Friday, 28 November 2014

Nutella-Stuffed Salted Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been stuffing Nutella into everything lately... including my face.

Nutella-Stuffed Salted Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from here
Makes 8

115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Sea salt flakes for sprinkling
8 teaspoons Nutella

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the sugar and eggs.

Add the cocoa, salt, baking powder and flour and stir until combined.

Add the chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.

Divide the dough into 8 even portions. Roll each portion into a ball, pat it out to a circle and spoon a dollop of Nutella into the centre of each circle of dough. Fold the dough over the Nutella, making sure it is completely sealed. Lay them on the prepared tray, flatten them out a little and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Roasted Chicken with Salbitxada Sauce

I don't know what it is about a chicken roasting in my oven that makes me feel like a domestic goddess, but it does. I feel like I've channelled Nigella Lawson and I'm faffing about in my gorgeous kitchen, with my gorgeous hair and gorgeous cheekbones. Then I catch my reflection in the oven door and think "Oh no, it's just me... in my yoga pants."

Roasted Chicken with Salbitxada Sauce
slightly adapted from here
Serves 4

For the Chicken:
1 1.5kg chicken, back bone removed and slashed in a few places to allow for even cooking
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 red chilli
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Sea salt
125ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce:
3 tomatoes, seeds removed
1 red capsicum, roasted and peeled
30g toasted natural sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
125ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Roast the Chicken:
Preheat the oven to 220C.

Place the chicken on a baking tray. Open out like a book, skin-side up, and press down with your palms to flatten slightly.

Put the garlic, chilli and coriander seeds into a small food processor and blitz to chop finely. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl. Heat the oil in a saucepan to hot and pour it over the garlic mixture. Add the salt, vinegar, lime and orange juices and pepper. Mix to combine and pour it over the chicken. Leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge for an hour.

Roast the chicken in the oven for about 50 - 60 minutes. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife through the thigh.

Leave the chicken to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with copious amounts of Salbitxada Sauce.

For the Sauce:
Put the tomatoes, capsicum, almonds, chilli flakes, paprika, garlic. lemon zest, parsley and vinegar into a heat-proof bowl. Heat the oil in a saucepan to hot and pour it over the tomato mixture. Transfer to a small food processor and blitz until roughly chopped. You still want it to have some texture. Season with sat and pepper.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Spiced Apple Cake - Gluten Free

This is what my Wednesday afternoons usually look like.

Spiced Apple Cake - Gluten Free
adapted from here

225g unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small cubes, plus extra for greasing
450g apples (I used Pink Lady), chopped
100g pitted prunes
100g sultanas
2 tablespoons honey
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup brown sugar
100g brown rice flour, plus 1 teaspoon extra for sprinkling
30g quinoa flour
20g potato flour
100g ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
50g pecans, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease the base and sides of a 23 cm round cake pan with butter and line with baking paper. Set aside.

Put the butter, apples, prunes, sultanas and honey into a food processor and blitz until it is a fine mush. Add the eggs and blitz again briefly.

In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, brown rice flour, quinoa flour, potato flour, ground almonds, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the apple mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Mix the chopped pecans and demerara sugar with the teaspoon of brown rice flour and scatter over the top. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Pumpkin Scones with Cheese and Bacon

I know it's not Thanksgiving here. It's not even pumpkin season here (though these are made with the last of the pumpkins from our harvest this year). But I can't help but get all caught up in the golden-ness of November in the northern hemisphere. I blame Pinterest.

Pumpkin Scones with Cheese and Bacon
adapted from here
Makes 12

500g pumpkin, cut into wedges
3 1/2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 rashers bacon, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

Put the pumpkin wedges skin-side up on a baking tray and roast for 50 - 60 minutes, until the flesh is soft. Remove from the oven and set aside. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out and put it in a blender, discarding the skin. Puree the flesh until smooth. You will need 400g of pumpkin puree for the scones. If you have any leftover puree, make yourself a Skinny Pumpkin Latte to have with your scones. You're welcome.

Increase the temperature of the oven to 200C (390F).

