Monthly Archives: October 2015

SATURDAY COOKING: PASSIONFRUIT AND LEMON SYRUP CAKE

A recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly “Cakes biscuits and slices”, this PASSIONFRUIT AND LEMON SYRUP CAKE is delicious and very easy to make.
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2/3 cup (160ml) passionfruit pulp
250g butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour

LEMON SYRUP
1/3 cup (80ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup (60ml) water
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar

Method:

    1. Preheat oven to moderate (180°C/160°C fan -forced). Grease deep 19cm-square cake pan well; line base and sides with baking paper.
    2. Strain passionfruit over medium jug; reserve both juice and seeds.
    3. Beat butter, rind and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions; transfer to large bowl.
    4. Fold in combined passionfruit juice and buttermilk, add sifted flour, in two batches. Spread mixture into pan; bake about 1 hour.
    5. Meanwhile, make lemon syrup: combine juice, the water, sugar and half the reserved passionfruit seeds (discard remaining seeds or freeze for future use) in small saucepan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Simmer, uncovered, without stirring, 5 minutes.
    6. Stand cake 5 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack set over tray. Pour hot syrup over hot cake; serve warm.
    7. Eat!

I made the cake in a large bowl, saved me transferring halfway through and doing more washing!
I cooked the cake in a 23-cm square cake tin. It took about 1h15 in my oven.
I made the syrup 10 minutes before the cake was due to be done cooking.
And I ate the cake cold.

My year without buying books.

Although it was my challenge this year not to buy any books (I have so many I haven’t read yet!), I have sometimes “slipped” for extraordinary circumstances. Like when I’m on holidays (which happens a lot!), or when it’s my birthday (shame, only once a year!), or when I need to make a gift (and in this case I use white cotton gloves to read the book before I give it away so as not to leave any marks on it – only kidding!) or when there is a book sale and money goes to charity (it’s for a good cause says the little voice in my head…).
So last Saturday, there was one of those in which I picked:
– cookbooks (how funny is that?),
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– a couple of detective novels ( Agatha Christie, always a favourite),
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– and a travel book (yep, I’m on my way!).
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The funniest of them all was a children’s book , ” Gruesome Grub and Disgusting Dishes” by Susan Martineau.
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Perfect recipes include Sick on Toast, Disgusting Dips (Yuckamole and Cement), Munch a Monster, Snot Surfers, Dead Man’s Hand, Cowpat Pudding and Axeman’s Snacks.
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I love books, and it will be nice when my self-imposed ban is lifted on Christmas Eve (only 8 weeks away!). I will be on holidays by then…
As for making progress in reading my pile of unread books, I’m working on it, slowly but surely. And the fact that I still go to the library and that people have given me books doesn’t help!

SATURDAY COOKING: XACUTTI

My sister reminded me of this cookbook, “New Curries” from The Australian Women’s Weekly collection. It’s full of yummy recipes and with some coolish weather last week, I made this XACUTTI (pronounced sha-koo-tee)
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“It’s a Goan curry, perhaps not as well known as the vindaloo, another specialty of the formerly Portuguese, now Indian, state. Traditionally made with mutton or chicken and a dry curry paste containing fried coconut, it has lime juice added just before serving.”
As always with a curry, the list of ingredients is big but the end result is very flavoursome. And it’s very easy to make!

1 cup (80g) dessicated coconut
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 whole cloves
8 dried long red chillies
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons blck peppercorns
2 star anise
6 cloves, garlic, quartered
2 tablespoons ghee
1 large brown onion (200g), chopped finely
1 kg diced rump
2 cups (500ml) water
2 cups (500ml) beef stock
2 tablespoons lime juice

Method:

    1. Dry-fry coconut in large frying pan over medium heat, stirring, until browned lightly; remove coconut from pan. Dry-fry cinnamon, cloves, chillies, turmeric, seeds, peppercorns and star anise in same pan, stirring, about 1 minute or until fragrant.
    2. Blend or process coconut, spice mixture and garlic until fine.
    3. Heat ghee in large saucepan; cook onion, stirring, until onion softens. Add coconut spice mixture; cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add beef; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until beef is coated with coconut spice mixture.
    4. Add the water and stock; simmer, covered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover; cook 30 minutes or until beef is tender and sauce thickened slightly. Stir juice into curry off the heat; sprinkle with fresh sliced chilli if you like.
    5. Eat!

I used chuck steak instead of rump.
Make sure you GRIND the spices with the coconut as opposed to “blend or process”. I got quite a few pieces of cloves, star anise and chillies left in the curry, which is not really nice.
I also cooked the curry in the oven in a large casserole dish. I started the oven at 170°C for an hour and then I cooked it for 2 more hours at 150°C. There was a lot of liquid left. So I waited until the next day when it was cold (and it’s always better to eat a curry the next day anyway) to skim the fat of the top and then put it in the fridge. The meat and liquid then thickened.
I added vegetables when I reheated the curry and cooked it a bit until the curry was quite dry, and then I added the lime juice.