Sunday, 22 August 2010

Zucchini Tomato & Ricotta Galette

I have been thinking about making one of these delicious pastries since I saw the photo of a galette by Smitten Kitchen last week. Unfortunately work has been crazy busy, and I only just got to try it out tonight. It is amazingly delicious!!!
The pastry is flaky and the sour cream gives it such a wonderful taste.

Anyway here is my version of a galette adapted from Meals at Home

220gms Plain flour
120gms chilled salted butter
65gms sour cream
40gms fresh lemon juice
67gms chilled water

1 large zucchini sliced into 1/2cm rounds
2 Roma tomatoes sliced into 1/2 cm rounds
250gms ricotta cheese
40gms grated Parmesan cheese
60gms grated tasty cheese
2 large eggs
1 bunch of basil chopped
1 tbs chopped thyme
1 shallot minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Place flour, butter, and sour cream in the food processor and process until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Place flour mix in a bowl, pour water, and lemon juice and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Knead lightly on a floured surface, once it comes together wrap in glad wrap and place in the fridge to rest.
  4. Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius.
  5. Spread the tomato and zucchini slices over paper towels. This will drain the juice that will come out of them. Pat the tops with paper towel.
  6. Mix cheeses with thyme, basil, shallot and egg. Season mix with a little salt and pepper if desired. Keep in mind that two of the cheeses already have some salt in them.
  7. Take pastry out of the fridge and roll it out to a large circle (approx 14 inches)
  8. Place on a flat baking tray lined with baking paper.
  9. Place cheese mix in the middle of the pastry, and spread out evenly leaving a 4cm edge.
  10. Start placing the tomato and zucchini on top of the cheese, each slice only slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with freshly cracked salt and pepper.
  11. Fold the leftover edge of pastry over the cheese zucchini tomato, just to make an edge that will hold in the filling. Make sure that you press this edge onto itself, I found mine was just about to let the fillings spill out.
  12. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the egg/cheese is set.
  13. Serve warm with steamed vegetables.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake - Gluten Free

This recipe was adapted from a recipe published in the Master Chef magazine. I just found the recipe online, and it turns out that the recipe originally came from the Lindt website. Anyhoo, here's the original recipe and my version :D

200g gluten free shortbread biscuits
50g Dessicated Coconut
100g cream cheese

For the cheesecake
500g cream cheese
150g sour cream
120g sugar
1 lemon, zest only
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp corn flour
150g Fresh or frozen raspberries

  1. Grease and line a 20cm square pan.
  2. Place biscuits in the food processor and process until you get a fine crumb.
  3. Add cream cheese, and coconut, and process until thoroughly combined.
  4. Press mix into the pan, and place in the fridge until the rest of the cake is ready.
  1. Place cream cheese and sour cream in food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Add egg, cornflour, sugar, and lemon rind. Process thoroughly.
  3. Remove about half of the mix from the food processor and set aside.
  4. Add 50 gms of the raspberries and process thoroughly.
  5. Pour the raspberry cheesecake mix into the pre-prepared pan, then pour the one without raspberry over it. Using a skewer, make a swirl pattern.
  6. Decorate the top of the cheesecake with the leftover raspberries.
  7. Bake in a water bath at 150 degrees Celsius for an hour and 10 minutes.
  8. Chill before serving.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Pasteles Hojaldrados, made for my dad who loves them

My grandmother used to make these for my dad's birthday when we lived in Uruguay. After we came to Australia, my aunty (dad's sister) made them a few times and then mum and dad got into the habit of making them for pretty much every birthday. But for many many years, no one has made these. I think it's simply because they take such a long time. (As I had suspected and discovered today)

I got bitten by the cooking bug once again, and went on a search for a recipe for these. I have never made them before, so this was a total experiment.

