Wild About Food

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cliodhna Prendergast has been roaming the fields and forests in the wilds of Connemara on the west coast of Ireland since her parents opened a country house hotel there when she was five.  She learned the skills of foraging, hunting, fishing and gardening out of necessity as the family's hotel was situated in a rural area where deliveries from cities were scarce and chefs depended on local and wild produce to keep meals healthy and bountiful.  She grew up in a bustling kitchen where extra hands were always welcomed, and, by the age of 7, she was making all the ice cream for hotel guests.  She says that without realizing it, her future was sealed then and she "never really left the food life behind."

After studying arts in University, then working as a trained chef for 20 years, eleven of which she spent as the head chef at the stunning Delphi Lodge in County Galway, Cliodhna realized what she wanted most was to concentrate on raising her young family. The respect of local, wildly sourced and fresh food, along with its preparation, had always been an important part of her life, and she wanted to pass along that love to her three children.  From this passion, Breaking Eggs was hatched.

Jake, Iseult and Milo - the three littles.
Filmed in the raw and beautiful coastal countryside of Connemara, Breaking Eggs is a series of short programs where children and parents are introduced to "where our food grows, who cultivates it, collects and prepares it."  Prendergast then brings the ingredients back to her kitchen where she and her children work together to "create some great family food." 

Cliodhna and neighboring friend and fisherman, John Sullivan.  Click here to view video.
A girls' sleepover resulted in these little sweets prepared by Iseult and a friend for breakfast. 
After school egg-gathering duties.
A weekend spent collecting gorse in the countryside. This will be used to make syrup for pancakes, lemonade and ice cream.
Cliodhna left a career as an accomplished chef to spend time with these three, teaching them the values of living off the land and sea. 
Adding freshly gathered pine tips to shortbread dough and pine syrup.
Making the most of a school holiday by rolling out pine shortbread.
Now there's a lot of arms!  Fresh octopus for dinner.
Octopus spaghetti - it's not as unusual as you think if you live by the sea.

Husband and Dad, Patrick, happy with his wild salmon caught on the Ballynahinch River.
Cliodhna hosted a Kinfolk Gathering this year. Guests were rowed to a secret lunch location in the wilds of Connemara. 
Sheep graze in pastures clustered with purple flowering thyme along a beautiful coast.
Within minutes of where she spent her childhood, Cliodhna and her family live on the grounds of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel where husband, Patrick O'Flaherty, is general manager.  
All hands on deck.
Tasks for small hands...
Following are some ideas from Cliodhna on how to let your little ones help in the kitchen:

Snapping peas/beans



Cracking eggs

Separating egg yolks

Scrubbing vegetables

Tearing lettuce

Toss salad

Peel hard-boiled eggs

Kneading dough

Cutting shapes in pastry/cookie dough etc.


Supervised blending – let them press the buttons under supervision (never when the contents are hot)

Preparing skewered food for barbecues

Mixing dry ingredients in a bowl

Painting egg wash on tarts, breads etc

Oiling cake/bread tins with a pastry brush

Rolling out pizza dough

Mashing soft fruit with a fork

A prize harvest of rock samphire for the Kinfolk Gathering dinner.
Cliodhna's website, Breaking Eggs, features short, engaging videos for parents and children showing how to create meals together as a family.  She strongly believes that "cooking good food at home as a family helps to provide the building blocks for healthy, confident and well-adjusted children," and one can see by perusing her blog that this is more than just words. It is a lifestyle.

Prendergast is also a co-host of Lens and Larder workshops with Imen McDonnell, from Farmette, where culinary enthusiasts gather to engage their senses by practicing photography, food styling, foraging and cooking in the Irish countryside. (To view a former post on Farmette, go here: From City Streets to Cow Paths.)

Easy Peesy Chicken Stock
Easy Peesy Chicken Stock


1 chicken Carcass (cooked from a roast chicken or raw)
1 Onion


Put the carcass/bones in a medium pot cover generously with cold water, slice an onion in two add to the pot.
Bring to the boil and simmer slowly for 1 to 1 ½ hours. ( or once it has reached boiling point cover and place in the oven gas mark 2 for 2 hours).
Strain through a fine sieve.

DaaDaa!! That was easy!

