Wednesday, April 20, 2011

{Carrot & Cardamon Cake}

This is another easter inspired recipe, easter = bunnies = carrots = cake, well that's my story and I'm sticking to it, it's a really simple recipe for a beautiful moist carrot cake, there is no stick to the roof of your mouth cream cheese icing just a nice glaze made with apple juice and its got the little cardamon kick which makes it a more sexy and exotic than your average sultanas and walnuts variety of carrot cake.

My friend Sumi would love this cake, and Jack ate two slices straight away, oh how I love sneaking vegetables into his unsuspecting cheeky little mouth, cue mummy smirk.

...the cake
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sourcream
1 cup finely shredded (about 2 medium) carrots

...the glaze
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 or 3 tsp's apple juice

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line the bottom of a 20cm round cake tin.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cardamom, and salt and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugars, sour cream, and cooled butter until smooth. Gently mix the wet mixture into dry ingredients until moistened, lastly mix in the finely grated carrots.

Transfer batter to your tin and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 - 40 minutes. Cool in tin for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a rack. Once ready drizzle the apple juice glaze over the cake and allow it to set.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

{Potato, Olive & Sundried Tomato Bread}

Do you ever find yourselves wondering what to do with that left over mashed potato? Well have I got the recipe for you, I found this loaf over at cook republic (love her food), its so so so simple and so so so yummy, sort of tastes like a giant savoury muffin, the texture is totally lush, this one has cheese, olives and sundried tomatoes in it but the possibilities are endless.

I want to make it again soon and I'm thinking caramelised onions, goats cheese and maybe some walnuts. Its perfect brunch food, we ended up eating big slices of it for dinner with lashings of avocado, gorgeous, I can't wait to make it again, wanna come over for warm slice?

...the loaf
250g potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
30g melted butter
2 cups sr flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup olives
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender then drain well, transfer them to a large bowl and mash with the melted butter until smooth. Then simply add in the flour, milk, olives, tomatoes and cheese and mix gently to combine. Spoon into the loaf dish and bake for 50 - 60 minutes. Its gorgeous warm enjoy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

{Chocolate Anzacs}

I recently read there are very few new ideas around, its apparently why songs all start to sound like something you've heard before. Today I found out in my own little kitchen that its quite true, you see I thought I was being clever, as anzac day falls on the tuesday after easter monday I thought I'd combine a bit of easter with my classic anzac biscuit recipe (the Margaret Fulton version) and I made these little beauties which the kids will not stop eating. 

Then I googled it and found lots of recipes for them, I wish I'd googled it before and read the bit about cooling down the butter before adding it to the chocolate so it doesn't melt but I didn't so mine are chocolate coloured as well as having chocolate chunks. They are quite delicious, yay for long weekends and traditions that include compulsory chocolate consumption.

..the biscuits
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup of coconut (I used moist flakes)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
125g of butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp of bicarb soda
2 tbsp boiling water
100g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

Preheat oven to 180 and line a baking tray with paper. Put all the dry ingredients including the chocolate into a mixing bowl and combine. Melt the butter and the golden syrup in a small saucepan and once its ready, add the boiling water to the bicarb and then add that to the butter, whilst the butter is frothing mix with the dry ingredients (or if you want your chocolate chunks to stay whole let it cool before adding).

Shape into walnut sized balls, press down gently, bake for 15 minutes, when they come out of the oven flatten them with a spatula and leave them on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Friday, April 15, 2011

{Mushroom Soup}

There is nothing like a week long family sized dose of gastro to put you off food and food blogging, so to ease myself back in to cooking and eating I made a soup. I found the recipe over at Sunday Hotpants where it was touted as the best mushroom soup ever, I couldn't pass that one up, the only thing I changed was to add some cream at the end, I couldn't help myself, that's just the way I am, it was just a splash but you could make it without, it is a beautiful soup, a gorgeous colour and texture and was just what the doctor ordered, warming, comforting, delicate and easy to swallow! we are all on the mend now and its nice to be back.

...the soup
1 kg of chopped mushrooms (mixed button and portobello)

6 cups of good beef or vegetable stock (I used beef)
2 large shallots finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
50g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
15g dried porcini (soaked in a little boiling water for 20 minutes)
2 tbsp sweet sherry (I used Marsala)
150ml cream

Cook your shallots and garlic gently in the butter and olive oil over a medium heat until transparent. Add in the fresh mushrooms and cook them until they are wilted and have released their juices. Remove the porcini from their soaking liquid squeeze them out, chop them and add them and their soaking liquid to the soup along with the thyme, stock and sherry.

Cook gently for around half an hour, until the mushrooms are well cooked, then blend until the mushrooms are finely chopped and the soup is quite smooth, taste for seasoning and lastly if you like stir thru 150ml of cream, and warm it thru.

Monday, April 4, 2011

{Jam Hearts}

A special little girlfriend of ours turns two today, she had a party this weekend and I made these little strawberry lovehearts to take along to the picnic, they are pretty cute just like her and were fun to make, oh and I should mention I had to make them twice as Billy who helped me make them the first time was so excited to show his brother when he got home from kinder that he dropped the first batch on the floor and being a delicate shortbread in a delicate shape they basically smashed to smitherines. I was so gobsmacked I stood silent looking at the pile of jammy crumbs, Billy summed it up nicely with an "ut oh".

...the biscuits
450g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups plain flour
pinch of salt
about half a cup of jam

Preheat your oven to 180 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Using a mixer cream together the butter and icing sugar, once pale add in the vanilla and mix till combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the salt and the flour and continue mixing till the dough comes together.

Sprinkle your surface with flour and with a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is about an 3mm thick. Cut out your lovehearts punching out the centers of half of them, use a palate knife or spatula to move them gently onto your tray then bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just starting to go lightly golden.

Cool cookies on a rack til you can handle them then drop 1/2 tsp of warm jam onto the full loveheart and press a punched out one on top, allow them to cool completely at which point they will stick together.