Gateaux de Mamie (French Grandmothers Cake)Click for Reviews

To say my life has been busy, yet super exciting over the past two years would be an understatement!
Where do I start?……
Health issues aside (my doctor suggesting that I move somewhere cooler!!), we decided that after 25 years of marriage, moving to Europe should no longer be an idle threat, but that it was time to act upon it.
And so in June 2015 we purchased three tickets to a country we had never visited, finished our house, put it on the market and sold it at auction in September 2015, selling or throwing away close to 3/4 of our possessions, packing the rest into a shipping container, and in December 2015, we landed in our new country….Luxembourg.
We have been here for exactly one year now, and have enjoyed every single day!
Luxembourg is a very small landlocked country only 58 kilometers wide and 84 kilometers long and is bordered by Germany, Belgium and France. It also has a high percentage of Portuguese and Italian immigrants, so as you can imagine, it has a very diverse and interesting culture.
I have thrown myself into exploring its food, wines and culture, obviously gaining weight along the way, lol, whist going to French language classes three times a week, and now it is time I get my act together, and let you all know a few of the wonderful things I have discovered.
So I will start with a recipe that is quick and easy, and delicious of course, to help me get this blog back on track.
Oh, and I must quickly apologize for the loss of photo content in all of my previous blog posts which were fatally lost because of technical difficulties and cannot be replaced.
C’est la vie!!
This is my version of a recipe I translated from a French cookbook I bought the day we arrived in Luxembourg:
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Gateaux de mamie (grandmothers cake)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 + 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 sachet (or two tsp) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rape seed oil (canola oil)
  1.  Preheat oven to 170°C, grease and flour/dust a cake tin.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into tin.
  3. Bake 35-40 mins or until cooked.

 

Tips and Variations:
  • Add the zest of a lemon to the batter (and maybe a sachet of vanilla sugar).
  • While the cake bakes I boil the juice of the lemon (about 1/4-1/3 cup) with 1/4 sugar for a few mins just to make a light syrup which I pour over the cake when it has cooled for about 10 mins.
  • Also try replacing 1/2 cup of the flour with 1/2 cup of almond meal.
  • If you don’t have any yogurt just use milk.
Enjoy xx
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German Rhubarb CakeClick for Reviews

 

RHUBARBERKUCHEN MIT STREUSEL

photo rhubarb cake

This cake has a tender and moist crumb, with a lovely buttery “streusel” topping. The word “streusel” comes from the German word ‘streuen’ meaning to sprinkle or scatter.

Ingredients for cake batter

  • 1 ¼ cups caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (bi carbonate of soda)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 ¼ cups plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 ml sour cream
  • 3 ½ cups (about seven stalks) rhubarb, chopped into 1 cm pieces

Ingredients for streusel topping

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup room temp butter
  • 1/3  cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Method for cake batter

  1. Preheat oven to 175C.
  2. Grease and flour a baking/roasting dish about 28cm x 35cm.
  3. In a bowl, mix caster sugar, baking soda, salt and flour.
  4. Beat the eggs and sour cream together until smooth.
  5. Add to the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  6. Add rhubarb and mix until combined.
  7. Spread the batter into the baking dish and smooth top evenly.

photo fandos hands

Method for streusel topping

  1. Mix all the ingredients together with finger tips (or use a fork).
  2. Scatter small lumps of this over the cake batter.
  3. Bake cake for about an hour or until a cake skewer comes out clean.

photo topping

Tips

  • This is a very dry batter so don’t worry that it doesn’t look like cake batter, as the rhubarb will start to “melt” during baking and release steam to help make it lovely and moist.
  • Try adding variations like, lemon zest, orange zest, vanilla, ginger, or adding almond, hazelnut, pecan, walnut or coconut to the streusel.
  • Great served warm with a thick custard, ice cream, rhubarb compote, or simply dusted with icing sugar.
  • Wonderful for breakfast with a cup of coffee!

