Saturday, 15 April 2017

Spanakopita Triangles (Spinach and Ricotta Triangles)

I don't follow all traditions of the religious kind, however, Good Friday is a Meat Free kind of day.  I go to the fish market first thing in the morning and pick up a couple of nice fresh fish and we normally have homemade fish and chips.  

This year I also felt like a tasty but lighter lunch so I mad some Spinach and Ricotta Triangles.  The Greek's got it right with the good old Spanakopita.  Cheese, spinach and crispy, crispy pastry.

You can make this in many ways, as a pie or in triangles or in a coil shape.  Any way you make it this is a great light lunch or snack and makes a great school lunch box addition.  You can freeze these uncooked as well.

500 gm ricotta cheese
100 gm Parmesan cheese, grated
100 gm tasty cheese, grated
250 gm frozen spinach
1 egg
filo pastry, from the fridge not freezer
100 gm butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

In a mixing bowl place your three cheeses.

Add the Egg, salt, pepper and lemon rind.

Mix together.

Make sure you squeeze the liquid out of your spinach when defrosted.

Mix through the spinach,

Make sure that you keep your filo under a damp tea towel to ensure it doesn't dry out.

Place one sheet of pastry on your bench and brush with melted butter, lay the second sheet over the top.

Slice the sheets into 3 strips.

Place a dessert spoon of the spinach mixture at one end of each strip.

Brush the strip with butter and then fold on corner over the filling to form a triangle.  Fold the triangle over itself to the end to form a triangle package.

You may need a little extra butter to stick the pastry end down.

Place your triangles on a lined baking sheet and remember to cover with a damp tea towel to ensure they don't dry out.  At this stage you can refrigerate for later, bake or freeze.

When ready to bake just brush with melted butter and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.


Bake at 200C for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Victoria Sponge

It has been years since I made a Victoria Sponge.  I love the buttery vanilla cake filled with Jam and Cream.  Always great with a cup of coffee or tea.  I thought i would make one for a friends going away at work.  Yes I did make a trial one for the boys as well.

There are two methods for making a Victoria Sponge either the traditional cream method and then the all in one method.

I made my cakes both ways and there was not much difference bar time.  The best advice I can give you is weigh your eggs, match all the other ingredients weights to the eggs.

4 eggs this should be approx 230 to 250 gm in weight
self raising flour, same weight as eggs
butter, softened same weight as eggs
caster sugar, same weight as eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

I placed my jug on the scales then set the scales to zero, cracked in my 4 eggs and measured the other ingredients to match.

Place all ingredients into your mixer bowl and on low speed beat until combined, turn the mixer to medium and beat for two minutes or until smooth.

Divide evenly between 2 lined, 20cm baking tins.  Bake at 180 C for 25 to 30 minutes.  NOTE: You must NOT open the oven door at all for 25 minutes or the sponge will sink.  

I say this from experience!! 😢

Take cakes out of the oven once cooked and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tins and then remove from tins and turn out onto a cake rack.  When fully cooled top one cake with jam of choice and whipped cream then serve.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Mango Coconut Cream Cheesecake

This cheesecake was inspired by one of the scrummy cheesecakes Scott and I shared while we were in Hawaii.  The Cheesecake Factory has some divine cakes!  The original was a Mango Lime Cheesecake with a layer of Mango Mousse .... a bit tooooo much work for me however this one went down well with Scott and didn't even last the week!

2 x 250 gm Cream Cheese
500 gm mango flesh, pureed
1/2 cup sugar
2 leaves gelatin, soaked
2 tablespoons boiling water
200 ml coconut cream
1 pack dry sweet biscuits, crushed
60 gm butter, melted

Blitz the biscuits to crumbs then blend through melted butter.  Press into the base of your lined, spring form cake pan.

Puree the mango flesh, you can use either fresh or frozen (thawed) mango.

I keep my coconut cream in a jar in the fridge, I use it in lots of things!

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.

Beat through the mango puree

Mix your soaked gelatin with the boiling water and stir until dissolved.

Beat through the gelatin mix and coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth.

Pour over the prepared base and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Serve with some mango puree, mango chunks and whipped cream.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Huli Huli Chicken

This is a dish Scott had in Hawaii and loved.  After some research I found the original recipe which is fantastic.  Huli in Hawaiian means Turn.  

This recipe is great either on the BBQ or in the oven and can be done with a whole chicken jointed or just maryland or thighs.  I did mine with bone in thighs and marinaded for 4 hours.  I did however freeze some in the marinade which worked really well as well.

1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sherry
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cm piece of ginger, crushed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
pinch of chilli flakes
juice of half a lemon

Chicken jointed as desired.  This amount will marinade 3 whole chickens or 2 with some marinade to baste.

Place all ingredients in a jug and mix.

I double bagged my chicken in zip loc bags to ensure there was no leakage.

Pour a third of the marinade over the chicken and seal with as much air removed from the bag.

Seal the second bag for insurance.  Marinade for 4 hours.  You can freeze at this stage as well.

If using the oven, fry on the stove top first to get the crispy skin and render some of the fat off.

Place on a baking sheet baste with the spare marinade and bake at 170C for 1 hour remember to turn and baste every 15 minutes.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Macadamia White Chocolate Chip Cookies

At Scott's pre Christmas work do last year the guys were talking about going to the Macadamia Farm for lunch.  I did mention to them that I may be coerced into making some macadamia choc chip cookies if they bought me home a small bag.  The small bag turned out to be half a kilo 😵... what am I going to do with half a kilo of nuts I love but cannot eat?  

I will be posting macadamia everything until they are used I think!

We have just returned from a week in Hawaii for a friends wedding.  I love Hawaii and found this great store every where called The Honolulu Cookie Company they have the cutest, yummiest pineapple shaped cookies.  Most have macadamia nuts in them however I did manage to bring home a big old box of non macadamia cookies 😍

150 gm butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
250 gm white chocolate chips or chunks
200 gm macadamia nuts chopped

Cream together butter and both sugars.

Beat until pale approx 8 minutes.

Beat in vanilla and egg until combined or approx 5 minutes.

Stir through sifted flour and baking powder until combined.

Stir through the chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop onto cookie sheet with your cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure.  At this stage you can freeze for later.

Bake in 180C pre heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until brown around the edges.

These keep for up to a week in an airtight container.