Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cake!

I never thought I would be using pumpkin so much! I got this recipe off my mum - its really easy and very moist and tasty. I made it for Thanksgiving Lunch as a Dessert.

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbs mixed spices (i used cinnamon, ginger and all spice with a dash of cloves)
3 eggs
1/1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin - I actually used the canned one here and its not that bad!

Sift first 4 ingredients together.
In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
Add the pumpkin and beat some more.
Add the dry ingredients.

You can divide mixture in 2 pans or use one.
Bake at 350 for about 40 mins or until cake passes the toothpick test.
Let cool.

I used a cream cheese topping made this way:
8oz cream cheese ( a packet of Philly)
2 cups  icing (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup butter  (melt 1/4 cup until browned then pour it over the rest until all is melted)
Put all in a bowl and beat well

Cut cake in half and spread mixture on one piece, use the rest of the topping to cover the cake.
I also used some crushed walnuts as decoration.

The colour of the cake rather surprised me - its rather orange!!But looks great with the white topping!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What is Gourmet food?

It seems the word is often used..but do we really know what it means?

The term gourmet may refer to a person with refined or discriminating taste or to one that is knowledgeable in the art of food and food preparation.
Gourmand carries additional connotations of one who simply enjoys food in great quantities. An epicure is similar to a gourmet, but the word may sometimes carry overtones of excessive refinement.

Gourmet may describe a class of restaurant, cuisine, meal or ingredient of high quality, of special presentation, or high sophistication. In the United States, a 1980s gourmet food movement evolved from a long-term division between elitist (or "gourmet") tastes and a populist aversion to fancy foods.
Gourmet is an industry classification for high-quality premium foods in the United States. In the 2000s, there has been an accelerating increase in the American gourmet market, due in part to rising income, globalization of taste, and health and nutrition concerns.
Individual food and beverage categories, such as coffee, are often divided between a standard and a "gourmet" sub-market.

So where does one go to find Gourmet food? There are many specialty  Gourmet Food Stores available, it simply is a matter of trial and error.

 It is worth shopping around - good quality ingredients will definitely make your culinary creations the best!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Serves 4
 I found this recipe works best with a high protein all-purpose flour such as King Arthur. A 12-inch cast iron skillet may be used in place of the nonstick skillet. To be efficient, stretch one ball of dough while another is cooking. Do not use non- or low-fat yogurt.

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
½ cup ice-cold water
1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Process flour, sugar, and yeast in food processor until combined, about 2 seconds. With processor running, slowly add water and yogurt; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand 10 minutes.

2. Add 3 tablespoons oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. Spray rubber spatula or bowl scraper with nonstick cooking spray; fold partially risen dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (total of 8 turns). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding, turning, and rising 2 more times, for total of three 30-minute rises.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Place heatproof plate on rack. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Shape each piece into smooth, tight ball. Place dough ball on lightly oiled baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Transfer one ball to lightly floured work surface and lightly sprinkle with flour. Using hands and rolling pin, press and roll piece of dough into 9-inch round of even thickness, sprinkling dough and work surface with flour to prevent sticking. Using fork, poke entire surface of dough round 20 to 25 times. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Wipe oil out of skillet completely with paper towels. Mist top of dough lightly with water. Place dough in pan, moistened side down, and cover. Cook until bottom is browned in spots evenly across surface, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip naan, cover, and continue to cook on second side until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. (If naan puffs up, gently poke with fork to deflate.) Flip naan, brush top with 1 teaspoon melted butter, transfer to plate and cover plate tightly with foil. Repeat rolling and cooking remaining dough balls. Once last naan is baked, serve immediately.

Naan (Persian: نان, Urdu: نان, Punjabi: ਨਾਨ, Pashto: نان, Kurdish: nan) is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread.[1] It is typical of and popular in South and Central Asia,[2][3][4] in Iran, and in South Asian restaurants abroad. Influenced by the large influx of South Asian labour, naan has also become popular in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states.[5]
Originally, naan is a generic term for various flatbreads from different parts of the world.[6] In Turkic languages, such as Uzbek, Kazakh and Uyghur, the flatbreads are known as nan. The name stems from (New) Persian, a generic word for bread. In Burmese, flatbreads are known as nan bya (နံပြား; pronounced [nàɴbjá]).
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All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.