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Tuesday
Apr242012

Episode 18 - Butter Cream Bikkets of Ginger & White Pepper

An episode edited in a flurry after coming back from 2 weeks of mellow beach holidays! Let's get cracking:

Notes:

As the best recipes are, this one requires little effort, but the result ends up looking like you've slaved all damn day. And it's another Muppy's recipe! That makes three I've pinched from there. Go check it out and send my love & good vibes. The white pepper really brings out the spicy side of the ginger, and the bikkits themselves are quite shortbready, so not super-sweet. Which means you can eat more of them. Which is nice.

This episode was edited while wrapped up in scarf & high-collared sweater as I'm feeling poorly and cold all the time the last few days, and as such am swaddled up like Vash from Trigun, an Al Bhed from Final Fantasy X2 or a Sandbender from Avatar. 

And after I'd finished but before I'd posted, I spotted a tweet from WeirdThings, saying they had an open sponsor spot. With reckless disregard for my lunch break, I logged in and grabbed it just in time. I didn't bother writing copy like last time, just saying who I was and telling them to go nuts. Instead of wacky shenanigans about hunting down TV chefs, I instead got a heartfelt and straightforward explanation of my show and how it's cool and stuff by all three members of the show and promptly blushed and hid my face, because I don't take compliments well. Thanks guys, you win at the universe. Say hi to Spiro & The Fudge for me. Go check out their latest podcast. It's about Asteroid mining.

And, of course, this post is part of the AlphaBakes Challenge, which for April was and was hosted by Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker.


Music Notes:

The Raveonettes - "Ode To L.A.", "My Boyfriend's Back", "Here Comes Mary", from "Pretty In Black", 2005

I first came across the Raveonettes in a roundabout way. When I worked at Borders Bondi in the music section, pre-smartphone, I would while away hours looking through the music database reading reviews (until my manager caught me and yelled at me). I spotted a soundtrack of a quirky video game which had bands like the Dandy Warhols, Ben Kweller, The Flaming Lips and Cake doing covers of 50s tunes. Though I was intrigued, I saw it was unavaiable in Australia, so I went to Kazaa (yes, we had Kazaa back then), and painstakingly pirated the whole thing, an exercise which took 2 months thanks to the rarity of the songs and our dial-up connection.

The Raveonette's cool and synthy cover of My Boyfriend's Back was on there.

Later, after doing my own research (and with more money & bandwidth to my name), I sought out their earlier albums and found them awash with noisepop, reverb and goodness, but kept returning to the Pretty In Black album. I think it's the fact that the tunes sound like they're covers or songs you already know without being covers or songs you know.

Examples: "Ode To L.A.", with its "Be My Baby" drums intro (the same drums that inpired a million indie bands, according to Phonogram), and it's Beach-Boys-meets-the-Crystals sound, it fits its subject matter perfectly, and the guest vocals by a very Marianne-Faithfull-sounding Ronnie Spector are the icing on the cake. "Here Comes Mary", with its melody that makes you want to sing a bit of "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (dreeeam dreeeam dreeeeeeeam) and invokes the Chordettes, with (and I quote @_joeltron on this one) "chilly reverb. The sweet pop wrapped up in that grim tone feels ominous, the way kids' songs do when you slow them down."* 

Also, once I had decided that I wanted "Ode to L.A." to start the episode, and linked the landing of the mixing bowl with the first chorus, the rest of the video magically synced up. It was clearly meant to be.

*Thanks to @_Joeltron, the master of describing reverb, for helping me out in articulating this.

Recipe:

Butter-Cream Bikkets of Ginger & White Pepper

makes 2 batches or about 30 bikkets.

Ingredients:

for biscuits:
200g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger 
1/4 tsp nutmeg
200g plain flour
50g cornflour

for butter-cream:
50g butter
100g icing sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger 
1 tsp lemon juice

 

