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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for Recipes

Choco-Hoto Pots

A number of years ago now, Paddington and I had finished watching whatever we were watching, and as we switched off the TV, we caught siight of Nigella Lawson on Oprah… making some dessert. We detoured a bit, and kept watching. It looked fabulous, so we then searched online until we found this, which seemed to be the right recipe. We decided pretty quickly, that the quantity was excessive. Every time we made it, people extolled its virtues—but could only stomach about half (I think one person in the first half dozen times managed to finish a whole serve:-) ). Since then, we’ve halved the quantity, and made it go further:-)

I haven’t made it in an age, but I took them tonight to our (homeschooling) ‘Mum’s Coffee’ (our monthly “professional development”:-) ). We did dinner, so I volunteered for dessert, so I could do these again:-)

Choco-Hoto Pots by Nigella Lawson
Serving Size: 4

butter, for ramekins
3/4 cup chocolate chips, dark
113 grams butter, unsalted
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar, caster
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips, white

Place baking sheet in an oven preheated to 200°C. Butter four 2⁄3-cup ramekins and set aside.
Using a microwave oven or double boiler, melt together the semisweet chocolate and the butter. Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar and flour. Add cooled chocolate mixture, and mix until blended. Fold in white chocolate chips.
Divide mixture evenly among ramekins and place on baking sheet. Bake until tops are shiny and cracked and chocolate beneath is hot and gooey, about 20 minutes. (12 minutes for smaller serves.) Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve, reminding children (and adults) that the ramekins and chocolate are hot.

Notes: A half quantity, divided into 4/5 is actually a workable serving.

Parmesan Biscuits

A bit late for D, and no photos… but here they are:-)

A few years ago I did an afternoon tea course, and one of the recipes was this. It’s blissfully easy, is frozen as part of the process, and is unbelievably good (I don’t think I’ve ever made them without someone asking for the recipe:-) )

You need three ingredients. Parmesan cheese, butter and plain flour. You work on equal quantities by weight (I usually do 500 grams of each… because I try to always have some in the freezer).
Start by grating the parmesan directly into the food processor. Add the butter and plain flour. Pulse until it just comes together a bit. Lay out a piece of gladwrap, put some of the mixture on it, and form a sausage (the diameter will be the size of your biscuits). Fold the gladwrap over the sausage, and roll tightly. Hold the ends of the wrap and spin the sausage to sort of seal the ends. When you’ve done this to all the dough, place in the freezer.
When you want some biscuits, slice off as many as you need, lay on a tray and bake at 190˚C for 10 to 15 minutes. They should be golden brown, and they’ll smell great:-)
For variety, you can roll the sausage in chopped rosemary, cracked black pepper, or cayenne pepper.
I’ve included a couple of rolls of these along with a couple of similar rolls of sweet biscuits (I’ve made similar sausages of my usual biscuit recipes) as a baby shower gift. It means you can have a mixed plate of freshly cooked biscuits within 15 minutes of guests arriving:-) Delicious:-)

Apple Teacake Muffins

A bit more than a month ago, a friend made fabulous banana muffins one afternoon when we were by. I’ve since been on a bit of a muffin kick:-) I didn’t actually have any muffin recipes, so I had to go looking. I’ve made a reasonable banana muffin, a regular Carrot and Sultana muffin, and a worth attempting again with changes Cheese and Chutney muffin. They’ve all been perfectly edible, but nothing like the wonder that were K’s muffins:-) (She was somewhat distracted and brain-fried at the time, so not convinced that she had followed the recipe perfectly—and couldn’t recall what she’d done… and I didn’t think to get the recipe at the time.)

Recently though, she found the recipe and passed it on (with the caveat that she had no idea what she might have done to it). I did them almost as was (I did change the white flour for a mix of white and wholemeal, and I don’t have white sugar, only a slightly less processed one, which does tend to be a touch sweeter), and they were pretty good:-) Certainly enough better than my other banana muffin recipe, that I’ll use it.

Today, I decided to use it as the base for

Apple Teacake Muffins
125 grams butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dash milk
1 cup apple, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 egg
1 cup flour, white
1 cup flour, wholemeal
½ teaspoon bicarb soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
cinnamon and sugar

Grate the apple. Melt butter in the microwave and mix in. Add the sugar, eggs, essence and milk, and mix well.
Add flours, baking powder, bicarb and cinnamon and fold through (I usually stir this up a little on the top, before mixing it into the wet mix).
Spoon into 36 mini-muffin tins, and sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and sugar. (I like to use the mini-muffin trays so that you can have more:-) It also means little stomachs are more likely to get through a whole muffin:-) )
Bake at 190˚C for 15 minutes, turn around and bake for another 5.
Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before tipping out.

