Friday Food: Cream Cheese & Rhubarb Blondies

Rhubarb cream cheeseblondie sliceRhubarb is in season, and at the greengrocer only $2-50 a bunch, it's $6 at the supermarket. I went back and bought more!! I saved this recipe from the October Woolworths Fresh magazine. I didn't know it would be so very good. It was a big hit with my friends, so I will definitely be making this again.

There are three main steps, but none of them onerous. I didn't even use anything electric to mix or beat, just a big spoon. I did make sure the cream cheese was nice and soft so it was easy to beat and wasn't lumpy.

I chose not to add the cornflour to the rhubarb to thicken it. The rhubarb maintained its shape and there was hardly any juice at all. The blondies were fine, and not really affected. I think the tart rhubarb is perfect with the cream cheese, but you could substitute stone fruit I think: peaches and orange zest, apricots, or plums.

The recipe says only to cool the slice and then serve, and while it may be nice that way, I think it benefits from some refrigeration. It doesn't need anything else, it is perfect as it is. This will keep for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge and makes 20 pieces.

 

Cream Cheese & Rhubarb Brownies     makes 20 pieces

  • 5 stalks of rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbspn water
  • 1 tspn cornflour
  • 1 tspn cold water, extra
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar, extra
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tspn vanilla extract/paste
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour

 

Grease and line a 20 x 30cm tin with high sides (3-4cm)

Cook rhubarb

Put the rhubarb and 1/3 cup caster sugar and 2 tspn water into a pan over a medium heat and stir till sugar is dissolved. Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 8 minutes. Decide whether your rhubarb is thick enough. If it is not, mix the cornflour and extra cold water together, stir into the rhubarb and cook until it thickens. Remove from the heat and cool.

Cream cheese mixture

When you are ready to make the blondies, preheat the oven to 180C, in the fan-forced oven I only heated it to 160/170*C. Beat the cream cheese and extra caster sugar together until smooth. Add 1 egg, beat well and set aside.

Blondie batter

Make the blondie by whisking the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and remaining 2 eggs together.

Batter and flour

Sift over the two flours and stir well.

Swirl and bake

Pour the blondie batter into the lined tin and then dollop over the cream cheese mixture, alternating with the rhubarb. Use a knife to swirl the two toppings together and then bake for about 30 minutes. It is ready when it is set on the outside and slightly jiggly in the centre, but firm to the touch. Cool in the pan.

Serve warm, or cold from the fridge. Thank you to MrsReno for the lovely little plate and fork!!

Rhubarb blondie cream cheese slice


Friday Food: Chocolate Caramel ANZAC Slice

Chocolate caramel anzac sliceThis is the second time I have made this slice, which I found on the Better Homes & Gardens site. MrsDrWho confirmed the first time that it was delicious and so we are taking it to the vet today. Lorelai Gilmore has an appointment and Hedy comes along for the ride as she pines dreadfully if left at home. And vice versa.

I’m not usually a fan of variations on the ANZAC biscuit, but this seemed like a variation on the usual chocolate caramel slice. It’s very easy to make, and only needs 20 minutes in the oven. I made the caramel in the microwave instead of in a saucepan, I prefer doing it that way. I didn’t even melt the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan, I did that in the microwave too! I am fast and free with baking methods today.

You can add some spices to the base, but I didn’t. And I also used milk chocolate for the topping because that is the first chocolate that came to hand. I have a Tub’o’Chocolate, I'll take a photo next time I post to my blog.

The recipe says to refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, but as long as it is cold and the chocolate is set, I think it is fine to cut and eat. Use a large warm knife, dipped into hot water and then dried, to cut the slice. It will keep for about a week in an airtight container.

 

Chocolate Caramel ANZAC Slice          makes 24 pieces

 

For the base:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded, or desiccated, coconut
  • 75g butter
  • 20ml golden syrup
  • 20ml boiling water
  • 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda

 

For the caramel:

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup
  • 395g can sweetened condensed milk

 

For the topping:

  • 200g dark, or milk, chocolate melts- melted

 

Preheat the oven to 160*C and grease and line a 20 x 30cm tin with high sides. I used a foil BBQ tray so I could just take the slice with me and not have to worry about retrieving the tin from the vet.

Dry ingredients

Put the oats, flour, sugar and coconut into a bowl and whisk to break up any lumps of sugar, and to combine them well. Make a well in the centre, let's imagine I have done that.

