Sunday, April 22, 2018

Blossom Thai, South Yarra

Friday night is often restaurant night for me.  I like to try different places as well as the old favourites.  One Friday night, we were going to the movies at Palace Como to see The Post, so it made sense to find a place to eat in South Yarra, near the cinema.

I found Blossom Thai in Toorak Road (just across the road from the cinema) by some Web searching.  When the booking was made, Tim also handily found that we had a discount voucher for Blossom Thai in our Entertainment Book (bonus!).

The interior of Blossom Thai is typical of Thai restaurants - heavy wood furniture punctuated by Asian style artwork with lots of gold:

Our host made a number of recommendations from the menu based on what is popular, so we largely went with those recommendations.  (After all, the host should know what is good!)

We started with the Potato Prawns ($9.90), pictured at the top of this post.   These tasted as good as they look.  The Potato Prawns are prawns wrapped in potato strings, then deep fried and served with sweet chilli dipping sauce - so good.

The prawns tied with our first shared main, Soft Shell Crab Curry ($24.90), as my equal favourite dishes:

In the photo, this curry doesn't look much, but there are actually two whole crabs (one each) in the curry.  The crabs are fried, and served with vegetables in a yellow curry sauce.  This was just devine.

Our second shared main was good, but did not reach the giddy heights in my estimation of the other two dishes.  It was a nightly special, being a barramundi fillet cooked in coconut milk, coated with a coconut crumb, and wrapped in a banana leaf:  

While not bad, it didn't have the wonderful depth of flavour of the curry, so we did not enjoy it as much.

For dessert, we ordered the very un-Thai like sticky date pudding ($12.90), because we both love it and our host talked up his house-made butterscotch sauce:   

Whilst not traditional, we enjoyed it very much, and our host could be deservedly proud of the sauce.

I enjoyed my meal at Blossom Thai and would happily go again.

Blossom Thai
278 Toorak Rd
South Yarra VIC 3141Ph: (03) 9827 8599

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Banana, Coffee and Cardamom Bundt Cake

I am watching Season 2 of Victoria with Jenna Coleman at the moment.  I am loving every second of it, especially the gorgeous costumes and the utterly devine Tom Hughes as Prince Albert.  I last caught up with Jenna as Clara Oswald in Doctor Who, and with Tom as Martha Costello's pupil in the first season of Silk, so this series is quite a different pace for these two actors. 

In parallel, I have restarted reading Julia Baird's excellent biography of Victoria: The Queen, which I had put down over 12 months ago due to life's distractions and the lack of portability of this weighty tome.   The most intriguing element for me about Victoria's life was the constant tensions between her desire to retain power as Queen versus the expectations of society (not to mention her husband) placed on her as wife and mother.  She was certainly a strong woman who overcame many obstacles while dealing with these tensions to maintain her hold on power.

Victoria has absolutely nothing to do with this delightful Banana, Cardamom and Coffee Cake by Helen Goh, other than that I am sure that Victoria would have enjoyed it, given her lust for food (and life in general).  The recipe came from last weekend's The Age Good Weekend magazine (p35). 

This cake is described by Helen as a banoffee pie in cake form.  I am not sure that this cake reminded me of the gorgeous, soft, toothsome caramel mouthfuls that you have with banoffee pie; however, this cake is absolutely delicious in its own right.  It disappeared at work in record time; and there I was wondering if people would like it because of the sticky coffee flavoured caramel pooled on the plate.    

You will be pleased to know that the recipe for this cake is widely publicly available on the Web here.  There is nothing hard about making this cake.  Just be careful, as always, when making the caramel, as it has a hissy fit when you add the cream and coffee.  Burning yourself with hot caramel would take the gloss off the experience.

If you like banana cake and caramel, you will love this moist, tender cake with its lashings of coffee caramel. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Pulled Pork Rolls with Fennel & Apple Slaw - Red Tractor April

It's time for this month's Red Tractor calendar recipe, which is Pulled Pork Rolls with Fennel & Apple Slaw.

Before we get started, this is April's calendar quote:

I am not sure that this always holds true, but certainly I can thank my Mum for a good solid start in life and ongoing support.

I did not use the calendar recipe for the pork; instead, I used this slow cooker recipe from 

I agree with the comments on the recipe that the spice content could have been upped a bit, but in the end, it was ok and fit for purpose.

