Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eating in Robe and Kingston

Carrot cake slice (Robe Bakery)

I took a short little break to visit a few lovely beach towns off the south eastern coast of my state. While both Robe and Kingston may be known for their gorgeous sandy beaches and increasingly magnificent holiday homes I think their marketing people have got it wrong. Robe and Kingston should be known for their amazing bakeries.

Donut (Robe Bakery)
Vanilla slice (Robe Bakery)

Mr High Heels did not grow up touring from one South Australian bakery to another under the guise of a 'family holiday' so he still doesn't understand why we can't just drive past a bakery. Or why we have to buy several cakes, both a pie and a pasty and numerous loaves of bread. What he really struggles with is comprehending my obsession with the vanilla slice (which I inherited from my father).

Fresh finger bun with currents, vanilla icing and spread with butter (Kingston Bakery)

Two thirds of my all-time favourite junk food meal, hotdog and orange soft drink.

Lobster for tea, I now love seafood.

Plain meat pie (Kingston Bakery)

Vanilla slice (Kingston Bakery)

Cheese cake slice (Robe Bakery)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Caramela's Caramel Slice

Today is my mother's birthday.
She is a bit of a caramel queen.
Two of her many signature dishes are
creme caramel and
caramel slice.
I did not bake the caramel slice featured above and below this text.It is mum's recipe and there is no way I'd attempt it myself. It just wouldn't taste right made my anyone other than mum.
It's an easy recipe but I don't want to make my mum's signature dish.
I don't want to mess with my favourite slice of all time. As a child my heart would leap with joy upon seeing Mum pull this slice from the fridge.
She can't remember where she got the recipe from, most likely the back of a packet.
Or perhaps it was on a tin of condensed milk.
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 ozs of melted butter
Mix together and press into a greased flat tin approx 9 by 6 inches. Bake in a moderate over for 15 minutes.
1 tin condensed milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 oz butter
Mix together in a saucepan on low heat until blended.
Remove cooked biscuit from oven and put topping on (while both still hot) and put back into the over for a further 15 minutes.
Once completely cooled ice thinly with either melted chocolate or your favourite chocolate icing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What do you mean it's not Christmas yet?

I love Christmas.
I love cookies.
I love planning my Christmas Cookie Exchange party.
This year will be the second time I have hosted one. I can't wait.
I've got a few cookie recipes to try out.
The first one is a cranberry and white chocolate biscuit recipe involving one of my all time favourite ingredients, condensed milk.
This recipe yields a lot of biscuits. It would work very well if you needed to bake for a school fete. They are really yummy with a semi-crisp shell but a soft and crumbly centre which is owed mostly to the condensed milk.
The cranberries and white chocolate work well together and give the biscuit a very festive look. If I go with this recipe I will drizzle each biscuit with melted milk chocolate, maybe with sugar sprinkles too.
I think a decoration trial will be in order soon too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Multi-tasking into Spring

I am now 14 days into Spring 2009 but have just baked a classic winter warmer, apple and berry crumble. The last few days of sunny, warming weather have quickly moved on to make way for a colder temperature with even a spot of rain on the weekend. While I frantically went around the house looking for warmer clothes tonight I realised that I had no choice but to bake this crumble recipe from my favourite go-to online recipe bank.
This recipe is one of my favourite kinds to work with. I like to refer to them as 'multi-tasking recipes'. You sort out one part of the recipe and get it going (in this case cooking the apples) while you prepare the final touches (in this case the crumble topping). I always feel super efficient after following recipes like this crumble one, such a good confidence booster!
I only had mixed berries on hand but they seemed to work well with the apple and cinnamon flavours and there were certainly no complaints from the eaters. I will admit that I was a tad naughty with this recipe and actually doubled the topping. Double the amount of corn flakes and oats surely balances out double the amount of brown sugar and butter, doesn't it?

That extra topping is so worth it!

The addition of the mixed berries give the apples an extra tangy kick.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gourmet Obsessions

Since reading about bloggers raving about Gourmet magazine a few weeks back I decided to trawl it's website. I have fortunately managed to locate a newsagent that stocks Gourmet magazine and have in my posession two copies, one being the latest A-Z issue.
Both copies have numerous pages that have gone onto my baking 'to do' list. The website has provided me not just with hours of fun but also this refreshing biscuit recipe for buttermilk cookies with a tangy hint of lemon.

