Honey Jumbles

I’m not much of a biscuit maker.  In fact this the first biscuit (cookie) for my American friends that I have made on here.  And what a biscuit it is!  Lets start with the name – how adorable is it?  How can anything called a Honey Jumble not be delicious?  So what are they?  A honey jumble is a soft, slightly chewy biscuit flavoured with honey (derrrrr), ginger, cloves and spice topped with a slightly citrussy icing.  They manage to be both slightly sophisticated in flavour as well as immensely comforting.  And they are perfect with a cup of tea!

Honey JumblesHa..I’m actually not much of a regular tea drinker either – I am a coffee girl through and through but I love a herbal tea and this one, which is a Twinings Defence – flavoured with Orange, Cinnamon and Ginger really compliments the spicy / citrus flavour of the Honey Jumbles.

Honey Jumbles2Honey  Jumbles are a classic Australian bikkie – and yes, our penchant for shortening words does extend to biscuits!  I’m not sure if Honey Jumbles are still being made commercially.  There were none in my  two local supermarkets but that could be totally by the by.  I suspect however, that their flavour profile, (not overly sweet, and a light gingerbready taste) belongs to the past.  They certainly remind me of childhood.  My nana used to love all things pink and she often served honey jumbles when we came to visit.  However, if you are looking for a taste of nostalgia or just a little something something to have with a cuppa, these are easy enough to make.  My recipe, which is below is a combination of two recipes I found on the interwebs.  The biscuit recipe is from Food to Love and the icing from Taste.com.au.  Links to both  can be found in the recipe.

Honey Jumbles3

Honey Jumbles
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For The Biscuits
  1. 1/3 cup honey
  2. 45 g butter
  3. 1 cup plain flour, plus extra for kneading
  4. 1 tsp ground ginger
  5. 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  6. 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  7. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  8. 1 tbsp milk
For The Icing
  1. 1 eggwhite
  2. 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  3. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  4. Pink food colouring
For The Biscuits
  1. In a small saucepan, heat honey and butter together on low until melted and simmering. Cool 5 minutes.
  2. Sift flour, ginger, spice, soda and cloves together into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in butter mixture and milk, stirring until well-combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes, until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, working in a little extra flour gradually if needed, until mixture is no longer sticky.
  5. Divide mixture into two. Roll each into a sausage shape about 1.5cm thick. Cut each into 5mm widths. Shape into ovals and place on trays.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until they begin to crack. Allow to cool on trays.
For The Icing
  1. Using: a whisk, beat eggwhite in a bowl until foaming.
  2. Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined.
  3. Stir in lemon juice.
  4. Tint pink with food colouring. Spread the biscuits with pink icing.
  5. Set aside for 30 minutes or until set.
Adapted from http://www.foodtolove.com.au/recipes/honey-jumbles-11345 and http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/honey-jumble-biscuits/36830354-02bb-4228-a656-7b25454f60bc
Adapted from http://www.foodtolove.com.au/recipes/honey-jumbles-11345 and http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/honey-jumble-biscuits/36830354-02bb-4228-a656-7b25454f60bc
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 So, May is the blogiversary and, I have, for at least the last few years, had a month long celebration.  That won’t be happening this year as my May is jam packed with real world activities.  One of my girlfriends is getting married waaaaaay over on the other side of Australia. Not only am I delighted and honoured to have been invited to her special day but I have also never been to Perth before so I am looking forward to seeing pastures new.  Then, I am barely back from the West when I need to get on another plane for a girl’s (long) weekend in Adelaide.  City of churches, pie floaters, and weird murders here I come!

Honey Jumbles4Have a wonderful week everyone, I’ll try to squeeze a post in before I head out west but if not, look forward to happy snaps from the other side of Australia!

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Walnut and Avocado Salad, Seeing Double & Mysteries Solved

When is a salad not a salad?  When it comes from The A-Z of Cooking.  There is no way in the world that I would call this a salad.  It’s much more of a dip.  But The A-Z calls it a salad so, Walnut and Avocado Salad it is.  Even if we all secretly know it’s a dip.  

