The Hobbits' Cooking Guild

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Postby Arassuil » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:49 pm

Nice thread this! Have to mine it for some new recipes! best add one first though...

This Christmas Ham recipe looks good! Being I can't really get my hands on any Red Hill Christmas Ale, I'm thinking of using another beer I do have .... Snowy Mountains Razorback Red! I think this recipe would be good with any of the red/winter ales of the northern hemisphere.


The Red Hill Brewery's Christmas Ale Glazed Ham

- 3x 330ml bottles of Red Hill Brewery Christmas Ale
- 100gm (½ cup) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange
- ¼ ground tsp each allspice, mace, cloves
- A 5kg leg of cooked ham, rind removed, fat left on, fat scored in a criss-cross pattern
- Cloves to decorate

Open 1 bottle of beer, pour into a goblet and sip for the duration of prep/cooking/basting.

Combine 1 bottle ale, sugar, mustard, vinegar, rind & spices in a small saucepan & stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then simmer for 2 minutes.

Stud ham with cloves, then place on a rack in a roasting pan, brush with ale mixture, then pour remaining bottle of ale and ale mixture into base of pan and bake at 180°C (355°F) for 1 hour or until glazed & golden, brushing frequently with pan juices. Remove from oven and stand for 10 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.
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Postby Morwenna » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:32 am

Oh, that sounds yummy, and very festive!
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Postby heliona » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:50 am

I've just made some gingerbread and gingerbread cupcakes (because my baking tin wasn't big enough for the mixture - I had planned on making gingerbread biscuits in the shape of trees, but got halfway through making the recipe before realising what exactly it was I was making! :blush:). Anyway, here are the results:

Image

The main cake (the white bit is a bit of stray flour).

Image

And the cupcakes.

Here is the recipe I used:

Gingerbread

Ingredients:
  • 10 oz (250 g) plain flour
  • 2 to 3 level teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 level teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 oz (100 g) cooking fat
  • 4 oz (100 g) soft brown sugar
  • 6 oz (150 g) black treacle
  • 6 oz (150 g) golden syrup
  • 2 standard eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 pint (125 ml) boiling water
NB: I used generous amounts of spices because I like them, and also remarks on other ginger-related recipes had been that the ginger in the recipe was never enough. I used plain butter for the cooking fat, and also my amounts of treacle and golden syrup seemed huge, considering the size of the container they came out of! Perhaps I got my measurements wrong. Oh, and remember that these are British measurements!

Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to moderate, 350 deg F or gas 4 (180 deg C).
  2. Brush a 10-inch square cake tin with melted cooking fat. Line base and sides with greaseproof paper. Brush with more fat.
  3. Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, spice and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
  4. Put fat, sugar, black treacle and golden syrup into a saucepan and melt over a low heat.
  5. Add to dry ingredients with eggs and water.
  6. Stir briskly without beating to combine, then transfer to prepared tin.
  7. Bake in centre of oven for approximately 45 minutes or until a wooden cocktail stick, inserted into centre, comes out clean.
  8. Leave in tin until lukewarm then turn out on to a wire cooling rack and leave until cold.
  9. Store in an airtight tin when cold.

NB: I have a fan oven, so lowered the temperature to 160 deg C (the guideline is lower the temperature by 20 degrees, apparently). My cupcakes were in for about 20-25 minutes and one of them looks a little overdone, but the rest seem to be okay. The cake itself was in for 40 minutes.
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:41 am

It looks very good! YUM.
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Postby rwhen » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:07 am

heliona, your cakes look great and I bet they taste super dooper great too. :D

Good luck with the cookies!!!
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Postby truehobbit » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:32 pm

The recipe sounds like proper gingerbread, but it looks great in cake-shape, too! :D
Let us know what it tastes like! :D
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Postby heliona » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:17 pm

It is proper gingerbread, Hobby. The recipe calls for a 10 inch square cake tin, so in theory it'd be a bit more loafy. But I didn't have one so it came in the smaller tin and as fairy cakes.

By all accounts, it's very nice though. I'm not actually that fond of very treacle-y stuff, so I haven't tried it yet. :D
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Postby Morwenna » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:51 pm

I'm so glad to see this thread thrive! (Say that three times, fast...)

Hubby is still making pound cakes for gifts. He realized last night as we were coming home from his brother's house that we were still three cakes shy for Sunday night, tomorrow, so he's baking now because we're going out in a couple hours. Only we're bringing to tonight's party the leftover cookies that his sister-in-law made! 'Tis the season...
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Postby nienor-niniel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:29 am

I made macaroons today and I am so proud that I post them everywhere....

