Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to win friends and infulence people

A thick oozy blanket of sweet zesty goodness is what makes this slice so danm fine.
 Originally ripped many years ago from a Delicious magazine this beauty has won me first prize in the Perth Royal Show and helped me out on countless occasions where I have needed to charm a crowd. Infact just last night the school P&C were treated to a batch as I successfully delegated the filling of 400 boxes for an upcoming cake stall. I think it is the astonishingly high volume of sugar combined with plenty of lemony zing has something to do with its luxurious and moreish quality.
For the base:
1 ½ cups (225g) plain flour
½ cup (80g) icing sugar, sifted
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
180g cold unsalted butter, chopped
½ tsp vanilla extract
Lemon Topping
6 eggs
3 cups (660g) caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
1 cup (250ml) lemon juice, strained
½ cup (75g) plain flour
Icing sugar to serve
1.    Preheat the oven to 180c.  Generously butter and flour a 5cm x 24cm x 32cm baking tin and set it aside - This is a trap for first time players as you cant use baking paper as the base needs some traction to anchor it to the pan or it will float to the top once the curd is added.
2.    Make the base first by putting flour, sugar and zest and butter in a food processor, blitz to until it is like coarse river sand.  With the processor going, add vanilla and 2 teaspoons of iced water and whiz again till the mixture clumps into a ball.  Wodge the dough evenly into the prepared tin. Chill for 5 mins
3.  Bake the base for 15+ minutes or until the edges are starting to colour and the base is pale golden.
4.    Now get moving on the curd.  In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until they are well combined.  Whisk in the zest and juice.  Sift flour over the top and whisk in until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside.
5.    When the base is ready,   Reduce the oven to 150c.  Once the base has cooled ever so slightly, give the filling a final quick mix, as it will have settled, then pour it over the base.  Return to the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the topping is firm and stightly crustry.  Leave the slice to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
6.    Once the slice has cooled, use a sharp knife to cut it into elegant long rectangles. Dust madly with icing sugar before serving with a smile.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What grows together goes together

Its easy to fall into some happy sort of lemon, garlic, and rosemary scented pthutz when it comes to roasting a chook. Familiarity breeds contentment after all. But when my late summer garden was happily going crazy it occurred to me that today might be the day to shake things up.

Perhaps it was the gin and tonic(s), perhaps it was the cool breeze blowing after the long hot days but let it go on official record that lime, basil and fennel is a damn fine addition to the chicken roasting world.
So here is the low down.
Take a whopping great bunch of basil, the zest of one lime, a couple of garlic cloves, about a teaspoon of fennel, cracked black pepper and sea salt and a lump of butter. Chop and moosh them all together to form a nice speckled herb butter then insert dollops into the gap between the skin and flesh of the bird. Pop the remaining lime in the cavity along with a garlic clove or two, then drizzle with olive oil and season liberally.

Cook it along side some nice smooth pebbly potatoes for about an hour and 10 mins. My preference is for using charcoal- but that's not my domain, man of the house is the expert there. Although I can report outstanding success' using a 200c oven.
Gracefully carve into appealing chunks and serve alongside a perky green salad and perhaps another gin and tonic. Happy days!

Like pretty maids all in a row....

Behold the scented charm of a "Rosewater and Earl Grey Pinkie". Proudly my own creation and really rather fabulous any time of the day. Best consumed with the company of friends and barely a pause in conversation it is impossible not to love these jolly little bites! 

Earl grey and rosewater pinkies

A fragrant and most splendid biscuit!

 1 Earl grey tea bag

125g butter, softened

1/2 cup caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla paste

1 cups plain flour

1 Tbs cup cornflour

For icing

1 tbs rosewater

2 Tbs boiling water

1 cup icing sugar mixture

 Rose pink food colouring

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Remove and reserve leaves from the tea bag. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy, add tea leaves and vanilla paste. Sift flours over butter mixture

Using lightly floured hands, roll rounded teaspoons of mixture place on trays and press lightly to flatten. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden. Cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing- Combing boiling water , rosewater and colouring. Mix liquid with icing sugar and mix until smooth adding more hot water as nescessary, Top each biscuit with 1 teaspoon icing. Stand for 10 minutes or until set.

And of course if you are getting really fancy and sharing them with your posh mates why not make them part of an all out high tea spread.

chin chin darh-lings  xx

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Something fishy

What do you do when a small girl turns her nose up at the idea of glorious prime salmon?? You pop it in a taco and shout Ole'!  With sufficent banging on about the joys of the Mexican hat dance children will eat anything.

Step one - sear the salmon
Step 2 -Coddle together some colourful bits
Step 3 - Note that the salmon is gradually dissapearing
Step 4 - Mission accomplished

"Sometime's life is a golden gaytime!"

More of an assembly job than a hard and fast recipe this little number I whipped together last weekend when the winds of change were blowing our way.