Tuesday, 26 May 2009

TWD: Chipster Brownie

TWD:Chipster Brownie

Ah.. a recipe that seeks to meld a concentrated dose of good ole American favorites into baked harmony. It made me wonder if I could just cobble together my favorite one bowl brownies and cowboy cookies as well-- but then that would be a dangerously large pan of calories for which I'm sure I would have no will power for. But what am I saying the below is a very dangerous pan of calories for which I have no will power for!- Which is why I'm pawning it off on the cello section at orchestra tonight.

This was pretty straight forward to make- especially if you (like most of us?) have made cc cookies and brownies dozens of times since you were old enough to spread flour from one end of the counter top to another.. i mean bake...

I used the fan assist setting on my oven- which might have made for a bit of a dry cookie top? or its the recipe (which seemed very sugary)

In any case a winner.. a dangerous tasty recipe from Dorie!

Be sure to check out the rest of the TWD blogroll!

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Monday, 18 May 2009

Rhubarb- not in a crumble!

Our garden is awash in rhubarb these days- practically a jungle of inherited crowns that produce a bumper crop- so I was searching for a non dessert way to eat this and stumbled across this recipe which I adapted to feature tofu instead of pork. this is a fantastic marinade full of flavors. Be aware it serves a very large amount for 4!

Hot and sour rhubarb and crispy tofu with noodles- adapted from Jamie Oliver (Jamie at Home)

serves 4

Mix up your marinade

400g rhubarb

4T honey

4T soy sauce (I used tamari)

4 garlic cloves peeled

2 fresh red Chiles halved and deseeded

1 heaped teaspoon 5spice

1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and chopped

Combine all of the above in a blender and whizz until smooth.

Rest of the ingredients:

500-1 kg tofu cut into 3-4 cm cubes

375g medium egg noodles

4 spring onions, chopped

1 fresh red chili, deseeded and sliced

a few bags of interesting cress (i used rocked and spinach as that's all i could find!)

2 limes (I forgot this and it tasted fine)

Place the tofu pieces on a roasting tray and pour marinade over-- if you marinade seems dry add a wine glass full of water to loosen. (I let this sit overnight in fridge but feel free to experiment) Cover with foil and roast in 180C oven for approx 45 min. (just till the tofu gets a bit of color).

Pull the tofu out of the marinade and heat a wok or similar with veg oil. fry the tofu until golden. the marinade should be a nice thick sauce now- if not simmer until consistency of ketchup- put to one side. while frying the tofu- boil water and cook noodle according to package directions.

Divide noodles into 4 warmed bowls and spoon over each a good amount of the rhubarb sauce an the tofu, add a good sprinkling of spring onions chili, cresses and coriander.. finish each with half a lime to squeeze over.!


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Thursday, 14 May 2009

Daring Cooks: Ricotta Gnocchi

Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi!

The inaugural May 2009 Daring Cooks' Challenge was brought to us by Ivonne of Creampuffs in Venice and Lis of La Mia Cucina. I admit at first read I didn't think this recipe would be so interesting.. I'd made gnocchi before and usually find the overly starchy balls of potato well just not so interesting. This view held out for me until I popped the first 'test' gnocchi in my mouth. It was a pillow of heaven that landed on my tongue.

Eagerly I declared to my fiance that he was about to have some of the most delicious dinner yet! The trick seems to be 2 days of draining and paper towel changing on the ricotta to try and get it as dry as possible- then add a couple fresh eggs and a smidgen of Parmesan and ever so lightly roll little gnocchi-lets in flour. I had a bit of trouble with sticking. After I rolled them all out and placed on floured silicone mat they were a bit hard to remove intact! but I persevered and served them with a lovely fresh sage burned butter sauce!

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Tuesday, 12 May 2009

TWD: Tartest Lemon Tart

Tartest Lemon Tart

This month's recipe was always going to be a winner in my house- as we both love lemony hings. It was a shame therefore that I was only making 1/4 of the recipe- which you can see is still too much crust!). I'm getting serious now about losing weight before the wedding and now that our birthdays are out of the way (and their cakes and dinners out) I've got to keep such deliciousness away!

Other than dividing the recipe into 4ths- this was a cinch to make and I'd gladly make it again.

Be sure to check out how the rest of the TWD blogroll made their tart tarts too!

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Monday, 11 May 2009

My Birthday cake.. attempt/year 2

Strawberry Mousse Cake

When I was a teenager one year my birthday fell on the same day as an orchestra dress rehearsal- so my crafty mother ordered cake for all of us from a local bakery- it was a big delicious surprise and their strawberry mousse cake from then on became my cake. What I would want every year. I've since been long away from said bakery and over the years have made a strawberry and whipped cream cake. But it was always missing that great layer of strawberry mousse.
Now as a vegetarian getting the strawberry mousse layer to work without gelatin continues to be a problem-- the neat cake you see here is frozen!

Basically I baked up a nice vanilla butter cake- then trimmed it and split for 3 thin layers of cake. I then found a Moosewood recipe for strawberry mousse- to which I added some agar/vege gel to try and make it firmer. A few sliced strawberries in the first layer as well. While it tastes lovely its just not right and once left to room temperature a bit too oozy to take center stage. So I suppose its handy that this year (my 30th) there was no party or candle/singing to go with the cake.

I topped it off with some leftover white chocolate ganache (from the wedding trial cake) and a few strawberries. It didn't look have bad (when still firmly frozen!) I suppose next year I can have another attempt- but first I need to perfect a standing strawberry mousse!

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