Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lemon and Blueberry Roulade

Lemon and Blueberry Roulade ©
Happy Easter!!!

We are off to my mother in law's place for lunch today and I (of course) offered to bring dessert. I figured we wouldn't need anymore chocolate and instead opted for something a little lighter. While it is more suited to a Springtime Easter, I think it works just fine here. You really can't go wrong with the combination of lemon and blueberry and it just looks so pretty with that swirl of purple.

A roulade or swiss roll is often filled with jam but here I have used a light cheesecake style filling flavoured with lemon and studded with bluberries. Just delightful.

The recipe called for a 23cm x 32cm tin but I have actually never been able to find one. This is despite that size seeming to be the most standard size. Perhaps they are just always sold out. I had to make do with a 20cm x 30cm tin so my sponge is a little thicker than it should be and I added an extra minute to the cooking time.

I hope wherever you are, that you're having a lovely Easter weekend with your families. Don't eat too much chocolate!

Lemon and Blueberry Roulade
Sponge recipe from The Australian Woman's Weekly, filling by me

For the sponge:
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tbs hot milk
3/4 cup self-raising flour, triple sifted
1/4 cup caster sugar extra

For the filling:
125g cream cheese, at room temperature
125ml thickened cream
1 tbs sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed

To make the sponge, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius  /180 degrees fan-forced. Grease and line the base and 2 sides of a 23cm x 32cm swiss roll pan, allowing the paper to extend about 5cm over the sides.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar, continuing to beat until the sugar has dissolved. (You can test this by taking a dab of the meringue and rubbing it between 2 fingers. If there is any graininess continue to beat).

With the beaters running add the egg yolks one at a time, and beat until the mixture is thick and pale, about 10 minutes (mine took far less).

Working quickly, pour the hot milk down the side of bowl, tip in the flour and gently fold them through the egg mixture. Don't over-mix, just make sure there are no pockets of flour left.

Bake the sponge for 8 minutes or until golden brown and just cooked. If the sponge is overcooked it will crack when it is rolled.

Meanwhile, place a clean tea towel on the bench and sprinkle over the extra sugar roughly the same size as the sponge. As soon as a the sponge is cooked, flip in on the the sugared towel and gently peel off the baking paper. Starting on a short edge, turn the tea towel up over the sponge and roll up the sponge and tea towel together. (There is a great post here on Joe Pastry about how to make a swiss roll which includes pictures of this step).

Leave the cake to cool like this for approx 15 minutes, or until ready to fill

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest until smooth then add the cream a little at a time, continuing to beat until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

To assemble, unroll the sponge and spread with the cream cheese mixture, leaving a 1-2cm border around the edges. Sprinkle with the blueberries. Carefully re-roll the sponge taking care not to squish the filling too much. Place seam side down on the serving plate. Chill before serving (I made mine a day ahead and kept in the fridge). Serves 8.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Secret Recipe Club - Chicken Cheesesteaks

Chicken Cheesesteaks ©

Secret Recipe Club time! This month I was given So Tasty So Yummy by Katie, and let me tell you I was really spoilt for choice when it came to picking a recipe. She has some amazing things on there!

Her Sea Salt Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are on my must-bake list for another time, as is Katie's mum's Chocolate Cheesecake (swoon).

But for this month I really wanted an easy dinner to add into our rotation and her Chicken Cheesesteaks fit the bill perfectly.

I've always been intrigued by 'cheesesteaks' and used to imagine it was some sort of cheese that was crumbed and fried (how awesome would that be!). A little research showed it was actually thinly sliced steak covered with melted cheese. Katie has a chicken version on her blog which is much more us as we always have chicken in the freezer.

I made a few minor changes to the recipe, using chicken thighs instead of breast, red capsicum instead of green, red onion and mozzarella instead of provolone.

And the verdict? We LOVED this. So quick and easy and sooo tasty. Perfect for a quick dinner or weekend lunch. I topped ours with homemade dijonnaise (a mixture of mayonnaise and dijon mustard) and it was absolutely delicious! Definitely a keeper.

Chicken Cheesesteaks
Recipe from So Tasty So Yummy

1 tbs olive oil
2 large chicken thigh fillets
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 red capsicum, finely sliced
Worcestershire sauce, a few dashes to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 long white bread rolls
Salt and pepper to taste

Split the rolls and place under the grill for 1-2 minutes to toast.

Thinly slice the chicken (you can freeze the pieces for about 15 minutes first to make this easier). Saute the onion and capsicum in the oil for a few minutes until starting to soften, then add the sliced chicken and cook until the chicken is starting to brown. Add the salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce and cook for another minute or so until the chicken is cooked through.

Place the chicken mixture into each roll, top with mozzarella and grill until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Secret Recipe Club

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Baked Churros with Chili Chocolate Sauce

Baked Churros with Chili Chocolate Sauce ©

Recently we have had a few casual dinners with a group of friends and to make things interesting, we chose  a country's theme for each one and everyone brought their favourite meal to share.

