Monthly Archives

November 2016

In Cake, Recipe on
November 30, 2016

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve only posted one cake recipe the whole year, so seeing as we are heading towards the end of the year, I thought it’d only be fitting that I start posting a couple more!

It’s not that I haven’t been baking at all, it’s just that it hasn’t been very often and not often successful. Surely no one wants to the cakes I burnt from when I accidentally turned the oven on to the ‘grill’ function instead of ‘bake’. I’m not even joking- it’s happened three times this year!

I tend to experiment quite a bit in the kitchen, and I love trying new recipes, new techniques, new ingredients etc etc. And because of the sheer volume of recipes I’ve bookmarked to try, I don’t tend to go back to recipes unless they’re really special and even then, it’s not often that I will reuse recipes. As a result, recipes that have been a hit in the family do get forgotten over time, and it’s not until I’m re-reading some of my older posts that I remember how good that particular recipe tasted.

This chocolate beetroot cake is one of the few that we’ve never forgotten as I have made over and over again, being my go to chocolate cake recipe. We don’t ever use beetroot in our cooking but we always have a few tins of beetroot in the pantry just for this particular recipe- it is that good!

I won’t blabber on about how good this recipe is- I’ve done it before here and here– but if you haven’t tried it out before, please do. You won’t be disappointed!

I made this particular cake as I had wanted to practice making a chocolate drip- I had attempted it once before and failed so I was determined to make it right this time. Unfortunately, I had left the chocolate glaze to cool a little too much so the drip failed once again, but thankfully not as miserably as last time.

But who cares about a failed drip when the cake tastes amazing? This recipe has never failed me and this time was no exception, although it did dry up after a few days in the fridge.

Next time I make cake, I’ll have to remember to invite a few friends over!

Beetroot Chocolate Cake Recipe
Serves 16
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
For the cake
  1. 190g dark chocolate
  2. 6 medium eggs
  3. 600g sugar
  4. 480ml sunflower or vegetable oil
  5. 600g cooked and pureed beets
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 60g cocoa powder
  8. 400g flour
  9. 3 teaspoons baking soda
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. For the chocolate ganache
  12. 500g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  13. 500ml heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 f/180 C
  2. Melt the chocolate (for the cake) over a double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil. Slowly add the cooked beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture. Beat just until combined.
  3. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the beet batter. Fold just until everything is combined. Don't over work or over mix the batter.
  4. Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of 3 x 10 inch cake pans. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tins. Bake for about 30 minutes, or till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using.
  5. While the cake is baking, work on the ganache frosting. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan, just till it starts to barely boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk till it forms a smooth sauce. Cool.
  6. When the cake is done, cool it on a wire rack. Meanwhile whip the cooled ganache until light and fluffy.
  7. To assemble the cake, arrange 1 layer on a cake stand or plate and spread 1/4 of the whipped ganache evenly over it. Top with another cake layer and 1/4 of ganache, spreading evenly, then third cake layer. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
Adapted from Veggie Belly
Adapted from Veggie Belly
Berry Nutritious http://berrynutritious.com.au/
In Healthy, Pastry, Recipe, Vegetables on
November 23, 2016

Spiral Vegetable Quiche

There are days when I really put effort into my food looking good, and then there are days where I really cannot be bothered and as long as food is edible, it gets thrown onto my dinner plate. Most days it’s the latter, which is why this blog isn’t as full of nice home cooked meals and recipes as it once was, but occasionally I do get moments of inspiration (especially if I’ve been on Pinterest for a little too long)!

For those who have followed this blog for a longer period of time, you’ll have noticed that the frequency at which I post, the types of recipes and posts I put up, style of writing etc has changed drastically from when I first started this blog. Whilst the blog started out being a place to document all my bakes and desserts, it has turned into a lot more of a collection of lunch dishes that I’ve been making as of late. In fact, as I’m quickly scrolling through the few posts I’ve written up this year, I have only posted one dessert recipe this whole year.

I’m still incredibly passionate about baking, and really enjoy whipping up a delicious dessert here and there, but of course the further I journey into adulthood, the less time I have for making these treats and saddingly, less calorie allowance for these too- these days, I’m finding that as much time is spent making these as it is trying to convince others to help finish them off!

As for cooking, it’s something I also enjoy and do much more regularly (hence the surplus of recipes on this blog) although it’s never quite as exciting as baking- a decorated cake is beautiful enough to photograph on a plain background but a plate of steamed veggies is not.

My cooking style isn’t too exciting either, in winter it’s often stews where I throw in whatever I feel like whereas in summer, it’s usually salads where I also throw in whatever I feel like. Which works half the time, and the other half….let’s just not talk about that!

But every once in a while, when I have a little time on my hands (i.e. the whole weekend) and I’m inspired to do something a little more creative than the usual, I do get up to some more exciting things in my kitchen. Such was the case with this beautiful spiral vegetable quiche, which I came across whilst browsing through recipes on Taste, and it was definitely something different to what I was originally looking for!