Tip: the slower you can simmer the better, if it is too fast the fat gets mixed right in and the stock will not be clear. This way the fat rises to the top and can be skimmed off easily

You can add vegetables to chicken but sometimes it can be a little too sweet, or the vegetable taste takes over.

Bone Broth with Seawood and Noodles
Bone Broth with Seaweed and Noodles

Serves 4

4 portions of noodles

1 ½ Lt of bone broth base

200 g of sliced leftover chicken

1 thumb sized piece of ginger* peeled and grated

A handful or dried seaweed, I use a mix

15 mls of light soy sauce

10 mls of fish sauce

1 tsp soybean paste

1 handfull of fresh coriander chopped

1 handfull of finely sliced scallions/spring onions


After the bones have been picked from your roast chicken and any leftover chicken saved, put everything, skin, bones and juices in a pot ( all the bones, even the bones that have been on the plates, its boiled for hours, perfectly hygienic) that fits cover with water

Add an onion, cut in half with skin on bring to gentle simmer
The longer and more gently you can simmer the bones the better. It takes some time before the bones break down and allow the really good stuff out. I put mine in the slow cooker of the Aga over night. A covered pot in any cooker set at 100C and left overnight would be perfect

Strain the liquid into another pot to reveal the base of a lovely clear bone broth

Cook the noodles and set aside

Put the clear broth on the heat, do not boil (this would mix in the fats and it will become cloudy) and add the seaweed, soy sauce, fish sauce, soybean paste, ginger

Check for seasoning, it may need a splash of soy sauce or a little bit more ginger to your suit your taste

When it comes to a simmer remove from the heat, and add the coriander and scallions

Divide the noodles between 4 bowls, pour over the broth and top with sliced chicken.

Tips:  just a few little tips if you are making this your own: The flavour of the broth will be somewhat diluted when you add it to the noodles so keep this in mind when you are tasting it for seasoning

If your kids don’t like huge amounts of green or seaweed like mine, just strain the broth over the noodles, the ingredients will have given their flavour and most of their nutrition.

Keep ginger in the freezer, it keeps perfectly so always on hand when you need it but also makes for much easier grating when frozen.

Jelly and Yoghurt Panna Cotta
Rhubarb and Strawberry Jelly with Sweet Geranium & Yoghurt Panna Cotta
To fill 8 small juice glasses

7 oz Rhubarb (red part of stalks)
4 oz sugar
A squeeze of lemon juice
6 oz Strawberries

5 oz sugar
5 fl oz Water
1 tbsp of crème de casis
½ lemon juiced
1 ½ Tsps. powered gelatine
3 Tbsp water for the gelatine

First to the Rhubarb.
Use only the nice red parts of the rhubarb and slice the stalks up in ¼ inch pieces.
Place in a pot with the sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Put on a moderate to high heat, stir until sugar is dissolved and cover with a lid.
Cook for about 5 minutes, remove and cool on a tray and set aside.

Next the syrup
Put the sugar and water in a pot and stir on the heat until sugar is dissolved.
Bring to a rolling boil and then simmer for 3 minutes or so.
Remove and allow to cool
When cooled add the lemon juice and crème de casis.

Wash and cut the strawberries in half or quarters depending on the size

When everything has cooled put the gelatine in a bowl and mix in the water.
Put the bowl in a pot of hot water until the gelatine has become liquid and clear.
Add the syrup to the gelatine (the order is important, do to add the gelatine to the syrup or it will be lumpy)

Then add the strawberries and the rhubarb to the jelly syrup and mix in.
Fill 8 small juice glasses about ¾ full with the jelly and place in the fridge to set.

Yoghurt and Sweet Geranium Panna Cotta

8oz of Natural Yoghurt
4floz Milk
3 ½ floz cream
2oz sugar
4 sweet geranium leaves (or 8 fresh lemon verbena leaves)
½ tsp lime zest
1 ½ tsp gelatine

Put the milk, cream and sugar in a pot and place on the heat stiring until the sugar is dissolved; add the leaves and the lime zest and remove from the heat to cool.
When cool, put the gelatine in a bowl and mix in the water, put the bowl in a pot of hot water until the gelatine has turned to liquid and cool.
Strain the leaves from the milk mixture and add it to the gelatine, again, in that order to avoid lumps.
Then mix in the yoghurt until smooth.
Pour this panna cotta mixture into the glasses on top of the set jelly.
Return to the fridge until ready to serve with a little sweet geranium or verbena leaf on top of each.

