Home' Greymouth Star : November 12th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
ell, fellow foodies — it is
coming up to that time of
the year when even the most
diet-conscious among us will
succumb to the pleasures of
After all, Christmas is the perfect opportunity to
savour fine food and wine with ‘rellies’ and friends.
One of the first — and certainly one of the most
pleasurable — advance preparations for Christmas is
making the cake.
Fruitcakes are best baked at least one month in
advance. The longer your masterpiece is stored the
mellower and tastier and easier to cut it will be. A
good fruit cake will keep for years and like wine,
it often improves with age. This is also true for
The traditional English festive pudding began its
career as a type of porridge — a mixture of dried
plums (prunes), suet, meat, vegetables, breadcrumbs
and spices. Over time additional fruit and nuts were
added, the meat and veggies were removed and the
pudding became so solid it was wrapped in cloth and
More than likely, Christmas cakes evolved from
the festive pudding, probably around the time that
ovens became more reliable and cake pans were first
I prefer to line my cake pan when baking a fruit
cake. This helps protect the sweet dried fruits from
High-grade flour is recommended for cakes with a
lot of dried fruits as it helps support them.
Use level metric measures and when measuring flour,
spoon it into the measuring cup and lightly level the
top with a spoon or knife. Do not pack it into the
cup. The only ingredient one normally packs firmly is
I used Edmonds Gluten-Free flour for this cake. It
was voted by consumers in the latest Black Box
in-home sur vey to be the most popular gluten-free
flour. O ver 100,000 households were involved in the
1.2kg mixed dried fruits, chopped if large
1 cup sherry or brandy
250g butter, at room temperature
300g dark cane sugar
5 large eggs
250g gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
Place the dried fruit in a large bowl. Add the sherry
and mix well. Cover and soak overnight. Next day,
preheat the oven to 150degC. Line the base and
sides of a 23-25cm round spring-form cake pan with
baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar together,
until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well
after each addition. Sift the flour, spice and salt into
a bowl then add alternately to the butter mixture
with the dried fruit and any liquid. Spoon into the
cake pan and smooth the top with a wet hand. Bake
for about 21⁄4 hours or until a skewer inserted in the
centre comes out clean. Remove and cool in the pan.
Wrap in foil and store in a cool place. The top may be
garnished with stars cut from gluten-free royal icing.
White chocolate and
macadamia nut panforte
Panforte is a festive Italian flat cake — a cross
between fruitcake, candy and a honey cake. It is
traditionally made with dark fruits and chocolate. This
is a light version.
3 cups mixed dried fruits eg
pineapple, mango, ginger, papaya,
1 cup each: whole macadamia
nuts, plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed ground spice
2 tablespoon water
1⁄2 cup each: mild honey, sugar
100g white chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Preheat the oven to 150degC. Line the base and
sides of a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper.
Combine the fruit, nuts, flour and spice in a bowl.
Heat the water, honey and sugar on low, stirring
until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 1 minute.
Add the chocolate and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
Pour into the dry ingredients, mix, and quickly spoon
evenly into the pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, until
the edges are firm but the centre still a little soft. Cut
into thin slices to ser ve. Can be dusted with icing
sugar. Makes about 24 pieces.
Five-minute fruit cake
This cake does not have the same keeping qualities
as a traditional one but is so quick to prepare to make.
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1kg mixed dried fruits, large pieces chopped
1⁄4 cup brandy
3⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
175g butter, melted
11⁄2 cups high-grade flour
1⁄2 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 150degC. Line a deep 20cm
round cake pan with baking paper. Combine the eggs,
fruit, brandy and brown sugar in a bowl. Stir in the
cooled butter, then the sifted flour and spices. Spread
evenly into the cake pan. Bake for 13⁄4-2 hours, until a
skewer inserted in the centre comes out
clean and the cake just starts to come
away from the sides. Cool then wrap in
foil and store in a cool place.
I like to use chopped dried apricots
and/or craisins in the fruit mix — they
provide a terrific tang.
11⁄2 cups milk
3 cups soft breadcrumbs
3⁄4 cup dark cane sugar
11⁄2 cups high-grade flour
750g mixed dried fruits
1 tablespoon treacle
1 teaspoon each: mixed spice, vanilla
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a little warm
Place the chopped butter in a large saucepan. Add
the milk and simmer, until the butter melts. Pour
onto the breadcrumbs and sugar in a bowl. Mix well.
