Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Orange Whiskey Marmalade

The markets are flooded with oranges. All shapes, sizes and sweetness. Tempting you with their fresh, springtime aroma. Tempting enough for hubby to haul home an entire crate! Its been a week, and there they lie, begging to be devoured.
Unfortunately, the only fruit enthusiast at our place is the monster munchkin. And frankly, I am terrified he'll choke on the pips. And no, I am far too lazy to sit patiently and peel and de-seed the segments. Let him be content with kiwis, plums and berries for now.
That still leaves me with a crateful of oranges that no one wants to eat. Its not warm enough for a fruit salad or even juiced oranges, so I decided to take the route less travelled. Do I dare to attempt marmalade?
My past efforts at jam making have always resulted in mushy, oversweet pulp. Do I dare subject these vibrant citrus to what may result in another failed attempt? Aah! But you already know the answer to that! I dared!
I dared and am I glad I did! I am always a sucker for good marmalade. But good home made marmalade? Sheer heaven! And I thought to myself, if I am going to dare, why not take it a step further? Even if it meets a disastrous end, I have a warm cocktail to drown my defeat! So now I present, not just any marmalade. But an easy, super delicious home made Orange Whiskey Marmalade!

Oranges       1.5 kg
Sugar           1.2 kg
Lemon         1
Whiskey      150 ml
Water          6 cups

Wash and halve the oranges. Juice them using a citrus juicer. Slice the empty peels into thin strips, discarding any pips you may find.  Place an empty saucer in the freezer to chill.  In a heavy bottomed pan, throw in the sliced peels, the strained orange juice and the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, Once the peel turns translucent and soft, add the sugar and lemon. Stir till the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture come to a boil again and then continue to simmer, stirring every ten minutes, After about 50 minutes, the mixture will start becoming translucent and jelly like. Bring out the chilled saucer and place a drop of the orange mix. Return the saucer to the freezer, After three minutes, push the chilled drop on the saucer. If it wrinkles, the marmalade is ready. If it is still liquid and sliding, let the mix cook for another three minutes before testing on the chilled saucer again. Once the marmalade is ready, turn off the heat and stir in the whiskey. Pour into sterilized glass jars and allow to cool to room temperature before putting the lids on. Store in a cool place, or refrigerate for upto six months. 
Go ahead and dare today! Hey! If I could finally break my jam jinx, so can you!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Carrot and Raisin cake

The monster munchkin has turned two! There were days that never ended, and yet when I look back time seems to have just flown. Parenting hasn't gotten easier, just the challenges have changed. Just when I thought I had figured it out, the munchkin will throw a curveball my way. Mum rolls her eyes when I mention it. Her grandkid is an angel and I am the monster!
One thing that hasn't changed, is my obsession to provide him balanced, nutritional meals. And this includes sweet indulgences. Luckily he hasn't taken to chocolates and sugar laden treats like his dear ol' mum! Last birthday he was indulged with a blueberry yogurt cheesecake. And now it is the year of the super healthy Carrot and Raisin Cake. Now scoff all you like. I did too. But surprisingly, it was delicious. And the monster munchkin actually asked for seconds! Guilt free indulgence on his birthday? Hey! Why turn him down?!
So give this kid friendly recipe a go. Duly endorsed by an ecstatic two year old :)

Carrots                                2, large
Soft Brown sugar               3/4 cup
Eggs                                   2
Butter                                 1/2 cup, melted
Whole Wheat Flour           1 1/4 cup
Baking Powder                  1 teaspoon
Baking Soda                      1/2 teaspoon
Milk                                   1/4 cup
Cinnamon powder             1/4 teaspoon
Clove powder                    1/4 teaspoon
Nutmeg powder                 1/4 teaspoon
Ginger powder                   1/4 teaspoon
Raisins                                1 cup

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Run the eggs and carrots in a food processor till the carrots are finely chopped. Add butter and sugar. Process again till well blended. Pour into a bowl and fold in the rest of the ingredients. Bake in 9x5 inch loaf tin for 45-50 mins. Serve up a slice of health and happiness.