Sunday, December 14, 2014

BFFs - Blog Found Friends

I'm not sure if I have coined the phrase Blog Found Friends aka BFFs but it's very appropriate as I have met so many brilliant people through this blog, virtually and in person. 

I'm not going to list you all individually because I know I will leave someone out and I'd feel terrible, but you all know who you are!  

Yes I mean you!

This post is to celebrate one of my BFFs Carly Findlay's personal and blogging birthday & let you know about a giveaway I'm part of on her blog, Tune Into Radio Carly.

Carly and I first connected over my baked bean recipe which she said she enjoyed, so I knew she had good taste and was someone I'd like to get to know.

Since then, I love that our friendship has revolved around talking about great food, indulging at wonderful restaurants and always finding its way back to blogging.

I made this chocolate, lemon and raspberry cake for her birthday dinner. 
Which was celebrated with a lot of friends she had meet through blogging!

Mental note if you do put a skewer in the top of a cake to avoid the raspberries being squashed by the lid,  make sure you ask the staff to remove it before serving! 
(you can see the shadow in the box)

I've donated this baking pack to celebrate her blog's birthday so head on over and enter, you could be making cakes with metal skewers in the top in no time flat! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

In My Kitchen - November 2014

Now that spring has sprung, it is mostly my backyard that is In My Kitchen this month.
In My Kitchen... the promise of future pies, jams, and sauces as the first signs of this year's apple crop develops.
In My Kitchen... the excitement with the possibility of fresh sun kissed strawberries of an afternoon and the reality of knowing that most likely the bloody birds will get to them before I get home!

In My Kitchen... a weird sense of the seasons as I have Brussels sprouts growing!

In My Kitchen... a lovely head of broccoli that was hiding under taller plants, which is maybe why it hadn't sprouted before I had the chance to pick it, which is my normal trick with broccoli.

In My Kitchen...
...Is a green cauliflower just poking through the leaves waiting to grow up to be covered in cheese sauce. We all have dreams!

In My Kitchen... something purple, what a surprise! I think it might be another cauliflower but I've actually forgotten what it is!

In My Kitchen... a hipster's paradise with a tonne of kale!
I just love it and am so proud of my little crop, if there is a world disaster at least I know I could feed myself on kale.
In My Kitchen...
....are some crabs I got from the farmers market. I was thrilled to find seafood this week at the market. While I can normally get the most plump, sweet and juicy mussels ever, I had been missing a variety of seafood. These little darlings found a home dressing some asparagus in a crab sauce.

In My Kitchen... a new home for my cake tins, which is a little fuller now than when the photo was taken.
You can never have too many cake tins right???
In My Kitchen...
....soon to be framed are some Tom Hovey prints from The Great British Bake Off,  just to add to my  Bake Off obsession.

In My Kitchen... the product of my Bake Off  #Lets_get_technical "training".
AB's parents were arriving home from a trip and AB asked, if I was going to the shops, could I pick them up a loaf and some milk.
My response was "how long is the flight?.....2.5 hours? I'll make the bread"
In My Kitchen... the memory of a wonderful night at the Spice Journey wrap party at Maha* with another blogging friend Carly Findlay from Tune into Radio Carly. I still reminisce about the zucchini flowers!
Another highlight was the pumpkin Turkish delight which on the way back to the car AB did announce "You need to learn how to do that pumpkin Turkish delight.....and you could do a steamed custard bun version" ok then!
*not my client
 Carly Findlay, Shane Delia and I.
Shane is the handsome bald bloke, no, the one in the middle, not on the right, easy mistake!
In My Kitchen... a shameless plug and a "note from home" as to why I may not have been as active here of late.
Terminal Three is a Eurovision show I do with Matt and Fraser and we post a new show Sunday nights. You can subscribe at YouTube, completely free of charge!

Thanks to Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting the monthly In My Kitchen, check out the other kitchens

Let's Get Technical Great British Bake Off Series 5 Final Week

The last technical challenge for 2014, what a rollercoaster of raw emotion this journey was....(did I get all the reality TV buzzwords in?) 

I am already in GBBO withdrawals which is why it's taken so long to post this one.
Bring on the next series I can't wait!
Would I be crazy enough to do the technicals again....probably!
Through all the stress of the ridiculous time limits, I have really enjoyed "being forced" to bake things I most likely never would have and in turn gained more skills.

Now just to get every cake recipe tattooed on my arm in case, like this challenge, there aren't any recipes next year!!

And this from a man who knows what he is talking about when it comes to Bake Off!

Let's Get Technical Great British Bake Off Series 5 Patisserie Week

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let's Get Technical Great British Bake Off Series 5 Advanced Dough Week

As I sit and wait to watch the Great British Bake Off Final and see what my last technical challenge will be,  I managed to do a quick recap of advanced dough week.

Yep, I said quick, so that's it for me.....enjoy!

