Friday Food: Potato Fritatta with Goat's Cheese and Pesto

Potato fritattaThis month's Better Homes & Gardens has a Meatless Monday feature. I quite like meals without meat, but I don't actually have a special day. This fritatta could be a meal in itself or it could accompany a steak, or some fish or chicken. It is quick to prepare, though I found it took a little longer in the pan on the stove than the recipe said. Without the pesto and goat's cheese it is rather bland, but if I didn't have goat's cheese, I would grate some extra sharp Parmesan cheese in with the eggs, and maybe add some chives or spring onions too. Or add some ham or bacon and ignore their Meatless Monday!!!

I used three medium sized waxy potatoes and I just sliced them thinly, those more adept than me could use a mandolin. I substituted baby spinach for the rocket: I am not a rocket fan. Luckily, my frying pan is heat resistant up to 200*C, and although the recipe says to heat the oven to 220*C, I gambled that the fan would compensate for the lower temperature. It did.

All in all, this was a quick and easy recipe, quite filling and you could easily make a version with whatever was in the pantry or fridge. I forgot to add the pesto before I took the photo: oops!!

 

Potato Fritatta with Goat's Cheese and Pesto     serves 4

  • 3 or 4 medium waxy potatoes, thinly sliced : about 600g
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 20ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g soft goat's cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup baby rocket leaves

 

Boil the kettle and then fill a saucepan with the water, over a high heat, and add some salt. I put the sliced potatoes in a bowl and covered them with cold water while I waited for the water to come to the boil. That way they don't discolour.

Slice potatoes

When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are tender. Don't cook them too long or they fall apart. Drain well.

Boil and drain

Heat the oven to 220*C/200*C fan-forced.

Whisk the eggs and garlic in a large bowl, gently add the potatoes and mix to combine. Season to taste. I had some salt and pepper with chilli flakes.

Eggs and potato

Heat the oil in an oven proof frypan on the stove over a low-medium heat. I found a low heat was not quite enough, but maybe that is the way the hotplates at our house work. Pour in the potato and egg mixture and spread evenly. Cook for 5 minutes, or until about 2/3 of the fritatta is set. I could see it was set beneath the runny egg still on top.

Into the pan

Put the frypan into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the fritatta is cooked through and has a slight golden colour on top.

Bake and embellish

Remove from the oven carefully as, naturally, the handle will be Very Hot. Arrange the cheese and rocket over the top, then remember to drizzle over the pesto before serving. I also squeezed half a lemon over the green leaves.

And it is good warm, hot or cold!!! I think it would be good picnic food.

Potato fritatta and goats cheese


Puptown Girl. She's Been Living In Her Puptown World......

There is going to be A New Puppy at our house in six weeks!! A little Golden Labrador called Hedy Lamarr. Hedy is very expensive, more than $1600, but I am very lucky and my mum is buying us a puppy. Not even for Christmas!!! I don't have any photos of Hedy, as Lorelai Gilmore's breeder has the male end of the transaction and Hedy is with her mum. It is becoming a reality, and I can barely believe it. I keep telling everyone our news and they kindly indulge me. Our nurse at Leukaemia Support Group let me have a special few minutes to share the puppy news.

Gilly is cute as a button

Well, that gives us less than six weeks now to puppy proof the house. I have told Lorelai Gilmore that soon she will have a new sister, but she has paid no attention whatsoever. She does pay attention when we park outside the Bakery At The Corner: there may be bread. In truth, she waits for me and is very happy when I come back.

Peepo Gilly

Gilly and Sandy were both already at the dam when Rafa arrived the other day. Even though they recognise Rafa's Dad's car, it is all alert and action stations. I am not sure why Sandy is lying down, but Gilly is ready to run.

Gilly Sandy Rafa

Last week I caught up with Tinkingbell and we exchanged gifts. We always exchange gifts and it is the rule (apparently) that she always gives me the Doctor Who Annual,

Dw2016

and exciting wool: Knit Picks 4ply dyed in Budgie colours!!! How exciting is that?? We live a quite life, so VERY.