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Macarons are a well-known pastry of Paris and exist in all tastes. It's my fist try and I think they are beautiful.
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Those are filled with home-made quince jelly.
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Postby truehobbit » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:51 am

Ooh, yummy, nin! :love:

And so cool that you make quince jelly, too - we should swap tricks and ideas. :D Do you make other things from quinces, too? :D

Hmmh, I have loads of quince jelly, I could try that. :D I always make coconut macaroons, but they don't get a filling - very puuurrrrty. :D
Are they egg-white and sugar only, like the coconut macaroons (well, before you add the coconut ;) ), or does something else go in there? :)
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Postby nienor-niniel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:13 pm

This year, we made quince liquor, pumpkin and quince chutney and quince sorbet, also some caramelized quinces to eat with deer.

As for the macarons: this is the French variety. The shells are made with 3 egg whites, 125 gramms of almond powder and 210 grammsof powdered sugar. I put a tea spoon of warm quince jelly with the shells. The egg-whites have to be beaten very, very firm so that they look white and brilliant. It is best to leave the egg whites already separated a day or two in the fridge before using them. Mix the rest carefully in and make the little shells. Dry them for a few hours or overnight.
Bake them for around 17 minutes at 125 degrees

The filling is some softened and warmed quince jelly with a bit of butter.

How good is your French? You can have a look here for some macarons ideas...
http://www.puregourmandise.com/gourmandises.htm
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Postby truehobbit » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:01 pm

Nin, thanks - my French works fine for the link. *is proud* :D

I guess that almond powder is nothing but ground almonds? We use that for making almond macaroons, so that's ok. :D

Hmmh, I don't think I've ever heard of confectioner's (powdered) sugar with starch, though, so I guess you'd have to add the required 2% - this might be very interesting and make a lot of difference.
Also the idea of leaving the whites for a day before using them - that's definitely new to me. :)

I made quince liquor, too - one variety from juice (have a bit too much alcohol in that one, so I don't think it's as good as it should be) and one from adding alcohol to fresh chopped fruit - that one's still sitting in the cupboard, I should really try it sometime soon. :D

Mmmh, the others sound lovely, too.

I tried a recipe with quince and pumpkin, too, this year - very nice, really, I was surprised you can use quinces in cooking like that. :)
Of course, one quince makes a whole meal that way, so that's not for using a whole harvest. ;) Do you have a tree, too, then? :)

I also made quince candy (Quittenbrot) - I like it, and actually tried it on some people around here :whistle: ;) - but I'm not sure just how dry it's supposed to get, mine's a bit sticky (some batches more than others, I made three batches), but I thought it was ok anyway. :D
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Postby nienor-niniel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:11 pm

Powdered sugar with starch? I did not use it for those macarons...

Anyway the almonds have to be very finely ground and peeled. I put them through a bolter.

And yes, we have a quince tree too. Also apples. And Kakis. And the pumpkins were from the garden too.

And I got your cristmas card! (what an odd place to tell this!)
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Postby truehobbit » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:32 pm

The French site says it's necessary that the powdered sugar contain starch and recommends a product with 2% starch that seems easy to get in France. (Le sucre glace : il doit contenir un peu d'amidon. Celui que l'on trouve dans le commerce (Daddysuc, par exemple) en contient à hauteur de 2 %, ce qui est idéal.) :)
But if you don't use it then I guess it's not that necessary. :D

Wonderful harvest you seem to have had. :)

And I'm happy to hear you got the card! :D
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:27 am

Oo, yum. I love both coconut and almond macaroons! (I don't suppose anyone's tried a combination of the two, but wouldn't that be so sweet as to induce instant diabetes? :D)

The cookies we got from BIL didn't go anywhere because lateness of baking and slickness of roads kept us home, so I brought some to work for break and lunch. And this thread is making my want to eat all the lunch-designates Right Now!! :P
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Postby nienor-niniel » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:47 am

Thanks Morwenna!

I was really proud to suceed them and they look so beautiful, the shells are so light and soft, they shimmer in the light.

