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Category Archives: Bakes

Herb Scroll

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Someone’s little hands couldn’t keep away..until he discovered the green factor!!

Why didn’t I make these sooner?  I love these!  The pesto is to die for, and I’ll definitely make it by itself.  Someone ate all the leftover stuff that didn’t go into the scroll within about 15 minutes – it went beautifully with the Woolworths Select Rosemary Crackers.  I wonder who that was?

The recipe for these scrolls comes from Madalene Bonvini-Hamel from the British Larder in Suffolk – coincidentally, not too far from where I used to live.  Luckily she wasn’t in operation then or I would have come back from my England experience even heftier than I did!!!  She’s also responsible for the moorish Risotto Balls I made about this time last year.

There are two components to the recipe – the dough and the pesto.  The dough is the work of a few minutes – the lengthy part of this recipe – if you could even call it lengthy – is waiting for the dough to prove. The rosemary makes a lovely addition to the dough. If you’re stuck for a nice warm spot for your dough to rise, try rinsing our your thermoserver with very hot water.  Dry it well, and then put your dough in there, with the lid on – it creates a lovely warm spot for your dough to rise.  The pesto – as i mentioned before – is great by itself.  It’s also one of those things you could add extra bits and pieces too – a variety of herbs, some different nuts or seeds, maybe a different cheese.

I used to hate zucchini.  As a child it was served up with regular occurrence and it was so overcooked.  Mind you, I recently found the Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union Cookbook that had been my grandmothers, and when I looked at the cooking time and suggestions for vegetables – I was horrified!  Check these out!!

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Aside from anything, these scrolls are the easiest thing in the world to make.  We all know how easy the dough making is, and the pesto is literally over in seconds.  Make sure you use the baking flour, as I have found that the bread lasts a bit better when you use it.

Master 4 – even though his favourite colour is green – doesn’t like green vegetables.  I thought this might fool him, but he’s too smart for that. Still, the rest of us were very happy with the result!

These would be great for lunch boxes or for a picnic.  I’ll definitely be making these again!

Want the recipe?  Check the recipe tab!

Rolled up and ready to be baked

It looks a little skew-wif but it tasted delicious!

It looks a little skew-wif but it tasted delicious!

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Bakes, Recipes

 

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Olive Bread

I am so glad I tried this – it’s the loveliest bread I’ve had in ages.  It is so soft, yet the outside is firm, and the olives in it are really good – not too olivey, but enough to make it different.  It is so quick to make, hardly makes a mess thanks to the thermomat, and looks really impressive.  It would be great to pull out of the oven when friends come over for a barbecue, but don’t prepare too much other stuff, as everyone will eat themselves stupid with this bread – it really is that good!

Want the recipe?  Check the recipe tab!

This recipe comes from Nicolas Poelaert who is the chef at Embrasse in Melbourne. I’ve never been, but now I’ve tasted this – I want to!!

The best thing about this recipe is that you would certainly have all the ingredients in your cupboard. I always have a jar or two of olives in the fridge, and I used kalamata olives for this recipe.  They worked well, but the resulting bread was just a little too salty for mine – so I might drop back slightly the 20 grams of salt next time. Maybe try 15 grams or so.  I would much prefer salty bread to unsalted bread though.

I did find the dough quite sticky, and I think it might be the wetness of the olives.  So next time, I’ll add maybe 520 grams of flour, plus have some more on hand to dust. It’s the first time I’ve ever had really sticky dough from the thermomix, so don’t be too worried if yours is the same.  Just throw some more flour into the dough when you tip it out of the bowl.  You don’t have to cut the olives, just make sure they are pitted and then kneading action of the thermomix will cut the olives down into nice little bits without you having to do anything. I used the baker’s flour, as specified in the recipe, so make sure you use the right flour – it does make a huge difference to the outcome.

Which reminds me – everyone knows the trick to getting dough out of the thermomix, don’t they?  Invert the TM bowl, and twist the cog in the middle to rotate the blades – and most of your dough will come out in one fell swoop.  Any stubborn little bits can be ‘turbo-d’ off the side, and use another piece of dough to pick up the little bits.  When you’re washing the TM bowl, use the brush and only use cold water to wash until all the dough is out – it makes it so much easier.

If you don’t have a  thermometer something similar, this is why you need one!!  Not only is my thermomat my saviour at play dough time (and the Thermomix makes fantastic play dough), it’s perfect to use when proving dough, and to cook the dough.  With this recipe, you shape the bread, let it prove in a very very very low oven for`45 minutes and then cook it – see the recipe for details, all on the thermomat.  Nothing could be easier, and less messy.