Wet ingredients

Meanwhile, melt the butter and golden syrup (in a bigger bowl than you think you will need) in the microwave on High for 30 second bursts: it took 60 seconds in the microwave here. Mix the bicarb soda with the water and then pour into the melted butter and golden syrup. It will foam up.

Add wet to dry

Whilst they are still foaming, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well until everything is combined and there are no dry ingredients hiding at the bottom.

And bake

Press into the base of the tin. Push into the corners and if you use an oiled spoon, or glass, it is easier to press the base down firmly and evenly. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, and a crust has formed on top. Do not poke the crust to test for 'doneness', as it will break, and there will be a big hole. Ask me how I know this..... Cool for 5 minutes in the tin.

Caramel

While the base is baking, make the caramel. I find it easiest to make the caramel in the microwave. I put the ingredients in a heatproof bowl and microwave for a minute, and then stir like mad. Repeat this until the caramel reaches the colour you desire. As it becomes darker I cut the time to 30 seconds. It may not look as if it is coming together, but the vigorous stirring works a treat. Also, be careful, it is very hot and can give you a nasty burn. Ask me how I know this too.... If you make the caramel this way you don't really need to put the slice back in the oven for 10 minutes, but you can if you are not certain if the caramel is caramelly enough.

Add caramel and chocolate

Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Melt the chocolate in your preferred fashion. Once again, I use the microwave in 30 second bursts with lots of stirring in between. I always stop just before it is smooth and finish off the melting with more stirring. Pour the chocolate over the caramel and smooth. Make a pattern with it you like, I go up and down with the spoon.

Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, or if you are me, pop it in the freezer for 2 hours and it seems perfect!!! Cut into squares, or rectangles, and it really is best eaten cold straight from the fridge. Not that I eat chocolate, but I do remember what it was like..... It is all about the ........ today.......

Choc caramel anzac slice


Friday Food: Yotam's Chocolate Cake

Best chocolate cake everI think I bake more chocolate cakes, biscuits and slices than anything else. I think this is because I can't eat chocolate, and I fulfill my cravings by baking chocolate things for all my friends. I read an article about Yotam Ottolenghi's new Sweet book and it asked if this chocolate cake was the best ever. I wanted to know if it was the best ever too, and so dear reader, I baked this cake!!

The ingredients are very simple for the cake and ganache and I chose not to make the optional espresso cinnamon marscapone cream. I used 70% Nestle dark chocolate and fresh eggs from the three chickens over the road.  The cake took a little longer to cook than the recipe said, so I turned the temperature down 20*C and baked it for a further 10 minutes. Our oven is fan-forced, so maybe this made a difference? The top of the cake cracked, the recipe said it would, and the ganache covered it up nicely.

Is this the best chocolate cake ever? I asked MrsDrWho and her dinner guests and they said it was a good cake, but not the best. The cake was fudgy and rich, but the ganache set quite hard, even at room temperature. It looks softer in the photo with the recipe, perhaps it is our colder weather? I can recommend this cake, it is easy to make (melt and mix) and cooks quickly. It is a great cake for dessert or just with a cup of tea or coffee.

 

Yotam Ottolenghi's World's Best Chocolate Cake       serves 12

For the cake:

  • 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into 2cm cubes
  • 200g  70% dark chocolate, broken into 2cm pieces
  • 1 1/2 tspns instant coffee, dissolved in 350ml of boiling water
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 240g self raising flour
  • 30g Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1/4 tspn salt

For the ganache:

  • 200g  70% dark chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • 3 tspn golden syrup
  • 3 tspn unsalted butter, at room temperature

 

Preheat the oven to 170*C and grease and line with baking paper a 23cm spring-form tin.

Melt

Put the butter, chocolate and coffee mixture into a bowl and mix well until everything is smooth and combined. Then add the sugar and whisk in to dissolve. I added the sugar with the other ingredients. I don't think this was a terrible error.

Add eggs

Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk again until smooth and combined. There is a lot of whisking in this recipe, but it is not onerous.

Dry ingredients

Sift, then mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Add dry to wet

Finally add the dry to the wet ingredients and whisk together. It is a very liquid batter, but this is the way it is supposed to be.

