Monday, October 10, 2011

Lemon Poppyseed Cake via Jamie

We have three lemon trees at Number 10 and two of them are going crazy with it was time to use some up and make a lemon and poppy seed cake..

This is a recipe that I first saw on the Jamie Oliver site and have tried it out a few times's terrific if you like a tangy's also pretty easy, which is always important. It's a cake that is very moist, a little tart and truly delicious

I tweaked Jamie's recipe a little to increase volume...

You will need

150g unsalted butter, softened
130g caster sugar
4 large eggs
180g ground almonds (almond meal)
30g poppy seeds
large dollop yogurt
zest and juice of 2 lemons
125g self-raising flour, sifted

Lemon syrup:

100g caster sugar
juice of 2 lemons

Lemon Icing:

250g icing sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one

Place the poppy seeds into the yogurt and let sit for a few minutes.

Fold in the almond meal, self raising flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and poppy seeds and yogurt

Line a cake tin with baking paper, spoon the mix in (it shouldn't be runny) and place in the oven for approx 35 minutes or until golden and the top springs back then lightly pressed.

When ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the tin for a few minutes before you turn it out onto a plate

For the lemon syrup, place the juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved, then pierce the top of the cake a few times with a skewer and spoon the syrup over the top

When the cake has completely cooled, make the icing, (which will be runny), and spoon it over the cake

So you get a hit of tangy lemon in the cake, from the syrup and finally from the icing.


Truly delicious!

Thanks Jamie

Friday, October 7, 2011

No need to knead

I have to admit I was a bit sceptical when a friend told me about this bread, I mean all bread dough needs to be kneaded right?

Apparently not.

This is a really easy recipe and while it's not particularly pretty along the way, the end result is fabulous, not only to eat but to look at. It's a long process, but oh so worth it!

The first thing is to mix the ingredients together and there are just 4 of them

3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine table salt
1 1/2 cups of warm water

You'll also need a covered pot of some sort, like a large cast iron or Pyrex one that can go into a very hot oven

The night before, put all the ingredients in a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to bring them together. But don't over do it. It will look pretty rough but don't worry, this is just how it should look.
Now cover the bowl with glad wrap and let it sit on the bench for between 12 and 20 hours.

The next day the dough will have expanded and look wet and bubbly and sticky, so sprinkle some flour on the bench ...

This is where the yeast action is

....and with a wet spatula, put the dough on it and use the spatula to fold the ends over a few times to form a ball.  Generously dust a cotton tea towel with flour and put the ball of dough on it and place it in a bowl to let rest for a couple of hours until it doubles in size

Now, preheat the oven to about 200c and place your pot in there so it can heat up

When the dough's ready, place it in the pot, put the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes. It's sort of like baking in an oven within an oven.
Uncover and then bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

When it's all ready, place your loaf on a wire rack to cool then eat.

This is what you end up with.

A delicious loaf that is crusty and moist and scrumptious

I think I prefer this to the sour dough loaf I made. This takes a little longer, but I like the end result a lot more
Thanks to Steamy Kitchen for this's terrific!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bread - Sourdough

We love a nice loaf of gutsy bread here at Number 10 so I thought I'd try my hand at making some sourdough.

I read, maybe 6 or 7 recipes for it and got a different version each time. Very confusing. I also bought a terrific book called "Bread" by Jeffrey Hamelman. A good read, if you're into bread that is.

The one bit of imformation that was constant though is how important the sourdough starter is, although there are a lot of versions of it as well...everyone seems to have different ideas of how often you should "feed" it, how long it takes to mature and what you should put in the water to help it along. Some say grapes, others say potato peel...

Anyway, it takes a bout a week to get it going, so if you want to make sourdough you have to plan ahead....well ahead

The recipe I used is copyright so I can't detail it here...all I'll say though if you go to the Everyday Gourmet
website and search for sourdough and sourdough leaven, you'll find it.

 I bought my flour from Marg and Marees Baking store in Heidelberg Heights.

It is The. Best. Shop for all things baking!

This is the finished product. It was quite nice. Not the typical sourdough we've been having from the local bakery, but nice nonetheless

About Marg and Marees...They also hold classes for just about every baked good on the planet...and then some....and they have a website so if you lodge your email address with them they'll let you know what classes are coming up when...get in early though, the classes fill fast!

For Melburnians they're at 54 Bell St Heidelberg Heights

Happy baking

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Strawberry Cake from Stacey Snacks ...via Martha

I've mentioned Stacey from Stacey Snacks before and just how wonderful her recipes are

Now the latest I've tried is her Strawberry Cake

It's a lovely and easy recipe...she used strawberries because they were in season in the US...I've used cherries, because I had them in the cupboard (the jarred variety).

