I use greek yoghurt loads, it’s a fantastic hero of an ingredient which I use in all sorts of recipes…off the top of my head, right now, I can think of about 10 different recipes. I think that’s pretty good. Well, turns out 10 is rubbish; the people at Total Greek Yoghurt have come up with 1000 recipes using their product! Hats off indeed as they launched 1000 ways to love your total this week.
As well as uploading all these ideas to their website they had time to host an event at La Cucina Caldesi (which is a lovely little italian cookery school in central London). I was very excited to be invited and Chef Paul Merrett expertly guided us through making Salmon Rillette, Butternut Squash Tagine and a Semolina Sponge cake.
So, Total have come up with 1000 recipes, arranged an event (where I got to cook, eat, drink wine at lunch time and hang out with super food bloggers like Filipa Kay, Phillipa Moore, Alice Langley and Lynne Clark) and they gave me a whole bunch of yoghurt to take home….I feel utterly lazy in comparison.
To pay homage to my Total experience I decided to come up with a really special dish, something pretty to celebrate their efforts and a recipe not already covered by the 1000 ways campaign; tricky stuff. Scoffing one of the complimentary honey split pots I had a sugary epiphany and an idea started simmering in my brain.
My Total Dessert
Apricots poached in a cardamon syrup with crushed pistachios & honey, greek yoghurt quenelles (oh I love a quenelle) in a walnut shortbread sandwich with turkish delight pieces. (serves 2 with leftover shortbread!)Ingredients 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground pistachios (plus a little extra for decoration) 1 Total Greek Yoghurt Honey split pot 1 quantity of Delia Smith’s Walnut Shortbread dough (see here for recipe) 10-12 whole cardamom pods 1 orange 200g of caster sugar 6 fresh apricots 1 teaspoon of rose water icing sugar 2 pieces of rose turkish delight Method 1) Mix the coarsely ground pistachios with the honey from the split pot & set aside. 2) Make the shortbread dough following the instructions in Delia’s recipe, roll out and cut into rectangles (approx 12cm x 5cm) and place on a baking sheet lined with a sheet of baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, they should just start to turn pale golden at the edges. Leave them to cool on the tray until you’re ready to assemble the dish.
3) To poach the apricots heat 300ml of water, the cardamom pods (slightly bashed to release their fragrance) juice & zest of one small orange and the caster sugar. Bring to the boil then carefully add the whole apricots. Cover them with a piece of baking paper and let simmer for 8 minutes.
Gently remove the apricots from the syrup and set aside to cool.
Allow the syrup to reduce for another 8-10 minutes then turn off the heat and add the rose water.
4) When the apricots are cool enough to handle gently split them in half and remove the stone, cut each half into 3 wedges
Dredge 2 pieces of the shortbread with icing sugar on one side, these will become the lids.
5) Lay an un-sugar dusted piece of shortbread on each plate. Top with teaspoon quenelles of the yoghurt with small amounts of the pistachio honey in between.
6) Then add a layer of the apricot wedges, a little of the fragrant syrup, more pistachio honey and then the sugared lid.
7) Decorate the plate with left over pistachio-honey mixture, small pieces of the turkish delight (cut up using scissors) and drizzle the plate with a bit more of the cardamom syrup.
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