Category Archives: Celebrity recipes

Hummingbird Cake

Standard

 

Hummingbird Cake

A Jamie Oliver recipe – this cake has been around for ages.  It’s gorgeous and very easy to make. I wish I had taken a picture when I cut the cake because it looked fabulous – I will be making this again so watch this space.

Ingredients – Cake

  • 250 ml olive oil plus extra for greasing
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 1 level tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1 x 425g  tin of pineapple chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g pecans
  • pinch salt

Ingredients – Icing

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 200g cream cheese

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease and line two 23 cm cake tins.  
  • Sift the flour and cinnamon in a bowl, add sugar and large pinch of salt.  
  • Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork in another bowl.
  • Drain and finely chop the pineapple, add to bananas with oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Mix until combined and fold into dry ingredients until smooth.
  • Finely chop pecans and gently fold in, and divide batter between two tins
  • Bake for 35 – 40 mins or until risen and golden brown. Run a knife around edge of tins, then leave to cool for 10 mins before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Sift icing sugar into a bowl, add butter and beat until pale and creamy. 
  • Add cream cheese, finely grate zest of 1 lime and a little squeeze of juice, then beat until just smooth.  Important that you don’t over beat this mixture.
  • To assemble the cake, place one sponge on a cake stand, and spread with half the icing.  Top with the other sponge, spread over the rest of the icing, then grate  over the zest of the remaining lime. Scatter with chopped pecans.

Note: Jame Oliver did make a pecan brittle topping which he sprinkled over the icing. I didn’t add that step because I sprinkled chopped pecans. When eventually I go down the path of making the brittle- I will add it.

 

 

Advertisements

Nigella’s Basic Chocolate Cake

Standard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

This is Nigella’s basic chocolate cake recipe  from her website –  simply delicious. I heated it in the microwave for 10 seconds and the chocolate icing just oozed down the cake – yummy!!

Ingredients – Cake

200 grams plain flour
200 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
40 grams best-quality cocoa powder
175 grams soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150 ml sour cream

Ingredients – Icing 

75 grams unsalted butter
175 grams best quality dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
300 grams icing sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
125 ml sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF and line and butter two 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins with removable bases.
Put all the cake ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream – into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.
Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also, it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time.
Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don’t worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the icing later.
To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don’t want any burning or seizing.
While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz. This is by far and away the least tedious way of removing lumps.
Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor on to the icing sugar, with the motor running.
When you’ve done, you may need to add a little boiling water – say a teaspoon or so – or indeed some more icing sugar: it depends on whether you need the icing to be runnier or thicker; or indeed it may be right as it is. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
Choose your cake stand or plate and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running on to the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (ie slightly domed) side down.
Spoon about a third of the icing on to the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together.
Spoon another third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.

Manu Feidel’s Braised Lamb Shanks in Red Wine

Standard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

For those of you who don’t know –  Manu Feidel is a French chef who hosts a program called “My Kitchen Rules”  He is renowned for his love of copious amounts of sauce. This particular sauce has subtle layers of flavour but the hint of cinnamon just drives your palate crazy – well it drives mine crazy. Serve this with mash and heaven is created in your mouth.  Manu did use Veal Shanks in this recipe but I used Lamb Shanks.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 60g cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 4 Lamb shanks (about 500g each)
  • 1 onion cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 carrot cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 leek white part only cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 375ml red wine
  • 1 litre brown chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 125 balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Heat the olive oil sand 20g of the butter in a large casserole pot over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the shanks and cook for 5 mins until browned all over.  Remove the shanks and add onion, garlic, carrots, leek and stir for 6-8 minutes or until golden.
  3. Return shanks to the pan, than add the wine and bring to the boil.  Ad the stock, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, juniper berries and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to the boil again, cover with a piece of baking paper (cartouche), then seal with a  lid and bake, turning the shanks once, for 2 hours or until the meat almost falls off the bone.
  4. Remove the shanks from the sauce, then strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pan, pressing down on the solids with the back of a ladle to extract as much flavour as possible. Simmer the  sauce for 20 minutes or until it has reduced by half, then whisk in the remaining 40g of butter , one piece at a time.
  5. To serve, check the seasoning of the sauce and then pour it over the shanks. Serve with mash if desired.

TIP: After adding the wine and herbs and bringing it to the boil you can move this into a slow cooker and cook for 3-4 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.  Pick up the process from Step 4 once the meat is cooked

 

 

 

Gary Mehigan’s Desi Murgh

Standard

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

This curry was cooked in a  Master Chef  Australia master class by Gary Mehigan.  It has become one of my favourite curries to cook because it is full of flavour and if you follow the recipe you just cannot go wrong.  I sometimes cook this using chicken thigh fillets and it still works a treat.

Ingredients

  • 80ml (1/3 cup) peanut or grape seed oil
  • 1 small chicken (1.2kg) jointed into 8 pieces
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 4.5 tomatoes, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds 
  • 1/4 cup Greek-style yoghurt
  • Coriander sprigs, to garnish

Tempered spices:

  •  80ml grape seed or peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup curry leaves
  • 6-8 dried chillies
  • 6 green cardamom pods

Method

For the curry, heat oil in a large, deep-frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes until lightly golden.  Remove and set aside.  Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until golden, scraping the base of the pan with a  wooden spoon.  Transfer onions to a small food processor and blend to a paste.  Set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium.  Add garlic, finer and stir fry for about 20 seconds before adding tomatoes, stirring well to combine.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add turmeric, and chilli powder, and stir to combine.  Meanwhile pound cardamom, cloves, coriander and cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle until ground then add to pan, cook for 5-6 minute, stirring regularly.  Add onion paste and yoghurt, and stir well to combine.