Place the pumpkin puree, flour, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk. Stir with a butter knife until just combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly just until a smooth dough it formed. Form the dough into a ball and roll it out into a 1.5 cm thick circle. Cut the dough into 12 even wedges and sprinkle with cheese and bacon.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until cooked and golden.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins


Let us pretend swimsuit season is still months away and we can happily eat two of these for Sunday brunch... with milky coffee... sitting on our duffs for hours smelling the roses and watching the birds. Did I just mention roses and birds? Signs of spring and approaching summer? ... Then, when we're done with brunch, let us eat lettuce.

Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
adapted from here
Makes 8

For the Muffins:
75g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
190g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 teaspoons Nutella

For the Topping:
45g (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
50g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Make the Muffins:
Preheat the oven to 220C (425F). Line a muffin pan with 8 paper liners. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes on medium speed until pale and creamy. Add the egg, vanilla and butter milk and beat until combined. Reduce the speed of the mixer to its lowest setting and add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Spoon a tablespoon of batter into each paper liner, Using a teaspoon, dollop the Nutella on top and then spoon another tablespoon of batter on top of the Nutella.

Bake at 220C (425F) for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C (350F) and bake for another 13 -16 minutes, until done. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Make the Topping:
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Dip the top of each muffin in the melted butter, then dredge the tops in the cinnamon sugar. When they have all been dipped and dredged, sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar over the muffins.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Corn and Cauliflower Salad

It has to be said that my kids aren't picky eaters, but they do struggle with boiled or steamed cauliflower. However, when I roast it with spices, toss it with grilled corn, sprinkle it with toasted breadcrumbs and spritz it with lime dressing they're all over it. Go figure.

Corn and Cauliflower Salad
adapted from here
Serves 4

For the Salad:
2 slices white bread
2 corn cobs
2 red capsicums (peppers)
2 tablespoons olive oil
350g cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons coriander leaves
Sea salt to taste

For the Dressing:
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Lime wedges to serve

Make the Salad:
Toast the bread until well browned. Pop it in a food processor and blitz until it's chopped up, but not too fine. Set aside.

Heat a grill pan on high and grill the corn until it is tender and starts to go golden brown in parts. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cool enough to handle, run a knife down the cobs to remove the kernels. Discard to cobs and set the kernels aside.

Heat the grill (broiler) to high and grill (broil) the capsicums (peppers) until they are blackened on all sides. Put them into a plastic bad and seal the bag. Set them aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take them out of the bag and peel the blackened skins off. Remove the seeds and chop them into small dice. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for about 10 - 12 minutes, until tender-crisp and golden at the edges. Throw in the cumin seeds, smoked paprika, chilli powder coriander powder, salt  and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Make the Dressing:
Put all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Assemble the Salad:
Put the cauliflower, corn, capsicum and breadcrumbs onto a large serving platter and toss to mix. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and drizzle with dressing just before serving. Serve with extra lime wedges.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Chocolate, Chestnut and Amaretti Cake - Gluten Free

All four members of our family went to the gym and did a Spin Fit session. It's our first gym class together as a family. Now that our youngest can reach the pedals on the bikes, we are good to go. We celebrated the occasion with cake of course. A family that sweats together, sweets together.

Chocolate, Chestnut and Amaretti Cake - Gluten Free
adapted from here

165g (6 oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
110g (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, plus a little extra for greasing the pan
75g (1/3 cup) unsweetened chestnut puree
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
4 egg, separated
100g (1/2 cup) panela sugar (or your favourite natural sugar ie. coconut sugar, rapadura etc)
50g (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
60g (1/2 cup) millet meal
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 amaretti cookies, crushed

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line the bottom of a 20cm (8 inch) round springform cake pan with baking paper and grease the sides of the pan with soft butter, Set aside.

If you are using panela sugar or any course grain sugar, put it in a food processor and blitz until it is a fine powder. Tip it into a large bowl and set aside.

Put the chocolate, butter, chestnut puree and seeds from the vanilla bean into a heat-proof bowl. Suspend the bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt, stirring until smooth, Don't let the bowl tough the water. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for about 6 - 7 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and half of the sugar together until thoroughly combined. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and stir until incorporated. Fold in the brown rice flour, millet meal and salt.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar, a spoonful at a time, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Once incorporated, add another third of the egg whites and fold again. Add the final third of egg whites and fold gently until there are no streaks of meringue. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with crushed amaretti.

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. The centre of the cake will still be slightly moist and brownie-like. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before releasing from the pan and leaving to cool on a wire rack.