Honeybunch of
Onion Tops
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30 / 04 / 2021

It's no secret I love having a sweet little something for those morning/afternoon/dessert moments when you want a delicious exclamation-mark to go with your cuppa or evening meal. These were originally made one evening when my mind was wrestless and the kitchen was a dark, cosy, safe cocoon for my racing mind. Somehow amidst the cacophany of anxious-thoughts these turned out stella-first go. Which besides being a small ego boost, is actually quite irritating. I should be at my A-recipe-developing-game when I'm highly focused - not totally out of it?! Exhale, but what can you do. Making these was a reminder that cooking has the most impressive transformative abilities.

a note on the recipe: these are excepionally good! Like a traditional caramel slice, except less sweet, because of the grounding peanutty note. Not as overwhelmingly peanuty as a Snickers bar, but along that wavelength. Bliss.

Makes 16 bite-sized pieces. (1 x 15cm/6inch square pans worth)

Ingredients

Base

Caramel

Top

Method

  1. Line a 15cm/6inch square tin with a loose sheet of baking paper. Set aside.
  2. Mix all your Base ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon, then switch to your hands to work the oil into the almonds. The mixture should hold together when pressed - if it doesn't, add a little more coconut oil. Press into the base of the tin, and smooth over with a spoon to level. Set aside in the fridge.
  3. Whisk your first three Caramel ingredients together until smooth. Add the vanilla, salt, powdered peanut butter & optional add-ins (if using), before whisking again to combine. Pour over the refrigerated base, giggle to level, then refridgerate to set.
  4. After 20 minutes (minimum), whisk the melted chocolate with the coconut oil (if using) until fully incorporated, then gently drizzle over the caramel and smooth out into all corners using a spatula. Return to the fridge for an hour (minimum) before slicing & tucking in. When not enjoying these, simply store in the fridge. These will last a couple of weeks (technically speaking).

01 / 04 / 2021

This is a veganized version of a Hetty McKinnon recipe found in the breakfast section of her latest book To Asia, With Love, and it's absolutely wonderful. Think flurry, savoury, crisp UFOs, filled with creamy potato segments and strips of bitey chives. These are delicious on their own, over rice, as part of a bigger breakfast/lunch spread or meal prepped to take on the go. The addition of rice flour in the batter produces wonderfully crisp edges that are so welcome on a slow stodgy morning.

Makes 8 small omelettes (you can half the recipe, if desired)

Ingredients

Method

  1. Boil your potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside. Once cool enough to handle (or before if feeling brave), cut into strips (or slices - up to you) and set aside. Chop your chives into inch long strips and set aside.
  2. Make your batter by adding all of the Batter ingredients into a high-powered blender (or food processor) and blitzing until smooth. If needed, add a little more plant milk to bring it together into a smooth, thick, but pourable consistency.
  3. Heat a generous drizzle of vegetable oil in a large non-stick fry-pan. Once hot gently pour in an oval pancake-sized amount (or as many that fit). Adorn each omelette with some potato pieces and chive strips, then spoon over another 1-2 tablespoons of the batter to "seal in".
  4. Let the omelette get golden brown & crispy on medium heat, before you even consider flipping. Once you flip, cover the fry-pan with a lid/tray. Cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes, until crispy and the egg mixture has had time to cook through. Transfer the omelettes to a plate lined with paper towel (or a tea towel) and repeat until all the batter has been used up.
  5. Tuck in, in anyway you please (ideas found in the blurb above). To keep, let the omelettes comes to room temperature before refrigerating in an air-tight container, or freezing in a single layer.

omelettes---congee-8


11 / 02 / 2021

Hoooli-dooli does this pie work! I personally feel that strawberry and chocolate (on their own, and indeed when paired together) are fairly basic, safe, family friendly flavours. Of course sophistication can be bestowed upon them and taken to the next level - which in this instance the cinnamon and allspice most certain do. And incredibly well! This is one stellar dessert you didn't know was out there. Spiced chocolate custard encased in a volcanic Oreo crust and topped with fresh slithered strawbs, magic! Enjoy.