Enjoy.

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FriandsClick for Reviews

 

Friands just have to be the easiest little cakes in the world to make! You just whack everything into a bowl and stir. Great for children helping in the kitchen, as there are no electric beaters for little fingers to get stuck in, and super quick so no loss of interest for those short attention spans.

friands closeup

Basic Friand Recipe

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 egg whites (no need to whisk!!)
  • 180g melted butter

Method:

  • Simply mix all of the ingredients together.
  • Then, ¾ fill a greased 12 hole friand mould tray (or small muffin moulds) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 165oC for 30 mins.
  • Remove friands from moulds to cool on a cake rack, and when cool dust lightly with icing sugar.

These are wonderful eaten while still a little warm.

friands with icing sugar and a cup of tea 

Tips:

  • Other nutmeals like hazelnut or macadamia etc can be used.
  • You need about ¾ cup of egg white so if your eggs are very small you may need 6.
  • Friands can be frozen and rewarmed a little in the microwave. Don’t over heat or they will go rubbery.

For variations add…

  • 1 ½ tbsp. strong brewed coffee. OR
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds and zest of an orange, lime or lemon. OR
  • Fresh or frozen berries. OR
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa.

Don’t waste the egg yolks, but rather make some custard or ice-cream, eggnog, pancakes, egg noodle pasta, etc, or the wonderfully rich, Dutch, alcoholic drink called Advocaat.

For a very extensive list of ideas for using egg yolks, food blogger Jennifer from Food and Family has nearly 100 ideas with links. Check her out here

The above recipe can easily be made gluten free and dairy free by replacing the plain flour with gluten free flours and replacing the butter with a product called Nuttelex.

 

 

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Roast Lemon and Garlic ChickenClick for Reviews

 

These past two years saw my poor hubby flying from Sydney to Melbourne and back every week for work, sometimes twice a week if there was a meeting that couldn’t be fitted in at the beginning of the week. As you can imagine the thrill of airports and flying wore a little thin after the first 50 times, and the romance died altogether by the second 50 flights!

So when we needed to be in Melbourne as a family for 3 days for an occasion not connected to work, I was excited and looked forward to jumping on a plane, only to be told he was so sick of flying, we were going to drive all the way down and back!!! Well that wasn’t too bad a suggestion as we decided to take a few days either side of those dates and have a bit of a holiday.

The only problem is that people tend to forget just how large Australia is, and that driving for 5 hours to get somewhere, then unload the car to stay the night, and then pack the car the next morning to drive another 5 hours to get somewhere else, isn’t necessarily the most relaxing of holidays, especially when you have a teenager that has his learners licence and wants to drive, and his mummy (that’s me) is a total “freak-out mum” and can’t relax while he is behind the wheel!

Anyway we finally arrived in Melbourne and had a great time, especially meeting up with friend that we hadn’t seen for years.

Only having a small kitchenette in our hotel room, meant coming up with quick and easy recipes with limited ingredients, and so here is one I made, simply served with a green salad.

photo lemon and garlic chicken

Pollo al Limone e Aglio

Roast Lemon and Garlic Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 fresh lemons, preferably organic
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 2 kilos chicken legs and/or thighs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 bay leaves (dry or fresh)
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs (leaves pulled off the hard stalk)
  • 12 to 16 small new potatoes, partially peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
  2. Par-boil the potatoes for about 10-15 mins, (just long enough to tenderize), drain and set aside.
  3. Rinse the lemons and chop them, skin and all, into 8 pieces each.
  4. Peel garlic and gently squash each clove but keep it whole.
  5. Place olive oil, chicken pieces, bay leaves and rosemary in a baking dish.
  6. Add the lemon sections, squeezing each one slightly to release the juice, sprinkle quite liberally with salt and pepper, and give everything a good mix.
  7. Place into the oven and bake for 20 mins.
  8. After 20 mins, remove the chicken from the oven, raise the temperature to 220oC, add potatoes to the chicken and gently mix everything around to coat with the pan juices. Return to the oven and roast for about 30 to 40 mins longer, or until the chicken and potatoes are crisp and brown.
  9. Remove from oven, cover with foil and rest for 10-15 mins, then garnish with parsley and serve.

