bread myself. And with fresh sourdough bread it was amaaazing (as Sylvia likes to say at the moment)! Possibly the most successful cooking of the day. The peach salad was good but the spices weren't quite right for me and while I loved the cake, the Southern Cross decoration didn't look quite as impressive as my vision. Having said that, I had a lovely day and despite my quibbles I really ate very well.
stanley knife it is improving. Sylvia and I went to the city to see Paper Planes at the cinema. It has fantastic scenes of rural Australia. Beforehand we took our cheese sandwiches to eat on the grass in front of the State Library.
Pancake Parlour. I had decided to have a simple sandwich so we could indulge in a sweet pancake. I chose a Chocolate Jubilee - a chocolate pancake with cream, ice cream, chocolate fudge sauce and strawberries. I didn't want cream so they gave me two scoops of ice cream. Argh! It was too much ice cream and not enough pancake. Nice but I think I would have enjoyed a short stack with whipped butter and chocolate sauce.
We were rushing to get out of the house and my main error was to tip the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack too early and it had a huge split on the bottom. When I turned it over the split was nowhere to be seen but the top of the cake was quite rustic so it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway.
I made the stars out of white chocolate but I think I really needed smaller cutters or a bigger cake because they were rather close together and that tiny star was hard to cut out by hand. I decided to use leftover white chocolate in a frosting because it would be easy to tint it.
this frosting, especially if you kept back some white chocolate and added it to the melted chocolate to bring down the temperature. I didn't even get out the beaters for it.
I reduced the recipe but it was still a lot and very sweet. Two thirds of what I made would be sufficient for the cake. I have adjusted the amounts in the recipe below accordingly. Mine was a much softer icing than in the photo I original saw so maybe more icing sugar or using butter rather than margarine might change this.
While Sylvia and I were at the shops we bought some royal blue food gel colouring. However after I had used what seemed a lot it was still a lot paler blue than the royal blue on the flag but it was enough dye in our cake. So maybe another time I will have another go at it as I really like the idea.
Chargrilled Peach with Green Beans and Almonds while on holidays in Ocean Grove. It appealed to my love of stone fruit and quirky salads. It challenged me to use star anise and coriander seeds, which are often neglected in my kitchen.
My experiment at trying to chargrill hard peaches didn't work and I ended up using ripe nectarines. My substitution of pistachios for almonds was fantastic. Sadly I don't think I was so keen on the spices. At least, that is my guess why the nectarines did not quite work. The idea of pickling fruit in spiced vinegar sounded great but was not quite right for me. I would love to try it again with a mustard, cumin and/or fennel seed flavours.
chickpea pilaf the previous night and also had some tofu bacon and the bread I baked that morning. The salad worked really well with these and I am happy to say that the spices did not dominate.
When we were baking it, the mixture tasted like chocolate porridge and I could have eaten it raw. It was a good sign of what was to come. While we waited for it to cool, Sylvia (who is constantly planning her own birthday) told me "at my party we will have porridge cake to eat that isn't cooked".
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Koko Black: a decadent chocolate afternoon tea
Two years ago: Pea Risotto with Verjuice
Three years ago: The relentless tide of technology
Four years ago: Queso dip, enchiladas and food processor
Five years ago: More baby food, more healthy muffins
Six years ago: WTSIM … Fruit kebabs
Seven years ago: Wanton Dumplings in Ginger Broth
Chargrilled Peach with Green Beans and Almonds
Adapted from Valli Little in Delicious magazine, Jan 2014/Dec 2015
Serves 3-4 as a side dish
1/4 cup caster sugar
100ml apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 star anise
Dash of chilli powder
4 ripe peaches (or nectarines), cut into wedges
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for grilling
400g green beans, trimmed
1/2 spring onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
Heat sugar, vinegar, coriander, star anise, and chilli in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool
Brush peaches with extra olive oil and grill until slightly charred on either side (1 to 2 minutes either side). I don't have an outdoor bbq so I used a ridged cast iron pan. Place chargrilled peaches into the vinegar mixture and set aside to pickle for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the green beans for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling salted water until just cooked and then plunge into iced water to cool.
Arrange beans on a medium shallow bowl, arrange peaches on top. Drizzle with oil and a little of the pickling liquid. Scatter with pistachios and spring onion.
Meryl's Chocolate Porridge Cake
1/2 cup instant oats*
1 cup water
150g brown sugar
3 dessertspoons cocoa
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g chocolate chips
Cook oats and water to make porridge. (I cooked mine for 3 minutes in the microwave.) Mix in butter, brown sugar and cocoa. Stir and cool briefly. Add in eggs, flour, bicarbonate of soda and chocolate chips. Stir well. Scrape into a lined 22cm round cake tin. Bake at 160 C for 30 to 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin for 10 to 15 minutes* and cool on a wire rack.
Ice with white chocolate frosting (below) if desired. If you wish to do the Southern Cross on the cake, melt some white chocolate and chill until just set (too chilled is hard to cut out) and then cut out some star shapes and arrange on iced cake.
*NOTES: I finely chopped 1 cup of rolled oats to make 1/2 cup of instant oats. I think it took me slightly longer to bake the cake. I baked mine at 170 C on a rack in the middle of the oven because I had been baking bread just before the cake went in the oven.
White chocolate frosting
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
60g white chocolate, chopped
66g butter (I used Nuttalex margarine)
80g icing sugar
1 tsp milk (if required)
Melt about two thirds of the chocolate (I did this in the microwave but it can be done on the stovetop too). Remove from heat or microwave and stir in the remainder in small chunks until it melts. Set aside and cool slightly.
Beat butter and icing sugar until creamy. I did this by hand but it could be done with electric beaters too. Mix in the white chocolate and a pinch of salt. Add a little milk if mixture is too thick.
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