Monday, 12 March 2012

Recipe Thirty Four: Viennese Orange Kisses

It has been the best long weekend.
Miss MT came to stay.
We played with the dog, braided our hair, sewed a Totoro, played some more with the dog, watched movies, hung out in the hammock, wiggled our toes in the grass, went bowling...
and we also made Viennese Orange Kisses.

Viennese Orange Kisses

  • 220 g butter
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • The finely grated rind of one large orange
  • tablespoon cornflour
  • cup plain flour
  • ½ cup self raising flour
  • icing sugar , extra

Orange Cream

  • 60 g butter
  • cup icing sugar
  • tablespoons orange juice from your now rind-less orange,
  • orange food coloring

  • Preheat oven to 180C
    Cream butter, sifted icing sugar and rind till fluffy, Add cornflour and beat in well. Add sifted flours 1/2 at a time beating well between each addition.
  • Place dough in the fridge for 5 minutes.
    Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper until 4mm thick and then return to the fridge for another five minutes.
    Cut heart shapes and remove excess dough. Bake for 8 minutes.
    Make your orange cream by beating the butter until pale, add the icing sugar, juice from your orange and food colour and beat until combined
  • Sandwich cookies together in pairs with orange cream filling, dust with icing sugar.

  • *I wasn't able to get my hands on Mum's cookbook so I used the same recipe from HERE.


  • Sunday, 4 March 2012

    Recipe Thirty Three: Pear, Almond and Coconut Crumble.

    It's no secret I am far from a fan of summer.
    I could give you a list of reasons as long as my arm but instead I'll keep it short & give you the most relevant:

    Winter food is better.

    When Tuesday arrived with some ever so slightly wintery conditions I was pretty thrilled and immediately grabbed my umbrella and headed out. On my travels I picked up some typically 'wintery foods' namely: casserole beef and pears.

    On the flip side my body also noticed the suddenly cooler, wetter temperatures and immediately gave me a slighty fever, aching bones and terrible asthma. Go figure.

    Anyhow, I made a stew (more about that tomorrow) and finished it off with this amazing Pear, Almond and Coconut crumble. A perfect way to greet grey whether and an oncoming flu!

    Pear, Almond and Coconut Crumble

    4 ripe pears, cored and sliced.
    1 tablespoon of caster sugar.

    1/2 cup of rolled oats
    1/4 cup of shredded coconut
    1/4 cup of flaked almonds
    1/4 cup of brown sugar
    3 tablespoons of plain flour
    1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    1 tablespoon of demerara sugar
    60gms of butter, slightly softened.

    Pre-heat your oven to 180C
    Place your pears in the bottom of an oven proof dish. Sprinkle with the caster sugar.
    In a large bowl combine all other ingredients but butter.
    Now rub in your butter. The best way I can describe this action is that you push the mixture between the pad of your thumb & along the pads of your other fingers.
    Once your mixture is full of small clumps pile it onto of your pears and bake for 20 minutes.
    Serve with custard or ice-cream.


    Thursday, 1 March 2012

    Leap Day Food Resolutions

    I have been cooking, I promise.
    It's just I have been doing something I should be avoiding. I've been being just a little lazy but that laziness means I'm not expanding my recipe knowledge or file.
    I've been sucked in by recipe bases. I know they have their place eg. Monday night or when you're not writing a blog about expanding your recipe knowledge...
    But I have been using them all week.
    I look at the ingredients and I think: 'I just paid $2.50 for a few tablespoons of corn flour & spice mix.'

    So this brings me to my first food resolution:

    No.1 No more recipe bases, well not for a while.

    No. 2
    Stop neglecting the blog.

    Number three comes about because I believe I am following number two. I don't want to post 4 sweet things in a row or a week of just cookies. However in my heart I am a baker and therefore:

    No. 3
    I will bake as much as I feel like.

