Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
125g butter, softened
I decided to compare this recipe to my trusty old Louise Cake recipe, courtesy of the Edmonds cookbook. The basic recipe was actually identical other than having 1/2 a cup more flour in the base and 3/4 of a cup more coconut in the meringue. I think if I was to make this recipe again I would use the Edmonds quantities of flour and coconut, as I think this would have resulted in a less crumbly base and a more prominent coconut flavour. Also, I'm not sure the additional hassle of grating chocolate for the meringue was worth the effort, however I did like the chocolatey taste of the base. All in all, I'm not sure I'm a convert to this new recipe. Although quite delicious, I think I'll be sticking to the traditional Louise Cake in the future.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
To cook the crumbs, just heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add a few sliced garlic cloves and cook gently, you don't want it to fry and burn, it's more about allowing time for the garlicky flavour to mellow and blend into the oil. Add a cup or two of coarse fresh (homemade) breadcrumbs and toss to coat in the oil, stir them regularly over a low heat until they turn golden and crispy.
It's lovely too if you add a couple of anchovies with the garlic too, smushing them up into the oil; they don't taste at all fishy, rather they add another layer of savoury saltiness. These crumbs are spectacular over pasta with finely chopped broccoli, lemon zest, a little chopped red chilli and some grated parmesan.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Miriam: Thanks to my brother David doing a trial at work on avocados and my friend Bridget scaling her neighbours avocado tree, we have an abundance of these delicious fruit. Guacamole, mashed avocado on Vogels and burgers with avocado will be the menu at my place for the next few weeks!
Libby: We spent a few days in Thailand on our way home last week and while there tried a banana "pancake" - a thinly stretched roti filled with a beaten egg and chopped banana, fried until crispy on the outside and cooked in the middle, sliced into little squares and drizzled with condensed milk! Roti Chenai in Wellington have a banana roti listed on their menu which I have never ordered but wonder if its similar. I am long overdue for a visit to Roti Chenai so will investigate in the coming weeks. I ate my banana pancake before a photo could be taken but you can see how they're made here:
Thursday, October 14, 2010
This was the second time I made these little muffins. The first time I made them in a hurry to take as a plate to Playcentre, where, it would be fair to say, they didn't exactly bring the house down. I thought it might be nice to have something savoury for a change, but they were well and truly trumped by the chocolate weet-bix slice that someone else brought along. I ate quite a few to make a dent in them, so as not to have to take home an embarrassingly large tinful!
Anyway, despite their humble appearance they are tasty little muffins. Light and soft in the middle, with a crunchy, cheesy crust, and not as rich as my usual cheese muffin recipe. I left half plain, with just cheese, and to the other half of the batter added a tablespoon of basil pesto and tomato chilli jam. These would be delicious made as larger muffins to serve with soup.
I flagged the melted brie bit, but guess it would be nice if eating them with drinks, although I am not a huge fan of melted brie, finding it a bit greasy. Daisy very happily munched her way through one for morning tea, taking an impossibly long time to eat one mini muffin but enjoying it all the same! Next time I make them I will add some grated veges and freeze them for her snacks.
cheese muffins with melted brie - Kathy Paterson - Week 26
2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 c grated tasty cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c oil (I used rice bran)
1 1/2 c milk
200g Camembert or brie, cut into even sized pieces
Preheat oven to 220c. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cheese. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients, and add to dry, mixing just enough to combine. Spoon into greased mini muffin tins. bake for 10-12 minutes. If using the brie, make a small split and place a piece of brie in it. Bake till cheese has melted and serve hot.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The dressing is fantastic, make a jar up at a time, it will keep forever in the fridge, and just needs to be diluted to serve. Use it as a dipping sauce with fresh spring rolls too.
The crispy fried shallots can be bought at Asian supermarkets, they are cheap as and addictive. Possibly not very PC (hmmm not really loving that palm oil...) but so tasty, adding a sweet crunch to this salad. This salad is all about texture so the crunchy mung bean sprouts, nuts and shallots are essential!