Recipes are changeable things aren't they? I mean, you can always come up with something or substitute an ingredient if you haven't got exactly what the particular recipe calls least that's what I do. It makes my cooking a bit of a challenge sometimes...and it always keeps MONT on his toes.

Here's the recipe......

1-1/2 cups plain flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 punnets strawberries, hulled and halved - (or other fruit like cherries or blueberries)
2 tablespoons raw sugar (for the top)

In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking powder & salt. In a large bowl, cream the sugar together with the egg and the butter. Gradually mix in your flour and add the milk, zest and extracts, mixing until a nice thick yellow batter turns out.
Pour your batter into a greased 9" pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut-sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle raw sugar over the top.

Bake at 325F (about 160c) for about 45 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch.

Instead of strawberries, I used some cherries I had in the cupboard and some frozen raspberries. I mixed a few of the cherries through the cake, then dotted the top of it with the raspberries. It was delish

This is not a light and fluffy cake, or at least mine wasn''s a little more dense and crumbly...and very nice with a cup of coffee.

It's that easy really. Hope you like it. I'm having some for my breakfast with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Yummo

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pineapple Fruit Cake

This is a scrumptious cake that's so simple to make it's crazy! You see, if you can boil water, you can make this cake!

I haven't made it in ages, but was inspired by Brismod at Fun & VJ's, who's had a thing for pineapple lately...

It's my Pineapple Fruit Cake and here's what you do:

In a saucepan, place:
1 can crushed pineapple (440gr)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
125 gr butter
375 gr mixed dried fruit
& 1 teaspoon bicarb soda

Bring to boil, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, then set aside to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees and line a 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin with baking paper.

Sift together 1 cup of plain flour and 1 cup of self raising flour with a pinch of salt.
When the fruit mix is cool, stir in two beaten eggs and the flour and bake for approx 1 hour.

That's it.
Easy huh?

Alison Thompson's new book "BAKE" also has a version of a boiled pineapple fruit cake and it's very similar to this one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lamb, walnut and pineapple casserole

It may sound a bit weird, but this is a delicious recipe!

I found in the Herald Sun's Tuesday food supplement a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd give it a try....and since then I've made it again.

The recipe calls for lamb, but I've also made this with beef and it was just as good

I'm not a fan of sweet and sour dishes but this isn't too sweet, even though it contains pineapple juice.

Here's the recipe.

Lamb, Walnuts & Pineapple Casserole

This quantity serves 4

Preheat oven to around 180

1.2 kgs diced lamb
2 tblsp flour
2 tblsp oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 chopped onion
2 cups pineapple juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
small tin of tomato paste
4 tblsp soy sauce
2 tblsp vinegar
2 tblsp brown sugar
3/4 cup walnuts

Toss meat in flour and fry in oil till browned a little.

Remove to casserole dish then fry the garlic till just cooked and add all other ingredients (except walnuts) and bring to the boil for a minute

Pour over the meat and cook in the oven for around 2 hours for lamb.Best to check it after an hour to see how it's going

When cooked, add the walnuts and serve with buttered noodles.

For a change, you can use beef, pork or chicken...but you may need to adjust the cooking time for chicken and pork. It's all trial and error really....


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pizza to go...

I'm not a big lover of pizza...or pasta for that matter. I eat it and I enjoy it, but I'm really more a meat and potatoes sort of girl

But, I've started making pizza at home on a Friday night...and I've even been making my own pizza dough.

Last night we tried a seafood was delish!

Seafood pizza
I considered buying a pizza cooker/oven thingy, but thought I'd try it first in my oven, and it worked out just fine.

All in pizza, with fresh basil and bocconcini

The dough recipe I use is by Karen Martini. I have "tweaked" it a little though because when I used her measurements I ended up with a dough soup.

Here's my amended recipe for the dough

2 cups Strong Flour
1/2 cup Semolina
1 cup tepid water
50 ml Olive Oil
7½ g Yeast (1 sachet)
10 g Salt

Put the dough hook on your mixer and into the mixer bowl add all the dry ingredients. In a jug put the tepid water, oil and yeast and whisk it for a few seconds
With mixer on low and dough hook attached, add the wet ingredients all at once and then raise speed to high.

Mix until you have a silky smooth dough; about 10 minutes. ... Spray another large bowl with oil and put the dough into it. Place a tea towel over the top and leave to prove for as long as you can - overnight is ideal but I do mine in the morning and it's plenty of time for that evening. I punch it down once after about 3 hours, then just let it sit until I'm ready to use it.

The All-In pizza includes just about everything I had in the onion, a jar of marinated capsicum, bocconcini, tomato base, fresh basil, sliced mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and olives.

The Seafood pizza had a tomato base, as well as bocconcini and sliced mushrooms and some marinara mix I picked up at the local fishmonger

Seafood pizza
Hope you like it...MONT sure did

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pale and Mysterious - Poached Chicken

This is a very pale looking dish, but what it lacks in colour it certainly makes up for in flavour....and it's just perfect now that the days are turning a little cooler here in the Southern hemisphere and it's getting warmer in the north.

