Monthly Archives: October 2011

Toffee Pudding with Ginger and Chocolate

At some point, I’m going to have to admit it. My idea of a great weekend consists of some part of it being slightly fuzzy, in this slightly happy state of yeah.

Yeah.

Am I making sense?

Like when you’re trying to put on your 4-inch heels and realising you’ve been trying to put right to left for the past 5 seconds…and then just having a small laugh to yourself, and going yeah.

Or when lunch consists of fried rice and fresh mango. Yeah.

Left your cell phone on the charger at home, on the bed. Yeah.

Walked out of the store without taking back your credit card and the new necklace you just bought. Yeah.

Store assistant rings your mobile phone 8 times and you can’t answer because you don’t have your phone. Yeah.

The whole house smells like toffee and butter. So does your hair. Yeah.

Gym at 4pm…errrr…yeah?

You get my drift. It’s like when you’re almost unfazed by anything because there’s a slight cloud of something which is almost making everything seem fairly ordinary. Yeah.

Can we just apply this to all the things that try to get us down? The things I stress about on a daily basis when there are 1000 things way more important happening concurrently? I need to prioritise the things that I place importance on and remind myself that some days, like today, it’s really liberating to say “big fat hairy deal”.

I hope you’re having a hazy, good day. I know I am. And I smell like toffee!

Toffee Pudding with Ginger and Chocolate (adapted from Best Desserts by The Australian Women’s Weekly)

3 3/4 cups dates, pitted
3 cups hot water
2 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cup GF flour blend
1/4 cup GF oat flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
185g butter, unsalted and softened
6 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crystalised ginger, chopped finely
3/4 cup dark chocolate, 55% and above, chopped roughly

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a large rectangle tin, roughly 35 x 25cm, with parchment.

2) In a large pot, bring the dates and hot water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add in the baking soda. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before whisking to break up the dates.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until lightened in colour. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix well. Mix the flours and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add the dates and flour mix into the creamed mixture alternately, starting and ending with the flour.

4) Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle the ginger and chocolate all over the top. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Serve warm with butterscotch sauce.

Butterscotch Sauce

250g butter, unsalted
2 cup brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream

1) Place all the ingredients in a large pot and simmer until all the sugar had dissolved and butter has melted. Allow to simmer further for 3-4 minutes. You may stir the mixture to quicken the cooking process. Allow to cool slightly before serving with pudding.

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Filed under Cakes, Chocolate, Pudding, Recipes, Sauces

Boozy Lemon Polenta Cardamom Cake

It’s been a good weekend. The sort of weekend you feel you’re not really in the same country. It’s great how doing something entirely different from your regular routine can add a little sparkle into an otherwise ‘it-passed-too-fast’ weekend.

My best friend and I decided we should head to the zoo. I wanted to see the polar bears; she the giraffes. Pity the polar bear enclosure wasn’t open (renovations were underway to merge it with a new project) so luckily Nisa managed to feed the giraffes, or we might’ve found smelling like that totally no worth it.

A lunch spread later, we found her car had contracted a case of flat tyre caused by a nail which we possibly ran over while driving and singing Kelly Clarkson’s Mr Know it All (or in my case, MISS know it all. Bottomline; don’t judge if you haven’t a clue!) ANYWAY, being the resourceful girls we are, a phone call was made, and the car was saved. We even managed to catch a movie!

If your idea of a good time is laughing so hard you’re crying, and then deciding that at the end of the movie, you’d like to watch it all over again, I strongly recommend watching What’s Your Number. Anna Faris is cute and Chris Evans is known as the human torch for a bloody good reason.

Hello my name is Victoria and I’m addicted to highly attractive men.

And cake.

Boozy Lemon Polenta Cardamom Cake

200g butter, unsalted and softened
150g sugar
220g almond meal
100g polenta
1.5 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 tbsp Amaretto
1 tbsp Limoncello
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 8-capacity mini loaf tin. This recipe makes 7 full mini loaves.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and lightened in colour. You can also do this by hand with a big bowl and a wooden spoon.

3) Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix well. Add in the remaining ingredients and beat on medium-high until blended through. Divide the mixture evenly into 7 of the 8 loaves. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

4) Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out. The loaves are served upside down. Prick the loaves with a skewer and pour the syrup over the top. Allow to absorb and cool completely before topping with lemon glaze. I added some Indian candy floss-like confectionery on top but don’t stress if you haven’t any.

Soaking Syrup

1/2 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp hot water
2 tsp Cardamom-Clove Syrup from Royal Rose (or you can try using a strong Chai tea instead of water)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1) Mix well in a bowl and ensure there are no lumps.

 

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Filed under Cakes, Fruit, Nuts, Recipes

An Edible Bouquet

This is a post dedicated to my amazing grandmother who has just turned 81, yet manages to look not a day older than 61. She’s one of those women who’s a clear example of living to the fullest. She still drives around (in fact, she got a new car for her birthday!), joins her friends for dancing, jets off on holidays and returns with many stories to tell. Actually, most of my aunts find it rather hard to keep up with her fashionable self. And like all grandmothers, she is the best cook. No, really, I know you’re thinking I’m being slightly biased, but I tell no lies.

So, Happy Birthday Grandma! I can only hope to be as rockin’ as you when I’m all grown up.

 

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Filed under Cakes, Inspired

Peanut Butter Thumbprints with Caramel

Today I dropped by the post office and returned my parcel from ASOS. It was free to have it shipped here, but cost me $35 to return it. Lesson learnt; I’m never going online clothes shopping again. Next time I’ll just stick to books and rubber stamps. I love rubber stamps.

Today I spent a mini fortune on a package of laser sessions to remove the awful spots under my eyes. My eyes are still rather sensitive now…and there are black spots where they burned it. Oh man, I hope they clear up before I start work. Then again, the black spots could be a thing where people think I’m unattractive and boom! when they disappear, it’s like whoa! Who knew she wasn’t polkadotted.

Yeah, that might work.

If not, I’ll just blind everyone with these amazingly delish cookies and they’ll instantly fail to notice the burns under my eyes.

These cookies are AAAAAH-MAZING. Even if you’re being a bum and decide that scrubbing a caramlised pot isn’t what you signed up for, make them plain with the traditional criss-cross pattern. It’s really something I tell you. I’ve had peanut butter cookies but I’ve never had these! The caramel sets semi-solid, if you want it harder and chewy, I suggest relocating them to your fridge. Enjoy my lovelies!

Peanut Butter Thumbprints with Caramel (adapted from Sur La Table’s The Art and Soul or Baking)

Thumbprint Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter, room temperature (I used chunky, do NOT use natural PB)
1 1/2 cup GF flour blend
1/4 cup oat flour
1 tbsp sweet rice flour
1/4 tsp baking soda

1) Preheat oven to 175°C and position two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2) Place the butter, brown sugar and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream until lightened in colour. You can also do this by hand. Scrape down the bowl and add in the egg and vanilla and mix well. Add in the peanut butter and beat until well blended. Scrape down bowl once more.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk all the flours and baking soda together. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Turn mixer to lowest speed and blend slowly until fully incorporated. Remove from the mixer and stir gently to ensure everything is well mixed.

4) Using an ice cream scopp, portion tablespoon-sized mounds onto the prepare baking sheets, spacing them about 4 cm apart. Use the rounded handle end of a wooden spatula or another similar utensil to make a depression, about an inch in diameter in the centre of each cookie.

5) Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden and just firm to touch and edges are darker. Transfer to cooling rack. Immediately reinforce the depression in each cookie using the same kitchen utensil but be careful not to crack the cookie. Let cool completely and fill with the caramel. Allow filling to cool and set for an hour, store in the refrigerator.

Peanut Caramel

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely diced almonds, toasted

1) Microwave the cream in a microwave-safe bowl until just hot. Set aside.

2) Place the water in a medium saucepan. Add sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook the sugar mixture over a medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula until sugar dissolves. Set the hot cream on the counter next to the stovetop. Turn heat to high and cook the sugar until it turns a golden brown. Immediately turn off the heat and whisk in the cream, adding it in a slow, steady stream. Whisk to blend caramel well. Pour into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool until warm and pourable before adding in nuts.

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Filed under Caramel, Cookies, Nuts, Recipes