 

TIPS AND VARIATIONS

You can of course use any spices or herbs to create your own dish. Try these combinations…

  • Fennel seeds, thyme, oregano, marjoram, onion, fresh fennel bulb slices, cherry tomatoes etc.
  • Or give it an Asian twist with lemongrass, ginger, chilli and fresh coriander.
  • Lebanese spices of sumac, red onion slices and za’atar.
  • How about Indian with cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ground turmeric, mustard seeds, chilli, etc.
  • Or just a tbsp. of curry spice and ½ cup yogurt in place of the oil and lemon, omitting the potatoes and serving with rice.

 

Most of all… don’t be afraid, be creative, and have fun!

 

 

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Bucatini Pasta alla Amatriciana with ZucchiniClick for Reviews

 

Sugo all’ Amatriciana, or amatriciana sauce, is traditionally made with guanciale (cured pork cheek), tomato and Pecorino cheese, and is one the most well-known pasta sauces in Roman and Italian cuisine.

Using small, fresh zucchinis straight from the garden, and sun ripened vine tomatoes, this is such a great dish for summer when it is too hot to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, as it can be made in under 15 minutes!

IMG_9074 bucatini with zucchini

Ingredients

  • 500g box Bucatini size n.9 pasta
  • 3 vine ripened fresh tomatoes (or 400g canned)
  • 150g guanciale (or speck or bacon)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red fresh long chilli (optional)
  • 4 small zucchini (or about 350g total)
  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g pecorino cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper, salt
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

 

Method

  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  2. Cut zucchini into very thin rounds or cut into small dice.
  3. Finely chop onion and chilli.
  4. Cut guanciale into ½ cm cubes.
  5. Cut tomatoes into small cubes.
  6. Once water is boiling add pasta and cook for 8 mins, or until ‘al dente’.
  7. While pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a large pan and fry the guanciale until the fat renders out a little and starts to become crisp, then add onion and chilli and fry for 2-3 mins.
  8. Add the zucchini and sauté for 2-3 mins.
  9. Add tomatoes and sauté on gentle heat until just warmed through.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add the pasta into the ‘sauce’, along with ½ – 1 cup of the pasta water, and gently mix and sauté for 1-2 minute until everything is nicely combined.
  12. Serve immediately and garnish with grated pecorino, chopped parsley, and an extra glug of olive oil if desired.

Tips

  • This really can be made in under 15 minutes if you do all your chopping while the water comes to the boil, and then sautéing your sauce while it takes the 8 minutes for your pasta to cook!
  • You can of course swap the bucatini for any pasta you have on hand.
  • Try swapping the zucchini for other vegies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, French beans and baby peas, asparagus, or very young aubergine etc.
  • Don’t overcook your pasta in the salted water as it will continue cooking in the sauce at the end for a minute or so, which will help it absorb the flavours of your sauce.

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KFC Style Aussie Bean SaladClick for Reviews

 

Tell me… Who remembers the bean salad that Kentucky Fried Chicken used to make?!

I used to love how the beans squeaked against my teeth. High in acidity, nice and sweet with heaps of black pepper. I’m sure all the acidity in it helped cut through the fat in the chicken and its method of cooking.

IMG_8944 kfc bean salad pic

It was removed from their menu years ago, and unfortunately KFC just hasn’t been the same for me.

If you are looking for a super tasty, super easy, typically Aussie salad to serve along with your bbq this weekend, here is a recipe for a bean salad that is as close to the original as I can remember, and I can almost guarantee you might already have all the ingredients needed in your pantry!!!

Enjoy.

