Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Slice

I have always had an appreciation for caramel slice despite not having a sweet tooth; the crunchy coconut base, the sweet gooey caramel centre and the brittle slightly bitter chocolate topping, who came up with such perfect combination?

It would have been unthinkable for me to post such a "complex" baking recipe just 3 months ago, but then I was a non-baker and I am now quite a competent one :)

Despite having the three different components to tackle, it is indeed a very simple sweet to master. Well if I can do it, so can all of the closeted bakers out there!

p.s do excuse the quality of the photos, taken with my iphone on a rather overcast day at work.

makes 16
greased and lined 20cm x30cm lamington pan
oven pre-heated at 170 C (conventional)
for the base;
1/2 of cup of brown sugar
1/2 of cup self-raising flour
1 cup of desiccated coconut
1 cup of brown sugar
125g of butter, melted

for the caramel;
30g of butter
1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbs of golden syrup

for the chocolate topping;
200g of dark chocolate
2 tsp of cooking oil

First start with the base by mixing all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well combined. 

Press mixture evenly and firmly into the lined pan. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until browned lightly. Remove and allow to cool down while preparing the caramel.

To make the caramel filling - place butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and stir until the butter has melted, add the condensed milk, mix well and continue to cook over medium heat (stirring constantly) for about 10 minutes or until the caramel is golden brown.

Pour caramel over the base and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool while preparing the chocolate topping.

Stir chocolate and oil in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth.

Pour over the caramel immediately, refrigerated for 3 hours or overnight.

Slice with a hot knife (submerge in boiling water and dry well) to prevent the chocolate topping from cracking.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stir Fried Mussels With Thai Basil, Chillies And Black Pepper

Yay! I finally get to prepare a new post thanks to the relentless rain.

If you have been a reader for a while, you might remember an older post of mine with prawns cooked in the same manner (click here). You may use the addictive and versatile sauce for other seafood, meat or even tofu.

Mussels work especially well as the natural sweet juices of the shellfish will add extra flavour to the already delicious sauce, just make sure you prepare plenty of steamed rice to go with your meal.

I will try to fit in another post this week. Enjoy cooking and see you then!

Serves 4 with other dishes and plenty of steamed rice
you'll need;
1 kg of mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
5 bird chillies, chopped
2 tbs of black pepper, crushed
2 tbs of oyster sauce
1.5 tbs of fish sauce
1 tbs of sugar
3 kaffir lime leaves, coarsely torn
a bunch of Thai basil, picked

Prepare the ingredients and set aside.

scrub mussels well and remove beards, chuck out those that are opened.

Saute garlic and chillies with 2 tbs of cooking oil for 15 seconds then add in the black pepper and mix well.

Add mussels to the pan and mix well. Add seasonings and kaffir lime leaves and mix well. Cover and cook until the shellfish are open.

Finally trow in the Thai basil and mix well.

Serve with plenty of steamed rice or as a beer snack.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Salmon Sashimi Salad

We were invited to join our friend R's family for Christmas lunch last year and I made a simple raw salmon salad with Japanese dressing as entree. It has been a staple at the Tummies' ever since and I am sure I will be making this more often now that the weather is getting warmer.

Free free to use a combination of sashimi grade fish such as king fish, snapper and tuna. Serve it as an entree or with some cooked Japanese rice.

If you are a fan of raw fish, you might want to check out my hwedupbap (Korean raw fish on rice) or maguro no tataki don (chopped tuna rice bowl).

serves 4 as an entree
you'll need;
2 pieces of sashimi grade salmon, thinly sliced (reserved skin)
2 Lebanese cucumber, peeled lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
2 spring onions, chopped
1 red chili, seeds removed and finely diced
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 tbs of toasted sesame seeds

for the dressing;
2 tbs of light soy
2 tbs of mirin
1 tbs of lime juice
1 tsp of sesame oil

Peel the cucumbers into thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Place ribbons  on a large platter.

Pin bone the salmon and slice into 2 mm slices, place salmon on top of the cucumber ribbons.

Prepare the spring onions, chili and shallots, scatter the topping over the salmon.

Pan fry reserved salmon skin with a little oil until golden and crispy, allow to cool before breaking or chopping into chunks.

Scatter chopped salmon skin, toaster sesame seeds over and drizzle with dressing, mix everything well and enjoy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Raspberry, Pistachio And Chocolate Cake

I am completely addicted to baking so I hope you are ready for another cake!

This is another simple but delicious cake that I often bake at work. The original recipe I found in one of my many Vogue Entertaining Cookbooks asks for pear but I have taken the liberty to replace it with raspberries as berries do  have a more popular appeal.

You may dust the cake with icing sugar but you will be surprised how a little decorating work can transform an otherwise ordinary looking cake.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, happy cooking and baking!

makes 1 loaf
preheat oven to 180 C (conventional) 150 C (fan force)
a lined 22 cm x 11.5 cm loaf tin
you'll need;
225 g of plain flour
1.5 tsp of baking powder
225 g of caster sugar
a pinch of salt
225 g of unsalted butter, soften
4 eggs
300g of dark chocolate buttons, roughly chopped
1.5 cups of frozen raspberries
1 cup of pistachio nuts
zest of 2 oranges

for the decoration;
2 cups of icing sugar mixture
2 tbs of orange juice
1/4 cups of pistachio, chopped

Put flour, baking powder, caster sugar, salt, soften butter and eggs in the bowl of a mixer and process until just combined. (~ 1 minute, do not over-process)

Fold in the chocolate, raspberries, pistachio nuts and orange zest until evenly distributed.

Transfer the mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for about 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre withdraws clean. Allow to cool in the tin before turning out to a wire rack to cool.

Prepare the icing by mixing the icing sugar mixture with orange juice until sugar dissolved and it is spreadable. Spread the icing over the cooled cake.

Sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts and allow the icing to set before serving.

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3 hungry tummies

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melbourne, victoria, Australia