Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Raspberry Hedgehog Slice

I'm not normally a huge fan of no bake slices, but this one is a winner. We often crave some chocolate after eating tea. It's not something that I regularly buy, so the craving goes unanswered. a rich chocolatey slice appeared to be a solution.

I found some great ideas at playbakesmile.com and decided on her Hedgehog slice. My tweak was to add some Your Inspiration At Home Raspberry Chocolate Truffle powder as well as some raspberry powder. I found the powder at The Melbourne Food Depot online store. They have an amazing array of ingredients to choose from. If you happen to have freeze dried raspberries, they could also be added to the base.






Raspberry Hedgehog Slice
The Bush Gourmand

BASE
250g Granita biscuits
1/2 cup pecans, walnuts or roasted almonds (optional)
130g butter
130g best quality dark chocolate (I use Lindt 70%)
1 cup sultanas (or goji berries)
150g condensed milk
1 Tbsp YIAH Raspberry Chocolate Truffle powder
2 tsp Raspberry Powder

TOPPING
200g best quality milk chocolate (I use Lindt)
1 Tbsp coconut oil

SWIRL
50g best quality white chocolate (Lindt again!)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp raspberry powder
1 tsp beetroot powder (or red food colouring suitable for chocolate)

Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin. Make sure the paper is higher than the sides of the tin for ease of removal.

Chop biscuits in Thermomix bowl by pulsing on speed 4 to 5. You want the biscuit to be still chunky. I break up larger pieces with my fingers. Place into a bowl. if using nuts place them into the Thermomix bowl and chop again by pulsing on speed 4 to 5. Add to bowl with biscuits.

Don't wash bowl. Add dark chocolate, broken into pieces and butter. Melt at 50/speed 1 - 2/5 minutes. Add in milk, powders and sultanas and stir on reverse/speed 2/20 seconds or so. Use spatula to add biscuits or biscuit and nut mix.

Spoon into prepared tin and smooth the top with spatula or wet hands. Refrigerate for an hour or so.

Melt milk chocolate and coconut oil in Thermomix at 50/speed 1 - 2/5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate and coconut oil on 50% power in a pyrex bowl until liquid. Remove a tiny bit and mix with powders. Stir back into remaining melted white chocolate.

Pour milk chocolate over slice and smooth out to cover evenly. Place coloured and flavoured white chocolate into a small ziplock bag. Seal, then cut a small hole in one corner. Pipe lines or swirls on milk chocolate topping. Swirl with a skewer if desired. Refrigerate for two hours.

Remove completely from tin and place on a board to cut into small squares.

Enjoy in moderation!

Megan

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sausage Rolls and Tomato Sauce

What to do with a kilo of minced beef that you forgot you defrosted? Make sausage rolls!
First, make the sausage mince.

SAUSAGE MINCE
Use 500g mince and add a handful of fresh herbs or a good sprinkling of dried. For the first batch I used sage, parsley and thyme. The second batch I made with dried Italian herbs.

Tear up around 4 slices stale bread or use about 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs and add to the bowl. To season, use a generous amount of salt and pepper or try my All Purpose Seasoning. Add one egg and 1/2 MC of water. Add garlic and onion if desired. Mix together on speed 3 - 4 until it looks like sausage mince. I actually taste it at this stage. Just touch it to my tongue to check the seasoning.

When putting together sausage rolls, take a wad of the sausage mince and roll out on the bench like a sausage to the length of the puff pastry sheets. I find this makes the sausage rolls more even in size.
Score the rolls of filled puff pastry with a knife. I generally make four from one roll. These can be frozen at this stage.

Place on an oven tray and brush with egg. Bake in a pre heated (220C) oven for about 10 minutes. Reduce to 200 and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Cool on a rack. Once cooled, these can be frozen.
To make these gluten free, use rice crumbs or rice flakes instead of bread.

This is such an easy recipe there's no excuse not to make your own tomato sauce. So much nicer than the bought stuff!
I found this recipe at Mumdeep. She calls it Aussie Style Thermomix Tomato Sauce. I had more than 500g of tomatoes, so I doubled the recipe. When doubling recipes in the Thermomix, I find it's best to add half the time again, rather than doubling the cooking time.


Here's the recipe with my tweaks

TOMATO SAUCE
1kg very ripe tomatoes
2 large cooking apples
180g Apple Cider Vinegar
180g rapadura sugar (or brown sugar)
2 - 4 Tbsp tomato paste
4 tsp salt (can use less)
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Cut tomatoes and apples (don't peel) into quarters and place into Thermomix bowl. Add vinegar. Cook for 45 minutes/100/speed 2. This helps keep the colour of the sauce lovely and red.
Let cool for 1/2 an hour or so and then blend on speed 8 to 9 until smooth.
Add sugar, tomato paste and spices and cook a further 45 minutes/100/speed 2. Place basket on top to prevent it spitting out all over your bench and walls!
Adjust seasoning to your liking.
Place into warmed bottles and cap. Tip upside down for ten minutes. Turn up the right way and you'll find the bottles will seal.
If I have any left over bought tomato sauce, I add that to the bowl rather than waste it. In fact, if you're introducing a fussy family member to home made tomato sauce, this is a good way to do it. Just reduce the amount of bought sauce you use each time you make it.

