Monday, June 30, 2014

My Heart Belongs to the Sea

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." - Isak Dinesen 











When I told my parents that I couldn't live anywhere but near the sea, they called me a spoiled brat and laughed at me. I suppose they are right. 

Photos taken with my wee Sony Xperia Z over the last couple months :) 


- Matilda

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chocolate and Lime




I haven't spent much time at health food stores such as Mrs Flannerys. However, the first time I went, there were desserts and savoury cakes out to try and recipe leaflets to take home. It is possible that I bought something at the time, but the recipe for this chocolate lime pie/cake/tart is the only thing I remember from that first trip. I made it for my mum's work colleagues once and I think it went down ok - it certainly tasted pretty good to me. At any rate, the only one who voiced any complaint was a middle-aged perpetually-angry American man so I hardly think that should count. 

It's been a long time since I've made a raw chocolate dessert and finding the photos for this while clearing up some files on my laptop has made me want to get back into the kitchen. Uni hours have been a bit longer this year, and the workload that little bit more onerous. Although if I stopped procrastinating as much as I do and just knuckled down to work, I would probably have plenty of time to potter around in the kitchen! 



Chocolate Lime Ganache Tart (adapted from Mrs Flannerys)
 Makes one ~8” pie

Ingredients:

For the crust
2 cups raw pecans
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder

For the filling (A)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
½ cup coconut oil
2 vanilla beans, scraped
½ cup filtered water
½ cup raw honey or agave nectar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lime (zest and juice)
½ tsp ground nutmeg

For the filling (B)
½ cup dates soaked in 1 Tbsp water for an hour, blended to form a paste
¼ cup tahina
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ cup raw cacao powder
¼ to ½ cup filtered water

Directions:

For the crust: Grease an 8”/20cm spring form pan with the coconut oil. Blend all other ingredients together in a food processor and press it evenly into the pan. Place in the fridge while making the filling.

For the filling: Blend all of the ingredients in list A in a food processor until smooth, then add the ingredients from list B until it has a smooth and creamy texture. Pour the filling into the tart crust and place the pie in the fridge or freezer overnight to set.

Serve, garnished with shaved dark chocolate or berries, and eat! 
- Matilda 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Homemade Betty Crocker Apple Cinnamon Muffins



Oftentimes I am struck down by cravings for certain foods. Like all other feels, these cravings eventually subside and I am left wondering why on earth I desperately wanted to chow down on a supermarket chocolate mud cake, or double chocolate ice cream, or fish and chips. The most seemingly random craving I’ve had however was for Betty Crocker’s apple cinnamon muffins. Straight from the oven and piping hot, these Betty C creations are just wondrous. Unfortunately a drought period for sales of such boxed baked goods meant that for once in my life – well, for as long as I could remember anyway – there wasn’t a single box of Betty Crocker in the house.

Our household’s relationship with this particular brand of almost-instant baked desserts began some 20 years ago. My mother, new to Australia and curious as to what the fuss was about surrounding this brand new from America, bought a mix for chocolate muffins. Astounded at how delicious it was, she continued to buy and try various products. At one point, there was an offer for an angel food cake tin (and mix) which my mother of course bought. But unlike everything else that had been tried and tested in our kitchen up until that point, the angel food cake was a disaster. So shocked was she that this company could produce such a terrible product, Mum promptly wrote a letter of complaint to the company. Next thing she knows a sales rep was at the door, apologising profusely and offering numerous cake and muffin mixes as an apology. After graciously accepting the apology and the “gift”, Mum continued to buy the products. And we still buy them, to this day. Except the angel food cake of course (it was removed from supermarket shelves soon after its debut).



My homemade cinnamon sugar didn’t quite have the same crunch as the goodness contained in Betty’s sachets, but the muffins themselves were just as good. Ridiculously easy, too. Pond also approved - the spoilt little brat that she is. I couldn’t say not to that face. Just look at it. Ugh. 



Apple Cinnamon Muffins (from Rachel Cooks

Ingredients:

¾ cup milk 
¼ cup vegetable oil 
1 large egg
2 cups flour (I used wholemeal)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 heaped cup apples 
Cinnamon sugar (I made my own with a 3:1 ratio of sugar to cinnamon)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a muffin tray with 12 medium muffin cups.

2. Beat milk, oil, and egg in a large bowl until well mixed. Stir in apples. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until just combined.

3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of each muffin (be generous!).

4. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the pan and to a wire rack immediately. Serve warm. 



- Matilda