All posts in baking

ANZAC style Kingston Biscuits

Anzac-kingsotn-biscuits-recipe-1

It’s getting quite late so I thought I’d keep it short and sweet – much like these biscuits! This week we remember the ANZACS, so I thought (as I do each year) I’d make a batch of the famous ANZAC bikkies… but this time with a twist. Last year I baked the traditional recipe for the blog (found over here) but these, I have to say, take it to a whole new level. I’ve tweaked the recipe a little bit to make them softer and much smaller – bite size pieces. They’re almost like a homemade Kingston biscuit, sandwiched with some good quality chocolate in between (and a few hazelnuts for good measure). These were absolutely DIVINE and I highly recommend you bake these tomorrow. I know most of you would have all the ingredients just sitting in the cupboard. They’re probably the best biscuits ever. Fact.

Now cook! Enjoy!

x e.

 

Anzac-kingsotn-biscuits-recipe-1

 

Anzac-kingsotn-biscuits-recipe-2

 

ANZAC style Kingston Biscuits

1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup plain flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter, chopped
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 baking powder

100g good quality cooking chocolate
80ml cream
100g roasted and crushed hazelnuts

 

1.  Preheat oven to 160°C.

2.  Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl. Place butter, syrup and 2 tablespoons cold water in a bowl and microwave until all butter has melted. Stir in bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and pour into the oat mixture.

3.  Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. Give them a bit of room and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden. Like them crunchier? Just bake them for a little longer – 15 mins should do it. Let cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile place chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl and melt chocolate either in the microwave or in a double boiler. Once all chocolate has melted, place the bowl in the fridge so the mixture becomes a thicker consistency. Once it’s thick enough spoon onto one side of a biscuit and sprinkle hazelnuts over the top. Spoon a little extra on the other side and sandwich the two together.

Pumpkin, Goats Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Pumpkin-Pizza-recipe---web

I’ve been so busy with work lately, I feel like I’ve been neglecting the blog! I feel so bad if I don’t post at 6am on a Tuesday morning. It’s quite silly the pressure I put on myself, which surprises me as I’m not usually this organised. The only reason why I’ve kept it up (the only thing I can put it down to) is the fact that I love doing it. It’s hard finding the motivation (especially on the weekend when all I want to do is relax) but at the end of the day it’s extremely satisfying. I hardly have time to even promote the site but I started the blog for myself and my own development, so I guess that’s the most important part – right? Goodness, it’s hard to believe it’s soon coming up to two years soon. Yeiks!

 

Pumpkin-Pizza-recipe---web

 

On Friday after a huge (but great day) at work, I went for a cheeky little Pipsqueak cider at Little Creatures. It had been a long day, and I was super hungry so I ordered one of their pizzas (which probably saved me from a terrible hangover the next day!). Anyway, I thought I’d give it a shot myself. This almost reminds me of an onion tart my Mum would make for us as kids. The sweet oven roasted pumpkin and tangy goats cheese pair so well. Add a few sprinkles of cumin and coriander to add another level of flavour. This was quite different to your tomato based usual pizza, but it really is just as good, if not better! Perfect for an Autumn lunch with a nice glass of wine.

x e.

 

Pumpkin-Pizza-recipe-web1

 

 

Pumpkin, Goats Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Makes two pizzas
Dough recipe by Delia Smith

350g plain flour
15g (1 sachet) dried yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp caster sugar
240ml hand-hot water

1.5kg pumpkin
5 onions
115g goats cheese
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
handful of spinach leaves

 

1. Place flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl. Make a well and add olive oil and water and mix into a dough. Knead for 3 minutes in a mixer with a dough attachment or knead on a well floured work surface until it develops a sheen and blisters. Place back into the bowl and cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until it’s doubled in size (about an hour).

2. Meanwhile, whilst the dough is rising, chop the pumpkin into relatively small cubes and place on a well oiled oven tray and season well with salt and pepper. Cook at 200ºC for about 30 minutes and turn it over half way through. It should be nice and soft by the time you pull it out. Ensure you leave the oven on to preheat the oven for the pizza.

3. Dice onion and cook on medium heat in a well oiled frypan. Cook slowly for 15-20 minutes stirring regularly. You don’t want the onions to burn, but rather cook slowly and turn a nice transparent golden brown colour.

