Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Chocolate Pear Tea Cakes with Rosemary, Olive Oil and Sea Salt






Makes 12 Individual Cakes

Ingredients


Cakes

1 tblsp unsalted butter at room temperature, for greasing the pan

1 cup blanched almond flour

1/2 cup sweet white rice flour (sweet rice flour is made from short grain, glutinous or 'sticky' rice)

1/2 cup gluten free oat flour (I made the flour in the food processor from organic Tasmanian oats)

1/4 cup millet flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 cup rapadura sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup whole-milk plain yoghurt

6 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil

2tsp finely chopped rosemary

2/3 cup organic, dark 70-80% chocolate

1 1/2 cups chopped ripe but firm pear


Topping

Pear Pieces

Chocolate chunks

Chopped Rosemary

Coarse sugar, such as demerara or turbinado

Flaky salt (I used Tasmanian sea salt flakes)


Method

To make the cakes, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 175 C . Brush the cups and top of a standard 12 cup muffin tin with the softened butter, or use paper liners.

Sift the almond, sweet rice, oat and millet flours together into a medium bowl along with the baking powder, baking soda and salt, adding back any bits that get caught in the sifter. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, yogurt, olive oil and rosemary. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until smooth, then fold in the chocolate and pears until evenly distributed.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top. Top each cake with a pear piece, chocolate bits, a few bits of rosemary, a dusting of course sugar and a few flakes of salt.

Bake the cakes until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean with a few moist crumbs, 23 -30 minutes. They are still baking from residual heat so let them cool until warm, at least 20 minutes, then release then from the pan and let them cool completely. Extra cakes will keep, airtight at room temperature, for up to 3 days.


Image and recipe taken from: The Alternative Baker by Alana Taylor-Tobin

Stone Fruit Pecan Crumble

A simple and scrumptious crumble.

The unexpected addition of salt in the fruit mixture and in the crumble itself, brings a complexity to the flavour that is quite indescribably delicious  ....




Ingredients


Filling

800g ripe stone fruit (plums peaches and nectarines are all great) pitted and sliced into 1cm wedges

2 tblsp (30ml) pure maple syrup

2 tsp (10 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 tsp arrowroot powder (I use Kuzu)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp fine sea salt





Crumble Topping

1 1/4 cups of raw pecan halves

2 tblsp pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Method


1.  Preheat oven to 190 C

2.  Make the Filling:   In a 20cm oven proof dish add the stone fruit, maple syrup, lemon juice,               arrowroot powder, cinnamon and sea salt and lightly toss to combine. Set aside.

3.  Make the Crumble Topping:   In a food processor, combine the pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon       and sea salt. Pulse the mixture until you have a crumbly consistency.

4.  Sprinkle the crumble mixture on the top of the stone fruit. Bake the crumble until the fruit is               tender and the topping has browned, 22 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Image and recipe taken from: The First Mess by Laura Wright


Saturday, 2 March 2019

(Cucumber)Bread and Butter Pickles

Feb. 2019 using home grown Dragon’s Egg cucumbers sourced from Linda at Seed Freaks

· 2 kg small cucumbers (the smaller, the better)

· 2 tbsp salt

· 1 litre white wine vinegar

· 1 cup sugar

· ½ tsp turmeric

· 2 small brown onions, thinly sliced

· 3 tsp brown mustard seeds

· 2 tsp fennel seeds

· 2 tsp dill seeds

· 2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

· 12–18 black peppercorns

Makes 6 x 375 ml jars
Salting time 1-2 hours or longer
Heat-processing time 10 minutes

Slice the cucumbers into rounds about the thickness of a coin. Put into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt, then leave to sit for an hour or two (or overnight). This is to draw out any excess liquid; the bigger the cucumbers, the longer it will take. Transfer to a large colander, rinse and leave to drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile, sterilise your jars. I use the dishwasher.

Make a brine by putting the vinegar, sugar, turmeric and 500 ml of water into a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat and bring to the boil. Let it bubble for 5 minutes.

Transfer the cucumbers to a large bowl. Add the onions, along with the mustard, fennel and dill seeds, and the chilli flakes, if using. Use your hands to mix everything together well.

When the jars are cool enough to handle, use small tongs or clean hands to carefully pack the cucumbers into the jars, adding 2 or 3 peppercorns to each jar. The jars should be full but not over-packed – the brine needs to cover every slice of cucumber, and if they are packed too tightly the brine won’t be able to get into every nook and cranny. 

Carefully fill the jars with the hot brine until the cucumbers are completely covered. Remove any air bubbles by gently tapping each jar on the work surface and sliding a butter knife or chopstick around the inside to release any hidden air pockets. You may need to add more brine or cucumbers after doing this (the liquid should reach about 1 cm from the top of the jar). Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth or paper towel and seal.

