Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Boiled Fruit Cake

I made this for myself not the small girl, I don't like to eat food I cannot share. I wasn't sure toddlers would even eat fruit cake, but it seems they do and then request a second serve. This isn't too rich, though it is a real fruit cake. Keeps well and travels well. Next time I might see what happens with a little wholemeal flour in it so I don't feel so guilty with us both eating so much of it.

No bad photographs for a little while, our poor old camera has gone bung.

3 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups dried apricots, chopped
1 cup raisins, chopped
1/2 cup dates, chopped
3/4 cup glacé cherries, halved
1 1/2 cups sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1 cup mixed peel
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup apple or orange juice
1/4 cup apricot jam
6 tablespoons cream

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line and grease a deep 20cm square cake tin.

Combine the fruit, butter, sugar and water in saucepan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the juice and jam, cover, cool to room temperature. Stir the double cream, then the sifted flour into the fruit mixture. Mix well. Spread into the prepared tin. Bake for about 2 1/2 hours. Cover with foil, cool in the tin.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Baked Rice with Pumpkin

This one has become a favourite, and a good way to eat rice as the small girl does not like her rice to taste dry. I've also at various times added sweet potato, grilled capsicums (as seen in this photo) and cooked chickpeas to this. I'm sure it can be varied in many other ways.

1 red onion, chopped
1 leeks, finely sliced
1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
olive oil
approx 300g butternut pumpkin, chopped
125g basmati rice
300ml chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Fry the onion and leeks in an oven-proof pot until soft, add the garlic and continue to cook a minute or two. Add rice, cook it for a minute then add stock and bring to the boil. Cover and bake 35 minutes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ice cream

I've been meaning to write about ice cream for a while. If you hunt in the supermarket you can find ice cream without egg or nuts, but there's not that much choice. With home made ice cream you have lots of choice. However if you plan on making it for the small person in your life, maybe consider acquiring an ice cream maker. I'm a ludite about many things, but I love my ice cream maker. It's just a basic cheap model (the sort that has an electric paddle and an inner "cooling disk" that you freeze before making your ice cream). One can make ice cream without a machine, but it's a lot more time and labour intensive and I don't think I'd do it with a toddler in the house.

The basic recipe which I've adapted from my ice cream maker's instruction manual is as follows:

300g fruit
125g castor sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
300ml full cream milk
150ml cream

Puree fruit. Whip cream. Mix ingredients. Pour into ice cream maker. Ready to consume in 45-55 minutes.

Fruits that I've tried successfully so far; fresh strawberries, stewed apricots (my favourite), stewed blood plums and fresh mango. Keep in mind the quality of the fruit will be reflected in the quality of the ice cream - I used mediocre strawberries once and the resulting ice cream was pretty ho-hum. You can play around with the amount of milk and cream if you want more or less creamy ice cream, just make sure it totals 450ml. And the lemon juice acts to accentuate the flavour, so you can use it with your discretion (I didn't think the blood plums needed it). And if you halve the recipe its ready in 20 minutes!

I did make a discovery a few months ago which I'll record here before I forget; seville orange ice cream. It was awesome. Its a Nigella Lawson recipe, I've already forgotten from which book. If it is July or August look around for seville oranges. I found mine in Melbourne at Victoria Market.

Seville Orange Ice Cream

3 seville oranges
175g icing sugar
584ml double cream

Squeeze the juice of the oranges (Nigella includes the zest but I don't like anything marring the texture of this one). Whip cream until it holds soft peaks. Mix all ingredients together and pour into ice cream maker.

The picture above is an experiment using this recipe with blood oranges. It was ok, but not as amazing as the seville orange original.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


I'm in two minds about including this. It makes fair gingerbread. Small girl adored the raw mix and the biscuits just out of the oven. But once cold she complained they don't work and refuses to eat them. I like them. I've halved the recipe from a Women's Weekly book of 'Old fashioned favourites' and added a little cream in lieu of the egg.

65g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup golden syrup
2 tbs cream
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 tbs ground ginger
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda

Cream the butter and sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the golden syrup and cream. Stir in dry ingredient, press into a ball and knead until smooth. Refridgerate for 30 minutes.

Roll dough between greaseproof paper until 4mm thick (I like mine thicker, but try to make the dough all the same thickness or the biscuits will cook unevenly). Cut out shapes and bake at 180 degrees C for 8 minutes. They will burn very quickly, so don't forget them!

Cool on trays.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


This is an old favourite which makes a very fine simple meal. There are peas in the photo as they are currently a favourite veggie, and no kipper as it was, um , a little past its use-by date.

½ cup brown lentils (pre-cook for 1/2 hour)
1 cup basmati rice
1 tbs butter
2 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 tbs ginger, grated
2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
3 green cardamon pods
3 cloves
1 2cm piece of cinnamon
good pinch of salt

2 cups of water
1 onion, sliced
1 tbs butter

1 kipper, grilled
tomatoes, quartered
lemons, halved
parsley, chopped

Heat butter in heavy based saucepan, add spices and stir until spices are fragrant. Add rice and stir for a minute then add lentils and water and bring mix to a vigorous boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to a simmer (with heat mat). Leave undisturbed for about 40 minutes.

Cook onions in butter until brown. Top each serving with onions and serve with remaining ingredients