Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

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Banana Bread

August 6, 2010


Banana Bread from Crust and Crumb oh so yummy, but oh so bad for you!

The BIL has called this butter bread! it’s bad for you on a whole number of levels. The sugar content is enormous!

I am going to have to try it with different combinations, because the commentary suggests replacing the banana with grated zucchini or carrots or raisin or blueberry. And, it does allow for different amounts of sugars. I’ve only made it in the original banana bread version and I’ve not played with the sugar content but I will. I’ve also done it with walnuts and without walnuts, love it best with walnuts. There is a suggestion that one replaces the nuts with chocolate or a combination of the two…ideas ideas….

What I love about banana bread and similar is that they are moist, and quick and simple. They are tender tender goodness due to the butter!!!! oh the mouth watering-ness of it all. The other good thing about this is that you can make the batter days in advance and keep it in the fridge (for up to 3 days) or freeze it (for up to 1month) its really just great.

Banana Bread

3.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1.5t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
3/4t salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1.5 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2t vanilla extract
1.25 cup buttermilk
2.5 cups mashed banana
1.5 cups walnuts

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a mixing bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer (with paddle) cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time. then mix in the vanilla. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Mix in one third of the flour mix, then one third of the buttermilk, then one third of the bananas and repeat. Mix until the flour is absorbed and batter is smooth. Stir in the walnuts if using, just till evenly dispersed. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease two 4×8 inch loaf pans. Fill the pans two-thirds full. Bake for about 45 minutes then reduced the heat to 170C and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let the loaves cool in th pan for about 10 minutes then turn out and let them cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

IT is a bit late, but I am pretty pleased to have this delicious bad-ness to celebrate 1 whole year of me blogging now…albeit sporadically

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Kuchen

July 16, 2010


I made this recipe from Nigella Bites before we went on our 6 week holiday. So it’s been waiting awhile to be posted, and sat here in my house watching soppy chick flicks, processing photos for the things I’ve done recently I thought I should probably work on some of the older stuff!
The original recipe was for Blackberry and Apple, but cooking for the Clan meant that I had to be mindful of tastes. And, blackberries do not comply with tastes. Now I have reached a point were I can be happy to put up a dessert that meats most people’s tastes instead of trying to comply with everyone’s. However in the case of Blackberries, we’d be split down the middle, half and half. So instead….I went with Pear. I had pears I needed to use before we went away and well, apple goes with pear yea?
I loved this! I think apple and pear go together, and well anything with apple is going to work for me. In terms of form, it wasn’t quite perfect. I will have to do it over again now that I’ve been reminded of its tasty goodness!

Apple and Pear Kuchen

for the cake base

400g strong white flour
½ t salt
50g caster sugar
3g yeast
2 eggs
½ t vanilla extract
Grated zest of half a lemon
¼ t ground cinnamon
125ml lukewarm milk
50g butter, softened

For the topping

1 egg beaten with a T of cream and a pinch of cinnamon
550g of stewed pear and apple
Zest of ½ lemon
50g SR flour
25g ground almonds
¼ t ground cinnamon
50g cold butter, diced
2T caster sugar
2 Demerara sugar (or dark sugar)
25g flaked or ground almonds

Put 400g of flour in a bowl with the salt, sugar and yeast. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add them, with the vanilla extract, lemon zest and cinnamon, to the lukewarm milk. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients to make medium soft dough, being prepared to add more flour as necessary. Work in the soft butter and knead by hand for about 10 minutes or half that time by machine. When the dough is ready it will appear smoother and springier. Cover with a tea towel and leave till doubled in size (an hour to an hour and a half – or overnight) then punch down and press to line a tin 30x20cm. When its pressed out, leave it to prove for 15-20minutes then brush with egg and cream mixture.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Mix the apple & pear with the zest. Set aside for a few minutes and make the crumble top. Put the flour, almonds and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl, stir to combine, then add the cold, diced butter. Using tips of fingers, rub it into the flour. Stop when you have a mixture that resembles porridge oats. Fork in the sugars and extra almonds.
Tumble the fruit over the dough and sprinkle with crumble. Put in the oven for about 15 minutes then turn to 180C and cook for another 20 minutes or so until the dough is swelling and golden and crumble is set. Remove from the oven, wait five minutes, then cut it into slabs.

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Fastest Cinnamon Rolls

May 15, 2010


I made these awhile back, in January in fact if memory serves. They were a welcome back food to my SIL and BIL after their very long return flight from Europe. I figured after flying an Asian airline that perhaps something more ‘bread’ like for breakfast would be called for.

I haven’t made them since, not because I didn’t like them. No no no, I haven’t made them because I liked them TOO much. I nearly didn’t make it out the door with them, I wanted to devour every last crumb for myself. Slowly of course because they were quite sweet, but I wanted them all for myself.

It’s a bit odd in that there is cottage cheese in the dough, and no yeast (which of course appealed to my yeast intolerant self) but rather baking powder. It does mean that the end result isn’t as light and fluffy as a normal cinnamon roll, it’s a bit firmer. And, whilst they taste good the next day (or the day after that in fact) they really are something is best consumed within the day of baking.