  • In a bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Remember to get your butter to room-temperature first or it will be a comedy or errors. 
  • When fluffy, add ground ginger and nutmeg and beat again.
  • Add both flours (sift 'em if you like), and beat again (beat it!)
  • Form into a large ball using clean hands (get messy), then form little golf-ball-sized spheres.
  • Put the sphere onto a baking-papered tray, and give them a gentle squish with two fingers.
  • Cram into a preheated over at 180 for 10 minutes.
  • When baked, lift the paper out of the tray & let the cookies firm up for 10-15 minutes (if you try and ice them hot, they'll slide about and be whimsical)

    for the butter-cream:
  • Get another bowl, and combine the 50g of butter & icing sugar with the white pepper and ground ginger.
  • Bifurcate a lemon, and get 1 tsp of juice. I don't care how.
  • Mix in the lemon juice & stir until it's smooth.
  • Once the bikkets are firmed up, smear on some icing & jam together. Let them sit on a plate so the cream can harden up (Lean them against one another so they don't slide apart)
  • Once cooled, seize and consume!
    (or you can consume them still warm, like a naughty thing. Also there will be extra icing and it is perfectly okay to eat it on toast)

 

Tuesday
Apr102012

Episode 17 - Heavenly Bahn Mi

Hi folks! This little message in a bottle goes out the day before I head off for a lovely Byron Bay vacation. So let's have a sammich!

Notes:

This episode goes out to my friend Gonzi, who is the true connoisseur of the pork roll in the Inner West (seriously, he has a map).

This is truly an international Bahn Mi, as the pork was from a very German pork roast the night before, the chilli was Mexican Habanero, the mayo was Thomy (German), the pate was Tasmanian, and the ham was Black Forest. So all over the place, but it all came together in the flavour. But then again, Bahn Mi itself is a melting pot, with the pate, baguette and mayo coming from France, the char sui pork comnig from China, and the herbs and seasoning very Southeast Asian.

Speaking of the chilli, I forgot the most important rule about habanero: don't let it touch your skin. The flavour on the tongue is lovely and spicy... while your lips and fingers burn with numbness. Should've worn gloves and used a different cutting board. Oh well. Lesson learned.

I was in a real rush, so did the carrot pickle in 40 minutes total, but I have it on good authority that things really get amazing if you allow the full hour each.

The recipe makes 3 rolls, two big ones, and one medium. Feel free to expand the dimensions, it should scale nicely.

Edit: Oh! Nearly forgot! This is the first episode I've ever shot with only one camera (even the first episode used two at the end), and using my new Sony Fisheye extension lens. It turned out really well, I think, though the super wide angle means you need to get really close for your closeups.

Music Notes:

Crooked Fingers - "Under Pressure", from "Reservoir Songs", 2002

Crooked Fingers came into my life when I was working at The Pita Pit, part of a chain of pita restaurants in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada during downtime from my short-lived university career. I worked the late shift, so I started at 9pm, and finished up at 5am. It was rather hellish, as I would often have too much energy after work to sleep, so I would wander to an internet cafe and chat with my future wife on the other side of the world. One of the guys at work whose name escapes me put on a cd during one of these shifts. We usually picked music to keep the energy up, but this was different.

This was beautiful, it was slow, it had deft wordplay, like poetry.

And it was really really sad.

Like REALLY sad.

But I was hooked. Eric Bachman (formerly of nondescript-but-beloved-by-hipsters outfit Archers of Loaf) and his band have a way of getting to the heart of things. I recommend "She Spread Her Legs & Flew Away", "Juliette", "New Drink For The Old Drunk", "You Threw A Spark", and "Wrecking Ball", and all of the EP this track comes from.

Incidently, "Under Pressure" is the single most powerful earworm I have ever known. Even someone saying "He's under pressure at work." will have me humming it. I'm humming it now.

Automatic - Pump It Up, from "Occasional Coarse Language: Soundtrack From The Motion Picture", 1998

Hey kids, did you know that mellow elder statesman of adult contemporary Elvis Costello was once an angry young punk like you, and he made brilliant pop music that could get your feet moving, and other tracks that could break your heart? Well, you do now. My Aim Is True and This Year's Model are brilliant records and you should go and get them now. I have no idea what the movie this soundtrack is for is about. I found it with a pile of CDs someone left outside their gate.

Also requiring applause, I'd like to note, is Elvis' stance on overpriced reissues of his work. Upon seeing the £212.99, Elvis made comment that the set was rather lovely and contained nice songs and scribblings from the author but "unfortunately, we at www.elviscostello.com find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire. All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping - when there are really bigger fish to filet these days - we are taking the following unusual step." and recommended spend the money on a very nice Louis Armstrong Ambassador of Jazz set instead. "If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means."

Ha. Haaaaaaaaa. Good on you, sir.

