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Topics - asha_76

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Unfortunately I didn't take a pic but we made this for an Easter dessert and it was a huge hit.  Our pastry needed 30g more butter to make it moist enough to work with and we had trouble rolling it out so we just pushed it out in to the tin as you would a crust and it worked fine.  The Filling was easy to make and worked well.  We had to have two goes at making the butter crunch praline topping as we burnt the first batch due to a faulty sugar thermometer.  The second batch worked beautifully.  This dessert was yum and the butter praline really gave it something special.  I'd highly recommend it and I'd definitely make it again.  Everyone loved it and it went really well with vanilla ice-cream.
Linked CC

Here's a quick review of Risotto Al Salmone in A Seafood Bounty.

I just used liquid Vegetable Stock instead of stock cubes/concentrate.

I found my risotto was still very watery after 15 minutes so I gave it an extra couple of minutes which made a difference.

I didn't add my smoked salmon pieces whilst cooking as I knew they were likely to get overcooked so I just stirred them through the cooked risotto at the end.  This worked well.

Whilst the risotto technically worked well, it was very bland.  The kids ate it but hubby and I found it lacking in definitely needed some garlic.

Seeing as there are so many other great risotto recipes out there I wouldn't bother making this one again.  I'd give it a 2.5/5.
Linked CC

Made this for dinner last week.  The recipe says you can use butter or olive oil so I went with olive oil.  It doesn't actually tell you what to do with the smoked salmon but based on the picture on P53, we determined that you just stir it through the cooked pasta before serving.

The dish worked really well however we all thought it was slightly lacking something.  I would make it again but perhaps add garlic or use garlic olive oil and see how that goes.


Linked JD

This was the first dish I made out of this free e-book.  

Whilst the recipe technically works quite well I found the meat stews rather than stir-frys.  While the beef did remain quite tender, it was not a nice dish to eat and lacked the flavour of normal stir-frys.  Unfortunately no-one in the family was a fan of this one and one of my kids wouldn't touch it at all (which is very unlike him) so it is not a dish I'd be making again.

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I'd be interested to know if anyone else has had any success with recipes from this book?  This is the second one I've tried that I've had disappointing results with.

I attempted the Lemon Chicken & Broccoli Penne last week and I hate to say this but it was totally inedible.

The recipe doesn't specify what type of chicken to use so I used cut up thigh fillets.

Technically the recipe works in that everything is cooked in the amount of time specified but there was just way too much lemon.  I desperately tried to save it by adding additional cream to the ricotta cheese sauce and then even went for garlic-infused olive oil and sesame oil but there was no saving it - it tasted horrible and no-one in the family would eat a second mouthful (including my 23 month old son with a huge appetite)!

Not sure if I did something wrong but unfortunately we had to throw it all out and for this reason I'd have to give it a 0/5.
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Just thought I would add a review for Tenina's Rich Choccie Ice-Cream in For Food's Sake.

I followed this recipe up to Step 4 and then cheated and churned it in my ice cream maker.

I had some leftover Berry Coulis and toasted blanched almonds so churned those through towards the end as mix-ins.

I was initially a bit dubious about this recipe as the custard base is a bit different to most conventional ice cream recipes by using whole eggs instead of just the yolks.  However it turns out I didn't need to worry as the ice cream churned up beautifully!

The texture was a little different to many of the ice creams I have made but in a good way.  It was softer, perhaps a bit more like a Gelato.  The flavour was amazing and everyone in our household loved it.  I'd definitely make this one again...5/5 from me!

Linked JD

Thought I would post a quick review on the Frozen Mojito Cheesecake on Page 11 which I made for New Year's Eve celebrations.

The recipe just specifies to use a large springform tin so I used a 23cm one.  This is ok but the base ends up being quite thin and the filling only goes up the sides of the tin about half way.  So it ends up being quite a low flat cheesecake.  If you want something higher then obviously you'd use a smaller tin and have a thicker base as well.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before this was devoured but taste and texture wise it was lovely.  The only thing I'd change is the biscuits used in the base.  I thought the Granitas were a bit plain but then maybe that's because there's so much flavour in the filling?  I think I'd try Ginger biscuits next time and see how they go.

But overall a really lovely cheesecake.  One of the things I liked most about it is that unlike some other cheesecakes it is very light but it still has lots of flavour.  

4/5 from me.

Linked JD


Bread / Sticky Chocolate, Maple and Walnut Swirls
« on: September 04, 2013, 05:36:08 am »
Hi all,

Here is a recipe I converted from one of my recipe books titled 'Chocolate'.  It's in the Rich Cakes and Gateaux chapter but I think it is more of a bread.  It worked really well in the TM and was very popular at our place.


