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Monday, November 15, 2010

Biscotti Bonanza.

Anyone who has actually read through the pages of my blog before will know that my mother and I have a somewhat sketchy relationship with the concept of "sharing" the kitchen.

Don't get me wrong, my mother is a fabulous cook. I'm lucky that I have been exposed to many an exotic dish (be them all mushroom free - my mum's allergic...think this kind of allergic...) and palatable delights that extend beyond "bangers and mash" and "toad in the hole".

However, she being the dominant female in the house, she has developed a somewhat...God complex over the kitchen, actually all the rooms in our house to think of it. Anything that goes wrong in her kitchen is not her fault. Anything that goes wrong in any other room is not her fault. Everything that goes wrong in her kitchen and other rooms is your jks it's specifically Ella's fault albeit Ella has never gone into the laundry downstairs but the fact that the washing machine is spewing froth like a rabid turtle MUST mean that I willed it that way. Seriously, I must've been sitting at work in front of the computer willing it to happen. Soz mum won't use my epic jedi mind tricks to fuck up the washing machine ever ever ever again.

"Datz juzz me being Obi lolza! Got paid SoOoOoOo mcuh 4 dat gig! Lyk Georgie Lucas luffed my style nd sence ov flow"

No I'm not just being a teenager...Exhibit A.

*Picture a cool, calm collected Tuesday night, Mum's putting dinner on the table...we're rushing to table...sitting at table...beginning to eat food that is on said table...

"Yum this is delicious!" - Dad
"Om nom nom" - Me
"Mnmnmnmhghg" - Primitive brothers

"Where's the salt?" - Mum
"I don't know, didn't you use it when you were cooking?" - Ella
"Yeah, why'd you move it?"- Mum
"Um, I just walked in the could I have moved it?"- Ella

"Obviously you've put it somewhere; where is it?"- Mum
"Clearly you've used it whilst creating this dish of obvious delectability and have misplaced it in the pantry; would you like me to get up and find it for you?" - Ella

"No just tell me where you put it"- Mum
"I didn't touch it."- Ella

"Yes you did"- Mum
"No I didn't"- Ella

"Stop friggen around Ella WHERE'S THE SALT?"- Mum

"Go to your room." - Mum
*Walks to room carrying delicious meal
*Calls out from room
"Hey mum why'd you put this salt shaker under my pillow?"- Ella

"Don't come out of there until Saturday" - Mum

It was pretty funny because I found the salt shaker in the fridge next to the cordial jug.

Anyway, nuff with the stories.

Mum had a dinner party the other night and decided to give up the God complex for an hour or so and let me make dessert for a bunch of her friends.

This was totally my time to shine. Well, it would've been had I not asked her what she wanted for dessert.

"Oh ma gaaaaaaawwwwd mum I'm going to make the most delicious things ever! How do you feel about chocolate?"
"Machine's broken"
"Lost a part"
"Too big"

"It's a dinner party?"
"I've got half a cow sitting on the barbecue Ella"


So I sat at work contemplating life and dinner parties and mum's fetish for cookies and the sims 3 and then why i was inside and it was so sunny and then cheese boards and then BOOM the ultimate "Oh I ate too much dinner at this party I have no room to appreciate dessert but oh this is little and delicious I'll have a try of this" idea came to mind...


White Chocolate Coated Hazelnut and Cinnamon Biscotti...

If you haven't heard of biscotti before it's a lovely little biscuit that means "twice baked" in Italian. You can pretty much substitute any of the "flavouring" ingredients to suit your taste and you can do savoury and sweet! Try pistachios...cranberries...candy canes (truly)...

I thought, booyah my Mother's cookie fetish cannot possibly resist the deliciousness that is the biscotti.

So I made these four different types of biscotti to be served post dinner party main meal - two types of savoury and two types of sweet - satisfy both cravings.

My idea was to serve the savoury with gourmet cheese (oh ma gaaawd totez buy yourself some Clarins cheese they featured on Masterchef from the dude from Cheese Slices...all due respect man but you must do some chronic bowel workouts from all the cheese you get around...)

and the sweet with little pots of chocolate dipping sauce; we used pots of melted lindt white chocolate and 80% lindt dark chocolate. Om nom nom nom I just wanted to rub it all over my face and my body and then eat myself. What a tasty little biscotti I would be.

