Still reading…

I’m still reading Stephenie Meyer new book The Chemist. I’m almost done but I’m hitting struggle street and want it to be finished because now its just dragging along now.

Mum and I made choc-chip cookies this morning. So for afternoon tea I’m definitely digging in.

What are you reading?

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Book Review – Humble Pie by Gordon Ramsey

Humble Pie / Gordon Ramsey / 2006 / HarperCollins / ISBN 9780007229673 / 284 Pages / Memoir / Cooking Biography

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http://www.booktopia.com.au/humble-pie-gordon-ramsay/prod9780007229680.html

Everyone thinks they know Gordon Ramsey: rude, loud, pathologically driven, and stubborn as hell. But this is his real story.

Review –

I am a huge fan of autobiographies and have recently found a few good cooking biographies, and that it great because it combines my love of food with words. I have always been a fan of Gordon Ramsey, I mean who isn’t really? I have also wanted to know about him and his life because he really doesn’t share a lot. So when I found this book at the LifeLine Book Sale I went to I knew I had to get it and read it.

Gordon Ramsey is a great writer, I really mean it. If you have ever seen him on television, than you should know this, he writes just like he talks and it’s pretty cool how fluently and well he does that. This book Humble Pie is a great book for two reasons, you get to know Gordon Ramsey for more than he is on television, and you also get to read about him and learn about his life before and during his cooking career.

There are many things to consider when you read this book and the main one is that you can’t be offended every time you read the word F**# in the book. The book isn’t chronologically written either, so you might get confused as to when which restaurant opened when and what in his personal life happened when. I think because Ramsey wrote the book in predetermined sections/chapters, the book couldn’t really flow on chronologically. Ramseys passion for food shines through when he talks about it. There isn’t a lot about it written throughout the book and that’s a shame, but it is well done when it is done.

If you like cooking shows or cooks or even Gordon Ramsey and want to know the man behind the façade, than you need to read this book.

I give this book 4.0 out of 5 booky stars!

You can get a copy of this book here:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Bookworld

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Carrot, Date and Walnut Loaf Recipe

I love a good carrot cake, but sometimes they can be a little tricky or time consuming to make. They generally take 50 minutes to cook in the oven most carrot cakes. If you don’t like waiting that long or are looking for something different to try and taste than this is the recipe for you. I found this recipe in the Coles magazine, the free one you can grab when you are paying. I love this recipe because it is fast and really easy to throw all together in the afternoon. Now I know I said that carrot cakes take 50 minutes to cook, well do does this one, the difference however is the steps and time it takes to get it into the oven, it is a very simple recipe. Here is what you need:

Ingredients:

  • 140 g dates (pitted), chopped coarsely
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 300 g self-raising sugar
  • 220 g brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups carrots, coarsely grated (about 3 large carrots)
  • 50 g walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
  • Grease and line a long loaf pan with baking paper, leaving the long sides to hang (10cm x 20cm)
  • Combine chopped dates, eggs and oil into a bowl and whisk together
  • In another bowl, combine the self-rising flour, brown sugar, grated carrots, chopped walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg together
  • Once combined nicely, pour in the date, egg and oil mixture into the dry mixture and bring together
  • Once combined, pour out into greased tin and place into preheated over
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until the skewer test is passed (place skewer into the middle fo the cake and if it comes out clean it is ready)
  • Leave the loaf in the tin for 10 minutes to cool before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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Carrot, Date and Walnut Loaf without Icing Sugar

Note: there is an icing element to this loaf that I will add but know that I have not made the icing mixture as I had the loaf as is without.

Icing Ingredients:

  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 50g butter
  • 80g icing sugar mixture

Icing Method:

  • Use and electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter until it is smooth.
  • Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined
  • Spread mixture over cooled, cold loaf
  • Enjoy!