Vietnamese Chicken Salad
1-2 red chillis, finely chopped
Poach the chicken thighs by placing in a roasting dish, covering with water and baking at 180c for about twenty minutes or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Cool and shred.
Blend all dressing ingredients in bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Store in a jar in the fridge. Dilute with one part dressing to one part water before serving.
Toss chicken through the cooked noodles with the prepped veges of your choice. If I use carrots and red peppers I blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds or so just to make them a bit easier to eat. Toss through with dressing to taste.
Serve bowls of fresh mint, chopped peanuts, crispy shallots and extra dressing on the table for people to add as they like.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Cha Ca La Vong receives very mixed reviews on internet travel forums with some diners pronouncing it the best fish they've eaten in Vietnam and others calling a complete rip-off served up by incredibly rude staff. We decided to give it a go for ourselves and enjoyed the experience! I have to agree about the service though!
To avoid any confusion as to what we would be served, this no-nonsense sign was slapped down on the table in front of us:
Then the components of our meal slowly arrived at our table - vermicelli rice noodles, a big bowl of dill and skinny spring onions, roasted peanuts, herbs (vietnamese mint I think), a bowl of dressing (fish sauce, rice wine & chilli perhaps?) and finally, a sizzling pan of tumeric spiced fish atop a flaming burning.
From what I gathered from the waitress's gestures and watching other diners, we were to tip the bowl of greens (spring onions & dill) into the pan immediately, let it sizzle a bit then serve over the noodles and garnish with the dressing, herbs and peanuts.
I've seen this dish translated as "grilled fish" but its more deep-fried as it comes sizzling and spitting in a centimeter of tumeric-tainted oil. The generous serving of greens went a (very) small way towards negating the greasiness of the fish but it is an oil, salty, dish.
If you take it for what it is and don't get hung about the lack of service or whether your meal is worth 120,000 dong (only about NZ$7-8!) it's a fun way to eat. It's also the closest I've come to cooking my own dinner in awhile and that's quite novel in itself!
Friday, October 8, 2010
Some recent baking with a retro theme...classic ginger crunch from Chloe's blog, and an old favourite, St Mary's chocolate cake from our school days. The ginger crunch is a recipe for GC purists with the requisite thin biscuity base, rather than the substantial slabs more often seen in cafes these days. Delicious. Although I do also love the oaty version made famous by Takaha's Wholemeal Cafe.
The chocolate cake recipe was the one provided for the baking competition at our primary school flower shows, and is a perfect tin filler - whipped up in a flash with one bowl, and reliably good without being too rich or fancy. The incredible chocolate icing makes it a bit more special, this is truly the BEST way to top an (everyday sort of) chocolate cake. Although sometimes we used to cut the cake in half, sandwich it together with mock cream and dust the top with icing sugar. How's that for nostalgic...
I made a coffee cake too, with walnuts in it, something else we used to make a lot as kids. The recipe is over at pod and three peas, and the cake provides more retro deliciousness.
St Mary's Chocolate Cake
1 c milk
150 melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
4 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp cocoa
2 c sugar
2 c flour
Combine wet ingredients in a bowl and beat well. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine. Bake at 180c for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
We were astonished by the number and quality of responses from those of you eager to join the LWD baking family. And we're keen to take advantage of your enthusiasm!
We are always thrilled to have special guest posts. So, we've made a list of all the recipes we are yet to bake from ATONZB. If something takes your fancy and you'd like to post it for Thursday baking, then please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll provide you with the recipe, which you can then bake, photograph, write up and email to us to be published one Thursday. Here's the list of treats still to be baked - we look forward to hearing from you!