I first saw Ben O'Donoghue make this on a lazy Saturday afternoon while watching "The Best in Australia" on one of the new digital TV channels. It's Poached Chicken and Tuna Mayo Salad, and I love it for it's simplicity.

Image from here

I tweaked this a little from Ben's original's my version

You'll need
1 free range chicken
2 pork bones or spare ribs
Big handful of parsley and stalks
4 spring onions, chopped in 3 inch pieces
2 cloves Garlic
1 carrot
1 lemon
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Good pinch of salt.

Tuna Mayo
1 tin Tuna in oil
3 egg yolks
Lemon juice or white wine vinegar
400 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

500g New Potatoes
8 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons capers
Chopped parsley

First of all, juice the lemon and set the juice aside for the tuna mayo. Use the cut lemon pieces in the poaching water for the chicken

To poach the chicken, place it in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add the pork bones, parsley and stalks, shallots, garlic, left over lemon halves, carrot, salt and peppercorns and bring to a simmer for six minutes then turn it off and let it stand, covered for at least 1 hour.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Don't forget to keep the chicken stock and freeze it for other dishes.

To make the tuna mayo, whisk together egg yolks and lemon...and while whisking, slowly add the olive oil. As soon as you have mayonnaise, add the broken up tuna and season to taste.

For the salad, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, drain and cut in half then set aside. Dress them with a little of your tuna mayo and add the capers.

To Serve...break up the chicken (you can discard the skin if you wish) arrange some meat on a plate with the potatoes and spoon over the mayo then garnish with the anchovy fillets.

That's it. I served this with some steamed green beans rather than a salad. Enjoy this on a lovely Sunday afternoon with the wine of your choice. We had a very nice De Bortoli Windy Peak Chardonnay

For a change, you can use celery leaves or baby spinach or any other green leafy veg you like...

It really is a lovely Sunday lunch. Yummo!

(sorry still no camera so I had to rely on Ben's photo from Best in Australia)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let's Party!

I've linked up with Sarah's Linky Blog Party, Good Life Wednesday over here at Beach Cottage

Come on over. The water's fine!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lentils - Love 'em or not?

This is a vegetarian dish that I've been making for years. I first tried it back in the early 90's after finding the recipe in the Age Epicure section. Back then Epicure was on a couple of the newspapers' pages, not the pull out, stand alone supplement it is now

Anyway, it's an aromatic lentil dish that has some cummin and curry in it...not too much though

Again, the photographs aren't top notch as they were taken on my mobile phone...

For 2 people you'll need:
1 brown onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup lentils
2 handfuls of spinach (I love spinach so I usually double this)
1 teaspoon cummin powder
1 teaspoon curry powder

Here's what you do
Fry the chopped onion in a little oil then stir in the cummin and curry powders and mix till the aroma hits you

Add the tomatoes and lentils, then cover with water, (about a cup) put on the lid and cook for about 3/4 of an hour. This may take longer, just cook until the lentils are soft and the tomatoes have collapsed and the onions have disappeared.

Turn off the heat and add the spinach, stir well and let sit until the spinach has wilted.

Put a dollop of yogurt on top and serve with good crusty bread

To make it a little more interesting, you can also add some chopped mushrooms and capsicum at the start to boost the veggie content. I've even included some pieces of pumpkin when I've had them in the fridge

Hope you like it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baking - Carrot Cake

It's been a long time between drinks...or recipes, but I'm here and I'm cookin'!

This carrot cake recipe is easier than I thought it would be. I'm used to making my tried and tested banana cake, but I think this is even better.

Here's what you'll need

 3 Eggs
 1 Cup White Sugar (or half white & half brown)
 ¾ Cup Cooking Oil (Virgin Olive Oil)
 1 1/3 Cups Of Flour
 ½ Teaspoon salt
 1 1/3 teaspoons Bicarb Soda
 1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
 1 1/3 teaspoons cinnamon
 2 cups grated raw carrot
 ½ cup nuts (I used half walnuts and half pecans)
 1 teaspoon vanilla

Here's what you do
Grease a square 8” tin. (I used a round one)
Heat oven to 300 Deg F (150 Deg C).

Beat eggs and sugar until frothy.
Add oil, stir in sifted dry ingredients then fold in carrot, nuts and vanilla.
Bake for  55mins to 1 hour.

When cool, ice with a cream cheese frosting


 4oz cream cheese
 250g (½ lb) icing sugar
 a few drops of lemon juice

It really is that simple....and it's great with a cuppa....which is what I'm about to have right now.

The photos aren't that good as they were taken on my mobile phone...hopefully I'll have a new camera soon.