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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Amira's Beef Curry (updated)

This is what we had for dinner tonight. I bought the "Screaming Seeds" spice mix called Kashmiri Krush at a small gift shop in Red Hill, Victoria while on holidays in January this year. I added a teaspoon of the spice mix to the curry and it gave a lovely medium heat, just enough for my family's taste. If you don't want to use this, leave it out and just add a sprinkle of flaked chilli. Lovely to have on a cold winters night. ENJOY.

Recipe inspired by "Screaming Seeds Spice Co." recipe leaflet. You can visit the company's website to order the spices and view more recipes on line.

(For those of you who have already viewed this post, please note there was a mistake in the cooking time. I have made the change and it is now correct.)


2 teas Olive oil
2 Onions, chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, grated
1 tab fresh Ginger,grated
1 teas Kashmiri Krush spice blend (by “Screaming Seeds Spice Co. ©”)
3 tab tomato paste
4 tab Curry Powder
1 kilo chuck steak or casserole steak, cut into 3 cm pieces
3 cups hot water
1 Cinnamon Stick
120 mls coconut milk


1. Heat olive oil in large heavy based pan, add onion and cook until soft and transparent. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook until fragrant.
2. Add “screaming seeds ©” and mix to combine. Add curry powder, mix and then add the tomato paste. Stir thoroughly, you can add a tablespoon of water at this stage to help keep it moist.
3. Add the meat and stir to combine. Add the water and cinnamon stick. Stir. Lid on and cook for 1½ hours.
4. Add coconut milk, stir through and then lid on again for ½ hour.
5. Switch off heat, leave lid on and allow to rest for a 1 hour or so.
6. Just before serving remove lid and continue to cook until thickened to your liking.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Almond Jam Cookies

Those of you who know Anthony, know that he loves to bake and here is an example of just that, he is an inspiration to me especially because he just gets on with it without striving for perfection! He made them this morning, they are so scrumptuous and are great with a cuppa, just the right size to have one, no hang's just not enough!

Inspired by Australian Women's Weekly "Home Baked"


185g unsalted butter, soften and chopped
1 teas vanilla essence
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup almond meal
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teas baking power
4 tablespoons strawberry jam, approximately


1. Preheat oven to 180oC (170oC fan forced).
2. Beat butter, vanilla essence, sugar and egg yolks in medium bowl with electric mixer until just combined.
3. Stir in almond meal, flour and baking powder; mix well. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls; place about 5 cm apart on baking paper lined oven tray.
4. With the back of a teaspoon press a hollow into each ball about 1cm deep and 1.5cm wide.
5. Carefully spoon a little strawberry jam into the hollow of each ball.
6. Bake at 180oC oven about 20 minutes or until cookies are browned lightly; cool on trays. Store in air tight container. Makes about 30.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Amira's Lemon or Orange Poppy Seed Cake (updated 29/6/11)

This is one of my most popular cakes! Guests always have a second or third piece. It is tangy, light and tarty and the poppy seeds burst with tiny crackles under your teeth. The icing just hits the spot with extra tangy flavour. I chose this time to make orange poppy seed cake (above). ENJOY !


1 cup sugar
Rind of 2 lemons or oranges
3 eggs
¾ cups canola oil
1 cup yogurt
4 tab lemon or orange juice
2 cups Self Raising flour
1/3 cup poppy seeds

Mix sugar and rind together with fork, add eggs and oil and mix again. Stir through yogurt and juice. Lastly add, sifted flour and poppy seeds. Stir through gently until just combined. Bake in preheated oven at 160oC (150oC fan-forced) for approx 50 minutes.


1 cup Pure Icing Sugar
1 teas margarine or unsalted butter
Juice of approx ½ lemon or ½ orange
Poppy seeds or shaving of orange or lemon for sprinkling

Pour boiling water in sink. Place small bowl on water to allow the bowl to heat up. In the bowl add sifted icing sugar, add margarine, squashing it against the side of bowl to soften and stir through. Slowly add juice as needed to form a soft spreadable consistency. Pour icing over cooled cake and sprinkle lightly with extra poppy seeds or shavings of orange or lemon.
Yummy Yum.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Julie's Chocolate Cake

This is a "have to eat", super-moist, dense and rich chocolate cake, you'll know why from the ingredients. We shared this after our Mother's Day lunch. One slice after lunch was perfect!

