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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ciabatta Bread

For all the bread lovers! Crispy crust on the outside, soft and spongy on the inside.

Note: Proving time is 10-12hrs (step by step process below)

Ingredients:

4 cups plain flour (or wholemeal)
2 cups water
1 packet of dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

In a large bowl, combine flour, dry yeast, water, sugar and salt. Mix thourougly with a spatula - the texture should be fairly runny and lumpy.

Leave to prove for 18-20hrs. Heat oven to 250C, brush dutch oven or a cooking pot with vegetable oil. Place in the oven for 5-7mins to heat while empty. Take out of the oven and add the bread mixture into the hot dutch oven. Bake on 250C for 40 minutes with the lid on. Take the lid off and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Take out of oven and place on a cooling rack. Wrap in a clean tea towel and leave to cool. Enjoy with you favourite spread or plain.

Happy Baking!






Saturday, October 8, 2011

Snapper carpaccio with orange segments

Perfect entree for the spring season - it is sure to wow your guests.
Recipe by Richard Ptacnik from Otto ristorante - Woolloomooloo.

1 bulb fennel
1kg snapper fillet, skin off
1 punnet baby parsley 
1 punnet red radish cress
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1/2 bunch dill, pickled
4 oranges, segmented
200g salmon roe
1 punnet edible flowers
pink salt flakes to taste (alternative white sea salt)

Citrus and Chardonnay dressing

2 teaspoons Chardonnay vinegar
2 teaspoons strained freshly squeezed orange juice
1 table spoon extra virgin olive oil
salt flakes to taste

To make citrus and Chardonnay dressing:

Whisk all ingredients together. Thinly shave fennel and place in icy water to prevent discolouring.

To make snapper carpaccio:
Cut pin bones and blood line out  of snapper by cutting straight down the centre of the fish either side of the bones.
Slice into 1cm thick pieces, then separate bunches of 4 pieces. Place pieces stacked diagonally on top of one another between two layers of 'go-between'** paper on a chopping paper). Pound gently with a kitchen mallet to achieve an even thing slice should be as circular as you can make it. Using a smaller plate as a guide, trim into a circular shape just smaller than the serving plates. The carpaccio slices should be 2mm in thickness. Remove top sheet of 'go between' paper and turn over onto a serving plate then remove the other piece of 'go-between' paper.
Drizzle citrus and Chardonnay dressing over the fish and sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle chives over the top and place orange segments and salmon roe around the fish. Scatter baby parsley, red radish leaves, dill and shaved fennel over the fish and top with edible flowers to decorate.

Note: "Go-Between" paper comes in the same packaging as cling wrap or foil and can be found in your supermarket.



Enjoy!


Russian hats topped with Persian fairy floss - Subarice sa Persijskim vunenim secerom


Coconut coated delights with soft centre filling between the moist chocolate sponge.
For the base:

6 eggs
12 table spoons flour
14 table spoons sugar
6 table spoons cocoa
1.5 sachets baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C

In a large bowl separate egg whites and whisk until soft peaks form. Add sugar spoon by spoon until you get a firm and glossy texture. Gradually add the egg yolk one by one and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and cocoa and add spoon by spoon into the egg mixture.  Once everything is mixed well, line baking tray with baking paper and brush with oil. Pour cake mixture in the baking tray and bake on 160C for 15-20 minutes or until set well when poked with a baking skewer.

Cream filling:

500ml full cream milk
2 table spoons flour type 00 (from your supermarket)
3 table spoons gustin/corn flour (White Wings)
8 table spoons sugar
200g butter softened
50ml rum
Vanilla essence

Separate flour and a little bit of milk in a measuring jug and mix well until smooth. Pour the remainder of the milk in a medium sized saucepan, add rum, a little bit of vanilla essence and sugar. Mix with a wooden spatula and place on medium heat. Bring to the boil. Slowly pour in the flour and milk mixture and stir well until the texture thickens. Make sure you are continuously stirring on medium heat to avoid any lumps, your aim is to have a very smooth texture. Leave to cool.

Once the base is baked - cut out small circles with a cutter and then cut the rounds in half with a knife (step by step process shown below). Spread cream filling over each half round and top with the other half like a burger. Coat the outside of every round with the cream filling and then coat the sides in coconut it should be fully coated leaving the top as is.