I dud more than the seven balls of dough, and did one large one in the middle, and put several around the outside, just like a flower and petals.  You could do rolls all the same size, or vary them, like I did.  I guess you’re only limited by your imagination as to what designs you can come up with.  Before you put it in the oven to prove, sprinkle it with a little flour.  Mine took just on 15 minutes to cook, but keep an eye on it, depending on your oven.

I have made bread before in the thermomix, but as we don’t go through a lot of it at our house, it has never been at the top of my list for things to make.  I can see myself making this bread lots – Master Three has just downed two of the little rolls (and that after his lunch!!) and I’ve had one or two myself.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Bakes, Recipes

 

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Recipe – Olive Bread

Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (includes proving).  Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

300 grams of lukewarm water

25 grams of fresh yeast, or 1 sachet of dried yeast

500 grams of baker’s flour, plus extra for dusting

20 grams of olive oil

80 grams of black olives, pitted

20 grams salt

Preheat the oven to 35 degrees/Gas Mark pilot light and place a cup of water on the bottom of the oven to keep the air moist.

Put the lukewarm water in the TM bowl, along with the yeast.  Mix it for 1 minute/speed 2

Add the flour, oil, olives, and salt.  Knead for 2 minutes/Interval speed

Turn the dough out onto a silicon mat or floured bench.  Divide it into 7 balls.  Place one ball in the centre of the silicon mat or floured baking tray and arrange the other six balls around it, like petals on a flower.  Dust with flour.

Put the dough in the warm oven for 45 minutes, during which time it will rise.  After 45 minutes turn the temperature up to 240 degrees/Gas Mark 9.  The bread will be ready after 15-20 minutes.  Check that it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
Variation

Leave out the olives to make perfect burger buns.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Bakes, Recipes

 

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Recipe – Spelt Pizza

Recipe by Jo Whitton

Time:  1 hour, plus at least 2 hours dough rising

Makes 4 large (and very satisfying) pizzas

Dough

250 grams spelt grain

750 grams plain unbleached spelt flour, plus extra for dusting

20 grams fresh yeast, or 2 sachets of dried yeast

20 grams salt

750 grams lukewarm water

Olive oil, to brush bases

Place the spelt grain into the TM Bowl and mill for 1 minute/speed 9.  Add the flour, yeast, salt and water.  Mix on speed 4 and a half until it is all mixed in, using the spatula to help it along if necessary.  Scrape the wet, sticky dough into a large plastic container and cover.

Allow the mixture to use for at least 2 hours or up to 5.  The dough will rise quite high, then flop down – don’t worry.  (I sometimes leave mint to rise overnight then place it in the fridge in the morning ready for the evening’s pizza)

When ready to cook, sprinkle the dough with a little flour and gran grapefruit sized chunks to form into balls.  Cover the balls with flour and gently stretch the surface of each one, pulling it to the base to gradually form smooth balls.  Place each ball of dough on a floured bench or baking paper.

If the dough has come straight from the fridge, rest it uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the balls reach room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees/Gas Mark 9

Place each dough ball on a greased tray, sheet of baking paper or dusted pizza stone and press the dough into circles about 5mm thick.  Brush the pizza bases with olive oil and place in the oven for 5 minutes to pre-bake.

Topping

500 grams lamb, cubed

Handful parsley

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 an onion

chilli, to taste (optional)

A handful of rocket

125ml Greek Yoghurt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Place the cubed lamb into the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Place the parsley, garlic, onion and chilli (if using) in the TM bowl.  Chop for 2 seconds/speed 6.  Add the cubed and slightly frozen lamb.  Mince for 10 seconds/Reverse/speed 6

Remove the pizza base from the oven and spread with the topping.

Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through and nicely browned.  Remove from oven and slice.  Add the rocket and yoghurt, then drizzle with lemon juice to serve.

