The Eater's Manifesto

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What should we eat to be healthy? Michael Pollan offers this introduction from his new book "In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto."

Thanks to ChangeThis for permission to reproduce this manifesto.

Dear Visitor,

Please find a multitude of recipes here for your personal use and pleasure. All the recipes are tried and tested.

Since I'm a baker you will find lots of sweet recipes with quite a few in the baking section, but if you'd rather like to buy my ready-baked things, you can do so online by ordering here.



Gingerbread Parfait (<-- click to see the full recipe)

A parfait is a special sort of an ice cream you can easily make yourself.
To make it you simply cream eggs and sugar, add a flavour, fold whipped cream in and freeze.
It keeps very well and can be prepared well in advance to take the stress out of your festive meal preparations. It will be cool to have on a hot summer day and will please kids and adults alike.
And no doubt about it the more of my Gingerbread you are using, the tastier it will.

Chardonnay and Polenta Cake (gluten free)

This temptingly tipsy and wonderful moist cake is best prepared the day before, to imbue the citrus and feijoa flavours of the topping into the cake, and giving the polenta the chance to swell more and get softer.

Serve on its own, or add an anglaise (flavoured with vanilla or saffron or cardamom...), or thick cream. Garnish with some fresh fruit of the same type you used in the cake.

Apple Loaf (can easily be changed into gluten free)

It's a rich moist cake, which will last a few days well wrapped and in a cool place. A favourite during the apple season, will give any tea break zing and bite.

Warning, this loaf is prone to be eaten in one sitting ;-)

Especially when you macerated (cooking term for marinating) it with some liquor like Brandy, Rum or Cognac.

Good news for coeliacs too. Virtually no discernible difference between the regular flour variation and the one made with gluten free flour.

Kirschenmichel (Clafoutis)

This is a wonderful variation of what is know in New Zealand as Bread and Butter Pudding. The French call their particular version Clafoutis, but cheeky as I am, I will give you a recipe from the Blackforest, famous for the cherries, which form part of this recipe. The Blackforest name for it is "Kirschenmichel". Traditionally served warm, either with Vanilla Sauce or Ice Cream, a festive little treat.

The French will groan with despair, that I even dare compare a humble bread and butter pudding with their noble dish, which the purists will create without a trace of bread. Alas, they didn't ask for permission either, when they sank the Rainbow Warrior.

Aachener Printen

Aachener Printen are a famous German Gingerbread with a long history. The recipes are closely guarded secrets in the industry.

The Printen are named after the city Aachen in Germany, but originally the Printen came from Dinant in Belgium, where they have been known for about 1,000 years as "Couques de Dinant". Initially they were sold in pharmacies due to the healing properties attributed to them!

Today they are a seasonal speciality enjoyed by the locals and sought after by the tourists. You will love them too with a cup of coffee. They are absolutely gorgeous.

Pinwheel Scones

These are some oldtime favourites which please everyone time and again. The scones are quick and easy to make, variations can be achieved easily with different fillings. It could be a healthyish fresh option with grated apple, but why not try to make a gourmet version with some raisins soaked in rum, or instead of sweet make a savoury filling from cheese...

Orange and Almond Biscotti

There are already many recipes out there for biscotti, but this one is a magnificent flavour combination, exquisitely balanced.

If you would like to give it a go, you will be well rewarded. Making biscotti isn't difficult. You may need a couple of trials to get them shaped nicely. For example a little more, or a little less moisture from the eggs (which always vary slightly in size) in the mix will make quite a difference during the baking. They may run a bit flat, or they may not.

But what is the look of a biscotti compared to the flavour of a biscotti I ask you? I'm certainly after flavour experiences. Partner them with red wine, or a liquor and a short black after a special meal, and I can see dreamy eyes.

Mousse au Chocolat

Would you like to serve up a nice and easy "mousse au chocolat" for your family this weekend?

It is a beautiful French chocolate dessert, gluten free too. Partner it with vanilla custard and fresh fruit (banana, kiwi fruit...). Although it is pretty tempting on its own.

Ginger Log

A devilish, a boozy, a rich dessert creations not for the faint hearted. I think it is a pleasing indulgent dessert, we all can afford occasionally. For the ones who prefer it in a teetotaller version, not a problem, just use orange juice, ginger beer or pineapple juice instead.

I actually think a lot of you will remember the ginger log from the "olde" days. An old-fashioned crowd-pleaser, worthy of doing again.

Can be done a little in advance (3-4 hours in the fridge), to be just right when your friends arrive for drinks and nibbles and an easy "surprise dessert".

Gingerbread Cake

This fabulous gingerbread cake is so perfect for the upcoming Christmas season. I recommend it highly for your own homebaking, well worth the effort. The cake improves with a few days of ageing, so it is ideal for baking in advance and you will get it out of the way before your guests arrive at Christmas :-)

NZ's famous Pavlova

I'm sure every New Zealander knows the Pavlova and got a favourite recipe, ready to whip it up whenever the occasion arises.