In a ceramic bowl add cooking chocolate and a bit of thickened cream and place over a steaming saucepan. Melt to make chocolate ganache. Cover the tops of all the round with the chocolate ganache and leave to cool. Serve this way or if you want a bit of an extra effect top with Persian fairy floss** to add to the aesthetic of the cakes.

Note: Persian fairy floss - Pashmak can be found in selected deli's.

Step by step process:



Lesnik rolat - Hazelnut Rollade

Recipe to be loaded soon.


Squid Ink Spaghettini with Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes

I learnt how to make this dish at the Sydney fish market seafood school. Recipe by head chef Richard Ptacnik from Otto ristorante at Woolloomooloo.

Ingredients:

500g piece chinook salmon fillet, skin off
2 punnets baby parsley
1 bulb fennel, finely shaved and placed in icy water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pink salt flakes to taste (white sea salt is also fine)
250g red cherry tomatoes, halved
250 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small red chilly, chopped finely
250ml dry white wine
300ml shellfish stock (fish stock is fine also)
600g Fresh spaghettini (recipe follows) - otherwise you can buy Latina pasta.
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
120g salmon roe
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Place the salmon on a chopping board and slice down the centre, removing the blood line and pin bones. Cut into 1cm thick strips send set aside.
Combine baby parsley, fennel, a little olive oil and salt and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan.
Add red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and cook for 30 seconds.
Add garlic and chill and cook for another 30 seconds, then add wine and stir well to create an emulsion.
Stir in Shellfish Stock.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add pasta, stir well to prevent it sticking, and cook for about 3 minutes, until tender.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.
Toss the pasta through the sauce then add the salmon and remove from the heat.
Add the chopped parsley and salt.
Serve pasta in bowls and top with salmon roe. Place fennel mixture on top, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Fresh Spaghettini (makes about 1.4kg)

100g squid ink
1kg type 00 flour (from your supermarket)
7 eggs
Type 00 flour, extra for dusting

Place flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk eggs and squid ink together and pour into the well. Stir the eggs into the flour, with your hands to form a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured work bench and knead the dough for about 5 minutes with the heel of your hand, pushing it away from you and folding it back towards you until it is smooth and workable (not too soft and not too hard).
Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for 15-30 minutes. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough out to a thickness that can go through a pasta machine. Pass the dough through a pasta machine, starting with the widest setting and decreasing the setting each time so the dough becomes thinner and longer.
Fold the pasta back over itself a few times and put the rollers back to the first setting. Repeat this until you obtain a sheen on the pasta. Then continue rolling to a thickness of 3mm. Cut sheets approximately 30cm long and pass through a spagetinni cutter.

Enjoy!


Gibanica - Cheese layared pastry stack

Traditional Serbian delicacy - often served after the main meal or alongside other dishes. A must at any celebration.

Ingredients for 2 baking trays - half ingredients for one baking tray:

1x packet Turkish pita bread (split in half) - alternatively you can make your own pastry
1x 500g cottage cheese
2x 250g sour cream
1/4 cup butter milk/full cream milk
5 whole eggs
2/3x pinch of salt

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix through well. The mixture should be nice and smooth and the same texture as a pan cake mix.

Brush regular size baking tray with vegetable oil and put the first layer of Turkish pita bread on the bottom (make sure you have cut the pita bread open so that it isn't too thick).

Put a generous amount of the cheese mixture then layer again with pita bread. Do this interchangeably until all ingredients are used up. The top layer should be covered with cheese mixture a generous amount should be left on top.

Preheat oven to 220C and bake for about an hour in a fan forced oven. Take out once golden - it should be soft and moist when cut through.

Serve alone or alongside other meals.

Happy Baking!

Kuglof - Bundt Cake (cut)


Effective and easy - perfect for entertaining.

Ingredients:
1 cup of buttermilk
2 cups of sugar
Half a cup of vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
2 cups of flour
1 sachet of baking powder
40g blended almonds or raisins or both
1 teaspoon of Cocoa

Mix all ingredients except for cocoa together. Eggs should be lightly beaten before added to the mixture.

Separate 1/4 of the mixture into another bowl and add cocoa so that it goes brown.

Place white mixture in a tray (I used a round bundt shape tray) then add the brown mixture in whatever pattern you like, swirl it around with a fork.

Bake on 180C for about 30 minutes or until fully set and golden.

Happy Baking!





Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chicken Laksa - Pileca Laksa

Spicy, warm and hearty chicken laksa.