    The pictures on this post are of a stir fry I cooked last night. I don't really think stir fry counts as a recipe if you are using a jar sauce and what ever veggies are on their way out in the bottom of your crisper...

    I'm hoping to have a beef stew and pear crumble recipe up in the next two days.

    Thursday, 23 February 2012

    Recipe Thirty Two: Roasted and Glazed Pork Belly.

    Roast your Pork Belly:
    500gms of Pork Belly (:Make sure you get your butcher to score the skin of your pork.)
    Olive Oil

    Preheat the oven to 200C
    Coat the skin in olive oil and sprinkle with salt, massage into the skin and scores.
    Place your pork in a roasting tin and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

    Reduce the oven temperature to 180 and cook for a further 20 minutes.
    If the skin of your pork hasn't crackled place your pork skin side up under the grill until crackled and golden.
    Cover with foil and rest for 20 minutes.
    Cut into strips or chunks.

    2 tablespoons of Hoisin Sauce
    2 tablespoons of Sweet Chilli Sauce
    1 tablespoon of Tomato Sauce
    2 tablespoons of Honey
    Small splash of water.

    Whisk all of your ingredients in a small saucepan.
    Place over medium heat and add the pork chunks.
    Mix until the pork is glazed and hot.
    And serve!

    Sunday, 19 February 2012

    Recipe Thirty One: Popcorn

    I was tossing up whether or not to include this as a 'recipe' since it is more of a technique. However once you have popped as much popcorn as I have in the last 24hrs you see it how essential this technique/recipe is to have on hand.

    I first came across this method, posted by Elise on Simply Recipes. If you make your popcorn like this it is fast and you have barely any of those annoying, hard un-popped kernels.

    As I mentioned on Thursday Miss MT had just celebrated her 11th birthday and last night we held her party.
    A few months ago we came across this old fashioned popcorn bar over on The Hostess with the Mostess's Daily Blog. We were inspired. What you see above and below was our own interpretation. 


    2 Tablespoon of an oil with a high smoke point eg. canola oil
    Popcorn Kernels

    Put your oil into the bottom of your saucepan along with 3 popcorn kernels.
    Place this over high heat with the lid on.
    Once these kernels have popped remove the saucepan from heat and very quickly add enough kernels to make an even layer on the base of the saucepan and put the lid back on. Give the pan one quick shake back and forth. Count to 20.
    Return the saucepan to the heat. Within a few second the rest of the kernels will start to pop, even few seconds give the pan a shake back and forth to send any un-popped kernels to the bottom.
    Once the popping has slowed remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour your popcorn into a wide bowl.

    Now heating the oil with a few kernels in it lets you know when the oil gets to 'popping temperature' then adding the rest of the kernels and counting to 20 lets the rest of the popcorn get as close to popping temperature as possible.
    Genius huh!?

    Now add a flavour, some melted butter, a glaze, caramel, spices, the list is endless!
    And you're done!

    Thursday, 16 February 2012

    Recipe Thirty: Lemon Meringue Pie

    Another recipe as testament to my love of the lemon.

    I really believe lemon is to sweet food as onion is to savoury. 
    I put it in most things. 
    Whether its a little shaving of the rind or a squeeze of juice it just gives food such a nice brightness.

    Speaking of things bright, today is Miss MT's 11th birthday.
    So here is a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY my gorgeous cooking buddy.

    Lemon Meringue Pie

    1 1/2 cups of plain flour.
    3 teaspoons of icing sugar.
    140gms of cold butter
    1 egg yolk
    2 tablespoons of cold water.

    The juice and finely grated rind of 2 lemons.
    1 x 395gm can of sweetened condensed milk.
    4 egg yolks
    4 egg whites
    3/4 cup of caster sugar.
    (5 egg whites is you'd like to use the one left over from making the pastry, I did & my filling/meringue ratio is slightly off)

    Throw your flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and process until you have a mix that resembles breadcrumbs. Next add your egg yolk and gradually add your water until the mixture comes together.