I found this recipe by a Uruguayan guy, which I've adapted for vegetarians. The original recipe is made with lard (beef lard) eeek!!! Still they're yum :D
The recipe goes like this

500gms of plain flour
250mls of hot water
80gms of butter
1 tbs of salt (I use rock salt, and thought it was too much but did it anyway, cause that's what the recipe said, the pastry was quite salty, but it works in the end, go figure!!!)
1tsp of sugar
Dulce de leche or Quince paste (Or both if you want to try making half and half)
120gms of cornflour
60gms of butter (softened)
1 litre of Rice Bran oil
Caster sugar for sprinkling the pasteles :)

  1. In a small bowl, mix the hot water, sugar, salt and 80gms of butter. Mix until melted and combined.
  2. Place flour in a bowl, make a well in the center and pour the contents from above in, to make a soft dough.
  3. Knead the dough until it is pliable.
  4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, 5mm in thickness.
  5. Spread about 1/6th of the butter (60gms) over half of the rolled out pastry, sprinkle with corn flour, and fold the unbuttered piece over the buttered piece, press together lightly and roll out into a rectangle again. Repeat at least 6 times. (I did mine 7 times)
  6. Cover the pastry with glad wrap and set aside to rest for 40 minutes.
  7. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm in thickness, and cut into 8cm squares.
  8. Place some quince paste in the middle of each square, moisten the area just around the filling, and press the pastry together, making sure that you don't seal the edges, you just want to seal the pastry around the filling.
  9. If you're filling with two different fillings, i would recommend, as i did, that you fold them differently so you know which ones are which. :D
  10. Fry in hot rice bran oil, making sure that you turn them over, the tend to cook well where the filling weighs them down, so you need to push them into the oil so all sides are cooked well.
  11. Drain in kitchen paper, and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  12. Do not throw out the cut offs, cut them into strips, fry them and sprinkle with caster sugar, they make a beautiful crunchy snack.
  13. Best eaten cold with a nice hot chocolate. BEWARE YOUR HEART!!!! hahahahahaha

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Sweet Potato Pie - Yeah it's looking like pie week!!!

This pie was inspired by a pumpkin pie recipe I saw last week on Better Home and Gardens and a roasted sweet potato that a work colleague makes.

The pumpkin pie on the telly was made with skim milk, and low fat pastry. None of that here ;)

The roasted sweet potato is mashed with five spice and a strong tasting cheese. Hmmmm yum!!!

I kind of combined these two ideas to make this pie.
Once again, I used the puff pastry from Aldi.


600gms boiled sweet potato
50gms grated Parmesan
1 quarter (to half) of a freshly grated nutmeg
1 sheet of puff pastry
3 eggs
Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a gratin dish with baking paper on the bottom and grease the sides.
  3. Line dish with sheet of puff pastry, cutting off excess.
  4. Mash sweet potato, and mix with cheese, nutmeg, parmesan and salt and pepper.
  5. Mix in eggs, then pour onto puff pastry.
  6. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Serve with salad.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Pascualina - Spinach Pie

Pascualina is a spinach pie which we often eat in Uruguay. It is made with spinach or silver beet, sauteed onions and a home made pastry. I cheated because I love puff pastry, so I used a bought one. I have found the puff pastry from Aldi to be the best out there. I have tried many brands and the Aldi brand really kicks the backside of any of the more well known puff pastries out there. Well that's my opinion anyway.

I also use the Aldi frozen spinach. The reason I like it is because it is really easy to defrost as it comes in 6 pieces, and it is dry. Whenever I have defrosted other brands of spinach, I find that there is a huge amount of water, so you can never just add it to the dish frozen because you need to drain it first. The spinach from Aldi, doesn't have to be drained. It's perfect :)

3 onions chopped finely
1kg frozen spinach (defrosted)
1/2 nutmeg freshly grated
250gms Philadelphia cream cheese
6 eggs
4 sheets frozen puff pastry
Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Egg wash

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
  2. Sautee onions until golden.
  3. Add spinach, cream cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Stir through until all ingredients are mixed together. Put aside to cool slightly.
  4. Line a rectangular tray with puff pastry ensuring the pastry reaches right up to the edge of the tray.
  5. Spread out the filling over the puff pastry, and with a spoon make 6 holes in the filling so you can pour in the whole eggs. Crack eggs one by one and pour into the holes.
  6. Cover the pie with more pastry sealing the edges.
  7. Brush pastry all over with egg wash and bake in a hot oven for 40 minutes until pastry is golden.
  8. Serve with roasted sweet potato and steamed green beans.
Serves 6-8

