Monthly Archives: December 2013

Blondies

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Yesterday was the first time I baked these. I had to share it because it is a light cake full of flavour.  This recipes is from Annie Bell’s Baking Bible. Again this is such an easy recipe.


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Ingredients

  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g golden syrup
  • 150 g  set honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 75g white chocolate – chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 170 deg C fan forced/160 deg C electric. Line a square 23 cm brownie tin, 4 cm deep. Gently heat butter, syrup, honey and vanilla in a small saucepan.  Once melted, take off heat and leave to cool for 15 mins. Once cooled beat in eggs one at a time.  Sift flour and baking powder, add to the ingredients, whisking until smooth.  Pour into the lined tin, scatter over the white chocolate and bake for 25-30 mins. 

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Shortbread

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The shortness of this shortbread will surprise you…  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand it is so easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Method

Melt butter in a  saucepan large enough to mix all ingredients.  Remove from heat, sift flour, cornflour and icing sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon.  Knead dough for 1 minute or until well combined.  Roll out to 1.5cm thickness and shape as you wish. Place on a lined oven tray.  Prick with a fork.  Bake at 150 deg C at 30 mins or until lightly golden.  If necessary cut while hot.

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Stollen – a german festive bread

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Ingredients:
  • 75g sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 50g cup currents
  • 3tbsp rum
  • 375g cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar 
  • 1/4  tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 40g fresh yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup mixed (candied) peel
  • 1/3 cup blanched whole almonds
  • melted butter for brushing
  • icing sugar to dust
For the Almond Filling
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 egg lightly beaten
Method
Lightly grease a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 180c/350F/Gas 4. Put the sultanas and currants in a heatproof bowl and warm for 3-4 mins. Pour over the rum and set aside.
Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and spices.
Mix the yeast with the milk until creamy. Pout into the flour and mix a little of the flour from around the edge into the milk mixture to make a thick batter. Sprinkle some of the remaining flour over the top of the batter, then cover with clear film (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for 30mins.
Add the melted butter and egg and mix to a soft dough. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10mins until smooth and elastic. place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled clear film and leave to rise, in a warm place, for 2-3hours, or until doubled in bulk.
Mix the ground almonds and sugars together for the filling. Add the lemon juice and sufficient egg to knead to a smooth paste. Shape into a 20cm/8in long sausage, cover and set aside.
Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knock back (punch down).
Pat out the dough into a rectangle about 2.5cm/1 inch thick and sprinkle over the sultanas, current, mixed peel and almonds. Fold and knead the dough to incorporate the fruit and nuts.
Roll out the dough into an oval about 30 x 23cm/12 x 9in. Roll the centre slightly thinner than the edges. Place the almond paste filling along the centre and fold over the dough to enclose it, making sure that the top of the dough doesn’t completely cover the base. The top edge should be slightly  in from the bottom edge. Press down to seal.
Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet, cover with lightly oiled clear film and leave to rise, in a warm place, for 45-60mins, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6. Bake the loaf for about 30mins, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Brush the top with melted butter and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Cook’s Tip: You can dust the cooled stollen with icing sugar and cinnamon, or drizzle over a thin glace icing.

Quick and Easy Biryani

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Ingredients

  • 1 kg Lean Lamb Mince
  • 3 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 small fresh red chillies chopped finely
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander stalks
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 cup flaked almondsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • 2 medium brown onions
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp hot mil
  • 1/1/2 cups basmati rice
  • Extra coriander to garnish.

Method

Heat half the ghee in a large saucepan, cook nuts and sultanas until lightly brown. Remove from pan. Heat remaining ghee in same pan and cook sliced onions until slightly caramelised. Reserve half the onion. Add mince to the pan, cook for 5 mins, till browned, add garam masala, turmeric, chilli, garlic, ginger and cook  for  another 2 mins.  Add water and let it cook on low for 7-10 mins.  Add yoghurt, mix well, fry mince for 2 mins on high heat. I tend to tilt the pan so I can drain excess fat.

Meanwhile combine saffron and milk in a small bowl, stand 15 mins.

Cook rice in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 5 mins and drain.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.  Spread half the mince into oiled deep 2 litre ovenproof dish. Layer with half the rice; tip with remaining mince and rice. Drizzle milk mixture over rice. Cover tightly with greased foil. Bake for 30 mins until rice is tender. Serve biryani topped with reserve onion, nut and sultana mixture.  Garnish with coriander leaves.

Tip: Serve cucumber raita with biryani. 

Mars Bar Slice

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  • 4 x 65 g Mars Bars, chopped 
  • 100g butter 
  • 4 cups Rice Bubbles 
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 25 g butter extra

Method
Line a slice tray with baking paper.
Combine Mars Bars and butter in a saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat, without boiling, until the mixture is smooth.
Stir in Rice Bubbles and press mixture evenly into lined tray.
Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave on a low setting, stirring every 20-30 seconds. 
Spread the chocolate evenly over the slice mixture and refrigerate until topping is set. Slice into squares.