    Transfer the pastry to a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Form into a small disk and stick it in the fridge for 1/2 an hour.

    Combine your juice, rind and condensed milk in a bowl and whisk together.
    I am assured at this point you can also whisk in your egg yolks but I'm always worried that the lemon will start cooking the yolks and ruin my texture so I leave it for another few steps.

    Preheat your oven to 180C. Roll out your pastry to fit a 24cm loose bottomed flan tin. Line the tin with the pastry, trim the edges and fork holes in the base. Line your pastry with baking paper and fill the case with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Blind bake at 180C for 10 minutes. Remove weights and cook for a further 5 minutes.

    At this point I whisk in my egg yolks (you may have done this earlier).
    Once the pastry case is out of the oven for the second time fill with your lemon mixture and place back in the oven for a further 5 minutes.

    Whilst the middle is cooking whisk your egg whites until the form soft peaks.
    Add your caster sugar gradually, say in 5 parts. Whisk until dissolved between each addition. I count to ten. 

    Once the middle has cooked for 5 minutes remove it from the oven and reduced the oven temp to 150C.
    Spread the top of your pie with meringue and stick it back in until your meringue has slightly browned.

    Let cool completely on a wire rack and serve.


    Thursday, 9 February 2012

    Recipe Twenty Nine: Chai Spiced Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

    Cupcakes are everywhere; their popularity has grown hugely in the last few years and until last night I hadn't been sucked in.

    It all started at breakfast with Miss C & Mrs D.
    Happily chatting away Mrs D bought out her pre-breakfast purchase: Cupcake cups. Gorgeous, pink, stripy cups. And that did it. I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

    I had promised my Mum a chai spiced birthday cake for her birthday this year...that was in January.
    Better late and in cupcake form than never I guess!

    Hi Mum! I hope there is at least one cupcake left for you when you finally make it home tonight!

    This recipe is adapted from "Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes" by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne

    Chai Spiced Cupcakes:

    2/3 of a cup of Milk
    2 Chai Tea Bags (not chai latte powder)
    1 Breakfast Tea Bag
    2 Whole Eggs
    1 Egg Yolk
    1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
    1 1/3 cups of Plain Flour
    1 cup of Caster Sugar
    2 1/4 teaspoons of Baking Powder
    1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon of Ground Cardamon
    Pinch of Salt
    110gms of Butter.

    Preheat your oven to 180C. Line your cupcake pan or layout your cup-cake cups.

    In a small saucepan bring you milk to just before boiling point. Remove from heat and add your chai teabags. After 3 minutes add your breakfast tea and let this steep for a further 2 minutes. Remove the teabags from the milk and squeeze out any excess liquid. Let this cool until its tepid.

    In a medium bowl combine your eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and 1/3 of your chai milk.
    Whisk together.

    In another bowl place your flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamon and a pinch of salt. lightly whisk these together. Add your butter and rest of the chai milk and using an electric beater, beat until light and fluffy.

    To this batter add the egg mixture in three parts, beating to combine between each addition.
    Divided your mixture between yours pans/cups. Do not fill more than 2/3rds full.

    Bake your cakes for 12-15minutes or until browned. Cool on a wire rack whilst you make some butter cream!

    Buttercream Frosting:
    125gms of Butter
    1 3/4 cups of Pure Icing Sugar.
    Milk for texture.

    Beat your butter until pale and fluffier. This took me about 3-4 minutes.

    Gradually add your icing sugar. I would say 1/2 a cup at a time. Beat in after each addition. 
    If you feel as though the icing is getting too stiff add a splash of milk to bring it back to a texture you feel happier with.

    Bare in mind to get beautiful defined icing you do need quite a thick consistency.

    Put the butter cream into a piping bag fitted with a jumbo star tip and pipe a spiral onto each cupcake.
    Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.

    You're all done!