Monthly Archives: July 2012

Passionfruit pudding

Continuing on my sweet theme, this is a twist on the classic Lemon Delicious Pudding – which may just be the original self-saucing pudding.

I also thought it was long overdue that I include a passionfruit recipe on my blog. I will admit that these puddings won’t necessarily win any beauty contests, as my pudding cooked the passionfruit seeds rose to the top and I ended up with a spotty looking top. They do taste delicious however, and you can always improve the presentation by dusting the top with icing-sugar when you are ready to serve.

If you would like a quick lesson on beating egg whites, the Bakingsheet blog gives a comprehensive rundown.

Passionfruit Pudding

Serves 6

* This recipe was inspired by a Lemon Delicious Pudding recipe by Stephanie Alexander that appears in her book The Cook’s Companion. I have modified and adapted it to come up with the below reincarnation.

Ingredients

  • 60g butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 6 passionfruit
  • Extra butter for greasing

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180°C and boil a kettle full of water.
  2. Grease 6 ramekins with butter.
  3. Add the butter and sugar to food processor. Process until mixed.
  4. Add the egg yolks and process until mixed.
  5. Add the flour and baking powder and process until mixed.
  6. Add the milk and process until mixed. You will end up with quite a runny batter.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until until soft peaks.
  8. Pour the batter into the egg whites, and the passionfruit pulp and gently stir to combine.
  9. Place the ramekins in a deep dish that will become their water bath or bain-marie. Pour the batter into the greased ramekin dishes.
  10. Place the deep dish with its ramekins in the oven. Pour in the water from the kettle until half way up the side of the ramekins – the water should be hot but not freshly boiled if you are using glass ramekins, because the sudden change in temperature may cause the glass to crack.
  11. Cook in the oven for approximately 1 hour or until golden brown on the top. You still want a sauce under the cake layer.
  12. Remove dish from oven and remove ramekins from the hot water, allow to cool a little if you can stand to wait. Serve while the puddings are still warm, delicious dusted with icing-sugar and served with thick cream or ice-cream. Enjoy.

What is your favourite hot pudding recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Baking, Passionfruit, Pudding, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian

Orange crème caramel

I might have mentioned this previously, but I have fierce sweet tooth and love desserts. Custard-based desserts rank highly in my favourites.

It is important to cook any baked custard gently at a low temperature or you will end up with something that resembles the texture of scrambled eggs.

If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, you can test what stage your toffee or sauce is up to by placing a small drop of the mixture on a plate, coming in contact with the plate it cools quickly and you can then tell if your mix is going to be a hard toffee or how thick your sauce is going to be. Don’t be tempted to stick a finger into the saucepan to taste or you will end up with a nasty burn.

This recipe idea is a twist on a classic. I have been quite generous with the orange flavour, if you prefer things more subtle, adjust the recipe and only use one orange for the zest and juice, instead of the two listed below.

Orange Crème Caramel

Serves 6

Ingredients

Orange Caramel Sauce

  • 150mls of water
  • 175g sugar
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • Generous pinch of salt

Custard

  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 100g sugar
  • 600mls cream
  • 6 egg yolks

Method

  1. To infuse the custard mixture, add the cream, orange zest and sugar to a saucepan.
  2. Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds contained inside, and add the pod and seeds to the cream [or add the vanilla essence].
  3. Gently heat the cream, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot. Don’t allow the mixture to boil.
  4. Once you start to see some steam coming of the cream turn the heat off and leave it to the side to allow the flavours to infuse.
  5. Heat oven to 150°C and boil a full kettle.
  6. To make the sauce add the water, salt and sugar to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  7. Once the sugar has dissolved, continue to cook without stirring until the sugar carmalises and turns a golden colour. If you have a sugar thermometer this is around the soft crack stage or 140°C.
  8. Add the orange juice to the hot toffee, it will and spit and bubble and the toffee will become quite solid. Stirring, continue to cook until the toffee is dissolved in the orange juice, then let the sauce cook without stirring until it thickens slightly. If you have a sugar thermometer this is around the soft ball stage, or 120°C. Allow the caramel to cool slightly.
  9. Add the egg yolks to the cooled cream mixture. Mix well.
  10. Add the caramel sauce to the bottom of 6 ramekin dishes. Swirl the sauce to coat the sides slightly. Place the ramekin in a deep dish that will later become their water bath or bain-marie.
  11. Strain the custard mixture to remove the zest and vanilla bean, then pour into the ramekin dishes. The custard will float above the caramel sauce, but try to pour gently.
  12. Place the deep dish with its ramekins in the oven. Pour in the water from the kettle – the water should be hot but not freshly boiled if you are using glass ramekins, because the sudden change in temperature may cause the glass to crack.
  13. Cook in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until set. You still want a slight wobble to your custards. Test by giving a ramekins a little shake to see if it does wobble, or you could insert a butter knife slightly into the custard and see if the custard pulls away, if it is too runny it won’t part.
  14. Remove dish from oven and remove ramekins from the hot water to cool, refrigerate until cold or you are ready to serve.
  15. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to break the seal and make sure the custard doesn’t stick. Place a plate on top of the ramekin then flip the plate & ramekin over. Gently remove the ramekin to unmold the custard with its citrus caramel sauce. Enjoy.