The fastest cinnamon rolls

1 cup of frozen cranberries, or ¾ cup dried (or other dried fruit)
¾ cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
4T butter
1 ½ t vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1T baking powder
¼ t baking soda
½ t salt
Filling
2/3 cup light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 ¼ t ground cinnamon
1 t all spice
¼ t cloves, ground

Preheat the oven to 200C, if using dried fruit cover with boiling water and set aside.
Place the cottage cheese, sugar, buttermilk, 4T melted butter and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt the work bowl and pulse until the dough clumps like biscuit dough, 8-10 pulses. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently, folding the dough over and pushing away from you 4 to 5 times, until the dough is smooth. Do not over work. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to make a 12 by 15 inch rectangle. Brush the entire surface with an extra 2T melted butter. Leaving a ½ inch border.
To make the filling, combine the sugars, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Sprinkle over the surface of the dough. Pat to press the sugar into the surface. Drain and pat dry the dried fruit, or sprinkle unthawed over the sugar mix.
Starting at the long edge, roll up the dough jelly-roll fashion. Pinch the seam to seal the ends. With a very sharp knife, cut the roll into equal pieces (maybe 12). Set the rolls cut side up on the baking pan.
Place immediately on the centre rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool slightly before eating.

Recipe adapted from Bread for Breakfast

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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!

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Peaches & Blueberries

January 20, 2010


It was family dinner night last night, and due to a number of reasons I chose a very simple dessert for my offering.

As mentioned on numerous other occasions, my knee injury does limit me. I’m improving slowly and I’m getting to be able to spend more time in the kitchen again (thank goodness) so I’m on my way. But, also considering that I have less than 1 calendar month until I go on a 6 week holiday I was not and am not keen on creating baked goods that are likely to leave leftovers behind which I will end up needing to freeze and divvy out slowly over a period of time. Because, let’s face it, I don’t have the time! I could leave it in the freezer whilst I’m away but 6 weeks is a long time, and my grandmother will be house sitting and she has a lot of things that need freezing. So, I did not want to stock up my freezer with things she can’t eat and that my grandfather shouldn’t! And finally, because we’d had a family Christmas on the weekend due to my BIL, SIL and Little E being back from the UK, I’d forgotten that it was Tuesday, I felt actually like it was the end of the week! I was thrown!

So, in light of these things I went with Nigella’s Peaches and Blueberries! Which she actually calls a “suggestion” not a recipe, I guess it is really. Because one doesn’t do more than slice up some peaches, sprinkle them with simple blueberries and add a few drops of orange flower water. There is a suggestion to sprinkle these with Demerara sugar and cook for 20 or so minutes in the oven but that seemed unnecessary in light of the Brisbane weather.

I did add some sliced mango to the side of the dish (not photographed) to cater to my BIL who’s been missing out on mango’s whilst away, and because apparently we’re in a “glut” (despite the fact that this is not really reflected in mango pricing…at least not in any of my local fruit stores!) and he doesn’t really get them at home, as my SIL does not enjoy mangoes. Having said that, Little E tried a mango for the first time and said “yum” and asked for more, which she couldn’t eat because she got full but still, maybe that means mango will feature more at their house in the future?

Also, I halved the recipe.

Peaches & Blueberries


3 Peaches, sliced
2 punnets blueberries
1 t orangeflower water

Flavour of the Month Nigella Bites

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Christmas Desserts

December 27, 2009


I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Day, and for those of you who do it, a relaxing Boxing Day as well. Or for those of you brave enough to face the crowds, some excellent bargains at the sales.

We had a lovely Christmas here this year, we were down some people this year with part of the Clan in the UK and my mum and brother on the otherwise of Australia! we did some creative skype webcam goodness though, ate breakfast together (they did pancakes and ham & cheese croissants; we did pancakes (GF) with rhubarb and soy yoghurt, poached egg & bacon and choc chip waffles) and then moved on to opening presents together. The Husband got creative and used our TV to show them, which was nice. The technology wasn’t brilliant of course, but better than nothing right?

We then of course had the main affair with the remainder of the Clan. Food was kept fairly simple, what with my injury and well, the Clan traditionally doing cold spreads! so MIL cooked the Husbands favourite Christmas dish Gammon (studded with pineapple and cherries), and I made Silverside (as requested by my Puppa) with Mustard Sauce and Cranberry & Macadamia stuffed Chicken. We also roasted vegetables and steamed others. It was yummy.

However, this post is about the desserts! The 2 I created anyway – there was a choc-orange pudding as well, but this was purchased, and I already posted about the GF pudding (which went down a treat, with GF & DF custard) but these 2 were my favourites!

On the left we have a vanilla bean creme brulee made especially for the Husband who will not eat Christmas Pudding to save his life. It didn’t turn out perfectly, I think I may have slightly over cooked the custard base but it still tasted delicious, and looked so good speckled with vanilla and then with its gorgeous burnt sugar top (thank you Husband for my birthday present!) and the Husband ate 3 of the 4 created so it can’t have been to bad hey?

