I was given a really cute mortar and pestle for my birthday last year, and until now hadn’t really had the chance to use it to it’s fullest capacity (crushing ginger and nuts doesn’t count).
So a few days ago I set my mind to the task of actually making a yellow Thai curry paste from scratch – what better way to test out my mortar and pestle?! I’m not sure the photos make it look all that appetising, but let me tell you – the aroma that was coming from these herbs and spices was incredible! I’m not entirely sure if I made it pastey enough, but by this stage my arms were killing me and I had to stop haha.
I got the recipe from Rosa’s Yummy Yums Blog and I’d highly recommend it if you were wanting to give paste-making a go! I’m not sure how traditional it is, but it sure was delish. I ended up making a yellow curry with fish for dinner and it was amazing.. heaps better than store bought – and somehow it even felt better because I knew exactly what went into it. Win!
PS. You don’t have to have a mortar and pestle to make your own curry pastes, a food processor would also be fine (and easier on your arms)!
Last week, my friend Militza posted a photo on Facebook of some “better than Goldfish” cheese crackers she was making for her girls, which sent me on a searching frenzy for healthier options I could bake in place of buying those little orange store-bought crackers (as yummy as they are, I never feel entirely guiltless eating them). There are so many recipes out there!
The one I ended up choosing from Smitten Kitchen sounded like a pretty great substitue, using mostly whole wheat flour (health win!). Interestingly (and yes, stupidly), I went in thinking that baking them from scratch like this would be a healthy snack option. Even more interestingly, it wasn’t until I was watching my little crackers bubbling and puffing away in the oven that it dawned on me that these probably belonged on the complete opposite end of the healthy spectrum. Brain fail.
Ok yes, in comparison to the little store-bought crackers, I at least know what went in them (no fake colours, no preservatives), but seeing as I knew what went in them, I have no excuse whatsoever for thinking they might be healthy. Maybe I did them wrong? The ones from the original recipe at least looked healthy, unlike mine.
ANYWAY. Having said all that, if there’s one thing I know about these little crackers, it’s that they are DELICIOUS. Not surprisingly thanks to the loads of cheese and butter, these little morsels are so moorish it’s hard not to just keep popping them into my mouth one after the other.
I won’t post the full recipe because it’s exactly the same as the one on Smitten Kitchen (find it here!). The only difference was that I didn’t have a cute little fish cutter, so instead of Goldfish, they became Starfish. Hope you don’t mind :)
Sounds completely suss, I know.. but trust me, they’re G.O.O.D.
I know balls like these are normally kept for Christmas time, and admittedly I did first make these for Christmas, but they’re just too yummy not to share.. I’m re-classifying them into the ‘Everyday’ food group. I have no idea where I got the recipe now, but take it and cherish it.
Here’s what you’ll need:
– 1 x 250g packet of Gingernut Biscuits (or ginger flavoured biscuits??)
– 1.5 cups of shredded (desiccated) coconut
– 125g chopped, roasted macadamias
– Glace ginger (or naked ginger).. as much or little as you like chopped finely
– 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
– 60g unsalted butter
– 1 tbs golden syrup
– extra coconut to coat balls
Pulse Gingernuts in a food processor until crushed. Transfer them to a bowl with the chopped macadamias, coconut, and chopped glace ginger and mix. In a small saucepan, combine the condensed milk, butter, and golden syrup. Stir over a low heat until the butter has melted.
Pour the condensed milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Roll teaspoon-full amounts of mixture in your hands to form balls, and roll in the coconut. Make sure you refrigerate the balls for a few hours before eating them.
That’s all there is to it. Easy as! ;)
This past weekend I decided it was time to begin some Christmas baking.. starting with some little custard wreath cookies!
Now, I’m not really a Jackson Pollock fan, but I couldn’t help thinking of him as I was applying my very abstract chocolate drizzling technique (especially after it also ended up all over my shirt and the kitchen walls).. Luckily for me, average-looking chocolate drizzle doesn’t effect the taste. These biscuits are so crumbly and yummy, just like shortbread really. It’s also worth noting that I didn’t have the right size piping nozzle, so they ended up a bit smaller than the ones in the original recipe.
The original recipe can be found here.
Here’s what you’ll need:
– 250g butter, softened
– 2/3 cup pure icing sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 cups plain flour
– 1/2 cup custard powder
– Half a block of dark chocolate (the original recipe includes a lemon icing, but as we discussed earlier I opted for a chocolate drizzle effect instead)
Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Sift flour and custard powder over butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Spoon one-quarter dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm fluted nozzle (mine was a fair bit smaller). Pipe 6cm circles, 3cm apart, on prepared trays. Repeat with remaining dough to make a total 20 wreaths. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, swapping trays halfway, or until golden. Cool on trays for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate over a double-boiler. I then used a chop stick to dip into the chocolate and flick it over the lined up biscuits. Wait for the chocolate to set before digging in and stuffing your face! ;)
Go get baking! :)
I had a massive craving for chocolate cake a couple of days ago, so went hunting for a quick and easy recipe. As always, it was Pinterest to the rescue! I came across this pin that I’d marked ages ago for an Everyday Chocolate Cake by Smitten Kitchen. Well, it just looked too delicious not to go and make it straight away, so off I went.
Turns out the cake is delicious, but I think I did something a little bit wrong somewhere during the process.. maybe it was because I didn’t have buttermilk (instead, I soured milk with lemon), or maybe because the milk was straight out of the fridge and did something crazy to the butter and sugar.. who knows. In any case it turned out to be very yummy, but just a touch dense.. oops.
Not to worry! Heating it a little bit in the microwave and adding a scoop of ice cream was just the ticket.. sooooo good!!
If you’d like the recipe, head on over to Smitten Kitchen and get baking! :)