Monday, April 22, 2013

{Brown Butter Biscuits}

Ever since I made brown butter banana bars I've been a bit in love with the whole brown butter thing.  These biscuits are a crunchy take on that nutty taste, I love them, especially dipped in my coffee! classy.  This is the third batch I've made in a week, this time I reduced the sugar, yes me, I did that ! And the bikkies are better for it. 

These suckers are going into lunchbox's left right and centre and are still the most requested after school snack, happily munched on with a big glass of milk sucked through a couple of curly straws.

Another excellent thing about these biscuits is that they are made in one pot, the pot you brown the butter in, I am a bit lazy like that and not a big fan of washing up. Bloody genius if you ask me. 

... the biscuits
125g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 1/2 cups self raising flour

Preheat oven to 180.  First of all put the butter into a big saucepan, one that's going to fit the rest of the ingredients.  Melt and then gently simmer the butter until it changes colour to a light golden brown, like the colour of a lion and smells nutty, take it off the heat (it takes around 6 minutes).

Let the butter cool slightly, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir, roll into balls the size of a small walnut, press down slightly on a lined baking tray and bake for 13 - 15 minutes.  Cool on a rack. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

{Kumera, Carrot + Coriander Soup}

My little Billy has a barometer for yumminess. When he eats something he really loves he hums, right now he is sitting at the kitchen table in the sun with a faux cup of tea and is dipping, eating and humming some brown butter biscuits I made yesterday.

This soup also got the hum, he is my good eater, so there is often a lot of humming, he asks for lettuce in his kinder lunchbox, he's a darling, he makes me look good ! and when I cook something and I get the hum, my heart sings along.

... the soup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, soft inner part finely chopped
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 kaffir lime leaf
2 kumara (sweet potato), peeled and cubed
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups chicken stock
400ml tin of coconut milk
2 tsp honey
s + p
natural yoghurt

handful fresh coriander

Add olive oil to a large soup pot with a lid, cook your onions until they soften and become translucent then pop in the garlic, lemongrass and ginger and cook for five minutes over a low heat.

Next add the kumara and carrots and cook for a further five minutes then add the coconut milk, chicken stock, kaffir lime leaf and honey.

Simmer for around 30 minutes or until the carrots and kumara are soft and starting to break down. Puree the soup till smooth, season to taste with seasalt and pepper. 

Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and some coriander leaves.

Monday, April 8, 2013

{Fig Caramel Cake}

Oh my lord I just made the most amazing cake. Will you just look at that cake ! roasted figs, caramel, vanilla bean, cream, HEAVEN.

We went for a drive in the country this weekend, stopped at an orchard for a bag of apples for the boys who eat hundreds of them, hundreds I tell you. On the counter was a bowl of figs, warm, soft, fragrant and just begging me to take them home and make them into something special.

This cake is special, its a celebration cake, make this for people you love, or like me, have it on a Monday after you've taken the kids to the pool on the bus. Who really needs an occasion when it comes to cake, not me, clearly.


150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
half a vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
1/3 cup full cream milk

¼ cup caster sugar
50g butter
1/3 cup pure cream
1/3 cup honey
the other half of the vanilla bean, seeds scraped, and pod
2 large ripe fresh figs

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line a 20cm round spring form cake tin with with baking paper, then wrap the outside base with foil (so your caramel doesn't escape). I used a profiline pushpan which was very kindly sent to me to try, it worked perfectly, completely watertight or in this case caramel tight!

To make the cake batter beat the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds from half the pod together until pale, add eggs one at a time mixing until combined. Add flour alternately with milk.

For the caramel sauce, place all ingredients except figs into a medium saucepan cook over medium heat until sugar has melted. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until mixture turns golden brown. Remove the vanilla bean pod.

Pour caramel into your prepared tin. Cut figs in quarters and arrange prettily cut side down. Gently dollop over the cake batter, spreading until even. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cooked through.

Serve warm with lashings of softly whipped cream.