Today I replaced the dark chocolate with white chocolate. I reduced the amount of sugar as white chocolate is so much sweeter than dark and I dislike overly sweet cakes.
It is rich and you only need a small slice. The Flavor Bible has a number of suggestions to enhance white chocolate. I served it with fresh mango, pomegranate syrup and some tiny pastry stars with flaked almonds.
Pastry stars are a great way to use up pastry scraps when pie making. Just cut out shapes, brush with egg white or milk and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
In my attempt to rescue the pomegranate syrup I added to much water and it has spread on the plate. I'd love to hear your favourite fruit and white chocolate combination?
200 grams white chocolate, broken into pieces
200 grams unsalted butter, cut into large cubes
180 grams sugar
1 rounded tablespoon plain flour
Preheat oven to 180 celsius. Grease an 8 inch cake tin with a little butter and line base with a circle of baking paper.
Place chocolate and butter into a heat proof bowl and place over simmering water in pot until chocolate and butter melt. Stir to amalgamate.
Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.
Add sugar and mix in. Mixture may separate at his point but it will come back together after eggs are added.
Add eggs one at a time, blending in after each one is added.
Stir in flour.
Pour into prepared cake pan.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius about 25 minutes or until cooked through. It may have a slight wobble in the middle and that is okay. Cake will rise and then sink as it cools. Cool in pan. Then remove and wrap in foil and place in fridge overnight. Remove one hour before serving.
The cake can be eaten immediately if you wish but the texture will be quite soft.
Serve with fruit and nuts to complement flavour.
I have been having major problems with my oven and despite the repairman fixing it last week it still overheats and the top of the cake did burn. The cooking time may vary with your oven.
UPDATE: A reader made this and found it very fatty. She didn't say which brand of chocolate she used. My cake was made with a Lindt white chocolate. Like all food I think quality ingredients ares important for the best results . Although my family liked it I found it too rich for my tastebuds. I also think it is better eaten immediately rather than storing overnight.
What would I do with 6 bottles of pomegranate juice I received from POM Wonderful?
For starters I love to just drink the stuff straight. It has a real tartness in the after taste which I like, Bryan didn't. We also drank it with ice, slice of lemon and topped up with sparkling water. Brys preferred it that way.
I tried it as a jelly, heating it and adding gelatin powder as I could not find any sheets locally. Very tart but I think it would work with something really sweet like a pavlova. Sadly it did not make for a pretty sparkling jelly as it had a rather cloudy appearance.
When I saw Kevin at Closet Cooking had a post on making syrup I thought perfect. It would be ideal for making salad dressings or it could be drizzled on sweet dishes. Unfortunatley I took the heat a little too far and ended up with slightly more than syrup and not quite toffee. Maybe some one can tell me what temperature I should take it to on a candy thermometer to stop it at the syrup stage.
Whilst it was fun to photograph it falling into a glass it is a little to thick to use as a syrup.Kevin's recipe for Pomegranate Syrup
As much as I love this juice it would not become a regular purchase for me as it is made in the US and shipped to Australia. Now if POM could produce a locally made version this good I'd buy it.
Earlier this week a Facebook entry from Jen at use real butter mentioned she would daily post (through to the end of November) something she was thankful for. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in this part of the world but I thought it was a nice idea. I'm posting my thankfulness over at Facebook each day and will also post here until the end of the month.
What are you thankful for today?
This is my final thank you post for this meme. Thank you to everyone who left comments and showed their support. I'm thankful you are all in my life. I ♥ you all.
This thankful post is possibly the most difficult to write. How do you say thank you to the person who has been there for the past 37 years, through thick and the thin, the ups and downs, the good and the bad? How do you put into words how the last 5 years have been made bearable by having that person by your side? How do you say thank you to the one who makes you laugh when it's the last thing you feel like doing, who accepts you for who you are and loves you unconditionally. Thank you Bryan, I love you.
I am thankful for my children Chris and Michael. Being a mother is one of the most challenging and satisfying choices one can make. Teenage boys can cause enormous stress but when they become loving, well rounded young men you realise you did okay at parenting. I am also grateful to Diane and Barb, our AFS host daughters who allow me to be their to be their second Mum.
