Friday, September 26, 2008

luscious lemon coconut meringue slice

this recipe brings back a wonderful memory for me - back in 1997, i spent a day cooking with a very lovely lady called ayumi kawachi, with whom i have now sadly lost contact. ayumi - are you out there? i know you are - please drop me a line and say hello. that day in 1997, we made this and another slice. it was great fun, and ayumi, we can do it all again....we just have to try and find each other.

this base makes an excellent short pastry which can be used for any tart requiring a thin, crisp base. in order to achieve this, one must ensure that the dough is kneaded sufficiently to make it crisp.

90 grams butter
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cornflour

preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
cream the butter and sugar and add the plain flour and cornflour gradually. combine and turn the dough out of the bowl and knead for 5 minutes. press onto a laminton tin lined with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes of until golden.

in the meantime, prepare the filling:

400 gram tin condensed milk
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 cup lemon juice

combine the condensed milk, yolks, lemon rind and juice together. pour onto the base and bake for a further 10 minutes.

while the filling is in the oven, prepare the meringue topping:

2 egg whites
1/4 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup flaked coconut

whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and gradually add in the sugar. fold in the desiccated coconut. spread over the lemon filling and sprinkle with the flaked coconut. return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

shortbread cookie dough for cut out cookies

this is the cookie recipe i use to make my cut out cookies. i tend to roll the dough to about 3 millimetres thick to make them easier to handle, before and after baking. they are easily decorated either before or after baking as well.

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup custard powder

cream butter & add sugar gradually.
combine the flour and custard powder.
add the flour and custard powder to the butter mixture and mix well.
divide dough into several portions.
flatten one portion at a time on lightly floured surface with hands.
roll out smooth with lightly floured rolling pin.
cut into desired shapes & place on baking sheets lined with baking paper.
bake at 170°C for 10-15 minutes until golden brown around edges.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

chocolate cake in a mug

apparently this recipe has been doing the rounds on the email circuit (although no one has sent it to me yet....), but i thought it might be nice to add it here just for the fun of it. it works quite well, and since you know what goes into it, it's got to be better than those packet mixes for cake in a mug. i don't see how this could be any more difficult than a packet mix, and since there aren't any odd ingredients, the average pantry should have what one might need to achieve this instant gratification. well almost instant....3 minutes isn't that long to wait.

remember to use a large mug and only mix the ingredients until just combined as over mixing microwave cakes can make them rubbery. it's better to undercook, than overcook microwave cakes. if you aren't sure about what your microwave is like, err on the side of caution and cook the cake for 2 minutes, then check to see how it is. allowing the cake to rest after cooking is also important because microwave cakes continue to cook even after the power has stopped. oh, and it mightn't be a bad idea to put the mug on a plate in case the cake overflows.

just for the record, a tablespoon is 20mls, if that helps

4 tablespoons self-raising flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
1 mug

place flour into mug, add sugar and cocoa; mix.
crack in 1 egg; mix.
pour in milk and oil; mix until just combined.
put in microwave for 3 minutes on maximum/high power.
wait until it stops rising and sets in the mug.
tip contents out of mug onto saucer and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

gingerbread dough for cut out cookies

i love this dough because it is so nice to work with and smells so nice.

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 self raising flour
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
125 grams butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

in a small bowl, whisk together flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.

in a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.

add golden syrup, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.

gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.

divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. dough can be stored for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. return to room temp before using.

preheat oven to 180° celcius.

place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.

sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.

roll dough to 3 millimetres thick.

use additional flour to avoid sticking.

cut out cookies with desired cutter-- the gingerbread man is favorite, of course.

place the cookies on baking sheets lined with baking paper

bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies which are very good!).

remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.

after cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.