Tuesday, March 26, 2019

TWD - Toasted Buckwheat and Chopped Chocolate Sables

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Toasted Buckwheat and Chopped Chocolate Sables.  These cookies contain toasted buckwheat flour, which gives the cookies their distinctive flavour and colour. They are also studded with chopped chocolate.

I loved the smell of these cookies while they were baking - the buckwheat’s distinctive nutty aroma filled the kitchen.

I also enjoyed the flavour of these cookies - they are so good. And I was delighted that the cookies did not spread into each other!

These cookies are what other Doristas call “keepers”.

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 23, 2019

Popcorn Chocolate Chip Honeycomb Cookies

You can't spell truth without Ruth.
                                                    Aminatou Sow, RBG

When I made my Irish Gold Rush Cupcakes, I made a big ol' batch of honeycomb for decoration, and had tonnes left over.  I ate some and gave some away, but I still had a heap of it, so I thought that the honeycomb would  go great in these Popcorn Chocolate Chip Cookies in place of nuts.

I used salted olive oil popcorn that I had been given at a screening of RBG but did not eat.  Rather than waste the popcorn, I took it home to cook with.  If you haven't seen RBG, I seriously recommend that you seek it out and watch it.  Ruth Bader Ginsberg changed the course of life for Western women through her legal activism for equality for men and women.  She herself had to overcome a strong prejudice against women lawyers to succeed.  Ruth also had an amazing husband by her side who was ahead of his time, supporting Ruth's career and doing all the cooking (because she is apparently a lousy cook). It is a terrific documentary, and Ruth's life is inspiring.

Let me tell you, these cookies may not be lookers, but they are seriously delicious.  My cookies were a little more spread than they should be - maybe it was the hot weather, maybe it was the melting honeycomb, it matters not.  The taste is all that counts, and they were good.

If you would like to try these Popcorn Chocolate Chip Honeycomb Cookies, you will need:

1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped honeycomb

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  With the stand mixer on low speed, add the flour into the butter mixture and beat until just combined.

Using your hands, lightly crush the popcorn. Using a rubber spatula, fold the popcorn, chocolate chips and honeycomb into the cookie dough.

Place tablespoons of   cookie dough onto the baking sheets, about 3 cm apart.  (Mine still spread into each other.)  Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until they turn golden brown (~ 15 minutes).

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets before carefully removing them with a plastic spatula.

Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

All Day Breakfast (Bauernfruhstuck)

Rise and shine, it's brekky time!  I have never been one for skipping breakfast, as I wake up ravenous pretty much every day.  During the working week, my breakfast is consistently cereal with fruit because that is a quick and easy option.  However, on the weekends, I will sometimes take the time to experiment with other things for breakfast because I have the time to cook, and I have whatever is in my fridge at my disposal.

A novel way to try a fry up is Anja Dunk's recipe for All Day Breakfast.  It is a hearty way to start the day, hence its other name, the farmer's breakfast, as it would provide enough nutrition to keep a hard working farmer on the go.  

The All Day Breakfast is a little like a frittata, in that it is based on eggs, and then you add whatever you like to them.  For example, I did not have the suggested ham on hand, but I did have sliced silverside, which I popped into my dish.  This dish also features potatoes, so if hash potatoes are a big part of your breakfast, you can also cover off that base in this one delicious dish.

To make your own all day breakfast in a size sufficient to serve 4-6 people (I obviously made a serve for one), you will need:

25g butter
500g thinly sliced cooked potatoes
6 thinly chopped spring onions
6 thinly chopped slices ham
100g blanched green beans, chopped
5 eggs, whisked
100ml sour cream or cream
80g grated cheese
40g grated Parmesan (I skipped this as I didn't have any)
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Melt the butter in a large oven proof frying pan, then add the potatoes.  Fry the potatoes for 5 minutes until they start to turn brown at the edges.

Add the spring onions, ham and beans to the pan and fry for another 2 minutes.

In a large jug, whisk together the eggs, cream, cheeses and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan, tilting the pan from side to side to ensure the egg mixture is evenly spread across the pan.  Fry the mixture for 2 minutes.

Put the frying pan into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is golden brown on top and the eggs are set.

Eat and enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

TWD - Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies.  

These unusual cookies are made with semolina, almond meal, lemon zest and icing sugar.  They puff up and crackle in the oven, giving them a distinctive appearance.

These cookies are slightly grainy in texture, but are utterly delicious - crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.  I really enjoyed them and would make them again.

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

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Irish Goldrush Cupcakes for St Patricks Day

It is St Patrick's Day today, so time to get out your best green finery, drink green beer and sing Irish songs.  In Australia, there is a St Patrick's Day parade held in many cities and towns around the country so that people can celebrate their Irish heritage - or their wannabe Irishness!

