Nice and Nutty Cooking 

Nuts add a certain decadence, not to mention flavour and texture, to any dish.

Nutty blue cheese muffin
Makes: 12 large muffins
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 15-20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Oven temperature: 180°C

Nutty blue cheese muffin


  • 1½ cups (375 ml) cake flour
  • 10 ml baking powder
  • 3 ml salt
  • 1 ml cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 125 ml pecan nuts, chopped
  • 80 ml blue cheese, crumbled
  • 6 piquant peppers, finely chopped
  • 100 ml milk
  • 100 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 extra large egg
  • Extra chopped pecan nuts for top
  1. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper together.
  2. Add the cheese, pecan nuts, blue cheese and peppers. Toss together.
  3. In a small bowl mix the milk, oil and egg together. Add it to the dry mixture and mix together until the mixture is just combined. The batter should still be lumpy.
  4. Line a muffin tray with paper linings and fill each section three quarters full. Sprinkle with the extra nuts.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot with butter.

Tip If blue cheese is not your favourite, try feta or ricotta cheese instead.

Nut and olive rounds
Makes: 24 rounds
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes
Oven temperature:180°C

Nut and olive rounds


  • 1 roll puff pastry
  • 125 ml sweet chilli sauce
  • 125 ml kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 ml cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100 ml hazel nuts, chopped
  • 100 ml pecan nuts, chopped
  • 100 ml marinated sun-dried tomato
  • 250 ml mozzarella cheese, grated
  1. Unroll the pastry and spread the sweet chilli sauce over it.
  2. Arrange the olives, nuts, sun-dried tomato and cheese on the pastry.
  3. Roll up the pastry lengthways, cover with cling film and place into the fridge for half an hour to chill. Once the roll has firmed up, slice it into 1 cm slices and place the slices onto a greased or sprayed baking tray.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve while still warm.

Asparagus and almond tartlet
Makes: : 4 individual tartlets or 1 large tart
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes
Total time: 70 minutes
Oven temperature:180°C

Asparagus and almond tartlet


  • 1 roll puff pastry
  • 15 ml butter
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 125 ml cheddar cheese, grated
  • 150 g baby asparagus spears
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 80 g whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 ml fresh cream
  • 1 ml cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Unroll the pastry and press it into individual pie tins or one large one. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and sauté until glossy. Sprinkle the onion into the bottom of the pastry shell and then sprinkle the cheese over the onion. Top with the asparagus and chopped almonds. Place the pie dishes onto a large baking tray to avoid spilling.
  3. Whisk the eggs, cream and cayenne pepper together, season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pastry shell until the filling is just covered.
  4. Place the tray into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the tart is puffed up and the pastry is golden. Serve warm.

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