The Pudding….oh the Pudding! I wanted to eat all of it too myself, I ate a huge slice as it was, and everyone went back for seconds. Even MIL who usually only likes a “slither” because she says she doesn’t really like Christmas Pudding that much. I served mine floating in custard (just the way I like it) all warm and toasty, others just had a small dollop of custard (cold….) and still enjoyed it. The fruitiness was just right, texture, moist and perfectly pudding like. Oh if I do say so myself it is one of the best puddings I’ve ever had! there was half of it left at the end – I fear I went a little overboard, this I provided to our neighbour because he was unfortunately having a lonely Christmas with just a flyby visit from his daughter and her husband before they went on to their main event. I did not know this until half way through my day though, otherwise I would’ve invited him over. He keeps me supplied with fresh eggs all year round from his chickens! And, I saw him on boxing day and he informed me he ate half of it in one sitting because it was that good – gosh these wonderful ego boosting things!

Anyway, below are the recipes for the two desserts. Both were adapted from recipes I originally got from BBC Food

Christmas Pudding – made at least 2 months in advance

225g caster sugar
225g butter (frozen and grated)
955g mixed fruit
60g candied peel
110g plain flour
110g breadcrumbs
55g flaked almonds
zest of 1 lemon
5 eggs beaten
1t ground cinnamon
1t mixed spice
1t nutmeg
150ml rum (I use white rum)

Lightly grease 1 x 2L pudding basin (or multiple smaller ones)
Mix together all the dry ingredients
Stir in the eggs and rum, mix well
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin, cover with a circle of baking parchment and foil secured with string.
Put the basins in a large steamer of boiling water and cover with a lid. Boil for 5-6 hours, topping the water up from time to time. The water should cover the sides of bowl up a third of the way. I always use my pasta pot so I can just lift out the steamer at the end.
Cool. Change the baking paper and foil. Store in cool cupboard for Christmas Day, feeding it every now and then.
On Christmas Day steam as before for 2 hours.

Vanilla Creme Brulee


300mL cream
1 vanilla bean, split
1/4 cup of caster sugar (plus extra for top)
3 egg yolks

Combine cream and vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Whisk the sugar with egg yolks until thick, remove the bean from the cream and stir cream into egg yolk mixture.
Transfer to a heavy based saucepan and cook, stirring constantly over a low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, do not boil.
Remove from the heat, divide equally between 4 ramekins and cover with cling wrap and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours if not overnight.
To Serve, sprinkle the surface with extra caster sugar to form a layer about 3mm thick. Use torch to caramelise sugar – or you can use a hot grill. Allow to cool before serving.

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Gluten Free Steamed Christmas Pudding

November 27, 2009


My grandmother is coming for Christmas this year. And, for years now she’s been unable to eat wheat. She’s not a traditional gluten free-ite, she can still have oats for example, but she cannot have wheat. So, we have to improvise for her. She also can’t have dairy and is a vegetarian so at times that can make life extra difficult. But having said that, the challenge is also good – I enjoy that as well.

We traditionally make a pudding for the family of course it’s been done already as well. It is being fed every now and then to keep it moist. But, it didn’t seem fair that we would all benefit from pudding and that my grandmother would have nothing. So I thought I’d try my hand at a pudding, which made me a little apprehensive because sometimes these things are dense and solid and difficult to digest. You can’t however, let these things stop you can you? Of course not!

So hunted and searched, merged a number of recipes together and came up with the below recipe! I didn’t have a great day so I needed the challenge to make me feel better. I set to work, well…..my Kitchen Aid really set to work, I just added things together and let it go but that was enough to make me feel better. And I was truly happy with the result, I had a little nibble and it was good!

Not dense at all, well the right amount of dense – because it is a Christmas pudding after all! Not gritty either, basically just good!

Christmas Steamed Pudding


225g Gluten Free Flour mix (I used a combination of Almond Meal, Rice Flour and a mix that I’d done previously of Corn Flour, Tapioca and Soy)
1/2 tsp each ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice
1/3 cup golden syrup
2 cups mixed dried fruit – whatever you like best
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
125g butter or margarine (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil)

Cream butter (if using, otherwise mix oil), sugar and golden syrup together.
Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well.
Add all other ingredients and stir well to mix.
Place in a greased pudding bowl. I used 4 little individual custard cups/ramekins. However, any kind of heat-proof pudding basin will do fine. I have to cover with greaseproof paper, then with foil, and secure the covering well. Place the bowls in a large saucepan with hot water reaching about half way up the sides of the bowl, and bring to the boil. Keep the saucepan covered. I use my pasta cooking saucepan so I can lift out the bowls easily at the end.
Reduce the heat and steam for 2 hours. Keep the boiling water about half-way up the sides of the pudding basins. You will need to check it from time to time and top up with boiling water.
Will keep for a little while like normal puddings, but needs to be warm, so to serve do the same for about half an hour again.
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