Monday, 30 December 2013

White Chocolate Apple Crumble...and the time I refused to believe 2014 was coming.

Seriously though, where DID 2013 go? It cannot have gone by so quickly. There must be something wrong with the laws of physics at play here. I absolutely POINT BLANK refuse to accept that it is only a matter of hours until we usher in 2014.

But if we must say goodbye to the year that barely begun, I am going to send it off in style. I wave adieu to 2013 with one of my new signature desserts, my take on apple crumble. I'm very very proud of this recipe. The apples are extra cinnamon-y and not too mushy, there's ALOT of crumble, and it's all very more-ish. But the thing that really pulls it together is the little bits of white chocolate nestled in the crumble. The chunks on top caramelize beautifully and give the whole thing a slightly nutty flavour, while the chunks underneath just ooze and meld the tender apples with the buttery topping.

Please try this, do. It's super simple, I promise!

White Chocolate Apple Crumble

~ 4 large granny smith apples; peeled, cored and sliced into small chunks.
~ 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
~ 2 Tbsp brown sugar
~ 1 tsp honey
~1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

~ 1/2 cup butter
~ 1 cup rolled oats, ground fine in a food processor.
~ 1/3 cup sugar
~ 1 cup flour
~ 1/2 cup cashew nuts, chopped up into wee chunks
~ 100g white chocolate, broken up into small chunks as well (you could use white chocolate chips)

You will need an ungreased 8x8 inch baking pan

+ Preheat your oven to 160'C.
+ Mix all the ingredients together for the filling and set aside while you get on with the crumble.
+ In a seperate bowl, rub the butter into the oats, flour and sugar. When it feels like damp sand, mix in the cashew and chocolate chunks.

+ spread your apple filling into the bottom of your baking pan and top with crumble. Like I said, there is ALOT of crumble. This is nice. This is GOOD.
+ Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, periodically turning the pan if it looks like the chocolate chunks are burning too quickly.
+ At the end of 30 minutes, take the pan out and cover it with tin foil. Pierce the top of the foil so that steam from the apples can escape.

+ Turn your oven up to 180'C and bake for a further 20 minutes.
+ Dish up with warm custard, or (my favourite) cold, cold, vanilla ice cream.

And on that sweet note, see you guys in 2014!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Steamed Brocolli with Stir Fried Prawns...and the time I flew home and cooked for mum.

Oh it's so nice to be home. If you can overlook the 30'C heat that is... But the food more than makes up for that. This is totally going to be a recipe for disaster though... Normally I eat carrot sticks and walk an hour a day. That's NOT happening here. :p oh well.. I guess I'll just worry about those few
More kilos when I get back to the bubble. 

For now, here's a quick dish I threw together for my second night here. It was really nice cooking for mum again. We had a nice little dinner for 2 together last night, and I can't wait to have a lot more. 

Steamed Brocolli with Stir-fried prawns. 

- 1 head of Brocolli
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- soya sauce to taste
- 200g prawns, shelled and cleaned
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 inch ginger, roughly grated
- 1 green chilli, cut lengthways
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce,
- 1 tbsp Thai chilli sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp soya sauce
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil

+ cut up the Brocolli into florets and toss with 2/3 of the garlic and a drizzle of soya sauce. Arrange on a plate and drizzle a pinch of salt over. Steam for 4-6 munutes ( depending on how tender you'd like your Brocolli to be)

+ toss the prawns in the corn flour and season with salt and pepper. 

+ add 2 tbsp of veggie oil to a wok. Heat till just starting to smoke, then throw in the sliced shallots, ginger, remaining garlic and green chilli. Fry till fragrant. Add sauces and stir till combined. Add prawns, stir fry till just turning pink. You may need to add some water to loosen up the sauce. 

+ when the prawns are cooked, pour the whole lot over your steamed Brocolli. 

+ serve with hot, white rice. 



Thursday, 5 December 2013

Coconut 'Whipped Cream'...and the time I had hot chocolate weather.

The first snow of the semester came down on our little town about an hour ago. This picture was taken after it stopped, but before that we had big flakes of snow flying all over the place. It was almost like we were in a snow globe.  That's right. We've had our first episode of what I'd like to call Hot chocolate weather. 

Now I like my hot chocolate super dark with whipped cream on top. In Edinburgh I picked up this beauty:

And it is my favourite hot chocolate mix ever. Smooth, dark, and very very rich.

But what about the whipped cream? I didn't have any in the fridge.. So as usual I had to improvise with the stuff that I did have. The 'cream' I came up with isn't quite as thick or fluffy but it produces a nice smooth layer on your hot chocolate that smells faintly of coconut. Dairy free! For our lactose intolerant friends. :) 
It kinda feels like you're drinking a smooth, lighter version of a bounty bar. 
And if you can't find powdered coconut milk, maybe the top layer that forms in the can will work too... I don't know. If anyone does try that, let me know in the comments! :)

Coconut 'Whipped Cream'
- 1 Tbsp coconut milk powder
- 1/2 tsp icing sugar
- 2 tsp hot water

+ Mix everything in a microwaveable cup till smooth then microwave for 10 seconds on high. 
+ Stir again then pour over hot chocolate.