DB#23 or How late is late?


If I have a kitchen motto is 'no regrets' about anything. No regrets if it went wrong. No regrets if it's not perfect. No regrets if I have to try it again. But specially, and most of all, no regrets for not having tried at all. I was going to go gluten-free the very first time the Daring Bakers go vegan (hooray!). I was going to make this awesome grilled peach dip. I was going to make all this, except life got in the way. I baked my Lavash yesterday (technically still before the deadline) using whatever there was in my pantry. No gluten-free crackers and no fantastic dip. What better excuse to open a pot of an Apple Tomato Chutney I've made weeks ago? Consider it open! I'm late, but hopefully not too late! ;)

Thank you so much Natalie and Shelly for such a nice recipe - I'll make it again for sure! Have a look at all the other Daring Bakers challenges for multiple options for dips and toppings.


Apple Tomato Chutney
Adapted from Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, Compotas e Conservas

Makes about 1 Kg

700 grs ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
300 grs small onions, finely chopped
500 grs apples, granny smith, peeled, cored and diced
250 ml white wine vinegar, good quality
175 grs light brown sugar
90 grs raisins
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground gloves
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

Place all the ingredients (except the spices) in a large saucepan. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 40-45 minutes or until fruit and vegetables are soft. Mix in spices. The chutney is ready when thick or when running the back of a wooden spoon across, no liquid runs. Immediately pour into sterilized jars, cover, and turn sealed jar upside down until cool. Keep in the fridge. Open after 2 months (or when you want!).

Apple Tomato Chutney with Raisins

For the Lavash recipe visit Shellyfish. Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen has also made an Apple Tomato Chutney. ;)


A Yellow & Red Affair


What's cute, colourful, sugary and truly American? The cupcake, of course! When those sweet threats crossed the Atlantic and set foot on Europe, a 'fairy cake' had arrived. I'm not very fond of artificial colorants, and that's my only issue with cupcakes. My take on this American classic features a subtle red touch on shining yellow peaks. It's all almond, pear, saffron and lemon in plain white - wished I had reddish! - patty cases.


Saffron and Pear Cupcakes with Lemon Curd

Makes 16 mini (or 8 regular) cupcakes

1 small ripe but firm pear
100grs salted butter
100grs superfine caster sugar
2 medium eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
100 grs ground almonds (or almond meal)
40 grs all-purpose flour, sifted
½ tsp saffron threads (or more, to taste)
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs gradually. Mix in vanilla extract and lemon zest. Fold in ground almonds and flour, mixing just to combine (do not over mix). Line 16 tins with paper patty cases. Spoon in the mixture. Peal the pear and cut into wedges. Place 2 or 3 pieces in every cupcake. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven.

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd
Adapted from Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

½ cup lemon juice
zest of one lemon
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Beat all the ingredients until just combined, except the juice, zest and butter. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, and add the butter.

Cook the mixture in a small nonreactive heavy pan, stirring constantly, over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. (Do not boil or the eggs will curdle.) When thick, pour into a bowl or glass jars to cool. Cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

Assemble the cupcakes: spoon a little lemon curd on top of each one, and sprinkle with some extra saffron threads.

I'm sending these Saffron and Pear Cupcakes with Lemon Curd to Fanny over at lovely Foodbeam, to join this round of Sugar High Friday. SHF is a food event created by Jennifer, aka the Domestic Goddess. Can't wait to see all the entries!


Hay, hay, it's Bordeaux again!

We have a winner for this round of Hay, hay it's Donna Day. [insert drums here] Please have a look at Marita Says and drool over the awesome nutella panCAKE that took most of the votes. Congratulations Bordeaux for a deserved second win!

Thank you to everyone who submitted delicious pancakes to an amazing roundup. Once again you made me a very proud host! Obrigada!


Muffins & Presents

Choco Muffins

Today it's not so much about the chocolate muffins (which, not-so-coincidentally, is a Donna Hay's recipe!) but about how Hay, hay it's Donna Hay gave the opportunity to show my love for Donna. I could tell you how I love the books and specially the magazine, or how both make my cooking and baking much better... I could also tell you that winning HHDD twice made me jump and laugh, and that I had great fun going through the magazines to choose a theme and a recipe. But the most important thing is it gave me the chance to "meet" awesome people (you know who you are!), so thanks to everyone who made it so special for me. :) I've been spoiled by talented Bron Marshall with yummy and beautiful goodies for my 1st HHDD win. Thank you, Bron! And the colourful (and very useful!) spoons & cups were a sweet gift from Alexandra from the always inspirational Addicted Sweet Tooth, along with delicious Canadian Maple Flakes! Thanks a million, Alexandra!

