Note:

I know you may think me contradictive for posting recipes when I clearly don't follow them. That's true, but I ADAPT them and change the quantities of ingredients to suit my need/taste/feeling. So please feel free to ADAPT the recipes I post... now run free and enjoy the blog.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Who loves a good choc chip cookie?

I do.

It's a nice edition to a steaming hot cup of something :)

To be honest with you, I only found this recipe today...but it certainly was a hit at home!

We like the crunchy editions of this humble cookie but as stated in the cooking notes, if you're a softy at heart and a lover of the chew, this recipe caters for you too.

Happy baking!


Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Adapted from allrecipies.com Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.)

Cooking Notes:
If you prefer chewy centred cookies then bake for 8 minutes, but on the other hand, if you like hard and crunchy cookies, bake for 15 minutes and let it rest in the hot oven for 20 minutes then take out to cool.
Adding a cup of toasted pecans or walnuts may not be a bad idea…

Ingredients:

·         1 cup of softened butter

·         ¾ cup of brown sugar

·         Just under ¾ cup of caster sugar

·         I tsp of vanilla extract

·         2 lightly whisked eggs

·         3 ½ cups of plain flour

·         4 pinches of baking powder

·         1 pinch of salt
 
·         2 cups of chocolate chips
 



I just want to eat it.
 
Method:
1.       Prepare  2 trays with a sheet of baking paper on each.
2.       In a bowl, cream sugars and butter until smooth (It should look like dark peanut butter.)
3.     Add eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine flour, powder and salt.
4.       Pre-heat oven to 175°C (Once you are familiar with this recipe you can pre-heat oven as step 1.)
5.       Add it to the butter mixture and mix well.
6.       Knead in the choc chips.
 
7.       You can roll them in balls and flatten or you can plop the batter on as is on the trays.
 
8.       Bake for the time preferred (refer to cooking notes.)
9.      Cool and eat as a nice dipping feature for tea or coffee! (Or not!)
Leaning tower of cookies
 

Yum yum.
 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Orange Cardamom Tea Cakes

So the other day I made orange cupcakes. I was about to spoon the batter into the cases when I saw cardamom in the spice drawer. So I thought: 'Hmmm... I've seen cardamom and orange go together before... lets try it!' I didn't think of grinding the pods so I put a handful of cardamom pod in bowl of boiling water.

A while later, I strained the liquid and poured the water into the batter. I folded it in and spooned it out.

When it was done and cooled, I tried it... unfortunately no cardamom flavour but a beautiful hit of orange.


So with this recipe, the cardamom really shines through; orange aiding with the flavour.

Enjoy, and feedback is much appreciated!


Orange Cardamom Tea Cakes
(I’m using a normal vanilla cupcake recipe and adding a twist)

Cooking Notes:
You can use any vanilla cupcake recipe you wish and add the orange and cardamom measurements.
I used whole green cardamom and removed the seeds from the pod and ground up the seeds to powder. (With a cleaver! But if you have a food processor or mortar and pestle that would be preferred.)
If you like a strong cardamom taste then feel free to add more cardamom; not so keen on the cardamom you can eliminate it and just have orange cupcakes.
Ingredients:
225g butter, softened
160g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
I orange (we’re using zest, juice and flesh.)
8-12 cardamom pods (refer to cooking notes)
 

Method:
1.       Pre-heat oven to 175°C

2.       Place butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, extract and cardamom in bowl. Set aside.
 
3.       Zest the orange and then cut away the remaining skin and pith. Put the zest in the bowl.

4.       Squeeze the orange juice into the bowl.

5.       Cut the orange into cube size pieces. Set aside.

6.       Mix the butter, sugar, flour etc. mixture at a low-medium speed for 2 minutes until combined.

7.       Fold in the orange pieces and then spoon batter into muffin cases.

8.       Bake for 20 minutes or until a golden yellow bronze colour.

9.       Cool and eat!

 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Banana Cake Times

Well today we had guests come over for dinner so... cake making we go! This is an incredibly reliable recipe and I hope it works for you too :)

Banana Oat Cake

(Adapted from taste.com recipe: Banana cake with cream cheese frosting)

Cooking notes:

The original recipe uses a food processor to whip up the ingredients. I used my trusty stand-up mixer but if you wish to use the processor go ahead.