 

KFC Style Traditional Aussie BBQ Bean Salad

 

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cans of 5 bean mix (or 4 bean mix or 3 bean mix!)
  • 250g frozen cut green beans
  • 1 red Spanish onion finely chopped
  • One 330ml bottle of ‘Praise’ brand 100% fat free Italian dressing (or see tips below)
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Method

  1. Open cans of beans and tip them into a colander and rinse well with running water.
  2. Drain well and add to remaining ingredients.
  3. Stir well, cover, and allow to marinate for a few hours if possible before serving.

Tips

  • This salad actually tastes better after about 3 days and lasts up to two weeks covered in the fridge!!
  • The addition of a finely chopped green or red capsicum is nice too.
  • If you would prefer not to use a bottle of ready-made dressing, simply make you own dressing using the following as a guide…

Homemade Dressing

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried mixed herbs
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder (or ½ clove crushed garlic)
  • ¼ tsp. paprika powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Bring water and sugar to a boil to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool. Add remaining ingredients and continue above recipe, omitting the bottle of dressing and extra sugar.

 

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Watermelon, Feta and Mint SaladClick for Reviews

 

Forget those sports drinks!

Keep yourself hydrated this summer with this wonderfully refreshing salad containing protein for energy, and its naturally high fluid levels, vitamins, and electrolytes.

IMG_7930 rubik's cube

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups seedless watermelon, cut into cubes, well chilled
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled
  • ½ Spanish red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 Lebanese cucumber, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or normal balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Method:

  1. Mix the chopped mint, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper together then simply pour over remaining ingredients and serve.

Tips and variations:

  • For a bit of spice you could add a pinch of chilli powder or, a few drops of tobacco sauce.
  • You might also like to add two large handfuls of watercress or baby spinach or rocket etc. to the salad immediately before serving.
  • Add to, or replace the mint with coriander or basil.
  • For some fun plating presentation, try cutting the watermelon, feta, cucumber, and onion into the same size cubes, and make a rubik’s cube out of them, add a sprig of mint on the top, and serving the olives beside it with a little of the dressing in individual bowls.

 

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Calling All Junior MasterChefsClick for Reviews

corriecooks logo

Join Chef Corrie and her team for your School Holiday fun Kids Pizza Cooking Class.

cooking class bright picture

Our pizza cooking classes in Bexley North are packed full of fun and important techniques to help you learn how to make your own pizza dough and pizza sauce from scratch. You will also be making a dessert so bring your appetite.

Bookings for these classes fill up fast, so get in quick to secure your spot, or you can go on the waiting list.

Gift cards available for that someone special!!

Cost is $55 per child, or inquire about group discount.

Class times are…

  • 11:00am – 1:30pm Mondays to Saturdays of school holidays.
  • 4:30pm – 7:00pm on Fridays during school term.
  • Or by appointment on Saturdays during school terms.

Simply email me on corrie@corriecooks.com.au and I will send you a no-obligation information pack.

CorrieCooks QR Code

 

 

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Orange Self-Saucing PuddingClick for Reviews

 

My previous post is a recipe for a lemon self-saucing pudding that is extremely easy to make, so I thought I would try one made with oranges as they are so lovely and sweet at the moment. This recipe uses the addition of thin slices of orange on top of the pudding to make a decorative and festive look.

Orange Self-Saucing Pudding

2014-05-31 19.22.21

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Cake batter

  • 1 ½ cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (125g) caster sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • ½ cup milk
  • 80g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. golden syrup
  • 1 egg

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Topping

  • 2 oranges (use the ones that were zested)
  • ½ cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cornflour

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Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups orange juice
  • ½ cup water

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METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC, and using butter grease a 2 litre oven proof dish or cake tin.
  2. Sift flour into a medium bowl and add the caster sugar and orange zest.
  3. Add remaining batter ingredients, and using a wooden or silicon spoon, mix until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared dish.
  5. Peel zested oranges, removing all the pith, and cut into rings about 1cm thick and lay on top of batter in an overlapping pattern.
  6. Mix together brown sugar and cornflour and sprinkle over the orange slices.
  7. For the sauce put water and orange juice into a microwave dish and heat for 3 mins or until hot and pour over the top of everything using the back of a spoon.
  8. Bake for 50-55 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake part.
  9. Sprinkle with a little pure icing sugar and serve straight away with either pouring cream or ice cream.

