and sugar well. Roll out half the dough into a rectangle about ½ inch thick on a floured board. Spread some butter over the surface and spread half of the apple mixture over it. Roll up and cut into 3/4th inch slices. Repeat with the remaining dough and apple filling.

For the syrup, heat the sugar and water together in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat until it starts boiling. Remove from heat.

Pour about two tablespoons of the sugar syrup into each muffin tin and place the apple roll in it. Repeat with the remaining syrup and apple rolls. Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Apricot Passion Fruit Slice

A refreshing change, this unusual combination of dried apricots with Passion fruit makes it an extra special dish to serve for a festive breakfast. A sweet treat for your guests for the New year or for any occasion really! You could also serve this as a dessert – either way it’s delicious.

As you bite into it, the sweetness of the apricots mixed with the tangy flavour of the passion fruit is lovely.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes

Ingredients

140 g rolled oats

125 g brown sugar

125 g wholemeal self-raising flour

185 g butter, melted

2 tsp grated lemon rind

Filling

155 g dried apricots, chopped

125 ml (4 fl oz) water

60 ml (2 fl oz) passion fruit pulp

2 tbsp sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease a shallow 7X11 inches cake tin.

Place the oats, sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in the butter and lemon rind and mix together. Press half the mixture on the base of the tin.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the apricots are soft and all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Spread evenly over the oat mixture.

Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the filling and bake for 40 minutes or until browned and crisp. Cut into slices and serve warm with a dollop of cream or yogurt.

Gingerbread Banana Cheesecake

This gingerbread flavoured cheesecake makes it a special finale for a dinner party. The creamy banana filling with bits of ginger candy is really delicious and complements the ginger base beautifully.

I didn’t crush the biscuits finely for the base and this made it more interesting while eating it. The base was extra crunchy and tasty. I decorated it with leaves from my lime tree. Holly leaves will make it perfect at this time of the year.

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A delightfully refreshing treat. This recipe was adapted from Fruit Fandango by Moya Clarke.

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PREP: 40 minutes SERVES: 6-8

Ingredients

250 gms ginger cookies, crushed

6 tbsp butter

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp mixed spice

3 bananas

1 tbsp vegetarian gelatin/Agar Agar

1 cup cream cheese

2/3 cup double cream

2 tbsp clear honey

2 tsp lime juice

2 tbsp candied ginger, chopped

1 Kiwi, peeled and sliced thinly

Lime/Holly leaves to decorate

Instructions

Line the base of a 8 inch spring clip pan with parchment.

Melt the butter in a small pan. Add it to the crushed cookies along with the cinnamon and mixed spice and mix well. Press the crumbs evenly on to the base of the pan and up the sides. Allow to set for about 15-20 minutes.

Mash the bananas and mix them with the gelatin, cream cheese, cream, honey, lime juice and chopped candied ginger. Scoop this gently into the biscuit base. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.

Decorate with the kiwi slices and leaves. I painted the leaves with a little egg white and sprinkled some icing sugar on it.

Gateaux De Riz Au Figues

Rice pudding exists in several countries in varied forms – please see the link below for a brief history on rice pudding.

http://writinginthekitchen.com/2017/10/08/a-brief-history-of-rice-pudding/

India itself has several forms of rice pudding, with each region having their own take on it. In South India, a form of rice pudding called ‘Pongal’ is made for the Harvest Festival which occurs in January each year. This is flavoured with jaggery and has nuts and raisins in it and is scented with ghee and cardamom. Another form of sugar, called rock candy or rock sugar can also be used to flavour rice. The flavour is really distinctive. An Indian rice pudding, called ‘kheer’ or ‘payasam’ is also very popular. It can be made with milk or coconut milk.

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I got this recipe from http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2011/08/recipe-gluten-free-fig-gateau-de-riz.html .

However, I used basmati rice. I think that it really makes a difference – the aroma of basmati rice is unique and so is the flavour. It elevates the dish and I used jaggery instead of brown sugar and added ghee and cardamom powder. I also served it with chocolate sauce. The figs looked superb and the dish tasted wonderful. This is so easy to make and it can be made in advance and heated up whenever you want to serve it. It’s also gluten free.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice

1 cup water

13/4 cups coconut milk

½ tsp salt

2/3 cup jaggery

6 large eggs

1/3 cup ghee/butter

1 tsp cardamom powder/vanilla essence

20 small figs, sliced thinly

Chocolate sauce/Sweetened cream

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper.

Soak the basmati rice in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of coconut milk for 15 minutes with the salt. Cook in a rice cooker until the rice is cooked. Do not overcook. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Combine the jaggery, eggs, ¾ cup coconut milk, ghee and cardamom powder. Add this mixture to the rice and mix until well combined. Spoon into the prepared baking dish and arrange the figs on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until it is lightly browned on top. Serve hot with chocolate sauce or a dollop of sweetened cream.

Flapjack Brownies

Chocolate is always a crowd pleaser and brownies showcase it so beautifully. Whether you’re baking for a bake sale or for dessert, this recipe is a winner.

A gooey flapjack base, a fudgy chocolate brownie above it and the whole thing is blanketed with this delicious chocolate icing on top – this brownie is just so decadent. A bite of this deliciously moist and dense dessert is heavenly and you will understand why this recipe is a winner!

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I used milk chocolate for this recipe but you could also use dark chocolate.

It’s so easy to prepare and you will want to make this again and again. Just forget about counting calories for now – go ahead and indulge your sweet tooth.

This recipe makes around 16 brownies.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 35 minutes

Ingredients

For the base

½ cup flour

¼ tsp soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup oats

½ cup brown sugar

6 tbsp butter

For the second layer

4 tbsp butter

30 gms milk chocolate

2/3 cup flour

¾ cup sugar

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup milk

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup chopped walnuts

For the topping

2 tbsp butter

30 gms milk chocolate

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Prepare a 10 inch baking square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

For the base, sift the ½ cup flour, soda and salt together. Add the oats and brown sugar and mix well. Melt the 6 tablespoons butter and stir it into the oat mixture. Press the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.

For the next layer, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and chocolate together over a very gentle heat or in a bain marie. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter on the oat layer and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool.

Melt the butter for the topping together with the chocolate and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until it is of spreading consistency, adding a small amount of warm water, a tablespoon at a time (I added about 4 tablespoons). Frost the brownies with this mixture, spreading the topping to the corners of the pan evenly. When the frosting is set, cut into squares.

Krem

A classic, this Swedish dessert is so simple to make. The flavour of the grapes is so subtle and the combination of grapes and cinnamon is just perfect. The flavours complement each other so beautifully.

Grape juice and cornflour cooked together – just these ingredients produce this melt in the mouth dessert. It was an instant hit with my family and they all just disappeared. A lovely ending to an impromptu get together or after a heavy meal.

A really creamy and delicious dessert minus the dairy – a vegan treat. It could also be made with other fruit juices as well.

This recipe made 5 servings of the dessert.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups grape juice

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cornflour

Cinnamon

Instructions

Combine the sugar and cornflour with about three tablespoons of water, blending well. Bring the grape juice to a boil over gentle heat and add the cornflour mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until thickened. Spoon the mixture into individual dessert dishes and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Refrigerate until it’s ready to serve.