Amarula, a cream liqueur from South Africa is made from cream and the fruit of the marula tree which only grows in one area of the entire planet, the warm, frost-free regions of sub-equatorial Africa. The Marula tree is also known as the Elephant tree since it is most enjoyed by African Elephants who walk vast distances to taste the exotic fruit of the marula trees, or the Marriage tree amongst some tribes who conduct marriage ceremonies under the umbrella shaped tree.
Amarula is not just a South African favorite that’s on the lips of more and more locals, but a regular international winner too. It was recently named Liqueur of the Year at the 2012 New York International Spirits Competition and was a gold medalist at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London.
“The marula flavor is so unique and so closely bound up with the mystery of Africa that it remains a very compelling offering. We keep supporters loyal by focusing on the versatility of the brand as an indulgent drink for any occasion, to be enjoyed neat over ice or in an exciting range of cocktails, designer coffees and decadent desserts”, said Karen Gikunda, Brand Manager Distell Wine Masters Ltd Kenya.
Impress your guests this Easter with this mouth-watering recipe incorporating Amarula:
Wild mushroom and Amarula empanadas with smoky jalapeno mayo
2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 Tbs unsalted butter
500 g wild/exotic mushrooms, finely chopped
2 small red peppers, finely chopped
125 ml Amarula
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tbs fine, dry bread crumbs
500 g puff pastry
2 eggs and a splash of water (for egg wash)
250 ml mayonnaise
125 ml pickled jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
2 Tbs smoked paprika
Smoky jalapeno mayo
Combine the mayonnaise, finely chopped jalapeno peppers and smoked paprika (use an immersion or stick blender if you have one). Let it chill in the fridge until the empanadas are ready to be served.
Wild mushroom and Amarula empanadas
Sauté the onions in butter in a pan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened.
Stir in the mushrooms and red peppers and cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid that escapes from the mushrooms evaporates and the mixture begins to brown.
Add the Amarula and cook, stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed.
Combine the mushroom mixture, parsley, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and cool, uncovered.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a few pastry sheets and use a round cutter to cut circles into the pastry.
Brush the edges of the pastry circles with egg wash (2 eggs whisked together with a splash of water) and put a dollop of mushroom mixture in the centre of each pastry circle.
Fold the edges of pastry together with a fork to form half-moons, brush again with egg wash and bake until golden brown. Serve immediately with the smoky jalapeno mayo.