luisa

Chocolate Swiss Roll

Prep Time: 10 mins     Cook Time:  15 minutes   Yield: 8 serves

Ingredients

3 eggs

½ cup caster sugar

½ cup plain flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 tbsp boiling water

Chocolate cream

300ml thickened cream

1 tbsp icing mixture

1 ½ tbsp. cocoa powder

Method

  1. Grease and line large baking tray with baking paper
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until mixture is thick and pale and doubled in size
  3. Sift flour and cocoa powder over the egg mixture, pour the boiling water down the side of the bowl. Use a metal spoon or balloon whisk to gently fold until just combined
  4. Pour into prepared pan, gently smooth the surface
  5. Bake in oven at 180 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the surface is dry to the touch
  6. Sprinkle a large sheet of baking paper with caster sugar. Turn the hot sponge onto the sugared paper. Remove the baking paper
  7. Roll the sponge from the short end into a log and set aside to cool completely
  8. To make the chocolate cream whisk the cream, sugar and cocoa powder together until firm peaks form
  9. Unroll the sponge and spread cream over the entire surface leaving a 2cm border at the ends. Roll sponge off the paper and onto itself to enclose filling
  10. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving  

Zucchini Brownies

Ingredients

  •         2 cups zucchini, grated
  •         1/2 cup melted and cooled coconut oil (or canola oil)
  •         1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  •         2 large eggs, at room temperature
  •         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •         1 3/4 cup plain flour
  •         1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  •         1/2 teaspoon salt
  •         1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  •         1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  •         1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups dark chocolate buttons

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2. Grease and line a slice pan (20cm x 15cm) with paper

3. Grate the zucchini and set aside

4. In a mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, eggs, syrup and vanilla.

5. Mix until well combined.

6. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.

7. Add dry mixture to the wet/zucchini mixture. Stir to combine. Add chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

8. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean

9. Allow to cool in pan then cut into squares and enjoy

Mexican Style Slow Cooker Chicken and Beans

Mexican Style Slow Cooker Chicken and Beans

  • 1.6 kilogram whole chicken
  • 800 gram canned kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 medium brown onion (150g), sliced thinly
  • 3 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium red capsicum (bell pepper) (200g), chopped coarsely
  • 1 medium green capsicum (bell pepper) (200g), chopped coarsely
  • 1 corn cob (250g), trimmed, kernels removed
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 400 gram canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh coriander

Method

  1. Rinse chicken under cold water; pat dry, inside and out, with paper towel.
  2. Trim excess fat from chicken.
  3. Combine beans, onion, garlic, capsicums, corn, paste, tomatoes, stock and spices in a 5-litre (20-cup) slow cooker.
  4. Place chicken in cooker, push down into bean mixture. Cook, covered, on low, about 8 hours.
  5. Remove chicken from cooker; when cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones. Shred chicken meat coarsely.
  6. Return meat to cooker; cook, covered, on low, for 20 minutes or until hot. Season to taste.
  7. Meanwhile, make avocado salsa: Combine ingredients in a small bowl; season to taste.
  8. Sprinkle chicken mixture with coriander; serve with avocado salsa and tortillas. Accompany with sour cream, if you like.
A bowl of shredded chicken cooked with beans and corn, topped with sour cream and coriander in a mexican sauce

Top Ten Beginner Baking Tips

Learning to bake can be a daunting task! My top ten tips are designed to give you some clarity of what you need to consider to ensure your first foray into baking is a success