Thursday, 20 May 2010


150gms arborio rice
300gms cold water
1/2 a vegetable stock cube
20gms fresh chopped parsley
20gms grated parmesan
1 small onion finely chopped
140gms rice milk
10gms pure cornflour
1/2 cup gluten free savoury biscuits (processed to a fine crumb)

  1. Place rice, stock cube and water in a microwave proof bowl.
  2. Set on high for 10 minutes. Stop after 8 minutes and stir thoroughly.
  3. Finish cooking and set aside.
  4. Saute onion in a non stick pan until caramelised, turn off heat and add parsley, stir to wilt parsley.
  5. Add rice, combine and set aside.
  6. In a microwave safe bowl, place milk, cornflour and cheese. Cook on high for one minute, take out and stir. Cook for a further minute. At this time the sauce should be thick.
  7. Pour sauce over the rice mix and combine. Set aside to cool.
  8. Form rice mix into balls and roll in crumbs.
  9. Deep fry until golden brown and serve with salad.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Albóndigas Vegetarianas - Vegetarian "Meatballs"

I was watching MasterChef yesterday and thinking that there aren't many vegetarian dishes on the show. I was contemplating how I would survive on a show such as that one, and realised that I probably couldn't survive on it very long.

There was one vegetarian girl on the show last year and she was quickly outed. From what I've seen there are no vegetarians on the show at all this year.

Anyway so I got to thinking about vegetarian cooking in general and all these ingredients came into mind and I decided to make these.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
500gms firm tofu (I used Pureland Organic Tofu)
1 small bunch of chives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
100gms fresh shitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons of potato flour
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1 egg
salt to taste
Olive Oil

For the sauce
1 750ml Provista Sugo Classica
2 medium onions sliced
4 baby red capsicums sliced
1 tbs dried thyme
1 medium green chili sliced
3 bay leaves
2 cups of water
salt to taste
Parmesan cheese to serve.

To make the albondigas
  1. Saute mushrooms in olive oil, then set aside to cool.
  2. Chop half of the tofu and set aside. Put the other half in the food processor.
  3. Add chopped chives, garlic, parsley, egg, flour and salt. Process to a paste.
  4. Add mushrooms and process, make sure that mushrooms are still in pieces.
  5. Add chopped tofu and process, leaving chunks of tofu.
  6. Form into balls and set aside.

To make the sauce

  1. Saute onion and capsicums in a heavy pan until collapsed.
  2. Add sugo and water and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add salt to taste, chopped chili, bay leaves and thyme.
  4. Slowly and carefully add the albondigas into the sauce (do no stir).
  5. Simmer covered for 20 minutes, serve with brown rice and sprinkle with chopped parsley or Parmesan cheese.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Alfajores de Maizena (Gluten Free)

Alfajores de Maizena are small soft shortbread type cookies which are joined together with "dulce de leche" (thick caramel). Their sides are covered in dessicated coconut.
These are a favourite snack in Uruguay, Argentina & Chile. Some of the ones you can buy ready made, are covered in chocolate. The ones made in Chile have a much harder cookie, but are still assembled the same way.
Maizena is cornflour, and the main ingredient in this recipe.

I just love these!!
I saw some at my mum's yesterday but because of their wheat content I was not able to eat them. They have a small amount of wheat flour in them.
So I went shopping and bought 100% corn cornflour, I found a recipe which I converted into gluten free by replacing the wheat flour with rice flour and potato flour. I also replaced the cognac and lemon rind.
Now I can eat these to my heat's content (although in reality my heart would be much happier if I were eating broccoli instead!!)

