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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Roast Peaches and Strawberries with Macadamia and Almond Crumble

IMG_7129A great summer pudding that you can whip up at a moment’s notice particularly if you make  the crumble mix in advance and keep it in the freezer. The crumble recipe is also fantastic as a biscuit/cookie, even if the crumble pieces are very rustic!

This dessert is essentially my Deconstructed Crumble recipe:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/08/05/deconstructed-caramelised-quince-crumble/

Ingredients

3 large yellow peaches
A handful of strawberries
3 tbls caster sugar
1 tbls butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Crumble
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 macadamias and almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Cut peaches in half and remove the stones. Place in a baking dish with the whole strawberries, sugar, butter and lemon juice. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until peaches are soft and the strawberries are mushy. Remove from oven to cool.

For the crumble, increase the oven temperature to 175 degrees C and line a baking tray 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 tray, spread the mixture evenly and bake the crumble for 15-20 minutes, stirring once during the cooking time, until the crumble is toasted.
Remove from oven, and when cool, break up any large pieces. It’s important to have a combination of small and large crumble pieces. You can use the crumble as is or freeze it and it keeps for ages!

Place the baked fruit on a plate with as much or as little crumble as you like! Serve with cream, creme fraiche, sour cream or ice cream and the syrupy pan juices. Yummy!

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Strawberry on Strawberry Shortcake

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I cook lots and lots of cakes and this new recipe is very, very more-ish! Easy to make and great for afternoon tea or as a dessert.

Bill Granger cooked a Pear, Blueberry and Almond Shortcake on the first episode of his television series Bill’s Kitchen Notting Hill, see below for the link to the series.

http://www.bbcnordic.com/bills-kitchen-notting-hill/episodes/

I decided that the recipe would work just as well with strawberries. For a double strawberry hit, I cooked whole fresh strawberries and also added in a good dollop of my home made strawberry conserve.

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Ingredients

Filling
30 g unsalted butter, softened

40 g caster sugar

150g strawberries, whole

1 tsp vanilla paste

2 tbsp strawberry conserve*

Milk, to brush the pastry

1 tbsp demerara sugar

2 tbsp flaked almonds

Shortcake pastry


125 g unsalted butter

125 g castor sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

175 plain flour

50 g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

Method
Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the butter melts and sugar dissolves.

Add the strawberries and cook over low heat for 8 minutes or until the strawberries are soft. Remove from the heat and stir through the strawberry conserve, being careful not to break up the whole fruit. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

For the shortcake, beat the butter and castor sugar until thick and creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder, then stir until combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to just bring the mixture together. Divide the dough in half, pat in to discs, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line a 24cm springform cake tin. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a round about the size of the tin, then press one round into tin. Spoon the strawberry mixture and any juices over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge. IMG_9880

Top with the remaining dough round and press the edges together to seal. Brush with milk and sprinkle with demerara sugar and flaked almonds.

Bake for 30 minutes or until until golden (cover loosely with foil if browning too quickly). Cool in tin for 20 minutes before carefully removing from the tin.

*My Strawberry Conserve recipe: https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/09/06/strawberry-conserve/

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Jamie Oliver’s Shin Beef Stew

IMG_9851This dish is fabulous – the meat can literally be eaten with a spoon! I would describe it as a Beef Ragu because the meat is so tender. Jamie describes his recipe:

“Cooking a shin of beef or any good stewing cut this way gives you some really fantastic comfort food. Just letting it slowly blip away in the oven, with the sauce becoming more and more intense, is the nicest sort of cooking there is. Delicious served with some mashed root veg – like carrots, potatoes, a bit of swede, some turnips – but you could also serve it with straight mash, polenta or bubble and squeak (you know, fried veg and potatoes, cockney-London style!) and some nice buttered cabbage or spinach.
”

His original recipe comes from “Cook With Jamie”, and here is the link to the website recipe:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/melt-in-your-mouth-shin-stew

I love shin beef, and in Australia it is known as gravy beef. Jamie sing sings its praises and lovingly describes the unctuous flavours derived from long slow cooking of this cut of beef.

Here is my version. The most significant change I made is to lower the oven temperature to 160 degrees C. I think long, slow cooking is the way to go with this recipe.

