a little bit of silliness....click on the picture to create a fly for it to eat....

Friday, April 30, 2010

May winner...

In the next few days I will be drawing the winner of the free class for May...you've got to be in it to win it... so if you are at all interested in a great one on one class with a qualified, passionate and fun teacher become a follower and it could be you!

Some more photos from Leo's class...

These shots are from my camera after Leo's cupcake class...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fundraising has ground to a halt...

We had decided to have a market stall at Rozelle markets next week, selling either home made lemonade or soup, plus cookies, cakes et.  But sadly this is not to be.  The council restrictions on food sellers have become so stringent that for a 'once off'  it's just not worth the expense of all the paperwork. 
So it's back to the drawing board...cooking classes anyone?

Pistachio and cardamom cake...

This is a very easy cake to make...it's made in a food processor but I mix the moist ingredients in by hand just to be on the safe side.

Yoghurt and Pistachio cake.
Preheat oven to 170c
Prepare tins

1 cup pistachios, lightly roasted
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
150 gms cold butter, chopped
1.5 cups Self Raising flour
1.25 cups castor sugar
3 eggs
125 gms greek yoghurt

Process nuts and cardamom till fine.
Add butter, flour and sugar and pulse till at the breadcrumb stage.
Remove to a bowl, then add the lightly whisked eggs and the yoghurt.
Scale into your tins. This recipe will easily make 12 standard cakes
Bake till a skewer to sharp knife comes out clean.  Approx 25 to 30 mins depending on your oven.
While they are cooking make a lime sugar syrup.
Boil equal quantities of sugar and water, I make 100gms/100mls at a time and keep it in the fridge.
While it is simmering add 2 tablespoons of lime juice (squeezy bottle lime is fine)
Dont over boil the syrup, cook just till the sugar has dissolved.
When the cupcakes come out of the oven brush liberally with the syrup. 
This will ensure the cakes remain moist.  You can ice over the syrup.

nb.  I found that most bags of pistachios in the supermarkets were just under a cup, I simply made up the difference with ground almonds with no appreciable difference in the taste of the cake.

Leo's free cooking class....

Leo won the April 'followers'  free cooking class and I'm happy to say it went very well.  Although we were a bit strapped for time we managed to get most of the important points covered.  Leo chose to learn about cupcakes, so I took some of the pistachio and cardamom cakes for us to decorate together and we made the best chocolate mudcake cupcakes ever!

Chopping the chocolate
Adding the eggs slowly...TThe finished mudcakesPile up the buttercream first...
then spread it over the cake, smooth off and tidy edges...
Or you could pipe the icing...
The finished cupcakes...
We look so serious here, but I promise we really had a lot of fun.  Leo is  a remarkable young man, very focussed and assured with regard to his culinary choices. 
So if the idea of a specialised one on one class excites you...become a follower and go in the draw for May's free class. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Sarah has made a good point about photos of the recipes I post, in future I will ensure that I detail any of the dishes and especially if there are particular points that need observing during cooking.  Learning every day, thanks again Sarah.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A totally decadent butterscotch sauce...

Over the weekend I had some friends round for lunch, for dessert we had a bit of a throw together sweet.
I had some banana bread that I'd made previously and some old apples that needed using up. 
I sliced the banana bread, to about 2cm thickness, and used a cutter to make nice regular discs. 
The apples were peeled and sliced into even wedges, tossed in a little brown sugar, some melted butter and cinnamon.  I put them to roast in a 180c oven, basting with a little brandy to prevent them drying out and add a zing.  Cook till the required degree of tenderness to suit you.  Set aside with the banana bread. 
Then the crux of the dish, the butterscotch sauce.
Take 200gms butter and 200gms of dark brown sugar (you can use soft brown but the flavour intensity is lessened). 
Bring to the boil, then keep at a rolling simmer till nicely amalgamated. Don't walk away in case it burns. 
Then comes the tricky bit, pour on 300ml of pure cream.  (you might want to stand back and even wrap a teatowel round the hand holding the cream...it could spatter and you DON'T want to get the sugar mix on your skin) 
Once the spitting stops - it won't take long - stir and keep stirring for another 2 or 3 minutes till the sauce thickens.  You can use a sugar thermometer at this stage if you have one (or one of those $8 thermometers that baristas use), the mixture needs to be about 95c or 200f.
Then add a couple of turns of a rock or sea salt cellar, or 1/2tsp of salt crystals.  (I can't guarantee what normal table salt will taste like so it's worth investing is some nice salt for special dishes.) 
To test the sauce drop a little onto a clean plate, let it cool a little, if the sauce holds it's height and dosn't run out flat then it's ready. 
You want a bit of body.  I have added brandy or liquers to add a bit of adult naughtiness, once you've mastered the basic mixture you can play around with the flavours.
To assemble the dessert I brushed the banana bread discs with a little hot sauce and placed them into a baking tray. 
Top each disc with an equal amount of apple slices. Spoon over a little sauce and bake at 180c for 10mins or so to heat through.  Plate up, top with a scoop of your favourite ice-cream, drizzle over some more sauce and serve immediately...I promise your guests will love it. 
You can use it on crepes, with banana splits, on chocolate pudding, over apple pie, on cheesecake and of course on sticky toffee pudding or date puddding, in fact just about anywhere you fancy a bit of toffee flavour.
The addition of the salt takes a previously nice sauce upto a whole new level of wicked.  It serves to balance the sweetness and remove that sickly sweet aftertaste that can be experienced after eating caramel.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe...it's by no means an original but it's a keeper...

Friday, April 2, 2010

and the winner is.............(drumroll please)..............

All the names went into a hat and the winner of Aprils free one on one cooking class is...........drrrrrrrrrrrrrrumroll..............Leo!  Well done young man, you can either come here to Drummoyne with Mum or Dad or I can come to you at a mutually convenient time.  I noticed in one of your earlier blogs that you had a couple of problems with a cupcake recipe...I'd be happy to show you a few tricks to make and decorate cupcakes.  Let me know what suits Leo and we can get the ball rolling.
To the rest of my followers, you are now in the running for next months, each person can only win once so as the months go by your chance of winning will increase.  Watch this space for pictures of the class.
Have a wonderful easter everybody.