Comments (21) | Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Cookbook Used: Delicious Magazine Issue 89
I ended up using a 20cm cake pan instead of a 22cm pan, as Mum was hogging it to make a cheesecake. Thus I didn't use the full amount of savoiardi biscuits.
A perfect "misu" for the person who doesn't like the traditional coffee based tiramisu. So refreshing, and perfect for summer; I can't wait for another slice tomorrow!
Comments (19) | Sunday, December 27, 2009
And so that was Christmas.
And what did you do?
This is my round up of quite possibly, the best Christmas ever.
The Christmas party with my friends:
avocado and cherry tomato salsa wonton cases. It was a great way to get the lunch started as everyone started to arrive.
white christmas mud cakes.
ultimate chocolate pudding...yum!
Christmas Eve - Carols by Candlelight, Sidney Myer Music Bowl
It had been spitting all day, and when we arrived at carols it had cleared up. We settled in, unpacked everything, then the massive down pour hit! It was a case of wet undies all around. Luckily my dad gave me a tarp to take, and we all hid under there for most of the night.
It was much more fun than watching it on TV. I made candy cane cookies and some savory muffins... there would have been photos but it was a bit hard when it was raining!
Christmas Day - Grandma's House
We also had a mini fire when a candle caught alight to some decorations. All my Dad could do to fix this fire problem was to shout "Fire! Fire! Fire!" .... then my uncle promptly went to blow out said fire... thanks Dad... I know I can count on you when the house is burning down!
Miscellaneous Christmas Shenanigans
Comments (15) | Thursday, December 24, 2009
Hope the fat man brings all of your something nice, and you eat so much that your elastic pants snap and split in half!
I'll see you all soon for this year's Christmas food round up.... I suspect I'll be a little rounder by the end of it too!!
Iron Chef Shellie
Comments (13) | Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Cookbook Used: Christmas
What are your Christmas plans? I'm going to Carols by Candlelight at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Christmas eve with my friends. It's kind of ironic given that I hate carols, and D-grade celebrities, yet I was the one who rounded everyone up for the event. As a result, I'm missing my mother cook goose for the very first time for the family. Then Christmas day, I'm off to Grandmother's house for a feast and a half.... followed by many hours on the couch, telling myself I will never eat again.
I had my Christmas lunch for my friends on the weekend and needed a Christmas themed dessert. I had always admired these white Christmas trees on the front cover of the book, so I decided this year I would admire no longer, and bake away!
I sometimes forget to read some parts of the recipe from time to time. The result of this was, I forgot to chop my marshmallows, and because I couldn't find marshmallows with toasted coconut, I ended up adding 100grams of each... thus resulting in having to add twice as much white chocolate for it all to stick together.
White Christmas Mud Cakes
125g butter, chopped coarsely
125g white eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
2/3 cup (160ml) milk
1/2 cup (35g) self-raising flour
2 tablespoons Cointreau
60g white eating chocolate, melted, extra
1 tablespoon icing sugar
120g white eating chocolate, chopped coarsley
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup (30g) rice bubbles
100g marshmallows with toasted coconut, choppped finely
1/4 cup (35g) coarsely chopped unsalted pistachios
1/4 cup (35g) coarsely chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup (60g) finely chopped glace peaches (I used glace pineapple)
1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Grease eight 3/4 cup (180ml) pudding moulds.
2. Stir butter, chocolate, caster sugar and milk in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl; cool 10 minutes. Whisk in sifted flours, then eggs. Spoon cake mixture into moulds; place on oven tray.
3. Bake cakes about 30 minutes; drizzle cakes with liqueur. Turn hot cakes, still in their moulds, upside down onto baking paper lined tray; stand overnight.
4. Cut four 20cm circles in half. Roll each half into a tight cone. Staple or tape cones to hold their shape.
5. Make white christmas: stir chocolate and oil in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Combine rice bubbles, marshmallow, nuts and fruit in a medium bowl; stir in melted chocolate mixture.'
6. Push spoonfuls of white christmas firmly into cones. Stand each cone upright in a tall narrow glass. Refrigerate cones about 1 hour or until set.
7. Remove cakes from moulds. Trim tops of cakes to make flat; turn upside down onto tray. Remove white christmas cone from paper; secure cones to each cake with a little of the extra chocolate. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Serve mud cakes dusted with sifted icing sugar.
Comments (12) | Monday, December 21, 2009
Cookbook Used: Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart
Because I'm a nuff nuff and had an extreme weekend of cooking, I stupidly formated my memory card before my Christmas luncheon which contained prized photos of my moussaka that I made for this week's cooking challenge. The best I could do was scan the photo from the book, so this is what is kinda looked like:
Hamsley will often blurt out "Moooooooosaka"... so I though I'd shut him up and make moussaka.
