All posts filed under: kitchen process

What to Do With the Urge to Cook

I cook an evening meal for my family every night and eighty per cent of the time I enjoy the process more than I enjoy the meal. I’m a good cook, (she says with eyes modestly downcast), but as with most cooks, I tend to lose interest in the product of my labour by the time it’s placed on the table. I think this is related to saturation of the senses during the cooking process and, more prosaically, nibbling as you cook. This lack of interest in the finished dish is no bad thing as I, like most middle-aged people, have to keep a weather eye on unwanted weight gain. Yes, terribly dreary, but this is how it is. And given this state of affairs – enjoying cooking but not the weight gain associated with eating all that I make – what can I do? I cannot force-feed my family or harass passers-by to come inside and eat cakes and jellies. So I decided to harness my cooking urges and, through a simple online arrangement …

‘The’ Sicilian Apple Cake

I’ve been blogging for 7 years, primarily about books and writing, but I always loved to slip in the occasional food post. I nicked this post on the Sicilian Apple Cake from my other website because it deserves to be here in this dedicated food environment. I have to say that in all the traffic to my writer website over the years, nothing … absolutely nothing, has generated as much traffic as this recipe. I’ve no idea why, except maybe the world knows a good cake recipe when it sees one The cake, full of apple and raisins, also has the distinctive Mediterranean combination of citrus, vanilla and cinnamon and is so good it should be cooked every day and offered up to the apple spirits. I first ate it in Lucia’s Cafe at Adelaide’s Central Markets, discovered what it was called and scuttled home to research the recipe. I found it on the local South Australian ABC website and reproduce it here for your cooking and eating pleasure. 120 gms butter, melted 50 gms …

The Right Crunch

I made a batch of biscotti, the Italian twice baked biscuit, once that was so hard one could gnaw and suck them, like a baby with a rusk, for an awfully long time before getting anything like a satisfying crunchy mouthful. The unyielding nature of these biscotti was my fault. Too long in the oven, I’m afraid. And I’ve also made butter biscuits so soft and crumbly that I needed a spoon to get them into my mouth. Yep, not long enough in the oven. And then, like Goldilocks with her third bowl of porridge, I found Dan Lepard’s Blueberry Choc Chip Cookies. As I placed balls of the mixture on the baking trays I was plagued with doubt and suspected the cooked biscuit would have a sludgy interior encased in a thin skin of crunch. Now interior sludge is not a bad thing, particularly in a chocolate pudding, but I wanted a crunchy biscuit all the way through and, by golly, I got it. This is a great recipe and one can fiddle with …