I decided to make cake to celebrate St Patrick's Day, because that is what I do.  I saw what looked like a great idea for Irish Gold Rush cupcakes online here. These cupcakes look super, but unfortunately I encountered a few problems trying to make them.  First up, the recipe lists sugar in the ingredients, but not in the method, so there was no prompt to add sugar to the cake batter.  I wondered about the weird rubbery texture of my batter and stuck my cupcakes in the oven for 10 minutes before I re-read the ingredients and realised that there was no sugar in the batter. Those cakes went straight to the garbage.  

Instead, for round 2, I made the good old reliable Primrose Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes and dyed them green.  Here are the cakes with their centres all hollowed out, ready for the chocolate sauce (or in my case, Nutella) filling:

And here they are again, filled with a teaspoon of Nutella: 

I skipped the alcohol in the filling, as these cupcakes were going to be taken to work for my colleagues.

My next hurdle came trying to make the honeycomb for the topping, using the Scranline method.  The method said to boil the ingredients until they turned golden brown - umm, but they were golden brown almost straight away because one of the ingredients was golden syrup.  If you watch the video that accompanies the recipe (which I only did afterwards), you are told to boil the ingredients for 5-6 minutes.  There was no timing given in the written recipe. I believe that I removed my attempt at honeycomb from the heat way too soon, as I ended up with a delicious but sticky, stretchy, taffy-like substance, which also went to the bin.  

I remembered that Johanna had made honeycomb recently, so I went to her blog and made the recipe she gives for honeycomb instead.  Success: 

I now have a metric tonne of honeycomb (or what seems like it!), but it worked like a charm so that I had viable, crunchy honeycomb for the gold nuggets on top of my cupcakes.

As I had now diverged so far from the original recipe for the Irish Goldrush Cupcakes, I decided to keep going down that track.  I used my favourite vanilla frosting from the Primrose Bakery, dyed a festive shade of Irish green, to ice the cakes, and in addition to the gold honeycomb nuggets, I added a rainbow (to represent the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - get it?) in the form of a sour strap:  

I was pretty pleased with the end result, and the cupcakes were delicious if I say so myself.  I liked the "surprise inside" of the Nutella, which complemented the honeycomb nicely.  No-one at work got the Irish theme until I explained it, but that's OK.

Are you doing anything for St Patrick's Day?  Do you have an annual tradition like going to your local for a green beer or marching in the St Patrick's Day parade?

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

TWD - Banana-Chocolate Chaussons

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Banana-Chocolate Chaussons.  I am not a French speaker, so I had no idea what this was until I read the recipe.  I was relieved to see that a chausson is simply a turnover - puff pastry filled with a sweet filling.

I am rather time poor this week, so I was glad that this was an easy recipe.  Basically, it involves cutting puff pastry sheets into squares, filling them  with chopped banana, chopped chocolate, sugar, butter and nutmeg, and baking them until puffed and golden.

The bananas meld into the chocolate during baking, so the filling is like a very smooth, creamy chocolate paste, not unlike Nutella.  I enjoyed my chausson as is, but you could serve it with cream or icecream to jazz it up if you wish.  The only requirement is that the chaussons are served warm (my favourite) or at room temperature.  Delicious and easy - a winner!

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

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Lemon Chia Seed Cake

Recently, I picked a copy of a Delicious magazine cookbook.  I was attracted by the lovely looking dishes with a slightly healthier twist.

The first recipe that caught my eye was a Lemon Chia Seed Cake, which a Web search indicated is by Sydney chef, Matt Moran. This cake is made entirely on wholemeal flour, which intrigued me, because I would have thought it would make the resulting cake quite dense.

Wrong!  The cake was as light as a feather, and absolutely delicious.  It went like hotcakes at work, and I admit to taking an extra slice because I liked to so much.  

The cake contains black chia seeds, which pleased me because I could use up some of the chia seeds I already had (and now don't know what to do with).  It  is lightly flavoured with lemon, and lemon zest decorates the cake, which adds to the light lemon flavour.

Instead of the yoghurt icing, I made a lemon glaze, for the sole reason that the glaze is more transportable.  However, if you were making this at home, yoghurt icing would be perfect.

To make this cake, you will need:

2 tablespoons black chia seeds
80ml milk
400g wholemeal plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g butter
200g light muscovado sugar (I just used brown sugar)
2 eggs
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
250g Greek yoghurt

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and lightly grease or oil a 22cm ring tin or bundt pan.

Combine the chia seeds and milk in a small bowl and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy ("creamed", in the old parlance).  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Add the chia seed mixture and the lemon juice and zest and beat on low until just  combined.

Alternately add the flour and yoghurt to the cake batter in two batches, beating on low until just combined.

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through.  Allow the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

Once the cake has cooled, unmould it and ice with yoghurt icing or a simple lemon glaze (made with a mixture of icing sugar and lemon juice).  Decorate with more lemon zest, if desired.

Serve and enjoy!!!