Apple Bread Loaf

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Apple Bread Loaf is so easy to make, makes 2 standard loaves (so you have one to freeze),  is nice and moist, and is great for lunch boxes, picnics, and quick snacks or morning teas.   I have included an easy way to make the apple puree required, too.

Apple Bread Loaf - 2 loaves from one recipe, fresh from the oven

Apple Bread Loaf – two loaves from one recipe, fresh from the oven.

Apple Bread Loaf - one to eat now, one to freeze, all from one recipe!

Apple Bread Loaf – one to eat now, one to freeze, all from one recipe!

Apple Bread Loaf (makes 2)
Author: 
Recipe type: baking, picnics, vegetarian, breads
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 loaves
 
Apple Bread Loaf is so easy to make, makes 2 standard loaves (so you have one to freeze), is nice and moist, and is great for lunch boxes, picnics, and quick snacks or morning teas. A brilliantly useful recipe.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups plain flour,
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda,
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups pureed unsweetened apple (home stewed is fine)***
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 175g (6oz) butter (VERY soft)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten).
Method
  1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder & spices.
  2. Mix the apple, sugar, butter & vanilla essence together in a bowl.
  3. Add eggs.
  4. Add dry ingredients to apple mixture & mix well.
  5. Pour into 2 greased loaf tins.
  6. Bake at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F) for about 45 - 50 mins.
  7. Leave to cool in tins for about 10 minutes before turning out of tins....
  8. When cool, one loaf can be frozen, if desired.

*** Autumn’s Culinary Tip:  This is how I prepare the Apple Puree.   I peel, core, and roughly chop 6 large Granny Smith apples into the food processor, and wiz them quite fine.  I tip them into a large pyrex microwave jug, and rinse the processor bowl out with 1/3 cup of water, and add that to the jug.  I nuke the apple mix in 2 x 5 minutes sessions on high, stirring halfway through, then give another 2-3 minute blast.  Cool.  This produces approximately 4 cups of good unsweetened apple puree that isn’t too moist.  I put 2 cups into a ziplock freezer bag to freeze for next time, and use the remaining 2 cups for the Apple Bread this time – a little over or under isn’t going to make a major difference, and you can adjust between the 2 amounts.

While I am a HUGE believer in cutting down on work by making a double mix and freezing it (as here, with the apple pulp and even with the 2 loaves the Apple Bread recipe itself produces), I also strongly recommend LABELING what you package, in three ways:

1 – the actual contents (here – APPLE PULP, unsweetened)

2 – the amount (in this case – 2 cups)

3 – the date frozen (the actual date)

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BLACKBREAD Loaf – traditional Irish fruit loaf

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Blackbread Loaf is a traditional Irish fruit loaf, and easily prepared – you start it the night before baking, by soaking the fruit!  This Blackbread Loaf recipe has been a favorite family staple for over 40 years now – you can use any fruit, even vary it by using a cup of coffee instead of tea to soak the fruit in.  Note:  there is no butter or oil in this recipe, so best used within a few days.

It’s great for lunch boxes and for picnics.

Blackbread Loaf - a traditional Irish fruit loaf that's so easy to mix and bake.

Blackbread Loaf – a traditional Irish fruit loaf that’s so easy to mix and bake.

 

BLACKBREAD Loaf - traditional Irish fruit loaf
Author: 
Recipe type: baking, picnic, vegetarian, breads
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: varies
 
Blackbread Loaf is a traditional Irish fruit loaf that is easy to mix, cuts well, and is ideal for lunch boxes. Prepare the fruit overnight, and it's a quick mix the next day.
Ingredients
  • 500 gms (14 oz – although I just use 2 cups!) mixed "sticky" raisins, sultanas, and currants - whatever you have
  • 1 cup cold strained tea
  • 1 cup brown sugar – pressed into cup
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
Method
  1. Make and cool one cup of tea.
  2. Combine with fruit and brown sugar in bowl, leave to soak overnight.
  3. Next day, pre-heat oven to 180 C (350 F).
  4. Add beaten egg and flour to fruit mixture, mix lightly.
  5. Pour into well greased or non-stick 20cm x 10cm x 8cm loaf tin.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes -1 hour at 180 C (350 F) or less - depends on your oven..
  7. Leave in tin 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cover with cloth to cool.
  8. Serve sliced and buttered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aubergine and Leek Turkish-Style

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If you are seeking “something different” for a vegetarian dish, or as a side for a main, I recommend giving this dish of Aubergine and Leek Turkish-Style a try!  The aroma is divine, it’s rich and deliciously exotic.  A wonderful mix of savoury with a touch of sweetness (from the currants) that goes beautifully with grilled chicken or fish.  I prefer it served hot, but it’s also nice as a salad (in which case, add an extra drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your taste).

