That’s not a Christmas pudding. This is a Christmas pudding!

I admit to a seasonal addiction to Christmas Pudding but, even I would have trouble finishing off Heston Blumenthal’s fantastical pudd! This all happened a few years ago now, but I hadn’t heard of it before the show aired on TV recently.

Now that's a Christmas Pudding!

Now that’s a Christmas Pudding!

You can view the 2012 SWNS report here:Giant Christmas Pudding

The trailer for Heston’s Fantastical Feasts shows a quick look at some of his other supersized creations:

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Melting Chocolate Ball Dessert

Look at this amazing dessert. I’ve tried cakes where you break the chocolate layer to get to the hidden cake, but pouring hot sauce over is spectacular!

Once you have perfected the chocolate ball, you could hide anything inside.

Update 16 Feb 2015: Sorry that I have taken so long to locate some information on this spectacular dessert. Hope this helps.

The following is from Ann Reardon who has a range of “how to” videos https://www.youtube.com/user/howtocookthat. The videos seem straight forward and easy to understand and there are basics for the beginner, such as tempering chocolate, etc. You WILL need to know how to temper chocolate to have success with these works of chocolate art.

I haven’t located an actual recipe for the dessert shown above but, with a little imagination, I’m sure you will be able to create something amazing with the help of these instructions. If you want to create the large form you might have to get creative or buy a larger mould. You could get a similar, if a little less spectacular effect by forming a half sphere using an upturned bowl shape or even a balloon. The possibilities are endless!

Here’s Ann Reardon’s version of a chocolate ball bombe:

Here’s Ann Reardon’s chocolate spheres with holes. Very decorative for many desserts that you might imagine.

Happy Cooking … and Eating!!

Cthulhu Pie

Amazing pastry art. Who eats who?

Amazing pastry art. Who eats who?

Update – For those interested in the story behind the pie:

This pastry art was created by someone cleverer than me. I’m still searching for the original source, that is why I haven’t put a reference. I doubt there will be a recipe as it is about the art not the food and the pie is part of the story.

It depicts a “fictional cosmic entity who first appeared in the short story “The Call of Cthulhu”, published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928. The character was created by writer H. P. Lovecraft”.

There are many edible and inedible art works portraying the character, this is just the best I have yet seen!

However, it is simply pastry. If you don’t cook much, I suggest buying some frozen pastry sheets and going to town. This art has been done over a cherry pie (the fruit being used to bulk out the shape of the creature, so this would be a good choice, in my opinion). It would be a conversation starter at any BBQ, for sure.

Cooking And Salad Oils

Cooking And Salad Oils

I don’t use a lot of oil these days, but knowing what ones are best suited to different purposes (by the comprehensive list of smoke points included in this post) is very handy. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has correct information about trans fats and whether these are likely be created in a domestic cooking situation.

Cooking oils

Town & Country Gardening

No kitchen or cook should be without a high temperature (candy) thermometer and a low temperature (meat) thermometer. These thermometers are not expensive and will make you a better cook as well as insuring your food is cooked properly achieving an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees. At this temperature all bacteria has been killed preventing you or your family becoming sick from bacteria contaminated foods.




Note: Smoke point ranges can vary wildly based on many different factors.
Source

200’s
225 F: Canola Oil, Unrefined
: Flaxseed Oil, Unrefined
: Safflower Oil, Unrefined
: Sunflower Oil, Unrefined
300’s
320 F: Corn Oil, Unrefined
: High-Oleic Sunflower Oil,
Unrefined
: Olive Oil, Unrefined
: Peanut Oil, Unrefined
: Safflower Oil, Semi-Refined
: Soy Oil, Unrefined
: Walnut Oil, Unrefined

325 F: Shortening, Emulsified
Vegetable†

330 F: Hemp Seed Oil

350 F: Butter
: Canola Oil, Semi-Refined
: Coconut Oil
: Sesame Oil…

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Under Pressure Now …

Tefal Minut Cook 6 Litre

Tefal Minut Cook 6 Litre


Proud owner of a pressure cooker, thanks to award points. Have never used one before in my life so any tips, ideas, recipes, etc will be much appreciated.

Especially interested in heart healthy and cholesterol lowering recipes as needs must.

Looking around, I found this tip on adapting normal recipes for the pressure cooker.

Step 4: adjust the cooking time

Pressure cooking is all about speed! Determine the original cooking time in your source recipe, then reduce it by two-thirds. You may find it needs a little more time, depending on the recipe, but when you’re trying out a new recipe this is the best way to ensure it’s not overcooked.

Interested in hearing your thoughts on this. My pressure cooker is electric and has two pressure settings: Low 40kPa and High 70kPa. One day I will be able to simply turn it on and get cooking, I’m sure. Anyway, I’ll have fun working it out.

Update on Tamarillo Chutney made in March

Update on Tamarillo Chutney made in March

As my entire excuse for procrastination (here, at least) is that I only want to give information that is tried and tested, I thought I better give an update on my Tamarillo Chutney.

I left the chutney for three months to allow the flavours to mellow (as is, apparently, the golden rule of Chutney making).

Tamarillo Chutney

Tamarillo Chutney


The results: we are very happy with the easy to eat, quite sweet, fruity chutney. Today we had a little platter of crackers, homemade rocket pesto, creamed cheese with chives and sundried tomatoes, sliced cornbeef, cucumber and tomato with a small dish of this chutney. Lovely family moment. Oops, forgot to take a pic for you, sorry.

Can’t wait until the Tamarillo Tree fruits again so I can make a bigger batch of chutney (and of that amazing jam)

Getting Canny and Hitting the Bottle

Getting Canny and Hitting the Bottle

I was once the young Mum just trying everything that I could in the cooking field. I got on the jam project (due to my first Tamarillo Tree fruiting) around the same time as the school fete so I went berserk bottling jams and marmalades of all types. I had people donating Seville oranges or lemons or other fruits and I just cooked up whatever I could find recipes interesting for. I even incorporated my other interests at the time and made homemade paper for tags and spray stencilled the school emblem on them (I had been using spray stencilling for decorating children’s cakes). Lots of fun.

I don’t know if I had a computer or the internet, but I know I wants very savvy at the time. I went to the library, got out a good old book and copied out the recipes (guess funds must have been low, too).

However, years and two house moves later, I have no idea where those recipes went. I always like the tried and true recipes, either getting a recipe from someone after tasting their efforts or, at least, knowing they have an idea what they are doing in the kitchen.

So, when my new Tamarillo tree fruited (just as excited as I was the first time), I headed into the many internet sites that I have found I can trust to deliver good recipes. However, not many of them had the recipes I was looking for and my yearning for knowledge on the subject had me wandering here and there across the ether in search of tips and clues about all things bottling (canning, preserving…whatever you want to call it)

Tamarillo, Apple, Vanilla and Rosewater Jam

Tamarillo, Apple, Vanilla and Rosewater Jam


One site I thought you might like is 365 Days of Creative Canning. I haven’t made a lot of the recipes, but they challenged themselves to ‘canning’ something every single day for a year and have recently SUCCESSFULLY finished that challenge. That’s big in the knowing a bit about it stakes. I got a lot of know how and answers to silly questions which helped sort out some recipes that I liked the look of but that didn’t supply the vital basic information.

The blog tab has articles such as Canning 101 – Mastering Marmalades; How to use a Water Bath Canner (I don’t use one of these as I like doing small batches and manage fine without, but just thought you might like to know the sort of info available).

I just think you gotta learn a lot if you do that much preserving and they share oodles of info and lots of recipes to inspire and motivate.