Tuesday, March 24, 2020

TWD - Nutella-Banana Panna Cotta

Last night, my external-to-work choir had practice via live streaming on Facebook.  I was not certain it would work, but it did, and it was marvellous. It lifted my spirits and is the most joyous thing I have done for a while. Singing and baking are my refuge and joy in these troubled times, so despite having no-one to share my baking with for now, I hope to minify recipes and bake on.

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Nutella-Banana Panna Cotta.  I was skeptical as to whether the banana flavour would come through, but it did.

The finished dessert was smooth and silky and delicious:

It was like a chocolate banana mousse.

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

Monday, March 23, 2020

Bacon and Egg Pie

Rosina goes to market everyday ...

For a while last week, I felt like Rosina, going to market every day to try and buy what I needed from the supermarket. To the credit of the supermarkets, I was eventually able to buy everything I needed but one, and that one thing I can live without.

Australia is implementing phase one lock down to stop non-essential travel.  Many state borders are locked down from tonight. It is a very uncertain time.

Baking is dear to my heart. It makes me happy. I also love sharing my baking with my colleagues, but that is not possible right now. However, I intend to bake on, albeit in a more limited way.

I decided to make my Mum’s Bacon and Egg Pie on the weekend. I have made it once before in a different form. You can find the recipe here.

The changes that I made from the published recipe are as follows:

1. Instead of filo for the crust, I mixed 1 cup of VitaWheat biscuit crumbs with 60g of melted butter and pressed the mixture into the base of an 8” pie pan, and chilled it while I made the filling.

2.  I swapped the ham for 2 large bacon rashers which I chopped into small pieces and fried with a chopped onion before adding to the filling.

3. I chopped up half a fresh tomato and added it to the filling.

This pie is delicious served with salad or cooked greens.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

TWD - Garam Grahams

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Garam Grahams. I was pleased as I already had all of the ingredients.  These biscuits are savoury Graham Crackers flavoured with garam marsala.

I made only a quarter of the recipe, which is just as well as that is all the garam marsala I had left.

I was pleasantly surprised by these biscuits - they are utterly delicious, with a mildly spiced earthy wheaten flavour.

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

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Cherry Pie for Pi Day

Today is Pi Day (3/14 in US date format), being the first three digits of the mathematical value, Pi. I finally remembered to make a pie for the occasion, joining in all the online fun.

I decided to make a cherry pie using some fresh frozen cherries I had. This pie was not the most successful pie I have ever made, as the filling was quite runny (the recipe insisted on 3 cups of liquid):

However, it tasted pretty good anyway, despite resembling a pie that had been run over by a car once I cut into it:

I will publish  the recipe for completeness (someone gave it to me from a photocopy), and you can decide for yourself whether to reduce the liquid (I recommend doing so because it was very runny):

Pie crust

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup Crisco
1/4 cup ice water

Mix the flour and Crisco together with a pastry cutter until it looks like small peas. Add the water and bring the mixture together with your hands.  Roll the dough into a ball, divide it in two, and roll each ball out with a rolling pin between 2 sheets of baking paper until it is large enough to line an 8” pie tin.  Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.


3 cups fresh frozen cherries, thawed and juice retained
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup water
4 tablespoons cornflour

Pit the cherries and drain the juice out of them into a bowl. The recipe says this should yield 2 cups of juice - I only got 1 cup.  Add the water to the juice to make up to 3 cups of liquid (which I believe is way too much).

Take 1 cup of cherry juice mixture and whisk in the cornflour.

Put the remaining 2 cups of juice, 2/3 cup of the sugar and the salt into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil.  Add the remaining 1 cup of juice, and cook the liquid until it becomes clear and thickens slightly.  Add the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and mix to combine.

Place the drained cherries into a bowl and pour over the liquid, and stir to blend. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally  to avoid scum forming on top.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Line a greased 8” pie tin with one sheet of pastry. Pour the cherry mixture into the pastry crust. With the remaining sheet of pastry, form a lattice crust on top the cherry mixture. Brush the top of the lattice crust with a beaten egg.

Bake the pie in the oven for 35-40 minutes then remove from the oven. Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack to room temperature before serving.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Best Ever Chocolate Cake for Queen Baking Club

For one of the Queen Baking Club challenges, our challenge recipe was Best Ever Chocolate Cake from this Queen recipe

As someone said on the Facebook site, this chocolate cake is so wonderfully chocolatey and rich, it could well be the Bruce Bogtrotter cake.

The recipe tells you how to convert it to cupcakes if you prefer.  I only made a half recipe as it was quite a big cake.

I think the photos speak for themselves.  Enjoy making this easy but delicious chocolate cake from Queen Fine Foods!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

TWD - Coco Rochers

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Coco Rochers - or in common parlance, coconut macaroons. They contain just four ingredients - egg whites, sugar, shredded coconut and vanilla extract.

The dough is made by heating all of the ingredients but the vanilla until the mixture is hot to touch, then mixing in the vanilla and chilling the mixture for a few hours.  When ready to bake, take the dough and scoop it, roll it into balls or shape it into little pyramids (the latter of which I did, because why not!).  The macaroons are then baked until they are just golden on the outside and firm to the touch.

I liked these macaroons - they are rather sweet so one or two is enough, but good. They are crispy on the outside and chewy and soft in the middle.

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

Monday, March 9, 2020

Ottolenghi's Spiced Shepherd's Pie with Butterbean Crust

I own a copy of Ottolenghi's Simple, and have baked numerous terrific sweet dishes from that book.  However, I thought it was time to try some of the savoury dishes.  I started with the Spiced Shepherd's Lamb Pie with Butterbean Crust.  If you don't own Simple, Ottolenghi has published the recipe in The Guardian here

Traditionally, Shepherd's Pie has a mashed potato crust, so I found the idea of a mashed butterbean crust quite intriguing. Tahini is mixed through the butterbeans to give a lovely nutty flavour.

I also mixed things up by using pork mince instead of lamb mince. 

The mince filling contains green olives and dried apricots, giving the pie an exotic, tagine-like flavour.

I served my Shepherd's Pie with boiled beans and carrots that had a tablespoon of carrots mixed through.  It was a wonderful feast for a cool evening.