Sunday, May 31, 2015

445/1038 - Parmesan cake

This was my third cake for the week, and it was savoury and fabulous! 

I was making burgers for dinner and thought the boys would appreciate a little cheese injection into the meal. Such a quick and easy cake, this one included freshly grated parmesan, which I grated into little chunks to give the cake some texture.

My husband was away on the night I made this and sadly he didn't get a chance to taste it, with the boys and I polishing it off within a couple of hours. We loved the texture and also the good, strong parmesan flavour that came through. 

Given how fast this was to make and also how much the boys loved it, I can definitely see this one becoming a lunch box staple in future. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

444/1038 - Angel cake

I had quite a lot of chocolate icing left over from making lamingtons and decided that if I made another cake it might just stop my teenager from eating it straight from the bowl.

I have never made angel cake before and was surprised to learn that I needed the whites of twenty eggs! Because my chickens lay lovely big eggs I was able to use a few less to achieve the required 600 grams. 

I ran out of cornflour and so supplemented it with some gluten free flour instead, which worked beautifully. Anybody else who is looking to make this cake, be aware that the recipe makes two of them! I filled a very large cake tin and when I realised the mixture was not going to fit, made this mini version at the same time. I am certainly not complaining! This little cake was devoured last night and we are already well and truly into the big one too. 

So lovely and light and full of lemon zest, my husband thought this tasted a little like cheesecake. Being a person who is slightly wheat intolerant I just loved the fact that it was predominantly made of egg whites and so helped myself to a couple of extra pieces! 

I am going to make this again and play around with the recipe to see if I can make a completely gluten free version. The only downside being that if I succeed I may just be so excited that I eat the whole thing. 

Life could be worse.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

443/1038 - Lamingtons with Genoese sponge

I was never really a big lamington fan...until I made them myself! Oh. My. Goodness. They really are quite fabulous, aren't they?

The Genoese sponge was really simple to make and resulted in a gorgeous cake that was light and airy. After tasting a little bit to make sure it was OK, I popped it in the fridge and waited patiently until it was a day old so that I could turn it into lovely lamingtons.

Although I covered myself in chocolate and coconut as I made these (is that a bad thing?) the result was absolutely worth it. The trick is to add a good thick layer of the chocolate icing so that when you take a bite you get a good taste of all three elements.

The chocolate layer is simple;

One part melted butter
One part dutch cocoa
One part hot water
Eight parts icing sugar

Yum, yum and double yum.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

442/1038 - Farrotto with garlic and porcini mushrooms (but with pearl barley...)

I must have been feeling really guilty because my challenge cooking has taken off this week! 

I undertook a half hearted search for farro but unfortunately came up empty handed. Not deterred, I decided instead to substitute pearl barley for the farro in this recipe, having made pearl barley risotto  many times before.  

The taste of this was quite wonderful, with the porcini mushrooms bringing a wonderful depth to the dish. Rather than cooking my begetables separately, I decided to add broccolini to the farrotto, stems first and the tops in the last few minutes of cooking.

The family liked this one, except for the fact that my husband confessed to a strong craving for red meat which I have not served in some time. Looks like it's steak for dinner tonight! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

441/1038 - Son-in-law eggs

My amazing little chickens are laying like crazy at the moment and so I am in egg cooking heaven! 

I have always been interested in the sound of this dish, but to be honest was always turned off by the sound of deep fried boiled eggs. I decided I would finally try it out but must admit I cheated and only fried one of the eggs, with the reminder being chopped up straight after peeling. 

I didn't have a problem, however, with making a beautiful little pile of fried garlic chips. If I wasn't worried about how I would smell I could certainly eat these all day long!

The sauce for this dish was absolutely divine, made with tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice. Sticky, sweet and sour all at once, and such a great pairing with the boiled eggs. 

So there it was, my fourth challenge recipe for the month. Nowhere near my best effort but at least I have reached my (self-imposed) monthly minimum with almost a week to spare. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

440/1038 - Lime dressing

Recently I was the lucky recipient of a big bag of kaffir limes. As well as whipping up my first batch of lime gelato (zingy and fabulous!) I decided to make this little lime dressing to serve with a simple stir fry dinner. 

As the dressing was cooking, my house smelled wonderfully of lime and sweet bubbling sugar. I will admit to adding any extra lime or two to the pot and so my sauce had a pretty good zing to it. I do love my flavours quite tart, and so the slight criticisms that came from my family fell on fairly deaf ears. 

Being a bit busier than usual, this is only the third recipe I have posted for the month of May, making it officially the least productive challenge month to date. I am feeling more than a little guilty for letting the momentum slip and so expect to see at least one more recipe churned out before the month is done. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

439/1038 - Prawn coconut curry (in lieu of bug meat)

I feel as if I am cheating a bit completing the Bug meat chapter with this recipe. I had every intention of using bug meat but just couldn't get my hands on some in time! 

The flavour of this curry was absolutely sensational and think it worked wonderfully well with prawns as a substitute. The only downside to the taste was that by the time I got around to cooking this, the bunch of basil I had bought was no longer any good. 

In my defence I launched my new business last week (hooray!) and have been flat out setting up processes, spreadsheets (of course) and servicing my first clients. The motivation for the business was to ensure my life was completely focussed on food (and my family of course) and the service model plays to my strengths beautifully. The website is at a Fork for your Oyster if anybody would like to take a look!

Knowing that I would seriously be missing the basil, I decided instead to top my dish with even more green peppercorns and I was pleased that I did. If you have not yet cooked with green peppercorns, do yourself a favour! They are wonderfully peppery (of course) but mild enough to chew on without gagging.

The other change I made to this recipe was to add green and yellow capsicum to the curry a few minutes before it was finished cooking. We ate this with red rice which I can highly recommend for it's nutty flavour and slightly firmer texture. Yum, yum, yum.

So there we are, six chapters from one hundred and twenty five completed. Even if I did cheat a little bit.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

438/1038 - Chicken and leek pie

Life has been a bit "all work and no play" lately and so I decided to take some time out to make a special dinner for my busy little family, and even decided to make my own puff pastry. All was going well, the dough had been rested once and I was performing the first roll. As I was rolling I read the rest of the recipe and realised the pastry was going to take FOREVER to make (roll, rest, roll etc.) and decided that my patience was not quite up to it on this particular day. 

Not wanting to waste the pastry, I simply rolled the life out of it and decided that I was happy with very buttery (but not puffy) pastry instead. 

Having recently smashed my grandmother's pie dish (devastating I know) I needed to retrieve one of the dishes I keep on top of my kitchen cupboards. I was once surprised by a dead huntsman curled up inside one and so now I have taken to teetering on a step ladder and using my camera phone to scan the inside of the dishes before I will lift them down. 

It was lucky I did! There was indeed a well sized spider inside the square dish I had my eye on and so of course that one remained on the shelf and my pie became a rectangle instead. Note to self: get husband to dispose of spider in the square dish! 

The pie was lovely and absolutely enormous so it will serve us for a second dinner tonight, leaving me time today to make a yummy dessert. Look out for a tasty sweet on the blog soon!