Showing posts with label sweet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet. Show all posts

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Puff Pastry Ravioli Mince Pies

If you have puff pastry in your freezer and a jar of mincemeat in the cupboard, you are ready for an impromptu potluck invitation or unexpected guests!  These little pies, made ravioli-style, are a welcome addition to the dessert table at any Christmas party or buffet table.

Food Lust People Love: Puff Pastry Ravioli Mince Pies uses a ravioli plaque to make mini mincemeat pies out of filling and puff pastry. Easy and adorable square pies!

Mince pies are traditional Christmas fare in the United Kingdom and everyone seems to have a favorite family recipe. Historically, mincemeat fillings actually contained minced meat or ground meat as we Americans call it. Nowadays most recipes call for apples, raisins, currants, spices, suet, citrus peel and possibly a splash of brandy. I was going for quick and easy and since I don’t have a granny’s recipe, I used a good quality store-bought brand.

Puff Pastry Ravioli Mince Pies

The puff pastry shortcut makes beautiful little flakey mince pies quick and easy.

1 large sheet puff pastry – I buy a British brand here in Dubai and one sheet weighs 11 1/4 oz or 320g and measures approximately 13 3/4 in x 9 in or 35cm x 22.5cm.
6 tablespoons good quality mincemeat
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
Powdered sugar - optional for serving

Tools: 1 ravioli plaque

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment.

Cover your work surface with cling film and lay out the puff pastry sheet.  Gently roll it a bit thinner until you have a big enough piece to cut two pieces the size of your ravioli plaque, possibly with leftovers.

Trim off any rough or dry edges.  A fresh cut always helps puff pastry rise more successfully.

Use your ravioli plaque as a guide, and cut two pieces of puff pastry to fit.  You may have some leftover but don’t worry because we can use that for decoration.

Sprinkle the plaque lightly with flour and lay the first piece of puff pasty on it.

Gently fill the holes with about 1/2 tablespoon each of mincemeat.

Brush the second piece of puff pastry with the milk.

Carefully place the second piece, milk side down on top of the filled pastry.

Press down all around the filling, starting in the middle first and try to push out any air before sealing the sides.  Just like making pasta ravioli.

Turn the whole tray of little raviolis out onto your cling film and cut into squares.

Brush the tops with more milk.

If you have leftover dough, cut shapes or strips out of it to decorate your little ravioli tarts.  I didn’t have any tiny cookie cutters so I made ribbons.  Stars or holly leaves would be more traditional for mince pies.

Carefully transfer the ravioli tarts to your prepared pan.  If you do ribbons as well, poke the middle with a sharp knife (but don't puncture the top of the ravioli!) so they don’t come “untied” while baking.

Bake for about 12 – 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the little pies are golden and puffy.

Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then remove to a serving dish.  Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar, if desired.  I forgot to take a photo of this step!

Food Lust People Love: Puff Pastry Ravioli Mince Pies uses a ravioli plaque to make mini mincemeat pies out of filling and puff pastry. Easy and adorable square pies!


This week my Sunday Supper friends are sharing recipes that are perfect for a holiday buffet. If you are throwing a party or just need to bring a dish to someone else's party, we've got you covered. Check out the great list of recipes below. Many thanks to our event manager Christie from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures for all of her hard work.

Abundance of Appetizers

Sundry of Savory Dishes

Desserts by the Dozen

Pin these Puff Pastry Ravioli Mince Pies!

Food Lust People Love: Puff Pastry Ravioli Mince Pies uses a ravioli plaque to make mini mincemeat pies out of filling and puff pastry. Easy and adorable square pies!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Warm Gingerbread Syrup

Warm gingerbread syrup is spicy and sweet, made with both fresh and powdered ginger. Put a little zip in your drinks and desserts this holiday season.

Here the warm refers to the spiciness that the fresh and ground ginger add to this gingerbread syrup, although you can certainly warm it to serve as well. Pour it over ice cream, drizzle it on a Victoria sponge cake, add some to your hot cocoa, tea or warm apple juice. A tablespoon or two of gingerbread syrup is also delightful poured in a Champagne flute and topped up with bubbly.

As a person who makes jams and chutneys and syrups, I know the work that goes into them. That’s why I am always grateful to receive a homemade food gift. Heck, who am I kidding? I am always happy to receive a food gift if it is special, even if it’s store bought.

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing recipes for homemade food gifts. I’ve got to tell you that I am thrilled with how this warm gingerbread syrup turned out and I am having a hard time parting with it. We love spicy food at our house but I tend to think of chilies bringing the heat. I forget how spicy and warming ginger can be! This stuff would be wonderful simply added to some hot water on a chilly night. It’ll warm you up from the inside.

