Saturday, 29 July 2017

Ricotta Cake


I have been wanting to make this cake for a while, I saw it on Pintrest and liked the look of it.  I also took the chance to make my own Ricotta and use that as well.

The other half who has trouble eating some cakes as they are too dry, found this easy to eat and very moist.

If you have the chance make your own ricotta as it is very easy to make and much nicer than the stuff from the supermarket.

Cake:

2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
60 gm butter, cubed
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Ricotta Mixture:
500 gm Ricotta
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Cinnamon sugar to dust


In a mixing bowl place the ricotta, sugar, eggs and vanilla paste.


Mix to a smooth batter and set aside.


In your second mixing bowl place flour, baking powder and soda, sugar and salt.


Mix together until the butter looks like small peas.


In a mixing jug place your milk, eggs, oil and vanilla paste, whisk together.


With your mixer running on the lowest setting pour your wet ingredients into your dry.  Mix until just combined and smooth.


Pour the batter into your lined cake tin.  I used 2 x 20 cm square cake tins or you could use one 9 x 13 inch tin.


Either gently pour or spoon the ricotta mixture over the top of the cake batter.


I sprinkled cinnamon sugar over the top of one at this stage and left the other without.  Bake in a 180C pre heated oven for 40 - 50 minutes.



While still hot sprinkle again with cinnamon sugar.


Allow to cool and serve.  This is nice cold or warm with ice cream.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Barney Banana Icy Poles


I don't know about you, but, I love the old Barney Banana Icy Poles from my childhood.  They were fantastic and unlike others they were made with REAL bananas not flavouring.  These went down a treat with the Crash Test Dummies, they finished this batch and I missed the photo op of the finished product.  * I finally got a picture of the finished product and how appropriate that Stewie looks like he's about to eat it!

They are quick and easy to make and if you do them last thing at night while they kids are asleep and then surprise them the next day with a treat!  Or hide them for yourself 😍


These are my $1.50 yes you read that correctly! Ice Pole moulds I got from Kmart.

2 large bananas, pureed
400 ml cream, lightly whipped
1 tablespoon caster sugar


Puree the bananas with your stick blender.


Lightly whip the cream and sugar with your stick blender you still want it to be pouring consistency.


Mix the cream and banana together.


Pour into your moulds.


Stick in the sticks.  Freeze overnight or for 6 hours.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Homemade Ricotta


I have always wanted to make my own Ricotta and, as you do, thought it was difficult and would be time consuming.  Well I made this and well it only took me 20 minutes, including cleanup.

This is so easy and much cheaper than buying it.  I found I could make this of an evening while cooking dinner, leave it to drain and just before bed put it in the fridge for use the next day!

Much nicer than bought Ricotta which has been sitting there for ages.

You can keep this in the fridge in an airtight plastic container or jar for up to 2 weeks.

2 ltrs whole milk
1/2 cup cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice


Heat your milk and cream to a rolling boil, don't let it boil over.


Add the lemon juice and stir until it looks curdled.  Normally you avoid this stage, here you are looking for it.


Line a sieve with muslin (cheese cloth) or paper towel over a bowl.  Gently pour the curdled milk through, you may need to tip some of the whey out of the bowl below if it fills too quickly.  Allow to drain and cool to room temp before placing in a plastic airtight container or jar.

Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Chocolate Panna Cotta



I love panna cotta it can be made in so many flavours and is a great way of using up things out of the fridge and store cupboard, or, just for a cheeky dessert at the end of the weekend.

This post will give you the recipe for both chocolate and white chocolate panna cotta.  I always serve with fruit or a fruit sauce as panna cotta is very rich.  The chocolate is shown with poached plums and the white chocolate is a simple cherry puree.


500 ml cream
100 ml plain yogurt
2 sheets gelatin or 5 gm gelatin powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped or chips and 1/4 cup caster sugar
or
1 cup white chocolate, chopped or chips (no sugar with the white it has enough)


Heat cream until just slightly bubbling around the edges of the pan.


Add in your chocolate chips and sugar if needed, stir until melted and combined.  Add in the soaked gelatin, stir until melted.


Transfer to a jug for ease of pouring and add the yogurt.  Stir until combined.


Pour into serving glasses or dariole moulds and refrigerate for 6 hours.


When ready if using dariole moulds dip in hot water to loosen the panna cotta, turn onto serving dish and add fruit.


Saturday, 1 July 2017

French Onion Soup


French onion soup is a great starter for a winters meal or a light lunch.  This, even though I have made a lighter version than normal is a very rich soup.  Add a nice toasty, cheesy crouton to the top or in fact two of them!

1 kg onions, I used half red half brown.
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup brandy, optional
1 cup white wine,
3 cups chicken stock
3 springs thyme, fresh
2 rashes bacon
salt and pepper to taste



Slice your onions.


In a tablespoon of butter and same of oil gently saute your thyme and onions until softened, after 10 minutes add the garlic, gently cook for another 20 minutes until the onions are soft and golden.


Add the bacon, rinds and all and cook off for 5 minutes.


Add the brandy and if your game, set it alight,  cook for a minute then add the wine.  Simmer for 5 minutes then add the chicken stock.  Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for approx 40 minutes.  When ready to serve remove the bacon.  At this stage you can strip the meat off the bacon and chop finely and add back to the soup, or discard.


When ready toast some slices of bread stick and top with tasty cheese of choice, grill until melted and bubbly.


Serve with toasted crouton and enjoy a nice glass of wine and a family chat.