Variation

For a dairy free version, Jo suggests leaving out the yoghurt and adding semi dried tomatoes, sliced olives and “Poor Man’s Parmesan”.  To make Poor Man’s Parmesan, tear up a few slices of stale sourdough bread, and place in the TM bowl with 60 grams of olive oil, 4 anchovy fillets and a handful of parsley.  Mix for 10 seconds/speed 7, or until crumbs have formed.  Sprinkle over pizza.  (Poor Man’s Parmesan can also be browned and crisped in the TM by cooking for 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1 then sprinkled over salads or grilled meats)

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Bakes, Recipes

 

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Spelt Pizza

We have a family tradition of going to our local pizza place every Friday night.  Master Three has a huge crush on one of the waitresses, and has made friends with one of the Pizza Makers, so it’s a ritual I think we’ll have to keep to for a while.  He just has to go and see the “Little Princess” every week – he runs up to her and gives her a huge hug and a kiss – he clearly has a thing for older women!  Master Three usually has the smoked salmon pizza, so I figure there’s not too much wrong with that once a week.  This week, we had the neighbours in for drinks and I decided I wanted to give the Spelt Pizza a go – the kids could eat it, the adults could eat it – and it’s easy – super easy to make.

This is one of Jo Whitton’s recipes from her allergy-friendly food blog at quirkycooking.blogspot.com  Jo’s blog focuses on tweaking everyday recipes and making them healthier and more interesting.

I’d never cooked with spelt before, but I was at the Health Food Shop a few days before and saw the grain and the flour available, so I bought what I needed and took it home.  The spelt dough needs at least 2 hours (and up to 6 if you want) to prove, so it’s a good recipe to make if you have an afternoon at home, and the heater is on – especially with this cold, cold winter we are having.  I made the entire recipe as suggested in the book, but there would be absolutely nothing stopping you putting on any topping of your choice, so long as you adjusted the pre-cooking time, and cooking time to suit your toppings.

The spelt dough is quite sticky, but don’t be put off.  As I mentioned earlier, it does take a long time to prove, so make sure you have the time.  I made the dough straight after lunch, let it rise for a few hours, then rolled it out into 4 good sized pizzas – I did a couple of big circles, and a couple of oblongs for good measure. The recipe did say to prove it in a plastic bowl, but I must have skipped over that bit – and I used a ceramic bowl – but there were no ill effects. When I initially took the tea towel off the top, my heart sunk as I thought it was going to be a nightmare to get out of the bowl, and thought I should have oiled the bowl first – but it was fine. Just make sure you put it in a BIG bowl, as it rises quite a bit, and makes a lot of dough.

You will need a bit of extra flour to make the dough a little less sticky when you roll it out – so make sure you have some on hand.  Master 3 had the time of his life helping me roll the dough out – I’m so glad I bought him an apron recently…he really got into it!!

I made the lamb mix for the topping, which is also very quick and easy to make.  I used a home grown chilli, which made a huge improvement to the overall flavour, and next time I think I’ll go down a more middle eastern path and use some more spices, sumac, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and maybe even add in some pine nuts or use a chilli pesto to spread as a base for the lamb mixture.

I brushed the bases before I pre-cooked them with left over curry oil from the Cauliflower Sausages, and it was terrific.  It was mellow curry flavour and I’m sure it contributed to the overall success of the dish.   I think I overcooked the bases and lamb a little, so do watch it when it’s in the oven.

One thing I didn’t expect – this pizza is really, really satisfying.  A few small pieces and you feel quite full.  It must be the spelt grain – no wonder it’s so acclaimed.

I’m a bit torn about this dish – the pizza base was great.  I loved the taste of the lamb, but I did think there needed to be more of it, and that it would have been greater still with some flavours other than the lamb, yoghurt, rocket and lemon juice.

I’ll definitely do the bases again and play around with the flavourings to see what I come up with.

Want the recipe I used?  Check the recipe tab!!

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Bakes, Recipes

 

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Muesli Slice

Thank goodness the school holidays are nearly over!  Although the thermomix has saved my bacon on a few occasions, the time I’ve had for cooking extra bits and pieces has been limited.

My three year old has just discovered the joy of cooking and I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s able to whip something up in the thermomix all by himself.  I’d been trying to get him into cooking for ages, but the clincher was the big boy step – so he wasn’t sitting on the bench any more, he’s actually standing up at the bench and can ‘help’ me much more easily.  The only downside is that he now knows he can get to what’s on the bench even without mum or dad around – luckily he’s a bit scared of the washing machine at the moment, so I just leave the lights on and it tends to keep him out of the laundry, where the offending step is stored!

I’ve never thought about making cakes or biscuits to have on hand for when guests arrive – the temptation of knowing they were there was too much for me.  But I wanted to try this recipe a amy neighbour had raved about it, I had all the ingredients in the pantry, and it was something that Master 3 could easily help with.  Sadly I can’t send them in his kinder lunchbox because of the nut factor, but I’m sure I can find something to substitute the nuts for.