Chocolate Cake

250g unsalted butter
1 cup water
½ cup cocoa
2 cups Plain Flour
2 cups caster sugar
2 beaten eggs
½ cup Yoghurt
1 teas Bicarbonate of Soda
½ teas cinnamon
1 teas vanilla essence

Chocolate Ganache

¼ cup cream
75g dark Chocolate
75g milk Chocolate


Preheat oven 180oC and grease a bundt tin or 20 cm baking tin.
In a small saucepan bring to boil butter, water and cocoa, boil for 3 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool down to warm. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl add flour and caster sugar and mix to combine. Then add the butter mixture, beaten eggs, yogurt, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon and vanilla essence. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until all combined. Pour into baking tin and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from tin and allow to cool completely on a cake rake. When cool drizzle with chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

Place cream in a small glass bowl and microwave on high for 20 seconds until bubbly and hot. Tip both dark and milk chocolate into bowl ensuring all chocolate is covered with cream. Allow to sit for ½ minute and then stir vigorously until the chocolate has melted. If chocolate ganache is too thick to pour over cake place back in microwave for 5 – 10 seconds to slight melt again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lemon Tart

You have to try and make this, it is so delicious to eat ! ENJOY.

** Inspired by the Australian Women's Weekly and Home Beautiful Magazine

Tart Shell

250g plain flour
125g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 pinch of salt
180g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
2 drops iced water

1. Place the plain flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. You can use a food processor for this. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Shape the dough into a round, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out onto a lightly-floured surface until 3mm thick.

2. Press into a greased or non-stick 23cm tart tin and prick the pastry with a fork. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 200oC. Line the chilled pastry with baking paper and add baking weights or rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and weights. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Lemon Filling

4 eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
¾ cup (180ml) lemon juice
¾ cup (165g) caster sugar
½ cup (125ml) thickened cream

1. Whisk eggs, rind, juice, sugar and cream in a medium bowl. Leave to rest for ½ hour (if time allows).

2. Strain filling into cooked pastry shell.

3. Bake in preheated oven at 160oC for 30 – 35 mins.

4. Remove from oven and let rest until cooled to room temperature.

5. Place in fridge until set.

6. To serve, dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.

Yummy Yum!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


There are so many different varieties of this dish and this is my version. Enjoy on a cold winters night with family and friends. I particularly love the taste of the bechamel sauce on top of this dish. And this is another one of my brother's favourite dishes.

Meat Sauce (Bolognaise Sauce)

2 tab Olive Oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
500 mince beef
360ml passata (tomato puree)
1 cup water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large fry pan and sauté onion until soft, add garlic and continue to fry for a minute or so. Add the mince beef and press mince with a fork to flatten and separate, fry until brown all over. While mince is cooking, in a medium saucepan add passata and water, and cook with lid on. Once mince is browned, add this to passata in saucepan and cook (no lid) on medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit with lid on until you cook the pasta.


600g tube penne (no lines)
Salt to add to boiling water
Olive oil

Fill large saucepan with water and allow to come to the boil, add salt and cook pasta until cooked. Strain pasta and drizzle olive oil to coat to avoid pasta sticking together.

Brush a large oven dish with olive oil. Pour ½ of the cook pasta on bottom of dish, pour all the bolognaise sauce over the pasta and then top with the other ½ of pasta.

Béchamel Sauce

60g butter
4 tab lain flour
2 cups Milk (full cream)
1 egg
Salt and Pepper
Grated tasty cheese and Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and then add flour, stir continuously for 1 minute allowing the mixture to bubble and mix thoroughly together. Slowly add milk stirring continuously with a balloon whisk until all milk is added. Add salt and pepper and continue stirring until mixture boils and thickens. This should take about 10 minutes. Once thick and smooth remove from heat and add the egg, give another good stir with balloon whisk. Pour and smooth this mixture immediately over the top layer of pasta, ensuring you cover the entire top. Allow the béchamel to cool slightly before grating the tasty cheese directly over the top of the béchamel sauce to cover, then sprinkle also with parmesan cheese. (At this stage you might like to cover with foil allow to cool slightly and place in the fridge for baking later.) Bake straight away in preheated oven at 180oC, no foil for 50mins to 1 hour or until golden. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Yummy Yum !!