Wild Beasts are
totally weird but I love the falsetto!Check
them out online at their website and myspace.Watch their video below for “Hooting and Howling”.I feel like much of what I do everyday
includes hooting and howling so I can relate.
spent the day in the Picton area visiting local wineries. I came home with a very attractive one armed
car window sunburn, four bottles of wine and doughnuts. The doughnuts came from Lakeshore Farm Market, which is a cute little
roadside fruit and veg stand. They are quite good, as doughnuts tend to be and the wine is also
delish. The wineries we visited today
had an overabundance of cherries lying around this weekend but didn’t feel like
turning the oven on in this summer heat.
These chocolate cherry Napoleons are a great summer recipe and are so
decadent. Kirsch is traditionally the
liquor that would be used in a recipe like this but I got a tad carried away
with my friends last night and couldn’t bring myself to smell alcohol today,
but feel free to add a tablespoon to the cherry sauce. This recipe will make 6 – 3 layer napoleons
but you can also make 2 layer napoleons if you want (will yield 10 – 2 layer
oz dark chocolate
cup cherries, pitted and halved
cup orange juice
of one small orange
tbsp kirsch (optional)
oz dark chocolate grated
cup whipping cream
tbsp sugar (optional)
oz white chocolate
make the chocolate squares, melt the 10 oz of dark chocolate in a bain maire or
in a low temperature microwave. Place a
sheet of parchment paper on a level surface and spread the chocolate out with a
palate knife to a 9” by 9” square. Try
to make the square as even as possible. Once
cooled but not completely hardened cut the chocolate into 3” by 3” squares (you
may wish to trim the edges so they are straight but you can just leave them
free form as well). Set aside in a cool
spot to harden.
a small saucepan combine the cherries, the orange juice orange zest and kirsch
if using. Bring to a boil and reduce heat
to a simmer. Simmer, stirring
occasionally for 5 minutes. In a small
bowl stir the cornstarch with the cold water.
Remove the cherries from the heat and slowly add the cornstarch slurry
stirring continuously. Allow to cool
make the whip cream grate 1 ounce of chocolate and set aside, being careful not
to handle it to much with warm hands.
Whip the cream on high until firm peaks form. Carefully fold in the grated chocolate.
your white chocolate in a bain marie or in a low temperate microwave. Dip the bottom half of 6 nice looking
cherries into the chocolate. Place on
assemble the Napoleons place one square of chocolate on a plate. Add a dollop of whip cream, and repeat
topping with a final square of chocolate.
Place the white chocolate dipped cherries on top of the napoleon a
little off from center. Place a dollop
of whip cream on the side of the plate and spoon a little of the cherry mixture
around the plate.
I tried this recipe by Ben O'Donoghue ("The Best in Australia", Series One) on a rainy Sunday and that was exactly the right type of day to make it as it's quite time consuming. The caramelization of the condensed milk takes three hours, plus another hour of cooling, so make sure you have lots of time before you attempt this recipe. To be perfectly honest I'm not sure how I feel about this recipe as I definitely did not like the flavour of the Marscarpone cheese. I found it overpowering and not quite right and I would use cream cheese in the future. Marcsarpone is also about twice the price of cream cheese, which is another reason to substitute! Also, the time it takes to caramelize the condensed milk is just ridiculous and I would definitely be tempted to buy it pre-made in the future. The recipe is also severely lacking when it comes to direction and quantities and I've done my best to include the measurements that worked for me.
However, there were redeeming qualities, as the flavours of dark chocolate, banana and caramel is really good and the crust has a nice light crunch, which is appreciated as the other ingredients are quite rich. I used a 7 inch tart pan and it seemed to be properly sized in regards to the filling and caramel but I could have halved the crust and still had enough. Also, instead of folding all the condensed caramelized milk into the cheese mixture, I used half and then spread the remaining on top of the cheese mixture (you can see it in one of the pictures below) so there was a nice layer of caramel. Make sure you keep the water above the tin of condensed milk at all times. I'm not 100% sure what will happen if it's not submerged but it may involve explosions and third degree burns.
Caramel Banana Banoffee Tart
Sweet Paste (crust)
335 g plain flour 235 g unsalted butter 100 g icing sugar 3 egg yolks
Filling 250 g Marscarpone Cheese 250 g Creme Fraiche 395 g (1 tin) tin condensed milk (caramelized) 70% dark chocolate (The recipe doesn't say how much to use, but you'll probably need about 2 oz ) Bananas sliced and pan fried
Sauce(quantities aren't included for some reason for this sauce but I would use about 1/4 cup of half and half cream and 1 oz of chocolate) Single cream 70% dark chocolate
Prepare the sweet paste by rubbing the cold butter with the flour and icing sugar until a fine crumb is achieved. Add the egg yolks and bring together. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least two hours.
Place the tin of condensed milk into a heavy bottomed pot and cover with water and simmer for three hours. Keep covered with water at all times, remove after three hours and allow to cool completely.
