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Old 01-01-2014, 10:18   #61
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Happy New Year, Shakti! Elimination diet? Are you trying to eliminate what exactly? I can see you going vegetarian with 3-4 times a month having a steak. If you are on medications to control "organic/metabolic ailments", a stringent diet will complicate things. I hope that your physician approved your you diet.

Mauritz
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:28   #62
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Hey Teknav

It is an allergen elimination diet. I basically eat lean meats, veges, fruit for 21 days to see if my joints quit hurting. Then add in one food at a time to see if it triggers anything. I am not starving but it isn't exactly satisfying either. I am craving one of these luscious desserts!
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:39   #63
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Hiya Shakti! If I'm not mistaken, you once mentioned that you have "RA". What treatment are you getting for it? You may wish to PM me, for privacy concerns.

Mauritz
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Old 01-01-2014, 15:55   #64
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Teknav, there is a rumour going around that you make the best Baklava known to man. Care to share the recipe?
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Old 02-01-2014, 14:29   #65
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Apricot almond muffins

Well, Christmas celebrations are over for another year, so it is time for me to get back on track making 'everyday' treats, as opposed to 'special occasion' ones.

Today I tried a variation of the Blueberry almond muffin recipe.

APRICOT ALMOND MUFFINS

I substituted the blueberries in post #49 with a cup of chopped fresh ripe apricots and added another tablespoon of honey, just to help wean us off all the sugar consumed in December. Before baking, the muffins were topped with very thin slices of apricot.

Nothing like the fragrance of warm muffins to start the day on a good note .
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Old 02-01-2014, 15:49   #66
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Hiya Lassie! It's not a rumor! I make the best baklava on earth, HUMBLY speaking. It is my great-grand mother's recipe; long gone. One pound of baklava, when finished, weighs over 3 pounds. It is labor intensive.

The ingredients are: 1 pound of phyllo dough, 1/4 pound hazel nuts, 1/4 pound walnuts, 1/4 pound almonds, a teaspoon of brown sugar, 1 pound of butter, a 1/4 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, 1/2 pound honey, 1/2 of a large lime - juice, and a teaspoon of rose water. A cooking brush to cover the phyllo dough with butter, then with honey syrup. I use a 9x13" glass pan for my preparation.

Combine and mix evenly the hazel nuts, walnuts, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and rose water; nuts are finely ground or coarse ground. Set aside, until needed.

Melt (slow heat) the butter, and begin to brush up the cooking pan; a couple of thin layers on the inside. Place 2 sheets of phyllo dough inside the pan; bent. Cover them, using the brush, with a layer of the melted butter. Repeat this process, until 6 layers have been placed in the pan. Every layer must be covered with butter. Spread the nuts mixture evenly on top. Dab with the brush, a "layer" of butter. Continue placing the dough, two sheets at a time, then cover them with butter; until all sheets are placed in. Press the top sheet evenly, to compress all layers; use your fingers. Cut three long deep cuts across the compressed layers, then again sideways, every 2 inches; to get around 12 pieces total. Pour the remaining butter over the cuts/top of the baklava.

Place the baklava in an oven at 350F, for about 50 min; until it turns light brown. While baking, place the honey and the lime juice in a sauce pan; very low temperature. Stir until honey is in liquid state (free flowing with the lime juice), but do not boil. Once the baklava is taken out of the oven, brush over the honey until finished. Let the baklava cool down! Serve at room temperature.

Mauritz
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Old 02-01-2014, 16:23   #67
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Sounds fabulous! I love baklava and just ate a half pound myself while visiting family for Christmas. I will have to try...
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Old 02-01-2014, 16:32   #68
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Rich with cream, this one for you Carsten and Shaktigurl .

Pavlova. Simply known here as 'pav'. Although the New Zealanders also claim it as their own, it is right up there with vegemite as an Aussie staple. If you had to think of one national dish, this would probably be it.

This creation is light as air and a thing of beauty. It was created and named after Anna Pavlova toured downunder in the 1920's. When made well, the delicate crust crumbles and melts in the mouth. Inside the meringue is soft, with just the very slightest hint of a chewy texture at the very edge. Just before serving it is loaded with whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit or chocolate.

Who other than an Aussie is best qualified to pass over all the secrets to making a perfect pav? After producing this creation last night for New Year's Eve (along with a zucchini chocolate cake), here is my recipe and tips for a result that will have people smile with contentment at the very first mouthful, pronouncing it is the best pav they have ever eaten.

