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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Chocolate, Caramel and Peanut Butter Slice

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Ingredients

200 gms butter, softened
70 gms caster sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
250 gms plain flour
1/2 cup dulche de leche* or Nestle Top ‘n’ Fill Caramel
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
175 gms chopped dark chocolate

*Dulce de leche is a confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from the caramelization of the product, changing flavour and colour. You can buy jars of dulche de leche in some supermarkets and specialty food shops.

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with baking paper.
In a food processor, mix 175 gms butter,  sugar and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt until light and fluffy. Add flour and mix until the mixture just comes together. Press into the prepared tin, then bake for 15 -20 minutes or until golden. Cool in the tin.
Place the dulche de leche and peanut butter  in the food processor and mix until  combined. Spread  the caramel/peanut butter mixture over the shortbread and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
Stir the chocolate and remaining butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Cool slightly, then spread over the caramel layer and refrigerate until set. To serve, cut into squares with a sharp knife.
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Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia Cookies

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This recipe is based on a recent recipe from Taste Magazine. I make a lot of chocolate cookies, and this recipe appeals as the chocolate takes the forms of chunks not chips. The use of self raising flour makes fatter cookies too!

Ingredients

 

125 gms softened butter

100 gms caster sugar

55 gms brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

225 gms self raising flour

100 gms dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

100 gms macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

2 tbls milk

 

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, 140 degrees C fan-forced.  Line 2 baking trays with non-stick paper.

Beat softened butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until pale and creamy.

Beat in egg.

Stir in the flour, dark chocolate, macadamia nuts and milk until combined.

Roll the mixture into large walnut sized balls and place on the lined trays about 8 cms apart. Press down slightly.

Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden and cooked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container – in the fridge if you want to keep the cookies crisp.

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Avocado, Pear and Two Cheeses Pizza + Free Range Leg Ham, Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Pizza

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Pizza on the Barbecue Revisited

I have been really enjoying cooking grilled pizza on the barbecue. I  recently posted my first efforts and am now posting a couple of variations that have worked well.

One quantity of the dough recipe below makes 2 pizzas. I sometimes freeze the other pizza dough and use later for either pizza or just plain grilled flatbread, served with a little olive oil with salad or with dips.

A tip – if you are freezing the dough – defrost and allow to come to room temperature but cook pretty quickly as the dough becomes soft and difficult to handle if you leave it too long.

The basic recipe:

Ingredients
Dough

2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water (40.5 – 46 degrees C)
2 to 2 ½ cups Tipo 00 flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

Free Range Leg Ham, Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Pizza 

1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 spring onions finely chopped
3 artichoke hearts, sliced
3 or 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 or 3 slices of free range leg ham, sliced
Basil  leaves

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Avocado, Pear and Two Cheeses Pizza with Chutney and Red wine Dressing

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used Dorset Drum, an English cheddar with a soft texture)
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 pear, sliced
Avocado half, sliced
A handful of crumbled blue cheese (Gippsland Blue is good)
Thyme sprigs

For the dressing Dressing, mix 1 tablespoon of good English fruit chutney with 1 tablespoon of red wine  and a glug of extra vrigin olive oil, and spoon over the oooked pizza.

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Method

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in most of the flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with lightly floured hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and soft, but a little sticky, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to bowl lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil, turn to coat. Cover with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2-3 hours. Press it with your finger to see if it’s done; an indent should remain.

Remove the dough from the bowl, divide in half and shape each half into a ball. This quantity makes 2 small pizzas. Or leave as 1 ball for 1 large pizza.

Brush with more oil and set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat your barbecue to very high.

Stretch and shape the ball/s of dough into a rectangle or round – or any rustic shape! Brush the top/s with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes. Place on the grill directly on the bars, oiled side down, and grill until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip over and grill for 1 minute longer.

Place the pizza/s on a baking tray and apply your toppings:

Scatter over your toppings, with the exception of the herbs.

Return to the barbecue, turn down the heat  to medium, close the cover and cook until the cheese has melted and the vegetables are heated through, about 5 minutes.

Scatter herbs over the cooked pizza before serving.

 

Cinnamon Scrolls

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Ingredients

Dough
2 cups plain flour
1tbl caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/4 cups thickened cream

Filling
1 tbl butter, melted
1/8 cup caster sugar and 1/8 cup brown sugar
2 tsps cinnamon

Icing
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbl milk

Extra caster sugar and cinnamon for dusting

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C non fan forced, 160 degrees C fan forced.
Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the cream until just combined. If the dough is a little dry, add a little more cream carefully.

