Monday, December 17, 2012

Fettucine Boscaiola

I don't make a lot of cream pastas but sometimes I just get sick of a tomato sauce (especially since I've been pregnant - it's either a life saver, or I get the worst reflux from it). 

I have a few pasta books, on very small thick one called The Women's Weekly Fast Pasta, so I decided to try something different (also in the search for the perfect boscaiola recipe). After husband had this he said it was the best he's ever had. 

What you will need: 
2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
200g Button Mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
200g Shaved ham, chopped coarsely (I used proscuitto instead) 
1/4 Cup (60ml) Dry White Wine (I used Prosecco)
1 1/4 Cups (310ml) Pouring Cream
500g Fettucine
2 Tablespoons Chives, coarsely chopped

Heal oil in a large saucepan and cook the mushrooms, garlic and ham. Str until lightly browned. 

Add the white wine and bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered until the wine reduces by half. 

Add the cream and reduce the heat, simmering uncovered until the sauce thickens slightly. 

Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted boiling water until just tender. 

I add the chives to the sauce at this time but the recipe doesn't say to (I like my herbs to infuse flavour into the sauce, not just be a garnish). 

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss gently to combine. 

Serve with fresh crusty bread. 

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Raspberry Sour Cream Cake - blogger inspiration

There are a number of foodie blogs I frequent and Annie's Eats is one of them. Not only are her recipes delicious but they always look good to. It's been a good while since I baked so naturally I chose one of the hottest Sydney days for 2012. As the temperature outside hits 42° I decided to bake Annie's Eats Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake, click here for her version. 

What you will need: 
For the crumb topping
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (I used white sugar, Annie used granulated sugar)
Zest of ½ lemon
4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

(silly computer is playing up and won't display the ingredients photo for the crumb coating)

For the cake
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (I used white sugar, Annie used granulated sugar)
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the cake:
2 cups fresh raspberries

Cake Ingredients
What to do: 
For the crumb coating

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Lightly grease and flour and 10-inch springform pan (I didn't have a springform pan so I just used an 8" round cake tin). Combine the flour, granulated sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and whisk to blend. 

Add the melted butter.

 Stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside. 

For the cake
To make the cake, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until well blended. 

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the liquid ingredients.  

Fold together gently until evenly mixed and no streaks remain, being careful not to over mix.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan in an even layer.  

Dot the top of the batter with the raspberries. 

Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the berries.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 38-42 minutes.  Mine took exactly 40 minutes. I think if I had granulated sugar the crumb coating would be browner. Still tastes godo though!

 Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. 

Serve warm or at room temperature. You must try this cake when it's still warm, it's delicious. I couldn't resist taking so many photos so here they are. Note this cake does not have to refrigerated in spite of the sour cream. 

 This is my fave photo.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday

It's that time of the week again - Foodie Friends Friday. Each week Foodie Friends Friday gets a stellar turnout of recipes. This week I'm going to link up my Peach Blossom Cake. This was such a lovely cake to make (originally inspired by seeing it on Masterchef last year and after I purchased ther Merle Parrish cookbook). Take a look at it here

Peach Blossom Cake
 This week's giveaway is Christmas Decorations from KC Ornaments - check out their wares here

KC Decorations - example of giveaway
Also up for grabs is holiday magnets from A Proverbs 31 Wife here

A Proverbs 31 Wife magnets

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 3, 2012

White Choc Mud Cake - Happy Birthday cake

This white choc mud cake is the second recipe I've made from my Mastering the Art of Baking book by Anneka Manning. I really love this book (lovely birthday gift from some friends) and can't wait until I'm on maternity leave and can make a lot more from it. On this occasion the cake was for my neice's birthday with some average Dora the Explorer decorations.