What a weekend to make it on though, I have never spent as much time in the kitchen as I did this past weekend. Saturday night my ankles were throbbing due to all the preparation for the annual Christmas luncheon with my friends. A post to come on that soon... if I don't format my memory card again by accident!
The moussaka was relatively easy to make. The recipe was set out very simply, step by step; so I was never lost on what I should be doing. It was my first attempt at making a béchamel sauce, and man it was an effort; lots and lots of stirring. My arms were a little more buffed after my béchamel work out.
The easiest way to describe moussaka is, it's a Greek lasagna. Instead of pasta, you have eggplant and potato. We all thought this recipe could have used more meat, but the overall flavour was delicious. You could definitely taste the cinnamon, and the other herbs. A real comfort food / wintery dish.
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely dice
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
300g (10 1/2oz) lamb mince
100g (3 1/2oz) pork mince
100g (3 1/2oz) veal mince
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cinnamon quills
250g (1 3/4oz) crushed tomatoes
Salt, to taste
2 eggplants (aubergine), sliced 1cm (1/2 inch) thick
3 medium-sized potatoes, sliced 1cm (1/2 inch) thick
100g (3 1/2oz) butter
100g (3 1/2oz) flour
600ml (25fl oz) milk
3 eggs, beaten
100g (3 1/2oz) grated keflagraniera cheese (I just used tasty cheese)
1. Saute diced onion, garlic, lemon thyme and rosemary until soft, add all mince and brown.
2. Add tomato paste, cinnamon quills and crused tomatoes reduce to a low heat and simmer for 1 hour. Season to taste.
3. Brush eggplant and potatoes with olive oil and either grill on barbecue or pan fry until tender. (I just grilled mine under the grill).
1. Melt butter in a heavy based saucepan.
2. Add flour, stir on a low heat for 2 minutes.
3. Slowly add warm milk, continuously stirring until thick. Cover with lid and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Whisk in beaten eggs and keflagraniera cheese, season to taste.
1. Oil casserole dish and lay eggplant over bottom. Then add a layer of meat sauce. Arrange potato slices over meat sauce then over with the béchamel.
2. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes at 200°C (400°F, Gas Mark 6) until golden brown and béchamel has set.
Voila! Bon Appétit!
Comments (10) | Thursday, December 17, 2009
I didn't even know what bircher muesli was all about for quite some time. That was until I tried it on a recent trip to Brown Sugar Cafe.... it was ❤ at first bite.
So, in an attempt to save money, I made a delicious Sunday breakfast at home, with freshly made coffee from our coffee machine. It was so damn good, I made it again the weekend after!
Given that I love pretty much anything with apple in it, even down to shampoo; I really really loved this recipe. I could happily eat it everyday for breakfast. The most fiddly part of the whole dish is having to grate an apple. But if you can get over that, you'll have yourself a tasty treat!
1 1/2 cups (150g / 5 1/4 oz) rolled oats
1 cup (250ml / 8 fl oz) apple juice, warmed
2 green apples, grated
1 cup (250g / 8 oz) thick natural yoghurt
1/2 cup silvered almonds
honey, to serve
1. Place the oats and apple juice in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes or until the oats are softened.
2. Stir in the grated apple.
3. To serve, divide the yoghurt between 4 serving glasses, top with the oat mixture, almonds and honey.
Comments (28) | Tuesday, December 15, 2009
It took me pretty much the good part of a day getting the architectural plans from Martha Stewart, the foundation mixture together from Donna Hay, and the exterior decorating and landscape gardening done.
I wanted to stick on pretzels all around the sides to make it look like a log cabin, but after my epic cooking efforts on Saturday, and not having any pretzels in the house... there was a big case of the C.B.F.s
Mum wanted me to add more lollies to the side of the house, but I didn't want one of those super tacky, over candied houses. I'm very happy with the end results. As to whether I'd do one again... I would say yes. But I would make sure I wasn't planning on cooking 2 other things on the same day!
1.2kg (7 1/2 cups) plain flour
3 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, sifted
1 1/2 cups (265g) brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger, sifted
1 2/3 cups (580g) golden syrup
4 cups (640g) icing sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
assorted lollies to decorate
2. Combine both quantities of dough and knead to bring together. Divide dough into thirds. Lightly grease three 40cm x 30cm cookie trays (your trays should have a lip them). Divide dough between trays and press into tray, smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake, in batches, for 25-30 mintues or until dark golden. Turn out onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. (I cut out my walls and windows instead of baking slab pre-casts).