2 3/4 cups or 615g golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger (make sure it’s fresh – old spices lose their flavor and potency)
2 thick slices of fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick

Note: Golden caster sugar is fine, free flowing dry sugar that is unrefined so it adds color and a bit of a buttery flavor to this syrup. If you can’t find it where you live, you can use regular fine white sugar but replace a tablespoon or two with brown sugar to get the same effect. This is the brand I used, available on Amazon. Unfortunately, the shipping makes it a pretty expensive option though.

Put the sugar, ground ginger and fresh ginger into a pot with the cinnamon stick. Pour in 1 2/3 cups or 385ml water. Bring to a low boil. Stir occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.  Boil gently for about 8-10 minutes or until the syrup has reduce a little.

Strain the syrup through some cheesecloth set in a fine strainer over quart- or liter-sized measuring cup. The above ingredients yielded 2 1/2 cups or 600ml of warm gingerbread syrup.

Pour into sterilized bottles and decorate with fabric or ribbons.


If you are looking for some homemade food gift recipes to make for your loved ones this year, Sunday Supper has got you covered. Check out this major list of options. Many thanks to our host this week, Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures and our event manager Cricket from Cricket's Confections.

Baked Goods



Jams, Syrups, Drinks

Mixes and Spices


Pin it!


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Nectarine Kumquat Habanero Chutney

Nectarine Kumquat Habanero Chutney has the perfect blend of sweet and sharp and spicy. The tart kumquats add an extra bite to the sweet nectarines and the heat of the habaneros complements the dried spices, giving this chutney a distinctly Indian flair.

Food Lust People Love: Nectarine Kumquat Habanero Chutney has the perfect blend of sweet and sharp and spicy. The tart kumquats add an extra bite to the sweet nectarines and the heat of the habaneros complements the dried spices, giving this chutney a distinctly Indian flair.

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing recipes that save the summer harvest. I love adding peppers, especially habaneros, to sweet condiments. There’s something special about that hit of heat and sweet that goes so perfectly with pork or chicken. I just can’t resist. One day soon I’ll share the recipe for my confit pork belly, shown here, because it’s my favorite thing to eat with nectarine kumquat habanero chutney. But meanwhile, serve it along side grilled chicken breasts or pan-fried pork chops.

12 1/3 oz or 350g kumquats
3 cups or 710ml apple cider vinegar
3 lbs 12 oz or 1700g nectarines
2 tablespoon canola or other light oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
12 fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon kalonji
4 in or 9cm piece of cinnamon stick
1 cup or 240ml fresh orange juice
2 large, thick thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger
6 cups or 1200g sugar
3-4 habanero peppers – about 38g

Wash your kumquats and remove any stems.  Finely slice them, removing any large green seeds.

Pile them in a bowl and cover them with the vinegar. Push them down into a little if necessary. Cover the bowl with cling film and let marinate for at least one hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to proceed, chop your ginger finely. Mince your fresh habaneros. You can discard the seeds but know that even doing that, this is going to be pretty spicy. Be very careful with the habaneros. I recommend you use gloves. Do not, I repeat, do not touch anything – face, eyes, nose, etc. – before washing your hands very thoroughly with full strength soap, or better yet, an abrasive scouring powder, just in case.

Measure out your spices, putting the mustard seeds in one bowl and the rest of the spices in another.

Seed and thinly slice your nectarines. No need to peel them.

In a large pot, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add in the other spices and give the whole thing a quick stir.

Now add in the chopped ginger and stir again. Pour in the orange juice.

Now add in the kumquats and the vinegar they marinated in. Bring to a low boil and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add in the nectarines, habaneros, the stick of cinnamon and sugar.

Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the fire down.  Be careful at the beginning because the sugar really makes it bubble up.  You do not want this to boil over!

Cook until the chutney thickens to your desired consistency. Remember that once it cools, it will thicken even more so stop before you can stand a spoon in it or it will be too thick cold. I cooked mine for almost one hour over a low heat. If you are a thermometer using type, I find that jam or chutney will set when cooled if heated to just under 220°F or 105°C.

Turn off the fire and remove the cinnamon stick.

Transfer the boiling chutney to sterilized jars, popping in clean teaspoons to make sure the jars don’t break. Screw the sterilized lids on tightly.  I use the inversion method to seal my jars but experts like Rebecca Lindamood, author of Not Your Mama’s Canning Book does not recommend this. She advocates processing the jars in a boiling water bath or pressure canner.

