Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Chocolate Pudding

This is a really good dessert for a chilly night - either with custard or some cream. It's one of those puddings that has sponge on the top and a chocolatey sauce underneath.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, pinch of salt and caster sugar. In a jug blend milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and blend until smooth.

Put the mixture into a buttered baking dish (4 cup capacity) and put on a baking tray (in case of any overflows in the oven). Combine brown sugar and cocoa and sprinkle evenly over the top of the pudding mixture.

Carefully pour 1 cup of boiling water over the top of the pudding (pouring it over the back of the spoon will spread the water more evenly).

Bake at 180 C for 40-50 minutes...

...until pudding is risen and firm to the touch.

Serve immediately or the sauce will be absorbed into the sponge as it cools.

1 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa (divided into two - one half for pudding, other half for topping)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
60 g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

Mini Meatloaves

I saw these in Nigella Express and thought we could have them for dinner and have the rest in sandwiches the next day.

They are almost as quick and easy as putting fish fingers in the oven, and much less fiddly than making meatballs.

Mix all ingredients together and divide the mixture into 12 balls. Shape into mini loaves and sit them on a lined baking sheet.

Cook for 30 minutes at 200 C

The cooked loaves (meatloaf never looks pretty) ready to be dipped in lots of sauce and mayonnaise.

500 g minced beef
500 g sausagemeat (I just used beef)
80 g quick cook oats
70 g (or a huge squirt) A1 steak sauce (I used bbq sauce)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp Worcestireshire sauce
1/2 tsp salt

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


This is another recipe from my trip to England. Flapjacks are well-known, but my auntie, Marcia, makes the best ones in my opinion. We stayed with her for a few days and she gave me her recipe and I've managed to make authentic Marcia flapjacks in my own home!

I like these flapjacks because they are non-flaky and non-greasy, and are chewy and slightly crispy around the edges. (The flapjacks I have made before tend be a bit crumbly and leave you with buttery fingers.)

I think the secret is to use quick oats rather than whole rolled oats, and to only have a thin layer of mixture in the tin so the whole lot can get thoroughly cooked through in the oven.

Combine porridge oats and brown sugar in a large bowl, then gently melt butter and golden syrup together in a pan (don't boil). Pour the butter/syrup into the oats/sugar and mix well. Press firmly into a foil or baking paper-lined square tin 21 x 21 cm (or 8 x 8 inches) and cook for about 20 mins at 180 C until evenly lightly browned.

Allow to cool for a few minutes then mark squares or rectangles, then allow to cool completely before removing from baking tin and foil.

150 g quick-cook oats
75 g soft brown sugar (I use 60 g)
75 g butter (I use unsalted)
1 1/2 (or one v generous) tbsp golden syrup

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Pot-Roast Meatloaf

This recipe is from Jamie Oliver's 'Ministry of Food' which I bought from a charity shop in England. I'd had a flick through it before in a book shop and didn't find it very interesting, but now I own it I realize it's quite a good recipe book.

I've made meatloaf before, in a loaf tin, with not much success, but this one turned out really well. It was very tasty, didn't fall apart when sliced, and had an interesting sauce to go with it. It's a good way to feed a few people with 500g of minced beef.

Heat oven to highest setting. Fry the onion gently for several minutes in oil, stirring frequently, with salt and pepper, cumin and coriander. Put in a large bowl, add cracker crumbs, oregano, Dijon mustard, minced beef and an egg. Mix thoroughly with your hands and form into a loaf shape. Rub with a little oil, and put in a casserole pan or baking dish with a lid (I used my Scanpan casserole).
The uncooked meatloaf ready for the oven

Put meatloaf in oven and immediately turn oven down to 200 C, and cook for 30 mins.

The cooked meatloaf

Meanwhile, in a large pan gently cook onion, garlic, chilli, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, in a little oil, stirring occasionally. Add Worcestershire sauce, chickpeas, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Bring to boil, simmer for 10 mins. Test and add more seasoning if required (I added a tsp of sugar).

Spoon sauce around the meatloaf and sprinkle over pancetta or sliced bacon and a few rosemary leaves. Return to oven for 10-15 mins.

The meatloaf and sauce ready for serving. One of those tasty, but not very photogenic meals.

for meatloaf:
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 level tsp cumin (I didn't use this)
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
12 Jacobs cream crackers (or SAOs if you're in Aus), finely crushed
2 tsp dried oregano
2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
500 g minced beef - good quality
1 large egg
for sauce:
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 - 1 fresh red chilli (or a dash of chilli powder)
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
400 g tin chickpeas, drained
800 g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
12 slices pancetta or a few slices of smoked bacon cut into strips

Monday, 8 June 2009

Salad with Potato and Mushroom

I made this salad a few times when I was in England, as new potatoes were in season, and also because it's a substantial salad that feeds a lot of people.

I got the idea from my friend Sherralee who made a version of it last Christmas.

Boil some new potatoes, (or small potatoes if they are unavailable) halving any larger ones. Fry some sliced mushrooms, adding a dash of balsamic vinegar at the end for extra flavour. Put potatoes and mushrooms into a big salad bowl.

Then add any other ingredients you like, eg halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped celery, sliced red onion, olives, salad leaves, fresh herbs. Add a little garlic oil and toss through with your hands. You can top with some sliced boiled eggs (yolks still a little runny) at the last minute if you have time.

The salad posing in the garden with bluebells and primroses!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Toad in the Hole

I've just got back from England where I've been staying with my Mum for 4 weeks. While I was away I didn't spend much time on the computer, but I've got a few food photos on my camera to share!

My sister Sarah made Toad in the Hole for us while we were in England.

Our Nannie (grandmother) used to make this for us when we were children, using sausage meat instead of sausages. She called it Sausage in Batter and we always used to eat it with baked beans and mashed potatoes - so we decided to have baked beans with ours too.

It was delicious! For the batter, Sarah uses a recipe from a 1930s Be-Ro (brand of flour) recipe book - the page for the Yorkshire Pudding recipe is below...

The cover of the book: