Merry Christmas, Everyone

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I wish you and yours a Safe and Happy Christmas,

and also a Bright, Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2018

 

I hope you’re all enjoying the lead-up to Christmas 2017 – it’s less than half an hour to go to Christmas Day, here in New Zealand, so I guess my loyal subscribers in Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere have a few hours to wait……   And it’s Summer here – really “beach” weather here, too – it was 26 degrees C here today, and very humid with it….. even so close to turning from 24th to 25th December, it’s still around 18 degrees C, and I’ve only just turned the fan off!    So, not a Christmas of ice, snow and cold, with a roast Christmas Dinner – it’s more BBQ, seafood and other salads, cold meat platters, and desserts like fruit salad, trifle and ice cream, with a pavlova, of course!

This is my prepared small trifle, dragged out of the fridge for this pic, and still awaiting it’s crown of whipped cream and grated chocolate, then the finished, then served, dish   I’ll give details of how I make mine in another post, when I can – suffice to say at the moment, it’s made with a very eggy but light custard, lots of sherry, I cheated with raspberry jam filled sponge roll, and a compote of boysonberryies and raspberries… to be topped with Creme Chantilly and grated chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to apologise to you all, for having made no posts since mid-October, but this year kinda got away on me, with increasing health issues for myself, and my adult son beginning renal dialysis and having to be in hospital every second day – over an hours’ drive away from our home, each way.   However, we’ve survived another year, we’re still able to laugh and enjoy the world, and waking up breathing every morning still beats the alternative, and we’re grateful for that.

Two minutes to midnight – will I see Santa?

Keep happy, keep safe, and keep loving good food…….

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Magic Mayo Moist Chicken Breasts

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This Magic Mayo Moist chicken breasts recipe is a variation, with variations, of a generic Mayo Chicken Breast recipe that’s been around since the 60’s.  It is moist, versatile, full of flavour, moist, and best of all, easy to make! Did I say that Magic Mayo Moist Chicken is moist?  Did I say that Magic Mayo Moist Chicken is easy and versatile?  You betcha! Magic Mayo Moist Chicken is perfect for a stress-free dinner party, too – prepare ahead, leave in the fridge until you put the oven on to preheat, put into the oven when ready! MAGIC!

Magic Mayo Moist chicken breasts, ready to eat – note the moisture on the lower right

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup good egg mayonnaise (use plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayo, for a healthier option, or half and half)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (halve recipe for 2 people)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ -1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or Italian, or your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: ½ cup mozzarella, sprinkle planko or other crumbs)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise (or yogurt if substituting), cheese, and the seasonings of your choice (other options below)..
  2. Preheat oven to 160 deg C (375 deg F)..
  3. Put the chicken breasts into a baking dish, tucking thin ends underneath.
  4. Spread the mayo mixture evenly on top of each chicken breast, sprinkle with crumbs, if using.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven, for about 35-45 minutes,  or until cooked through. (test wuth skewer for clear juices from thickest part.
  6. Serve warm, with noodles, potatoes or similar, plus a salad.

Autumn’s Culinary TIPS:

Experimenting with the basic recipe is fun – here’s some ideas

  1. Try using the mayo mix on thick fish fillets.
  2. Slice the chicken through the middle from the side and slide in a big slice of ham with a little Mozzarella por cheddar cheese for a different taste.
  3. You can switch the mayo for Greek yoghurt or lite mayo, the seasonings for BBQ or other seasonings.
  4. Other things you can add, or sub for original seasoning:

– Finely zested lemon or orange zest.

– finely chopped fresh herbs ( a little basil or thyme is great)

– a little chilli, or even some sweet chilli sauce

– some seasoned breadcrumbs (wholemeal or Planko are great)

  1. As well as the parmesan, add 1/4 – ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese.
  2. Try adding some bacon (chopped small) on top, about 3/4 the way through cooking.
  3. A great, easy side dish is thin egg noodles cooked to al dente, drained, and then some butter, garlic cloves, and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top! Delicious and simple .  Salads are great, too.
  4. What great ideas can YOU come up with?

Magic Mayo Moist chicken breasts, ready for the oven

Magic Mayo Moist Chicken Breasts
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken, Dinner, Celebration, Mains
Cuisine: Inernational
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Magic Mayo Moist chicken breasts is a variation, with variations, of a generic Mayo Chicken Breast recipe that’s been around since the 60’s. It is moist, versatile, full of flavour, moist, and best of all, easy to make!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup good egg mayonnaise (use plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayo, for a healthier option, or half and half)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (halve recipe for 2 people)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ -1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or Italian, or your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: ½ cup mozzarella, sprinkle planko or other crumbs)
Method
  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise (or yogurt if substituting), cheese, and the seasonings of your choice (other options below)..
  2. Preheat oven to 160 deg C (375 deg F)..
  3. Put the chicken breasts into a baking dish, tucking thin ends underneath.
  4. Spread the mayo mixture evenly on top of each chicken breast, sprinkle with crumbs, if using.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven, for about 35-45 minutes, or until cooked through. (test wuth skewer for clear juices from thickest part.
  6. Serve warm, with noodles, potatoes or similar, plus a salad.
  7. Autumn's Culinary TIPS: Experimenting with the basic recipe is fun – here’s some ideas
  8. Try using the mayo mix on thick fish fillets.
  9. Slice the chicken through the middle from the side and slide in a big slice of ham with a little
  10. Mozzarella or cheddar cheese for a different taste.
  11. You can switch the mayo for Greek yoghurt or lite mayo, the seasonings for BBQ or other seasonings.
  12. Other things you can add, or sub for original seasoning:
  13. - Finely zested lemon or orange zest.
  14. - finely chopped fresh herbs ( a little basil or thyme is great)
  15. - a little chilli, or even some sweet chilli sauce
  16. - some seasoned breadcrumbs (wholemeal or Planko are great)
  17. As well as the parmesan, add ¼ – ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese.
  18. Try adding some bacon (chopped small) on top, about ¾ the way through cooking.
  19. A great, easy side dish is thin egg noodles cooked to al dente, drained, and then some butter, garlic cloves, and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top! Delicious and simple . Salads are great, too.
  20. What great ideas can YOU come up with?