But make sure to tune into twitter @dbtsauce this Sunday at 3pm Melbourne time to witness the last technical challenge....and see if I am crowned the winner of my own competition??

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Let's Get Technical - Great British Bake Off Series 5 Pastry Week

We arrived for pastry week to a pastry no one had heard of and many still can not pronounce, Kouign amann.

The lovely Howard Middleton coined them "Queeny Men" on an Extra Slice and sadly that name has stuck. People have loved the kouign amann so much they have suggested I sell them, but I'm not sure I want to be the face of Queeny Men???

The bakers seemed to have a lot of down time in this technical challenge which is positively unheard of so prone to a little touch of over enthusiasm I decided to complete all of the pastry week's challenges in the 3.5hours!

The challenge was 12 chicken and asparagus pasties, 12 blackberry and custard éclairs, 12 Kouign amann, and hissy fit with a touch of crying....well not too much crying!

This is how the 3.5 hours played out over twitter, you will have to imagine your own bake off soundtrack...

I'm not sure who Lucy is but if you are Lucy and you need to put your shoes on, well this one is for you

Crisis prevented, lucky tweet

This is where I did chuck a little tanty! I'd worked so bloody hard and by missing that 1 tiny step I'd ruined the bake. The good thing that came out of it was that I learnt not to rearrange the oven shelf just so the light is better, the grill tray is to protect the food from the no foil is needed...

A much better batch
I've been experimenting with different flavours, lavender, bacon-maple-pecan and chocolate, what is your favourite flavour combo?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Pot of Carrots Under Every Rainbow...

As I prepare for my normal Saturday morning farmers market run, under the steam of my second cup of ambition, there is a true sense of ambition as to what new discovery will occur today.
Last week I bought the first asparagus of the season and some AMAZING veal chops. I was also lucky enough to be given (yes freebie disclosure) some veal bones to make stock. This is the story behind the veal.
The veal chops just were treated to a quick brown in some butter and 10 minutes in the oven to finish them off, and there simply aren't enough foodie words to describe the tender, sweet, heavenly flavour.
It just goes to strengthen the argument that with the best produces you don't need to put it through 8 different processes, to have it as a gel, foam, a mist or even a soil.
(Oh I just can't wait to try the next deconstructed salted caramel soil, sorry was that too harsh? Maybe I need another cup of ambition?)

With this theory in mind one of my staples purchases at the market are carrots, and yes people carrots aren't just the new orange, they are a rainbow of colour.

This salad can be enjoyed raw, but I opt for a light blanching just to take the raw edge off

Rainbow Carrot Salad
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seed ground (see note)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Salt
  • In a fry pan on medium heat, toast the almonds with the cumin and a pinch of salt, as the almonds heat, their oils will be a glue for the cumin to stick on
  • Using a food processor, slice the carrots into thin slices (do this separately by variety)
  • Blanch 1 variety of carrot for under 1 minute in boiling water, and then transfer into icy water to stop the cooking process.
  • Repeat with remaining varieties.
  • Dry on paper towel (or salad spinner but I'd be worried they'd fly through the slots)
  • For the dressing combine olive oil, lemon juice and honey with a pinch of salt, and shake it baby!
  • Add the carrots to a bowl and coat with the dressing
  • Top with cumin almonds
  • The purple carrots bleed a lot so you want to make sure they are well drained to avoid them staining the others
  • Note: I toast whole cumin seeds and then grind but go with whatever way you prefer
  • I have also added tahini to the dressing and while delicious it makes the salad cloudy and takes away from the brightness of the carrots
  • Also I've used whole almonds as it a worry I don't even follow my recipes??  

I don't have kids, but I think they might like to eat the bright carrot "magic coins", I know I would!
What is your favourite "showcase the produce" meal or ingredient?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let's Get Technical - Great British Bake Off Series 5 European Cake Week

So this week I had to make Mary Berry's Prinsesstårta AKA Swedish Princess cake.

I had said I would not include any spoilers in these posts but I must mention the Eurovision opening to this weeks Bake Off. It was like they had come into my mind and combined my two great loves, Eurovision and baking.

The episode has sparked a flood of rumours that there will be a Great Eurovision Bake Off.

All I'm saying is Belarus you have my me! Have you not seen my buns??

When I watched the episode and saw the cake and time limit, there was a massive amount of fear to this bake. (a little bit of wee came out)

How on earth would I finish this cake in 2 hours and 15 minutes when even Mary's recipe says it takes around 4 hours....
Here is how the bake played out via twitter

I promise it is bad rushed piping that has caused the look of the custard, I do not have lumpy crème pat, not now, not ever!

As if by some baking miracle we have a Princess Cake, now can I have a nap???

After the piping back split with the chocolate, a quick cover up decoration turned the princess into a drag queen...

Like a tabloid scandal the dodgy insides of the Princess are revealed to the world

Defined layers are so last year, it all about the merging this year!
Thankfully the cake has found a home with a group of marathon runners, they can probably spare the calories.