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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Baked rice pudding

I photographed this prior to cooking. It was requested by my son when he came down to lunch over the weekend, it was something he had recently discovered his girlfriend was very fond of. Of course, his first though was ‘arrange lunch with Mum and have her cook rice pudding’. It is nice to be thought of….

Baked rice pudding

2 cups (500ml) milk
300ml thin cream
1/2 cup (110g) medium grain (calrose) rice, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped (I didn’t have a bean handy so added 1 tsp of extract after simmering)
Pinch of ground nutmeg, plus extra to sprinkle
2 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Combine milk, cream, rice, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean and seeds and nutmeg in a medium saucepan.
Cook over meduim heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until it reaches a simmer.
Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes to infuse.
Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.
Add egg yolks and stir to combine.
Pour rice mixture into a 4 cup (1 litre) capacity ovenproof dish.
Sprinkle with extra nutmeg.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and custard is set.
Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.


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Vanilla Slice

I am not a huge fan of Vanilla Slice from the bakery, not because it isn’t nice, indeed it is very nice. It is also difficult to eat, that is what makes me choose something else every time. I have never met a vanilla slice that is easy to eat, it always squishes its custard filling out all over the place making you look like you have been eating by yourself for about 9 minutes…unsuccessfully. This one is no exception, its saving grace was that I could eat it at home and not worry about the impression I was making on those around me. I was happy that it tasted as good as its bakery counterparts although I would use less icing in future, I will make it again as long as I can eat it quietly at home without others.

I let mine sit for a good 24 hours prior to consuming. I thought this might make the pastry a little easier to deal with but not really…

Enjoy!

Vanilla Slice

2 sheets puff pastry
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup custard powder
1½ cups cream
2-2½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Icing
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Hot water

Place puff pastry on lined oven tray. Prick with a fork and bake for 10-15 minutes at 220°C.
Put sugar, custard powder and cream into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it starts to thicken.
Add milk ½ a cup at a time and whisk continuously until the custard is thick.
Let everything cool slightly.
Place in a 22 cm square tin, pastry, custard, pastry then icing.
Icing: Place icing sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl and add enough hot water to make
thin to medium textured icing.

Recipe notes
Best after 12-24 hours in the refrigerator but can be eaten in as little as 3 hours.


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Chocolate Cookie Tart

I saw this in a magazine a few weeks ago and just had to try it. It was as good as the picture looked.

Try it, you will see.

Chocolate Cookie Tart

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup malted milk powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup castor sugar
Pinch salt
170g butter, chopped
Milk to bind
180g chocolate melts
1 cup chocolate malt balls

Preheat oven to 160C.
Pulse dry ingredients in a food processor and then add the butter.
If your mix does not readily form a dough, add milk gradually until it does.
Press dough into the base of a flan tin or spring form pan.
Bake for 20-25 mins.
Remove from oven and immediately place chocolate melts on top.
Allow to melt then spread over the surface.
Meanwhile roughly chop the malt balls and scatter over before chocolate cools.
Let cool in pan then remove and slice to serve.


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Hedgehog Slice

I was asked by my daughter, immediately upon arrival, to make Hedgehog slice. This is not a request to spend time and cook together it actually translates directly to ‘I would like to eat it, please make it for me’. Good thing I like to cook (not that I really consider Hedgehog slice cooking as such).

I don’t know why they call it Hedgehog slice but hedgehogs are super cute (on the internet anyway, I’ve never met one in person) so any excuse to think about them or, better yet, browse cute pictures on the internet whilst bustling around the kitchen is welcome.

I got my recipe from here.

Hedgehog Slice

1 x 395 g tin sweetened condensed milk
250g butter melted
2 x 250 g packets Marie biscuits, roughly crushed
3 Tbls cocoa
3 Tbls coconut

250g milk cooking chocolate
2 teaspoons cooking oil

Place biscuits crumbs in a large bowl.
Add the cocoa powder and coconut and mix well.
Melt the butter and sweetened condensed milk together.
Add to the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly.
Place into a slice pan and refrigerate.
Melt icing ingredients altogether and drizzle on top of slice.
Refrigerate to set.


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Pan fried cake

Can dessert be any easier than this? I suppose it can but this is really easy and gives you something new and tasty to treat yourself with and uses up those left over bits of cake that might otherwise end up in the bin.

Pan fried cake

Slices of leftover cake
Soft butter
Vanilla Icecream

Spread each side of the cake with softened butter.
Pan fry each side until browned and crisp.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla icecream.
Drizzle with honey or syrup if desired.


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Coffee Parfait

Creamy and deeply coffee flavoured, this dessert was just what the doctor ordered. A heavy jolt of caffeine disguised as a fancy dessert. Of course you could dress this up with extra cream, crumbled meringue, grated chocolate or strawberries but it was made for an informal occasion just because I felt like making a dessert so we ate it just as it was. I could have eaten a bucket load of this, of course this would have been very bad for me so thankfully my sister came for lunch so I was able (read: forced) to share.

Coffee Parfait

2 tablespoons freeze dried coffee granules
2 tablespoons Raw Sugar
1 tablespoon Boiling water
1 tablespoon Brandy (I used a good whiskey)
300 ml Prepared vanilla custard
300 ml cream
6 maraschino cherries (I hate these things, but feel free if you are a fan)

Dissolve coffee and raw sugar in the boiling water.
Combine coffee mixture, brandy and custard in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff. Lightly stir cream into coffee / custard mixture.
Divide mixture between 6 Parfait glasses and refrigerate until required.
Decorate with maraschino cherries.


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Peppermint Crisp Ice-Cream Slice

So, I have no real excuse, I just really wanted to try it.
The kids are not here and the husband is also away, I am not even really an ice cream fan but still, I have so wanted to try this since the Crunchie Ice Cream Slice that I felt I had to make it regardless. I will cut it into serving sizes and individually wrap each piece so that it can be consumed by a more appreciative audience when they are all back home.

Meanwhile I have tried it and found that the Peppermint Crisp was a rather nice alternative to the honeycomb flavour of the Crunchie. It would be a nice touch if you could find a rectangular chocolate biscuit to sandwich the ice cream in but all I had on hand was my malt biscuits (and I don’t think chocolate biscuits come in rectangles here, possible exception being Tim Tam’s but that would be a bit too much of a good thing I think.)
Anyway, same recipe, different chocolate bar. I am going to have to try others now but all of the other flavour chocolate bars that I can think might be nice are going to be difficult to shatter. I’ll make a plan when the time comes. Until then, give this a go and Enjoy!

Peppermint Crisp Ice-Cream Slice

600 mls thickened cream
395 gms condensed milk
3 x 50 gms Peppermint Crisp chocolate bar crushed
2 x 250 gms malt biscuits

Line a tray with 1 packet of biscuits.
Whip cream. Fold condensed milk into cream.
Fold crushed Peppermint Crisp into cream mixture.
Spoon mixture evenly over biscuit base.
Line mixture with remaining packet of biscuits.
Place in freezer overnight or until set.
Cut as desired and serve.