Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Edmonds Ginger Cake

I am not a big cake fan but every now and then I get a cake hankering. Flicking through my new Edmonds Cookbook yesterday, I saw a Ginger Cake recipe. Hmm, haven't had one of Those for a while! I have a tried and true ginger cake recipe that I have been using for, oh, forever. But I thought I'd give this one a try. Not sure if it was my oven or the recipe but it did need a little longer in the oven that the recipe stated. And I have a fan force oven, so not sure what was going on there. Anyway, here's a share. Try it and let me know if it's as good as yours!

125g butter
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown but I'm sure white is as good)
3 Tbs golden syrup
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped crystallised ginger (I'm greedy on ginger, so I added a bit more)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sultanas (in ginger cake?! I think not. I omitted these)
1 tsp bi-carb soda (baking soda)
3/4 cup milk (I warmed the milk)

Cream butter, sugar and golden syrup until light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, ginger and mixed spice together. Add sifted dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with beaten eggs.
Stir in ginger, walnuts and sultanas. Dissolve baking soda in the milk and stir into the mixture.
Line a 20cm cake tin with brown paper, followed by baking paper. (I used 3 layers of baking paper).
Pour mixture into tin. Bake at 180c for 35 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with a lovely cup of Tetleys!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Munchkin Slice

I 'took a day off' today from officework to do a little baking. I had my bestie in New Zealand send me an updated copy of the infamous Edmonds Cookbook as my old one was falling to bits. The Edmonds Cookbook is every good cooks bible! It is full of those good wholesome nana foods. The new one has a pile of new recipes as well as the oldies, so I tried a slice that wasn't in my old Edmonds. It's called Munchkin slice and although it's not gluten free, it is chock full of goodness for kids with just a hint of sugary naughtiness to glue it all together.
I also made a ginger cake (for me! mmmmm) but it's still in the oven doing its thing, so I'll share the slice recipe while I'm waiting...
I've gone and got a 'baking' mark on my book already. Not sure if I'm proud that my book has been christened with baking goodness or whether I'm ticked that I messed up a brand new cookbook! The dilemnas of baking!
Anyway, the recipe...

1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
100g butter
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup sultanas (optional)
1 cup pumpkin kernels

In a saucepan, melt together the sugar, butter, apricot jam and golden syrup.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Pour in melted mixture. Mix together. Press firmly into a greased 20x30cm baking tray.
Bake at 180c for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly and cut into bars. Makes 18.

That's it! Took me all of, say, 10 minutes to throw it together and slap it in the oven! Too, too easy. With a little supervision over the stove, even the kids can make this one!
And how healthy is it? This one is a keeper for the school lunch box!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Bestest Brownies Ever

Because I baked GF for Josh yesterday, I *had* to bake 'real' Brownies today for the rest of us!

Here is our family favourite of "to die for" fudgy, nutty, gooey goodness. I definitely see a wii-fit session coming up after a couple of these!!

I have doubled my original recipe as these are gone before cool, so half the mix if it's only for a couple of people. Our family has no idea what moderation is when it comes to brownies!


Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 35-40 mins
Makes: 1 slab - 2o small or 10 large pieces when cut


250g butter
2 cups firmly packed soft brown sugar
250g dark chocolate, broken up into chunks. (I use Lindt 70% but any can be used)
6 eggs
2/3 cup plain flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups walnuts (I often throw in a generous handful more, cos we're greedy that way!)


Preheat oven to 180c. Spray a baking tray (or square cake pan, if halving recipe) with canola spray and line with baking paper.
Place butter, brown sugar and chocolate into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until well combined. (Can also be microwaved, uncovered, for 2-4 minutes on Medium-High/650 J watts/70%, stirring every minute until well combined.)
Remove from heat and beat in the eggs with a wooden spoon.
Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder into the chocolate mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour into the tin and bake for 35-40 mins or until firm or a few crumbs cling to a skewer when it's inserted into the centre. The top should be crackly-hard but the centre will be soft and chewy. Mmmm.

These can be served as a dessert, straight from the oven, cut into larger portions and served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Walnuts can be omitted if you prefer.