Budgie colours

And I always sew her a bag or two. Here is the Bucket Bag from the free Craftsy class, with the drawstring top from the Valentine Drawstring Bag. I used Star Wars material and, for the first time ever, my buttonhole foot. It is very easy and I would like to make a lot of buttonholes now, whether they are needed or not!! The Star Wars material around the base makes pockets and I sewed some narrow channels for knitting needles too.

Star wars bucket bag

And I also sewed a 'sewing' themed tote for MrsMadcage and a Christmas one for TinkingBell.

Totes amazing

I knitted some Scandinavian Santas. I really enjoyed knitting them and of course I fiddled about with the colour work so I didn't have to keep breaking and re-attaching the wool. I need to work on the faces, but I am thinking of them as rustic and moving on.

Scandi santas 2015

There is a blissfully cold breeze coming in the windows. For many nights in a row it has been over 20*C, 25*C outside last night, and much hotter inside. Oh it is hot. I like people to indulge my hot weather moaning, and sympathise, just as I sympathise with them in Winter!! It is not as hot as Perth, where it is in the mid 40s, so I can be grateful for small mercies.

Tomorrow we have our first Sewing for the year. We are not starting our new quilts, but we are going to make a group order for material and have supper. Lorelai Gilmore doesn't have a walk on  Wednesdays, so I am going to bake for Supper early, while it is cool.

We stay up very late, hoping the later the hour, the cooler it will be. Sadly, not the case. We are glad that by the time The Puppy comes, it should be cool!!!


Friday Food: Ricotta Pancakes with Maple Butter

One ricotta pancakeHow quickly has Shrove/Pancake Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, come around?? It is next week. Pancakes do not take too much baking in hot weather and so I whipped up a batch of Donna Hay's Ricotta Pancakes. The recipe says "Serves 4". My word, that must be four very hungry people, because I used my cookie scoop which is 2 tbspn (40ml-ish) and I made 40 pancakes. That's TEN each. Even if they were larger than pikelet size there would still be ten small pancakes' worth. I could easily make just half a batch and still be rolling in pancakes.

The pancakes are light and fluffy, but still have substance. I was able to find fresh ricotta at the supermarket and proper pure maple syrup, rather than maple flavoured syrup.

The maple butter curdled when I just mixed the softened butter and syrup. I would either melt the butter, mix in the maple syrup and refrigerate it, or whip them together with the mix-master. I tell you this because I did the former and then popped the maple butter into the freezer and, of course, it set hard. Oh dear. I let it sit out in the warmth of the afternoon and then whipped it with a fork.

I don't have a particularly sweet tooth, but I found adding the maple syrup and maple butter added enough sugar to the whole pancake situation and I chose not to sprinkle on extra sugar and cinnamon. I like to use sugar when I bake, and each pancake has only 2.75g of sugar as it comes out of the pan: I bake and cook most of the food at our house, and my downfall in Summer is lemon barley cordial. Otherwise, I just use sugar, and its ilk, sensibly in baking and cooking.

The ricotta pancakes freeze very well, and just reheat them in the microwave for a few minutes. I like to make a blueberry sauce to go with them. Blueberries and pancakes go together so well.

 

Ricotta Pancakes and Maple Butter    serves 4, but easily more!!

  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) self raising flour
  • 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) buttermilk
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 200g ricotta
  • maple syrup and lemon wedges
  • extra sugar and cinnamon to serve

For the Maple Butter

  • 80g butter (20ml = 1 tablespoon)
  • 40ml maple syrup

 

Make the Maple Butter by either melting the butter and syrup together and refrigerate till just set, or, whisk them together. Set aside.

Maple butter

Begin the pancakes by putting the flour, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, ricotta and buttermilk into a bowl that is larger than you think you will need. Whisk together until it is relatively smooth. I think some random small lumps of ricotta add to the charm of the pancakes. And it is too hot to whisk any more!!