 

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Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam.

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Pssst, fancy something different, not too sweet, and VERY tangy and tasty on your morning toast?  You certainly can’t go past this easy-to-make, unusual Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam.  It looks good, and tastes even better!  Don’t use the pale, tiny, insipid dried apricots, though – this is worth lashing out on large deep orange dried apricots.

Pumpkin in jam?  Ask you mother or grandmother what they did during WW11,and the years of austerity after that! Put it this way – a friend in Dunedin said to me “I keep seeing trucks go into that preserves factory – and they’re full of swedes and pumpkins! There’s no swede jam around, is there?”

So I told her, and now you’ll know.   Swede and pumpkin have a certain natural sweetness to them, have the quality of going transparent when boiled, and are excellent as a “filler” for more expensive fruits in jams.

By the way, this jam tastes almost like tropical fruit salad (well, it would, wouldn’t it?) and apricots – totally yummy, and I usually double the recipe as everyone wants some!

Unusual, easy and very tangy – the Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam

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Ingredients

250g dried apricots chopped (big fat dark orange ones)

3.5 – 4 cups water

400g chopped pumpkin (approx 3 cups finely diced, even better – GRATED!)

1 kg jam setting sugar (or white sugar)

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup passionfruit pulp (or substitute with a small can of crushed pineapple)

OR add BOTH – I do!

Method

Soak chopped apricots in water overnight in a large pot.

In the same water and pot, boil the apricots and pumpkin for 20 minutes.

Add the jam setting sugar (or white sugar) and boil for 25 minutes.

Add lemon juice and passionfruit pulp, and pineapple.
Boil for 5 minutes.

Bottle while hot in sterilised jars. Cover when cold.

Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam.
Author: 
Recipe type: Preserves, Vegetarian, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Fancy something different, not too sweet, and VERY tangy and tasty on your morning toast?  You certainly can't go past this easy-to-make, unusual Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam.  It looks good, and tastes even better!
Ingredients
  • 400g chopped pumpkin (approx 3 cups very finely diced, or just grated)
  • 250g dried apricots chopped or finely cut into strips with scissors
  • 3,5-4 cups water
  • 1 kg Jam setting sugar (or white sugar)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup passionfruit pulp (or substitute with a small can of crushed pineapple)
  • (Or add both - I do!)
Method
  1. Soak chopped apricots in water overnight, in a large pot.
  2. In the same water boil the apricots and pumpkin for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the jam setting sugar, or white sugar
  4. Boil for another 25 minutes. Add lemon juice and passionfruit.
  5. Boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Bottle while hot in sterilised jars.
  7. Cover when cold.

The original came from Chelsea Sugar NZ, but has been altered to suit my taste.

 

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DULCE De LECHE Cake

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I’ve been promising this recipe for Dulce De Leche Cake for a while, and I’ve finally taken the pix.  Dulce de Leche is a thick caramel make from condensed milk, and the easy-to-make was given July 8, 2017 (and is searchable).   This is my version of Dulce De Leche, it’s VERY sweet, so cut small portions.    It does create a great “sugar rush”, so a suitable end for a luncheon for “Ladies who Lunch”….. lol

Dulce de Leche Cake cut, ready to serve

 

Ingredients

for the cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup dulce de leche (recipe given earlier)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Heilala pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups plain (all purpose) flour (can replace 2 Tablespoons with cornflour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk

for the frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon + 1 cup dulce de leche (recipe given earlier)

Directions

The cake:

  • preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and line 2 x 23 cm (9” – 10”) cake pans.
  • Beat the butter, sugar and dulce de leche to a cream (with paddle attachment of a stand mixer).
  • Slowly add the eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the vanilla and oil, beat until combined
  • Into a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients gradually to the creamed mixture,at low speed.
  • When the flour is JUST combined into the wet ingredients, add the milk.
  • Evenly distribute batter into the two cake pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. let cakes cool completely before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  • The frosting:
  • Mix butter, icing sugar, vanilla & 2 Tablespoons of dulce, whip until light and fluffy for about 8-10 minutes. (The remaining cup of dulce de leche will be used to assemble the cake.
  • Assembly:
  • Cut cakes evenly down the middle so you have four thin layers of cake.**
  • Begin with the first layer of cake – spread with a thin layer of frosting,building up around the edges. Place a small amount of dulce de leche in the middle.
  • Buttercream spread on cake, edge raised to contain inner dollop of Dulce de Leche

     

  • Place the next layer on top, spread with a thin layer of frosting,building up around the edges. Place a small amount of dulce de leche in the middle.
  • Continue until the top layer.

The finished “naked” Dulce de Leche Cake

  • The cake sides can be left “naked” as shown, and the top spread or piped with buttercream, then drizzled with slightly warmed dulce de leche. Only slightly warmed, mind, or it may melt the buttercream.
  • The sides can be spread with buttercream, if preferred.
  • ** Note: I baked the cake batter in 3 cake pans, so did not need to cut the cakes into layers. The middle one is browner, as it was steel, compared to the other pans being aluminium – but it looks effective.

Further note:  This is a VERY sweet cake, so it may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is delicious for special occasions.

