All posts filed under: Food

Gingerbread Macarons

For eleven months of the year I’m basically a Grinch, except not green and less hairy. I mumble and mutter about Christmas and the crowds and the incessant playing of Christmas songs. But as soon as the calendar flips over to December 1 and the Christmas tree goes up, I’m all about the Christmas joy. I made these Gingerbread Macarons at Christmas a couple of years ago and they were so delicious I thought I’d make them again and share them with you guys. Gingerbread Macarons This recipe will make about 60 small macaron shells, 30 full macarons INGREDIENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS Macarons 150g almond meal 138g icing sugar 5g ground ginger 5g ground cinnamon 2g ground nutmeg 150g caster sugar 38g water brown food colouring 55g egg whites pinch of cream of tartar 55g egg whites, extra Sift together the almond meal, icing sugar ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Ideally you want to do this at least three times, more if you have the time (which is why I recommend using a crank sifter). The finer you can get …

Cookbook Review – ‘Hey There, Dumpling!’

Title: Hey There, Dumpling! Author: Kenny Lao Genre: Cooking Rating: ★★★★★ I. Love. Dumplings. I love the way they look, I love the way they taste, I love how many different fillings they can have, and I even love how messy they can be to eat. I’m really lucky to work where I do, as just about every second shop around sells dumplings. I have one place I go to specifically for dumplings in soup, and another one for eating dumpings not in soup. One thing I’ve never done is try to make my own dumplings. I mean, why would I when I basically work in dumpling central? And there are tons of places where I can go pick up perfectly good frozen dumplings if I want to stuff my face in the comfort of my own home. But it’s been a while since I tried cooking something new, so when I saw Kenny Lao’s Hey There, Dumpling! on NetGalley, it seemed like a sign. The cookbook itself is seriously fun. I love Kenny Lao’s conversational writing …

Book Review – ‘The Violet Bakery Cookbook’ by Claire Ptak

Title: The Violet Bakery Cookbook Author: Claire Ptak Genre: Cooking Rating: ★★★★★ I think my favourite thing about NetGalley is the wide variety of books to choose from and review. If you’ve seen some of my previous posts (like this one and this one), you would know that I quite enjoy baking (cooking in general actually), and the eating that results from said baking. So I was pretty excited when I saw that I could get advanced copies of cookbooks as well as novels. The first cookbook (hopefully of many) I’ve decided to review for NetGalley is Claire Ptak’s The Violet Bakery Cookbook. The bakery itself is located in London, and this book is a collection of recipes of food that is actually made and sold there. I decided that in order to give the most honest review possible, I should pick some of the recipes and cook them myself. You know, just to make sure they were easy to follow and everything tasted alright (apologies for the terrible photos). Overall this is probably one of …

For the love of Cake

I really like cake. I love cake. I love making cake, I love eating cake and I love looking at pretty cakes – although not necessarily in that order (the love of eating cake is first). One of my favourite shows, Chasing Life, came back on tv the other night. It’s a great show but has the downside of making me cry nearly every week. So I thought it pertinent to have something comforting to stuff my face with while I drowned in my tears, which came in the closing scenes of the episode. I had few ingredients to in the house to make something and I didn’t think to buy some chocolate for myself. So I jumped on the interwebs and looked for a recipe for a mugcake – you know, those cakes you cook in microwave? Long story short, I made one, I ate it, I soaked up my tears with it. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting a real cake. As great as the mugcake was, it just wasn’t the same as eating a …

Cover Recreation – April 2014

Early again for this month’s cover – but only because there’s hot cross buns on the cover!! And we all know that you need to eat as many hot cross buns as you can while they’re around. These ones are Sour Cherry Hot Cross Buns – so yum! I had some trouble setting up for this one – I didn’t have a rack big enough to put the round of buns on, so had to improvise and change it up a bit. They’re also not the best looking buns around (I think I got a bit sloppy with rolling the dough into balls) but they taste amazing and I made them myself which only makes them taste better. The recipe called for dried sour cherries, but I couldn’t find those anywhere, so I experimented a bit and bought a jar of morello cherries from the preserved fruit aisle at the supermarket, rinsed them under water to get most of the sweet syrup off them, dried them, put them on a tray covered in baking paper …

