Churros with Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache

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Like a less wholesome version of Sesame Street, this post is brought to you by the colour brown. Why brown? Because brown is the hue of tastiness. See also: gravy, Jack Daniels, crispy chicken skin, 10 year Scotch and the thin bits on croissants. I seem to have mash liquor on that list twice; oh well,  nevermind. I made a whole slew of delicious things with the intention of photographing and writing about them, and belatedly realised they all happened to be a very similar shade of brown and thus were going to be bloody hard to make look desirable and visually appealing. Rather than attempting to solve this [admittedly not huge] problem, I’m just going to roll with it.

Churros are Spanish doughnuts which are made long and thin, and are classically served with dulce de leche or dipped in thickened hot chocolate. At breakfast time. There’s nothing objectionable about any of those concepts, but caramelised white chocolate ganache is definitely worth a try. It is especially worthwhile if, like me, you are one of the generation of New Zealanders who lived in the halcyon days of Cadbury Caramilk bars, and were then dealt the crushing blow of having them suddenly and cruelly taken away from us. Oh, what is life? This event clearly had an untoward effect on me, but it turns out that the mysterious and lovely Caramilk bar is just white chocolate that’s been in the oven, and you can do it with minimal effort at home. I also made a little dukkah-esque mixture of sweet toasted nuts with cinnamon, vanilla and fancy shredded coconut, because I thought it would be tasty. And it WAS.  read more…

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Banana & Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

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I feel that I need to make a distinction clear between this recipe and, say, the ‘typical’ banana loaf (in New Zealand at least), which should really be called a cake in my opinion. When is a loaf not really a loaf? Is the word ‘loaf’ only to do with the shape or does it have certain leading associations with things that are bready? Is ‘bready’ a terribly clumsy and unattractive way to describe the ancient and noble product of millennia of human culinary development, or should we just go with it?

Either way, I made a banana loaf that isn’t actually a cake-type thing, but is raised with yeast. It’s bread with bananas in it. I hope you’re picking up what I’m putting down because the recipe makes enough dough for two whole blog posts, so that’s a lot of banana bread. If you’re like me and only seem to buy fruit in order to watch it rot before your eyes, this kind of recipe is ideal. It answers that perennial question of what the hell you’re going to do with a bunch of bananas you’ve carelessly allowed to go black, after eating just one of them in a fit of enthusiasm for health and eating breakfast and all that stuff. Banana loaf does seem like kind of a breakfast-appropriate thing though.  read more…

Brioche Doughnuts with Tangy Raspberry Jelly


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‘Inject your own doughnut’ as a concept was all the rage, well, quite some time ago now, but I remain convinced that there’s life in that trend yet. What wouldn’t be enjoyable about plunging a giant needle into something and pumping it up with sugary goo? To quote Paris Hilton circa 2003: that’s hot. ( See, I do have my finger on the pulse of what is hip and cool). However, my views on injecting foodstuffs into things abruptly changed recently, when I erroneously volunteered to shoot up about 100 edible insects with lemon syrup for the dessert course at a gala function. Injecting jelly into fried dough is vastly more pleasant and rewarding, but I did suffer some traumatic flashbacks while I was preparing these doughnuts. You never want to hear the phrase ‘Huh, that one’s come back to life’ about a bug you’ve just euthanised, while you’ve got said creature IN YOUR HAND, with a hypodermic full of acidic liquid poised precariously close to your thumb. At least they weren’t spiders. Good grief, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS BLOG?  read more…