Happy New Year everyone .

PAVLOVA

5 egg whites
Pinch salt
1.25 cups caster sugar
2 heaped tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar

300 ml thickened cream
1 heaped tbsp icing sugar, sifted

Traditional topping:
2 punnets strawberries, halved
3 kiwifruit, peeled, thinly sliced
Pulp of 2-3 passionfruit

My version last night:
Shaved curls of dark chocolate
Raspberries

Alternatives:
Coffee pav: 1 heaped tablespoon coffee ground with a mortar and pestle to a fine powder and added with the sugar
Chocolate pav: 2 heaped tablespoons sifted cocoa added with the cornflour

- Preheat oven to 120C.
- Line an oven tray with non stick baking paper with a 25 cm circle marked on the underside
- Whisk the whites until soft peaks form
- Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time, beating well after each addition (the aim is a silky smooth thick glossy mixture with the sugar entirely dissolved)
- Spoon the meringue onto the marked ring on the baking paper, keeping the edges rough and slightly built up with a flat smooth dipped in centre
- Bake for 1.5 hours and leave untouched to cool for another 4-6 hours.
- If not using immediately store in an airtight container
- Whip cream and sugar until soft peaks form and refrigerate
- Just before serving, top the centre of the pav with cream and pile on the fruit or chocolate.

Tips:
- Make sure the bowl is totally grease free and that no bit of yolk has escaped into the mixture.
- A pinch of salt enables the peaks to hold better before the sugar is incorporated
- Add the sugar very slowly and wait until it has dissolved (the mixture should not feel gritty if rubbed between your fingers or tasted). Undissolved sugar causes the pav to "weep"
- The cornflour helps to give a beautifully crisp delicate crust
- The vinegar gives a lovely marshmallowy centre
- Roughing up the sides increases the surface area and increases the ratio of the melting crispness. It also means the pav is less likely to crack in an unpleasing manner
- Any cold air hitting the pav while it is still warm will result in it collapsing, so exercise some restraint and don't open the oven door until it has completely cooled.

Yesterday's pav was a coffee one and topped with shavings of dark chocolate and raspberries. The colours are hopeless in the photo, I will take a better one next time I make this. It looked divine in the flesh:
Hey SWL, I see you are still hiding one secret...
Where/when is the cornflour & vinegar used.
Signed Mr Pedantic Pain in the A*#e
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Old 02-01-2014, 18:42   #69
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Hey SWL, I see you are still hiding one secret...
Where/when is the cornflour & vinegar used.
Signed Mr Pedantic Pain in the A*#e
Oops .

Dear Mr P
Briefly beat them in after the sugar has been completely incorporated.

One other tip I forgot to add was to have the eggs at room temperature.

SWL xxx
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Old 02-01-2014, 18:59   #70
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
Hiya Lassie! It's not a rumor! I make the best baklava on earth, HUMBLY speaking. It is my great-grand mother's recipe; long gone. One pound of baklava, when finished, weighs over 3 pounds. It is labor intensive.

The ingredients are: 1 pound of phyllo dough, 1/4 pound hazel nuts, 1/4 pound walnuts, 1/4 pound almonds, a teaspoon of brown sugar, 1 pound of butter, a 1/4 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, 1/2 pound honey, 1/2 of a large lime - juice, and a teaspoon of rose water. A cooking brush to cover the phyllo dough with butter, then with honey syrup. I use a 9x13" glass pan for my preparation.

Combine and mix evenly the hazel nuts, walnuts, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and rose water; nuts are finely ground or coarse ground. Set aside, until needed.

Melt (slow heat) the butter, and begin to brush up the cooking pan; a couple of thin layers on the inside. Place 2 sheets of phyllo dough inside the pan; bent. Cover them, using the brush, with a layer of the melted butter. Repeat this process, until 6 layers have been placed in the pan. Every layer must be covered with butter. Spread the nuts mixture evenly on top. Dab with the brush, a "layer" of butter. Continue placing the dough, two sheets at a time, then cover them with butter; until all sheets are placed in. Press the top sheet evenly, to compress all layers; use your fingers. Cut three long deep cuts across the compressed layers, then again sideways, every 2 inches; to get around 12 pieces total. Pour the remaining butter over the cuts/top of the baklava.

