Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Today's Thursday baking is brought to us by Jessica
This recipe is a good standby when you need a quick chocolate cake. It doesn't require a lot of equipment of dishes which is a bonus too.
Superb Chocolate Cake - Robyn Martin (week 30)
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup milk
2 Cups standard flour
1/4 Cup cocoa powder
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 Cup strong black coffee
1/4 Cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line the base of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper. Melt the butter in a saucepan large enough to mix all the ingredients. Mix in the sugar, then remove from the heat. Beat the eggs and milk together. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder and add to the butter mixture with the egg-milk combination. Mix to combine. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes while you prepare the coffee syrup.To make the coffee syrup, bring the coffee and sugar to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the butter until melted. Remove from the heat. Turn the cake out on to a wire rack, spoon coffee syrup over the cake and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container.
I would describe this cake as a good 'everyday' sort of a cake, rather than a 'special occasion' sort. It's not particularly rich or decadent due to the use of cocoa instead of chocolate. The coffee syrup adds sweetness and depth of flavour to the chocolate, rather than actually tasting that much like coffee. The taste intensified when left overnight, but didn't keep the cake as moist as I would have expected it to. This is probably because most of the syrup ran off the cake rather than being absorbed in. I would recommend serving it with a good dollop of whipped cream to add some moistness.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
We have fish every Tuesday for dinner, thanks to Homefresh Deliveries who drop off a surprise package to our doorstep each week. Last time it was gurnard, not a favourite, but I thought it would be perfect to try out this recipe for ginger beer battered fish from the book Ruth Pretty Entertains. This made a deliciously light and crispy batter, with a hint of sweetness from the ginger beer. We ate it with homemade chips made using a favourite Julie Biuso recipe - baking them in white wine results in the crunchiest chips ever, do try it!
basil's ginger beer battered fish
1 c flour
1/2 c flour, seasoned with S+P
Combine flours, bp and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the ginger beer, whisk until smooth. Gently fold in egg whites till just combined.
Place parsley onto a plate, and the seasoned flour onto another. Dip fish into the parsley, then the flour, then the batter. Shallow fry in hot oil.
crunchy homemade chips (for 6)
2kg agria potatoes, peeled and cut into chips
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 tsp salt
pepper ground to taste
2 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
Pat potato chips dry in a tea towel and lay out in a roasting tray. Pour over the oil and wine and sprinkle with s + p. Toss the potatoes in the mixture and then dot with the butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 200c for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, turning every now and then.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Becs: I thought I was over cupcakes, they so often seem to be (over the top) style over substance that overpromise and then fail to deliver on taste. Then I tried one last week from Petal in Newmarket. A simple piped rosette of intensely flavoured icing - we tried the 'ripe strawberry' - tops a deliciously moist vanilla cake. The 'snifter' and 'black doris plum' sounded divine too, but shall have to wait for another visit. I also love the photo above from their facebook page, beautiful.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The recipe comes from Rachel Grisewood's "Manna from Heaven" and they are called Spinach, Cumin and Coriander Flatbreads. However, they are very similar to Turkish Gozleme, especially as Lewi adapts the mixture by adding feta. This batch was made with spinach and silverbeet from our vege garden. They're certainly a delicious snack, but Lewi warns that there's a bit of admin involved, what with rolling out the dough, sandwiching the filling, and then frying each flatbread. But they're not difficult to make, and if you have the time, they're worth making.
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 bunch of spinach, steamed and roughly chopped (squeeze out all the moisture)
sea salt, black pepper, coriander to garnish
For the dough: Combine flour, oil, salt and water in food processor and whiz for 30 seconds. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
For the filling: heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook over medium heat until just brown. Add the garlic and spices and fry for 30 seconds. Mix in the spinach and add salt and pepper to taste. Also crumble in feta if you are using this.
Divide the dough into eight balls. Lightly flour a work surface and roll each ball of dough into a round approximately 20cm in diameter. Spread some of the spinach mixture on half the dough, then fold over the other half to enclose the filling. Run your rolling pin over the top a few times to flatten and seal the edges. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
Layer the flatbreads on sheets of baking paper, so they don't stick together. To cook the flatbreads, heat a little oil in a heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Add one flatbread at a time and fry until golden brown on each side. Serve warm with a side with greek yoghurt mixed with lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Libby: I've been enjoying the last of the seasons New Zealand navel oranges, they're now being overtaken in the supermarket by their Australian counterpart. Not nearly as delicious. Their thick skins mean the easiest way to eat them is sliced into quarters and eaten from the skin, I've also been peeling and slicing lots into a crunchy spring salad of blanched asparagus & broccoli, baby spinach and toasted almonds. YUM!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Scones - Lesley Christensen-Yule (week 29)
3 cups self-raising flour
1 tb icing sugar
1/4 tsp salt
50g cold butter, chopped
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cup buttermilk or 1c yoghurt plus 1/2 c milk
3/4 cup dates
milk to brush
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius fanbake or 250 degrees Celsius regular bake.