Start batter

Meanwhile, whip the egg-whites with the mix-master or hand beater until stiff peaks form.

Egg whites

Fold the egg-whites into the batter. I add about 1/3 at a time and the idea is to keep as much of the air as possible in the egg-whites, and not beat them into flat submission. Once again, some large-ish areas of egg-whites are fine.

Fold egg whites into batter

I melted together some butter and olive oil as the pan heated. I don't have a non-stick pan, so I must use a little something to grease the pan. I tipped the butter and oil into a small bowl and then just added a teaspoon and swished it about before each batch of pancakes was cooked.

Oil and butter

And here's where it almost went to hell in a handbasket. The recipe says to cook the pancakes on low for 3-4 minutes and then flip them. Nope, that was not happening at all. On low, my pancakes were barely less than raw.

Nope, just no

In the end I set the temperature to 3 on a scale that goes up to 6 on my stove. When the pancakes developed little holes in the top, I flipped them over. It worked very well. I would recommend this way.

Lots of pancakes

I kept a few warm in the oven to have for my afternoon snack. Well, five.

Ricotta pancakes yum

Definitely yum


Rainspotting

We are a country "of droughts and flooding rains", as Dorothea Mackeller's My Country poem says. So while we have had record low rainfall, water restrictions and record high temperatures, last week we had the most rain ever to fall in one day: since records began. The East Coast had 500mm, that's half a metre or 20 inches in one day. The highway below our house was cut by flood water: yes, there's a four lane highway divided by a wide strip of trees and grass under the water.

Highway cut

The water collects above our house, flows through the garage, down the steps, the path to next door and then into the garden and finally the street. Last year The Council removed the lovely garden beds on the nature strips and replaced them with clay coloured granite chips (or something). So this happened:

The cause

And then this:

The mess

Two street sweepers spent an hour trying to clean it up, and then it rained torrentially again and they gave up. I don't blame them, the whatever-it-is stuck to the road.

Ironically, the rain didn't help with the bushfires, in fact the electrical storms started fourteen new fires and there were over eighty still burning this week. The smoke was replaced by mist from the rain.

The dam, which is in the process of having three valves replaced, spilled over and the work had to stop and the road and pad built by the workers was washed away. Oh and it is loud.

Lorelai Gilmore has been fascinated by the insects that have appeared, lots of crickets are chirruping in the early morning and evenings. She likes to investigate and stalk them.

We have had some good news on the Puppy Front: due to an iPhone update the Puppy Man lost our phone number, and we aren't in the book. So he texted from his overseas holiday and then rang from Sydney. He said there will always be a puppy for us. He is not sure if there is a puppy right now, but there are two more litters arriving soon. Peri spent a lot of time standing on the coffee table going "Eek" when Gilly arrived, so it will be interesting to see how much Gilly's nose is out of joint- if at all.

Gilly, what is this

Gilly something is there

When it is not so hot that I feel poorly and Georgette Heyer "decline-y", I have been knitting along with The Solstice Cardi. I have knitted both sleeves and started the body, which is knitted in one piece to the underarm. I am doing Moss stitch instead of Garter. The wool is Cascade Heritage Sock Wool in Pine.

Equinox cardi body started and sleeves

I finished The Colourful Zebra Crossing Cowl for MrsReno's birthday. It was a very enjoyable knit.

The colourful zebra crossing cowl

The X Files Season 10 has started on TV. Oh when the music began and the badges - all signed with the same handwriting- appeared and the weird things happened: I wanted to believe all over again!!

Well, the weather forecast is for hot days and hot nights. Gilly is in and out of the paddle pool and last night she was a big bundle of hotness. I poured water over her and spritzed her belly. We sleep after our walk in the coolest part of the day: such as it is. And Summer can last until well into March. How we long for the cool. I can't operate any kind of technology properly when it is hot: can't type, can't make The Ravelry clicky links, can't set the DVR to record.

