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Light Christmas fruit cake

INGREDIENTS 500g fruit medley 750g mixed fruit 750g raw mixed nuts 3/4 cup plain flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 3 eggs 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
PREPARATION 1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Butter a 20cm square tin with butter, line base and sides.
2. In a large bowl, combine fruit and nuts, sift in flour and baking powder and stir until fruit and nuts are well coated.
3. Beat eggs and sugar until light and creamy, pour over dry ingredients, add vanilla and mix well.
4. Spoon mixture into cake tin, smooth top and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours. Cool in tin, remove and wrap in plastic wrap, then foil.
5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
NOTES Use a serrated bread knife to cut this cake. Try for thin slices (0.5cm) as it is quite rich. You can now buy thin bars of this cake in foodie sections of department stores - but can make the whole cake for the same price! This cake has fewer ingredients to Traditional Christmas Cake, is simpler to put together and a lighter alternat…

Boiled fruit cake

INGREDIENTS 250g butter 1kg mixed dried fruit 200g glace cherries 4 tbsp brown sugar 1 cup milk 1 tsp bicarbonate soda 4 eggs 1 cup plain flour 1 cup self-raising flour 1/3 cup brandy 200g walnuts, chopped
PREPARATION 1. In a large pot melt the butter on a low heat and add the mixed fruit, cherries, brown sugar and milk. Bring to the boil and add the bicarbonate soda. Simmer on low until the fruit is plump and juicy (about 5 minutes). Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Take a round springform cake tin and grease with butter. Line with 3 layers of brown paper. Extend the paper above the lip by about 4cm.
3. In a mixing bowl beat the eggs and add in the flour and brandy. Pour the mixed fruit and walnuts into the bowl and mix until fully combined.
4. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 2 hours. At the 40 minute mark check the top of the cake. If it is lightly browned, cover it with a 4 layer disk of tin foil to protect the top from burning.
5. Check with a skewer at the 1 hour 30 min mark. …

Fruit mince tarts

INGREDIENTS 225g cold butter, cubed 350g plain flour, sifted 100g castor sugar 1 jar fruit mince 1 egg, beaten icing sugar to dust.
PREPARATION 1. In a bowl, rub the butter through the flour and then add the sugar and a pinch of salt.Gently knead.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Set aside a 12 cup muffin tin.
3. lace golf ball sized pieces of the dough in each cup and spread to the edges.
4. Spoon the fruit mince into the cups. Take smaller pieces of the dough and pat into circles large enough to make lids.
5. Place them on the cups and pinch together the edges. Brush with beated egg and bake for 20 minutes.
6. Sprinkle icing sugar over the tops when done.
NOTES These are so easy to make even if you have never attempted pastry before! I used fruit mince that I found in the dried fruit section of the supermarket. This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for Kidspot, New Zealand's best recipe finder.
kidspot.co.nz

Nine great tips to make drinking water taste better

We all know how important it is to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. But many of us just don’t find drinking regular water all that enjoyable.
The steps are easy to follow in all the ‘recipes’: just chop up the ingredients, slightly squeeze them to get the juice out, put them in some water and leave it in the fridge. You’ll need about 34 US fl. oz (one liter) of water, and the amount of ingredients can vary depending on your preferences.
1. Lemon and strawberry
Chop half a lemon into wedges, add a cup of chopped strawberries. Squeeze the juice out of the ingredients. Add a sprig of rosemary (optional) and pour in some water.
2. Orange, lime and lemon
Put all the ingredients, sliced up, into a jar. Squeeze the juice out, add some mint, then add the water.
3. Mint and pineapples
You’ll need only a cup of chopped pineapple for this one. Squash all the chunks, add a sprig of mint, and pour in the water.
4. Raspberry and lime
Cut one lime into wedges or rounds, add half a cup of raspberries,…