Aubergine and Leeks Turkish-style - cut and ready to cook

Aubergine and Leeks Turkish-style – cut and ready to cook

Aubergine and Leeks Turkish-style - ready to cook in heavy pot

Aubergine and Leeks Turkish-style – ready to cook in heavy pot

Aubergine and Leeks Turkish-style - the perfect side dish for chicken or fish

Aubergine and Leeks Turkish-style – the perfect side dish for chicken or fish

Aubergine and Leek Turkish-Style
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetarian, salad, main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
“something different” for a vegetarian dish, or as a side for a main, I recommend giving this dish of Aubergine and Leek Turkish-Style a try! The aroma is divine, it’s rich and deliciously exotic. A divine mix of savoury with a touch of sweetness (from the currants) that goes beautifully with grilled chicken or fish.
Ingredients
  • 125 ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large leek (or 2 small) thickly sliced, green parts as well as white
  • 1 large eggplant in 2 - 3 cm chunks, skin on
  • ½ cup currants
  • ½ cup black olives
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped mint (or a teaspoon of dried mint).
  • A few tablespoons of water, if and as needed.
  • To serve:
  • 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped parsley
  • A little extra top quality olive oil
Method
  1. Heat oil in a large wide heavy pan (or casserole) with a lid.
  2. Combine all ingredients except serving herbs, and add to pan, combine.
  3. Cover and cook over a low heat for about an hour or until vegetables are very tender.
  4. Check liquid occasionally and add a little water if necessary.
  5. The mixture when cooked should be luscious but not too wet.
  6. Add chopped parsley and mint, and a drizzle of finest olive oil, just before serving.
  7. Serve Aubergine and Leek Turkish-Style with grilled chicken or fish (if non-vegetarian) and a Greek Salad and mint/yoghurt Tzatziki) dressing, or other salad.
  8. Aubergine and Leek Turkish-Style is also nice reheated next day, or served cold, as a salad, with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your taste

 

 

 

 

 

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SMOKED SALMON CHICKPEA PATTIES

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Smoked Salmon Chickpea Patties

These very simple-to-make and very tasty Smoked Salmon Chickpea Patties are gluten-free, healthy, and delicious!  Mash any leftovers onto a good sourdough or ciabatta bread and add some chopped tomato, shredded lettuce and aioli for a superb sandwich!

If you’d like to be economical with your smoked salmon, try doing it yourself – use the method I gave for Tea Smoking food in your kitchen !  It’s real easy!

Smoked salmon chickpea patties with Turkish leek and aubergine side

Smoked salmon chickpea patties with Turkish leek and aubergine side

 

SMOKED SALMON CHICKPEA PATTIES
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunches, main, picnic, vegetarian, gluten-free, snacks,
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
These very simple-to-make and very tasty Smoked Salmon Chickpea Patties are gluten-free, healthy, and delicious! Mash any leftovers onto a good sourdough or ciabatta bread and add some chopped tomato, shredded lettuce and aioli for a superb sandwich!
Ingredients
  • 200g cooked smoked salmon (divide into 2, chop ½ into dice and reserve)
  • 400 g can plain chickpeas, drained (see note on liquid AF below)
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger (fresh, or prepared paste)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped coriander (fresh, or prepared paste)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (fresh, or prepared paste)
  • ½ -1 teaspoon garlic (fresh, or prepared paste)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 egg (or use 2 tablespoons AF – Aqua Faba – from chickpea can)
  • ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper (or to taste)
  • Breadcrumbs for crumbing
  • Small amount of oil for cooking
Method
  1. Into a food processor bowl, put everything but the salmon, crumbs, and the oil.
  2. Wizz until well mixed
  3. Add half the salmon (reserve the diced half) and wizz a little, but do not break up too much.
  4. Remove from the machine, remove blade, add the diced salmon and mix through with a knife.
  5. Divide the mixture into 6-8 balls, press into breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until needed.
  6. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Gently fry in oil, about 4 minutes each side, until brown. Serve with side dish or salad, and your favourite sauce or aoili

The exotic side dish shown on the plate with this recipe is Aubergine and Leek Turkish-Style  – a great complementary dish.

