Tuesday 28 May 2013

Delicious May 2013 - Raspberry, chocolate & almond tea cake

I had so much trouble deciding what to make from this issue. I kept see-sawing back and forth. Now it is almost the end of the month and I decided tonight that I just had to pick something and make it. 

So the recipes that I was see-sawing over. Valli's Coffee & walnut cake. It looks so good but I really didn't want to buy the Camp Chicory & Coffee essence to make it. I am sure that I could have used a shot or two of espresso but I wasn't sure how much or how strong, so I took the easy way out and moved on. 

Jill Dupleix's Bean thread noodles with tofu & eggplant looks fabulous. Just packed full of flavour and a great looking vegetarian dish. However, it would have involved buying at least half of the ingredients and I am trying to use up stuff in my cupboards, not add more to it and I just didn't have good substitutes. 

Katie Quinn's Harissa & capsicum chicken was the recipe that was winning the race right up until the end. I had planned to make it tonight and even took the chicken out of the freezer. Two things went wrong. The chicken wasn't fully thawed and secondly I was so late home from work tonight that I just wanted to eat then and there, so I had boiled eggs and toast instead. Hopefully I will get this made tomorrow night. 

In the end I decided to make Valli's Raspberry, chocolate & almond tea cake tonight. The photo looked good and it sounded really good with the added bonus that I didn't need to buy anything. I did make this gluten free. It worked okay but I think I should have cooked it for another 5 minutes it was still a little doughy in the middle. That was my fault though, the skewer didn't look quite clean but I didn't follow my instincts. It is nice but I am not sure I would make it again. Oh, and my photo isn't all that great, it just did not want to slice well, that might be because I wanted to try it so didn't wait for it to cool.

Raspberry, chocolate & almond cake

150g softened unsalted butter, chopped
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
50ml milk
1 cup (150g) gluten free flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g almond meal
¾ cup (135g) dark choc chips
150g raspberries
1/3 cup (25g) flaked almonds
Icing sugar, to dust

Preheat oven to 170°C (fan-forced).  Grease 20cm round cake pan.
Cream butter and sugar until pale.  Add the eggs, one at a time and beat to incorporate.
Add the vanilla and milk and beat to combine.  
Fold in flour and almond meal and finally the raspberries and choc chips.
Spread mix in cake pan and bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until a skewer is inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Turn out after 10 minutes and cool completely.  Dust with icing sugar to serve. 

Monday 27 May 2013

Good Taste - Sweet & Sour Eggs

Hmm, I was going to post a recipe from every Good Taste magazine since I started my subscription, you may have noticed that I haven't done that. I actually hadn't realised that I wasn't cooking from them until I was going through the stack of magazines building up on my coffee table. They are filled with good food and I have good intentions of making things but just never seem to get them made, exactly what I was doing with delicious magazine before I started my blog. I admit to being rather lazy with cooking lately or should I say that I have been making rather boring things, nothing worth photographing and blogging about. 

I have marked several things that I would like to make from this issue. The first is Cauliflower steaks with olive and herb salsa. The cauliflower is cut into thick slices, browned in a pan and then finished off in the oven. The salsa is made from green olives, oil, lemon juice, capers, parsley and oregano. I would make with kalamata olives but that is only because I really don't like green olives. I think this would be perfect with roast chicken. 

A nice quick lunch or dinner could be made from the Baked spinach & cheese mushrooms. They look to be quick, easy and tasty. They are a bit light on the vegetables, just the mushroom and spinach, so serving with salad or some extra veg would be a good idea. Another quick meal would be the African vegetable stew with sweet potato & peanuts, using curry powder and coconut milk for the flavour and creaminess. Again it is a bit light on the vegetables although it does include carrot, celery & spinach as well as the pumpkin. I am sure that I could pack a few extras in there. 

What I ended up making was the Sweet & sour eggs. I wasn't exactly sure about the combination but wow, it was so good. There was a nice hit of heat, I was a bit on the conservative side but could have added more, The sour of the tamarind and the sweet of the sugar were just perfect. Pairing all of that with fried eggs was fabulous. I made it for breakfast yesterday but I easily could have made it for lunch or dinner. I just had it on its own but if I was to have it for lunch or dinner it would probably need to be served with something else, I am not sure what that would be though. It might go well with some sort of rice thing. I will definitely be making these again. 

125 ml peanut oil (I used grapeseed) 
6 eggs 
1 brown onion
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp sambal oelek
1/2 c water
1 tbsp brown sugar 
1 tsp tamarind puree
2 dried bay leaves 
White pepper 

Heat oil in wok. Crack in egg and fry until starting to brown and turn cooking for 30 sec, remove and cook remaining eggs. 
Add onion, cook stirring until colouring then add garlic and sambal and stir to combine. Add water, sugar, tamarind and bay leaves and boil. Return eggs to the wok and simmer until it starts to thicken. Season. 

Saturday 25 May 2013

Baked egg & chorizo tomato

Back to breakfasts, I think I may have mentioned, ad nauseum, that I love cooked breakfasts. I don't do it nearly enough. Weekends are usually when I take the time to make something delicious. During the week it is usually porridge or toast so it is always nice to have something a bit more substantial. Well, not so much substantial but more interesting. Lately I have been sticking to the toast or porridge on the weekends as well. I also had two weeks off work and did very little in the way of cooking, breakfasts or anything else. 

