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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pumpkin Spice Cake:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (270 grams) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 ounce can)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (200 grams) sifted plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature

Note: To make your own buttermilk combine 1/2 cup (120 ml) of milk with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice (OR 1/2 CUP PLAIN YOGHURT) . Stir and let stand for 10 minutes before using.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces (228 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 cups (230 grams) icing sugar, sifted

For Garnish:

1/2 cup (50 grams) toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans

Pumpkin Spice Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour two - 8 inch (20 cm) cake pans.

Cake: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide the batter in half and then pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans. Cool before icing.
Icing: Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your food processor (or use a hand mixer) and pulse until smooth. Add the maple syrup and confectioners' sugar and process to combine. Adjust syrup or sugar until you have the right consistency.

533 Posts
Black Magic Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inches round cake pans or one 9x13 inch pan.
In large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the centre
Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack. Fill and frost as desired.


Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
6 eggs
5 medium size apples
½ cup oil
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

Grease and floured pan (13”x9”). Oven at 180ª - 55 minutes

Mix eggs and sugar and beat well. Add vanilla and oil. The oil should be added a little at a time.
Blend in flour, baking powder.
Pour half of the mixture into the pan, cover with apples slices, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Add the rest of the mixture, cover with apples slices, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Do not press down.

Note: 1 cup is 8 ounces
½ cup of oil should be 125 milliliters

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
my young neighbour who is now divorced, brings back some brilliant duck (already jointed & frozen) from his parents farm each time he travels up north to visit them. It is already portioned and 1/2 a duck is enough for 4 people...they are HUGE. So I get to cook something different about once a week.

Pato com arroz de braga

For the duck and rice

* 1 medium fresh oven-ready duck
* 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
* 1 Onion, finely diced
* half Lemons, juice only
* 280 g smoked ham, cut into chunky cubes
* 60g Bacon, or 1 pig’s ear cleaned and chopped into pieces
* 90g chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
* sprig Thyme
* 500g Basmati rice, washed

For the piri-piri bacon butter

* 100g unsalted Butter
* 2 Cloves, ground
* 1 tsp grated orange zest
* 1 tbsp piri piri sauce
* 100g finely diced Bacon, blanched in boiling water for 1 minute and drained thoroughly


1. Place the duck in a large pan with the garlic, onion, lemon, ham, pig's ear or bacon, chorizo sausage, thyme and season with salt and pepper.

2. Barely cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer slowly and gently for 30-40 minutes, skimming off the fat from time to time.

3. To make the piri-piri butter: mix all the ingredients for the butter together until a smooth paste consistency is reached.

4. Using a perforated spoon remove the duck and meats from the pan and leave to cool slightly.

5. Meanwhile, measure out 1 litre of the duck cooking liquid into a pan. Add the rice and bring to the boil. Cook for about 12-15 minutes until the rice is only half cooked.

6. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

7. Place the rice in a deep roasting tin or casserole dish. Cut the duck into portions and place on top of the rice. Scatter over the remaining meats.

8. Smear the duck with the piri-piri bacon butter. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and the duck is crisp and serve immediately.

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Last minute christmas pudding

haven’t got around to making one yet, this one is quick and easy — a cross between a traditional pudding and a cake.


100g (4oz) raisins

100g (4oz) sultanas

200g (7oz) currants

100ml (4fl oz) stout

4 tablespoons brandy

100g (4oz) diced candied peel

50g (2oz) finely chopped blanched almonds

50g (2oz) un-dyed glace cherries, chopped

½ tsp each, ground cinnamon and nutmeg

125g (4½ oz) unsalted butter

125g (4½ oz) dark muscovado sugar

2 medium eggs

1 tbsp treacle

180g (6½ oz) self-raising flour, sifted

50ml (2fl oz) milk


Creme fraiche or cream

Or if you are feeling naughty brandy butter or add a little rum to the cream HIC!!


1 Place the dried fruits in a small pan with the stout and brandy and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the liquor has been absorbed. Transfer the fruit to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the peel, almonds, cherries and spices.

2 Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes in a food processor, then incorporate the eggs, one by one, then the treacle, the flour and the milk. Blend this cake mixture with the dried fruit mixture.

3 Butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin, line the bottom with baking paper and butter. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and smooth the surface. Cut out two circles of baking paper to cover the surface of the pudding, with several inches to spare on either side. Lay them on top of each other, pleated in the centre, butter the surface that will come into contact with the pudding and place over the top. Tightly tie the paper in place with string, just below the rim.

4 Place in a large pan with boiling water that comes two-thirds of the way up the sides, cover and simmer over a low heat for 2½ hours. Check the water level now and again and top it up if necessary. When ready to serve, run a knife around the rim of the pudding and invert onto a warm plate. Serve with creme fraiche or cream.