If you have neither sweet geranium or verbena you could up the lime zest, not as good but still very nice!

Photographs courtesy of Cliodhna Prendergast and Julia Dunin. Used with permission.

Wine-Simmered Beef and Vegetables

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My kitchen smells like an Italian villa along the Mediterranean today!  I've had this amazing concoction of beef and vegetables slow-roasting in the oven for several hours and the smells are intoxicating.  In fact, my husband has declared he is ready for me to quit my day job because he so enjoys the leisurely meals I've been serving up for lunch this week.  

The tastiness of this dish is due in large part to the Clos du Bois Chardonnay I splashed into the cast iron skillet to mix with the pan drippings after the meat was browned.  I have recently started cooking with wine and it has opened up a whole new palette of taste for me!  You're only now cooking with wine, you ask? Well, I grew up in a Mennonite home where alcohol was taboo and even the thought of adding some vino to the pot roast would have been scandalous.  So, if you want an explosion of Italian flavor on your taste buds, open up a bottle of Chardonnay and start cooking this dish.

Wine-Simmered Beef and Vegetables
(adapted from Great American Favorite Brand Name Cookbook)

2-pound English Roast (or similar)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced, rings separated
3 large carrots, peeled
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3/4 - 1 cup dry, white wine
1 - 1 1/2 cups beef broth 

Rinse roast under cold water.  Pat dry.  In a plastic bag, mix approximately 4 tablespoons flour salt and freshly ground pepper.  Shake roast in bag to coat.  In a cast iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Drop roast into skillet and fry on both sides until browned.  Transfer roast to a Dutch Oven.  Top with rings of onion and the carrots.

To the pan drippings, add the wine, herbs and broth and stir until boiling.  Pour over the pot roast. Cover with lid and bake in a 350 degree oven for three hours. 

I served this with roasted redskins and sweet potatoes drizzled with olive oil and Herbes de Provence which I put in the oven to bake alongside the roast for the last 45 minutes of baking. 

Back to the Earth - a Sustainable Lifestyle of Simplicity

Friday, July 24, 2015

From the raw beauty of Hawaii to the golden sun of California's coast and the fertile farmland of the Midwest, Natalie Friedrich's appreciation for the earth and its bounty has been a constant thread woven through a life as colorful as the salads she creates. Her passion for creating fresh, organic food was modeled by her Japanese mother who carried a strong dedication to using healthy, quality ingredients and who always cooked everything from scratch. From her, she learned the importance of avoiding processed foods and of choosing vegetables and other produce from local farmer's markets.  From her father she learned the art of reeling in a fine catch from the ocean, which she then cleaned for dinner.  It's not so strange, then, that this girl with roots in Hawaii's rich heritage would choose to marry a mid-western farmer and settle in the fertile hills of Ohio where they are raising their two young children in the simplistic lifestyle of self-sustainability on an organic farm.

Natalie, with daughters Audrey and Hazel.

Natalie's skills in the kitchen were enhanced by working along California's central coast as a baker of confections in a cafe, then by managing a local chapter of "Foot Not Bombs" where she cooked large quantities of seasonal food from local farms for the homeless, travelers, students, needy families and the elderly.  This is also where she met her husband!

Audrey with Grandma Betty and the Friedrich's flock of chickens.

Since moving to Ohio, Natalie has been involved with local food cooperatives and has helped establish a cafe for an indoor farmer's market, creating a seasonal and diverse menu using fresh ingredients.  She has also developed new food skills such as wild foraging, fermenting, using food as medicine, and practicing the many methods of preservation.

Milkweed blossom risotto for dinner with these beauties.

Passing along the tradition, from mother to daughter, of freshly gathered food. Here, mulberries from the trees in the back yard.

Triple-berry pie and pastry cutouts to delight a child's heart.

Big gardens take lots of work and most days find  Natalie working in these beds with her trusty helper, Audrey.

Need a salad for dinner?  Grab a knife and a bowl.  #asfreshasitgets

Shelling peas on the front porch with family and friends is a great time for conversation.

This week's harvest of heirloom tomatoes - some for eating, some for preserving.

"When you find apple trees on clearance for $5 each, you buy all of them."