And bake

Pour into the lined tin and bake for an hour. It is baked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean: no crumbs or wet batter. My cake was still very jiggly after an hour so I turned the temperature down to 150*C and baked it for a further 10 minutes and it was done. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Ganache

Begin the ganache by putting the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and golden syrup in the microwave until tiny bubbles form around the circumference and then pour over the chocolate. I put a plate over the bowl and let it sit for a minute or so, I believe it traps the heat and optimises the melting. Stir until almost melted and add the butter. Stir some more until the butter is melted and the ganache is shiny. You can also make this in a food processor, the recipe has both methods.

Pour the ganache over the cake, or let it sit for a couple of hours at room temperature and then spread it over the cake. On reflection, if you like a softer ganache it would be a good idea to make it just prior to serving. You can see the fudgy texture of the cake and the generous chocolate topping. All in all, this is a very good cake, but probably not The World's Best. What do you think?

Yotam cake


Instant-gram

There was no Friday Food last week because my cold was still too nasty. I baked a cake by Yotam Ottolenghi, and the recipe asked if this was the best ever chocolate cake. I gave the cake to MrsDrWho for her and her dinner guests, so I will tell you the verdict on Friday in my Friday Food post.

Best chocolate cake ever

Today is the first day I haven't had a residual cold headache. I had an almost four hour nap (not quite sure you can call that amount of sleep a nap?) after my new Exercise Physiologist ran me through some assessment tasks. I can balance on each foot for 45 seconds. If you need a balancer, I'm your woman!!!

If you want mud, then surprisingly, Lorelai Gilmore is your Labrador:

Gilly loves to be muddy

She was in the puddle at the dam with Hedy, but came out the muddier of the two.

Hedy and Gilly in the puddle

And here we have Rafa, Gilly and Hedy at the top of the 'hill' on our walk. It is the place we used to stop to farewell Sandy and his dad as they continued up the hill to their car and we went back down to ours. Hedy is doing a very good job of being a puppy dog!! We have turned Rafa to The Labrador Side and he wants a biscuit now too.

Rafa Gilly Hedy

The weather has been Spring-y. We had some more wild, windy, wet weather and when we went to the dam today, there was a tree half across the road. The Ranger must have been there because some of the tree had been trimmed already.

Tree down

Hedy has been, not very secretly, eating something she shouldn't be eating at home. Well, the plain flour in the shopping bag: the flour on her nose was a dead give away, but she is happily unaware!!

What's on Hedy's nose....

 I have started sewing the Jelly roll quilt as you go baby quilt. Phew, that's a long name...JRQAYGBQ, and the acronym looks like gobbledygook. I used a batik jelly roll MrsDrWho gave me for my birthday and some flannel for the backing. I used spray adhesive to 'baste' the backing and batting together as I am still a bit wary of my injured finger becoming more injured: which is has, which finger do you think The Labradors squashed against the fence and made bleed?? You'd be right if you thought my injured one. It had a bandaid and antiseptic and seems to be healing well.

Quilt as you go baby quilt

I think I am ready to start knitting again. I have some normal feeling in my fingertip, still pins and needles, touch-the-freezer-in-the-supermarket at the sides, but I am going to give it a go. I have some lovely wool, Katia Darling, from the wool shop. MrsDrWho picked it out. They had some new sparkly Opal, but I had just knitted her a glittery pair, which I realise I have no photo of: ahhh, maybe they don't exist??

Katia darling

I have joined The Instagram. I have resisted The Twitter and The Facebook, but it suddenly struck me that people whose blogs I used to follow, now have The Instagram. I can keep up with them through a new medium. And so I joined and then before I knew it I was on The Instagram. I am not sure how to properly drive The Instagram, but I had a quick lesson from the lovely WoolShopDesigner, and she said I am doing OK! I am not at all sure about Instagram Etiquette. When I searched it was all about following and then un-following or some such strategy. I don't want to gain followers, that's not my goal. I just want to keep up. Trying something new makes my brain work hard and keeps it on its toes.

And have I shared my birthday shoes? My sister sent me money to buy a specific pair, or two, of green shoes she had found, but they didn't come in my size. Bah humbug. So I ordered some shoes from The Homyped people. I have to wear sensible shoes because I have a sore knee and it seems silly to endure pain for a high heel. Well I think so. I bought two pairs of shoes, one is a mineral metallic which goes with everything and the other a darker olive than the photo, which I am very pleased with. My sister is very kind!!