4. Once the dough has risen, roll it out onto two trays (or one big one in my case), ensuring you push it right out into the corners. Spread the cooked onion evenly over the base, followed by the cooked pumpkin and sprinkle over the cumin and coriander. Crumble small pieces of goats cheese over the top and sprinkle a good handful of spinach leaves over the top. Place in a 200ºC preheated oven (should be preheated from the pumpkin) for about 10 minutes or until the crust looks crunchy. Enjoy!

Nutella Lamingtons

Nutella-Cupcakes-for-web1

This week I thought I’d make something traditionally Australian for the upcoming national holiday – The Lamington. Oh goodness they’re amazing. If you’re reading this post in some exotic country and have never heard of lamingtons, well then you’ll HAVE to try this recipe – there’s no two ways around it. They’re small squares of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and covered in coconut (and sometimes with a strawberry/raspberry jam filling). Whilst brainstorming for this weeks Australia Day post I came up with the brilliant idea of Nutella Lamingtons – genius, if I do say so myself!

 

 

It was a bit of trial and error to see how it would work out, but as a whole I’m very happy with the result (and so were my taste testers!). I’ve mentioned it here on the blog before but Nutella is my downfall, my weakness. I bought a jar on Saturday and it was opened before I even made it back through the door. Once home I had a few more teaspoons… I couldn’t help myself. Annoyingly I didn’t quite have enough chocolate sauce to cover them all in the end because I was such a piggy. I’ll say I’ve learnt a lesson but I’d probably do the same again – I just can’t help myself. Damn you Nutella.

Anyway, whilst asking friends and colleagues about lamingtons I noticed there are a lot of people out there that feel very strongly about the jam filled version. For me, I’m not a fan so I made these sans jam. I also think that with the hazelnut flavour it didn’t really need it, but if you’re a jam fan you should definitely add some in.

Australians – enjoy your lamingtons (jam filled or not) and your Australia Day.

Rest of the world – you should really give these a go :)

PPS. These are the BEST lamingtons ever!

x e.

 

 

Nutella Lamingtons

Remember to make the sponge 24 hours beforehand.
Sponge recipe by Natalie Dick

2 heaped teaspoons flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 level tsp cream of tartar
gluten free cornflour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar

400g Nutella
1/2 cup milk
2 heaped tbsp icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC conventional or 170ºC fan forced. Into a measuring cup place flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar. Fill the rest of the cup with cornflour.

2. Meanwhile, beat eggs and sugar on high for 7 minutes. The mixture should doubled in size.

3. Whilst beating the eggs, sift the cornflour mixture 3 times onto greaseproof paper. After the eggs have finished beating slow the mixer down to the lowest setting. Add the vanilla, let mix for 30 seconds or so and slowly mix in the sifted dry ingredients.

4. Place the mixture into a large square tin and cook for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and set aside for 24 hours to become slightly stale. Leaving the cake to slightly harden makes it so much easier when coating them in chocolate. Once covered in chocolate they’ll become quite moist again.

5. Next day, transfer the nutella into a small saucepan and place on low heat. Slowly add milk and icing sugar until it runs smoothly (and is easy to drizzle over the cakes).

6. Place coconut onto a plate or shallow bowl. Cut the sponge into small squares. Spear them with a fork and spoon the chocolate mixture over the top. Scrape off any excessive chocolate before rolling them in coconut. Place them on a nice place and lick the chocolate mixture off your fingers!

HEAVEN!

 

Spiced Shortbread

Spiced-Shortbread-for-web1

Hello again! Long time no hear! I ran out of time just before Christmas to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday break. I hope you all had a great time off; it can be a pretty manic and busy time of year. We flew down to Tassie on the Saturday before Christmas and had the pleasure of enjoying family and friend’s company 24-7 over the past two weeks. Needless to say I’m exhausted.

We spent New Years Eve on the beautiful east coast of Tasmania, in Swansea. It was amazing. We went fishing, caught squid, went bike riding and most importantly, ate lots and lots of delicious food. I have to give a special shout-out to Rob’s famous ‘Haroomi’ wraps – yep, halloumi cheese, kangaroo and his special sauce all in a tasty wrap. Good one Robby!

It’s scary to think that now, only a few towns further north of Swansea, people have lost their homes and businesses to the devastating fires that have ripped through the east coast of Tasmania. Friday was a stinking hot day with strong winds; I met up with a friend to go swimming in Dodges Ferry, which is close to one of the affected areas. I didn’t realise at the time just how close the fires were. Within just two hours the smoke, haze and severity of the fires had increased rapidly. Thousands of people from the Tasman Peninsula and east coast have lost so much over the last few days I can’t comprehend how they must be feeling. As we’re now back in Melbourne I wasn’t exactly sure how we could help out. I’ve called on people and businesses I know to donate simple goods that we all take for granted. Please, if you can, donate to help these poor people in need here via the Red Cross 2013 Tasmanian Bush Fires Appeal.