Truehobbit, I had not even read that indication about the powdered sugar! I used Swiss sugar (although the nearest supermarket is in France), so I don't know if it had any starch in it, but it worked just fine that way and I think the author of that site is a bit perfectionnist ;). However, beneing a nature freak I did not want to use any food colours, so I am working on ideas on how to colour the shells naturally... will keep you updated.
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Postby truehobbit » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:38 pm

Morwenna, as neither almonds nor coconut contain any sugar of their own, using them both wouldn't increase the sugar level at all. :D
Not sure it would make for a tasty cookie, though. To get the taste of both, I think I'd rather just eat a coconut and then an almond macaroon right after. ;) :D

I think the author of that site is a bit perfectionnist


Hehe, yes, you can say that again. :D

Hmmh, I rather like the white colour, I'm not very tempted to get them to be any other colour. :)
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Postby Morwenna » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:34 am

truehobbit wrote:Morwenna, as neither almonds nor coconut contain any sugar of their own, using them both wouldn't increase the sugar level at all. :D
Not sure it would make for a tasty cookie, though. To get the taste of both, I think I'd rather just eat a coconut and then an almond macaroon right after. ;) :D


OK, one coconut, one almond, one coconut, one almond... :D
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:09 am

It seems to be my duty to keep this thread alive by means of holidays...

Pickled Eggs

Hubby came up with this a few years ago, because he likes pickled things, and one day he put a few peeled hard-boiled eggs into leftover commercial pickle brine, and liked the results. Then he started getting inventive... "Hey, why not try for different colors as well as different flavors?"

So now we have:

Dill, with a little extra color added from leafy things like spinach. He's trying to find something that intensifies the color, though, without resorting to food coloring. They're pretty pale so far. I've suggested fresh parsley. If anyone has any other ideas, please tell me. Sometimes he still uses leftover commercial brine, sometimes he makes his own.

Hot-sweet, colored with fresh beet slices. The first use of said brine will turn the eggs purple! A second use will make them lighter reddish. Hot pepper flakes go into this one. The beet juice penetrates the eggs almost to the yolk. This is homemade brine, as are those that follow.

Balsamic-clove. A great flavor combo, and the balsamic vinegar turns the eggs black! Or at least a very dark brown. This does not penetrate the eggs; the color stays on the surface.

Mustard-turmeric. These are my favorite, mainly because I love eggs with mustard. And they are bright yellow. Sliced onions go into these as well.

He makes them any time of year, but I mention them now with Easter almost upon us. He has mentioned several times how cool it would be to have a new kind of Easter-egg-coloring tradition! And they look really nice halved on a platter. So now he's looking for other foodstuffs that will give other colors to eggs. And seasoning the brine will be a never-ending experiment.
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Postby Arassuil » Thu May 20, 2010 4:18 pm

I'll give you a little help Morwenna... I got this baby awhile back from taste.com.au & I tweaked it a bit. It's become a favourite!

Chinese Five Spice Chicken

1/3 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1-1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/3 teaspoon chilli powder
2 chicken breasts with skin on
1 bunch choy sum, washed and cut into 7cm lengths (see note)
steamed rice, to serve *Note: I use brown rice.


Combine oil, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, turmeric, five-spice and chilli powder in a large bowl. Add chicken and stir until well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to marinate.
*My note: You can cook it right away. Its still quite good. It just doesn't have the deep spicyness of an overnight maranide.

Preheat oven to 190°C. Place marinade and chicken pieces (skin-side up) in a baking dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add choy sum and cook for 1 minute or until bright green and tender. Drain. Serve with chicken and steamed rice.


Note: Choy sum (Chinese flowering cabbage) has small yellow flowers, fleshy white stems and tender green leaves.
*My notes: For the greens I've subbed baby asparagas or snow peas for this on occasion.
Also, browning the chicken in a pan on teh stovetop before putting in the oven works nicely as well.
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Postby Morwenna » Fri May 21, 2010 7:30 am

Oh, that sounds absolutely yummy! :D

One thing, though: do you have to leave the skin on? It wouldn't be a problem for hubby, but I don't like skin. Could I marinate them with the skin peeled back, and then cook them with the skin back on to keep them moist? Or leave it off to get a roasted surface?
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Postby Arassuil » Sun May 23, 2010 3:25 pm

Sometimes I don't like eating the skin, so I'd just cook normally with the skin on, then remove it when I plate up. I think it not only keeps the meat from drying out too much, but the oils help develop the seasoning of the meat. Although I like your idea about marinating with the skin back and cooking with it pulled back over. Have to give that method a try! :)
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Postby Morwenna » Tue May 25, 2010 9:51 am

I usually grouse about all the good stuff going to waste on the skin. So when hubby cooks chicken or turkey, he makes sure to put some of the seasoning under the skin.

