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Archive for October, 2012

We had a play date arranged today, which meant that I needed to be organised to pack sufficient snacks so that my two didn’t eat our host’s weekly fruit supplies. In an effort to include more vegetables in their morning tea rations, I made carrot, zucchini, apple and date muffins. I didn’t invent the recipe, and it’s nothing spectacular but it worked, so I’m posting it here for my own reference.

Ingredients
1 carrot
2 apples
1 zucchini
1 handful of dried dates
250g SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
20g (a big spoonful) of coconut oil
30g of honey
2 eggs

Method
I chopped all the fruit and vegetables in the Thermomix then added everything else and mixed it all together. Then I put it in muffin tins and baked it for about 20 – 25 minutes. (I realise my prose is quite lyrical, so hopefully you can feel the raw emotion behind the baking).

I’m rating this as a success as, even though it did have honey, it was basically healthy and was happily eaten by both small people and their date, despite the frequent flecks of green.

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Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

I missed the last challenge – filled pastry swans I believe – so I felt compelled to give this one a shot. I had also bought some khorasan flour from Naturally Better Foods and was keen to use it in something different. I had to google khorasan (also known as Kamut) to find out what it is but, thanks to Wikipedia, can advise that it is a low-gluten (but not gluten free) ancient wheat grain with high protein and a nutty flavour. I’ve been using it in crackers and other breads and have found that it can basically replace standard flour with the addition of more water/moisture. I also had a fridge full of leafy green vegetables demanding attention, so I decided to incorporate them into the challenge too. As an empanada is basically a stuffed bread or pastry dough, I decided to make a kale, leek, chard and ricotta pie. Because that’s going to appeal to the small people, right?

Patri provided two recipes for the dough. I used the one below:

Ingredients
500 gm khorasan flour
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
100 ml of olive oil
2 sachets (16 gm) dry yeast
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt

Being lazy, I just chucked it all into the Thermomix, mixed it and then turned it to the knead function. I found that I kept having to add water to try and bring it together – perhaps the khorasan is a thirsty flour, like coconut flour? I’m not sure how much I added before it formed a cohesive dough, but it eventually did. I then left it to rise for about half an hour. Not surprisingly, given the amount of yeast involved, it rose pretty dramatically.

In the meantime, I sauteed a leek, 2 cloves of garlic and a few rashes of bacon until softened, then added the chopped kale and chard until that softened. I then added two eggs, some grated tasty cheese and some drained low fat ricotta, along with some salt and pepper. I let this cool before making the empanada, as apparently adding hot filling makes the base soggy.

I then split the dough into two and rolled one half out until it was the size of my baking tray. I then spread the cooled vegetable mixture on top.

I rolled the other half of the dough out and put it on top, then attempted to make an attractive twisty seal around the edge. I’ll let you judge the success of that attempt yourself.

A quick brush with egg wash and about 45 minutes in a 180 degree oven, and here is the result:

It got the anticipated response from the 4 year old (Mummy, I DO NOT like this) but she did at least try it. And I liked it. The khorasan flour seemed to give it a nice sourdough taste and it felt healthy. I think it would make good picnic fare. All in all, I’m glad I tried it.

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I’ve been pretty slack on the baking front lately, largely because I’ve been pretty flat out on the work front. I haven’t even wanted to bake, which is unlike me. Luckily inspiration arrived in the form of a new cookbook : For Food’s Sake, a Thermomix book. I still feel like I’m learning to drive the Thermomix, and I’m sure I don’t make full use of it, but it certainly makes cakes easy!

Having recently made healthy (as long as you accept dried fruit as healthy) “brownies”, I decided to make blatantly unhealthy ones. Tenina’s recipe for her salted caramel brownies can be found here, so I feel ok about reproducing the recipe. The original recipe uses macadamias and pecans, but I didn’t have those.

Ingredients
300g brown sugar
90g unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp sea salt, plus extra for toppings
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
60g cocoa powder
150g plain flour
100g hazelnuts

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a 22cm square cake tin with baking paper.
Put sugar, butter and vanilla into the Thermomix and chop 5 seconds on speed 6.
Cook for 15 mins at varoma temp, speed 2.
Add salt and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.
Add eggs, yolk, cocoa to bowl and mix for 15 seconds on speed 5.
Scrape down bowl, add flour and nuts and mix for 15 seconds on speed 5.
Spread into tin, stud with extra nuts and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 10 mins then take it out, bang it on the bench and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let it cool in the tin for a bit before slicing.

pre-baking

post-baking

Post-baking, pre-eating



Comments

It was a really easy Thermomix recipe and I imagine would be fairly easy if made conventionally using a saucepan and food processor. I over baked mine so the edge pieces were more like cake than brownie, but still tasty. The salt was a winner.

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