Today we’re whipping it, whipping it..kind of mediocre as we stroll down Avenue Q of The A-Z of Cooking (1977). Quick Desserts is the chapter and Strawberry Whip is the verse.
I’ll give The A-Z this. The Strawberry Whip is quick to make. However, I’m going to come right out and say it. This was not for me. But surprisingly not for the reason I thought it would. The strawberry whip is a cross between a milkshake and an ice cream, kind of like a thickshake.
I am not a milk drinker.
Even as a child, a glass of milk would make me gag. So, I fiddled with the recipe provided by The A-Z because there was no way I could have faced it. I halved the milk and doubled the ice cream. I left out the ice cubes.
And I still had to give it up after about three mouthfuls. Not for the reason I thought I might which was the milky strawberry mix. No, it was because my first mouthful was of straight whipped cream and that was me gone. I KNOW! What kind of freak doesn’t like whipped cream? This kind of freak apparently.. . And I semi-defy anyone to eat a whole mouthful of whipped cream and enjoy it. Oh? You did? And you liked it? You’ll LOVE the strawberry whip then!
However, whilst we’re bitching about it? Don’t even bother with the brandy. I felt it was a bit redundant to add vanilla to vanilla ice cream so
I used the brandy. I couldn’t taste it at all. My recommendation would be to save your booze (and your vanilla) for when it counts.
That’s all folks, we’re done with Q. But before we hit R, the bunny cometh, and to celebrate I made bread. It was good. Really good.
We are having a lovely spurt of late summer…OMG, it’s autumn now….warm weather, just perfect for enjoying this delicious rhubarb, rose and passionfruit sorbet.
Let’s talk about it shall we?
It’s fruity, tangy and not too sweet so incredibly refreshing on a hot day.
It is the most glorious shade of pink.
The passionfruit and rose water make it smell like a summer garden.
It has a Rhubarb Almond Shard
And is sprinkled with Rhubarb Crumble Dust
And for the cherry on the top, it’s got…well…a cherry on the top.
I based this recipe on the Rhubarb and Rose Sorbet in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage, Light and Easy which was my selection when we did a stint on Celebrity Chefs for Tasty Reads. I usually find Hugh very engaging, hence choosing the book, however I admit I have struggled with it a bit. I’m all for dairy and wheat free however it just seemed like a bit of a chore, not to mention expense to have to buy new ingredients for just about every dish – this one has buckwheat flour, that one had chestnut flour, the other had chickpea flour. Never even mind the expense. Who has the space?
But I pretty much had everything for the sorbet, except the rhubarb already. I also had a little passionfruit left over from the Valentine’s Day Soufflé so I popped that in as well.
6 Week Challenges
These have been a bit of a disaster. I downloaded an update to my phone weekend before last. And it killed it. #epicfailnexus5 The phone would no longer read the sim card. So after spending the weekend trying every fix available on Google on Monday I got a new sim card, even though I kind of already knew it wasn’t the sim card. On Tuesday the phone went in for a service. Then there was a WEEK of daily calls of “Is it fixed? “Is it fixed? Is it fixed?” Then after seven days they said “Oh, we now know it’s not hardware, it’s software” and they got a “I KNOW IT’S NOT HARDWARE I TOLD YOU IT WASN’T HARDWARE ONE WEEK AGO. YOU HAVE SPENT A WEEK WASTING MY TIME AND YOUR TIME. JUST PUT IT BACK TO WHAT IT WAS BEFORE THE UPDATE” And an hour later it was fixed. Seriously I hate being such a bitch to service people. But really. A week.
A week where, I was without my meditation app and my flexibility app. So they fell by the wayside. I downloaded some mediation podcasts to my ipod. Which promptly broke.
Oh and my car wouldn’t start this morning.
Technology hates me.
On the more positive side, my March resolution of 6 weeks without Candy Crush is going amazingly well!
