This week I had fun at a “girls’ night in” with some of the other lovely ladies in my village. This involved all of us taking a little food, a little wine, all meeting up and having a night of laughter and friendship.
I haven’t had a girls’ night since December (when I had a wonderful weekend in Paris with a visiting Aussie friend) so I was quite excited to be able to get out and let the hair down with the girls. So excited that I took over TCs kitchen and spent the day cooking.
First up was this wonderful quiche recipe from the amazing Carla over at Expat Chef in Barcelona: Asparagus and Red Pepper Quiche.
The only change I made to Carla’s recipe was to add some crumbled feta, and I then scaled it down slightly to fit a standard round quiche dish… and wow, it was delicious. It went down a treat with the girls (all 7 of them) and the very first comment I got was “OK you’re employed”. Actually, credit goes to TC for roasting the red peppers for me (these are known as capsicums to us Aussies) – he’s been roasting these a lot lately and it’s something I’ve never actually tried, so he kindly volunteered that job. Actually, that was another small change to the recipe – rather than confit peppers, I simply left them as roasted and peeled then left them to sit with the oil that was still on them until I was ready to drain & cut them – they were still delicious!
So being excited as I was, I also decided to make a version of orange muffins with sticky orange & lemon syrup.
I actually adapted these from a Thermomix recipe that I’d wanted to try for quite a while. For those who know what a Thermomix is, you will understand completely how much I miss mine back in Australia. Because I am such a Thermomix fan, I thought this might be a good opportunity to try out the recipe without one and see if I could cope with my little food processor I’ve purchased here in France.
The recipe is the 30 Second Whole Orange Cake from the Thermomix recipe community. If you would like the original Themomix instructions, please click here. So this is the recipe with almost the same ingredients, and my method with the processor:
Ingredients (makes approx 14 large muffins)
1 whole orange cut into small chunks
1 tbspn orange rind, finely grated
300g Self Raising Flour
Preheat oven to 180C. Line muffin tins with paper liners & set aside.
Place the orange pieces and butter into the food processor and process until the orange is finely processed and combined with the butter (this may take some time, with stopping & scraping the sides of the bowl, depending on your processor). Add the extra orange rind and the eggs, one at a time and process until completely combined.
Put the orange mixture into a large bowl. Combine the flour and sugar and add this (about 1/3 at a time) to the orange mixture, folding in until just combined.
Fill the muffin tins and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool slightly and while still warm, drizzle with the syrup and top with thin strips of orange rind. (Note: my muffins had browned on top, so in order to help the syrup soak into the muffins, I pierced them several times with a toothpick before drizzling the syrup)
Orange & Lemon Syrup
Juice of one orange (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
Combine juices and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat & bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Drizzle over still warm muffins.
I made 12 large muffins but had enough mixture left over to make a small cake to leave behind for TC to enjoy.
So how did the recipe go using the processor instead? Rather frustrating, as my processor is just a little cheapie, so it took quite some time to get the orange and butter finely chopped and blended… stopping and starting many many times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. It is going to be so good to use my machine again next year…