Cool. Sift in the flour and salt and add all the other
ingredients. Spoon into a greased 5-cup pudding
basin. Cover the top tightly with foil and tie to secure
or cover with a fitting lid. Place the bowl in a steamer.
Cover and steam over boiling water for three hours.
Wrap in foil when cool then refrigerate. Reheat in a
steamer for about 45 minutes or in the microwave for
about 5 minutes. Great ser ved with Brandy sauce or
custard. Ser ves 8-10.
picnic can be as simple as a
baguette, cheese and a bottle
of wine or as elaborate as
pate, cold roast duck, grilled
strawberries and silver
candelabra. Whatever your preference,
choosing the right picnic spot is imperative.
Romance is often top of mind when
encouraging my man to accompany me on a
Views of the sea are a number one choice
but on the last two occasions the easterly has
been a dampener. So yesterday I chose the
river with great success — privacy, soothing
ripples of water on stones, no wind or
Our 20-year-old picnic basket is
permanently packed with plates, mugs, plastic
glasses, cutlery, corkscrew/can opener and
paper ser viettes as well as insect repellent,
wet wipes and a small plastic bag for rubbish.
All I need to do is place the food in a chilly
bin together with an ice pack and we are
off. Sometimes we will take a small portable
barbecue to cook some simple food such as
kebabs or hamburger patties.
Store your chilly bin inside the air-
conditioned car — not the boot.
If possible, keep the chilly bin in the
shade while picnicking.
Once foods have been removed from
the chilly bin, serve them quickly and return
any unused portions to the bin. Leftovers
should not be allowed to sit around in the
sun to become lukewarm and a potential food
Try to plan just the right amount of food
to take. That way, you will not have to worry
about the storage or safety of any leftovers.
Bacon, egg and
sausage meat plait
2 rashers bacon, diced
2 small hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
500g sausage meat
1 shallot, diced
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
freshly ground black pepper to taste
400g savoury short pastry
Preheat the oven to 200degC. Using your
fingers or a fork and working lightly, combine
the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
Roll out the pastry to a 30cm x 24cm
rectangle. Mark the pastry into 3 equal
sections running lengthwise. On each long
side, cut slits about 2cm apart. Cut only to
the centre third of the rectangle
Place the filling down the centre (uncut)
third of the pastry. Plait the pastry over the
filling working from one side to the other.
Place on an oven tray. If preferred, brush the
top and sides with beaten egg.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and
cooked. Ser ve warm or cold. Serves 4.
salad with a twist
For the Love of Tams Tamarillo Vinegar
Dressing is a new product. Great sprinkled
on salads or in sauces or marinades. Fried
shallots are available from Asian food stores
and some supermarkets
6 tablespoons each: Tamarillo vinegar
dressing, fish sauce
1 large chilli, seeded and sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large skinned and boned chicken breasts
2-3 cups finely sliced iceberg lettuce
16 slices Lebanese cucumber
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 red capsicum, seeded and sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
1⁄2 cup each: mint leaves, coriander
4 tablespoons each: sliced fried shallots,
lightly toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
extra herbs to garnish
Combine the dressing ingredients.
Halve the chicken breasts.
Place a 1⁄4 cup of the dressing in a
bowl and add the chicken. Cover and
marinate in the fridge for at least 30
minutes, turning often. Meanwhile,
combine the ingredients for the salad.
Divide between 4 ser ving plates.
Grill or pan-fry the chicken for about 4
minutes each side, until cooked. Slice and
place on the salad. Drizzle with the reserved
dressing and sprinkle with the shallots and
macadamia nuts. Serves 4.
If taking to a picnic or barbecue, carry the
cutlets in a leak-proof container.
1⁄4 cup each: olive oil, balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon each: chopped rosemary,
thyme, Dijon-style mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 pork cutlets
To make the marinade, combine the olive
oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, rosemary,
thyme, mustard and black pepper. Place
the pork cutlets in a plastic bag and add
the marinade. Refrigerate for at least
2 hours, moving the pork around in the bag
occasionally to ensure the meat is well
coated. Remove the meat from the
marinade. Pat dry with paper towels.