I’m starting a new challenge today:
The Persiana Project
As of now, I have 32 dishes left to cook from the very many I marked as “Want To Cook” in Persiana. Sabrina Ghayour’s new book comes out in 50 days. Technically, I can cook them all between now and then. Realistically, it is unlikely however, to raise the stakes, I have made a deal with myself not to by Sirocco until I have cooked the 32. And I REALLY want that new book.
We’re going to be eating a LOT of Middle Eastern Food over the next few weeks. I can’t wait!
The Shut Eye – Belinda Bauer
Loved it – a great thriller about a missing child and a suspect psychic.
When We Were Invincible – Jonathan Harnisch
I feel really bad about saying that I am not enjoying this because it seems quite ungrateful seeing as I got it for free off Net Galley. But I am half way through and I ‘m really struggling. The plot…what there is of it….revolves around a teenager who suffers from Tourette’s and his life at an elite prep school. I’m finding it all bit too stream of consciousness-y; with not nearly enough context for me to be able to enjoy the story.
Ummmm….let me think of some positives….
It’s very likely a very real description of being in the head of someone who is mentally ill.
I love the cover.
I watched the movie Compliance and it totally ooked me out. Seriously, watching it made me feel dirty. Several times I wanted to turn it off because it was painful to watch. Having said that I would actually recommend it. But be warned it is TOUGH going. It will also make you question every person who ever calls you on the phone. Not a bad thing really seeing as it is based on true.
Then I watched The Breakfast Club. Damn, I love that movie! And it made everything all right with the world again. And I spent about three days walking around singing “Hey, hey, hey, hey….”
I’m still not trusting anyone who calls me who is not on my speed dial though.
I haven’t been cooking much as I have been working all the hours! I have been living on toast or things from the freezer. Hopefully things will slow down soon because next week I have marked out to cook:
Margaret Fulton’s Quail in Vine Leaves with Muscat Grapes
Sabrina Ghayour’s Safavid style beef pastries
Laurie Colwin’s Broccoli Salad
Ok, here’s the recipe for the Sorbet:
Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit Sorbet
A lovely light, refreshing sorbet, not too sweet with a glorious pink colour.
18 Rhubarb Crumble boiled lollies (or any fruit flavoured boiled lollies)
100g flaked almonds
Ice Cream Cones
Trim the rhubarb and cut into 3-4cm lengths. Place in a large saucepan with the caster sugar and the orange juice.
Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the rhubarb is completely soft. Puree in the pan until smooth.
When cool, stir in the passionfruit.
Taste and add the icing sugar as required.
Stir in the rosewater. Start at about 1/4 teaspoon and add it gradually until you get your desired level of rosiness.
Chill until cold and churn in an ice cream maker until soft set, then transfer to a freezer container and freeze until cold. Alternatively, pour the mixture into a freezer container and freeze for an hour. Then remove from the freezer and break up the frozen sides, pushing them into the softer centre. Return to the freezer and repeat every hour until the mixture is soft-set.
Then let it freeze solid.
Rhubarb Crumble Dust
Place the boiled lollies in your blender and grind into a powder.
Remove a third of the mixture to sprinkle over the top of your sorbet as your dust.
Heat your oven to 180C
Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease. I used coconut oil.
Sprinkle the paper with the almonds, then with the remaining crushed lolly powder.
Place in the oven until the lollies melt.
Remove from the oven and all to cool.
Break into shards
Place two scoops of sorbet into an ice cream cone.
Sprinkle a teaspoon over the Rhubarb Crumble Dust over the icecream, stab with an Almond Shard and top with a cherry.
So these are not the best looking cakes in the world. There is a definite dip in middle of all of them. The texture is kind of rough….then again….that rough texture is also kind of crispy and there is a delicious fudgy layer in the middle. And who doesn’t love a fudgy layer?
But remember the Twinkie Defence? I’m about to launch the Picnic Defence. The Picnic is one of the best chocolate bars ever. Chocolate, caramel, wafer, peanuts. So good. The only problem? It looks like a big old turd.
But so good to eat.
