Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TWD - Mocha ricotta puffs

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Mocha Ricotta Puffs.  These are chocolate and coffee flavoured biscuits containing ricotta for smoothness.

The dough is quite sticky and dense, which made the cookies a little challenging to release from the cookie scoop.  I dipped the scoop in water every second cookie or so to help me to remove the dough from the scoop.

I made a full recipe and took them into work, where they promptly disappeared.  I thought they were good, and not dissimilar to a cakey brownie in taste and texture.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

TWD - Apple Matafan

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, I made Apple Matafan.  This is a chunky, cakey, apple-packed pancake made entirely in a skillet on the stovetop.  It is sprinkled with icing sugar and optionally, drizzled with maple syrup (of course).

I made one third of the recipe, enough for two.  Here's a peek inside:

It was delicious served warm, though I thought it definitely needed the maple syrup for moisture.  A word of warning - it is also very filling.  Don't be suckered into a double helping unless you are really hungry.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Baked Doughnuts with Citrus Curd

If you are a fan of doughnuts but deep frying makes you go cold, baked doughnuts could be the answer for you.  Honey & Co The Baking Book features a recipe for Baked Doughnuts filled with Lemon and Lime Curd that doesn't even require a special pan or a doughnut cutter - you just roll a butter rich dough into balls, bake them, coat them in butter and citrus sugar, and fill them with citrus curd.

Don't they look great:

Be careful though - they are very rich and buttery and sugary, so in the future, I would make them half the size.

I used Dorie's Citrus Curd to fill the doughnuts  rather than making the Honey & Co lemon and lime curd.

Tempted?  The recipe (with a few modifications by me) is as follows:


3 eggs
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
300g white bread flour
25ml milk
125g diced cold butter


Citrus curd 

Put all the dough ingredients except the butter in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and combine at low speed.  Once the dough forms a ball, add the butter, a little at a time, until it is all combined into the dough.  Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Take the chilled dough and divide it into 8 even sized pieces (~ 80g each).  Roll each piece into a ball on a floured surface, and place on a baking tray (about 5 cm apart).  Allow the balls to rise to double their original size.  (Mine took ages - well over an hour.)

Heat your oven to 230 degrees Celsius.  Bake the risen doughnuts in the oven for 8-10 minutes, by which time they should be golden brown on the outside. 

While the doughnuts are baking, melt 160g butter.

In another bowl, combine 100g sugar with the zest of a lime and rub the zest into the sugar until fragrant. (I used the zest of half a lemon instead.)

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and allow to stand for 4 minutes.  Using tongs, dip the doughnuts, one at a time, into the melted butter, then roll in the sugar.  All of the butter should be soaked up by the 8 doughnuts.  Be careful when handling the warm doughnuts, as they are quite fragile.

Pipe citrus curd into the doughnuts using a piping bag fitted with a long tip, inserted into the top of each doughnut.

Preferably serve warm on the day they are made.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Crispy Beef & Shiitake Noodles

Today is a significant day in history, at least for some famous musical (or musically associated) people that interest me.  First up, it is the lovely Jane Asher's 72nd birthday.  If I had the time, I would have baked one of Jane's cakes from Beautiful Baking.  Jane used to own a shop called Jane Asher Party Cakes and Sugarcraft in Chelsea, which I visited way back in 2006.  Jane is multi-talented - she is also a famous actress (from the original Alfie among many other things dating back to her childhood), and even wrote a fancy dress costume book back in the 1980s that featured a young Emilia Fox as one of the models.  Jane was also famously Paul McCartney's girlfriend (and at one stage, fiancĂ©) during the 1960s.   

It is also Agnetha Faltskog's 68th birthday.  Agnetha is, of course, the blonde bombshell from ABBA, the 1970s supergroup.   I grew up on a steady diet of ABBA, and I vaguely remember having ABBA socks (being way too young to attend their concerts or buy their albums).  I still love watching ABBA videos and singing along to their music.

And also on this day, on a much more sobering note, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana ended his own life.  It is not an event I would have remembered being today, but I was reminded of the fact when watching the Smells Like Teen Spirit video on YouTube and seeing the comments. It's funny how I thought of that song today.

These things have nothing to do with today's recipe, but I thought it would be remiss of me to let the day go by without mentioning these famous people who have impacted me in one way or another.

The recipe is for Crispy Beef and Shiitake Noodles, from p37 of the March 2018 edition of Taste magazine. I love a stir fry, and this one has strong Asian flavours that are sure to please stir fry fans.

To make it, you will need:

450g fresh hokkien noodles
2 teaspoons sesame oil
200g halved shiitake mushrooms
3 crushed cloves garlic
450g beef, cut into strips
3 teaspoons ginger paste (I just used crushed ginger from the tube)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/4 cup cornflour
1/4 cup peanut oil (I just used olive oil)
200g bunch broccolini, halved lengthways
100g baby spinach
1/4 cup oyster sauce
toasted sesame seeds and sliced fresh red chilli for serving

Prepare the noodles if you want to according to the packet (I never bother).

Heat the sesame oil in a wok and add the mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.  Add half the garlic and stir fry til golden.  Transfer to a bowl.

Combine the beef, ginger, five spice, wine and the rest of the garlic in a bowl.  Transfer to a plastic bag, add the cornflour and shake to coat.

