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Gingerbread

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We use this recipe all year round in the shop for making our gingerbread men biscuits but as it come closer to Christmas you’ll find us getting a little more creative. Making christmas trees, angels, stars and bells. It’s a nice crisp gingerbread that will last several weeks in a jar or tin, so you can make this one well ahead of Christmas. The recipe makes 16 large gingerbread men. Use your favorite Christmas cookie cutter shapes to create something more festive. Once cooled store them in an airtight container or have some fun decorating them with icing before store them away.

Ingredients

450g self raising flour
110g butter
1 tblsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
200g honey
200g castor sugar
1 large egg (beaten)
Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
Place flour and spice into a bowl.
Melt butter, sugar & honey in a pan over a how heat until sugar has dissolved.
Add the honey mixture to the flour and spices, combine and leave to cool. Dough should come away from sides of bowl and form a ball.
Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
Add the egg and kneed into dough.
If the dough is too sticky then add some more flour.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in fridge for at least 20 minutes (you can leave it over night). If you use the dough immediately it will swell more when baking and loose it’s cookie shape.
Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2 cm thick and cut out with Christmas cookie cutter shapes.
Make a whole at the top of each cookie dough with a skewer or straw so you can thread ribbon once cooked.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place cookies with space around them as they will expand when cooking.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from tray once cooled.
Decorate as desired with icing.

Spelt Spice Cookies

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Yes it’s official, we’re baking, testing and posting Christmas recipes from now until the 24th December. This recipe is made with all the traditional Christmas spices but we are using a wholemeal spelt four instead of wheat flour. This gives the cookie/biscuit a nice grain to the texture of the crumb. We’ve had a lot of requests for spelt flour products and since we already have sacks of the flour at the shop we thought we’d experiment. We use this flour also in our Wholemeal Spelt Sourdough (available Saturday’s & Sunday’s at the shop and market)

Ingredients

150g butter

100g brown sugar

300g spelt

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 ground cardamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp water

slivered almonds to garnish

Method

Pre heat oven to 180C. You will need 3 baking trays.

Beat together the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.

Add flour & spices to the butter mixture and mix until just combined (maybe a little crumbly).

To form the dough add the 2 tablespoons of water and knead dough together slightly

Flatten the dough and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

To roll the dough out lay the dough between two sheets of greeseproof paper and roll dough to approximately ‘cheese cracker’ thickness.

Refrigerate in sheet for for 10 minutes, it’s easier to cut chilled dough.

Cut out biscuits with your preferred cookie shape. I used mini circles which made about 45 and place the biscuit shapes onto a non stick baking tray.

Decorate with slivered almonds if you wish.

Bake biscuits for 10 minutes. The biscuits will be golden brown due to the spelt.

Allow to cool or scoff them while warm.. ha ha

The biscuits will keep for 10 days in an airtight container.

Lemon Curd Honeycomb Cruffins

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This weeks cruffin flavour at the shop and market is Lemon Curd Honeycomb.

For those readers who don’t know, Gourmet Gannet is the name of the small artisan bakery I own in a place called Kumeu, West Auckland. I opened the business almost three years ago, which was the start of my blogging silence. I have started to come back to blogging just recently.. very slowly! Here’s a picture of the front of the shop which we have recently gone through some rebranding.

Even though we seem to be in the midst of cruffin madness and sell out on Saturday’s before 10am, my thoughts are turning towards Christmas recipes. Yes I know some of you probably screamed at the mention of the word. But when you own a bakery you have to get organized early, the time races by and there is soooo much to make. We have actually finished baking all our Christmas cakes, they need plenty time to rest. Thanks to a lovely young lady who is working with us pre Christmas, we will have heaps of festive treats for you all who visit the shop and our market stall. For those further afield, I promise to blog some of our recipes.

 

 

Cruffin Crazy

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I’d hear all about the cruffin craze in San Francisco and Melbourne but there’s not been even a murmur here in New Zealand about them. So, what’s does a bakery owner do? Make them of course, I’d be crazy not to introduce them wouldn’t I?

We already make croissants, pain au chocolate and pain au raisin so how hard could they be? After a few weeks testing with shapes, various muffin pans and sampling the goods. Last week was our first launch of a cruffin, chocolate orange custard filled. And what a crazy Saturday morning it was after an introduction to them on our local community social media pages. No sooner had we opened the doors at 7am, people were coming in to buy them. I’d made what I thought was a lot, 48 cruffins. 24 for the shop and 24 for our market stall at Hobsonville Point. We’ll they didn’t make it to market, we’d sold out of all 48 by 8.30am.

This weeks flavour will be lemon curd & honeycomb, both at the shop and the market.

There are various recipes on the internet if you google cruffin recipe. To be honest after two years non blogging I’m to lazy to write up a recipe from my scrawly kitchen notes. It’s the croissant dough that is a bit time consuming, but you can always pop into see us at Gourmet Gannet if you are local in Auckland 😜

 

Blueberry Galette

Blueberry galette

It’s been a while I know, so why my internet silence? It’s not that I haven’t been food focused and creative over the last nine months, quite the opposite. I started a new business in April 2014, Gourmet Gannet Kitchen which is a small artisan bakery/patisserie in Huapai close to where I live. With new crazy night shifts baking bread, learning more about sour doughs and creating new recipes for the shop the blog has taken a bit of a ‘back burner’. But I’m still here, although likely more sporadic with my postings from here on. I had intended to document my journey but that was a little romanic idea when reality is the grafting just needed to get done.

I love my new business, it gives me lots of creativity and autonomy. Each week we renovate a bit more of the shop or add new equipment. This year I’ll shift my working hours from 10pm to 8am, to a more sensible 3am to midday. This will mean fresh bread baked through the day for customers rather than all ready and baked for 7am. I’m hoping our loyal clientele will be happy with this new offering even if it does mean that their regular loaf may not be ready by 7am. But it will mean that they may get to take their favourite loaf home at 8am or 9am straight from the oven. I’ll let you know how the new production is going at some point.

If you want to follow what I’m up to on a weekly basis I post lots of pics on our Facebook page Gourmet Gannet Kitchen (link in sidebar).

Here’s a recipe for a Seasonal Blueberry Tart, which we are currently selling at the shop.

300g Shortcrust pastry. You can use my recipe here or shop bought

400g fresh blueberries (3chips)

1.5 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla paste

1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch

zest of 1 lemon

1 free range for for egg wash, whisked

Preheat oven 180C

On a floured surface, roll pastry out to the size of a dinner plate. I use a dinner plate to cut round to get an even shape. Rest in fridge for 15mins.

Mix together the sugar, cornflour, lemon zest and vanilla.

Place the pastry onto a baking tray.

Arrange the blueberries in the centre of pastry base leaving an inch bare around the edge to fold over.

Fold dough into the centre to cover the edge of the blueberries, pleating and presiding together as you go, it doesn’t have to be perfect, galettes are rustic. Egg wash the edge crust of the pastry.

Sprinkle the sugar mix over the blueberries. The cornflour helps thicken the juice from the berries.

Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with ice cream, yoghurt or cream!

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!

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