Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chocolate Chipotle brownies!

Editor's note: You'll note in the comments that Michael has Ok'd me posting a photo! Here 'tis. No idea who took this photo, but I suspect it was one of those"Thelma and Louise" type poses...

I am so tempted to scan a photo of my friend Michael from when we were very young and I first knew him (1996!) but all the photos I have I'm sure that Michael would NOT approve of me posting! They are very amusing though!

Now, as for these Chocolate Chipotle brownies..... I haven't tried this as yet - Michael found it and just had to share - so I'm daring you, dear readers to make this and tell me what you think! Michael tells me he is obsessed with Chipotle (smoked and dried jalapeno peppers) at the moment and stumbled upon this on the internets. Not sure where it came from - if you know, please get in contact with me so I can acknowledge your genius on my little site.

Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

I n g r e d i e n t s

3/4 cup butter or margarine
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate -- broken into small pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoons chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins -- soaked overnight in beer
1/2 cup hazelnuts -- toasted & chopped
confectioners' sugar -- for garnish


1. Put the butter and chocolate in a microwaveable dish and melt them together on HIGH for a few seconds at a time until the chocolate was melted. Stir well. Cool.

2. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until they start to thicken. Add the sugars. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture.

3. Lightly toast the spices in a skillet over low heat, stirring often and don't allow to burn.! Combine the spices and flour in a bowl with a whisk.

4. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Gently add the raisins and hazelnuts, stirring just until combined. Don't over-mix.

5. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 9" round pan. Bake in a 350°F oven just until set 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pan. Turn out and cut into wedges. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Coming up soon - Ariane's awsome "Orstraya' day" recipe - Olive crusted lamb with easy peasy minty salad, whom she has dedicated to Mr Sam Kecovic....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Michael's Banana Chutney! Oh, and you should definitely join my facebook group!

So this is quite an interesting one. I grew up on Australia's Sunshine Coast, on a banana farm, and it took me many many years to start liking bananas (and I still baulk at actually having to pay for them). Now I love them! The
bestrecipes.com.au site recently sent out this newsletter advertising all of its banana recipes, and as a coincidence, one of my oldest friends Michael tells me that he recently made a rockin' Bananaa Chutney! I am totally intrigued as to how it tasted! A word of warning though - Michael tells me that "DO NOT put your head over the pot on the stove to smell it while it's cooking...the combination of boiling brown vinegar, chilli and ginger will make your eyes BLEED!"

So now you know; consider yourself warned! Poor Michael, I hope your eyes have recovered!

PS. Michael has started up a facebook group for the repertoire food blog! I'd love it if you'd join!


1kg peeled bananas
1 red chilli
500g brown sugar
500g raisins
360ml brown vinegar
6 tsp ground ginger


1. Cut bananas into small pieces and finely chop the chilli
2. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan, heat and bring to the boil
3. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes
4. Remove form heat and bottle in clean, sterilised jars. Seal immediately.

Makes approx 1.2kg Banana Chutney

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Country Women's Association Cakes: Traditional, tempting, tried and true

I was so lucky this Christmas! One of the gifts I received was the wonderful Cookbook "Country Women's Association Cakes: Traditional, tempting, tried and true". The CWA is an organisation, that in their words "aims to improve the conditions for women and children and make life better for families, especially those living in rural and remote Australia." Thanks Natalie and Nick for the wonderful gift!

They are an Australian institution, and are known for their cakes and scones which have graced country and city shows and exhibitions. Recently, they're published a compilation of their recipes in several books.

Having a browse through all the lovely recipes, I thought I might test this recipe out. "Blueberry cake" by Janet Avery of La Trobe branch, Tas." This is utterly delightful, as well as easy to make. The lemony aftertaste is particularly good!

Blueberry Cake - by Janet Avery, CWA La Trobe Branch


1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
zest of one lemon
1/3 cup yogurt mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice
1 and a 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powderh
pinch salt
2 cups blueberries


2 tsp softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
2. Place butter, sugar, egg and lemon zest in food processor and blend briefly
3. Add yoghurt mixture, and sifted flour, baking powder and salt
4. Pulse, then stir in blueberries.
5. Spread butter in prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.
6. Whilst cooking, make the glaze by heating all ingredients over low temperature until sugar has dissolved. Brush glaze over cake just before it has finished cooking.