Amazing, organic, unadulterated milk - straight from the source.

A harvest of potatoes and the next crop of lettuce for the garden.

 The Friedrichs have chosen a purposeful lifestyle of taking time to enjoy all the little details that make life meaningful.

Lavender from the garden - for cooking, for soothing, for beauty.

Carrot cake, made with the most delightful orange nubbies, straight from the garden.

Natalie with daughter, Hazel, who pretty much goes wherever mommy goes, at this age.

Natalie's philosophy:  "I cannot fully express the gratification of preparing a meal where most of the ingredients came by your own hands; to understand everything that went into it from beginning to end. Sitting down to share that meal and moment with family and friends is fulfillment. My current dietary philosophy: know where your food is coming from and what has been done to it. Food is fuel and nourishment. Find balance. Make every meal worth while - the way God intended."

To follow Natalie Friedrich on Facebook, click here. You can also find her on Instagram as @gnatandbee.


Freshly sliced peaces for ice cream

Peach Ice Cream
4 cups sliced seasonal peaches
¾ cups maple syrup or 1 cup sugar
¼ cup orange juice concentrate
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth and freeze in an ice cream maker according to your maker’s instructions. Freeze until hard, scoop & enjoy.
Alternatively – if you do not own an ice cream maker: Use frozen peaches and blend all ingredients in a good blender or food processor – drizzle extra milk until smooth. Freeze until hard, scoop & enjoy.
*This same recipe can also be used with strawberries in place of peaches!

High Protein Zucchini Waffles

High Protein Zucchini Waffles (4 servings or about 10 small waffles)

2 eggs separated
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup grated zucchini
1/3 cup neutral cooking oil or melted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp raw sugar

Combine sifted flours, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar in a medium size mixing bowl.  In a separate small bowl whisk buttermilk, egg yolk, and oil. Separately whisk eggs whites in a small bowl until stiff peaks form. Add grated zucchini and orange zest to the dry and toss to coat, fold in dry ingredients, then fold in beaten eggs whites. Take care to not over mix and fry according to your waffle maker.

Serve with plain greek yogurt, pure maple syrup and oranges on the side, Enjoy!

Tip: If you want decadent dessert-like waffles add a handful of chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips to the batter. 
Also – if you can find golden spelt flour (which has some bran sifted out) I would use it for all 2 cups of flour to have fluffy all spelt waffles. 

Leek and Feta on the left - Caramelized Onion, Feta and Bacon on the right.

Leek and Feta Quiche          
6 eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk
3 medium leeks, cleaned and sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry)
¼ tsp. white pepper
¼ tsp. dry mustard (optional)
dash of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

9” pie plate of flaky whole-wheat crust (below)

Preheat oven to 375 F

1. Heat skillet and add butter, leeks and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until leeks become soft, approximately 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, add the eggs, milk, and seasonings into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk well.

3. Set sautéed leeks and feta cheese into the pie crust. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the crust and press filling lightly with a fork so it is coasted with the egg mixture.

4. Bake for approximately 50 minutes until the egg mixture has set (a knife inserted into the center should come out clear). Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 8 wedges.

Flaky Whole Wheat Crust     
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup ice water
Dash of salt

Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until the color is even. Add butter and pulse briefly until mixture forms large crumbs.
Add the ice water and continue pulsing until a dough has just formed but is not smooth.
On a lightly floured work surface, evenly divide dough. Form each piece of dough into a disk about 1 inch thick. Do not overwork the dough. (Refrigerate if necessary, if so, set out 20 minutes before rolling)

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 15” round. Fit dough into a 9” pie plate then gently press it into the pan. Trim excess dough with a sharp knife, flute edges.  Chill or freeze for future use.

Bacon, Spinach and White Cheddar Quiche           

5 eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 medium onions, halved and sliced
½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. dry ground rosemary
1 tsp. salt (scant)
dash of pepper
dash of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

9” pie plate of flaky whole-wheat crust (below)

Preheat oven to 375 F

1. Heat skillet and add butter, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat until onions have broken down and caramelized. If they are drying out, add a splash of water.  Cook for 15-20mns.

2. Meanwhile, add the eggs, milk, and seasonings into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk well.

3. Layer Fillings: Spread the caramelized onions onto the bottom of the crust, then add the cheese, spinach, then the bacon. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the crust and press filling lightly with a fork so it is coasted with the egg mixture.