Our Italian dinner was a huge hit with homemade pizzas cooked on the BBQ, a fabulous antipasto platter and a tiramisu cake made by moi.

Our most recent dinner was Mexican theme and it was amazing - chicken burritos, tacos, chili con carne, vegetarian fajitas, nachos. YUM. The only Mexican dessert I could think of was churros but our past adventures in deep frying have not turned out well. But then what should pop up in my google reader but some baked churros from the fabulous Sprinkle Bakes! That, my friends, is destiny.

Heather's recipe is really detailed and has some great tips so I won't post it again here. You will find the recipe on Sprinkle Bakes here.
Baked churros piped ready to bake ©

My notes:

- for fellow Aussies 1/3 cup butter is 80 grams

- Heather said if using butter they would spread more but I found they didn't spread at all. After the first tray I realised that and placed them much closer together, meaning fewer batches were required.

- not sure if we were meant to cool the mixture before piping but I almost burnt my hands trying to pipe these all out

- I doubled the recipe as it had to feed a crowd.

- I couldn't find the exact size piping tip Heather recommended anywhere (mine was 11mm rather than 14mm) so I got about 50 little churros from the double batch!

- I baked them in the afternoon then took them cold to the party. They reheated well in an oven (not a grill) and we rolled them in cinnamon sugar after that.

- I had to almost double the initial baking time to get any colour and crispiness on them

Overall these were fantastic! They tasted amazing, just as good as fried ones though perhaps with slightly less crunch. It made for a pretty special dessert for not that much effort and everyone loved them.

Chili Chocolate Sauce

250grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped
250ml pure cream
1 tbs brown sugar
1 ts chili powder
1 red chili to decorate

Place the cream and the chilli powder in a medium saucepan and heat until just before boiling. Add the sugar and chopped chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped fresh chilli.

Serve warm with the churros and maybe some vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

BWJ - Mocha Chocolate Chips

Mocha Chocolate Chips ©
They may not be the prettiest things but they were pretty tasty!

I made just a 1/4 batch of these Mocha Chocolate Chips because I don't need 4 dozen chocolate anythings hanging around here. I also left out the apricots as that just seemed a little odd.

Most of the batch was frozen and it was great I could eat them straight from the freezer as they didn't go rock hard.

So that's about it! Probably wouldn't make them again but they did disappear pretty quickly which is always a good sign.

Our host this week is Peggy of Galettista and you will find the recipe there.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lime Cheesecake with Gingernut Crust

Lime Cheesecake with Gingernut Crust ©

Happy St Paddy's Day! While I did make this today, the fact that it is actually St Patrick's Day was just a happy coincidence. We were supposed to be having friends over for curry but a burst water pipe (at their place) and 2 screaming kids who missed their nap (at our place) put an end to our dinner plans.

Luckily there was still a cheesecake to be eaten, and cheesecake makes just about anything better!

This is a variation on Dorie Greenspan's Tall and Creamy Cheesecake from Baking: From My Home to Yours. I first made it for Tuesday's with Dorie a few years ago and it has been my go-to cheesecake ever since, with a different flavour each time.

I love the combination of lime and ginger here. While it doesn't have the same zing as my Key Lime Cheesecake which includes a layer of lime curd, when topped with a pillowy cloud of whipped cream this is creamy cheesecake heaven. Enjoy!

Lime Cheesecake with Gingernut Crust

For the cheesecake:
500g (2 boxes) cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cream
2 large eggs
2/3 cup rice malt syrup (or white sugar)
Juice and zest of 2 small limes
1 ts vanilla

For the crust:
1 pack gingernut biscuits
100g melted butter

To decorate:
1 cup whipped cream
Zest of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius / 160 degrees fan-forced. Lightly grease a 20cm springform pan and line the base with baking paper.

To make the crust, place the biscuits in the food processor and blitz until fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until well combined. Bake for approx 10 minutes. It should smell toasty and fragrant. Remove and allow to cool, then wrap the outside of the pan in 2 layers of alfoil.

Reduce oven temperature to 160 degrees celsius / 140 degrees fan-forced.

To make the cheesecake filling, first wipe out the bowl and blade of the food processor (no need to wash it as long as there are no crumbs left). Add the cream cheese and process until smooth. Add the rice malt syrup and process for 1 minute, add the cream and sour cream and process for 1 minute, add the eggs and process for 1 minute, then add the lime juice and zest  and vanilla and process for 3 minutes.

Pour into the prepared base. Place the springform pan into a large roasting dish. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up with sides of the springform pan. It can be safer to do this once the roasting pan is already in the oven.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown and the cheesecake is set with just a slight wobble in the middle. Turn off the oven, prop the door open with a wooden spoon and leave for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, remove the cheesecake from its water bath and place it on a rack to cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Just prior to serving, smooth the whipped cream over the top and sprinkle with lime zest.

Serves 8-10.

Oh and as we ended up having to freeze most of this, I can personally vouch for the fact that this cheesecake tastes AMAZING frozen!

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