Enjoy!

Megan



Saturday, April 25, 2015

Home Made 'Packet' Cake

Recently on a some of the Facebook recipe pages that I have joined, I've noticed quite a few recipes that use packet cakes. These are often desserts and look quite delicious.

However, I haven't bought a packet cake in about 10 years and frankly, never ever intend to. They are full of artificial ingredients. Granted, some may be okay - I believe Donna Hay's are pretty good, but I see no need to buy a packet cake when I have a perfectly good machine that can mix a cake in seconds.

However, sometimes, when in a hurry, a packet cake may come in handy. Plus, some of those recipes I've seen use a packet cake. So, instead of succumbing to buying one, I've created my own.

This mixture can be stored in the fridge for up to three months. I store it in a ziplock bag and write down the instructions on the bag.

Thermo Cake Mix
The Bush Gourmand

150g sugar
230g SR flour
2 Tbsp powdered milk
125g cold butter, cut into pieces

Process the flour and sugar together for 5 seconds on Turbo.
Add the powdered milk and butter and process on speed 5 for 5 seconds or so until mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Place in a ziplock bag with the following instructions:

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm round tin.

Add:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g water

Process 1 minute on speed 2. Insert butterfly and mix on speed 4 for 1 - 2 minutes until smooth.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Variations:

Coffee Cake
Add:
2/3 cup chopped walnuts and dissolve 1 Tbsp instant coffee powder in the water.

Chocolate Cake
Measure out 140g boiling water and add 1/2 cup cocoa. Allow to cool and continue with recipe as per directions.

Lemon or Orange Cake
Add:
Zest of one lemon or orange. Juice the fruit and make up to 120g with water. Continue with recipe as per directions.

Super Vanilla Cake
When making the initial mix, measure in 2 Tbsp custard powder and make up to 230g with SR flour. Continue with recipe as per directions.

Light Fruit Cake
Soak 125g mixed fruit in 2 Tbsp sherry or port for a few hours or overnight.
Add:
1 tsp bi-carb soda
125 g chopped pecans or slivered almonds
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 extra egg

Continue with recipe as per directions.

For those recipes that use a packet cake mix, here's one recipe that I have been meaning to try:

2 Ingredient Cake (Slow Cooker)

There's also a lot of recipes for cake mix cookies. All the ones I've seen have oil added to the cake mixture. Since my mix already has butter in, I'm thinking that it may work just adding the two eggs and leaving out the oil.
I'll give it a go and report back!

Enjoy.

Megan



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spiced Fruit Porridge

Now that the leaves are starting to turn and the weather is cooler in the mornings, I find we are looking for a more warming breakfast. There's nothing nicer than porridge on a cool dark morning and it keeps the hunger pangs away until lunch time.
Oats are an incredibly good for you. Aside from providing both insoluble and soluble fibre in the diet, they are a rich source of manganese, which assists enzymes in bone production. They are also high in B1 and magnesium and they are a low GI food. Lots of great reasons to include oats in your diet.

Here's a way to spice up that most basic of breakfasts. You will need to start the night before.

Spiced Fruit Porridge
The Bush Gourmand

Serves 2 - 3
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup full cream milk (coconut milk, almond milk)
1/4 cup flaked almonds
1/4 cup sultanas
2 Tbsp shredded coconut
1 Tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Place into a small saucepan, cover and allow to soak overnight.

In the morning, simply cook until thick and bubbling. Add more milk if necessary. Serve with a swirl of honey.
You can also add a grated green apple. The yoghurt should prevent it from going brown overnight.

I haven't tried cooking this in the Thermomix. I think it's probably easier to wash the saucepan than the Thermomix bowl. If you do try it in the Thermie, let me know how it goes.

Enjoy.

Megan




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Easy Chocolate Slab Cake

This recipe was given to me, after lots of begging, by a friend of my daughter in law's. When I first tasted it, I had warmed it in the microwave and served with some cream. It tasted exactly like those Chocolate Mud Cakes from the supermarket, but not as sweet. We secretly love those cakes. I thought it must have been a packet cake because the consistency was so perfect!
When converting this to the Thermomix, I have reduced the sugar quantity from the original recipe.

Easy Chocolate Slab Cake
The Bush Gourmand

Preheat oven to 150 FF or 160 non FF.
Prepare small baking tin by greasing and lining base.
Place in Thermie:

280g butter, chopped
220g water
30g cocoa

Melt 3 minutes/55/speed 1, gradually increase to speed 2.5 as it melts.

