Saturday, September 5, 2015

WIAFK (CB) - Lemon-Thyme Sorbet



For Weekend in a French Kitchen (Café Boulud) this week, our recipe is Lemon-Thyme Sorbet.  The catch with this one is the requirement for an icecream maker.  I have the Kitchen Aid icecream maker attachment, but that needs to go into your freezer for half a day before use and takes up heaps of freezer room that I just don't have.  Accordingly, my sorbet was left largely to freeze itself.

The end result was surprisingly delicious, especially as the recipe was very simple.  The sorbet is pleasantly lemony, and not overly sweet.  I really enjoyed it as is.

To see what the other WIAFK (Café Boulud) cooks thought of this sorbet, visit the LYL section of the website.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

EwE - Rush Hour Chili




My choice for Eating with Ellie was Rush Hour Chili.  I like me a little chili, so this quick, easy and healthy recipe was perfect for me.

I served my chili with couscous, honeyed Brussels sprouts and the mulled cider sweet potato that was last week's Ellie pick.

This was a hearty, delicious meal that I would definitely make again.

To see what the others thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the EwE website.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WWDH - Red Curry of Swordfish - err, Dory



Kayte's pick for this week's Wednesday with Donna Hay is Red Curry of Swordfish.  I have never seen swordfish in the shops, so combined with Kayte's warning of it being expensive, I went for "firm white fish" - in this case, dory.

I served my curry with boiled brown rice and boiled mixed veg.  From my perspective, it was delicious.

To see what the others thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the WWDH website.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Blood Orange Teacake


I am a fan of blood oranges, with their ruby red centres and juice.  Accordingly, when I saw some at Queen Victoria  Market recently, I snapped them up.

Coincidentally, I had also recently acquired a copy of Phillippa's Home Baking by Phillippa Grogan and Richard Cornish.  In this gorgeous book, among many other excellent recipes, there was a recipe for Blood Orange Teacake.  I thought it was serendipitous, given my recent purchase of blood oranges.

The blood orange teacake has blood orange zest  and juice in the cake, candied orange slices on top and blood orange juice in the  topping.  The cake is a beautiful butter cake.  I used eggs given to me by a colleague, making it extra special.

This cake was popular with my colleagues and disappeared quickly - a testament to how tasty it is.




To make this cake, you will need:

2 blood oranges
200g butter
160g sugar + extra for candying the oranges
3 eggs
200g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease and line a 21.5cm x 11.5cm loaf tin.

Zest both of the oranges, leaving a 2cm wide circle of skin around one of the oranges.  Cut three thin slices of orange where you have left the circle of skin.

Leaving the orange slices aside, juice the remainder of the oranges.  Three tablespoons of juice will be used in the cake, and the rest in the topping.

Place the butter, sugar and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, combining the first egg well before adding the next.

Mix the flour and baking powder together in a bowl.

Fold the flour into the batter alternately with three tablespoons of blood orange juice, in three batches. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes or until cooked through when tested.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the topping, weigh the remaining  blood orange juice and add it plus an equal amount of sugar to a small saucepan.  Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Next, add the three blood orange slices and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Brush three tablespoons of glaze over the top of the cake while it is still warm, and decorate the cake with the three slices of candied blood orange.

Slice and enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

1932 Cafe and Restaurant and Tour of Manchester Unity Building



Recently, Tim and I went to a 1932 Café and Restaurant Afternoon Tea and Tour of the Manchester Unity Building. 

The 1932 Café and Restaurant is an art deco style establishment nestled on the ground floor of the historic Manchester Unity Building, on the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets in Melbourne.  

The café is hung with all manner of prints evocative of the early 1930s, when the Manchester Unity Building was built:

 
and the ceilings are hung with numerous impressive lights:


Our afternoon tea commenced with a cheese platter (the blue cheese was the winner):

 
and a glass of bubbly:


We were then allowed to choose from a selection of sweets.  Tim chose flourless orange and almond cake:
 
 
while I went for the last strawberry tart:


These delicious sweets were served with a cup of coffee of your choice:


Following afternoon tea, our group went on a guided tour of the Manchester Unity Building, established in 1932 and built in modern commercial Gothic style.  It has a tower at the top which is non-functional, installed simply to make it the tallest building in Melbourne at the time.

Here is a glimpse at the marvellous art deco interiors of the building:


and some of the views from the rooftop plus an exterior shot of the building from street level:


One of the highlights of the Manchester Unity Building is its boardroom, with a table so massive that it had to be lowered in from the roof.  The table has stayed in the building since its establishment, being preserved mainly because it is so large that it was considered too difficult to move.  Here is Tim sitting in one of the leather chairs at the board table: 

 
and here is me, sitting in the chairman's seat and trying my best to look stern and business like:


On the tour, we were informed that builders used to leave their shoes inside the walls of buildings they worked on to leave their mark.  Inside the boardroom of the Manchester Unity Building, there is a pair of shoes on display, ostensibly found in the walls of the building during renovations:


We really enjoyed our afternoon tea at 1932 Café and Restaurant and our tour through a fascinating and beautiful Melbourne landmark.

220 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9663 5494

Friday, August 28, 2015

Caramel Mud Cupcakes for Cupcake Day for the RSPCA



My second cupcakes for Cupcake Day for the RSPCA were caramel mud cupcakes.  I made these according to Donna Hay's recipe, which is online here

The only tip that I have is to make sure you work fast with the frosting, because it sets quickly.

I topped the frosting with paw prints made of chocolate chips and larger chocolate melts, in keeping with the animal theme.

We had an amazing response to our Cupcake Day, raising over $1,000. 

Here's a pic of our behind the scenes team putting the cupcake display together, ready for sale:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

EwE - Mulled Cider Sweet Potatoes



For this week's Eating with Ellie, Peggy chose Mulled Cider Sweet Potatoes.  This dish comprised steamed sweet potato that was mashed and flavoured with apple cider.

Although apples and potatoes on first glance go together, I found the combination of sweet potato and apple cider a little odd.  It was OK, but not really my type of thing.

To see what the others thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the Eating with Ellie website.