The cake is beautiful (light and moist)  and could easily be modified.  I’ve tried it using the same basic recipe, but adding a little lemon juice (less than half a lemon) and the zest of one lemon, a lemon-flavoured buttercream, and a raspberry puree – great, too

Slice of Dulce de Leche Cake – moist, sweet

Dulce de Leche Cake cut, ready to serve

DULCE De LECHE Cake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • For the cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup dulce de leche (recipe given earlier)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Heilala pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2½ cups plain (all purpose) flour (can replace 2 Tablespoons with cornflour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • For the frosting
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon + 1 cup dulce de leche (recipe given earlier)
Method
  1. The cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F) degrees. Grease and line 2 x 23 cm (9” – 10”) cake pans.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and dulce de leche to a cream (with paddle attachment of a stand mixer).
  4. Slowly add the eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
  5. Add in the vanilla and oil, beat until combined
  6. Into a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the creamed mixture,at low speed.
  8. When the flour is JUST combined into the wet ingredients, add the milk.
  9. Evenly distribute batter into the two cake pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. let cakes cool completely before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  10. The frosting:
  11. Mix butter, icing sugar, vanilla & 2 Tablespoons of dulce, whip until light and fluffy for about 8-10 minutes. (The remaining cup of dulce de leche will be used to assemble the cake.
  12. Assembly:
  13. Cut cakes evenly down the middle so you have four thin layers of cake.**
  14. Begin with the first layer of cake – spread with a thin layer of frosting,building up around the edges. Place a small amount of dulce de leche in the middle.
  15. Place the next layer on top, spread with a thin layer of frosting,building up around the edges. Place a small amount of dulce de leche in the middle.
  16. Continue until the top layer.
  17. The cake sides can be left “naked” as shown, and the top spread or piped with buttercream, then drizzled with slightly warmed dulce de leche. Only slightly warmed, mind, or it may melt the buttercream. The sides can be spread with buttercream, if preferred.
  18. ** Note: I baked the cake batter in 3 cake pans, so did not need to cut the cakes into layers. The middle one is browner, as it was steel, compared to the other pans being aluminium – but it looks effective.
  19. Further note: This is a VERY sweet cake, so it may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is delicious for special occasions.
  20. The cake is beautiful (light and moist) and could easily be modified. I’ve tried it using the same basic recipe, but adding a little lemon juice (less than half a lemon) and the zest of one lemon, a lemon-flavoured buttercream, and a raspberry puree - great, too

 

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TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE – easy, exotic, delicious!

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This recipe for TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE always transports me back in my memory to a hot Autumn day on the Turkish coast near Ephesus, looking out to the sea and seated at a little hole-in-the-wall cafe, eating a cake like this one.   But here I am, late Winter in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, and it’s the aroma of this TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE that’s making the memories come alive.  This cake is divine – moist, exotic and suitable for an afternoon tea or a sumptuous dessert.  And yet, it’s sooooo easy to make – all done in the bowl of a kitchen food processor!

The cooked cake, after the syrup is poured over, and the segments arranged -but the cake is still in the paper-lined tin, to allow the syrup to soak in well.

There have been some frosts this winter, but all the local gardens have an abundance of citrus fruits:  limes, lemons, grapefruit, tangelos and mandarins and it’s the mandarins I was given that I used for this cake.  You’ll love it.  It’s easy, exotic, and delicious!

I hope you got the most important things?

  • it’s EASY
  • it’s exotic
  • it’s delicious
  • you’ll love it!

And yes, I’ve been busy, and I still have that Dulce de Leche cake to do for you, so here’s this TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE to tempt you, and another post giving a peek at some of the cake decorating I’ve been doing.. in my “spare” time!

TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE

Cake

4    mandarins (such as Satsumas), simmered for 30 minutes, then cooled and chopped into chunks

3    large eggs

1    teaspoon Heilala vanilla extract

1/2   cup plain greek-style yoghurt

50 gm  melted butter

2/3rd cup sugar

1 + 1/2 cup plain flour

2 teaspoons  baking powder

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Syrup/candied segments for decoration

3 mandarins (such as satsumas), juiced and zested

1/2 cup good honey

2  mandarins (such as satsumas), carefully segmented, with all pith removed.

Method:

Preheat an oven to 160C (325 F). Grease and line the bottom of a 22cm cake tin with a removable bottom.

Put the chopped mandarins into a kitchen food processor, and pulse until they are a smooth pulpy consistency.

Add the eggs, vanilla, yoghurt, butter and sugar, pulsing again until well combined.

Add the flour, baking powder and poppy seeds, pulsing very briefly to combine.

Gently ladle the mixture into your tin, smooth the top and bake for 40-45 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).

Turkish Mandarin Cake, cooked and making skewer holes for the syrup to soak into.

Make the syrup and candied segments:

To make the syrup, place the juice, zest and honey in a saucepan or a frying pan.

Melt the honey and bring to a simmer. Place the mandarin segments into the mixture and gently simmer until they are sticky and glossy, and the syrup is thickening,

The mandarin segments simmering in the syrup

Remove the segments with a slotted spoon, and place onto a piece of baking paper.

Use a thin skewer to make multiple holes all over the cake, right through to the base.

With the remaining syrup pour over the cake in the tin while the cake is still warm.

The divinely exotic Turkish Mandarin Cake, ready to serve

Serve with in slices, with yoghurt or lightly whipped cream on the side, or serve as a dessert, with ice cream.

TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE
Author: 
Recipe type: cake, dessert
Cuisine: International - Turkish, Mediterranian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This Turkish Mandarin Cake is moist, it's EASY,  it's exotic, it's delicious, and suitable for afternoon teas or for dessert - you'll love it!
Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 4 mandarins (such as Satsumas), simmered for 30 minutes, then cooled and chopped into chunks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Heilala vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plain greek-style yoghurt
  • 50 gm melted butter
  • ⅔rd cup sugar
  • 1 + ½ cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • Syrup/candied segments for decoration:
  • 3 mandarins (such as satsumas), juiced and zested
  • ½ cup good honey
  • 2 mandarins (such as satsumas), carefully segmented, with all pith removed.
Method
  1. Preheat an oven to 160C (325 F). Grease and line the bottom of a 22cm cake tin with a removable bottom.
  2. Put the chopped mandarins into a kitchen food processor, and pulse until they are a smooth pulpy consistency.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, yoghurt, butter and sugar, pulsing again until well combined.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and poppy seeds, pulsing very briefly to combine.
  5. Gently ladle the mixture into your tin, smooth the top and bake for 40-45 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).
  6. To make the syrup, place the juice, zest and honey in a saucepan or a frying pan.
  7. Melt the honey and bring to a simmer. Place the mandarin segments into the mixture and gently simmer until they are sticky and glossy, and the syrup is thickening,
  8. The mandarin segments simmering in the syrup
  9. Remove the segments with a slotted spoon, and place onto a piece of baking paper.
  10. * Use a thin skewer to make multiple holes all over the cake, right through to the base.
  11. * With the remaining syrup pour over the cake in the tin while the cake is still warm.
  12. * Serve with in slices, with yoghurt or lightly whipped cream on the side, or serve as a dessert, with ice cream.