Z birthday shoes

 

 

Our Council has instigated a Food and Garden Organics kerbside collection: FOGO. Our bin arrived in the wrong place, but our kind neighbour pulled it all the way around the corner and up the back of our house. We have three bins now: the ordinary Monte Carlo biscuit filling colour regular bin, the yellow lid for recycling and this new bin has a green lid, so we are chuffed. There is also a little FOGO caddy to keep in the kitchen and carry up to the big bin. We don't have a lot of FOGO waste, but I have already put some lettuce core scraps and banana peel into the caddy. It is not a big change, but it might help make a difference.

FOGO


Friday Food: Super Chunky Milo Choc Chip Biscuits/Cookies

Chunky milo choc chip biscuitsI made Milo brownies a few weeks ago for Mrs Reno and the rest of the tin of Milo was hanging about doing nothing. I can't have Milo and so it was serendipity when NotQuiteNigella's Lorraine posted this recipe. I made a batch that very same day and took them to the doctors and nurses at The Vet, and also to the lovely chemist who has been checking my injured finger every second day. Phew, that was a lot of information!

I find that if I leave Milo, or coffee or some other powdered drink, too long in the cupboard, it goes rock hard and is spoiled. If you don't have Milo you can use cocoa, drinking chocolate, Ovaltine, or maybe Quik. Lorraine calls for milk and dark chocolate to be melted together, and I did this, but you can buy Cadbury Dark Milk chocolate in a bar now. That would save some melting, cooling and chopping time.

I followed the recipe faithfully and I was very pleased with the way the biscuits turned out.  I used a 20ml tablespoon to measure out the dough and I made 28 biscuits. I think these would keep quite well in an airtight container for about a week.

 

Super Chunky Milo Choc Chip Biscuits/Cookies       makes about 28

  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 125g milk chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milo
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • extra 2-40ml milk in case the mixture is too dry

 

Melt chocolate

At least an hour before you want to start baking the actual biscuits, break the chocolate into chunks and melt in the microwave for 1 minute and then stir well. Melt in 20 second increments, stirring well. It only took 1 minute 40 seconds, and you should still have a few small lumps of chocolate and stir those into submission.

Cool and chunky

Spread onto some baking paper on a tray and leave to cool and set. I put mine in the freezer because I am impatient. Once cold, chop the chocolate into chunks and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 160*C and line two trays with baking paper.

Dry ingredients

Put the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar, Milo and salt, into a bowl and whisk together.

Wet ingredients

In another bowl or jug mix the melted and cooled butter, egg and vanilla extract. Also whisk this together.

Combine wet and dry

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Mix together and a dough will form. If the dough is too dry, and mine was, add the extra milk until the dough comes together. It needs to be not too dry and not too sticky.

Add chocolate chunks

Finally, mix in the chocolate chunks and the dough is ready to go.

Make biscuits and bake

Use a tablespoon to measure out the dough and then roll into balls and press flat on the tray. I did find these spread a little I fitted 12 on a tray. Bake for 12 minutes, I turned and swapped the tray half way through. Allow to cool slightly on the tray or they will break apart. When they are set, move them to a cooling rack.

MrsDrWho has not tasted these, but I made some chunky chocolate brownies and she said they were best when the chocolate was cold and hard and you could taste the chunks. However, you might like the chocolate to be warm and oozy: these biscuits do double duty.

Super chunky milo biscuits


Friday Food: Hoisin Pak Choi Rice

Pak choi hoisin riceI refuse to re-title my Friday Food, Saturday Food. I am allowing myself some leeway. This is another recipe from Jamie Oliver's book 5 Ingredients. I made this last week and it is so delicious: tangy, hot, sour and sweet. It is ready in the time it takes to cook the rice, I used the rice cooker, so 10-15 minutes. The recipe serves two generously, but it is easily doubled or tripled to serve more people. I especially appreciate that most of the five ingredients used in recipes are easily found in the supermarket. I don't have to seek out something special or tricky. My Pak Choi were larger, last week I had a bundle with three that were smaller. The recipe asks for salt, pepper and red wine vinegar outside of the 5 ingredients.

Once the rice and Pak Choi are cooked, you drizzle over a tangy hot dressing made from the chillies, onion and vinegar. It is perfect. There's nothing else to say. I love this, it is a great lunch (or dinner after you have been to the Burger Junkie for lunch) And you can also add any meat or fish to make it a main meal. I'm definitely adding this to my recipe repertoire.

