Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Steamed Pumpkin Muffins

These sweet, soft and easy to make muffins are an absolute killer at home. The pumpkin adds to the sweetness whilst retaining moisture with the hint of coconut taking it beyond the classic pumpkin muff. Not to mention the novelty of steaming a cake like this.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time:      15 minutes each batch.
Ingredients:         125 grams of steamed and mashed pumpkin
                         85 grams of castor sugar
                         200 grams of self raising flour
                         100 ml of coconut milk or cream
                         Pinch of salt
                         2 tsps cinnamon
                         30 ml of oil
                         1 egg

Steam and mash pumpkin and leave aside whilst preparing the rest of the mixture. Combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Beat egg, sugar and salt together with a whisk until frothy and well combined. Add coconut milk, egg mixture and oil to dry ingredients, mixing until a batter is formed. Use reinforced cupcake pans and fill halfway with batter. Steam on a high heat for 15 minutes. Lovely served with jam or pickles.

Savoury Pumpkin Pie with Damper Crust

An Australian twist on my favourite pumpkin pie. A sweet and spicy centre with a classic damper top.

Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:      30 minutes
Ingredients:        2 cups of mashed pumpkin
                        1 cup of steamed cauliflower
                        1 cup of cooked peas
                        1 cup of steamed diced carrot
                        1 diced onion
                        2 tsps minced garlic
                        2 tsps minced ginger
                        1 tsp ground turmeric
                        1 tsp fennel seed
                        2 tblspn of brown sugar
                        1/4 cup of plain flour
                        Salt and pepper to taste
                        1 and 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
                        3/4 cup of milk
                        30 grams of butter

Fry diced onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, fennel and brown sugar until brown and aromatic. Combine with cooked vegetables and flour and mash together. Place mixture in a pie dish. Make topping by rubbing the butter into the flour and salt, mix through milk until forms a dough. Knead dough for 2 minutes until smooth. Spread dough over the pie and cook in a 200 degree centigrade oven for 30 minutes. Spread grated cheese over pie during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Crust should turn golden brown and crisp when ready.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Passionfruit and Banana Scrolls

Another quick and easy recipe to use up those left over bananas. Nothing more than just a basic scone recipe with a mashed banana and some passion fruit. The hard part is in the rolling and cutting, I recommend storing in the fridge for half an hour before cutting the scrolls otherwise you'll find yourself with more passion fruit goop on the yourself than in the scrolls. Tinned passion fruit works just as great for the filling as fresh. I also like to pulverise the banana completely to get the lightest possible texture from the recipe.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time:      20 minutes
Ingredients:        3 cups of self-raising flour     
                        3/4 cup of milk
                        3/4 cup of mashed banana (usually 1 banana)
                        90 grams of butter
                        1/4 cup of caster sugar
                        Pinch of salt
                        3/4 cup passion fruit
                        2 tsps of cinnamon

Combine butter, flour, salt and cinnamon in food processor until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Move mixture to a large bowl and form a well in the centre. Pour in sugar, mashed banana and milk. Mix until a dough is formed. Roll dough into a rectangle of 20cm by 30cm. Spread half a cup of passion fruit over the slab of dough leaving a border of 2cm. Refrigerate log for half an hour. Slice into 2cm wide rounds. Place on baking trays leaving 4cm between slices. Top with remaining passion fruit. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 - 220 degree centigrade.

Delicious served warm or cool with custard or just with a cup of coffee.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Rich Chocolate Self-saucing Pudding

Easy come easy go. That's how this pudding operates. Fond memories are tucked away of my mother whipping this decadent treat in a matter of moments only to be scuffed down in the blink of an eye.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time:      40 minutes
Ingredients:        Pudding 
                        1 cup of self-raising flour
                        3 tblspns of Dutch cocoa
                        1/2 cup of brown sugar
                        80grams of melted butter
                        1/2 cup of milk
                        1 egg
                              3/4 cup of brown sugar
                        2 tblspns of cocoa powder
                        1 and 1/4 cups of boiling water

Sift flour and cocoa into a large bowl. Stir in sugar. Combine melted butter, milk and egg whilst slowly adding it to the flour mixture. Whisk until well combined. Spoon into a greased deep baking deep. Combine excess brown sugar and cocoa then sprinkle evenly over the pudding. Gently pour boiling water over pudding using the back of a spoon. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade or until pudding bounces back after being pressed.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What in the world is a Sausage Cake?!

Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined a sausage cake, well, perhaps on a late night drunken binge which usually just ends in finding the nearest packet of mi goreng and shortly passing out. It's definitely to be my next cooking project. I'll leave a link to a recipe here.

I'd love to hear any feedback or suggestions from those sausage cake veterans out there on what makes a successful sausage cake.

Link to Hounds in the Kitchen - Sausage Cake

Aloo Paratha (Filled Indian Flatbread)

Crispy Indian flat-bread filled with spicy mashed potato, this sounds like heaven to me - and it is. May be a little time consuming but if you've an hour or two up your sleeve I promise it won't disappoint. Don't be fooled by its appearance - they're ridiculously easy to make. Often served along side a main dish but I think they go down a real treat disguised as finger food served with guacamole and chutney.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time:      1 hour
Ingredients:        2 cups of whole wheat flour
                         1 tsp salt
                         1 tsp olive oil
                         Water for kneading
                         3 large potatoes
                         1/2 cup green peas
                         1/2 cup diced onion
                         3 tsp grated ginger
                         3 tsp crushed garlic
                         1 tsp chilli powder
                         1 tsp turmeric powder
                         2 tsp sugar
                         1 jalapeno minced
                         1 tsp fennel

Knead flour, salt, oil and water together until it resembles the texture of tortilla dough. Just sticky to the touch. Set aside for half an hour. This should improve the texture and make it easier to roll.

Boil and mash potatoes and peas together. Fry onion with salt, ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli, sugar, jalapeno and fennel. Mix well through potato mixture. Let cool. 

Take a ball of dough the size of a golf ball. Roll into a thin tortilla-like round. Make a ball of filling slightly larger than a golf ball and wrap the flattened dough around the filling. Roll this ball flat until until as thin as possible. Fry in a hot flat pan few a few minutes each side until crispy. 

Personally I like to have a higher filling to bread ratio in my parathas. The crunch of the crust against is the soft spicy filling is a treat for the palate. 

Indian Mango and Apple Chutney

Gone are the days where afternoons were spent in the kitchen making chutney and relish for school fetes but no longer is that the case in this household. Since rekindling the family's love affair with chutney this sweet and spicy fruit conserve just can't be kept up to demand. Generally it's recommended to use green mangos although I prefer to use the overly ripened ones. They add a sweeter more caramelized flavour to the chutney and you can usually find a tray of them at the green grocer for only a fraction of the price.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:      3 hours
Ingredients:        250 grams of diced mango  
                         250 grams of diced cooking apples
                         1 cup of water
                         4 tsp of crushed garlic
                         2 tsp of grated ginger
                         1/2 tsp of chilli powder or cayenne pepper
                         3 tsp of salt
                         2 cardamon pods
                         1 cup of white vinegar
                         1 and 1/4 cup of sugar
                         10 almonds
                         1/4 raisins or chopped dates

In a large pot simmer garlic, ginger, chilli powder, salt, crushed cardamon pods, mango, apple and water. Stir occasionally until well absorbed. Add vinegar, almonds and raisins and simmer until the mixture thickens. Don't forget that the mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

Sterilize glass jars by simmering them in a large pot before filling with the chutney. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Curried Egg Sandwiches

 To most of us just hearing the words 'egg sandwich' leaves us thinking about stinky and soggy sangers. Despite popular belief the egg sandwich can be the diamond in the rough. The trick is to keep the mixture dry, and not to forget that the beloved egg shouldn't be expected to perform on its own given that it can lend itself to so many great flavours.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time:      5 minutes
Ingredient:          2 eggs
                         1 tsp Keen's curry
                         2 tsp mayonnaise
                         Salt and pepper to taste

Curried egg with Creamy Garlic Guacamole and baby spinach leaves

Boil the eggs until the centres are hard. Peel and mash with curry, mayo, salt and pepper. Ensure that not too much mayonnaise is added, it tends to be the culprit behind a soggy sandwich. Finely chop chives, stir through and spread generously on fresh, thick cut bread - don't forget to slather some of your choice relish beneath.

Have you thought about trying it with garlic guacamole or mango chutney?