30 December 2011

2011 forkmyfood fails

 When in the kitchen there are bound to be some recipes that just don't work out. I blame these "fails" purely on the recipe, definitely not the chef! However I don't know that these recipes are going to be fails until I eat them so I'm left with all these gorgeous photos of meals that taste so disastrous that I couldn't give you the recipe. I got this idea from Shutterbean, and as a result I will annually be sharing my fails with you! So here are my fails for 2011...

This Coconut Mango Cake was supposed to impress my parents with my cooking skills seeing as I had just started my food blog. It also ended up being my birthday cake. It turned out really dense and quite dry and could only be enjoyed my smothering it in maple syrup and ice cream. FAIL.


These Vegetable Fritters tasted great when my friend Noodle made them. However somewhere in my adaptation they just went wrong. A little to much flour perhaps? The yoghurt was good though, but would have been more appropriate teamed up with lamb. FAIL!


My Women's Weekly Classic Cookies book not only contains sweet but savoury also. These Chicken Crackers appealed to me as they contain around a half a packet of packet chicken flavoured chips in them. They ended up being a bit to bland and dry...however would probably make a good treat for your dog? I wish I just ate the packet of chips. FAIL!


 These Tomato and Basil Crackers are also from the Classic Cookies book. The dough seemed a bit dry like the chicken ones so I thought that adding more water would help. Unfortunately the extra water just made them chewy and stale like and they went straight to the bin without a second thought! FAIL!


This Chicken and Corn soup wasn't actually that bad but it was a little bland. I attempted to make it better by adding different sauces and spices but I think all it really needed was an additional tin of creamed corn. If I decide to make this again and have more success you may see it featured soon...


 Remember how I mentioned that blondie vs brownie bake off, well here are the blondies. I had a feeling while mixing the batter that the butter/sugar ratio just wasn't right. They were like greasy blocks of sugar flavoured with strawberries and white chocolate. On the hunt for a nice blondie recipe though....FAIL!


Hopefully next year will be more successful.

23 December 2011

rum balls and apricot balls

Apricot balls and Rum balls are favourite Christmas treats in our household. These were delicious!


Apricot balls

Ingredients
3/4 cup condensed milk
21/2 cups desiccated coconut
2 cups finely chopped dried apricots
1 cup desiccated coconut extra


Combine condensed milk, coconut and apricots in a bowl and combine well with hands. Roll into ping pong ball sized balls and coat with extra coconut. Refrigerate on lined baking tray for 30mins before putting into and airtight container and storing in the fridge.

Rum Balls

Ingredients
250g weetbix
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 400g can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp rum
2/3 cup mixed fruit
1 cup desiccated coconut extra


Process weetbix in food processor or blender until fine like breadcrumbs. Pour the crumbs into a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix together with hands until well combined. Roll into balls and coat with extra coconut. Refrigerate on lined baking tray for 30mins before putting into and airtight container and storing in the fridge.

Hint: I used skim condensed milk as it is less runny and the mixture will be easier to make balls out of. Each recipe makes around 30 balls. These do not last long!!

22 December 2011

simple xmas treats

Christmas is just a few days away....it's alway nice to add a home made touch to your table on Christmas day so here are some treats that I have made in the past that I associate most with Chistmas day.

Pancakes on Christmas day is a tradition for some families. These gorgeous berry ricotta hotcakes or crepes are gorgeous and easily made in bulk for the hoards of family that you may have staying with you on Christmas day.



Homemade lemonade is a refreshing change to softdrinks that are usaully enjoyed. Could also add booze of your choice for a sweet yet tart mixer.


White chocolate macadamia cookies just scream Australian summer!


Gingernuts contain the spices that remind me of Christmas.


Shortbread a basic Christmas staple.


Gingerbread men or Ninjabread men are great for the kiddies to enjoy decorating themselves. 


Pumpkin Pie, an American Christmas classic.


Pecan Pie indulgent caramel flavour teamed with nuts.


Bitter Chocolate tart, for an adults only splerge.



These are just a few sweet treats that come to mind when I think of the perfect Christmas spread. More to come in the days leading up to Christmas...

21 December 2011

white choc chip macadamia cookies

My good friend Danielle told me that her favourite cookie was white choc chip with macadamias. So that is what I baked for her christmas gift. I packaged them up in a gorgeous glass jar and made sure I included a copy of the recipe and a cute pair of tongs to go with.


recipe from Women's Weekly Classic Cookies

Ingredients

11/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
125g butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
180g white choc chips
3/4 cup macadamias coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 200c, line two baking trays with baking paper.


Sift flour, soda and sugars into a large bowl. Stir in butter extract and egg, then chocolate and nuts.