 

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TIRAMISU – the Italian coffee trifle

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The Italian coffee trifle known as TIRAMISU is a coffee lover’s delight, rich and coffee-creamy, with a touch of alcohol like all good trifles, and has a myriad of recipes.  This is my TIRAMISU,  derived from many sources, close to the traditional, but with some allowances and adaptations.  And I learned to make my own MASCARPONE cheese to indulge myself – I posted the recipe last night.

I’ll never forget my first taste of TIRAMISU in Italy, in a small taverna on one side of the famous Piazza Navona, sandwiched between the Vatican and the Spanish Steps and my favourite building ever, the Pantheon, in Rome.   The luscious coffee-custardy dessert was like nothing I’d ever experienced before, and I made rather a pig of myself, I’m afraid.  Let’s just say I didn’t stop at one, and leave it at that!

Tiramisu (and one of 2 gift ones), ready to serve. The top cream layer isn’t distinct, but it’s there, with it’s grated chocolate. Oh, trust me – it’s there!

Making a Tiramisu at home, from scratch, takes time, but it’s easy if you take it in stages – and read the recipe right through first!.  First make the zabaglione, add the mascarpone, cool, and add the cream.   Then prepare the coffee-Marsala mix.  Then with those two in front of you, dip the Savoiardi sponge fingers into one, place in dish, cover with the zabaglione-mascarpone mix, and you’re well on the way.

I make mine the day before needed, and top with extra cream and the chocolate topping just before serving.

My Tiramisu – made at home, from scratch, and YOU can do it, too.

My TIRAMISU – the Italian coffee trifle

Makes at least 10 servings – not including the two small “gift” ones…..

INGREDIENTS:

250 ml (1 cup) brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature

125 ml (1/2 cup) dry Marsala wine  (divided into 2 equal quantities)*

3-4 teaspoons Heilala vanilla extract or paste

5-6 large egg yolks  (freeze the whites in 2 lots, for sponges, pavlova, etc)

125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar (divided into 2 equal quantities)

450-500 gm (14-16 ounces) mascarpone cheese

350 ml (1.5 cups) whipping or heavy cream

30-50 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (keep the leftovers in an airtight container)

Topping:

125 ml (1/2 cup) whipping or heavy cream

1 Tablespoon icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon Heilala vanilla paste or extract

50-60 gm (2 oz) dark chocolate (grated) or hot chocolate powder or cocoa powder for dusting

* You can use an alternative to Marsala wine, but it won’t be quite the same.  Suitable alternatives are sherry, brandy and or liqueurs.  In fact, when I do a chocolate version of Tiramisu for non-coffee loving friends, I use a mixture of  hot chocolate, brandy and a chocolate liqueur, such as Creme de Cacao.  Kahlua is nice with the coffee version, too

METHOD:

Make the Zabaglione-mascapone custard filling:

In a small stainless steel bowl that will fit over a pot (or a double boiler), whisk the egg yolks,  half the Marsala and half the sugar.  Place the bowl over a pot of just-simmering water, with about 25 mm (1 inch) between the bottom of the bowl and the hot water.

Whisking over simmering water, to cook, and increase the volume of the egg mix

Beat with a whisk (great arm workout, guys and gals!), or a hand beater, or an electric hand-held mixer, until the mixture is tripled in volume, which will take from 4 to 8 minutes.

The zabaglione ready – see how thick it is, and holding it’s shape.

NOTE: Until the mixture is tripled in amount, DO NOT stop beating, or you will end up with “sweet scrambled eggs”.  So, no cellphones or other phone calls, and don’t answer the door.  4 to 8 minutes aren’t long – except when you’re whipping this Zabaglione-like custard!

Zabaglione-mascarpone mix for Tiramisu, before the cream is folded in.

When the mixture is tripled in size, and holds it’s shape well, remove from the bowl from the heat, leave for 5 minutes to cool a little, then beat in the mascarpone cheese until just combined, then let stand for 10-15 minutes (time for a coffee or that phonecall…).

Whip the cream in a bowl until it holds stiff peaks, then fold half the cream into the cooled zabaglione-mascapone mixture. Be gentle, this is a folding movement, not a beating.   Then fold in the rest of the cream.  If the custard is still a bit warm, you may lose a little volume,  but that’s fine.  or, if you have time, leave it to cool a bit longer- we’re busy people, make it work for you.

Make the coffee-Marsala dipping mixture:

In a flattish pudding bowl, combine the  espresso (I get a takeaway) or other coffee, the other half of the Marsala wine, the vanilla extract, and the rest of the sugar, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

Assembling the Tiramisu:

First, get your glamorous Trifle Bowl, or a deep glass bowl about 23 – 25 cms (9-10 inches),  You can also use a square or oblong dish, and make just two layers, or even use a loaf tin, and cut the finished dessert into slices.

Coffee-marsala mix on left, zabagilone-mascarpone in middle, trifle bowl at rear, and 2 glasses for gift Tiramisu on right – all set to start assembling! Note the packet of Savoiardi sponge fingers at left rear and an open pack in front of that.

With the coffee-marsala mix and the zabaglione-mascapone mix in front of you, you’re good to go.

Dip a few of the Savoiardi sponge fingers very quickly into the coffee mix, and use them to line the bottom of your bowl.  (You might find that you need to break a few into pieces to fit them in the dish).

Quickly dip the Savoiardi biscuits, then lay into your dish, covering the bottom, and maybe cutting some to fit. Sorry, I didn’t realise the unopened pack would show through quite so much – it’s well behind my trifle bowl.

Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the bittersweet chocolate over filling. Then dip the remaining ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee and arrange a second layer over filling.

Assembling the next layer of coffee-soaked Savoiardi sponge fingers on top of the first two layers. Still some gaps to fill with cut pieces of fingers… Savoiardi sponge one, that is!