200gms low salt margarine (you can use softened unsalted butter)
150gms caster sugar (superfine sugar)
3 egg yolks
300gms pure cornflour
125gms rice flour
75gms potato flour
2tsp gluten free baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp lemon extract

To assemble
200gms dulce de leche (Nestle Top'n'Fill works really well)
80gms dessicated coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees celcius (fan forced)
  2. Sift flours and baking powder together, set aside.
  3. Cream margarine, sugar, extracts and yolks with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Fold in dry ingredients until it all comes together.
  5. Place dough on a large piece of baking paper, and knead lightly.
  6. Roll dough out to about 1/2 a cm between two pieces of baking paper.
  7. Remove top sheet of baking paper, and cut with a round cutter.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet at least 2 cms apart from eachother, and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  10. Place enough caramel on the bottom of a cookie to cover it, and gently press another cookie to it so that some caramel comes out of the sides.
  11. Spread the squeezed out caramel all over the sides of the cookies, and then roll that part through the dessicated coconut.
  12. Eat accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee. YUM!!!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Coconut Creme Caramel

As I mentioned in my previous posting, I'm experimenting with recipes. Hubby doesn't deal well with dairy products, so this one was "kinda" done for him.

I say "kinda" cause it was also done for me ;) hahahaha

Who wouldn't love creme caramel made with coconut milk. Well I suppose all those people that just plain don' t like cream caramel and those that detest coconut. HEATHENS!!!!

2 x 400ml cans of coconut milk

6 large eggs

100gms caster sugar (superfine sugar)

2 tsp vanilla extract (I used homemade)

1 tsp lemon extract (I used homemade)

200gms caster sugar

20gms water

Monday, 15 February 2010

Coconut Chocolate Mousse Cake

In the last couple of years, to my dismay and disappointment, I have discovered that wheat is not my friend. I tried to fight it, but I lost.

I have bought a few books on gluten free cooking, as I just love to cook but haven't tried many recipes yet. Wheat based products, cakes, breads, pastas, are just my absolute favourite. Isn't life just cruel??

Anyway I have decided to start experimenting a little more with gluten free cooking.

I am also vegetarian, which makes it even more difficult as a lot of gluten free recipes use gelatine. :(

Anyway here is my first experiment.

Cake base is a modified version of this cake found here. I changed the flour to make it gluten free and modified the process slightly.

Cake Base
100gms Plain Gluten Free Flour
4 eggs
50gms white sugar
60 gms brown sugar
60gms dessicated coconut
2tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Sift coconut, flour, soda and tartar and set aside.
  3. Place sugars, vanilla and eggs in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for 5 minutes until the mixture is doubled and is light and fluffy.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients and pour batter into a greased 9 inch removable base tin.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan.

Chocolate Mousse
I used this recipe from Jill Harris (Vegan Chocolate Mousse)

510gms silken tofu
420gms dark chocolate (I used 70% Lindt)
100gms maple syrup


  1. Blend tofu in a food processor until it is very smooth.
  2. Chop chocolate into small pieces and melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts, being careful not to burn it.
  3. Once chocolate is fully melted add syrup and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add chocolate mix to the tofu in the processor and blend until thoroughly mixed and very smooth.
Raspberry Topping
300gms raspberry puree
80gms sugar
20gms potato flour
40gms water


  1. Mix potato flour with the water, and add it to a pan with the raspberry puree and sugar.
  2. Cook on slow heat until mixture thickens.
  3. Set aside to cool
Assembling Cake

Cut cake in half. Place one layer of cake on the base of a pan, and pour mousse over it. Smooth mousse and place left over layer of cake. Press it down to make sure it sticks together.
Pour raspberry sauce over the top, smooth over and place in the fridge.
Allow it to set overnight.

NOTES: This cake was fully consumed at work the following day. There was mixed feedback. Generally it was good, but the mousse was very rich and firm. I loved the mousse, but indeed it was very rich, i think an extra 100 gms of tofu wouldn't go astray. I also think that making it with milk chocolate instead of the 70% I used would make it a lot less rich.

I personally loved the raspberry topping, as I thought it really cut through the richness of the mousse. Some of the taste testers commented that they preferred to have the mousse with the cake on the base, and the topping with the cake on the top. Each to their own I say :)

Next experiment should be a white chocolate mousse cake :) YUMMY YUMMY!!!