Archive for the ‘desserts’ Category

random answers

May 28, 2009

Nov 08 037

I have been procrastinating (my favourite thing to do) about posting. I won a year’s free hosting at Theobloggers but I haven’t got my act together about getting a domain name set up and transferring my photos across.

But I liked the questions Joolz (whose blog I found at Kris’) and had to respond!

Joolz is having a giveaway to celebrate her 150th post. Go and have a look!

# 1 What’s for dinner tonight?
I’m making osso buco and saffron risotto for C.   MissN has to try it (she has never had it before.) I’m not sure what I am making for me. I don’t eat meat.  I had coffee with my church ladies on Tuesday in Cammeray and Rebecca recommended the butcher there, so I got some veal to treat C.  He LOVES osso buco (despite once getting a shard of bone stuck in his throat and needing medical treatment to remove it.  Luckily there was a medical centre right acroos the right from the cafe where we were lunching!)

# 2 What’s your favourite cute animal picture?
See above. Miss Dolce loves water. She will only drink from a running tap and loves lying in the bath. She just fits in the basin. She is a small cat – her legs are pretty short but she weighs 5.3kg!

# 3 Who does the dishes in your house?
I do. But C stacks (or restacks!) the dishwasher. He has superior spatial skills.

# 4 One a personal note, regarding toilet paper – Are you a Scruncher or a Folder… or a Fruncher/Scrolder, he he!
Does anyone need to know the answer to this?

# 5 What jar (brand) of (tomato based) Spaghetti sauce do you use for Spagetti Bol?
I don’t use jars of sauce when I cook. I have only made spag bol once (for C and MissN) in the years since I stopped eating meat (1985..) and I made it the old fashioned way.

# 6 Do your children make their own beds and put out their clothes or do … you?
MissN makes hers when I remind her to. She puts her own clothes away (needs some reminding at times but she is improving). Not sure what you mean by putting clothes out. Out for laundering? She does put hers in the laundry box outside her door.

# 7 Can I have your favourite recipe for a dessert you love?
Coffee and chocolate self-saucing pudding was my first ever blog post!  I make it often.

# 8 My ironing board is permanently set up – do you labour over baskets of ironing or do you fold, put away then iron as you need…. like me?
I tend to iron for an hour or two at a time, with my music blaring, praise and worship usually.

# 9 Do you wear makeup each day or go Phhhffft! Stuff it! How often do you go to the hairdresser?
I wear make up each day. I feel naked without mascara at least(very blonde lashes), and look better with some mineral make up smoothing out my age induced blotches freckles. I usually get my hair cut every 7-8 weeks. I wear it short and grows out of style if I leave it for any longer (needs a cut now!)

# 10 What is your ultimate personal indulgence eg. relaxation/treat
A day in bed with a book and my family bringing me tea/coffee/meals/chocolate on demand.

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Dolce and Cannoli Cream

September 2, 2008

Dolce is “sweet” in Italian.

Dolce is also the cat who shares our home, our lives and our hearts.  She was MissN’s 10th birthday present.  MissN kindly shares her with us and allows me to feed her, brush her, clean up after her….  you get the idea.  MissN is very generous in a lot of ways!

2005 was not a good year for me.  My dad was dying of cancer (in South Africa).  I had health issues.  Many times that year especially I gave thanks for the little moggie who had entranced us by coming into our lives just at the right time.  We have had a few cats over the years but Dolce is the most lovable, vocal, adorable, affectionate, companionable, crazy cat we have had.

And it’s been a while since I posted a recipe.  Here is a super easy “dolce” dessert C and I make often.  (He knows how to wield the Bamix!) It’s low fat, with protein and calcium and quickly made in the food processor.

Cannoli cream is from here – a wonderful cookbook C bought me over a decade ago.

Cannoli Cream with fresh Berries

11 ounces ricotta (1¼ cups) (I buy 500g)
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 pints fresh raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries

Process the ricotta in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time, for about 2 minutes, until the curds disappear and it is perfectly smooth.

Add the marmalade and pulse just to combine; you want to retain some small pieces of pulp.

Transfer to a mixing bowl. Fold in the chocolate, Grand Marnier, and vanilla. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days.

Divide the berries among 4 individual serving bowls or wine goblets. Pour the cannoli cream over the berries and serve.

Serves 4 to 6 (lol not in our house!  Leftovers, if there ARE any, make good breakfast!)

For John and Maggy – soup and brownie cake

June 2, 2008

Hospitality is not one of my gifts. For various reasons related to my childhood and personality, I am not comfortable “entertaining” people in our home. But I am good at encouraging people, and I have been challenged to get out of my comfort zone with regard to extending hospitality to friends and to-be friends.

But – I can cook. I love cooking for my family and I do regard it as one of my gifts. If I could, I would bless John and Maggy Dobbs with some soup and my rich brownie flat cake.

I got this recipe from epicurious, one of my favourite recipe sources. It’s an intense flavoured soup (don’t leave out the anchovies and rosemary – they make the soup), but with a freshness and lightness that belies the fact this is a complete meal in a bowl. It conjures memories of a dinner in Monteriggioni on a cold night in ’93 (even though I have no memory of what we ate that night).