What you will need: 
250g White Chocolate, chopped
200g Butter, chopped
2330g (1.5 Cups) Caster Sugar
2 Eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
150g (1 Cup) Plain Flour
150g (1 Cup) Self Raising Flour
(to decorate you will require an icing of your choice, here I used vanilla bean buttercream I blogged about here, but you would also use a buttercream)

Preheat the oven to 160Deg C and grease a 20cm square cake tin (I used a round tin).

Put the chocolate, butter and 200ml of water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted and combined.

Transfer to a large bowl, stir int he sugar and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm.

Add the eggs and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to combine.

Sift the flours together over the chocolate mixture and stir in with the whisk until smooth.

Now you can just pour into your prepared tin and bake as normal, or if you want to colour your tiers like I did, split the batter evenly into three (or however many colours you want) separate bowls. Stir in your food colouring, I wanted three different shades of pink. I had to cook my tiers separately so they were individual tiers.

Bake for 1.5 hours or until cooked (test with a skewer). Cracks will appear on the top of your cake (like mine) but don't worry. Cool the cakes on wire racks until cooled.

Spread your chosen icing on top and layer the cakes accordingly, or if you have the one cake, just ice.

I rough iced my layers together and then smoothed them with a hot knife.

All the decorations are handmade (you can tell!) from fondant.

Inside the cake - the three layers of pink.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homemade Gnocchi

Recently I had a week off work and figured it would be a good time to make some foodie items that I could freeze - mainly PASTA. I found this great website that provided a gnocchi recipe and amazing photos - check it out here and this is what I based my recipe on below. 

What you will need: 
1kg starchy potatoes (e.g. russet), unpeeled
300g / 1½ Cups Plain Flour
2 Egg Yolks
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive OilSalt
Wash your unpeeled potatoes to get rid of any dirt. 

Boil your potatoes until tender (for small potatoes this will take about 10–15 minutes to boil; medium potatoes about 20–25 minutes; and large potatoes 35–45 minutes). Avoid piercing them to check they are tender as water and gnocchi are not a good match. Boil an 
extra potato that can be your tester. 

Once the potatoes are cooked, let them cool and then peel the skins of gently. 
Boiled & Peeled Potatoes
Mash them into a large bowl with either a potato ricer, or if like me you don't have one of those, a fork. You want the mash to be as lump-free as possible. Allow mash to cool to room temperature.

Mashed potatoes
Mix the flour and salt together in a small bowl. Mix the egg yolks and olive oil into the mash potato. 
Add yolks and salt
Sprinkle the flour over the potatoes and mix gently until the flour is moistened and the dough looks crumbly.  
Add flour
Crumbly texture
On a lightly floured surface, knead the potato dough gently to incorporate the flour. Press on the dough with your hands and then fold it in half, turn it and repeat. Knead for about 1 minute. Your dough should now be soft and smooth. If sticking occurs, sprinkle a little more flour to your work surface. Be careful, you don't want to add too much extra flour as 
it will harden the dough. Place your dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.   

Potato dough
You will need a clean work surface for the next bit so make sure any excess sticky dough etc has been cleaned away and the bench is completely dry. Sprinkle the surface with a little bit of flour. Tear of a lemon sized piece of dough and roll into a rope. Use a knife to cut out square bites (the size will depend on how big you want your gnocchi to be). To finish off you can either leave the gnocchi pillows as is or indent them with a fork to give them 
Cut Gnocchi
Arrange your gnocchi in a single layer on baking sheets, making sure they don't touch. To freeze place the gnocchi on the baking sheets into the freezer. When hard, transfer to freezer bags or an airtight container. Smart idea is to portion them out into freezer bags so 
you don't defrost too much. 
My  homemade Gnocchi
To cook gnocchi bring a salted pot of water to the boil and place the gnocchi in the water. When they rise to the surface they are cooked, this can take a few minutes. Use a slotted spoon to fish them out of the water and serve with your favourite sauce. Goes well with pesto and burnt butter sauces. 
Do you have a favourite sauce to match your gnocchi? 

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