Friday, May 30, 2014

An Afternoon with Heston Blumenthal

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the launch of Heston's new product line for Coles. 
I got to meet Heston Blumenthal!

It was a sunny day out at the Bennelong Lawn, Botanical Gardens.


There were a number of bloggers and people at the launch. It was a public event. 

The launch started with a group of Heston lookalikes singing.


Check out his menu for the day!


I had the pleasure to taste Heston's food range for Coles. All the ingredients used at the launch can be found at Coles.

  



Kendra Banks, GM of Coles Brand and Customer Insights started the launch officially.


Heston gave a speech and shared with us on how his creation came about and so on.
This one tip that he gave was "to use SALT to help combine your mince into a patty, you do not need to use egg or breadcrumbs. SALT will help you do that".

After that, Heston had a short photoshoot...


Then we bloggers had the opportunity to casually interview and take a photo with Heston at the Media stand. 


Thanks to Thrive PR, we went away with a bag of goodies - Heston for Coles products.
 

Thanks Stephanie from Thrive PR. 

If you're interested, you can get Heston's range at Coles! His products will look like this.

Have a great Friday! :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Little Jam Drops

OMG, YUM!

One thing's for sure, I like my Strawberry jam. I eat it with my toast, waffles, pancakes, scones, crumpets. So of course, I had to also have it with my Jam drops!


If you have not heard of Jam drops, it is pretty much a cookie with jam in a middle, they are awesome and so totally easy to make! 

The best thing is, you can dollop it with any toppings you like...say...chocolate, lemon curd, caramel, and any jam you want really! You can even use your very own jam, check out my Blueberry & Strawberry jam recipe.


The important thing is not to over mix your dough once you add in the flour, so that the cookie is short!

This makes about 40 pieces or so, depending how small you roll your balls.

The dough definitely spreads a fair bit, so use about a teaspoon of dough.

You would need to lightly flour your hands to roll the dough so that it doesn't stick.

I used a chopstick dipped in flour to make the dent in the middle of the ball.

Make sure you do not poke a hole through, as the jam will leak out.

All you need:
125g unsalted butter, soften
100g (1/2cup) caster sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 egg
190g (1 1/4cups) self-raising flour 
1/4-1/2 cup of Jam or any toppings

All you need to do:
1) Pre-heat your oven to 180degrees. Line your baking tray.
2) Cream your butter, sugar and vanilla extract with a wooden spoon in a glass bowl until pale.
3) Beat in the egg properly.
4) Add in the flour and mix until combined only.
5) Roll about a teaspoon of dough into a ball. Poke a deep hole in the middle of the ball. Add your toppings into the hole.
6) Bake for about 7 minutes, take it out, add more toppings, and bake it for another 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
7) Wait for a minute or 2 before transferring it to a cooling rack.
8) Store in an air tight container.

This recipe was adapted from Taste.com.au.

* you can keep it for 2 days in a cool area. 

Though I do not think it would last the whole day! I ate a handful of them while baking it. Just couldn't resist!

Happy Jamming! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brownie Twist

Who loves BROWNIES?!?!
Instagram: Passionatemae
Usually when I am making a brownie, I like it to be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
But this time, I have decided to create a recipe that uses superfood and healthier ingredients without taking away the chocolatey-ness from it. This brownie is very rich in chocolate because of the raw cacao.

Here's what you need:
75g butter
1/2 cup raw cacao
2 eggs
1/2 cup palm sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
almost 1/2 cup (40g) hazelnut meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 pkt (1/2 cup) white chocolate bits

Here's what you need to do:
1) Preheat oven to 160C fan-forced, line base of a loaf tin with baking paper.
2) Melt butter and stir in raw cacao, cool slightly and beat in eggs until a smooth paste. Stir in palm sugar and vanilla.
3) Whisk hazelnut meal and baking powder together, add to mixture and stir until just mixed. Stir through white chocolate bits. Pour into tin.
4) Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cake will wobble a little in the centre. As it cools slightly, it will set more.
5) Cut into slices when warm, serve warm!

*healthier option - you can substitute the white chocolate with nuts (chopped) in the same amount
* gluten-free option - use gluten-free baking powder

Happy Brownie! :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce and Almond Pralines

My husband loves eating Sticky Date pudding...and this is my first time making it...I wonder why have I not made it sooner.
 
 
It is pretty simple and it taste really delicious. Definitely a keeper! This recipe comes from Masterchef by Kirsten Jenkins.
 
I know it looks like there's a lot of ingredients, but because this recipe has 3 different elements to it.
The sticky date pudding
The butterscotch sauce
The almond praline
 
Here is what you need:
Sticky Date Pudding
180g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
 1 1/4 cups (310ml) water
 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
 3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed brown sugar
 60g butter, softened chopped
 2 eggs
 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
 
 Butterscotch sauce
50g butter
 1 cup (220g) brown sugar
 1 cup (250ml) cream
 1 tsp vanilla extract

 Almond praline
 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
 1/4 cup (35g) slivered almonds, toasted
 
Here is what you need to do:
 1. Preheat oven to 160Celcius. Lightly grease eight (1/2 cup capacity) metal Dariole moulds (As I do not have those moulds, I used my Ikea muffin pan, it works fine - fill up about 2/3 full).

 2. Place dates and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Remove from the heat.
 
3. Add bicarbonate of soda, stir until dates start to break down, set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

 3. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl - a wooden spoon is sufficient. Gradually add eggs one at a time, beat until light and fluffy.

 4. Add date mixture, stir to combine. Carefully fold through sifted flour, divide mixture evenly.

 5. Place moulds in a baking tray, carefully pour water in tray until it comes up 1/3 of the side of the moulds. (As I was using a muffin pan, I just added a tray of water on the lower rack) 
 
Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until golden and skewer comes out clean.

 6. As for the almond praline, combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan, until deep golden.
video
 
Scatter almonds onto a baking paper-lined oven tray, pour over caramel and cool until set. Break praline into pieces.
 7. For the butterscotch sauce, combine butter, sugar, cream and vanilla in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring sauce to the boil, reduce heat and cook for 5-6 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
 
 8. To serve, place the hot pudding onto a serving plate, top with butterscotch sauce and shards of praline.
 
Happy Dating!! :)