 

Hoisin Pak Choi Rice             serves 2

 

  • 150g basmati or jasmine rice (about a cup)
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 chilli, mixed colours just for the eye
  • 2 Pak Choi (250g)
  • 40ml Hoisin sauce

 

  • salt, pepper
  • 20ml red wine vinegar
  • 20ml olive oil

 

Rice onion chilli

Cook the rice using the method you favour. Gather your onions and chillies.

Dressing and glaze

Trim the spring onions and thinly slice, separating the white and green parts. De-seed and finely chop the chillies. Place the white part of the spring onions, the chillies and the red wine vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir together to make the dressing. Add the green part of the onions to the hoisin sauce and set aside.

Pak choi

Cut the Pak Choi in half and soak in some cold water to remove any dirt. There wasn't much in mine, but the first time round I didn't do this and there was a tiny crunch. I don't like that at all.

Char

Heat a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and pour in 20ml of olive oil. Carefully place the Pak Choi into the pan, cut side down, and leave to char. Char as much, or as little, as you like. I went for medium. It will take maybe 3 minutes?

Glaze

Add the hoisin sauce and green onions and toss to coat the vegetables for 1 minute. It will be nicely glazed.

Add rice then

Add the rice and mix together gently for 1 more minute. Remove from the pat and spoon over the chilli dressing and serve. I could have eaten both serves!!! I do think this would keep well overnight and be a delicious lunch the next day.

Hoisin pak choi rice


Friday Food: Flaky Pastry Pesto Chicken

Pesto chickenFriday Food on Saturday. I am almost keeping up with Friday Food, so I feel I am managing a bit better. I bought myself Jamie Oliver's 5 Ingredients as it was on super special at The KMart for $24. I do like the way each recipe is set out, with the five ingredients photographed and arrayed to the left of the page and the recipe next to them. And one whole page for the photo. I really like having a picture. This recipe was very easy to make, though I think I tucked the puff pastry strips too far under the chicken and it was a tad under-cooked. So do 'just' tuck them under. It was easy to buy the ingredients, but I had to cut the chicken breasts as ours are much larger then the ones he uses.

I used one sheet of frozen butter puff pastry. I just cut strips in a kind of pattern and hoped for the best!

Other than that, I was very pleased. The flavours went very well together and it was exceedingly tasty. If I was serving this to my family I would add some potatoes, because I don't think it is a proper Australian tea-sized portion. If you don't like pesto, you could use a red pesto, wholegrain mustard, some relish or pate.

 

Flaky Pastry Pesto Chicken      serves 4

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, I used butter puff
  • about 500g chicken breasts, cut into approx 125g portions
  • 4 heaped teaspoons of green pesto
  • 400g ripe cherry tomatoes, on the vine if you can
  • 400g green beans
  • salt and pepper*
  • olive oil*

 

*These don't count as part of the 5 ingredients. I am OK with that.

 

Chicken flatten

Preheat the oven to 220*C and prepare two oven trays. Flatten the chicken breasts with your hand, or in my case the jar of peanut butter, so the fat end is about the same thickness as the thin end. I sandwiched the chicken breasts between some baking paper to do this. Place on the roasting tray and season with salt and pepper.

Pesto and pastry

Cut the pastry into strips. Spread a teaspoon of pesto over each piece of chicken ( and I somehow missed this photo) Then lay 4 strips overlapping on each breast, 'just' tucking the ends under.

And bake

On another tray, season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle them with olive oil too. Place the chicken on a top shelf and the tomatoes underneath and bake for 20 minutes. I turned the trays half way through. In retrospect the pastry could have been a little browner, but I was hungry and decided it would do.

Tomatoes and beans

While the food is baking, trim the ends of the beans and boil them in salted water for 7 minutes. I microwaved them for 5 minutes.

To serve, remove the tomatoes from the vine, squash half on a board or platter ( or each plate) and toss in the beans. Slice the chicken on an angle and serve on top of the beans, with the remaining whole tomatoes.

