Wednesday, October 26, 2011

just a little taste...

blutsie picked this little booklet up for me from kinokuniya last week, and it's a gem:
so often, being time poor and all, wanting to have a little browse at cookbooks can be a luxury, which makes places online like amazon useful, but i'm old fashioned and i like having a hard copy sometimes and this is the next best thing. there are recipes from rowie dillon, of rowie's cakes fame - the clever lady who has found a niche market for gluten free cakes, adriano "does he need a last name" zumbo with his self named publication, zumbo, and seven other delightful books of varying levels of sophistication; in other words, there's something to suit everyone. there's a recipe from each book which provides a nice introduction to what to expect.

good on kinokuniya for doing this and taking cookbook catelogues to the next level.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

cast iron cookware

on saturday, blutsie and i headed off to an organic cooking class where they were promoting cast iron cookware and there was some discussion on how to season the cookware. people have their own favourite method, but i quite liked the method they suggested. the way they seasoned their cookware was to lightly saute vegetables in a vegetable oil, so, today, i tried it, and the vegetable i used was some cut up red onion, and the oil of choice was rice bran oil. i set my induction hotplate to the lowest setting, poured my oil in generously and tossed in the onion and left it there to cook away slowly. not exactly saute, but i chose to do it slowly so the oil would have a chance to seep into the pores. i'm sure some of the onioniness will seep in, but that's fine. it will make for interesting buckwheat pancakes, won't it? just have to make sure that they're savoury pancakes.

another interesting fact i learnt at the class about the cookware was that not all cookware which a magnet will stick to is induction friendly. for example, cookware which has a copper base encapsulated in stainless steel is not as efficient on an induction hob as one which is totally steel, as a cast iron pan is. i have wondered in the past why some pots heated up faster than some others, and now i know! this has never stopped me from enjoying my induction stove, but it has answered a few questions. and it's a good excuse to get new pots and pans...sigh...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

chocolate brownies for tn

this is an oldie, but a goodie which i first made in 1991 when i was expecting miss c. never to do things by halves, i made a double or triple quantity batch in my large pan. i have since shown much more restraint and have been making single quantity batches of this. yesterday, tn and his family came over for a visit - they were in town from perth, and i had to make this because tn likes it...actually, i remember him liking chocolate truffles, as well, which i will save for the next time they come over for a visit.

125g butter, cubed
150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
250 grams brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
75 grams plain flour
25 grams self raising flour
125 grams chocolate chips

line a square 19 cm pan with baking paper. preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

place the chocolate and butter into the thermomix bowl and melt for 6 minutes at 50 degrees on speed 1. add the sugar. eggs and vanilla and combine for 10 seconds on speed 5. add the flour and combine for 10 seconds. scrape the nowl down and combine for another 5 seconds. add the chocolate chips and pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it out the best you can. you don't have to mix the chocolate chips through the thick batter because they'll get mixed in when you pour this mixture out and spread it out. bake for 30 minutes. whatever you do, don't over bake the brownies. they should be cooked through, yet somewhat fudgey in the middle.

these brownies are supposed to have good keeping qualities, but i wouldn't know because they always get eaten up...even the triple quantity batches...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

hints on making sorbet

my hints on making sorbet in the thermomix.

more ice makes for a firmer sorbet. useful to know if using a fruit which gives a slacker mixture. alternatively, you can chill the fruit until firm.

homemade ice is far superior to using ice bought from the servo or supermarket. bought ice makes the sorbet very slack because it is too wet; homemade ice straight out of the freezer is dryer. the cubes of ice i use are actually very big, but they make a good sorbet.

if you want to make watermelon sorbet, freeze the fact you could use all watermelon and omit or use less sugar. on the subject of melon, rockmelon sorbet is divine. blutsie and i don't tolerate rockmelon well, but we find it quite irresistable, worst luck.

fibrous fruits, such as pineapple, give the sorbet a really lovely texture.

no need to peel pears for sorbet - can't tell the skin's there.

fruity dream is to fruit as is the stock concentrate is to veggies. waste not, want not.

oh, and this one is important, so you should commit it to memory. the addition of alcohol greatly improves the sorbet's keeping qualities (or non keeping qualities, depending on circumstances).