Tempered chocolate

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1.  Place 2/3 of chocolate in a double boiler (Place a heat proof mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water without letting the bowl touch the water.

2.  Stir the chocolate as it melts

3.  Monitor the temp when the chocolate is fully melted and remove the bowl when the temperature of the chocolate reaches

45 – 48C (113 -118F) – dark chocoloate

42 – 45C (107 – 113F) – milk chocolate

40 – 43C (104 – 110F) – white chocolate

4.  Stir in the remaining 1/3 chocolate. Continue to stir as the temp drops.

5.  When the temp reaches 29C (83 – 86F) – Dark chocolate or 27C (80 – 84F) – milk and white chocolate, place the bowl back over the boiler.

6.  Stir the chocolate until the temp reaches 32C (90F). Remove from heat and it is ready to be spread or poured or drizzled.

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Pistachio Marshmallow Slice

IMG_0466Prep time – 30 mins

Serves – 16 pieces

Ingredients

500g tempered dark chocolate

1 cup of water

3 Tbs powdered gelatin

1 cup honey

1Tbs Vanilla extract

1 tsp almond essence

Pinch salt

Green food colour

1/2 cup crushed pistachios

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

Method

1.  Place half the water, honey and vanilla in a small saucepan over a medium high heat.

2.  Line a 25cm square slice tin.

3.  Allow the honey mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The mixture will thicken and will be ready when it coats the back of the spoon and starts to come away from the side of the pot.

4. In the bowl of a mixer add the remaining water and gelatin and mix to combine.

5.  On a low speed slowly pour in the hot honey mixture. Once the mixture is combined increase the mixer speed to high.

6.  Once the mixture starts to lose its brown colour and begins to take on air, add the almond essence.

7. After about 7 or 8 minutes on a high speed, the mixture should have turned white and fluffy. Add a few drops of green food colouring and continue to mix on high.

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8. Once the colour is mixed through add half the pistachios.

9.  After 10 minutes (total) of mixing the mixture should be fluffy and hold its shape.

10.  Spoon some of the tempered chocolate into the bottom of the lined tin. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate thinly on the base.

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11.  Empty the marshmallow mixture on   top of the chocolate and with wet hands level out the mixture in the tin.

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12.  Leave the marshmallow to sit for 10 minutes to set.

13.  Pour over the remaining chocolate and spread over the top evenly. (Chocolate may need to be placed back over boiler again)

14.  In a zip lock bag place coconut and a few drops of green food colour. Rub the coconut between your fingers to disperse the colour.

15. Sprinkle the remaining pistachios and coconut over the chocolate.

16.  Set in the fridge for 10 mins.

Hearty Sausage Rolls

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Do you ever sit at the dinner table negotiating with your kids to get them to try just one vegetable? Our Mr 2 has refused to eat dinner for the past few months. He sits and pretends, puts his fork to his mouth then lets out a little giggle and says “noooo” and pushes the food off his fork. He isn’t really a fussy eater but just hasn’t been eating at night so when I dished up these sausage rolls I only gave him one in the anticipation he would just push them around. So I sat him up at the table, put his plate down and turned to organise his sister and when I turned back he was holding up his plate asking for more. So if ever the term ‘kid approved’ was appropriate it’s for this recipe. These sausage rolls are so mourish and the bonus is they are loaded with veges.

Prep time – 20 mins

Cooking time – 25 mins

Serves – 24 rolls

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Ingredients

500g Pork mince

1 medium carrot finely grated

1 medium zucchini finely grated

1 small onion finely diced

2 cloves garlic

1 cup quick oats (rolled oats blitzed)

1/2 cup crushed walnuts

1/ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

2 eggs

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 sheets frozen puff pastry

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 200C

2.  Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with your hands until combined.

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3.  Place a sheet of puff pastry on a flat surface and cut in half.

4.  Shape a portion of the meat mixture into a 2cm diameter line along the long edge of the pastry.

5.  Roll the pastry and lightly flatten with with your fingers.

6.  Cut the roll into 4 equal parts and place in a lined baking tray. Repeat for the remaining pastry and mixture.

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7.  Brush the rolls with milk and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown on top.

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Burrito Rice

BurritoRice FoodbyDadWe all have those weeks where things just keep coming up, the house is a mess, there’s no food in the fridge and even if there was you don’t have the energy to create a masterpiece. Wednesday and Thursday are our busy afternoons and it is always on my mind that I need to have quick easy recipes ready so the kids can get to bed on time and I can finally sit down. Mexican is one of my go to cuisines for tasty quick meal ideas, I love playing with different ingredients (well mostly the same ingredients used differently). About 8 months ago, while exploring some Asian recipes, I discovered chicken rice (which is rice cooked in chicken stock). Steamed chicken breast, chicken rice and Asian greens is another go to tasty quick recipe that has been kid tested, but I will get to that in another post. Anyway at our house at the moment we are on a bit of a thing and are trying to eat mainly whole food and slowly cutting out other things. So with these things in mind I came up with a recipe that is Mexican inspired, while using the technique of chicken rice and has all the flavour of a burrito without the flour tortilla. In this recipe I used a BBQ chicken for time sake, but if you want to use chicken breasts or thighs and shred them that would work perfectly.