Autumn’s culinary note:

AQUA FABA or AF is the viscous liquid you drain from a can of chickpeas.  I used to throw this away….. until I discovered the joys of AF or Aqua Faba  – literally “Bean Water”, but many translate it as “fabulous water”!  Now, vegans can have meringues and pavlovas (Yes! Truly!), and use the water from cans as an egg substitute in many dishes.

I’m too much of a novice at this, so I’m pointing you in the direction of a wonderful Facebook page –  “Vegan Meringues – Hits and Misses” –  where you can join (but read their minimal rules!), and access excellent recipes on files, and learn many tricks.  They also have vegan and non-vegan groups (perhaps that saves arguments?), and seem very helpful.

I’m experimenting for friends with diet issues and disabilities, and will share some in the future.  I certainly value the amazing recipe in the alphabetical files from Bryanna Clark Grogan on how to make homemade AQUAFABA in the slow cookerThis allows me to turn 4 cups of raw chickpeas (I paid approximately $NZ 6.35 for that) into about 10 of cooked, plus the wonderful 3 cups of Aqua Faba that produced as well, so I have plenty to experiment with!

Just as well I LOVE chickpeas in soups and casseroles at this time of the year (a reminder it’s June, the beginning of Winter down here in New Zealand), and have heaps of recipes old and new to cook up!  But I have frozen some of the crockpot largesse, according to the recipe from the link in the resource above.  I thoroughly recommend joining the FB group, if just for that!  But there is soooo much more to explore…… !

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INSTANT PUDDING COOKIES

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INSTANT PUDDING COOKIES

I’ve made these Instant Pudding Cookies for around 50 years now, and my family really enjoy the butterscotch flavour with sultanas, and the chocolate flavour with chocolate chips added.  They love the crispness of them, along with the variety of flavours and additions that are possible, too.

The recipe makes 60, and the variations are endless, limited only by your imagination.  Try finely chopped crystallized ginger with vanilla instant pudding mix, multiple chocolate with chocolate, or freeze-dried strawberries with the strawberry flavour.   Yes, there is sugar in them, but they are a treat, and you know what’s in them, and the bonus is having the children help you make them!

The ones shown here are butterscotch with sultanas – and my nearly 50 year old son wolfed down a handful before they were even cold!

Instant Pudding cookies - a dozen of the 60 this recipe makes (these are butterscotch with sultanas)

Instant Pudding cookies – a dozen of the 60 this recipe makes (these are butterscotch with sultanas)

Instant Pudding cookies - using my method to make 60 even balls

Instant Pudding cookies – using my method to make 60 even balls

Instant-Pudding-cookies-using-the-reel-to-mark-the-cookie

Instant Pudding cookies – using the cotton reel to mark the cookies

 

INSTANT PUDDING COOKIES
Author: 
Recipe type: baking, cookies, children, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 60
 