I am so whiny and moany in the hot weather, but we live in the very South of The World, and it is meant to be cold. I remember the cold: it was chilly. Maybe it will be chilly one day soon??


Friday Food: Wagon Wheel Brownie Slice

Wagon wheel brownie sliceHeat, bushfires, still more heat, then flooding rain. That's Tasmania for you: we are a land "of flood and fire and famine". Anyway, we are made of stern stuff. Well the rest of the people: me? Not so much. So here is Friday Food, even though my letter box was blown off the fence and my big recycling wheelie bin was knocked over by the force of the water!!!

MrsDrWho is back at school this week, unofficially. To ease the stress I baked her a variety of sweet and savoury treats.  The Pizza Scrolls were very tasty, but I am going with The Wagon Wheel Brownie Slice from The Taste magazine, because it is So Easy. I have baked a Chocolate Republic Slice, which was inspired by another Wagon Wheel recipe, but this one uses actual mini Wagon Wheel biscuits: two round biscuits sandwiched with a jam and marshmallow filling, dipped in milk chocolate. Our Wagon Wheels have only, as far as I can remember, been this original flavour, though there may have been a dark chocolate one??

This slice is so easy: melt and mix and bake. I actually melted, mixed and baked and gave the slice to MrsDrWho. It is so easy that I have just whipped up half a batch this afternoon. The baking tin recommended is a strange one:  square 19.5cm and 8cm high. I didn't have a tin like that at all, so I used a deep 20 x 30cm baking tin and shortened it by 10cm with an egg carton. The biscuits really didn't fit into the tin, I found a bar tin a better option and I baked my half batch in a bar tin very successfully. It makes a higher brownie, so I just cut smaller rectangles.

Some ingredients are in very small quantities, so I will put the cups and also the grams. I always use my scales and grams to measure when I cook.

I am not sure that the ganache dolloped on each individual square really works for a lunch box, but I am assured it is fine with no ganache or decorative 1/4 Wagon Wheel.

 

Wagon Wheel Brownie Slice     makes 16-20 pieces

  • 150g butter (2/3 cup) butter, chopped
  • 100g (2/3 cup) soft brown sugar
  • 120g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 40g (1/2 cup) self raising flour
  • 50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
  • 30g (1/4 cup) cocoa, I use Dutch cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 16 mini Wagon Wheel biscuits : 2 packets

For the ganache

  • 40g butter
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped

To decorate

  • You may need 4 extra Wagon Wheel biscuits

 

 

Preheat the oven to 190*C/170*C fan-forced.

Melt

Put the sugar, butter and chocolate for the brownie in a microwave proof bowl or jug and microwave on High in 30 second bursts. It is best that the chocolate is not fully melted. Stir till smooth.

  Mix

Sift the flours and cocoa into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients and two eggs. Break the yolks and then whisk together until smooth. NB I also added a pinch of salt as it brings out the chocolate flavour, and a teaspoon of vanilla: totally optional.

  Array fill and bake

Grease and then line a 20cm square tin with baking paper, making sure the paper comes high up the sides of the tin. In truth, I would use two bar tins. Spoon over the brownie mixture, smooth the top and bake for 40-45 minutes, turning half way through. It should be cooked when a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. It is better to under bake, rather than over bake, a brownie. Cool on a rack.

  Little ww brownie loaf

Make the ganache, if so desired, by melting the butter and chocolate as in the earlier part of the recipe. Cool.

  Ganache

Cut the brownie into squares, or rectangles, and then top with a dollop of ganache and a jaunty Wagon Wheel quarter. Or just use the ganache as a frosting, or not. As you wish.

This will keep for about a week un-iced, I think. If it is iced and topped with a quarter of a Wagon Wheel it probably needs to be eaten tout suite!!

