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Rolled March 15, 2016

Posted by andrewescott in Dinners.
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On Monday 7th March, Pam hosted the dinner with the theme of Rolled food, and made many many dishes along with Franca.

Mains

Rolled Theme - Franca's Main (2 of 4) Rolled Theme - Franca's Main (1 of 4) Rolled Theme - Pam's Main (1 of 3) Rolled Theme - Pam's Main (2 of 3) Rolled Theme - Franca's Main (3 of 4) Rolled Theme - Pam's Main (3 of 3)

The many tasty morsels included BBQ pork rice noodle rolls (Franca), stuffed bean curd sheet rolls (Pam), vegetable Manchurian (Pam), cheese-stuffed chicken rolled in prosciutto (Franca), and korokke (Pam).

Dessert

Rolled Theme - Franca's Main (4 of 4) Rolled Theme - Pam's Dessert (1 of 2)

To finish, Franca served peanut-stuffed glutinous rice dumplings in ginger broth, and Pam served chocolate roulade.

Mole Chicken (Foods of Love) March 14, 2016

Posted by cint77 in Recipes.
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This dish was served at the Foods of Love dinner, and is based on a couple of recipes.

Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (4 of 4)Mole Sauce

I used this Pati Jinich recipe.

I omitted the almonds (because of an allergy) and anise seeds (because I couldn’t find them in any of the four shops I went to). I used peanut butter instead of peanuts. I also used a range of fresh and dried chillies and tinned chipotles in adobe sauce. Because I was worried about it being too hot (cooking the sauce was making my eyes water) I removed the chillies before blending and it ended up being quite mild. I made the sauce the day before and it was very, very earthy and quite bitter. I googled ‘how to fix a bitter mole’ and basically determined that mole’s need a lot of sugar and salt to taste good so i kept adding agave syrup and salt until it tasted ok. Approx 1/3-1/2 cup agave syrup and 1-2tsps salt.

Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (1 of 4)Chicken Mole

I then cooked the sauce and chicken according to this David Lebovitz recipe.

I used about 1.5kg of thigh fillets instead of a whole chicken and only used about half of the mole from the first recipe.

I served it with fresh limes, basmati rice and roasted vegetables. I roasted sweet potato, red onion, zucchini and corn with some oil and dried oregano.

Foods of Love March 13, 2016

Posted by andrewescott in Dinners.
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As the evening after Valentine’s Day, our dinner on Monday 15th February took the theme of the “Foods of Love”. Or, more specifically, ingredients considered aphrodisiacs, e.g. due to their looks or taste. Jacinta hosted, and provided the savoury dishes along with Laura’s sweet ones.

Entré

Love Theme - Jacinta's Entre

To begin the meal, Jacinta served us roasted figs with goats cheese.

Mains

Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (1 of 4) Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (4 of 4) Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (2 of 4) Love Theme - Jacinta's Main (3 of 4)

The main course was chicken mole with roast vegetables and basmati rice.

Dessert

Love Theme - Laura's Dessert (1 of 2) Love Theme - Laura's Dessert (2 of 2)

Laura’s dessert was slices of Persian love cake with apple roses and macadamia icecream.

Lime and Salted Caramel Popcorn (Citrus) March 13, 2016

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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Citrus Theme - Andrew's DessertThis recipe formed part of the Citrus dinner. This recipe has been reproduced from memory, so apologies if it isn’t quite right!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized lime
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) popping corn
  • 2 tablespoons (40mL) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 stick (125g) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (190mL) white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (40mL) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) salt

Method

  1. Set the oven to 140 degrees Celcius.
  2. Using a fine grater, remove the zest from the lime. Also, juice the lime and set aside.
  3. Line two flat baking trays (or just use one, but do two shifts later) with baking paper.
  4. Pour oil into a large saucepan, and add a few kernels of popping corn. Cover and place over high heat until you hear the corn begin to pop.
  5. Remove from heat, add in all the remaining popping corn, cover and return to heat. Gently shake the saucepan, and continue while waiting for popping to begin and then to decrease to only one pop every couple of seconds. Remove from heat and empty into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the lime zest over the popped corn and gently stir through.
  7. Place the butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Do not stir, at least not once the butter has melted. Watch the mixture and wait until it turns a light golden colour, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat, and carefully pour in the lime juice. Return to the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and combined, then remove.
  9. Scatter the cooked popcorn over the baking trays, then pour the lime caramel evenly over the popcorn. Place the trays in the oven.
  10. After 8 minutes, remove and gently turn the popcorn so that the caramel is evenly spread. Return to the oven for another 8 minutes.
  11. Remove trays, sprinkle salt over the popcorn and allow it all to cool. Break the pieces apart and store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Jaffa Mousse Cake (Citrus) March 13, 2016

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
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Citrus Theme - Andrew's DessertThis recipe formed part of the dessert for the Citrus dinner, and comes from Christine Manfield’s book Paramount Desserts. I have adapted to sizes to match my bakeware, and fixes a mistake in the original published recipe.