Delicious crisp cookies with the flavour varied by the instant pudding mix you use, and the additions you choose! Family favourites to make and eat - and the mixture makes 60!
Ingredients
  • 185 gm (6 oz) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 packet instant pudding mix (70-82 gm – around 2½ oz) - chocolate or butterscotch are good
  • ⅓ cup sultana or nuts or chocolate chips, if desired (optional) - or replace with ⅓ cup of your choice of addition - nuts, dried fruits, etc.
Method
  1. Heat the oven to 175 C (350 F).
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg, beat well
  4. Sift dry ingredients, and add slowly.
  5. Gently bring mixture into a ball.
  6. Break off into small pieces, and roll into small balls, flatten onto greased baking sheet with a fork (or you can use the end of a plastic cotton reel for an attractive, daisy-like finish - see picture.
  7. Bake for 10-20 minutes in moderate oven (175 C/ 350 F), or until slightly golden.
  8. When the cookies come out of the oven I take them off the oven sheet with a fish slice and place on paper towels spread over a newspaper which removes all residual grease and they dry nice and crisp.
  9. Store in an airtight container when fully cold.
  10. NOTE: This mixture gives a large number of nice crisp biscuits – 60.
  11. Autumn’s Culinary Tip: I take a little time in measuring the finished mixture.
  12. I roll the whole lot into one large ball and cut this in half with the back of a knife or the handle of a tablespoon.
  13. I pat each half into a round, which is cut into thirds.
  14. Each third is cut in half and rolled into two even sausage shapes.
  15. I then cut each sausage into 5 and roll them into balls.
  16. By taking the time, I end up with 60 even sized balls of dough and, by cutting the mix with the back of the knife or spoon, sultanas or other additives are not disturbed. It’s also a GREAT practical maths lesson when baking with children! They love it, and learn while doing!

Autumn’s Culinary Tip:   I take a little time in measuring the finished mixture.

I roll the whole lot into one large ball and cut this in half with the back of a knife or the handle of a tablespoon.

I pat each half into a round, which is cut into thirds.

Each third is cut in half and rolled into two even sausage shapes.

I then cut each sausage into 5 and roll them into balls.

By taking the time, I end up with 60 even sized balls of dough and, by cutting the mix with the back of the knife or spoon, sultanas or other additives are not disturbed.   It’s also a GREAT practical maths lesson when baking with children!  They love it, and learn while doing!

 

 

 

 

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Lazy Lady Lunch Quiche

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So quick and easy, this crustless quiche makes it’s own base.  Nearly everyone has a version of this dish – this is mine!

My kids used to call it “Seagull Pie” – because their mother used to “seagull” through the fridge for all the leftovers to make it, when times were tough – but it’s still a quick, tasty dish, with the ingredients only limited by your imagination, the contents of your fridge, or your bank balance!

Lazy Lady Lunch Quiche
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunches, Picnics, vegetarian, children's meals, mains
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-10
 
So quick and easy, this crustless quiche makes it's own base. Nearly everyone has a version of this dish – this is mine! Make with vegetables only for a vegetarian option.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 4-6 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon good cooking oil
  • 1 dessertspoon seedy mustard (if desired)
  • 1 - 1.5 cups of available cooked vegetables and meats as desired and available. **
  • About ½ cup chopped parsley or other fresh herbs, as desired.
  • FOR VEGETARIAN OPTION: use cooked vegetables only. Adding a little Blue cheese with kumera (sweet potato) is a nice touch.
Method
  1. Grease a quiche dish, preheat oven to 350 F/180 C.
  2. Put all dry ingredients into bowl.
  3. Beat together eggs, milk, mustard (if using) and oil, pour onto dry ingredients and mix very lightly.
  4. Add vegetables, meats and herbs, and mix lightly again.
  5. Pour mixture into quiche dish, bake at 350 F/180 C for about 30 minutes, until golden.
  6. Serve warm, in slices, with salad if desired. Also nice served cold.
  7. ** Smoked salmon scraps make a luxury dish for a ladies lunch, or finely diced roast chicken, sausages, bacon.... and any cooked veges (boiled or roasted), chopped up, are fine

Lazy Lady Lunch Quiche ready to bake

Lazy Lady Lunch Quiche ready to bake

Lazy Lady Lunch Quiche just out of the oven...MMmmmmmm!

Lazy Lady Lunch Quiche just out of the oven…MMmmmmmm!

Lazy Lady Lunch Quiche sliced, ready for a tasty quick lunch

Lazy Lady Lunch Quiche sliced, ready for a tasty quick lunch

 

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AUTUMN’S BIG CAKE FOR HUNGRY BOYS

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This is the doubled mixture of AUTUMN’S WONDER CHOCOLATE CAKE, a robust cake I have made for years!  It’s so easy to mix, with no creaming of the butter and sugar, and has no eggs.

I have given the quantities in full as it is easy to miss amounts or items when “doubling up”, especially if the “rug rats” or “anklebitters” are anxious or fractious!

Please note that the salt is not completely doubled.

