20 February 2013

Coleslaw with an asian twist

Coleslaw used to be one of my favourite salads. Childhood days in my Mum's late 1970s kitchen, when Margaret Fulton ruled (she still does occasionally), and when a "salad" was always lettuce, tomato and cucumber with french dressing. There were only two other variations - Potato salad (with bacon chips from a jar) and the aforementioned, sweet and dripping with store bought "coleslaw" dressing. My mum used to add nutmeg and somehow this translated it into a dessert rather than a vegetable. But one day, I tried the coleslaw from a take-out restaurant, and this soggy mess with raw onions and bland flavour destroyed it for me. I will never eat coleslaw again.

But, I will take some of the ingredients, and give it my own twist. I'll eat this kind, and so does everyone else - it's a party favourite. It even has a crunch honouring my mum's bacon chips on potato salad.

  • 2 cups grated carrot (or fine julienne is better if you can be bothered)
  • 2 cups finely sliced red cabbage (also called purple cabbage or blue kraut)
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 3 tbsp white Japanese sweet sauce (*see note on sauces)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup aloo bhujia for topping **

03 February 2013

Mocha meringue torte with hazelnut crumble

This one came to be because it was a friend's birthday. Not just any friend, but another food blogger. Not just any food blogger, but a food blogger who has been to Paris to study Cordon Bleu cookery (Francine's blog is here). I stupidly suggested I'd make a cake, and then realised I wouldn't be able to whip up one of my standards. Oh no. This would require ingenuity. Something that looked and tasted seriously adult, yet essentially remained cake-like. Something I couldn't muck up, yet something that looked like it required effort. Voila. The base is adapted from a chocolate meringue cake with coffee cream found almost anywhere, but the crumble is something I thought it needed just to take it over the edge.

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp good quality cocoa (not just drinking chocolate powder)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1/3 cup peeled hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 4 digestive biscuits (e.g Wheatens - substitute with oat bran/amaretti or other GF biscuit for gluten free)
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 100ml custard (see note)
  • 1 super sweet ristretto, cooled (really strong shot of coffee with lots of sugar and very little liquid)

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