Monday, 28 March 2016

Fresh Prawn Rice Paper Rolls

Over the Easter long weekend there are always a few things I can be sure of. Family time is a big must, diets will fail and copious amounts of French cheese and chocolate will be consumed.

After I farewell my family members and I depart a few kilos heavier I always have a craving for fresh and healthier foods that also cater to my taste buds.

Today I am deviating from  my usual baking and sweets and I am going to show you the recipe to a simple but delicious dinner. Fresh prawn rice paper rolls. YUM!

What You Need: (Makes 10-12)
- 350 grams of  peeled cooked cold prawns (Use the ones precooked from your seafood shop)
- 48 leaves of fresh mint
- 12 pieces of chives
- 1 Lebanese cucumber deseeded and julienned
- 5 large pieces of lettuces (cos or icebergs) thinly sliced.
- 2 square cakes of vermicelli rice noodles
- 12 pieces of round rice paper
- 1/3 cup of Hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup of warm water
- A handful of crushed salted and roasted peanuts
- 2-3 finely diced bird's eye chillies

 What To Do:
1. To cook the rice noodles simple place the 2 squares of dried vermicelli in a bowl and fill with freshly boiled water , leave to stand for 12 minutes and then drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
2. Have all the ingredients ready for assembly in front of you
3. To cook the rice paper have a large round bowl of hot (just off from freshly boiled) water
4. Dip the rice paper very quickly into the hot water and place into your bench top ( if it still feels hard don't worry it will soften over time )
5. Place mint leaves about 1 cm from the end closest to you
6. Then place 2 prawns, noodles, lettuces and cucumber
7. Now the trick is to roll it like you would a burrito
8. Start by rolling in the side closest to you , then fold in both ends and roll until you have an inch left
9. Place your stick of chive at the one inch mark and then keep rolling.
10. The finish product should look like an over sized spring roll with the beautiful ingredients inside showing through.
11. Now repeat until you have around 10- 12 rice paper rolls depending on how generous you are with the filling.
12. Now to make the sauce mix the hoisin sauce, warm water, peanuts and chilli together(The chilli is optional so you can choose to add, more, less or none. I however love the strong heat)
13. Once you are done apply to face and bask in your healthy bliss!

* Note: The mint is the star ingredient! 4 leaves may seem like a lot to place in one roll... but trust me it isn't.

* Note: Rice paper and Vermicelli overcooks incredibly easily so make sure you keep an eye on it and try to stick to the cooking time I have advised.


xx Mel

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Buttermilk Scones

When I think of the ultimate satisfying sweet treat there are always a few things that come to mind. Scones smothered in cream and jam, Pavlova with piles of whipped cream with tart passionfruit or a decadent serving of chocolate mousse.

What do all these treats have in common? They all contain generous amounts of fat (cream) and sugar. Something my biology background has taught me is that it is human nature to love and crave fat and sugar. When food was hard to come by it was important for people to want to eat fat and sugar so when they do come across it they would eat as much as they can. What was the point of me telling you all this ?? After all this isn't a biology lesson... well what i'm trying to say is... don't fight the cravings just eat what you like in moderation.

Today i'm going to make scones it's something I constantly crave!

What You Need:
- 1 3/4 cup of self raising flour
- 1 Tablespoon of caster sugar
- 55 grams of butter
- 3/4 cup of butter milk
- Jam or golden syrup
- Double cream

What To Do:
1.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
2.  Mix the flour and sugar together
3.  Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs
4.  Now mix in the buttermilk until it is well combined
5.  Knead the dough a little until smooth
6.  Flatten out the dough until it is around 2 inches high
7.  Use a fluted round cutter (around 5 cm) to cut out some scones
8.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes
9.  (In this recipe I egg washed the top of the scone for colour but I think I actually prefer it without)
10. Once the scones have cooled slightly generously coat them in double cream and jam

* I saw Nigella Lawson do this and it's one of my new favourite ways to eat it. Load on cream and golden syrup then apply to face! amazing...


xx Mel

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Apple & Blueberry Anzac Crumble

Every year when it comes time for Anzac Day I get my baking bug and I just make mountains of Anzac cookies. I once asked someone if I could make Anzac cookies at other times of the year and they said "Of course! They sell Anzac cookies all year round at the supermarket". I however have always felt a little weird baking Anzac cookies when it isn't Anzac day. Luckily I found a way to incorporate the taste of Anzac cookies into everyday cooking!

