Baked Alaska

baked

Baked Alaska is Honey-Bunny’s favourite. Miss S likes this a lot too. So does He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers.

Sponge Cake. Buy a double packet from the supermarket, then you can have Baked Alaska twice.

Jam, any flavour. Again, just buy the jam from the supermarket. Raspberry is nice.

Ice cream. Any flavour. You know where to get ice cream from.

Two egg whites.

1/2 Cup white sugar

Scoop the insides out of the cake to make a shell, then spread jam around the cake. Pile the shell up with ice cream then put it in the freezer while you make the meringue.

Turn the oven on to as hot as it will go.

Beat the egg whites, then pour in the sugar bit by bit until the mixture is thick and shiny. Place the sponge onto a baking tray using baking paper, then spread the mixture all over the ice cream and sponge, including down the sides.

Bake In the oven for about four minutes, until the meringue starts to brown. Watch the Baked Alaska with an eagle eye, because if you leave it for too long the ice cream will melt all over the baking tray. Serve straight away.

 

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Nutella Brownies Bites

nutella

This is the best Brownie recipe ever! These are good warm or cold, although not many survived long enough at our house to cool down.

300gm Nutella (I use cheaper hazelnut spreads for cooking)

2 eggs

9 Tblspns plain flour

1/4 Cup white chocolate bits

Place cupcake liners into muffin tin.

Mix all ingredients together and spoon into cupcake liners.

Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.

 

Seafood Pasta

mussel

Seafood Pasta was an experiment which turned out really well.

1 1/2 Cups milk

2 x dry packets Tomato Cup-a-Soup mix (the kind you stick in a mug and pour boiling water over)

4oo gm cooked seafood of choice (I used two packets of smoked Mussels from New Zealand, which were delicious)

4oogm pasta

1/2 Cup sour cream

Cook the pasta and drain.

Place the milk and soup mix in a saucepan and heat until the mixture thickens. Mix in the pasta and seafood, then stir in the sour cream.

This would have served four, except I was greedy and ate it all myself over two meals. (He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers doesn’t like seafood, hooray!)

Nectarine Sponge Cake

nectarine 3jpg

I visited someone recently and came away with a bag of nectarines fresh from their tree, so made a couple of Nectarine Cakes with the nectarines I couldn’t eat. This cake would work for any stone fruit.

200gm butter

1 Cup caster sugar

1 Cup self raising flour

1/4 Cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

nectarines, peeled and sliced (I used five, but if you have less, slice them up smaller).

3 eggs (Room temperature. I don’t know the science behind this, but cakes come out better when the ingredients are all at room temperature).

Grease a cake tin using 25 grams of the butter, then line the base with baking paper and smear another 25 grams of butter on the paper. Spread 1/3 of a Cup of the caster onto the sides and base of the cake tin. This is a messy job, but the butter and sugar makes a deliciously syrupy crust on the cake.

nectarine

The next messy job is to peel and slice the nectarines. I’ve heard that if you dip nectarines in boiling water quickly, then dip them in cold water, the peel comes off in your fingers, but I (stupidly) persevered with a knife, which was slow and irritating. Next time I peel nectarines I’m trying the boiling water method.

Once peeled, halve or slice the nectarines and lay them in the bottom of the cake tin, with the inside of the fruit facing up.

nectarine 2

 Beat the butter and the remaining 2/3 Cup of caster sugar using beaters until the mixture is creamy, then beat the eggs in one at a time.

Fold in half of the flour, then the milk and vanilla extract, then finish with the flour.

Smooth the batter over the nectarines, then bake at 160 degrees Celsius for around 40 minutes (stick a skewer in to check that the cake is cooked through).

Let the cake sit in the tin for five minutes before turning it out onto a plate.

 

Dresses from The Dressmaker

There is an exhibition of dresses from the Australian movie, The Dressmaker, showing at Barwon Park in Winchelsea, Victoria at the moment.

Barwon Park is a bluestone mansion and stables owned by the National Trust. It was built in 1871 for the Austin family, who were pastoralists. Mr Austin died six months after the house was built, so the gardens were never completed.

Parts of the movie was filmed in the countryside near Barwon Park and the mansion itself was the perfect setting for the displays.

dress 10

All of the women I know who saw The Dressmaker loved it, and agree that although everyone in the movie was great, that Judy Davis stole the show.

The story was good, Kate Winslet was lovely and her role was fantastic, Liam Hemsworth is gorgeous, Hugo Weaving and the rest of the cast were terrific, but the dresses? They were spectacular.

The hats were extraordinary. They were in the first room off the mansion’s foyer and took everyone by surprise.

There weren’t many men at the exhibition, but the women were ooh-ing and aah-ing.

Kate Winslet wore the red dress below to a local football match in the movie. Very distracting for the footballers.

dress 5

The movie tells the story of Tilly (played by Kate Winslet) who returns to her mother’s home in an Australian country town after being banished in disgrace as a child. Tilly has returned to look after her mother, who has mental health problems, and to learn why she was banished.

The story is satisfying and I love seeing the Australian countryside which is so familiar to me featured in the movie, but most of all, I enjoyed the power of the dresses and costumes in The Dressmaker.