They smell great, but I suspect they could do with a bit more cinnamon:-)

Lemon and Sultana Friands

For years, I’ve made Friands. I love the recipe—it’s really easy, it’s very scaleable, and it’s easy to change flavours:-) I’ve been trying to be consistent about Fine Art Friday, and Afternoon Tea, so today, I decided to make these:-)

Makes 6 (although, I made them a little smaller, and made 8… so all of us got a pair:-) )
12 grams flour
20 grams almond meal
40 grams sugar, icing
30 grams butter, melted
1 egg, white, lightly beaten
1 teaspoons flavouring (today it was grated lemon zest)
1 tablespoon flavouring (today it was sultanas)

Sift flour and icing sugar into a bowl, add ground almonds and flavourings, and mix well.
Stir in butter and egg whites and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Spoon mixture into mini-muffin tins and bake at 200°C for 15 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Cool in tins for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool. (I’ve had trouble turning these out of late… if appearance is going to matter, you might want to put them in patty pans).
They will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days (but I’ve never had them last that long! If I put some out of reach, I can usually keep a couple for Paddington—but only until a couple of hours later! They just go.)
Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Carrot and Sultana Muffins

Further to my experiments yesterday, I attempted a new muffin today:-) I based them on the recipe here. I halved the sugar, and they were still probably sweeter than they needed to be! I also did them in mini-muffin tins (I like that size for the kids:-) ), but forgot that when I cooked them… so they were a touch too cooked. But still, they were quite acceptable:-) I’ve also learnt that it’s not worth cutting carrot sticks to eat for lunch, chunks are better! That way if they don’t eat them, they’re easier to grate:-)

Carrot and Sultana Muffins
Makes 24
¼ cup sultana
¼ cup water, boiling
½ cup sugar, caster
⅔ cup oil
2 egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
½ cup flour, whole wheat
1 cup flour, plain
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarb soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
½ teaspoon nutmeg, ground (I had run out of nutmeg, so I  just used some mixed spice… I think it would have been better to just stick with the cinnamon)

Oil mini muffin pans. Add the sultanas to the boiling water.

In a mixing bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Combine the dry ingredients and add to first mixture, mixing just until ingredients are moistened. Drain sultanas and fold into the batter with the grated carrots.

Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full; bake in preheated 190°C oven for 15 minutes, or until the muffins bounce back when lightly touched with a finger. Allow to cool slightly, and then remove.

Cheese and Chutney Muffins

Cygnet woke early this morning… and I had meant to make muffins (or something) to take to co-op today (I was leaning towards muffins because we had yummy muffins at a friend’s place yesterday:-) ). So I searched online, and finally found these. I did fail to read the comments before I began though, and I should have made a couple more changes than I did (they were a touch dry—although I did intend to add some more milk, as the wholemeal flour is likely to have that effect… and the 10 minutes advised was definitely insufficient. I think they’d also be better with more cheese:-) Below is what I intend to try next time.)

Cheese and Chutney Muffins
⅔ cup flour, whole wheat
1 ⅓ cup flour, plain
5 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup milk, (needs a bit more… 2 or 3 tablespoons?)
½ cup oil, olive
2 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup parmesan, finely grated (could possibly do with more)
pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons tomato chutney
Preheat oven to 190°C. Spray 2 mini muffin trays with a little oil spray. Set aside.
Combine flours and baking powder into a large bowl, stir through grated cheese and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine milk, olive oil and eggs and add to the flour mixture. Be sure not to over stir.
Place a spoonful of mixture in each muffin hole, coming about 3/4 of the way up the side of each hole. Make a little well in the centre of each muffin hole and divide tomato chutney between each hole. Using a skewer, gently swirl the chutney into the muffin mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

They were pretty good:-) Certainly worth repeating with a few changes. They haven’t all gone, but the kids ate them cheerfully—although Puggle did tell me he ‘liked them, but didn’t like them!’:-)


(for Dipi… See, I told you I’d get to it:-) )

Hummus (essentially it’s the one from ‘The Naked Chef‘ by Jamie Oliver)

1 tin chickpeas
chilli flakes, quantity depends on who will be eating it… I generally use a single shake
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
some salt
pepper, black, freshly ground
1 clove garlic, peeled (chopped in half if it’s particularly large)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
lemon juice, to taste

In a container suitable to blend, place the (drained) chickpeas with the garlic, chilli, salt, cumin, tahini, pepper, oil and lemon juice (I generally start with the juice of half a lemon, but often end up using a whole, unless it’s particularly juicy). With a stick blender, blend until smooth. Check seasoning, and adjust. This is pretty forgiving… I don’t measure much at all for this, and it usually works.

