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A Few of My Favourite Things!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Please Update your Link!

I have moved to a new home!
You'll be redirected automatically in a moment (thanks again to Matt!) but please remember to update your links: http://myfavouritefoods.com/

Friday, October 13, 2006


Well, it's been some time since my last post but I have just been flat-out with work. But enough of that because I leave for Malaysia tonight! Hopefully there will be lots of this (minus the wine glasses):

In other exciting news, I'm moving! There is no way that I could have done this on my own but I was fortunate enough to have had heaps of technical help from Matt. Amongst other things, he has patiently answered what must seem to be some very basic questions to him for me and also scanned through my posts for those errant div tags. It always surprises me in a very pleasant way when bloggers whom I've only met online are willing to spend their time giving a hand, whether it's with something like this or with recommendations/tips or exchanging of food parcels. So, a big THANK YOU to Matt.

Please update your links and bookmarks and visit me at my new home. See you soon!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wattleseed Pecan-Crumble Espresso Cupcakes

I had recently come across some wattleseed at my not-so-local supermarket. This bushfood which is harvested as a seed from a plant member of the Acacia species, was originally used by Australian Aboriginines as a valuable, nutritious food source. They ate it raw, dried or incorporated it into their baking. Roasted and ground, wattleseed has a nutty flavour with coffee undertones.

As I don't often come across native foods, unless it's sold as a speciality item at markets, I wanted to make something with it. I decided on cupcakes and wanted to pair it somehow with pecans because I think the flavours match really well. In the end, I made a pecan crumble to sprinkle on top and for the surprise part, I would fill the cupcakes with an espresso frosting to enhance the coffee flavour.

I used a basic cupcake recipe from Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess and added about 2 tablespoons of this native spice. Chopped up pecans mixed with some raw sugar on top then into the oven they went. Once cooled, I made an espresso then used it to mix some icing sugar into a paste. This went into a piping bag with a sharp nozzle and was piped in through the base of the cupcakes. This is not a particularly fluffy cupcake so it took some effort to get the icing in. If you look carefully at the photo, you will see that I didn't end up with much of the frosting inside but this turned out quite well because it wasn't overly sweet.

These babies were really good. An unusual flavour that reminds you of coffee but not quite as strong as coffee/espresso cupcakes. Can anyone enlighten me on why my cupcakes have a little hump in the centre though? I've never had this happen before.

Head over to Alanna's for all the surprises in month's Sugar High Friday round-up!

Wattleseed Pecan-Crumble Espresso Cupcakes

125g SR flour, 125g butter, 125g sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tablespoons wattleseed, 2-3 tablespoons milk. Crumble: chopped pecans and a sprinkle of raw sugar. Frosting: Espresso and icing sugar

  1. Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla extract
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix.
  3. Add milk to form a batter with a 'soft dropping' consistency
  4. Spoon into muffin tin, sprinkle pecan/sugar mixture on top and bake at 200C for 20 minutes.
  5. Mix the espresso and icing sugar into smooth paste and pipe into middle of cupcakes through base

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Spring Steak Sandwich

Spring has sprung here in the southern hemisphere and the weather in Melbourne this week has been especially lovely. Sunny blue skies and warm breezes beckon our pale, warmly bundled bodies to spend more time outdoors enjoying the blossoming trees and green grass. Ah, I love spring...

Of course, the change in season also signals a change in the type of food that we want to eat. Our favourite foods in the last couple of weeks have leaned more towards picnic fare.

Slashfood's Sandwich Day is giving us yet another opportunity to indulge in this spring fancy of ours, allowing us to celebrate the humble sandwich. We choose to use rib-eye steak rounds (upon recommendation of the butcher) sand a cute little ciabatta roll, both from Queen Victoria Market, spreading the lightly toasted roll with Olio Bello's tomato jam and serving it with tomato and lettuce.

We sat with the balcony door flung wide open (if you can fling a sliding door!) and had this sandwich with a side serve of salt & vinegar chips. Finally, wash it all down with an Asahi.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blog Party #14: Kid's Party

The only kids running around our place are our two darlings. Well, sometimes A & I behave like kids too so I figured that we could legitimately join the Kid's Party that Stephanie is hosting for Blog Party #14. The idea is to create cocktail foods, by which Stephanie has described as finger foods, dippers or mini meals. I guess this would count as finger food as this wouldn't make a meal for anyone whatever size it came in.

I've been waiting for an opportunity to use my new cookie cutters and what better way than to create puff patry animals that kids would love. After cutting out the shapes, I sprinkled smoked paprika and grated gruyere over the top before baking. Very moreish even just by themselves but if I had to suggest a drink to accompany these little bites, can I suggest something we made as kids? Cold lemonade with fresh cherries bobbing on top!

I suppose I should call them Puff Pastry Animals & Boys but as boys can sometimes be little animals too, I've just lumped them together. Is that bad? ;-)

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

HHDD #5: Alsation Onion Tart

Our friends, P & S, who moved to Australia from Strasbourg about 2 years ago recently returned home. But before they left, S gave me her mother-in-law's recipe for making tarts. The recipe for the pastry listed 250g flour, 125g margarine, 1 egg and in a post script, S instructed me to add some sugar if I wanted a 'sweety pie' instead!

Tami announced that this 'Hey Hey It's Donna Day' theme as savoury tarts, I rummaged through my folders to pull out the handwritten sheets. I also remembered the Alsatian onion tarts that we enjoyed on our trip to Strasbourg, so it didn't take long to decide what filling to make. Caramelised onions, bacon, creme fraiche with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

We brought this along yesterday when we went for a drive through the Pyrenees region - mmmm, perfect picnic food!

WCB 67: The Queen is Served...

Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted by Amar at Cat Synth this week.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Celebrity Splogger?

Ed and Matt have (separately) written about a certain, self-claimed 'celebrity' chef who has sent unsolicited emails to many of us. Have a read here and here - what are your thoughts on this? Did you recognise it for what it was immediately? Maybe I'm just a little naive but I really thought he was being friendly in letting me know about his articles but there was just this niggly little feeling that this wasn't going to form into the usual blogger friendship...anyway, have a look at the more articulate ramblings of these guys ;-)