Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Morning Runners Wonder Juice

Beth and I have been making many wonderful juices after our morning runs. Fresh beetroot makes a really nice froth and amazing bright red-purple colour....while carrot has a creamy texture when juiced..and all our juices have lots of Ginger! Yum.

Our typical red morning juice is this:

2 big fresh raw beetroot
2-3 carrots
2 apples
1 big chunk of ginger

The other morning we didnt have beetroot and we wanted to try something least a different colour. So we made this juice:

3 carrots
2 green apples
2 pears
1 kiwi fruit
1 lime
1 big chunk of ginger
and...Beth threw in some broccoli!

The broccoli was experimental..but turned out great - just gave the juice a bit more body, because pears and apples are so watery, and we got extra vitamins and calcium! Yummy

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin Pot

My friend Beth and her partner Daniel helped me make this big pumpkin pot of soup. It filled the house with warmth and caramely pumpkin smell yumm..

1 brown onion
1 big jap pumpkin
2 carrots
1 bunch parsely
3 stalks celery
some parmesan
salt and pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
toasted cumin and coriander seeds (1 tsp each)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
1. Scrape out the pumpkin from inside to make a pot. leave enough pumpkin on the sides so it will hold itself up.
Place in a baking dish (better with sides that hold it up in case of collapse) and place lid back on. Drizzle with olive oil and put in oven.
3. Meanwhile, saute the onion with the seeds, then add in celery. Then add chopped carrot and pumpkin and stock.
4. Simmer till cooked and whiz in blender till smooth.
5. Add back to baked pumpkin and keep in oven till ready to serve!
Serve with freshly cracked black pepper, parmesan, parsely and warm crusty bread.

We were scraping off the insides of this yummy pumpkin as we scooped out the soup !

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Swiss Cheese Souffle!

Heather and I made Swiss Cheese Souffle from Julia Child's Cookbook:
It was delightfully light and delicious!

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp plain flour
1 cup boiling milk
4 egg whites
3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1/3-1 cup swiss cheese chopped finely

Julia Child's does an amazing job of describing each step in a lot of detail, and so this does not do her recipe justice!  I'll have to get my own copy of this famous book of yummy recipes...

1. Melt butter in pan then add flour and cook for 5 mins
2. Add milk at once and turn off heat, whisk in thoroughly
3. Put back on heat and whisk in the cheese (leaving 1 tbsp for the top) and pepper 
4.Whisk the egg whites with salt in a mixer or by hand (we did it by hand!)

5. Lightly fold into the butter mixute in three batches, then scoop into souffle dish!

6. Sprinkle leftover cheese on top!

7. Bake in 205 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Do not open the oven!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lebanese Flatbread

Recipe to be added soon!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wholemeal Multigrain Sourdough Damper

Equipment for Bread Making
You could use the benchtop, but I prefer a big mixing bowl for this bread. I'm using my bread bowl I made out of stoneware clay with a copper red glaze finish. John and Gail Sadlier from the Port Hacking Potters helped me make this bowl while I had a broken hand. Its really special to me because of that and because its not as even as my other bowls, but I like the personally made feel of it, and the warm colours almost will the bread to rise in such a glorious bowl!  I was inspired to make it by seeing Daniel Stevens' make bread in his special ceramic bowl at the River Cottage, and this recipe is adapted from the 'Basic Bread Recipe' in the River Cottage Bread Book. I added honey and various seeds, with less salt.

In additon to a mixing bowl, you will benefit from having the following at hand:

- water spray bottle - for spraying loaves before baking
- measuring cups and spoons
- digital set of scales that can measure increments of 5g or less
- baking tray or baking stone - bread is best baken on a hot stone; e.g. paving stone from hardware shop.
- dough scraper - scraping work surfaces clean during kneading
- peel - a sheet of wood or metal with a handle for sliding bread into the oven
- wooden boards
- long serrated knife (for slashing)
- linen cloth for proving
- plastic bin liner bags for rising

Wholemeal Multigrain Sourdough Damper

Essential Ingredients:

500g wholemeal organic plain flour
500g organic plain white flour
15g fine salt
10g powdered dry yeast
600ml warm water

Optional extras:
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil or other fat
A piece of old dough or a ladleful of sourdough starter
2 handfuls of extras: I used a mix of linseeds, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds
2 handfuls of coating: I used a mix of linseeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, quinoa and sunflower seeds
200ml extra water (if coating with seeds)


Mix honey, dry yeast and 100ml of the warm water together in a small cup and set aside.

Mix the dough. Combine flour, a ladleful of sourdough starter, the yeast-honey water (should eb a little frothy), the rest of the warm water. With one hand mix to form a rough dough. 

Add the salt and the olive oil and mix together, then turn out the dough onto a work surface such as a clean benchtop with ample flour nearby, in a little pile next to you.
 Shape into a round by laying your dough smooth side down and gently deflate the dough with your finger pads. Then, fold an edge into the centre and continue in a circular way until you get back where you started.
Knead the dough until it is as smooth and satiny as you can make it. This will take about 10 minutes. Start by washing and re-flouring your hands. The dough is VERY sticky - this is normal, of course. It will seem to glue itself to the work surface. Daniel Stevens says "Good. You want it to stick. Kneading is all about stretching the gluten..".

