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Week 7: The Cookbook Challenge - Mangomisu

Comments (21) | Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Week 7
Theme: Soft
Cookbook Used: Delicious Magazine Issue 89
Author: Valli Little

I wanted to make mangomisu this week, but the 3 mangoes in the fruit bowl looked like they were on deathrow. So I convinced myself that it was just not meant to be. Then when I checked what the theme was for this week's cookbook challenge. I was thrilled that the theme was soft as this recipe was perfect, and got my bum down to the supermarket quick smart to buy some healthy looking mangoes!

Twitter friend Kyla had made this just recently and said it was incredibly easy to make, looked and tasted fantastic. She was right, although I had a bit of a mess after photographing, when the slice I carefully placed on my plate fell as I was changing lenses. Raspberry sauce went everywhere, and the we had cream everywhere trying to put it in a container to put back in the fridge. Ah.... fun times!
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.

At first I wasn't sure about pairing it with the raspberry sauce, but after tasting them together, I can see why is it part of the recipe!
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!


Mangomisu

500g mascarpone cheese
600ml thickened cream
1/3 cup (50g) icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/2 cup (125ml) Grand Marnier
Juice of 2 oranges
300g savoiardi (sponge finger biscuits)
3 mangoes, flesh sliced 1cm thick

Raspberry Sauce
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
250g fresh or frozen raspberries
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Line the base of a 22cm springform cake pan with plastic wrap or baking paper.

2. Place the mascarpone, thickened cream, icing sugar, egg yolks and vanilla seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until thick and well combined.

3. Combine the Grand Marnier and orange juice in a seperate bowl. Dip half the sponge fingers into the juice mixture and layer in the base of the cake pan. Spread with one-third of the mascarpone mixture, and top with one-third of the mango slices. Repeat the process, then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture, reserving the remaining mango slices to serve.

4. Cover the cake and chill for 2 hours or until firm.

5. Meanwhile for the raspberry sauce, place the sugar and 2 tablspoons water in a small pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly, then add the berries and lemon juice. Whiz in a food processor until smooth, then pass through a sieve. Chill until ready to serve. (you can store the sauce, covered in the fridge for 3-4 days).

6. To serve, carefully remove the sides and base of the cake pan and transfer the mangomisu to a platter. Decorated with curls of the reserved mango, then slice and serve with berry sauce.

Serves 6-8.

Voila! Bon Appétit!


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Christmas Round Up 2009

Comments (19) | Sunday, December 27, 2009


Christmas tree I made with Lindt baubles for my Christmas party with my friends.

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:

We started with some dips and these avocado and cherry tomato salsa wonton cases. It was a great way to get the lunch started as everyone started to arrive.


We kept things fairly simple with a BBQ. I made Bill Granger's sticky chicken wings, and we got some gourmet sausages and rissoles from Woolworths. Mum helped me out and made her amazing potato salad, Alana graciously made her famous crunchy Asian noodle salad, and I made a green salad with tomato, onion, capsicum and mango.


Even though we were all extremely full and falling asleep at the table, we piled on the dessert. Fresh fruit and white christmas mud cakes.


Everyone left with a noodle box containing an ultimate chocolate pudding...yum!


Christmas Eve - Carols by Candlelight, Sidney Myer Music Bowl

It was my first Christmas eve away from my family, but due to "The Great Flood of '09", I left carols early and ended up seeing my family.
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

Whenever my Grandma hosts Christmas, she puts on an epic feast. We started with lobster and king prawns.... deeeelicious!


Ham and turkey, both cooked to perfection. Her version of a Greek salad, with capsicum cut into festive shapes, and a yule log made by my uncle!


We also saw a lizard when someone took out the rubbish.
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

I got a bit creative helping mum make Pepparkaton (Swedish gingerbread).


The gingerbread house came down, and became a flat pack house. We are still eating it, and it's delicious!


Some of my loot! It was very food related which I loved! Thanks everyone!!!
(Like that plainbow road scarf an luma crochet?? It was made by an amazing girl I've never met, but will meet some day soon. Check out her Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunshineravioli)

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and are enjoying all the leftovers!
Iron Chef Shellie
xo


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Merry Christmas!

Comments (15) | Thursday, December 24, 2009


Wishing you all a very safe and merry Christmas!
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
xo


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Week 6: The Cookbook Challenge - White Christmas Mud Cakes

Comments (13) | Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Week 6
Theme: Christmas
Cookbook Used: Christmas
Author: The Australian Women's Weekly

So it's Christmas week all around the world.
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.


