Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chocolate Roulade With Chocolate Cream Filling and Chocolate Glaze

Lots of chocolate for the sponge roll....

That's how we like it?  Made it for the morning tea at work.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Indulgence Magazine.

2 eggs
75g caster sugar
45g cake flour
5g good quality cocoa powder
pinch vanilla salt
25g unsalted butter, melted

250ml cream
1 tsp vanilla essense
100g Lindt Dark Chocolate 100% Cocoa
100g Lindt Milk Chocolate Orange Creme
25ml Water

The Sponge:
Preheat oven to 210C.
Grease and line a 15x30cms rectangular tin.
Beat egg and sugar over bain marie, until all sugar has dissolved and mixture ribbony, light and fluffy.
Sift together flour, cocoa and salt into the egg mixture, fold gently to create a light batter.
Mix a couple of spoons of batter into the melted butter, and then carefully fold the butter mix back into the egg mixture.
Pour the batter in the prepared cake tin, and smooth out.
Bake for 10 minutes or until it's just firm to touch.  Remove from oven when ready.
Sprinkle a bit of caster sugar on a clean tea towel, lift the sponge still in baking paper and turn upside down and place the sheet sponge onto the tea towel, roll up and set side to cool.

The filling:
Whip the cream with vanilla till soft peak and set a side.
Melt the chocolate, and add water to make a smooth mass.
Fold a small amount of cream to the chocolate, and then fold chocolate back to the remaining cream, chill in fridge for 10 minutes.

Unroll the sponge, Evenly spread about half of the filling leaving a bit of gap along the long edge, carefully roll up.

Chill in fridge for 10 minutes.

Apply some of the left over cream fillings on the outside, and as finishing touch, I warm up the rest of the filling a bit to return it to a smoother glaze, let cool and drizzle over the roulade...

Submitting this swiss roll - chocolate roulade to Aspiring Bakers #9 - Swiss Rolling Good Times ....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Fraisiers - July 2011 Daring Baker's Challenge

A fresh strawberry cream cake....  A lovely delicious challenge hosted by Jana from Cherry Tea Cakes.

It would be a much more fun event or events for us had it been summer for us... part of the pain being in the south hemisphere is that we don't have the seasonal fruits as the north - strawberries can be found but quite expensive, so are other berries and summer fruit.  After my first attempt, I realised I could've used kiwi fruit which we can find quite a lot in the supermarkets lately, but the second attempt never took place, Luke's birthday, school production, and Bianca's school production took most of our time, plus the house renovation....

Apart from hubby, the children are not too keen on cream cakes, don't ask me why, but they are chocoholics, and whenever there's a chance to ask for a cake, it's always, chocolate cake, especially for Luke, chocolate mud, he wouldn't even take sponge.

I didn't want to make the the cake too big, the fresh cream wouldn't keep.  The original recipes for the challenge can be found here:

First of all, I wanted to make a small heart shaped Red Velvet Strawberry Stack Cake....
Red velvet for the Red strawberries, always wanted to make a red velvet cake.

I used the recipe by Nigella Lawson for Red Velvet Cupcakes, but changed the frosting to cream cheese frosting because of the Creme Fraisier...


• 250g plain flour
• 2 x 15ml tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 100g soft unsalted butter
• 200g caster sugar
• 1 x heaped 15ml tbsp Christmas-red paste food colouring
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 175ml buttermilk
• 1 tsp cider vinegar or other vinegar
• 2 x 12-bun muffin tins

• 100g icing sugar (no need to sift if using a processor)
• 250g cream cheese
• 250g fresh cream
• 1 tsp lemon juice

I made 4 small heart shaped cake for my strawberry stack and 6 big cup cakes using the Texax Muffin Tin.

It's very hard to line the cakes, as I found out they are pretty fragile so I couldn't slice them thinner as I planned... 

And I got a bit too ambitious stacking all the 4 cakes up....

But thanks to Nigella, the flavour of the cake was really really good...

And for the cup cakes... I brought them to the little get together with girl friend and got welcomed by her children...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Flavour and Ganache

I love Lindt's, all sorts of flavours of Lindt's.  I know there are better chocolates, but within my budget, especially when they are on sales, it's good.

