Thursday, 23 February 2017

Introducing Oscar Maxwell Drady

Our gorgeous grandson Oscar Maxwell Drady was born on the 16th of February 2017.

We are so excited, happy and totally smitten. The joys of a new baby in the family!

And here we are a few hours after the birth. The proud parents Liam and Rachel and Ray and I. 

I made this quilt for his cot. 

It will not be needed for a few months but looks nice in his room.

A closer view. It is made up of two alternating blocks

Sawtooth Star

And a variation of the Snowball block. I opted to piece the base block around a square of a blue and grey print. 

This is the first quilt that I made. Started in 1989 when I was pregnant with Liam and finished a little over a year later. It is a very large quilt that was on his bed until he requested a new quilt - Ocean Waves some fourteen or fifteen years later. If you look closely you will see that it is also made up of alternating Sawtooth Star and Snowball blocks. 

Fabric choices were more limited and the rust was selected to coordinate with drapes that were in the room. 

Some more photos of Oscar

More Fika

I am loving the challenge of making every recipe in the Fika & Hygge cookbook. Thirteen recipes to go. I tend to post on Instagram as each recipe is made and may not have these in the exact order of baking. My approach is quite random with recipes selected as the mood or occasion presented.

Page 62 Blueberry Studmuffins

Page 36 Swedish Dream Biscuits

Page 125 Licorice Ganache Cake

Page 102 Mallow Fluff Cakes

Page 142 Custard Spandau Pastries

Page 126 Danish Pastry Kringle

Page 88 Baked Cheesecake 

Page 70 Rhubarb and Custard Cake

Page 145 Danish Pastry Poppy Seed Squares

Page 83 Lemon Moon Cake

Page 168 Swedish Scones

Page 32 Small Raspberry Treats

Page 106 Potato Cakes

Page 113 Sarah Bernhardt Cakes

Page 79 White Chocolate Cake

Page 129 Rye Bread Layer Cake

Page 97 Napoleon Hats

Page 109 Raspberry Squares

Page 153 Birthday Buns

Page 45 Norwegian Apple Cake

Page 150 Sally's Chocolate Buns

Page 84 Success Cake

Monday, 13 February 2017

Choux Pastry

I rarely make choux pastry, however, there was a time when it seemed that I was making it all the time. Choux pastry is the base for profiteroles and eclairs.

It is not difficult to make with a food processor or heavy duty mixer although the beating by hand is hard work. The paste must be well beaten until glossy, this helps develop the gluten in the flour.

The paste is cooked and then eggs are beaten into the flour mixture.

The paste can be piped or spooned onto a tray or baking parchment.

If making profiteroles or puffs it is easy to just spoon the mixture onto the trays.

The puffs must go into a hot oven so that the high moisture content of the paste is converted to steam causing the puffs to expand and rise or puff up. Once cooked the heat is reduced so that the puffs can dry out inside, residual paste can be removed and the puffs returned to the oven to dry out further.

The yellow 'claggy' middle can be removed.

Fill puffs/ eclairs with whipped cream, pastry cream/custard or chocolate pastry cream/custard and ice with melted chocolate.

Profiteroles have a chocolate sauce.

A large puff filled with whipped cream and fresh berries are a delicious dessert.

Salambbo, puffs with whipped cream/custard filling and a toffee coating.

Choux Pastry

1 cup flour
1 cup water
125 g butter
3 eggs

Put water and butter into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. 
Reduce the heat and then add the flour all at once and stir until the mixture forms a smooth ball.
Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes then beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat thoroughly until mixture is glossy and smooth. Use a food processor or electric beater if you have one.
Cool thoroughly before using the mixture. It can be refrigerated.
Spoon or pipe the paste onto trays lined with baking parchment
Bake at 220 deg C for 15 - so minutes and then reduce the heat to 180 deg C.
Cook until golden brown.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Sausage Rolls

Not sure why I haven't shared this recipe before - sausage rolls are a staple in my finger food collection.  Once you get organised it is easy to make them in bulk. I cut them into a variety of sizes according to the end use, smaller bite sized rolls for finger foods and larger for light lunches. If making in bulk  just cook until meat has set and pastry pale golden colour so that they do not get too brown when reheated. Pack the sausage rolls into containers and freeze or refrigerate for two or three days. I like to mince the onion in a food processer and keep the mixture moist, add an extra egg yolk if necessary.

The basic recipe can have spices added or grated vegetables such as carrots and zucchini. Beef sausage mince can be replaced with any other sausage mince or by squeezing the filling from commercial sausages. I once made a delicious variety by using pork and fennel sausages with a little grated apple, however, the gourmet sausages are quite expensive and are something that I use for special occasions.

How To

Cut the pastry sheet in half and place the filling down on each half sheet of pastry. Filling may be piped or rolled into a sausage on a floured board.

Roll the pastry over the filling.

Make sure the filling is totally enclosed.

Cut sausage rolls into desired lengths and place on a tray. The tops can be decorated by snipping with scissors or 
Slashed diagonally with a sharp knife or blade. Glaze and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake in a hot oven (200 deg C)

Sausage Rolls
Meat Filling
500g sausage mince
1 small to medium onion, finely minced
1 egg
2/3 cup breadcrumbs, moistened with a little water.
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
black pepper
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg  beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds

Lay sheets of pastry on the bench to defrost.

Combine all the filling ingredients and mix well.

Divide the mixture into four. Using floured hands and board create a sausage the length of the pastry from each quarter of the filling. Alternatively use a piping bag with a large nozzle.

Cut each sheet of pastry in half

Place a sausage along the middle of piece of pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash.

Roll the pastry around each of the sausage mince rolls, making sure the pastry is totally enclosed.

Use scissors to cut a pattern down each of the long sausage rolls or cut diagonally with a sharp knife or blade.

Cut the long rolls into smaller pieces. For finger foods cut into 6 for larger cut into four or two.

Place individual sausage rolls on a tray lined with baking parchment. The seam should be on the bottom so that they do not unroll. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake in a hot oven (200 deg C) until cooked, the meat should be set and the pastry golden brown. Remove a little sooner if they are to be reheated. Small sausage rolls will cook in approximately 15 -20 minutes, allow longer for the larger and reduce heat to 180 deg C after the first 15 minutes.