Keep layering soaked biscuits and the zabaglione-mascarpone mixure as high as you desire, leaving room at the top for the extra whipped cream layer, if using.   Then cover with plastic kitchen wrap and put into the fridge for at least 6-8 hours, or overnight.  I prefer making mine the day before, and doing the last cream and chocolate layer, just before serving.

About 20 minutes before serving, remove your bowl from the fridge to bring it back closer to room temperature.

Make the optional cream layer:

Just before you’re ready to serve, whip the topping amount of cream with the icing sugar and the vanilla (I sometimes add a dessertspoon of liqueur, too).  Spread gently over the top, and smooth with a spatula, the grate dark chocolate and/or cocoa (shake through a small sieve).

And enjoy!  It’s rich, decadent and just divine!

Autumn’s Culinary tips for Tiramisu:

  •  I like to make mine the day before it’s to be served, and add extra cream at the last minute.
  • Leftovers (huh?) will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to four days, but will start losing texture in the fingers from 2 days.  The positive is, the flavours become more syrupy and blended, too.  That’s IF you have leftovers…
  • Instead of expresso coffee, you can use a unsweetened hot chocolate or cocoa, in exactly the same way.
  • This does NOT work with English-style sponge – it’s too soft.  Tiramisu relies on the texture of the crisp Savoiardi fingers lightly dipped, for it’s unique texture.
  • You “could” use a fruit juice and rum or brandy essence for a non-alcoholic version, but it just doesn’t taste the same – keep Tiramisu for occasions when it’s “adults only” at the dining table!

TIRAMISU - the Italian coffee trifle
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, International
Cuisine: International - Italian
Serves: 10-12 serves
 
The Italian coffee trifle known as TIRAMISU is a coffee lover's delight, rich and coffee-creamy, with a touch of alcohol like all good trifles, has a myriad of recipes. This is my TIRAMISU, derived from many sources, close to the traditional, but with some allowances and adaptations. And I learned to make my own MASCARPONE cheese to indulge myself - I posted the recipe last night.
Ingredients
  • 250 ml (1 cup) brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry Marsala wine (divided into 2 equal quantities)*
  • 3-4 teaspoons Heilala vanilla extract or paste
  • 5-6 large egg yolks (freeze the whites in 2 lots, for sponges, pavlova, etc)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar (divided into 2 equal quantities)
  • 450-500 gm (14-16 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 350 ml (1.5 cups) whipping or heavy cream
  • 30-50 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (keep the leftovers in an airtight container)
  • Topping:
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) whipping or heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Heilala vanilla paste or extract
  • 50-60 gm (2 oz) dark chocolate (grated) or hot chocolate powder or cocoa powder for dusting
  • * You can use an alternative to Marsala wine, but it won't be quite the same. Suitable alternatives are sherry, brandy and or liqueurs. In fact, when I do a chocolate version of Tiramisu for non-coffee loving friends, I use a mixture of hot chocolate, brandy and a chocolate liqueur, such as Creme de Cacao. Kahlua is nice with the coffee version, too
Method
  1. Make the Zabaglione-mascapone custard filling:
  2. In a small stainless steel bowl that will fit over a pot (or a double boiler), whisk the egg yolks, half the Marsala and half the sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of just-simmering water, with about 25 mm (1 inch) between the bottom of the bowl and the hot water.
  3. Beat with a whisk (great arm workout, guys and gals!), or a hand beater, or an electric hand-held mixer, until the mixture is tripled in volume, which will take from 4 to 8 minutes.
  4. NOTE: Until the mixture is tripled in amount, DO NOT stop beating, or you will end up with "sweet scrambled eggs". So, no cellphones or other phone calls, and don't answer the door. 4 to 8 minutes aren't long - except when you're whipping this Zabaglione-like custard!
  5. When the mixture is tripled in size, and holds it's shape well, remove from the bowl from the heat, leave for 5 minutes to cool a little, then beat in the mascarpone cheese until just combined, then let stand for 10-15 minutes (time for a coffee or that phonecall...).
  6. Whip the cream in a bowl until it holds stiff peaks, then fold half the cream into the cooled zabaglione-mascapone mixture. Be gentle, this is a folding movement, not a beating. Then fold in the rest of the cream. If the custard is still a bit warm, you may lose a little volume, but that's fine. or, if you have time, leave it to cool a bit longer- we're busy people, make it work for you.
  7. Make the coffee-Marsala dipping mixture:
  8. In a flattish pudding bowl, combine the espresso (I get a takeaway) or other coffee, the other half of the Marsala wine, the vanilla extract, and the rest of the sugar, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
  9. Assembling the Tiramisu:
  10. First, get your glamorous Trifle Bowl, or a deep glass bowl about 23 - 25 cms (9-10 inches).
  11. With the coffee-marsala mix and the zabaglione-mascapone mix in front of you, you're good to go.
  12. Dip a few of the Savoiardi sponge fingers very quickly into the coffee mix, and use them to line the bottom of your bowl. (You might find that you need to break a few into pieces to fit them in the dish).
  13. Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the bittersweet chocolate over filling. Then dip the remaining ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee and arrange a second layer over filling.
  14. Keep layering soaked biscuits and the zabaglione-mascarpone mixure as high as you desire, leaving room at the top for the extra whipped cream layer, if using. Then cover with plastic kitchen wrap and put into the fridge for at least 6-8 hours, or overnight. I prefer making mine the day before, and doing the last cream and chocolate layer, just before serving.
  15. About 20 minutes before serving, remove your bowl from the fridge to bring it back closer to room temperature.
  16. Make the optional cream layer:
  17. Just before you're ready to serve, whip the topping amount of cream with the icing sugar and the vanilla (I sometimes add a dessertspoon of liqueur, too). Spread gently over the top, and smooth with a spatula, the grate dark chocolate and/or cocoa (shake through a small sieve).
  18. And enjoy! It's rich, decadent and just divine!
  19. Autumn's Culinary tips for Tiramisu:
  20. * I like to make mine the day before it's to be served, and add extra cream at the last minute.
  21. * Leftovers (huh?) will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to four days, but will start losing texture in the fingers from 2 days. The positive is, the flavours become more syrupy and blended, too. That's IF you have leftovers...
  22. * Instead of expresso coffee, you can use a unsweetened hot chocolate or cocoa, in exactly the same way.
  23. * This does NOT work with English-style sponge - it's too soft. Tiramisu relies on the texture of the crisp Savoiardi fingers lightly dipped, for it's unique texture.
  24. * You "could" use a fruit juice and rum or brandy essence for a non-alcoholic version, but it just doesn't taste the same - keep Tiramisu for occasions when it's "adults only" at the dining table!