And if I buy fried chicken somewhere, I go for the fingers or tenders or whatever the company calls them, because there I get the coating directly on the meat!! :D
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Postby Arassuil » Thu May 27, 2010 7:11 pm

I'm not going to make any comments about what the fast food breaded and deep-fried nuggets/fingers/popcorn is, but will say that when I cook this chicken dish, some seasoning from the skin is absorbed into the meat as the natural oils render into it with the heat. It isn't AS spiced as direct under-skin spicing, but is quite good.

Tonight I'm considering steaks cooked on the wood-fired flat-iron ...
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Postby Arassuil » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:59 pm

Not really off-topic, but an aside for sure... congratulations to Chris & Julia from Masterchef Australia's 1st season in opening up a restaurant in Melbourne together!
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Postby heliona » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:54 am

Sorry I've not been here in a while!

Anyway, as I mentioned in the Foodies thread in Talk, a chocolate cake was made today.

Here is the recipe:

Rich Chocolate Sponge


  • 200g/8 oz margarine
  • 150g/6 oz dark brown sugar
  • 150g/6 oz black treacle
  • 150g/6 oz self-raising flour
  • 50g/2 oz cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs

It should be noted that these measurements are all British, in case that may make a difference.

~*~*~*~*~

  • Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F or Gas Mark 4).
  • Beat together margarine, sugar, and treacle until light and fluffy and sugar is no longer gritty.
  • Beat eggs together (in a separate container).
  • Sift together flour and cocoa powder (again in another bowl).
  • Gradually add beaten eggs to the margarine mixture. Whilst doing this, also gradually add the flour and cocoa powder mixture, in a ratio of approximately one egg and one tablespoon of dry mixture.
  • Fold in the rest of the flour and cocoa powder.
  • Grease cake tin and pour in mixture.
  • Bake just below the centre of the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the cake tin.


We actually used light brown sugar since we didn't have any dark brown, and butter as we didn't have enough margarine. The cake tin was the average, 8 inch, cake tin. The temperature is for a non-fan oven. We have a fan oven, so I turned the temperature down, but as it turned out, I did it too much, and the cake had to be in for about an hour. Oops!

For the icing, we made a chocolate butter cream icing (which is cocoa powder (mixed with water), butter beaten until soft, and icing sugar). We haven't tried any of the cake yet, though! :D
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Postby Morwenna » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:07 pm

Oh heliona that sounds Wonderful! :) Brown sugar and molasses AND chocolate?! Whew! :D And buttercream frosting is the Only way to go!
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Postby heliona » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:41 am

The cake is lovely. It was in the oven for ever so slightly too long, so I've just been putting the slice in the microwave for about 30 seconds to get it warm and it tastes lovely with some traditional ice cream. :)
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Apple (and Cinnamon) Muffins

Postby heliona » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:56 am

Apple Muffins

(This is the original recipe - I altered slightly to suite my needs.)
  • 225g/9 oz plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100g/4 oz caster sugar
  • 60g/2 oz butter
  • 225ml/8 fl oz milk
  • 110g/4 oz diced apples (cored and peeled)
    ~*~*~*~*~*~
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, cream together sugar and butter.
  4. Stir flour mixture into the sugar mixture, alternately with the fruit.
  5. Fold in the fruit.
  6. Pour the batter into muffin tin or muffin cases.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick plunged into the centre comes out clean.

My variations were:

- self-raising flour instead of plain, as I didn't have baking powder (so I left out the salt and baking powder)
- light brown sugar instead of caster sugar
- added cinnamon (quite a bit of it as I like it!) to the flour
- sprinkled some brown sugar over the top of the muffins (except I did it too late, so the sugar didn't melt into the muffins as it was meant too. Oops!)
- the amount of apple I added was one normal-sized apple. I guessed it was about the right amount. :)
- I cut the oven temperature down by 20° as mine is a fan oven.

The muffins are currently cooling. We tried some overspill and that tastes quite nice. I'll let you know what the actual muffins taste like! :D
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Postby Morwenna » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:06 pm

That sounds lovely. I might try that to use up some of the leftover apples, if hubby doesn't use them all up in a crisp first.

By "caster sugar," do you mean granulated sugar such as we put in coffee or tea?
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