Lemon Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

This recipe for lemon cupcakes is one that we have adapted from Martha Stewart. It produces light, tender cupcakes with a fragrant lemony flavour. Makes about 24 cupcakes.

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
220g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups caster sugar
4 large eggs
finely grated zest of 2 lemons and 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup natural yoghurt
1/2 cup milk

Buttercream Icing
150g butter, softened
300g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Chopped chocolate or other decorations to garnish. Our favourite is to use different flavours from Tony's Chocolonely.


Preheat an oven to 160C. Line a muffin or cupcake tin with paper cases. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in batches, alternating with the yoghurt, milk and lemon juice. Beat until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cases, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating the tins halfway until the cakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before icing. The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container of frozen.

For the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and vanilla extract and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in the remaining milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.

Spread the icing over the cupcakes using a knife or small palette knife. Top with the chopped chocolate or other decorations of your choice.


Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

Serves 2

2 sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons mild curry powder and 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tin lentils
1 small bunch coriander
1 small tub Greek yoghurt
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 red chilli
1 tin tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
300g bag young spinach
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper

Finely chop the onion, garlic and red chilli. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks.

Heat a pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli to taste and fry for a further 1 minute.

Add the sweet potato and spices to the pan and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.

Finely chop the coriander. Drain the lentils and rinse off under cold water. Add the lentils and spinach to the sweet potato and cook until the spinach has wilted.

Add extra salt and pepper if necessary and divide between 2 bowls. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve with the Greek yoghurt.

Quick Chilli Wraps

Serves 2

100g red pesto
1 red chilli
350g beef mince
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 beef or chicken stock cube
2 red peppers
1 tin kidney beans
1 small bunch coriander
4 tortillas
1 avocado
1 red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small tub sour cream

Finely chop the red chilli. Cut the peppers into 1 cm cubes. Drain the liquid from the beans.

Heat a frying pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and fry the beef for a few minutes with the cumin until lightly browned. Add the pesto to the pan.

Crumble the stock cube into the minced beef and add the cubed peppers. Half fill the empty tin from the beans with water and add to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid from the pan and add the kidney beans, simmer for a further 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced. Remove the pan from the heat. Finely chop the coriander and add to the chilli.

Peel the avocado and cut into slices. Halve the onion and slice into thin rings. Warm the tortillas in a frying pan for 1 minute on either side.

Serve the tortillas filled with the chilli, avocado, onion and a dollop of sour cream.

Eton mess with espresso merengues


100g egg white
200g caster sugar
drop of lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

To finish
500 ml whipped cream, sweetened
250 g blackberries
maple syrup, to drizzle
hazelnut praline, to sprinkle (see below for recipe)

Preheat an oven to 110 ° C. Rub a bowl with a few drops of lemon juice.

Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until stiff. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the meringue is thick and glossy. Whisk instant espresso powder, to taste, through the meringue.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spoon on the meringue. Bake in the oven for about 1 to 2 hours.

Crush a layer of meringues into a serving bowl. Top with some whipped cream, blackberries and blackberry sauce. Repeat ending with a layer of crushed meringues.

Alternatively, give it more of an avant garde look by 'deconstructing' the Eton Mess on beautiful plates and serving them to your guests. Let your imagine run wild when it comes to the plating.  Serve at once so that the meringues are still nice and crispy.


100g castor sugar
100g hazelnuts

Put the sugar and hazelnuts into a heavy-based sauté-pan over a low heat until the sugar gradually melts and turns a rich caramel colour. Do not stir. When the sugar has caramelized and not before, carefully rotate the pan until the nuts are all covered with the caramel. When the nuts go ‘pop’ pour the praline on to an oiled baking sheet. Leave to get quite cold. When the praline is hard, crush in a food processor or with a rolling pin. The texture should be quite coarse and gritty. Store in an airtight container.

Easy Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb is in season right now and this is probably the easiest rhubarb crumble using ingredients probably everyone has in their store cupboard at home.

Serves 2

3 stalks rhubarb
10g butter, for greasing the ramekins
50g castor sugar (or extra to taste)

crumble topping
50g crunchy muesli

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Cut the rhubarb into small pieces.

