June 13, 2008

lemon lemon cupcakes

With the house auction coming up in less than a month and the first Open for Inspection looming next weekend, I've thrown myself into a cleaning frenzy. It's a necessary evil but oh, how I hate housework, especially tedious jobs like washing down doors and cupboards. So yesterday I took a break from the rubber gloves and bucket and made a batch of cupcakes...

Lemon lemon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (makes 12)

All ingredients should be at room temperature:

175g plain flour
150g caster sugar
1 1/2 tspns baking powder
pinch salt
125g softened unsalted butter, cut into 1-cm cubes
2 large eggs
120ml ml milk
finely grated rind of a large lemon

Preheat oven to 160 C°. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Whisk the milk and eggs lightly together. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix on low speed until combined. Add butter and half the egg/milk mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 mins. Scrape down sides of bowl and add the remaining egg mix in 2 batches, beating for 20 secs. each. Using an icecream scoop measure mixture evenly into the liners and bake for 20 - 25 mins. or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting:

Beat together 125g cream cheese (use straight from fridge) and 35g butter (softened) until smooth.
Gradually add 1 cup sifted pure icing sugar and rind of a large lemon, beating until smooth. Spread over cakes and serve at room temperature.

June 3, 2008

fish in a bag

For dinner the other night I cooked Jamie Oliver's Steamed Fish in a Bag which was very quick and easy and tasted really good - definitely a keeper! I altered the method slightly as I went along. Jamie's recipe started by mashing up the lime leaves with a pestle and mortar. I tried that but only succeeded in tearing them slightly. So I just blitzed all the ingredients into a paste with the stick blender and poured it over the raw fish.

Jude's Jamie's Steamed fish in a bag (serves 2)

6 kaffir lime leaves, cut up roughly
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 large red chilli, seeds removed and roughly chopped
3 cm piece ginger, roughly sliced
handful coriander leaves plus extra for garnish
grated rind and juice of a lime
1 T soy sauce
2 T dry sherry
2 T olive oil
2 thick pieces of snapper

Preheat oven to 220C. Place a large oven tray on the centre rack. Tear off a metre of foil (I used the wide one), fold in half, then open out and turn up 5cm all round to create a shallow "tray". Spray or lightly smear with cooking oil. Place fish on one side.

With a stick blender, puree all the ingredients except the fish together to form a thickish sauce. Pour evenly over the fish. Fold over top half of foil and seal the 3 open sides securely with a double fold. Don't fold the foil right up to the edge of the fish - leave a 5cm or so space so that the steam can circulate.

Place the parcel carefully on the hot tray and bake for about 12 mins. until cooked through. Garnish with coriander and serve over steamed rice.