This was such and easy breakfast to make but every so tasty. I have used chorizo with eggs on a number of occasions. I find that it is a really good combination. Chorizo is not something that should be on the menu for breakfast every day but it is certainly nice occasionally and certainly adds some zing to the dish. 

Baked egg & chorizo tomato
Serves 1

1 large tomato
1/4 chorizo, finely sliced 
1 egg

Slice top off tomato and scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh. 
Line with chorizo and then crack egg into the tomato and sprinkle with pepper (a sprinkle of paprika would be good too). 
Bake at 160 C for 15 - 20 minutes or until the egg is done to your liking. 
Serve with toast (sourdough would be great). 

Sunday 19 May 2013

Cake Decorating - Peppa Pig

I love doing kids birthday cakes. I don't have children myself so I get to learn a lot of new things. New cartoons, new games, it is all very interesting and sometimes a bit mind boggling. This was an order and I loved doing it.

This was the first time that I have covered a cake in two different colours of fondant. The joins on the sides weren't the best but it still turned out well. Once the green and blue were on the cake I hit it with some lustre spray to give it a bit of a glow. The Peppa pig was fairly easy to do. I found a picture online which I printed out in a size I wanted, traced it onto baking paper, cut that out (with a scalpel) and then cut it out in fondant. I prefer to cut my baking paper templates with the scalpel I use for cutting out fondant because it gives a more precise cut. The flowers were done with cutters and then shaped with some tools. The lettering was done with my clikstix cutters, which are fabulous by the way. I loved doing it and the lady who ordered it thought it was gorgeous and on talking with her later she said that her granddaughter was so excited. 

Monday 13 May 2013

Carrot & Zucchini Crepes

I made these yesterday. I don't make them often and I am not really sure why because they are so good. Such a filling and satisfying meal. These were my mum's speciality. Mine are never the same as mum's but I thought that mother's day was a good time to make them again.

Zucchini & Carrot crepes

makes 6 in a 24 cm pan

1/2 c wholemeal flour
2 eggs, whisked
1/4 c. chopped parsley
2/3 c milk (original recipe has 1/2 c but I always need to add more, perhaps start with 1/2)
1/4 c water

Combine all ingredients. Let stand 1 hour.
Cook in a hot greased pan by pouring in 1/4 c and swirling around until the base of the pan is covered, let cook about 30 sec to 1 min and then turn cooking for 10 - 15 sec. Set aside to cool.


1 carrot, grated
3 zucchini, grated
1 onion, finely diced
salt & pepper
60 g cheddar cheese, grated
60 g mozzarella, grated

Saute onion over a low heat until soft. Add carrot & zucchini and cook until soft. Season and then add cheese and stir until melted. Set aside.


1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp mixed herbs (dried)
1/4 c tomato paste
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 c water
1 tbsp brown sugar

Saute onion over a med-low heat until soft, add garlic and herbs and cook for a minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Increase heat to medium and then add tomatoes, water and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thick (this takes 20 - 30 minutes)

To put together:

Divide filling evenly between the crepes, roll firmly and place in a casserole dish. Pour over half of the sauce, top with extra grated cheese. Cook at 180 C for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is golden.

Serve with extra sauce.

These are very filling, one with a salad is enough for me. You will probably have some sauce left over, I always do. It is great on pasta.

Friday 10 May 2013

April 2010 - Spanish Prawns with Spicy Lentils

Surprise! Back to an old issue of delicious magazine. It had been a little while since I had gone back to any of the issues and made something. Although I do have to confess that I didn't pull out the issue from the bookshelf. I have had this recipe bookmarked to be made for ages and then it turned up as recipe of the day over on Taste so it seemed like it was the perfect time to make it. The added benefit was that I had all the ingredients in the cupboard for it. 

There is so much flavour in this dish it is hard to know where to start. It all melded together perfectly to make a fantastic dish. I used my own harissa paste, which has been updated since January so another post to follow. The chorizo went perfectly and added extra spice as well as flavour. I loved the idea of using a jar of roasted capsicum rather than doing my own. Not that it is hard but with the price of capsicum at the moment I think it is almost cheaper to buy the jars. Instead of using tins of lentils I cooked my own and added however much I thought was in a tin, it was probably a bit more than a tin. It didn't matter, it was perfect. I really enjoyed the prawns in it too. I also added some spinach. It was wonderful reheated for lunch and, surprisingly, the prawns reheated just fine. I have since made it a second time using diced chicken thighs in place of the prawns and some sliced green beans. I will definitely make this one again and again. 

Thursday 9 May 2013

Gingerbread loaf

Despite best intentions I didn't get any posts done during my holidays. There really isn't any excuses. I sat down many a time to do some but seemed to get easily distracted by something else. 

Like my previous post I made this Gingerbread loaf for the April Bake Club challenge over at taste.com.au. It just looked so good and I really do like ginger. I had some gluten-free flour in the cupboard so decided to give it a go and see how it would turn out. Also with it being gluten-free I could easily give some of it to one of my friends. I was really pleased with how it turned out with the gluten-free flour. The texture was just excellent. It did sink a bit in the middle but it wasn't too bad. I think I should have cooked it another 5 minutes and it would have been fine. I was, however, rather disappointed with it otherwise. I reduced the sugar by half but it was still ridiculously sweet and the ginger flavour was crazy strong. Most of it did get eaten but all agreed that it certainly wasn't the best thing that I have made. It is not something that I will make again...it does look good though.