Serves 12

450g strong white flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
50g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
50g caster sugar
1 sachet dried yeast
1 egg yolk
120ml water
60ml milk
45ml maple syrup, to finish

40g unsalted butter, melted
50g brown sugar
175g dark chocolate chips
75g chopped walnuts

1.  Grease a deep 23cm springform cake tin.
2.  Put flour, cinnamon and unsalted butter in TM bowl and mix for 10 seconds on Speed 6.
3.  Add caster sugar, yeast, egg yolk, water and milk and mix for 6 seconds on Speed 7.
4.  Set dial to closed lid position and knead for 2 to 3 minutes on Interval setting.
5.  Place dough on a lightly floured surface and then roll out to a rectangle measuring about 40 x 30 cm.
6.  For the filling, brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar, chocolate chips and nuts.  (I melted butter in the microwave whilst dough was kneading and then chopped walnuts in the TM bowl by pressing the Turbo button a couple of times after removing the dough).
7.  Roll up the dough from one long side like a Swiss roll, then cut into 12 thick even-size slices.
8.  Pack slices close together in the tin, cut sides up and cover and leave in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, until well risen and springy.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°.
9.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.  Brush with maple syrup while still warm.  Pull swirls apart to serve.

The original recipe says to have the oven at 220°.  My oven is super efficient so I only cooked them on 200° but even then they were done after just 22 minutes and were very slightly overcooked.  I wouldn't think you would need to go any higher than 200° even with a slower oven.

Hi all,

I made these last night to go with the Lamb Korma from MOTM.  They were very easy to make and I got 25 pieces from my dough.

Surprisingly my local Asian grocer didn't stock Atta Flour but I managed to pick up some at Woolworths.  It is the one with Jimmy from Masterchef (a few seasons ago) on the front.

I cooked mine in the frypan and just like the first pancake is usually a bit of a flop so was the first piece of bread.  Obviously the pan wasn't hot enough so it didn't puff up or do much.  The next couple were slightly better but by the time I got to the fourth piece onward they were fine.  I'd recommend heating the pan for about 10 minutes before starting to cook if you can.

Overall I was very happy with these, they worked much better than I had expected and everyone liked them and enjoyed dipping them into their curry.

5/5 from me!

Desserts / Chocolate & Vanilla Pots
« on: July 22, 2013, 06:22:03 am »
Hi everyone,

Here is a recipe I converted from an old Australian House & Garden Magazine on the weekend as I had some cream to use up.  It worked really well so I thought I would share it here -

Chocolate & Vanilla Pots

Number of People: 4

300ml cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (original recipe uses 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped)
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons Frangelico (or brandy, Cointreau, Kahlua or Amaretto - I used Amaretto)
20g butter

1.  Put cream and vanilla paste in TM jug and heat for 3 1/2 minutes on 90° Speed 1 (or until temp reaches 90°)
2.  Leave bowl sit until temperature gets back down to 50°.  Then add chocolate and melt for 2 minutes on 50° Speed 3.
3.  Once bowl temp is back at 37° or below, add the egg yolks and liqueur of choice and mix for 1 minute on Speed 1.
4.  Add the butter and stir for 2 minutes on Speed 1 or until the butter is melted.
5.  Pour custard into serving pots then place in refrigerator to set.  This should take 2-3 hours.

This recipe is quite rich so make sure to use reasonably small serving pots if you can.  I used individual soufflé dishes but even those were probably too big.  You could also use a martini glass or something similar.

Hi all,

Made these for Easter and I can highly recommend them.  They were so easy to make although I found the mixture needed a little longer than stated to incorporate all of the ingredients before kneading.  We chose to make 16 small buns but they were still reasonable enough in size once they had been cooked.

What I liked most about this recipe is that they actually tasted like Hot Cross Buns due to all of the spices whereas the store bought ones usually taste only of chocolate.  

I would definitely make these again and I loved that there were no obscure ingredients...5/5!

I have added a picture below.  You can't really see the piped crosses very well but they were easier to see with the naked eye.

Hi all,

Thought I would give a quick review on this recipe seeing as no-one else has.

It does take a little bit of preparation time but it helps if you pre-make make the meatballs.  It doesn't matter if they get cold as they will be going back into the oven later.

The recipe gives you the option of frying, baking or steaming the meatballs.  I just put 500ml water in the jug and steamed them in the Varoma for 25 minutes.  I then put them in the Thermoserver until I had cooked the pasta and made the sauce.  I found my sauce started to spit out of the jug in the last few minutes seeing as you cook it with the MC off.  Consequently I had a very messy Thermo when I had finished but everything cleaned off easily enough.