Cover Recreation – March 2014

I’m a bit early with this month’s cover, mostly because the recipe for these two amazing desserts isn’t available online, so if you want to try them for yourself, you’ll have to head out and pick up the Gourmet Traveller magazine. But you can see a photo of the cover here. This month’s cover is graced by two delicious frozen desserts: the first is a chocolate-torrone semifreddo, and the second is passionfruit mint sorbetto. After my little photo shoot yesterday, my boyfriend and I had a flavour each, he the chocolate and I the passionfruit. It was quite warm here yesterday, so the sorbetto was lovely and refreshing and I have it on very good authority that the semifreddo is very rich and you could definitely just do with one scoop. So there you go. If you do decided to make at least the semi-freddo, torrone is an Italian nougat which can be soft and chewy or hard and brittle. I used the soft version in here and I bought it online from Enoteca Sileno (based …

Cover Recreation – February 2014

The February issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller features a really quick and easy tomato, corn and prawn salad. To look at it, you would think that it is Spanish inspired. I guess the body of it is, but the dressing is made up of purely Asian flavours that go beautifully with the main stars of the dish. I was a bit lazy this month and just used my iPhone – mostly because it’s easier to get an ok photo in my kitchen when using it. But also because I was starving and was really looking forward to eating the salad! Unlike last month, I managed to get this months recreation fairly close to the cover, minus a couple of minor details. You can find the recipe for this yummy salad here, as well as see a shot of the current cover. A couple of hints if you want to make this – I have no idea where to get shiso leaves near me, so I substituted it for mint, which I read has a similar flavour. …

Cover Recreation – January 2014

This is the first of my Australian Gourmet Traveller cover reproductions. The point of this little exercise is to get me using my camera a bit more and to get me cooking something different every now and then. Not that I don’t like making desserts and sweet things all the time, but it’s good to branch out every now and then. The cover of the most recent edition features a yummy passionfruit frozen yoghurt with a passionfruit syrup and some charred mango pieces.  Not quite the different food I had in mind, but it gave me a reason to use the ice cream maker my boyfriend and I bought ourselves for Christmas. I love watching a creamy liquid turn into a frozen delight in less than half an hour – it amazes me every time! I had a little bit of trouble getting my set up to look similar to the cover of the magazine, so I gave up on that idea and just did it my way. It’s probably not as nice as the magazine …

Christmas Pasta

 The one thing that I don’t love about Christmas, is all the leftover food I seem to have. I don’t know why, but I always get more food than I actually need and then need to frantically spend the next couple of days devouring it. This year was no exception and after buying a half leg of ham, I still had roughly three quarters of that left when the Christmas feasting was done. Plus a bunch of fresh herbs and vegetables. So I am doing my best to get rid of that ham, without eating in all the usual boring ways – on a sandwich for example. Last night I tossed a whole bunch of leftovers into a pot and came up with the best pasta dish I think I have ever eaten (I’m setting expectations high, I know). So if you are trying to get rid of a Christmas ham just like me, give this a try – I promise you won’t be disappointed! Christmas Pasta – Serves two, about 20 minutes cooking and prep …

Smoked Salmon Gnocchi with Lemon & Chilli Oil

I did not feel like cooking tonight. I find that long and unproductive days are particularly draining and funnily enough, it’s always those days when you need something comforting the most. And naturally it’s those days you can’t be bothered cooking. But just because you don’t have the energy, doesn’t mean you can’t have the comfort. I thought up the following recipe on the way home – it’s super quick, super comforting and the best thing is there is hardly anything to clean up after! There’s quite a bit of heat in this from the lemon and chilli, so if you don’t like too much heat, just use a little less lemon juice and a little more olive oil. Smoked Salmon Gnocchi with Lemon and Chilli Oil Serves 4, about 20mins cooking and prep time. INGREDIENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS 200g packet smoked salmon ¼ cup olive oil zest of two lemons ⅓ cup lemon juice (this should be about two lemons) ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes 500g packet gnocchi 1 lightly packed cup of rocket ricotta, to …