Chicken pesto


Friday Food: Baci Di Dama


Gallery_export_1504958126_1504958162I found this recipe in the September BBC Good Food magazine, through the Zinio for Libraries app. I liked this recipe because it could be made without any electrical mixers. Basically you cream butter and sugar with a spoon, or spatula in my case, and then mix in the rest of the ingredients and bring the dough together with your hands. It is a version of the Italian Baci, or kiss, biscuits. They are usually made with hazelnut meal, but these substitute almond meal and add chocolate. They are called Lady's Kisses.

The recipe made 100 individual biscuits and 50 sandwiched together. I was quite scrupulous and used a measuring teaspoon. The recipe says you can make 40 sandwiched biscuits. I found that 15 minutes was plenty of time to cook these, perhaps because they were smaller as I made 100 instead of 80.

I really like the idea of putting the melted chocolate for the filling in a piping bag, though I used twice as much chocolate as the recipe said. I just snipped the end and it was a snap to swirl on the chocolate. I think these would also be nice with a little ganache and maybe some orange zest for something different.

These biscuits would keep longer un-filled, and I think they could be frozen that way too. Otherwise keep them for up to a week in an airtight container. 

I am posting from my iPad again. The computer is working well, but I seem to need much more rest as I am healing my finger. So blogging from the iPad it is!!

 

Baci di Dama             makes 40-50

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 150g almond meal
  • 20g Dutch processed cocoa
  • 50-100g dark chocolate

Line two trays with baking paper and set aside. You do not need to preheat the oven at the beginning as the biscuits need to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. I turned the oven on when I started rolling the dough to make the biscuits after they chilled.

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The butter should be soft enough to squish when you poke it with your finger. Beat the caster sugar and butter with a wooden spoon until it is creamed. This should only take a minute as the butter is soft.

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Add the plain flour, almond meal and cocoa and mix well. It will be quite crumbly, but it is easy to bring together with your hands to make a dough.

Gallery_export_1504955828_1504955886

Flatten the dough and wrap in cling film or place in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. At the end of the chilling time preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan forced. Roll teaspoons full of the dough into balls and flatten slightly when they are on the tray. The biscuits don't spread very much. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes. I swapped and rotated the trays half way through. Once the biscuits feel firm they are ready, if you cook them too long the chocolate will catch and taste bitter.

Cool for 5 minutes on the tray and then move to a rack to cool completely. They cool quickly, so melt the chocolate and pour into a piping bag and cut off the tip.

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Match the biscuits by size and organise them in pairs. Pipe a swirl of chocolate on the flat side of one biscuit and then sandwich with another. I found it was best if the chocolate had cooled a little, otherwise the top biscuits slid off the bottom biscuit!

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And the Lady's Kisses are ready to serve, perhaps dusted with a little icing sugar. They are a dainty bite, or two.

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Friday Food: Apple Crumble Cookies

 

Gallery_export_1504268287_1504268301I was reading some comments on a YouTube video where people were cross if they searched for a recipe and the person posting the recipe had things to say before the recipe. This is one of those posts, so skip ahead if you want just the recipe!!! 

My finger, chewed by Hedy, is healing well. I shan't put a photo, because it looks awful, but it is doing extremely well. It still hurts and I can't properly write, brush my hair, use keys in locks, bake, sew or knit. But I am getting there.

My iPad broke. The wifi antenna broke, and it would cost $420 to fix it, or $469-ish to buy a new one. I had to wait a fortnight, but I used my birthday money to buy one. MrsDrWho lent me one of her old iPads that she had taken to use at school. I am very grateful. My new iPad is silver and white and all shiny. I also have a military grade(?!?!?) cover to protect it from Labradors. 

Yesterday my computer went for its yearly service and they found it needs a new hard drive or something or other. I am not exactly sure, they did tell me, but I am still a bit swirly in the head.  I still have some birthday money and whatever happens, I have backed up and they can access all my data. 

So that is three things: finger, iPad and computer. I firmly believe that major appliances, and/or body parts now, know when your tax return is coming and they choose that moment to break down. Thank goodness for birthdays!! So I am blogging using my iPad, so please forgive any strangeness, well any more strangeness than usual. I also had a bit of trouble replying to comments, so please, bear with.

 

Gallery_export_1504268990_1504269016And now to the recipe. I bought the new Jamie Oliver book for Uncle Dutch for his birthday. I couldn't finish his hat (finger) but I made some Butterscotch Schnapps Boozy Fudge. I had a flip through Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients and chose the Apple Crumble Cookies. I haven't really baked so this was my first foray. The recipe is exceedingly easy, not so easy because I didn't use a food processor, and of course there are only 5 ingredients. I couldn't buy raw caster sugar anywhere, so I made my own by mixing half and half raw sugar and caster sugar.

