Saturday, August 30, 2014

{Jacks Apple Crumble}

...the apple crumble
1kg granny smith apples

zest of one lemon
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
100g plain flour
75g butter, cold and diced
50g rolled oats
100g demerara sugar

vanilla bean icecream to serve

Preheat the oven to 200.

Peel the apples and cut them into quarters, then remove the cores and slice each piece in two. Put them into a saucepan, along with a tbsp of sugar and a tablespoon of water. Cook over a medium heat for around five minutes, until the apples start to soften.

Transfer the apple mixture to a shallow ovenproof pie dish and toss thru the zest of a lemon.

Rub the flour and butter together until the mixture looks like big breadcrumbs, stir in the oats and the demerara sugar and then sprinkle it over the apples in the pie dish. 

Transfer to the oven to bake for around 45 - 60 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.  Serve with vanilla bean icecream.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

{Smoked Salmon + Ramen Noodle Salad}

I could have a whole category on this blog of things that taste like sushi.  This little number would be right up there at the top of the list, it is delicious, well that goes without saying of course its delicious or I wouldn't of gone to the bother of telling you about it.  So what else? well it feels a little bit fancy because of the smoked salmon, its good for you and the ramen noodles are earthy and sexy and its perfectly finished with nutty toasted sesame seeds.  I am in love.

...the salad
2 tsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp honey
270g ramen noodles
200g snow peas, trimmed, thinly sliced length ways
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, sliced thinly into little discs
100g smoked salmon, sliced
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup pickled ginger, sliced

In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, peanut and sesame oils (or shake in a jar).

Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water following packet instructions until tender. Refresh under cold running water. Drain well.

Place the sliced snow peas and asparagus in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 1 minute. Drain well.

Pop all the ingredients except the sesame seeds on your platter pour over the dressing. Gently toss with your hands to combine.

Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{Lemon Bars}

It's times like these when I am paying a fortune for lemons that I wish I had my own bloody tree.  I am thinking a wine barrel and a lemon tree could be on my letter to santa this year.  I actually get massive lemon tree envy walking around our neighbourhood and will be the first to grab any that are within reach on overhanging branches down the bluestone lane ways that litter our suburb.  I'm happy to clumsily jump to retrieve a sad specimen on an evening wander round the streets or perhaps you've witnessed the exaggerated lean over the fence on the morning school run. It would be so much easier to just have my own tree although now that I am thinking about my lemony adventures not as much fun. Oh and the lemon bars are good, sticky and zesty and perfect for a friend in need.

250g butter
125g caster sugar
250g plain flour
pinch of sea salt

2 eggs
250g caster sugar
2 tbsp flour
pinch of sea salt
2 lemons, juiced and zested
icing sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 160(140 fan forced). Line a rectangular or square baking tin with baking paper this makes life easy when it comes to slice time.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the flour and salt and mix to a smooth dough. Press the dough into the base of the tin and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked and golden, cool for a bit while you make the topping.

Beat the eggs and sugar until foamy. Mix in the flour, salt, lemon juice and zest. Pour the mixture over the cooled base.

Bake for a further 25-30 minutes until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool.

Sift icing sugar over the top and cut into squares (use a hot knife to get through the sticky slice cleanly).

Friday, August 8, 2014

{Jaffa Cake}

The last time I made this chocolate orange extravaganza of a cake I doubled it, I made one for my mum in law who was arriving on a plane from NZ for a month of love and attention from us. The other was for our neighbours to say thank you for babysitting a double phil+ted pushchair, 6 eames dining chairs in very bad repair and a couple of TVs that no longer worked but which Jay could not part with in order for her to have somewhere to sleep that did not resemble a tip shop.  Jay has trouble parting with old shoes so its no surprise that he clings to crappy old things but lets just say I dealt with said TVs using said pushchair getting them to the kerb just in time for hard rubbish collection.

...the cake
140g butter, softened
200g self raising flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs, lightly whisked
6 tbsp milk
finely grated zest of 2 oranges finish
3 tbsp orange juice
50g caster sugar
100g 70% dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line a large loaf tin (or 22cm round tin). 

Put all the cake ingredients into the bowl of a mixer and beat for 3-5 minutes, until combined. Spoon the mix into the tin and level the top.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. 

Meanwhile, heat the orange juice and sugar gently in a small pan, stirring until dissolved. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven, poke a dozen times with a skewer and spoon over the orange syrup. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Break up the chocolate and melt over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Drizzle over the cooled cake and leave to set.