Serve with lightly toasted pieces of turkish bread or crudités.

This is a staple whenever we need a dip for entertaining (it’s really quick and easy, and the ingredients are always on hand—and it’s pretty much non-allergenic if we start from dried chickpeas!) I also need to remember that it is quick and easy, and I can use it for lunches! I have frozen some on occasion, and it was fine upon thawing… but I don’t know that I’d bother generally, as it is so easy—and can happily be stored covered but not in the fridge for the day (although, it does need to be in the fridge for longer storage).

Jam Roll

For Mother’s Day, we took this (one of my favourite Afternoon Tea treats:-) ) to my Mum’s.

Jam Roll from Gourmet Traveller March 2006
jam-roll3 eggs, separated
110 grams sugar, caster
110 grams flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon water, boiling

75 grams sugar, caster
200 grams jam, strawberry, raspberry or plum

Using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites until soft peaks form, then gradually add sugar and whisk until firm peaks form and mixture is stiff and glossy. Add egg yolks one at a time, whisking until just combined.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl, then repeat twice more. Mix golden syrup with boiling water and add to egg mixture. Add the flour and using a large metal spoon, gently fold in until just combined. Spoon mixture into a baking paper lined 26×32 centimetre swiss roll tin, gently smooth top, then bake at 180˚C for 12 minutes or until top springs back when pressed (it really is just this long… test it).
Scatter remaining sugar 1 centimetre from the end of a clean tea towel to cover an area a little larger than the cake tin, then carefully invert cake over sugar and peel away base paper. (To turn out, line it up with the sugar (over it), hold the paper at the top, and tip.) Using a serrated knife, trim short ends of hot cake, then, using towel as a guide, roll up from a short side and leave to cool, wrapped in the towel.
Carefully unroll cake, spread with (warmed) jam leaving a 1 centimetre border.
Re-roll, and place seam-side down on a plate. Serve cake cut into slices. Jam roll with keep in an airtight container for up to two days.

Ginger Nuts

These are one of Paddington’s favourites:-) They’re really simple—and if it weren’t for the lack of uniformity in shape, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from the packet ones we know and love:-)

Ginger Nut Biscuits from The West Australian, Extra Liftout : Saturday November 29, 2003
60 grams butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
¼ cup treacle
⅓ cup golden syrup
2 cups flour (I made these with wholemeal flour today… they were fine, a few flecks on the surface, but they worked just as well)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ginger, ground

Combine butter with caster sugar.
Mix in egg, treacle and golden syrup.
Sift together flour, baking powder and ground ginger.
Mix this through the butter mixture until well combined.
Place neatly heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture on a tray lined with baking paper, leaving plenty of room for them to expand. Press down a bit with the floured back of a wooden spoon.
Bake in a 200°C oven for about 12 minutes or until they are well browned.
Leave them to cool on a tray and store in an airtight container.

If you prefer them to be soft, store in an airtight container before they are fully cooled. If you prefer your ginger-nuts hard, make sure that they are completely cool before storing.

(I’ll add a picture when I connect the camera tomorrow.)

Peach and Vanilla Pie

A couple of weeks ago, we had peaches needing to be used, and friends coming to dinner, which reminded me that I hadn’t made this in quite some time:-)

Peach and Vanilla Pie from Australian Gourmet Traveller, March 2005
peach-pie350 grams flour, plain, (2 1/3 cups)
60 grams almond meal
½ teaspoon salt, sea
50 grams sugar, caster
250 grams butter, unsalted, finely chopped
¼ cup water, iced

