Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The New Book!

Sneak preview of the new book, 100+ tasty $10 meals is due for release on April 1st. If you want to pre order a signed copy for delivery first week of april you can do that via the website www.destitutegourmet.com

muffin break

Just made lovely lovely banana walnut muffins. Can do this as have freezer full of black bananas.

Black banana is NOT exotic new variety.

Is what you get when you have far more bananas than you can use!

Filmed a TV commercial about healthy breakfasts and was given many many bananas by lovely banana company - would have been churlish to refuse - after all Free stuff!

made banana cakes, ate them, made more and gave some away, finally froze remaining bananas as utterly sick of banana cake - who knew that could happen? Cake is like oxygen to me. Anyway now utterly fed up with avalanche of frozen banana's cascading onto floor every time I open freezer. So made up new recipe.

Spicy banana walnut muffins with crunchy nut crumble topping. Had one warm with coffee - sooo good.

Muffins freeze well - as do bananas so don't actually have to eat whole batch- but probably will.

Banana walnut crumble top muffins

Muffin mixture begins to rise as soon as you add liquid to it. For the lightest muffins ensure you have everything else ready before adding the wet ingredients to the mixture. In this case, grease the pans, and make the topping first.

2 cups self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mashed banana 1-2 bananas
100 g melted butter or olivani
1 cup milk
1 egg

1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp pl flour
1 ½ tbsp butter

Pre heat the oven to 210°
Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
Prepare the topping by pulsing the ingredients together in a processor or rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your finger tips then mix in the chopped nuts.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, spices and chopped walnuts. Mash the bananas and set aside. In a separate bowl, melt the butter and add the milk, mashed banana and a lastly the egg.
Fold into the dry ingredients using a large metal spoon. Do not over mix. Spoon into the prepared muffin pan and top each muffin with a sprinkle of the crumble topping.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden, well risen and springy when gently pressed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day Biscuit Bouquets

To make biscuit bouquet you will need:

Tin, vase, pot or other wide mouthed container

Sand or pebbles

Polystrene/styrofoam - left over from packaging, if you don't have any, see if you can scrounge a chunk from an electrical store or some other retailer whose product is packaged in polystrene.

Popsicle sticks, wooden skewers or heat proof chopsticks

Decorated biscuits/cookies

To make the base, fill your chosen container 1/3 full of sand or pebbles. Pack the top with polystyrene.

Prepare the biscuits:

125g butter of shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 egg yolk
1 tsp of vanilla

Wooden or bamboo skewers

Non stick baking paper

Glace Icing

1 cup icing sugar

Squeeze of lemon juice or a drop or two of artificial colour and flavour, such as raspberry or peppermint

Decorations such as silver balls, celebration sprinkles, icing flowers, small candies ...

For filled biscuits - strawberry or raspberry jam and a dab of glace icing

Makes around 30+ frosted biscuits depending on size.

Preheat oven to 180C

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix well, then stir in the flour and mix to a form dough. Knead the dough then lightly roll out on a floured surface slightly thicker than you usually would. Cut into shapes using decorative cutters. Insert skewers almost all the way through each cookie. If you are making jam filled cookies, use a small cutter to cut a shape from the centre of half the biscuits. Skewers will be inserted in filled biscuits once baked. Place prepared cookies on baking trays covered with non stick baking paper and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until lightly golden.

Combine the glace icing ingredients, suing only as much water as you need to make a spreadable icing. Ice the top of each cooled cookie with icing and decorate as desired. Sprinkles, silver balls, edible glitter ....

For jam filled biscuits, remove from trays and when cool spread the 1/2 biscuits with jam. Add a few dabs of glace icing around the edge, position a skewer in the middle ensuring it is not visible, then top with the biscuits that have no centres. Sticking them in place with the dabs of icing.

Cooks tip: If you haven't got the right size cutters, improvise with a drinking glass for the biscuits and use a screw top bottle cap to cut out the centres. Raid the kids' playdough cutters and see what they've got.

To assemble the bouquet, carefully insert the skewers into the polystyrene with tuille, curling ribbon or tissue paper.

If the cookies are not likely to be eaten immediately, you can individually wrap them in clear cellophane and tie with curling ribbon to keep cookies fresh.