I am thankful for friends. Old friends, new friends, friends I've known forever, new friends I've met through blogging, forgotten friends who came back into my life 5 years ago to offer their help. For your unconditional love and support I thank you all.
I'm thankful for everyone that fought for both gender and racial equality. There is still a long way to go before we are all considered and treated as equal.... but there has been a huge improvement in what was once acceptable.
I'm thankful for Harry Krinks. Harry died in WW1. He was my Grandmother's first husband. Had he not died, my Grandmother would not have married my grandfather, my mother would not exist and I would not be here.....and you would not be reading this.
I'm thankful for the passion I have for certain things in life. Passions may change as we grow but I'll always be grateful for the knowledge and friends I have made through my passions. How boring life would be without passion.
I'm thankful I can afford to eat what I want when I want. I can only imagine how tough life is for those peope who live in a place of poverty or famine. I've experienced being unable to sleep because I was hungry, but too sick to eat. I knew there would be an end to it and I'd eat normally again. Those that go to bed hungry because they live in poverty or famine don't have that privilige.
I'm thankful for the winemakers of the world. Especially the ones who use their talent to create an idividual wine full of complex tastes and aromas. If wine drinkers only drank quality wine, winemakers wouldn't be forced to produce the cheap commercial wines demanded by supermarkets and liquor chains.
I'm thankful for laughter. When I completed my chemo four months ago I suffered depression. It felt like 80% of my day, every day, was spent in depression. I began to think I'd never feel happy again. Slowly I came through it. Just this week I noticed I was experiencing maybe only 20% of my entire week feeling depressed. And best of all I was laughing again.
DAY 3I'm thankful for all the writers, artisits, musicians, photographers and film directors in the world. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me think. I am grateful for the joy and inspiration they bring to my life.
I'm thankful I walked the Camino de Santiago. Walking 6 hours a day gives you so much time to think and contemplate life. I learnt such a lot about myself and realised it is the people I meet and the joys I experience are the things that are important to me.
Today we are Mingling with Meeta at What's For Lunch, Honey?. She has invited us to share Brunch. When I Brunch I like to start with fruit, followed by a main involving eggs and finally finish with coffee and a little sweetness.
I love mangoes and here in Queensland they grow the best mangoes. We are at the beginning of our mango season. They are around $2 - $3 each but as the season progresses you'll be able to buy a bucket of mangoes for that price.
This dish is a perfect combination of sweet and juicy mango, salty prosciutto, the smooth and tart labneh and the hot chili.
Make your labneh the day before you plan to use it.
GRILLED MANGO WITH PROSCUITTO AND LABNEH
1/2 a mango per person
2 teaspoons sugar per mango half
2 strips of prosciutto per person
Labneh and sweet chili sauce for serving.
Cut the cheeks from mango.
Score each half in a diagonal pattern.
Sprinkle mango half with a spoon of raw sugar.
Caramelise mango by placing cut side down in a fry pan for about 1 minute. Alternatively you could place under the grill or blast with a gas torch.
Serve with thinly sliced prosciutto, labneh and sweet chili sauce.
I'd follow the fruit course with my Sort of Omelette, Maybe A Frittata.
At this time of the year some mini Fruit mince pies would be perfect with coffee or tea.
Persimmon also pairs well with Prosciutto. As it is persimmon season in the Northern Hemisphere you could experiment. I'd love to hear your suggestions for your favourite sweet and savoury pairings
11.00AM 11th NovemberArmistice Day Remembrance Day Veterans Day
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
By John McCrae
The poppy became a symbol of remembrance . It was the only thing that grew on the fields at Flanders. It brought life, hope, colour and reassurance to those still fighting.
I cannot remember the last time I was this grumpy. In the making of this pie every possible thing that could go wrong, went wrong. From the pastry, to the oven, to the photography. I swore, I cursed, I cussed. Everyone that had ever upset me in my entire life copped it today.
Wherever I turn lately I face frustration. The major frustration being the continuing side effects of my recent chemo. But I'm not here today to bitch about cancer or chemo. I'm here to tell you I came close to giving up blogging this week.