1.2 kilograms peaches, (about 6)
40 grams tapioca, (or sago)
60 grams sugar, caster
1 bean vanilla, seeds only
1 egg, white
sugar, caster, extra, to sprinkle
For the pastry, process flour, almond meal, sugar, salt and butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the iced water and process until the mixture just comes together (with pastry remember that less working is better for the end result).
Divide the pastry into two slightly uneven pieces. Form each into a disc, wrap in gladwrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
If you are concerned about the skin on the peaches (some are tougher than others), put peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds (two or three at a time), remove and plunge into iced water, then peel. Halve and remove the stones, then segment further.
Process the tapioca in a small processor (I have never succeeded with the mortar and pestle!) until it’s finely ground. Place in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla seeds.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
Roll out the larger piece of pastry until about 3 millimetres thick (I did it on my tupperware pastry sheet, and it was actually possible to see the blue lines through the pastry!) and line a greased 23 centimetre (4 centimetre deep) metal pie dish, then refrigerate while you roll out the second piece of dough.
Add the peaches to the tapioca and sugar mixture and toss gently. Spoon these into the pastry. Brush the edge with a little egg white, then cover the pie with the second piece of pastry. Trim the excess and crimp edge with a fork. Cut a 2 centimetre slit in the top of the pastry, brush the top of the pie with egg white and sprinkle with the extra caster sugar.
Place the pie on an oven tray, and put into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce to 180˚C and bake for another 30 minutes or until golden.
Remove the pie from the oven, place on a wire rack and cool for two hours or until room temperature (it is nice when cool, but really? Who can wait!) Serve cut into slices with thick cream.

Pot-Roasted Cider Chicken with Speck and Carrots

Pot-Roasted Cider Chicken with Speck and Carrots from The West Magazine
oil, olive
150 grams pancetta, chopped
1 large onion, red
5 cloves garlic, bruised
2-3 bay leaf, fresh
400 grams carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
375 milliliters cider, (mid/dry, or add a splash of brandy if it’s very sweet)
1 chicken

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Heat the olive oil in a french oven with a tight-fitting lid. Fry the pancetta until it starts to sizzle. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves and fry to gently brown the onion. Add the carrots and fry a few minutes longer. Pour in the cider and boil rapidly for two minutes. Add the chicken, breast side down, and cover. Place in the oven and cook for thirty minutes.
Taste the chicken sauce for seasoning (the pancetta is salty, so you may not need too much), turn the chicken over and cook for another thirty minutes or so without a lid, so the skin can colour and the sauce reduces a bit.
Skim most of the fat off the top of the sauce. Rest the chicken for a few minutes before you cut the bird and serve.

Serve over mashed potatoes and accompany with some greens.

Pastie (Pie)

My mum has always made Pastie Pies (basically, a pastie filling but in a pie case so there’s less pastry and less fiddling.) It’s pretty amazing:-) I have finally managed to get the recipe, so I tried these recently—I can see why she does it in a pie, but the little pasties are the way to go if you have time to prepare them ahead!
I had mine with the home-made tomato sauce (you have to have them with tomato sauce!) that Calli and I made:-) I’ll blog it when we do some more:-)
We had half for dinner, and the remainder the next day. If anything, they’re even better cold:-)

Shortcrust Pastry
230 grams flour, (2 cups)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3-4 tablespoons water
113 grams shortening, (butter)
½ teaspoon salt
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add shortening, rub it into the flour using fingertips, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add sufficient water to mix it to a firm dough. (This can be completed in the food processor.)
Sprinkle board lightly with flour, then turn dough onto the board and knead lightly until smooth. Sprinkle flour on rolling pin, roll pastry to size and shape as required.

Pastie (Pie)
pastie-and-sauce1 quantity Short Crust Pastry
230-300 grams beef steak, skirt, (lean) (starting with mince is fine… 230 grams is really not enough, but don’t go overboard if you want the right flavour.
2 large potatoes
2 medium onions
1 little turnip or swede (this is what the recipe says, but when I mentioned it to mum she said she only ever uses turnips)
1 tablespoon parsley, (optional)
1 pinch herbs
½ teaspoon mixed seasoning, (level)
2 tablespoons stock or water

Mince all the filling ingredients together. Roll out the pastry into two circles 9 or 10 inches in diameter (if you’re doing the pie… otherwise cut smaller circles to fill as individual pasties—I have a natty little pasty making tool:-) ). Place in filling, sprinkle with seasoning and knob of butter, or fatty meat. Put on water or stock (not if you’re doing the little pasties). Roll and seal pastry together with water, make holes in top. Grease baking sheet. Glaze with egg.
Cook in moderate oven 210˚C for 20 mins, reduce to 200˚C until cooked (about another 40 minutes).

I did a double quantity of the filling and have frozen that, and I know mum has frozen them before cooking in the past.