The only thing is, when it goes on sales, you don't get the full flavour range, sometimes, however, it's a good time to sample the different flavours of chocolate and choose what to do with them.

This time, Lindt's orange creme filled milk chocolate.

Chocolate Orange Flavoured Cupcakes with Ganache
makes 12 medium size cup cakes

For the cupcakes:
75g Lindt's dark chocolate 70% cocoa
50g Lindt's orange creme filled milk chocolate
1 tbsp Cointeau
150g Self Raising Flour
2 tbsp dutch cocoa
2 eggs
100g softened butter
100ml room temperature milk

For the Ganache:
30g Lindt's dark chocolate 70% cocoa

20g Lindt's orange creme filled milk chocolate
50ml cream
50g icing sugar
20g butter

Decorate with a few pink jewels or hundreds and thousands and chocolate sprinkles...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moist Apple Rhubarb Loaf

It's a simple and moist breakfast or afternoon tea loaf, a cakey bread that takes minimum time to prepare.

First of all, make the rhubarb compote.

Use 50g sugar and half of cup of water to make a simple syrup, add sliced rhubarb, about 3 stems. 
Peel and clean and dice one large Granny Smith apple and add 20g of sugar and a tsp of cinnamon sugar, half tsp of vanilla to coat and set a side.
Add rhubarb compote to apple and mix well once it's cooled a little.

For the loaf:

100g butter, room temperature
80g sugar
300g SR flour
100ml Milk
100g sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, beat in eggs, one by one. add milk and sour cream, beat till smooth, sift in flour and bi-carb soda, fold in apple chunks and and rhubarb compote.

Sprinkle the top of the loaf with extra cinnamon sugar.

Bake in 190C oven (pre-heated) for 40-50 minutes, till skewers come out clean.  Cool a little on rack, slice best serve it warm with cream, or toast, serve with butter.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Crisp Cocoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips - Epicure Chocolate

My girl friend who has been on Maternity Leave called me for a meeting during the school holidays.  She and her baby has some story time at the local library so we went over there to meet her.

Children love books so it's alright for them to spend the time there without getting bored.   And of course, I found some books I'd like to borrow (I'd love to own them) so this is one of them, Epicure Chocolate.

Luke asked me to make the Crisp Cocoa Cookies out of the recipe book, he said he will want them for snacks for school lunch boxes.

So here I was, till 10:00pm, baking cookies.  Lucky it's an easy one.

Epicure Crisp Cocoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips
(only half of the recipe)
125g softened butter, unsalted
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
a drop of vanilla
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp dutch cocoa
100g chopped milk Lindt's chocolate (instead of the dark chocolate chips)

Cream butter and castor sugar till pale and smooth, mix in brown sugar, whisk well.
Add egg, whisk well till smooth, and add vanilla.
Sift in flour, cocoa and baking soda, mix well, it's a soft dough, but dry, so mixing is not quick, and need to work with care, not over working the mixture.
Fold in chocochips or chopped chocolate.
Scoop out by spoon onto the lined baking trays.
Bake in pre-heated 190C oven for 10-12 minutes.

Happy children.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our Love for Sausage Rolls - Classic Sausage Rolls

I must say Australian food is heavily influenced by English food.  Footie pies, sausage rolls, and I can hardly imagine a cocktail style party without party pies, and sausage rolls, especially, children's parties.  I have been watching a bit of Masterchef USA on Youtube and giggled with hubby when I saw Gordon Ramsay quickly demolished the big sausage roll from one of the contestants.

I prefer to make mine from scratch, when time is short, I'd use frozen puff pastry from the shop, but it's nice to use the home made pastry, cheaper, more flakey and easier to work with.

So the sausage rolls start with the trust worthy Rough Puff Pastry, recipe from Maggie Bear.

For the amount of sausage rolls I'm making, I only  need a portion of the recipe. 

Home Made Classic Sausage Rolls
Make 4 long sausage rolls, cut into 20 1" serving portions

Rough Puff Pastry
120g plain flour
120g butter
60ml icy water
1/3 tsp salt

Extra flour to work with.

