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Friday, 30 June 2017
Garden update - June 2017
To check out more garden photos - go to the How Does My Garden Grow post.
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Vegan brownies with optional dulce de leche swirl
choc chip cookies. The remainder has sat in the fridge for a few weeks. I simmered the condensed milk for 10-15 minutes and it got so chewy that I had to warm it up to actually spread it on the brownies. But in the edge result it just added a small amount of chewiness and sweetness to the top of the brownies. I had meant to salt it but forgot.
Faye for the generous donation to my baking adventures.)
I am sending these to Jibber Jabber for Love Cake and Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa.
More chocolate vegan baking on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate blackberry cupcakes (v)
Chocolate cupcakes (v)
Chocolate (layer) cake (v)
Chocolate tahini cookies (v)
Coconut and chocolate chunk cake (v)
Flourless almond butter choc chip cookies (gf, v)
Kale cheesecake surprise choc mint cupcakes (v)
Lamingtons with a touch of quince (v)
Zucchini brownie with smoked walnuts (v)
Adapted from Pollen on food.com
2 cups plain white flour, divided
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup cocoa powder
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup coconut condensed milk (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 C and grease and line a 28 x 18 cm (11 x 7 inch) slice tin.
Cook 1 cup water and 1/2 cup flour over low heat until you have a gluey paste that holds its shape. Stir in sugars, salt, cocoa and oil to make a glossy mixture. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cup flour and baking powder, then chocolate chips (if using). Tip into prepared tin and press out to fill tin evenly. I used my hands to smooth some of it down.
If you wish to use some dulce de leche - I slowly cooked some coconut condensed milk for about 5-10 minutes. Mine was setting to toffee rather than a sauce so I think let it darken but it does not need to coat the spoon too much. Dollop over unbaked brownie and swirl a little with knife and then smooth down as much as possible. (Maybe some salt in the dulce de leche would work.)
Bake for 25 minutes. a skewer should come out cleanly when inserted in the middle but I looked more at the top being drier and the edges feeling cooked and the middle a little softer but not uncooked. Cool in tray and then cut into small squares.
On the Stereo:
Big Red Truck: Rubher
Saturday, 24 June 2017
Banana butterscotch pudding, wonder and mosaics
When a week starts with warming banana butterscotch pudding, you expect good things of the world. And when you expect good things of our world, it means that life should drop into your lap like a plump shiny crisp apple from the tree. But recently I have been reading R. J. Palacio's amazing novel Wonder. It has made me think about luck and blemishes and generosity that makes a apple falling in your lap so much more complex. Just like the mixed blessings of manky bananas that can be baked it in a pudding to send warm vibes through your family.
The above photo of the book, Wonder was taken at the Vegie Bar with the Miso Mushrooms and Sourdough with Macadamia Feta. Wonder is about a 10 year old boy with severe facial abnormalities and his challenges in starting school. It made me ache and cry and smile and want to be a better kinder person. There is a part in the book that I love when one of the characters talks about life seeing random and yet the universe "takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can't see". Indeed, we are all more resilient than often we see.
And so, I can tell you that the universe took care of me this week, even though perhaps it did not seem so. When my friend discovered the mosaic workshop was not on, she came over and we enjoyed a cuppa in some welcome winter sunshine and then we had a fun afternoon at the park where we bumped into other friends. The car fob is something I have worried about losing because the other one was already lost and getting it copied has been a headache. I was relieved that with the help of our local mechanic we have sorted the car locking system. The scratch hasn't bothered Sylvia as much as I feared it might and life goes on - it was an accident. And my purse was at work so my boss was delighted to have me in unexpectedly because if you find yourself in at work it is hard to just walk in and out without looking around you and doing what you can to help out. I might have missed my body balance class but I had a decent amount of cycling to get to work.
The universe looked after us in ways we did not imagine. As always I could complain about more, I could be grateful for more. But life is ok. And today, we got the date of the mosaic workshop right. It was my first time doing any mosaics. I have much to learn but I was glad to have a go.
Likewise, my banana butterscotch pudding was not perfect but I was pleased to have finally tried one. I checked out a few recipes and was glad to see Kari's recipe at Bite Sized Thoughts to warn of how sweet it was. I reduced some sugar and then tinkered more. My notes show that next time there will be some changes. Yet I would eat that pudding all over again as it made me very happy to dig in to the plump sponge cake and spoon sweet butterscotch sauce all over my serve.
