Welcome to my blog...it's very much a work in progress and something I wish I had more time to spend on. Please feel free to post comments and suggestions and if you have a recipe you would like to share then please feel free to email me on realityjules@yahoo.com.au

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rhubarb and Hazelnut torte

My rhubarb has struggled a little this year...not sure why really. It has had really short thick stalks and massive leaves.

I was out pottering in the garden yesterday and picked the 6 stems that were nice and red and really wanted to try some sort of dessert cake with the rhubarb.

I found a recipe and modified it to suit what I had in the cupboard.

Original recipe used almonds instead of hazelnuts and had about twice the amount of rhubarb which I think would have been too much.

Recipe is as follows:

170g butter
170g ground hazelnuts (buy whole and blitz in your food processor, much nicer than bought ground hazelnuts)
170g caster sugar
170g self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
200g rhubarb, cut into small chunks

Preheat your oven to 160degC and line and grease a 20cm round springform cake tin.

Mix dry ingredients, add butter and eggs. Mix well.

Do not add rhubarb to this mix.

Divide mix in half and spread half the mix into the bottom of your tin. Spread rhubarb evenly over the mix, try and keep it from touching the sides of the tin. Spread second half of mix over the top of the rhubarb. It doesn't have to be perfect...the rustic look is in!

Bake for approx 1 hour.

Cake is quite crispy on the outside and so lush and fruity on the inside. Serve warm with a dollop of cream or custard.

Cooking with Nicholas...our first baking experience

Nicholas has a new found passion for cooking, thanks to Mr Downie, his Year 6 teacher.

We have made no bake slices before but last weekend he wanted to bake something.

I decided on an Oat and choc chip slice because its simple, it keeps well and its not too unhealthy. Nick was keen to make this one to take on his first overnight school excursion to Mogo on the NSW south coast.

The recipe for the slice is as follows:

1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup dessicated coconut
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sultanas
1/2 cup choc bits
125g butter, melted
1 egg

Preheat oven to 180degC. Line a slice tin with baking paper.

Measure dry ingredients into bowl, add egg and butter and mix well.

Spoon into tin and press firmly into tin. This will prevent the slice being too crumbly.

Bake for approx 20 mins or until lovely and golden. Cool and slice. Keeps really well in an air tight container.

Quince paste

I bought some quinces on special at Harris Farm last weekend and had no idea really what I should use them for. I have never cooked with them but do love their flavour.

After spending quite some time looking for recipes on all my favourite foodie websites I settled on a quince paste recipe which I then modified to make less time consuming.

Process went like this....

Peel, core and dice 3 large quinces. Add to a pot with 1/2 cup cold water. Simmer for 30mins or until it goes pink and soft. You may need to add a little more water during this process to prevent sticking or burning. I think I added about an extra 100ml or so.

Next step is to blend the quinces to a smooth paste. I just used my stick blender in the same pot. You could of course pour into a food processor, but why make more washing up for yourself.

Then return to heat, add 3 cups of sugar and simmer on a low heat until the sugar is disolved. This took approx 15 to 20mins.

I cheated on the next bit...recipe said simmer on ultra low heat for 3 hours. I started to do this but the mix was catching on the bottom of the saucepan so I decided to pour into a lined slice tin and bake on about 70 degrees C for 3 hours instead.

Once the mix is a gorgeous deep pinky brown, turn oven off and allow to cool in oven. I refrigerated mine for 24 hours then cut into 4cm squares, wrapped in greaseproof paper and put some in the fridge to use this weekend and some in the freezer for later.

The taste is divine and perfect with a sharp vintage cheddar or a good smelly blue.