Roll out the pastry and line individual pastry rings leaving the pastry overhanging until the baking is complete. Blind bake (use dried beans or peas or ceramic baking pellets if you have them) until the base is golden brown (No oven temperature is suggested but I would bake at 350 degrees F). Allow to cool, and then trim the edges. Melt chocolate then line the inside of the pastry case with a thin layer of chocolate.
Combine the creme fraiche and Marscarpone in a bowl. Then fold through the condensed caramelized milk to create a ripple effect. Deposit evenly between the tart bases.
Slice the bananas and pan fry in a little butter until golden. Arrange then on top of each tart and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
I recently bought Neko Case's newest album Middle Cyclone for my niece's birthday. She's 2 and it wasn't a Barbie so she probably hated the present but I'm hoping she will like the music someday. I like all the songs on this album especially "People got a lotta nerve", which has been stuck in my head for days now in which she sings about caged animals and our shock when we realize they are still wild animals. You can check her out at www.nekocase.com, www.myspace.com/nekocase and watch a video of her on Q below.
I was at a gourmet food store on
Saturday and couldn’t resist the Sicilian Lemon Mousse chocolate I saw. It was pretty good but I thought I could do
better. The lemon flavour helps to balance the
sweetness of the white and milk chocolate nicely and the crunch of the
shortbread cookies is first-rate. This recipe makes around 1 dozen
sandwich cookies depending on the size of cookie cutter you use.
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
½ lb unsalted butter, softened
½ cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest
6 oz milk chocolate
Lemon and White Chocolate Icing
4 ½ oz white chocolate
4 tbsp whipping cream
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp butter, softened
Scant 2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
Cream together the softened butter
and icing sugar on medium speed. Scrape
down the sides of your bowl and add the vanilla and lemon zest. Blend together thoroughly. Add the flour and salt gradually until
incorporated being careful not to over mix.
Flour your surface, and using ¼ of
the dough at a time roll out to 1/8 of an inch.
Cut out your shapes and repeat until the dough is gone. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned
around the edges. Let cool.
To make the icing melt the white
chocolate in a bain marie or in a low powered microwave and let it cool. Cream together the butter and icing
sugar. Add the white chocolate and lemon
zest. Add the whip cream slowly while
beating on medium high. Allow the icing
to beat for 2 minutes. Allow to rest in
the fridge for around 15 minutes.To assemble the cookies, melt the
milk chocolate in a bain marie or in a low powered microwave. Spread the warm milk chocolate on half the
shortbread cookies. Once cooled spread a layer of the
lemon icing. Top with the remaining
shortbread cookies and drizzle with the left over milk chocolate.
If not serving immediately keep in
the fridge in an airtight container.
Mother Mother is such a wicked band. Check out the media page on their website to hear 25 songs - that's right 25! You can also find more about them on their myspace, watch a music video for their amazing song "O My Heart", or watch an interview with Jian Ghomeshi on "Q".
Doughnuts are the devil. They are probably the hardest baked good to resist, especially when they are made right. You know what I'm talking about. Try having doughnuts in your house without them calling out to you until every-single-one is gone. This recipe is pretty close to the real thing without all the nasty frying and colossal amounts of guilt. I think you'll love the cinnamon sugar crunch and the nice moist inside of these cakes. This recipe calls for self-raising
flour but I never have that around so I substituted it with all purpose flour,
baking powder and salt. If you have
self-raising flour just use 2 ½ cups of it and omit the baking powder and
salt. The original recipe used 12
greased 1-cup capacity bundt pans but I used mini muffin tins so I had bite-sized
cakes. They taste just like doughnuts
and are so addicting with the crunch of the sugar. If using the mini muffin tin bake for
approximately 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned on the top and bottom. This recipe came from Donna Hay.
Cinnamon sugar-coated maple apple cakes
2 ½ cups self raising flour OR 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
250 grams melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
6 red apples, peeled and grated
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup superfine sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a mini muffin tin and set aside.
Place the flour, cinnamon, baking
powder and salt in a bowl and combine.
Add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs and apple to the flour mixture and stir well to
Combine the superfine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Spoon the batter into your greased pan and bake for 20
minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Turn the cakes out immediately and coat the cakes in the cinnamon sugar.
These are a unique cookie with a
great coffee flavour perfect for the caffeine addict in your life. They have a great crunch on the outside but
are really chewy on the inside offering great diversity for your mouth and I would definitely make them again! This recipe came from the Totally Coffee Cookbook by Helene Siegel and Karen Gillingham, which you can buy online here.
4 oz unsweetened chocolate,
2 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter (1 cup)
½ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp finely ground espresso
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
Combine unsweetened chocolate, 1 ½
cups chocolate chips and butter in a heavy bottomed pot. Melt over low heat stirring frequently until
smooth. Set aside to cool.
Combine flour, baking powder and
salt in a small bowl.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat
the eggs and sugar until thick and pale.
Add chocolate mixture, espresso and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture and chocolate chips. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Line cookie sheets with parchment. Using a tablespoon, spoon the batter onto the
sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10
minutes until cracked on top. Cool on
the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to racks to cool.