  The wagon wheel brownie slice


Friday Food: Mini Jaffa Cheesecakes

Jaffa cheesecakeThe temperature was expectedly cooler today and so I baked some little cheesecakes to take to Nibbles & Drinks. In truth, the oven was only baking for 15 minutes, so I might have managed it whatever the weather. I was browsing recipes on The Internet and  I had no idea what I wanted to cook until I found Mini Jaffa Cheesecakes. Of course, I can't have oranges, but they are delicious and a nice change from lemon for my friends. Although the recipe calls for a mixture of cream and ricotta cheeses, you could easily use just cream cheese if that is what you have.

I liked the idea of using Chocolate Ripple biscuits (I think these are chocolate wafer biscuits in the US, different to our wafers though) for the base: no crushing, or processing, or melting butter. The biscuits were just a tad too big to fit into the paper cases and so I just trimmed about half a centimetre around the circumference. I just did it by eye and thought that if they were wonky, the cheesecake mixture would fill in any gaps. And it did. I used some great foil cases with a paper insert.

The recipe was very accurate. I used an ice-cream scoop to fill the paper cases and it made exactly 12. I think my scoop is 1/4 of a cup. After they came out of the oven I put them in the fridge for 3 hours and then they were so easy to remove from the cases.

I decorated them with some cream, a little dusting of Dutch cocoa powder and some orange zest in toffee. If I wasn't being so tizzy I would just scatter the orange zest over the cream, and really I would have crushed some actual Jaffas if I could have found any in the supermarket. I could not.

These can be made a day in advance, but I don't think they would freeze very well at all.

 

Mini Jaffa Cheesecakes    makes 12

  • 12 Chocolate Ripple biscuits
  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • zest of one orange
  • 3 eggs

 

Put the 12 paper cases into a muffin tin and then trim the Chocolate Ripple biscuits so they fit snugly into the base of each case.

Biscuits and bases

Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced. Put the cheeses, sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest into a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. If you don't have a food processor, use your mix-master or even hand mixer.

Processing

Add the 3 eggs and process on pulse, or low speed, for a few seconds at a time: just until the eggs are incorporated. This is so you don't add too much air into the batter. There was still some egg at the sides and so I poured the mixture into a bowl and used a spatula to finish off combining.

Adding eggs and we're done

An ice-cream scoop, just filled, was perfect for pouring the cheesecake into each case. I did have to scrape the bottom of the bowl for the last one, but it was a perfect amount. Bake for 12-15 minutes. They should still have a wobble in the centre, and will firm up as they cool. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Filling and baking

The mini cheesecakes come out of the paper cases very easily when they have been refrigerated. They slightly shrink, and any gaps in the bases are filled by the cheesecake mixture.

Cool and turn out

Decorate as you wish, and enjoy!!

Jaffa cheesecakes

And here is some incidental hand modelling and gesturing. We all like doing a little $ale of the Century gesturing!!!

Hand modelling


Don't Tell My Heart, My Eighty Eighty Heart.

It's actually eighty-two: that's how many fires are burning around the State at the moment. More than half are not controlled, they're burning wherever and whatever they like. Some small towns have been evacuated, but right now there are no direct threats. The State is blanketed in thick and hazy smoke. It has been here for two days and shows no signs of leaving. We can't see across the river. At all.

82 fires

The smoke seems to make the heat even more oppressive and for the next week we are expecting high temperatures. Next Wednesday it is forecast to be 21*C: what a relief. If only we could have some rain to put out the fires in inaccessible areas. And water the gardens and fill up the dams. Not only is our BassLink cable to The Mainland broken, and we rely on the cable to provide back up power when the Hydro dams are low, but the dams are low: and predicted to fall to 14% of capacity in the next month. It will be the end of March before the cable is expected to be repaired and they may have to cut the Internet fibre cable while the repair the power cable. Oh joy.

Apart from a morning walk, Lorelai Gilmore and I have been hiding inside. I worry about breathing in the smoke and it makes my eyes itchy and throat sore. Gilly has taken the opportunity to play in the paddle pool as soon as we get home in the morning. And at other times, especially bed time. I have no idea what the side eye is about.

