Just Desserts

Just Desserts

Well, you can tell I’m on holidays – two posts in ‘virtually’ one day…

A fair portion of yesterday was spent in the kitchen cooking up another epic batch of fudge (see here) and also the Dessert of Amazing for lunch today.  I need to write the Dessert of Amazing**’s recipe down so I don’t lose it given the current state of the recipe (below)… yes, very well used… While I’m writing it down I shall also share it with you… with pictures. Because I’m generous like that…

First… Get a recipe – I got mine from Lyna – she probably doesn’t remember me sitting in her kitchen copying all the recipes I could find that looked good… I must have rushed it because the method doesn’t make sense towards the end… so I made it up… if you try this and it’s rubbish… don’t say you weren’t warned…

1. The Recipe

Ingredients:

1 250g packet of biscuits – I used wheaten something or other because I like a bit of texture in my crumbs

125g butter

1-2tbs Gelatine – (I used 2 – and I was ever so hopeful that gelatine doesn’t go off… lost count of how long since I’d used it and the supermarket was all out.. seems like I’m not the only one setting stuff this Christmas.)

1 Can of Boysenberries (I used raspberries due to absence of Boysens on the shelf… seems like I’m also not the only one making this recipe)

200g White Chocolate (I used 250g Nestle Bits)

300ml Cream – (I think the recipe only req a cup – that bit of the recipe was missing) but as I didn’t want to waste any I used the full 300 – oh, and whip it good.

250g Cream Cheese

1/2c Caster*  sugar (I think they call it superfine in the US)

2. Behold. The Ingredients

So, I couldn’t be doing with leftover bits of stuff I wouldn’t use later (cream, chocolate) – so I put in whole packets… I figured they were close enough… (proof positive I should in no circumstances be left in charge of experiments requiring critical measuring…)

3. 125g Butter

4. Smooooosh!

1. Melt the Butter and Crumb the biscuits.  In my younger days I’d have been given a rolling pin and the biscuits in a sturdy plastic bag or three and sent out to the front porch to beat the crap out of them… these days I’m allowed to use appliances…  it’s up to you, either way will work though an appliance will make finer crumbs.

5. Apply the Butter

6. Mix to Buttery Crumbs

Combine the butter and crumbs and press into the base of a springform tin.  You can see the lip of the removable base in the photo below, I’m careful to keep the crumbs below this line so things don’t get stuck when you take the tin apart revealing (hopefully) the true extent of the Amazing.  Then pop it in the fridge.

7. Press crumbs into tin and put in the fridge

Pour the gelatine onto 1/3c of hot water (not boiling – hot out of the tap is fine) and stir to dissolve.

8. Sprinkle Gelatine onto hot water

8. When it's dissolved it looks like this.

Pour half the gelatine mixture into the canned fruit, stir and place in the fridge to begin cooling/setting.

9. Ra Ra Ras-ber-ry - Summer's Greatest Love Fruit...y?

Then comes the fun part… beat up the cream cheese with the caster sugar so it’s light and smooth.

10. Before

11. Buahh haa haa; After

Beat up the Cheese and Sugar, in a separate bowl whip the cream – I whip it until it’s thick but not peaky so you don’t over beat it when you combine it with the other ingredients..

12. Whip it Real Good. Actually whip it mostly... see above.

Then melt the chocolate… I use the microwave… but you have to keep an eagle eye on it… this was on high for 55sec with a stirring at about 30s.

13. Oh, melty, melty

Then combine, the cheese, chocolate, cream and remaining gelatine mixture (see, you thought I’d forgot about that didn’t you!) and beat thoroughly -

14. White on white on white

Swirl the cooled/semi-set fruit into the cheese mixture and then pour onto the biscuit base. I noticed (and you will from the pix) that the Raspberries caused the cheese mix (the cream, no doubt)  to curdle a tiny bit… it doesn’t appear to have affected the final cake, and I can assure that it tastes fine.  I can’t remember if the boysenberries did the same last time I made it..

15. Swirly, Swirly

16. Rin Tin Tin

There you have it, I shall report on its reception at BFF’s house and post pix of the decanted masterpiece when that is done…

In the meantime, consider this my Christmas gift to You and I hope you and your families have a wonderful day, wherever you are and whenever Christmas gets to you!

*So named because it’s fine enough to go through a sugar caster or sprinkler…

** Officially a Boysenberry (or Raspberry) and White Chocolate Cheesecake

Further Kitchen Adventures

Original Recipe sourced here

In these days of recession, from time to time you may be invited somewhere with an instruction to ‘bring a plate’ (which, of course, means bring a plate with something on it to share for dinner… rather than bring a piece of crockery from which to partake of your meal…).

