Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles

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A fairly quickly idea for a tasty meal. I have long known that I am a salt fiend – I love soy sauce, olives, feta cheese and many, many other salty, tasty foods. To me, miso has a similar appeal and checking the packet confirms that it is in fact, high in salt. Yum. Miso is a recent discovery for me and therefore a current love. I cheated and bought some miso soup sachets which are a paste rather than a powder. I bought them a while ago and realised they are approaching their ‘best before’ and therefore needed to be used sooner rather than later. Not particularly a hardship! Another item in my kitchen in need of using up was an aubergine – it was beginning to go wrinkly and the stem end was definitely not good. In the interests of not wasting the whole thing I chopped that bit off and used the rest which was still surprisingly firm and good to use.

It’s a revelation to me that aubergine can be used in anything but ratatouille. That’s certainly the only way I had it before I left home many years ago. But it pairs so well with these flavours and becomes meltingly tender and delicious. I will definitely be making this again. The only thing I’ll change is to add some fried tofu for a protein component – I realised after making this that it was a little lacking in that department. A very successful combination of warming ginger, salty miso, melting aubergine, slippery noodles and fresh broccoli.

Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles (based on this recipe)
Soften half an aubergine, chopped into pieces in about a teaspoon of oil. In the meantime, bring a pan of water to the boil for the noodles and broccoli. Mix a miso soup sachet with a small cube of ginger, grated, a teaspoon of mirin, half a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vinegar. An Asian style vinegar would be best but I used apple cider vinegar because that’s what I had. Add some boiling water and mix well. When the aubergine is tender and coloured, add the noodles to the boiling water and the miso mix to the aubergine. Simmer the aubergine while the noodles cook, adding the broccoli so that it’s tender when the noodles are done. Drain noodles and broccoli, add to aubergine mix and serve.

I’m going to share this with the no-waste food challenge. I am generally a bit rubbish at using things up so I was quite pleased to have rescued the aubergine in particular from the fate which would usually have befallen it, namely the bin (sadly there is no food-waste collection where I live).

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I’m also going to share it with Jac for her Meat Free Mondays. This was a great light lunch but with some tofu would make a more substantial dinner.

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Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles

Golden Syrup Ginger Cakes

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These were made as a thank you, to be given away. However, I am incapable of being truly altruistic so not only did I make cakes to a recipe that appealed to my cake-tastes, I kept a couple back, for testing purposes of course! The recipient may (or may not) read this blog but if they do, I think that they’d be pleased to know that I kept some back to test and thoroughly enjoyed eating them!

Anyway, I adapted the recipe from this one on the Lakeland website (it may become apparent in a future post as to why I was on the Lakeland website for inspiration…). The recipe makes 24 and I didn’t think that myself and the recipient could get through quite that many so the recipe amounts below are essentially half of the stated ingredients but with a couple of minor alterations. I was intending to do the orange flavoured icing as stated but have mislaid my orange essence so went with vanilla bean paste, full of tiny little seeds and packed with vanilla flavour. It was a good choice.

Golden Syrup Ginger Cakes
90g butter
90g light muscovado sugar
80g golden syrup
100ml milk
1 egg
165g self raising flour
1 1/2tsp ground ginger (I like ginger, so this is not half of the stated amount)
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the buttercream: Cream 75g soft butter with 150g icing sugar, a tsp of vanilla paste and a little hot water to loosen if necessary.

– Preheat the oven to 180C (just noticed that the recipe states 150C, well I used 180!). Line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
– Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the syrup and mix well.
– Add the milk, egg, flour, ground ginger and bicarb and beat until well combined and light in texture.
– Divide between the cases and bake for around 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. The syrup seems to make them colour quite quickly.

When cool, pipe on the buttercream icing and enjoy.

These were much, much lighter than I was expecting. For some reason I always think of cakes made with syrup being quite heavy and moist but these had a beautiful light, airy texture yet were still moist. The unmistakeable flavour of golden syrup came through well, and combined with the ginger to make these very enjoyable. I think they’ll also be good with custard for dessert and that will hopefully be the fate of the one which didn’t get any buttercream and is currently in the freezer.

I’m entering this into a couple of blog challenges: Tea Time Treats, hosted this month by Karen of Lavender and Lovage (and on alternate months by Janie at The Hedgecombers). The theme this month is Muffins, Fairy Cakes and Cupcakes. These fit in perfectly. I’m also entering it into Bake of the Week, hosted by Casa Costello.

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Bake-of-the-week

Golden Syrup Ginger Cakes