Monthly Archives: July 2014

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake

A delicious Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

I love this Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake! I have had the recipe for 21 years and it is a favorite. I must also confess that I am a fan of cold-set cheesecakes rather than the baked varieties. This cheesecake is different though, it’s set in the freezer. This is ideal as it can be made the day before its needed but then again, you can do that with any cold set Cheesecake. If you love cheesecakes you have to try this one!

Ingredients

Base

1 x 250g packet plain chocolate biscuits
125g butter, melted

Filling

½ cup caster sugar
¹/³ cup water
5 egg yolks
1 x 250g packet cream cheese softened
1 tablespoon lemon rind
½ cup thickened cream
1 x 250g punnet strawberries
red food coloring, optional
whipped cream and extra strawberries to decorate

Method

Base

Line side of a 22cm spring-form tin with baking paper
Finely crush biscuits, add butter; mix well
Press biscuit mixture over base andup side of prepared tin
Refrigerate for 30 minutes

Filling

Combine sugar and water in a pan, stir over heat withut boiling until sugar is dissolved
Bring to the boil, simmer, uncoveed, for 5 minutes
Beat egg yolks in a small bowl with an electric mixer until pale and thick.
With motor operating, gradually pour in hot syrup in a thin stream; beat until cool
Beat cream cheese and rind in a small bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy
Beat in cream
Stir in yolk mixture; mix well
Blend or process strawberries until smooth; strain, discard seeds
Stir strawberry puree into yolk mixture
Tint with food coloring, if desired
Pour filling into prepared tin
Cover and freeze overnight or until firm
Place cheesecake in refrigerator for 1 hour before service
Remove cheesecake from tin; discard paper
Decorate

Hints

Cut out a circle and line the bottom of the spring-form tin as well as the sides
Keep the egg whites for a pavlova
Keeps well for 3 days covered well in refrigerator

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Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant

Eat More Vegetables

That’s right, eat more vegetables. I know, sometimes it is hard and we’re adults. Children can also be known as fussy eaters too. The best way to get vegetables into the fussy ones is to disguise them and add a bit of cheese. It works with me! Recipes like this though are a tasty way to get your daily hit of vegetables. The Basic Bolognaise Sauce is the base for the Stuffed Eggplants and can also be used with other vegetables as well. Try this and see how you go.

Stuffed Eggplant Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

Basic Bolognaise Sauce
1 cup uncooked rice
2 large eggplants
25g parmesan cheese
Black pepper to taste

Method

Cook the Bolognaise Sauce as instructed
Towards the end of cooking (or when reheating) add rice and simmer for 10 minutes until rice is cooked
Halve eggplants lengthwise scoop out the seeds, and fill with mince and rice mixture
Place in a baking dish and cook in a moderate oven (180° C) for 20 minutes
Top with cheese and cook for a further 5 minutes
Season to taste and serve with salad

Hints

As an alternative, try stuffing capsicums or zucchinis
Try different varieties of cheese
Add some finely diced vegetables into the Bolognaise Sauce to give children extra vegies without being obvious

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Basic Bolognaise Sauce

Stock Pot of Bolognaise Sauce

Bolognaise Sauce

Let’s get back to basics

I feel as though the last 10 posts have been devoted entirely to desserts. This is probably not true but close to it.You can tell that I have a sweet tooth, can’t you? I thought that I would not only get back to food of the savory variety, but a basic staple. I have been making a Bolognaise Sauce for years but found this recipe only 7 years ago. Sometimes I stick to it and other times I experiment a bit. Every cook would have their own variation on this, but if you haven’t or you just want to try something different then go for it!

Bolognaise Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

Olive oil spray
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g lean minced beef
410g canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
cayenne pepper to taste, optional

Method

Spray pan with oil, and cook onion and garlic until translucent
Add mince and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water and cayenne pepper to taste
Stir to combine
Bring to boil and simmer for at least 20 minutes
Add your choice of fresh or dried herbs just before serving

Hints

You can put all of the liquid ingredients into a food processor to break down the tomatoes
Fresh parsley or basil is a nice addition of flavor
I have made this recipe with 500g of lean mince and an extra can of tomatoes (fresh when in season)
Freezes well, great for freezing in portions for pasta, a taco, stuffed capsicums etc…

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Raspberry and Chocolate Brownies

Raspberry and Chocolate Brownie

Raspberry and Chocolate Brownie

Who Loves Chocolate? Me

These Raspberry and Chocolate Brownies are delicious. I pulled this Donna Hay Recipe from a newspaper probably sometime in the last 5 years. And I’m glad that I did, I love the combination of the chocolate and berries. Also I cannot find the recipe on the Donna Hay website, so at least I have it here. Once you have all of the ingredients out and ready it only takes about 10 minutes to put it all together and in the oven. If you are like me and always have frozen berries in the freezer then it’s a great recipe to make when you are expecting visitors. In fact I am making these again later this week to take to a friends’ house. I will add the photo when I have made them. I am looking forward to one of these!

