Chargrilled Pineapple with Natural Yoghurt Sprinkled with Cinnamon

Fruit, fruit, glorious fruit! This time of year, the UK is awash with an abundance of seasonal berries and fruits…not that the pineapple is a native fruit of these beautiful isles! Nonetheless, pineapples are delicious, tangy and juicy, simply crying out for a simple pudding recipe to serve at any time of the day and year.IMG_2024Dawn: Let’s get this show on the road! First up: the ingredients. 

Ingredients

Serves 2-3

1 Fresh pineapple (or allow 3 rings of tinned pineapple person)

8-12 tbsps Homemade natural yoghurt

Pinch of cinnamon

Dawn: This is a lovely, easy dish to serve as a light and refreshing lunch or as a pudding after a main course. 

Method

  • Cut the ‘head’ and ‘foot’ off a fresh pineapple.
  • Remove the outer flesh of the pineapple by slicing through where the outer flesh and soft inner golden fruit meet using a sharp knife, and discard.
  • Lie the pineapple on it’s side, secure in place with one hand in a bridge-like fashion and slice the pineapple at equal widths along the fruit.
  • Now place the slices on a grill pan and roast until the slices become chargrilled in appearance to your preference.
  • Share amongst two or three plates/dishes, top off with a few tablespoons of homemade natural yoghurt and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Dawn: A simply delicious pudding and easy to make. The yummy, creamy natural yoghurt recipe is part of Love Food’s “How to…” range and can be found at “How to Make Natural Yoghurt“. 

For more economical, tasty and easy to make food recipes, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and click “Follow” over on Twitter @Love_Food_UK for regular food chat as well as finding the cooking sensation over on Facebook (come ‘Like’, please). Oh, not forgetting the fab MumsNet Bloggers Network and Foodies100, too! 

 

How to Make Natural Yoghurt

Natural yoghurt is one of nature’s wonders full of goodness and nutrients – and so very versatile an ingredient that it can be added to fruits, cereals, sauces, marinades, puddings, smoothies, mousses, stews, soups, dressings – the list is almost endless! And it’s easy to make at home with just a sample of each batch reserved back to make the next from, providing an appetite-suppressing, healthy standalone snack and recipe ingredient.

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Ingredients

500ml Milk (Skimmed used here and you can use any type)

25g Powdered milk

4 tbsps Low-fat natural yoghurt

Equipment:

1 x Cooking thermometer (jam preserving thermometer used here)

Dawn: I use so much natural yoghurt that I’m delighted to be able to share this recipe with you. And the health benefits of eating this creamy, slightly sharp tasting protein food are numerous including support of the immune system, less constipation, stomach acidity and diarrhoea; lower body fat; protection against food poisoning bugs; stronger bones and fresher breath. All in all, a versatile win-win fridge staple that you can keep making all-year-round – and for mere pennies rather than pounds!

Method

  • Put the milk in a saucepan on a medium heat and add the powdered milk, stirring it in.
  • Keep stirring the milk until you can see heat bubbles appear on the edges of the yoghurt mixture as it is warming up. Take the saucepan off the heat and using a cooking thermometer, test the yoghurt mixture to determine its temperature. Cool to 46°C and add the retained shop bought low-fat natural yoghurt, stirring this in until it is dissolved.

Dawn: Please make sure that you allow the milk to cool to 46°C before adding the reserved shop bought natural yoghurt because if the temperature is too high, you run the risk of the ingredients curdling. 

  • Pour the yoghurt mixture either into a warm thermos (vacuum) flask or a warm bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and leave the yoghurt mixture to set for about 8-9 hours or overnight in a warm place. If using the latter option, warming the bowl prior to adding the yoghurt mixture helps it ferment and then store it in a warm place afterwards.
  • After allowing the ingredients to ferment, the consistency should be not too firm but thickish and ready to store in a container in the fridge. Don’t pour off the watery-looking liquid that is the whey and packed full of protein but simply stir it into the creamy yoghurt as it’s part of it. The yoghurt will easily keep for about 5-7 days.

Dawn: Remember to keep some yoghurt back to make the next batch with. I’d also add that investing in a cooking thermometer really does help ensure that the yoghurt mixture is at the right temperature before you add the reserved natural yoghurt. Being at the right temperature stops the yoghurt mixture from curdling as I have learnt from experience! 

It goes without saying that the variety of milks that are available in the shops nowadays along with the different brands of powdered milks will all add a different taste and consistency to your homemade natural yoghurt. All will be equally nutritious and good for you. Happy yoghurt making!