I am sending this pudding to Honest Mum for Brilliant Blog Posts
More butterscotch recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Brownies with butterscotch chips
Butterscotch pudding (v)
Butterscotch layer cake
Butterscotch surprise cake
Cranberry, apple and butterscotch muffins
Microwave self-saucing butterscotch pudding (v)
Banana butterscotch pudding
Adapted from Bite Sized Thoughts
3 tbsp butter*
1 tbsp golden syrup
2-3 ripe bananas, 2 mashed and 1 cut into slices
1 cup milk*
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg OR1 flax egg*
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup plain flour*
5 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar*
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 cup hot water
Melt butter and golden syrup together (I used the microwave). Stir in 2 mashed bananas, milk, sugar, egg (or flax egg) and vanilla. Gently mix in flour and baking powder to make a batter. Place batter in medium baking dish. Lay slices of 3rd banana over the top. Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over batter. Bake at 160 C for 45-60 minutes until the pudding is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- I used a flax egg, nuttalex margarine and soy milk so mine was vegan.
- A flax egg is a 2 tablespoon of flaxmeal or ground linseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water.
- I added quite a bit more flour than Kari's recipe so I might scale it back to 1 1/2 cups flour (and 4 tsp baking powder) to have a better cake to sauce ratio.
- The cake wasn't overly sweet but the sauce was quite sweet and I would reduce the sugar in it to 1/3 cup in the sauce next time and have added in pinch of salt to the sauce.
- I did not have the third banana to place over the top of the pudding which might have made the cake sweeter.
On the Stereo:
Song of Evil Reindeer: Reindeer Section
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Orange, grapefruit and lime lemonade
More juice combinations at Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Blackberry limeade (gf, v)
Moody Blues (pineapple and blackberry juice) (gf, v)
Mulled apple juice (gf, v)
Raspberry lemonade (gf, v)
Spiced red currant and orange punch (gf, v)
Watermelon, banana, strawberry, peach juice
Orange, grapefruit and lime lemonade
Inspired by Green Gourmet Giraffe's Lemonade and Limeade
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 ruby grapefruit
3 oranges (or less)
1 mandarin (optional)
3-4 limes (or more)
Ice blocks and fresh mint, for garnish
Heat water and sugar over low heat until sugar is dissolved to make a sugar syrup.
Juice the fruit and add to the sugar syrup. (NB it is more like 2 cups of juice to 1 cup sugar syrup here unlike my lemonade which is 1 cup juice to 1 cup sugar syrup because the oranges were quite sweet.)
Serve about 1/4 citrus mixture with 3/4 soda water or to taste. Garnish with ice blocks and fresh mint if desired.
UPDATE July 2017: Made this again with 1 large ruby grapefruit and some smaller lemons and limes (I think it was 1 1/2 cups juice with one third grapefruit and one third a mix of lemon and lime. I made sugar syrup with 1 cup water and 1 1/2 cup sugar.) Really loved it.
On the Stereo:
Edgar Allan Poe's Haunted Palace: The Tiger Lillies
Sunday, 18 June 2017
Sourdough hybrid olive oil bread
fast track pizza dough that uses a combination of sourdough (for taste) and commercial dried yeast (for fast rising). So I have been interested in trying one of my favourite regular yeasted breads with some sourdough. I made it on a Sunday morning recently before we went to the Cat Cafe. It still didn't seem that quick but at least it can work on a day when I want bread but forget to start it with sourdough the night before.
More quick ways to use sourdough starter on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Celia's overnight sourdough bread (v)
Fast track sourdough pizza bases (v)
Kale sourdough tortillas (v)
Sourdough toss-off flatbreads (v)
Spelt sourdough flatbreads (v)
Sourdough hybrid olive oil bread
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Makes 1 loaf
200ml lukewarm water
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
400g white bread flour
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
extra flour for kneading
1. Mix yeast, sourdough starter, chia seeds and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in flour to make a dry shaggy dough. Leave for 10 minutes.
2. Add olive oil and salt. Stir to combine as much as possible. It is not easy to add the oil and salt but once you start kneading, it comes together beautifully. Knead on a lightly floured board for about 10 minutes until you have a soft dough.