Any recipe that lists buttermilk as an ingredient will always get my attention.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

French Toast for Australian Father's Day

It's Father's Day here in Australia. So I thought I'd give French Toast a go. As usual I used a recipe from my mecca for online recipes. I left out the bacon and tomatoes. I also found that the egg/milk mixture yielded more than enough for 8 slices of thick bread. If I hadn't gotten slightly lazy I could have made 10 slices but hey, it's Sunday morning!
My father hits 65 soon and a friend remarked that perhaps he should be eating something healthier for breakfast on Father's Day. No way! I get my super sweet tooth from this man, he'll be eating voraciously for a very long time. His usual breakfast consists of a cereal of some sort, toast with his home-made plum jam, two cups of tea and a slice of whatever home-made cake my mother has in the pantry slathered with his home-made apricot jam and cream. For what it's worth dad is extremely active. You know it's either bitterly cold outside or outrageously hot if you find my father sitting down inside.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Can't stop craving coffee

The whole point of this earlier post was to cure my coffee cravings my making a coffee cake. It worked reasonably well.
Inspite of some strong cravings and the fact that on any given work day I walk past at least six establishments where I could purchase a cup, I have been off the liquid bliss for quite a while.
As a result my sinus headaches all but disappeared.
I got over-confident last Sunday morning when I found myself at a friend's house for brunch. A friend who has a fantastic coffee machine. It would have been rude to refuse a cup.
That latte was out of this world.
Did I ever pay for it though.
A few short hours later and I started to lose my sense of smell and I knew I'd pushed it too far. Just proof that coffee really isn't for me.
So I'm back on the coffee cake wagon.
Today's coffee cake version is care of Delia Smith, the merticulousy magnificant English cook.
While my list of 'favourite' chefs/cooks/food writers
is long and varied Delia will always be number 1.
I promise you, that no harm can come to your baking
or cooking when a Delia recipe is being followed.
Here is the recipe for Delia Smith's Austrian Coffee and Walnut Cake with Coffee Cream.
The only variation I made to the recipe
was to use only mascapone in the coffee cream,
I simply doubled the amount required.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Confessions of a Cheesecake

Dear Cheesecake Gods,

The taste and texture of a baked cheesecake far outweighs that of non-baked cheesecake which is why I need your help. I have made this great recipe from my favourite recipe site three times now. Each time I have the same problems: a sunken middle section combined with a big nasty crack. The taste of the cheesecake is heavenly, refreshing and very addictive.

I have tried to use decorations to distract the eye away from my baking downfalls but there must be a way to ensure I perfect this recipe. There is only so much that melted chocolate and frozen, out of season berries can do!

Is my oven temperature too night? Not high enough? Is my baking time a little off? The only substition I have made is swapping the plain biscuits for plain chocolate biscuits so that it becomes a lemon-filled chocolate-based cheesecake. Any advice you can give me will be much appreciated.

Warmest regards,

Miss High Heels

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I see red, I see red, I see red

My initial interest and now obsession with red velvet cake started with this London bakery which I have the upmost respect for. On my very first visit I remember being dizzy with excitement by the neverending choices of cake on offer.
The red velvet cupcakes grabbed my attention as I vaguely recalled there being some sort of red velvet cake mentioned in the movie 'Steel Magnolias'.
Red is one of my favourite colours.
I love velvet.
Cream cheese icing has long been a favourite of mine so it was only natural that I should gravitate towards buying a red velvet cupcake.
That first bite in 2005 has led to four years of being enamoured with the look and taste of red velvet cake.

It wasn't until late 2007 that I attempted to bake my own red velvet cake. I have used several different recipes and have to say I love them all.
I can't imagine ever getting tired of baking or eating red velvet cake.
I've baked a few for different friends, cupcakes for my sister's birthday a few years ago and cupcakes for my cousin's engagement party dessert.
Red velvet cake is still such a novelty here in Australia that people get very excited when they catch their first glimpse of red.
This cake introduced my good friend Speechie to the wonder that is red velvet cake.
She was hooked on first bite!

I also got to try out my new cake decorating triangle.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Recipes Without Recipes

My tea tonight consisted of roasted vegetables, cous cous and hommus. A good friend first cooked this for me and it quickly became a favourite. It's the sort of the recipe or cooking style that my mother would refer to as 'Alleluia'. Which could be taken to mean, 'throw it all together and pray that it works out ok'. Mum's interpretation is somewhat deeper. Her 'Alleluia' cooking method is more about an intuitive understanding of food and which combinations work best.

Take any of your favourite vegetables, peel and chop them. Toss through some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add herbs and spices of your liking. I added dried chilli seeds, basil, thyme and rosemary. Cook on a moderate temperature for around 1 hour. Serve with plain cous cous and hommus to taste. Best consumed with a nice glass of red wine.