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Inca-berry and Ginger Hazelnut Pudding

April 24, 2015

Serve with cream or ice-cream

                                                 Serve with cream or ice-cream

Recently, I was very lucky to receive some sample products from the lovely Melanie at the Source Bulk Foods shop in Bulimba.

I am familiar with the brand as I have regularly visited their Balmain store on my Sydney travels and I was very excited to hear that they have opened a franchise in Brisbane. Who doesn’t love a sample pack? Are you one of those people who buys a magazine because it comes with a “sample bag” of goodies?! I used to be, when I was interested in packaged foods, but the lure isn’t so strong now!

Anyhow, Melanie put together a fabulous box containing dried incaberries, Gold Coast honey, hazelnuts, pecans, and banana flour amongst other goodies and my challenge was to develop a recipe with all of the above!!

I got very excited about the banana flour as I haven’t used it in my cooking yet and I think some serious experimenting is in order, so I put that one aside for more attention. I have had incaberries before and had really felt ho-hum about them. The dried ones I had tried previously were very tart, with almost a chemically taste bitterness to them.

These incaberries were quite different – they were delicious. Yes, they were tart, but they were also very sweet and fragrant. So I chose the incaberries to be the star of my recipe.

I have known the incaberry as a cape gooseberry but it is also known as the Aztec berry, golden berry or pichuberry. Not to be confused with a Chinese gooseberry, it is closely related to the tomatillo and you can easily see the resemblance as it grows within a papery bladder-like calyx. The fruit resembles a miniature, yellow tomato and is full of tiny seeds. Sweet when ripe, it has a characteristic, tart flavour. As a member of the plant family Solanaceae, it is more distantly related to a large number of edible plants, including tomato, eggplant, potato and other members of the nightshades.

If you are lucky enough to find them fresh, they last for up to 2 months if the fruit is left inside the intact calyx husks. Native to high-altitude, South America, it has only recently become an important crop and is grown in China, Egypt, South Africa and since 2011, now Australia. I’m told that it is very easy to grow and will have to find some seeds to plant!

Hailed as the next “superfood” after goji (probably as their ORAC rating is higher), I am inclined to disagree. What is a superfood anyway?! Despite having good levels of antioxidants, they have only a modest vitamin/mineral value and like other dried fruit, about half their weight is carbohydrates with a lot of natural sugars.

Incaberries have a reasonable amount of protein (6.4 %), but not as high as goji which has 12% (Meat as a comparison is 20% protein). Due to the tiny seeds, they have the highest fibre content of all dried fruit at nearly 20%,  more than dried figs (14% ). Nutritionally, they are akin to cross between a dried fig and a dried apricot.

Now that the weather in Brisbane is finally heading in a cooler direction, the season for puddings will be soon upon us! Hooray for pudding!!

I have made the incaberries into a paste for this pudding recipe. Incidentally, fresh or dried, incaberries make fabulous jam. I have added just a smidgeon of honey to the paste to take the edge off the tartness, feel free to use more honey if you are inclined.

To keep these puddings gluten free, I have used hazelnut meal and buckwheat flour. Almond flour will work nicely too, but it’s a nice point of difference. If you use some silicon cupcake pans in your steamer, this recipe will make about 12 little puddings. I like to use dariole moulds which are slightly bigger so I only get about 10 puddings.

120g dried incaberries

200g water

20g butter

1 tab honey

60g buckwheat

130g hazelnuts

50g fresh ginger

70g rapadura sugar

100g butter

3 eggs

1 teas dried ginger

2 teas baking powder

50g water/juice/milk

1 tab apple cider vinegar

pinch salt

Chop the incaberries coarsely on SP 8 for 5 seconds. Add the water and cook on SP 2 for 14 minutes at 100°C.

Add the butter and honey and blend on SP 9 for 10 seconds. You will have a paste – set aside.

In a clean dry TM bowl, mill the buckwheat on SP 10 for 10 seconds. Add the hazelnuts and grind for a further 10 seconds. Set aside.

Grind the fresh ginger on SP 10 for 10 seconds. Add the sugar, butter and blend on SP 6 for 10 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients, including the nuts and buckwheat and mix on SP 5 for 20 seconds until well combined and smooth.

In well greased ramekins, place a teaspoon of inca paste and then top with some pudding batter. Seal each one with foil. This recipe makes 10 small steamed puddings.

Place 700g water in the TM and set the varoma to steam for 27 minutes on VAROMA temp, SP 3.

Serve the puddings with ice-cream or cream.

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