Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Macarons #3

Ispahan time! Big ones, spirals. Kept the macaronage going for a bit more but still not flat on top. REDUCE YOUR OVEN TEMP WOMAN! 150 better and no more than 10 min really.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Macarons #2

Barely used Ed Kimber - just recipe. The sugar syrup was VERY well controlled this time. Started whipping the whites slightly too early but all the same the Italian meringue was gorgeous. I think I then over-whipped it all when I added the colour. In future, mix in the colour by hand if the meringue's already looking really stiff. Macaronage was weird this time - it looked grainier for longer, and even well after 50 stirs it was still very stiff. So the first two trays have nipples but the last tray didn't - so again, possibly an indicator that I just needed to keep going. Started at 160, first lot came out good but washed out colour wise and a tad brown on a couple. Went down to 150 and only went for about 10.5 mins. I think 11 would be perfect. The last tray was in for about 10.5 min but did odd things in the oven: some lopsidedness and one macaron cracked, several stuck to the paper but that may have been my impatience. They look really pretty: pale pink so harder colour to nail!

Macarons #1

Ed Kimber to a T. Good macronage, possibly slightly under but no graininess. 160 degree oven, gave them 12-13 min each. They were flat on top, came off trays beautifully, some were too brown. Great feet, no complaints, on the whole good colour. Yay!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Okay, so I know. My usual failing at blogs has struck again. But not forever!

I have so many photos on my camera, I just need to get off my slack slack bottom and get them on here. I just spent ages prettying up the blog, so I pretty much HAVE to actually put some more baking on here.

Since we last spoke, I have attempted...

Ginger Bread
Vege-Tales Cake Pops
Chocolate Frogs
Blueberry Muffins

I definitely have pictures of the chocolate frogs accessible so will get those up soon. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#4 - Thai-style Spiced Coriander & Almond Fish

Thai-style Spiced Coriander & Almond Fish

1 kg fresh white firm fish fillets, (about 160g per person), chopped into chunky 5-6cm pieces
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup chopped shallots or 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
5 spring onions, roughly sliced
5-6 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 long red chillies, deseeded, or 1 tablespoon mild chilli paste
2 large handfuls fresh coriander
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 cans (around 800ml) coconut milk
1 large red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated rind and juice of 2-3 limes
extra coriander to garnish

Rinse the fish pieces, cover and set aside in the fridge.

Heat the oil in a large frypan and cook the shallots or onion and the spring onions for a few minutes over a medium heat until softened. Don't let the vegetables colour or brown.

Place the ginger, garlic, chillies, coriander, almonds, sesame oil, fish sauce and turmeric in a food processor and pulse or run the machine in bursts to process the mixture to a coarse paste.

Transfer the paste to the frypan with the onion mixture. Stir in the coconut milk and red pepper, then simmer gently for around 5 minutes to allow the flavours to develop. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fish pieces and cook for 5-6 minutes. Be careful not to stir the mixture too much as you don't want the fish to break up.

Add the lime rind and juice to the sauce just before serving.

Serve with rice or noodles, and garnish with a few coriander leaves.

Variations - instead of white fish, you can use salmon, allowing 10-12 minutes to cook. The sauce can also be thinned down with fish stock, water or extra coconut milk.

Chicken fillets or boneless breasts can be easily substituted for the fish in this recipe. Allow 20-25 minutes to cook the chicken, checking it is cooked through. You can also make a great vegetarian dish with cubes of kumara, courgette and pumpkin substituted for the fish - but remember to leave the fish sauce out of the paste.

Comments from the customers:

'This. Is. Delicious.' - Jeff Gray

Alterations made:

I used a lot less fish, almost half - but we are not big meat eaters in our family. There was just more sauce, and it was yum! I used an onion instead of shallots, and slightly fewer spring onions than the recipe said. I put in 2 tsp minced garlic, ginger, fresh in a tube coriander, and chilli paste - just guessed what would be the equivalent if I'd used 'true fresh' of the above... and it seemed to work beautifully. The limes were KEY - what a lovely flavour. Try not to substitute for lemons, splash out and get limes. I used cloves instead of coriander for a garnish - it was all I had!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#2 & #3 - Banana Yoghurt Muffin Loaves & Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Yoghurt Muffin Loaves

1 cup sugar
100g butter, melted
3 eggs
2 bananas, mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk, warmed
150ml yoghurt, plain or fruit flavoured
2 cups self-raising flour

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Coat a 12-cup small loaf or muffin tray with non-stick baking spray. Be generous with the spray in the cavities of the tins.

Mix the sugar, melted butter, eggs and mashed banana together in a large bowl.

Stir the baking soda and warm milk together in a separate bowl, then pour into the banana mixture. Add the yoghurt and flour, mixing lightly to just combine. Do not overmix or the loaves will be quite tough. Spoon into the prepared tins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

These can be served plain or iced with lemon cream-cheese frosting when cold.

Lemon Cream-cheese Frosting

125g regular cream cheese, softened to room temperature
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups icing sugar

Whisk the cream cheese, lemon rind and juice together to a smooth and soft consistency.

Then beat in icing sugar until well combined and there are no lumps. The mixture should be thick, like frosting. If you use an extra-large lemon you may need a little more icing sugar to achieve the right consistency.

Spread over cold banana yoghurt muffin loaves.

P.S - it is better to use regular cream cheese for the frosting as it is firmer and holds its shape better than the low-fat varieties.

Comments from the customers:

'Boy, those were amazing cakes - outstanding.' - Ros Gray
'I just love banana, lemon and cream-cheese.' - Member of my small group
'I really shouldn't have another one... I've already had two.' - Member of my small group

Alterations made:

The frosting needed a significant amount more icing sugar. I used a teeny little lemon and still it almost took 3 cups of icing sugar before it was vaguely thick enough. I also didn't have any loaf tins so I would love to try it again when I come across some.

I made 24 mini muffins and 12 regular sized flattish muffins in patty tins. There was loads of mixture for this amount. The frosting would have well covered all of them if I hadn't gone overboard on the mini ones, but it was quite nice to have some without the sweet frosting anyway.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

#1 - Banana Berry Smoothie

My first recipe attempted from Jo Seagar's new recipe book...

Banana Berry Smoothie

2 ripe bananas
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
3 cups low-fat milk, well chilled
1/2 cup yoghurt, plain or berry flavoured
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon runny honey
2-3 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.

Serve immediately in tall glasses.

Variation - the berries can be replaced with tinned pears or peaches, or fresh kiwifruit.

Comments from the customers:

'That was a very good smoothie.' - Tim Gray

Alterations made:

I halved the recipe as it was just for two of us, and it worked perfectly fine. I loved the honey-ey flavour (I zapped some normal honey in the microwave for a few seconds to make it runny) and I also put enough ice-cubes in for the 'as writ' recipe (instead of halving the amount) as I do like my smoothies a little thicker. Lovely.
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