And the Nutty Nutella Cake is the Picnic bar‘s next door neighbour in “Dammit we taste so much better than we look” Street.
You know what else makes this cake so special? I’ll tell you in a moment but first, let’s take a walk down Pronunciation Avenue and talk about Nutella. In Australia ( and I believe England), we call this super delicious chocolate hazelnut spread Nut-ella. Because it’s made of nuts. And….ella. Ella being an Italian euphemism for a shit ton of sugar.
However, definitely on The Splendid Table Podcast and I’m sure a few others I listen to, I have heard Americans call this stuff Noo-tella.
WTF? I can get over that whole tomato / tomayto thing. But Noo-tella is a step too far.
It’s NUT-ella. End of.
I first found this recipe on the Masterchef site. However, it has since been taken down. Only a picture remains. And yep, phew…Matt Preston’s cake is as ugly as mine…
But I was able to find a copy in Matt Preston’s latest book and in the same spirit of adventure in which I made muffins from ice cream and flour a few years back I decided to give it a whirl. And you know what else….there’s obviously some weird psychic connection between Matty P, and me because in the same book, he has a recipe for “bread” made from you guessed it, ice cream and flour!
So, you wanna know what’s in these ugly but delicious sweet treats?
Nutella…or if you’re cheap like me, supermarket brand hazelnut spread.
That’s all folks. C’est tout. Three ingredients. To get this….
And you know what? That little dip….don’tcha just want to fill it up with all sorts of deliciousness?
I went for a contrast – still warm cake with some of my ancho berry sorbet and a couple of leaves of chocolate mint – direct from the garden!!!
But you could have any flavour of ice cream, or some salted caramel sauce..or even some normal frosting…
Or what if you added a big dollop of nutella into the dip and then made a meringue over it? OMG. I am so making that….stay right here. I”ll be back…..
Just got to fill these cakes….
Then whip up a meringue….
And bung ’em in the oven for a bit….
I am giggling like a little girl and dancing round my kitchen. My, face, my hands, my camera are all smeared with chocolate and meringue and am feeling both a little nauseous and like I have died and gone to heaven….
We only had three of the cakes left and I have just eaten two of them….they were that good!!!!
Scuse the fingers….but you’re lucky there are any photo’s I was so busy shoving these into my gob taste-testing to ensure the highest possible quality standards.
And look at that…the light as air toasty on top meringue, the oozy melty nutella and the cakey base….
What a way to end the month!!!!
I am racing to get this out because I am heading up to the sunshiney Gold Coast very early tomorrow morning for a couple of days – sadly mostly work and not much play – but by the time I can post again it will be February….which is as scary as hell. Where did January go????
Have a great week where ever you are and what ever you get up to.
Nutella Meringue Cake
A delicious chocolate cake with a base of three ingredients. Good by itself or topped with your favourite flavours for a super delicious treat!
240g Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread of your choice
1 tsp vanilla
For the topping
Additional Nutella - 1 tsp per cake
1 1/2cup of sugar
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 175C.
Lightly grease your cupcake liners and place in a tray.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs on top speed until they have tripled in size (approx 6 minutes but this will depend on the power of your mixer).
Place the Nutella in a metal bowl with the vanilla extract and stir over a pan of boiling water until the Nutella softens. (You can also do this in a microwave - use a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds).
Turn the mixer down to low and drop spoonfuls of Nutella into the egg mixture. Repeat until all the nutella has been added and the Nutella is completely mixed in.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl with a spatula to ensure there is no Nutella sticking to them and stir a few times by hand.
Pour the Nutella mixture into the prepared cases, filling them about 3/4 full.
Bake for approx 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into a cake comes out clean.
The cakes will look lovely and round when they come out of the oven but they will collapse as they cool.
Once cool, add a spoonful of Nutella into each dip.
For the Meringue
Separate the eggs and place the whites in a clean, dry bowl.
Beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Spoon or pipe this mixture onto the cakes.
