#CookForSyria

I would like to introduce #CookForSyria.  This amazing idea was created by UNICEF ( an organisation that helps children in need all over the world ), Clerkenwell Boy ( an award-winning food instagrammer ), Serena Guen ( publisher, businesswoman and philanthropist )  and a few top chefs, as a way to fight the terrible humanitarian crisis in Syria.

#CookForSyria is a recipe book full of traditional and modern delicious Syrian, Middle Eastern food. Each recipe is donated by world-class chefs who want to make a difference! Any profits made on the sales of this incredible book are donated to aid the people of Syria affected by the tragic events.

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Food is about sharing and hospitality, we may only have a little for ourselves, but we will give some to you because we are all hungry. Food can form friendships and relationships and is an integral part of a community.  This book aims to capture that and bottle it, to use it to work towards peace.

I have already made four recipes out of his book and I’ve only had it a week and a half! They are so good! But the best one had to be this one:

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Syrian Onion and Parsley Meatballs on Spicy Cous Cous with Roasted Butternut Squash and a Tahini Yoghurt Sauce. 

It was seriously nice. Here’s the recipe for the meatballs, the sauce and the topping if you’d like to have a go:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 kg of minced beef

1 large onion

a bunch of parsley

1 butternut squash

For The Sauce

2 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp yoghurt

2 tbsp water

juice of one lemon

1 clove of garlic

For The Topping

Handful of pine nuts

Knob of butter

 

Method:

Cut the butternut squash into cubes, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil. Roast in the oven until tender. 

Very finely chop the onion and parsley. Put both in a bowl with the mince and season. Mix together with your hands. Form into meatballs the size of ping pong balls and roast in the oven at 180C/356F for 10 minutes. 

Mix the tahini, yoghurt, lemon, water and finely chopped garlic together with some salt until it forms a smooth, runny consistency. If too thick, add a little drop of water. 

Melt some butter in a pan and toast some pine nuts.  

Layer the meatballs and butternut squash in a bowl, drizzle with the sauce and then the pine nut topping.

Serve hot with cous cous, flatbreads, pittas or salad and enjoy……….! 

I encourage you to buy this book, not only shall I tempt you with tales of pomegranate, spices, olives, pistachios, figs, bread, houmous and more, it is also working to change the world and to raise awareness of these people’s plight.

Let’s #CookForSyria to show we care!

 

Orange Butterfly Cakes

For the last few days we’ve been staying with nanny and Geoff.  Yesterday we made blue berry muffins and orange butterfly cakes, I tried both, but the butterfly cakes were the best.  I thought I’d share the recipe, because they were so delicious.  Do try them, they won’t disappoint.  The sharp orange curd contrasts with the sweet icing and it makes the perfect match.  I’d just like to say thank you to both nanny and Geoff for having us.

 

ORANGE BUTTERFLY CAKES

INGREDIENTS

Makes 12

100g (4oz) butter

100g (4oz) caster sugar

2 eggs

100g (4oz) self raising flour

1 level tsp baking powder

grated zest 1 orange

3 tbsp orange curd

ICING

50g (2oz) softened butter

100g (4oz) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

 

METHOD

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 c / 160 c fan / gas 4.  Line a tin with 12 cupcake cases.

2. Measure all ingredients, except orange curd, into a large bowl and beat untill smooth.

3. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

4. When cooked and cool, cut a disc from the top of each cake leaving a little rim around the edge.  Cut the discs in half and set them aside. Fill the holes with orange curd.

5. For the icing, beat butter and icing sugar together until smooth.  Spoon or pipe a swirl of icing on top of the orange curd.  Then place the two cake halves on, to resemble butterfly wings.  Dust with icing sugar and enjoy.

 

mixing, you can do this with an electric mixer or by hand.

mixing, you can do this with an electric mixer or by hand.

spoon mix into cases.

spoon mix into cases.

cooked and cooling

cooked and cooling

the finished product

the finished product

LOVELY

LOVELY

TOP TIPS

1.  Don’t use muffin cases, they’re too big.

2.  Pipe the icing, it looks better and more tidy.

3.  Don’t cut too shallow a disc or to deep, you’ll have too much or too little curd.