3. Scrape out the mixing bowl to clean it as much as possible before placing dough ball inside. Cover with teatowel. Rise for 30-60 minutes until about doubled in size.
4. Punch down and lightly knead for about a few seconds. Return it to the bowl and cover with the damp teatowel and rise another 30 minutes.
5. Knead briefly and either place on a greased tray or place in a greased bread tin. I do the latter (my bread tin in 25cm x 9cm and about 10cm high). I cut it in half, roughly knead each half into a neat ball and then press the two halves of the dough into the tray so they fill out the corners and are flat on top. Cover with teatowel and leave to rise about two thirds (usually about 30 minutes). Mine gets to about an inch from the top of the tin but rises to the top once baked.
6. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 240 C. To steam the oven I sprayed in the oven once the loaf was in. Bake bread for about 25-30 minutes or until dough is a deep golden brown and hollow when knocked. (Mine took 25 minutes.) The crust might seem quite crusty when it is first out of the oven but once it cools it will soften and be full of flavour.
7. Tip loaf out of tin (or off the tray) and cool on a wire rack. Leave for at least an hour, and more if possible, before cutting the first slice. Lasts well for a few days.
Note: this bread takes about 2 and 1/2 hours to 3 hours to make and then another hour or so to sit before cutting.
On the Stereo:
I Love Paris: 18 sensuous French classes: Various Artists
Thursday, 15 June 2017
Cat Cafe, Melbourne CBD
Love Eat Cake by Lisa). Actually I choose two. I have the cheese and vegemite biscuit that is so so so cute. The sweet food looks good and is yummy too but nothing is as good as my bikkie. And I take home the brownie. I am less impressed with the hot drinks in cardboard cups. I understand there is no kitchen but I never drink tea from cardboard cups.
30 Guildford Lane, Melbourne 3000
Between La Trobe Street and Little Lonsdale Street
Accessible from Queen Street or Sutherland Street
(03) 9642 8540
10am-6pm, 7 days a week
Monday, 12 June 2017
Apple sponge (pudding)
Though to be honest, as a child I always resented having apple sponge rather than apricot sponge. Now I appreciate that stewed apples are far more practical than stewed apricots. This dessert makes me nostalgic for nights waiting at the table with my siblings as my mum's big serving spoon dug into the steaming pudding. I don't make puddings much. Fortunately the tradition continues because my mum still makes apple sponge for Sylvia. And it was Sylvia who requested I make apple sponge for dessert.
I had to make more stewed apple the next day. It was quite a lot of apple and took a while to bring it to the boil. The first time I simmered it for 5 minutes after it boiled. It was quite mushy, especially once it had been baking. The second time I turned off the heat after it boiled and the apple sliced kept their shape. I slice mine quite thinly like my mum used to (2-3mm thick).
I made the apple sponge vegan because that was what we had in the house. I wish I could take some better photos but I will always make this pudding when the nights are dark in winter. And it is usually such a palaver making warm puddings (because I don't do it often) that I end up serving them late and in a hurry. So these photos will do and this post will remind me how to make it next time it is requested.
More of mum's desserts on Green Gourmet Giraffe blog:
Apricot sponge (v)
Bread and butter pudding
Chocolate pudding (v)
Golden syrup dumplings (v)
Rice pudding (gf, v)
Apple Sponge Pudding
From my mum
65g softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg or 1 flax egg
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup milk
stewed apples (see below)
Mix the butter, sugar, egg, flour and milk to make a thick batter. Spread stewed apples at the bottom of a greased medium sized baking dish. Spoon the batter over the apples and smooth. Bake for 45 minutes at 180 C till the batter is cooked (check with a skewer).
1 kg apples
1/2 cup water
2 heaped tsp sugar, or to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
shake of cinnamon
Peel, quarter, core and slice apples. Place in a large saucepan with remaining ingredients. The sweetness may need adjusting depending on the apples. Bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.
NOTES: I made this vegan by using a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed or linseed meal plus 3 tbsp water). I used soy milk, brown sugar and half white, half wholemeal flour. If your apples are not warm from stewing, put them in the baking dish and heat in the oven while you make the batter. Cold apples will mean a longer cooking time. I had a bit of liquid in my stewed apples and worried it would not work for the apple sponge but they were fine. I stewed granny smith apples.