Here is my assembled roll (open roll is featured at the top of the post to showcase the slaw):

Once you have your pulled pork, you will need the following to make up the rolls:

1 thinly sliced fennel bulb, retain fronds
2 tablespoons parsley leaves (I skipped it)
1 pink lady apple, skin on, quartered and thinly sliced (or any red apple)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1/4 cup aioli (or 1/4 cup mayo with a squirt of garlic paste mixed in) 
6 crusty bread roll, split
3-4 cups pulled pork

Toss, the fennel, fronds, parsley, apple slices, olive oil, sugar and juice together.  Season with salt and pepper and stand for 5 minutes.

Mix the aioli and mustard together and spread on the bread rolls.

Top each roll with a handful of pulled pork and slaw (and crispy pork skin if you have any - mine was chewy sadly). 

I liked the aioli and mustard spread and would do that again.  I also quite liked the slaw.  However, there seemed to be a lot of pork, so I might cheat if I made these again and use sliced pork from the deli or some alternative.

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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TWD - Pailles

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Pailles, which apparently means "straws" because these pastries are meant to resemble rows of straw all lined up.

Pailles are made of puff pastry that has been layered with egg wash and sugar, then folded and cut and arranged so there are oodles of individual strips of puff pastry lined up in little squares.  These squares are then baked until crispy, filled with jam, and sprinkled with icing sugar.

I used a pineapple jam made from Helen Goh's recipe for Lunar New Year tarts to fill my Pailles instead of the more traditional berry jam.

I did not expect much of these pastries, and initially thought it was rather mad to take the trouble to do all of the folding and cutting and arranging of the pastry.  However, I was convinced otherwise once tasting them.  The pastry caramelises in the oven and tastes so good.  This was another Dorie surprise hit.

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

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Pear ginger and olive oil cake - Honey & Co

I had imposed a semi-ban on buying new cookbooks as I already have so many, but when I saw the Honey & Co The Baking Book on sale (sold as Golden in the US) recently, I decided to buy it. Honey & Co cookbooks have gorgeous covers, evocative writing, interesting recipes and gorgeous photography.  Both of their books have been out for a few years now, but I resisted buying it until recently, and I have not been disappointed.

I have bookmarked a number of recipes to make, but first cab off the rank is their Pear Ginger and Olive Oil Cake.  I decided to make it after seeing a few pear cake recipes around, and pears being quite good and cheap at present.

This cake has a lovely sugary crunchy top studded with pear wedges, and is filled with fruit and spices.  It is a seriously good cake.

The recipe for this cake is also online here, should you care to make it.  I thought this cake was wonderful and urge you to give it a go, particularly if you like pear and ginger.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Chicken, Plum and Chilli Tray Bake

Happy Friday!! This morning's post is short and sweet to share one of the dishes that I made recently.  This was Chicken, Plum and Chilli Tray Bake out of the March 2018 Coles magazine. There are haters of meat and fruit combinations but I am not one of them, and I was excited to find another good plum recipe while plums are still in season (because that autumn chill is definitely in the air).

I used a green chilli instead of a red chilli because my little Woolworths Metro had no red chillies when I went to buy the ingredients - go figure.  However, I have become very lazy with the supermarket so close and I wasn't going anywhere else to get that red chilli. The flavours have a terrific Asian slant, with soy, oyster sauce, star anise, chilli, ginger, orange and plum.

I enjoyed the flavours of this dish, but would have liked  a bit more sauce.  And of course, mine looks nothing like the photo (taken from the Taste website, which Coles seems to be in partnership with). 

If you are tempted to try this meat and fruit combination (ignoring my unglamourous rendition of this dish), you can find the recipe online here.  It was delicious (it's hard to stuff up baked chicken), just needed more sauce, as I said.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

TWD - Sunny-Side-Up Meringues

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Sunny-Side-Up Meringues.  They are so called because they look like fried eggs.

These meringues are baked with a cavity formed with your finger in the middle, and the cavity is filled with Citrus Curd.  I even made Dorie's Mixed Citrus Curd because I had an orange I had bought for something else just for the skin, so it seemed a shame to waste it (it cost the princely sum of $1.50!). The curd recipe makes two Bon Mamon sized jars of curd.  This is quite a lot of curd for someone like me and there are lots of leftovers.

There is not much else to say about these - they are easy to make, although a little time consuming (1 1/2 hours baking and 2 hours cooling in the oven).  The sharpness of the curd cuts nicely through the tooth aching sweetness of the meringue.

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

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Red Tractor March - Colcannon

It was St Patrick's Day yesterday, so it seemed fitting to make the Red Tractor March recipe - Colcannon.  Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of cabbage and mashed potatoes all mixed together - a bit like Heaven and Earth is apples and mashed potatoes.

