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id also just like to take a moment to welcome our Saudi friends.

 

spinach and feta filo without feta

20170820_164652another post so soon you ask? well, the feedback has been so overwhelming i felt it would be a shame to lose the momentum. its always been such a supportive community and i just want to thank you all for your ongoing appreciation. snow, i know how much you enjoy onions so this one’s for you ralphie.

ingredients:

2 boxes of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained of their disgusting, fetid green juices

half a bunch of spring onions (or most of a bunch as per the above) finely chopped

2 whole onions very finely chopped

350g feta crumpled. i used cheese de goat. i dont see what all the feta fuss is about

4 eggs beaten

half a cup of oil

pepper

melted butter (maybe 100g? its just for brushing on pastry so who can say)

1 pack filo pastry (which needs to be left either in the fridge overnight or for 2 hours at room temp. no one told me. nothing comes easy)

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mix spinach, onions, spring onions and cheese together

in a separatist bowl mix eggs, oil and pepper with a fork

pour egg mix into cheese and spinach mix – mix very well

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brush the base of baking dish with melted butter

lay 2 layers of pastry then paint with butter

lay another 2 layers then paint with butter

then cut pastry in half and lay half pastry, slightly overlapping each other and paint with butter again. keep doing this until half the filo is used up

pour the filling in

then cover with the other half of the filo, painting each layer with butter as you go

bake for 45 mins at 180 degs

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‘this cake is seminal’ – abu mumza, 2017

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Some of you i know, some of you im meeting for the first time. those in the latter category, im not sure what youre doing here. so just bot off. those in the former category may remember this cake from such posts as butter cake.

circa 2010. simpler times. when we were kings. before we were doctors. before the great rupture of 2012. before all those that followed in its wake. back then things were smaller. tiny little bundt tins holding tiny little lives. things have slackened since. expanded. now we feast at the banquet and as we awake the next day, scratchy faced, puffy eyed, always a little heavier we ask ourselves the same questions: are we or are we not aliens? are there really tunes for bears to dance to? and where have all the children gone?

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but in this age of bigger cakes and ontological anxiety, there are some truths we can cling to, some surfaces we can still touch. and as ceo, sheik humbali of armadale quoth, this cake is seminal. (not to be confused with simnel because marzipan is the devils food). the recipe remains unchanged. only bigger. and its happening below, from memory:

250g butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

vanilla

3 cups self raising flour

salt (lots)

6 tbsp cream (mine smelt a bit off but jazz hands joz said its fine – its all probiotics. theme and variation on her other meme, it’ll all come out in the wash)

4 tbsp cocoa powder

the rest, you know by heart. cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time. add vanilla. add flour, salt then cream.

pour 3/4 of the mix into a buttered and floured bundt tin.

mix the cocoa powder into the remaining mix and then pour on top.

theres really no pouring involved. its more of a very reluctant dolloping consistency.

put in 175 degree oven. 1 hour. RING OFF

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Chiffon cake

i made this with cara cara oranges, the queen of citrus. they occupy the netherworld betwixt orange oranges and blood oranges. they are probably too precious to juice for a cake but too perfect not to. here they are amidst the remnants of late capitalism:

they come in for a mere 2 months. there was some concern that cyclone debbie may have disturbed the supply chain but based on the findings of my recent investigation (and mostly based on their availability) the fears were found to be unfounded.

this cake is baked in a special tin. this is the tin. its specialty. you have to buy it from a specialty shop for specialty people. it has feet, just like you and i.

this recipe seems pretty watertight. im not thrilled by the absence of vanilla but i didnt want to expose the cake to any training that might derail his teachings…

here is the recipe.