Choco Muffins

Chocolate Muffins
Adapted from Donna Hay, New Food Fast, p.78*

Makes 9 (or 15 mini muffins)

150grs (unsalted) butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar (I used light brown sugar)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 (large) eggs
1 cup cake flour

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF). In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar, until smooth. Add, one at a time, whisking between additions. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Fold in the egg mixture. With a spoon fill the (silicone) muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake for 12 minutes, or until baked but still wet in the inside.

*I own the Portuguese version of this book. Apologies if the recipe may be slightly different from the original, as it's my translation.




Perhaps you remember me drooling over a minestrone back when I visited Slovenia in June. One of the most memorable meals I had in a long time! I've been daydreaming of this minestrone made of barley, black eyed peas and dry peas, according with the recipe the lady provided me with when I asked. My minestrone doesn't taste exactly like the one we had there, maybe because we miss the mountains to go with or just because I probably heard bay leaf, and she meant something else... Either way, whilst Autumn settles in this part of the globe, me and Mr. Taster had a couple of bowls and felt comforted with this hearty soup!


Serves 6-8

2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small courgette, diced
1 small turnip, grated
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock, warm
1 cup black eyed peas, soaked and cooked previously
1/2 cup dry peas, soaked and cooked previously
1-2 cups barley, soaked and cooked previously
Salt and black pepper
Grated Parmesan, to serve (optional)

Slice carrots and dice turnip and courgette. Chop onion coarsely. In a large stockpot, sautée onion with olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaf, sliced and diced vegetables, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock. Cook for 5 minutes. Mix in barley, peas and black eyed peas, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, and allow to settle for a while with the lid on. Serve with grated Parmesan.



HHDD#22 - the Roundup!

Ready for the pancakes? Get some tea, coffee or juice and join me for the fun. We have a awesome bunch of lovely recipes that, I'm sure, will provide the perfect pancake or crepe for everyone! Thank you all for submitting your entries to this event.


Once again, I'd like to start this roundup with the creator of Hay Hay it's Donna Day, Barbara of WinosandFoodies made some good looking, and for sure delicious, pancakes. Have a look at Donna's Pancakes with Blueberries and Raspberry Sauce, and tell me if that's not a beautiful way to have pancakes.

From southern France, Dhanggit of Dhanggit's Kitchen made a great stack of Rhum Raisin Almond Pancakes. I've never had alcohol for breakfast before but I'm now willing to add some Rum to my pancakes!!

From Utah, USA, Holly of Phe/MOM/enon made spectacular sweet crepes, two ways: filled with a spread of chocolately Nutella and folded then drizzled with some warm Burnt Caramel Hazelnut Praline Sauce. No further comments!

From my neighbor Spain, Tartasacher of Mil Postres made simple, but surely delicious, American Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Sauce... Mmmm, dark chocolate. Can I please (pretty please) have a couple of those with my coffee?

My good friend Rita from Clumbsy Cookie joined with truly adorable, tiny pancakes which are vegan too. Plus, they're low in sugar and low in fat, but most of all they're delicious and with a nice texture. Not a simple reason not to try those cuties.

Lisa of Spicy Ice Cream from Sydney, Australia joined with a delightful plate of Cinnamon Pancakes for a yummy morning ritual.

From beautiful Asia, Bordeaux of Marita Says came up with a Nutella PanCAKE... Should I or shouldn't I accept this variation on the theme? or is that really a question? Bring on that decadent, extremely rich and heart-attack inducing entry! ;) (And feel free to borrow my kitchen for the next HHDD events)

Chichajo of lovely 80 Breakfasts joins from Manila, Philippines for a round of Chocolate Filled Crepes with Cinnamon Crust. As joey herself says The combination of the dark chocolate and the subtle cinnamon flavour was perfect! Of course it was!!

Kazari of I think I have a recipe for that... from Canberra, Australia made yummy wholemeal Apple Pancakes, perfect to go with a cup of whatever-you're-having-for-breakfast!

SilverMoon Dragon from Dragon Musings in Australia, made Triple Choc Pancakes for her first Hay Hay it's Donna Day. What's better than double chocolate? Triple Chocolate, of course!!

Andrea of Cooking Books from Manhattan entered not one but to great recipes! First, have a taste at Ataïf with Eishta (Arab Pancakes with Middle Eastern Clotted Cream) for an exquisite version of delicious sweet pancakes.

Andrea also entered an intriguing savoury recipe for Squash Blossoms on Summer Squash Pancakes. This one got me really curious! Not to mention the pretty presentation. I'll have to try it!

