Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lemon Cheesecake

When I first came to Australia, I had no cookbooks (obviously) and I did not have my mother's big baking book. The interwebz was not filled with gorgeous food blogs or recipe sites then as it is now - yes I am showing my age. So I bought this book called The Boiled Egg and Beyond. It was in the weird book box that we got when I was working at the Melbourne Zoo. It had daggy pictures and the recipes showed sandwiches made with gasp plastic white bread. *Face palm*

One of the many gems this book had was Lemon Cheesecake. You can tell it will be an easy recipe if the title is Boiled Egg and Beyond. So here it is - 10years on and I still make it. Look it's in the middle of the week and I present to you Cheesecake.

What you need - 20cm springform tin and patience as you need to leave this overnight in the fridge. You will want to eat this immediately but it needs to be left overnight to set.

250g biscuits - I use ginger snaps but I think these are too hard to crunch up. I have used digestives in the past.
Add a tsp of mixed spice if you have it. If you don't who cares?
Melt 125g butter and process.

Chuck half of the mixture into the tin and press into the bottom. Press the other half with a glass into the sides. Refridgerate this while you are preparing the cream cheese filling.

Cut 375g cream cheese into cubes and get that into your stand mixer or bowl if you have a hand mixer. I used to do this with a hand mixer (Huey's cooking brand!) and it was definitely fine. Start beating the cream cheese which should be at room temperature until soft.

Pour in a can of condensed milk and beat until it is stiffened up. This will take about 3-5 minutes. You can see that the mixture become pale and starts to get thick and stiffer.

Add in juice of 1/3cup lemon juice, 2tsp vanilla essence and 1tsp grated lemon rind. And the cream cheese filling is done!! Leave it in the fridge overnight and it will set. The texture is still soft and creamy. This version of cheesecake does not use gelatine which is fantastic for me. I tried one with the powder gelatine and that stuff stank!

Gearing up for a giveaway

I have been wanting to do this for ages - a blog giveaway. Just because I am so generous ya know what I mean? :)

So I have been on twitter and chatting to @jessvanden from Epheriell Designs for more than a year. This lady dares to dream the dream! Unlike many of us.. well cough me. I still owe Jess an article for her magazine Bespoke. Therefore I will be doing a giveaway by purchasing an item myself for my readers. Jess says she is launching a new range soon. So I am waiting for this to happen and we can go to town on this!

Get commenting about what you would prefer. Earrings? Necklace? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Melbourne Sunset - 17th August 2011

I looked up from my desk and saw the sunset. There was a powdery misty rain and it was gorgeous. Darn the reflection of the office fluorescent lights on the glass!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Costco Melbourne

You know that not only fashion has left you behind. But the latest things that people are talking about - you have no clue. It was like Disneyland, this place that you always wanted to go, you talked about going, you criticise, you plan, you beg others to take you... And more than 2 years on. Not once have I gone to Costco. Ok so in the last 2 years I had been slightly distracted with mmm I dunno either being pregnant of boobie feeding - shall not go into that. Nobody wants to hear about that much less me.

So away we go - this is an epic journey mind you - it's almost a military logistics exercise in my mind. First of all where the heck is Costco again? What? Southern Cross defunct wheel? Where is that? I can never find my way around Docklands and cannot avoid taking the wrong turn. And omg what if the kids have a meltdown? With much excitement we take off and head towards Docklands. This is where it gets sad.. I was so excited to go to a warehouse that sells bulk groceries (plus much more).

The parking said Costco members only and we had not signed up yet. So guess what we did, kept driving and had to go around the warehouse and back in again. AHahhaha... this carpark is worse than Ikea and Doncaster combined in one.

The trolleys were an eye-opener. C'mon you can put two babies in there! Wow wow!! So D went into the trolley seat while I stupidly pushed L in the little pram. Bad move.. it was trolley central and I kept thinking someone would hit him.

Costco definitely needs a leisure round where you do the initial scoping. There were SO many lanes that I did not venture into. I managed to pick up the frozen wanton soup. Why did I not know these existed when I was pregnant! Finish Powerball 112 pack for $28.50! 1litre maple syrup $15, 1.3kg peanut butter $5.69! Oh look, 2kg blocks of butter? Joy this is where I will get all my baking business stock... 1litre cream! Sure thing, I drink this thing for breakfast. Fighting amongst bargain hunting Asian restaurant owners, large families with 6 kids in tow, parents with 2 mega boxes of Huggies nappies under their trolley,... I was overwhelmed. I was melting down! But oh look! Tag Heur for $2800! Yes please, Kaching. After all, I saved a whooping $5 by using my business ABN to sign up.