Bean and Swiss Chard (silverbeet) Soup
from: Soup: A Way of Life | November 1998
Barbara Kafka

Clearly this is an Italian soup. Biete is Swiss chard, usually green, although I have a fondness for the drama and beefy taste of the red-stemmed kind.
Servings: Makes about 5 cups (1.25 litres); 4 first-course servings.

1/2 pound (225 g) Swiss chard (silverbeet) or kale, trimmed ( I remove the thick white stalks)
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste
2 flat anchovy fillets
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves or dried
1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil (I use much less)
2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (I mince them finely)
1 cup (225 g) cooked small white beans or drained and rinsed canned beans (chick peas are good too!)
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock [or Garlic Broth for a meatless soup]
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (60 g) small shell macaroni (I use Orgran rice and corn fusilli)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In a medium saucepan, cook the chard with 1/2 cup (125 ml) water and the salt over medium heat until tender. Drain the chard, reserving any liquid that remains. Coarsely chop the chard. (I don’t bother cooking the chard – I just add it raw)

Very finely chop anchovies together with the rosemary.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is pale gold. Stir in the anchovies and rosemary. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the chard and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Stir in the beans. Cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the reserved cooking liquid and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the macaroni. Boil for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.

For dessert, I would serve rich brownie flat cake. I make this at least once a month. The recipe is apparently from Good Living in the Sydney Morning Herald. My friend Fiona gave it to me a couple of years ago, and it’s now the cake I bake most. It makes dessert when served with berries and cream or mascarpone.

Rich Brownie Flat Cake
125g butter
100g dark chocolate
3/4 cup sugar (I use castor – superfine to you North Americans)
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain flour (I use spelt or pharoah flour as I am wheat-free)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt butter and chocolate (I do this in the microwave). Cool.
Whisk sugar and eggs, stir into cooled chocolate mixture with the vanilla.
Stir in sieved flour and nuts.
Bake for 30 minutes in 170C (325-350F) oven in a 21cm lined round pan.

And I have been praying about a song for John and Maggy. I have been praying for them with most songs I have heard or sung the last week or so. But this is the one I offer them today. And tomorrow. And the next day. We sang it at “church” last night.  It’s one we sing often. This is a good version. I couldn’t find a Hillsong version on youtube, except a subtitled one. But this one should have you singing.

Love Wendy

The best pick me up and Tiramisu

April 28, 2008

Tiramisu means “pick me up”.  It’s an Italian dessert, fairly recently invented but a classic all over the world already.  It’s ideal hangover food as it contains coffee, eggs and a shot of alcohol!  And the rich mascapone, which is really just condensed cream.  For years I have been making the traditional tiramisu. As a sublime dessert, of course, not for hangovers.  I love how one dish of tiramisu feeds hordes as it’s too rich for seconds.  Well, most people are replete after one serving.  In the interests of matrimonial harmony, no names of those who frequently have seconds, and thirds, will be mentioned on here!  

 

Last week on the rerun of the SBS Food Safari, individual servings were shown.  I made a healthier version of it yesterday, substituting ricotta cheese for the mascapone and it was DIVINE.   I used 2 eggs, about 4 TBS castor (superfine) sugar, 400g ricotta, about 100 ml espresso coffee, 12 Savioardi biscuits  and I used 15ml of brandy and 15ml of rum instead of liqueur.  Miss N had the last one for breakfast this morning and I do hope she didn’t smell of rum at her first day back at school after the two week break!  .  But – ricotta is good breakfast food.  Protein, and low fat and all that.  So – this isn’t TOO wicked.

And let me leave you with the best pick-me-up of all!

Wendy

Chocolate and coffee.. gifts from God

April 21, 2008

Those who know me already know I love coffee and chocolate.  I love them both dark and organic and intense and they bless my daily life.  (Not that I have chocolate every day!)  My mission in life is to nurture my family.  So combine all that with my love of cooking and what do you have?  A dessert which is quick, easy, divine and not too wicked, and one I have made quite a few times.

 

Coffee and Chocolate Self-saucing Pudding  

(from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 32 Apr/May 2007)

Batter:
1/2 cup (125ml) milk (I use soy as i am dairy free)
35g unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
1/2 cup (150g) plain flour, sifted (I substitute spelt or another flour as I am wheat-free)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
1 tablespoon instant coffee, sifted 
1/4 cup (27.5g) almond meal (ground almonds)
1/4 cup (27.5g) brown sugar

Sauce:
1/2 cup (55g) brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup (250ml) water

Preheat the over to 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit). For the pudding batter, place the milk, butter, egg and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place the flour, baking powder, coffee, almond meal and sugar in another bowl and mix. Gradually add the milk mixture and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

For the sauce, place the sugar, cocoa powder and water in a 15cm 4 cup (1 litre) capacity non-stick (NOT Teflon!) frying pan (I use a Le Creuset cast-iron pan) over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Pour the pudding batter into the frying pan containing the sauce. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm to touch.

Serve with cream, mascapone or whipped ricotta. Or even plain.  It doesn’t need anything with it.  

Serves 4 (leftovers make good breakfast – almonds are protein!)