Archive | October 2011

Rainbow Salad

Vibrant colours is what makes my rainbow salad a special to me. Its very appealing to eyes  with green, orange, red, pale white. It simple and yet delicious. The crispness of the romaine lettuce, sweetness of the carrot, crunchiness of the peppers and chargrilled flavour from cauliflower, sunflower and pumpkin seed for extra nuttiness. The drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon is what it takes to bring the salad alive.

8 leaves romaine lettuce
2 medium size sweet carrots
1 red pepper
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 tbsp sunflower seed or mixed seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice

Serves: 2

Chargrill the cauliflower florets and put it aside to cool down.
Chopped the lettuce, carrots and pepper and add them to a mixing bowl.
For salad dressing, stir the olive oil and lemon juice in a small container, until its well blended.
Dress the salad with dressing and add the sunflower seeds, give it a good stir.
Serve the salad with chargrilled cauliflower florets on top.

Olive Focaccia

A simple homemade bread is such a joy that I will be proud of. I had my eye on olive focaccia for long time. I would say for my first bread, the result was great. The fresh smell of bread filled my home, I couldn’t wait to taste it. It was light and delicious. It had many air pockets, which made the bread really light.

In making this recipe, I have acquired the basic knowledge of working with yeast and kneading the bread dough. It was not a daunting task as I had thought, if you get the basics right.

My variation of this recipe using olives.

Ingredients

  • 500g white bread flour
  • 5g yeast
  • 5g salt
  • 300ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil & extra for greasing and drizzling on top of the bread
  • one handful of olives, chopped
  • optional 1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Mix the flour, yeast, salt with water to form a rough dough. Add 1 tbsp oil and mix it in. Turn the dough out to clean surface, start kneading by hand for 10 to 15 mins until the dough look smooth. Shape it into a round shape, coat with little oil.

In a clean bowl spread some oil around. Place the dough into the bowl, cover with warm tea towel. Leave the bowl in a warm place and let proof for about 90 mins or doubled in size.

Grease the brownie/shallow baking tin. Place the dough in the tin. Spread the dough around the corners using your finger tips. Cover with tea towel and leave to rise for about 30 mins.

Make deep holes in the dough, using your finger tips. Fill the holes with olive oil.
Spread the olives on the dough. If using rosemary sprinkle it on top.

Baked at 220C fan for 10 mins and 200C for further 8 to 10 mins. When the bread looks golden brown, its done.

Simple fresh homemade focaccia. Enjoy it as such or dip it in olive oil.

Cocoa Brownie with Pecan nuts

I never liked chocolate in any form other than bar chocolate. But after tasting Hummingbird bakery devils chocolate cake, my opinion has changed forever, it was heavenly with intense chocolate flavour and mild bitterness, which I never got from any bar chocolates whatsoever.

So, I started my baking adventures with bar chocolates, but still couldn’t achieve the intense flavour. Then I tried with cocoa powder, thats the very thing I was looking for.

I fancy brownies made from cocoa powder for its intense chocolate flavour and mild bitterness. Furthermore with the crunchiness of the pecan in it gives it an extra boost to brownies.

Ingredients

  • 140 g butter (approximately 10 tbsp)
  • 220 g sugar (approximately 17 tbsp)
  • 50 g Green & Black cocoa powder (approximately 10 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tbs vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs
  • 80 g plain flour (8 tbsp)
  • pecan nuts chopped into medium size (75 g)

In a heatproof bowl, add butter, sugar and sifted cocoa. Set the bowl on a saucepan with simmering water. Stir the mixture frequently until it looks smooth. When the mixture is silky smooth, remove the bowl and put it aside until its warm.

Note: To work with make sure the mixture is only warm and not hot, otherwise you will curdle your mixture when you add eggs.

To the warm mixture add the vanilla essence and stir well. Start adding eggs one by one, until each of them is incorporated well into the mixture.

Add the flour and fold it gently into the mixture until it is well incorporated. Add the pecan nuts and mix until its well spread.

Brush the brownie tin with butter. Fill the tin with brownie mixture and bake at 160C fan for 20-25 min.

Awesome brownie with the crunch of pecan 🙂