Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trying to be a smartie pants sometimes gets you in trouble!

I thought I would channel my inner Martha Stewart and bake some chocolate scrolls for the kids this week. My boys have an excursion so I thought they would enjoy an extra treat as they went about their day.

I halved the dough recipe, as the original recipe makes a stack load of scrolls. Adjusting a recipe can sometimes turn out in the negative but luckily the dough turned out perfect.

Rolled out my dough, spread the butter; scattered sugar; liberally, and I mean liberally, scattered choc chips and choc melts; rolled the dough up; cut them and placed them in the baking trays.

Everything going well.

Have a chat to Hubby on Skype while the scrolls are cooking. Interrupt the conversation to pull my baking out of the oven.

In a need for praise I take my hot, fresh scrolls into the study to show Hubby my handy work....he's drooling...I'm beaming...

Everything is good.

Turn around to take my hot buns (pun intended) back to the kitchen..............

Sleeve gets caught on the door know where this is going!!

Scrolls up-end themselves onto the floor.........

Quickly I try to save them, but unfortunately they are barely recognisable.......

Luckily I have another batch baking in the oven and I didn't feel half as guilty about eating the "unedible" ones that evening!!

Have you had a food disaster like this before?

P.S. they tasted as good as they should have looked.
P.P.S. I said a few choice words , it's only natural

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fresh Pasta

We eat a lot of pasta dishes throughout the week in our house. They are just so easy and convienent to whip up and more importantly everyone will eat pasta.

So, a little while ago Ewan bought me a pasta machine. The machine has sat on the top of my kitchen cupboards, still boxed, since the day it came home. It's not because I didn't want it, it was just that everytime I was making a pasta dish I needed the pasta NOW not in an hour after kneading/resting/rolling the dough.

Nadine (my sister) invited us around to her place yesterday so the kids could hang out. So I took the opportunity to mess up her kitchen and make that pasta that I have been dying to try out.

The recipe I used came from Jamie Oliver's website, but on speaking with Dee it seemed that the common egg to flour ratio was 1 egg to 100gm of strong "00" flour. (here's another use for "00" flour)

It was a very easy process and the outcome was a FAR SUPERIOR product than the store bought stuff.

The main issue was where to hang all that fettucine.......the door handle of the oven certainly came in handy!

This recipe makes enough dough to feed an army. Yesterday I only used half the dough to feed the troops. So now I have the other half, which will easily feed a family of 5, in the fridge for a meal during the week.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Moist Banana Cake, with homemade buttermilk

Often in baking one of the ingredients required is buttermilk, something I don't commonly have stored away in my fridge.

So I make my own when I need it.

It's soooooo very simple, you only need two ingredients - milk & white vinegar

It's not an exact science, I've never measured out the vinegar to milk ratio but I know that I'm trying to replicate buttermilks consistency so to a 1/2 cup of milk I add approximately 1 -2 tablespoons of vinegar.

Wait a minute and if your milk hasn't got that slightly curdled texture add a splash more vinegar.

It's a simple trick but one I use almost everytime I bake.

So make up some buttermilk, grab yourself a couple of bananas and mix up a banana cake as an afternoon treat.

Banana Cake


125gm butter, softened
1 1/2 C caster sugar
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 C buttermilk
1 1/2 C plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • Preheat the oven to 165 degrees celsius. Line and grease a 24cm round baking tin
  • In a medium bowl combine the butter & sugar and beat until creamy, stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Add one egg at a time, ensuring that they combine with the butter mixture then stir in the banana's.
  • Add the buttermilk & sifted flour and baking powder. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for approximately 40 - 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

choc-mint mousse cakes

I wanted to make my come back to the food blog something worth remembering & let me tell you I have succeeded. Both of these "cupcakes" were really really delicious but my stand out favourite was the choc-mint mousse cake so this is the recipe I am sharing. I'm a sucker for anything chocolate & minty.


