Tag Archives: food

Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Ugly but tastey

Admittedly, my oven has been in a period of quiescence recently, due to my battle with cholesterol. However, I have decided to wake it up when we have company. Self-saucing pudding is good in so many ways. It tastes deliciously warm, isn’t too rich, is simple yet impressive, can be prepared in advance, can be transported, and keeps well for microwave re-heating.

One memory I have of this pudding is my dad asking my mum and I, “How do you make the sauce?” “It makes it own sauce,” we replied. “No, but you have to do something to have sauce,” he contested. “Nope, that’s why it’s called ‘self-saucing’ pudding”. “hmpf”, clearly suspicious of some sort of chicanery.

There are many memories of this one at Christmas time as well. The warm pudding which is too warm for a Brisbane summer, was offset by refreshingly cold ice-cream, the kind that was so frozen you had to boil the scoop, and have a strong aunt dish it out. The soft bits being mixed in, the crispier top smashed, and the sauce being drizzled over the top. I have many cousins, so there would be a subtle power-walking to the desert table, as the sauce was spooned out from underneath the entire pudding by the early birds, leaving the last few pieces dryer than they should be.

Find below my grandma’s recipe. Don’t over think it, should only take 5 minutes to whip up!

-Mix together: 50g butter (melted), 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup SR flour, 3/4 cup castor sugar, 1 tbs cocoa

-Pour into oven proof dish

-sprinkle with mixture of 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tbs cocoa. Carefully pour 2 cups hot water over the top

-Bake in moderate oven for 40 minutes.

 

 

 

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Coca-cola Cake

Are you sick of stale cake? Need some pep in your patty pans? Have I got the recipe for you!

I have travelled quite a bit, and I collect as coke bottle from every country I visit; they are different in every country. I have visited the coke factory in Atlanta, and collect other paraphernalia such as clocks, advertisements, and Christmas ornaments. Having said that, I only drink Diet Coke, as it isn’t as syrupy-sweet as original, and it contains that phenylalanine I find so addictive. Mmm…

A few years back, a friend asked me to make her a coca-cola cake. I found a recipe after some quick googling and have made it every year for her since. It is moist but fluffy, and never goes stale and remains sweet, no doubt thanks to chemicals such as Merchandise 7X, sodium benzoate, E211, and phosphoric acid to name a few. So it’s a great cake if you live alone as you can take a month to eat it.

Find my tweaked recipe below (not for the health conscious):

2 cups SR flour
2 cups sugar
3 tbs cocoa
1 cup coca-cola
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla essence

In a large bowl, combine sugar and SR flour.
In saucepan mix coca-cola, cocoa, and butter, and bring to a boil then take it off right away.
Mix into dry ingredients.
In small bowl mix eggs, milk, soda and vanilla.
Mix it all together swiftly so eggs don’t go weird. It will be quite liquid.
Pour into tightly sealed tin – I found out the hard way that spring form tins are a no go.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour in 140’C or 350’F oven until usual tests show it’s done.

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Rosellas – not just birds

Rosellas

I have mentioned before a rare treat one finds occasionally at markets and church fetes in Australia: Rosella jam. I was determined to make a batch for myself once Rosellas were in season.

Well, they must be in season now because as lady was selling them at the markets at Brisbane Square this week. They are much cheaper than figs, I have to say.

Rosella seed pod

Now, I had seen pictures on the internet of what a Rosella looked like, however, being  a city-raised gen Y, hadn’t ever seen one in person. They were much smaller than I had expected – about the size of a cloaked strawberry. I also expected a few large seed inside, not a single pod filled with hundreds of tiny seeds.

As an aside, my mother is always shocked at the things I don’t know. Why is it those of older generations who criticize the young, never take responsibility for raising them wrong? Anyway…

Inversion

Recipe: Soak 500g rosellas in water. Separate skin from pod and boil both in 1 cup of water until pods clear and skin soft (around 10 minutes). Remove pods, blend skins with water. Return to pot with 200g castor sugar and boil (will froth) until ready to set. Remember to invert jars to seal.

