Month: May 2015

Scrumptious Chocolate Cake

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

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Who does not love a great Chocolate cake. There are so many kinds – the delightful; chocolate brownie, the fudge chocolate cake, the mouse style chocolate cake and so on !!

In our workplace we generally make the cake for our fellow coworkers. I think the most popular choice is chocolate – there is something very satisfying about a good one.

One of our favourites is the Bourke Street Bakery Chocolate cake pictured above with chocolate chards and fresh raspberries.Here is a link for the recipe care of another blogger.

http://http://www.kararosenlund.com/tag/bourke-street-bakery/

My Tips for making a great chocolate cake

1. Use good chocolate – most baking chocolate sold in supermarkets are made from animal fat and do not taste very nice. Use real chocolate – look for a cocoa content of 70%

2. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature – eggs and butter.

3. Older eggs will give better volume.

4. Be careful of your oven temperature and using a conventional oven will give this very rich cake a better baking result.

5. Dont be frightened of checking the cake throughout the cooking time.

6. Be careful not to un mould too early and ensure the tin in greased and the base covered in baking paper.

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Burger Kings

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It was time for a quick sunday night burger after flying back from a weekend in sunny Sydney . It is such a beautiful city  to be a tourist, I had a wonderful time eating and seeing great friends Trish,  Gayle  ,Mark and Andrea.

I really do love a great burger and Steve, Olivia and myself headed to our local burger joint . Its a delicious quick meal – a nice sweet meat patty, a soft flavoursome bun, fresh salad ingredients and most importantly some caramelised onion.

Why then do so many cafes and restaurant’s get it so wrong? – sometimes they are dry and lacking with flavour. My girls love to eat at Grilled and their burgers are extremely good.

What makes a great Ham Burger ??

1. Good bread – sourdough, or even good turkish bread . The bread needs to be slightly soft, chewy with great flavour but not too toasted that it is crusty

2. A great meat patty – I love making minced chicken patty – a mixture of thigh and breast for flavour and  lots of fresh herbs.

3. Flavour, Flavour with a good chutney, great mayonnaise,great tasting tomato sauce.

4. Fresh lettuce, maybe herbs, fresh salad ingredients.

5. Caramelised onion or onion jam

Here is a recipe for Onion Jam.

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/25885/caramelised+onion+jam

Quick Easy Soup

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With lots of cold and flu in the air ,and with Zoe not feeling at her best I thought it would be best to make some Green Soup. Zoe is not fond of any green vegetable and sometimes a vegetable cooked in a soup on its own can taste a little too like peas, or broccoli.

The challenge is to get the balance right. The key to a good soup is not only flavour, but texture. A soup too thin is not filling and lacks the right feel in the mouth, to counter this problem a couple of potatoes adds depth and texture.

Today my soup consisted of 3 chopped zucchini, one leek ( sometimes onion is just a little too strong for a subtle green soup) 2 chopped potato, two handfuls of spinach and today I chose chicken stock to give it a more distinct flavour.

It was easy and quick to make, a mere 25 minutes and once blended was a beautiful soft green soup with a sweet flavour. Just the thing to stave of the winter flu

Secret of the Macaron

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A Few years I was lucky enough to spend some time with Hisako Ogita a very well known Japanese Pastry Chef who has published a best seller called ” I Love Macarons ”

As someone who loves baking, I enjoy the precise balance of liquid versus, baking agents versus fats versus flour etc that combined, make a delicious cake !!!  If you get it wrong the results can be disastrous !!  Macarons are one of the more challenging baked items to produce.

Here are some Macaron tips

  • The Grams – weight of an eggs white can vary ,always weigh all your ingredients.
  • Ensure the icing sugar and almond meal are sifted and the icing sugar is pure.
  • Day old egg whites work better and ensure they are at room temperature
  • whip whites to a soft peak and are a little foamy. Add the caster sugar and whip vigorously
  • When folding the wet and dry mix you need to be gently in your technique, but continue working it until there are no large bubbles and you start to get a glossy finish. Over mixing will give a runny mixture.
  • Line trays with baking paper – ensuring baking paper is flat and only pipe on the flat part of a baking tray
  • macarons are piped – avoid swirling the nozzle as this create large pockets of air.
  • allow the macarons to form a skin once piped – 20 to 30 mins in a cool spot
  • Temperature of the oven is crucial – not too hot nor too cold, somewhere around 140c is ideal