Recipe:

Heavenly Bahn Me Sammiches

Ingredients:

3 Bread Rolls, or a baguette cut in half (get something crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside)
Whole egg mayo (I used Thomy, but if you can get some Viet stuff, go for it)
Pate or tinned liver spread
4-6 slices cooked pork belly
4 slices ham (I used Black Forest deli ham, but if you can find cha lua, use that. Or, you know, mortadella)
1 cucumber
1 red chilli
1 bunch corainder
Soy sauce to taste

for the pickle:

1 carrot
1 daikon (optional)
105g sugar, plus 2 tsp extra
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water



  • Grate or julienne your carrot (and daikon if using) with a peeler, zester or dread apparatus.

  • Scatter a tsp of salt & 2 tsp of sugar and let the mix rest for 20 minutes to an hour.

  • Squeeze as much of the liquid as you can out of the carrot, then rinse in cold water and squeeze again. Put it back in the bowl.

  • Heat the wihite wine vinegar, water, and the rest of the sugar on medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved, then pour over the carrot. Let sit 20-60 minutes more, then drain.

  • Chop up your coriander, and deseed the chilli. Using a peeler, cut the cucumber into ribbons.

  • Slice the pork belly lengthwise into thin slices.

  • When you're ready, put a grill-pan on medium-high heat, and grill the pork on both sides, to warm it through and give it nice grill-marks. Once it's done, very briefly grill the ham slices too.

  • Cut your rolls in half. On top half, smear mayo. Bottom half: pate.

  • Layer your ingredients on the rolls in this order: pork-ham-cucumber-carrot-coriander-chilli.

  • Add a dash of soy sauce if you want, then top with the bun, seize, and consume!


Monday
Mar262012

Episode 16 - Masarap Pork Adobo

Episode 16? Let’s call it Season 2. New intro! New music! Better camera work! Faster editing! Everything’s coming up Milhouse! 

Notes:

So earlier this year, as I was poring through cookbooks looking at things like slow roasted pork shoulder, Tanja pleaded with me.

"You know, not every meal has to be a huge deal. I often don't want that when it's just us two. Big recipes like that are for when we have people over."

Alright then.

So Australia day comes and we're planning to have Adrian & Tommy over. I plan roast pork, but chicken out the morning of, as the recipe seems to take a lot of guesswork and being able to tell when it's cooked (two things I'm bad at). So I look through books again, finding a great Pork Adobo recipe. 

I show it to Tanja and she says "Argh, so many heavy flavours! I can't take it in this humidity! Also, it looks like Goulash, and my mother stuffed me with horrid goulash when I was younger and I hate it now!" 

I intelligently retort with BUT WE HAVE PEOPLE AND YOU SAID I COULD FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS 

So she responded "I said that, but I still don't wanna!" 

I throw up my hands and say FINE I WON'T MAKE ANYFING ZOMG. 

(that’s a lie, I made Not Quite Nigella cheese & onion bread.)

But I stuck that recipe in the back of my mind for a bit, and when Tanja went to Melbourne to visit her sister, Adrian & Tommy were invited back over and I made Pork Adobo and HOLY CRAP is this a great recipe. 

Also, Tanja had some of the leftovers and needless to say, it’s been made again since.

Hah. 

Recipe Notes:

This recipe calls for a pretty serious chunk of pork with proper fat on it. Get pork belly, skin on, no bones. Your butcher will know what to do (he will also think you cool and attractive).

This dish is also great for folks who love Asian flavours (Adobo is considered the national dish of the Phillipines) but can’t handle the heat of fiery chillies.

The video was surprisingly short due to the simplicity of the recipe. Toast garlic, cook pork, chop veggies, add liquids, simmer, serve. Seriously. 

The book it came from was a Christmas gift, and this is the first thing I’ve made from it. It’s an incredibly interesting read, though. Go and see. 