This might make it obsolete to publish yet another recipe here. But since I claimed some German participation in the original creation of the first Pavlova in one of my newsletters, I might as well present this recipe. It is made with less sugar than most recipes. A bit more delicate to make, but making it a little 'healthier', although the word healthy doesn't come easy with such a dessert :-)

Ah, you want to know the German connection? Well, Bert Sachse, a chef of German descent, used a recipe from a New Zealand housewife for this dessert while working as head chef at the "Hotel Esplanade" in Perth, Australia, during the stay of the famous Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. She was known for her ethereal looks, so Bert named this light and fluffy dessert "Pavlova", to honour her.


Caribbean Cucumber Salad

Now, that is a nice and simple recipe you can't go wrong with and it puts a bit of life into the otherwise rather dull cucumbers.
Perfect to start into spring or celebrate summer for the ones who wait for the organic cucumbers which are not quite ready yet.

Summer Salad

Now, with all the sunshine I felt it might be time for a quick and simple green salad recipe (vinaigrette style).

The recipe idea is to not use simple sugar, but some apricot jam or honey for sweetening it. Which will add an easy and wonderful refinement to your standard salad vinaigrette. Your family or friends might not even notice where the flavour comes from, but they will notice the increased depth of flavours.

Sauerkraut and Carrot Salad

A slightly exotic affair with nice crunch and a refreshing sour note, just right for a warm summer evening. I fancy a bottle of Gewürztraminer with that, but hey the ubiquitous bottle of bubbly will do just fine. Don't forget to add a niece crunchy piece of french stick, or a few crackers or a slice of proper sourdough bread.

Thai Carrot Salad

Well, actually the recipe is from my newsletter reader Holly. She surprised me with this lovely recipe.
I tried it, and it was not only tasting wonderful, it was easy and quick to prepare, too. I particularly loved the refreshing zing from the mint leaves, just right for a warm summer evening.
Add a juicy red steak from the barbecue, a piece of crunchy bread like a french stick or some of my savoury Simply Crackers and an easy to prepare meal is served quickly. Combine with a cold beer or an aromatic wine like a Gewürztraminer, if you feel like it.

Easy Mains

Spinach Lasagne (with variations)

Very easy and pretty fast to prepare with lots of possibilities to vary the recipe to your liking. It could be grunty with bacon or ham (is the beer already on ice?), or vegetarian with only spinach (herbal tea anyone?), or rather noble and fine with salmon (have we got some more of that Burgundy Chablis?).

It's a crowd pleaser, at home or at a friend's place. An excellent recipe where you don't bring anything back home, because everyone loves it so much, they will all lick their plate and the serving dish, too.

Guaranteed, my German friend Carola gave the recipe to me with the words: " it's been a sure winner at any pot luck dinner I have been to with it, never brought anything home again". My personal experience is just the same.

Savoury Spinach Cake

One of my favourite dishes when I'm in a hurry. Easy to prepare, can be knocked together while the oven pre-heats, and while it bakes, you can prepare your favourite sauce or make a nice fresh salad.

It doesn't need to be made with spinach. Silverbeet and similar leafy vegetables will work just as well.



Actually the recipe is from my newsletter reader Tex. She recommends this recipe for school lunchboxes.
I loved the recipe instantly, because it is packed with flavours. The clever mix of ingredients is such, that you won't even notice the gluten free status of the pikelets.

Easy enough to do, and certainly well worth a try.

Sourdough Rice Bread

As it is, my bakery can't offer you gluten free bread, but assistance in the baking of your own bread. Before you cast this idea aside, do consider, I'm going to offer you a unique recipe for a sourdough rice bread to brighten any coeliacs' life a little.

You will have to start from scratch including the initial creation of a sourdough starter, and you also have to put a bit of TLC into the process. But there is no healthier bread than a sourdough bread, and it is a type of bread you will rarely find in a commercial bakery in New Zealand. As a further bonus you will find it won't have a crumbly texture either. Making a sourdough bread is probably the easiest and the most difficult bread at the same time. Now, this might sound like bad news, but actually there is only good news, because learning the skill of making such a bread simply requires you to do it a few times to master it. Your first breads might be a bit stodgy to start with, but they will inevitably improve.

The time involved is marginal compared to the immeasurable pleasures you will bake yourself and your family and friends for decades to come.

Blue Cheese and Mascarpone with Port Wine, Gingerbread and fresh Figs

The combination of the blue cheese with the figs and port wine works very well together with the gingerbread. It even delights people who not normally like the blue cheeses so much.

Mulled Wine

In Germany mulled wine is called "Glühwein", literally translated it means glowing wine. Quite fitting if you come to think off it, because don't we all start to get a little "internal" glow after two or three glasses of mulled wine?

Hmm, wonderful, a mug of 'gluhwine' goes so well with a lovely piece of gingerbread or a crunchy biscotti. A real winter warmer.

Quakebake Ltd., Napier, New Zealand    phone (06) 833 6446    © Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.

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