Raspberry and Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Makes 12

Ingredients

50g dark chocolate, chopped
60g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon plain flour
1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup frozen raspberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 180° C.
Place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth.
Place the sugar, egg, flour, baking powder, cocoa and chocolate mixture in a bowl and mix to combine.
Gently fold in the raspberries.
Cut out 12 rounds of baking paper (10cm x 10cm) to line the base of a 12 hole, 25ml capacity muffin tray.
Spoon in the chocolate mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until set.
Allow to cool in the tin.

Hints

Line a rectangle slice pan with baking paper and use it instead to make a slice
Once cold, store in an airtight container for 3 days
Can be warmed in the microwave and served with cream or ice-cream
Great for lunch boxes, school fairs and giving to friends

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Almond Fingers

Almond Finger Biscuits

Almond Fingers

Anyone fancy a biscuit? What about Almond Fingers?

Apparently Almond Finger recipes can be found all over the internet. News to me! I just uncovered a couple of pages of biscuit recipes from a Woman’s Magazine dated 1963. So these Almond Fingers have been around for a while. I have spotted them at the supermarket but I don’t usually buy biscuits and cakes from there. So there you go, I have never tasted them. This will not be the last of the biscuit recipes from 1963… there are more to come. Hopefully I can get cooking so I can put up some photos. Meanwhile if you get the chance, they are quite easy to make. Good luck.

Ingredients

4 oz butter
2 oz sugar
1 egg yolk
8 oz self-raising flour
pinch salt,
1 cup chopped almonds

Icing

1 egg white
4 oz pure icing sugar

Method

Sift together flour and salt
Cream the butter and sugar
Add egg yolk and beat well, add sifted flour and mix to a firm dough
Roll out to ¼ inch thickness
Cut into shapes 3 inches x 1½ inches
Spread icing on biscuits and sprinkle with the chopped almonds
Place on a greased biscuit tray
Bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes

Icing

Beat egg white well with icing sugar

Hints

Using baking paper to line the tray
Allow to cool on a rack
When cold place into an air tight container
Yes you read the recipe right, the icing goes on before they are baked
Use the conversion table to convert ounces to grams (this recipe is 51 years old)
I used a stock photo to depict the finished product as I am yet to bake these

 

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Mocha Praline Terrine

A Mocha Praline Terrine Recipe

Serves 6

I have held on to this recipe for over 20 years. Despite this I have never made it. You will appreciate the familiar excuses. Too busy and too many commitments. But then again I have a huge amount of them. It’s such a shame and yet I am always curious as to why I can find a recipe one day and make it the next and yet this and others sit untouched for so long. I am sure the same thing happens to everyone. This recipe sounded appealing at the time and still does. Maybe it’s the preparation which is putting me off. Please make it before I do!

Ingredients

¹/³ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons custard powder
1½ cups milk
3 teaspoons instant coffee powder
80g dark chocolate, melted
1 x 600ml carton thickened cream

Praline

¾ cup slivered almonds
1½ cups caster sugar
¾ cup water

Method

Line an 11cm x 25cm loaf dish (6 cup capacity) with a strip of foil to cover base and extend above two opposite sides
Combine sugar and custard powder in a pan, gradually stir in milk blended with coffee powder
Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens
Stir in chocolate and cream
Pour mixture into a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan
Cover and freeze until firm

Chop coffee mixture into pieces transfer to a small bowl, beat with an electric mixer until creamy
Spoon mixture into prepared loaf dish
Cover a freeze until firm

Praline

Spread almonds on a oven tray
Cook in a moderate oven 180° C (350° F) for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned
Transfer almonds in an even layer on to a lightly oiled tray
Combine sugar and water in a pan, stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved
Bring to boil, boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes,or until golden brown
Pour over almonds; cool
When cold, break into pieces
Blend or process half the pieces until finely crushed

Turn out terrine, remove foil
Roll in crushed Praline, pressing on firmly
Serve sliced with extra Praline pieces

Hints

The Lamington pan can be replaced by any other similar sized pan with sides
You can substitute the foil for non-stick baking paper in the loaf tin

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Lemon Tarts

Lemon Tarts

Lemon Tarts

Lemon Tarts: A Tasty Treat

I found this recipe in a magazine about 4 years ago, it was an exert from a book called HEAT: The Way Forward is Good Food. The book is filled with recipes from renowned chefs Guy Grossi, Andrew McConnell, Luke Managan and Ian Curley. I don’t refer to the book often as I should. The reason being, that I love this recipe and don’t look at the rest. What I also like about this recipe is that you only have to separate one egg, and that’s the one for the egg wash. A few lemon tart recipes don’t use the whole egg. I find this inconvenient because I have to save the egg whites for a pavlova. If you love lemon tarts you will love these just as I do!

Lemon Tarts Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

Pastry

100g butter, softened
50g sugar
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon milk

Filling

5 eggs
1 cup sugar
juice of 2 lemons
½ cup thickened cream

Method

Pastry

To make the pastry cases, cream butter and sugar in a bowl. Break in one egg and combine with the creamed butter mix. Add the flour and lightly mix to form dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the pastry to a thickness of 4 mm. Line four tart cases and chill for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 190° C. Line pastry cases with foil, fill with rice, then bake for 15 minutes. Separate the remaining egg, discard the white and whisk the yolk with the milk to make an egg wash. Remove the foil and rice and brush the cases with egg wash. Reduce the temperature to 170° C  and bake for a further five to seven minutes. Remove from the oven ready for filling.

