Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Such a pretty outdoor setting & terrace fireplace for those chilly Kiwi evenings.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
VANILLA YO-YO's (My absolute favourite cookie recipe of all time!)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
600 mls. pouring cream
300 mls. full cream milk
6 egg yolks
150 gm. castor sugar
Combine vanilla pod and seeds, cream and milk in a heavy-based saucepan and bring just to the boil over medium heat.
Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until very thick and pale.
Pour hot cream mixture over egg mixture, whisking continuously to combine, then transfer to a clean pan.
Cook, stirring continuously, over low-med-ium heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Strain into a bowl placed over ice and cool completely.
Variations on basic custard
For chocolate custard: leave out vanilla and add 200gm finely chopped dark chocolate to the mixture just before straining, mixing well to melt and combine.
For honey custard: substitute the sugar with 150gm honey.
For passionfruit custard: add 2/3 cup passionfruit pulp to cooled custard mixture.
For strawberry custard: add 2/3 cup strawberry purée and 1 tsp lemon juice to cooled custard mixture.
To make ice-cream using the basic custard recipe: freeze the cooled custard mixture in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
To make a trifle, coarsely crush some strawberries, a little sugar and a liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, together using a fork. Layer in a large bowl, top with some coarsely crumbled sponge cake (soaked in liqueur) and vanilla custard.
3 cups self-raising flour (cake flour) sifted, plus additional for dusting the pan
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups white sugar
7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
1 cup heavy cream
Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a handheld mixer.
Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to eliminate air bubbles.
Cooks' note: Cake keeps, covered well with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, at room temperature 5 days.
Ingredients for the tart shell
1 1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
110gm. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
Ingredients for the custard filling
1/2 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 whole large egg
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
a 9 1/2-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep) with a removable bottom; pie weights or dried beans; a small blowtorch
Method for tart shell
Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl (or pulse in a food processor).
Gently squeeze a small handful of dough - if it doesn’t hold together, add water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) after each addition. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 portions.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round.
Lightly prick bottom of shell all over with a fork, then line with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights.
Carefully remove weights and parchment and bake shell until golden, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Remove tart shell from oven and reduce temperature to 300°F.
Method for filling
While shell bakes, split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into a heavy medium saucepan with tip of a paring knife.
Whisk together yolks, whole egg, 6 tablespoons of sugar and salt in a large measuring jug, then whisk into cream mixture until smooth.
Put tart shell (in pan) into a shallow 4-sided baking tray, a lamington tray is fine.
Vanilla Rice with Raspberries & Cream (MOTH said he'd have to leave the room when I ate this, my ohs & ahs would deafen him!)
1 1/2 litres full cream milk
1 vanilla bean
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup cream
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (made by scraping the seeds of a vanilla bean into the caster sugar)
Stir the milk, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan over a low flame and gently bring to the boil.
THE MELISSA LEO (Saved the best for last!)
Inspired by the no-nonsense characters Ms. Leo has played in her career, this cocktail includes equal parts orange juice and aquavit—a union of sweet citrus and herbaceous spirit—rounded out by orange liqueur, lime juice and a bit of vanilla extract. The crushed ice is an acknowledgement to her Oscar-nominated role in Frozen River.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Millie (A very passionate & parochial local - all fired up & hot under the collar!)
Apple Tree Cottage at Oakbank for a wonderful stay in a stylish country cottage
Cladich Pavillions at Aldgate for a striking modern Aussie experience & all fully self-contained
Henry's at Basket Range - life in an apple orchard, the house is all yours
Panoramic vistas of glorious countryside dotted with our amazing cold climate vineyards
and more vineyards
A meander down back country roads dotted with lush green dairy properties
And a picnic high on the hill overlooking Apple Tree Cottage
A round of golf at Mt. Lofty - but you may need to step around the wildlife on the Course
Lunch on the deck of one of Australia's most acclaimed (& my favourite!) restaurants Bridgewater Mill at Bridgewater is an absolute must
Or dine inside & experience impeccable service in elegant surrounds
Mr. Gorgeous Himself aka Chef Le Tu Thai conjures up magical dishes using local Adelaide Hills produce
And of course all enjoyed with a bottle or three of the restaurant's flagship Petaluma white
A long leisurely lunch at The Lane Vineyard Restaurant at Hahndorf is a must
But do enjoy a glass of Helen & John Edward' s fabulous wine in the tasting area before moving into the snazzy dining room
The restaurant's elevated setting let's you take in the the stunning views of The Lane's vineyards while enjoying your meal
And what about rounding off the day with a pint at my local Pub The Stirling Hotel just around the corner from Casa Millie de MOTH
And of course, dinner back at the Pub in the evening to enjoy the great food in MOTH's favourite eatery, the Mallee Room Grill
A relaxing lunch the next day on the verandah at the Norton Summit Hotel And a late afternoon glass in the sun of one of my favourite Savvy Blanc's at Shaw & Smith Wander over to see Kris at Woodside Cheese who produces wonderful artisanal cheeses like this
And a slight diversion over to the little village of Summertown to pick up some yummy chocolates from Just Bliss
I could a full week of posts on the many fantastic attractions of my Adelaide Hills. All contained within a compact 70 kilometre area, & only a 30 minute drive from the Adelaide Airport - I hope to see you all really soon!!! Oh & to the SATC & AHRDB - GET CRACKING the clock's ticking!!!!