Kataifi Prawns (serves 3-4 as an entree)

This simple and quick recipe is great for entrees or just a light snack.

It is healthier than tempura prawns or prawn cocktails as it does not involve any frying and looks interesting on the plate.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 packet kataifi, kept out for a few hours until it is room temperature
  • 500gr prawns
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used an African-style rub mix)

Method:

1. Heat oven to 200C.

2. Peel and de-vein prawns, leaving the tails on.

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3. Take some kataifi out gently and put it in a small bowl. Separate some of the strands so it is easier to work with.

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4. Beat the egg with a fork and add salt, pepper and your choice of seasoning.

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5. Lay the kataifi strands out in a long line. Place the prawn at the top of the strand and roll it down to the bottom until covered. Place on an oiled tray.

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6. Once all prawns are covered in kataifi, place tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until pastry is golden and crispy.

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Enjoy!

Red & White Meringues (makes 16-17)

Looking for a different take on the usual summer pav? Or do you want a quick and easy dessert option which looks unique and Christmassy?

Well look no further, TCFB has your back!

This recipe was made using left over eggs from my mum’s annual Sri Lankan Christmas Cake. It is best to make it on a day that isn’t too humid as moisture could affect how they turn out.

I thought I would add some red food colouring to mix it up a little and also added almond flavouring for something different, but you can add whatever flavour you like (peppermint is popular too).

Try it out yourself and let me know how you go!

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Ingredients:

  • 12 egg whites, kept at room temperature
  • 3 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • Red food colouring (or you could use green)
  • Almond essence (you could use any flavour you like)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 120C (fan forced).

2. Spray trays with olive oil.

3. Place egg whites in a large bowl. Add salt and beat with an electric mixer until “soft peaks” form (about 4-5 minutes).

4. Add half a cup of caster sugar then beat incorporate it into the egg white mixture.

5. Repeat step 4 until all the caster sugar is mixed in and “stiff peaks” form.

6. Add a bit of red food colouring and gently swirl it into the mixture (do not mix).

7. Dollop onto trays in large mounds.

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8. Bake in oven for about 50-60 minutes.

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9. Open oven door but leave the trays in there while the meringues cool.

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Brandy Chocolate Truffles (makes about 24)

An easy and festive Christmas treat, these brandy truffles are super neat!

Try your hand at making them and let me know what you think. I think they are great as a post-dinner dessert or just for a little snack with a mug of eggnog.

20131215_19492020131215_194927Ingredients:

  • 230 grams chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dessicated coconut

Method:

1. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. Place chocolate in a medium sized bowl.

3. Heat thickened cream over the stove on medium and bring just to the boil.

4. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and stir until mixed in and all chocolate pieces are melted.

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5. Add butter and stir again until mixed in.

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6. Add liqueur and stir.

7. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or preferably, overnight.

8. Use a melon baller to get even sized scoops of chocolate and roll into round balls.

9. Coat in cocoa powder and/or coconut.  You can also use crushed and toasted nuts, hundred and thousands, or chocolate swirls (Flake works well).

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10. Cover and place in the fridge until firm.

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11. Serve at room temperature.

White Christmas Crackles (makes 36)

This is the perfect Christmas treat as it has a bit of crunch, a bit of squishy marshmallow, sweet glace cherries and creamy chocolate.

It is super easy to make and looks amazing.

Add whatever nuts, sweets or biscuits you like to customise this fun dish!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rice bubbles
  • 250gr copha, melted in microwave
  • 250gr white chocolate melts (I used Cadbury)
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries/craisins
  • The red and green glace cherries from a 100gr packet, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 10 plain biscuits, crushed (I used Scotch Fingers)

Method:

1.Line muffin or cupcake trays with patty pans.

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2. Add chocolate melts to melted copha and stir until chocolate has melted and both ingredients are mixed in.

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3.Add icing sugar and mix in, working it in with the spoon or spatula until all the chunks are smoothed out.

4. In a separate (large) bowl, add rice bubbles, coconut, glace cherries, marshmallows, cranberries and crushed biscuits.

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5. Pour the white chocolate and copha mixture over the rice bubble mixture and mix thoroughly.

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6. Spoon the mixture into cupcake tins.

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7. Allow to set, then enjoy!

Chicken, Avocado and Green Bean Salad with Tomato (serves 4)

This salad is perfect for work lunches or even as a side at a BBQ or lunch event.

Easy to make and pretty healthy for you if you add less mayonnaise!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (approx 200gr)
  • 60gr semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 handful green beans, de-stringed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 Tsp spicy seasoning (e.g. cajun, paprika, zaatar, chilli, cumin etc)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs seeded mustard
  • 1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

Method:

1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes and rub the spicy seasoning in.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces off until cooked through.

3. Steam de-stringed beans until they go dark green and are cooked through but still a little crunchy.

4. Cut avocado into large chunks (I sliced it and then cut the slices in half).

5. Wash, de-seed and cut red capsicum into cubes.

6. Wash baby spinach leaves and put in a large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, cooled chicken breast pieces and beans, and avocado.

7. Mix mayonnaise and mustard in a separate bowl. Add to the rest of the salad and mix well.

Enjoy!

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cupcakes (makes about 25)

A good friend of mine is expecting a baby boy soon and so some friends of mine decided we would visit her and give her a sort of impromptu baby shower! I decided to make a few things to take over, including these raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes!

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Ingredients:

  • 125grams room temperature butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used light milk)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate melts, broken up
  • 1 Tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch salt

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180C and line muffin/cupcake tray.

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2. Place all ingredients except for raspberries and white chocolate in a mixing bowl and beat for 10 minutes.

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3. Fold in raspberries and white chocolate with a spatula.

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4. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and springy on top.

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5. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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6. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy.

Chocolate Fondants (makes 12-14 small sized)

This decadent chocolate dessert is sure to be a hit with all your friends.

We decided to try out our slight adaptation of Gordon Ramsey’s recipe after watching Jake & Elle make fondants on My Kitchen Rules. Unfortunately I forgot to get a photo of the inside (was too excited to eat it!) but it was very gooey and fondanty! Delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbsp butter 
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100grams chocolate (I used belgian)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup of raw sugar
  • 2/3 cup of plain flour
  • Extra butter for greasing

Method:

1.  Heat oven to 160C. Grease ramekins with butter and dust with cocoa powder.

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2. Melt chocolate in the microwave by heating it on high in a glass microwave safe bowl in 10 second bursts (about 40 seconds all up). Stir the chocolate every 10 seconds.

2. Add butter (room temperature) to the chocolate and stir until combined. Let cool for 5 minutes.

3. Use an electric beater/whisk to whisk the eggs, egg yolks and raw sugar together until thick.

4. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.

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5. Add flour and gently fold in.

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6. Pour batter into the ramekins and bake for 15-17 minutes.

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7. Serve immediately with ice cream, cream or strawberries.

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