I make an apple and blueberry crumble where the crumble is an Anzac cookie mixture and can I just say .... YUM. The crumble on top gets slightly chewy and crispy and it contrasts perfectly with the slightly tart and sweet flavour of the apple and blueberries.

What You Need:

Fruit Base:
- 3 Granny Smith apples
- 1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 2 Pinches of cinnamon
- Juice of half a lime
- 3 teaspoons of water

Crumble Mixture:
- 60 grams of melted unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar (lightly packed)
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup of self raising flour
- 2 teaspoons of golden syrup
- 2 pinches of salt
- 1/4 cup of flaked almonds

What To Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees
2. Peel, core and cut each apple into wedges of 12
3. In a large frying pan cook the apple until each piece is slightly golden
4. Add in the rest of the fruit base ingredients into the frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Pour the fruit mixture into a pie tin and set aside
6. Combine all the crumble mixture ingredients (except almonds) into a bowl and mix until well combined
7. Pour the crumble mixture over the fruit base and then sprinkle the top generously with the almonds
8. Bake for 12 minutes until the top is golden
9. Dust with icing sugar to complete and serve with vanilla ice cream.


xx Mel

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Salty & Sweet Caramel Slice

Salty and sweet has been on ongoing trend and luckily for everyone there is no end in sight! Whoever started it I would love to hug, kiss and throw beautifully scented rose petals at because I LOVE it! There is one recipe that I turn to when I have that salty sweet craving and that would be my delicious salty and sweet caramel slice.

It has a delicious chewy biscuit base that reminds me of a freshly baked Anzac cookie, a delicious caramel center with a hint of salt and an amazing crunchy chocolate top which consists of salty crushed pretzels and melted picnic chocolate.

Here it is!! Give this a go and you won't regret it!

What You Need: 

Biscuit Base:
- 2/3 cup & 1 tablespoon of Self Raising flour
- 2/3 cup & 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup & 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 90 grams of melted unsalted butter

- 50 grams of unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons of golden syrup
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 small pinch of salt

Chocolate Top:
- 200 grams of chocolate ( 50 grams of Dark chocolate (70%) & 150 grams of Picnic Milk chocolate)
- 1/4 cup of crushed Pretzels
- 1/8 teaspoon of Salt

* If you can't find the picnic chocolate block (not bar) you can add 120 grams of Milk chocolate mixed with 30 grams of salted peanuts and rice bubbles.

What To Do:

Biscuit Base:
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together
3. Mix in the melted butter until well combined
4. Spread into a lined 8-9 inch square pan
5. Bake for 15 minutes until golden

1. Place the butter and golden syrup into a large pan and heat until it starts to bubble
2. Once the butter and golden syrup bubbles add in the can of condensed milk and salt
3. Stir constantly and scrap the sides down constantly until it thickens ( around 5 minutes)
4. Once it has thickened pour the caramel onto the biscuit base and spread.
5. Then return to the oven for 10 minutes until golden

Chocolate top:
1. Place the chocolate into a microwave proof dish and heat for 1 minute
2. Stir until all the chocolate has melted
3. Add in the pretzel and salt  and stir to combine
4. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the caramel
5. Spread the chocolate around so that it covers the surface of the caramel
6. Place into the fridge to cool and harden
7. Once it has harden and cooled cut into triangles or squares to share!

A delicious mess

Enjoy with a sexy little Piccolo 

Enjoy !!

xx Mel