Cook over a medium-heat grill for about
4-6 minutes each side, depending on
Baste with the marinade occasionally
Excellent served topped with a little diced
avocado and chopped coriander drizzled with
lime juice. Serves 4.
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 7
Ateabag can make a cup
of tea. It happens many
times a day for many of
you but there are other
ways to make tea and you get much
more flavour and other benefits.
Coffee has had 15 years of growth
with baristas honing their skills
on their range of black and white
coffees. Then there is dark roast,
mild roast, fair trade, organic, decaf,
blends, single origins — Ethiopia,
East Timor, Guatemala and 50
Tea is the poor relative in the
modern cafe, but is slowly counter-
attacking to get back some of its
former market and it is using health,
sophistication and local ingredients
to boost its appeal.
Loose leaf tea is the way to go with
small glass teapots where you can see
the leaves opening up and the colour
developing, and stop it when you
think it is ready by lifting out the
sieve of tea leaves.
Some cafes will put a timer with
your selection in case you forget so
you do not leave it too long or it will
Zealong is the only commercial
tea plantation in New Zealand. You
will have to order their teas on-line
where you will find four different
oolong teas selling at $30 for 50g.
They recommend only brewing their
teas for one minute but you can
reuse the leaves, well, that is what
Bell Tea have a range of Kiwi Live
loose leaf teas with New Zealand
additives — Gisborne Dawn Assam
(assam tea with manuka leaf ), Otago
Gold (lemon and ginger), Mint
Aspiring, Ruapehu Rooibos.
Kerikeri Organic Tea Company
is a big supplier of tea with a local
twist using feijoa and manuka —
www kerikeritea.co.nz .
Storm and India has an eclectic
collection of looseleaf teas for
sale like Coconut Chai, Elixir
Chocolate and Morning Detox —
and Tealyra.co.nz are other great
sites for a big range of teas.
That is just some of the hot teas
you can try out. What about the cold
and iced teas? We will have to have
a look at that marketplace in the
summer when you are more likely to
feel like drinking one.
Brandy Smash — Put a tsp caster
sugar into a short glass with four
leaves of mint, a little water and
bruise with a muddler. Add 45ml
brandy and fill with crushed ice.
Monteith’s is the biggest selling
craft beer brand in the supermarkets
although it has dropped from
28 to 21%. Next is Macs at 14%,
Boundary Road at 11% and Moa
at 10% and then from 6% to 2%
come Stoke, Sprig and Fern, Tuatara,
Panhead, Harringtons and Epic.
Craft beer has increased its volume
by 15% in the last year as the big
three, Lion, DB and Independent,
drop sales slowly with the overall
consumption of beer in New
Zealand continuing to decline.
“There is nothing wrong with
sobriety in moderation.” — John
Phoenix Good Energy — Good
energy is obviously better than bad
energy so that is a good start. It is
a sparkling fruit drink, good smell
and taste of berries, lemons and
pomegranates. The energy comes
from the good fruit sugars and the
natural coffee and guarana caffeine,
not from the huge chemical factories
in China where most of the world’s
caffeine comes from. Costs more but
good energy is worth it. 250ml, $3.
Bacon, egg and sausage meat plait.
Time for that better cuppa
Red wine choice
Esk Valley Merlot, Cabernet Malbec
2014 — Berry fruit aromas start the
red wine experience that envelops your
palate with rich flavours of plums,
berries, hints of inky molasses and
a drying grip of tannins. Excellent
Bordeaux style wine. Drink now til
2020. Dry. $17 to $24.
White wine choice
Church Road Pinot Gris 2014 —
Strong aromas of musk and ginger and
honeysuckle, flavours of ripe pears and
apricots with a big mouth feel, a sweet
fruit bomb from very ripe Hawke’s Bay
grapes with light acidity. Drink now till
2017. Medium. $19.
Emerson’s 1812 Hoppy Pale Ale —
Dark golden colour with persistent
sparkle that stimulates the mouth
to enjoy the rich citrus and caramel
flavours that fill your palate and linger
along with chewy hops. 500ml, 5%.
Pack for the picnic
takes the cake
Gluten-free festive fruit cake
White chocolate and macadamia nut panforte
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