Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brussel Sprouts with Maple and Walnut Vinaigrette

This is a simple way to dress up steamed fresh brussel sprouts. For those who like a slightly sweet touch to their food. Recipe serves 4 as a side dish.


4 cups brussel sprouts
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup walnut oil
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped


1. Cut a cross in the base of each brussel sprout. Steam until tender but firm.
2. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, maple syrup and mustard together. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
3. Toss hot brussel sprouts with walnuts and vinaigrette.

Chocolate Cup Cakes

Chocolate bits add a distinctive texture to these easy and moist morning or afternoon tea-time favorites. Recipe makes 18 cup cakes.


2/3 cup light brown sugar
4 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup self-rising (raising) flour
1/4 cup cocoa
8 teaspoons milk
3/4 cup plain chocolate bits or drops
Icing and Decoration:
1 ounce (30 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cocoa
6 teaspoons milk
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
Plain chocolate bits or drops, halved or quartered, to sprinkle


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 18 patty tins with paper or foil patty cases.
2. Put the brown sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and beat well, using an electric mixer, until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one by one, and beat well after each addition. Sift the flour and cocoa over the mixture and stir in gently using a large metal spoon. Fold in the milk and the chocolate bits.
3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, filling them two-thirds full.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
5. For the icing, beat together the butter, cocoa, milk and icing sugar until smooth. Spread over the top of each cup cake. Sprinkle chocolate bits over the top of each cake.

Tip: These cup cakes freeze for up to 3 months, without the icing. Coarsely chopped or grated chocolate may be folded into the cake mixture instead chocolate bits or drops.

Carrot and Apple Salad

This is an easy, light and refreshing side salad that takes no time to prepare. The amount of sugar you add to the dish (if any) will depend on the tartness of the apples. Recipe serves 4-6.


2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 cups grated apple (approximately 4 apples)
2 cups grated carrots
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons currants
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
Mint leaves


1. Combine the lemon and orange juice and place in a bowl.
2. Grate the apples into the juices to prevent them turning brown.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and toss.
4. Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.