If you’re anything like me, you may be a little bit hopeful that one of the other participants may bring that bastion of pot luck dinners… the humble scalloped potato.  It’s great cheap food and a little of it goes a looong way!!! And ooh, goodness, doesn’t it taste goooood!

It was my turn to take these babies to dinner last night and in order not to break the belts of everyone there with the usual cream or cream soup based dish I found a recipe that calls for a much less calorie rich ingredient list.. (and so I added the things (like bacon and cheese) you wouldn’t add if you were calorie minded and were basing the whole thing in cream.

For the life of me I can’t figure out why the images are out of order in pictobrowser. If you click through to Flickr you’ll find them in order I don’t have time today to paste them all in individually! You’re clever, you’ll get the idea!!


 INGREDIENTS

    * 5 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
    * 120 g chopped onion
    * 45 g butter or margarine
    * 30 g all-purpose flour
    * 415 ml chicken broth
    * 30 ml mayonnaise
    * 5 g salt
    * 0.3 g pepper
    * Paprika

DIRECTIONS

   1. In a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish, layer potatoes and onion (and bacon pieces and a little bit of Parmesan cheese if desired). In a saucepan, melt the butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add broth, mayonnaise, salt and pepper; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 2 hours or until tender.


Bagelicious

So, this extra time on my hands, that could, quite possibly be employed in income generating pursuits has, from time to time, been employed in more Domestic Goddess type undertakings which has caused the occasional raised eyebrow but more often that not resulted in a sharp intake of breath and a “you did what?” type of exclamation.

Actually, as a related aside, making Pad Thai is a terrific culinary secret weapon… with the right ingredients it’s well easy and gets a big thumbs up every time.  I think its exotic nature which gives people the impression it’s difficult… May I just say, it’s handy to live across the road from an Asian grocery…

In any case, more than the Pad Thai it’s the bagels that draw the exclamations most often… I mean, who in their right mind makes bagels eh?

Me dammit… and I’m totally in possession of my full faculties…  And when a bag of 4 bagels costs $4.30 and to make 15 of your own costs about the same… well… you do the math… and quite frankly, the homemade taste and texture is infinitely superior to the heavy chewy ones you get in those mass produced bags…

So, given gentle reader, that this blog is all about you I thought I’d share the bounty of my recent foray into bagel bakery and show you how it’s done.

First scour the interwebs for a suitable recipe

This one comes from Nigella Lawson’s book Domestic Goddess, I believe…  I found it via Google… (oh, and as is always the case, click to embiggen the images)

ingredients_bagels.JPG

  • 1 kg of white flour, plus more as necessary for kneading.
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 7g of easy yeast or 15g of fresh yeast
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
  • 500mL warm water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tbsp of malt or sugar, for poaching the bagels
  • 2-3 baking sheets, oiled or greased.

wetanddry_bagels.JPG
dough1_bagels.JPG
1) Combine the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl, add the
sugar and the oil to the water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and
add the liquid, mixing to a dough with a spatula or wooden spoon.

dough2_bagels.JPG
2) Knead the dough either by hand or with dough hook, trying to add
more flour if you can, dough is better drier than wetter, the dough
will be stiff and hard work, even with the dough hook it takes 10
minutes.

dough3_bagels.JPG
risen_bagels.JPG
3) Form the dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl, turning
once to coat all around, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave
it to rise for 1 hour. It should be well risen, and when you poke it
with your finger , the impression should remain

knockdown_bagels.JPGdough4_bagels.JPG.
4) Punch the dough down and then give a good knead and divide into 3
pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a rope then cut each
rope into 5 pieces. Roll each piece between the palms of your hands
into a ball and then roll into another rope, curling to form ring. Seal
the ends by overlapping.

 5) Put on a large pan of water to boil, when it boils add the malt or the sugar. (It is my belief that this step needs no illustration… right?)

bagels.JPG6) Sit the bagels on the baking sheets cover with tea towlels and leave
for 20 minutes by which times they should be puffy. Preheat oven to
240C.

poaching_bagels.JPG
7) When the water’s boiling, start poaching, drop a couple of bagels at
a time into the boiling water and boil for 1 minute turning them once,
use a couple of spatulas for this.

prebake_bagels.JPG


As you poach them put them back onto the oiled baking sheets, well spaced

I’m interjecting at this point to say, based on other recipes I’ve come across, in this instance I glaze the bagels with an egg wash before I bake them… furthermore, as I’m partial to variations on plain bagels such as onion or sesame coated bagels, I’ve been known to sprinkle the egg wash with fried onions (from the local Asian grocery) and sesame seeds as well.  Poppy seeds are a good idea too. I just don’t currently have them to hand…

and then bake for 10-15 minutes until they’re shiny and golden
brown.

cooked_bagels.JPGMakes 15 Bagels.

