Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Well the last week or so I haven't been able to cook that much, dinner mostly. But today I got to make Chocolate Mousse. Yay!!

Chocolate Mousse
200gm cooking chocolate (dark or milk)
3 eggs separated
300ml thickened cream (that can be whipped)

NB: There are two ways that I know how to make it. Whipping/beating both the egg white and cream separately or just beating the eggs. In this recipe I've just done the eggs.

File a medium pot with a couple of centimetres of water, just enough that it doesn't touch the heat proof bowl. Put the chocolate and 1/4 cup of the cream into the bowl. Put the stove on low heat and let it simmer away. When the chocolate starts to melt slowly stir the ingredients.

NB: Don't have any water anywhere near the chocolate because it will seize up and you'll have to start again :(

While that is melting you can get the eggs separated. I do that by carefully cracking the egg into two halves, the egg yolk goes into a little bowl and the white goes into a small or medium bowl. You can use you're hands or a contraption if you want.

Take the heat proof bowl off the stove when the chocolate and cream are combined and let it cool down.

Using an electric beater - or if you're hardcore a whisk - and beat the egg whites till you get bubbles to form and it rises up (this is called soft peaks).

The first time I did this I had no idea what was suppose to happen, and I used a whisk and I didn't beat it hard and fast enough. The eggs just went white. The more you know!

Now when the chocolate mix has cooled down you can put the yolks in and stir till it's combined. Then you can pour in half the remaining cream and half the egg whites and slowly fold it in. The last half of both can be put in and combined.

Spoon the mixture into cups or glasses and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight (or if you do it in the morning till night time).

I also made a chicken veggie stew ... without the chicken. I just used stock because we ran out of chicken -_- I'll post that tomorrow. Now I'm going to play some more Morrowind!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Food Experimentation

Well I've been looking at different foods to cook with, so I have been cooking things I've not cooked with before.

Example - Spinach

Not really something I would eat by itself, or in a salad, or raw; however, when combined with udon noodles, chicken, carrots and some homemade broth (well partly) it is something that I can eat quiet well. As long as I don't think about it and swallow down. I'm not at the chewing stage just yet.

Here is the recipe which feeds about 6 people

Chicken Breasts x 2 - cut into thin strips
One Large Carrot - cut into matchsticks
Shallots - just pick a stalk thingy, slice all the green parts and leave the white bit for later (you can use chives as well, if you wanted)
Bag of Baby Spinach leaves - no prep, and you can put as little or as much as you want
Udon noodles - I used three 200g packets
Soy Sauce - I used a couple of splashes (several tablespoons)
Mirin Sauce - just one splash since I've never used it before (couple of teaspoons)
Chicken broth - not that much maybe 1/3 cup, however you can add more
Lemon Juice - I used a lemon, so I cut a slice and just added it in. Probably a couple of tablespoons, though it can be to taste

After cutting the carrot and chicken, get a pot or saucepan of water to boil.
Carefully put some of the strips of chicken into the water. Let them cook for about a minute then put them in a bowl (have several bowls). Keep doing this till all the chicken is cooked.
Then you can pour the water into a big pot, no idea what it's called. I have one for stew. Then put the udon noodles in, the carrot, the sliced green parts of the shallot and as much as you want of spinach.
Now comes the saucy stock part. Add the soy sauce, mirin sauce, squeeze of lemon and then the chicken broth. You can add all of them to various degrees or just have the chicken broth, but I liked the combination of them all.
Let it boil and simmer for 15-18 minutes, stirring gently every couple of minutes.

To serve, have one scoop and dump it right on top of the chicken and then add the white sliced part of the shallots. Add a bit of the broth, or a lot and enjoy!
If you're using chives I recommend to just add them at the end here so they don't lose their flavour. If you wanted you could add the lemon juice here as well, I guess.

It turns out really well and is very filling.

And now for the other experiment.


A few days ago I came across a blog talking about almond milk. I was intrigued and curious so I did an internet search. Turns out it's very easy to make. As a byproduct it creates almond meal.

So I combined them together to see if some of my treats are just as good, but more healthy (for a given number of health).

1 cup self raising flour - I changed to 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup of almond meal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons sugar - I used a mixture of organic and raw castor sugar
1 egg - room temperature
2 teaspoons butter, melted - we just have margarine which I heated in the microwave
1/2 cup milk - I substituted the almond milk
I also added a heaped teaspoon of honey which smells fantastic when cooking in the pan

Sift the flour and baking soda. Add the sugar (which I sifted as well, I'm just like that), then add the almond meal and mix together.
Add the egg (I normally just beat them in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients around) and butter. I usually like to mix all the ingredients in, so it doesn't clump strangely when I add the milk.
Add the milk and mix through, getting rid of any big lumps of flour and such. Then lastly the honey.
Turn on the stove top to a low heat. Then just use a pan and put a tablespoon of the batter in. Flip when bubbles appear and then flip again after a minute or so. The first one will look a bit monged and pale instead of a nice goldeny brown colour because the temperature won't be quiet right, but after that (still good) pikelet the rest will be fine.

Serve hot and fresh like pancakes or let them cool down. They taste awesome with a bit of butter (margarine) and honey, or maple syrup, or cream and jam - if you wanted.

The experiment turned out very good. Much better than oats which soak up the milk in a strange way (though they are delicious as well).

Here are some photos of batter and the end products.


Nearly ready to flip

Golden brown goodness

End product, so good ^_^

Monday, 8 August 2011

Back into Gardening

Starting from the end of last month I've been slowly getting back into gardening. My first trial however was today while I was cleaning pots. Horror of horrors I found lots of tiny slugs :(
So onto the web to check out how to dispose of them without harming other plants and animals. Turns out there is a few things that can get rid of them.

Beer ...

Apparently left out at night in a little thin bowl thingy. I don't think I'll need to test that just right now.


This worked a treat. However I should have brought the pot undercover so I won't get any on the grass, but meh. It's super effective (spot the reference)! But only works on the ones that you can see and get to. So I'll have to look for additional help.

Also I found two worms in the same pot, so I hurried them along before I exterminated the slugs. Now I want to make/get/construct a worm farm.