Dee from choos and chews, cooking and posting from Malaysia, made some early morning Vanilla Buttermilk Pancakes with Pear and Cardamom Compote. Did you just say cardamom and pear in the same sentence? Sounds like an awesome combination of flavours! Plus, instant pancakes are a great finding to save you time in the morning.

From New York, Alexandra of Addicted Sweet Tooth had some Honey Walnut Pancakes with Marinated Citrus Fruits my way. (Alexandra also sent a lovely gift to celebrate my Tiramisu winning entry. Thank you!)

Based in Chicago, IL, Jude from Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté made a pile of Old-Fashioned Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes to show how whole grains are beneficial to one’s health particularly during breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is THE meal for me!

And that's all folks! Thank you all for sharing and taking part. I hope you enjoyed it. Me? I had a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time once more!

Voting begins today, September 15th, and runs until midnight (GMT) next Monday September 22rd. Email your choice to me at gourmetsamadores [at] gmail [dot] com before the deadline. Participants only. The winner will be announced shortly after.


Far... and away


Once in a while, my hubby grabs a cookbook from the shelves (or the floor...) and picks up a recipe. You could make this, he says. It's always something I probably wouldn't choose by myself or simply a meat dish that somehow never makes the top of my list. This time, the Official Taster has put his finger on a Far aux pêches et à la menthe from one of my many French Marabout books. Often referred as Far Breton, a far is a fruity pudding cake, between a flan and a clafoutis, great served for breakfast or as a light dessert. With a kitchen full of stone fruits, the choice was spot on! Nectarines, peppermint (a gift from my lovely friend Marizé) and some slivered almonds... Mesdames et messieurs, voilá!


Nectarine Far with Almonds
Slightly adapted from Isabel Brancq-Lepage, Flans, fars et clafoutis, Marabout.

Serves 6-8

2 cups (500ml) milk
3 eggs
3/4 cup (100grs) all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup (125grs) superfine caster sugar + 2 Tbsp extra to dust
4 ripe (but firm) nectarines
4 peppermint leaves
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Butter an ovenproof deep dish (or 6 to 8 individual ramekins) and dust with sugar.

Peel the nectarines, remove stone, and slice into thin pieces. Arrange into the prepared dishes, with the mint leaves randomly disposed.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Sift flour and sugar together into a mixing bowl. Slowly, whisk in the milk and eggs, beating until batter is smooth. Pour batter over the fruit. Arrange slivered almonds on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and crusty around the edges. (Do not over bake. The interior should be moist, with a flan-like texture) Sprinkle with sugar. Serve warm, from the dish.



Figs & Friends

fig tart

Figs. Purple figs have to be the most sensual fruit on Earth! Either because the colour is outstanding or just because the flavour is unique... I love figs. But it's not the first time I tell how much I love those little sweet, juicy things that melt in your mouth with an explosion of sweetness and texture! If you'd like to check my fig addiction, have a look at a previous Fig Salad. This summer was particularly kind with figs. My vacations in Algarve were loaded with these wonders: I've made fig compote, a fig tart and pan-fried figs with Greek Yogurt. Heaven on Earth!

My good friend Clumbsy Cookie started an amazing fig week with a lot of fig fun. Head over there if you need some inspiration or just to drool over the awesome fig recipes.

fig tart

Fig Tart

Serves 4

6-8 fresh figs
2 Tbsp caster sugar, extra to dust
1 tsp lemon zest
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
danish pastry (or puff pastry dough)
honey (optional)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 20 x 20cm rectangle, 1/2cm thick. Place the dough on the baking sheet. Slice the figs crosswise into thin slices. Arrange the figs on the bottom of the dough, leaving 2 cms of dough left outside. Fold up to create a trim. Beat the egg with the sugar, lemon zest and milk. Pour over the fruit, carefully not to disturb the sliced figs. Sprinkle both the dough and the fruit with extra sugar. Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 200ºC (400ºF) oven or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Drizzle lightly with honey and serve.


Pan-fried figs with Greek Yoghurt

Serves 2

2 Tbsp honey
6 ripe purple figs
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp caster sugar
200 grs Greek Yoghurt

Cut the figs in half and sprinkle the cut-sides with sugar. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and sautee the figs for a minute, cut-side down. Combine the yogurt and honey, stirring well. Divide the figs in 2 bowls. Add a dollop of yoghurt on top of each, and serve.


Hay, hay, pancake away!

Pancakes with summer fruits

Pancakes anyone? Just a little reminder about this month's Hay, hay it's Donna Day. This proud hostess is willing for your entries until next Monday, September 8. That's the last day to send your pancakes, crepes or pikelets. As usual, late entries will have to invite me for brunch. ;)