3. To make the icing, place the sugar, eggwhites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Place the icing in a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle.
4. To assemble:
a) Use a large serrated knife and cut each gingerbread sheet in half. Use a ruler as a guide. Set aside four halves; two for the walls and two for the roof.
b) Use the serrated knife to cut two even-sized triangles from the top of the remaining two halves to create the side walls of the house and discard the triangles.
c) Secure one of the rectangular walls and one of the side walls to a cake board with the icing and allow to dry until firm. Support the walls against a tall jar until the icing is dry.
e) Secure each of the roof pieces to the sides of the house suing the icing and allow to dry complely.
Comments (20) | Sunday, December 13, 2009
Cookbook Used: Delicious - Quick Smart Cook
It was meant to be a lavender panna cotta with lavender shards, but I couldn't find dried edible lavender flowers in time. In the end I left them out, and tried to substitute with a bag of earl grey tea. I also left out the toffee lavender shards, as I had already consumed my body weight in lollies from decorating my first gingerbread house (blog post to come on that soon!!)
It was also my first experience using gelatine leaves, and I was so surprised how easy they are to use. So much easier than that powdery stuff!
The panna cotta had a lovely lemony flavour, that almost reminded me a little of cheesecake.
A fantastic recipe, I'd love to try again with lavender flowers.
Lavender Panna Cotta with Lavender Shards
400ml pure (thin) cream
200ml thickened cream
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
Pared rind of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
2 tablespoons dried edible lavender flowers, plus extra to garnish
3 gold-strength gelatine leaves
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon dried edible lavender flowers
200ml pure (thin) cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped
20g good-quality cocoa powder
1. Place the cream, sugar, lemon rind, vanilla pod and seeds and lavender in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from head and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse.
2. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, reheat the cream mixture over low heat. Squeeze excess liquid from gelatine, then ad leaves to cream, stirring to dissolve. Strain mixture through a sieve, pressing down on lavender flowers to extract as much flavour as possible. Divide among four to six 150ml serving glasses, then chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
3. Meanwhile, for lavender shards, lightly grease a baking sheet. Stir sugar and 1/2 cup (125ml) water in a saucepan over low heat to dissolve. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil, then allow to bubble, not stirring but occasionally brushing sides down with a wet pastry brush, for 5-6 minutes until golden. Pour onto tray, scatter with lavender and set aside at room temperature for 10 minutes or until set. Crack into shards, then store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
4. Make chocolate Sauce: place cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from the heat. Whisk in chocolate until melted, then gently whisk in cocoa until smooth. Strain into a jug and set aside to cool.
5. Top each panna cotta with a little chocolate sauce, then add lavender shards and garnish with extra lavender flowers.
Comments (7) | Friday, December 11, 2009
Got a foodie in your life and don't know what to get them?
Check out these cute food related bathroom products from the gang at Mecca Cosmetica; they are too cute!
I met up with Jules Clancy earlier this year at the launch of her first book; And The Love Is Free. You can check out my interview with her here. As a special offer for Iron Chef Shellie fans Jules is offering:
Comments (12) | Thursday, December 10, 2009
The bursts of cranberries within the puddings are a real treat, and match perfectly with the chocolately batter. They are not as heavy as a pudding would be, and look ultra cute!
I used spearmint leaves instead of fresh bay leaves, which adds a nice minty treat after eating the mini pudding.
Ultra-Choc Christmas Puddings
100g dark chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (80g) sour cream
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup (90g) almond meal
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1/2 cup (75g) dried cranberries, plus extra to decorate
12 small fresh bay leaves (I used candy spearmint leaves instead)
250g pure icing sugar, plus extra to dust
1 teaspoon custard powder
1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced. Grease a 12-hole, 1/3 cup-capacity non-stick or silicone muffin pan.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan on low heat, until smooth. Cool slightly. Add egg and sour cream and mix well. Sift together flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large bowl. Add almond meal, sugar and dried cranberries and mix well. Pour in chocolate mixture and stir until mixture is well combined.
3. Spoon in prepared pans, until three-quarters full. Bake for 15-20 mins, until cakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, to make icing, sift icing sugar and custard powder into a medium bowl. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water, stirring, until thick. When puddings are cool, trim rounded tops and turn upside down onto a wire rack. Spoon over icing and press bay leaves and extra cranberries into icing. Stand until set. Dust with extra icing sugar to serve.
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