Monday, 10 September 2018

Passionfruit & Cumquat Creams

When I visit people I usually take a little homemade treat for my hosts. A filled or cream biscuits is a bit more special and the fillings can be varied.  This is a variation of the yo-yo biscuit and can also be varied with spices or other flavours.

Packaged into a cellophane bag

At this time of the year I make small batches of preserves such sweet orange marmalade, cumquat jam/marmalade and lemon butter or curd. A small amount of these preserves make for a really fabulous cream filling. I make the marmalade extra thick for this purpose and will purée the marmalade to ensure a smooth spreadable filling.

Extra thick cumquat jam/marmalade

The cream filling

Passionfruit & Cumquat Creams
1 cup self raising flour
½ cup cornflour
1/3 cup icing sugar
2/3 cup butter / 165grams

The biscuit mixture can be made in a food processor.
Set oven at 170C. Brush or spray oven tray with oil or cover base with baking paper.
Sift flour, cornflour and icing sugar.
Rub in butter and work the mixture into a dough.
Roll the mixture into small balls and place on oven tray. Using a fork, flatten each ball a little.
Bake at 170C for 15-20minutes, until just starting to colour / pale fawn colour.
Cool on tray for a few minutes and then transfer to a cake cooler.
Join biscuits together in pairs with passionfruit and cumquat butter icing.

Passionfruit and Cumquat Butter Icing
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons soft butter

1teaspoon Queen passionfruit paste/gel
1 tablespoon thick cumquat marmalade, pureed

Use 2 -4 teaspoons orange or cumquat juice if you do not have marmalade

The icing can be made in a food processor.

Sift icing sugar.
Cream butter, add the pureed marmalade and mix well. Beat in the icing sugar
The icing should be thick and spreadable. Add a little water or extra marmalade if too firm or some extra icing sugar if too soft.

Friday, 7 September 2018

What Have You Been Up To?

How often do we get asked this question? If you are anything like me you have to stop and think, mostly our lives are just filled with the day to day business of living. So what have I been doing in recent weeks? Lots!  As a retiree my days are full and I have the luxury of time to indulge my interests.  

There are always jobs to be done around the house and in the garden.  Succulents have become a bit of a passion, our back paved area is very hot and they do well in pots.This bowl is my favourite. It is very wide and relatively shallow, the second pot is submerged slightly into the soil of the base bowl. I replant it every other year as the succulents grow and need to be divided. 

This year these aonium are flowering magnificently despite the cramped conditions of the big rectangular plastic pot that they are in. 

This little section has grown quite well, although, it is going to be removed for the installation of  a roof over the paving.

When first planted about eighteen months ago.

We are embarking on a few changes around the house and some redesigning of the garden. The front garden has been slightly remodelled and the back to come after our new patio is installed.

A neighbour was getting rid of some old bricks which I happily carted to our place and used decoratively to break up the space.

 I have really given  in to baking - currently working my way through Bravetart

Homemade Trefoils, page 230

Magic Key Lime Pie, page 174

Red (wine) Velvet Cake, page 130

Effortless Angel’s Food Cake, page 98

Homemade Cinnamon Scrolls, page 268

We seem to have lots of visitors and I am much more available for social events. Coffee mornings and ‘Ladies’ lunches are a frequent entry in my calendar. 

Some would say a motto to live by. 

A bit of fun and a challenge for me, investigating burgers that can be had within a five kilometres walk from home. Fourteen so far.

Walking the dogs and early morning coffee.

Preserving, so much citrus this year so lots of marmalade and lime chutney and pickle.

A little  printmaking, experimenting with colours and layers

Some stitching and natural dyeing

And lots of time with Oscar. Grandparenting is such fun!

And this gives you some idea of what I have been up to.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Citrus Chutney

Our citrus crop has been exceptionally bountiful this year, loads of oranges and more limes than we and the neighbourhood can handle. There are containers of juice and rind in the freezer and the usual range of marmalades, butters and citrus based cakes and tarts have been made.  With so many limes to be used up I decided to make some Lime Chutney. It is a less astringent version of my lime pickle and a small amount with a curry really adds a wow factor.

Lime Chutney
Step 1
750 g limes, finely chopped or combination of limes, oranges and lemons
2 tablespoons salt

Step  2
Limes from step 1, rinsed
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon green ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cardamom powder
1  2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoons fenugreek powder
2 teaspoons nigella seeds
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon asoefoetida powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of salt

Step 1
Wash the limes and finely chop the limes or citrus. I used a food processor and the pulse function
Place chopped limes in a non reactive bowl (stainless steel, glass or plastic) Add the salt and mix well. Allow the mixture to stand for 24 – 48 hours.
Drain of liquid, rinse well and drain again. Repeat two or three more times. This is important to remove the bitter flavour and salt.

Step 2
Combine lemons and remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or until thick. Stir often as it will tend to stick as it thickens
Spoon into sterilised jars. Seal.


Thursday, 16 August 2018

More from Bravetart

My love affair with this book continues. Lots of visitors to treat to something special, not that I need to justify what seems like an endless bake athon!

Always good to try a new recipe. Glossy Fudge Brownies page 56

The second tray made into the variation - Danger Brownies page 57

One Bowl Devils Food Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting page 124

Tahitian Vanilla Pudding page 255 and a variation

Snow White Vanilla Mousse with Red Berries page 256

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies page 50

White Mountain Layer Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream page 110

A variation of the Five Minute Muffins, Apple with Snickerstreusel Topping page page 283/284

Pumpkin Pie page 166

A batch of homemade Quick Condensed Milk page 169 which was used in the Pie and 

Milky Swirl Brownies page 57

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Succulent Prints

My printmaking classes are on hold for this term and possibly forever. The end came in a hurry so I brought my stuff home with intention of sorting through the work. I got busy and weeks have passed but I have finally got around to sorting everything out. I usually approach each term with a theme and then go with the techniques that the tutor has planned for the term. My theme for the term was succulents/cactus and Gaye, out tutor had decided that we would investigate Etching into aluminium plate and dry point. 

My first aluminium plate, printed as a test print onto newsprint.

Ghost print on silk

The etched plate after cleaning.

The plate, etched but not cleaned

The image is transferred and scratched into the bitumen coated aluminium plate.

My next plate. This was less successful as I did not manage the the etching process properly.

Test print  onto cotton drill fabric. I will reuse the plate and etch into the other side.

My next plate, drypoint on acetate sheet.

The inked plate.

Printed onto fabric.

Printed onto a book page.

Ghost print.

Reinked in blue

Chine colle.

Printed onto commercial printed fabric.

Ghost print onto commercial fabric.

When your succulent morphs into a pirate. The backing paper.