This recipe is from Caroline Velik, who is a regular contributor to The Age’s Epicure and a very talented food stylist – just look at “In The Mix” as an amazing example.

From start to finish this took less than three quarters of an hour, so it’s a great recipe if you’re time poor or want some pretty instant gratification, so it’s ideal for making with the kids.  The mix – if you don’t use the coconut cream – makes quite a biscuity slice.  It’s quite delicious and very satisfying – a small piece is quite enough to keep you going.  I have been sorely tempted for another piece just because it tastes so good, but I really didn’t need it.

I used raw oats in my mixture, but I can imagine this is one of those recipes you can play around with to your hearts’ content and substitute other ingredients for.  I can imagine it would be lovely with dried apricots instead of dates (or “dog poo” as Master 3 identified them as ;-)) It would also be a great way to use up some of the weet bix crumbs that are always at the bottom of the box – 40 grams is about 2 and a half weet bix.

The mixture is pretty sticky – it must be all that honey – so I tipped it into a lined 20x20cm tin, put the thermomat on top and pushed it down till it was sitting in the tray nicely.  Let it cool in the tray till it’s really quite cool, and then slice into bars or biscuit sized pieces.

Highly recommended.  This will certainly be a regular menu item at our house!

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Bakes

 

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Grissini with Apricot and Cardamom Paste

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I’ve been feeling somewhat neglectful of my blog in the last couple of weeks, and with a sick toddler under my feet it hasn’t been easy to cook as much as I’d like, and to get out of the house to get some of the more exotic ingredients… so I had a look through the cupboard and it looked like I could make these lovely Grissini without having to leave the house for any ingredient… perfect!!

I saw Dani make these grissini at her cooking class in Melbourne a few weeks ago.  They looked pretty fuss free, and they really are pretty simple to make.  Dani mentioned at the class that your imagination is really your only limit to what you could flavour these grissini with.  Today I did the Apricot and Cardamom as per the recipe, but I’m thinking I might try cranberry, fig, mango, or a marmalade-ish mix next time I’m in the mood for something sweet, or maybe even try a savoury kind – parmesan, lemon zest, cheese and chive or something like that.  I’ll keep my eye out at the supermarket for some inspiration!

You don’t use much cardamom for this recipe, and I’m a bit of a fan of it, so next time I’ll up the cardamom seed amount.

You need to let the jam cool before you spread it out onto the dough – but it shouldn’t be a problem as you have to wait for the dough to prove anyway.  I think my jam was actually a little too thick and I ended up using my fingers to spread it out all over the dough before folding it over.  Make sure you go completely to the edge with the jam, otherwise you’ll end up with grissini without any of the beautiful apricot and cardamom paste.

I purposely made this batch with a minimum of equipment, I used the thermomix spatula as a knife to cut the dough into strips, but if you were after a prettier finish, you could move the proved dough from the thermomat onto a floured surface and use a sharp knife.  Not sure if it was the fact that I only had 100 grams of poppy seed and not the 120 as the recipe called for (a tip for young players – the bag of poppy seeds I bought a few weeks ago was only 100 grams, so you’ll need 2!!) – but my dough was a little wet.  I could have added more flour, but I didn’t. As it was a little wet and sticky, I kept it on the thermomat, so the presentation is a little rustic.

The apricot and cardamom jam is so easy to make.  Jam making is one of the joys of owning a thermomix I think – not that i make a lot of jam by any stretch, but really, how many people do you know what would make 200 grams of jam just for the hell of it?  Well, with a thermomix, you can – in minutes.

I was in a hurry to get these bad boys cooked, so in spite of my better judgement, I put three trays of them in the oven at once.  Not good!!  I scorched the top tray a little, so ended up having to shuffle them around a little.  It also doesn’t help that I’m not a huge fan of my oven, and I’m getting to the stage where I think I might have to pull the pin and treat myself to a better one.  We left the best oven at our last house, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss it!  Mine were a little too long – I think as a result of the very stretchy wet dough, so next time I’ll make sure I use the right amount of poppy seeds and maybe add a little more bakers flour.

If your oven has some hot spots, then make sure you check these regularly as they do go from pale and interesting to bad fake tan colour very quickly!

I’ll be brining these to my sister’s house tomorrow for farewell drinks for her son as he heads off overseas for an extended holiday.  I’m sure we’ll enjoy a few of these with a glass of bubbles!

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Bakes

 

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