Monday, 9 July 2012

Almond and cranberry muesli

8 cups oats
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup olive/ sunflower oil
1/2 cup almonds
`1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup bran (optional)

Combine the oats and nuts and bran if using.
Melt together the oil and honey on a low heat until combined.
Pour the mixture over the oats and mix until all the oats are well covered in liquid.
Bake at 150c  for about 20-30 minutes keeping an eye the whole time and mixing the muesli throughout the baking time.
Once golden brown remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Once cool add the cranberries and raisins.
Store in an air tight container and enjoy with Bulgarian yogurt and fresh fruit or just plain icy milk for breakfast or whenever really.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Back with some cake for your face!

Been awhile but im back with a little some thing Sal, another chef at work, and i made for our chefs best friends wedding.

A little while ago we were asked to start thinking about a wedding cake that we were going to make together. So we decided on all chocolate. Using only Valrohna chocolate from France we made a three tiered cake, each layer individual and different.

The first layer was a 70% dark chocolate torte with a layer of 45% milk chocolate feuilltine. We then covered this in tempered milk chocolate and then in a ganache buttercream with a dash of Grand Marnier.

The second layer was a base of 45% milk chocolate feuilltine then a hazelnut and chocolate torte and finally milk chocolate ganache all covered in the most amazing ultra shiny dark chocolate glaze.

The third and final layer, which i think might of been my favorite started with milk feuilltine, chocolate hazelnut torte and then white chocolate ganache, covered in tempered milk chocolate.
We then decorated this with hand made chocolate roses made by melting chocolate to 43 degrees and then melting liquid glucose to 43 degrees as well and mixing the two together allowing them to set. What you end with is like a chocolate putty that you can mould into almost anything.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A little party for my mom when she turned 50

    So my mom turned 50 in December and heres what i made for her.


                              Red velvet cupcakes

 Rare black pepper fillet with with                                   caramalised onions and watercress.

Bruchettas with buffalo style mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil      and balsamic reduction 

 Parmesan biscuits

The table

Also on the menu

                        - spicy hummmus
                        -rocket and almond pesto
             -chunky guacamole with fresh coriander
                       -marinated olives in citrus, rosemary, thyme and olive oil
      -Fresh bowls of dressed rocket

To drink
                 - Mojitos with fresh garden mint from my moms garden.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I wish it snowed at Christmas

                                            A few photos of Christmas time treats

Mince pies

 vanilla bean custard

 Christmas dinner by mom

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Quick pasta sauce for a lazy Sunday like today

Not having to work on a Sunday is great , im not used to it but its oh so lovely. Never really know what to do with myself so I guess I cook. 

So tonight im making the quickest pasta sauce
You will need:  plum tomatoes or regular tomatoes
                olive oil
                sea salt and black pepper
                basil pesto (bought or home made)
                pasta of your choice (bought or home made)
                Brown sugar

To make: Slice tomatoes in half and sprinkle lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little brown sugar( this helps balance out the acidity)
Place the cloves of garlic around the tomatoes, there's no need to remove the skins. Roast for about 30-45 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, make the pasta and rinse off with cold water when cooked then sprinkle with olive oil. This stops the pasta from sticking, my worst!

Once the tomatoes are nice and roasty  and the garlic golden , take them out the oven and squeeze the garlic out of the skins into a food processor or blender and add the tomatoes, pesto and all the juice from the roasting pan. Blend and place on the stove to reduce a little. Check the seasoning and when just right pour over the pasta and toss through the fresh rocket.

This just made a boring Sunday so good!

Monday, 28 November 2011

My very own peanut coconut curry

On the menu tonight is my very own peanut coconut curry with sticky coriander basmati rice...

You will need...  Basmati rice (1 cup to 5 cups water)
                  fresh coriander finely chopped
                  butternut cubed
                  mange tout sliced diagonally
                  julienne carrots
                  garlic fine chopped
                  ginger fine chopped
                  chillies fine chopped
                  onion diced
                  chicken breasts x2
                  1 can of coconut milk ( i use low fat)
                  hand full of toasted almonds or cashews
                  1 Tbs of peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

To make...
Heat your wok and brown the whole chicken breast only turning once to give colour on each side.
Remove from heat and put aside.
Stir fry your onions until translucent, add ginger and garlic and toss continuously.
Add chillies and wait until you can smell all the flavours coming together.
Add butternut and carrots 
Pour in coconut milk and bring to the boil.
Add mange tout and bring down heat to a simmer. 
Mean while slice the partially cooked chicken breasts and add to the curry.
Stir in the peanut butter.
Its important to season throughout the cooking process, but taste the entire time .
If the curry begins to thicken too much ad a little water.

While the veg and chicken cook in the curry and all the flavours are mingling ,start your rice by pouring 5 cups of water into a pot with a pinch of salt bring to the boil. add the cup of rice and cook for 12 minutes this will make delicious rice!
Once the rice is cooked(test it) strain, rinse, season and stir through the coriander. 

Check that your vegetables are now cooked but still have a bite to them. check the chicken as well. Add the almonds
Dish up and eat up!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

breakfast for dinner

Ok so im currently on a little holiday because i have a new job so im taking a break  in between which has been awesome! 

Ive been promising some of my friends that i would make them poached eggs hollandaise and i finally got a round it to it..even if it was for dinner,it was yum!

All you need is : eggs (whole and yolks)
                  white wine vinegar
                  bread for toast
                  cold butter cut into blocks

To make the hollandaise place a bowl over a pot of boiling water, separate 3 eggs and put the whites aside. Add 2 Tbl white wine vinegar to the yolks and whisk the mix over the pot of boiling water until it becomes thick and reaches what we call 'ribbon stage' this is when the egg and vinegar mix is thick enough you can form a figure of 8 on the surface. Now you can start adding the ice-cold blocks of butter one at a time whisking continuously and not stopping (very important)you will need about 300g of butter for 3 yolks. Once all the butter has been added remove from the heat add lemon juice and season.

To poach the eggs get the biggest pot you have in the house and bring the pot to the boil and add a good splash of white wine vinegar. For the eggs use fresh, free- range eggs they will give you the best poachies!
Break the eggs into cups and when the water is at a good simmer drop the eggs in( 2 at a time) and put the lid on. Poach for 2 mins 30 secs for soft poach 3-4 mins for medium poached and about 5 mins for hard. To reheat the eggs while you prepare the toast, bacon, asparagus etc, just drop them in the boiling water for 1 minute and they will be perfect!

You can add crispy streaky bacon, asparagus, rocket or Parmesan. these are the best combinations.