Music Notes:

Ah, the music for this episode. Well, I had a clear idea. I had downloaded “Rave On Buddy Holly”, a tribute album, featuring a cavalcade of incredible bands. Upon my first listen, I frantically grabbed for paper and scribbled down my first impressions, which went kind of like this (copied as faithfully as I can):

“Paul McCartney holy fuck he sounds like Teddy Prendergast kickin’ ass and taking names, have not connected to a McCartney song this much since Oh Darlin’! She & Him give the Raveonettes treatment to Oh Boy. Ceelo Green turns You’re So Square into a Hawaiian Elvis tune. Many artist take the simple teachest bass sound of Holly & turn it into SRS INDIE INTONATIONS (Florence & The Machine, Fiona Apple, Nick Lowe, others), while Karen Elson rocks a Johnny Cash horns-and-strings progression. Julian Casanova’s Rave On is laid back garage punk, all sneer & fuzz, Jenny O channels Dolly Parton, Patti Smith turns Words of Love into a ballad of gentle strings and resonant voice, Modest Mouse start off indie, then turn into a bassline stomper, then lose their place & start over. Kid Rock, horns, and handclaps? Echoing Sam Cooke vocals? Bendy steel guitar? Really? Okay then. Lou Reed takes on Peggy Sue with distorted guitar waves, soundscapes & flat, flat vocals. It’s like 80s Iggy Pop & it doesn’t fit. Graham Nash thinks he’s covering Dear Prudence. and THE DETROIT COBRAS KICK THE DOOR DOWN AND BUY YOU A DRANK FOO’ as usual”

So yes. I liked it. So much so that I picked the 3rd track, Paul McCartney’s stomping, howling, cackling “It’s So Easy” as my leadoff song, followed by Julian Casanova’s “Rave On”. Then I rendered the video, posted it to Youtube and said I’d write the post that night.

Cue an email saying that my video contained copyrighted material. I’m used to that. It usually links to iTunes, or occasionally restricts my video from being shown on mobile devices. 

Not this time. This time I got muted. And I got my first YouTube strike. I should have known the most whimsical Beatle would be the most litigious (I know, I know it’s not him, it’s Universal Music, but still bitter.)

So I had to re-edit. And re-render. And re-upload. My mood was very different from the first time. So I chose two champions of the Creative Commons license, who just so happen to be incredibly talented & creative musicians I have enormous respect for: Jonathon Coulton & Amanda Palmer.

Jonathan Coulton - “Baby Got Back”, from “Thing A Week One”, 2006

Unlike most of my friends, who learned about Jonathan Coulton from Portal, I found a backhanded recommend in an interview in The Word Magazine, and look Jonathan Coulton up. Apart from the nerd-heartstring-pulling (“Code Monkey”), and the darkly hilarious (“The Future Soon”, “Re: Your Brains”, “Chiron Beta Prime”, “Betty & Me”), I realized that Mr Coulton was the real deal. Oh, and the title of his album? Isn’t a joke. He wrote a song a week for a whole year. And he did. And then he released them all for free. I have 6 of his songs from that period, and I purchased them all. Go get things of his.

Amanda Palmer - “High & Dry”, from “Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele”, 2010

Yep. Amanda Palmer. She of the Dresden Dolls, of the Ninja Gig, of the Good Day and the Coin Operated Boy and the Ampersand. She of the Ukelele, of the clashes with record labels, of the madly painted eyebrows, of the ReBellyOn, of #LOFNOTC, and of the crashing sound of a million billion fangirl hearts when she married Neil Gaiman. She should be played over far more than the credits of an internet cooking show. Go and get many of her things. 

Recipe:

Masarap* Pork Adobo

Ingredients:

60mL groundnut oil (I used vegetable)

10 cloves garlic, sliced (NOT crushed. You’ll see why)

700-900g pork belly, skin on, no bones

2 onions

2 capsicums, different colours

a thumb of ginger

1/2 tsp of paprika

250mL White Wine vinegar

125 soy sauce

6 bay leaves

1 tbsp peppercorns

  • Cut your pork belly into bars, about 5 cm wide, then crosswise into cubes. Leave the fat on. It’s good for you.
  • Peel and slice all of the garlic. Leave the pieces fairly big.
  • Put a pan on full-top-end-heat with the oil in it.
  • When the oil’s hot, toss in half the garlic, stir, let ‘em turn golden, then scoop them out and set aside BEFORE THEY BURN AND GO HORRIBLE.
  • Put the pork cubes into the pan with the garlicky oil. Let them cook for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then. The less you stir, the more golden the pork goes, but don’t let things burn.
  • Meanwhile, peel and rough-chop your onions, and dice your capsicum.
  • Peel the ginger with a spoon, and grate it, or just chop it into matchsticks.
  • When the 10 minutes is up, throw the onion, capsicum ginger, and the leftover garlic into the pan, stir it up, turn the heat to medium and let it cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring once in a bit.
  • Throw in the paprika and mix about, then add the vinegar and soy, along with 500mL water for good measure.
  • Pile in the bay leaves, peppercorns, and a pinch of salt.
  • Crank the heat again, until the mix boils, then simmer on medium-low for 55 minutes. The recipe says the end product should have a “think, coating consistency”, but mine was a bit runnier, but still tasted amazing.
  • Serve on a bed of plain rice, seize, and consume.