I made this cake last week and I loved it. I didn’t chop my dates or walnuts enough so I had big chunks of them throughout my loaf. This cake is simple to make with only a handful of steps before you throw it into the oven. Your house will smell amazing as it is cool, trust me. If you don’t like dates, or walnuts, then you can leave either/or of them out and I don’t think it will alter the recipe.

Storage:

Once it is cooled, I suggest putting it into a container that doesn’t suffocate the loaf as it might sweat a little bit. I should keep for a week or more and serves about 12 people if you want to be generous.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and the loaf and let me know if you have a go at making it.

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#Cookingwednesday time

Just made a date, walnut and carrot loaf. It is still in the oven and it smells so good so far. I can’t wait to take it out and have a slice. It is meant to have a cream cheese frosting, but I think I’m going to skip that this time. I know I know how can you skip the cream cheese frosting? But I didn’t take it out early enough for it to be room temperature.

I haven’t posted anything for #cookingwednesdays for a while. I have baked a few things, like a Strawberry Chocolate Gateau Cake for my mothers birthday, vanilla cupcakes, and I even made some donuts for the first time ever with the help of my gorgeous cousins. Not only that a few weeks ago I made a rainbow cheesecake. It looked cool and tasted even better.

If you want to have a look at what I have been making check out my personal instagram @gules93

I’ll post a photo of my loaf once it is out of the oven. Let me know if you would like a copy of this easy to make loaf recipe and I’ll type it up.

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Candied Walnut Recipe

My mother just made a Walnut and Carrot cake. It looks amazing and I am about to make the cream cheese icing to top the cake. The recipe also calls for a candied walnut topping. Mum gave me the responsibility, even though I have never even attempted to do such a technique in the kitchen, but my mother like to throw me in the deep end for a lot of situation to allow me to kick and scream and conquer and learn. Suffice it to say, I candied my first ever batch of walnuts and I can’t wait to taste them with the cake.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g walnuts (halved)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom

Method:

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper and set it aside
  • Heat a small non-stick fry pan over a medium heat
  • Add in all the ingredients
  • Allow all of the ingredients to melt (not the walnuts) and stir for about 5 minutes until the walnuts are coated and syrup is thick
  • Pour onto the line baking tray
  • Separate the nuts and let cool

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Note: These candied walnuts are going onto of the Carrot and Walnut Cake that is written in the April 2016 edition of Woolworth’s Fresh Magazine.

I will take a photo and show you all what that cake looks like in the end. And will write up the recipe for the cake shorty. I’ll let you know what I post it.

Stick around…

 

Darrell Lea Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe

I had a sheet of left over Darrell Lea Chocolate in my cupboard from making something sweet the other week and found a gem of a recipe in the pack and thought I would make it. So as my mother got dinner ready, I got this cake ready. It is quick and simple with only 6 ingredients to play with and not that many moves to make it. Have a go yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g Darrell Lea Traditional Milk Chocolate (grated)
  • 2 bananas (ripe)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. golden syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (sifted)

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
  • Line your tin/tray with grease proof paper and set aside for now
  • Mash your ripe bananas into a bowl using a fork
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mashed bananas
  • Add the golden syrup and sugar into the mashed bananas and stir
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mashed bananas, golden syrup and sugar
  • Add the egg and sifted flour into the banana mixture
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the egg is under the mountain of sifted flour

 

  • Grate the Darrell Lea milk chocolate before adding it to the rest of the mixture and stir well
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grated milk chocolate
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ingredients all together
  • Pour the mixture into your lined baking tray/tin and place it into the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the bread passes the skewer test
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pour into the tin

 

  • Allow the bread to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack
  • Enjoy!
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The end result with a piece or two already missing!

Note: I used a microplane to grate my chocolate, it took a while so it might be ideal to grate the chocolate before starting anything else as it gives the oven time to preheat and egg to come to room temperature.

This easy, simple chocolate banana bread will make your house smell of chocolate with a hint of banana and it smells delicious. It is a total must make for everyone.

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