Tuesday, January 29, 2019

TWD - Coffee Cardamom Cookies

As there are five Tuesdays in January, Tuesday with Dorie is having a Rewind Tuesday today.  I missed week one of January, so my make-up recipe is Coffee Cardamom Cookies.

These cookies are absolutely scrumptious, provided that you are a coffee lover (which I am).  They contain coffee powder and cardamom, and are topped with an egg white glaze.  These cookies are tiny yet pack a flavour punch - they are a very grown-up cookie and taste so good.

To see what everyone else made this week (if like me they had something to make up), visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ottolenghi's Hazelnut, Peach and Raspberry Cake

I recently acquired a copy of Ottolenghi's new book, Simple.  I bought one for a friend, but on seeing the reviews, I could not resist buying one for me.  

As my passion is for making sweet treats, I naturally drifted towards the desserts section first.  It is summer here at present, and stone fruit are available in all their seasonal glory, so on this basis, I decided to make Ottolenghi's Hazelnut, Peach and Raspberry Cake.

This is a glorious cake with a crusty outside hiding a soft, cakey interior, and the peach slices and raspberries, which are placed on top of the cake at the start of baking, deliberately sink into the cake, so they are buried like hidden treasure within the slices of the finished cake. 

This recipe was posted online by The Guardian before Simple was released, and can be found here.

Ottolenghi recommends serving this cake warm.  I agree that it tasted (and smelled!) devine warm, but this cake is also good served cooled.

I highly recommend giving this cake a go  - it is delicious.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

TWD - Chocolate Coconut Tart

This week's Tuesday with Dorie (BCM) recipe is Chocolate Coconut Tart.  This recipe was inspired by Dorie's liking for the Mounds bar, which I understand to be like an Australian Bounty Bar - coconut enrobed in chocolate. 

This tart was not hard to make, but was time consuming because of all of the elements involved - a fully baked and cooled tart shell, a cooled coconut cream filling, and a chocolate ganache topping.

My tart shell got a little too dark in one spot, which means that I probably put it too close to the oven flame.  However, in my view, this did not detract from the overall deliciousness of the tart. 

Apart from the fact that the components are contained in a tart shell, the key difference between a Bounty Bar and this tart is that the filling has both toasted and untoasted coconut in it, and the filling is creamier than the chocolate bar.  Dorie described the ganache on top as velvety, and it did not disappoint.  Overall, I loved this tart.

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

Friday, January 18, 2019


It is amazing the things you find out completely by accident.  In my case, the accident occurred when I bought Sunkist instead of Diet Coke by mistake from a vending machine.  I didn't want to waste the Sunkist, so I hit the Web to search for baking recipes using orange soft drink - and came up with Fantakuchen!

According to Wikipedia, Fanta originated in Germany as a cola substitute when there was an embargo on cola ingredients during the second world war.  Its name comes from the German word for imagination, "fantasie".  Now Fanta is made all over the world in a variety of flavours, not just the original orange.  My brother is obsessed with a Full Frontal comedy sketch from the 1990s where a little boy steals a soft serve icecream by distracting the driver with a request for a can of Fanta.

Fantakuchen is a popular German cake which the Web informs me originated in a Dr Oetker cookbook.  The addition of Fanta makes  the cake "juicy, soft and fluffy", to quote Purple Avocado.  

While there are numerous variations on this cake, the most common version is a fluffy sponge containing orange soft drink, topped with a mix of Chantilly cream and sour cream mixed with canned peaches or mandarins, and sprinkled with cinnamon. I used a combination of this recipe and this recipe for my cake.

I wasn't sure how they would take this cake at work, but most people loved it!  I was pleasantly surprised (I was tossing up whether or not to take it in because it looked a little bit messy).  The cake is indeed very moist and fluffy, and I recommend leaving it overnight for the flavours to meld.

To make the cake, you will need:

4 eggs
2 cups vanilla sugar (or just sugar - I had vanilla sugar)
3 cups plain flour
1 cup colourless, flavourless oil (I used rice bran oil)
1 1/2 cups orange soft drink (eg Fanta)
2 teaspoons baking soda

For the topping:

1 x 400g can peaches, drained
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 sachet cream stabiliser (eg Whip It), if desired (I did not use this)
ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and get ready (but do not grease) a 9" x 13" non-stick rectangular cake tin.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil in a large bowl.  Add the flour then the Fanta, and mix well.  Add the baking powder and combine well before scraping the mixture immediately into the tin and baking in the oven for ~ 45 minutes or until cooked through.  (It is important to mix the baking powder in well - I had one spot where I clearly didn't and ended up with hard, horrid-tasting inedible lumps in that spot.)

Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.

To make the topping,  whip the cream until soft peaks form, then add the icing sugar and continue whipping the cream until stiff peaks form.  Add the cream stabiliser if using (it will make your topping firmer and less rustic than mine).  Roughly chop the peaches, then mix them with the sour cream through the whipped cream.  Spread evenly over the top of the cake, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cut the cake into squares to serve.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

TWD - Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti

For Tuesday with Dorie this week, I made Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti.  

Dorie made these cookies as a "scavenger" cookie to use up what she had in the house, so I did the same.  Instead of kasha, I used mixed nuts.  Instead of wheat germ, I used LSA.  The fruit that I used was dried apricots. 

I thought these biscotti might end up tasting too healthy, but no - they were delicious.  The dried apricots added a nice hit of moisture, and the other ingredients worked really well together.  I am not a big fan of standard biscotti, but I really liked these.

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

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Chicken in a Pot

Back into last year, I made a delicious chicken dish from p169 of the May 2018 edition of The Australian Women's Weekly called Chicken in a Pot.  As the name suggests, the genius of this dish is that it is all done in one pot and is fairly fuss free, so you can put it into the oven and go and do something else while the chicken cooks.

This Chicken in a Pot is very tasty as it combines lots of fresh vegetables with herbs, lemon, white wine and prosciutto, to lift the chicken from bland to bold.

If you would like to make this dish, you will need:

1.5kg whole chicken
30g softened butter
4 thin slices prosciutto
2 medium leeks, trimmed an chopped into 1cm slices
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 sprig rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
250ml dry white wine
250ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Put the chicken into a 7 litre casserole dish.  Rub the butter over the chicken breast, then cover it with the prosciutto.

Arrange the vegetables and herbs around the chicken, then pour in the wine and stock.  Cover the casserole dish and roast the chicken in the oven for 1 hour. 

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and stir the vegetables.  Remove the prosciutto from the chicken and put it onto the vegetables.  Pour the lemon juice into the casserole dish and ladle some of the pan juices over the chicken.  Roast the chicken, uncovered, for another 30 minutes or until it is cooked through.

To serve, put the chicken on a serving platter with the vegetables arranged around it.  Season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper,  and ladle it over the chicken and vegetables.   

Serve with mashed potatoes or couscous.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Apricot Chicken, Two Ways

I am a fan of the much maligned apricot chicken.  Sure, there is the 1970s version off the back of the French onion soup packet (and there is nothing wrong with that version IMHO), but there are  lots of other variations of apricot chicken. 

I have previously presented a version of apricot chicken that came from my friend Sandra's mum's New Zealand cookbook here.  Today, I am going to share two other ways of making apricot chicken that I have tried over the last few months.  Both versions include dried apricots, and there is no French onion soup in sight.

At the top of this post is pictured a version of apricot chicken by Katrina Meynink from the Good Food section of The Age published on 3 July 2018. This one is made on the stovetop and in the oven, uses various spices, and features both canned and dried apricots.

To make this version, you will need:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onionthinly sliced 
2 cloves garlic sliced (or a teaspoon of garlic from the tube)
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cinnamon quills (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
1kg skinless chicken thighs, halved
1 cup apricot nectar
1 cup chicken stock
1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup canned apricots, drained

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Put the oil in a six cup capacity stove-top and oven friendly casserole dish and once heated, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add the spices, saffron and bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds, then add the chicken pieces and cook for two minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned.  Add the rest of the ingredients, cover the casserole dish with a lid, and cook in the preheated oven for one hour.

Remove the lid from the casserole dish, stir and cook in the oven, uncovered, for another 10-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half, stirring to avoid burning the apricots.   

Serve with couscous or rice and vegetables. 