Makes 1 x 21cm (8 1/2 inch) pie
Serves 6-10

Ingredients

Crust

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Blitz the Oreos in a food processor. Pour in the melted butter and add a pinch of salt. Blitz again to form a wet sand consistency.
  2. Press the mixture into a greased 21cm (8 1/2 inch) pie dish, so that it forms one even layer across the bottom and up the sides. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make your custard by placing all the custard ingredients sans the cornflour into a large pot. Place over gentle heat and stir until the mixture has combined, the chocolate has melted and the sugar’s dissolved. Mix the cornflour with another splash of plant milk, and whisk to combine. Pour into the hot chocolate mixture and stir continuously until the mixture thickens into a thickened custard (it will still be pourable). Take off the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Once the base has cooled to the touch, pour in the cooled custard mixture. Smooth over the top and refrigerate.
  5. Once your pie mixture is set on top, make your Ganache by heating the plant milk in a small saucepan until a few bubbles appear (it won't take long so keep an eye on it). Take off the heat, topple in the chocolate and whisk to combine.
  6. Pour the ganache over the top of the pie and decorate with strawberries. Pop the pie back in the fridge to chill, so that it has at least 3 hours in total (preferably six) to set. It will cut a little messily, no matter how much time it's had in the fridge, but will taste incredible!

DEC-2020-bits-Nelson--Presents--Pie-20


11 / 02 / 2021

I honestly didn't think I could make a quiche or pie (whatever you want to call it) with a gluten-free crust that tastes this good! This is savoury, comfort heaven! Completely nostalgic, considering I ate a lot of pastry-enclosed numbers growing up. This hits all the notes, smokey, herby, cheesy, unami-ee deliciousness. The perfect lunch in my opinion hehe, served with a chutney and salad.

Serves 4-6
Makes 1 x 21cm (8 1/2 inch) pie - feel free to double this recipe

The crust in this recipe is inspired by The First Mess, who was first inspired by Moon and Spoon and Yum.

Ingredients

Pastry

Method

  1. Make your pastry first, by adding the chickpea flour, polenta, mixed herbs, nooch, salt & pepper to a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add the cold vegan butter (in chunks) and pulse to form a dough. Add a dribble of cold water (if needed) to bring it together. Wrap the dough up and chill while your oven pre-heats to 200C. Once pre-heated, take your pastry out of the fridge and grease a 21cm (8 1/2 inch) pie dish (or similar). Roll out into a circle slightly bigger than the dish, then transfer to the dish, pushing it down nice and snug, ensuring there's an even covering. Pierce the base a couple of times with a fork and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside and turn the oven down to 180C.
  2. Start your filling by caramelising the onion in a glug of olive oil over low heat. While that's doing it's thing, prepare your other fillings by dicing the tofu into bite-sized pieces and slicing/crumbling your vegan nut-based cheese.
  3. Make the egg mixture by blending the silken tofu, plant milk, chickpea flour, rice flour, baking powder, garlic powder, turmeric, black salt & pepper together in a blender until smooth.
  4. Construct your pie by laying/crumbling the cheese over the base then topping with the smoked tofu. Gently pour in the eggy mixture, then finish by sprinkling over the caramelised onions. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set and golden brown. Tuck in.

smoked-tofu---cheese-pie


17 / 12 / 2020

I've tried to make a "healthy" Nutella before and truth be told it's turned out exceptionally bitter and rather underwhelming. I was th-rilled when I stumbled across this method of making it, as I could see how it would produce a very Nutella-like result. And it does. The texture is a little different and the flavours hit you in a different order (chocolate first, hazelnut last - which plays with your brain), but in my opinion it's just as wonderful as the OG – when it comes to being an A-grade toast-topper, or banana-lather-upper-er.

Makes approx. 500ml (2 cups)
Or two small-medium jars

Ingredients

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Topple the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and roast in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden and smelling sensational.
  2. Transfer the toasted hazelnuts into a food processor and blend for 5 minutes or so, until creamy. This might take a few goes, scraping down every minute, but it should come together into a creamy nut-butter consistency soon enough.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan until the first little bubble appears. Take off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate and form an ultra smooth ganache.
  4. Pour the ganache into the food processor, add the pinch of salt and blend again until fully combined. Transfer the Nutella to jars to store or gift away. Enjoy.