What is your favourite custard recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Baking, Caramel, Custard, Orange, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian

Pumpkin cannelloni

Cannelloni and lasagna are both wonderful dishes for the colder weather. Given the multiple steps and work involved, it is almost as easy to make two as it is to make one, and with the extra you can either surprise friends or family with the prep work done or pop one in the freezer for another time.

You will probably have extra cannelloni tubes left over from two packets, but one packet is not enough to use up all of the filling. Depending on the size of your trays, you may even be able to make a couple of individual serving versions from the recipe below.

The pine nuts will continue to cook once removed from the heat because of their high oil content, so don’t let them get too much colour on them when frying. I haven’t added salt because the high ratio of cheese adds saltiness.

Pumpkin Cannelloni

Ingredients

  • 1kg pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried chilli
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 500g feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 50g butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon mustard [smooth not seeded]
  • 1 litre milk
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 200g grated tasty cheese
  • 2 x 350g jars tomato based pasta sauce or 2 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 250g packets cannelloni tubes
  • 250g mozzarella cheese

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Peel the pumpkin or squash, cut in half, scoop out any seeds and stringy insides. Chop into pieces, approximately 2cm cubes. Add chopped cubes to a baking tray.
  3. Finely chop red onion & garlic, and add to baking tray with the pumpkin or squash.
  4. Drizzle vegetables in the baking tray with 2 tablespoons olive oil and dried chilli, toss to coat.
  5. Bake in oven until pumpkin or squash is soft and cooked through, approximately 1 hour. You should check on the vegetables at regular intervals and give them a stir to encourage them to cook evenly.
  6. Meanwhile heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan and fry the pine nuts until lightly golden. Remove from heat.
  7. Once pumpkin is cooked, allow to cool, mash slightly, add the fried pine nuts, crumbled feta, nutmeg, chopped rosemary and mix to combine.
  8. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and mustard and cook for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add a little milk to the flour & butter mixture, and continue adding milk slowly to incorporate without getting lumps. If you do happen to get lumps use a whisk to combine the ingredients.
  10. Add the bay leaves, and heat the sauce mix, stirring constantly over a medium heat with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens. This does require patience. The sauce is ready to remove from the heat if you can run a finger along the back of the wooden spoon to draw a line, and the line remains on the spoon.
  11. Remove the sauce from the heat, remove the bay leaves and add the grated parmesan and tasty cheese. Stir until combined, the heat should be enough to melt the cheese.
  12. Stir the cheese sauce every now and then while you are assembling to prevent a skin forming on the top of the sauce.
  13. You are now ready to assemble. Place tomato sauce in the bottom of 2 baking dishes.
  14. Stuff the cannelloni tubes with the pumpkin mixture, and place in a single layer in the baking trays on top of the tomato sauce.
  15. Once the trays are full, poor cheese sauce over the cannelloni tubes to cover and sprinkle the tops with mozzarella.
  16. You can either cook a tray of cannelloni in a 180 degrees celsius oven for 45 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and the top is golden brown, or refrigerate or freeze to cook later. Enjoy.

What favourite pasta recipes do you like to make on a regular basis? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Cheese, Pasta, Pumpkin, Savoury, Vegetarian

Zucchini fritters

Winter is still in full swing in Sydney at the moment, and in this kind of weather I tend to crave fried or comfort foods.

One of my favourite vegetables is the zucchini, and even though it is supposed to be a summer vegetable, they are still in abundance and at an affordable price at the greengrocer at the moment. In summertime when limes are at their best, I make this recipe using limes. At the moment limes are hard to find so I have used lemons in the details below.

These Zucchini Fritters can either be pan-fried like little pikelets or deep-fried. The deep-fried versions are great finger food for parties, or can be served as an entrée. The pikelet version can be served with a salad or vegetables. The recipe does make a big batch, left over deep-fried fritters and be frozen and reheated in the oven, or if you are cooking the pikelet version, cook what you need and store the batter in the fridge to make more the next day.

Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients

  • 500g zucchini
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 bunches of mint
  • 250g block of haloumi cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil for pan-frying or deep-frying
  • Salt, to garnish

Method

  1. Grate the zucchini and haloumi, add to a large bowl.
  2. Finely chop the onion and add to the bowl.
  3. Pluck the mint leaves, finely chop and add to the bowl.
  4. Zest the lemons. Add the zest and cayenne pepper and flour to the bowl. Stir thoroughly until all the ingredients are combined.
  5. Add the eggs and give everything a final stir to combine.
  6. Allow the mixture to rest for half an hour or so, during this time extra liquid will come out of the zuchinni.
  7. Add oil to your deep fryer or pan. Heat your deep fryer to 180 degrees celsius or heat your pan.
  8. You will need to cook the fritters in several batches. Give the mixture a stir, and add tablespoonfuls of mixture to your deep fryer or pan. Turn the fritters after a minute or two to cook on the other side. Remove fritters to a baking tray, and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.
  9. Serve sprinkled with salt and accompanied by wedges of lemon.

What is your favourite vegetable? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Cheese, Lemon, Savoury, Zucchini