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Pumpkin Pie with a Caramel Crunch

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A lovely lady from the US emailed me about this recipe asking if I had a conversion for the measurements to suit the US.  Since I have deserted you the past few weeks and many may not have see this recipe anyway I thought you wouldn’t mind if I re-blogged it. Particularly since it is autumn in half of the world and fast approaching Thanks Giving for the US, it’s the perfect pumpkin pie recipe. Well I thought so, the bitter caramel balances out the sweet pie. I’ve even converted it to suit US measurements ( they aren’t a direct conversion but a measurement ratio that will work). I hope some of you get to enjoy it. Have a great Thanks Giving!

Ingredients – Pastry
180g of flour or 8oz
110g butter or 4oz
1 medium free range egg
50g of icing sugar or 2 Tbsp
Extra butter and flour for lining the tin

Method – Pastry
Preheat oven on ‘bake’ to 170C.
Butter and flour a 24cm loose bottom tart tin
Place the flour, sugar & butter in a bowl and rub the ingredients together with your finger tips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Or use a food processor to whiz them together.
Add the egg and bring dough together, (you may need a few additional tablespoons of chilled water particularly the ounce measurements) into a ball then flatten slightly.
Rest dough in fridge for 20 minutes before rolling out.
Roll out pastry dough thinly to fit tart tin.

Ingredients Pumpkin Custard
250ml milk / 1/2 pint
1 cup chopped pumpkin = 1/2 small butternut pumpkin
2 Tbsp honey or castor sugar
Seeds of one vanilla bean
3 medium free range eggs

Method – Pumpkin Custard
Steam or simmer the pumpkin in a pot of water for 10 minutes until soft then drain any liquid away.
Allow pumpkin to cool.
Whizz all the custard ingredients together in a food processor and pour into the tart case.
Place the filled tart on a lower shelf in your oven to cook the base through.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until tart is firm and started to puff slightly.
Remove from oven and chill completely before adding the toffee crunch.

Ingredients – Toffee Crunch
100g / 1 cup castor sugar
50ml / 1/2 cup water

Method – Toffee Crunch
Place the water and sugar in a small pan over a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
Turn the heat up so the syrup is gently boiling.
Boil the syrup until it starts to turn golden brown, approx 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let it stand for a minute, it will continue to cook and turn a darker brown.
Pour onto the chilled pumpkin custard, you may need a spoon to spread it but work quickly as it will set immediately it cools.
Don’t worry if it is a bit messy, you are going to take the back of a spoon and tap it so the surface cracks and is easier to portion the tart.

Colourful Raw Pad Thai Omelet & a Matching Colourful Retro Outfit

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Hello world…..I’m still here!

As the weather warms up Our Girls (hens) having been laying lots of eggs and we are struggling to keep up eating them all. Of course friends are welcome benefactors of these beautiful golden yolked free range eggs. Since I bake sweet treats every day in work I tend not to bake at home so I am having to be a bit creative with the eggs rather than just boiled, poached and scrambled. This Raw Pad Thai Salad inside the omelet is quick to make and adds a fragrance and texture to the dish.  Tonight we are having another egg dish, Malaysian Egg Curry which I love and you can find a recipe here.

So I may not have had much time to write blog posts lately but I have managed to keep up with my shopping habits :o) Luckily for me all the best retro and vintage shopping is online so I can still fit that in when all the shops are shut and I have my feed up with a cuppa. Can’t wait for the summer to get here so I can sport this new outfit of mine.

Ingredients

This is really just an rough idea per omelet, you can vary the type of veg you like. The ingredients are per omelet below so increase per person.

Handful each of grated/shredded carrot, cabbage & spinach per omelet

2 eggs per omelet

zest & juice of 1/2 lime

pinch of sugar or honey

small piece of grated fresh ginger

Tbsp of chopped coriander

Pinch of chili powder or fresh chopped.

1 small kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

I’m not going to tell you how to make an omelet, I’ll let you make it your favourite way.

Place the shredded cabbage, carrots and ginger in a bowl.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together and add to the veg mix and toss through.