Dice cold butter into small cubes, like pea size. 
Mix salt and flour and put butter on top, add icy water and make a rough dough.
Make sure everything stay together and work the dough on a floured bench top with a rolling pin, roll out into as close to rectangle as possible, to about 1/2cm thick - it will be rough.

Fold the dough sheet like folding letter, and roll out again, on floured bench top, and repeat the fold and roll again.  Fold, put in cling wrap, and set it in fridge for roughly 15 - 30 minutes.
Repeat the whole process a couple of times, you will see the pastry getting more and more smooth.
Leave the pastry in the cling film and in the fridge whilst prepare the sausage roll fillings.

Sausage roll fillings:
200g beef mince
150g sausage mince
half of an onion
half of an apple, granny smith
splash of lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped pasley leaves
2 tbsp tomato ketchups
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 egg (lightly whisked, leave 1/4 out for the egg wash)
1 medium size carrot
2/3 cup of bread crumbs (I usually make my own bread crumbs from the left overs of the loaves I made, so it's usually a mixture of sourdough, pain viennois, plain white bread etc)
salt and pepper to taste.

Use the food processor to blend everything together.   Make sure the mixture is well blended and light and airy.

Roll out the pastry to quite thin, about 2mm thick (or if you prefer more pastry, just make a bit more and roll out a bit thicker), and a long rectangle.
Spoon the filling into the middle and roll - make sure the bottom of the roll has double layers.

Place on lined tray and brush on egg wash.  Sprinkle on sesame seeds.
Bake in 190C oven for around 30 minutes or till pastry is puffed and golden.

Cut, and serve, with Ketchups, and this time, I made a bit of avocado dip use avocado, sour cream, salt and pepper and a splash of lemon juice.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Individual Apple Upside Down Cake - Pudding

We only have Bianca around every second weekend, and that's usually the weekend I make some desserts after dinner.

We love our sweets, but not the sizes of our waistline so we usually move the cakes and cookies to afternoon snacks, smaller portions and hopefully eating at a earlier time will help us burn some of those calories off.

It's winter, so out of abundance of fresh apples, I decided to make another apple dessert.

Individual Apple Upside Down Cake - Pudding
Make 6
1 large granny smith, braeburn or pink lady apple, skinned, sliced.
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

Place water and sugar in a small clean saucepan and slowly bring it to boil.  Wait until caramel is getting a little bit blonde and add apples.   Cook until apple slices are getting a bit transparent.

Grease 6 ramekin moulds with a bit of butter.  Share the apple with the caramel to each mould.

For the Cakes:
80g softened butter
150ml milk
100g self rasing flour
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
50g white bread crumbs
1 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp castor sugar
2 eggs

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one by one.
Sift flour, cinnamon powder into another clean bowl.
Beat in room temperatured milk with the butter mixture and vanilla until smooth.
add flour, mix well and fold in bread crumbs.

Share into the moulds and bake in 150C oven for 45 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream, or, chocolate mousse?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Noodle Hands - July 2011 Daring Cook's Challenge Take 2 - Noodles Chinese Style

They say noodles originated from China.

Nowadays, most Chinese style noodles are not home made - for home cooks.  Even when we do dumplings, we can buy the dumpling skins.

However, home made noodles are nicer even though they are time consuming.

There are a lot of varieties of Chinese noodles, this time, I started off some very simple water and flour dough, and used the same dough to make some stretch noodles and pot stickers.

400g flour
300ml water
a pinch of salt

From a soft dough, knead till elastic and let it rest for an hour or so, till it's more pliable.

Dust the bench top with dry flour and roll the dough into a long stick, cut small chunks out and roll out the dumpling skins.  The skins should roll out when turning around, making sure the outer sides are thinner.  Add in the filling (pork mince, Chinese chive, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, salt, pepper, light soy sauce and a bit of rice wine) and make small dumplings.  Dust more dry flour at the bottom and let it sit.

It is time consuming to make the dumplings, especially making the skin as I go, making the dumplings.

I have explained how to cook pot stickers in earlier posts.

I left 1/3 of the dough for the noodles, just roll out as thin as I can, both sides dusted with dry flour, and cut, stretch.  Dust in more dry flour.