Drop rounded tablespoons of mixture onto the trays leaving enough room between them for them to spread. Bake 10-15mins and cool on trays.


Not a bad gift if I do say so myself!


pecan pie

Miss Carney requested a pecan pie post. So what better to do than baking her one for Christmas. 
I haven't included any of the pastry making photos but you can check out my shortcrust pastry and sweet shortcrust pastry posts if you get stuck with the instructions.


Ingredients

1 cup pecans chopped coarsely
2 tbsp cornflour
1 cup brown sugar
60g butter melted
2 tbsp cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/3 cup pecans, extra
2 tbsp apricot jam warmed

Pastry
11/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
125g cold butter chopped
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water

Make pastry by processing flour, icing sugar and butter until resembles bread crumble. Add egg yolk and water and process until ingredients come together. Knead until smooth before covering and refrigerating for 30mins. 


Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line a loose bottomed tart tin. Ease pastry into tin pressing into the base and the sides, trimming edges. Cover and refrigerate for a further 30mins. 
Preheat oven to 180c. Line pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking weights. Bake for 10mins, remove paper and weights and bake for a further 10mins, cool. 
Reduce oven temperature to 160c. 


Combine dry filling ingredients before mixing in the butter, cream, extract and eggs and stirring until combined.


 Pour the mixture into the shell and arrange extra nuts on the top. Bake for 45mins. 


While still warm brush the pie with the jam to create a glossy finish.


Merry Christmas to the Carney household!!

18 December 2011

beetroot chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting

The idea of adding beetroot to cake has always intrigued me... I'm in love with the gorgeous colour of beetroots and didn't mind at all when they stained my hands a lovely shade of purple. This cupcake recipe is way to simple that it is scary that they turn out so good with so little effort put in.


Ingredients

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup SR flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
125g butter melted
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 small (200g) beetroots, peeled and grated coarsely

Chocolate Frosting
80g butter, soft
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 160c and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. 


Combine sifted dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients. Mix together wet and dry ingredients until well combined. 


Then stir in grated beetroot. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cases. 
Bake for 20-25mins or until cooked through. Ice with icing. 



Chocolate Frosting - combine all the frosting ingredients into a small bowl and blend with electric mixer until well combined light and fluffy.


Like I said, too easy! These cupcakes have a gorgeous earthy chocolate flavour to them and are nice and moist!!


14 December 2011

flourless chocolate cakes

STOP! These chocolate pots may be the best thing you have ever tasted. 
If you have never eaten chocolate before, then ate these, you would then be addicted to chocolate. They are so rich yet light enough to make you want more. This recipe is from a recent Cosmo magazine in the column that Curtis Stone writes for the magazine.


Ingredients

100g dark chocolate
100g butter
1tbsp cocoa powder
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g caster sugar
pinch of salt
3 egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks
whipped cream
raspberries

Preheat oven to 180c. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl. Mix in cocoa powder and set aside for a couple of minutes to cool. Combine yolks, vanilla, sugar and salt in a separate mixing bowl and whip for three minutes. 


Slowly whisk in warm chocolate into the yolk mixture until thoroughly combined. Slowly fold in egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two batches carefully so you don't mix the air out of the whites. 


Divide the cake mixture between four small ramekins and place the ramekins into a baking dish with high sides. Fill the dish with warm water so it comes up to the halfway mark of the ramekins. Cook the cake for 35-40mins. 


Remove the cakes from the oven and the water bath and cool at room temperature. The cakes will be soft in the middle and deflate after coming out of the oven. Served topped with berries and cream.


These cakes could potentially be the best home-made chocolate dish that you have enjoyed in your life....these photos do any justice to the flavour of these cakes!

10 December 2011

apricot cobbler

Gourmet farmer Matthew Evens has a way of describing food that just makes your mouth water while reading it. 
When I saw this apricot cobbler recipe in the latest delicious magazine the combination of apricots and the fact that this dish is highly rated by Matthew made me want to try it.


Ingredients

50g butter
3/4 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
130g caster sugar
3/4 cup milk
around 7-9 apricots halved stones removed
vanilla icecream to serve

Preheat oven to 200c. Place butter in baking dish then place in oven to melt while making batter. 


Place dry ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine. Whisk in milk and beat until well combined and smooth. Pour the batter in to the dish without stirring. 
Arrange apricots on the top and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. 


Place in oven, reduce temperature to 180c and bake for around 1 hour. 


Serve with ice cream and enjoy while still warm.


Perfect way to enjoy apricots this time of year, especially with the unseasonably cool weather.

9 December 2011

banana smoothie

banana


honey


ice cream/frozen yoghurt


skim milk/soy milk

  
blend 


delicious!