4. Bake for approximately 50 minutes until the egg mixture has set (a knife inserted into the center should come out clear). Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 8 wedges.

Quiche Variations: Take creative reign over your quiches!

Here are a few examples:
Broccoli and Cheddar cheese
Swiss chard, mushroom and sharp white cheddar
Mushroom, Onion and Herbs and Gouda
Wild Mushrooms, Herbs, and Cherve
Zucchini Ribbons and Muenster cheese
Summer Tomato, Basil and mozzarella with asiago
Spinach, Feta and Sundried Tomato
Fresh (raw) Sweet corn and Tomato
Asparagus, Leek and Gruyere
Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola
Rainbow Chard, Leek and Gruyere
Sausage, Sweet Pepper and Swiss cheese
Ham, Caramelized onion and Swiss cheese
Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar
Smoked Turkey, Mushroom, Caramelized Onion and Gruyere
Crab meat, Dill and Havarti (splash of Worcestershire sauce)
Bacon, Apple, Arugula and Smoked Gouda

Tips while improvising:
*Do not add too much moisture to the quiche.
Example: If using tomatoes, remove seeds and drain. Do not add too many.
*Sauté most vegetables to release water (peppers, mushrooms, greens used in large amounts)  Squeeze out water if necessary.
*Sauté onions to release sweetness. Caramelize onions to impart a deep, rich sweet flavor.
* Feta cheese is soaked in a salt brine, do not add salt to your quiche if using all feta.

Cheese Flavor Profiles:
Cheddar- mild melts well, sharps melt well when shredded, flavor varies among age.
Baby Swiss- Mild and sweet, creamy and smooth melting character, available smoked.
Blue Cheeses- Crumbly texture and sharp tangy strong flavor, melts, mold enriched.
Chevre- French for goats milk cheese, very fresh, soft, tangy yet mild flavor.
Colby- Mild, sweet flavor ranging from mild to tangy, used like cheddar
Gouda – Mild and buttery flavor, rich tang with age semisoft to firm, melts well
Feta- crumbly, salty strong and sharp pickled flavor
Gruyere- Mild and slightly sharp melts well, hard cheese
Havarti – Creamy, mild to mellow flavor, smooth body, melts well
Asiago- rich, nutty and slightly salty, use aged in small amounts blended well with cheddar or mozzarella 

Boots and beets.

The Mother of all Chocolate Cakes

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I blame my dad for my sweet tooth.  Every morning, with his Quaker Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat, he would have a piece of cake or a handful of cookies, equal parts warm cereal to sweets.  So it's only natural that I love cake, both baking it and eating it, since I grew up having it on my breakfast table every morning.  While I certainly have changed those eating habits now, it's still hard to resist a fabulous piece, still slightly warm from the oven, with gooey frosting clinging onto chocolatey goodness.  This recipe from my niece, Geneva Schlabach, is my favorite. It's the mother-of-all-chocolate-cake recipes.

Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup oil
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Turn oven to 350 degrees.

Mix eggs, oil, coffee and milk together thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out "just barely clean."

Frost with your favorite icing. I used buttercream for this cake.

Beauty in the Ordinary

Friday, July 17, 2015

"I have this notion that if you put your mind to it, everything is possible, and once you begin doing what you truly love it all begins coming together." - Gintare Marcel

A visual storyteller and passionate dreamer, Gintare Marcel finds beauty in everyday life. And for not having picked up a camera until two years ago, she does a fine job portraying that beauty for the rest of the world to enjoy. A business graduate who spent seven years managing a European Commission funded project in the Netherlands, and then staying up at night to do what she really loved - art and cooking, Marcel finally made the leap to follow the path of her dreams in 2013. Now she and her French husband live in Switzerland where majestic snow-capped peaks and the morning sun rising over sleepy villages clustered along green slopes breathe inspiration into her work. While she admits it hasn't always been easy since starting her own business, she is quick to say it is the best decision she has ever made. These days, she climbs out of bed with a new energy, excited to embrace whatever the day holds as she explores various creative disciplines in a business focused on visual storytelling, food and portraiture.