Ingredients – Chocolate Fudge Cake

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 150g+150g (300g total) castor sugar
  • zest of 1 orange (finely grated)

Ingredients – Jaffa Mousse

  • 200mL milk
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 50mL fresh orange juice
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 300mL thick (45% fat) cream

Ingredients – Orange Caramel

  • 150mL fresh orange juice
  • 300g castor sugar
  • 100mL water
  • zest of 3 oranges

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160 degrees Celcius. Grease and line two cake tins measuring at least 30cm x 21cm and ~5cm deep. Note that these tins will need to sit in larger dishes for a water bath. Also, separate the eggs at this point.
  2. Finely chop the chocolate and place it with the butter in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted, and then set aside to cool a little.
  3. Place the yolks and 150g of sugar in a mixing bowl, and use electric beaters to beat until it is light and frothy.
  4. Place the egg whites in another bowl, and beat until stiff peaks form, then slowly add remaining 150g of sugar while beating slowly to form a light, glossy mixture.
  5. Add the orange zest to the egg yolk mixture and mix through well. Then stir the melted chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, and then fold in the egg white mixture until combined but don’t over-mix.
  6. Pour the resulting cake batter into the two tins, and then cover the surfaces with a piece of baking paper.
  7. Boil water. Place cake tins into the larger dishes, and position in the oven before pouring the hot water into the water baths. Bake for 20 minutes or until the centre is set, tested by a clean skewer.
  8. After removing from the oven, peel off the baking paper on the tops, remove from the tins, and allow to cook on a wire rack.
  9. Chocolate fudge cakes should be wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge until ready to be used.
  10. Now make the jaffa mousse, although you may need to clean up the kitchen first if you want to reuse mixing bowls.
  11. Place the milk and orange zest in a saucepan and bring to a simmer before removing from the heat.
  12. Beat egg yolks and castor sugar in a mixing bowl, and use electric beaters to beat until pale and creamy. Strain the orange juice into the mixing bowl, and then whisk it through the mixture. Then slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl while whisking.
  13. Soften the gelatine leaves in a glass of cold water, then remove and gently squeeze the leaves to remove excess water. Stir these into the mixture until dissolved.
  14. Finely chop the chocolate, and place in a plastic bowl, and zap in the microwave on high for 30s at a time, stirring between each. When chocolate is almost completely melted, do not retun to the microwave, and instead stir until all chocolate is melted. Then set aside.
  15. Pour the egg and orange mixture into a metal bowl, and stir over a saucepan of simmering water until the mixture “coats the back of a spoon” and thickens slightly.
  16. Strain the mixture into a mixing bowl through a fine sieve, and discard the zest. Stir the melted chocolate into the mixture. Make an ice bath, e.g. in the sink, and stir the mixture until cool.
  17. Place the cream into a bowl and beat until it is whipped. Then fold the cream into the chocolate-orange mixture. Note that the mixture will set in about 30 minutes, so it is time to press on and assemble the cake.
  18. Line a square-sided 22cm x 9cm x 6cm loaf tin with baking paper, leaving some sticking out the top to aid in removal later.
  19. Remove fudge cake from fridge and cut 1cm thick slices of it to line the bottom, sides and ends of the tin. (Don’t use it all up at this point, though.)
  20. Pour the jaffa mousse mixture into the tin, leaving a space at the top. Place a 1cm thick layer of the fudge cake on the top to seal it all in.
  21. Wrap the whole tin in cling film and place in the fridge for 5 hours to set completely.
  22. The orange caramel can be made shortly before serving, but can also be omitted without compromising the dessert.
  23. Strain the orange juice and set aside.
  24. Boil sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat without stirring until it turns caramel coloured. Keep a close eye on it, the whole time!
  25. Reduce the heat, then carefully pour the juice and zest into the hot caramel, and cook for a few minutes more until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  26. Remove the saucepan, pour the mixture into a jug and allow to cool to room temperature.
  27. Finally, to serve the jaffa mousse cake, remove from the fridge and unwrap, and pull out of the tin using the baking paper.
  28. Using a hot, wet knife, slice the cake into thin wedges and place on plate with a smear of the orange caramel.
  29. Serves 8-10.