I didn’t make the cream cheese frosting… if you want to then go ahead (:

I added oats to the batter to make it more “wholemeal-ey” and also sprinkled a bit on top.

I used 3 really black bananas which have been in the freezer for about 3 months. It doesn’t look nice on the outside, but it is actually perfect for banana cake as it is very ripe so it has natural sweetness. (So add less sugar, better for health!)

In italics I have my adapted measurements

Cake

  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 315g/ 1 1/2 cups caster sugar (I used ¾ cup.)
  • 2 large bananas (I used 3 very, very ripe ones)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100ml buttermilk (I used normal milk)
  • 225g/ 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (I used 25 g wholemeal self-raising flour and the rest white s.r.f.)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Cream cheese frosting  (I have made the frosting before and it could actually be halved as it makes a lot. It doesn’t seem like much at first, but trust me… it’s A LOT.)

  • 125g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 230g (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar mixture
  • 1 1/2 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of the pan with baking paper.
Cheat's way
 
 
Cream butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add vanilla extract and egg and mix until combined. Add milk and mashed banana mix until combined.  

Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda, and whip up until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Shake the pan to settle the mixture. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
 
Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes to cool slightly, before transferring the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. (Or just leave it in the pan until needed.)
 
I left it in the oven for a little too long hence the colour.

 
 
To make the frosting, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl until well combined. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Add the buttermilk and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.
 
Loovely.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Muratti Cakes & Gateaux

Today a friend of mine and I went to Muratti for lunch. We were greeted with friendly service and complementary water. It took a while to make our final choices as we were distracted by the French and Italian influenced d├ęcor and the mouth-watering desserts behind the glass window.


Eventually we went with the soup of the day: pumpkin, and a sausage roll

 
The soup of the day was approx. $7 and the sausage roll was $4. The soup was creamy and buttery but could do with some seasoning. The Italian parsley was an unneeded garnish as it was choking me. On the plus side, it was served with toasted flat sourdough bread as a nice dipping feature. (Flat? I will never know why...)
 
Sausage roll. Well, I thought we were going to get some heated up frozen sausage roll with highly processed "meat" but it turns out that I was wrong. The pastry was buttery and flaky; melted in the mouth and the meat was flavoursome, succulent and tender. It was a wonderful little pastry to devour.
 
 We had troubles deciding the mains? Oh wait till we get to the desserts...
 







OOOOooooh yeah.
After gazing at the selection of delicacies and many stares from the man behind the counter, we chose to eat: a slice of apple crumble cake and Opera Gateau.
The apple crumble cake was sweet and did taste like apple, but the texture was quite mushy and the crumble lacked the buttery flavour which defeated the name "crumble."
It was a large portion for the price of $4.60 but our next dessert just topped it off.
 
 
Behold the Opera Gateau. We stared in awe at the craftsmanship and attention to detail in every layer and textures.
A thin  layer of sponge cake followed by smooth coffee cream and a dark chocolate ganache spread repeated over and over again finished with a dusting of grounded coffee powder/cocoa powder? (We weren't sure...) Also, there was a dollop of meringue with the pricey and tasteless yet attractive leaf of gold to top it off.
It had a very strong taste of coffee and a texture similar to mud cake and tiramisu.
 
Ambience 9/10 It's very crowded, but it has a nice warmth to it
Service 10/10 Friendly, smiley, helpful. Got to see Jenna who was on the last season of My Kitchen Rules.
Food 8/10 I guess it depends on what you order... for us, it could've been better.
Overall 27/30
 
Opening hours on Monday-Friday: 8am to 5pm, Saturday:8am to 1:30pm, closed on Sundays.
114B Prospect Rd, Prospect SA 5082
 
 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Chocolate Ganache Tarts


Hello All,
Made these little treats today :) They are a delectable and attractive dessert that is certainly a crowd pleaser. (And a belly pleaser too!) With the left over ganache I dipped orange slices in the ganache and enjoyed a "healthy" snack...hehe enjoy!
Chocolate Ganache Tarts

(Adapted from Fiona Inglis’ recipe from Masterchef Australia season 2.)