I sourced the recipes from four different websites

But I'll just list the most delicious and prettiest and the most photogenic one - Dried Blueberry and Pinenut Biscotti - here so you don't have to keep scrolling...and scrolling...and scrolling...and scrolling....

Dried Blueberry and Pinenut Biscotti adapted from Cafe Lynnylu

Should probs buy a new baking tray...ayyyyyeeeeeee...


2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour (+ any extra for good biscotti consistency)
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup dried blueberries (You can get these from the nutshack at James Street Markets; kinda exy but delicious nonetheless)
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of lemon juice


Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, baking powder, and vanilla until creamy looking. When properly beaten, the egg/sugar mixture will be thick and lemon coloured and drop in a ribbon from the beater.

Lower the mixer speed and add the flour, beating gently until incorporated. Stir in dried blueberries and pine nuts. Dough will be sticky, so coat your hands in flour or lightly dust the "log" to make transferring and shaping a bit easier.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a rough log. Kind of like a giant elephant poo :)
Bake the dough for 25 minutes. With dried fruit and nuts, it may be necessary to bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on pan from 5-25 minutes. I let mine cool about 15 minutes. Lightly brush the dough with water (use a pastry brush or your finger...whatever is accesible/clean) Let stand 5 minutes. Cafe Lynnlu says that this will soften the crust to make slicing easier.

Reduce oven temperature to 150 degrees. Then cut the biscotti on the diagonal into slices of however thick you want your biscotti to be (i like mine thick so they soak up lots of coffee/milk/tea/honey/icecream/delicious fluids) using a serrated knife and straight up and down motions.

Bung the biscotti on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container to preserve their texture. If the biscotti aren't as hard as you like, store uncovered overnight to continue drying. Biscotti can be stored at room temperature for two weeks; for longer storage, wrap airtight and freeze. Yields like...a billion if you slice thinly...not a billion if you slice thickly :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peanut Butter and Boysenberry Jam Bars

"Yeah bro?"
"What's the time bro?"
"Uh, dunno bro."
"Why bro?"
"No watch bro"
"Fuck, bro, how the hell am I supposed to know what to do with this peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"
"Uh, dunno bro"

Well, this whole situation could have been deftly avoided if only "Bro No. 2" was wearing a watch. Then he would've been aware of the time. Then he would've known that at that exact was actually...

And instead of wasting a perfectly edible, nay perfectly frothtactular sandwich on "Bro No. 2's" worthless features, he could have delighted his tastebuds with the timelessly tasty condiment fusion of peanut butter and jelly (jam, work with me Australia...)

Anyway, the point of today's blog is that the other day I felt a stirring digestive tract. The stirring was prompted by the viewing of the previous video...and revisiting prior posts on this blog (here and here) I was reminded of my affection for the nutty fantasticness that is peanut butter.

Now usually I would eat peanut butter on its own. Or with more butter. Actually, adding it with butter has always confused many of my friends.

"Bro, what are you doing?"
"Buttering my sandwich bro, what does it look like I'm doing?"
"Bro, it looks like you're adding an unnecessary condiment to that peanut butter sandwich"
"Well bro I'd say visit your fucking optometrist because that isn't what I'm doing"

"Bro, it certainly looks like that's what you're doing. Do you want to have a coronary or something?"
"Listen, if I'm going to have a coronary I want it to be the result of deliciousness not of something stupid like those dagwood dogs you eat"
"Shut up and make me a vegemite one while you're at it"
*proceeds to make vegemite sandwich for "Bro No. 2"
*reaches for butter to put on vegemite sandwich
"Bro, don't put that shit on my sandwich"


But although butter to me is a perfectly logical accompaniment to a pb sambo...jam has never quite tickled my pickle...wobbled my wibbler...beached my whale...etc.

But, as I browsed the interweb in search of a recipe that would satisfy my cravings for peanut buter I reflected on the video that had inspired my metabolism.

If a banana's excitement could generate over eight million youtube views, then I'm sure he knew what he was dancing about. 

So I found these bad boys on Martha Stewarts webpage...and I was not disappointed.

They don't have the chewability that is brownie don't expect them to be anything like that. They're crumbly, like cheesecake bottom....and melt in your mouth. Use really good quality jam and they'll shatter your taste zones like a seven on the richter scale. I used boysenberry. Purely because it is fun to say boysenberry. Seriously say it now.

Once I ordered boysenberry icecream at an icecream store (reading that I'm thinking where the fuck else would I order a boysenberry icecream...) and couldn't help but burst into laughter because the word is so hilarious to me. Later, while I was enjoying my icecream, someone asked me what flavour and I was forced to dribble the boysenberry icecream out of my mouth because the mere mention of the word sends me into a giggle frenzy.


The recipe calls for them to be cooked for forty minutes...but mine took a wee bit longer than that. It all depends on how deep your pan is really. So make sure you're checking on them on the reg if you've altered the recipe in any way.

I also changed my recipe - I could only find stale cashews and no delicious peanuts so I made a brown sugar butter crumble on top. NOT A FAIL NO REGRETS FUCKING TASTY!

Although one warning I must add...when taking them out of the oven...


If this happens I suggest this thread...Ow I Burnt My Tongue

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - courtesy of Martha Stewart...yet tweaked and twerked by yours truly...


Makes about 3 dozen ( I cut this recipe so it was one third of the mix and it worked just fine )

Bars Themselves

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups boysenberry jam, or other flavours...go against my word...whatever...I don't care...DO IT I DARE YOU BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL I'LL FIND YA BUT!

Sugary Deliciousness on Top
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

1.Heat oven to 175 degrees. Grease a pan with butter, and line the bottom with baking paper. Grease the paper, and coat inside of pan with flour; set aside. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer (oh the prettiness that is a mixmaster...) fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add eggs and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes.

2.Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Add to bowl of mixer on low speed; combine. Add vanilla. Transfer two-thirds of mixture to prepared pan; spread evenly with offset spatula. Using offset spatula, spread jam on top of peanut-butter mixture. Dollop remaining third of peanut-butter mixture on top of jam.

3. In a separate bowl put the chilled butter, the sugar and the flour together. Using your hands (wear gloves if you are a pussy) and smush it all together till it is nice and crumbly. Sprinkle on top of your battery concotion residing in your greasy pan. Mmmmmhmmhmhmhmhmhmhh...

4. Bung him in the oven, bake until golden, about 40-47 and a half minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh the deliciousness.

When I see that the date of my last post is the 9th of August, I feel rather unwell.

Not only have I baked a plethora of goodies in between now (the 2nd of November) and the 9th, I have almost certainly had the time to park my arse and write a sentence or two about them.

But I really haven't. The whole stuck in a rut thing? Yeah yeah, excuses, excuses, excuses. Really I'm just a lazy bitch and can't be bothered to plug my camera into my USB port and press a few buttons. I blame it on my diminished dexterity due to my lack of gaming recently. My full time job restricts me from vital time spent Sim-ming or Mario Karting. Need to do some finger push ups. Maybe some finger sit-ups. Or would these be finger bend ups? Maybe I should just give the finger constantly...see where I am in a week. Write in a story to Marie Claire saying "Oh my god I've never felt so good about myself I am just so awesome!"

Or maybe I should harden the eff up cookie nerd and post something (as quoted by someone quite close to me...vicinity wise not emotionally...he's a prick.)

So allow me to restart me blog with a special post. One with a special person in mind. One with a special taste. For a special something. The special something making you feel somewhat special in your tastebuds.

This poem I am about to offer you that will acquaint you with this special something I am referring to was sourced from the neverending cess pool of "talent" that the internet offers. Bless.

Ode to Rum
Rum, rum
You make me say yum.
I love how you feel
when you hit my tum.
You make me so happy
I just want to drum
and dance and sing
and tell everyone, Come!
Come, come!
Come and drink rum.
Sometimes dear rum
you make me feel dumb
and sometimes I even
fall on my bum,
And I sing out loud
la la la la lum?
Hmmm-I think I've had too much rum.
But don't tell anyone

just keep mum,
because if they took it away
I'd just feel numb.
Oh rum, oh rum,
You make me say yum.