So my review for Costco is
1) Everyone needs a pallet load of toilet paper
2) Weetbix megabox for $4+ awesome ^^ toilet paper will come in handy
3) You need more electronic goods than you really think, buy buy buy.

Best buys at Costco
1) The yummy bagels - 2x6 pack for $10
2) Finish Powerball when on special
3) Samsung LED TV at $1100 reduced by $200, everywhere else was $1700!
4) Kitchenaid liftbowl mixer $690
5) Amazingly huge tub of peanut butter - my boys are addicted
6) Dozen oysters for $6.90
I am not too sure of price comparisons to Coles/Woolies. But Costco is seriously a Disneyland to me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Baked: Milo Muffins

It is rather exciting this blog post. This is a recipe that I made up by guesstimating and through reading 2 recipes. This is my adaptation of Milo Muffins. This first time I read about Milo Muffins, I thought omgawddd brilliant. I have a tin of Milo just sitting in the cupboard gathering dust. For some reason Mick thought it's awesome to have Milo so he came home with a huge tin. Many moons later, it is still here and nobody drinks it. This recipe is amazingly easy, sift, chop chocolate, break egg, tip in milk and vegetable oil. Stir.. Fill...Bake TADA!!!

So here it goes!

1 and 3/4 cup self raising flour sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder sifted
3/4 cup Milo
1/4 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
pinch salt
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
Dark Chocolate & White chocolate
- I used the blocks from Aldi and chop them up

So a FAIL on my part. I stupidly bought extra lite milk. Who buys this stuff? I do not think that it affected the taste of the muffins. Yes I even tried some and normally I do not eat my cakes.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Dunk in the lovely Milo and make a well in the middle. Break the egg into the well, pour in your milk, oil and pinch of salt. Ready, set, chop your chocolate if you used blocks. If you used chips, just chuck in an amount that you want - resist the urge to go overboard here - and stir. The texture of this was not as thick and stick to the spoon consistency. It was more cake-like. Check the texture and add more self raising flour if needed.

Fill into 12 prepared muffin cases. Bake for 20mins at 180 degrees.
So yummy! Enjoy!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Orange and Almond Cake

There is something about oranges.. No, I promise you my oranges do not have sperm hair gel look going. This is something that I enjoy making but rarely do it. I mean c'mon you gotta plan to cook the oranges and let it cool. No that does not sound like me. Plus the last time I made this, mind you it was years ago, I burnt that bloody cake. That to me means oh no way am I making it again. I do not have many cooking/baking fails. But this cake was a total write off put in bin scenario and I seriously don't like wasting stuff.

Nearly 18months I did not make this. But there is a glut of oranges and thanks to our strong Aussie Dollar, nobody can afford to import them. Oranges are everywhere and incredibly cheap! So I bought two oranges. Yes only two as I have a thing about leaving fresh produce in the house until it's dead.

This is the laziest part of the entire event, boiling the oranges. Put both oranges into a pot of water, make sure that there is enough to cover the oranges. Cook this for 2 hours. The house will smell amazing like you have orange essential oil on a burner. Let the orange cool after draining the water.

Now here is the fun part. Chuck the oranges into a bowl or a blender. I used a stick blender, blend the orangessssss! BLEND!! When the oranges are in a mush, get 1 cup of caster sugar, 3 eggs and BLEND some more... it is very theurapeutic, you can tell I have a stressful job. Now throw in your 2cups of almond meal and 1/2 cup of plain flour. Throw in 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Shift this with your plain flour.

Stir the flour through with a spatula or spoon - whatever floats your boat. You cake mix should smell yummy with the orange oils and rind. Then pour into prepared 20cm (8inch) springform tin. Now all of you will find out that I have a lazy cake tin lining secret. I use aluminium foil as I do not want to cut paper into shape. :P

Bake for 45mins to an hour until the cake is cooked through at 170 degrees celsius. Ta daaaa... Orange and Almond cake.

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