  1. Read the recipe from start to finish – it can be tempting to skim a recipe and just plunge in to realise that maybe this recipe only uses some of the eggs for one part and the others for another or the total sugar is split into two. There may also be equipment you need for certain stages so by reading all the way through you can have a mental picture of what is required for the whole process
  2. Get out all the ingredients first – unless you have done a specific shop for the recipe it can be tempting to assume you have all you need. I have been caught short on eggs or butter thinking I had enough only to find that sadly wasn’t the case! Having everything ready to go on your bench means you know you have enough and it is all at arms reach for the whole process
  3. Use accurate scales – digital scales are your best best for accuracy – ensure they don’t get dropped or bumped as this can cause inaccuracies. If you are not sure if you scales are accurate, measure something you know has a weight on it such as a block of butter to test. If the scales are out by more than a few grams time for new ones
  4. Ensure measuring utensils are dry – wet utensils from measuring wet ingredients can cause the dry ingredients to stick and not be measured accurately into the mix. Too many inaccuracies can lead to your recipe not working. Either measure the dry out first or ensure you wash and dry the cups or spoons after measuring the wet ingredients.
  5. Level off measuring cups properly – it can be tempting to think close enough is good enough – ensuring your cups or spoons are level will ensure the correct amount – guessing for too many ingredients can lead to your recipe not working. Scoop out your dry ingredients and top with spoon using a flat knife to level the top.
  6. Pre heat the oven – this can seem obvious but it is essential for success – a cold oven causing mixes to cook unevenly – a preheated oven ensures even baking temperature and correct times
  7. Ensure ingredients are in date – opened products don’t have a shelf life to their best before – ingredients such as flour, spices, and baking soda can all lose their flavour or raising ability if on the shelf too long. Date your open containers to ensure you know how long you have had the ingredients for.
  8. Use the right size pan for the right amount of mix – over filling cake tins can make a cake burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. Overfilled cupcake tins can cause overflow and messy products. Under filled tins will cook to quick and you will end up with a flat cake. Check the recipe to ensure your baking tins match the size given. Too small – see if you can cut down the recipe – too big perhaps double the recipe. Totally off – find a different recipe or purchase a tin in a more common size.
  9. Line tins and trays – I can this my insurance – it prevents your cakes and slices from sticking to the sides of the tray and tins and ensures you can cleanly and easily remove once cooled.
  10. Cook as soon as the mix is ready and use a timer – baking recipes do not like to sit on a bench for too long. Raising agents begin to activate and any air whipped it can start to release. When you mix is done, pop it in the pan and bake straight away. When it cooking put on your timer – it is easy to assume you will remember what time it went in but you would be suprised!

And most of all – have fun! Baking is an enjoyable way to cook and delicious results are just your next recipe away

Bar Snacks – Spiced Nuts

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp Coriander, ground
  • 2 tsp Rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp All spice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin, ground
  • 2 1/2 cups Nuts, Mixed
  • 2 tbsp Butter

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • If nuts are not already roasted, place on lined baking tray and spray with oil – bake for 5 minutes until golden. If already roasted, skip this step
  • While the nuts are roasting in the oven, prepare the spice mixture by adding butter, syrup and spice mix together in a heat proof bowl and microwaving for 45 sec to 1 min
  • Once the nuts are toasted, remove from the oven and coat with warm spice mixture – mix well to ensure even coating
  • Return the nuts to the oven for approx 10 more minutes or until golden, stirring once after 5 minutes
  • Remove tray from oven and cool on baking tray
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week

Overnight Oats – Peanut Butter and Banana

Ingredients

  • ½ cup rolled old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup milk of choice (cows, soy, nut milks)
  • ¼ cup yoghurt of choice (dairy or non dairy)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Method

  • Place all ingredients into a large glass container and mix until combined.
  • Cover the glass container with a lid or plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Toppings can be added the night before or immediately before serving.
  • Uncover and enjoy from the glass container the next day. Thin with a little more milk or water, if desired.

Bar Snacks – Cheesy Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 teasp garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated cheese blend – Parmesan and mozzarella

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper

Slice the zucchini into thin rounds

In a medium shallow dish, whisk together the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper

Process the breadcrumbs, cheeses and garlic powder lightly together

Dip each zucchini into the egg mix and then into the breadcrumb mix, pressing it on all sides of the zucchini

Arrange the zucchini on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer

Bake the zucchini chips for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through, until they are golden brown and crispy.

Remove the zucchini chips from the oven and serve warm – tomato salsa would be a wonderful dip to accompany these!

Italian Crostoli

Ingredients

500g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cupicing sugar, plus extra for dusting

1 orange, rind grated 

1 lemon, rind grated

¼ cupunsalted butter, softened

1 tbsp grappa (Italian brandy)

3 eggs

vegetable oil for deep-frying

Method

Combine the flour, aking powder and vanilla

Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (This can also be done in a food processor.)

Add the grappa and eggs and mix with your hands to form a dough. Transfer to a work surface and knead until smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into four sections. Roll the first through a pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold it in half and run it through the machine again.

Do this several times until smooth, then start rolling it out at narrower settings until you reach the last setting and have a very thin, long sheet. Lay the sheet on a floured surface while you roll out the other pieces of dough.Cut the sheets into strips 3–4 cm wide (a ravioli cutting wheel with a crimped edge gives a decorative look).

Cut a few small slits in the centre of each strip running lengthways.