 

 

Back to the usual business – shortbread and gingerbread men are my two favourite Christmas biscuits. In the lead up to Christmas I had a lightbulb moment – why not combine them and make spiced shortbread? I couldn’t find a good recipe so I made this one up and for me, it ticks all the boxes. Again, they’re perfect as little homemade presents – any time of year.

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe since I launched the Adeline & Lumiere Christmas book but time just slipped away. I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas book!?! I had initially anticipated to print 30 books, mainly for family, friends, send some off to media people and 10 to sell. However, after I mentioned I’d be printing some I had all sorts of people interested in a copy. In the end I sold 60 but could have easily have sold double that again! I was astonished to see it so well received. Thank you so, so much! It was the best Christmas present ever.

x e.

 

 

 

Spiced Shortbread

200g softened butter
1⁄2 cup caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
1⁄4 cup rice flour 
1 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp mixed spice
1⁄2 tsp nutmeg

 

1. Preheat oven to 160ºC and line a tray with grease proof paper.

2.  Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Sift flour, rice flour and spices into the mixture and be careful not to over mix.

3.  Press the mixture onto the prepared tray. Place a piece of grease proof paper over the top and roll out with a rolling pin. Use a butter knife to mark out biscuits and prick each one 3 times with a fork.

4.  Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a board and cut into pieces. Cool on a rack and wrap up for the perfect little gift.

Traditional Christmas Cake – best ever

Christmas Cake-1-RGB

I’ve discovered there are quite a few people in this world who don’t  like Christmas cake. I can’t believe it! Christmas cake would have to be one of my favourite treats out there (as long as I have a corner slice with marzipan and icing – that’s the best part). Like it of loath it, this is my version of the famous seasonal cake (with a little extra this and that, soaked in booze) and I love it!

x e.

 

Traditional Christmas Cake

Inspired by Delia Smith (I love her).

450g currants
175g sultanas
175g raisins
50g dried cranberries
50g mixed candied peel
3 tbsp Grand Marnier,
plus extra for ‘feeding’
225g unsalted butter
225g soft brown sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
225g plain flour
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground mixed spice
50g almonds, chopped
50g walnuts, chopped
1 level tbsp golden syrup
grated zest 1 lemon
grated zest 1 orange
20cm cake tin

1 packet of marzipan
1 packet of icing fondant

 

1.  Start the day before and measure out currants, sultanas, raisins, cranberries and peel into a bowl and mix the Grand Marnier through the fruit thoroughly. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to soak overnight.

2.  Next day, preheat oven to 120ºC (fan forced). Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy.  Whilst continuing to beat, add eggs a tablespoon at a time until incorporated.  This will prevent the mixture curdling.

3.  Sift in flour, spices and salt into the butter mixture. Lift the sieve up high to add as much air as possible. Gently fold in flour into the mixture until it just comes together.

4.  Fold in the soaked fruit, nuts, golden syrup and  zests to the mixture. Ensure everything is well mixed and place into a well lined tin, pushing the mixture into the corners.  The cake will be in the oven for at least 4 hours so it’ll need to be  protected so it doesn’t burn. Place 2 layers of  baking paper over the top with a few large holes to allow steam to pass through. Wrap two layers of grease proof paper around the cake tin and hold it in place with a piece of twine. This will protect the outer edge.

5.   Place in the oven on the lowest shelf and leave it for 4 hours. Check the cake after this time. You’ll probably need to place it back in the oven for up to another 3/4 hour. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes in the tin before putting it on a wire rack.  Once it’s cool, make small holes in the top of the cake with a skewer and ‘feed’ it at least a tablespoon of Grand Marnier or brandy over the whole cake.

6.  To ice the cake, roll out marzipan big enough to cover the cake completely. Place it over the cake and press it down along all sides. Do the same for the fondant and flatten it all out around the edges. Decorate the cake with any excess fondant.

Christmas Plum Pudding Cupcakes

Plum-Pudding-Cupcake-1-for-web

I love baking and cupcakes are so simple to whip up for any last minute occasion. This is my little Christmas tweak to the usual vanilla flavour I normally bake. They’re deliciously spiced boozy plum pudding cupcakes! The boozy flavour comes from from the icing but if you like an extra hit, brush a little brandy over the top! Phowar!