Eat them.  But you probably didn’t need me to add that… they’re great with cream cheese, of course, but actually with anything you want to put on ‘em…

Warm Turkey

Miss Lisa and I went on an excursion today, into unknown territory…
Way
Out
West
Ok, it’s way out west if you look at the difference between Manly and Auburn, but there are actually westier places out there…
Anyway, we went for Turkish food and to meet up with Ian for long overdue wibsite catch up.
It’s actually a really good thing to do. To get out of your geographical comfort zone. We see so much on the telly about the war in the Middle East and the vitriol that’s being poured out by outspoken clerics of a faith not my own, and it has a tendency to make one wary of the parts of town one goes to. And it makes me crazy, because it so isn’t necessary to be afraid. It isn’t necessary to stay away because of hyped up news stories.
I love this city, and while I may disagree with the worldview of our mid eastern neighbours I love that within 40 minutes of my White Bread neighbourhood I can go out for authentic Turkish food, baklava and apple tea that wouldn’t be out of place in Istanbul.
So, if you’re in Sydney, head to Mado Cafe on Auburn Road. (or in Brisbane or Melbourne) And if you’re not? Go somewhere else this week for dinner… somewhere you wouldn’t normally go, I challenge you to live a little bigger than you usually do!
And when the mairtre’d asks you “what brought you to our neck of the woods”?
Tell them Deeleea sent you.

Very Important Scientific Research

After a bit of local investigation courtesy of Dee’s local off licence -
The squiff factor of Monday Night Red Wine (1) is much higher than (3) Friday Night Margaritas.

The Simpson Desert

Today Singular Scene is taking a short foray into food blogging… not to be compared of course to Clothilde’s gorgeous site Chocolate and Zucchini but to celebrate the leftovers I am having for lunch, made by my own fair hands… and wickedly good.
Simpson Desert Pizza
Ingredients
Garlic and herb seasoned pizza base (or toally plain would work fine too)
Butter Chicken (makhani) Curry Paste (Not simmer sauce… the curry paste – tandoori paste works well too)
One whole onion
Boneless Chicken pieces (2 single breast fillets or 4 thighs – depends on how much pizza base you have to cover)
Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Grated Mozzarella
Natural Yoghurt
Fresh Coriander leaves (cilantro)
Ok, clearly at this point you can see that cooking isn’t a precise science in deeleea’s world… no measurements or volumes… sorry… It’ all just depends on the pizza base… smaller base… less topping…
The Method goes something like this
Slice and fry the onions… use low heat so they caramelise rather than burn…
Cook the chicken (if it is still raw) until it is about 75-80% done.
Spread the base with the curry paste.
Layer over that the onions,chicken and tomatoes and sprinkle lightly (very light…) with the mozzarella.
Cook in a medium-hot oven until the cheese is melted and the base is cooked and a bit crispy on the bottom. (about 20 mins at 180degC)
Serve dotted with yoghurt and fresh coriander.
Serve hot or cold!!
BTW the Simpson Desert is somewhere in Australia and the pizza is called that because I first ate it at a gourmet Pizza restaurant and it’s the name they referred to it by.
(Mine tastes better *grin*)

Just Call me Mama Guiseppe

Today was “Annual Carnival” to celebrate the funds raised for our annual building fund. As an honoured staff member it was my privelege to make pizza.

No, not make a pizza.

Make pizza

One Thousand Single Serve Pizzas.

Count them 1,2,3,4……………1000

Yep, that many.

Actually I didn’t make them. They came premade and in their little ‘authentic’ pizza trays and I stood at one end of a conveyor belt catching them, cutting them and closing their box around them while the next person in the chain gang labelled them according to their toppings and farmed them off out the door to the waiting crowds.

This process took from 9.30-2.30.

My feet are sore.

Christmas Ritual

I made our family’s favourite Christmas Indulgence last week. A morsel referred to in the Edmonds Cookbook (the Kiwi chicks cooking Bible) as Russian Fudge. I can’t make Chocolate Fudge or Coconut Ice, or much else in the confectionery dept but I make MEAN Russian Fudge…

Here’s how

3 cups sugar
1/2 c milk
125g butter
1/2 c condensed milk
1/8th tsp salt
1tbs golden syrup

Put the sugar and milk in a heavy based saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is melted, stirring continuously. Add the butter, condensed milk, salt and golden syrup Stir it until butter is melted [Edited - oops ]and bring to the boil.

Continue boiling till it reaches soft ball stage, only stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the pan. Remove from heat, cool for 10 mins and beat until thick. Pour into a greased pan, allow cool slightly then mark into squares. Remove from pan when cold and store in airtight container, not in the fridge.

Then eat it…

Share it…

Make more if it…

Eat that too.

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