 

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Making DULCE DE LECHE the EASY, safe way

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DULCE DE LECHE, made the SAFE, easy way.  Who doesn’t like caramel?  But who has the time to watch a tin of condensed milk turn into luscious caramel boiling in a pot, with all the risks of it boiling dry, exploding, burning you?

So, again, I’ve worked on making the process safer, and (me being me…) a whole lot easier?

Well first we start with the can of condensed milk.  Here are 3 of the different varieties available here in New Zealand and a can of already prepared caramel.   The Nestle brand is almost universal internationally.

3 cans of condensed milk, and one (bottom left) of already prepared caramel

Yes, you can purchase pre-prepared caramel (Dulce de Leche), but it’s more expensive, and somehow doesn’t have the deep richness of a can that’s been boiled for hours…..

But most people have a crockpot these days, also known as a slow cooker…..

Are you with me?

Yes, slow cooking is exactly what’s needed to turn the condensed milk into caramel, and without having to stand for ages at the stove!!   And, because it’s so easy, I usually make several cans at a time, so I always have some ready, when the Sugar urge hits me.

So, get your crockpot out, turn it on, and partially fill it with some warm water.

Take the labels off the condensed milk cans, and place them into the crockpot.  The one I’ve used is one of 2 small crockpots I have ( I have 2 larger ones too) and takes four cans nicely.

NOTE – although I show cans with ringtab openings, I DON’T recommend using these unless you are in the house.  I recommend the fully sealed cans, without ringtabs, to be completely safe.

4 cans in, not yet fully covered with water

Cans covered over their tops with hot water

So, the cans in, then filled about 25 mm (about an inch) above the cans with more hot water.  Turn on the crockpot, setting “high“, put the lid on, and leave until the water starts to simmer.  Turn the heat to “low“, and leave it, covered, for 8-9 hours.    After 4 hours, you can carefully turn the cans over with a pair of tongs, but not absolutely necessary.

The four cans in the crockpot, safely left for 8-9 hours

Leave to cool in the crockpot, then lift out, dry, and LABEL THE CANS “Dulce de Leche – Caramel” with a permanent marker pen.    Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout, but it’s frustrating to try and work out what’s in a can without a label!

So – that’s it!   Luscious caramel or Dulce de Leche in a can, ready to go!!  Four of them, if you’re thinking ahead…..!

Now I bet you’re going to find ways of using this before I get back with MY ideas….. and I don’t blame you (no judgments here..), but do try and keep one to try with me…..

And – enjoy!!

 

 

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Making MASCARPONE  Cheese at home, from scratch

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How to make MASCARPONE  Cheese, that rich, silky, creamy Italian soft cheese at home, from scratch.  So expensive to buy, but so easy to make yourself, and the only two things you might possibly need in the way of equipment is a simple thermometer, and some cheesecloth (butter muslin is another name for this).   Then, just two ingredients….  double (whipping) cream and citric acid.

Of course the Mascarpone Cheese is for TIRAMISU, but that’s to follow,  and a lot more ways of using MASCARPONE, when I can….  These will include making fresh egg pasta from scratch, for making ravioli using Mascarpone Cheese (in sweet and savoury versions).

Here’s a finished TIRAMISU to keep you tempted….

A completed TIRAMISU, enough for 8-12 people, plus one of 2 small ones for gifts.

 

So, let’s back up the bus a little, first…..

Okay, okay, so I’ve not posted anything for a while, and you want more…..

So here’s a wee tease for some things that are coming, soon.

Two easy recipes tonight, for the goodies they are going to be used for……

MASCARPONE, as already said…. and….

Then, the EASY way (you know by now I do things the best, and easiest, way, I can…..) to make DULCE DE LECHE, the most delicious caramel ever… and no, I’m not going to even hint at what we’ll use that for…… yet!

Now, if it’s T.M.I., SKIP this next bit, and just go down to the Mascarpone Recipe, but it’s real life in our household:

*****

I’ve been extra busy with my adult son, who is in end-stage kidney disease from Polycystic Kidneys, so he’s beginning the process for going onto home dialysis (haemodialysis – a machine plumbed permanently into the wall of his bedroom that will cleanse his blood for several hours, 3 days a week), and going through the rigorous process of going onto the donor list, to hopefully receive a donor kidney in the reasonably near future.

There, I’ve told you, now you know why there’s not been much doing lately on here – sorry, but as I said, this is real life.   So, let’s get to the good stuff…….

*****

MASCARPONE CHEESE – made from scratch at home.

It’s so expensive to buy, but OH! so easy to make yourself, at home.

A rich, creamy Italian soft cheese, and the only two things you might possibly need in the way of equipment is a simple thermometer, and some cheesecloth (butter muslin is another name for this).

Then, and two ingredients….  double (whipping) cream and citric acid.

Oh, and patience.  Sorry, that’s a third ingredient!

Ingredients:

1 litre (1 US quart) of cream (double/whipping – at least 40% fat)

1/2 teaspoon Citric Acid (dissolved in 2 Tablespoons cold filtered water)

Equipment:

Pot (st steel preferred), butter muslin/cheesecloth, strainer/sieve, THERMOMETER, spatula, metal stirring spoon.

Method:

Right, so you need to sterilise all your equipment p.   Boiling water, hot water with a touch of bleach, and rinse wash again with boiling water is the simplest way of doing that – making sure all the bleach is gone, or it will taint the finished cheese. Or use a sterilising tablet or powder from any home brew store.

Next, pour your cream into a pot and sloooooowly heat it on the stove, and use your thermometer, watching carefully, until the cream reaches 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees F).  Stir a little during this process – and be careful of that thermometer.   Make sure the thermometer is well submerged while you are checking that temperature!