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Lightly flour a board and turn the mixture onto the board.
Knead the dough on the floured surface until only just incorporated.
Roll the dough into a large rectangle.

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Combine sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the dough rectangle with melted butter.
Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the dough.

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Roll the dough from the longest side to form a scroll. Cut into 10 fat slices or 16 smaller slices slices.

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Place slices onto a baking tray.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden (the bigger the slices, the longer the cooking time).
Place on a wire rack and dust with the additional cinnamon and sugar while still hot.
Make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and the milk in a small bowl.
Pour the icing over the scrolls.
Serve warm or room temperature, but do not refrigerate.

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Leek and Free Range Bacon Quiche

IMG_5806A leek and bacon quiche is more interesting than straight quiche Lorraine, the leeks adding a subtle depth of flavour.

I also made a little vegetarian quiche with just leeks and onion as well – just follow the recipe below omitting the bacon. You will need to fry the leeks and onions in butter, adding this at the start of cooking.

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The short crust pastry recipe for the pastry base is Maggie Beer’s full proof sour cream pastry – very easy to make, easy to roll out and tastes delicious.

Maggie Beer’s Sour Cream Pastry
Ingredients
200g chilled unsalted butter
250g plain flour
135g sour cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, 170 degrees C fan forced.
To make the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough starts to incorporate into a ball. Using your hands, shape pastry into a ball. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
 Roll the pastry out to 3mm thick and place in a well greased fluted quiche tin.
Rest for 15 minutes in refrigerator. This helps reduce shrinkage when cooking. Remove from the fridge, place some pie weights on baking paper inside the tart, and bake blind in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and baking paper.
Decrease oven temperature to 170 degrees C, 160 degrees C fan forced.

Filling
Ingredients
6 rashers of free range bacon
I large onion finely chopped
1 extra large leek or 2 medium leeks, finely chopped
A knob of butter
Salt, pepper
4 free range eggs
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup milk
Salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg
Handful of grated cheddar

Method
Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add finely chopped bacon rashers over medium heat, and fry till bacon fat is translucent. Add finely chopped onion, and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add finely chopped leek and the knob of butter.
Stir gently, cover and cook on very low heat until onions and leeks are soft. (About 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, in a bowl or large jug (the latter is very useful as you can pour the custard into the quiche tin easily), beat the eggs, cream and milk together until thoroughly combined. Add salt, pepper, fresh nutmeg and cheddar.
Spoon the leek, onion and bacon mixture into the tart.
Carefully pour the custard mixture into the tin. (I find it easiest to place the tin in the oven first before pouring).
Bake until the custard is just set but still wobbly – about 30-40 mintues depending on your oven.
Carefully remove and leave to cool slightly before serving, or alternatively leave to cool before freezing.

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Lemon Delicious Slice + Crumble Slice

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Here are two slice recipes that are easy to make, keep well and freeze. Lemon Delicious Slice has a tangy lemon topping on shortbread; the Crumble Slice is actually a recipe for a crumble topping that I discovered baked really well as a slice!

Lemon Delicious Slice

Ingredients
Shortbread base
150 gms butter, chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tbl cornflour
1 1/3 cups plain flour
Icing sugar, to serve

Lemon topping
4 eggs
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/3 cup plain flour
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan-forced. Grease a 16cm x 26cm baking tin. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang on all sides.
Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1 minute or until melted. Set aside to cool. Stir in vanilla and sugar. Sift flours over butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a soft dough forms. Transfer to prepared tin. Press into tin. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool.
To make topping, whisk eggs, lemon rind, flour and sugar together until smooth. Add lemon juice. Whisk to combine. Pour over base. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set. Cool completely in tin. Dust with icing sugar and cut into pieces.

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Crumble Slice

Ingredients
100 gms plain flour
75 gms  butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt
50 gms dark brown sugar
25 gms golden syrup
50 gms rolled oats
20 gms chopped nuts ( macadamias or blanched almonds work well)

Method
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and line a16cm x 26cm baking tin with baking paper.
Place the flour, butter, salt and sugar into a bowl, and rub the butter into the other ingredients until the mixture forms coarse breadcrumbs.
Place mixture into the bowl of a food processor, add golden syrup, oats and chopped nuts, and pulse gently to combine.
Turn out the crumble mixture onto the lined baking tin, spread the mixture evenly and bake the crumble for about 15 minutes, until the crumble is just set. It will be a little soft when it comes out of the oven.
Remove from oven, cut into slices and cool completely in the tin.

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