Below is the yummy goodness heading out to my Post Office girls to say Thank You for such friendly service!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wheat, Dairy, Egg and Gluten Free Chocolate-Fudge Brownies

This recipe for Chocolate Fudge Brownies contains no egg, wheat, gluten or dairy.
If chocolate is an allergy issue as well, you could try substituting carob for the cocoa.

1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup plain gluten-free flour (Orgran brand)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 tsps of Orgran No Egg mixed with 2 Tbs water, whisked
150 g Nuttelex (margarine)

Preheat oven to 180c. Grease a lamington tray (slab pan) and line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both ends.
Sift flours, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl. Add sugar. Stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. Add eggs and melted Nuttelex to flour mixture. Using a metal spoon, mix until just smooth.
Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with crumbs clinging.
Remove from oven. Allow to cool in pan. Lift from pan. Cut into 12 squares.

Can be made up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
1 cup broken walnuts can also be added to dry ingredients, if desired.

Recipe adapted from superfood ideas magazine sept 2007
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Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Year - New Focus - New Goals

My my my. How neglected is my Foodie Blog?
I've spent more attention and time in my personal blog and sadly procrastinated far too long on this one.
All that is about to change.
Last year was definitely Annus Horribilus in our household. Thanks to the world-wide economy, we thought we were going to have to close down The Gourmet Saint company and become regular 9-5-ers until we spoke to our Accountant.
Basically, we shut down through Christmas and waited it out. Thankfully, Mark has a new, albiet short, contract in Canberra and I hit the New Year hard with some fresh recruitment.

Although The Gourmet Saint Personal Cheffing is still functioning, I spent last year preparing foundations, systems, etc for The Gourmet Saint Hospitality Agency. My goal is to supply temporary, emergency hospitality staff to the Illawarra/Shoalhaven area. Nowra to Helensburgh. I got a couple of jobs over the Christmas/ New Year and have more worked booked for Feb/March. It's looking promising already. With a little cash injection via Mark's contracts, I hope to have it roaring away this time next year!
I'd like to see it self sufficient financially in 12 months. Or I could fall flat on my face. And become a 9-5-er. ugh.

I have thought often of posting my recipes here. I have some favourites, as we all do. But because I had this 'thing' in my head that I wanted to post photos of my recipes as well; I'd find that half-way through a recipe I'd remember the camera, mostly at the end. After the event. So many a recipe was wanted to be blogged but wasn't due to my Pooh Bear Brain.

This year, I have a 'head-list' of recipes I want to make, photograph and blog. I plan to be a little more diligent this year.
Surely I can manage that on top of studies, starting a new business, raising kids, babysitting grandsons, etc!! lol It's all about Time Management. Or so I tell myself as I fall in a heap on the bed each night!!

I am making Brownies this week to give to my Post Office girls to say Thank You for being such a great bunch! That will be this year's first recipe post. It's a super scrummy recipe. I was never a big fan of Brownies but these ones make my gym time totally useless!! Very more-ish. Shockingly disgusting stuff. Well, maybe a slice of heaven! Just dont tell Leigh (gym owner at Beach Bodz Kiama)!

Another goal for this year is to try more Vegetarian/Vegan recipes.
Late last year we had my youngest son, Josh diagnosed for allergies. He is now on a diet without yeast, gluten, sugar, chocolate, dairy and eggs. Pretty much knocks a lot of our 'usual' food out the window for the poor kid. So I am experimenting more with foods he can eat. And funnily enough, I have a new client in Sydney with similar allergies. So what I learn for Josh, I apply to my client.
I'll be sharing a delicious brown rice salad recipe this week that my client passed onto me. Full of nuts and goodness. I eat it by the bowlful for lunch and dont feel guilty at all!

So they are a few of my plans and goals for this year. Let's hope that 2009 is a more financial one than 2008. We've gone six months without any income. Let me tell you, my Accounts file is overflowing with Overdues!! It will be like Manna from Heaven when we get that first pay on Feb 13th!

Till later this week....
Bon Apertit!