Monday, July 30, 2012

Turkish Bread

Turkish Bread

Everybody needs an easy bread to make. Turkish Pide Bread fits the bill. Traditionally this bread was cooked in clay ovens and you could use a pizza stone if you have one but it is just as easy to use a metal baking tray. 

Equipment required
1 large bowl
1  500 ml measuring jug
Measuring spoons and cups
metal mixing spoon - I used a dessert spoon
Flat baking tray or pizza stone
Bake paper

3 cups of plain flour - For this one I used half whole meal and half white.
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried yeast
350 mls warm water
50 mls olive or sunflower oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds (If you have them)
2 tablespoons olive oil


Mix 2 cups of flour with the sugar, salt and yeast in the large bowl.
Add the warm water and oil.
Beat well for 3 minutes – this is runny.
Add the other cup of flour and beat well for another 2 minutes. This is still a lot wetter than a normal bread mix.
Cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 250° C – if you are using the pizza stone put it in the oven and heat it well. If you are using a metal tray put it in the oven 10 minutes before the bread dough is ready to cook.
Tear off a piece of bake paper the same size as the tray. Scrap the dough out onto it and push it out until it is about a 2 -3 cms (1 inch) thick rectangle or for individual ones use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to make several small rectangles.
Sprinkle with the seeds, oil and grind some salt over it. Then stick your fingers in it all over to make little dents.
Take the hot tray or stone out of the oven and put the dough and paper on it. Put it in the oven, close the door and immeadiately reduce the heat to 200°C and bake until golden and cooked - about 20 minutes.
Remove from the tray immeadiately on taking it out of the oven and place it on a cooling rake, this stops the bottom from going soggy.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge _ Nutmeg Cake

The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, was two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.

I have just got to this challenge. Sort of. I haven't had a go at the Nazook but you can see it on Jason's blog.
I made the nutmeg cake back in April and several times since. The cake is amazing. It has become a family favorite. I did have to fiddle with it a bit to take out the egg.  I have made it with the banana and without the banana and the egg, both times it worked wonderfully.

Armenian Nutmeg Cake

1 large bowl
1 large cup
Measuring spoons/cups
springform pan (9”/23cm)
food processor


1 cup (240 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) bi-carb (baking) soda
2 cups (280 gm/10 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
3 teaspoons  (15 gm) (1/2 oz) baking powder (I used single-acting, because it's aluminum-free, and it turned out fantastic)
1 1/2 cups (300gm) brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup (170 gm/6 oz) butter, preferably unsalted, cubed
1/2 cup  (55 gm/2 oz) walnutor almond or pecan pieces, 
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons (5 to 7 ½ ml) (5 to 8 gm) ground nutmeg - freshly grated is best if you have it
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
1 ripe banana or 1 egg (or both)

1. Preheat your oven to moderate 350°F/175°C/gas mark 4 .
2. Mix the bi- carb (baking soda (not baking powder) into the milk. Set aside.
3. Put the flour, baking powder and the brown sugar into your food processor. Pulse until uniformly mixed.
4. Add the cubed butter. Pulse until you have evenly sized crumbs.
5. Place 2 1/2 cups of the crumbs into the well greased springform (9”/23cm) pan. Press the crumbs evenly over the base and up the sides for 2 or 3 cms (1 inch) using your fingers.
6. Add the banana or egg, spices and vanilla to  the rest of the crumbs in the food processor.
7. Pour in the milk and baking soda mixture. Mix until it is just smooth.
8. Pour the batter over the crust in the springform pan.
9. Gently sprinkle the nut pieces over the batter.
10. Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 30-40 minutes. It's ready when the top is golden brown and a skewer is clean when it comes out.
11. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and then take the springform part off. Leave it on the base until cooled.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Three words friends – BEST BROWNIES EVER!!!
I have been involved in a serious search, a serious long search. At times I have become disheartened and other things have distracted me. Now I can say “Success is mine”. What have I been searching for? Just the secret to long term happiness!
Yes I can say I have found my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Dark brown happy pills - BEST BROWNIES EVER!!!
Quite fittingly they also go with this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog hop, because these are pecan brownies. Nic from Dining with a Stud is the hostess this month

Chocolate Pecan Brownies

2 cups (300 g) Self-raising flour
1/3 cup (40 g) Cocoa  
½ cup (90g) Dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 g) Cinnamon
2/3 cup (100 g) Dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
2/3 cup Pecans chopped
½ cup Nutella or chocolate spread
1 egg beaten
¾ cup (180 ml) Milk
½ cup (125 ml) Sour cream or yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (30ml) brandy or whisky
70g Butter – melted  

Grease and flour or line a 15cm x 25cm baking tin with bake paper.
Preheat the oven to 180 °C
Sift the first 4 ingredients into a large bowl. Add the chocolate and nuts
Place the wet ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and thoroughly combine.
Spoon into the tray and bake for 40 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out slightly sticky but not gooey wet.
Remove from the oven and cool in the tin. If you try to take it out of the tin it will most likely break. If you want to eat it hot and trust me it was amazing hot – Carefully lift it out using the bake paper slice and serve warm with ice cream and/or thick cream and berries. 

For the berries in the photo I put 200 grams of mixed frozen berries, 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a pot and heated it gently until the sugar melted and the berries heated through. Then I turned up the heat until the juices thickened.
the brownie is lovely topped with chocolate ganache.
In a double boiler or metal bowl over a pot melt together 100 grams of dark chocolate, 1 teaspoon of butter and 30 mls of pouring cream. Stir until it is smooth and glossy then pour over the brownie. Place it in the refrigerator and when the chocolate ganache is set slice with a hot knife.

I tend to take several recipes and play with them until I am happy. That is the case here, so if this recipe is exactly like someone else’s that is a coincidence and not deliberate.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chicken Soup

It’s a cold, wet miserable winter day in the Adelaide Hills. Nothing for it but to make chicken soup or to be truthful Vegetable Soup with fried chicken added after I took  The Vegetarians share out.  I had a craving for sweet corn soup with lots of vegetables. Cooks perogative decreed that is what I made.

Chicken Soup
Olive oil
500 grams chicken mince (optional)
1 small onion
2 sticks celery
2 small carrots
1 10 cm piece of broccoli stalk
1 5 cm piece of cauliflower stalk
1 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon garam masala (or curry powder)
¼ cup finely chopped parsley stalks
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander stalks
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 litre of cold water
2 x 410 grams can of creamed corn
1 410 can of corn kernals
1 large clove of garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon vegetable or chicken stock powder
1 tablespoon chopped basil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons parsley leaf
2 tablespoons coriander leaf
2 tablespoons green spring onions


1.      Chop the vegetables into 1 cm pieces.
2.      Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until golden (if you are using the mince). Remove the mince and leave as much of the oil in the pot as possible.
3.      Add the onions and fry until golden then add the chicken, the rest of the vegetables, garam masala, parsley and coriander stalks, ginger and garlic. Reduce the heat.
4.      With the lid on, sweat until the vegetables are soft. Stir regularly.
5.      Add the water, stock powder, basil, lemon juice and soy sauce. Gently bring it back to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper. Simmer for another ten minutes.
6.      If the soup is still a bit chunky mash roughly with a potato masher.
7.      Finely chop the parsley, coriander and green part of the spring onion and stir through the soup just before serving.
8.      If serving to someone with a cold I think toast soldiers are the rule otherwise accompaniments are up to the cook.
9.      Dumplings are nice with any soup. Mix ¾ cup of self raising flour, 1 tablespoon oil, pinch of salt and ½ cup of milk. Drop teaspoonful pieces into the simmering soup. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.