Tag Archives: nuts

Birthday Extravaganza!

12 May

So, finally, here is the menu from my birthday extravaganza!

Cake: this was Chocolate Beetroot Cake, with Raspberry Icing (this is the same as the recipe below, with fresh raspberries whipped into the icing.)  The cakes are in three sizes: mini-bite sized cupcakes, regular cup-cakes and the four-slice cake.

Other than cake (which, lets face it, is the obvious birthday treat), we had almond cream, Paprika bread sticks and Dukkah bread sticks, beetroot marmalade triangles, Bean ‘sausage’ rolls (these were the definite hit of the night!), chocolate-chip cookies (my secret recipe), and vegan hot-dog pastry wraps.

To begin with, the almond cream, because this is super easy! The thing you have to be most careful of is not adding the water too quickly when wizzing the almonds up, otherwise you’ll end up with a kind of chunky almond soup.  By the by, you can do this with any nuts.  Cashews are my other favorite.  So, start by soaking your nuts over night.  About a cup of nuts, with about a cup and a half of water.  When they are nice and wet, pop them into the food processor, and start to wizz them up on a very low speed.  Extremely slowly, start adding water into them.  By the end you’ll want to have added about a cup of water.  You can also add sugar, but this will depend on what you want to use the mix for.  I suggest adding sugar if you’re going to use it as a substitute for whipped cream, like with cake!  You’ll know when you get a consistency you like, but keep turning up the speed and adding water, and eventually you will have beautiful almond cream!

The best dish of the night was – without a doubt – these bean rolls:

Here’s what you need:

  • A few sheets of Borgs Pastry (or whatever pastry you use, or you can make your own)
  • A cup each of borlotti beans, lima beans and red kidney beans (you can really use whatever beans you like, though, and this would probably go well with chickpeas too)
  • 1/2 a leek
  • 2 small onions
  • 1/2 each of a small green and red capsicum (or 1 whole of either)
  • a clove of garlic
  • basil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Start by cooking your beans up.  They will need to be a little bit on the smushy side, but not overcooked.  While they are boiling away, very finely chop up the leek, onion, and capsicums, and smash up the garlic.  Sautee off the leek and onion, but not to brown, before adding in the garlic, and then the capsicum.  Right at the end, throw in some well chopped up basil.

Drain off your cooked beans, then either lightly mash or wizz them up lightly.  You don’t want whole beans, but it should still be chunky.  Stir through the onion-leek mix (if you wanted to, you could throw in all kinds of other veges, but I like the simple and classic mix personally).

Cut your pastry sheets in half length ways, and on the edge of each sheet, scoop out a line of the bean mix – then roll them over.  Cut into whatever size you like – personally I make them into four little ones.

Bake in an oven at about 180, until they are golden and crisp, rotating once.  Make sure to place them seam-side down initially, otherwise the seams might burst open.

Serve immediately.  These can also be microwaved for lunches etc. but will turn out a little bit soggier than fresh.

All in all – a totally delicious birthday!