 

* Masarap: Tagalog, “delicious”

Wednesday
Mar212012

Episode 15 - Botched Macadamia & Honey Pear Thing

Hello again! This is totally something fresh and new and in no way is it something I uploaded on the weekend and forgot to write a post for. Heh.

Notes:

Okay, yes, I admit that I botched this a little. I could blame the fact that I used margarine instead of butter, but for the fact that I made it a second time, using butter (and a rectangular pan instead of a circle). It still tasted incredible and delicious and amazing, but it ends up looking, well, a bit rubbish. The cakey bits don't hold together, and the honey tends to stick. Eat it anyhow, because wow. 

Lord help me, this entry is part of the March AlphaBakes challenge (hosted this month by Caroline Makes but also run by The More Than Occasional Baker) and I just got in under the wire. Since macadamia are a major ingredient, it still counts for the letter M, and I will defend it in a court of food. Ooh! Ooh! And! It came from Muppys. Which is another M.  Checkmate.

Music Notes:

The Detroit Cobras - "Chumbawa", "Hittin' On Nothing", "Slummer (The Slum)", from "Mink, Rat or Rabbit" (1998) & "I Wanna Holler (But The Town's Too Small)", from "Baby" (2005)

The Detroit Cobras are an amazing band. While most cover bands would try to find popular music their crowd recognises, and bands looking for an old school sound try to replicate classics, the Cobras instead dust off a bunch of Motown classics you've never heard of, and present them in their own extremely danceable way. One of the first bands to emerge from the Detroit garage scene, the sound is uniquely their own, though none of the material is. The band is so tight they sound casual and loose, and former-exotic-dancer-turned-singer Rachel Nagy sounds like "Peggy Lee gone to seed and chain-smoking while standing on a Detroit street corner" (AllMusic). It makes for a great sound and songs that blend into one another until, oh gee, you've heard the whole record. The songs aren't old-fashioned, either. "Hittin On Nothing" has the same themes as Beyonce's "Single Ladies" with none of the crassness, "Slummer (The Slum)" tackles the same class warfare themes are Pulp's "Common People" but from the other direction, and "Chumbawa"'s lazy guitar line precedes both "Twist & Shout" by a year. Go and get their stuff. It's awesome. Also huge thanks to Second Hand Songs, which helped me source the original artists.

Recipe:

Id normally write this out, but I had Madras chicken pizza with pickled cucumbers and red wine for dinner and I am sweating and a little tired. Also sleepy. It's only 8:23. Shut up.

Anyhow, I found the recipe from Muppy's, who found it from Anna Gard. They wrote it down.

I'm going to sleep. Happy 15 episodes, y'all. Tell your friends!

Saturday
Mar102012

Episode 14 - REMIX! Fruit & Nut Rosemary Beer Bread & White Chocolate Hazelnut Currant Bark.

I was tempted to use a clip of The Miz shouting out how this is "the new... REEEEEEMIIIIIIX" but I decided it was too obnoxious. So here is my Remix episode. I took the two recipes from my Holiday B-Sides episode, twisted them about, mashed them up, and changed what I couldn't get ahold of in an effort to make something new.

 

Notes:

You'll notice I shot this in a slightly different, more single-camera-oriented way, with lots of close ups and sharp edits. Partially, this was me just screwing around with the format, but also me pushing what I could take out and still have a constant narrative. Do you prefer this to the normal wasy I shoot? Let me know!

As with the episode this is remixing, huge linking and props to Not Quite Nigella & The Intolerant Chef for the original recipes that I have now mercilessly co-opted twice.

Recipe Notes:

The bread: Though there is fruit and sweetness in this bread, it is not a completely sweetbread. The yeastiness & savoury parts make it work equally well as breakfast (out of the oven with butter) as it does for dinner (as a side with a pork chop & potatoes).