(We can thank one Renee Leverette for that little gem. Golf claps ladies and gents all round for the literary talent and prowess she has shown. I wonder if I should recommend her for the Nobel? I'm she doesn't have a Chinese wife who'd let the cat out of the bag if I did...)

Anyway lemons I suppose by now you can see where this is heading...the special something is rum!

It was my friend's eighteenth birthday not long ago and she has a somewhat minor obsession with rum. When I say minor I mean "so major should be classified as a disorder" and by obsession I mean "Would sell her first-born and her spleen".

Being the accomodating friend I am, I decided to make her a cake that featured rum. Not only was this idea thoughtful, it was considerate, generous, sexy, alluring, tasteful, goddesslike...etc. much like myself, it had an alterior motive.


Once upon a time there were three sisters. Two of these sisters were going to Canada for a bit. So the two sisters threw a party. The other sister got excited. This sister drank half a bottle of rum in one go. This sister then proceeded to pick up the other two sisters' celebratory going away cake, steady it in her two hands, then push the entire thing into her face. The other two sisters laughed and the friend who witnessed the event vowed that whereever there was rum and the cake faced sister...there would be a cake.

Because who the hell doesn't want to see someone put a cake in their face? You'd have to be a fucking serial arsonist not to enjoy that shit.

So I decided upon this cake. It is a cheesecake. I chose cheesecake because it would be the funniest to imagine in her face. All squished and full of cheese. Massive lol potential.

It was delicious. Hot, buttery rum scented deliciousness. My tastebuds frothed endlessly. And my liver didn't even protest! Well he did later that night.

Bear in mind that I added a lot more rum to this recipe...if you don't like the taste then omit it entirely or just bring down the quantities. Or...just add the rum to the cake and not to the caramel sauce. Oh the possibilities are endless queers!

I also used Bundaberg Rum purely for sentimental reasons but I feel that if a higher quality rum was used it would be much more delicious. :)

Oh and if you were wondering what happened when I presented this cake to the friend...she exclaimed "IT SMELLS LIKE A DRINK!" and the darling tried to take a bite out of it and in doing so, smushed it in her face.

Mission fucking complete.

The recipe on epicurious is for multiple cheesecakes but just bung the bastard into one pan and wah-lah you got it!

Recipe in tow...

Hot Buttered Rum Cheesecake with Rum Caramel Sauce (altered slightly)


5 1/2 cups finely ground honey flavoured tiny teddies (you could use any flavour I guess but I like these ones :))
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted


1/2 cup dark rum (BUNDY BRO!)
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces of ricotta cheese
1 1 /2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2 1/2 cups sour cream
7 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preparation for the crust:

Blend ground cookies and both sugars in processor. Add butter and process to blend. Bung ya mix into your pan and press the mix against the bottom and the sides until nicely compacted. You don't want it to be too thick. You need a ratio that = deliciousness :)

For filling:

Position racks in top middle of oven; preheat to 175 degrees celsius.Boil rum in small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 1 minute. Cool.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and ricotta together in large bowl on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed just to blend after each addition, occasionally scraping sides of bowl. Beat in spices, then cream, vanilla, and cooled rum just to blend. Bung ya filling on top of your delcious cookie ness.

Place cheesecakes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until top appears set, puffed, and golden at edges but still move slightly in center when shaken, reversing sheets after 20 minutes, about 40 minutes total. Cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare topping:

Whisk sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl. Divide topping among hot cheesecakes, about 1/4 cup each, spreading to meet edges of crusts. Bake 10 minutes. Run knife around each cake to loosen crust from pan. Chuck him in the refridgerator straight away so it doesn't go all strange and soggy from the heat.

Chill uncovered overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.) Serve with Rum-Caramel Sauce.

Rum Caramel Sauce

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine first 4 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber color, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 10 minutes (time will vary depending on size of pan). Don't burn the bastard it will go deep amber really really quickly and it can burn in between this time. Remove from heat. Pour in cream (mixture will bubble vigorously); stir to blend. Mix in butter, then rum, cinnamon, and vanilla. Cool sauce completely.