Sweet and Savoury – variety is the spice of life…#252

Ginger Macadamia Slice & Pleasing Pesto

Meanderings of a Domestic Goddess

Domestic Goddess

It is getting cooler and now the urge is to have something a little more substantial with the evening cup of tea, coffee or other beverage. The Ginger Macadamia slice is made with our locally grown nut and can be served in small squares so as not to damage healthy diets too much!

The hint of ginger complements the sweet syrup and macadamia flavour and is very satisfying. This is also a slice that ‘travels’ well so is a good one to prepare when you are wanting to make a special gift for your hosts or to take to a function.

For those of us who are not indulging in sweet treats try the Pleasing Pesto- it is a great addition to many foods.

GINGER MACADAMIA SLICE

125g butter, plus extra to grease tin 
1 cup caster sugar 
11/4 cups flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
2 tsp ground ginger

TOPPING: 
50g butter 
1 cup icing sugar 
2 tbsp golden syrup 
2 tsp ground ginger 
A pinch of garam masala if you want it a little more spicy
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts, lightly toasted

1. Heat oven to 160°C fan bake or 170°C ordinary. Grease a 17cm x 27cm slice tin with butter. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. 
2. Sift flour, baking powder and ginger over the creamed mixture, then stir to combine. Press into the base of the prepared tin. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes then remove to cool. 
3. For the topping, place the butter, icing sugar, golden syrup and ginger 9and garam if using) in a saucepan over a medium heat until the butter melts. Bring to the boil for one minute. 
4. Pour topping over cooked base and scatter with chopped macadamias. Cut into squares while still warm.

Pleasing Pesto

My basil plants are truly excellent at the moment. I keep cutting lots off and they respond and grow immediately! So here’s a recipe to utilize the bountiful basil.

I love a low-fat version of pesto and this one has a bright, fresh taste and almost no fat. We never tire of eating pasta with pesto, and this recipe makes exactly the right amount of pesto for 500g of pasta. Pesto is also good as a topping for baked potatoes or fish, a dressing for steamed green beans or zucchini, a sandwich spread, and a flavoring for soups, stews, risottos, and omelets.

This pesto is suitable (and best) served immediately due to the tomatoes in the mix, but it will keep refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.

1 cup well-packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup chopped tomatoes 
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced 
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts 
½ teaspoon salt

• First toast the pine nuts, spread them in a single layer on an unoiled baking sheet and bake in a conventional or toaster oven at 190 degrees for about 3 to 5 minutes, until just slightly deepened in color, or you can dry fry them in a frying pan on top of the stove- do not leave them unattended and keep them moving while you are toasting them this way.
• Rinse and drain the basil leaves. 
• In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and salt and puree until smooth. 
• You may need to stop several times to scrape the sides of the blender or processor bowl with a rubber spatula.

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