Gilly pool fun

The weather is so dry that all the hopping marsupials are braving humans, and the picnic area, to try and find water.  Gilly is unaware there is a wallaby right behind her: Where's Wallaby??

Where's wallaby

Oh, there's Wallaby!! Do not fear that Gilly would ever catch a wallaby. There is a snowball's chance in Hell of that happening. It just hopped across the road in a single bound, well maybe two.

There's wallaby

I ventured out yesterday to Afternoon Tea for the two eldest HouseOf young women, turning twenty-one and eighteen. I made two zippy pouches instead of wrapping paper: the teapot was for the cutest teacup and teapot earrings and the Wonder Woman one because I didn't think Day of the Dead skulls would be very appropriate. I came home at 4pm and, apart from making Gilly's dinner and breakfast, we slept right through until 11-30 this morning. Which is how we have been spending most mornings as it is the coolest part of the day.

Birthday zippy pouches

I am knitting some socks for MrsDrWho's mum's birthday. They are made with some very pretty and soft Regia Design Line in Winter Night. I'm also knitting a cowl for MrsRenos'; birthday. I knitted it sporadically while I watched P&P, the Colin and Jennifer version, over the weekend. I can knit small or short things that don't lie on me and make me warm. Thought the cowl is long, it curls up on itself.

Socks and cowl

We didn't turn the computer on until an hour ago at 8-30pm. I have barely read any blogs or answered any emails. Rest assured that as soon as it is cooler, we will be back to normal programming at our house. So apart from drinking prodigious amounts of tea, nothing much has been happening at our house. We just all hope that the fires are soon out and that the fire-fighters, and everyone else, are all safe.

I must contemplate something that can be made with as little hot oven time as possible for my Friday food. I am planning on some sweet nibbles for MrsDrWho's Drinks and Nibbles for lots of her friends on Friday: little shortcrust pastry cases filled with lemon curd and topped with some cream and a berry. Pastry cases don't take long to bake and the lemon curd is just ten minutes stirring a saucepan on the stove. I think we can bear it.....


Friday Food: Yoghurt Berry Banana Pops

A yoghurt berry popAck, such a long name. In the February 2016 Better Homes & Gardens magazine they say: Creamy yoghurt, banana and berry pops with almond crumb. This recipe is part of their Light and Luscious feature, but I went with full fat yoghurt and some muesli instead of almond meal. The recipe makes 8, I made 4. I must have made giant pops!

I didn't have any smaller moulds so I used plastic cups. I had some extra yoghurt and berries and I blended them together and had the delicious result for breakfast.

These would be a fun breakfast on a hot morning, but would be equally good as a snack or even dessert. I would use whatever berries I had, and I just happened to have strawberries and blueberries: raspberries or blackberries would be great. I think fresh juicy peaches or other stone fruit, maybe even cherries, could replace the banana too. This recipe is easy to up, or down, size.

There's only one tiny downside to these pops, and that is that you have to wait 6 hours or overnight for them to freeze. I can live with a little delayed gratification!!

 

Yoghurt Berry Banana Pops       makes 4-8 depending on size of mould

  • 1/4 cup almond meal or slightly more of toasted muesli
  • 2 tspn water
  • 1 large, or 2 small, bananas - chopped
  • 1 cup yoghurt of your choosing
  • 4 strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

You also need some kind of moulds and paddle pop sticks.

Put the muesli in the food processor with the water and blend until it is relatively fine.

Base

If you are using almond meal, spread on a lined baking tray and bake in a 180*C oven for about 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a bowl and add the water.

And freeze in cups

Now, whichever culinary path you have taken, divide the result between the moulds and press down firmly. Freeze for 5 minutes.

Banana and yoghurt

Put the yoghurt and bananas into the food processor, and I remembered to rinse it out so I didn't get crunchy cereal in my smooth yoghurt. Blend till smooth.

Add berries

Add the berries and pulse till the are roughly chopped, but not pureed.