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Tips

  • Please make sure you wash your oranges well before zesting them as we don’t want any pesticides, wax or bird poop in our pud!
  • You can easily make 6 little individual puds for a “special” occasion using ramekins.
  • If the top looks like it is browning too quickly, cover with loosely with a piece of foil.
  • If you have some Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Campari etc. you could always pour some over the ice cream for an indulgent adults treat!
  • This pudding is best served straight away or the sauce will be absorbed into the cake.

 

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Self-Saucing lemon PuddingClick for Reviews

 

My neighbour has a huge lemon tree that is absolutely groaning under the weight of the juiciest fattest lemons you have ever seen. He brings over a plastic bag with about 5 kilos of lemons every couple of weeks. It’s not really a problem making use of them but there is only so much Italian lamb cooked in lemon, Lebanese chicken cooked in lemon, Greek beef cooked in lemon, French fish cooked in butter and lemon, Spanish…… well I think you get the idea.

2013-11-23 11.23.17

It has finally started to cool down in the evenings here and with my hubby being such a dessert lover, I decided it was time for something sweet. He is not really into cakes flavoured with orange, lime or lemon, but there is one dessert he could happily have all the time…butterscotch self-saucing pudding served with ice cream.

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I thought I would try a lemon self-saucing pud on him, but I remembered the cloyingly sweet yet burningly acidic packet varieties that we used to make as kids. You know the ones where you ripped open a plastic bag and mixed some clumped dry ingredients with an egg and a few tablespoons of water and sprinkled a little sachet of acidic powder on top and poured boiling water over to be cooked for 8 mins on “high” in that wonderful invention- the microwave. And even though I remember trying to lick every last sticky morsel out of the plastic microwave safe container, I realised they must have been based on a recipe of more innocent times, and set about doing the Google thing.

I found a couple that sounded like they might work and some that sounded too “easy” and I couldn’t see them looking like anything similar to what I was looking for, or coming out as successful.

So here is my choice with a couple of tweaks that is almost as easy, and it is definitely healthier for you than all the hydrolysed fats, preservatives, food colourings and flavourings found in those packet varieties.

2013-10-09 15.58.18

 

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Cake batter

  • 1 ½ cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (125g) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. (60g) melted butter (ok you can use the microwave for this…)
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • zest of 2 lemons

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp. cornflour
  • 1 tbsp. custard powder
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • the juice of the 2 zested lemons or 1 cup total
  • 1 cup boiling water

2014-05-23 21.25.24

 

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC and grease a 1.5 litre oven proof dish or cake tin.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine all of the pudding batter ingredients and mix gently until just combined.
  3. Pour into prepared dish.
  4. Mix together the cornflour, custard powder and sugar and sprinkle over the butter.
  5. Mix together the lemon juice and boiling water, and using the back of a spoon, gently pour over the pudding.
  6. Bake for 50-55 mins or until it is golden and a cake skewer comes out clean when tested in the cake section.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little icing sugar.
  8. Serve with either pouring cream or vanilla ice cream.

2014-05-23 21.25.14

 

Tips.

  • Please make sure you wash your shop bought lemons well before using them as we don’t want pesticides, wax and bird poop in our pud!
  • You can easily make 6 little individual puds for a “special” occasion using ramekins.
  • If you made some limoncello from all those free lemons, (recipe coming soon) you could always pour some over the ice cream for an indulgent adults treat!

This pudding is best served straight away or the sauce will be absorbed into the cake.

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