Midnight Roasted Red Grapes – a recipe

Ever wondered, like me, what’s the story behind Kahlúa liquor, I often use in my recipes?

For you I’ve gathered some facts from different websites:

“coffee-flavored rum-based liqueur from Mexico. The drink also has sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean” source.

“First produced in 1936 by Veracruz, Mexico native Pedro Domeca” (source)

“It takes 7 years to create each bottle of Kalúa, from harvest of the coffee beans, vanilla, and sugar cane to bottle”.

“Coffee liquor with a cool twist” (now that’s my definition).

Now that we know what Kahlua is, let’s move on shall we.

In case you wonder, the name of this recipe – Midnight Roasted Red Grapes – is because I roasted the grapes around midnight, after I realized that taking pain-killer for my headache isn’t worth it, especially if contains chemicals. A bottle of water helped just a bit so I got up, went into my newly renovated kitchen (I love going into my new kitchen in the middle of the night. Hard to explain), I opened the fridge and found a bunch of fresh red grapes. Initially I wanted to bake cookies but didn’t want to make a mess when having a headache. I stared at the grapes, then at the oven, looked at the grapes again, then the oven – bam! bake them.

midnight roasted red grapes recipe

Herbal tea was well on its way while I gathered my simple almost every day ingredients – grapes and sugar. Roasting fruits is my latest FoodFashion. The flavor of the fruit enhanced so much more, the texture gets a beautiful rustic elegance, the color deepens and the recipe is not an everyday thing one would do in a kitchen, enhances the experience. And don’t make me start on the aroma…

midnight roasted red grapes

midnight roasted red grapes

Ingredients:

2-3 cups of red fresh grapes (want white? use it)

1 tbsp light brown sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 c. Kahlua liquor

*  *  *

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl mix ingredients except for the salt, until well combined. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange marinated grapes. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast grapes between 15-20 minutes, when skin is lightly crisp and soft and grapes are dark and juicy. Carefully remove pan from oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serving suggestions:

Top it with my No bake cheese cake

Add to my low-fat yogurt breakfast

Delicious snack on its own

Addition to fresh fruit salad

Arranged on skewers for a pretty presentation and serve with goat cheese

Or do what I did: couldn’t keep my hands off of them and ate them right off the pan. Careful, it’s hot.

Ideas are endless.

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Food. Inspired. Design.

What inspires you to cook? hunger does not count. Breakfast with a bling (click on image to find recipe)  My mother, god bless her golden hands and her Moroccan recipes, is a big believer that good food and full tummy … Continue reading

Silky Yogurt Mousse in Honey and Saffron syrup

saffronsyrup-yogurtmousse

Let’s face it – January simply flew by and February – well to me it’s almost the middle of the month. I find myself asking the same question over and over – where has time gone? There is so much I want and need to do but it seems that I’m always busy chasing time. There are to do notes scattered around to remind me to actually get to it, including cooking which is my therapeutic activity where I find myself being 100% me, even with all the other troubles that go with it, but again, short on time. Is that an excuse?silky yogurt mousse with saffron and honey

This week I kept things simple even in cooking. I wanted to make something sweet, breakfast/dessert style that contain simple basic ingredients, uncomplicated, quick and with a twist. A dish that reminds us that time is precious and even with the most basic ingredients we can still whip up a treat we’d love to share with those around us. I’m keeping things simple. period.

saffronhoneysyrup

So I called my biggest mentor – my mother, and asked her if in her childhood she ever had any mousse, anything fluffy and sweet as a dessert besides cookies. I’m saying this because my mom is an amazing cook but her focus was solely on cooking authentic Moroccan cuisine like beef, fish and poultry but not specialty desserts accept cookies on holidays. Then she said “…oh sure…” and she started naming ingredients and desserts in Moroccan I had no clue what she meant (I couldn’t stop laughing), but I did get two words: saffron, honey. Oh, that already triggered my creative side.

saffronhoneyyogurtmousseThe conversation went on about her mother’s cooking tradition and we had a lot of good laughs. After bouncing ideas with my mom I pulled my Greek Yogurt out of the fridge and my jar of saffron. and stared at it. A long minute later I was like “…o.k. I’m ready. whatever comes out of it…it must be really good”.

silky yogurt mousse with saffron and honey

saffronsyrup

The saffron honey syrup is such a treat. Its taste is surprisingly beautiful and I mean beautiful because honestly I don’t even know how to describe it in words, which is unusual to me. You have to make it to find descriptive words and if you do – please enlight me with your findings.

saffronyogurtmousse

The mousse is elegant, creamy, fluffy and not very sweet, which is how I like my desserts. The recipe is very flexible and you can adjust its sweetness or substitute the honey or agave with sugar, but I don’t recommend it. it’s simply wont be the same.

saffronyogurtmoussedessert

So, shall we:

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2 c. low fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp white corn flour
2 tbsp water
Honey Saffron syrup* (recipe follows)

*Honey Saffron syrup:
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. light agave syrup
generous pinch of saffron

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Preparation:
Honey saffron syrup: In a small pan combine honey, agave and with your fingers crash/rub saffron, add to the pan. Low/medium heat stir ingredients until bubbly. Cook for about two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mousse: Combine corn flour and water, stir to remove lumps. Set a side. In a medium bowl place the yogurt. Whisk until fluffy. Slowly add half the amount of Honey Saffron syrup that you’ve prepared. Fold to combine ingredients. Again, slowly, fold in the corn flour mixture. The mousse will change color to a light orange from the saffron. Pour mousse into ramekins and chill for a few hours until set.

Right before serving drizzle mousse with saffron syrup, serve.

Now deep your spoon in this creamy sweetened mousse and fill your mouth with goodness. Can it get any better than this?

And yes…why wait for a special dinner? it’s perfect for breakfast too.