This recipe along with others are available for download in the FREE Christmas PDF I’ve put together which is download able here. Go on, try these these this weekend!

Enjoy my lovelies!

x e.

 

Plum Pudding Cupcakes

170g plain flour
100g brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
40g butter at room temperature
2 tbsp golden syrup
120ml milk
1 whisked egg
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup sultanas
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon

250g sifted icing sugar
80g unsalted butter at room temperature
25ml rum

 

1.  Preheat oven to 170ºC.  Place flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into a bowl and mix until it becomes a sandy consistency.

2.  In a small bowl, add milk and golden syrup and microwave for 20 seconds. The golden syrup should be runny enough to mix well into the milk. Add this into the other bowl a little bit at a time. Add the whisked egg into the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.

3.  Add sultanas, raisins, and spices to the mixture and mix well.

4.  Fill the paper cases two-thirds full with the mixture and bake in the preheated oven for 17 minutes or until golden brown. You should be able to smell the cupcakes wafting from the oven when they’re done. Cool on a wire rack.

5. To make the icing, place the icing sugar in a bowl with the butter. Mix well until incorporated and add the rum a little at a time until the icing is at a good consistency. Ice the cupcakes once they’re cool.

*If you’d like your plum pudding cupcakes a little extra boozy, brush a little bit of rum over the top with a brush before icing.

30th Birthday Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Ganache!

Carrot-Cake-and-white-chocolate-gnache-for-web

Last week was CRAAAZY busy… mainly because it was my favouritest person in the world’s 30th birthday! Yes it was Seb’s birthday on Thursday, so I had lots of organising to do throughout the week: the dinner with friends, buying a birthday present and baking this DELICIOUS cake! I would normally make a cream cheese icing for a carrot cake but I decided to try something different and make a white chocolate ganache as the icing (Seb is the original milky bar kid). I have to tell you – it was soooo good. My mouth is salivating at the very thought of it. Anyway, it’s also my birthday coming up this weekend so we’ve organised a big (halloween themed) birthday beach party down at Opossum Bay (Tas) on Saturday. The party is going to be so much fun… but here’s a disclaimer – there may or may not be a post next week. It all depends on the severity of my hangover.

 

 

This weekend was busy too! On Friday night we had the opening party of Magic Johnston studios! Magic Johnston (on Johnston St. Collingwood) is a brand new shared artist studio that the old gang from Parts Studio have moved into, along with a bunch of other talented creative peeps. The party was a roaring success, plenty of sponsored booze and an abundance of homemade burgers (300+ mini burgers, made by Seb aka Drunk Park himself!). If you’re looking for a creative workspace there’s plenty still available – enquire here.

 

 

We spent Saturday running around scouring tip shops, moving giant guillotines (seriously), walking puppies, shifting chairs and catching up with long lost cousins. Sunday was just as busy, meeting friends for breakfast at Penny Farthing Esspresso (on Northcote High St – deelish), followed by a rather exciting project meeting at Alimentari on Brunswick St (expect to hear more about this down the line), then a catch up with an old friend from NZ at Marmalade & Soul. Now I’m back at work, I’m exhausted and can’t wait for this weekend!

BRING ON THE DIRTY THIRTIES!

x e.

 

Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

Inspired by Miss Rosie’s Carrot Cake
3 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour,
2 tsp. bicarbonate soda
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
zest of one orange
2 cups finely grated carrots (roughly 2 medium carrots)
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup coconut – shredded or flaked
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted (optional)
660g white chocolate
330ml pure cream

1.  Start by making the gnache as it’ll need to be cool by the time the cakes have cooked. Place the chocolate and cream into a microwave proof bowl and cook for 1-2 minutes or until melted. Keep and eye on it as you don’t want it to over cook. Take it out of the microwave and mix gently until all the chocolate has completely melted. Place in the fridge to cool until it’s time to use.

2.  Preheat oven to 170ºC and grease and line two 20cm round pans.

3.  In a mixer bowl, add eggs, sugar and vegetable oil and beat until smooth and creamy.

4.  Sift together the flour, bicarbonate soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into egg mixture and beat slowly until incorporated.

5.  Add the finely grated carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts and mix until it just comes together and pour into the pre-prepared tins. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean (I usually check once I can smell the delicious cake smells coming form the oven).

