Rhubarb-Ginger-Blackcurrant Chutney

So here I am with a bunch of rhubarb sticks, not knowing what to do with them as they look too sour for a sweet dessert or tart.
Maybe I could cook a sweet-and-sour chutney?
Opening my fridge and my pantry to check what could go with it I found: candied ginger, maybe…nuts, hmmm, not really, sugar? A must. Preserved Blackcurrant? Worth a try…

Finally, these are the ingredients I used:

500g peeled rhubarb, cut in small pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
50g candied ginger, finely chopped
2dl balsamic vinegar
0.5dl white balsamic vinegar
0.5dl elderflower vinegar
(If not available, just use 1dl of the white balsamic vinegar)
Gingerpowder, mixed Spice, curry, cayenne pepper to your liking
3 tablespoons preserved blackcurrant
1 tablespoon sugar (me, invert sugar, you: brown or white sugar)

In a pan, bring the vinegars, ginger and onion to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients and let cook uncovered for about 20mins, stir well every now and then until the chutney is thick and jammy.
Turn off the heat and let the chutney sit for another 10 mins. Spoon the chutney into clean, warm jars.
Can be used to accompany BBQ-ed meet or fine cheeses.

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Cookies around Christmas Time

Now, 12 days before Christmas, I start getting into the mood…it’s feeling a lot like Christmas!
Today, I tried to create a new, not-so-traditional cookies and since they turned out being really yummy and refreshing, I thought I share the recipes with you.

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Orange-Almond bits

for the dough:
400g white flour, me 00
125g icing sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Vanilla extract
1 egg
200g cold butter, cut in pieces

Filling:
Juice of 1 Orange, set 3 tablespoons apart
Orange zest of 1 orange
125g finely ground almonds
125g caster sugar

Glazing:
3 tablespoons orange juice
80g icing sugar

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, add the egg and butter, I used my Kenwood Food Processor to make a smooth dough. Takes only a few minutes, of course, if you want build muscles in your fingers and arms, feel free to knead manually.

For the filling:
Mix the orange juice, orange zest, almonds and sugar, stir until smooth.
Heat the oven to 180c.

Cut the dough in half and roll the dough on a baking paper into a rectangle of approx 30×40 cm, same with the other half. Now spread the filling evenly on one dough rectangle, leave 1cm on each side free. Cover with the other half, press the edges well with a fork and punch some holes into the top.

Bake for 25 minutes. Maybe 30 if the surface is still too soft.

Meanwhile stir the remaining orange juice and the icing sugar very well until you get a creamy glazing. Remove the giant cookie from the oven and immediately apply the glazing.
Let it dry well and then cut the dough into small cookie bits, depends on your taste, i cut it into 2×2 cm squares.

The bits remain fresh for 3 weeks if stored in a tin. But I doubt they will last that long…

Ginger-Brunsli

Ginger-what? Brunsli are very traditional Swiss Christmas cookies. I tried to make them with a twist. Actually, I altered not only the recipe, but also the shape.

You will need:

200g caster sugar
250g finely ground almonds
3 tablespoons white flour, me 00
2 egg whites, beaten until very stif
100g chocolate, bitter, me Lindt 65%, broken in bits
Boiling water
1 tablespoon freshly grind ginger or ginger powder
1 tablespoon candied ginger, finely chopped

Sugar, ginger powder to form cookies

And here’s how to do them:

Stir the sugar, almonds, flour in a bowl. Add the beaten egg white, blend together

In a separate bowl, pour boiling water over the chocolate bits and let melt for 2-3 minutes. Test with a toothpick if the chocolate has melted. Drain the water carefully, then stir the ginger, fresh or powder, into the chocolate. Blend the chocolate with the other mix until smooth. The mix remains quite fluffy and moist. Now comes the fun part: mix sugar and ginger and add some to the palms of your hands, take some of the moist mix (size of a walnut) and form a ball, place it on a baking sheet. Continue until the entire mix is used up.
If you have sugar/ginger mix left, spread it evenly on the balls, using a sieve.
Flatten the balls pulling them gently with the straight bottom side of a glas or cup.
Decorate each cookie with some of the chopped candied ginger.
Let dry over night. The next day, bake them for 4 minutes at 220c in the preheated oven.
Again, in a tin they remain fresh for two weeks, really? They won’t last neither:-)

Sticky Ginger and Date Square Cake

This recipe is courtesy of Val and Richard, Rockpool House, Resipole Scotland

When we checked in at the Rockpool House, Val and Richard greeted us not only with their heartwarming personalities, but also with tea, coffee and the best ever tasted Ginger Cake.
Val was so kind and sent me her recipe. And today I finally found the time to try if I can manage to bake it as well.

Ingredients:

200g chopped dates
2dl boiling water
1 tspn bicarb

200g caster sugar
1 beaten egg
250g plain flour
A pinch of salt
85g butter, melted
1 tspn baking powder
3 preserved ginger balls, finely chopped (me, 8 candied ginger balls)
1-2 tspn ginger powder (according to taste, me: 3)
½ tspn cinnamon (me, 1 tspn)
½ tspn mixed spice (me, 1 tspn)

ginger 1

Put the chopped dates in a large bowl and add the boiling water. Stir in the bicarb, let rest for 10 mins. If the dates were not chopped finely enough, use a hand blender to make a “brown mess”.

ginger 2

Add the rest of all the ingredients, stir until you get a thick batter. If too dry, add some more water.
Pour the batter in a greased 20 cm square baking pan. Bake at 180 c for about 45 mins.

ginger 3      ginger 4

Icing:
The original icing consists of butter, sugar, a bit of milk and some syrup of the preserved ginger. Bring all ingredients slowly to a boil and once sugar disappeared boil rapidly until it has the right consistency.
Me, I did the following, more calorie-friendly icing:
50g icing sugar, some drops of water, some more ginger powder, some drops of maple syrup: well stirred together and spread over the cake immediately when it came out of the oven.

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Cut in pieces and enjoy!