Sunday, November 19, 2006

Indian Tea Masala Truffles - SHF#25

I found it challenging to come up with an original flavoured truffle for Sugar High Friday #25 - so in the end I didn't! I have had a box of Indian tea spice in the back of cupboard for a number of months. I bought it in an Indian frenzy at Saini Emporium in Dee Why along with some metal thali plates and huge bags of cinnamon quills. While researching truffle recipes in the net I came across a number of recipes for Chai truffles which I adapted to my spice mix.

The recipe is very easy - I haven't made truffles before and assumed that something so rich would be a little more complex but I was surprised. The hardest part was trying roll neat balls of ganach on a hot summer day!

In hindsight I could have added more spice mix, it added a subtle peppery flavour to the chocolate that wasn't unpleasant but not earth shattering.

Tea Masala Truffles

(adapted from Whole Foods Market recipe)

2/3 cups cream

200g good quality dark chocolate

2 Tbsp butter

2 tsp tea spice powder

Cocoa power for dusting

Heat cream, butter and tea spice until almost boiling. Turn off heat and stir in chocolate pieces until completely melted. Refrigerate for several hours till firm. Scoop up teaspoon-sizes balls and dust with cocoa powder. Dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll gently into balls. (Stop frequently to rinse, dry and re-powder your hands). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thanks to Johanna from thepassionatecook for hosting this months SHF - make sure to check out the round up!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Spoilt Rotten

I love love love birthdays - I love shopping for birthday presents, planning parties and cooking birthday cakes. I especially love my birthday and have been known to drag the celebrations out over several weeks.

This year being the big 30 I have been very spoilt - I had a lovely party at Vera Cruz in Cremorne with fancy Mexican food and way too many margaritas for a lady my age. I have had more cakes and champagne than is good for me and had my traditional birthday breakfast.

My family birthday tradition is to have a special breakfast on your actual birthday - a champagne breakfast if possible but something special to wake up to. G has adopted this tradition and every year I get breakfast in bed. This year was no exception and he out did himself with berries, mango and King Island yogurt, fresh bread and Nutella.

Oh and a little blue box! As I said, spoilt rotten!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The promise of spring

It has started to really heat up here in Australia in the past couple of weeks. It is getting light earlier and earlier, daylight saving has finally begun and it's very nearly summer!
G and I finally moved into an apartment with a garden at the end of last year and have been steadily working on our little vegetable patch. We have a fairly established little herb garden, some spinach and have recently harvested some baby beetroot.

So far it's all been great but to me, summer + vegetable patch = tomatoes!
The search for a really tasty tomato has been the topic of numerous articles in food magazines here, the tasteless supermarket variety widely decried. This led me to an interest in heritage vegetables and Digger's Seeds. At the first hint of spring I ordered a selection of tomatoes from Diggers and some Jiffy pots to grow them in. I ordered some beautifully striped tigerellas, some yellow grapes and a sauce making variety called Amish Paste.

We may have gone slightly overboard though - I recently planted out 8 of seedlings and when we did some quick sums from the catalog it looks like we can expect to harvest several hundred kilos of tomatoes. Sauce any one?

I have also ordered Mexican chilli seeds from Fiery Foods, hopefully this summer we will have a crop of jalapeno, poblano and mulato chillis to make Mexican moles with!

Bring on summer!

PS: If any one has a great tomato recipe to share I would be very keen to know about it!