Think nut butters are just for baking? Think again. It’s amazing what you can do with the humble nut – here’s 2 amazing ways to use Meridian Foods in your at-home creations this week:

Chicken and Cashew Thai Curry

Meridian Nut Butter Recipes (20th November 2014)

A fragrant curry made with chicken marinated in Thai red curry paste, cashew butter and coconut milk that the whole family will enjoy. 

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

What You Need

2tsp nut oil

8 spring onions, 6 finely slices, 2 reserved for decoration

3tbsp Thai red curry paste

4tbsp Meridian crunchy cashew butter

400g cooked chicken, torn into bite sized pieces

400ml coconut milk

1tbsp soy sauce

1tbsp Meridian date syrup

200ml chicken stock

200g baby corn cut into 1cm disks

150g green beans, trimmed and cut in half

Small bunch of coriander

1 lime cut in wedges

What You Do

In a heavy bottom pan heat the oil and gently cook the sliced spring onions for 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and cashew butter, cook stirring for 1 min until fragrant then add the chicken. Stir to coat with the paste.

Pour in the coconut milk, soy, syrup and stock, stir and bring to the boil. Add the corn and beans and simmer for 10 minutes. If the curry becomes too thick add a little more stock.

Cut the two remaining spring onions into 5cm sections then slice lengthways into narrow ribbons and drop into iced water for 5 -10 minutes. They will curl and look pretty for decorating the dish.

When the curry is cooked, check the seasoning then serve with Jasmine rice and topped with the spring onion curls, coriander leaves and a wedge of lime.

Ombre Chocolate Peanut Butter Celebration Cake

Meridian Nut Butter Recipes (29th January 2015)

This centrepiece cake is deliciously rich and indulgent and topped with shards of agave salted peanut brittle for a truly eye-catching finish.

Serves: 12

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time:  40 minutes

What You Need

For the brittle

250ml agave syrup

80ml coconut oil

90g salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the cake

115g butter, room temperature

150g rice bran syrup

115g unrefined brown sugar

3 eggs

125ml low fat greek yogurt

300g self raising flour

80g cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp milk

For the peanut frosting

400g light cream cheese

100g smooth peanut butter

100g unrefined icing sugar

For the dark chocolate Icing

70g butter, room temperature

60g good quality 85% chocolate, melted

200g unrefined icing sugar

½ tsp Meridian molasses

2 tbsp milk

What You Do

Start by making the brittle. Measure the agave syrup and coconut oil into a medium sized heavy based saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring continuously until the syrup reaches hard crack temperature (150C/300F).  Remove from heat and stir in peanuts then pour onto a silicone or non-stick parchment paper. Put into freezer for two hours to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins. In a large bowl beat the butter until pale, soft and creamy. Whisk in the rice bran syrup then the unrefined brown sugar. Beat in the eggs one by one, then the yogurt.  If the mixture looks like its curdling at any point, add a few spoons of flour and continue whisking.

Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and gently fold in, adding the milk towards the end to make a smooth batter. Once combined, spoon into the sandwich tins, spread to the edges and bake for 25 minutes until they spring back when touched.  Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the peanut butter frosting, beat all the ingredients together till smooth. Slice the cooled cakes horizontally in half to make four equal layers. Put the bottom layer on a board or plate, cut side up and spread with a quarter of the frosting. Repeat until you have four layers of cake and three layers of frosting.

To make the dark chocolate icing, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Divide the frosting into thirds, mix half of the remaining peanut frosting into one third of the chocolate frosting.

To apply the ombre icing spread the top of the cake with one third of the chocolate icing, spread the next third down the side of the cake just covering the top layer. Use the remaining peanut frosting at the bottom of the cake to cover the sides and fill in the gap in the middle with the mixed frosting. You will now have striped sides to your cake. Use a pallet knife to smooth the sides and blur the colours together to create an ombre effect.

Crack the brittle into big shards and use to decorate the top of the cake

Post in association with Meridian Foods for #MeridianNutWeek. Make sure to follow Meridian Foods on Twitter here and like them on Facebook here.