Pretty Persian rose icecream (GF)

Turkish delight is something I’ve come to love over the last few years.  I didn’t like it as a kid, I think because my only experience of it was biting into the last chocolates left in the Roses Chocolate box or the bars of chocolate coated turkish delight.  Now I’ve come to see it as the treat used by the White Witch to tempt Edmund in The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe…. ie tempting! Generally I tend to buy it at Christmas time to put in my rocky road, but I gave into temptation recently and had a container beckoning me in the fridge.

I had been looking for inspiration on Pinterest for turkish delight desserts as my husband is currently chocolate free, I had the turkish delight in the fridge and we had friends coming for dinner.  Not only did Pinterest inspire me to cook, it inspired me to try hard to make it look pretty too.  This dessert is so feminine and delicate that it would be very suited to a ladies lunch or high tea. But don’t be put off if you want men to eat it too as my husband was raving about it (even though declaring that turkish delight is usually too sweet for him).  The strawberries in the ice cream really tones down the sweetness of the custard.

So, with fresh inspiration added to a basic vanilla ice cream recipe, may I present my Pretty Persian rose ice cream.

Pretty Persian rose ice creamIMG_0078

Serves 8-10 depending on how greedy you are ;-)

  • 2 cups full fat milk
  • 2 cups thickened cream
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1-2 tsp rosewater (according to taste)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios roughly chopped
  • 2 large pieces of turkish delight chopped into small cubes (it helps to have the pieces refrigerated before chopping and to keep dusting with icing sugar so they aren’t too sticky)
  • 1 punnet (250g) strawberries – pureed
  • pretty things to decorate eg more diced turkish delight, dried rose petals, silver or other coloured cashous, Persian fairy floss (though check it’s GF), finely chopped pistachios.
  1.  Whisk together milk, cream, half the sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and bring almost to the boil.
  2. Meanwhile whisk (it’s easier with a hand held mixer) the egg yolks and remaining sugar until thickened and pale.
  3. When the milk mixture is hot, whisk a ladle full into the egg mix and then repeat with another ladle  or 2.
  4. Pour egg mix into milk mix and stir continuously over medium heat with a wooden spoon until  thickened and coats the back of the spoon. DON’T let it come to the boil or it will cook the egg and the mix will curdle.
  5. Stir in the pureed strawberries.
  6. Stir in rosewater to taste (depending on how strong a rosewater taste you like).
  7. Pour into container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  8. Just before pouring into your ice cream machine, stir through pistachios and turkish delight cubes.IMG_0076
  9. Churn and serve immediately or place in freezer until you wish to serve.
  10. To serve, scoop ice cream into bowl and decorate creatively, or you could put the decorations in little bowls and have your guests decorate their own.IMG_0077

 

new classes & new dates for cooking classes

paleo cooking classAfter the success of the first 2 paleo cooking classes, I have set some new dates for some more classes, including 2 new classes: Paleo Treats & Snacks and Paleo Basics.  If you know someone who might be interested, feel free to share the information.

For the details on all the upcoming classes, click here.

Dates for next classes:

  • Friday 5 September 2014, 9.30am – 12.30pm: Paleo Basics
  • Tuesday 9 September 2014, 9.30am to 12.30pm: Paleo treats & snacks
  • Saturday 20 September 2014, 4pm – 8pm: Paleo Dinner Party #1
  • Friday 10 October 2014, 10am to 2pm:  Paleo Lunch  Feast # 1

The classes are a lot of fun & very casual.  Love you to join us and raise some money for charity too.

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Spinach, basil & citrus dip (GF)

Looking for a quick dip to whip up for friends over the weekend I decided to mix together a few things I had in my fridge together with using up some sour cream, bingo! The lime adds a tart freshness.

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Spinach basil & citrus dip

- 2 cups English Spinach
– 1 cup (1/2 large bunch) basil leaves
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– 1-2 garlic cloves (to taste)
– 1 whole small lime, skin removed
– salt & pepper to taste

Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Serve with crackers or vegetable crudités.

Lemon meringue pie (GF)

Some things work really well as a ‘healthy version, lemon meringue pie is not one of them! The only redeeming feature of these pies apart from the taste (and the strawberries for decoration) is the bases are the date nut tart shells I’ve made many times before.

I did TRY to make a healthier version of both the lemon curd and the meringue. Both failed. The lemon curd I tried with coconut palm sugar and it looked brown and tasted bitter. The meringue I made with boiling honey and it didn’t hold together as an Italian meringue and tasted, well, too honeyish. So back to the sugar pot I went and made both with regular caster sugar. The result was delicious!

I just used recipes I found on taste.com.au for lemon curd and Italian meringue.

I did bake the honey meringue mixture so I’ll do a separate post about that one!

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rhubarb, strawberry & lemon tart (AIP, paleo, gf, nf, eg, df)

I must say that it was how pretty this tart looked that made me want to make it! The second thing that intrigued me was that it was made with sweet potato flour.  If you follow my Facebook page you might remember the staged process it was to make the sweet potato flour! So after embarking on making the sweet potato flour, I had to use it up so I decided to make it as a ‘bonus’ for one of my recent cooking classes.

The recipe comes originally from AIP Lifestyle who have some great recipes, even if you’re not restricted by an AIP lifestyle! I added rhubarb and some pretty little dried rose petals to mine and served it with the ‘custard’ from the lemongrass & kaffir lime coconut icecream (ie just wasn’t churned in the ice-cream machine) but if dairy isn’t an issue it would be lovely (as are all tarts in my opinion) served with cream and ice-cream.

rhubard, strawberry & lemon tart

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apple cinnamon energy balls (AIP, paleo, gf, df, nf, ef)

apple cinnamon energy ballsI was making a batch of protein balls for my husband to take to work and thought I’d have an experiment with some that don’t have nuts or protein powder (so really not protein balls at all!).  I think my tummy needs a little rest from nuts-every-day at the moment, so that was my motivation.  So here are my apple cinnamon energy balls – they taste quite light and fresh.

  • 200g fresh dates
  • 1&1/4 cups toasted shredded coconut (plus a little extra for decoration at the end)
  • 1 large granny smith apple, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  1. Pit the dates and process in food processor/blender until finely chopped.
  2. Add rest of ingredients and process until mixed – can pulse if you like a chunkier texture. You may need to add a little more coconut if the mixture is too wet.
  3. Roll into balls and sprinkle with extra shredded coconut if you wish.
  4. Refrigerate or freeze.

Makes 10-12.  I keep mine in the freezer.

how to make sweet potato flour

sweet potato flourWhen coming across a recipe that called for sweet potato flour I was intrigued as despite having seen, bought and tried many ‘weird’ types of flour, this was not one I’d come across.  After a quick internet search I realised it wasn’t going to be easily available so decided to have a go at making my own.  Whilst it took a number of days, it certainly wasn’t at all difficult and was, in the end, worthwhile.

The recipe I wanted to try called for 1&1/3 cups of sweet potato flour, so that was my target.  It took 2 dehydrators ‘worth’ of sweet potato, which for the size of my dehydrator was about 3 largish sweet potatoes, which is the only ingredient.

  1. Peel and slice finely (use a mandolin if possible for consistently thin slices) sweet potatoes (enough to fill your dehydrator).
  2. Dehydrate until crisp.  Mine took about 16 hrs. (Easiest to do overnight). If you just want to make sweet potato ‘chips’ you can stop here!  I nibbled on a few and they were a little moorish.
  3. When cooled and crisp pulse in high speed blender/thermomix if you have one until fine enough for a flour-like consistency.
  4. Repeat process until you have enough flour for what you want to bake!