Citrus March 12, 2016

Posted by andrewescott in Dinners.
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For our first dinner in 2016, we met on Monday 18th January at Andrew’s house for a dinner in the theme of Citrus. Kerri made the savoury dishes and Andrew made the sweet ones.

Drinks

Citrus Theme - Andrew's Drink

To begin the meal, Andrew provided some lemonade refreshments.

Entré

Citrus Theme - Kerri's Entre

The first dish was Kerri’s orange, ginger and carrot soup.

Mains

Citrus Theme - Kerri's Main (2 of 2) Citrus Theme - Kerri's Main (1 of 2)

For main course, Kerri served up a delicious chilli lime chicken and a cauliflower salad with cumin and orange dressing.

Dessert

Citrus Theme - Andrew's Dessert

To finish the meal, Andrew made a Christine Manfield chocolate jaffa mousse cake with orange caramel, and lime and salted caramel popcorn.

Festive Punch (Christmas) December 24, 2015

Posted by Pam R in Recipes.
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Christmas Theme - Pam's Drink (1 of 2)This was one of the drinks for the Christmas dinner. This was a mixture of a couple of recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1.5 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups ginger ale

Christmas December 24, 2015

Posted by andrewescott in Dinners.
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On Monday 14th December, we had our traditional Christmas-themed get together. Unlike previous years, where we solely made Christmas sweets and nibblies, this was a full Christmas dinner. Franca hosted, and cooked together with Pam.

Entré and Drinks

Christmas Theme - Pam's Drink (1 of 2) Christmas Theme - Pam's Drink (2 of 2) Christmas Theme - Franca's Entree

To help get us into the Christmas spirit(s), Pam served some appropriate drinks: a festive punch and Christmas pudding vodka. A little while after, we then begun the meal proper with Franca’s watermelon and fetta salad (note how the melon is in the shape of stars).

Mains

Christmas Theme - Pam's Main Christmas Theme - Franca's Main (1 of 3)Christmas Theme - Franca's Main (3 of 3) Christmas Theme - Franca's Main (2 of 3)

The main course was a joint affair. Pam made a delicious roast pork belly, and Franca made us garlic bread, roast lamb and a mulled wine gravy.

Dessert

Christmas Theme - Franca's Dessert Christmas Theme - Pam's Dessert

To conclude, Franca served up a pumpkin-spice cheese cake, and Pam presented us with a passionfruit, lychee and coconut yule log.

Frozen Champagne Mousse With Mini-Meringues, Champagne Truffles and Orange Segments (Champagne) December 23, 2015

Posted by cint77 in Recipes.
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Champagne Theme - Jacinta's Dessert (2 of 2)This dessert platter was the final part of the Champagne Dinner.

Meringues

The recipe is based on Nigella’s basic meringue.

I added approx 1 tbsp of finely grated orange zest after all the sugar had been incorporated. I also piped mine onto trays rather than using a spoon. These meringues were the best part of the dessert and I will make again.

Champagne Mousse

The recipe comes from SprinkleBakes blog.

I didn’t love the texture. Probably wouldn’t make again or if I did I wouldn’t freeze it.

Champagne Truffles

The recipe is from Martha Stewart.

I replaced cognac with Cointreau. I also found that the truffles kept absorbing the sugar so they didn’t look as lovely as those on the web – tasted good though!

 

Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting (Champagne) December 23, 2015

Posted by cint77 in Recipes.
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Champagne Theme - Jacinta's Dessert (1 of 2)This was part of the dessert in the Champagne dinner.

I looked at heaps of recipes online for these cupcakes but this was the one I settled on because it used whole eggs rather than egg whites. I also made it with gluten free flour. The batter looked and smelled delicious but they were pretty hard and dense and not light and fluffy like I had hoped once they were cooked – perhaps that’s why most other recipes used egg whites or perhaps it was the gluten free flour. Either way, I’m not in a rush to make these again.

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