Thursday, September 27, 2012

{Chocolate, Seasalt & Nutella Sandwich Cookies}

The name of these cookies alone is a bit of a mouthful so its no surprise that so are they, even me a cookie munching professional with the waistline to prove it could not eat two of these babies back to back. 

They sent the kids into some kind of chocolate induced delirium but then that's not hard during the holidays and when the kids are driving me mad (which I might also add is not a long drive during the holidays)I retreat to the kitchen, calmly tie my apron and bake whilst listening to some gentle chit chat on the radio.  

It's all good until the cookies are cooled and I feed the delicious results of my own version of time out to the children which in a cruel irony makes them even more feral.  As I stand back and survey their destruction I come to the conclusion that I wouldn't of wanted to miss out on tasting these cookies, they are delicious. Make that crazy delicious.

...the cookies
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup dutch cocoa
1/4 cup oats, lightly ground
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
180g butter, room temperature
2 tbsp nutella
1 1/4 sugar
1 egg
sea salt

...fill with
400g jar of nutella {minus the 2 tbsp's above}

Heat oven to 190. Line your baking tray or trays with baking paper.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, oats, baking soda, and baking powder then set aside. Cream the butter, nutella, and sugar until light and fluffy, add in the egg and mix til combined.

Next add in the dry ingredients and mix until evenly incorporated. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, pop on your baking tray, leaving lots of room for spread and flatten the balls with the bottom of a glass (I dipped my glass bottom in cocoa as the mix is quite sticky)sprinkle with a little sea salt.

Bake for 8 minutes. Cool for 1 minute on the baking tray and then carefully transfer to a rack. Allow to cool completely before joining them up in pairs using nutella {makes 18}.

Monday, September 17, 2012

{African Beef & Peanut Stew - Maffe}


Do you like peanut satay ?  This tastes like that, so if you do then you'll like this, you should make it, yeah all of you who said yes.  Go on its dead easy.

So here in Melbourne spring is coming, its in the air with its occasional whiffs of daphne, its in the colour of the sky at dinnertime and I can't wait. There are still cold days though, you can still catch the smell of an open fire out there amongst the jasmine and so at my place the last of the wintery stews are being nursed over long days with the fire crackling and the talkback radio for (adult) company !

Its a really simple stew this one, nothing fancy in it, it does take a bit of time but its nice to have dinner bubbling away as you go about your day, don't you reckon? yeah there's not alot of effort required for this one, and the results are completely delicious.

...the stew
olive oil
750g stewing beef, cut into chunks
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 cups water
6 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

Season and brown the beef in a little olive oil, do it in a couple of batches, set the beef aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, add some more oil to the pot, then add the onions, cook until softened then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 more minutes before adding the spices and toasting them for a further minute or so (add more oil here if it looks too dry).

Next return the beef (and its resting juices) to the pot and add the water and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for one hour stirring occasionally, then pop the lid on and cook for another hour. If you find the stew getting too thick, add a little more water or some more tomatoes while it continues to cook.

Once the meat is tender, add 1/2 - 3/4 cup of crunchy peanut butter and continue to simmer until the meat is very tender (it should easily fall apart) and the sauce has cooked down into a nice thick rich gravy, about another hour.

At this point, taste it and adjust the seasonings and add more peanut butter if desired. Serve on rice or cous cous or with flatbreads.  Totes delish.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

{Rose Turkish Delight Cupcakes}

These cute little cupcakes are properly sweet.  I've made a few different prototypes of these, yes siree over the last few weeks many a turkish delight cupcake was diligently tried and tested by yours truely.  They are delicious.  I love them.

This batch I delivered around the neighbourhood so as to not waste the torturous fortune I have recently spent at the dentist, plus its just nice to deliver a pretty treat to a lovely unsuspecting neighbour for their morning tea.  Sometimes its the little things that make life sweet.  So if you too like it rosey and sweet then give these a go, they are quite lovely.  

...the cupcakes
115g butter, room temperature
225g caster sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
150g self raising flour, sifted
125 plain flour, sifted
125ml milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla 
4 large squares of rose turkish delight, quartered

Preheat oven to 180. Line 15 patty tins with cupcake cases. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla till pale, add eggs one at a time mixing between each one, add in the flours and milk and mix till its all combined then spoon a generous tablespoonful of mixture into each case, I do this using two tablespoons, one to pick up and one to drop off. Bake for around 18 minutes, once out of the oven press a piece of turkish delight into the hot cupcake then allow to cool.

...the frosting
225g butter, room temperature
450g icing sugar
1 - 2 tsp rose water (you decide I used 2)
pink food colouring
splash of milk if you think it needs it

Pop the butter in your mixer and beat for a couple of minutes then add the icing sugar and rose water and beat till fluffy, add the pink colouring till you get a pink you like and a tiny bit of milk if you think its necessary.

Monday, September 3, 2012


On our farm holiday back in May, a holiday we are all still talking about we had scones for lunch, they were so good, a proper warm just out of the oven scone is heaven on a plate, really its all about the cream and jam at the end of the day but you gotta have a good scone to whack them on.

Jay suggested I make some cheese scones on the day, I looked at him blankly and didn't make a move towards the grater, he hung around in the farm kitchen for a while clearly not keen on doing the grating himself then disapeared back outside to chop some wood.

We ate our little picnic of tea and scones in the sunshine, Jack declared he'd like scones for lunch everyday and Jay told me they weren't as good as his mums, now I'll take that on the chin because a) she is an awesome mum and b) because maybe one day my boys will be saying that about my scones and c) because later as we chatted on the phone she told me her scone secret, which is of course grated cheese! bless.

...the scones
270g self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp caster sugar
80g chilled diced butter
150ml thickened cream
50g natural yoghurt
milk to brush

softly whipped cream and jam to serve

Preheat the oven to 220.  Pop flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add in the butter and rub into the flour mixture until about half rubbed in, don’t over do it, you want some bigger bits of butter.

Add the cream and yoghurt, stir then knead until the dough just comes together. Place on a floured work surface.

Using a rolling pin, hit dough a few times, then roll to form a rough square. Fold in half, then turn it clockwise 45 degrees. Hit and roll dough again to form another rough square. Repeat the folding, turning, hitting and rolling process twice more. Fold again, then hit it and roll dough until 2cm thick.

Using a 6.5cm scone cutter, cut out rounds from the dough and place them on a floured baking tray, close enough together so the scones will touch gently.

Knead dough offcuts together (be careful not to over work them though). Roll until 2cm thick and cut out more scones. Continue re-rolling and cutting offcuts until all the dough is used up.

Brush the scones with milk and bake for 10-12 minutes or until starting to colour on the top and base. Set aside to cool slightly then pull them apart and dollop them with jam and cream.