Place under preheated grill for 1-2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Alternatively, use a culinary blow torch to lightly grill the meringue
This cake is also great topped with a scoop of your favourite icecream, would be awesome with a salted caramel, berries and cream etc.
I used a coconut oil spray to grease the cupcake liners which added the slightest hint of coconut to my cakes.
The meringue quantities above will cover an entire batch of cupcakes.
By Taryn Fryer
Adapted from Matt Preston's Idiot Cake
Adapted from Matt Preston's Idiot Cake
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
All right, Stop. Collaborate and listen, I am back with a brand new invention….
Thanks to my lovely friends at the Spice Peddlers we are mixing up the flavours of Mexico with an Australian icon to create a dessert that has more contradictions than a Katy Perry song.
This baby is hot and it’s cold, it’s sweet and it’s sour,it’s crunchy and gooey, it’s pretty in pink but it packs a wicked punch and it’s fruity and boozy…ok, technically, those two aren’t opposites but this is awesome and fucks with your head in the best possible way. Et voila, the Ice Iced Vovo.
But first, for those of you not familiar with the Iced Vovo, it is probably the most legendary biscuit in Australia.
Well….right behind the Tim Tam. And the Anzac.
We are a nation of biscuit lovers.
Anyhoo..it’s right up there.
According to the Arnott’s Biscuits website:
An Iced VoVo is a lovely biscuit topped with two strips of pink fondant and a strip of strawberry jam, all sprinkled with coconut – a symphony in pink!
A much smaller symphony in pink than what I remembered from my childhood but a symphony in pink nonetheless. Anyway, forget about them for a while. Think of this as a play. Australia has exited stage left.
Because we need to talk about sorbet. More specifically this sorbet which I made from some ancho chillies (sent to me by my friends at the Spice Peddlers), some raspberries, tequila and lime. Enter Mexico stage right….
So I whipped up the sorbet. And it was delicious Mind you, with those ingredients how could it not be?
It is really good just on it’s own.
But anyone can have ice cream in a cone. It tasted great, but I was feeling a bit blah about the presentation. I actually made this ages ago but because I didn’t love it, I found it really hard to write about. When I feel that way about most things, I just don’t write about them. But this one haunted me, I had to write about it but the cone just seemed so boring.
So, after pondering about it for a few weeks, I thought maybe an ice cream sandwich would be a bit more interesting. So I hightailed it down to the supermarket to buy some biscuits. I had in my head something like a shortbread or those cats tongues? And then I saw the Iced Vovo’s.
So I had my components. My first idea was a very simple ice cream sandwich:
This looked great and was pretty much what I wanted. However, the main problem with it was that when you bit into it all the sorbet oozed out over your hands.
But it was good, it had the flavours and a normal person would have probably left it there. Luckily for you, I ‘m not normal. I liked the sandwich better but was still not absolutely inspired. Then, this morning I was writing my journal and it came to me….
The strip of jam down the middle of the vovo was the same colour as the sorbet….so what if…..you took a biscuit, any biscuit and you put a little line of sorbet down the middle? Then instead of fondant what if you took some of those little baking marshmallows….hmm…how would you stop them rolling off? What if you toasted them?
If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it. Check out the hook while my djay revolves it.
Ice, Iced Vovo
These are best eaten straight away, when the marshmallow is still gooey and before the sorbet melts…so good…and once you’ve made the sorbet it takes about 3 minutes to make. Super easy, super good. Seriously the hardest part is making sure the marshmallows don’t fall off the biscuits as you put the tray in the oven!
I ‘m going to be thinking up some more kooky recipes for the rest of the month of crazy. Have a great one whatever you do. Meanwhile, enjoy the duclet tones of Mr Robert Van Winkle AKA Vanilla Ice.
Ice Iced Vovo
An Australian classic heads to Mexico for a cheeky twist!
Just so we’re clear? Free on E is not my memoir of rave and single life in the ’90’s but a new thing I thought would be fun – I could cast my eye over some of the cookbooks available for free as ebooks and…you know…do what I do. Read. Cook. Mock. Eat.