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5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Smoked salmon stuffed with prawns


* 200g (7oz) prawns
* 2 tbsp cream cheese
* dill, chopped

A LARGE prawn (or two) to decorate


Mix the prawns with the cream cheese, crème fraîche and lots of chopped dill.

Place a spoonful of mixture on a slice of smoked salmon and roll up, cut in half.
3 rolls per person is plenty for a starter.
Or fold them onto small parcels (I prefer them this way)

Serve with thick cut brown bread

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alternative trifle

Orange Trifle with Grand Marnier Cream

Time: 1 hour, plus chilling time.
If you segment the oranges (removing the membranes so just fruit is left) makes it seem juicier and more tender.

LARGE SO Serves 12

* 12 to 14 medium oranges*
* 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur (or orange juice), divided
* 12 ounces mascarpone cheese
* 3/4 cup whipping cream and 1 pint custard
* 3/4 cup good-quality marmalade, divided
* 2 loaves (10.75 oz. each) sponge cake, cut into 1/2-in. slices
Or use ready made madelines from supermarket


1. Zest 5 oranges using fine side of a box grater or a razor-sharp grater, such as a Microplane; set zest aside. With a serrated knife, cut ends off all oranges. Set 1 orange cut side down on a cutting board. Following the curve of the fruit, cut off peel and white pith. Working over a strainer set in a bowl, slice next to each thin white membrane into the center of the orange, releasing segments of orange into strainer and leaving membranes behind. Squeeze juice from membranes into strainer and discard them. Repeat with remaining oranges until you have 4 cups segments and 1/2 cup juice (save remainder of both for other uses); put in separate bowls.

2. Add zest and 1/2 cup liqueur to bowl of juice and set aside.

3. In a stand mixer, combine mascarpone and cream and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 cup marmalade and whisk to blend.

4. Arrange a third of the sponge cake slices evenly in the bottom of a large trifle bowl or other straight-sided bowl (Glass one is great). Drizzle to soak cake with 1/4 cup liqueur mixture. Dollop a third of the marmalade cream on top of cake. Arrange 1 cup orange segments over cream, making sure widest part of segments lies against the side of the bowl. Repeat with 1 more layer of cake, pressing down on it slightly before layering on same amounts of liqueur mixture, cream, and oranges. Arrange last layer of cake, drizzle with remaining liqueur mixture, smooth remaining third of the cream level over cake, and arrange remaining 2 cups oranges in a decorative spiral.

5. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat remaining 1/4 cup marmalade with remaining 1 tbsp. liqueur until hot; stir to combine. Brush warm marmalade over orange slices. Chill until ready to serve.

*You can use any combination of orange varieties, including blood oranges, or stick to just one, I love using tangarines :rolleyes:
You can also be a little more generous with the grand marnier

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mincemeat tart with meringue toping

Mincemeat Tart with Meringue Topping

1 cooked pastry case
1 jar mincemeat
2 egg whites
125gms (4ozs caster sugar)
25gms (1-2ozs approx) flaked almonds, browned (I DON'T LIKE ALMONDS SO I LEAVE THEM OUT!!)

Set oven at 200ºc
Fill the pastry case with mincemeat.
Make the meringue as directed below folding in the almonds with the sugar. Spread to cover the mincemeat and touch the edges of the pastry and bake for approx. 10mins (or until the meringue begins to brown) then reduce oven temperature to 150ºc until you wish to serve it hot, warm or cold, with cream or ice-cream.

To each egg white allow 50gms (2ozs) caster sugar. Whip the whites until they are stiff and dry (I describe this as a cottonwool texture), before stirring in the sugar. MAKE SURE THE SUGAR IS WELL FOLDED IN

: If a bubbling of liquid appears, this is because the sugar has not been completely folded into the egg whites. This will add a slightly toffee texture to the meringue

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TURKEY STIR FRY- what to do with leftover turkey

450g leftover turkey
2 tablespoons sesame Oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2.5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 green chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
6 salad onions, sliced on a diagonal
300g pack bean sprouts
198g can sweet corn, drained
Juice of 2 oranges

heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan,
add the cooked turkey leftovers and stirfry for 4-5 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger and chilies and stirfry until just
softened, but not browned.
Add the vegetables except for the bean sprouts and sweet corn,
Continue to stir fry for a further 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables
are cooked.
Add the bean sprouts and sweetcorn
Stirfry for a further 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the sauce, heat the orange juice, purée, vinegar, sugar, cornflour together in a saucepan over a moderate heat stirring constantly until slightly thickened.
Pour the mixture into the wok and stir through the stir fry before serving.


Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Christmas pudding trifle - left over christmas pudding

Leftover Christmas pudding
Tub mascarpone
half fat British crème fraîche (or full or 1%)
Cointreau liqueur
Dark chocolate, grated
Zest of 1 orange

Crumble or diceleftover Christmas pudding into individual dishes (for a bigger trifle just use a large serving bowl)
Drizzle over a little Cointreau.
Mix equal amounts of the mascarpone and the crème fraîche together
Stir in a splash of Cointreau and the orange zest.
Dollop the cream mixture on top of the Christmas pudding
Scatter grated chocolate shavings and a little orange zest over the top

It's almost worthwhile cooking a pudding extra!!

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Champagne punch - something different for new year toasts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

* 1 cup triple sec
* 1 cup brandy
* 1/2 cup Chambord (a raspberry liquer) (if not available just a little cassis)
* 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
* 1 quart chilled ginger ale
* 2 chilled (750-ml) bottles dry Champagne (I'm too cheap to use champagne when a bottle of Freixnet is just as good!)

In a bowl combine the triple sec, the brandy, the Chambord,
then the pineapple juice
Chill the mixture, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

In a large punch bowl combine the triple sec mixture, the ginger ale, and the Champagne and add ice cubes if required....i don't it waters it down HIC!

Yield: about 16 cups

This New years eve punch packs a punch with brandy and Chambord flavoring ADULTS ONLY!! so be warned:party::party::party::party:

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dried Aprocot Chutney

360 gms Dried Apricots
1 cup Wine Vinegar
2 cups Water
2 tsp Salt
1/2 level tsp Red chili pepper
2 big Cardamom crushed
1/4 kg Sugar
2-3 apples chopped.
I mediu onion diced finely
2 teaspoons long strips of ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 teaspoons raisins
8 blanched almonds chopped finely

Chop apricota and soak in boiling water till soft..
Mash the apricots
Strain the pulp Cook apricot pulp, ginger, garlic and water , almonds and raisins until all the water is absorbed. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, cardamoms and red chili pepper and cook until thick and golden brown
Put it in jar. You can store for one year..

I have done this recipe in the microwave with great success

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pumpkin and walnut soup

Fry Light (or just oil the saucepan with oil and wipe with kitchen paper)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
700ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
24 walnut halves

want to make it go further and a little thicker.. add a large potato

1. Spray the base of a large saucepan with Fry Light(oil) , add the onion and garlic and stir over a medium heat for a few minutes until the onion softens.

2. Add the pumpkin, stock, tomato puree and crumbled walnut halves.

3. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Liquidise the soup, season to taste and enjoy!

EASY PEASY and great for that New Year Res Diet :clap2::clap2::clap2:

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)

2 large flat mushrooms
½ small onion
1 clove of garlic
Fry Light ( use olive oil and wipe pan with kitchen paper)
3 Ryvita Multigrain or similiar (available at LIDL)
3 Cheese Triangles (light if you can find them)
2 tbsp quark skimmed milk soft cheese

1. Heat the oven to 220°C Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and finely chop them (leaving the remainder of the mushrooms intact). Finely chop the onion, crush the garlic then add them all to a saucepan lightly sprayed with Fry Light (oil) and soften gently for a few minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat.

2. Finely crush the Ryvita and add to the cooked vegetables in the saucepan, along with the cheese triangles and quark and mix thoroughly.

3. Spray the mushrooms with Fry Light (rub them light with oil paper) and divide the mixture between the mushrooms.

4. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked throug.

Arrange salad leaves on a plate, place the mushrooms in the centre

I sometime top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Stufed chicken with spinach and cheese

4 skinless chicken breasts
28g/1oz spinach
1 garlic clove
100g low fat cream cheese
2 tbsp freshly chopped tarragon
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fry Light (by now you know how to keep the fat down!!)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C Cut a pocket in the side of each chicken breast

2. Blanch the spinach in a little boiling water until wilted. Drain, squeeze out any excess water and place in a bowl with the quark, tarragon and lemon zest. Season well and stir to combine.

3. Stuff each chicken breast with the quark mixture. Sear on a hot griddle pan for a few minutes on each side, then transfer to a non-stick baking sheet lined with parchment. Spray lightly with Fry Light and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately with steamed vegetables or salad

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
TIP - LOW FAT cooking spray

Buy a new plant mister. Wash it thoroughly before using. Add two tablespoons of canola oil followed by 1 cup less two tablespoons of water. Create an olive oil spray, too. Use these sprays the same way you would use commercial cooking sprays. Just make sure you shake it before each use.

I use this when I run out of FryLight

Super Moderator
5,067 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Slimming chips - yes it can be done

Preheat the oven to 240°C
Cut piles of peeled potatoes into chunky chips, boil for 5 minutes and then drain and leave to dry for 10 minutes.
Return to the pan, put a lid on and shake to ‘rough up’ the edges of the chips (this will give them a BRILLIANT crunchy texture once cooked!).
Place on a baking tray, spray with Fry Light and bake in the hot oven for 25 minutes, turning occasionally until golden.

BRING ON THE STEAK :clap2::clap2::clap2:
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