Filling

Reduce the oven to 140° C
Break the eggs into a bowl, add sugar and lightly whisk until smooth and the sugar has dissolved. Mix the lemon juice with the egg mixture, stir in the cream and strain. Fill cases with the lemon filling and bake for 20 minutes at 140 C degrees or until just set. Serve with double cream.

Hints

If you dislike the “making pastry bit”, then buy some pre-made pastry cases from the supermarket
The pastry cases from the supermarket usually come in 6 packs therefore you can buy two packs and triple the filling ingredients
Left over filling can be frozen
Ideal as finger food for a party

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Tropical Date and Rum Cake

Tropical Date and Rum Cake

Bundt Cake

A Tasty Tropical Date and Rum Cake

This recipe came from a magazine dated 1986. I can’t believe I have not only had it that long, but I haven’t made it either. This will have to change! However I must admit, I want to make everything I see and there isn’t enough time. So I might leave it up to you to make this one. Let me know how it works out, will you? This recipe has a few ingredients, and you may have to shop for some of them. The recipe though, seems rather easy to pull together.

Tropical Date and Rum Cake Recipe

Ingredients

185g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
½ cup self raising flour
½ cup coconut
¾ cup finely chopped dates
¼ cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons dark rum

Method

Cream butter, vanilla and brown sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition
Stir sifted flours into creamed mixture, then coconut, dates, pineapple juice and rum
Spread mixture into a greased and base lined 20cm ring tin (bundt cake pan)
Bake in a Moderate Oven 40 minutes
Cool in tin then turn out when cooled

Hints

Freezes well up to 3 months if wrapped well
Not suitable for microwave cooking
Use baking paper to line bottom of tin
If you don’t have a ring pan place a small ramekin dish in the center of a round cake pan

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Minestrone Soup with Pesto

Minestrone Soup with Pesto

Minestrone Soup with Pesto

Minestrone Soup a perennial favorite.

There is nothing like a traditional Minestrone Soup. I ripped this one from a magazine in 1986. Even though I have been using it for years I never get tired of it. This recipe is unique in that it has a slight twist, Pesto! I am going to include the Pesto recipe here and also do a separate post so I can find it quickly. I love this soup because it is so nourishing. There are 9 vegetables in this recipe, yes I counted them. So it’s very healthy and with some heated rolls makes a great evening meal for the family. The preparation time is no barrier either, just chop the veggies and put the pot on the stove for an hour. After the hours is up add more ingredients then 15 minutes later it will be on the table. Serves 6

Minestrone Ingredients

1½ litres (6) cups of water 1 onion, chopped 2 leeks, chopped 2 sticks celery, chopped 3 potatoes, chopped 2 carrots, chopped 3 tomatoes, peeled, chopped 3 zucchini, sliced 185g (about 1½ cups) pasta 310g can butter beans (cannelini style), drained 125g green beans, chopped

Pesto Ingredients

1 cups fresh basil leaves, firmly packed 2 tablespoons pine nuts ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 1/3 cup oil 60g butter 2 cloves garlic

Method

Combine water, onion, leeks, celery, potatoes and carrots in large pan, bring to the boil Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour Add tomatoes, zucchini, pasta and canned and green beans Simmer about 15 minutes or until green beans are tender Stir in Pesto just before serving

Pesto

Blend or process all ingredients until smooth

Hints

Experiment with vegetables in season and substitute them as needed Vegetables can be prepared ahead Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top before serving Suits freezing, try using individual containers Can be reheated Tastes even better the next day Vegetables can be chopped or sliced in a food processor  

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Scones

Scones

Scones

Scones Anyone?

 

Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a good old scone straight out of the oven? This is a basic scone recipe and a slight variation on the Lemonade Scone recipe. There are so many different scone recipes out there on the net. You may have your own trusted scone recipe already. Even if you do have your favorite recipe, compare it to this one. If there is a difference then go ahead, try this one. There are only 5 ingredients to this recipe and it’s rather quick to make. Let me know how you go.

 

Ingredients

4 cups self raising flour sifted
2 tablespoons icing sugar
60 grams melted butter
1 cup milk
3/4 cup water (room temperature)

Method

Pre heat oven to 220 C degrees

Pour the dry ingredients into a bowl
Add the liquid ingredients and stir to combine (don’t over mix)
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured board to 2 cm thickness
Using a floured cutter of approximately 4.5 cm cut out scones
Line baking tray with baking paper and assemble the scones
Place the scones next to each other leaving enough room to spread (approx. 2 cm)
Cook at 200 C degrees fan forced for 15 minutes until golden brown
Break in half when warm and fill with jam and cream

Hints

It’s all about the oven temperature, so make sure you know the correct temperature of your oven

Spend as little time with the dough as possible, you want to retain the air in the mix
Serve warm with whipped cream and jam
Can be reheated the next day but not as nice
The scones can be frozen when they are cooled

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