Heat the peanut oil in the wok, and cook the beef in three batches.  Transfer each batch to a plate once cooked.

Add the broccolini to the wok and cook over medium high heat until tender crisp.  Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes, then add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Return the mushrooms and beef to the pan, add the oyster sauce and toss to coat.

Serve sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and chilli. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

TWD - Kamish (Mandelbrot)

Today's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is a recipe for Mandelbrot that was nicknamed "kamish" by its creator.  "Mandelbrot" literally means "almond bread", and this one has big chunks of almond in it.  Other flavours include vanilla, cinnamon and coconut.

Mandelbrot are a little like biscotti, in that they are baked then cut and baked again on each of the cut sides.  In between bakes, the cookies are coated with a mixture of coconut, cinnamon and sugar.

These cookies are crumbly to cut into pieces after the first bake, but if you use the right knife and have patience, they turn out mostly OK.  And the crumbly bits are delicious to eat as is!!

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Chicken Everest with Yellow Rice

I have owned The Monday Morning Cooking Club - The Feast Goes On for quite a while (umm, apparently about three or four years), but until recently had never made anything from it.  One weekend I pulled it out and searched specifically for a tempting dinner to make from it.

I decided to make Reuben Solomon's recipe for Chicken Everest (p166).  I had never heard of this dish before, but a quick Internet search shows that there are plenty of variations of it out there.  I chose this dish because it looked like a great spicy Sunday roast.

I did find making the paste to coat the chicken very messy, with herbs and spices all over the place.  However, I did like the flavour it gave to the chicken.  (Note that my chicken looks nothing like the photo in the book!)

The recipe suggested that I serve it with Shereen Aaron's Yellow Rice (p163), so inventively, that is just what I did.  I loved this tasty rice and would happily serve it with anything:

To make the Chicken Everest, you will need:

A 1.5kg chicken
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garam marsala
2 tablespoons lemon juice
10 fresh curry leaves (I subbed in parsley because I couldn't get the leaves)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons ground rice  (nup!)
3 chopped spring onions
1 small handful coriander leaves

Put all of the ingredients except the chicken in a food processor and pulse to make a paste.  Thin it out with water if necessary to make a spreading consistency.

Rub the chicken inside, outside and under the skin with the paste, then marinate the chicken in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.  Put the chicken in an oiled roasting dish and bake uncovered for an hour and a quarter or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked right through.

To make the Yellow Rice, you will need:

1 tablespoon oil
1 finely chopped small onion
black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup rinsed basmati rice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and fry the onion until soft.  Add the pepper and turmeric and cook until fragrant.  Add the rice and stir to coat with the onion mix.

Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil.  Add salt to taste, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Serve!

This meal would be a terrific Easter feast, or a beaut Sunday roast.  Just be prepared for the mess when making the paste.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hot Cross Buns - Gewurzhaus recipe

Easter is fast approaching, and Good Friday is the first of the Easter holidays.  It wouldn't be Good Friday in our family unless you eat fish for every meal, and you have hot cross buns.

I am enjoying trying the various flavours of hot cross buns that are available now, with my favourite being Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns from Bakers Delight.

On the weekend, I visited one of my favourite stores, Gewurzhaus, in Hawksburn Village.  Every year they stock beautiful traditional wooden ornaments sourced from Germany.  They also stock a Hot Cross Bun Spice Mix.  Although I couldn't justify purchasing a wooden ornament, I did buy some of the hot cross bun spice mix.  The spice mix came with a recipe for traditional style hot cross buns, so what better excuse would I get to make my  own hot cross buns.    

The Gewurzhaus hot cross bun recipe makes 16 buns.  I was a little overwhelmed by the thought of having so many buns around, so I halved the recipe to make eight buns.

I was a little concerned about how my buns would turn out, but I needn't have been concerned.  Home-made buns are never as fluffy as the store bought variety, but then you have to wonder what they put in the store bought ones to make them that fluffy.  The taste was spot on and they were not too heavy.

The recipe for the Gewurzhaus hot cross buns is as follows:

500g bread flour or plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
75g sugar
1 sachet dry yeast (7g)
2-3 tablespoons Gewurzhaus hot cross bun spice mix (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, coriander, citrus)
300ml milk
65g butter
1 large egg, beaten
150g currants or mixed fruit
4 tablespoons self raising flour
4 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons sugar
75ml boiling water
1/4 teaspoon hot cross bun spice mix
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the spice, salt, sugar and yeast and mix through.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk over a low heat, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, take off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk mixture. Add the beaten egg and mix well, working from the inside out, slowly incorporating the dry ingredients to form a dough. Add in the dried fruit, and knead through the dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and not sticky anymore. You may need to slightly adjust the mixture if it is too dry/wet with milk/flour. 
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel.  Place in a warm spot to rise for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn the dough out and punch down to remove any air.  Cut the dough into 16 equal sized pieces. Place buns close together onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for a further hour.
In the meantime, make the mixture for the crosses. Mix flour and water into a smooth, thick paste. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the mixture for your crosses into a zip lock bag, cut a small hole out of a corner and pipe onto the buns. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
While the buns are baking, make the glaze by adding the glaze ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, and continue to simmer until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens a little.  Brush the glaze over the buns as soon as they are removed from the oven to give them sheen.
Serve the buns hot with a little butter.