27 September, 2012

OTTOLENGHI'S ROAST CHICKEN WITH SAFFRON, HAZLENUTS AND HONEY

THIS IS MY FAVOURITE CHICKEN DISH, I MADE IT ON RECENTLY FOR BELINDA'S BIRTHDAY LUNCH AND THEN  FOR MY DADS 83RD BIRTHDAY DINNER LAST W/END. IT'S SURPRISINGLY EASY TO PREPARE BUT VERY IMPRESSIVE.
THE RECIPE COMES FROM  'OTTOLENGHI THE COOKBOOK' WHICH IS MY COOKING BIBLE THIS MONTH, YOU WILL LOVE IT! IT'S INSPIRED BY A RECIPE FROM THE GREAT CLAUDIA RODEN'S CLASSIC BOOK. 
I SERVED THIS DISH WITH DICED ROASTED POTATOES AND TZASIKI.


INGREDIENTS

1 large organic or free-range chicken, divided into quarters: breast and wing, leg and thigh
2 onions, roughly chpopped
4 tbs olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a generous pinch of saffron strands
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbs cold water
2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
100g unskinned hazlenuts
70g honey
2 tbs rosewater
2 spring onions, roughly chopped

METHOD
1 In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with the onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice,water, salt and pepper.
Leave to marinade for at least an hour, or overnight in the ridge.

2 Preheat the oven to 190C. Spread the hazlenuts out on an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Chop roughly and set aside..

3 Transfer the chicken and marinade to a roasting tray large enough to accommodate everything
 comfortably. arrange the chicken pieces skin-side up and put the tray in the oven for about 35 minutes.

4 While the chicken is roasting, mix the honey, rosewater and nuts together to make a rough paste.
Remove the chicken from the oven, spoon a generous amount of nut paste on to each piece and spread it to cover. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are golden brown.
5 Transfer the chicken to a seving dish and garnish with the chopped spring onions.



I FORGOT TO TAKE A PHOTO, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
 I PROMISE NEXT TIME I MAKE THIS YUMMY DISH TO TAKE PHOTO'S FOR YOU.

19 September, 2012

'Sapphire' an angel for September and a recipe for Chocolate Meringues






Chocolate Ganache Meringues 



Meringues
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
10g good cocoa powder 
40g icing sugar

Ganache
100g dark belgian chocolate
100g cream

Method
For the ganache  
1. Bring the cream to a gentle boil in a small pan. Remove from heat.
2. Add the chocolate and allow to melt for a few minutes then stir to combine. 
3. Leave to cool and thicken while preparing the meringues.



Preheat oven to 100c, line 2 baking trays.
1. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar beating well between each   addition, until dissolved. Fold through the sieved icing sugar and cocoa.
2. Pipe or spoon 40 rounds of meringues onto lined trays. Bake for about 1 hour or until they look dry and sound hollow when tapped.
3. Pipe or spoon the chocolate ganache onto the flat side of half the meringues. Sandwich together with the remaining meringues. Store in airtight containers

*A few variations on the ganache for you try.

1. Add  1/4 tsp vanilla extract to ganache
2. Add finely diced candied mandarine or orange to the ganache and serve with shards of the candied fruit.
3. Add a teaspoon of cherry liqueur to the ganache.


    16 August, 2012

    An Orchid Angel for August 'Gloria'




    For Gloria

    12 August, 2012

    Chocolate Truffles

    Chocolate is a good winter indulgence!
    TRUFFLES DIPPED IN BELGIAN CHOCOLATE


     I don't really like desserts!
     I prefer a good cheese plate with muscatel grapes, figs or what ever fruit is in season, so it's quite funny that I ended up making so many cakes!
      I do occasionally like a crémé brûlée or a dark chocolate truffle which are easy to make and a good gift to take to a dinner party.
    My favourite recipe for truffles is to make a simple chocolate ganache and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before forming truffles and filling with cherries that I've been soaking in brandy for  2 years.
     You might like to try filling with crunchy bits of praline,  peanut butter, maybe liquorice, add a slash of liquer to the ganash or what ever else might take your fancy!.
     Below are a few basic recipes. 

    Chocolate Truffles Recipe No 1
    250g couverture chocolate
    1/2 cup cream
    100g dutch cocoa powder
    50g desiccated coconut

    • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, heat through gently add chocolate and stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat. Cover and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out into balls. Place the cocoa on a large shallow plate, roll ½ of the truffle balls in the cocoa. Place the coconut on a large shallow plate roll remaining truffle balls in the coconut, refrigerate for at least ½ an hour before serving
    Chocolate Truffle Recipe No2
    150ml double cream
    400g bitter chocolate broken into pieces
    4tbs unsalted butter