The bark: I made the classic mistake. I put a large bowl on top of a small pot and lo, the seal wasn't perfect. Hence the bowl skittering about on the steam. Also, if I look distracted in that part, it's because I was on the phone to my mom while cooking (phone cradled between my ear & shoulder as I melted chocolate). White chocolate tends to set a lot quicker than dark, so time is of the essence.

Both these remixes were inspired by the fact that I had some parts of both these recipes leftover in my cupboard (dried cherries, self-raising flour, macadamias from a not-yet-posted pear tart, honey) and was in FoodWorks Newtown, which, despite its rather ghetto atmosphere, has a huge selection of nuts and dried fruit.

Music Notes:

2manydjs - Tracks 21-24, from "As Heard on Radio Soulwax Vol. 2", 2002,
featuring Skee Lo - I Wish, Maurice Fulton Presents Stress - My Gigolo, The Breeders - Cannonball, Human Fly - The Cramps, Danger! High Voltage - The Wildbunch, OP:L Bastards - Don't Bring Me Down and many more.

What better for a remix episode that some of the top remixers around, 2manydjs or Radio Soulwax, or whatever they're going by now. From their fair-to-middling alternative roots, these guys have become the juggernaut of mash-ups. They've only released one official album, but 13 full-length bootlegs of their Radio Soulwax show are freely available (I got some from eBay). They first got their attention through their one-off mashups, like "No Fun/Push It" by Iggy Pop & the Stooges/Salt N Pepa (which, paraphrasing Nick Hornby, contrasts sexual frustration with sexual gratification), "Smells Like Teen Booty" by Nirvana/Destiny's Child and other such fun things.

I still say the first 15 minutes of the Volume 3 bootleg is an amazing day starter (featuring as it does the first speech from Network, Van Halen's "Eruption", Daft Punk's "Superheroes", New Order;s "Crystal", Jewel, Coldplay, a cover of "I Was Made For Loving You" by Queen of Japan, Peaches, Led Zeppelin, Prince, the Clash and a Vicious Pink cover of "Great Balls of Fire". In one 15 minute block).

However, the scourge of the mash-up artist rears its ugly head: COPYRIGHTS (Shh, don't say his name!). The one album they released legally is composed of 45 tracks they were able to clear the rights for. They originally requested rights for 187 tracks and got clearances for 114 of them. 62 were refused and 11 remained untraceable (source: Wikipedia). Specifically, the Skee Lo track I used originally had the bombastic lead-in from "Eye of the Tiger" instead of the reather staid "My Gigolo". Other mash-up artists use different methods to avoid the hassle; The Avalanches brute-force the system by using upwards of 35,000 vinyl samples to create one album (often using only a few seconds or a couple of words), making an atttempt at legal action an enormous headache, while Girl Talk doesn't licence his samples at all, releasing his albums under Creative Commons and a pay-what-you-want model.

I think it's all brilliant.

Recipe:

Fruit & Nut Rosemary Beer Bread

Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
330mL of beer (I used St Peters Brewery Cinamon Girl Spiced Ale, but a honey ale would equally compliment it, or any sweeter variety. If you can't find one, use normal beer, but add a tsp of honey and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon)
Small handful almonds, chopped 
125 g dried fruit (I used figs, flame sultanas, red currants, and cherries), chopped
3 springs rosemary, leaves only
dash of nutmeg

 

  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl in order, one at a time, from the top of the list to the bottom, stirring between each, until you have a doughy consistency.
  • Spread the dough into a loaf tin lined with oiled baking paper, or one of those fancy silicon moulds.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 180, then allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  • Lift out of tin, carve into chunks, seize and consume!

White Chocolate Hazelnut Currant Bark

Ingredients:

White chocolate (I used 5 bars of Green & Black's White Chocolate w/ Madagascan Vanilla)
Dried cherries, chopped
Dried currants, chopped
Macadamia nuts, chopped
Hazelnuts, chopped
optional: rice crisps (I meant to use them, but forgot to get some)

 

  • Break up your chocolate bars into bits (I used the karate chop drumstick method).
  • Using a double boiler, or a bowl set atop a pot of hot water, melt the chocolate.
  • Spread the chocolate onto a tray lined with ungreased baking paper.
  • Sprinkle over cherries, nuts, currants, and rice crisps if you're using them.
  • Slide into a warm over for 10 minutes, then into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
  • Once set, smash into pieces, seize and consume!

 

 

 

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