Lime Chiffon Pie

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Baking in 2012 did not get off to a great start. I had a bbq to attend on a 40 degree day and decided to make a simple tea cake. Except, that simple tea cake just would not bind, and then when finally cooked through, promptly fell apart when turned out of the tin. I contemplated serving Fail Cake for dessert, but decided to not work against the weather and to search for a recipe that involved no baking. I came across this Lime Chiffon Pie on Off the Spork’s blog and could not resist.

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The end result was a really light, airy and delicious pie. I ended up using gluten free sweet biscuits too, so for those allergy sufferers: this is easily gluten and dairy free! I’m not the biggest citrus fan so in the future I may modify this to be a berry version!

Lime chiffon pie

250g plain sweet biscuits
125g butter, melted
4 eggs, separated
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
3 teaspoons gelatine
2 teaspoons finely grated lime rind
1/3 cup (80ml) lime juice
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar, extra

Grease a deep 23cm pie dish or springform pan.

In a food processor, process the biscuits until they are fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and process to combine. Press the biscuit mixture firmly into the base and side of your greased dish/pie. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the egg yolks, sugar, gelatine, rind, juice and the water into a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl. Directly cover the surface of the custard with a piece of plastic wrap to stop a skin forming on top of it. Leave to cool.

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the extra sugar, beating until the sugar dissolves. In two batches, fold the meringue into the custard mixture.

Spread the filling into the crumb crust. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

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I made bread.

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Yes, I made bread. It was just a plain white bread, but it was delicious! Nothing beats bread straight out of the oven and the amazing smell that fills your house while it cooks.

Having made it and seen how simple it actually is, I am now planning my next bread adventures into the land of wholemeal and grains.

Also… I made fritters.

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I wont post the recipe, but I just wanted to remind you of the awesomeness that is fritters served with a salad as the weather heats up.

Raspberry Lemonade Bars

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I am not even going to make excuses for my neglect of this blog anymore. Sometimes life just happens. For me, it appears that lifeis happening a LOT.

I made these a while back and they were a big hit. Perfect for those people who don’t want chocolatey desserts, they have just the right mixture of tart and sweetness to truly make these taste like Raspberry Lemonade bars! Highly recommended for BBQs, afternoon teas and of course, sneaky fridge snacks all for yourself! As a bonus, they are really easy to adapt for those of us with dairy allegies!

Raspberry Lemonade Bars
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
For the crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (or nutellex)
½ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt

For the raspberry lemon layer:
3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
3 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
6 large egg whites
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 175C.  Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour and salt just until incorporated.  Add the dough to the prepared baking pan.  Press into an even layer over the bottom of the pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from the oven, maintaining the temperature.

While the crust is baking, make the top layer.  Combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl and whisk to blend.  Add the raspberries to a fine mesh sieve and press through, mashing with a spatula, to extract as much juice and pulp as possible, straining out the seeds.  Add the egg whites and eggs to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk well to blend.  Whisk in the raspberry puree and lemon juice until smooth.

Pour the mixture over the crust and bake until the center is just set and not longer jiggles when gently shaken, about 35-40 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.  Cover and chill well in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours.  When chilled, slice into bars.  

Blueberry cinnamon Rolls

As part of my 30 by 30, I am meant to be making bread at least once a month. So for the most recent one, I decided to make blueberry cinnamon rolls. Because that is totally a bread.

You may notice something odd with these… I forgot the glaze. Well, I didn’t forget, I just didn’t have any icing sugar and I couldn’t be bothered going to get any! But that’s Ok – without the glaze it felt justifiable to me to eat these for breakfast.

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
For the cinnamon rolls:
6½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon zest
3½ cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ cups fresh blueberries

For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6-7 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest

Directions:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, salt and butter on medium-high speed until smooth.  Mix in the egg and lemon zest until incorporated.  Mix in the flour, yeast and milk until a dough forms.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, about 8 minutes until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky.  (You may need to add a little extra flour or liquid to achieve this texture.)  Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Mist a work surface with spray oil.  Roll it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the dough with flour if needed to keep it from sticking (about 12 x 14 inches for larger rolls or 9 x 18 inches for smaller rolls).  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to blend.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the surface of the dough.  Sprinkle the berries over the top evenly of the dough.  Starting with the wide edge, roll up the dough into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon sugar spiral as you roll.  Pinch the seam shut, and with the seam side down, slice the log into your desired number of rolls.  Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, placing the rolls about ½-1 inch apart.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 75-90 minutes, until the rolls have grown into each other and have nearly doubled in size.  At this point, the rolls can also be covered and retarded in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  Pull the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to let the dough proof.

Preheat the oven to 175˚ C.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool in the baking about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and then swirl over the top of the cinnamon rolls.  Let cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

And yet more cupcakes…

These were for the boys birthday back in July – lime and coconut. Super yummy too!

Peanut butter and chocolate. I actually wasnt the biggest fan of these, but the boy was. I think if it was more chocolate and less peanut I would have preffered it.

I made more cupcakes!

Coconut Marshmellow and Vanilla Chocolate

These were really yummy, although the coconut flavour wasn’t too pronounced. But look how shiny!

And vanilla chocolate is ALWAYS a winner. Yum.