Ingredients:

200g (small jar) of good quality laksa paste (from your Thai grocer) I used Por Kwan Laksa Paste
800ml coconut cream (400ml if making for 2 serves only)
500g chicken/vegetable stock
600g chicken breast cut into slices
(Alternatively you can add prawns, beef strips, duck strips).
200g fresh Asian noodles I used a combination of both shoelace/thin and thicker style noodles
1/2 cup bean sprouts if desired
5 thicker spring onions cut finely and fried until they just start to get golden
Handful fresh coriander to garnish
Fresh red chillies to garnish if desired
Black pepper chili paste to garnish on top if you like your laksa spicy

Method:

Heat the laksa paste in a large saucepan for a few minutes to release the aroma. Add coconut milk and stock and bring to boil. Add the chicken or the chosen meat/prawns and simmer on reduced heat until cooked.

Place noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Allow to stand for two minutes to heat through, then drain. Divide drained noodles between serving bowls (bowls should be fairly large and deep), pour laksa and all its ingredients over and garnish with bean sprouts, spring onion and coriander.

Enjoy!

German Style Salty Pretzels - Slane Perece

I absolutely love the salty pretzels - I often have them for breakfast on my way to work from a German Bakery near by. So I thought I would recreate my own from a great recipe I found.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 sachets dried yeast
2 tsp caster sugar
635gm (4 1/2 cups flour)
40g softened butter
50gm bicarbonate soda
1 egg yolk for brushing
Sea salt flakes for scattering

Method:

In a small cup empty out sachets of dried yeast and add a small amount of warm water - combine so you get a paste like texture. Cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for 5-7 minutes - it should rise and bubbles will form.

In a large bowl add flour, sugar and a pinch of salt and stir through. Add the yeast mixture and 250ml warm water. Combine and form the dough, it should be nice and soft and all of the flour should be incorporated. If you need to, add more water. Oil the dough mixture slightly and cover the bowl with a tea towel. Leave to stand in a warm place (this is called proving) for 1-1 1/2 hrs - until doubled in size. See step by step pictures below.

Knock back dough and divide into 8 even pieces or 10 if you want smaller pretzels. Roll each piece on a work surface to about 45cm long so it tapers on the ends and is thicker in the middle. Bring ends inwards and cross over once, then twist once more, then fold back and press ends onto the thicker side to create the pretzel shape. Place on an oil brushed tray.

Preheat oven to 200C. Bring 5 litres of water to simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bicarbonate soda, stir to combine, then carefully add pretzels into the water to blanch. They should float on the top and you can turn them once then take them out (this procedure should take about 30 seconds on each side). Place the pretzels back into the oiled tray and brush the egg yolk over them. Scatter sea salt flakes over the pretzels as desired. Bake on 200C until golden brown (25-30mins).

Serve warm and enjoy - Happy Baking!



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tennis Ball Cake


Tennis ball cake made in inspiration for my brother's birthday.
The inside is a mud cake as per the below recipe.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mud Cake - Torta od cokolade

This was my own creation for my 25th birthday - it was delicious!

Ingredients:

250g butter, chopped
200g Nestle cooking dark chocolate, chopped (1 whole block)
2 cups caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
chocolate flakes, to serve

Chocolate ganache

200g Nestle cooking dark chocolate, chopped (1 whole block)
2/3 cup thickened cream

Method

Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced. Grease medium sized cake pan. Line base with baking paper.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add chocolate, sugar and 1 cup cold water. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Cool for 10 minutes.

Add eggs. Stir to combine. Add flour and cocoa. Stir until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre has moist crumbs clinging. Stand for 10 minutes in pan. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the chocolate ganache: Place chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until thick enough to spread. Spread over cake. Top with chocolate flakes. Serve and indulge in this delicious treat.

Happy Baking :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pavlova with cherries and kiwi

My version of Donna Hay's Pavlova
Ingredients:

12 egg whites
14 tablespoons of caster sugar
6 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
6 teaspoons white vinegar
2 cups (500ml) thickened cream
Mixed berried, cherries and kiwi fruit or other fruit as desired

Method:

Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Spread over the pavlova, top with berries, cherries and kiwi fruit and serve immediately. Serves 15-20.

Happy Baking :)




Orascici - Walnut cakes filled with cream

Short bread pastry on the outside that crumbles away filled with a delicate cream.