The end result was damn delicious though! Mixing together the white Christmas mixture was like smelling sugar heaven! Whilst it is a rather rich dessert, it's definitely a hit with the crowds, and I would no hesitate to make it again.


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 eggs
2 tablespoons Cointreau
60g white eating chocolate, melted, extra
1 tablespoon icing sugar

White Christmas
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.

Makes 8.

Voila! Bon Appétit!


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Week 5: The Cookbook Challenge - Moussaka

Comments (12) | Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 5
Theme: Greek
Cookbook Used: Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart
Author: George Calombaris

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:


How could I not cook from one of George's books for Greek week?
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.

Moussaka
George Calombaris

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

Béchamel
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)

Meat Sauce:
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).

Béchamel:
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.


Assemble:
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.

Serves 4.

Voila! Bon Appétit!


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Bircher Muesli

Comments (10) | Thursday, December 17, 2009


I have always wanted to try this recipe for bircher muesli.
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!


Traditionally with bircher muesli recipes, you need to soak the oats overnight in juice. This recipe only requires you to soak the oats for 30 minutes... so if you are like me and forget to soak your oats the night before.... wake up -> soak your oats -> relieve your bladder -> crawl back into bed until you're ready for breakfast!


Complete with natural yoghurt, crunchy flaked almonds, the delicious sweetness of honey, and the shear awesomeness that is grated apple... what more could you want for breakfast?!

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!


Bircher Muesli
Donna Hay

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.

Serves 4.


Voila! Bon Appétit!


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Gingerbread House

Comments (28) | Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, my first ever attempt at the gingerbread construction industry.
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.


After 2 rounds of putting the roof on, and the house collapsing, I made my cement (royal icing) a bit more runny, and eventually got everything to stay in place.

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!



Gingerbread House
Donna Hay

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
375g butter
1 2/3 cups (580g) golden syrup

Icing
4 cups (640g) icing sugar, sifted
3 eggwhites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
assorted lollies to decorate


1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced. Place half the flour and bicarbonate of soda in the bowl of a food processor with half the sugar, ginger, butter and golden syrup. Process until dough just starts to come together, turn out and set aside. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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.


d) Secure the other rectangular wall and remaining side wall to the board and exisiting walls using the icing. Again, use some tall jars as support and allow the icing to dry completely before the next step.
e) Secure each of the roof pieces to the sides of the house suing the icing and allow to dry complely.


The roof on, before it collapsed for the first time.

f) Decorate with remaining icing and lollies.


Voila! Bon Appétit!


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Week 4: The Cookbook Challenge - Lavender Panna Cotta with Lavender Shards

Comments (20) | Sunday, December 13, 2009

Week 4
Theme: Beans
Cookbook Used: Delicious - Quick Smart Cook
Author: Valli Little

The theme this week was beans. I thought I'd think outside the box, and go with the variety of beans that does not make one fart. So I made a trip to the gourmet food shop to pick me up some vanilla beans.

I had never made a panna cotta before this challenge. In fact, I'm not even sure if I had even tasted a panna cotta before making this one.
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 layer of chocolate sauce was also far more than required, but I didn't want to throw out good chocolate sauce.
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

Lavender Shards
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon dried edible lavender flowers

Chocolate Sauce
200ml pure (thin) cream
50ml milk
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.

Serves 4-6.

Voila! Bon Appétit!


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Christmas Gifts For The Food Lover

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:

10% DISCOUNT for readers who purchase Jules Clancy's cookbook 'And the love is Free' before Christmas. 


 Order at www.thestonesoup.com and use the discount code 'Christmas' or
call Naomi Clancy on 0407 014 232.

Free postage anywhere in Australia.


What's on your Christmas wish list?


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Ultra-Choc Christmas Puddings

Comments (12) | Thursday, December 10, 2009


As John Lennon once sang:

So this is Christmas
And what have you done 
Another year over 
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
 The old and the young

With Christmas on it's way, and requests for some cute Christmas cupcakes following my reindeer cupcakes from last year; I thought I better get my bum into gear.


These were absolutely delicious, and incredibly easy to make. Infact, I am making them again next weekend to go into noodle boxes for a Christmas lunch I'm hosting. I'm also making cute name tags to go with them. Don't worry, I'll be sure to take millions of photos (as always) to post on my blog!

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

150g butter
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)

Custard Icing
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.

Makes 12.

Voila! Bon Appétit!


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