 

Old Kingdom – AKA Duck Fest 2011

One of the items on my 30 by 30 list was to go for a duck feast with friends. For 5 years we have been talking about it and not getting around to doing it. Enough was enough. We wanted duck, and we were going to eat duck.

So on a cold Friday night we headed off for a belated birthday celebration to eat as much duck as we could handle. As we sat at the table we debated whether or not we had over ordered with 3 ducks between 6 people, but we shrugged it off and laughed in the face of any potential duck-induced coma. In fact, we were so arrogant we ordered some fried wontons and rice and greens for the table.

What amateurs! Wholly unneccesary.

It started off wonderfully with the peking duck. Crispy skinned, juicy, albeit a little oily.

Just as we were running out of duck and pancakes, a whole new duck appeared! Then another… In fact, we had so much duck that we needed more pancakes and even more sauce!

In fact, this was probably the only frustrating part of the night. We couldn’t get anyone’s attention to order more sauce and pancakes. Meanwhile we had lovely duck just sitting there going cold!

After the peking duck comes the duck stir fry with bean shoots. This is nice enough and the bean shoots are refreshing. But nothing to rave about.

Next came the soup. Oh the soup. We were all so full  by the time it appeared that half of us couldn’t even contemplate it. I personally did not like the soup as I found it really peppery and it had an odd taste. Ours was mostly left untouched.

We were all so full by the end of the evening and we felt like we wanted a shower from all the duck grease going on. But it was satisfying. Would I go back? Yes, but probably not for some time given that I still feel very full of duck!

It was actually a really well priced night, with the bill coming to just over $200 for all six of us. I recommend you go, but just for the peking duck!

Old Kingdom
197 Smith St
Fitzroy, 3065
Tel: 9417 2438

Mint Choc Chip Icecream (dairy free)

It might be winter, but that doesn’t mean I have tired of my ice-cream  maker yet! I have been spectacularly bad at posting the homemade icecream I have made, but so far I have made:

  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Raspberry Sorbet
  • Watermelon Sorbet
  • Coconut Cream Icecream

And now, Mint Choc Chip!

I adapted the recipe from David Lebovitz, to make it dairy free. Having experimented with soy milks, soy cooking creams and coconut milks and creams, my best results have been a mixture of good soy milk (bonsoy preferrably) with coconut milk. It allows it to be thick and creamy like ‘real’ icecream, but does not overwhelm the flavour of what you are making.

I have combined a mixture of fresh mint and peppermint essence for this icecream as we decided that however wrong it may be, sometimes you just like the fake flavour! Oh and if you want that ‘natural’ green colour, add some food colouring!

The result was so good! A creamy icecream, full of flavour and I am a little ashamed to say that it did not last a week in our house!

Mint Chip Ice Cream

For the mint ice cream:
1 cup (250 ml) whole (or soy) milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream (I used coconut milk)
pinch of salt
2 cups packed (80 gr) fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
A few drops of peppermint essence
For the chocolate chips:
5 ounces (140 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

 1. In a medium saucepan, warm the (soy) milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream (or coconut milk) , salt, and mint.

2. Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat and add the few drops of peppermint essence, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.

3. Remove the mint with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. (You can also use well-washed hands to do it as well, making sure the mixture isn’t too hot to safely handle.) Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard the mint.

4. Pour the remaining heavy cream (or coconut milk) into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.

5. Rewarm the infused milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

6. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF (77ºC).

7. Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.

8. Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While the mixture is freezing, melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a microwave oven on low power, stirring until smooth. Place a storage container in the freezer.

9. When the ice cream in the machine is ready, scribble some of the chocolate into the container, then add a layer of the just-churned ice cream to the container. Scribble melted chocolate over the top of the ice cream, then quickly stir it in, breaking up the chocolate into irregular pieces. Continue layering the ice cream, scribbling more chocolate and stirring as you go.

When finished, cover and freeze until firm.

Italian Sausage Stew

Firstly, apologies for the bad photos. Our camera has been commandeered by the boy who is using it for work things and I cant get it back from him! Iphone it is!

I have had this recipe book marked since it appeared on Not Quite Nigella’s blog back in late 2009. But for some reason, I have only just gotten around to making it! And I am very glad I did – it was quite simple to whip up, but had a lot of flavour and with a sick boyfriend, he was in need of some comfort food.

I have adjusted the original recipe as per below, because the boy refuses to eat cous cous! But if anyone is looking for a winter warmer, this is a great dish!

Italian Sausage Stew

An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3-4 Italian sausages
  • 1x425g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 3 large carrots, chopped diagonally (I added 1 zucchini)
  • 3 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped black olives (omitted)
  • 1 cup Pearl Couscous (or orzo/risoni) (We used mini-shell pasta)
  • Parsley to serve (omitted because I forgot it!)

1. In a large saucepan fry sausages on medium heat until browned on the outside. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Then add oil and fry onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add carrots, tomatoes, stock and black olives. Chop sausages into bite sized pieces and add these too. Simmer for low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes stirring occasionally (I’ve even left this without stirring and it has been fine).

2. Add pearl couscous (or pasta) and simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes (or until cooked). Test for seasoning, if it needs some salt and pepper add it (usually it does benefit from some). Serve with pasta, rice or with some lovely bread to soak up the juices. (We had garlic bread – I am a big believer in lots of garlic for a cold!)