Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pryaniki ~ Russian Gingerbread

 Just reading my friends Tim and Chris's book, 'Off The Rails', where he ate these as a staple snack while cycling across Russia. He seemed to love them so much so I wanted to try them on a bushwalk!


3 eggs
40 g unsalted butter, melted
265 g (¾ cup) honey
450 g (3 cups) plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
melted dark chocolate, to serve

I have read that listening to Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky during the original preparing of the dough may be beneficial to your mood, especially if you have reached the pulverizing of the almonds during the Dance of the Adolescents!


Separate 2 eggs and reserve 1 egg white. (Discard the other egg white or use it for another recipe.) Whisk the 2 egg yolks in a bowl with butter, honey and remaining egg. Sift flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl and combine. Make a well in the centre, add egg mixture and gradually combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Using damp hands, shape tablespoonfuls of mixture into 24 balls and place on the trays. Flatten them slightly and bake, swapping the trays halfway, for 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make meringue, whisk reserved egg white with sugar to soft peaks, then spread 1 tsp meringue mixture over each biscuit. Drizzle with chocolate and allow to set before serving.

Drink tea from a samovar will complement these sweet treats, as will traditional Russian sbiten, a hot drink made with honey, spices, jam and water or red wine

- recipe from SBS food and advice from my friend Irina Gomanyuk

I put dates in the middle.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

24hr Roast Pumpkin Bread

1kg strong white bread flour
10g powdered dried yeast
25g sea salt
800ml warm water
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for the folding process.
500g pumpkin chopped into 10cmx3cm pieces cooked at 80 C for 24 hours.


Mix the flour yeast and water together.
Use your hands, a huge bowl, or a dough hook in an electric mixer.
This dough is very wet (~80% water) so it is best to use a dough hook to keep folding over the gluten strands to make a silky dough that can be handled.

If using a dough hook:
Mix for 5 minutes then let rest for 5 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax a bit.
Add olive oil and salt then mix for a further 5 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Mix for a final 5 minutes.
Cover the bowl.

If using your hands: get a really big amazing bowl!

Follow the instructions above, and refer to this page for more detail on kneading techniques.

Place the dough into the fridge for 5-7 hours. This allows lactic acid bacteria to produce sour by products and makes the yeast dormant.

Remove from fridge an hour before baking. Fold the dough (it will have risen  in the fridge) then put in a new container and place in a warm spot to warm up. If it’s a clod day, place in a big bowl and sit the bowl in a sink of warm water. Keep covered.

Once the dough has doubled in size and you can see big air pockets forming, remove and knead in the pumpkin after chopping it into smaller pieces.


Dust the bench with semolina flour.

Form into baguettes or other rolls and place on oven tray. Cover with plastic bags to allow another final rise/prove. Preheat the oven to full.


Once the dough springs back when touched lightly, it is ready to bake. Brush with milk and sprinkle seeds of your choice.

Place in the oven and spray with a water bottle to create steam. Or, throw some icecubes in the bottom of the oven.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Thanks so much Bretto for helping me and providing the most important ingredient - roasted pumpkin!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Seafood for Kat's Birthday

Scallops with Garlic and Parmesan Italian Style
Garlic Prawns
Garlic Yabbies
Grilled Asparagus
Pearl Couscous Persian Salad
Chilli and Parsley Pasta
Crunchy Salad
We enjoyed this lovely spread of goodies with a special Grosset Riesling!

love you my best friend Kat xxx

Pearly Persian Salad

1/2 cup pearl couscous
2 tbsp. red quinoa
2 tbsp. risoni
2 tbsp. yellow spit peas
half an avocado
handful of parsley chopped finely
1 tbsp. lemon myrtle olive oil
salt and pepper
handful of broad beans from the garden
seeds from half a pomegranate

Put the pearl couscous, quinoa, risoni and split peas in a saucepan with 1 tbsp. of vegetable stock and simmer till al dente approx. 10 minutes.
Remove Broad Beans from their husks, blanche in boiling water then skin them individually.
Prepare other ingredients.
Toss all together and serve!

Jerusalem salad

Jerusalem Salad

1 head of cauliflower
2 tbsp rice bran oil
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp maple syrup
8 tbsp red wine vinegar
Four sticks celery
Handful of pomegranate seeds
Handful of toasted hazelnuts
Parsley to garnish

Break cauli into small florets.
Toss cauli in oil and dust with cinnamon.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180 C
Slice celery
Toss all ingredients together and serve warm.
Was too nice for a photo, we ate it too fast. Will add one next time we make it!

Herby Barley Salad

Herby Barley Salad

½ cup barley
2 big handfuls parsley
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp lemon myrtle olive oil
1 handful pistachios
1 handful cashews
Piece of fetta cheese
Handful of kale
1 tomato
Bring barley to a simmer for approx. 30 minutes till its properly cooked. Then add Kale for 1 minute to wilt. Drain and set aside.
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds, crush in a mortar and pestle then add to the olive oil with the cumin powder and honey.
Chop the nuts coarsely and crumble the fetta.
Toss  together all ingredients.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spiced Banana Yogurt Cake

Spiced Banana Yoghurt Cake

Makes an 8-inch cake

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

¼ tsp cardamom

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

Garnishes: vanilla icing sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Butter an 8-inch cake pan.

In a medium size bowl, stir the yogurt and brown sugar together. Whisk in the vegetable oil, followed by the bananas, eggs and vanilla. Slowly stir in the flour, baking powder spices and salt until mixed.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, until firm to the touch (this is a moist cake, be careful not to over bake). Let cool and remove from pan onto a rack. The cake will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for 2 days.

Dust with vanilla icing sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bendo Weekend Lasagne

It all started with a very serious manly meeting...

Then we had some fun making friends with the birds.

Even sharing bird friends.

Then the Lasagne Making started.
We grilled all the vegies on the fire and layered them with tomato sauce with mushrooms and white sauce with nutmeg. Haloumi was the key ingredient on the vegetarian agne. For the Bolognese agne Hash cooked up an amazingly rich mince sauce and we layered this with some pumpkin as well and lots of mozzarella.

Paprika on top

And unleash the monster

Oh yes. That's nice.
Wine goes well.

Then we played some poker and guess who won?

The next morning we had tea for breakfast. We were STILL FULL.
Hash instructed us in the art of archery.

Manuke was very happy.

 Later the next day we were hungry again and Luke made us pancakes.

Then we said goodbye to the birds, till next time.

Hash and Matt

Matt and Luke

Squirrely Acorn Night

Al, with his amazing Acorn creations.
He invited us to a squirrelly munchies night. On the Menu was acorn, quinoa and Kale patties, acorn mayonnaise and a salad with Al's vegies. Plus dessert...

The acorns after they have been treated (soaking and rinsing for a couple of weeks)

It wouldn't be Al's without a nice big massive pot full of chai.

This was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten. Acorn cake!
It was golden and caramel flavoured with a crunchy outer layer and a chewy moreish middle.

There were even some bigger bits of acorn that were nice to chew in the cake.
Jules, Luke and I loved it, thanks Al!

I had to take a photo of his organised kitchen...a joy to bake in :)

Luke and Jules