Freeze and add sticks

Divide equally between the moulds and freeze for about half an hour. Then poke the paddle pop sticks firmly into the centre. Freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To remove from the mould, dip the moulds into a bowl of hot water for just a second, literally a second, and they should come right out. I used my beautiful new plate, which rests on a green metal frame with tiny green birds, for my photo this week.

Yoghurt berry pops


Friday Food: Pavlingtons

The pavlingtonI love quirky food tributes, like the Iced Vovo Tart or Cherry Ripe Brownie, so I was eager to make the Pavlova Lamington, or Pavlington, from the January Taste Magazine. Of course I can't eat it, because it has chocolate, but I am always looking for interesting cakes to bake for my friends. This recipe may not appear to be for the faint-hearted, but it is small steps, small parts, brought together as a wondrous whole.

The pavlova is a meringue with a crispy outer shell and a marshmallowy filling and a Lamington is made of sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and rolled in coconut. They can also be filled with jam and/or cream. I eschew this version, but needed to source it for the recipe. Luckily it was available in both Coles and Woolies. If the weather wasn't so hot I would have baked my own. If you can't find jam-filled Lamingtons, use the plain kind and add a splodge of jam.

I used my mum's raspberry jam and, apart from buying the Lamingtons, all the other ingredients are things I usually have in the kitchen. The list of ingredients is long, but not tricky. You need two separate amounts of cream and chocolate

The recipe says it makes 9 150ml 'cakes' but I made 12 ordinary cup-cake sized ones. The Pavlington must be assembled from many and various parts, but they can all rest happily in the fridge, or an airtight container, until they are brought together in triumph!!

I don't actually expect that any sane person would want to make these, but I am so very pleased with the way they turned out, and I would definitely make these again, maybe for The Doctors and Nurses at The Vet!!

 

Pavlingtons     makes 12

For the Pavlovas

  • 4 egg-whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar   (220g)
  • 2 tspn cornflour
  • 1 tspn vinegar
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

For the Lamington Truffles

  • 360g packet of jam-filled Lamingtons
  • 30ml thickened cream
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 375g dark chocolate melts, or milk chocolate if you prefer

For the Raspberry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam, warmed and sieved

For the Chocolate Sauce

  • 2 tspn brown sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate melts
  • 60ml thickened cream

Also 200ml thickened cream for assembly.

 

First make the pavlovas. Preheat the oven to 150*C/130*C fan-forced and line a muffin tray with paper cases.

Whip egg whites and sugar

Using squeaky clean beaters and a metal or glass bowl, beat the egg-whites until stiff peaks form. I also wipe the bowl and beaters with a little vinegar or lemon juice, just to make sure things are perfect.  Then add the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on a high speed. Scrape down the edges of the bowl frequently.  It took me about 15 minutes to add all the sugar as I allow a minute or so between additions., The pavlova is almost ready when a little of the mixture rubbed between the thumb and forefinger feels perfectly smooth. If there are still some grains of sugar it needs more beating. The mixture should be glossy and thick.

Magically pavlova

Mix the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla, add to the pavlova mixture and whisk briefly to combine.

And bake

Divide evenly between the cupcake papers and make cute peaks with the side of the spoon if you like. Though the recipe says to do this, when you assemble the Pavlingtons the first thing you do is crush the top: slightly confusing. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 110*C/90*C fan-forced and continue to bake for 1 hour more.

And cool

Turn the oven off and prop the door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon or something similar. Leave  to cool completely.

Lamington truffles

While the pavlovas are cooling, make the Lamington truffles. Use a food processor to blend together the Lamingtons and 30ml of thickened cream. Refrigerate the mixture until it is firm enough to handle.

Truffles

Roll level teaspoons into a ball, and then refrigerate again until firm.

Making truffles

Melt the chocolate in your preferred manner. I use 30 second bursts in the microwave and always stop before the chocolate is fully melted and stir until it is smooth. Pour the shredded coconut into a shallow container. Dip each truffle in the melted chocolate to coat, and then roll in the coconut and set aside on a baking paper lined tray. You can refrigerate, or freeze for later, in an airtight container. Save the leftover chocolate to use when you assemble the Pavlingtons.