Add:
250g sugar
280g  SR flour
1 tsp bi-carb soda
2 tsp vanilla
120g buttermilk (If no buttermilk, place 1/2 tsp vinegar into a half cup measure. Fill with milk)

Mix on speed 3 for 15 seconds. Scrape down.
Increase speed to 4 and add:

2 eggs, one at a time

Mix for a few seconds to make sure all is incorporated. 
Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 45 minutes. Leave in tin to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.
Ice with ganache, plain chocolate or buttercream icing.
I generally leave it plain, cut into squares and freeze the squares.
Straight out of the freezer into the microwave for 30 seconds.
Serve with cream, ice cream, ganache and berry coulis. People love it!


Special Sauce

This is a recipe normally known as Comeback Sauce. It is so named for it's popularity as a dipping sauce for crumbed chicken, fish or other seafood. It originated in southern Mississippi, the recipe being credited to a Greek restaurant there.

I call it Special Sauce, as it's one of those yummy special sauces that you can make all your own with a few tweaks.

It's not quite Thousand Island Dressing, nor Seafood Sauce, but stands on it's own. I love it with smoked salmon and avocado on shredded lettuce. My son-in-law goes through this stuff in days, so I have to make it regularly.

Special Sauce
The Bush Gourmand

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup OO
1/4 cup chilli sauce - I sometimes use Sweet Chilli Sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
Juice of 1 lemon

Blend and bottle. Let the ingredients marry a while before using as a sauce for fish, chicken etc.

I made a double batch today in the Thermomix and tweaked it a bit. Many of my ingredients were home made, adding an extra 'special' to this Special Sauce. I've added guar gum to thicken it a little. This is totally optional. You may prefer to use agar agar or gelatine. Either way, dissolve these in liquid first.



Special Sauce
The Bush Gourmand

1/2 tsp guar gum
90g light OO or macadamia oil
300g Mayonnaise
130g Tomato sauce
140g Chilli sauce (half Chilli and half Sweet Chillli)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp paprika
Juice of 2 lemons


Measure out the olive oil in the Thermomix and add the guar gum, avoiding the blades. Blend for 5 seconds on speed 6. Add remaining ingredients and blend again on speed 6 for 10 seconds.
Bottle and label.

Store in the fridge.

Enjoy!
Megan

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mars Bar Chocolate Cake

When my son became engaged to our lovely daughter in law, I offered to make the wedding cakes. Looking back, I obviously didn't realise the enormity of that offer!

I began making chocolate cakes in November. it wasn't until my DIL's Hen's Party that I discovered THE recipe for superb chocolate cake. Her friend had made one for the event. I scrounged the recipe (thanks Mel!!) and started experimenting. The style of the cake was in a tier, a square cake on top and small square cakes in a line on the subsequent tiers. All white with black ribbon tied in a bow. The remainder of the cakes were to be cup cakes. So, I needed two chocolate cake recipes.

Since the cakes were to be covered in white fondant (another story, thank you sisters for your help), the cake needed to be firm. Mel's recipe was delicious, but too soft to be covered in fondant and too liquid for cupcakes, but the method was easy, so I looked for a cake with a similar method. I'm not a fan of mudcake, so didn't want it to be that firm. I came across a recipe on the Thermomix Recipe Community for Mars Bar Mudcake. It turned out to be the perfect consistency and was super delicious. I made a few changes, so I think I can now call it my own.

The cupcakes used a different recipe, one from forumthermomix.com called Chocolate Bimby Cake. I adapted this one also by adding some melted dark chocolate and coffee to make it richer.

Enough waffling, here's the recipe for the Mars Bar Chocolate Cake.


Mars Bar Chocolate Cake

140g dark chocolate
1 - 3 x Mars Bars (53g size)
250g butter
1 Tbsp coffee powder
200g water

Preheat oven to 150c (fan forced). Grease and line small baking dish. 

Place broken up chocolate and Mars Bars, cubed butter, coffee, sugar and water into Thermomix bowl and cook 6 minutes/560/speed 1, increasing to speed 3 as it all begins to melt.

150 grams white sugar 
350 grams SR flour 
40 grams cocoa
½ teaspoon bicarb soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 grams buttermilk (To make add 1 tsp of white vinegar to 150g milk. Let for 5 minutes. Stir before using.

Add to bowl and mix for around 45 seconds to a minute, starting on speed 3 and moving to speed 5 to incorporate. Scrape down occasionally.

4 eggs - room temp

Have the blades running on speed 4, add the eggs one at a time. Mix for 1 min on speed 3.
Scrape sides down. Mix again for 30 seconds, speed 4.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. 
Bake for around  1 1/4  hours or so, depending on your oven.

Leave in tin to cool a little, then turn on to a wire rack. Ice with ganache or split in half and place jam in the middle and whipped cream on top. Can also be served warm as a dessert. Pour over warmed ganache, raspberry coulis and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

I have so much chocolate cake in my freezer, it should last us a few months! The Wedding Cakes turn out well, as long as you didn't look too closely and notice the chocolate cake crumbs on the white fondant!!

Thanks to Mel for the Best Ever Chocolate Cake recipe which helped me to adapt this recipe and thanks to Nicole Carey for the original Mars Bar Mudcake recipe.

Megan