Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TWD - Sebastian's Remarkably Wonderful Brownies

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe ought to be a hit for chocolate lovers - Sebastian's Remarkably Wonderful Brownies. 

These brownies get their chocolate hit entirely from cocoa.  Dorie described them as creamy, but that is not quite how I'd describe them.  They are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, but they are not gooey, fudgy style brownies.  

I liked these well enough, but it is not my favourite brownie recipe.  I like mine a little more on the fudgy side and I am partial to walnuts in my brownies. But that's just me - everyone at work, my boyfriend and my Pilates instructor loved them. "Not too sweet" and "I like the crackly top" were just some of the comments.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Tomato Salad with Basil and Capers - Red Tractor January

I have been a little busy lately, so I haven't been able to visit this blog other than to keep up with Tuesdays with Dorie.  However, I have decided that today I am going to take time out to blog about Red Tractor's January recipe.  Yep, I liked the Red Tractor calendar so much last year that I bought another one this year.

The words of wisdom for January were: 

I am not someone who gets lost in gardening, but I know lots of people who do, so I understand the sentiment.  And who wouldn't love fresh produce that they grew themselves?  My harvest is limited to a few herbs from the balcony, but that is all I need.

Now to the recipe.  It is for a tomato salad with basil and capers.  It is simple, but very tasty, and perfect when you have ripe fresh tomatoes around.  It is also bright and colourful, which is always pleasant when you are hungry and need cheering up at the end of a long day.

To make the Red Tractor tomato salad, you will need:

450g cherry tomatoes
2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
100g buffalo mozzarella, drained
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tsp capers, rinsed

Halve the cherry tomatoes and place in a large bowl.  Add the tomato slices, onion, oil, vinegar and sugar.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Set aside for 10 minutes.

Arrange the tomato slices on a serving platter then top with the remaining tomato mixture, reserving the bowl juices.

Tear the mozzarella into pieces and arrange on top of the salad.  Drizzle over the reserved juices, and scatter with basil leaves and capers.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TWD - Cheesecake Alsace Style

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Cheesecake Alsace Style.  The fascinating thing about this cheesecake is that it does not contain any cheese - the filling is made with yoghurt and cream.

This cheesecake is featherlight in both the filling and base.  You could eat a number of slices and not even notice.  And better still, it is delicious.  The dark top is normally something that would turn me off a cheesecake, but it is not a negative here at all. 

There are sultanas soaked in booze in this cheesecake, although you could leave them out if you have an aversion to such things.  I soaked my sultanas in Cointreau, somehow being wilfully blind to the fact that the recipe actually said Cognac or rum.

This cheesecake was absolutely perfect and I would happily make it again.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

TWD - Bees Sneeze Nuggets

I have just moved house, so baking for Tuesday with Dorie (and posting this blog post) have posed some serious issues for me this week.  However, where there's a will, there's a way, and I have managed to bake and blog about these Bees Sneeze Nuggets.

Bees Sneeze Nuggets are named after a cocktail that Dorie had in New York, and the flavours of that cocktail (gin, lemon, honey, ginger, pepper) are incorporated into these little savoury cookies.  They look like scones, but they really are biscuits (or cookies, depending on where you come from).  These nuggets have the honour of christening my (new to me) oven.

I was rather sceptical, but these are very tasty.  They are only tiny (an inch wide), but as Dorie says, the flavours pack a punch.  I liked them - they tasted kind of like a throat lozenge in cookie form, which doesn't sound good, but it is.

To see what the other Dorie bakers made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

TWD Rewind - Chunkers

For the TWD rewind this month, I have made Chunkers.  Both the name and the appearance of these cookies are a little unfortunate, but the taste is not - oh so good.

Chunkers are fat chocolate cookies packed with cashews, chocolate and dried cherries (or in my case, glace cherries).  I only made a half batch and still got 18 cookies. There is 600g of chocolate in a whole batch so you can understand why I only made half.  (Not to mention that cashews are very expensive here - ouch.)

Biting into these cookies was a lovely experience - chewy outside, soft centre with ooey gooey chocolate pieces inside.  Yum!

To see what the others made for the rewind, visit the LYL section of the Tuesdays with Dorie website.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

TWD - Crunchy Granola

Today's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Crunchy Granola. I never understood the difference between granola and muesli until now. Granola is a toasted muesli with plenty of sweeteners added, so it's not something to be overindulged in. However, as a now and then brekky, it's fine, and it has lots of good stuff in there.

I substituted sunflower seeds with flax seeds (because that is what I had), and slivered almonds with whole chopped almonds. For the fruit, I used apricots, sultanas and goji berries because that is what I had. I also only made a half batch so I wasn't swimming in granola.

The granola smelled devine as it cooked. It is one of those smells you could gladly sniff all day.

To see what the others made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mango Ripple and White Chocolate Cheescake

The taste of summer for me is all of the wonderful summer fruit that you can get at this time of year.  King among the summer fruits is the mango.  Its sweet, juicy goodness and endlessly appealing.  As well as eating a mango straight up as God intended, you can use the flesh in both sweet and savoury dishes. 

The November 2017 edition of Coles magazine had a recipe on p54 for Mango Ripple and White Chocolate Cheesecake.  It looked and sounded amazing, so how could I refuse?

I wasn't disappointed by the results.  The cheesecake was a little labour intensive with pureeing and straining of the mango flesh to create the mango ripple, and several stages in a food processor, but I was very happy with the end product.

If you like your cheesecake sweet, then this could be for you.  To make it, you will need:

300g plain sweet biscuits
100g melted butter

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and stoned
500g softened cream cheese
120g sour cream
110g sugar
2 eggs
200g white chocolate, melted

Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.  Grease and line a 20cm round springform tin.

Blitz the biscuits in a food processor into fine crumbs.  Add the melted butter and process until well combined.  Press the crumbs into the base and up the sides of the springform tin.  Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Put the mango flesh into a food processor and process until smooth then strain the puree through a fine sieve.  Set aside.  

Put the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar into a food processor and blitz until smooth.  Add the eggs and blitz until well combined.  Add the chocolate and blitz until smooth.  Add half the mango puree and process until smooth.

Pour half f the cream cheese mixture over the chilled biscuit base and smooth the top.  Drizzle half of the remaining mango puree over the top and marble the mixture using a knife blade.  Repeat with the remaining cream cheese and mango puree.  

Put the springform pan on an oven tray and bake for an hour or until set.  Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an hour with the door ajar.

Put the cheesecake in the fridge for three hours to chill.

Serve and enjoy!