And occasionally give a little “Eek” of delight when I find a hidden gem.
And because they’re readily available and free you can read, cook, mock and “Eek” right along with me!
Anyone actually wanting my memoir of rave life in the ’90’s? Sorry, that’s a completely different e-book that will be available for purchase in the not too distant. Just kidding. Unless anyone would actually pay money for it. In which case….hit the contact me button immediately. I’ll start writing….
Anyway, my first venture into “free on e” was “Rapid Recipes for Writers And Other Busy People” By Marsha Ward.
Marsha, Marsha, Marsha….
To put it nicely, the 31 recipes in here are mostly pretty ordinary. I was seriously struggling to find one that I wanted to cook. There’s a lot of ground beef, a lot of canned soup and frozen vegetables. This is a typical example:
Boss Beef Dish
Make patties of:
2 lbs ground beef
4-5 grated potatoes
1 grated onion
1 tbsp garlic salt
Brown both sides of patties in skillet.
Add mixture of:
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cans water
1 lb frozen peas.
Simmer until warmed through.
Garlic Baked Potatoes:
Cut a small triangle out of each potato; add 1/2 tsp garlic powder and replace triangle. Put a pat of butter on or margarine on potato, wrap in foil then bake in over or on coals in barbecue or campfire. Salt and pepper maybe added to margarine for extra flavour.
Hmmm…Enjoy that mouthful of burnt garlic powder. Why not just add the garlic powder to the margarine? Whilst we’re on the subject of garlic powder? It’s the devil’s work. Second only to margarine. Don’t even get me started on that particular rant…
I was just about to agree with the reviewer who said this book wasn’t worth free when I came across the recipe for:
Ice Cream Muffins
1 ½ cup self-raising flour
2 cups soft vanilla ice cream
Mix until dry particles are moist. Grease muffin tins; bake 20-25 minutes at 450 degrees F.
“No way” I thought. “There’s no way that’s going to work. That’s about the dumbest thing I ever heard”.
So, I made them.
Yeah, I don’t get how my mind works either.
And…believe it or not, they worked!
Don’t get me wrong, these weren’t the best muffins I’ve ever eaten but they were recognizably muffins and they were made out of ice cream and flour! That’s kind of awesome. And the possibilities are only as limited as the flavours of ice cream available to you. I didn’t have vanilla and I wasn’t about to buy some for a recipe that I was sure wasn’t going to work so mine were actually rum and raisin muffins.
This exercise also reminded me that if you ever need a dose of kooky in your life, spend an hour or so reading Amazon reviews. They’re hilarious!!! This gem was in the review section for Rapid Recipes for Writers.
Let’s break this baby down shall we?
I’m not a good judge here. Didn’t stop you from writing a review though, did it!
This is an actual cookbook! Yeah. Uh huh. What did you think it was? A rubber chicken?
AND a lot of the recipes had MEAT. Maybe they don’t tell you in NaNoWriMo circles that it’s bad form to start a sentence with “and”*? Or that it’s kind of annoying when you capitalise RANDOM words.
I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t cook. So why buy a cookbook then? Oh, that’s right. You didn’t realise it was a cookbook (sigh…facepalm).
When you’re reviewing a book, it might also be useful to tell people more about the book than yourself**. I believe all we learned about “Rapid Recipes for Writers ” was that it was an actual cookbook! That contained MEAT.
What do I know though? Five out of seven people found that review helpful. Which only serves to confirm my belief that five out of seven people are idiots. Which I guess dear, smart, funny, cute, discerning reader leaves you and me!
We’ll head back to Vietnam next week….
Bye for now.
*For the pedants, I’m perfectly aware I started at least 3 sentences with “and” in this post. Please refer to sentence 3 in **below.
** For the most part people reading Amazon reviews are not remotely interested in what you eat or anything else about you. If you are that self-obsessed, maybe you should try blogging. The added benefit of which is, that when it’s your blog, you can start sentences with whatever the hell you want.