Archive for March 2016
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Sunday, 27 March 2016
My best friend said the other day that she was really excited because it was almost time to make sticky date pudding. We were a little confused, and she explained that sticky date pudding is a winter dessert. I had never thought that it was, and always order it whenever it's on the menu because it's my favorite dessert.
Mocha Hot Cross Buns
Makes 24 small buns
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup rice bran oil
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp instant coffee
- 3 tsp active yeast
- 4 + 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp pink salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp coffee powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp milk
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- In a medium saucepan, heat half the milk and the coffee, sugar and oil until sugar is dissolved - it should not be boiling. Turn off the heat and then add the remaining milk and stir to combine and cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and stir to combine before adding 4 cups of flour. Mix well and then cover with a tea towel and set aside for 1.5 hours.
- Mix together the remaining flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir until combined.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, coffee, and spices, mixing well.
- On a flour dusted surface, remove the dough and press down so it is slightly flattened.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture all over and a third of the chocolate chips, then fold the dough in half and flatten again. Continue until all the sugar and chocolate chips are used up, and then flatten the dough into a symmetrical, circular shape.
- Cut the dough into even squares. I made tall, thin hot cross buns so mine were small squares, but feel free to make your buns as large or small as you like. Quickly roll each square into a ball and place on a greased baking tray with the seam side down. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Prepare the glaze by beating the egg white and milk, and brush over the risen buns.
- Prepare the cross mixture by whisking the flour, cinnamon and water together. Start by adding 1 tbsp of water to the flour mixture at a time, to make sure your crosses are the right consistency. It should not be too runny, but thin enough to pipe.
- Pipe the crosses onto the buns.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the buns are golden brown, and then let sit in the oven with the door open for 15 minutes.
- Eat the hot cross buns warm, or with butter or Nutella.* Enjoy!
Friday, 18 March 2016
We just had leftover baked sweet potato from dinner, which is what I used for this. If you don't have sweet potatoes handy, not all is lost. To stick with the one bowl-ness, though, simply peel and roughly chop up two sweet potatoes, and microwave with 2 tablespoons of water in a large bowl in 5 minute bursts until fork tender. Let cool, and then add in all the other ingredients. Alternatively, you can boil them like a normal, non-lazy human. Your call.
The ragu is even simpler: I used lamb, chilli and rosemary sausages from the deli, squeezed out of the casing. All flavour and seasoning included. Simmered with some garlic, bay leaves, more rosemary and tomato paste, and that's it!
For the Gnocchi
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked, mashed, and cooled to room temperature
- 3/4 cup ricotta, drained
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup plain flour, plus 1/2 cup for extra/dusting
- pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped up very finely (optional)
- In a large bowl, mash together the potatoes and egg with a fork. Slowly sift 1/4 cup flour into the bowl, using a fork or spatula to fold the mixture over and over on itself. Add in 1/4 cup of ricotta and continue folding the mixture over. Add in the pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and rosemary, if using. Repeat with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and ricotta, making sure everything is fully incorporated. It should be light and fluffy and not sticky. If the mixture is too wet, keep adding in tablespoonfuls of flour until it comes together, away from the sides of the bowl. Gather the dough together and shape a soft, pillow ball.
- Dust a clean bench, or a large chopping board with flour. and turn the dough pillow out onto it. Cut the pillow into equal quarters, and then roll each quarter into logs. Leave to rest for a few minutes.
- Cut each log into one inch segments, dusting with more flour if it is too sticky. When all the dough has been used up, use a fork dusted in flour to press lines into the gnocchi.
- To cook, add the gnocchi into a large pot of salted, boiling water. Don't overcrowd the pan, or the gnocchi may stick together. Drain and serve. I put the drained gnocchi into a large non stick pan just to give them some crunch - completely optional, but it gives it an added texture.
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 brown onion, diced finely
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 6 lamb sausages (or sausages of your choice, I used lamb, chilli and rosemary)
- 2 tomatoes, diced (alternatively, 1 tin of diced tomatoes, and omit the tomato paste)
- 250g tomato paste
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup red wine
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and add the garlic and onions, stirfrying until fragrant. Cut one end off from a sausage, and squeeze out the filling into the frying pan. Keep stirring. The sausage meat can be in chunks or broken up into tiny bits like mince, whichever you prefer. Repeat with remaining sausages.
- Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, rosemary, and bay leaves, stirring to combine. Deglaze with the wine, and let simmer for about 15 minutes on a very low heat.
- Serve with gnocchi, top with parmesan cheese and cracked pepper.