Heat-process then store in a cool, dark place. Although these pickles will keep for up to 12 months, they start to lose their crunch after about 6 months.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Persian Love Cake





A delicious recipe based on one from Gourmet Traveller


Ingredients

360gm (3 cups)       almond meal

220gm  (1 cup)        rapadura sugar

220gm  (1 cup)        coconut or dark brown sugar

120 gm                    unsalted butter

2                              eggs, lightly beaten

250gm                     yoghurt, plus extra to serve

1 tblsp                     freshly grated nutmeg

45gm (1/4 cup)       pistachios, coarsely chopped


Method

1 Preheat oven to 180C. Combine almond meal, sugars. butter and 1tsp salt in a bowl, then rub with fingertips until coarse crumbs form. Spoon half the mixture into a lightly buttered and baking paper lined 26cm- diameter springform pan, gently pressing to evenly cover base.

2. Add egg, yoghurt and nutmeg to remaining crumble mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Pour over prepared base, smooth top, scatter pistachios around edge and bake until golden (30-35 minutes). Cool completely in pan on a wire rack to room temperature, then serve with extra yoghurt. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.


Saturday, 30 June 2018

Spiced Crab Apples / Red Currants / Cherries / etc



A fabulous and surprising addition to the cheese board or pre dinner drinks, all year round.

Combine in a large saucepan:
350g sugar
350ml red or white vinegar
Cover and boil until the sugar is dissolved; about 5 minutes.
Add:
450g whole crab apples with stems / red currants with stems / slightly under ripe cherries with stems (with or without stones). Firm, tart fruit is best.
Simmer briefly, until just tender, depending on fruit and ripeness. Do not let them get mushy. Remove from the syrup and place into jars.

Add to the syrup in the pan:
1 x 2.5cm piece cinnamon stick
6 allspice berries
4 whole cloves
Boil until thickened a little then pour over the fruit in the jars. Seal. Leave for a month before using.
Serve with cheese by removing each piece by the stem. The pickling syrup may be re-used for more pickling or poured over ice cream.



Thursday, 7 June 2018

Pineapple and Ginger Upside Down Cake

20180606_120101

Made for gardening, June 2018

Cake

250g butter, softened

1¼ cups rapadura sugar

5 eggs

1 cup milk kefir or thin yoghurt

2½ cups flour

2 tspns baking powder

1 Tbl ground ginger or 4 drops ginger essential oil

1 tsp ground cinnamon or 2 drops cinnamon essential oil

½ tsp ground cloves or 1 drop clove essential oil

Caramelised Pineapple

1 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced into ½ - 1cm thick slices

85g butter

½ cup rapadura sugar

_________________________

Melt butter and sugar, add half the pineapple slices and cook 3 minutes, turning once. Remove and cook the other half. Remove. Reserve syrup.

__________________________

Fresh Ginger Syrup

Into the last of the reserved syrup grate a good knob of fresh ginger and heat gently.

  • Make caramelised pineapple
  • Pre heat oven to 170°C
  • Grease a deep 23cm round cake pan; line base and sides to above the sides of the tin
  • Set butter and sugar to beat until pale
  • Make caramelised pineapple
  • Drizzle cake tin with 2 Tbl reserved syrup and arrange caramelised pineapple slices, overlapping. Use them all. Doubling up is ok. Keep rest of the syrup for the sauce. Make more if necessary.
  • To beaten butter and sugar, add 2 spoons of the plain flour then gradually add the eggs, beating well between additions. Add a little more flour if it looks like curdling.
  • Beat in kefir / yoghurt
  • Stir in the rest of the flour mixed with the baking powder
  • Spread mixture over the pineapple
  • Bake 1 hour and check. If necessary, top with foil
  • Bake a further 10 minutes or until a knife comes out clean
  • Meanwhile make suryp
  • Stand cake 5 minutes then turn out onto a beautiful serving plate.
  • Serve with fresh ginger syrup
  • Enjoy!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Zucchini Risotto with Gremolata Fish


500g zucchini, unpeeled, chopped into 3cm cubes
Olive oil
2 tspns garam masala
1 brown onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups risotto rice
1 litre chicken/fish stock
600g fish fillets
 
Gremolata
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
Olive oil
Grated rind 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
 

 

Fry zucchini pieces in hot oil until cooked but still firm. Stir in garam masala and fry a little longer. (I also added some fennel seeds and cumin seeds)

Heat stock and keep hot.

Heat olive oil in a pan and cook onion gently until soft. Add garlic and rice and stir to coat.

Add 1 cup at a time of the stock to the rice and stir, on gentle heat, until absorbed before adding more. This will take a good 30 minutes or more. Do not rush it…. Have a glass of wine while you relax and enjoy the process.

Meanwhile combine the gremolata ingredients and press onto the fish fillets. Cook the fish in a pan. Flake gently.

Gently mix the zucchini and the fish through the risotto and serve with lemon wedges.

Absolutely delicious!