The recipe I followed said “half a bucket of rosellas”. Needless to say, measurements are liberal.

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Ficus

Figs are present in the stories and iconography of every major religion, but I adore them for their sweet sweet jam.

Figs are in season here in Australia, so I picked up a few to experiment with. I quickly realised that this jam tasted so good and was so simple that it would be a definite repeat this season, and my first batch may not make it to the jars.

Adam&Eve&Figs(Wikimedia)

Fig Jam

1. Combine 6 coarsely chopped ripe figs and ½ cup water in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes until tender. Cool slightly.

Chopped Figs

2. Blend in food processor until smooth.

3. Combine purée and sugar in heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat. (same weight sugar as purée). Cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours until mixture is thick.

4. Cool off heat for 30 minutes before refrigerating.

Fresh Fig Jam

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Belligerent Biscuits

Being near to a certain Catholic holiday, I thought it appropriate to make Lebkuchen (Love Cookies). Only after the boy ate some dough, and asked, “Does this have ginger in it?”, did I remember his allergy. A quick wikipedia search taught me that another spice prominent in the recipe, cardamom, is in the same family as ginger, and those allergic to one, are often allergic to the others. Who needs arsenic?

Lebkuchen

Unfortunately (for him), most of my favourite recipes have ginger in them, and I love ginger in most everything. Furthermore, this recipe would give me an opportunity to use some of the marmalade I made (say that ten times fast).

Lebkuchen

1. Melt 60g butter and 2/3 cup golden syrup (cane syrup in US)

I ran out of golden syrup so used some local ironbark honey instead.

2. Sift in 1 tsp bi-card soda, 2 cups plain flour, 1/4 tsp each ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa.

3. Mix in with 1 tbs milk until dryish dough.

4. Roll out and cut until heart shapes and place on tray. Use end of wooden spoon to create dips in the centre of each biscuit, and fill with jam or marmalade.

Evidently, I could not locate my heart-cutter on this occasion.

5. Bake for 10 minutes and cool completely.

6. Using a double saucepan, or glass bowl over a boiling pot, melt 125 g cooking chocolate, and spread on back of cooled biscuits. Refrigerate to set.

Chocolate

 It may also be worth a mention that I once won 1st prize for these cookies in a local fair 😉

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With a knife, dear Liza

As I had successfully made marmalade, I was obliged to make scones to accompany it.

Scones

(biscuits to Americans I believe http://alldownunder.com/australian-convert/food-chart.htm)

1. Rub 30g butter into 2 1/2 cups SR flour, 1 tbs castor sugar, 1.4 tsp salt

I ran out of SR flour so mixed 2 tsp baking powder into plain flour, which did the trick.

2. pour in milk bit by bit (about 3/4 cup in total) until you have a dough consistency, not sticky, not crumbly.

To avoid scones becoming rocks, mix milk in with a knife. For years I never followed this tip, but trust me, it makes such a difference to the consistency post-oven.   

Mix with a knife

 3. When dough just combined, roll out 2cm thick and cut with round cutter. They can be put pretty close together on tray as they rise up not out. Bake for 15 minutes in moderate oven

.

mmmelting

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To Market, To Market

I went to the Brisbane Markets in Rocklea today for the first time in a very long time. They are recovering very well after the floods. After my poor experience with seedless lemons, I felt the need to find some vegetables which retain some semblance of being a plant once upon a time. 

I had the aim of only spending $20 on fresh veges, but went a bit off track.

Brain flowers

Does anyone know the name of these flowers? I usually just call them ‘brain flowers’. Will have to google this one.

Dragon fruit

I’m not sure if people outside the tropics get this one but I love it. The best description I could give of its flavour is it tastes like fruit. Nothing too overpowering, along the lines of grapes and apples. When I was in Cambodia I lived on dragon fruit as it was so cheap there but can be up to $9 a kilo here.

Sweet basil

apparently there isn’t just ‘basil’. It comes in all sorts of flavours. Overwhelmed, I just took the genus I recognised, as the others seemed to lend themselves more to Thai cooking than Italian.

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig, Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

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