Place the cooked omelet on a plate and fill one side with the Raw Pad Thai Salad. Fold the other half of omelet over and enjoy. This would also make a nice ‘packed’ lunch the next day, just keep your salad separate from the omelet and assembly when you are ready to eat it.

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The Smallest Chicken Egg & A Herby Omelet

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This week one of our new chickens laid the smallest chicken egg I have ever seen, well we think it is one of the new chickens. Above is a comparison with one of their regular eggs. If it keeps on laying them that small I might be able to sell them as gourmet eggs to restaurants but it’s likely it is because it is her first egg. Does anyone know? All of our chickens are hulking great Orpingtons but we do have one little chicken who looks a bit like a Bantam but she hasn’t laid since we adopted her and we think she is rather old anyway. It’s nice that our chickens are now laying, having adopted older abandoned chickens we were beginning to think we had acquired new pets and the most expensive free range eggs around with two a week from five hens. Not that we minded, they are very entertaining to watch, very sociable and keep the weeds in the garden down. Below is Beryl, not the best pic of her but at least you can see how big she is and she isn’t even the largest of them.

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 What better way to enjoy fresh eggs, a nice simple omelet with lots of herbs and some sheep feta. Use any herbs you prefer but lots of them, I used parsley and mint from the garden and coriander but basil would also be good. Then add your favourite cheese, I chose a sharp sheep feta.

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Ingredients for one omelet

2 free range eggs

large handful of chopped mixed herbs

a handful of your favourite cheese (I used sheep feta)

Method

Whisk two eggs in a bowl and add the herbs. I did not add any salt since my feta would be adding enough salt but you go with your own preference.

Place a small cast iron or non stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a glug of oil. Let the pan get hot so it sizzles when you put the beaten eggs in, helps to prevent sticking.

Add the herby eggs and cook for a minute or until brown underneath.

Add the cheese and fold one half over.

Turn heat down to low and cook until the centre cooks through, although I like mine a little soft still.

Serve straight in the pan and enjoy!

Campfire Cockles on a Winters Day

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Did you think I had forgotten you all? Were you beginning to think I wasn’t cooking anymore?

Quite the opposite, as those of you who follow my Facebook page will know, I have been baking tons and tons of pastries, pies, tarts, quiches and desserts for my Pop Up Patisserie in Waimauku which opened at the beginning of this month. It’s been a busy but fun three weeks, meeting lots of new people in my neighbourhood, getting used to my new kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and eating lots of  what I make! There just wasn’t enough time to sit down and write about it all.

A day off on Sunday, the sun was shining so hubby decided he was cooking dinner and he were going to eat al fresco. We headed down the coast, foraged for our own dinner of cockles and set up camp along beach river inlet. A few other ingredients we had brought along to jazz up our foraged cockles; lemons, coriander, salt & pepper, a bit of chili, a big wedge of sour dough and a bottle of vino. A beautifully simple dinner, cooked on a little camp stove, watching the sunset whilst sipping vino and dunking hunks of bread into the cockle juice. Life is good, it may have been a mid winters day and I had a blanket to keep me warm (even though the Kiwi hubby had a t’shirt on as he doesn’t seem to feel the cold like most Kiwis) but it certainly beats sitting indoors. I am sure you will agree looking at the photos.

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No specific recipe for this just enough cockles or clams to feed whoever you are cooking for. 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 lemon thinly sliced, salt & pepper, 1 glass of white wine, 1 small chili chopped, handful coriander and bread to mop up the juices.

Heat the olive oil in a pan with the lemon slices over a low heat for  a few minutes, Throw in the cockles, wine, chili, salt and pepper and cover pan with a lid. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove lid, add the coriander and serve. You could use parsley if you don’t like coriander.DSC_0070 (1)

Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons & my POP UP Patisserie

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They say every cloud has a silver lining and redundancy from my full time employment this month was just that. I decided it the opportune time to do what I have not been brave enough to do for some time and go into business for myself. I am opening a POP UP patisserie! Why POP UP you might ask? Well it is financially a lower risk and it also give me the opportunity to test the market in our neighbourhood. There was also an existing coffee and juice bar looking for some yummy food so we were the perfect match, two small businesses under the same roof complimenting each other. Our opening day will be 2nd July, 2013 … just over a week away! This is our address and opening hours:

9D Factor Road, Waimauku, Auckland (sharing premises with The Daily Squeeze) – Opening hours; Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 3pm

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Menu selection changes daily but here is an idea of what mouth watering treats are on offer.