Use your large oblong roasting dish for this, and freeze half for a time-saving bonus!

Line the dish with baking paper for easy removal and cleaning.

AUTUMN'S BIG CAKE FOR HUNGRY BOYS
Author: 
Recipe type: cake, baking, vegetarian, no eggs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: varies
 
A huge slab cake, easy to mix, no creaming of butter and sugar, and no eggs. keeps well, and is nice and moist. A winner for picnics, school lunches, and virtually any occasion you can think of where a hoard of hungry people would enjoy more than just a dainty offering
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups cold tea
  • 250 gms (8 oz) butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut **
  • 2 cups sultanas
Method
  1. Method:¬¬
  2. Dissolve baking soda in the cold tea.
  3. In a pot, melt the butter, milk, sugar and golden syrup until well blended and the sugar is partially dissolved. Cool slightly – just couple of minutes.
  4. Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl, pour the butter mixture over.
  5. Quickly stir in the tea and soda, then pour the wet mixture into a greased and paper-lined large rectangular roasting pan. (Mixture is like a thick batter).
  6. Bake in a moderate oven (about 160-170 C) for about 45 – 50 minutes – until the dent made by a finger gently pressed on the surface “bounces back”.
  7. Ice with chocolate glace, butter or ganache icing when cold.
  8. Autumn’s Culinary Tips:
  9. ** Note **: instead of ALL desiccated coconut, you could make up the two cup amount by also using some rolled oats, even a little bran (no more than about 4 tablespoons) and some finely chopped nuts (to add up to 2 cups in total.). Do use at least ½ desiccated coconut, though – it adds to the cake’s moistness.
  10. This cake keeps well and is nice and moist – great food for picnics, camping trips, buffets, family functions, after school, after matches..... you name it, it’ll fill them up!).
  11. This size recipe can be cut in half and one half frozen.

 

 

 

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AUTUMN’S WONDER CHOCOLATE CAKE

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I have made this robust cake for years!  It’s so easy to mix, with no creaming of the butter and sugar, and has no eggs.

It keeps well, and is nice and moist.  A winner for picnics, school lunches,  and virtually any occasion you can think of where hungry people would enjoy more than just a dainty offering.­­

Note: The cake, as pictured, was made and iced by a first time baker, with me sitting by!  Easy peasy!

You don’t have to be an expert to achieve a great result!

Autumn’s Wonder Cake, made and iced by a first-time baker!

Autumn’s Wonder Cake, made and iced by a first-time baker!

AUTUMN’S WONDER CHOCOLATE CAKE
Author: 
Recipe type: cake, baking, vegetarian, no eggs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: varies
 
Easy to mix, no creaming of butter and sugar, and no eggs. keeps well, and is nice and moist. A winner for picnics, school lunches, and virtually any occasion you can think of where hungry people would enjoy more than just a dainty offering
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cold tea
  • 125 gms (4 oz) butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup sultanas
Method
  1. Dissolve baking soda in the cold tea.
  2. In a pot, melt the butter, milk, sugar and golden syrup until well blended and the sugar is partially dissolved. Cool slightly – just couple of minutes
  3. Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl, pour the butter mixture over. .
  4. Quickly stir in the tea and soda, then pour the wet mixture into a greased and paper-lined square tin, about 24-25 cm (9-10 inches). Note: This is a very moist mixture, like a thick batter.
  5. Bake in a moderate oven (about 160-170 C) for ABOUT 35 minutes. It's cooked when it springs back when pressed gently.
  6. The top will possibly crack – don’t worry, icing will take care of that! Or you can cut the top off, turn it over, and ice the smooth bottom – easy peasy!
  7. Ice with chocolate butter or glace icing, or ganache, when cold.
  8. Cake, as pictured, was made and iced by a first time baker, with me sitting by! Easy peasy!
  9. Autumn’s Culinary Tips:
  10. Note: instead of ALL desiccated coconut, you could make up the one cup amount by also using some rolled oats, even a little bran (no more than about 2 tablespoons), and some finely chopped nuts (to add up to 1 cup in total.). Do use at least ½ desiccated coconut, though – it adds to the cake’s moistness.
  11. This cake keeps well and is nice and moist (good for picnics and camping trips).
  12. This recipe can easily be doubled (see Big Cake for Hungry Boys).
  13. To make an ordinary butter icing pourable, mix it in a pyrex jug. When it’s at the consistency you want, pop it into the microwave for 30 second bursts, until just pourable, then cool a little, and pour from the centre of your cake, making sure it runs evenly around the edges. It’s so easy to do it from the jug, even a beginner can manage it, as shown in the picture on this post!
wonder chocolate cake - no eggs