6.  Let cakes cool for at least 10 minutes before icing. (I first iced a crumb layer before piping the final layer).

Fruit Toast with Homemade Cultured Butter

Fruit-Toast-and-Cultured-Butter-for-web

A few weeks ago I picked up the latest book from the Gourmet Farmer (Matthew Evans & friends) and instantly fell in love with it’s recipes. I must admit I haven’t seen many episodes of the TV show (my brother LOVES it) but I’ve always enjoyed those that I saw. What’s not to love? It shows Tassie from an amazing perspective, inspiring foodies to make the most of their surroundings.

 

 

Anyway, the new book is all about getting back to absolute basics and enjoying simple food in its most purest form. The book first starts with milk (how to make butter, yoghurt, cheeses), then meat (making prosciutto, sausage, salami) , fish (smoking, curing), vegetables (preserving) and condiments. I can’t wait to work my way through it – plus it’s going to be very helpful for the next Pickle Club meet!

 

 Spring is in bloom! Just picked from the side of the road.

I’m quite ashamed to say that until not that long ago I didn’t even realise that butter was simply made from whipped cream. I just never thought about it before, so of course when I saw a recipe for cultured butter I was intrigued. Cultured butter has natural ‘live’ cultures (from yoghurt) and left to sit up to 24 hours for flavour to develop. It’s then processed exactly the same way as any other normal butter. I’d have to warn that this is quite a messy process trying to squeeze out all the buttermilk but I can’t begin to tell you how satisfying it is! I’m not sure if the ‘live’ cultures actually worked and made my butter more flavoursome but it was a great process anyway.

So… what goes well with pure delicious butter? Fruit toast with lashings of the stuff of course :) This recipe is based on an Irish style soda bread with sultanas, currants and spices. There’s no yeast so it doesn’t take as long to make (compared to your average loaf of bread). I made this on Sunday morning for breakfast and from beginning to end  only took about an hour. Perfect for this Saturday’s brekky… yes!

Have a good week Lovelies :)

x e.

 

Homemade Cultured Butter

Recipe by Matthew Evans

1200ml full (pouring or whipping) cream
2.5 tbsp natural live yoghurt (Greek yoghurt)
1 tbsp salt

1.  Pour the cream and yogurt into a sterilised jar and mix well. Leave it to sit at room temperature (around 20ºC) for 12-24 hours. The longer you leave it the stronger flavour. After 24 hours, refrigerate until cool.

2.  Pour the cream into a food processor (with a whipping/mixing attachment) and whip it good :) The cream will become whipped and thick and will then separate from itself and turn into butter and buttermilk! Amazing! Drain off the buttermilk and reserve (for the fruit toast recipe and/or to make your next batch butter). In a large clean jar (I used the same jar as before) place 1 litre of chilled water and add the butter ‘grains’. Shake the jar for a few minutes to help wash out the remaining buttermilk.

3.  To salt the butter, either add 1 tbsp sea salt to the chilled water before shaking or add in the next step whilst shaping the butter for a slightly crunchier texture.

4.  Once you’ve shaken as much buttermilk out as you can, discard the water and place the butter on a clean chopping board. Use clean wet hands to knead the butter for about 5 minutes. This will remove even more buttermilk and will bring the butter grains completely together. (Add salt here if you didn’t add it to the jar previously). If you have butter pats use them to work the butter together. Divide the butter in half if you find it easier to work in smaller quantities. Shape and place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks (I placed half on mine in the freezer to use for a later date).

 

Fruit Toast 

200g plain white flour
200g whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
5 rounded teaspoons sugar
375 ml buttermilk
100g sultanas or raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
Butter for greasing the tin

 

1.  Preheat oven to 200ºC. Add all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.

2.  Add butter milk and mix to a soft consistency. Place the mixture into a greased tin and flatten the top and brush with a little milk.

3.  Bake for 40-45 minute. If the top is getting too brown, cover with aluminum foil for the last 20 minute.

4.  Remove from the oven, wrap in a clean tea towel and let cool before slicing and scoffing with the delicious cultured butter!

Steak, Tomato & Stout Party Pies – Perfect Footy Final Food!

Party-Pies-footy-grandfinal

It’s that time of year again – footy finals time when Melbourne comes alive! Even people at work are donning their team colours around the office, they’re MAD for it! You may or may not remember the amazing Lamb & Harissa Sausage rolls I made for last years grand final? They went down a treat and were perfect served with the homemade Harissa sauce I also made. OH MY! In my opinion you always need a good dose of pastry at a footy grand final… and this year is no exception. Bring on the party pies! (I almost wish the Collingwood Mag’pies’ were in the finals for an amazing pun right here).