Yes, I fell into the trap of losing my focus. I'd forgotten why I started blogging. Suddenly I found myself blogging for an audience. I wanted to be one of the popular bloggers. I wanted to style as beautifully as Helene and Bea. I wanted to write as engagingly as Jamie and as amusingly as David. I wanted to capture scenes as brilliantly as Jen and Keiko. I wanted to be as popular as Clotilde and Pim and Elise and Sam. I wanted, I wanted, I wanted. Stop. Enough already.
That is not why I started blogging. What happened to writing my own little on line diary where my family and friends could check in and see what I was up too? Suddenly I was planning my days around what I would cook and photograph. I was checking the sales in Target for props. I couldn't walk past a second hand store without looking at the napkins and old china. I was accepting freebies from PR companies. (Actually I don't mind the free cookbooks).
If there weren't any comments on my post when I opened my mailbox each morning I would sink into depression. I found myself checking my stats and counting my visitors and how many pages they viewed. Why? What happened to turn me into this needy person needing affirmation in the virtual world of blogging. I get plenty of love and attention from my family and friends. Although I should say some of the most special people in my life, I have met through blogging. I cannot imagine how poor my life would be without them.
Blogging has morphed from personal online diaries to fully fledged media sites. Somehow blogging became a business. There are now so many fantastic blogs out there with beautiful photographs and intelligent writing. Many bloggers are now making a living from their blogs. Blogging has become a way of getting into food writing or scoring a cook book deal. And there is nothing wrong with that. I'm happy for those that have advanced their careers via their blogging. But it isn't why I started blogging. And it isn't what I want out of blogging.
I want to post when I feel like posting. I want to cook what I want to eat not what will photograph well. I want to spend my money on a great bottle of wine to enjoy and not a dozen different plates to use as props. I want to spend more time playing with my camera and taking photos of faces and flowers and less of cakes and cookies. Mostly I want to turn the computer off for part of my day and read a book.
Today I'm sharing my favourite apple pie recipe. I haven't made this in twenty years. It is from a magazine back in the eighties. I can't remember which one. I should warn you though this pastry isn't the easiest to work with.
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1/4 cup custard powder
6 large Granny Smiths apples, peeled,cored and thinly sliced
finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves and nutmeg
1 tablespoon of cornflour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup flaked almonds
To make pastry, beat butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add egg and egg yolk and beat until smooth. Stir in sifted dry ingredients and knead lightly until smooth. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Make filling by placing prepared apples, lemon zest and juice, sugar and spices in a large, heavy saucepan and stirring over high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 - 10 minutes until apples are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then blend in cornflour.
Roll out two thirds of the pastry between two sheets of plastic wrap. Line a lightly buttered 25cm, deep, fluted flan tin with pastry. Fill with cold apple mixture. Roll out remaining pastry and cover the pie. Make several slits in top to allow steam to escape while baking, glaze with beaten egg white and top with flaked almonds. Bake at 220C for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 180C and continue baking a further 50 minutes. Cover pie lightly with foil if pastry is browning too much.
Serve warm or cold with lightly whipped cream.
Nutritionally walnuts are packed full of goodness. Of course adding flour, butter and sugar probably negates all the good they do but these little cookies are rather nice with a coffee.
The pretty pink table runner in this photo was a gift from the lovely Kat at Our Adventures In Japan. Pop over and read about her life in Japan.
85 grams ground walnuts (Pulse walnuts in food processor to grind)
100 grams sugar
150 grams plain flour
130 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 cup icing sugar
Preheat oven to 165C
Place walnuts, sugar, plain flour, butter, vanilla essence in a bowl and mix together.
Place teaspoonfuls of mixture on a tray covered with baking paper. Allow room for spreading.
Bake in oven 15 minutes or until cooked.
Leave on tray for 5 minutes.
Place icing sugar in a wide bowl. Dip warm cookies in icing sugar to cover both sides. Place on cake rack to cool.
Store in airtight container. I place mine in the freezer and remove them as needed. They defrost in a few minutes.