Transfer the rhubarb to a small pan and add 3 tablespoons sugar (or extra to taste) and cook until the rhubarb is tender, about 4 minutes.

Spoon the rhubarb into ramekins or ovenproof dishes and sprinkle generously with the muesli.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes until the crumble is heated through and lightly toasted.

Serve warm or cold with cream or ice cream.

Caribbean Cooking Workshop

Bring some tropical sunshine into your home with these Caribbean recipes from one of our popular cooking workshops.

Exotic Avocado Salad

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 ripe papaya
1 ripe avocado
2 bunches trimmed and washed watercress
half small pack fresh mint
juice of half lime
1 tbsp olive oil

Dry-fry the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan for a few minutes, tossing and turning them until they look toasted. Tip them out of the pan and let them go cold. Peel the papayas, halve them lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Cut the flesh into long, thin slices. Halve the avocados and remove the stones, then peel off the skin and slice the flesh lengthways into thin slices.

Put the papayas, avocados, pumpkin seeds and watercress into a large bowl. Chop about 1 tablespoon of the mint leaves and set aside. Pick the remaining leaves from the stalks and tear them into the bowl.

Mix the lime juice and olive oil with the rest of the chopped mint to make a dressing, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over the salad and gently mix all the ingredients together with your hands.

Taste and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it, then transfer to a serving platter.


Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas

12 chicken thighs, bone in
1 lime, halved
hot sauce, to serve (optional)

For the jerk marinade
1 big bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
thumb-sized piece ginger, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
½ a small onion
3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you want less heat (be careful!! Start with 1)
½ tsp dried thyme, or 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground allspice

For the rice & peas
200g basmati rice
400g can coconut milk
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
2 large thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground allspice
2 x 410g cans kidney beans, drained

To make the jerk marinade, combine 1 big bunch roughly chopped spring onions, a roughly chopped thumb-sized piece ginger, 3 garlic cloves, ½ small onion, 3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you like, ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp thyme leaves, juice of 1 lime, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp ground allspice in a food processor along with 1 tsp salt, and blend to a purée.

If you’re having trouble getting it to blend, just keep turning off the blender, stirring the mixture, and trying again. Eventually it will start to blend up – don’t be tempted to add water, as you want a thick paste. Taste the jerk mixture for seasoning – it should taste pretty salty, but not unpleasantly, puckering salty. You can now throw in more chillies if it’s not spicy enough for you. If it tastes too salty and sour, try adding in a bit more brown sugar until the mixture tastes well balanced.

Make a few slashes in 12 chicken thighs and pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge. If you want to barbecue your chicken, get the coals burning 1 hr or so before you’re ready to cook. Authentic jerked meats are not exactly grilled as we think of grilling, but sort of smoke-grilled. To get a more authentic jerk experience, add some wood chips to your barbecue, and cook your chicken over slow, indirect heat for 30 mins.

To cook in the oven, heat to 180C. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with 1 halved lime and cook for 45 mins until tender and cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice & peas. Rinse 200g basmati rice in plenty of cold water, then tip it into a large saucepan. Add 400g can coconut milk, 1 bunch sliced spring onions, 2 large thyme sprigs, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and 1 tsp ground allspice.

Season with salt, add 300ml cold water and set over a high heat. Once the rice begins to boil, turn it down to a medium heat, cover and cook for 10 mins. Add two 410g cans drained kidney beans to the rice, then cover with a lid. Leave off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is absorbed. Squeeze the roasted lime over the chicken and serve with the rice & peas, and some hot sauce if you like it really spicy.


Spicy Prawn Skewers

3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
½ small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
½ tsp hot smoked paprika
4 tbsp olive oil
400g raw king prawns, in their shells if you like, or keep the tails on
1 jar Peppadew hot sweet piquanté peppers, drained
lemon wedges, to serve

Whisk the garlic, chilli, parsley, both types of paprika and olive oil together. Stir through the prawns and season well. Cover, put in the fridge and leave to marinate for at least 30 mins before threading on to skewers, interspersing them with a few of the peppers, so that each skewer has about 4-5 prawns.

