Lime Drizzle Cake with Blackcurrants and Raspberries

This is based on a recipe in Good Foods 101 Cakes and Bakes.

For about 20 slices you need:
225g soft butter
225g caster sugar
250g self raising flour
25g ground almonds
100g blackcurrants
100g raspberries
juice and rind of 2 limes
4 eggs
50g flaked almonds

For the syrup:
140g caster sugar
juice of 2 limes and 2 lemons

Begin by making the cake. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, lime juice and rind, flour, ground almonds and a little milk if necessary to make a smooth but thick batter. Fold in 2/3 of the fruit and scrape into 2 lined loaf tins. Scatter over the rest of the fruit and the flaked almonds. Bake in a moderate (150 degrees) oven for about 45 mins.

Meanwhile make the syrup – gently heat the juice and sugar til the sugar has dissolved. Once the cakes are cooked, prick with a cocktail stick and pour over the syrup. Allow the cakes to cool completely before cutting into slices and enjoying.

Spiced Rice (v)

A lovely accompaniment to curry.

For 4 portions you need:
225g basmati rice, rinsed till the water runs clear
500ml water
1 onion
50g butter/vegan marge
1 tbsp oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and tumeric
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cms grated ginger

Begin by sauteeing the onion in the butter/oil for 15 mins till golden. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook out for 5 mins or so. Add the rinsed rice and water. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and cook gently for 15 mins. Turn off the heat and leave to steam to finish cooking the rice.

Nachos

A great standby lunch or snack.

For 2-3 portions you need:
1 can refried beans
1 packet salted tortilla chips
1 jar salsa
Yogurt/soured cream
Grated cheddar
Pickled chillies

Scoop the refried beans into a flat dish (a flan dish is perfect for this). Lay tortilla chips on the top. Add yogurt/soured cream and salsa in dollops on top of the chips. Cover with grated cheese and a few chillies on the top. Bake in the oven for 20 mins or so till the beans are hot, and the cheese is melted. Eat.

Gulab Jamens (v)

This is a cheat recipe really given that it’s a packet of stuff you mix, but it’s so totally amazing you need to rush out and buy a packet and then make them (and gain 6 stone but that’s another story…)!

For 10-12 portions you need:
1 packet gulab jamen mix (I am going to try this another weekend with real ingredients)
About 1/4 cup milk to make the dough (use water or soya milk for a vegan version)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
600g caster sugar
6 cardamon pods, crushed
Good pinch saffron strands
1 tbsp rose water

Make the gulab dough by mixing the dry ingredients with enough milk to make a thick dough/paste. Oil your hands, and a plate to lay the balls on, and then take small pinches (think size of a gooseberry) and roll into balls. Place on the plate whilst you make the rest. You should get between 20-40.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a wok/deep pan. Fry batches of the balls in the oil till dark golden brown, taking care not to let them sit on the bottom or they will catch and turning them in the oil so they colour and cook evenly. Drain on kitchen paper.

Make the syrup by slowly heating the sugar with 600ml water. Once all the sugar has dissolved, boil for 5 mins. Take off the heat and add the cardamon, saffron and rose water. Place the fried balls into the syrup and weight down to keep them submerged. They will swell in size as they absorb the syrup. Leave to cool and scoff and scoff and scoff. Delicious.