Homemade pies; Beef Stroganoff, Moroccan Lamb, Thai Chicken
Homemade Soups; Piri Piri Chicken & Corn Smokey Ham & White Bean
Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Galette Roasted Tomato & Halloumi Galette
Rueben Sandwiches, BLAT
Savoury Tarts
Pain au Chocolat & au Raisin
Eccles Cakes, Scones, Shortbread
Portugese tarts, Palmiers
Vanilla Custard Doughnuts
Raspberry & White Choc Lamingtons
Blueberry Danish
Lemon Drizzle, Gingerbread Loafs

Also stocking artisan bread by Pukeko Bakery

…and lots more

And yes you will be able to buy some of these delicious homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons if you pop in!

For those who would like to try making their own here is the recipe below.

I’m also submitting this recipe to our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by my dear friend Sue over at Couscous & Consciousness.  If you pop across to her blog you will find a few more Kiwi bloggers and their sweet creations.

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Ingredients

Sponge base here,  plus 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries.

100ml whipped cream for filling & 4 Tbsps raspberry jam for filling

 200ml whipped cream for ganache

200g white chocolate for ganache

1 Tbsp raspberry jam for ganache

200g coconut thread

Method

Sponge method here, plus add the raspberries after the flour and stir through only a few times so raspberries don’t break up.

Instead of using two round cake tins like in the victoria sandwich cake recipe, use two square. this will make the top and bottom piece of the Lamington.

Bake as per recipe, allow to cool before filling sponge cake.

Spread the jam over one sponge layer, then spread the cream over the jam. Place second sponge on top of jam & cream.

Before cutting the sponge into square I find it better to let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.

Cut cake into approximately 8cm square pieces.

To make the ganache, place the cream & chocolate into a plastic bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 min. Stir and continue to microwave in 10 second blasts, stirring in-between until chocolate has melted.

Add the 1 Tbsp of jam to the ganache.

Now for the messy bit! Pour the coconut thread onto a tray.

Dip all 4 sides of each individual cake square into the ganache, using a spatular to scrape of too much excess ganache. Roll cake in coconut thread. Place on a tray the spread a bit of ganache ontop of square and sprinkle with coconut.

Enjoy!

Earthbound Honey & Soy Sticky Chicken with Green Rice

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I bought a beautiful bottle of Earthbound Raw Organic Apple Cider Honeygar from the lovely Terry and Karlene who have a stall at The Hobsonville Point Farmers Market. 

I have always steered clear of cider vinegar after being subject to is as a child. I can still hear my Mum saying “it’s good for you, drink it up”. Thankfully there wasn’t often the pennies for health tonics like this but you only need one memory to make it stick. But Earthbound’s cider Honeygar is nothing like memories of the past, it has a beautiful silky honey taste to it. I was hooked as soon as I tried it and even before I got the bottle home this recipe had developed in my head. I used the Honeygar as the sweet and acid for the marinade and man did it taste good!

Psst…. don’t tell my Mum but you can often find me having a hot toddy these cold night with a shot of the honeygar and water!

 

Ingredients – marinade 

5  Tbsp Earthbound Raw Organic Apple Cider Honeygar

2 Tbsp peanut oil

1 Tbsp soy

2 small chili, finely chopped

12 chicken wings or 6 thighs

Extra peanut oil for frying the chicken

Sesame seeds for garnish

Ingredients – Green Rice

2 cups basmati rice

3 Spring onion, finely sliced

2 Tbsp peanut oil

Small bunch of each herb – parsley, mint, coriander, finely chopped

Method

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the chicken wings/thighs and leave to marinade for 20 mins or longer if you have the time.

In a heavy frying pan (I used cast iron) over a medium heat add a splash of peanut oil.

Put the chicken wings into the frying pan but retain the marinade for later.

Cook the chicken on one side till golden then turn over. Cover the chicken with a piece of baking or greaseproof paper and sit a saucepan on top of the paper.

