Make 32-36 cookies
Recipe originated from Sally's Baking Addiction
Make 32-36 cookies
These cookies don't need a long time to bake since they're suppose to be soft. As a rule of thumb, when you think they are done, touch the top of the cookie to see if it is really soft. If so then let them cook for a little while longer.
You're not the only one if you find that quiches with pastry bases are a daunting task. "SOGGY BOTTOMS"
The questions is always whether or not the bottom or middle will be cooked through. The worst thing is to sit down at a table, to tuck into a nice looking quiche packed with great ingredients, only to find that the pastry is completely raw on the bottom. It's not the nicest thing to have to reheat your oven and resume the cooking process- regarding both the patience of your consumers now left waiting, and the confused tart.
Don't get me wrong, pastry is something in itself and it truly makes a quiche, or pie, or tart, what it is. I nice short crust is great! But, sometimes you just want a solid bake with no worrying here or there, certain that it is perfect. I have a good alternative to pastry right here in this post.
A couscous base that only requires you to cover the base of the dish with uncooked couscous.
The couscous doesn't even need pre-cooking! You assemble the rest, cook it until the egg is set at the point it should be, and you can relax about the base, or even the sides because, well, there are no sides to this tart- the egg creates it's own sides. Convenient, eh?
So, give this a go with your quiches next time you can't be bothered pulling together some pastry. This quiche doesn't take the best photos, but it tasted great.
- about 1/2 cup couscous, uncooked
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 100g sour cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- handful fresh dill
- 1 courgette, thinly sliced into rings
- 2 small fillets salmon (or smoked salmon)
- A bunch of spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cheddar
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180ºC Fan-forced, 200ºC, 375 F.
In a pan, drizzle lightly with oil and cook the salmon fillets. Once cooked, pull the meat into chunks and set aside. If you're using smoked salmon, just roughly chop it into pieces.
Sprinkle the base of the dish with couscous about 1/4 inch deep, until covered. Over the couscous, layer the courgettes, salmon and spinach.
In a medium bowl, mix together beaten eggs, pesto, sour cream, parmesan, dill, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Then, pour the egg mixture over the other ingredients in the prepared dish.
Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and place in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until brown on top and egg set.
Once cooked, let rest for 5 mins before cutting and serving.
I love making bread- the proper stuff with yeast and a good deal of kneading. It smells great, looks great, and tastes great- when it works that is! Working with yeast can be difficult sometimes, and patience gets overlooked due to the rising/proving times.
But bread is so comforting.
Whether it be the simple or complex loaf, there are so many variations of bread that exist, and it's pretty much a staple food for probably the majority of people in this world. It can be a simple flour, water, salt mix, but it can be taken to completely new levels with the addition of fruit or vegetables, herbs, nuts/seeds, just sugar, an added egg or milk for richness, it goes on and on!
This bread is traditionally german, and is called a "Hefezopf". Most people have no idea what it is, but basically it's a sweet milk bread, like brioche, which is a name people tend to be more familiar with.
There's a joy in making bread, too, which is an added bonus. Some might find that it becomes a hassle when so much kneading and waiting is required, but to me, that's the good part- putting in some work for the better result, and generally, the more patience and effort that's put into bread making, the better the turn out tends to be!
2 tsp dried yeast
125ml warm milk
1 large egg
450g plain flour, plus extra
75g caster sugar
1/4 tsp fine salt
75g unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil, for greasing
1 egg beaten, for glaze
Warm the milk in the microwave, checking it regularly for warmth. It should be at a temperature where when a finger is dipped into it, there is no sting of heat, but enough to feel a good increase in temperature. If you overheat it, you can wait for it to cool, or you can take out some and readjust using cold milk. This is important for the yeast- too hot and the yeast will be killed, to cold and the yeast won't activate.
Once at the right temperature, dissolve in the yeast. Then, let cool and whisk in the egg.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Then, form a well in the middle and pour in the egg/milk/yeast mixture. Melt the butter partially, and then stir to melt the leftover solids, so that it doesn't cook the egg. Then, add the butter to the bowl. Gradually draw in the flour with a wooden spoon, mixing until a soft dough forms.
On a flat, clean and lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and soft, and pliable. Then, place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover in cling film. Leave in a warm place for 2- 2 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
Put the dough onto a floured surface and knead it gently to knock out the air bubbles. Then, divide into 3 equal pieces. Take each piece and roll it into a log, then continue to roll it out until they are around 30cm in length. Pinch together the tops of the 3 pieces, and tuck the join underneath.
Loosely plait the dough, leaving enough space for it to rise. Once at the end, pinch together and tuck under. Lay this on a tray lined with baking paper, and wrap the braid in cling film. Cover in a tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 190ºC (170 fan forced). Brush the braid with the beaten egg. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Check if it is cooked where the braid meets. If undercooked- cover in foil and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Cool for 15 mins before serving.
Hello Again (: Is it too soon to post another recipe?
As Caera mentioned earlier, we had a group of our friends over for dinner last night and made an assortment of tapas and desserts for everyone to try. We catered to everyones food likes, dislikes and allergies and it turned out very well! One of my favorite dishes we made last night were sweet potato chips.
Currently--I think I can speak for both Caera and I--we have a sweet potato addiction. Let me explain, the Japanese sweet potatoes are much different than the ones you can find in America. The color is a pale yellow whereas the US ones are bright like yams. Their name doesn't do the potato justice because it isn't sweet at all. In fact, it has a much milder taste that is more similar to a normal potato rather than a yam. I have cooked sweet potatoes in a numerous amount of ways like chips, wedge-fries, and just plain baked like a baked potato.