Deep-fry small batches of crostoli in hot oil (180°C) until pale golden. Drain on paper towel. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Triple Layer Berry Cheesecake

Triple Layer Berry Cheesecake

Triple-layered berry cheesecake served on a plate

100g butter melted, plus extra for the tin

200g digestive biscuits

2 gelatine leaves

50g raspberries

50g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp

350g strawberries

500g full-fat cream cheese

250ml double cream

few drops red or pink food colouring

1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

50g white chocolate melted

Butter and line the base and sides of a 20cm springform tin. Blitz the digestives in a food processor until you get fine crumbs, or bash in a sandwich bag with a rolling pin.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the melted butter until it looks like damp sand.

Tip into the prepared tin, and smooth the mixture with the back of a spoon to make an even base, then chill.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water. Put the raspberries in a food processor or in a jug using a stick blender, and blitz to a smooth purée.

Sieve out the seeds. Warm the raspberry sauce in a small pan with 1 tbsp sugar until just starting to steam, then pour over 1 drained gelatine leaf in a bowl and stir to dissolve.

Blitz 3 (about 65g) of the strawberries in a food processor, and warm through with 1 tbsp sugar in the same way. Tip into a bowl and stir in the other drained gelatine leaf.

Whisk the soft cheese, cream and caster sugar until it just starts to thicken. Divide between three bowls (about 260g per bowl).

Fold the strawberry purée into one with a few drops of food colouring to make it light pink, the raspberry mix with the gelatine into another with more food colouring so it’s dark pink, and the vanilla bean paste into the third.

Spoon the raspberry filling over the biscuit base, smoothing the surface so it’s flat. Next, add the strawberry filling, gently smoothing over without disturbing the bottom layer, then repeat with the vanilla mixture, using a clean spoon to level the top. A spatula or knife might help with this to keep from dragging the below layers.

Chill for 4 hrs or overnight.

Run a knife around the sides of the cake tin between the cheesecake and the parchment, and loosen the base.

Transfer to a cake stand, and smooth the sides, using a palette knife, to neaten the layers. Mix the chocolate with a few drops of lemon extract, if using.

Pile the remaining strawberries, some sliced, some whole, on top, and drizzle over the chocolate to finish

Utensils required:

Sprinform tin

Bowls

Food processor or stick blender

Electric beater

Sieve

Spoon/Spatula

Baking paper

Recipe from BBC good food – https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/triple-layered-berry-cheesecake

Moroccan Filo Rolls with Fattoush Salad – Dinner sorted

Moroccan lamb filo 

Prep Time:  30 minutes    Cook Time:  40 minutes   

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 brown onion finely chopped

500g lamb mince

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 carrot grated

6 dates chopped

1 tbsp Moroccan spice mix

200g baby spinach leaves

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup plain yoghurt

1/8 cup bread crumbs

2 tbsp parsley chopped

2tbp mint chopped

1 box filo pastry

Method

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat
  2. Add onion to pan and cook until softened and golden, add garlic to pan and cook
  3. Add mince and brown
  4. Add spices and cook, add vegetables and cook until softened
  5. Stir through yoghurt, bread crumbs and herbs
  6. Place into a bowl and allow to cool
  7. Preheat oven to 180 degrees – line a baking tray with baking paper
  8. Place one sheet filo onto paper, brush with butter, Top with another sheet and repeat with five more sheets to create a stack
  9. Spoon mince mixture along the long side, roll up to enclose the mince mix
  10. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds
  11. Repeat with remaining sheets and mince mix until finished
  12. Cut each roll into four. Back for 20-25 minutes until golden

Lebanese Fattoush Salad

Ingredients

Salad

1 large pita bread cut into triangles

3 tablespoon olive oil

 salt to taste

Freshly cracked pepper to taste

1 large head of cos lettuce chopped

1 large vine-ripe tomato diced

1 cucumber quartered and chopped

1/2 a large green capsicum diced

5 radishes diced

2 green onions chopped

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Dressing

3 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon lemon juice

2 garlic cloves pressed or grated

1 teaspoon sumac – substitute grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses substitute balsamic glaze

1/2 teaspoon mint fresh or dried

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

In a large pan, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Add the pita bread and season with salt and freshly cracker pepper

Fry the pita for 5-7 minutes until the pieces are crispy and golden in colour. (Alternatively, bake the pita bread at 200° for 5-10 minutes.) Set the fried bread aside.

In a large bowl, add the salad dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sumac, pomegranate molasses, mint, salt and pepper. Whisk together until the dressing is emulsified and well blended.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss.

Add the fried pita bread to the salad immediately before serving and gently toss again.

Serve chilled or at room temperature