It’s actually much more simple than it may at first appear, and only requires a handful of ingredients, mostly veggies. I’m always looking for different ways to incorporate more veggies into my diet, to get my 5 serves (or more!) a day so this was perfect!

To get the nice spiral, you’ll need to thinly slice all of your veggies and cut them to a similar width. You’ll need either good knife skills or a nice sharp mandoline, or which I had neither, and once the veggies are all prepped, just roll, pour over the egg mixture and bake!The original recipe uses filo pastry as well, however I thought it would be slightly less fiddly without it (and it saved a trip to the supermarket) and it worked find with just the veggies.

It looks absolutely amazing when baked, although it did fall apart slightly when cut- next time I’d increase the amount of the egg batter used but I’m definitely not complaining. Now if only everything I cooked looked this good, I’d probably have much more to blog about! 🙂

 

Spiral Vegetable Quiche
Serves 8
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 Large Eggs
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  4. 1/2 cup shredded mozerella
  5. 3-4 large zucchinis
  6. 3-4 large carrots
  7. 2-3 large eggplants
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Combine the eggs, milk and cheeses in a jug. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 5cm-deep, 24.5cm round ovenproof dish.
  2. Slice the vegetables into thin slices lengthwise using a mandolin or vegetable peeler. Once the slicing is complete, check that they are roughly the same height and trim any edges to reduce the height as necessary.
  3. Roll a strip of zucchini into a tight spiral, followed by a strip of carrot and then eggplant. Continue alternating, forming a tight spiral. As the roll gets larger, you may find you need to use two strips of vegetable to complete the circle. Once the roll gets too large to handle easily on the bench, place in the centre of the filled crust. Continue arranging alternating layers of vegetables around the spiral until you reach the outer edge of the crust.
  4. Drizzle tart with olive oil and bake for 1 hour or until golden and set in the middle. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Taste.com.au
Adapted from Taste.com.au
Berry Nutritious http://berrynutritious.com.au/
In Healthy, Recipe, Salad on
November 16, 2016

Pumpkin and chickpea salad

I was sure I had posted this salad on my blog, but I searched and searched….and nothing!

Ever since my new found love of pumpkin, I’ve been adding it to just about everything I can think of- soups, stews, pastas, stir fries, curries- you name it, I’ll throw it in there. I can’t say it always works (pumpkin soup is still my favourite), but here’s one that does!

This isn’t really my usual type of salad, but I first had a pumpkin and chickpea salad at The Caff in Broken Hill (unfortunately it was one I never got around to taking a photo of) and found it much more enjoyable than I had imagined it would be.

I enjoyed the salad so much that when I got home, I searched for a similar recipe and sure enough the first recipe which came up in my search looked almost identical to the salad I had had earlier in the day. Of course, being hours away from home and not being pumpkin season, I could only really bookmark the recipe and hope that I’d find it in the midst of the other billions of recipes I bookmark on a daily basis.

Surprisingly, I did get around to making the recipe, and year and a half later, this recipe has become one of my staples during pumpkin season as it is super quick and easy to whip up. All you need is a pumpkin, tin of chickpeas, onion and figs and you’re just about ready to go!


I really love having something sweet like fruit in my salads, so the addition of the figs (I use dried) is my favourite component of this salad. I’ve added lots of green spinach and rocket leaves to the recipe to bulk it up as I tend to have this as a meal rather than a side dish but feel free to leave it out!

Pear, Pumpkin and Rocket Salad
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Jap pumpkin, cut into 2cm-thick wedges
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 Beurre Bosc pears, cored, thinly sliced
  4. Lemon juice, to drizzle
  5. 125g baby rocket leaves (I used a rocket and baby spinach mixture)
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  8. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line 2 baking trays with foil.
  2. Arrange the pumpkin in a single layer on the baking trays. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tender and lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
  3. Drizzle the pears with a little lemon juice.
  4. Make honey and balsamic dressing: Combine honey, vinegar and remaining oil in a screwtop jar. Secure lid and shake to combine. Remove lid. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 10 seconds or until honey is melted. Replace lid. Shake until well combined.
  5. To serve, combine the rocket, pear, pumpkin and dressing in a large bowl and gently toss to combine
Notes
  1. Optional: I also drizzled my salad with some balsamic reduction to give it some more flavour
Berry Nutritious http://berrynutritious.com.au/
In Café, Dining on
November 13, 2016

XS Espresso, North Parramatta

I know I’m definitely part of the minority when I say that runny yolks aren’t my thing (I prefer my yolks just set so it doesn’t spill all over my brekkie) but when breakfast is this good, I’m definitely not complaining!

We’ve been meaning to visit XS Espresso since it opened up in North Parramatta, and are constantly reminded of it everytime we drive past the large unmissible XS logo…..which is just about every couple of days!

Monster Milkshake ($14)

The milkfreakshakes are really what we’re here for, and they have an extensive list of options which make it difficult to choose. Luckily we have about 15 minutes to spare whilst waiting for a seat, but even that wasn’t enough to narrow out choices down.
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