    • In a saucepan gently boil the double cream until it reduces to 2 tablespoons. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted. Add the butter and stir gently, then pour into a large flat plate. Put into the fridge for approximately 45 minutes until chilled and set. With a teaspoon scrape across the chocolate so that it forms a rough truffle shape, in a large curls. Roll them in the dry cocoa powder, refrigerate for at least half an hour before serving.
    Chocolate Truffle Recipe No3
    400g dark chocolate
    20g clear honey
    25g butter
    200ml double cream

    • Place 200g of the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Add the honey and diced butter. Pour the cream into a saucepan, bring it to the boil then pour over the chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Leave to cool. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Scoop with a melon baller or spoon onto a baking sheet. Put the remaining chocolate into a bowl and gently melt over a pan of hot water just below the boil. Then remove from the heat. Coat the truffles in the melted chocolate, lifting them out with a tooth pick. Then place back on the baking sheet and refrigerate to set. Coat the truffles a second time, refrigerate to set.
    •  If by chance you should have any left over! store in an airtight container in the fridge.


    21 July, 2012

    Poppy - An Angel For July


    This is how my July Angel Poppy was going to look, but i think we need some colour to cheer us up and get us through the winter.


    Angel Poppy





    15 July, 2012

    FRENCH ONION SOUP




    FRENCH ONION SOUP

    3TBS VEGETABLE OIL
    40G BUTTER
    1.5K RED ONIONS, FINELY SLICED
    2/3 GARLIC CLOVES,FINELY SLICED
    50G BACON LARDONS 
    100ML COGNAC
    300ML DRY WHITE WINE
    30G PLAIN FLOUR
    2 LITRES CHICKEN STOCK 
    SALT &PEPPER
    ~~~~~~

    PLACE A LARGE HEAVY BOTTOMED POT ON THE STOVE AND TURN THE HEAT UP HIGH.
    WHEN THE BASE IS HOT ADD THE OIL, WHEN IT BEGINS TO SMOKE ADD THE BUTTER.
    ADD THE SLICED ONION, GARLIC AND LARDONS.
    COOK ON MEDIUM HEAT FOR 15-20 MINUTES UNTIL THE ONIONS ARE SOFT AND GOLDEN.
    ADD THE COGNAC ANT SET FIRE TO IT UNTIL ALL THE ALCOHOL HAS BURNED OFF,POUR IN THE WINE AND REDUCE THE LIQUID BY HALF, STIRRING CONSTANTLY.
    STIR IN THE FLOUR THEN POUR IN THE STOCK.
    BRING TO THE BOIL.
    TURN DOWN THE HEAT AND SIMMER FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES.


    GRUYERE CROUTONS

    1 LOAF OF SLICED BAGUETTE OR SOUR DOUGH BREAD
    OIL TO DRIZZLE OVER BREAD
    1 GARLIC CLOVE
    50 G GRUYERE CHEESE, FINELY GRATED
    ~~~~~~

    PLACE SLICED BREAD ON A BAKING SHEET, DRIZZLE WITH OIL AND WHEN GOLDEN TURN AND REPEAT THE PROCESS.
    RUB THE BREAD WITH THE GARLIC.
    SPRINKLE WITH THE CHEESE AND PLACE UNDER GRILL UNTIL CHEESE HAS MELTED AND STARTS TO BROWN.
    SEASON THE SOUP AND SERVE TOPPED WITH THE CROUTONS.



    06 July, 2012

    A LATE ANGEL FOR JUNE, 'CAMILIA'

    ANGEL CAMILIA 

    30 June, 2012

    circus of words

    No, it's not a haystack!


     CIRQUE DES MOTS

    The fabric pole is made from vintage french fabric left over from the covered chair!
    The book has been sitting on the shelf for so long that it has a great parchment like colour.

    Vegetable & Lentil Soup


    With a temperature of minus 2 it's definitely time for a soup!



    Vegetable & Lentil Soup


    (For the  mirepoix)
    50g butter
    2 Tbs olive oil
    1      onion diced
    2 carrots diced
    2 sticks of celery diced
    1 large clove of garlic diced 

    (this is a great base for casseroles and soups) 

    Remaining ingredients

    1 white part of leek, chopped
    4 carrots, chopped
    ½ pumpkin, chopped
    2 large potato's
    2-1/2 litres of chicken stock  
    2 tins chopped tomato's
    2 Tbs red lentils
    2 tsp of herb de provence ( thyme, oregano and tarragon)
    1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

    Method
     In a large stock pot sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in 30g of  butter and 2 Tbs of olive oil, stirring continuously until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. 
      Add remainging chopped vegetables to the mirepoix and continue cooking for 5 minutes.  
     Add  the stock, tomatoes, lentils and dried herbs.
     Bring to  the boil , reduce heat to a simmer, cover with lid and  continue cooking on low heat  for 30-40 minutes, until lentils are soft.
    Add the parsley
     Pour into warmed soup bowls and serve with  Reggiano Parmesan cheese, crusty bread and a glass of red!
    Bon appetite!
    .
    TIP 1
    If you  want to make light work of it, dice the vegetables for the mirepoix in  a processor and then chop the remaining vegetables by processing in short burst until you have the consistency you require for small chopped vegetables.
    .
    TIP 2
    For a thicker soup place 2 or 3 ladles of liquid from soup into a smaller pan and bring to a rolling boil and simmer until reduced by half, then return to pan.


