After our visit to the Villa Doré Agricultural Estate and hearing the story of how Andrew and Akane Doré had returned to South Africa from Japan to start their organic agri-processing business, the challenge to bake muffins using their green banana flour brand and macadamia nuts was simply irresistible.
Taking an existing carrot and apple bran muffin recipe passed down from mother to daughter and using online research to establish the correct conversion methods, the experiment got under way.
Baking with green banana flour results in a more crumbly texture than if wheat flour is used, but the taste was simply delicious, particularly hot out of the oven.
And following advice found on Google we used 30% less green banana flour than the quantity stipulated in the recipe for the wheat flour, and we exchanged one cup of brown sugar in the original recipe for ¾ cup of macadamia honey.
We also used macadamia nuts instead of walnuts or pecan nuts.
Prep time: 45 mins Baking time: 35-45 mins
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
360g green banana flour
2 tsp bicarb
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
Pinch of salt
¾ cup macadamia honey
1½ cups finely grated carrots
1½ cups grated apple
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
½ cup pitted dates or raisins
1 cup macadamia oil
3 free range eggs
½ tsp vanilla
- Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- In a second bowl combine the grated carrots and apple, desiccated coconut, dates or raisins and nuts. Stir to combine – not too much.
- Add the oil.
- Add the 3 eggs.
- Add vanilla.
- Stir to combine.
- Add the wet mix to the dry ingredients, stirring or mixing until just combined.
- Spoon the mix into a muffin tin lined with muffin baking cases.
- Place in the pre-heated oven.
Notes: As our muffins were baked in a slow gas oven it took a little longer for them to bake than it would in an electric oven. After the muffins have been in the oven for 30 minutes keep checking to make sure they are properly cooked before taking them out.
The baking mix can be stored in the fridge and used over a period of a week
Green banana flour – which is milled used dried un-ripened bananas – is deemed a healthy alternative to standard wheat or gluten flours.
Recognised as a superfood, the flour is gluten-free, helps to balance blood-sugar levels and is high in prebiotic fibre. Prebiotics support the health of the good bacteria in the gut, bowel and colon.
As a starch-resistant fibre that is lower in calories than most wheat flours and other alternatives, green-banana flour is a beneficial dieting starch.
The flour is high in essential minerals and vitamins with an abundance of potassium. According to savoirflair.com two tablespoons of green banana flour hold the same amount of potassium as seven whole bananas. “It also helps lower cholesterol, boosts heart health and aids nerve and muscle activity,” the site says.
It is fortuitous this issue of The Macadamia was published post-Valentine’s Day, or you would be drenched in cheesy chocolate sublime.
Come to think of it, January is, after all, long gone, so let us suspend our new year’s resolutions, and roll with chocolate (and caramel) galore!
True, it is all about plant-based eating, and superbly healthy macadamias sit front and centre to that… but this is a time we can safely digress: to make macadamia millionaire’s shortbread.
Macadamia Millionaire’s Shortbread
- 250g + 100g unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2½ cups plain flour
- 200ml golden syrup
- 2 x tin condensed milk
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, lightly chopped
- 250g milk chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup cream
- Sea salt to finish
Macadamia’s chef extraordinaire, Annelle Whyte
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. In a large bowl cream together 250g butter, caster sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Add the flour, and mix until a soft dough forms, then bring together with your hands.
- Press the shortbread dough into a lined slice tin, place into the oven, and bake for 15-20 mins or until lightly golden brown.
- To make the caramel, combine the remaining butter, golden syrup, condensed milk, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Place over a low to medium heat and cook while stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is fully combined.
- Sprinkle the chopped macadamias over the baked shortbread base and then pour the caramel over the top. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 mins or until the caramel has set. Once baked, leave to cool then place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours, or until completely cool.
- Place the chopped chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl, and place over a pot of simmering water. Stir until melted and fully combined, then pour over the chilled caramel. Spread until the surface is evenly covered, then return to the fridge and leave to set for a further hour.
- Once set, sprinkle with sea salt, and cut the shortbread into pieces. Serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
The next issue’s recipe will be so healthy it will entirely make up for this one’s transgression into a sugar coma, so do indulge!
The Macadamia’s chef extraordinaire, Annelle Whyte invites readers to join her and her daughter, Stella in macadamia heaven with her unique “super food” Macadamia Praline Avocado ice cream.
First up, you do not need ice-cream makers or any other convoluted and obscure kitchen gadgets.
With that out of the way, this is a delicious (somewhat) healthy indulgence. If anyone asks, the answer is: it contains TWO superfoods, so what is not to love?
Especially now as we hot up for summer and hopefully freer days!
A three-part process that your kids will love being involved in, especially licking the condensed milk can, as my four-year-old daughter did, old school style!
To start, the macadamia praline:
- 300g macadamias (roughly chopped or in pieces) lightly toasted in a pan or low oven
- 425g light brown sugar
- 125ml whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1tsp salt
- 80g butter
I know, it looks a little like the ingredients for fudge!
- Get a large baking pan at the ready and spread the toasted macadamia pieces evenly in it to use later
- Mix the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted
- Turn up the heat and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes until it forms “hard-ball stage”
“Hard-ball”: the syrup will form thick, “ropey” threads as it drips from the spoon. The sugar concentration is rather high now, which means there is less and less moisture in the sugar syrup. A little of this syrup dropped into cold water will form a squidgy ball)
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture evenly across all the macadamias. You can use a fork to gently spread the mixture around to ensure all the macadamias are well coated
- Leave the praline to cool until hard (you can place the pan into the fridge or freezer to speed this up if necessary)
- Once hard, using a fork, knife, or your hands, crumble the praline to the size pieces you would like in your ice-cream
And then, the avocado ice-cream:
- 3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted (or only 2 avocados if you would like to dial it down a bit)
- 1 can of condensed milk (or 1 ½ can if you prefer your ice cream a little sweeter)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups of double thick cream
- Add all the ingredients to a blender until smooth. Or you can use a hand-held electric beater to mix until smooth (make sure no avo chunks or pieces remain)
- Transfer the mixture to the freezer for 2 or 3 hours until it begins to set, but is still soft enough to stir the macadamia praline in before allowing it to set fully
The avo adds to the ice cream’s creaminess, but what you may not expect is how wonderfully if lifts the ice-cream to new refreshing heights, the subtle avo flavour remains in a light yet creamy treat!
To finish: the melding of heaven:
- Remove the half set soft ice cream from the freezer and mix in half to two-thirds of the praline. Saving the other half or remaining third to sprinkle on top and individual servings
- Transfer the ice-cream mixture to a freezer-safe tub (an empty shop-bought ice-cream tub is about the right size) and sprinkle more praline on top
- Leave to set fully overnight and voila!
I cannot tell you enough how worth a try this is, whether it is to make the praline only, ice cream only, or both!