Autumn’s Wonder Chocolate cake ready for afternoon tea

If you wish to double the mixture, see AUTUMN’S BIG CAKE FOR HUNGRY BOYS which follows.   Not all recipes “double” exactly, this is one of those, but it’s a doozy, and well worth doing as it’s so easy and feeds a crowd for so little effort!

 

 

 

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Tips & Tricks – Cutting Onions

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Cutting onions – How to cut onions so they don’t fall apart when they’re being caramelised, or being used in stews?

Easy, peasy!  Just follow the simple instructions, and you’ll rarely cut onions any other way!

Yes, it’s not the recommended chef’s way – but it works, and that’s what matters!

onions-A

One onion, and a knife.

Chop off top and root ends, cut in half

Chop off top and root ends, cut in half

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut towards centre of of the semi-circle, along the "lines" on the onion, as thinly as you wish the slices

Cut towards centre of of the semi-circle, along the “lines” on the onion, as thinly as you wish the slices to be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely even slivers of onion, perfects for casseroles, for caramelising, or whatever you need onions for.

Lovely even slivers of onion, perfects for casseroles, for caramelising, or whatever you need slivers of onions for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutting onions the other way around –  or “around the middle”, rather than “top to bottom”, as shown here, is recommended when you need small dice.

I was taught, years ago, that this was a French cutting technique.  True or not, it sure makes nicer caramalised onions, and casseroles where the onions don’t fall apart, and is another trick in your cooking repertoire.

 

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Chayote Relleno Dulces (Sweet Stuffed Chokos)

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Chayote Relleno Dulces (Sweet Stuffed Chokos)

(A Puerto Rican and Cuban traditional dessert, adapted)

Did you think chokos were a vegetable?  Well, think again!

This gorgeous dessert, reminiscent of a luxe deluxe bread and butter pudding (a VERY adult one, with all the alcohol!) is a long way from a vegetable dish!  But it’s so easy to make, and will amaze your dinner guests, especially if you don’t divulge the contents until after they’ve eaten it!.   Ideal to be eaten with vanilla or avocado icecream, and some whipped cream, if you’re really not counting the calories……

choko-merliton-chayote

A smooth-skinned version of the humble choko (also known as merliton and chayote)

 

 

 

 

 

Chayote-relleno-dulce-choko-merliton-avocado-icecream

Chayote Relleno Dulces (Sweet Stuffed Chokos) served with Avocado Ice Cream

 

 

 

 

 

Chayote Relleno Dulces (Sweet Stuffed Chokos)
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, vegetarian
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large chokos (merlitons or chayote)
  • 3 eggs well beaten
  • 1 cup seedless raisins (or sultanas)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup dry sherry (or ¼ liquor, ½ cup milk, or even ¾ cup rum!))
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 x 3” (6 x 65 cm) squares sponge cake (for convenience, use a trifle sponge slab or a round of trifle sponge from supermarket )
  • slivered almonds
Method
  1. If chokos are uncooked:
  2. Cut the chokos in half and cook them in boiling salted water in covered saucepan for about 20 minutes or until they are tender.
  3. This timing varies with size and age of Choko. Drain well.
  4. If chokos are pre-cooked:
  5. When cool enough to handle, remove the seed and scoop out the pulp leaving shell intact.
  6. Mash the pulp and combine with the eggs, raisins, sugar, nutmeg, sherry and cake, mixing well .
  7. If the mixture seems too liquid add some more sponge to give it body .
  8. Stuff the choko shells, top with the almonds, and arrange in greased baking dish.
  9. Bake in moderate oven 325° F (160 degrees C ) for about 15 minutes until golden.
  10. Serve with icecream.
  11. Mixture can also be baked in greased ramekins - watch carefully so as not to burn.

 

 

 

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