Enjoy! If you like kumquats, you might also like my spicy tangy sticky kumquat chutney.

Food Lust People Love: Nectarine Kumquat Habanero Chutney has the perfect blend of sweet and sharp and spicy. The tart kumquats add an extra bite to the sweet nectarines and the heat of the habaneros complements the dried spices, giving this chutney a distinctly Indian flair.

Check out all the fabulous recipes our Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing this week to save the summer harvest. Many thanks to today's host Caroline of Caroline's Cooking and our event manager Renee of Renee's Kitchen Adventures.


Main dishes





Pin this Nectarine Kumquat Habanero Chutney!

Food Lust People Love: Nectarine Kumquat Habanero Chutney has the perfect blend of sweet and sharp and spicy. The tart kumquats add an extra bite to the sweet nectarines and the heat of the habaneros complements the dried spices, giving this chutney a distinctly Indian flair.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Apple Bundt #BundtBakers

Light yet full of fruit, this easy peasy lemon squeezy apple Bundt reminds me that bright summer sunshine always fades into sweet cooler autumn. Eventually.

Go ahead, laugh with me. Or at me. I deserve it. I made this cake batter twice in two days because the first time, I completely forgot to add the apples in at the end. Yes, they were all peeled and sliced and chopped and just waiting, ready, but I was so taken by the lovely golden yellow batter that I spooned it right in my prepared baking pan – this Duet Bundt* from Nordic Ware – and popped it in the oven. The timer was 10 minutes down before I realized that the apples and lemon juice were still just sitting there. And I temporarily lost my will to live.

So here’s what I can tell you: If you want a simple vanilla lemon cake that doesn’t need a machine to mix and that would bake up beautifully in a Duet pan, just skip the apple steps.

Today, however, there need to be apples. Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting Bundt Bakers this month and she chose apples as our theme. How could I have forgotten to add the one ingredient I have to use? Yeah, I don’t know either.

Once the apples are added, the batter of this delicious easy peasy lemon squeezy apple Bundt is fluffy from the interaction of the baking soda, sour cream and lemon juice so spoon it carefully into your baking pan. We don’t want to lose any of the air inside.

Ingredients for 5- or 6-cup Bundt
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 apples, depending on size about 170g each (I ended up using 1 1/2 apples)
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon juice
zest 1 lemon
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
3/4 cup or 150g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup or 115g full fat sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: confectioner’s sugar for decoration

Preheat the oven to 325°F or 163°C. Prepare your 5 or 6 cup Bundt pan by greasing it with butter and coating that with flour.

Zest your lemon and then squeeze the juice into a small mixing bowl, being careful to remove all of the seeds.

Cut the apples in half, core and peel them. Slice them as thinly as you can, then give the whole pile of slices a couple of rough chops. The point here is that we don’t mind some larger pieces, but they should all be thin so they cook faster.  Make sense?

Put the cut apples into the lemon juice bowl and stir well. The acid in the lemon juice will help stop the apples from turning brown as you get on with the rest of the recipe.

Measure your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add in the butter, eggs, sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla.

Beat well with a whisk, until the batter is smooth and creamy. Resist the urge to eat it. (It’s so good!)

Fold in the chopped apples along with the lemon juice.

Spoon the batter into your prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven. Check it occasionally and if the top begins to brown too quickly, you can cover it with some foil.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before attempting to remove the cakes from the pan.

Once completely cool, you can add a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar, if desired.


Do you love to bake with apples? You are sure to add to your list of favorites when you see what my fellow Bundt Bakers have created this month!


BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Pin Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Apple Bundt!

   *Amazon affiliate link.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sweet Corn Muffins #MuffinMonday

Just a little cornmeal adds a lovely flavor to these tender sweet muffins, without making them as heavy as cornbread could be. It’s all a manner of ratios, more flour to less cornmeal. 

It’s Muffin Monday time again! Somehow the last Monday of the month always seems to sneak up on me but I am delighted to say that my Muffin Monday bakers are clearly more organized than I am and are turning out in force this month. We’ve got seven wonderfully creative muffins for you and my rather normal sweet corn muffins. That said, sometimes normal can be terrific.

My younger daughter is home for a visit so I let her choose the muffin I’d make this month. After all, she’d probably be the one eating most of them. She told me of a sweet corn muffin they used to serve when she was still in school. It was sweet, but not too sweet, with a subtle corn flavor. It did not have any actual corn in it. In fact, when I asked that question, she looked horrified. You might remember my discussing her assertion that everybody likes plain things. Anyway, if there wasn’t actual corn, I had to presume that it was made with cornmeal. Last but not least, it was light in texture, not heavy like cornbread.