Stretch the dough by placing your fingers and palm onto the dough and pushing down and away at arms length - wiping the sticky dough into a smear across the benchtop. Scrape and roll the dough back towards you (you may need the dough scraper here) turn the dough roughly 90 degrees and repeat.

After a good 5 minutes the dough will have tightened considerably and you must adapt by using shorter strokes during kneading. Continue until you have been kneading about 10 minutes and it should be right.

Now turn the dough over, placing hands palms up on either side of dough and sliding in opposite directions pulling the dough underwards...this stretches the upper surface down and under.

Place in well floured mixing bowl and leave to ferment and rise until doubled in size (about 45 mins in a slightly warm spot in summer, a warm slightly sunny spot in Autumn, a warm sunny spot in winter). 
Deflate the dough by tipping it out onto the bench and gently pressing all over with finger pads. Then form into a round as above and cover and let rise again. You can do this up to four times. I did it twice so I could have the loaf ready for lunch.

Prepare for baking

Divide the dough into the loaves you want to bake. This recipe makes two small loaves, 10 rolls or one large round damper like I did. Shape into rounds and add coatings by covering the dough in water froma shallow bowl and rolling in coatings. I used Chia, Linseeds, Sunflower, Poppy and Quinoa seeds.

Let the coated seeded loaf prove (rise) covered in a plastic bag on a floured wooden board for around about 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C (highest gas mark) with baking stone or tray inside, as well as a dish at the bottom for water (for steam).
Have ready a water sprayer, tea towel, and boiling water from the jug.
When proved, remove tray from oven and quickly pour into the dish (still inside the oven) the boiling water. Close door - try not to let much heat out. Slide the loaf onto the tray from the oven and spray all over with water. Slash with a serrated knife a couple of times then put into oven - quickly!
Bake at 250 degrees C in a fan forced Gas oven for 10 minutes. Then, turn down to 200 degrees C if the crust looks pale, 180 degrees C if it is noticeably browning. Bake until loaves are well browned and crusty: about 10-20 minutes for rolls, 30-40 minutes for small loaves, 40-50 minutes for large loaves.  It should be ready when it sounds kind-of hollow when tapped.
Leave to rest 10 minutes while setting the table with nice cheeses and warm autumn salads.
Then slice thickly while everyone watches waiting to try a piece!

Warm garlicky lemon bean salad

Bourke Street Bakery Flourless Chocolate Cake

Bourke Street Bakery Flourless Chocolate Cake
This cake is gorgeously rich, richer than a mud cake but also light and fluffy like a mousse or souffle, while being sticky and chewy around the edges like a brownie - all my favourite cakes in one. Thanks to Tara Stange for photocopying me the recipe!
260g dark chocolate (55% cocoa)
135ml milk
40g yoghurt
4 eggs
105g caster (superfine sugar), for eggs
4 egg whites
160g caster (superfine sugar), for eggwhites
135ml pouring cream
55g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 electric mixer bowls


Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a 20cm (8-inch) springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper - the paper should protrude about 2.5cm above the tin because the cake will fluff up during baking. I used two small cake tins for this recipe and although I was a little concerned that this might not work, it did - and well! So we had two smaller cakes that were perfect for our 5-person party and a leftover cake for the next day. The cake is so rich that small soft pieces with a bit of chewy crunch are just nice.

Break up chocolate into a stainless steel bowl that can sit over a saucepan of water, and bring water to a simmer to melt the chocolate. Once its melting (about 2 mins simmering) turn off the heat and allow the rest of the chocolate to melt with the still warm water.

Put the milk and yoghurt in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the simmer, stirring. Turn off the heat immediately once the liquid starts to curdle. Dont boil vigorously. You should simply have a curdled milky mixture.

Put the (whole) eggs and the sugar for the eggs in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the eggs at medium speed for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is very light and has doubled in volume.

In a very clean, dry bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly add the sugar for the whites, with the mixer on high, until soft peaks form a shiny meringue. Be careful not to overwhisk. Place in refridgerator.

Whisk the cream until soft peaks form and place in refridgerator until needed.
You should have ready to fold together the melted chocolate, curdled milk, whipped eggs, meringue, whipped cream, cocoa powder and the cake tin(s).
Pour the curdled milk into the chocolate and use a whisk to mix it in.

Add the cocoa and whisk to completely incorporate.

Transfer to the master bowl (that can fit all ingredients), and then fold in the whipped (whole) eggs in three batches, making sure you completely incorporate the first batch before adding more.

Lightly fold the meringue into the whipped cream, taking care not to knock out too much air.

Fold the cream-meringue mixture into the chocolate mixture in the master bowl in three batches, making sure you incorporate the first batch before adding more.

Using a spatula, scoop the cake batter into the prepared tin(s) and tap it gently twice on the bench to even out the mix. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. If you can smell the cake cooking within the first 25 minutes your oven is too hot and you need to drop the temperature). Do not disturb the cake for the first 45 minutes of cooking. You may need to cover the top of the cake with baking paper and lower the temperature if the top of the cake is starting to brown. (I did this after 45 mins). Test to see if the cake is baked by gently placing your hand on top of it and wobbling it a little, you should feel that the cake has set through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.