I baked the first batch of biscuits at 200*C for 10 minutes but the dried apple pieces on top caught. I baked the second batch at 180*C for 8 minutes and also flattened the biscuits a little more. They turned out well, and I didn't bother with the extra dried apple on top.

The biscuits do taste apple crumbly, and are very moreish. They are quick and easy and really did make 24 as promised.

 

Apple Crumble Cookies.       Makes 24

  • 100g dried apples, finely chopped
  • 100g raw caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed and cold
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • and a pinch of salt, which makes 6 ingredients really

This is how I made the biscuits without a food processor, I'll put the food processor method at the end.

Preheat the oven to 200*C or 180*C fan forced and line two trays with baking paper.

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If you can't buy raw caster sugar, make your own by mixing together 50g of raw sugar and 50g of caster sugar.

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Add the cubed butter, self raising flour and a pinch of salt, and rub into the sugar until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Finally add the dried apple.

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Make a well in the centre, add the egg and then mix. I brought it together and kneaded it with my hands. My dough weighed about 480g, so it was easy to divide it into 24 balls, each 20g.

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Flatten each ball into a 4cm diameter biscuit. Press into some extra chopped dried apple. This is the first tray I baked. The dried apple caught.

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I recommend really flattening the biscuits and then baking them for 8 minutes at 180*C in a fan forced oven. Cool slightly, and then place on a rack to cool completely.

The biscuits should keep for about a week in an airtight container. I ate mine with a cup of tea  and Gilly and Hedy had one each when I knocked the first tray of biscuits on the floor!!

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To make the recipe the recipe using a food processor, whiz the dried apples until finely chopped and then add the cubed butter, flour, sugar and pinch of salt. Process for a minute until a fine crumb is formed. Add the egg and pulse until combined. Scrape down the sides as needed and continue on as in the recipe above, rolling balls of the mixture to make the biscuits.

I accidentally pressed Publish prematurely, so I had to go back and add this part in. 


Friday Food: White Chocolate & Raspberry Scones

SconeThe August Coles magazine has this recipe for scones made with lemonade and cream, but no butter. I made a plain version of these scones in 2010. I followed this recipe faithfully, except for the raspberries: I used frozen boysenberries or Loganberries from MrsReno's garden.

I found the dough to be very sticky and it was difficult to cut out the scones. I placed them close together and they sort of melded into one large segmented tessellated scone. Happily, once the scones cooled a little I was able to cut around each one and so make individual scones. MrsDrWho tasted the scones and declared them delicious. They are very light, but don't keep very well. This is an easy recipe to halve if you only want eight scones. I made 15 scones, and was too lazy to cobble together the leftovers to make scone 16.

The recipe calls for 600ml of cream, 250ml of which is used in the dough and the rest is for brushing on the scones, and whipped for serving.

The Typepad is working as normal today. There are no bullet points or numbered lists on my Compose page and I can't click and drag pictures to make them bigger or smaller. I have asked why, but I have to wait for Help.

 

 

Raspberry & White Chocolate Scones           Makes 16

 

3 cups (450g) self raising flour

1 cup (250ml) lemonade, chilled

1 cup (250ml) thickened cream, plus 350ml more

150g white chocolate, finely chopped

150g raspberries, fresh or frozen.

 

 

Well and liquid

Preheat the oven to 220*C and line a tray with baking paper. Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the lemonade and cream.

  Add berries and choc

Here is where you also add the chocolate and berries before you fold the ingredients together. I forgot, and added them when I remembered. Use a butter knife, or flat non-serrated knife, to fold the ingredients gently together. It will be a quite sticky dough.

  Dough

Tip the dough out onto a board and use floured hands to gently bring the dough together. Press out until is is 3cm thick. Use a 5cm floured scone cutter and cut out each scone and carefully place it on the tray. I placed mine close together and I would do the same next time, even though they spread. Brush the tops and sides with some of the remaining cream.

  And bake

Bake for 12-15 minutes. I actually baked mine for 20 minutes. Allow the scones to cool slightly on the tray. I cut around my scones to separate them. Whip the remaining cream and serve with the warm, or hot scones.

  White choc and berry scones