Saturday, September 03, 2011

Crumble recipes

Margaret Fulton:

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
90g butter

Rub butter into dry ingredients. Place on top of fruit. Bake 200 degrees C for 20 minute, reduce to 180 degrees for 30 minutes.

Jane Grigson:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup (175g) butter

Bake at 200 degrees C for 35 or until top is nicely browned

Pasta with saffron, spinach and roast capsicum

Saffron Butter:
6 tbs butter
1 tbs basil or marjoram, finely chopped
1 tbs parsley, finely chopped
1/8 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 1 tsp hot water
pinch sweet paprika
1 lemon or 1/2 orange, grated rind only
1/4 tsp salt

Mix together

2 red capsicums
1 bunch spinach
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 red onion, finely diced
1 cup stock or water
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt

Roast capsicums in the usual manner. Put the pasta on. Toast pine nuts in saucepan until they are golden. Wash and shred spinach.

Fry onion in olive oil, when soft add the garlic soften for a moment, then add the stock, capsicums and salt. After a minute add the spinach, lower the heat and add the saffron butter. Mix in pasta when cooked.

Serve with pine nuts and Parmesan.

Wheat and Rye bread from "The Village Baker"


2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup organic white flour

Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup of water, add to the rest of the water in a largish bowl. Add combined flours by the handful, stirring 50 times after each handful. All to sit for 15-24 hours covered with a tea towel


1 cup warm water
sponge from previous step
3 3/4 cups organic white flour
2 3/4 tsp salt

Mix the water into the sponge, add the 2 3/4 cups of flour handful by handful, stirring 50 times after each. Add salt and mix in remaining flour by kneading on a bench for 2-3 minutes. Dough should still feel sticky

Allow to rise for 2 hours, covered. When it has doubled, shape into a round loaf. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours. The loaf is ready when an indentation by a finger does not bounce back.

Slash with a sharp knife and bake at 215 degrees C for 35 to 45 minutes

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Potatoes cooked with Mustard Seeds - from Madhur Jaffrey

2-3 potatoes
3 tbs oil
pinch of asafetida
1 tbs black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sweet paprika

Peel and dice the potatoes into 1.5cm pieces.

Heat the oil in a fry-pan with a lid. When hot add in succession; asafetida, mustard seeds, turmeric then potatoes. Stir and fry for a minute. Cover the potatoes and turn pan to low, stirring every 5 or so minutes. When done sprinkle salt and paprika and mix well.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A successful food challenge

Last week Hannah attended her first food challenge - the cake with two eggs challenge. To my immense surprise it was successful. We can now include cake, biscuits and muffins with egg in Hannah's diet. The next challenge - the hard boiled egg challenge probably won't be done for another 18 months, but I don't mind. This small change will have a very big impact on our lives, going out and socialising suddenly become much easier. Seeing a panettone in the local supermarket the other day made me tear up - finally I'm allowed to let her try this delight.

As a result I've decide to stop posting on this blog. We will continue to make many of these recipes, the chocolate cake will always be a favourite (and of course Hannah can't lick the bowl of a cake made with egg ). I've just posted three newish biscuit recipes which have also become firm favourites. And would you believe it, our chicken stopped laying the week we found out.

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Biscuit

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
155g butter
2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
140g chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Place non-stick baking paper onto 2 large trays.

Beat butter till creamy in an electric mixer. Add sugars, salt and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes. Mix in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips by hand.

Work the dough by hand until it sticks together, then make two logs about 4cm in diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1/2 hour.

With your sharpest knife cut the logs into rounds (l like them quite thin - about 5mm thick, but you can make them thicker). The sharp knife is essential otherwise the chocolate chips make the log fall apart.

Place on tray and bake for 12 minutes, they will firm as they cool. Allow to cool on the tray.

Chocolate Balsamic Biscuits

1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/8 tsp salt
75g butter
1/3 cup cocoa
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Cover two biscuit trays with non-stick baking paper.

Mix the flour, bicarb soda and salt together. Melt the butter in a saucepan, when melted take it off the heat and add sugars and cocoa. Mix well and then add yoghurt, vanilla and balsamic vinegar. Finally mix with the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Drop tablespoons of the mix onto the trays, leaving room for spreading. Sprinkle lightly with vanilla sugar if desired. Cook for 11 minutes. They will be soft at this stage, but will firm up on cooling.

