Wednesday, October 6, 2010

honey macadamia ice cream

this second attempt at making ice cream had some surprising and delicious results but is yet to be tweaked to perfection...

you'll need

an ice cream maker

600ml cream
1/4 cup creamed honey
100g macadamias, roughly chopped

1. Warm cream and honey in a saucepan over low heat until honey has melted and combined with cream. Cover and refrigerate until cooled completely.
2. Add macadamias to cream mixture and pour into ice cream maker. Churn for 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

* Although this ice cream is delicious as is, it seems to have a slightly bitter after taste so I suggest trying the following alterations (and will keep you posted of my progress with same)-
a) roast the macadamias in the oven and cool before using
b) add icing sugar, 1 tbls at a time, as the ice cream churns, tasting after each addition to control sweetness.
c) as a last resort, serve the ice cream sprinkled with a little sugar - it works!

hunny bunny muffins

These scrummy little muffins scream Autumn to me (even though they were created in Spring!). They are super packed with carrot - moreso than your usual carrot cake -and I reckon this qualifies them as a serving of vegetables :) And even better, they are just delish as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea!

makes 12 muffins (plus 24 mini muffins if you're lucky!)
keep for 5 days in the fridge

you'll need

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2tbs honey, warmed
1 2/3 cups self raising flour
3/4 cups golden caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups grated carrot or thereabouts (the more carrot, the more muffins!)
1/2 cup shredded coconut

500g cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup honey, warmed

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tray with muffin cases. If you're feeling optimistic, line a 24 hole mini muffin tray too :)
2. Combine flour, sugar and spices in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
3. Lightly beat together oil, eggs and honey in a jug.
4. Add oil mixture, carrot and coconut to flour mixture and fold gently until just combined.
5. Spoon into muffin trays, filling each case at least 3/4 full.
6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched in the centre.
7. Allow to cool in trays for ten minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. Apply a generous amount of frosting!

To make frosting -
Beat cream cheese and honey until smooth and combined. Gradually add icing sugar, beating between additions until it is a smooth consistency.

*substitute brown sugar or caster sugar for the golden caster sugar if you prefer, I like the godlen caster sugar as seems to not dissolve fully and gives a slight crunch.
*change the spices around to create a unique flavour - try adding some ground ginger or mixed spice or even ground cardamom.
* these muffins barely rise so fill them up almost to the size you want them to be when baked.

ingredient of the month, october 2010 - honey!

September seemed to fly by without even getting a look in from this section so with 'flying' in mind, I have chosen honey to be ingredient of the month for October.
I think honey is such a beautiful ingredient. It offers a rich sweetness and golden colour to dishes and adds an earthy element where sugar doesn't quite hit the mark but also, it's made by teensy weesy, buzzy little fellas who are just going about their bzzzz-ness! And as far as I know, humans cannot make honey - humbling, don't you think?

Monday, September 27, 2010

peach pudding

This is a simple pudding that goes beautifully with ice cream, cream or iced cream (funny about that!).

you'll need
800g tinned peaches
60g butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1tsp vanilla essence
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup golden caster sugar
2tbs golden caster sugar, extra

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Drain peaches, reserving juice, and layer in the bottom of a medium casserole dish (about 20cm x 20cm).
3. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl.
4. Whisk butter, milk, egg and vanilla until combined and fold into flour mixture.
5. Dollop pudding batter over peaches and sprinkle with extra sugar then drizzle over a couple of tablespoons of reserved juice.
6. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until pudding is firm and golden.
7. Serve immediately.

*We used peaches in mango juice but any tinned stone fruit or apples would work.
*Kids love the leftover juice! You can dilute it with some water if it's too thick or freeze it in ice cube trays for use in later recipes.

coconut and lemon iced cream

Hello all! I hope all Victorian families are enjoying the second week of their school holidays. The weather looks set to turn today so it's an ideal time to get those little chefs cooking - or 'freezing' as this recipe calls for :)
This was my first real attempt at creating an ice cream from scratch and as I have a serious problem with sticking to a recipe - I call it my creative license:)- this one came about by going with the flow. After many additions of curd and icing sugar (and all the tastings in between), it turned out to be more cream than ice cream yet more ice cream than cream - hence, iced cream. Because of this I decided to make a peach pudding as well and serve the iced cream an an accompaniment rather than serving it on its own.

you'll need

an ice cream maker

400ml coconut cream
300ml thickened cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/2 tsp coconut essence
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients except for the shredded coconut in a large bowl then pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions.
2. Churn until iced cream is the desired consistency - I prefer somewhere between soft serve and fully frozen.
3. Serve alongside your favourite pudding, cake or pie!

Friday, September 10, 2010

love thy neighbour

it's an easy thing to do when you have neighbours as lovely as ours! The lovely Bee from Honey Jumble is our neighbour and she treated me to a lovely jar of fresh baked cookies for my birthday! Do you like the card? That's her handiwork too! Thank you so much Bee, Marty and Twiggy! Check out the rest of her creations (and maybe pick yourself up a piece or two!) at Little Beehive.

a marple-iscious affair

my mum was nice enough to take the kids and I out to a birthday lunch today at Miss Marple's in Sassafras. For years I've been wanting to go there, imagining this grand cafe serving a variety of teas and cakes however it is actually quite small, seating only around 40 people in a kitchen/dining sized room. Along with the space, the menu was also quite limited but there were a couple of yummy sounding items to choose from and luckily they also served kid's meals (nuggets & chips) which kept the littlies happily anticipating the arrival of their order. Mum and I shared some Welsh Rarebit (my first time and not all that exciting), some ham, chutney and cheese toasties and coffee. For afters, we all shared a piece of chocolate pecan fudge cake and it was absolutely scrumptious!
After the initial shock of its quaintness and the surprisingly prompt arrival of our order, the handy phone cam came out and I snapped these pics to share.

the famous Miss Marple, herself

some of the cottagey decor

some toasted finger sandwiches

chocolate pecan fudge cake with chocolate sauce and cream

And another thing - you have to get there exactly on 11am to get a seat or go on a waiting list! Although we weren't overly impressed with the savoury dishes, the coffee was great and that chocolate cake was a winner so I would definately head back there for morning or afternoon tea.