Monday, November 29, 2010

Can you smell these?

Mmmm, fresh vanilla pods, they smell SOOOO GOOD!

Grown for the first time in Australia (apparently, I'd need to research that to verify it as fact) and sold at my local farmer's market by the Spice Lady.

I'm going to give making my own vanilla essence a go.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Best flourless, gluten free chocolate cake and the recipe is UP!

I have a fabulous cake recipe that I really should share, it's more of a mud-type cake than a regular cake, flourless, chocolately, squidegy and delicious.

It happens to be gluten free too, by virtue of being flourless, and is fabulous for any fancy or not-so-fancy occasion.

I have however, misplaced the recipe.

I know, clever aren't I?

I pulled it out of my file folder to write up a couple of days ago and didn't get to it,'s mia right this moment.

BUT, I have some photos to leave you drooling while I look for it.

Ok, found it! Here it is:

250 grams dark chocolate
125 grams butter
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
175 grams caster sugar

First up, line the bottom of a 23cm springform with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or the microwave), then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.

Beat the 2 whole eggs and the 4 yolks with 75 grams of the caster sugar, then carefully add the chocolate.

In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100 grams of caster sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff.

Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites,

then fold in the rest of the whites.

Pour into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly.

Cool the cake in the tin, the middle will sink as it cools.

When you're ready to eat it, fill the centre with soft whipped cream and grate some chocolate over the top.

Hmm, I really need a better final picture here, but think dense, fudgey chocolate, cool, soft whipped cream...(can you tell I nearly turned this cream into butter? Whoops.)

I think this is a Nigella recipe, but as usual I'm working from a page that I photocopied long ago, so which book exactly I can't tell you.

Oh, and the original also has cointreau and orange zest in it (you add them to the chocolate mixture along with the eggs: 2 tablespoons of cointreau and the grated zest of one orange, in case you're interested). I prefer the plain version I've listed though.

Lasts well in the fridge, if you can stretch it out that long, it's very more-ish.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

This is Melbourne

So, just a few days ago I was celebrating the return of hot weather, but we are in Melbourne after all and hot on the heels of that hot day was a really, really wet one.

Just in time for the weekend.


Four people in a small house on a wet day.

One of whom is tired and crabby.
And wants to watch the golf on tv.
And actually hear the commentary.

Two of whom are small children. Boys, at that. Loud ones.

And me.

Feeling like the meat in the sandwich, I decided it was in everyone's best interests to get the boys outside for a bit, despite the inclement weather.

We found it is possible to blow bubbles in wet weather, just as well as fine weather.

In fact, it's more interesting because the bubbles settle on the ground and other objects without popping.

Something about the surface tension I imagine. Need to look that one up to clarify.

Cool, huh?

Later, we went down to our local man-made wetland, which is where all the storm water goes.

We've examined the street level drains and seen what happens when they're blocked by leaves, so it was interesting for the boys to see where all that water actually ends up.

We usually only come down here in fine weather, when there's next-to-no water running through this concrete cutting.

The whole area had a different feel, with puddles to jump in, frogs to search for, ducks to try and photograph and the amazing revelation by Mr 5 that trees can actually look wet.

Um, right, yes they can.

Hi ho, life is challenging at the moment, but it's rather fun, too.

Loving it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

No rain today....

so we managed to get planting!

As well as what was shown in my previous post, we picked up two of these today...

They should be ok in pots for the first year, beyond that, not sure what we'll do.

And the beans that Mr 5 brought home from pre-school found a home too.

I also noticed a miniature nectarine, a dwarf lemon, boysenberries and blackcurrants that I wouldn't mind bringing home, but I do need to be somewhat realistic.

Don't I?

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