I was amazed that these chips turned out so well. When I tried to make them earlier they weren't crispy and the bottom was burned. I guess you really have to get the temperature right in order for them to be cooked to perfection. Anyways, if you have a break--20 minutes is all you need--then you can make a healthy and delicious snack!
As for the dip, it is basically guacamole without the onions, or whatever goes into guacamole. I personally am not a huge fan of avocados so I ate my chips plain, but according to the crowd they loved it!
2 medium size sweet potatoes
1. Preheat the oven to 200C (~390F)
2. Using a mandolin, thinly slice the sweet potatoes so they look like chips
3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and drizzle olive oil on top
4. Place the sweet potatoes on the tray--do not overlap them--and sprinkle with salt
5. Bake for 15 minutes. Leave them on the tray for a while after they come out then transfer to plate or bowl when they are cool.
2. Juice from 1/2 lime
3. Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a bowl, mash the avocado and add the lime juice
2. Add salt and pepper if needed
3. Dish up and dig in!
Finally, Hannah and I completed a dual cookout!
Friday night; we're all happy that it's the weekend and we're all tired and in need of sleep. SO, Hannah and I decided to drag a group of friends out, at night, to an area pretty much out of the way of them all, to sit and eat our food, and then find their way home again....
Well, I don't think they minded in the end, the food turned out well and we had a good night. Of all the things we made though, we only managed to get a few good pictures of this recipe. (We gave ourselves too much to do!)
These spring rolls are pretty healthy. Nothing is cooked, and it's packed with vegetables and seafood. I know some people find that mint and coriander are too strong to eat fresh, but I really enjoy the freshness that the herbs give. They're easily omitted if that's preferred. PEANUTS- they've got to come in somewhere. Whether it be added to the rolls or in the dipping sauce, they're a must! Unless, of course, you're allergic, or for some odd reason, hate peanuts.
Anyway, these are super fresh and tasty, and great for a cold, healthy meal.
- handful of cooked shrimp
- rice paper
- 1/2 pack thin rice noodles
- 1 cucumber
- 1 carrot
- small pack bean sprouts
- roasted peanuts
- handful of fresh mint
- handful of fresh coriander
- Spring roll dipping sauce (peanut, sweet cherry, etc)
- Sesame seeds
Follow the pack instruction for softening the rice paper rolls- on a plate or flat surface, pour on some water, enough to cover the rice paper sheets, and let soak for a few seconds until just softened. Then, lay out on a dry plate or flat surface.
Assemble the ingredients closer to the bottom edge of the rice paper and in a horizontal line, but not right at the edge. Place some noodles, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, peanuts, and herbs, trying not to overfill. It tends to need less than you think.
Lift the bottom edge until just over the ingredients, then pull in the left and right edges likewise and place shrimp in a row on the unfolded edge. Then, complete the roll, rolling from the bottom-up. Adding the shrimp a step after allows you to see the shrimp on the top of the roll when it's formed, but if you find it easier, add them in with all the other ingredients.
Sprinkle with any leftover herbs and peanuts, and finally sesame seeds.
Dip and enjoy.
"EASY PEASY THAI-NEASY"
It's been too long since my last post thanks to the summer holidays. I was planning on posting quite a lot, but unfortunately, I was in all the wrong places for baking. Now, we're getting the ball rolling again!
I wanted to do do something a little fun, so I played with some colour variations and patterns and decided to do these hypnotic wheels. The original recipe is just chocolate and vanilla, as are these, but it would be cool to play with the flavours too. I would try choc-mint by substituting the vanilla for peppermint oil; choc-orange by substituting with orange oil; you could also try different chocolates. You could even just scratch the chocolate altogether and use caramel, coffee or if you're extremely adventurous- lavender. Adding dye is yet another way to jazz up your cookies. The basic recipe allows for any kind of flavouring that you desire- it's pretty versatile.
I found that I had to add more flour to my dough to get the right consistency, which should be at a point where it holds its shape when formed into a ball and doesn't flatten under it's own weight. It should be workable, so not too wet. My chocolate dough needed the most.
As you'll notice, there is no cocoa powder in the recipe for the chocolate dough. I actually found it to be so much nicer without cocoa powder, and rather the addition of melted chocolate. The richness of the dough was so yum.
All in all, if you get the dough to a nice workable consistency, the rest is easy and the outcome of the cookies is spot on. They're crunchy and rich in flavour! Really good with a cup of milk. :)
Recipe from This Website
Yields around 30
- 1 pack (8 oz) Philadelphia cream cheese
- 3/4 cup (6oz) butter, room temperature (don't melt)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- yellow food dye, or any others is preferred
Beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla essence until well combined.
Sift in the flour and baking soda and mix with a spoon until thoroughly combined. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.
Weigh your dough and divide into 3 equal weighing amounts. Rewrap two of them and place back in the fridge. In a bowl, place the melted chocolate and 1 amount of dough. Using your hands, mix thoroughly until colour is consistent. Then wrap, and refrigerate. Repeat with a second amount of dough adding the yellow food dye until desired colour is reached. Refrigerate that, too.
Take one of the amounts of dough out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the other two amounts and then layer them on top of each other. Trim the edges to make it neat and then, using a rolling pin, lightly flatten the dough out a little more.
Transfer the dough to a large piece of cling film and roll tightly into a log, twisting the ends. With the trimmings, form them together and do the same, forming into a log. They'll be marbled cookie instead!
Place back in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350º F | 180º C | 160º C fan-forced.
Unwrap the log of dough and slice into 1/4 inch thick wheels. Place on a lined baking tray about a cm apart and place in the oven for 15-20 mins, turning the trays around halfway through, or until lightly browned. Let them rest before transferring them to wire racks for a further couple of minutes to cool.