Over the last few days I’ve been feeling pretty poorly with a cold :(  Lots of sniffles, blocked nose, watering eyes, sneezing and feeling exhausted. It was quite an effort this week to try and get something together for the blog. I couldn’t even get my thoughts together properly to make the damn things. I thought I’d finished the pie filling when I realised that I hadn’t even used the carrots, celery or wostershire sauce!? Anyway, there may have been a mini break-down involved before I photographed this week but luckily Seb was there to pull me through – he’s such a rock (and pretty dishy too).

So here they are, my ‘rustic’ steak, tomato & stout party pies. They’ll go down a treat this Saturday!

Do you have any Grand Final day plans?

x e.

 

 

 

Steak, Tomato & Stout Party Pies

850g beef, cut into small pieces and dusted with flour
2 small onions, diced
2 sticks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
4 rashers of bacon, diced
400g can tomatoes
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
500ml stout (I used Coopers- proudly Australian made!)
2 heaped tsp cornflour
2 tsp each of hot english mustard & seeded mustard
10 sheets puff pastry
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten

1.  In a hot fry pan with a good glug of olive oil, add the finely chopped onion and cook until golden brown. Add carrots, celery, bacon and garlic until all is well cooked. Transfer to a bowl for later use.

2.  In the same frypan, add some more olive oil and cook your lightly floured diced beef (which is cut super small for the little party pies). Cook these off in batches until well browned. Once all beef is cooked, add it to the large fry pan and add the cooked vegetables. Add the can of tomatoes, both mustards, worcestershire sauce, stout and cook for a good 5 minutes.

3.  Add cornflour to thicken up the sauce and season well with salt and pepper. Let cool.

4.  Lightly grease a cupcake tin (I use stray oil) and line with puff pastry. Add a good spoon full of filling and add a top of pastry. Brush with beaten egg and place in a moderate oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Carn the Hawks!

Lemon Coconut Biscotti Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Mt-Hotham-for-web

I have had the BEST weekend – ever!  On Friday I drove up to the beautiful snow capped Mt Hotham (5.5hrs drive out of Melbourne) where I learnt to ski for the very first time. Why hasn’t anybody ever told me how much fun this is?? It was a big group trip, organised by one of our friends. Everyone in our group had varying experience skiing/snowboarding, and there were a few of us that were complete beginners like myself.  Saturday was a perfect ‘blue bird’ day (a bit of ski lingo I picked up, meaning blue skies and no clouds – perfect for learning! Yessssss! ; )  We started off with the beginners class which included how to stop (very important!!!) and turning. Shortly after our lesson we decided to venture up to the summit on the ski-lift (another nerve wracking first) and try skiing down the summit run. SOOO MUCH FUN! I was amazed how much you can pick up in just a day. I was also surprised how many tiny fearless kids there were skiing all by themselves – they were really showing us up!

 

I love the fresh alpine air and the immaculate grounds first thing of a morning!

 

The next morning, after a big nights sleep, our confidence had dropped a little – but we pushed through and kept practicing down the other beginners ‘green’ runs. It was near the end of the day and I was making my last run down ‘the summit’ when I bumped into Seb at the top of the ‘Sun Run’ (this run was ‘blue’, the next level of difficulty). Now, I can’t even remember how the conversation went but SOMEHOW Seb talked me into going down it! I hadn’t even seen a pair of skis 48 hours before! To say I was ‘packing it’ was an absolutely understatement. I have never been so petrified in all my life. I remember sitting down halfway and telling Seb there was no way I could finish it. I was convinced I’d have to walk BUT… I stuck with it. I did have a little slip or two but I actually made it down in one piece! I’ve now found myself in a position where I may be addicted to skiing. If you’ve never been, and nobody has told you how much fun it is, well I’m telling you now. Try it for yourself if you can! It’s fuuuuuuuun!

x e.

 

Delicious lemon coconut biscotti with vanilla ice-cream…mmmm.

 

 

Lemon Coconut Biscotti

Recipe by Emma Braz

3 eggwhites
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour, sifted
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 160°C before grease and lining a bread pan.

Beat egg whites in a spotlessly clean and dry bowl with an electric mixer. When soft peaks form, gradually add the sugar while continuously beating.

Add flour a little at a time to the edge of the mixture and fold in. This helps prevent losing all the air in the eggs. Once all flour has been folded in, add the lemon rind and coconut. Put the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes or golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut as thin as you can. Place in an oven at 150°C. Bake for 5 minutes on one side and then flip them and cook on the other side. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool add a scoop of your favourite vanilla ice-cream and eat straight away!