It was her photography that first captured the attention of publishers, in her home country of Lithuania for a cookbook that came out last year, and then for her newly released book, L’Art de la Table: taste of the Mediterranean.  And, truly, one can't help but feel drawn into her light-filled photographs, longing to pull up a chair at that beautifully set table, to pick up a delicate linen napkin, or reach for the frosty glass on the tray, or enjoy a slice of that tempting cake. Marcel's passion for beauty turns a simple fig into a work of art.

Artist, photographer, dreamer, home cook and author of four cookbooks.

"For me, creativity and inspiration stream from crossovers, from an array of undertakings, from following to where your heart leans in the moment. For me, it can be writing, painting, styling food, running or capturing formidable light with a camera blink. 

"I believe that whatever brings us joy and smile to our face is worth pursuing. Different creative mediums are but means to find to beauty and magic in everyday life." - Gintare Marcel

Afternoon drinks with girlfriends and heart-to-hearts = perfect.

A simple rosemary sprig adds the perfect touch to a delicate linen napkin.

Gathering around the table with friends.

"I wouldn't want to live in a world where you can't have macarons for breakfast."

Slow living embraces slow dining.

Chocolate fig cake, anyone?

Red Wine Tarts from her new cookbook.

Tomato Pie. Yes, please.


Attention to beautiful details makes dinner guests feel honored.

Chocolate Tiramisu.

A delicacy that's frame-worthy.

Presentation is everything.

Summer is all about dining en plein ar.

Morning sun over sleepy Swiss villages is a recipe for inspiration.

"Mountains have a way of calming even the most restless mind."

Gintare's newest cookbook, L’art de la Table: taste of the Mediterranean will be released this year.  This lovely book "is an ode to slow living, gathering and enjoying life." Featuring 100 of her favorite recipes and stunning photography, this book is a must for every kitchen or coffee table. To order this book on Amazon, click here.  For more information and to visit Marcel's website, click here


Lime Olive Oil Cake 
with Cream and Strawberries

Serves: 8
   1 cup flour / 150 g / 5 ½ oz flour
   ½ cup almond flour / 55g / 2 oz
   ⅔ cup sugar / 150g / 5½ oz
   1 tsp baking powder
   1 tsp baking soda
   pinch of salt
   zest of 2 limes
   2 eggs
   ½ cup/120 ml extra virgin olive oil
   ½ cup/120 ml fresh lime juice
   Vanilla cream
   1 cup/ 250 ml double
   1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
   1 tbsp sugar
   9 oz/250g strawberries, halved
1.       Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
2.       Oil and line a 18cm/7-inch cake tin with baking paper, set aside.
3.       Sift and combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
4.       In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients and stir into the dry ones.
5.       Pour everything into the tin and bake for about 40 minutes, till a wooden skewer comes out        clean.
6.       Let it cool down for 15 minutes, then remove from the tin and let it cool completely.

7.       Whip cream with vanilla and sugar, spread on the cake and finish with strawberries.

Honey Yogurt Semifreddo 
with Muscat and Lavender roasted Apricots and Pine Nut Brittle

Honey yogurt Semifreddo
       3 egg whites
       pinch of salt
       3 tbsp honey
       250g/1 cup full yogurt
Roasted muscat and lavender apricots
      6 apricots, halved
      2 tbsp honey
      1 cup Muscat wine
      few lavender springs
Pine nut britle
      3 tbsp pine nuts
      3 tbsp sugar
1.   For semifreddo, place a heatproof bowl with eggwhites, salt and honey over simmering water and using a whisk or a mixer beat for a few minutes till they reach 65C/150F. Then take off the heat and continue to whip egg whites till the bowl has cooled down completely. Stir in yogurt and either pour into a single container lined with cling film or 6 small moulds. Place in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours.
2.   For roasted apricots, preheat the oven to 180C/356F. Place apricots in an ovenproof dish in a single layer, drizzle with honey, lavender and pour over Muscat wine. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, basting them with cooking liquid a couple of times.
3.   Heat the sugar in a non stick pan shaking occasionally till the sugar turns to dark caramel then pour over pine nuts placed on a baking sheet.
4.   To serve, de-mold semifreddo and serve a piece with roasted apricots, a bit of cooking syrup and pine nut brittle.

Violet and Sweet Potato Creme Brulee recipe, click here.


All photographs by Gintare Marcel and used with permission.