I chose to serve my Colcannon with corned beef, mustard, tomato sauce and mixed vegetables - a pretty good meal.  Corned beef is also quite economical as you get a lot of meat for your money and there are always tons of leftovers.

Here is the accompanying Red Tractor quote for March, an Irish blessing:

To make Colcannon, you will need:

1kg Sebago potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 cup milk
a knob of butter

Boil up the potatoes and cabbage separately until soft, and drain.

Mash the potatoes, then add the garlic, butter and milk and mix well.

Add the cabbage, spring onions and parsley and mix well again.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Persian Chicken and Roasted Plum Salad

Back in the summer, I made a Persian Chicken and Roasted Plum Salad from the January 2018 Coles magazine, which was very tasty.  The recipe is online here.  You will instantly note that my version is not all posed and pretty like theirs.  That doesn't mean it wasn't good.

This salad contains chicken, pearl barley (I used cous cous instead), plums, pumpkin, cinnamon, pistachios, mint and feta.  Those are some wonderful flavours all in one salad.  

Plum season is coming to a close here soon, but if you are coming into summer instead of winter, this tasty chicken and plum salad could be an excellent addition to your repertoire.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

TWD - Apple Weekend Cake

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Apple Weekend Cake.  I made it on Melbourne's Labour Day holiday, when the annual Moomba parade is held.

This is a good, solid, honest cake with chunks of apple and rum and vanilla for flavouring.  It is easy to make and even easier to eat, with the apple giving it moisture and texture. It was also a fab way to breathe new life into rather leathery old apples.

I would definitely make this cake again - it is delicious.

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

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Chocolate, Plum and Macadamia Cake

As long time readers know, I have an eye for unusual cakes.  As soon as I laid eyes on Jordan Rondel's Chocolate, Plum and Macadamia Cake,  I knew I had found yet another kindred spirit cake.

The ingredients in this cake, as the name suggests, are delicious - chocolate, plums and macadamias, all baked up into one lovely cake.

However, what you do need to know is that this cake is, like the old Picnic ads, "deliciously ugly":

It didn't help that I poured the ganache onto the warm cake as I wanted to cut a slice for a friend I was seeing the day I made it. 

Despite the less than Instagram-ready appearance, I received lots of compliments on the flavour of this cake.   I even received a request for the recipe.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jordan Rondel, she is a New Zealand cake maker who makes beautiful, naturally decorated cakes and trades as The Caker.  Her website is here. I own her first book and have made a few things from it, including this Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake.

If you love plums, chocolate and macadamias, this may be the cake for you.  It is delicious!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

International Women's Day Cupcakes

Today is International Women's Day.  At work, there will be presentations by illustrious women both external and internal to my employer.  I am going to the presentation by the women who are employed in management at my employer to hear about their journeys to their current positions.

I also made these purple and green cupcakes, the colours of International Women's Day.  I didn't want to go too fancy.  In the end, I made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing from my usual recipe, and coloured a half batch of the buttercream with two drops red and one drop blue liquid colouring to make a pretty lavender coloured icing.  (I was terrified of making some horrid murky grey colour.)

The flowers are made from Dr Oetker's green ready to roll icing punched into flowers with a plunger cutter.  I used the blunt end of a skewer rolled in the centre of the flowers to give them a little petal like shape, and a dab of water to stick black sugar pearls into the middle of each flower as the centre.

The piping is not as neat as it could be, but at 10.30pm at night when I was doing it, these things tend not to bother me too much.

I think the cupcakes look pretty neat, and they are a fun way to mark the occasion of IWD.

Happy International Women's Day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

TWD - Hamantaschen

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, I have made Hamantaschen.  These are Jewish cookies made to celebrate Purim (which was from 28 February to 1 March this year).  

These cookies have three corners to represent the three-cornered hat worn by Haman, the Persian Grand Vizer and the villain in the story who wanted to kill all of the Jews because Malacai  refused to bow down to him.  Malacai and his mother Esther learned of Haman's plot, saved the Jews and did away with Haman.  I have wanted to make Hamantaschen
since first seeing a recipe for them in The New York Times, so TWD finally got me to make them.  I made the full batch and got 23 cookies (Dorie says 24 so I was pleased).

The cookie dough is very like rugelach dough, and is not easy to work with.  Once it is removed from the freezer, you have to work with it quickly, otherwise it sticks to everything and tears.  The cookies are filled with a rough dried fruit jam. They taste like an Arnotts Spicy Fruit Roll.  I quite liked them, but they won't feature regularly in my house because the dough is hard to work with.

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