Cooking Notes:

I don’t know why people put cooking notes at the end of recipes because they are generally quite important and I’d like to read the notes first but anyway… here they are:

You can make mini tarts if you have the smaller tart cases or a big tart if you have the large case. (Although it would take a little longer for the larger tart to set.)

You will need uncooked rice/beans/baking beans for this recipe to blind bake.

If using case/cases without removable bases, grease it more so that when the base is cooked it can slide out easily.

Can serve with whipped thickened cream and raspberries if desired. (I’m going with the economical version :D)

Ingredients:

Tart cases

·         300g/2 cups plain flour

·         150g cold butter chopped (salted or unsalted, your preference.)

·         80mL/ 1/3 cup of cold water

Ganache

·         400g dark chocolate chopped (70% cocoa solids…ooh yeah feel the dark.)

·         250mL/1 cup cooking cream

·         50g butter chopped
 
 
 
Method:
1.       Pre-heat oven to 180°C fan forced
2.       Grease case/s with butter.
3.       Rub butter and flour together to create a texture similar to breadcrumbs. Add cold water and gather together to form dough. Form into a ball and divide into portions of however many cases you have. (If having 6 cases split dough into 6 balls.)
4.       Roll into a disk on a lightly floured surface. Not too thin or too thick, just enough to have some bits of dough hanging over the edge of the case.
 
5.       Now actually put the pastry in the cases. Trim excessive edging. Gather the edging to the dough; reuse it!
6.       Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
 
 


7.       Have a piece of baking paper large enough to cover the pastry/pastries. Fill with uncooked rice/beans/baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the uncooked rice/beans/baking beans and baking paper and bake for a further 10 mins or until golden and dry. Set aside to cool.

8.       Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl place cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring almost to the boil.

9.       Pour mixture over chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
 

10.       Spoon ganache among the tart shells and pop it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes or until ganache sets.
 
 
 
11. Time to eat!
 
 

 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Croque Madame

This is one of my favourite hot breakfasts to eat and prepare as they are AB-SO-LU-TELY delicious when served hot.
You dig the spoon into it and hear the crunch of the crusts and then you take a spoonful and glorious golden yolk slides down your gullet... yes, to experience it for yourself try it. Here is the recipe from one of my favourite chefs: Rachel Khoo. Woo hoo!




Croque Madame
(Makes 6, adapted from Rachel Khoo's: The Little Paris Kitchen)
Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
150ml milk
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
30g Gruyere cheese (I used smoked cheese)
salt and pepper to taste

6 white bread slices, crusts cut off and flattened (don't throw the crusts.)
3 tablespoons melted butter
75g ham, cut into strips
6 small eggs


To prepare the sauce:


Melt butter in a pan, add flour. Beat to form a smooth paste.

Take off heat, cool for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, until there is no lumps.

Place pan back on medium heat, add mustard and nutmeg, simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking to prevent burning and clumping.

As it thickens, remove from the heat. Add the cheese, stir till it melts.


To prepare the rest:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

 Brush each flattened bread with melted butter. Press in a 6 hole muffin tin (I used ramekins).

Divide ham between muffins followed by the egg. If egg is too much, pour away a little of the egg white.

Put 2 tablespoons of sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Remember the crusts? Break it up into bits and sprinkle that on top too.

Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs. Serve immediately. Mmmmmmmmm
 


I finished it with a leaf of baby basil on top.

The point of all this

Ok, so the point of this blog, like said above in the intro, is to: "discover, advise and converse...and maybe even whip up a dish or two" I
 will post pictures and recipes and ask for you advice in my troubles and krusades (yes I know it's actually crusades...) and in turn, you can discover new recipes, advise me and others with your helpful comments and converse with other visitors, followers and me about what you've seen, heard and done!
So, will you join me?

S

Greetings to the world wide web and beyond

Hi.

I've been wanting to start a food blog for a long time and I guess I felt that today was the day!

So here I am and here you are.

One thing you should know about me is that I NEVER follow recipes. (Hence the URL...) I like to think that my "creative" flair is revealed in the kitchen because, well, I was never good at art in school. (Or now for that matter)
I hope there are no rules or standards that a food blog should be like  because I probably won't follow those either. It's not that I don't want to, it's just because I happen not to... well, on that note, welcome to my universal electronic kitchen!

Enjoy,
S