Ingredients:

1 cup warm milk 
1/2kg flour
250g butter
8 table spoons sugar
1 sachet baking powder
Pinch of salt

Cream filling:

1 cup warm milk
3 table spoons of flour (bring to to the boil with the milk until you get a cream like texture)
1 Vanilla Pudding
125g butter
3-4 table spoons of caster sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C. In a large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and mix well until you get a smooth like texture.

Oil every walnut mould and start pressing the dough into each mould it should be about 0.5cm in thickness.

Place all the moulds into a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden. Cool.

Cream filling:

In a large saucepan add milk and gradually stir in flour spoon by spoon until the texture thickens. Add butter, sugar and the vanilla pudding (mixed with 350g milk - prepare as per instructions on pack). Mix well until smooth. Cool.

Take out all the wall nut cakes from the mould and start filling with the cream on one side. Top off with the other half so you get a walnut shape as shown above. The moulds are as per the below:






Kosnice

Easy to make - perfect for big occasions when catering for many.

Ingredients:

1 wafer block pack (you can buy this in your local delicatessen)
250g butter
1 cup milk
3-4 table spoons flour
4 table spoons sugar
200g finely chopped almonds 
chocolate
Jam as desired (I used Quince Jam for this recipe)

Method:

In a large saucepan add milk and gradually stir in flour until the texture thickens. Add butter, sugar and almonds. Stir until its all well combined and cooking through. Leave to cool.

Cut out rounds from the wafer block withe the moulds shown below. With a knife spread a layer of jam.

Sip in some sugar into your mould then remove to achieve a layer on the sides so that your mixture does not stick to the mould. Spoon the mixture into the mould and then carefully shake out onto the wafer round. Repeat process until all of the mixture is used.

Refrigerate and then serve. Moulds shown below.

Enjoy :)



Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vanilla/Cherry Bombe Alaska

As soon as I saw this dessert being made on Masterchef I had to give it a go and it has turned out beautifully. I have used bought vanilla ice cream but if you have an ice-cream machine have a go at making your own.

Ingredients:

Sponge:

9 eggs (separate egg whites and yolks)
9 table spoons of sugar
9 table spoons of flour
1 sachet baking powder

Filling:

2L good quality vanilla ice-cream

Cherry sorbet
 - 800ml water
 - 350g sugar
 - pitted cherries

Egg white topping:

- 4 egg whites
- 4 tbs sugar

(Beat egg whites until fluffy - add sugar spoon by spoon until you get a glossy mixture)

Method:

Separate egg whites form the yolks and beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar spoon by spoon and mix well until glossy and thick. Add egg yolks, one by one followed by the flour, spoon my spoon. Add vanilla sugar and baking powder and mix well.


Line a baking tray with baking paper and brush with vegetable oil so the baking paper stays on the tray. Pour the mixture (should be about 2cm thick) and bake on 180 degrees for about 12 minutes.

For the cherry sorbet bring water and sugar to boil and add cherries. The texture should thicken. Pour into a baking tray and play in freezer for about 45 minutes. Scrape with fork to get a sorbet. Leave in fridge.

Once your sponge is out of the oven and cooled down, cut off about 10cm of the edge of the sponge you will need this to form the bottom base of the Bombe Alaska.

Cut the remainder of the sponge into triangles and start lining your mould until all covered. Spread ice-cream all around about 2cm thickness. Add the Cherry sorbet in the middle and then top with your sponge that you had initially left. Leave in freezer for another 30 minutes.

Turn out the Bombe Alaska and then cover with the egg white topping. Use cooking blow torch at the end to get the smokey effect. Cut large wedges and serve.

See below the step by step process.



Happy Baking! :)

Grilled Chicken breast with tomato salsa - Piletina sa satarasom

Simple, light and tasty!

Chicken Breast/thighs

Ingredients for the salsa:

2 red capsicums diced
1 tomato diced 
1 red onion finely chopped
Pinch of salt
Fresh Parsley

Method:

Remove any excess fat from the chicken and wash. Coat in flour mixed with desired spices (salt/pepper/hint of chilli powder/parsley). Fry chicken on a grill pan or barbecue.

For the Salsa

In a medium saucepan add onion and fry off with a bit of water until it becomes translucent. Add capsicum, tomato, and salt. Pour with water until covered. Bring to boil and simmer until the capsicum becomes softer. In a cup add half a tablespoon flour, and sweet paprika and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Add to the water and simmer for a bit longer. Alternatively add a bit of tomato pasta sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rafaelo Cake

Creamy delights.