Almond, Cherry & Cranberry Cookies
Almond Sponge with Citrus Yoghurt Cream and Summer Berries
Baked French Chocolate Tart
Caramel Meringue Slice
Caramel Pecan Slice
Carob Espresso Brownie Slice
Cheese Muffins with Melted Brie
Chocolate & Hazelnut Biscotti
Chocolate Custard and Fruit Pastries
Chocolate Date Crumble Slice
Chocolate Raspberry & Coconut Slice
Coconut Meringue Cake
Courgette Walnut Loaf
Cranberry & White Chocolate Shortcake
Dark Ale Fruit Cake
Date & Orange Muffins
Delicious Family Favourite Banana Cake
Fig & Aniseed Plaited Scone Loaf
Fresh Peach Cake
Fresh Plum Cake with Spicy Plum Sauce
Fruity ANZAC Biscuits
Greek Yoghurt & Honey Cake
Hazelnut Meringue Cake with Grapes
Jewel Nut Cake
Jilly's Chocolate Cake
Lemon Cream Cheese Cake
Lemon, Lime & Almond Cakes
Lemon, Lime & Poppyseed Syrup Cake
Lemon Yoghurt Cake with Orange Blossom
Macaroon Dessert Cake
Manuka Honey Ginger Snaps
Margaret Price's Ginger Gems
19th Century American Spiced Apple Cake
No-Bake Ginger & Coconut Chocolate Slice
Oat & Barley Scones
Olive Oil Cake
Orange & Hazelnut Cakes
Orange Blossom Water Madeleines
Orange Muesli Slice
Orange Sponge Cake
Plum and Cardamom Shortcake
Rich Christmas Cake
Rose Petal Shortbread
Spiced Date Cake
Summer Berry Baked Cheesecake
Superb Chocolate Cake
Sweet Orange Angel Food Cake
Upside-down Blueberry Polenta Sponge
Vanna's Chocolate Cake
Viennese Pineapple Cake
Walnut & Orange Passover Cake
Walnut, Prune & Apricot Slice
Wee Choc Almond Cupcakes
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
At work, I teach a couple of group sessions on communication skills, with a focus on developing skills of negotiation and assertive communication. As a bit of fun, I put people into pairs, give one person 3 biscuits and the other none, then let them negotiate how the biscuits will be shared.
Although it's a new group each time, I always like to bake something different. There's a big pack of macadamia nuts burning a hole in my freezer at the moment, so I made some old favourites; white chocolate & macadamia nut cookies. I think this is another recipe that I got from Becs way back in our high school days, when this combination was all the rage (we'd probably scoff them after having a smoked chicken, cranberry and brie panini). I still love the texture of the macadamias and the richness of the brown sugar and golden syrup all combined with white chocolate and buttery goodness. An oldie but a goodie!
White chocolate and macadamia cookies
1 3/4 cups of brown sugar
1 heaped tbsp golden syrup
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup macadamia nuts
king sized block white chocolate, chopped
Cream butter and sugar. Add golden syrup. Mix in dry ingredients, chocolate, vanilla and nuts. Roll into balls and lightly flatten. Bake for around 12 minutes at 180C. Makes approximately 2 trays.
Here are the biscuits all packaged up and ready to be negotiated for!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Chicken, prawns, bacon, chorizo, this paella has it all! It had a great smokey flavour from the paprika. I haven't really cooked with saffron before, but bought some Equagold saffron extract to use in this dish. I'm not sure it added anything (or there may have just been so many other flavours I didn't notice). A tip mum taught me, is to always buy frozen (or fresh) prawns uncooked i.e. grey rather than pink. Some cooked prawns were mistakenly bought in my household for another dish a few weeks ago and we will never do that again - they were very tough and chewy.
I'd certainly make this dish again, and it's great to make when cooking for guests, as you can do lots of the prep beforehand. Plus, it's relatively low maintenance, as it doesn't involve lots of dishes, and you can just plonk the pan onto the table to serve. Delicious!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Here's a selection of (mostly) food photos. There were clothes, jewellery, quilts and olive oil soaps on offer too but I was there for the food!
I would have loved to have bought lots of delicious goodies but being on the move it wasn't really practical so I chose a cute little bowl to add to my collection...