When the cream is definitely at 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees F) , simply pour in the citric acid solution (see recipe), then keep the cream/acid mixture at the same 85 degree temperature for about 5 minutes (yes – use a timer!!) but putting a lid on the pot an leaving it on the turned-off element to keep warm.   Don’t let it get hotter, and you do need patience to keep it at that temp for that long.

If the temperature drops a little, then turn the element back onto low, and stir constantly, to keep at 85 degrees for the five minutes..

After five minutes (yes, you DID time it for the full five minutes, didn’t you?), remove the pot to the bench and leave it, covered, for several hours to overnight.

When you come back to it (if you haven’t peeped already…. yes, I mean you!) you will see it has coagulated (such an ugly word for an amazing process) into a silky smooth, junket-like mix.

Now, put a strainer (sieve) over a container (bowl, jug, pot, etc) and line the strainer with some sterilised  cheesecloth/butter muslin.  If desperate, you could use a clean, dry fine teatowel.

Pour the thick mixture into the lined strainer and leave undisturbed to drain until it is as thick as you desire.   It’s traditionally used at the texture of Greek yogurt, but for some things you might like it thicker (cheesecakes, etc) and for sauces, maybe thinner.   Do not attempt to squeeze the mixture, it will drain successfully by itself.

The thing to be aware of is that it will thicken more in the fridge, so stop the draining before it gets to your desired thickness.

Now, gently use a spatula to ease the cream off the cheesecloth into an airtight container and place in fridge.  It will keep up to a week.

You need about 1/2 the quantity this mixture makes for my Tiramisu, so plenty for sauces (sweet and savoury) or other uses.

Making MASCARPONE Cheese from scratch, at home
Author: 
Recipe type: cheese
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 700 g approx
 
How to make MASCARPONE Cheese, that rich, silky, creamy Italian soft cheese, from scratch, at home. So expensive to buy, but so easy to make yourself from scratch.
Ingredients
  • 1 litre (1 US quart) of cream (double/whipping - at least 40% fat)
  • ½ teaspoon Citric Acid (dissolved in 2 Tablespoons cold filtered water)
  • Equipment:
  • Pot (st steel preferred), butter muslin/cheesecloth, strainer/sieve, THERMOMETER, spatula, metal stirring spoon.
Method
  1. Right, so you need to sterilise all your equipment. Boiling water, hot water with a touch of bleach, and rinse wash again with boiling water is the simplest way of doing that - making sure all the bleach is gone, or it will taint the finished cheese. Or use a sterilising tablet or powder from any home brew store.
  2. Next, pour your cream into a pot and sloooooowly heat it on the stove, and use your thermometer, watching carefully, until the cream reaches 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees F). Stir a little during this process - and be careful of that thermometer. Make sure the thermometer is well submerged while you are checking that temperature!
  3. When the cream is definitely at 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees F) , simply pour in the citric acid solution (see recipe), then keep the cream/acid mixture at the same 85 degree temperature for about 5 minutes (yes - use a timer!!) but putting a lid on the pot an leaving it on the turned-off element to keep warm. Don't let it get hotter, and you do need patience to keep it at that temp for that long.
  4. If the temperature drops a little, then turn the element back onto low, and stir constantly, to keep at 85 degrees for the five minutes..
  5. After five minutes (yes, you DID time it for the full five minutes, didn't you?), remove the pot to the bench and leave it, covered, for several hours to overnight.
  6. When you come back to it (if you haven't peeped already.... yes, I mean you!) you will see it has coagulated (such an ugly word for an amazing process) into a silky smooth, junket-like mix.
  7. Now, put a strainer (sieve) over a container (bowl, jug, pot, etc) and line the strainer with some sterilised cheesecloth/butter muslin. If desperate, you could use a clean, dry fine teatowel.
  8. Pour the thick mixture into the lined strainer and leave undisturbed to drain until it is as thick as you desire. It's traditionally used at the texture of Greek yogurt, but for some things you might like it thicker (cheesecakes, etc) and for sauces, maybe thinner. Do not attempt to squeeze the mixture, it will drain successfully by itself.
  9. The thing to be aware of is that it will thicken more in the fridge, so stop the draining before it gets to your desired thickness.
  10. Now, gently use a spatula to ease the cream off the cheesecloth into an airtight container and place in fridge. It will keep up to a week.
  11. You need about ½ the quantity this mixture makes for my Tiramisu, so plenty for sauces (sweet and savoury) or other uses.

 

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Cheese Puff Drop Scones for Dummies

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I usually make cheese scones but decided to retry this recipe for Cheese Puff Drop Scones… and they really are to die for!  So very light and tasty, made and ready to eat faster than scones, and far less mess, too!  I made a double mix (made 16 big ones), but the recipe – as given – will make 8 to 10.

Cheese Puff Drop Scones are a quick way to extend a meal, or have a robust snack in minutes, and unless you really over-mix, you just can’t go wrong.  Easy-peasy!

Cheese Puff Drop Scones, ready to serve with lashings of butter.

Cheese Puff Drop Scones, on greased and floured tray, ready for the oven.

Cheese Puff Drop Scones, just out of the oven, on tea towel.

Cheese Puff Drop Scones right out of the oven.

Cheese Puff Drop Scones, ready to serve with lots of butter.

Ingredients:

1 egg
1/2 cup Milk
1 cup Plain Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 cups Grated Cheese – I used tasty but any strong harder cheese is fine – try 1/2 a cup of Parmesan!

Optional: pinch of paprika or curry powder or any other herbs or spices you enjoy (I added fresh chopped parsley). A little grated onion (no more than 1/ a small one) is fine to add, too.

Method:

Preheat  oven to 200C (400F).

Whisk together egg & milk in a medium sized bowl. Add to that the flour, baking powder, salt & cheese (I also added a pinch of curry powder). Mix lightly but well until just combined.

Prepare a baking tray with non stick oil spray, dust with a little flour, and dollop tablespoons of the mixture evenly spaced onto the tray.

Bake in a hot oven 200C (400F) for 10 minutes or until just golden brown and sounds hollow to tap.