    17 May, 2012

    ANGEL FOR   MAY

    Oh no! I nearly forgot this months angel . 

    ‘May-belle’   
    I know it’s time for a recipe!
    So next post will be
    something cooking in my kitchen!

    29 April, 2012

    Cooking classes in Paris - Rob's Blog

    Cooking classes in Paris - Rob's Blog

    Champagne Breakfast

    IA champagne breakfast at Margaret Young Whitfords ‘Shed’ .









    16 April, 2012

    An Angel for April




    10 April, 2012

    Bee Bon Chocolateria. Bunny Biscuits & Marshmallows & lots of Chocolate!.



    Bee Bon Easter stall proved to be very successful. My friend Alison shared her marshmallow recipe and her talented son Julien made me 2 bunny cutters. The bunny biscuits and marshmallows sold out fast. I think I will have to keep them on the menu!




                                         



    06 April, 2012

    Easter Breakfast and Recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Muffin



    My Easter Table setting with the talented Margaret Young Whitford went so well.
    A thunder storm was predicted so we dashed around setting up, took a few photo's and then opted for breakfast inside while the rain came lashing down.







    Recipe for Chocolate And Raspberry Muffins
    250g plain flour
    1Tbs baking powder
    125g caster sugar
    250ml milk
    60g butter
    1 large egg
    200g chopped belgian chocolate 
    200g fresh or frozen raspberries
    Method
    Preheat the oven 180c. Butter 12 muffin tins
    Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in sugar.
    Melt butter remove from heat and whisk in milk and egg.
    Add to dry ingredients mixing lightly.
    Fold in chocolate and raspberries.
    Pop into muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm and golden.
    Cool 5 minutes in tins, then transfer to cooling rack.
    Dust with icing sugar and enjoy in moderation!!!  



    30 March, 2012

    chestnuts in the highlands




    I had an impromptu chestnut picking day today and it was so good.I was busy cooking up a storm in my kitchen when Jill Dyson from www.foodpath.com.au called to remind me of the chestnut tour at Pine Haven Stud and Chestnut Farm. I said I didn't think I could make it seeing as my cakes weren't even in the oven yet! so the bus went merrily on its way without me!

    I finished baking at 12pm and decided to get in the car and drive out there, a 30 minute road trip.
    The weather was fantastic and I was so happy to see the group from the Moss Vale Community Garden! such a great group of people, from the Willy's Chocolate fan to the lady doing tours of the haunted properties around the highlands! and Jill Cockram who gives so much of her time to the Community Garden.
    I arrived as Nick was manning the roaster and everyone was sitting together enjoying some of the roasted chestnuts. We continued filling the buckets, roasted and ate a few more and then it was off  to the weigh in to pay for the chestnuts we had picked to take home.
    I thought I might have a go at  making chestnut flour and bake a cake!I just found out it takes  500g of nuts to make approximately 1/4 cup of flour!! maybe a few biscuits?
    If the temperature drops, chestnuts roasted on the fire sounds good and easy!





    Time to get back to my Easter Blogging!

    16 March, 2012

    Martha, My Angel for March. Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins at Bee Bon Patisserie

    I almost forgot …  Martha, my angel for March!
    My vintage stall seems to be getting busy again, selling lots of french apothecary jars and old embossed books as well as all the vintage crockery etc. I was a bit sad to see my old black typewriter go and now wonder if maybe my Imperial manuscript typewriter would be happier to stay with me as a prop!


    Last Saturday was another good w/end with my patisserie
    My Flour less Orange Cakes sold out again. 



    This weeks special cake is my 'pre easter' chocolate & raspberry muffin, do call in if you're in the area and say 'hello' and try something from the patisserie.


    Next weeks blog will be my Easter Blog with the very talented Margaret Young Whitford.

    02 March, 2012

    Adding a Saturday Morning Patisserie to my stall.


    Stall 33 bee
    Bits and pieces from my stall.

    Here's an update on my stall at the local vintage market.
    This time of year is rather quiet so I decided to make a few of the pastries that I make for the 'Hopewood' open days to sell at my stall on Saturday mornings, it’s been fun and this will be my 4th week.  I'm an early riser so find it easy to bake as much as I can fresh on the day.Customers and stall holders come along for a chat and  don't go away empty handed.  If you are in the area call in and meet me at Dirty Janes in Bowral.

    This weeks Menu
    Strawberry and Rhubarb Frangipane Tarts
    Garibaldi Biscuits
    Flourless Orange Cakes
    Leek & Guyere Frittata’s w Swiss Brown Mushrooms
    Maybe a few more if I have the time!
    Last weeks beebon pattisserie