Walnut and Avocado SaladThis was kind of….meh.  And you know what?  I strongly recommend that you make guac instead.  Because a good guac is awesome!  But first, there is an elephant in the room and it needs to be addressed.  You may be thinking that because we have labelled something a salad when it is quite clearly a dip that we have reached S.  Not so fast there Speedy.  We’re actually still at R.  How so?  Refreshing Salads.  Yeah,  I know I should  have ceased to be surprised at the randomness of The A-Z by now.  But it’s ONE letter..it’s at the back of the Chapter, right next to the start of the S’s. Couldn’t they have?  Shouldn’t they have? Why didn’t they?

Walnut and Avocado Salad2But wait, there’s  more.   When I turned the page over to “Refreshing Salads” my eye was caught by the words Greek Salata.  Now, I LOVE a Greek Salad.  Feta, olives, tomatoes….bring it on!  My mouth was already watering as I contemplated making eating one. In my mind, a Greek Salad should look exactly like this one from the Food Network:

So imagine my horror when my eyes were what can only be described as assaulted by this disgrace:

Oh. My. Lord.  Have you ever seen anything quite so hideous in your life?  Sadly, I have.  Because even as I was recoiling in horror, I realised I had seen something quite so hideous before.  In fact I had seen something exactly as fugly before because I had not only seen but posted on that very picture.  Right here.

WTF?  To paraphrase Lady Bracknell, to use this picture in one book may be regarded as misfortune; to use it in two looks like a blatant disregard for the eyes of one’s readers.  But then I was intrigued.  So, I went back to The Hot Weather Cookbook and flicked through it and there were six other photos IDENTICAL to those in The A-Z of Cooking!  They share a publisher, Octopus Books but neither book acknowledges that content previously appeared in the other. 

Now, it also just so happens that one of the photos that was replicated in both books was the mysterious Mango Mousse which I spoke about here.

Mango MousseNow I know that the mystery of what that is a picture of, seeing as it is quite clearly NOT a mango mousse has been keeping all of us awake since I first posted it back in March of 2015 (and yikes, has it really taken me over two years to cook through this book?).  And who knew that I had the key to the mystery within my grasp the entire time?  Because, if you look at page 113 of the Hot Weather Cookbook where the same recipe for Mango Mousse appears, there is a reference at the bottom of the page to the pictures contained overleaf  – Orange Soufflé (page 114).  Which is our mango mousse picture.

And, if we flick back to the recipe of Orange Soufflé?  Oranges, passionfruit, cream eggs….I’m totally ignoring the random bananas but  I think we have a contender!

Orange SouffleMystery solved.  I feel like a culinary Mulder and Scully.  I have been tossing up as to whether I should take up one of those Hunt A Killer subscriptions I keep hearing about on all my podcasts.  After this bit of sleuthing I am a step closer to putting my detective skills to the test.  It’s damn expensive to get it shipped to Australia though!  Is anyone else doing it? If you are, please let me know!

BTW, just to take us back to the Avocado and Walnut Salad?  The bread shown with it is the Cheddar and Apple Foccacia from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez.  And it was delicious!  This is a wonderful book too!

Have a wonderful week!  Next up, I’m taking a bit of a break from The A-Z and making some lovely old-fashioned biscuits, perfect for afternoon tea!  Why not pour yourself an Earl Grey and join me?

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Bombay Potato Snacks

Let’s talk about what makes the best snacks the best.  They are crunchy, salty, crispy, fried, spicy, sweet, creamy, fresh or sour right?  So, what if you could combine all of those tastes and textures into the one dish?  Wouldn’t that make it THE. BEST. SNACK.EVER?  Yes. It would. And the only thing that stops me from claiming this for these Bombay Potato Snacks is that there is a little bit of work involved in making them which is kind of contrary to the idea of the snack….however, persevere with me.  They’re worth the effort!  And also very pretty!

Bombay Potato Snacks 2I probably should have cropped this photo a lot more.  However, I really liked the shadows of the plants on my kitchen windowsill.  And you have to take your little pleasures where you find them right?  And for you pernickety people, there’s a cropped version down below.

So, Bombay Potato Snacks.  First time I made this, I totally forgot to strew the Bombay mix (or Sev as it is called in Sri Lanka over the top).  Doh!  It was actually still pretty tasty but you know…really just a potato snack which is totally not enough for all of you delightful and snack hungry RFFMT readers.  Cos you all deserve the bomb!  Eh?