Prep time – 5 minutes

Cooking time – 30 minutes

Serves – 4

Ingredients

2 cups chicken stock (salt reduced)

250ml Passata (tomato puree)

1 cup basmati rice

1 pkt Old El Paso burrito seasoning

1/2 BBQ chicken (or 2 breasts/thighs) shredded

1 can corn kernels

1 can red kidney beans

1 can diced tomatoes

100g grated tasty cheese

1 Avocado

1/2 large tomato

1/2 small red onion

1 bunch coriander

Juice 1/2 lemon

Sour cream

Method

1.  Add chicken stock, passata and burrito seasoning to a saucepan over a medium low heat.

2.  Add rice and stir. Place lid on pan and allow to simmer stirring regularly to ensure the rice doesn’t stick.

3.  Meanwhile add the avocado, tomato, red onion, coriander and lemon juice to a food processor and blend until a smooth,        guacamole forms.

4.  Continue to stir the rice until the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

5.  Place the rice in a large mixing bowl while it is hot and combine the chicken, corn, beans, can of tomatoes and cheese.

6.  Serve with guacamole, sour cream and coriander to garnish.

Freeze the leftovers or have them on a wrap for lunch the next day.

Banana Choc Chip Muffins

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Prep time – 5 minutes

Cooking time – 15 – 18 minutes

Serves – 12

Ingredients

1 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 egg

3/4 plain flour

3/4 self raising flour

1/2 cup dark choc chips

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Method

1.  Preheat oven to 200C.

2.  Place all the ingredients into an electric mixer and mix on a low speed until combined.

3.  Grease muffin moulds. (I prefer silicone lightly sprayed with olive oil spray)

4.  spoon the mixture into the moulds, fill to just below the top.

5.  Tap the moulds gently on the bench to level the mix and remove air bubbles.

6.  Bake in oven for 15 – 18 minutes until golden on top.

7. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from the mould.

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Bolognese Pockets

 

Final

 

Another awesome leftover dish. In fact this is the best use of leftover bolognese I have ever seen. Perfect for the kids for a weekend dinner, or a sleep over or even if you’ve got friends coming over to watch the football. These pockets will disappear as fast as you make them. Once you’ve made these using your leftover bolognese you’ll realise that there are heaps of other delicious combinations – pizza pockets, cheese and mushroom pockets, bbq chicken pockets, pulled pork pockets. You could fill these things with just about anything. Leftovers will never be the same again!!

Prep time – 1.15hr

Cooking time – 20 mins

Serves – 20 pockets

Ingredients

Leftover bolognese (3 cups)

3.5 cups plain flour

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 Tbs yeast

1 cup warm water

1/2 tsp salt

Method

  1. Add warm water to a mixing bowl, add sugar and stir.
  2. Add yeast and stir in, allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Using an electric mixer add in egg, flour and salt. Mix until a dough forms.
  4. Cover bowl with a tea towel and set in a warm dry place for at least 1 hour until dough doubles in size.
  5. Pre heat oven to 180C
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough in 2.
  7. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 3mm thick.
  8. Trim the edges and cut into squares of about 10cm x 10cm. dough
  9. Place the square of dough in the palm of your hand and place a tablespoon of bolognese in the centre. Use a large amount because the dough will be thick on the bottom if you don’t stretch it over. Keep the filling away from the edges or sealing the pockets will be difficult. Add some cheese for extra flavour.fill
  10. Lift the corners of the dough and pinch.pinch
  11. Gently pull in any other loose edges and carefully twist. Don’t over twist or the dough will clump at the bottom and your pocket will be doughy.twist
  12. Place the twist side down on a lined baking tray. Repeat until all the dough has been used. Depending on size you should be able to make around 20 pockets.formed
  13. Place in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes until golden on top.Final2Serve hot. Leftovers will survive in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days or are easily freezable. But if you have any leftovers I’ll be very surprised!

      Try them with your favourite filling. The kids love them with some cheese, tomato paste and cabanossi (pineapple if they eat it). Just like pizza pockets you buy in the freezer at the supermarket only so much better! If you’re making different flavours in the same batch, dip the end of a wooden skewer in some red food colouring to mark the top so you can identify the different fillings.

 

 

 

Spicy Sausage Pasta

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If you’re like me you’re always looking for quick one pot meals for those days when getting food on the table needs to be quick and easy. I have been asked several times when I am cooking the sausage pasta again, so not only is it quick and stress free it’s also delicious.

Prep time – 15 mins

Cooking time – 30 mins

Serves – 6

Ingredients

2 Chorizo sausages sliced

2 Cabana sausages sliced (found in the deli meats section of your supermarket)

1 large onion roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely diced

1 red capsicum

1 red chili deseeded and finely chopped (optional)

1 tin diced tomatoes

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 cups chicken stock (salt reduced)

1/2 cup thickened cream

300g Casarecce pasta 9or your favourite or whatever is in the cupboard)

1 cup colby cheese

1/4 cup sliced spring onions

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Remove the top and bottom of capsicum. Remove the seeds and veins. 1/4 the capsicum and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until the skin blisters. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. In a large frying pan add a small amount of oil over a medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions begin to soften.
  4. Add the sliced sausages to the pan and stir occasionally to ensure they colour on both sides (4-5 minutes).
  5. Add the chili and stir through.
  6. Add the stock, tomatoes, pasta and cream and bring to the boil.
  7. Remove the skin from the capsicum and dice.
  8. Add the capsicum and paprika and stir. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through half the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top with the spring onions.
  10. Place the pan under the grill on a high setting until the cheese melts and begins to brown.

Cheesy