Hot Cross Buns

I made these last year, and failed to blog them. I did make a number of notes in MacGourmet though:-)

I tried them again this year. I didn’t manage to take a photo, but I thought I should actually put them up:-) I was pretty pleased with the way this worked out, although it’s not quite right yet. Last year I had found the spices a bit lacking, that was better, but the texture of the bread is a bit dry. Last year I had planned to make Hot Buns a few more times to get it right—we’ll see if I manage it this year:-)

Hot Cross Buns from Times Online
450 grams flour, (strong bread)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
3 teaspoons allspice, ground
7 grams yeast
75 grams sultanas
75 grams currants
60 grams mixed peel
110 grams caster sugar
50 grams unsalted butter
2 grams vanilla extract
250 mls milk
1 egg, beaten
40 grams plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
50 millilitres water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoon milk

Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl and mix in the yeast, fruit, rind and sugar. Melt butter, stir in milk and vanilla extract and heat until tepid. Whisk into egg, add to flour mixture, form a dough and knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic (be sure not to add too much flour as you knead). Divide into 12 buns, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 90 minutes, till doubled in size.

Mix a paste of the plain flour, sugar and water, bung it in a piping bag (or a plastic freezer bag with one corner snipped off… just don’t mix it in the bag, even though it means a little less washing up!) and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake at 180˚C for 10 minute, reduce the heat to 150˚C and bake for a further 15 minute. Lightly brush with the glaze (brown sugar and milk) and cool on a rack.

Chicken Spaghetti

Some time ago, I came across Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti recipe. To make it easier to make, I’ve made a couple of changes:-)

chicken-spaghettiChicken Spaghetti
2 cups chicken, cooked (I use leftover roast chook)
2 cups stock, chicken
500 grams spaghetti, thin
(600 milliliters Cream of Mushroom soup, 2 cans [I replace this with 500 mililitres of milk and some flour, to turn the chicken stock into Cream of Chicken soup:-)])
1 onion
1 capsicum, green, diced
½ capsicum, red, diced
2 cups cheese, cheddar, grated
1 teaspoon seasoned salt,
dash of paprika, garlic, turmeric and onion powder, cayenne pepper
(whatever other vegetables you want to include… I’ve added peas, broccoli, corn… but I figure you might as well try what you have:-) )
1 cup cheese, cheddar, grated (extra, for the top)

Warm the stock and the milk. Mix the flour with a bit of the milk until it thickens, and add it to the remainder of the milk. Mix with the stock in a large bowl. Dice the green capsicum, red capsicum and onion, and add to the bowl. Add the grated cheese and the salt and spices, as well as any other vegetables you’re choosing to include.
Put on water to cook the spaghetti (you can add some chicken stock powder if you like), break the thin spaghetti into pieces and cook it.
Allow the spaghetti to cook for several minutes, until very al dente… don’t overcook the spaghetti, it’s going to be cooked some more. When it’s cooked, add it to the bowl.
Stir thoroughly, then take a bite and check your seasonings. Add a little salt if needed, a little more pepper, and maybe a little more cayenne.
Tip into a casserole dish.
And top with an additional 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar.
Bake it at 180˚C for 35 to 45 minutes until hot & bubbly.

Summer Chickpea Salad

This is my absolute favourite salad:-) It tends to be the one I take anywhere a salad is required:-) It’s so simple, and it tastes fabulous!

summer-chickpea-saladSummer Chickpea Salad from Jamie’s Dinners

1 small onion, red, peeled and finely sliced (I have taken to grating it)
1 chilli, red, deseeded and finely chopped (I use chilli flakes to speed things up—and save myself from having to chop the chilli)
2 handful tomato, red or yellow, roughly chopped
1 handful sultanas
2 lemons, juiced
410 grams chickpeas, tinned, drained
1 handful basil, fresh, coarsely chopped
1 handful mint, fresh, coarsely chopped
200 grams feta, crumbled

Mix the tomatoes in with the onion and chillies. Scrape all of this, the juice and the sultanas into a bowl and dress with the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and about 3 times as much EVOO. Season to taste. Heat the chickpeas in a pan (I don’t usually worry about this) and add 90% of them to the bowl. Mush up the remaining chickpeas and add these as well—they will give a nice creamy consistency. Allow to marinate for a little while and serve at room temperature.

Just as you’re ready to serve, give the salad a final dress with the fresh mint and basil. Taste one last time for seasoning—you may want to add the juice from your remaining lemon half at this point. Place on a nice serving dish and crumble over the feta cheese.

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