Sugared-Topped Ginger Biscuits

1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
pinch salt
1 1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
65g butter melted, or 1/2 oil such as grape seed oil
2 tbs treacle
2 tbs milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tbs sugar extra (can use demerera sugar if you have it)

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Place non-stick baking paper on large biscuit tray.

Mix together flour, bicarb soda, salt, sugar and spices. Separately mix melted butter, treacle, milk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.

Roll into 1 inch balls, slightly flatten them and press into extra sugar. Place a little apart on the tray (they will spread a little) and bake for 11 minutes. They will be very soft at this point but will firm up as they cool, (if you bake them until firm they will be too hard to eat!).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kiwi Biscuits

This recipe comes courtesy of a colleague of mine, she'd passed it on to me knowing of our egg-free kitchen. I'd not heard of kiwi biscuits before - but a bit of a google suggests they are a not uncommon New Zealand version of the chocolate chip biscuit, with the unusual inclusion of condensed milk. They are good:

220g butter
100g castor sugar
4 tablespoons of condensed milk
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar. Add condensed milk. Mix flour and baking powder. Add to butter and mix well (if too dry add more condensed milk). Then mix in chocolate chips.

Roll into small balls and place onto a greased tray and press down with a fork

Bake 15 minutes in a 180 degree C oven.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Date Slice

I found this recipe last week in a sweet book entitled "500 Cookies" by Philippa Vanstone. My first thought was "mmm, that would be good in a lunch box". Yes, next year I will need to change my blog subtitle - I've just handed in Hannah's school enrolment, and am starting to get my head around this impending new phase in our lives. And of course US food allergy blogs are full of back to school postings (this is a good one).

I'm delighted the staff at Hannah's childcare are instilling in the children the importance of not sharing their lunch. (Well, delighted and yet really saddened that this is the world we must live in.) Later in the year they get to practice by bringing their own lunch. And in October we get to practice going to school, a morning once a week for six weeks. It is really all about to happen.

But to the recipe. We tried it and liked it, but it is essentially shortbread and a very crumbly one at that. The date spread sort of glues it all together, but I can see lunch box problems unless very carefully packed. The book suggest you can substitute dried apricot, fig or cherry and blueberry.

250g dates, pitted and chopped
zest and juice of one orange
120ml boiling water

175g unsalted butter
225g plain flour
2 tbs cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g demerera sugar ( I used a brown sugar, not having any demerera)

Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees C. Line a 20 x 23 cm baking tin with baking paper.

Combine the dates, orange juice and zest and water in a saucepan, simmer for 3-4 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently so they don't stick. Allow to cool, then puree in a blender or with a Bamix (my preferred option).

Rub the butter into the combined flours, baking powder and sugar. Press about two-thirds of this into the baking tin. Spread the date mix over this. Then either sprinkle the remaining one-third of the mixture over the date spread, pressing down to give a crumbled effect, or roll the remaining one-third between two sheets of baking paper and lay on top of the date spread (my preference).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Saffron Cake

Local food blogger 'Another Outspoken Female' is running a winter solstice cake event, and if I type really fast I'll be within a cats whisker of being in time to enter. The intention is to bake a Christmas style cake to celebrate the passing of the longest night in winter.

In fact we celebrated the winter solstice this year, as we usually do, with a small Christmas pudding (I make two every year, a big one for the family Christmas, and a small one for solstice). Solstice falling on a Friday this year - one of the days I work outside of the home - there is no possibility of any fancy cooking.

However on Sunday I had a chance to make something I've been keen to try for a while. I've always loved the variations of sweet breads made at Christmas time such as the Italian Panetonne and the German Stollen. Of course traditionally they are very 'rich' breads, which of course means eggs and nuts. Saffron cake is not as far as I know associated with any time of year, and yes it is strictly speaking a bread being leavened with yeast. Reading in Elizabeth David's "English Bread and Yeast Cookery" it is interesting to see that use of chemical leavening (baking powder and so on) in cakes is a recent innovation, and that earlier cakes were in fact leavened with yeast. So I'd like to push the understanding of cake to include this lovely recipe.

