Archive for November 2014 | Monthly archive page

At Nicoletta, we have had a very interesting year of attempting ‚ÄėBanting‚Äô and have endeavoured to keep at least 1 recipe per month Banting-friendly. The easiest recipe for a sweet fix over last year has to be our Banting-style Brownies – which¬†can be whipped together in 20 minutes!

Ingredients

¬ĺ cup Almond Flour 3 Tbs. Cocoa Powder 1/3¬†cup Xylitol / Honey ¬Ĺ tsp. Bicarbonate of soda Pinch of Salt Handful of assorted nuts 3 Eggs 1 tsp. Vanilla ¬ľ cup Butter, melted

Mix the dry ingredients; and add all the wet ingredients. Whisk till it is combined. Pour into a small baking dish/pan (we used a dish approx. 140mm x 220mm) and bake at 170¬įC for 15 minutes or until the brownie¬†almost does not ‚Äújiggle‚ÄĚ. Do not overcook, as the brownies will dry out quickly!

In the spirit of Christmas giving, and in light of those Banting over the silly season, we have created the perfect foodie gift ‚Äď DIY Banting-style Brownie Mix!

MAKE THE JAR MIX:

¬ĺ cup Almond Flour 3 Tbs. Cocoa Powder 1/3 cup Xylitol ¬Ĺ tsp. Bicarbonate of soda Pinch of Salt Handful of assorted nuts

Mix a quarter of the almond flour with the cocoa to create good layers. Layer the jar with 1) the almond flour, 2) the cocoa mix, 3) the xylitol, 4) top with the bicarbonate of soda and salt, 5) lastly the chopped nuts. Seal the lid tightly and add a tag with the recipe:

Contains: Almond Flour, Cocoa Powder, Xylitol, Bicarbonate of Soda, Salt, Tree Nuts

SIMPY ADD TO THE MIX:

3 Eggs ¬ľ cup Butter, melted 1 tsp. Vanilla

Whisk till it is combined. Pour into a medium baking pan and bake at 170¬įC for 15 minutes or until the brownie does not ‚Äújiggle‚ÄĚ. Happy Banting!

Here are a few tags to print for your jars:

Create your mixes ahead of the Christmas holidays and set aside for wrapping with ribbons and tags! Finish and klaar.

Our favourite way to eat it is served with Gelato Mania‚Äôs Banting and Diabetic-friendly Chocolate / Hazelnut Gelato (talk about yum!). Gelato by nature is slow churned, and results in a denser, creamier and richer product than aerated store-bought ice-cream. This Gelato screams indulgence,¬†and still¬†only contains 5.0g Carbohydrates per scoop! See these new flavours at the Gelato Mania Gelateria’s in Camp’s Bay, Green Point, Cavendish Square, V&A Waterfront, Franschhoek and¬†Hermanus.

It’s clear that this Christmas we will have everything under control. No more rushing around for last minute gifts!

We are under the spell of ‘foodie gifting’ – as we indulge in our culinary¬†proficiencies¬†to make our own sparkling jams and jellies to use as Christmas gifts, as these types of gifts are always appreciated.

This year we made a marvellous golden strawberry jam and red fruit mince by adding Gold Shimmer dust to the recipe. The Gold Shimmer is completely edible and will not dissolve, giving sparkling golden pizazz to our foodie gifts this season.

SPARKLING STRAWBERRY JAM

This recipe created a wonderfully fresh tasting strawberry jam!

Ingredients:

1kg Strawberries, hulled 750g Sugar Juice of 1 Lemon 3 Tbs. Fruit pectin (which can be purchased from your local pharmacy / health shop)

Our simple strawberry jam recipe is prepared by first coating the fresh strawberries in the sugar; leave uncovered in the fridge for up to 12 hours or overnight.

Add the lemon juice and heat the strawberry mixture in a pot on the stovetop until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil for 4 minutes, and then add the pectin. Boil for a further 1-5 minutes or until the jam coats the back of a chilled spoon (a jammy texture that sticks on the back of a cold spoon vs. an under-cooked syrup that runs off the cold spoon).

Take off the heat and pour directly into sterile jam jars. Seal the lid whilst the jam is still hot.

SPARKLING RED FRUIT MINCE

We created our own red fruit mince by combining red currant jelly, brandy and fruit juice with all the good ‚Äėbits‚Äô that go into fruit mince. This recipe is not an instant ready-to-use mince; it should be made¬†up to 1 month¬†advance, and left for the flavours to develop and deepen in the jar.¬†¬†

 Ingredients:

1/2 cup Red glacé cherries 1/2 cup Cranberries, dried 1/2 cup Golden sultanas 1/2 cup Currants 1/2 cup Dates, dried, pitted, chopped 1/4 cup Candied mixed peel 2 tsp. Lemon zest, fresh 2 tsp. Orange zest, fresh 1 tsp. Cinnamon, ground 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, ground 1/2 tsp. Ginger, ground 1 small jar Red currant jelly (condiment) 1/4 cup Apple juice 1/4 cup Lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1/4 cup Orange juice, freshly squeezed 1/4 cup Brandy (use to taste) 1/4 cup Golden syrup

Mix the liquid ingredients and dissolve the jelly in the liquid. Mix in the dried fruits, zests and spices. Transfer to an airtight container. Stir the mixture again at least 12 hours later (add extra liquid if the mixture is too dry Рthe fruit will absorb the liquid over the next month). Place in sterile dry jars for 4 weeks to allow flavours to develop, before using in your favourite recipe.

Mixture makes approx. 900g / 875 ml. This should be a great foodie gift for those who love fruit cake; or use the mince as a topping for ice-cream, or baked in fruit mince strudel, in mince pies or in Christmas muffins.

Ta daa РSpecial foodie gifts made in advance, and brimming with home-made satisfaction.

We cant get enough of the Christmas spirit, and it’s only November… To gear up for Christmas this year we are preparing ahead of time for the cooking and baking marathon that is *Christmas*.

GINGERBREAD DOUGH – TO FREEZE

Our recipe for Gingerbread is not too sweet and has a wonderfully warm spiced aroma of ginger, cinnamon and molasses. The dark rich dough that forms is perfect for freezing Рto bring out at Christmas time. Simply thaw the dough, roll out and cut out desired shapes. See our Gingerbread Men post for this recipe.

Or use the fresh dough mixed with ice cream to create Gingerbread cookie dough ice cream.

PREPARING AND MATURING YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS CAKE

Only lovers of fruit cake need read any further…

To make your own wonderful Christmas cakes that will have everyone converted from Christmas cake haters to enthusiasts –¬†use our secret recipe for success. Our secret is to¬†drown the fruity¬†ingredients in booze overnight! Okay well it’s not so secret anymore, but it’s a good tip. Your golden sultanas, raisins, candied citrus peel, glace cherries and currants will plump up and drink in the aromatic brandy while you relax.¬†This means that you do not have to “feed” your baked Christmas cake often (meaning add extra brandy to moisten the cake – as the cake often¬†becomes dry after the fruit has absorbed all the liquid in the cake!). This way, when the cake is ceremonially brought out to eat,¬†the cake remains tasty, but not alcoholic – since the only alcohol added has evaporated while baking.¬†See our¬†Christmas Cake post for this recipe.

And if this recipe does not receive any converts… “haters gonna hate”.