Perfecting a classic- Honey Creme Brulee

I haven’t yet met someone that doesn’t like creme brulee with it’s thin, crunchy, glass-like caramel sugar layer topping a silky smooth custard- it really is the perfect dessert that can be served warm (winter comfort food!) or cold in the summer with fresh berries. So how to improve on an already perfect dish?

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The special ingredient is…HONEY!

Honey adds a light floral sweetness to the custard that is pure deliciousness! You wouldn’t get the same depth of flavour from the traditional recipe using white sugar.

To make this dessert, simply substitute in honey for the sugar in your favourite creme brulee recipe.

Needless to say that the container was scraped clean by my friends after our morning tea- it’s plate-lickin’ good!

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Mexican Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Chicken

Imagine juicy chicken pieces lightly coated in a sticky sauce infused with honey, garlic and sun-dried tomato, finished with a squeeze of fresh lime juice…need I say more? Make this and treat yourself to some fresh Mexican flavours tonight- especially when served with some soft tortillas, fresh salsa and spicy rice!  Pair it with a refreshing margarita if you are feeling fancy… Delicioso!SONY DSC

Ingredients

For the chicken marinade:

  • 8 chicken drumsticks, de-boned
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomato
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • runny honey, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • juice from a fresh lime

Method

  1.  Marinate the chicken. In a bowl, combine together the marinade ingredients with the chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, pan-fry the chicken pieces in some oil until golden on all sides (the chicken is not fully cooked at this stage). Remove the chicken onto a plate.
  3. Over medium heat, add the 1 teaspoon of minced garlic into the pan and fry until aromatic. Deglaze the pan with white wine and add in the sun-dried tomato. Taste and season the sauce with some honey and salt.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan. Cover and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced. Re-check seasoning and adjust if necessary. Squeeze over fresh lime juice and serve immediately!

Honey Balsamic Buttercup Skins

Having scooped out all of the flavoursome chicken and prawn stuffing and tender flesh of my Surf and Turf Buttercup, I was left with the green thin- skinned shell of the squash. Thinking that it would be tough and unpleasant to eat, I was just about to throw it into the bin when out of curiosity, I broke of a small piece for a taste…To my surprise, it was soft yet still retaining a slight pleasant crunch!

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Drawing from the inspiration of crispy potato skins, I created these delightful and healthy baked buttercup skins brushed with a tangy-sweet glaze of honey and balsamic vinegar, topped with nutty sesame seeds

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Did you know that the skin of the buttercup has 22% more calcium than the same weight if milk and compares with lean red meat as a good source of iron? From now on I will never throw out this delicious and nutritious part the vegetable again!

Take One: Lemony slow-cooked Squid in White Wine and Balsamic

Fresh squid is not always available at the fishmonger in my area, so when I saw them for sale today I quickly snapped it up and set out to create a dish that is simple to showcase its sweet, sweet flavour of the sea.

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I decided on an Italian theme, using balsamic vinegar, white wine, lemon and honey forming the base of the braising liquid. Sauteed shallots, garlic and carrots gave it a depth of flavour, along with a few bay leaves and thyme. This was slow-cooked in the oven for an hour, filling the kitchen with its delicious aroma. The squid was tender; the vegetables were meltingly soft and full of flavour. The broth was delicious spooned over rice.

For my first attempt, the results were good but the squid released a lot of juices resulting in a thin broth that would benefit from further reduction. I was also surprised to find that the dish lacked a certain umami, even though I used quite a large-sized squid! On my next attempt, I will be sure to add in some mussels/clams and perhaps some fresh tomatoes for an even tastier dish!

Fiery Roast Chicken

The fusion of Korean and Japanese flavours with a fresh zing of lemon and the hum of sweet honey takes ordinary roast chicken to the next level! I love how the the fiery red glow of the skin is like the sunset.

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Ingredients

  • 1 fresh whole chicken (approximately 1.2kg)
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 2 tbsp siracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp clear runny honey
  • juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients together in a bowl
  2. In a large bowl, pour marinade over chicken and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 200C. Place chicken in a ceramic oven-safe casserole dish and cover with foil. Reserve marinade in the bowl.
  4. Bake chicken for 1 hour. Remove foil and pour over reserved marinade.
  5. Bake chicken for a further 20min or until done. Serve with chicken juices.