Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Video: Microwave Brownies

I made a video. It was scary. It is of mediocre quality... but! It is a starting point! And as I get braver and more experienced, I'm sure my video making will improve...

Overcooked and cakey on the edge, total gloop in the middle!
This recipe is usually totally reliable - but for some reason it/I(?) screwed up today... I had fun making it though!

Here're the measurements...

75g butter (unsalted), melted
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 tsp each salt and instant coffee dissolved in 1tsp water
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Malteser Slice and Revolutionised Ganache

Malteser Slice has to be one of Boyfriend's favourite things that I make... so much so, that I made some with him in mind for his family Christmas present this year!

The original recipe comes from Birdie's Perch, a tea shop in York via Sam Stern's Student Cookbook which is the most used cookbook in my collection during the year! Originally, I loved his recipes but didn't like his writing style... I've since come to notice that his writing style is very similar to mine (bung this in here, whizz that a little bit, etc) it's kinda y'know chatty... and perhaps I was just jealous that this 12 year old (he's actually a couple of months older than me...) had written several successful cookbooks and I hadn't... then I thought to myself "Well that's more your fault than his, now... isn't it Katherine?!" and therein lies the rather jealous inspiration for this blog... "if  He can do it, so can I!"

Looong story short... Sam Stern is AWESOME, and I thoroughly recommend his student book for all students world wide!

... I'm sure there was a point in here somewhere ... ? ... Ah! Yes! Malteser slice, comes from Sam! He tops his with melted white chocolate and milk chocolate shavings... but I don't really like white chocolate all that much... so I decided that milk chocolate with white chocolate shavings was definitely the way to go!

Then it occurred to me, what about a ganache on top? This, was clearly a genius plan, aside from one, small detail... no cream. Which lead the thought "Cream is basically thick milk, right? So, why not milk instead of cream?" And yes - milk works brilliantly in a ganache! It comes out a little lighter and slightly sweeter (?) than a cream based ganache - but it sure tastes just as good and you can now call it "low fat"! Everything is relative, right? :) Never lookin' back now! - I call it Ganish!

A second change I made to my first attempt of this slice was to make my own biscuits for grinding in place of the called for digestives... I'll upload the recipe some day, but it comes from a chocolate cookbook that Daddy bought me for my half Birthday a couple of years back... I've previously posted a Pecan Pie recipe from that book... Although the chocolate biscuits definitely added another dimension to the slice it is, by no means, necessary! They are just as delicious with plain ole digestive biscuits! (Which I think are similar to Graham Crackers...?)
A sort-of cross-section.
Here, at last, I will post you the recipe!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Taste & Create: Vegan Grains and Greens

Healthy, tasty Grains and Greens!
Yay for alliteration!

This post has been a long time comin'... and despite that I made the dish aaages ago (last year, I do believe...) I just haven't gotten around to blogging it. And now, here I am, once again, pushing the deadline for Taste & Create... that wonderful, monthly challenge where I'm paired with another blogger, this month Ruby of That's So Vegan!, and encouraged to try out a recipe I've never used before...

Now, as you may have guessed from her blog's name, Ruby is vegan... which poses an interesting challenge for me as I am not. Should I go through her blog and attempt to un-veganise a carefully vegan-ised recipe? Or ought I step out of my comfort zone and try something new?

I chose to step out! And here we have, Vegan Grains and Greens, which Ruby had made previously in desperation because her college didn't appetisingly appeal to her dietary requirements.

Ruby uses a "Trader Joes" mix to get her grains... I, living as I do in New Zealand, didn't have that option - so I went for bulghar wheat instead... Make this dish as you will!

Other alterations include: using seeded big tomatoes in place of Ruby's cherries. Although, I dare say that one could stretch to tinned tomatoes outside of season and this dish would work just as well, if a little sloppily...

Also, Ruby's is a Chickpea, Tomato and Zucchini Stir-Fry - I threw asparagus in as well, along with some parsley and mint on top to up the green factor.

Random fact about me: when I was little I would eat "zucchini" but not "courgettes"... the theory being that my Grandparents would serve me "zucchini" and you have to eat whatever your grandparents serve you... eating Parent-food though? That's optional...

I served this alongside baked fish and a red pepper sauce, made by whizzing up 4 roasted red peppers from a jar with 1/4 cup of orange juice... if I were to serve the Grains and Greens as a meal rather than a vegetable/starch side, for me, it would have to be served with this, or some other sauce. Because I'm fussy like that. Yes.

Otherwise this is a tasty, healthful dish - a strong case in the argument that "vegan food doesn't mean boring food"!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Coconut Fruit Salad

Hello... I haven't forgotten about you, Blog... in fact I've been taking photos, receiving recipes cooking galore! I just haven't made or taken time to write about them...

This is a quick shot of my breakfast from the other morning... on the bathroom floor... because I liked the colours! It's Daddy's take on my muesli, natural yoghurt (something I've gotten used to in the last year because it's cheaper that fruity/Greek yoghurt...) and a fruity salad.

The salad being the purpose of today's post. It's inspired by my Ginger, Lime and Pineapple fruit salad dressing, but tweaked a little... for example, instead of grating the ginger, I cut it up reeeal small which meant that when you got a bite of ginger, it wasn't overpowering, but it still nibbled back! I've added a little citrus juice, and coconut for fun too!