Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stressed is desserts spelled backwards!

OH and I have a subscription to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Opera House. It was our treat to ourselves and I have to say that it's a lovely way to spend a Friday evening. Another great bit of the evening is heading off to Circular Quay straight from work and meeting OH's a bit like having a date! We take ourselves off to find a quick bite to eat before batons up at 8pm.
The other night we tried a little tapas bar in The Rocks ( and it was really lovely. The food was really tasty and there was a guy playing some beautiful guitar music. Anyway, this is a long introduction to the title as on the wall of the bar was a plaque letting us know that stressed was dessert spelled backwards. After seeing that I just had to go home and try a new pudding!
I've done a few things from Tamasin's Weekend Food but this pudding just seemed to hit the mark for a winter pud.
Guards' Pudding
6oz wholemeal breadcrumbs
1oz self raising flour
3oz vanilla caster sugar
1 pot best strawberry jam, full of whole strawberries
3 eggs
4oz melted butter
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Grease a 2pt pudding dish. Mix the breadcrumbs together with the sifted flour and sugar in a large bowl. melt the jam gently and pour it into the bowl at the same time as the whisked eggs and melted butter. Stir together. Dissolve the bicarb in a little warm water and stir it into the pudding.
Pour into the pudding basin and seal with pleated foil and string. Place the pudding on a trivet then pour boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the pudding basin. Cover with a lid and simmer for 2 hours.
Turn out and serve with thick cream.
It was one of the simplest puddings to make but I did make some adjustments.
  • I always divide the amount of sugar in half, no one ever seems to notice and it does save a few calories!
  • I only had bog standard strawberry jam so used half and made the rest up with frozen strawberries.
  • I made a coulis with the remaining frozen strawberries by blitzing them up with some icing sugar and lemon juice and poured it over the pudding just before serving.

What I ended up with was a really light and fruity pudding served with thick custard followed by some very empty plates and no stress!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I don't think that I've seen so much rain here in all of the time I've lived in Australia. The weather is so 'British" with days and days of rain making it cold, damp and miserable. So what's the best thing to do? Make soup.

I love soup and most are so quick and easy to make.

Today's soup is red curry, sweet potato and coconut soup. It's really easy and makes a delicious warming and incredibly smooth soup.

Here's what you need.

1 onion, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks.

stock to cover (or water and a veggie stock cube)

red curry paste - I won't say how much as it depends how hot you like things and what the brand of curry paste is like. I used 2 tsp.

440ml coconut cream (mine was light!)

Here's what you do!

Gently fry the onion in a large pan until it turns translucent then add the red curry paste and fry to release the most wonderful aroma. Add the chopped sweet potato, cover with stock then add the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and simmer until soft. Blitz with a 'whizzy stick' or put in a blender. Add a little salt to taste and serve with crusty bread and a beer!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Another year, another cake!

Well, here it is! Teen boys birthday cake and this year it was Nigella's Chocolate Gingerbread. And what a cake! I'm not saying it was my brilliant baking but the whole cake was just a yummy mouthful after mouthful. It was enhanced by the fact that I had got hold of a couple of tins of Tate and Lyle treacle. Now, I much prefer the taste of our Aussie golden syrup (it's less sweet to my tastebuds!) but I just don't think that you can beat the taste of good old Tate and Lyle for treacle.
Anyway, if you haven't tried it then just go ahead and give it a go as I'm really sure that you won't be disappointed!
Chocolate Gingerbread
175g unsalted butter
125g dark muscovado sugar
2 tbsp caster sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
2 eggs
250ml milk
275g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
175g chocolate chips
30g unsalted butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
60ml ginger beer
250g icing sugar
Oven to 160C. Line a tin with baking paper.

Melt butter with sugars, golden syrup, treacle and spices. Remove from heat. Dissolve the bicarb in 2 tablespoons water and add to the melted butter along with the eggs and milk. Stir in the flour and beat well. Fold in the chocolate chips. Bake for about 45 minutes.
It will be slightly damp under the top. Cool.
For the icing melt the butter, cocoa and ginger ale. Sift in the icing sugar and top the bread.