Chop 3/4 cup of dates and soak in boiling water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Put sugar, flour and salt into processor, add butter and pulse until combined, tip into mixing bowl.
Drain dates and add to flour/butter mix.
Mix egg and buttermilk or yoghurt &milk, add to dry mix and mix to form a sticky dough.
Cut into 12-16 squares (depending on the size you're after) and place closely together on a baking tray.
Bake 10-20 mins, or until golden on the outside and cooked in the middle. My oven took nearly half an hour!
Simply called "chocolate pudding, this recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. You can find the recipe here. "Chocolate pudding" makes me think of the stodgy self-saucing variety that we used to love whipping up in the microwave. But this chocolate pudding is on a completely different level - its more of a dense chocolate mousse, deliciously rich, with a lovely smooth velvety texture.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I spotted this delicious recipe for Burmese Chicken Curry a few weeks ago over at the blog pod and three peas (which is a great source of dinner inspiration, it's where I frequently get mine!) The curry recipe is from Australian cook Belinda Jeffery's book 100 Favourite Recipes. I love her book Mix & Bake, and have been trying to track this other one down in NZ but so far to no avail...Belinda Jeffery is sadly underrated this side of the Tasman.
For the recipe, see here.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I have been meaning to try this recipe for ages, in fact had photocopied it from the Zarbo Cookbook where it first appeared years ago. It is similar to the Hello Rosie slice baked a few weeks ago, but instead of condensed milk uses a rather huge amount of brown sugar and eggs.
I am still undecided on this slice. As predicted it is VERY sweet, and cloyingly so for my taste. I was tempted to reduce the sugar but stuck to the recipe. I used half a block of Whittakers dark chocolate (50% cocoa) as made with milk chocolate this would be incredibly sweet. The filling is crunchy on top and slightly gooey inside, even more so on the middle of the tray, as the outer edges were a bit more crispy. I will try it again tomorrow when I have a coffee to see what I think of it then!
It makes a huge trayful, so I suggest making it for a crowd, as with the courgette in it I don't think it will be a great keeper.
3 c brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
It was Daisy's first birthday recently, a very special occasion, so we celebrated with afternoon tea. The menu was...
Thanks to everyone for making it such a special day for us xx
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
A few weeks ago I went to a cooking demonstration by Julie Le Clerc, promoting her new book Made By Hand. Unfortunately two of the three dishes she made contained ingredients that weren't to my liking (a salmon terrine and berry & coconut cakes). I was feeling a little anti her book after this, but now that I've had a chance to look through it, there are many other recipies that are to my liking! The other recipe she demonstrated was buckwheat, eggplant and tomato salad. There is nothing technically complicated about this salad that required a demonstration, but the fact that I'd seen it made before did prompt me to make it one night when I was just cooking dinner for myself.
I've never used buckwheat before, but I will be using it again. It has a lovely slightly nutty flavour and a great texture. I think it will become a bit of a staple for my summer salads - this would be a great salad to take to work for lunch.
I modified the recipe slightly, leaving out the garlic as I always find raw garlic a bit overpowering. I also omitted the feta as I didn't have any, but I would certainly put this in the salad if you can. I added some grilled asparagus also, which went nicely with all the flavours.
Buckwheat, eggplant and tomato salad
1 large eggplant, cut into large cubes
salt and pepper
8 small vine-ripened tomatoes
1 cup wholegrain buckwheat
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
juice of 2 lemons
100g feta or goat's cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 200C. Roast eggplant tossed with olive oil and salt & pepper in oven until golden brown. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil, season with salt & pepper and roast for around 10-15mins until the look good. Remove eggplant and tomatoes from oven and cool.
At the same time, cook the buckwheat in boiling water for 6 minutes or until tender to bite. Drain well and set aside.
Place eggplant, buckwheat, garlic, basil and parsley in a bowl. Add lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Serve topped with baked tomatoes and crumbled feta or goat's cheese.