Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Honey Joys

These simple sweets are a piece of childhood brought back. Simple, easy to make, and
very yummy!
Honey Joys

90g butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
4 cups Corn Flakes

Preheat an oven to 150°C. Line a tray with 24 paper patty cases. Melt butter, sugar and honey together in a saucepan until frothy. Add corn flakes and mix well. Spoon into patty cases and bake in a slow oven 150°C for 10 minutes.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Miniature pavlovas

Mini Pavlovas

4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk the egg whites until they reach soft peak. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture becomes stiff and glossy. Fold in the vanilla. Place teaspoonsfull on to baking sheets, making an indent in the centre of each meringue - dont worry if they are imperfect - they will smooth out in the baking. Bake for 5 minutes at 180 degrees, then turn the oven down to 120. Continue to bake for 20 minutes. Cool on the tray.

Top with stiffly whipped cream and fresh fruit just before serving.

(the meringues can be kept for a few days in an airtight container)

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Valentines invention: peanut shortbread

My friend Drakey came to visit me, and while here cooked up a storm. Left behind in the wake of the storm was, among other things, a pile of peanuts. I don't usually cook all that much with nuts, but hate things to go to waste. So what to do with them? Time to get inventive. Saturday morning, I got the itch to bake so... peanut shortbread was born.

Peanut shortbread (original recipe by Kiriel)

2 and a half cups of plain flour
250g butter (cold) chopped
100g caster sugar
1 cup of peanuts

Roast the peanuts in a slow oven for 20 minutes. Process in a food processor until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the butter, flour and sugar. Blend until it forms a dough.

Roll out to 5mm and cut out shapes. Cook 10-15 minutes in an oven at 180 degrees until golden.
Option 2: divide the dough in two. Knead food colouring into one half. Roll out on a piece of baking paper to make a rectangle 5mm thick. Roll the other half of the dough to make the same size and shape. Carefully place it on top of the original. Roll the dough just a little to connect the two sheets. Roll the dough up from the long edge to make a long roll. Put in the fridge to cool. Slice in thin slices and then bake for 10-15 minutes in a 180 degree oven.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Sweetcorn & Chilli fritters with guacamole

Sweetcorn & chilli fritters (original recipe by Kiriel)

4 tins of sweetcorn (340g)
3 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
3 small chillis
100ml milk
salt and pepper

Mix flour, eggs, milk and salt and pepper to make a batter.
Add three tins of sweetcorn, and finely chopped chillis. Blend the last tin of sweetcorn and add. Heat a fry pan (I tend to use a non-stick pan & no oil myself). Drop heaped teaspoons of mix into the hot pan, flipping once the bubbles have risen to the surface and burst.
Allow to cool. These can be frozen in ziplock bags and thawed on the day of use. Crisp up in the oven for 3 minutes before use. Top the fritters with the topping within an hour of serving.


3 avocadoes
1 red onion finely chopped
tabasco to taste
lime juice to taste
Salt and Pepper
Coriander leaves to garnish

Combine ingredients. Can be made up to 2 hours in advance - refrigerate, covering surface completely with plastic wrap to prevent discolouration.

Top the sweetcorn fritters with the guacamole, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Parmesan and herb shortbreads

Parmesan and oregano shortbreads
(makes 40)
120g plain flour
2 tsp oregano
90g cold butter diced
120g parmesan cheese, grated

Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse to form a smooth dough. Roll out to .5cm thickness, and stamp out 3cm rounds. Bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Keep in a an airtight container for up to two weeks, or can be frozen for up to a month (defrost and crisp up in the oven).

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Catering fun

The chef at work has gone on holidays for a month, just as my work decided to hold a reception for 60 people. Knowing that I love to cook, my colleague in charge of the function asked if I would be interested in catering it. I leapt at the chance.

So what to cook? Well, here is the final menu:

  • Sweetcorn & chilli fritters topped with guacamole
  • Peking duck tartlets
  • Parmesan shortbreads topped with chevre & olives
  • Smoked chicken and asparagus quichettes
  • Gruyere gougers
  • Ratatouille panniers
  • Brie & Fennel chutney spoons
  • Miniature pavlovas
  • Zabaglione tartlets

Details to come....