Place a clean tea towel on an cooling rack, place Cheese Puff Drop Scones on this, and cover for a few minutes – IF you can…..  I bet you’ll be eating them hot, with lashings of butter – and the smell is divine, too!   Enjoy!

NOTE: I doubled the recipe for these photos – again I had a hungry hoard to feed!

Cheese Puff Drop Scones for Dummies
Author: 
Recipe type: lunches, baking, snacks
Cuisine: traditional
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 large
 
Cheese Puff Drop Scones for Dummies - light, quick, tasty and easy-peasy. Anyone can make these for a meal in minutes.
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 cup Plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups Grated Cheese – I used tasty but any strong harder cheese is fine – try ½ a cup of Parmesan!
  • Optional: pinch of paprika or curry powder or any other herbs or spices you enjoy (I added fresh chopped parsley). A little grated onion (no more than 1/ a small one) is fine to add, too.
Method
  1. Preheat  oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Whisk together egg & milk in a medium sized bowl. Add to that the flour, baking powder, salt & cheese (I also added a pinch of curry powder). Mix lightly but well until just combined.
  3. Prepare a baking tray with non stick oil spray, dust with a little flour, and dollop tablespoons of the mixture evenly spaced onto the tray.
  4. Bake in a hot oven 200C (400F) for 10 minutes or until just golden brown and sounds hollow to tap.
  5. Place a clean tea towel on an cooling rack, place Cheese Puff Drop Scones on this, and cover for a few minutes - IF you can.....  I bet you’ll be eating them hot, with lashings of butter – and the smell is divine, too!   Enjoy!
  6. NOTE: I doubled the recipe for these photos – again I had a hungry hoard to feed!

 

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TURKISH PIZZA or Lahmacun – tasty, makes great picnic food, too

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Called Lahmacun in Turkey, TURKISH PIZZA or Lamhmacun is a variant of a yeast dough with meat and cheese pizza found in the Mediterranean region, with less tomato and more spices.  Beautifully fragrant from the oven, this is enhanced traditionally by a squeeze of half a lemon over the meat mixture.

Tradition also shows in the shape – instead of the circles of an Italian Pizza, the Turkish Pizza or Lahmacun is a long oval in shape.

Make for dinner, for lunch or make in the morning and take wrapped in foil for portable but different picnic food.  If you have a breadmaker appliance, the dough is quickly done, but as it’s a one-knead, one-rise dough recipe it’s also easy to make by hand.   The recipe, as given, made 4 large oval Turkish Pizza or Lahmacun, and half to one per serve was fine.

Again, very few pics as the “hungry hoards” weren’t interested in waiting!  Not with that cumin-y, lemony odour wafting around!   I couldn’t get one of the two trays, I was lucky to get a pic of one plate!   Yes, they all disappeared VERY fast…..!

One of the two trays with large pizzas, ready for the oven

Half a large oval Turkish Pizza or Lahmucan ready to serve

Dough:

1.25 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoon oil or melted butter

1 teaspoon sugar

3.25 cups high grade flour

2 Tablespoons Surebake yeast or ½ envelope of dried yeast.

 

Filling:

250 gm lean lamb mince  (beef can also be used, but lamb is best)

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1.5 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon dried mint

.25 cup fresh mint leaves

2 diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce (optional)

1.25 cups grated cheddar cheese

1 egg beaten with a little water for glaze.

To Serve: squeeze of I/2 lemon on the hot pizzas.

Method:

  • Make dough in breadmaking machine, or mix by hand in large bowl, knead by hand on floured bench, and leave in a greased bowl, with a cover of plastic wrap, until doubled in size.
  • Process onion, lamb, spices and sauce, and dried mint, process until paste-like, then add fresh mint and diced tomatoes, process until shredded.
  • Divide dough into six pieces (don’t “punch it down”), roll into ball, knead a little, roll out into oval shapes (roughly 20 cm x 10 cm, or to fit your oven sheets).
  • Baste edges with egg wash, spread filling down the middle of oval.  Bring edges in to not quite cover filling,  pinch the ends of the ovals (as shown), baste with egg wash, sprinkle with grated cheese.
  • Place onto hot trays and bake in preheated oven at 220 degrees C (fan oven) or 240 degrees C in regular oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.
  • Best eaten straight from oven, but can be reheated next day.  They make great, easy-to-carry, picnic food, and for this purpose, make 8 – 10 smaller ones.

TURKISH PIZZA or Lahmacun
Author: 
Recipe type: lunch, picnic, dinner. snack
Cuisine: Middle East
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
TURKISH PIZZA or Lamhmacun is a variant of a yeast dough with meat and cheese pizza found in the Mediterranean region, with less tomato and more spices. Beautifully fragrant from the oven, this is enhanced traditionally by a squeeze of half a lemon over the meat mixture.
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoon oil or melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3.25 cups high grade flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Surebake yeast or ½ envelope of dried yeast.
  • Filling:
  • 250 gm lean lamb mince (beef can also be used, but lamb is best)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • .25 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1.25 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg beaten with a little water for glaze.
  • To Serve: squeeze of I/2 lemon on the hot pizzas.
Method
  1. * Make dough in breadmaking machine, or mix by hand in large bowl, knead by hand on floured bench, and leave in a greased bowl, with a cover of plastic wrap, until doubled in size.
  2. * Process onion, lamb, spices and sauce, and dried mint, process until paste-like, then add fresh mint and diced tomatoes, process until shredded.
  3. * Divide dough into six pieces (don’t “punch it down”), roll into ball, knead a little, roll out into oval shapes (roughly 20 cm x 10 cm, or to fit your oven sheets).
  4. * Baste edges with egg wash, spread filling down the middle of oval. Bring edges in to not quite cover filling, pinch the ends of the ovals (as shown), baste with egg wash, sprinkle with grated cheese.
  5. * Place onto hot trays and bake in preheated oven at 220 degrees C (fan oven) or 240 degrees C in regular oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.
  6. * Best eaten straight from oven, but can be reheated next day. They make great, easy-to-carry, picnic food, and for this purpose, make 8 – 10 smaller ones.

 

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