Completed truffles

Make the chocolate sauce by mixing the 60ml of thickened cream, brown sugar and 100g chocolate melts in a jug or bowl and then melting together in the microwave in the same was as the chocolate for the truffles was melted.

Chocolate sauce

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge along side the sieved raspberry jam sauce.

Sieved jam

When you are ready to assemble the Pavlingtons, whip the 200ml of thickened cream until firm peaks form. Re-melt the chocolate saved from the truffles and put into a ziplock bag with a tiny corner snipped off so it is a piping bag.

Gently crush the centre of each pavlova, just so you make a recess for the cream. Leave a border around the outside. Divide the cream between the pavlovas and drizzle with the raspberry jam sauce.

Assemble

I added 3 truffles on top of the cream and 'glued' them together by piping the melted chocolate. I secured one more to the top.

24

Once the truffles are set, drizzle over the chocolate sauce and you are ready to serve the Pavlingtons to your guests!!!

Pavlington


Bye, Baby Bunting, Gilly's Gone A-hunting.

Our walks at the dam are being interrupted and curtailed as The Hydro replace three giant valves at the base of the dam wall. We always thought the swooshy curve was an Art Deco feature, turns out it is just higher to accommodate the valves!! Only one valve is working so they have to carve out and build a temporary road on the other side of the Gorge, and amidst the water that flows out the base of the dam.

Dam unbuilding

There are two big blue machines, one is like a giant jack hammer and breaks up the rock, and the other is multi-purpose and builds the road. On the right side, in the centre, you can just see that only one valve works. The dam picnic area is cordoned off with bunting. Gilly does not let that stand in her way. I hasten to add that is is very safe, and I would not let her go anywhere dangerous. The best smells are across the divide, and it is also a good spot to check to see if Rafa is coming: he is!!

Gilly behind the bunting

We went to see if Gilly would like a swim instead of just a dip in the paddle pool. She would not. At all.

Gilly not swimming

I sewed a zippy pencil case for my mum. She, like me, keeps a pen, lip balm, spare keys and other bits and bobs in a little bag and transfers it from handbag to handbag, I especially love the ends of the zip, where it doesn't pull and drag down. It makes me very satisfied.

Mum's zippy handbag thing

I also sewed a zippy chip bag, covered with vinyl, for our Knitting Christmas tonight. Well is is a zippy popcorn bag. Still, I did the same nice zipper ends too.

Zippy chip bag

We shared a delicious selection of dishes at the restaurant and conducted our annual Secret Santa. Onyi has been away on a long holiday and gave us all some special Christmas Easter Eggs from South America. She remembered I can't have chocolate proper, and so mine are white chocolate and all of them are filled with dulce de leche.

Choc gifts

I have signed up for the free Lucy Neatby Sock Knitalong on The Craftsy. I am making the first pair of socks, but not smocked. I did try the pattern, but the wool looks so much better smooth. I have learned a new cast on trick, an easy way to Slip Purl for the heel flap and I am about to learn a new heel turn. Old dog: new tricks!!! My Unsmocked Sock is looking good. When the weather is hot, socks are the only knitted things I can bear to make.

Unsmocked sock decided

It has been hot, not unbearably so, but hot enough. We like to stand under the sprinkler and lie beside the cool breeze coming in the window. It's going to be a high of 34*C and a low of 28*C during the day over the next week. I see A Lot of ice in our future.

Yesterday we had what is most likely our last Morning Tea with The GardyGardeners. I don't know how to tell Gilly that they won't be coming on Wednesdays any more.  She waits impatiently at the gate at 8am, every Wednesday, for a special pat. Things change, life moves on. We're quite sad, but glad The GardyGardeners are moving closer to their son, to a more appropriate house and a much smaller garden. So long, and thanks for all the gardening.......