Archive for February, 2010



February 27, 2010

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession

It was a bit of a rush job I must admit, I had to get it in and get it done before I went overseas (I type this entry covertly at 12:30am the 18th Feb….to self publish on reveal day) and so essentially started when it was revealed. There were 2 mandatory items for this challenge we had to make our own savoiardi / ladyfinger biscuits and mascarpone cheese with the given recipes. And, we had to make the zabaglione and pastry cream using the given recipes.

It was a lot of fun, I had never made mascarpone before so that was interesting. I toned down the coffee flavour a bit because I was serving it to my family and they aren’t big coffee drinkers but appreciate subtle undertones. It was a hit really and I will be doing it again just stronger flavours next time!



February 14, 2010

The 2010 February Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

AND it was one of the most delicious things I’ve had in a long time! it was enjoyed by my whole family. It was perfect! my pita didn’t turn out the best not as fluffy as I would have liked, but taste wise it was brilliant! Even the gluten free pita I adapted for my Grandma worked out quite well.

I had a lot of fun making this, it was a lot of fun to have the different options to go with it. I was able to cater for the different tastes of the people I had. It was really great, my mum had flown over from the other side of the country to celebrate the Husband finishing university. My grandparents had come up because of this as well, but also to house sit for my impending European Holiday. So, I had to cater to the tastes of 5 people. We do have some similar tastes but not always with everything. So this was perfect! we all loved it!

Oh, and we are missing the tabouleh in this picture (made with couscous for the GF Gma). But, my mezze was a giant bowl of hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, 3 types of sliced meat, sweet corn, sun-dried tomato, olives, roasted capsicum, caramelised onion and 3 dolmades for my Grandma.

This will be my last Daring Kitchen for awhile now….I return to my home on the 5th April so will pick it up again then!


Orange Breakfast Muffins

February 10, 2010

So after a horrendous day at work today, I headed straight to the kitchen instead of to the gym like I originally planned. Perhaps the endorphins would have been better then a muffin but I couldn’t face it.

So I opened up my Flavour of the Month Nigella Bites and made these. I adapted them a little bit and added some frozen cranberries simply because I love them.

Orange Cranberry Breakfast Muffins

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons ground almonds
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup sugar
1T pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 cup frozen cranberry
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Melt the butter and set aside. Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl. Measure the orange juice and milk into a pitcher and whisk in the egg and then the cooled, melted butter. Now pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing with a fork as you go. The batter will be lumpy but that’s as it should be: you want everything to be no more than barely combined. The whole point of muffin mixture is that it must never be overworked.

Spoon out the mixture equally into the muffin cups and cook for 20 minutes. Remove, in their paper baking cups, to a wire rack and let cool slightly (but not completely) before devouring.

And, I did devour them, I must admit. I had 2 in quick succession, how terrible is that? The gym really would’ve been better!


a bit of a disappointment

February 7, 2010

I had been eyeing off this recipe for awhile. You know when you see something and you think, this should potentially be really easy to put together and taste great BUT getting the key ingredient is going to prove a challenge. Well that’s what I faced with this; I wondered wherever am I going to get my hot little hands on some chestnut puree? I hit google, I looked around, and I despaired. I figured there would have to be some place nearby that would have something right? Some gourmet food shop I had not thought of. But, I couldn’t think of it, and so the recipe got shelved. When I then discovered, or rather re-discovered this recipe in my flavour of the month book I knew that I had to pick up the hunt again.

This time I had more luck, I found a couple of places easily who all confirmed they had it. I just needed wait until I could make the special trip down to them to get it. All of them were of course at least a 30 minute car drive away from me. So, I figured I’d just leave it until I could tie it in with another trip. No worries – I now knew it was on the agenda, it was going to happen so that made me feel a lot happier.

Then a few days later, I was perusing my local supermarket just waiting my turn at the deli section to get some sliced meat. When I turned to the speciality section and low and behold there were MANY little tins of chestnut puree. I nearly fell over with surprise. Really? Here?!!?! Not one to question too much further I dived on a tin, put in my trolley straight away and then promptly headed home to begin, I had everything now!

So I made the chocolate-chestnut refrigerator cake, and I was disappointed. My Flavour of the Month recipe fromNigella Bites didn’t live up to what I had hoped. The flavour didn’t pack any punch for me. I was disappointed….

Chocolate-Chestnut refrigerator Cake

500g chestnut puree (sweetened)
175g soft, unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate
3T dark rum

Beat the puree in a bowl until it’s smooth and then add the butter, beating again to make it blend well.
Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly, before adding it to the chestnut and butter in the bowl. Beat in the rum, and spoon the chocolate mix into a loaf tin lined with cling film.
wrap the overhanging film over the cake so it is completely covered and put in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
don’t take the tin out until you want to eat it when you just unmould the cake and cut into thin slices.
suggestion: serve with creme fraiche or sour cream