The cream that is mixed into the pasta is optional.  I used it and thought it was a good addition so that everything didn't dry out too much in the oven.  Taste wise I'm sure you could probably get away with leaving it out.

Overall, this was a great dish.  The sauce was so tasty and is good for kids too as it has lots of vegies which can't necessarily be seen.  It made heaps.  We easily served four and there is enough leftover for everyone again today.  This would be a great dish if you have a large number of people to serve due to the amount of pasta.

Overall I'd give it 5/5.

Questions? Technical Issues? The Survival Guide / Butter Help
« on: January 20, 2013, 05:38:00 am »
Hi all,

Today I attempted to make butter for the first time.  Unfortunately the cream I was going to use had gone off so I used a 300ml Woolworths carton that was only purchased yesterday.

I watched the Thermovixens video on Youtube that said your butter is ready when the MC starts to dance around on top of the lid.  Unfortunately after three minutes my MC was still not dancing.  The butter & buttermilk had separated but the butter was very pale & curdled looking and not the bright yellow colour in the video.

Silly me decided my cream must have been too fresh & put it on for another few minutes.  Unfortunately when the time was up, I was left with what now looks like mayonnaise.  Does anyone know exactly what I have been left with and if it can be saved?

Thanks in advance :-)

Hi all,

I decided to make the Chocolate Honeycomb Cheesecake from What's For Dessert? on New Year's Eve.  Here are my thoughts -

Firstly the recipe doesn't list what ingredients you need for the base or how to make the base, however from another thread it was determined that you are meant to use the Basic All Purpose Biscuit Base from the front of the book (thanks to the poster who helped me find this)!  The cheesecake recipe just says to use a flan tin but the base recipe says to use a 23cm minimum flan tin so this is what I went with.

I found my mixture was nowhere near enough combined after beating the sugar, vanilla and cream cheese so I ended up doing it again twice more and then mixing a bit by hand with a soft spatula.  My cream cheese was still a bit hard though so I would advise having it at room temperature before you start if possible.

My next problem came with the size of the tin.  My base had filled out to cover the bottom of the flan tin nicely but when it came to the filling there was way too much.  I poured as much as I could into the tin but had to stop when it was going to overflow.  I ended up with around 600ml of leftover filling that just wouldn't fit.  I don't know if you can freeze it but I have anyway, in the hope of having a go at making another one rather than letting it go to waste.  I would definitely advise using a bigger tin, perhaps even a 20cm springform tin so that there is enough room for all of the filling.

With regards to cooking, I had my oven on 180 degrees (rather than 200) and an hour was still too long for my cheesecake.  It came out slightly burnt on the top so I would advise keeping a close eye on it, perhaps 45 mins would have been enough seeing as I had less filling in it?

Finally, when decorating I also found that the melted chocolate didn't really glue the crunchie pieces on top of the cheesecake.  It did stick some of them on but some still fell off.  Perhaps I needed more melted chocolate but the recipe didn't specify how much you should use so I just used what was leftover from the actual filling.

Having said all that, it actually tasted quite nice although it was very rich and you definitely only need a small piece.  It did taste nicer the next day after having a full night to set in the fridge.  I would be prepared to give it another go but would maybe try it in a springform tin next time and see if I have better luck with that.

Hi all,

Thought I would give a quick review on the Cannelloni with Minced Meat and Vegetable Sauce from Full Steam Ahead seeing as no-one else has done it.

I used the Latina Cannelloni sheets which you roll up rather than pipe the mixture into.  Unfortunately you are meant to microwave them first which I didn't know so most of them broke apart after I had rolled them up.

With the sauce I just used a 400g tin chopped tomatoes instead of 600g tomatoes and 200g liquid vegetable stock rather than 1 1/2 cubes vegetable stock.

To be honest, I didn't think the sauce looked very appealing and I wasn't sure what to expect when everything had finished cooking. 

Firstly. the heat from the steam kind of fused the cannelloni shells back together so they weren't as bad as I thought they'd be.  However I found the mince had gone a bit tough.  I'd probably reduce the cooking time down to 20 minutes and check them after that. 

Despite my misgivings this dish was actually very tasty.  The sauce is full of vegetables so it is a great recipe to hide things in for kids.  Even though the dish itself didn't look that attractive, everyone went back for seconds which is always a good sign.  It's quite a different type of cannelloni for those used to the usual cheesy baked version but it was actually quite nice and I would definitely give it another go.

I'd give it a 3.5/5.

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