Ingredients:

For the base:

7 egg whites
7 table spoons of sugar
1x sachet baking powder
150g coconut
4 table spoons flour

For the filling:

7 egg yolks
6 table spoons of sugar
1x sachet vanilla sugar
Vanilla essence
350ml full cream milk
3 table spoons flour
250g softened butter

For the topping:

2 egg whites whisked with three table spoons of sugar

Method:

In a large bowl mix the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar and mix until glossy and you can turn the bowl upside down without the mixture falling out. Add flour spoon by spoon, baking powder and the coconut and mix through. Pour in a medium sized baking dray lined with baking paper. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile whisk egg yolks until soft peak form and then add sugar spoon by spoon. The yolks should be fluffy and light yellow. Add flour and mix well. In a medium sized saucepan add milk and vanilla essence and then add the yolk mixture. Stir constantly on medium heat until the mixture thickens - should be a custard like texture but stickier.

In a separate bowl beat the softened butter with vanilla sugar until fluffy. Add the yolk mixture and combine well with electric mixer. Leave in the fridge to cool for a couple of hours.

Spread the above mixture on the base evenly and leave in fridge to cool overnight. Spread the beaten egg white mixture on top and decorate as desired. Cut into medium sized cubes and serve.

Happy Baking :)

Wafer Dessert - Oblande

Easy to make with no baking time required and always a favourite..

Ingredients:

1 packet wafer boards (you can get this from a local delicatessen)
150g dark chocolate
150g milk chocolate
150ml thickened cream
150g crushed pettit-beurre biscuits
150g Hazelnuts finely chopped

Method:

Melt chocolate with thickened cream in a steamer and add biscuits and hazelnuts once the chocolate is melted. You should get a fairly rich mixture. Leave to cool.

Spread over the wafer boards and layer, usually five layers is enough. Leave in the fridge overnight and cover with something heavy on top so that the chocolate filling sets.

Cut into long rectangular shapes as shown above. Then cut diagonally to get diamond like pieces.

Enjoy!




Chocolate Balls

Easy to make chocolate treats.

Ingredients:

150g dark chocolate
150g milk chocolate
150ml thickened cream
150g crushed pettit-beurre biscuits

Method:

Melt chocolate with thickened cream in a steamer and add biscuits once the chocolate is melted. You should get a fairly rich mixture. Cool.

Take small amounts and roll them into walnut size balls. Roll into blended hazelnuts and cool in the fridge.

Serve as desired.

Enjoy!


Crispy skin Salmon with capsicum-tomato salsa

Delicious crispy skin Salmon on a bed of flavoursome capsicum-tomato salsa.

Ingredients for the salsa:

2 red capsicums diced
1 tomato diced 
1 red onion finely chopped
Pinch of salt
Fresh Parsley

Salmon fillets de-boned and cut into strips like above
Sea salt and pepper
Parsley

Method:

In a medium saucepan add capsicum, tomato, onion and salt. Pour with water until covered. Bring to boil and simmer until the capsicum becomes softer. In a cup add half a tablespoon flour, and sweet paprika and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Add to the water and simmer for a bit longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Salmon, mix sea salt, pepper and parsley with a bit of vegetable oil and rub onto the Salmon skin. Place skin side down on a hot non-stick frying pan until crispy. Sear the other sides gently and then place in the oven for another 6-7 minutes. Place lemon wedges in the oven with the Salmon to give it more flavour.

Place salsa on plate, top with crispy skin Salmon and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

Plum Jam Rolls - Slatke Kiflice

Absolutely delicious - perfect for afternoon tea!

Ingredients:

250ml beer
400ml vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
Flour
Plum Jam 

Method:

In a large bowl pour beer and oil. Add sugar and flour until you get a smooth dough. Separate in 5-6 medium sized balls of dough, wrap in cling wrap and leave to rest for a couple of hours.

With a rolling pin smooth out each piece of rested dough into thin 0.5cm thickness circles and cut into small triangles like you would a pizza.

Add a teaspoon of plum jam onto each little triangle and roll into shape.

Bake on 180C for about 35-40 minutes until golden.

Once they cool roll them into icing sugar until all covered. These rolls are very practical as they can last over a week and remain fresh.

Enjoy!