The pan should be big enough to cover all the chicken underneath the paper (i Think I saw Jamie doe this and it works really well).

This helps it to cook through and also pushes more of the chicken surface onto the pan making it browner.

Prepare the rice as you would normal basmati, I use a rice cooker so I’m no use at giving instruction on making rice in a pan.

Once the rice is cooked, add the chopped herbs and peanut oil and stir through. Season with salt or a little soy. Keep warm till chicken is ready.

Once the chicken is brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 mins for wings. Add the reserved marinade and 1/4 cup of water to the pan and allow it to cook for a minute.

Serve the chicken wings and sauce over the green rice

Sprinkle with some sesame seeds

Posh Bangers & Mash with Herby Peas

DSC_0017 (1)Bangers… does that make sense to anyone other than the British? Sausages earned the named bangers during World War 1 when the meat content in them was reduced due to rationing and shortages. More water was added which made them explode when cooked, hence bangers.

I was never a fan of sausages as a child but loved to make what we called ‘a bean fort’. A dollop of mash was put onto the plate and you made a well in the centre. Half a sausage stood tall in four corners as turrets to a fort and you poured your beans or peas in the centre. The highlight was to break the mash wall and watch all the beans soldiers run out. I obviously always likes to play around with food even then :o)

I began to really like sausages when living in Germany, where only meat and spices are put into the sausages, no wheat or other fillers are used. In New Zealand there is finally a trend by some butchers to make sausages in the same method, relying on their meat and spices to shine in their glory without packing them with cheap fillers. Amanda, my  stall holder neighbour at Hobsonville Point Farmers Market, who is the owner of Farm Gate Produce  makes these beautiful free range piggie sausages I used in this recipe. They also have a mixed beef and pork spiced sausage which is perfect not only for good old Bangers and Mash but makes a great pasta dish by using the sausage instead of meatballs. Don’t get me started on how amazing their aged eye fillet is either otherwise I’ll never finish this post. Anyway, if you do get a chance to try them, you really should and you can buy one of my sweet treats from the market too to finish your meal off.

A note when making the three elements to this dish, make the beans and peas first and put aside, they can be warmed through just before you are ready to serve. That will save you the juggling of pots and pans on the stove top.

Congratulations also to the winners of the Haute Cuisine double passes….. Genie and Sue, have fun at the movies!

Bangers – Sausages – 4 people

8 quality free range, wheat free sausages

Cook as required. If using wheat free sausage do not over cook them, treat them like you would a good steak.

Ingredients – Mash

1 Tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained

1 x400g tin cannellini beans, drained

1 cup veg stock

Method – Mash

In a medium pan over a low heat put the garlic and butter. Cook for 1 minute.

Add both beans to the pan with the stock and warm through.

Once hot blitz with a wiz stick till you have a smooth puree.

I don’t salt them as tinned beans tend to have enough but go with your own preference.

Ingredients – Herby Peas

3 cups baby peas – frozen

1 cup podded broad beans (optional)

1/4 cup of veg stock

1 handful parsley

1 handful of basil or mint

1/4 tsp salt

Method – Herby Peas

Warm the frozen peas and podded broad beans with the stock in a medium sized pan over a low heat. Don’t boil them, they really don’t need to be cooked and too much heat will turn them brown.

Add the herbs and salt and with a wiz stick blitz a quarter of the peas, keeping the stick in one place so all the peas don’t mush. The quarter blitzed peas will create a sauce.

Assemble on the plates or serve on family style platters or if you have kids maybe they would like to try making a bean fort!

Ham Hock, Cannellini Beans and a few Autumnal Photos

DSC_0006 (3)It’s getting colder and wetter here in New Zealand as we stumble towards autumn. I say stumble because at this time of year we can still swing between glorious warm days or wet and blustery days, particularly on our wild West Coast. But that’s no reason to be sad, we have hearty winter fare to look forward to, roasts, stews and dishes with dumplings! Not only that I get to wear my new boots that have been in a box for several months waiting for colder days. I have a thing for UK shoes still even after 13 years here and buy online out of season, the benefits are two fold. Something different to what is selling on the high street and picking up the out of season sales price.