For more thrifty and economical, tasty and easy to make food recipes, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and click “Follow” over on Twitter @Love_Food_UK for regular food chat as well as finding the cooking sensation over on Facebook (please pop across and ‘Like’ Love Food). Oh, not forgetting the fab MumsNet Bloggers Network and Foodies100, too! 

Strawberry and Blueberry Sponge Cake

Whether you are looking at a traditional Sunday afternoon tea sitting on the lawn served with cups of tea, whiling away the last days of summer or simply a tasty slice of cake when you have a sweet craving come calling, this sponge cake topped off with strawberries and blueberries makes a very nice treat.

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Dawn: This delicious, beautiful cake proved to be a big hit for a birthday celebration recently. So, without further a-do, let’s start with the ingredients. 

Ingredients

Serves 10-12

Cake:

200g softened butter (plus a little more for greasing the cake case)

200g castor sugar

4 eggs

150g plain flour (or self-raising, omitting the baking powder)

2 tsp baking powder

Buttercream:

150g softened butter

300g icing sugar

Few drops of vanilla essence

Decorations:

200g blueberries, washed and dried

150g strawberries, hulled, washed and dried

A little icing sugar to dust

Equipment:

1 x 8″ cake tin, with removable bottom

Greaseproof paper

1 x baking sheet

1 x cake board, large enough to carry an 8″ cake

Dawn: Decoration could be anything you decide! You may choose to add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the buttercream and then pile on top of this a mixture of white, milk and dark chocolate shavings. You might decide to sprinkle the top with a selection of kids’ sweets or add a drop of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the buttercream and then add candied lemon slices across its top.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 190°C electric.
  • Line the 8″ cake tin with greaseproof paper, and lightly grease the paper with a thin smear of butter. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and castor sugar together until they become light and fluffy in texture and appearance.
  • Break one egg at a time into a dish or mug, beat until pale yellow and light  in appearance. Slowly add the beaten egg to butter and sugar mixture until it is combined. Add each of the remaining eggs this way, beating well each time until all four eggs are mixed into the butter and sugar. The mixture will look pale yellow.
  • Slowly add a little of the flour and baking powder (if using), sifting them into the mixture. Fold the flour into the mixture.

Dawn: Folding is a term used to gently combine a whisked or creamy mixture with other ingredients so as the mixture’s overall lightness quality is retained. Folding is done with a metal spoon and is largely used when making certain cakes, meringues and souffles to keep the air in the mixture. 

  • When all of the flour is folded into the mixture, pour the mixture into the cake tin, spooning the top level. Place the cake tin on a baking sheet in the middle of the pre-heated oven. Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes until golden brown in colour.
  • Take from the oven when cooked and set aside until cool. Leave the cake in the cake tin to ensure the cake retains its shape.

Dawn: To test the cake to find out if it’s cooked, simply take a sharp knife and pierce the centre. If the knife comes out clean, then the cake is baked; if it comes out with a googy mixture on it, then it needs further baking time and you will have to keep checking it to see when it is baked. 

  • To make the buttercream topping, put the softened butter into a bowl and gradually sift the castor sugar, all the time beating the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add a drop or two of vanilla essence and mix well.
  • When the cake is completely cold, remove from the cake tin.
  • Place a tiny amount of buttercream on the cake base and then place the cake on top. This dollop of buttercream under the cake secures the cake in place.
  • Now, cover the top of the cake with lashings of the vanilla infused buttercream until the top is completely covered.
  • Taking the hulled strawberries, position these around the edge of the cake creating a ‘wall’ of strawberries to ‘house’ the blueberries in. Add a further strawberry to the centre. Scoop the blueberries into the centre. Sprinkle with a little sifted icing sugar, if you prefer.

Dawn: Baking made easy! “How to Hull Strawberries” is here as well as How to Cream Butter and Sugar”.

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There’s a multitude of variations to be made on this classic sponge recipe. One variation of this sponge could be chocolate sponge cake which simply needs you to substitute 45g (3 level tbsp) of the flour with 45g of cocoa powder.

So, happy baking everyone and for more recipes, cooking tips and meal ideas that are quick and cheap to make, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and click “Follow” over on Twitter @Love_Food_UK for regular food chat as well as finding the cooking sensation over on Facebook (please pop across and ‘Like’ Love Food). Oh, not forgetting the fab MumsNet Bloggers Network and Foodies100, too!