Bombay Potato Snacks 3Okay.  Even by my standard of bad puns, that last one was just a little bit too shit.  So, let’s quickly forget it ever happened and talk potatoes.  In this case oven roasted with a bit o’ salt and cayenne pepper but you could totally pan or deep fry them should you so desire.  Once baked or fried, arrange them on a place.  I chose to place mine in a circle.  Then, add a dollop of Greek Yoghurt, and top that with a dollop of Indian Chutney.  I chose to use a home-made Mango Salsa Chutney from Kylee Newton’s wonderful book The Modern Preserver but you could use your favourite bought chutney.

Bombay Potato Snacks 4We’re then going to sprinkle a little bit of tomato salsa over the top of all of this – tomato, red onion, chilli, coriander, mint, lemon juice to add some freshness and zing and pow! 

Bombay Potato Snacks 5And then, if this is not already tasty enough, we’re going to top this off by just throwing a handful of Bombay Mix all over the top!  That is five layers of awesome on your plate.  This is not just a Yeah! dish.  This is a HELL YEAH! dish!

And totes vegetarian for those who care about those things.  You could also very easily make it vegan by swapping out the dairy yogurt for a soy or coconut yogurt.  Actually, vegans please make this.  And give it to your non-vegan friends and defy them to say that this vegan dish is not as tasty AF.

Bombay Potato Snacks 6Serve this on a platter and let your guests dig in.  Or…eat it all by yourself.  I won’t judge you.  I promise. I may have even done that myself. 

We’re doing Indian in Tasty Reads in April and May…and also there was an awesome Indian inspired Shepherd’s pie made on My Kitchen Rules this week, which I am totally going to adapt to my own tastes so stay tuned for more Indian inspired dishes in  future.

Bombay Potato Snacks

Bombay Potato Snacks

Ingredients

  • 5 large potatoes cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 100 ml Indian Chutney of your choice - I used a home made mango chutney
  • 125ml Greek yoghurt
  • Salsa:
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 red chilli, chopped, seeds removed (less or more depending on your love of heat)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Place the potato slices, the salt, cayenne pepper and oil in a large plastic bag and toss to coat.
  • Place the slices in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, flipping them over half way through.
  • Remove from tray to a wire rack and allow to cool.
  • For The Salsa:
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • To Serve
  • Spread the potato slices around the platter.
  • Add a dollop of Yoghurt into the middle, top this with a dollop of chutney.
  • Sprinkle the salsa over the top.
  • Top with the Bombay mix.
  • Eat. Enoy!
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2017/04/24/bombay-potato-snacks/

Next up though, we’re slipping and sliding, stepping and stomping into the letter S from The A-Z of Cooking.  And for once, the heading is not completely random.  Leave a comment if you’d like to have a guess at what it might be!

It’s your week…make it fab!

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Blackberry and Apple Pie

So, today we’ve reached R in The A-Z of Cooking (1977) and…what?  Yeah, I know the heading for the post is Blackberry and Apple Pie. But we’re at R already; you should know by now that The A-Z is never going to give you Roasts or Rice or Root Vegetables. Anyone want to guess the “R” in blackberries or apples or pie?  No?  Good thing because you may as well be shouting “Rumpelstiltskin”.   The R in question is “Reheatable”. What makes this even weirder than the normal bonkers of The A-Z is that you’ll quite likely never need to reheat this Blackberry and Apple Pie because it is so good that you’ll eat it in one go!

Blackberry and Apple PieIf you follow me on Instagram, this picture may be somewhat familiar as I posted it the day I made it which was waaaaayyy back in February. As they say, good things some to those who wait!  The February baking also explains the heart-shaped decorations because nothing says “I love you” like pie right?

Pie Pastry 5The pastry for the Blackberry and Apple Pie came together really well which was awesome because pastry and bread, even after just doing two months of bread with Tasty Reads, are still things that frighten me!  I used frozen blackberries so my mixture was quite wet so when before I placed the filling into the pastry I sprinkled some almond meal into the mix.  This helps to soak up any juices that would have resulted in that anathema to the British Bake Off – the soggy bottom.  Having recently spilled my water bottle all over my lap en route to the gym and having to do an entire class feeling like I had wet my pants, I am also totally against the soggy bottom!

