Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Playing with Powder

I had another play with the Fresh As freeze dried fruit powder. I can tell you it is delicious in the butter cream filling of these melting moments. I tried both strawberry and passionfruit. Both were fabulous! I only used approx 1.5 teaspoons for a double batch of cookies.

Other ideas of how to use freeze dried fruit powder:

- I have used it in meringue mixture (I used black current), however this I find makes them a little chewy. I prefer to sprinkle it on top before cooking to add a hint of flavour

- Use it to flavour cream

- Restaurants often add a dusting or sprinkle of powder to either decorate the plate or add a hint of flavour.

- Use it to flavour cream etc.

- I have experimented with it in cupcake mix. The passionfruit didn't really work, however the strawberry was nice. Make sure you add enough (more than you would in icing as it is going to rise and cook) and I would reccomend using only flavours with strong tastes i.e. passionfruit did not have a very strong flavour.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baking + Exhausted = Happier Tired

Last week I came home very late at night (i.e. 1am) off an International Flight. I was starving and exhausted, however these little beauties that my flatmate Heather had made cheered me right up. Look at the fabulous icing squeezey thing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mains: Leg of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb

I will be honest. I am not a lamb fan, however this is the one easy lamb dish I pull out when my visitors do enjoy a NZ roast lamb  (and are not going to settle for chicken). Despite this, I always always taste test the gravy before serving. This can make or break the dish. It can be served as it would traditionally with roast or mashed vegetable, however I often like to make a roast vegetable salad to go with it (Dads favourite).

1 Largish Leg of Lamb
5 - 6 Sprigs Rosemary
6 Cloves Garlic
2 Teaspoons Rock Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Large Knob Butter
1 Tablespoon Flour
3 Teaspoons Capers
2 Teaspoons Cranberry Jelly
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Approx 1 Cup Chicken Stock

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Using a mortar and pestle bash up a sprig of rosemary with salt and garlic.

3. Rub olive olive oil over the lamb, then rub in the salt mix.

4. Place meet in a large roasting dish on top of the remaining Rosemary sprigs.

5. Roast for about 2 hours.

6. Remove lamb from the roasting dish and set aside.

7. Remove rosemary from the dish and discard, then sieve left over fluid into a jug.

8. Place a knob of butter into the roasting dish to melt.

9. Add flour mix to create a rue.

10. Cook for about a 30 - 40 secs stirring all the time, so it does not burn but cooks flour a little.
11. Pour in sieved liquid, and whisk making sure the gravy is smooth with no lumps in it.

12. Add capers, cranberry jelly, vinegar and chicken stock if necessary to make gravy a thinner. When you add capers, mash them up a little with your stirring spoon or whisk, this will release more favour throughout the sauce.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Baking: Boysenberry, White Chocolate and Almond Friands

Boysenberry, White Chocolate and Almond Friands

I have made this a million and a half times. I love how easy and quick they are to make up, the beautiful smell of warm friands and the fact that you have eggs yolks left over with to make custard, creme brulee or something equally satisfying.

They are perfect for morning or afternoon tea, a treat after lunch or a delicious after dinner nibble.

The boysenberry can be substituted with, any other type of berry, plums, peaches or poached fruit (i.e. apple, pear and rhubarb).

175g Melted Butter
1 Cup Almond Meal
6 Egg Whites, Beaten until stiff
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Essence
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste
1 1/2 Cups Icing Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
12 Boysenberries (frozen or fresh)
12 Squares White Chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 190C

2. Place all ingredients but boysenberries, chocolate and egg whites in bowl and combine.

3. Add egg white and fold gently in until almost combined.

4. Place a berry and a square of chocolate in the bottom of each greased friand mould cup. Dollop mixture ontop, dividing the mixture into the 12 cups.

5. Bake in oven for 25 minutes.

6. Allow to cool for 5 mins in tin before turning out onto wire rack.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dessert: Tiramisu


To be honest I don't believe Tiramisu is one of those desserts which needs to be made with carefully measured out ingredients. Its more of a add, test taste then add some more type of recipe. Mine loosely revolves around the measurements found below, however sometimes depending on the occasion is is more boozy than others.

As Carter pointed out that this after indulging in this weekends creation, perhaps driving after may not be a good idea.

4 Large Eggs
Approx 1 Cup Caster Sugar
2 Packets/ Pottles 200/250g Mascapone
1/4 Cup Cream
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Essence
2 Packets Dried Sponge Fingers
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
1/4 Cup Strong Coffee
2 Tablespoons to 1/4 Cup Brandy
1 60g Bar Dark Chocolate
2 Tablespoons Dutched Cocoa
1. Separate eggs, putting the egg whites into a medium sized glass/metal bowl and the egg yolks in a large glass/metal bowl.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar together until pale, light and fluffy.

3. Add cream and masapone and beat until combined.

4. Clean beater thoroughly, then beat egg whites until stiff.

5. Fold in vanilla and then the egg white into cream mixture.

6. Combine, brandy and coffee in another bowl.

7. Lightly dip sponge fingers into the coffee mixture and use them to line the bottom of a large rectangular dish. Use approximately half (I use just under as the width of the top of my container is slightly larger than the bottom).

8. Chop up half the chocolate and sprinkle it over the fingers.

9. Layer half the cream mixture on top of the sponge and spread out evenly.

10. Dip the rest of the sponge fingers and place orderly on top of the cream mixture.

11. Cover the sponge fingers with the remaining cream mixture and spread out evenly.

12. Dust using a sieve with cocoa powder and grate the rest of the chocolate over.