Pork Patties with Mango Salsa

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This is a nice alternative for xmas. I used a mix of beef and pork for this recipe, because that is all I had in my freezer.

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion finely diced
  • 1 tsp  ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 small red chilli fine chipped
  • 3 tsp hot mango chutney ( you can buy this in most supermarkets)
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • generous handful of chopped fresh coriander
  • Oil for frying

Method

Combine all ingredients, season and mix together. (If you have a food processor you can use that). With damp hands, form the mixture into 8 patties, then chill for 10 mins to firm up. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Serve with mango salsa.

Mango Salsa

  • 1 large mango, peeled and flesh chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • a couple of pinches  of brown sugar
  • 1 small chilli seeded and chopped.
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh coriander

Method

In a bowl combine lemon juice, sugar, chilli and coriander and let it stand.  Before serving add mango – give it a gentle toss and serve.

Roasted Beetroot and Spinach Salad

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Roasted Beetroot and Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 beet roots peeled and quartered
  • 2 bags baby spinach
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 – 2 tsp butter
  • 1 block Greek feta
  • Olive oil
  • Walnuts or toasted pinenuts
  • Thyme
  • Balsamic vinegar

Method
Rub beetroot with olive oil and thyme and season to taste. Roast 200 deg C for 25 to 30 mins or until cooked.
Heat butter, add sliced garlic and cook for 30 secs. Add spinach and sauté  for 2 mins, season to taste.
 Arrange spinach  on a platter.  Scatter roasted beetroot on top of the spinach. Crumble feta over the beetroot and top with walnuts.  To finish drizzle balsamic vinegar from a height(as Jamie Oliver’s would say).

Devika’s Insalata Caprese

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This is my version of the Insalata Caprese with salami.

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Ingredients

  • 8 Slices Salami
  • 3 balls of Bococcini – each sliced into 3 pieces
  • 8 fresh Basil leaves
  • Pack of medley of cherry tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • Pinch of Sea salt
  • Olive Oil

Method

Keep tomatoes on its vine, add olive oil, thyme and salt, give it a toss and bake in the oven at 200 deg C  for 20 mins or until skin split. On a platter arrange salami and sliced bococcini and basil leaves. Place roasted tomatoes in the middle. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

 

Honey Roasted Pear Salad

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Honey Roasted Pear Salad

The pears in this recipe were supposed to be roasted, but my oven was busy with the magnificent glazed ham so I ended up cooking the pears on the stove top. If you were to roast it – it would be for 20 mins at 200 Deg C.

Ingredients

  • 4 Pears cored and each half cut into thirds
  • 60 g butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugarHoney Roasted Pear SAlad 2
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Bag of mixed leaves or rocket
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • shavings of Parmesan Cheese 
  • Handful of Crushed walnuts
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

Method

 Once pears are cut toss it in lemon juice to avoid pears turning brown. In a large saucepan melt butter, add sugar and honey. Once the sugar has melted, add pears and mix well so each pear is coated.  Cook for 20-25 mins on low heat turning pears every 5 mins. The pears should be caramelised but still crunchy.  Prepare vinaigrette by combining olive oil, lemon juice and dijon mustard, season to taste.  On a large platter place rocket tossed in vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes and pears. Top with shaved parmesan and crushed walnuts.

And the winner is ………Glazed Ham

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I served this to some of my friends this week and I had thirteen thumbs and many second and third serves. It was accompanied by a Roasted Pear Salad (posting recipe tomorrow)..

Leg of Ham

Ingredients

  • 7Kg cooked leg of ham
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup sweet sherry
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar – extra
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved lengthways
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • handful of cloves

Method

Cut through rind about 10cm from shank end of leg; run thumb around edge of rind just under skin to remove rind.  Start pulling rind from shank end to widest edge of ham; discard rind.  

Using sharp knife, make shallow cuts in one direction diagonally across fat at 3 cm intervals, then shallow- cut in opposite direction, forming diamonds.  So not cut through top fat or fat will spread apart during cooking.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C/160 deg C fan forced.  Place ham on a wire rack ; rub with combined mustard and sugar.  Place ham on a wire rack in baking dish.  Bake for 30 mins, then take out of the oven, decorate with cloves and baste with sherry glaze. Put ham back into the oven for another 15 mins and then pull out, baste with sherry glaze, and put back into the oven – repeat this process 3 times.   After the final 15 mins, remove ham from oven, cover with foil and stand for 15 mins before slicing.

Sherry Glaze: Combine juice, sherry, extra sugar, garlic and ground clove in a small saucepan; stir over heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered, about 10 mins or until glaze reduces by half.