Blackberry and Apple Pie2

Blackberry and Apple Pie3Okay, I know I need to work on my edges but come on, you gotta give me points for the hearts right?  

Blackberry and Apple Pie4Long story short.  This was one of the best recipes so far from The A-Z of Cooking.  Shame it was hidden away in “R for Reheatable”.  If I was going to randomly allocate it a category, it would certainly fall under “T for Totally Awesome”.  Here’s the recipe, including my l’il almond meal trick.

Blackberry and Apple Pie
A delicious and easy to make Blackberry and Apple Pie
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For The Pastry
  1. 200g flour
  2. 100g butter
  3. 1 tbsp castor sugar
  4. 1 egg yolk
  5. Water
For The Filling
  1. 500g cooking apples
  2. 1 punnet fresh or 250g frozen blackberries
  3. 1-2 tbsp almond meal
  4. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. Sugar
To Serve
  1. Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)
For The Pastry
  1. Sift the flour into a bowl.
  2. Add the butter and rub until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar, the egg yolk and enough water to make a firm dough.
  4. Roll out half the dough into a circle and line a 22cm pie dish.
For The Filling
  1. Peel, core and slice the apples.
  2. Mix them with the blackberries, the lemon juice, the almond meal, and sugar to taste.
  3. Spoon the filling into the lined pie dish.
  4. Heat your oven to 425F or 220C.
  5. Roll out the rest of the dough and use it to top the pie. Seal the edges, trim neatly and decorate as you wish. Make sure you include a hole in the centre, either as part of the decoration as I did or, just with a skewer. This will allow the steam to escape.
  6. Sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Place in oven and bake until the pastry is golden-brown, about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired!
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking 1977
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking 1977
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Back to work tomorrow after an Easter break filled with doing a whole heap of nothing!  I feel like I’m getting back into the swim of blogging regularly.  Let’s hope my holiday filled May doesn’t derail my best intentions!

Have a wonderful week!  And enjoy the pie!

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Neapolitan Easter Bread

Looking for something different to make this Easter?  This Neapolitan Easter Bread  aka Casatiello Napoletano could be just the thing!  Who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread?  And when that bread is stuffed with salami, bacon, cheese eggs and olives it becomes even more irresistible!  

Neapolitan Easter Bread1

Meantime though, who can believe it’s already Easter?  Where has this year gone?  March is always super busy for me at work and this year has been no exception.  I’ve been working into the early hours of the morning some days!  So, despite my best intentions of blogging MORE this year, it has actually turned into less. It’s also been hard to settle into a routine; with my step father’s passing earlier in the year I am living part of the week at my mum’s house and part of the week at home so my usual routines have had to change.  It has been a hard time in many respects but also has been great spending more time with mum from catching a movie to a manicure to painting classes and most importantly cooking and eating together. 

Neapolitan Easter Bread4

However, March madness is over at work, it all should be smooth sailing from here, right?   Maybe not…I have a crazy May coming up but that is filled with travels and fun rather than work.  Can’t wait.    However, let’s get back to the bread!  I used the Food 52 recipe for Neapolitan Easter Bread except I swapped out the ham for salami. Another difference between this recipe and more traditional versions is that chopped hard boiled eggs are included in the filling whereas traditional versions have them whole on the top of the loaf:

Traditional Neapolitan Easter Bread

I thought having the  eggs on top like that would make it quite difficult to eat!  And believe me, you will want to eat this, it is soooo good!

Neapolitan Easter BreadAnd the good news is that, if you don’t eat it all at once, it keeps really well. I’ve had it in my fridge for nearly a week now and it is still great when you place it under the grill to toast. 

The bread dough was easy to make and  turned out perfectly. 

 

Neapolitan Easter Bread2Then it was simply to put on the filing, roll it up and pop it in the oven. 

The Neapolitan Easter Bread is lovely warm just as it comes!  Food 52 suggest pesto or chimichurri as n accompaniment.  Warm with butter is superb!  Warm with a little bit of guac is also pretty damn special.!!!!

We ALL wanted a slice of it!

Neapolitan Easter Bread3Speaking of Easter, how cute is this little vintage bunny vase of my mum’s?

Bunny VaseHave a wonderful Easter everyone.  I hope the bunny brings you all the chocolate (Or Neapolitan Easter Bread) you wish for! 

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