Monday, 24 August 2015

Macadamia and Brown Rice Cookies

Biscuits are so much fun to invent!  Mainly because I find them quite forgiving and it is hard to go wrong when making a biscuit recipe.  Even if they don't turn out exactly as they should, unless you burn the life out of them, they wont suffer from issues such as sinking in the middle or not rising as commonly occurs with cakes or other demanding delights!
These filled our house with such wonderful aromas - macadamias toasting, a subtle hint of vanilla and that delicious buttery goodness!
Whilst they won't be able to set foot in the lunchbox (unless your school doesn't follow a nut free policy!), there are plenty of other occasions for these maca treats - after school snack, morning tea at the office, a gift to show someone you care, road trips, and the list goes on!
I'm sure other nuts will work too, although there is something that works so beautifully with butter and macadamias! Not to mention the fact that Macadamias are indigenous to Australia - with growers spanning from the east coast of New South Wales right up to the far north of sunny Queensland!  Please ensure that when you buy your macadamias, support our local industry and Buy Australian!

If you are using a Thermomix and raw brown rice, you'll get a little crunch in the bikkie which adds to the experience although if you prefer a really smooth result, once you grind the rice you could always sift it to remove the gritty bits.
These are so quick and easy to make with simple ingredients, it really isn't necessary to buy packet biscuits!  Avoid those processed ingredients, make a double batch, and freeze half for another time when the doorbell rings unexpectedly!

Macadamia and Brown Rice Cookies


100g raw brown rice (or brown rice flour if not using a TMX)
100g macadamias
100g gluten free self raising flour
65g rapadura sugar (coconut sugar, brown sugar, or raw would also work)
55g unsalted butter, cold
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method - Conventional

  1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Add the macadamias to a food processor and pulse until a fine meal is achieved.  If you do not have an appliance to do this, finely chop the nuts.
  3. Place brown rice flour, macadamias, SR flour and sugar into a bowl or food processor and combine.
  4. Add butter and vanilla - either pulsing in food processor until mixture holds together well when pressed into a ball, or mix through butter and vanilla with fingertips until butter is evenly distributed through the mix and then stir well until mix holds together well when pressed into a ball (this will take a bit of elbow grease to get a moist dough!).
  5. Press tablespoons of mixture into balls then gently press down with a fork to flatten slightly.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for approx 15 mins (checking regularly after 10 minutes as all ovens are different) or until golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool completely on tray before storing in an airtight container. 

Method - Thermomix

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place rice in TM bowl and grind on speed 10 for 1 minute.
  3. Scrape sides, add macadamias to ground rice and process on speed 7 for 10 seconds.
  4.  Add flour and sugar and mix on speed 4 for 5 seconds.
  5. Add butter and vanilla and process on speed 5 until combined (approx 20-30 seconds).  Mix should come together into a ball easily.
  6. Follow steops 5-7 above.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Date & Coconut Slice with Lemon Icing

Some of my favourite moments these days involve spending time with good friends.  I treasure it now more than ever before, and consider myself so very lucky to have such dear friends with whom I can cry with, laugh with, bounce ideas off, and solve the worlds problems with!  But most of all just that companionship, that understanding (even when we may see things differently), that support and knowledge that someone is really there for you - as much as you are there for them.  I mean, you can't trivialise that.  That true friend is often years in the making, or sometimes not many years at all.  But either way, it's a precious thing I have in my life, and I try not to take it for granted, ever.
So this is to you, my dear friends.  You know who you are.  You are special to me and I thank you for giving me such richness in my life.  I try hard to give that back to you.  Here's to you and me, and the good times we've had, and the good times that lay ahead.  The greatest way I give love is through food.  And here is some love in a slice!  How lovely it would be to know that this slice created another special moment between two good friends.  Enjoy...

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Roasted Tomato and Capsicum Soup

Over two years on and my Thermomix still never ceases to amaze and impress me!
Today I scored just under a kilo of deliciously juicy and sweet tomatoes and two large red capsicums.    Soup came to mind straight away, but generally with homemade tomato and capsicum soup you would need to remove the skins in most recipes.  And anyone who knows me knows that those kind of tedious steps in a recipe really turns me off!!
Well I decided to put my trust in the power of the TMX and ditch the skinning step - and I'm here to tell you the TMX made light work of those pesky skins!  Blitzed them right into oblivion!!  The end result was smooth, yet layered with a complexity of flavours coming from the roasting.  The sweetness of the tomatoes, capsicum and garlic shone through, complemented with a slight smokiness, the richness of the olive oil, then cut through with the fresh basil and cracked pepper.
A solid entree or even hearty lunch with a chunk of fresh bread, this soup will surely impress its recipients, but most of all, it impresses the cook, because in just two simple steps and as many dishes, you are done and dusted and free to entertain in front of the crackling fireplace; glass of wine in hand, cracker of a soup at the ready!  Now what could be better than that in the dead of winter?!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Carrot & Pecan Brownie Topped with Lemon Curd

 Half a lemon each, a spoon in hand and the sugar jar in our lap.  Sitting on the trampoline on a warm summers day is a distinct memory of my cousin and I many moons ago.  Two girls.  Footloose and fancy free.  The warm breeze in our hair. Chatting about everything and nothing.  Our dreams, our friends, the big issues.  All the time in the world.  A sprinkling of sugar, a taste of the sweet juice, another sprinkling of sugar, and on it would go!  Where did that time go?

I love love love lemons!  Lemon juice, lemon water, lemon cake, lemon slice.
Lemon lifts.  Lemon builds.  Lemon cuts through sweet and salty.  Lemon adds another dimension.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Chocolate Zucchini cake/muffins - Gluten free, nut free, dairy free

My chocolate and beetroot fudge cake has proven to be a huge hit, both amongst friends and family as well as on this blog!  The benefits are not having to cook the beetroot before cooking, and of course sneaking vegetables into a decadent chocolate cake makes eating one slice too many almost acceptable!

Well, here is another option of adding a vegetable to a chocolate cake, no-one any the wiser! 
I'm not suggesting this as a way to get vegetables into your children and to therefore serve it next to their pork chop on the dinner plate!  But actually the zucchini creates a beautiful moistness in this cake, and if that can be done from a vegetable, why not!