Add chicken piece to pan with about 250ml (1 cup) of water, or more to taste. Cover with a lid, and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender, adding more water if  necessary, throughout cooking.

For the tempered spices, add oil to a frying pan over high heat.  Add remaining ingredients and swirl pan until spices pop and are fragrant. Turn off heat, and carefully tip spice mitre over the curry.

To serve, divide curry among bowls, garnish with coriander.

 

Caramelised Lemon grass Pork Chops

Standard

This is an Adam Liaw recipe.  I loved this dish so much. My photo isn’t the best but I will be cooking this again soon so hopefully I remember to get a better picture to do the dish justice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients

4 boneless pork neck steaks ( sometimes called pork scotch fillet) about 200g each or 4 pork chops
1 tsp peanut oil or other vegetable oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Lemon grass Marinade
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only minced
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp peanut oil, or other vegetable oil

Nuoc Cham Sauce
1 clove garlic
2 red birds eye chilli
Juice of 1 lime (about 50ml)
1tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp water
11/2 tbsp fish sauce

Method

Place the pork on a chopping board and lightly beat with a meat mallet until about 1 cm thin. If using pork chops, carefully beat around the bone.  Mix together all the ingredients for the lemongrass marinade, pour it over the pork and ensure it is well coated. Marinate for at least 30 mins or preferably  overnight.  

Heat oil in a frypan over high heat.  seat the pork with salt and pepper and fry for about 2-3 minutes each side, or until cooked through.  Add a little lemongrass marinade a minute or two before you remove the pork to further caramelise in the pan.  Rest the pork for 3 minute in a warm place before serving.

For the nuoc cham sauce, pound the garlic and chilli together in a mortar and pestle to a rough paste. Mix together lime juice, sugar and water and taste – adjusting the sweetness and sourness to taste.  Add the fish sauce a little as you go, until the sauce is savoury but still pleasant, without being overpowered by the fish sauce.  Mix through chill it and garlic paste and set aside until ready to use.

Serve with rice.

red velvet cake

Standard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I baked this on valentine’s day for my husband, it is a recipe from Annie Bells book. The first time I baked this I used 1/2 tsp but I didn’t feel I got the right dusky red color. Since then I have found that I use a tad more than 1/2 tsp of red color paste to get the rich dusky red.  My suggestion would be to start with 1/2  teaspoon and see how you go.

IngredientsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 For the cake

  • 120g unsalted butter diced
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 230g buttermilkOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1 tsp find sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20g cocoa powder, sifted
  • Approx 1/2 tsp red food colour paste
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda

For the frosting

  • 180g unsalted butter softened
  • 150g icing sugar,sifted
  • 450g full fat cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat the oven to 170 deg C fan forced. Butter two or three (if you have them) 20cm non stick cake tins. Line the bases with baking paper.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the flour in three batches alternating it with buttermilk so you start and end with flour. Next mix in the salt, vanilla and cocoa. Start to add the food coloring, a knife tip at a time, until the mixture is a dramatic dusky red. Mix the vinegar and bicarbonate soda together in a small bowl, they will fizz, and add to the batter.
If using three cake tins, divide the mixture between them, weighing them to ensure you get evenly thick sponges. (If using two tins, add a third of a mixture to each one, bake these and then bake the third one). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until shrinking  from the sides and firm when pressed in the centre. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack, remove the paper and leave to cool top upwards.

Adam Liaw’s No. 88 Special Fried Rice

Standard
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I am a great fan of Adam Liaw and his cooking. I just purchased his cookbook and there is nothing in there that i will not cook. Here is the first tried and tested recipe. I garnished this dish with fried shallots and spring onions just to make it  look pretty – it definitely did not need it. My daughter would squirt tomato sauce over this before she would devour it, funnily enough so does Adam Liaw. Enjoy.
Ingredients
2 tsp peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 brown onion peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt
150g raw prawns, peeled deveined and split completely in half lengthways
2 Chinese sausages thinly sliced or 100g char siu pork diced
1 carrot diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
6 cups cooked rice
a pinch of white pepper
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
 
Method
Heat wok over medium heat, drizzle 1 tsp of oil and add onions, and then garlic. Season with a little salt and fry until the garlic starts to brown.
Add the prawns and chinese sausage and toss for about 30 seconds, then add carrot and peas.  Continue to toss for another 1-2 mins, or until the vegetables start to soften.
Move the content of the work to one side of it, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the open side and crack in the eggs.  Move the eggs around to break up the yolks and when they are just starting to set, combine the eggs  with the other wok ingredients.
Add the rice, and toss to combine all ingredients, pressing the rice grains to the edges of the work to break up any clumps.  Add the rest of the of the salt,  pepper and soy sauces and fry until the rice is warmed through and free of any clumps. 
Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.
 
Tip: You can use rice cooked the day before or if using freshly cooked rice, be careful not to mash-up the grains.

Blondies

Standard

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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.