The second version of apricot chicken was made from a recipe on the Taste website. This version is made entirely on the stovetop using only dried apricots, not canned, and a commercial spice mix. For this version, you will need:

1/2 cup plain flour
8 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
 2 crushed cloves garlic (or a teaspoon of garlic from the tube)
1 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning
405ml apricot nectar
1/2 cup dried apricots
salt and pepper to taste

Put the flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper.  Coat the chicken lightly in the flour, brushing off any excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frypan.  Cook the chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown, then set aside on a clean plate.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Sprinkle in the Moroccan seasoning and stir to combine.  Add the apricot nectar to the pan, stir to combine, then bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat, put the chicken into the pan, and cover the pan with a lid and cook, covered for 20 minutes.

Add the dried apricots to the pan and cook, uncovered, for another 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.

Serve with rice or couscous  and vegetables.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

TWD - Saint-Pierre Poppy Seed Cake

The first Tuesday with Dorie - Baking Chez Moi recipe for this year is Saint-Pierre Poppy Seed Cake.  The cake is named after a cafĂ© where Dorie's husband and his friend found a poppy seed cake that they loved and asked Dorie to replicate.

The cake is flavoured, not only with poppy seeds, but also with orange zest and juice, making it tender and moist.

Dorie says the cake should have a rustic split on top - mine did not:   

I don't think the absence of a split mattered at all, and the cake tasted quite good, regardless.

This cake is meant to be served plain.  I enjoyed it that way, and the cake is not overly sweet, which is more to my taste these days.

If you are a fan of poppy seed cake, you are likely to enjoy this one.

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

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Prawn and Leek Stir Fry

Prawns are very popular over the summer months and are wonderful to enjoy just on their own.  However, another way to enjoy prawns is in a stir fry.

In a recent edition of Woolworths Fresh magazine, there was a recipe for a delicious prawn and leek stir fry, packed with delicious, colourful vegetables.

If you would like to try this different way to serve prawns, you will need:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2cm knob of peeled, grated ginger
1 crushed clove garlic
600g green prawns, shelled and deveined, tails on
dark green part of 2 leeks
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 carrot sliced into matchsticks
1 bunch broccolini, sliced
1 deseeded and finely sliced red capsicum

Put the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, sugar and garlic in a medium bowl and stir to combine.  Add the prawns and stir to coat. 

Wash and roughly chop the leeks.  

Heat the peanut oil in a wok, and add the vegetables, cooking until they start to soften. Add the prawns and cook for ~3 minutes or until they change colour.  Serve with rice or noodles.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Wild Ginger Dining + Bar, The Rocks

On our recent trip to Sydney, another great place that we found to dine simply by keeping our eyes peeled while out and about was Wild Ginger Dining + Bar, in the historic Rocks area of Sydney.  Wild Ginger is a Thai-style restaurant, serving food with the wonderful vibrant flavours typical of Thai cuisine.

We were seated outside on the balcony where we could people-watch the action in the Overseas Ferry Terminal, a large glass structure across the road from the back of the restaurant.  There was plenty to see as there appeared to be a cocktail function on one floor of the terminal, so there was a lot of coming and going of well-dressed individuals to keep us entertained while dining.

To start off, we ordered a serve of the duck pancakes ($10 for 2 pieces) to share.  The pancakes came pre-wrapped and filled with roast duck, cucumber, spring onion and "special Wild Ginger sauce":

We are fans of duck pancakes and these did not fail to please - we just wanted more of them.

We also ordered a couple of the curry puffs ($5 a piece), which are packed with vegetables and served with sweet chilli sauce:

These were also very tasty and a great way to start our meal.

It was a no-brainer for what Tim would order for main course - the Green Chicken Curry ($22):

This was a three-chilli dish, so I would have had to order it to be served mild - I don't like curries to be too hot.  Instead, I went for the mere one chilli Cashew Nut Chicken stir fry ($22):

This fresh, vibrant stir fry studded with crunchy cashew nuts was much more my style and was absolutely delicious.

To mop up all the lovely sauces, we ordered a serve of jasmine rice ($4) to share:

The service was very efficient and attentive when we arrived, but as the restaurant became busier, the wait staff (only two!) became rather frantic, so we were glad that we came early.

I'd definitely go back to Wild Ginger - the prices are comparable to similar venues and the food is excellent. 

The Rocks NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 8283 8275

Tuesday, January 1, 2019