On the Stereo:
Le sac des Filles: Camille
Sunday, 11 June 2017
Tempeh soup, cardboard park bench and a week of eats
I made the stew as a vehicle for dumplings. The stew was delicious but the dumplings weren't quite right. I didn't add baking powder as I mixed and matched recipes. As I dropped them into the stew I regretted the lack of a raising agent. I regretted it even more as I ate them. The were dense and disappointing rather than lovely and fluffy. However all was forgiven because the stew was so good.
tempeh and corn soup. But I changed up the flavours and added lots more vegies. I have always liked the soup because the tempeh gives enough of an imitation of chicken to be substantial but not enough to taste like meat. So it was also in this stew. I hope that if I try it again with some baking powder the dumplings might work too. (Will update when I get to do this.) However the stew was so good, especially with rice, that I would make it again without dumplings.
Sunday - Tempeh stew
Monday - Tempeh stew
Tuesday - Tempeh stew with rice and broccoli
Wednesday - Takeaway fish and chips
Thursday - Lo mein
Friday - Tofu besan omelet and broccoli, cauliflower and fried potatoes
Saturday - Eating out at Shakahari
The fish and chips were from a new local shop after a maths night. I didn't read the notice and assumed it was a night of maths games like a few years back. But it was a night to give parents tips on helping kids develop maths strategies. I was glad I misread the notice. I might not have gone but it was useful and we enjoyed the fish and chips, though our corn jacks (because we don't eat fish) was a bit overcooked.
And I will make some more comments on the week of eating. Breakfast was mostly yoghurt and weetbix bites. Lunch was often a cheese or salad sandwich with an apple. Above is one of my fancier lunches on a weekend after riding our bikes to the farmers market for bagels. I had leftover omelet, leftover fried potatoes (a bit like these) which were hearty with my favourite salad sandwich fillings of the moment - purple cabbage, carrot and spinach with a lick of mayo.
Things to Come at the cinema which is a fine understated and beautiful movie about change in a fiftysomething woman's life. I could not resist tasting a vegemite choc top at Cinema Nova. It was a little grey and too much vegemite for me but worth tasting once.
The meal at Shakahari was very impressive. We shared the Teff Seed Debut for a starter. It was most impressive. I loved the warm teff and besan flatbread. The "curried black turtle bean and yellow split pea dip" was more like a stew than a dip but had wonderful flavour. E had the Legendary Satay Shakahari. He was very happy with his meal and could see why it was had been on the menu since 1978. I went with a more modern Rice plus Rice. It was a thick warming miso stew with daikon, swede, pumpkin and mushrooms accompanied by wild rice, brown rice, turmeric chestnuts and pickled cucumber. As the waiter said, it was health food but substantial and very tasty. A bit like my stew.
More dumpling recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Baked blushing dumplings
Bean and beer stew with dumplings (v)
Cauliflower and zucchini soup with dumplings
Golden syrup dumplings (v)
Strawberry dumplings (v)
Tahini stew with feta and dill dumplings (v)
Tempeh vegetable stew with dumplings
A Green Gourmet Giraffe recipes inspired by here, here, All Recipes and Sandra Vungi Vegan
1-2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 litre stock
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1 tsp cider vinegar
kernels of 3 corn cobs
2 handfuls of chopped kale chopped (about 7 small stalks)
For the dumplings:
1 cup plain flour
2/3 cup soy milk
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp nooch
1 tbsp (olive) oil
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp seeded mustard
½ tsp salt
Fry onion and celery in 2-3 tsp of oil until soft (this took me 8-10 minutes). Add in garlic and smoked paprika and stir for about a minute.
Meanwhile squeeze as much liquid from the tempeh as possible, crumble with your hands then fry in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes to brown it.
Add 1 litre stock, tempeh, sweet potatoes, potatoes and vinegar to the onion mixture. Season well (as the corn and sweet potato will sweeten the stew). Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until potato is starting to soften.
While stew is simmering, make the dumplings by mixing all the ingredients together.
Once potatoes are softened add in corn and kale. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Drop in dessertspoons of the dumplings and simmer for 15-20 minutes. They should look fluffier and you can test one by cutting it open and checking it has cooked.
If you want to make the stew without dumplings, you may need a spoon or two of cornflour towards the end to thicken it slightly
On the Stereo:
Fearless - Taylor Swift