23 August 2012

dark chocolate panna cotta

Once again dark chocolate wins the vote in my household. However this time I found something that has defeated Josh. This is the first chocolate dessert that Josh has not been able to demolish before looking around wondering where the next treat is. This panna cotta is incredibly rich. It is smooth and silky yet desperately needs the couple of raspberries and whipped cream to cut through its heaviness. If you are a chocolate fan this is in my opinion one of the best ways to enjoy it.


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Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta

Ingredients

1/4 cup water
2 tsp gelatine powder
3 cups single pouring cream
1 cup icing sugar
200g 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
fresh cream and raspberries to serve

Place the water in a bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine and set aside. Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat before whisking in the chocolate and gelatine mixture until smooth. Strain into lightly greased moulds or glasses. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. Serve the chilled panna cottas topped with cream and raspberries.

15 August 2012

date and ginger pikelets with apple butter

When I think of dates I think of sticky date pudding yum! When I think of ginger I think of how refreshing the spice makes different dishes. I never imagined them together but Donna Hay of course made them marry in some delicious pikelets slathered with apple butter. These were enough to make my mouth water just thinking about them and despite everyone at Mum's on Saturday initially turning up their noses at the flavour combination there comments came full circle when they cleared off the plate of them. Classy yet homely these are about as good as a ginger spiced sticky date cake in pikelet form drizzled with honey and the apple butter to come together and make your taste buds sing songs about the flavours of winter! If that's not enough to make you try them then you are missing out! The apple butter is not only gorgeous on these pikelets but also amazing served with your pork chops or roast as well!!

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Date and Ginger Pikelets with Apple Butter

recipe from Donna Hay Magazine ISSUE 63 June/July 2012

Ingredients

10 fresh dates pitted and chopped
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup caster suger
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk
3 eggs, separated
honey, for drizzling

apple butter
4 green apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
80g butter softened
1/2 cup icing sugar

Place the dates and the boiling water in a food processor and set aside for 10 mins. Process until smooth. Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, ginger, buttermilk, egg yolks and date mixture in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk to stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites through the batter. Heat a large lightly greased non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook 1/3 cup of the mixture until golden brown each side and cooked through, repeat with remaining mixture. Drizzle with honey and enjoy with apple butter.

Apple butter: Place the apple, sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook for 15-20mins or until softened. Blitz with a stick mixer and mix through butter and icing sugar.

9 August 2012

pumpkin ricotta ravioli

Every time I go shopping or visit a book shop the cook book section is always the first place I go. However my cook book cupboard is so full that it has over flowed onto my book shelf as well as a basket on the floor under my coffee table. I've made a habit of looking through a cook book every time I sit down on the couch. Each time I find a different recipe I want to try depending on the mood that I'm in. After having some left over wonton wrappers from my pot stickers last week I thought I would give some super easy pumpkin and ricotta ravioli a try out of Donna Hay's Fresh, Fast, Simple.

These are in fact so simple that they will be added to the regular recipe list, and although vegetarian they managed to satisfy Josh's hunger which is a big deal for a dish without meat. The browned butter sauce makes the dish!

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Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli

recipe from Donna Hay - Fresh, Fast, Simple

Ingredients
550g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 tsbp olive oil
250g ricotta
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
1 tbsp oregano leaves roughly chopped
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
sea salt and cracked pepper
20 wonton wrappers
extra parmesan to serve

brown butter sauce
50g butter
4 sprigs oregano

Preheat oven to 220c. Place pumpkin on a greased and lined oven tray, sprinkle with oil, bake for approx 30mins or until golden. Combine the ricotta, parmesan, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Place 2 tsp of ricotta mixture and 2 pieces of pumpkin on half the wontons. Brush the wonton edges with water and top with remaining wontons. Press the edges to seal ensuring no air is trapped inside the ravioli. Cook the ravioli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 3-4mins or until al dente. Drain and serve with remaining pumpkin, parmesan and browned butter sauce. 
Browned Butter Sauce - Cook the butter and oregano over a low heat until butter is lightly browned and oregano is crisp. Let the butter melt, it will begin to bubble. As the bubbles disappear it will begin to brown. At this stage remove the pan from the heat and continue to agitate until the butter stops bubbling.

2 August 2012

pork potsticker dumplings with soy greens

Although you my not be able to tell by the majority of my blog posts I enjoy savory foods much more than sweet. I find myself making sweet foods most of the time as they are easier to make look pretty and photograph. After seeing Fizzle Out cook some Vegetarian Golden Potstickers with a recipe she found from 101 cookbooks I thought I would give them a go myself. My version however contains pork mince as Josh would have turned his nose up at something that didn't contain meat, although I would love to give the veggo version a try one day.
These were surprisingly easy to make and don't take much time which is why you should give them a try.


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recipe from Donna Hay No Time to Cook

Pork Potsticker Dumplings with Soy Greens

Ingredients

500g pork mince
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
4 green onions finely sliced
24 wonton wrappers
4 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup chicken stock
350g choy sum
soy sauce to serve

Combine mince, hoisin, ginger and onion. Place a table spoon of the mixture on each wonton. Brush the edges of each wonton with water, fold in half and pinch together the edges to seal. Heat a non stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the oil and 12 of the dumplings and cook for 2 minutes or until the bottom is browned. Add the stock and choy sum to the pan and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 6-8 minutes without lifting the lid. To serve sprinkle the choy sum and dumplings with soy sauce. Cook the dumplings in batches of 12 at a time for best results. Enjoy!