P.S I am being very naughty and just pulled a packet mix cake out of the oven! For our landlord who is fixing up some plumbing issues tomorrow.. smells pretty good though!

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Sister's lemon yoghurt cake...

Nicole (right) and I, a very long time ago.

So I've been hassling my sister Nicole for ages over this recipe, and now I finally made it, much to the delight of my Sister, Food Critic Andrew and my workmates.

I don't actually own a ring/bundt tin, so I made the recipe and it turned out to fit a regular sized cake tin, as well as a loaf pan. I've been so minimalist for the last few years, and finally have the room to fit more than a few cake tins in my kitchen, so a new bundt tin is on the list. I also want these Nordic Ware Cast Aluminum Sweetheart Rose Muffin Pan... they look just so beautiful, and I simply must have them!

Anyway, back to this wonderful cake - It's so light and fluffy and moist, as well as tasty. Just what you want in an afternoon tea type cake! I am not sure how long it would keep for - it goes so quickly, you probably won't find out either!

Lemon yogurt ring


225g/1 cup butter ( at room temp)
285g/ 1 1/2 cup caster sugar
4 eggs separated
10ml/ 2 tsp grated lemon
90ml / 6 tbsp lemon juice
250ml /1 cup natural yogurt
275g / 2 1/2 cups plain flour
10ml /2 tsp baking powder
5ml/ 1 tsp bi-carb of soda
2.5 ml / 1/2 tsp salt
for the glaze
115g/ 1 cup of icing sugar
30ml/ 2 tbsp natural yogurt


1. preheat oven to 180 C. grease a 3 litre/12 1/2 cup bundt or fluted tube tin and dust with flour.

2. cream the butter & caster sugar until light & fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon ring, juice & yogurt and stir.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder & bicarb. In another bowl, beat the eggs whites and salt until they hold stiff peaks.

4. fold the dry ingredients into the butter mix, then fold in a dollop of egg whited. Fold in the remaining whites.

5. Pour into the tin and bake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 50 min. Leave in the tin for 15 min, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

6. for the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, stir in the lemon juice and just enough yogurt to make a smooth glaze. Pour over the glaze

Note:- Nicole doesn't separate the eggs they just go in. She also uses a 200 tub of plain yogurt and doesn't mix all the dry ingredients together; they just all go in as the recipe says - it makes for a much denser cake, which I might say is even yummier than if you follow the recipe straight out...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It went so quickly!

there wasn't much to left photograph...

Coming soon...my Sister's marvellous Lemon Yoghurt cake!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cherry Cherry! Cherry Sago pudding

Cooking the Cherry sago

I've been doing all sorts of new things since moving to the countryside; one of them is eating lots and lots of cherries! I had always thought I didn't like them, but realised that it was in fact because I hadn't ever actually eaten them growing up (maybe it is a QLD thing? who knows...) Also, I visited a few dairies this morning; it was really interesting to see where our milk comes from.

However, my dears, that story is for another time and blog; this one focuses on a recipe I recently tried - Cherry Sago pudding. I've also tried Cherry Clafloutis, but wasn't as impressed with the results, so my experimentation continues....

Cherry Sago - this is from The Cook's Companion: The Complete Book of Ingredients and Recipes for the Australian Kitchen which I recently received as a surprise gift from Food Critic Andrew's Mum, Shirley - thanks, Shirley!

"Mum's Cherry Sago" - by Stephanie Alexander (slightly paraphrased by myself)


2 tbsp sago
1/2 cup sugar
400ml red wine or water (I actually used milk)
sprinkle cinnamon
500g cherries, rinsed and stems removed


1. Cook sago as per instructions on packet, with sugar, milk, and cinnamon
2. Stir until sago is nearly transparent, adding more milk if need be.
3. Add cherries, stir then let it simmer until mix is pink
4. Tip into a basin and chill
5. Serve cold

PS. is there a difference between sago and tapioca? http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/plant_info/talking_plants/talking_plants_archive/talking_plants_events_calendar/event_view?SQ_CALENDAR_VIEW=event&SQ_CALENDAR_EVENT_ID=72323