Just a word of warning, mine cooked much quicker than I expected - so hover around your oven - don't go outside and garden like I did - it's not supposed to be quite so brown :( . The recipe is modified from Dan Lepard's "The Handmade Loaf", a cook book I'd heartily recommend if you like cooking with yeast - great recipes and incredibly clearly written instructions.

Solstice Cake 2008 - Saffron Cake

100g lukewarm milk
1/4 tsp dried yeast
100g plain flour

Beat together all ingredients until smooth. Leave covered for 1 hour at which point the mix should have risen and be bubbly.

1 tsp saffron
3/4 tbs boiling water
250g strong white flour
25g castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove
30g unsalted butter, softened
150ml lukewarm milk
a handful of currants
1 tbs sherry

Mix the saffron and the boiling water and leave for at least 10 minutes. Mix sherry with currants and leave at least 1 hour.

Combine flour, salt, spices and sugar in a large bowl and rub in butter. Mix saffron into milk, then pour this into the flour along with the sponge prepared earlier and the currants. Mix until well combined. Allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Lightly oil working surface before kneading dough for 10 seconds, then rest covered for another 10 minutes (the oil stops the dough from sticking). Knead again and leave for 1 hour, covered, in a warm place (I use a hot water bottle covered with a towel).

Shape dough (but don't try anything too fancy - it is a fairly wet dough and my plait completely disappeared). Allow to rise, covered for an hour in a warm place.

Bake at 210 degrees C for 30 minutes, then reduce to 190 degrees for another 15 minutes.

2 tbs sugar
1 tbs water

Simmer together in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Brush onto warm cake with pastry brush.

Leave to cool before enjoying.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chocolate crunch cheesecake.

Cheesecake does not need eggs! A while ago I found a fairly bland plain egg-free cheesecake recipe that tasted like an ordinary cheesecake. There was nothing particularly unusual about it. I guess eggs in a cheesecake are used for richness and flavour rather than as functional part of the mix. To test this theory I decided to try omitting the eggs from one of my favourite cheesecake recipes, and yes it worked perfectly.

Just a word of warning with the biscuit crumb base. It is not so easy to find a safe commercial biscuit. We ended up using McVities Digestives. These are completely egg and nut free (though always check the label in case this changes). The original recipe called for a chocolate ripple biscuit, so I've suggested adding some cocoa to compensate. Alternatively you could make a shortcrust base for the cheesecake, flavoured with a little cocoa.

Also for the chocolate coated honeycomb; if you are buying confectionery in Australia you are looking at either a Cadbury Crunchy or a Nestle's Violet Crumble. This means including an ingredient with traces of eggs and nuts. Hannah has had some problems with Cadbury's chocolate in the past (skin on her face becoming reddened and itchy) but was ok eating this. It is possible to make one's own honeycomb, something I remember doing when I was a kid with my mum. I attempted the recipe I had and ended up with a seething mass of burnt toffee. If any readers can advise on a successful recipe I'd be most interested.

And a word of warning: this is very rich - small slices at a time please!

125g biscuits, crushed
2 tbs cocoa (if the biscuits are not chocolate biscuits)
60g butter, melted
500g cream cheese
1/3 cup castor sugar
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/3 cup cream
1 tbs flour
45g bar Chocolate coated Honeycomb, finely chopped

Caramel Filling:
30g butter
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbs sweetened condensed milk
1 tbs golden syrup
2 tbs hot water

150g chocolate, chopped
¼ cup cream

Combine crumbs and butter, and press into base of 20cm spring-form. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Beat cheese, sugar and rind until smooth. Add cream and flour, beat until smooth.

Place spring-form tin on oven tray, pour ½ the cheese mixture into tin, sprinkle with honeycomb. Spoon caramel filling over honeycomb, top with remaining cheese mixture. Bake in slow oven about 1 hour or until firm.

Spread topping over cheesecake, refrigerate until set, decorate with extra cream and berries.

Caramel filling:
Combine all ingredients in a pan, stir over heat without boiling until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring 4 minutes or until deep caramel colour, cool 10 minutes.

Topping: Melt chocolate with cream in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, cool to room temperature