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year-one-mag:

We’ve already posted a recipe this month, but it’s National Baking Week so we decided to take on a challenge. That’s right, we’ve been making

MACAROONS

You will need:

  • 125g ground almonds
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • food colouring

… and for the filling:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 50g butter
  • flavouring (we used vanilla extract and coffee)

1. First prepare your baking sheets - draw circles of 3-4cm diameter (we drew around a roll of electrical tape!), with enough space between for your macaroons to expand. Use a thick pen that will be visible from the other side - the mixture will pick up any markings on the paper.
2. Mix together the ground almonds and icing sugar in a bowl.
3. Separate your eggs (try this) and whisk the whites in another bowl until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar in 3 or 4 portions, whisking well in between each, until you have a smooth glossy mixture.
4. Time to add your colour! We went for red and purple, so we separated the egg white mixture into two bowls before adding the colouring. Mix well.
5. Add your coloured mixture to the almond mixture (don’t forget to split the almond mixture in half if you’ve used two colours like we did!) Use a spatula to fold the mixtures together, until you have a thick smooth consistency.
6. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag (we just used a sandwich bag with the corner cut off) and pipe into the circles on your baking sheet. MAKE SURE you use the pen-less side!
7. Leave the macaroons at room temperature for about 20 minutes - in the meantime pre-heat the oven to 160. Your macaroons are ready to go in when they’ve become firm, and you can touch the top without the mixture sticking to your finger.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes (10 for a smaller macaroon, 15 if they’re slightly bigger). When they’ve risen and are firm and dry on the top, they’re done. Cool on a wire rack, then use a palette knife to get them off the baking paper. 
9. For the filling, mix icing sugar and softened butter, then add a flavouring. We split the mixture in two, adding vanilla essence to one batch and a few drops of strong coffee to the other. Spread the filling on the underside of one macaroon and sandwich it together with another one.

So there we have it - macaroons. Not the easiest thing we’ve ever baked, but a lot easier than we were expecting (especially for our first try!) Our attempts were hardly the smooth little globes of perfection you can buy in fancy bakeries, but hey. Thankfully we prefer the homemade look - and they taste just as good! 

nosebear:

Steamed Cabbage Buns
A kind of Chinese themed version of the Greek dolma, these cabbage buns are full of flavour. Best enjoyed with a soy sauce, garlic and chilli dipping sauce to add a little extra bite to the rolls.
8 cabbage leaves
400g minced pork
handful of pre boiled rice
1 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
Boil a large saucepan of water and add the cabbage leaves. Blanch them for around a minute and a half, take them out and leave to dry. Mix the pork, rice, cornflour, chilli powder and the egg together. Divide into 8 parts and add one part to each of the cabbage leaves.  Wrap the cabbage leaves around the pork and place seam side down in a steamer.
Cook in a steamer for 10 minutes and serve with dipping sauce.
Zoom Info
Camera
Nikon COOLPIX S200
ISO
300
Aperture
f/3.1
Exposure
1/125th
Focal Length
6mm

nosebear:

Steamed Cabbage Buns

A kind of Chinese themed version of the Greek dolma, these cabbage buns are full of flavour. Best enjoyed with a soy sauce, garlic and chilli dipping sauce to add a little extra bite to the rolls.

  • 8 cabbage leaves
  • 400g minced pork
  • handful of pre boiled rice
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Boil a large saucepan of water and add the cabbage leaves. Blanch them for around a minute and a half, take them out and leave to dry. Mix the pork, rice, cornflour, chilli powder and the egg together. Divide into 8 parts and add one part to each of the cabbage leaves.  Wrap the cabbage leaves around the pork and place seam side down in a steamer.

Cook in a steamer for 10 minutes and serve with dipping sauce.

Fall Baking: The Pumpkin Edition

mimieats:

Fall baking - especially when it includes pumpkin - is my absolute favorite, but as I’m in New York and won’t be able to do any of that this year, I decided to go through my old recipes and just reminisce. And share them with you guys, of course.

Mini Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (RECIPE)

Pumpkin Bread (RECIPE)

Pumpkin Mini Muffins (RECIPE)

Hope you guys get to try these out! I’ll just go get myself a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks as consolation…

Potato and Mushroom Bake 

There are few dishes that give you that home comfort feeling like a great potato bake and this one, which I recently served with a Prime Rib Roast andMelanzanewas such a huge hit I am being forced to make it again… very soon Just gotta love it when people enjoy your food! (makes enough for 6 people) Use an ove dish that is about 30cmx20cmx8cm high or similar

The three dishes for the meal required a bit of planning because they were all done in the oven so prepare the melanzane first and into the oven, prepare the potato bake next and then leave them in the oven until almost cooked. Then remove them and pop the prime rib in the oven high up in the oven leaving the second rack on the bottom. When you are about 1/2 an hour from serving, pop the potato bake and the melanzane back into the oven.

What you need

  • 5 Medium potatoes sliced thinly
  • 2 medium onions sliced thinly
  • 1 punnet button mushrooms sliced
  • 2 x 250ml fresh cream
  • 1 packet dry cream of mushroom soup
  • Pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Good cheddar cheese for the topping

The process

  1. Place a layer of potato, then onion, then mushrooms, then about 1/3 of the mushroom soup, repeat until the dish is 3/4 full (should be 3 layers.
  2. Now pour the cream over the top and cover with a layer of cheese.
  3. Pop into the oven on 180 to 200 Celsius for 40 minutes or so and the top is golden brown and bubbling. Check that the potato is cooked through by poking with a knife.

This is seriously delicious for a braai, as a vegetable with a roast or just because you want something that reminds you of home if you are in a far flung place away from home.

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