Monthly Archives: April 2016

SATURDAY COOKING: PEAR, CHOCOLATE AND PISTACHIO CAKE.

I can’t remember where I got the recipe for this PEAR, CHOCOLATE AND PISTACHIO CAKE. It’s yummy and moist and will serve 10. Or 4, if you are super hungry and have a super sweet tooth!

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150g pistachios
200g chopped good-quality dark chocolate
150g butter, chopped
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons Marsala, Frangelico, Strega or port
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 24cm round cake tin with baking paper and lightly grease with oil spray.
  2. Put the pistachios and chocolate into a food processor and process to a coarse consistency. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Gently mix in the flour and baking powder until combined.
  4. Add the butter mixture to the chocolate and pistachio mixture, along with the orange zest, Marsala and pears and fold through. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and cut into slices to serve.
  5. Eat!
  6. I used Frangelico. And I cooked the cake for 1h10 in my oven.

Tuesday Lifelines.

From “The enormous book of hot jokes for kool kids” by Andy Jones.
About cows…

What do cows eat for breakfast?
Mooslie.

Who is a cow’s favourite singer?
Moo Donna.

Which cow is the smartest?
A mathemootician.

Where do cows go out?
Discow dancing.

What do you call a cow that watches lots of TV?
A cow-ch potato.

SATURDAY COOKING: BEEF GOULASH

I have wanted to try this recipe from Taste.com.au magazine for BEEF GOULASH for ages but the weather was still too warm. Finally, things are cooling down a bit and this is the chance to do some serious cooking again! I love this change of season, still sunny during the day, but with the beautiful chill of the early mornings.
As always when I cook a stew, I cook it in the oven, at 170°C first for an hour and then for 2-2½ hours more at 150°C. By then, the meat is always very tender and the flavours are all well developed. But you can follow the original recipe down below if you prefer.
This recipe will serve 6.

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2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1.5kg beef chuck steak, cut into 2cm pieces
200g speck, cut into batons
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
1 red capsicum, deseeded, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp caraway seeds
400g can diced tomatoes
500ml (2 cups) beef stock
250ml (1 cup) red wine
2 tbs tomato paste

Method:

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add one-third of the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a heatproof bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef in 2 more batches, reheating the pan between batches.
    2. Add the speck and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens and speck is golden. Add capsicum and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the capsicum softens slightly. Add the paprika and caraway seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the beef, tomato, stock, wine and tomato paste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours or until beef is tender. Season. Uncover and bring to a rapid simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens slightly.
    3. Eat!

I used beef cheeks and beef chuck steak. I put 2 capsicums, and I used 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds which I crushed to release more aroma.
The recipe serves it with buttered savoy cabbage. I ate it with boiled potatoes and broccolini.

Green Thumb Dag

It’s been ages since my garden has held my attention. Summer was hot and lethal to anything green around my house…
But we had lots of rain on Monday night and this is the result.
With a new twist on the photos. I have discovered a clever little thing on my new camera which enables me to take “creative shots”. Brilliant!

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SATURDAY COOKING: RHUBARB, ORANGE AND ROSEMARY CAKE.

I found this recipe for RHUBARB, ORANGE AND ROSEMARY CAKE in Delicious magazine. It’s from a book by Mark Labrooy and Darren Robertson, “The Blue Ducks’ Real Food”.
I didn’t think much of the rosemary but it’s actually a very subtle taste and the cake is very moist and keeps well for a few days.

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120g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (155g) raw sugar, plus 3 tsp extra
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (50g) almond meal
finely grated zest of 1/2 orange, plus juice of 1 orange
2/3 cup (100g) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
250g rhubarb stems, cut into 2cm pieces
1 rosemary sprig, broken into pieces
crème fraîche, to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and line a 16cm × 25cm rectangular cake pan with baking paper.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until thick and pale. Slowly add egg, adding 1 tbs almond meal before the final amount of egg. Stir in orange zest and juice.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining almond meal, then fold into batter.
  4. Spoon batter into pan. Dot rhubarb and rosemary over the top, then sprinkle over extra raw sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Eat!
  6. Perfect for this time of the year, now that the season for stone fruits is finished.

Tuesday Lifelines

School holidays: the perfect time to study…hahaha!
From “F in exams” by Richard Benson.
About chemistry…

What is a vacuum?
Something my Mum says I should use more often.

What is the meaning of the term “activation energy”?
It’s what is needed to get up in the morning.

In a blast furnace it is impossible for aluminium to be extracted from its ores. Why?
Because it is bloomin’ hot!

What are the characteristics of crude oil?
Coarse and rude.

What is nitrate?
It is much cheaper than a day rate.