Enough shoe talk and onto the ham hock and cannellini bean stew. I used a pressure cooker to make this dish being short on time and just a tad impatient so if you don’t have one you will probably have to cook the ham at least an hour and a half or until it falls off the bone. Recipe below the pics from a misty Muriwai morning.

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Ingredients – serves 4

1 small smoked ham hock (uncooked)

1 onion, peeled, halved & thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, crushed,

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tins cannellini beans

small bunch parsley, finely chopped

zest of 1 lemon

Method

Place the onion in the pan/pressure cooker with olive oil over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are soft.

Add the tinned tomatoes, garlic and ham hock.

Cook in pressure cooker per manufactures instructions for 35 minutes.

Once cooked pull the ham off the bone and remove the bone from the pan.

Add the cannellini beans, chopped parsley and lemon zest.

Season with black pepper, it won’t need salt as the ham hock should be salty enough.

Serve with crusty bread

Haute Cuisine & a Movie Ticket Give Away!

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Last week I was invited to the preview of the movie Haute Cuisine by the lovely Samantha of Trigger Marketing. Being a slight Francophile myself I was in heaven, a movie about a French Chef, set in my favourite two places in France, Paris and Périgord. It’s a wonderful movie in a beautiful setting but be warned, don’t watch it like I did on an empty stomach, we had to straight out for dinner afterward. It’s a humorous and engaging tale with mouth watering visuals in which recipes are discuss and prepared lovingly. I heartily recommend the movie if you, like me, love anything French and are a big foodie movie fan.

The good news is I have two double passes curtesy of Trigger Marketing to give away to the movie. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post before 26th April and I will take a luck dip from those names and the two names that are picked will win the passes. I will contact the winners for their mailing address.

The passes are valid at any movie box office showing Haute Cuisine. The tickets are valid from May 2nd to June 10th.

About the film: Hortense Laborie, a renowned chef from the Périgord, is astonished when the President of the Republic appoints her his personal cook, responsible for creating all his meals at the Élysée Palace. Despite jealous resentment from the other kitchen staff, Hortense quickly establishes herself, thanks to her indomitable spirit. The authenticity of her cooking soon seduces the President, but the corridors of power are littered with traps. Based on the extraordinary true story of President Francois Mitterand’s private cook.

Written & Directed by Christian Vincent
Starring Catherine Frot, Arthur Dupont, Jean d’Ormesson & Hippolyte Girardot

Custard & Raspberry Jam Doughnuts

DSC_0017I’m afraid I am going to torture you with a photograph only today and no recipe. The pictured doughnuts are rapidly becoming the most popular item on my patisserie list so I am being mean and not sharing it’s secret, not just yet anyway. Well I don’t want you all making your own and no longer visiting me at my stall do I? That would be sad to not see your faces every Saturday or Sunday.

The end of the week is a crazy one, making all my own pastries for all the goodies to sell on Saturday and Sunday; puff, shortcrust, hot water, croissant, brioche dough and bread. It’s very rewarding though as it comes out the oven and the neighbours knock on the door when they get a waft of the sweet and savoury aromas.  As well as the market stall on Sunday I have a growing list of orders from Muriwai locals who stop by my kitchen on Saturday and collect their weekend treats.

So instead of a recipe I leave you with this weeks menu, in hope some of you Auckland locals reading this will pop Hobsonville Point Market by and say hello! Happy weekend!

Savoury Pastries

Seasonal Galettes – Leek,Walnut Pesto, Halloumi & Roasted Tomato. Roasted Beetroot & Feta. Caramelised Onion, Halloumi & Field Mushroom

Handmade Traditional Pork Pies

Cornish Pasties – Beef & Mustard. Chicken, Leek & Tarragon
Large Croissant Cheese Twists/Stick
Bacon & Egg Pies

Pork & fennel Sausage Rolls

Multigrain loaf (500g) – $5 (please order

Sweet Pastries
French Caramel Apple Tart
Eccles Cakes

Crisp Palmiers

Apricot Danish

Pacific Panforte– Mango, Macadamia, Coconut

Vanilla Custard & Raspberry Filled Doughnuts

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