James Martin's healthy spritzers are super quick and a refreshing addition to any brunch
MethodSlowly pour in the sparkling elderflower drink, as it will fizz up. Mix together and serve in tall glasses with ice.
- 280g bag green bean, stem end trimmed
- 3 large oranges
- 250g pack cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), cut into slim wedges
- 100g toasted hazelnut, roughly chopped
- 150g bag baby spinach leaves
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the beans in boiling water for 2 mins, drain and run under cool water until cold, then drain well – they should still have a nice crunch. Using a sharp knife, remove the peel, then segment the oranges. Squeeze the juice from the pith into a small jam jar.
- Layer the orange segments, beetroot, beans, hazelnuts and finally the spinach into a large plastic food container ready for the picnic – this way the spinach won’t go soggy.
- Add the remaining ingredients for the dressing to the jam jar with some seasoning, seal and pack into your salad box. When you’re ready to serve, toss the salad and dressing together.
- 300g butter, softened
- 300g golden caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 250g plain flour
- 100g ground almond
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- zest 1 orange, plus 2 tbsp juice
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 200g butter, softened
- 450g icing sugar, plus a little extra
- 200g cream cheese
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- food colouring paste of your choice (we used a mixture of pink and yellow to create coral)
- 250g pack green sugar paste (or fondant icing mixed with green food colouring)
- 24 muffin cases (we used green ones)
- large piping bag
- large curved star point piping nozzle
- 15cm/6in styrofoam ball
- 15cm/6in flowerpot (measured across the top)
- green tissue paper
- sticky tape
- 24 short wooden skewers (or long ones cut in half)
- ribbon, to decorate (optional)
- Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3½. Line 2 x 12-hole muffin tins with muffin cases. Put the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl and blend with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Add the flour, almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix again, then add the orange zest and juice, and almond extract. Give a final mix to combine everything.
- Use 2 dessertspoons to divide the mixture between the cases. Bake for 22-25 mins, changing the tins over after 15 mins. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 10 mins in the tins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Can now be frozen for up to 3 months.
- To make the icing, tip the butter into a large bowl and blend with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Add the icing sugar, cream cheese, almond extract and orange juice. Mash everything together first with a spatula (to avoid a mess), then go in with the electric whisk and mix until smooth. Add your food colouring and mix again until you have an even colour. (If you’re using liquid food colouring, it will make the icing runny, so add a little more icing sugar.)
- Fit the piping bag with a large curved star point piping nozzle, then fill the bag with half of the icing and twist the end closed. To pipe, hold the piping bag directly above the centre of the cake and, applying a steady pressure, pipe in a swirl, working out towards the edge of the cupcake. When you reach the edge, swipe the nozzle to create a smooth finish – you can always cover this bit with leaves, so don’t worry too much if it looks messy. When you have piped 12 cupcakes, empty any remaining icing from the bag back into the bowl with the reserved icing. Add a little more colouring to create a deeper shade (and a little extra sifted icing sugar if the icing gets too runny). Whisk again, then refill your piping bag and ice the remaining cakes. Can be stored somewhere cool for up to 1 day (the fridge is fine, just make sure that you remove 30 mins before eating).
- Before serving, add a few leaves, if you like: pinch off small pieces of green sugar paste or fondant icing and shape into leaves. Use a sharp knife to add detail, then stick onto the cupcakes. See tips, below left, for how to build your bouquet.
- 200g couscous - use wholemeal if you can get it
- 3 oranges, 2 peeled and thinly sliced, 1 juiced
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 100g bag watercress, roughly chopped
- 240g pack peppered mackerel fillets, flaked into large chunks
- Pour 250ml boiling water over couscous, cover and leave 10 mins, then fluff up with a fork. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Mix orange juice, vinegar, sugar and oil with some seasoning. Mix through the couscous with remaining ingredients.