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Ingredients

• Lug of olive oil
• 6 eschallots, peeled and roughly chopped
• 6 baby carrots, trimmed and used whole
• 2 cloves garlic chopped
• A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 1 bay leaf
• 750g quality shin of beef, trimmed and cut into 5cm pieces
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbs flour
• 1 x 400g tinned tomatoes
• 1/2 bottle red wine – shiraz or cab suav

Method

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C.  In a heavy-bottomed casserole, heat a lug of olive oil and gently fry the eschallots, carrots, garlic and herbs for 5 minutes until softened slightly. Meanwhile, toss the pieces of beef in a little seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Add the meat to the casserole  and stir everything together, then add the tomatoes, wine and a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently bring to the boil, cover with a double-thickness piece of aluminum foil and a lid and place in your preheated oven for 3 hours or until the beef is meltingly tender and can be broken up with a spoon. Taste and check the seasoning, remove the rosemary sprigs and bay leaf.

Serve with pappardelle, polenta, mash or rice.

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Lamb Biryani

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This Jamie Oliver recipe is from the latest Jamie Magazine: http://www.jamieoliver.com/magazine/ –  Issue No 47 Easter 2014.

It’s a relatively simple recipe, the only complicated thing is to marinate the lamb overnight.

The recipe suggests the cooking time for the lamb is 45 minutes. I think a little longer is necessary to make sure the lamb is cooked through.

Ingredients

500 gms lamb, cut into 2.5cm chunks

200 gms basmati rice

1 tbsp crispy fried onions (fry in a very little oil until crisp)

A few sprigs of chopped coriander leaves

 Marinade

50 mls cream

50 gms butter

200 gms Greek yoghurt

50 mls sunflower or vegetable oil

2 large brown onions, sliced

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp garam masala

Juice of ½ lime

A pinch of saffron (optional)

½ tsp each of chopped coriander and mint leaves

Method

To a make the marinade, heat the cream and butter together in a saucepan over a low heat, until the butter has melted. Pour half into a bowl, reserving the other half.

Add all the remaining marinade ingredients to the bowl along with1 teaspoon of salt, then mix well. Submerge the lamb in the mixture and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Add the rice to a saucepan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes – it should still be a little undercooked.

Layer the rice and marinated lamb in a heavy-bottomed casserole or oven dish. Pour over the remaining cream and butter mixture, then scatter over the crispy fried onions and most of the coriander.

Cover the dish with a lid or a layer of aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 45 minutes, until the meat is done.  Serve topped with the remaining coriander leaves.

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Passionfruit Soufflé

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I rarely make soufflés. I was inspired today by watching Monica Galetti on UK Masterchef: The Professionals, as she set a soufflé as a skills test for some young chefs, as well as making the souffle herself.

I was impressed by the simplicity of her instructions: make a crème pâtissière then a meringue mixture, combine and bake.

The following recipe is based on some recipes from Monica I found online and my own tweaking.

http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/recipes/monica-galettis-crepe-souffle-recipe#image-rotator-1

http://www.allaboutyou.com/food/recipefinder/advanced/Monica-galetti-chocolate-souffle-recipe

Of course there are many tricks to watch out for – cool down your creme pat before adding the meringue, don’t add too much sugar to the meringue so that it’s not to heavy and get the balance right of creme pat to meringue, which is cook’s judgment as much as recipe.

And make sure to fill the molds to the top – I made that mistake and the soufflés didn’t quite rise high enough over the rim.

However I am keen to try again and hopefully next time you will see the improvements!

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Ingredients
Crème Pâtissière
6 free range egg yolks
125 gms sugar
40 gms  flour
500 mls milk
1 vanilla pod, split
A little butter or icing sugar, for cooling

Meringue
5 free range egg whites
60 gms  sugar

3-4 passionfruit

Method
Butter and lightly dust with icing sugar 4 soufflé molds . This will help the soufflés to rise.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Place the egg yolks and about one third of the sugar in a bowl and whisk until they are pale and form a light ribbon. Sift in the flour and mix well.
Combine the milk, the remaining sugar and the split vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the mixture bubbles, pour about one third onto the egg mixture, stirring all the time.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over gentle heat, stirring continuously. Boil for 2 minutes, then tip the custard into a bowl.
Flake a little butter over the surface or dust lightly with icing sugar to prevent a skin forming as the custard cools.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, gradually adding the sugar in whilst whisking.

In a clean bowl, whisk the crème pat mixture to remove any lumps.

Gently fold in the pulp of 3-4 passionfruit into the crème pat mixture, then fold in the meringue mixture.

Place the mixture in the molds and tap the base to remove any air bubbles then smooth the tops off with a spatula before placing in the oven for about 8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately dusted with icing sugar and with fruit, cream or ice-cream, to taste.

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White Bay, Dawn, on Sydney Harbour

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Daylight Saving in Sydney has meant that the sun rises late in March! While the temperature is a balmy 20 degrees at 7.00am, the sun is barely up and the moon is still visible. A beautiful time of day to walk the streets and watch the city – and the harbour – come to life.

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