Monday, December 31, 2012

Holiday Edition - Fruity Refreshment

Summer holiday edition today folks. I am currently surrounded by mango tree's in backyards and people that say 'heap's good' in their sentences like its normal spending my summer holidays with an old pal in the Sunshine coast of Aus. I've been buzzing about in my body seeing tree's with avocado's and paddocks with giant watermelons wallowing on the surface. Witnessing natures finest and sweetest joys so cheap and only a few steps away is making me pretty excited.

So today I have been steadily evaporating so felt the need to combine rehydration with fun. Newly known as "Fundration". When thinking of what to fundrate with I remembered sitting in the fridge was a giant Watermelon the size of 3 of my heads, 2 when my hairs boof in the morning. Along with the watermelon there were some juicy yellow peaches nestling on the bench. Add some fresh passion fruit and whiz together with ice in a blender . . . and there you have it.

Peach, Passionfruit and Watermelon Fundrator

Serves 1

1 C - of 2 or more fresh fruits (atleast one super juicy type, or you canjust add some other juice)
1/2 C - Ice

Blend together till smooth.

This can be substituted with whatever you have and where ever you are located. Pal's in south island NZ try raspberries, stone fruits, melons or orange with a dash of mint.

Where ever you've been this christmas I hope you had a fun time with close friends or family and truley stretched your tummie's. Thanks always for reading and stay safe. Will be updating with more on my return on the 8th. I'm sure the tomata's will be ready for a reveal by then if the flatties have remembered the watering.

Thanks always
Keep enjoying the Creator's sweet fruity treat's

Al xx

Sunday, December 23, 2012

4 Week Cake Challenge

After a few seconds of thought and a bank account showing $0.61. I realized the main predator in my weekly budget has been the not so humble anymore cake ingredients. Dutch cocoa. Marscapone Cream. Raspberries. Blueberries. Nectarines. Creme Fraiche. Hazelnut Flour. blah blah. But the amount of fun and satisfaction that these greedy little taste tantilizers have given me was most certainly worth it.
In an attempt to master the flavour, texture and appearance of this super awesome baked good I created a challenge to make a cake a week. I have not been short of weekly events to justify my obsession with these round lumps of deliciousness.

- Engagement's
- Sorrowful departures
- Birthdays
- Family fun

The theme was to embrace the summer seasons fruity goodies and create flavour combo's that no one except a diabetic could resist. Topped with fresh fruit, flavoured creams and fresh Hoon Hay flowers my cake pride inevitably grew. The journey will be long but cant wait for the next seasons inspiration and new ingredients.
I will be retiring as an amatuer caker over the summer in the hopes of still fitting into my togs but will keep you posted on any new revelations.

Nectarine and Blueberry layer cake with vanilla spiced marscapone

Bittersweet chocolate and hazelnut cake, gluten free

Honey roasted rhubarb cake with raspberry creme fraiche

Lemon Sourcream layer cake with lavender cream and blueberries

If you live in Christchurch and are ever interested in a cake for a special occasion I would be super stoked to help you and whip something up.

Have a happy and safe christmas with plenty of yum summer treats and laughs with family

Love Al x

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spring Sunshine in My Cup

So it's officially the beginning of Summer here in Christchurch and my Melanin cells are kickin into gear.

Elderflower is the my first thought when I think of Springs seasonal window. But to my despair in all my kitchen mayhem lately the elderflower cordial slipped off the production line. Yesterday I found my true appreciation for slow bloomers when I came across a newly opened elderflower bush. Swerving to the side of the road I clambered out of my car (currently my car door doesn't open and I have no front window) to retrieve some of the creamy white flowers. With a colour like my red haired sister's skin and a scent as wild as the Alps what better way to enjoy them than in a soda/elderflower twist.

Elderflower Cordial

Makes 1 large jar full

Ingredients -
About 25 elderflower heads
Finely grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 2 orange, plus their juice
700g sugar
1 heaped tsp citric acid (optional)

You want to choose newly opened elder heads, with a pleasant scent. Warm early mornings are the best time for picking.

Inspect the elderflower heads carefully and remove any insects. Place the flower heads in a large bowl .
Bring 1.5 litres water to the boil together with the orange and lemon zest and pour over the elderflowers and citrus zest. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.

Strain the liquid through a piece of muslin or fine sieve and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar, the lemon and orange juice and the citric acid (if using).

Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer and cook for a
5-10 minutes or until golden and like a fine syrup.

Pour the hot syrup into sterilised bottles. Seal the bottles
with swing-top lids, sterilised screw-tops or corks and store in the fridge once opened

Enjoy with soda water, mint and lemon or whatever your favourite mix is. Freeze if you want to keep for those sweltering summer afternoons

Happy brewing xx