Archive for April, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Now after all the baking and rich dinners that I cook, it’s only reasonable that once in a while we make something which doesn’t contain loads of carbs or sugar. Many of you may not think this is an appropriate recipe to add to my blog, but it’s more put up to remind people of easy, budget meals (especially in these times) that anyone can make any time. It fulfils a lot of requirements for dinner:

pumpkinsoup

Cheap – I was able to buy a 3.7kg Kent pumpkin @ $0.98/kg = $3.65 for the entire batch of soup– if this serves 8 people it’s 46c per serve – Bargain!
Not many ingredients required
Low in Kilojoules – If you’re on Weight Watchers it’s 0 points!! (as long as you don’t add cream or eat bread with it)
Easy and Fast
Able to freeze (Just thaw and reheat)

What more could you want?
You only really need two ingredients a pumpkin and some chicken or vegetable stock, or stock powder – for those who won’t use up the rest of container of stock.

You can refrigerate or freeze the leftovers and reheat in the microwave or on the stove (it may form crystals when frozen, but once mixed through it’s fine).

Pumpkin Soup
Serves: 8 or more

3.5kg Jap or Kent Pumpkin (any other pumpkin will do e.g. Butternut, etc)
1 teaspoon chicken or vegetable stock powder (or one cup stock)

pumpkin

Peel and de-seed pumpkin. Cut in small pieces (4 x 4 x 1.5cm) and place in a large pot. Add enough water to almost cover (1-2cm below) the pumpkin pieces. This will make a thick soup, so you can add more water now or after blending if you prefer it thinner. Add the stock and heat over medium heat until the pumpkin is soft and a cake tester or sharp knife goes in and comes out easily.

Stir occasionally to make sure all pumpkin is cooked evenly

Stir occasionally to make sure all pumpkin is cooked evenly

Use a hand blender to blend up the pumpkin.

Blend then serve

Blend then serve

See – I told you it was easy!
Now you can eat your cake or a lovely decadent dessert and not feel so guilty! 🙂

Variation:
You could always fry up one finely sliced onion before adding the pumpkin, a bit of cream after it’s blended to add some more taste and serve with tasty herb bread. Of course the bread and cream make this a bit less healthy, but it certainly tastes great!

Strawberry Roulade and Lemon Cream

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

roulade1

When I think of a strawberry roulade, I’m mainly thinking about the strawberry jam and cream rolls I used to eat when younger, or the little rolletes that come in the packets at the supermarket. This is unlike any of those bought rolls, with the beautiful cream contributing so much more to the flavour and experience than expected.

roulade3

When I saw this very grown-up berry roulade recipe in the Marie Clare Magazine, I tore the page out and waited for an opportunity to make it. I decided to use only strawberries, as they looked lovely and fresh at the time I made it. The addition of a sweet lemon cream was fantastic and I know I could have just eaten the whole bowl of cream by itself.

Roulade with Fresh Berries and Lemon Cream
Recipe from a Marie Clare Magazine recipe

Serves: 6-8

2-3 punnets of berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
1-2 tablespoons kirsch (fruit brandy – optional, I didn’t use this)
Melted butter for greasing
4 eggs
¾ cup caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2/3 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g ground almonds
Sugared almonds to serve (optional, I didn’t use this)

Lemon Cream
300 ml thickened cream
½ cup caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste

Place berries, ¼ cup of caster sugar and kirsch in a bowl and toss well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes (or while you prepare the rest of the roulade).

Strawberries soaking

Strawberries in sugar

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 20 x 30cm swill roll tin (I used a 25 x 37cm tray) and line with baking paper (cut a piece too large for the tin so paper hangs over edges). Beat eggs, ½ cup caster sugar and vanilla until thick, pale and creamy. Sift together flour and baking powder and, using a metal spoon, gently stir into egg mixture along with ground almonds. Pour batter into tin, making sure it fills the corners. Bake to 10-15 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.

Remove and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Sprinkle a clean tea towel generously with extra caster sugar. Invert cake onto tea towel, then gently peel paper from back of cake. Using the tea towel, carefully roll the still warm cake up from the short end and leave for at least 10 minutes.

Rolled up Roulade

Rolled up cake

Lemon Cream
Whip cream together with caster sugar, lemon zest and juice. Set aside for 10 minutes for flavours to infuse, taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.

Lovely Lemon Cream

Lovely Lemon Cream

Carefully unroll cake, but don’t flatten out too much or it will crack. Spread thickly with lemon cream and top with half or more of the berries, then carefully roll up again. Sprinkle with extra caster sugar and sugared almonds. Slice and serve with remaining berries.

Ready to go - I'm trying to keep it tight by resting it against my sugar container

Ready to go - I'm trying to keep it tight by resting it against my sugar container

Note: You are able to leave the roulade in the fridge for a few hours before serving, to stop the cream melting.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

roulade4

roulade_sliced

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