Double chocolate mint cake

6 square after dinner mints, chopped coarsley
60g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsley
2/3 cup (160ml) water
90g butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon, peppermint essence
1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup (100g) self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup (40g) almond meal
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, extra

Chocolate mousse

150g dark eating chocolate, chopped roughly
1/2 teaspoon peppermint essence
3/4 cup (180ml) thickened cream
2 eggs, seperated
2 tablespoons caster sugar


1. Make chocolate mousse:

Combine chocolate, essence and half the cream in a mediun heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water, stir until smooth. Cool mixture 5 minutes, then stir in egg yolks. Beat remaining cream in a small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat egg whites in another small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form; add sugar gradually, beat until dissolved. Fold cream into chocolate mixture, then egg whites. Spoon mixture into a shallow baking dish. Cover, refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

2. Preheat oven to moderately slow (170deg C/150 fan-forced). Line 6 hole texas or 12 hole standard muffin pan with paper cases.

3. Combine chocolate and the water in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth.

4. Beat butter, essence, sugar and eggs in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

5. Stir in sifted flour and cocoa, almond meal, warm chocolate mixture and after dinner mints. Divide mixture among cases; smooth surface.

6. Bake large cakes about 40 minutes, small cakes about 30 minutes. turn cakes onto wire rack to cool.

7. Place a lightly greased collar of foil around each cakes. Divide firm chocolate mousse evenly among tops of cakes. Freeze cakes for about 30 minutes to help set the mousse quickly.

8. Dust mousse with extra sifted cocoa. Gently remove foil.

9. Indulge

Instead of after dinner mints I used Lindt mint chocolate & I have not looked back. Also, the other cake in the photo is a lemon cheesecake, but thats a recipe for another day.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Museli Bars

Feeling like a snack that meets the "healthy" description but without the blandness that sometimes the term implies.

Well these museli bars are healthy with a little bit of naughty chocolate thrown in for good measure.

You could obviously leave the choc chips out, but why?

Museli Bars


125gm Butter
1/2c Plain flour
2/3c Brown sugar
1 1/4c Rice bubbles
3/4c Rolled oats
1/2c Choc chips
1tbs Peanut butter
1tbs Honey
1/2c Desicated coconut
3/4c Roasted cashews, unsalted
200gm Apricot delight (minus the few, alright about 6, that I ate)

  • Preheat the over to 150 degrees celsius. Line a 25 x 30cm tin with baking paper and grease.
  • Combine the butter, peanut butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Place all the other ingredients in a bowl, add the melted butter mixture and combine well.
  • Press mixture firmly into the tin and bake for 40mins or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before cutting.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The best burger in town

You just can't beat a good burger!

The smokeyness of a grilled pattie, the softness of a fresh bun - it's the simplicity that makes it so delicious.

So last night, with the family over for Ailish's birthday, I made some delicious patties and everyone got to build their burger of choice.

What do you like in a burger?


Beef Burger


500gm Beef mince
3 Springs Rosemary, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Clove of garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of mild paprika
2 Tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Eggs
2 Tbs Almond meal
1/2 C Bread crumbs

  • Combine almond meal, rosemary, mild paprika on a baking tray and place in a moderate oven for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the almond meal is golden brown.
  • Combine onion and garlic in a fry pan and fry until the onion's are soft and brown. Allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl add the beef and all the ingredients together. Mix well.
  • Make your patties and refrigerate before grilling.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

With the cool evenings here to stay for a while my mind, & stomach, turn to warm comfort food. And nothing says comfort like Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding topped with vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding


60gm Butter
1/2 C Milk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
3/4 C Caster sugar
1 C Self-raising flour
1 Tbs Cocoa powder
3/4 C Firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbs Cocoa powder, extra
2 C Boiling water

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius and grease a 1.5 litre overproof dish.
  • Melt butter with the milk in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract and caster sugar then sifted flour and cocoa. Spread mixture into dish.
  • Sift brown sugar and extra cocoa over the mixture. Gently pour the boiling water over the mixture.
  • Back for about 40 minutes or until the centre is firm.
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