Place the baklava in an oven at 350F, for about 50 min; until it turns light brown. While baking, place the honey and the lime juice in a sauce pan; very low temperature. Stir until honey is in liquid state (free flowing with the lime juice), but do not boil. Once the baklava is taken out of the oven, brush over the honey until finished. Let the baklava cool down! Serve at room temperature.
Mauritz
WOW! I will have to try this. I buy a tiny amount of baklava almost every time I find a Zaharoplasteo (patisserie) in the Greek villages I come across, and I have come to love it.

Many thanks for sharing family treasures .
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:40   #71
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Oops .

Dear Mr P
Briefly beat them in after the sugar has been completely incorporated.

One other tip I forgot to add was to have the eggs at room temperature.

SWL xxx
Thanks
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:45   #72
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Re: Let Us Eat Cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaktiGurl View Post
Hey Teknav

It is an allergen elimination diet. I basically eat lean meats, veges, fruit for 21 days to see if my joints quit hurting. Then add in one food at a time to see if it triggers anything. I am not starving but it isn't exactly satisfying either. I am craving one of these luscious desserts!
lipids are essential for proper joint function. If the pain is the beginning of arthritis you can get rid of it with bee venom therapy. If the disease is already chronic the bt will only take care of the pain. Once the damage has been done bee venom cannot repair the damage just cure the pain
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Old 06-01-2014, 19:11   #73
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Date & banana cake

I love this cake . The dates and banana provide enough sweetness to stand alone, but I often add a tablespoon or two of honey. It keeps well and is a good 'everyday' cake. It makes a fabulous, although decadent dessert if served warm with hot butterscotch sauce ladled over.

DATE & BANANA CAKE

1 cup water
1 cup dates, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon mixed spice

2 large bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2 heaped tbsp honey (optional)
cup extra virgin olive oil

cup walnuts, chopped

1.5 cups self-raising flour
1 flat tsp baking powder
1 flat teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

- Place water, dates and spice in a saucepan and heat to boiling point then simmer a few minutes, stirring occasionally (it should be thick with most of the water absorbed)
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (spread out in a thin layer on a dinner plate if you are in a hurry)
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb and cinnamon
- Mash bananas and whisk in eggs, honey and oil (just by hand for a minute or so)
- Whisk in dates
- Stir in walnuts
- Gently fold in sifted dry ingredients
- Pour into a greased and lined loaf or 24 cm round pan
- Bake for approximately 34-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean
- Allow to rest in tin for 20 minutes before turning out
- Dust with icing sugar

(This has been added to the recipe index in post #1)
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Old 07-01-2014, 14:48   #74
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Date & banana cake

PS I forgot to add that the above recipe works really well with dried figs (and even prunes) instead of dates.

This is the sauce recipe:

BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE

1 cup well packed soft brown sugar
1 cup cream
125 g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence

Heat gently until sugar has dissolved then simmer a few minutes until thickened.

Pour over warm date cake and serve.

This is just a photo from Google images:
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Old 09-01-2014, 16:14   #75
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Blueberry tart

Carsten, I hope you may by now be persuaded that it IS "possible to cook without butter or heavy cream" . Try the date cake. And the fragrance of vanilla and blueberries is plain intoxicating while the tart in this post is baking. The taste doesn't disappoint either, although I must admit it is enhanced even further with a dollop of double thick cream .

BLUEBERRY TART

2 eggs
cup extra virgin olive oil
3 heaped tablespoons honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Rind of 2 lemons

1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup SR flour
1 flat tsp baking powder
1 flat tsp baking soda

2 cups blueberries

- Preheat oven to 170C
- Cut a square of non stick baking paper, place over the base of a springform 24 cm cake pan and clamp the sides over the base (leave the frill of paper) and lightly oil the base
- Whisk eggs, oil, honey, vanilla and rind using a hand whisk or simple a fork, until well combined
- Stir in almonds
- Gently fold in sifted flour and baking powder & soda
- Spoon into the prepared pan and sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the top
- Bake approximately 30 min or until the centre is no longer wobbly to touch
- Cool in the pan, unclamp it and slide the cake off the baking paper onto a serving plate
- Dust with icing sugar
- It is better if left to stand at least a couple of hours to allow juice from the blueberries to soak through the cake a little

(This recipe has been added to the index in post #1)

The cake is a bit darker than usual, as I substituted some leftover ground hazelnuts and committed the sin of overcooking the tart a little.

The server/palette knife was made for me by my dad several decades ago when I was just a kid and started playing in the kitchen. He was a great dad and while teaching me how to fish and solder (I was one of those "garage kids" ), he also encouraged me to be let loose in the kitchen at an early age, dangerous implements and all .
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