The youngest wasn't a big fan of pot stickers, so I just made some simple noodle soup with peas and egg for her.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Noodle Hands... Fettuccini with Giant Meat Balls July Daring Cook's Challenge

When I told the children about this month's Daring Cook's challenge, they rejoiced...
They love their noodles...

This month, Steph from StephFood challenged us to come up with some simple noodles dish, out of our own food culture, making noodles from scratch.  She has attached some recipes of different types of noodles here.

Our family, most of the hand made noodles are fettuccini or linguini, so this is the take one of this wonderful challenge:

Fettuccini with Giant Meat Balls

The Meat Balls - Rissoles

Beef mince
Sausage mince
onion - minced
carrot - grated
white bread crumbs
salt & pepper
mixed dry herbs
Ground white pepper

Mix the ingredients and rolled it in bread crumbs, this is the same simple recipe for rissoles and we use it as big meat balls with passata,, parsley, bocconcini.

Now for the fettucini.

That's the simple part as we make them at least once a month - I wish we had more time to make more of them. 

300g 00 flour or plain flour mixed with 1/3 semolina
3 large eggs
a pinch of salt
bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Make a well with the flour and salt and crack in the eggs.  

Mix and form the dough, knead, wrap in cling film and rest the dough in the fridge for about an hour.

Use our trust worthy pasta maker...

dust with some plain four and I usually hang them up before cooking in slightly salted boiling water. 

Drain in colander, and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil.

Serve with the giant meat balls.

Grate some parmesan cheese - happy children!

I've made more noodles during the challenge month, and will post later.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Apple Strudel Yeasty Pie - Bread

We love apple strudels, and I do try to make different varieties of bread, loaves and cakes (the not so sweet versions) for our breakfast.

And we have quite a lot of delicious apples now, new season, juicy, and just right for a lot of apple bread, cake, pie, whatever.

So this is my Apple Strudel Bread, or a Yeasted Apple Pie.

The dough is the normal sweet bread dough:

400g bread flour
220ml milk
1 egg
50g butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

For the Filling:

2 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
60g sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder

Make the bread dough as usual and set aside to proof, cover by damp cloth.
Meanwhile, add sugar and spice to the apple slices and let it sit aside to develop flavour.

Once dough is proofed to double, roll out into a rectangle, as it's a yeasted pie, or a bread, it doesn't have to be that thin.  Brush on a bit of melted butter, place the apple sliced on the pastry and roll up like a log, brush on melted butter as you roll.

I fold it into a ring and place it on slightly greased tray.  Let it proof for another 45 minutes to an hour

Brush on egg wash and bake in pre-heated 180C oven for 35-40 minutes...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Creamy Coconut Prawn Soup with Crusty Sour Dough Bread

We had a big lunch whilst out shopping yesterday, so last night's dinner, I decided to go light.  After all, it has been a cold winter and we had a little too many stews and we need to shed a few pounds.

Got some beautiful Australian king prawns, so I decided to use it for dinner.

I must admit we usually have our prawns cooked with shells but this time, they are just too nice so i decided to clean the prawns, and use the heads and shells to do a nice little bisque.

Creamy Coconut Prawn Soup with Crusty Sour Dough Bread
For 4 serves, use 750-800g of fresh prawns.

For the bisque:
1/2 cup of white wine
6-7 black pepper corn
half of onion
1 clove of garlic
2 pieces orange peels
juice of half of a lemon
olive oil
parsley stems

Heat oil in pan and brown the onion and garlic, add the prawn shells and heads, and let them heat through and press to release flavours.  Add wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper corn and orange peels, and let it cook to relase more flavour.  Add a bit of water.
Once it's done, pass through sieve and you get that golden thick liquid.

For the coconut veggie soup:

2 Large desiree potatos, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
diced half of red onion
bit of olive oil
1 can of light coconut milk

Heat up the oil to sweat the onion a bit, add the veggies and cook them through a bit, but don't let them brown.  Add coconut milk and prawn bisque, season the soup, and let the veggies cook through.

When soup is cooked, add the peeled and cleaned prawns to the pan.  Stir a bit, as the prawns cook really quickly.

Serve with chopped parsley and lemon juice and a bit of zest, and toasted crusted bread.

This makes a nice entree, or a light meal.