So, here you go. I think this muffin fulfills all of her requirements: A tender, light, fluffy, sweet corn muffin. Perfect for breakfast or snack time. As a bonus, the muffin top edges are almost crunchy from the cornmeal. She's still sleeping as I post this so I'll have to report back later on her verdict.

Update: She says the muffins are very good but the ones at school had more corn flavor. Next time I'm going to up the ratio of cornmeal to flour a little.

Make sure you scroll down to see the link list of the other more creative muffins!

1 1/2 cups or 190ml flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/2 cup or 85g yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 or 300ml cups milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
2 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Grease or paper-line your 12-cup muffin pan.

Whisk together your flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together your milk, oil and eggs, until fully combined.

Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, until just combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. They are going to be pretty full but you can manage to fit it all in.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden brown around the edges and a toothpick stuck in the middle of one comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a few minutes then remove the muffins to a wire rack.


Check out all the great muffins we have for you this month!

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Gin Lime Coconut Truffles #GalentinesDay

Tart and sweet with the zip of a little gin, these white chocolate and lime truffles are rolled in coconut for a little trip down the islands.

Happy Galentine’s Day! Yep, you read that right. Galentine’s Day: The day women celebrate women, breakfast style, inspired by this scene in Parks and Recreation.

Our smart and lovely organizer, Nancy from gotta get baked, is in charge once more this year, along with her co-host, Courtney from Neighborfood. Their invitation to join the fun said we must also write about a woman who inspires us. I’d like to write about 43,990,000. Give or take a few.

Many years ago, when I was living in Brunei with my father, we had a sweet lady from the Philippines working for us. She cooked, she cleaned and she helped look after my little baby half sister. I was surprised to learn that she had been a schoolteacher in her home country but could make more working as a housekeeper in Bandar Seri Begawan than she could teaching school in her village. So she applied for a job through a maid service, left her own children behind with their grandparents and moved to a foreign country to raise other people’s children.

Lirio was one of an estimated 83 percent of 53 millions domestic workers worldwide, who are women. (Source: International Labor Organization) Millions of whom leave their own families behind, to make a better living elsewhere, so that their own children will have better lives. The sacrifices they make, living with strangers, in strange lands, caring for families other than their own, are deemed worthwhile, because the support money they send home each month is crucial to the wellbeing of their families.

Here in the UAE, it is common practice to hire maids from overseas. I see them in flocks at bus stops on Friday morning, often their only day off, headed to the malls or beaches, to spend time with friends. They are laughing and smiling, enjoying their freedom and a day of rest and recreation. But I know they must miss their children, all the day-to-day milestones of skinned knees and spelling tests, afterschool snacks and goodnight kisses. I admire their work ethic, their dedication and their sacrifice. It’s never an easy job but they are doing what mothers the world over want to do, care for their children, in the best way they know how.

To read about the women who inspire the rest of our Galentine’s Day group and to check out the other wonderful recipes, make sure to scroll down to the link list below.

For the truffles:
10 1/2 oz or 300g good quality white chocolate – I use Lindt bars.
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup or 150g butter
Zest 1 lime
2 tablespoons lime juice
5 tablespoons gin

For rolling the truffles:
1 cup or 85g desiccated coconut (Not sweetened coconut flakes)
Zest 1 lime

Zest your limes and then juice them, keeping the zest and juice separate.

Add the cream and the white chocolate, broken up into squares, to a heat resistant mixing bowl. Place the bowl on top of a pot about one quarter filled with water. Bring the pot of water to a slow boil, stirring the chocolate and cream in the bowl above, until the chocolate is completely melted.

Add in the butter, cut into pieces and stir until it is melted.

Remove the bowl from the heat and add in the zest of one lime, 2 tablespoonf of lime juice and the gin. Stir until completely combined.

Leave the mixture to cool and then place it, covered, in the refrigerator until it turns solid.

Mix the zest from the second lime with the desiccated coconut.

Use a teaspoon to scoop out small amounts of the firm mixture and roll them into balls between your clean palms. Place the balls in the dry coconut and roll them around until they are well covered.

Place them directly on a serving plate or use little paper candy cups. If you are living in a warm climate, keep the truffles refrigerated until you are ready to serve. These also freeze beautifully!

This made 33 truffles but you would probably get more if you can control yourself and make them all as small as the first ones. Mine tend to get bigger and bigger as I go along.


And now, as promised, the other Galentine's Day recipes with inspiring stories. Make one for a special woman in your life!