5 large eggs (separated)

1.5 cups sugar

1.5 cups self raising flour

3/4 cup sunflower oil

3/4 cup orange juice (i strained mine)

1 tsp lemon zest

beat egg whites stiffly with 1/3 of the sugar (which i calculated to be 1/2 a cup…without a calculator)

beat yolks with sugar, then, on moderate speed, add flour and alternate with orange juice and lemon zest

then slowly pour in the oil and beat for a few seconds

fold in egg whites

bake at 160 degrees, fan for an hour

remove and turn upside down immediatement until completely cold. for blurry example:

then get a spatula in the sides to loosen cake and remove from tin (dont drag the spatula around the outside or you will tear at the fabric of reality. just gentle insertions therein thereof)

hopefully this doesnt happen to you

if it does its totes cool. just flip it and reverse it…

then make icing: half a cup lemon juice + 1.5-2 cups sifted icing sugar + lemon zest (just whatever til it looks like icing)

mix then drizzle

otherwise put, the first bird up, the worms are his.

Pear and chocolate crumb cake (or, how can you buy a house?)

number one

pears and chocolates and crumbs and cake.

from the looks of the picture the pears have really sunken down. but i cant speak to that. i also cant speak to where the chocolate has gone. or where the bees have gone. or why the birds have gone crazy. i can speak to this being possibly the best cake i ever made. here is how i did it. for prosperity.

for the ‘crumb’. ugh.

1.5 cups plain flour

1.5 cups brown sugar

1.5 tsp bak_pow

salt

150-200g butter melted

 

for the cake

3 eggs

135 ml soured cream

vanilla

185g plain flour

150g sugar

3g baking soda

2g baking powder

salt

115g softened butter

3 pears, peeled and cored and chopped into edible pieces

a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips (optional…clearly, because where even did they go?)

methodology

oven to 175 degrees. grease a 22-23cm cake tin.

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to make le crumb: mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. i use more salt than is probably normal. like enough that when you eat it, it tastes quite salty. then pour in melted butter. i always melt 200g but usually only need 150. it just needs to be crumb-y. but the more butter you can get in, the better. obvs.

to make the cake: whisk eggs, sour cream and vanilla til combined. in a separate bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powders and sodas and salt to combine. then add the SOFTENED butter and mix to combine. (this bit is weird – i thought it wouldnt work because it sort of didnt mix in but once i added the wet it was fine. or, as snow would say, it will all come out in the wash). then add the wet stuff and mix until smooth. (seriously, mine wasnt even that smooth and my inside voice was saying it was going to fail but it didnt. what do we learn from that? nothing.) then fold in the chopped pear and chocolate).

Pour (?) into greased tin (mine was more of a dollop than a pour) and bake for 50-65 mins. i baked it for a GOOD 65. and it was good.

even from blurry from above. love and lemons x

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id like to come back now please

crostini

there’s been a lot going on lately…including but not exclusive to: a brand new starter, a new bicycle, and an attack by a very angry duck. there was also a bird invasion that i wont go into here because im still trying to work through it internally. i did however manage to make some crostini, with my starter, combining all thats good and right with the world. duck soup would have been right too. but its not the hunting season and i had a lot of bread to use. i also learnt the mathematical rule of nature, and so too, design. when i say learnt i of course use the term loosely. what i understood was simply the shape of a sea shell and now have images of an old italian man named fibonacci, eating crostini inside said seashell with the amalfi coastline nearly, but not quite, cropping his head off. so anyway…its been a big day. here’s my crostini – or simply my things on toast…in a seashell.

firstly, there was a pea and pecorino one. which was sublime. and no recipe – all i have to say is, in a mortar and pestle bash half a garlic clove with a pinch of salt. add two good handfuls of peas, mash into a paste, a handgul of some pecorino, some salt and pepper, and enough olive oil to get it to the consistency of spreadable mushed up peas. then spread on bread, tumble over some fresh peas, some shaved pecorino, and a drizzle of olive oil.

then – tomato, basil, olive crostini – achieved by: toast bread, rub with garlic, drizzle with olive oil, put some green leaves on toast, top with some sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped olives, tear over some mozzarella and some basil. finally drizzle with olive oil. et voila.

then same thing with the bread. just with mozarella, finely chopped chili, olive oil.

and then i happened upon a fig. or rather, it happened upon me. and so i did it all again, with some mozarella torn over the bread, some basil, tear the fig into bits, drizzle with olive oil and a drizzle of honey.