Heat a grill pan over high heat and grill the skewers for 3-4 mins until pink and opaque. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon and plenty of saffron aïoli.


Vegetable Boxes from Lindenhoff

Our friends at Lindenhoff have two fantastic boxes available at restaurant prices, both filled with seasonal products. The first called ‘Hollandse Glorie’ or Dutch Pride is filled with onions, potatoes, leeks, Belgian endive, carrots and garlic and retails now for €11,25. The other box is the ‘knollen bundel’ or root vegetable box filled with Jerusalem artichoke, parsnip, celeriac and salsify. It retails for €12,25. You can order the boxes through us and pick them up from our venue at the Westergas. The first person to order a box via us will get another box free as a gift. Email us at bernadette@amsterdamflavours.com to order. Please order before 18.00 so that the delivery can be ordered for the following day.

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup, otherwise known as Jewish penicillin, is one of those dishes which is surrounded by mysticism. Jewish mothers would prepare a large pot of this golden liquid to give to their children when they were not well. It has been scientifically proven that chicken soup contains many of the same properties as penicillin, so it is in essence, the perfect medicine. This is actually a 'poor man's soup'. Once a week on the Sabbath or for special holidays, the chicken and vegetables would be used to make a flavourful soup. The soup would then be strained and served as a clear broth to start the meal. The reserved chicken and vegetables would then be served as the main course.

Serves 6-8 

1 chicken, about 1 kg in weight
2 leeks
3-4 sticks celery
1 carrot
4 small turnips
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
2-3 organic chicken stock cubes, according to taste
water, to cover
salt and pepper

Wash the leeks and celery and finely slice. Peel the carrot and turnips and cut into small dice. Finely chop the flat leaf parsley.

Place the chicken and vegetables in a pressure cooker or large pot. Add water to cover, the stock cubes, salt and pepper. If using a pressure cooker, place on the lid, bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes. If using a conventional pot, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 2 hours, skimming off any scum which forms on the top.

Remove the chicken and pick the meat off the bones. Return the meat to the soup and check the seasoning. Serve in large bowls and you'll be feeling better in no time.

To bulk the soup up, you can always add some broken spaghetti or other pasta of your choice. Traditionally the soup is served with matzah balls.

Make a large pot, as the soups freezes beautifully and it's always good to have some at hand.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours


Courgette Carbonara

Serves 2

150 g  spaghetti (regular, wholewheat or spelt)
2 courgettes
1 onion
1 clove garlic
3 eggs
50g grated Parmesan
50g grated Pecorino
1 small bunch of basil
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Coarsely grate the courgettes and finely chop the onion and garlic. In a bowl, whisk together 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sweat the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further 1 minute. Add the grated courgette and fry for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the spaghetti in the pan boiling water according to the instructions on the pack. Pick the basil leaves. Drain the spaghetti, reserving a cup of the cooking water.

Mix the spaghetti with the courgette mixture. Remove the pan from the heat, add the eggs and half of each cheese. Mix all the ingredients well and add some of the pasta cooking liquid to create a ‘creamy’ pasta. Add some extra salt and pepper if necessary.

Divide the pasta between 2 bowls. Scatter over the basil leaves and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.



Serves 4 

olive oil
3 tins white beans
100 g bacon
2 leeks
1 carrot
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
2 sticks celery
2 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
8 good quality French style sausages (we recommend from Brandt & Levie)
50 g panko breadcrumbs
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220 °C. Roughly chop the bacon. Finely chop the leeks, carrot, onions, garlic and celery.

Heat a pan with 4 tablespoons olive oil and sweat the chopped ingredients, about 7 minutes. Add the beans, along with some of their liquid (± 5 tablespoons), the rosemary, bay leaves, salt and a generous grind of pepper. Cook for 10 minutes.

Fry the sausages in a frying pan for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Slice each of the sausages into 3 pieces and add to the bean mixture. Check the seasoning.

Finely chop the parsley and mix with the breadcrumbs.

Spoon the bean mixture into a roasting dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and drizzle with  olive oil. Place the tray in the preheated oven or under a hot grill until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve with good bread and a full-bodied (Southern French) red wine.

If you wish to add confit duck, click here for the recipe.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours