Weekend work is part and parcel to many people’s careers including mine and unfortunately this sometimes does result in being unable to attend weekend festivals and other events. The Mundaring Truffle Festival has been one of those missed events for me for several years running so when I realised this time round I had the Sunday rostered off, I jumped at the opportunity to book us tickets. I also bought us entry into one of the ticketed events called “The Truffle and the Riesling”.
Unlike last year where I heard the weather was absolutely atrocious resulting in much of the Festival becoming flooded, this year we couldn’t have asked for anything better. With the sun shining gloriously in a clear blue sky the morning chill dissipated quickly under the warming rays of sunshine. It feels like we are nearly into Spring!
Coffee Pecan Bundt cake, Gluten free
I made this cake for my first participation in Perth’s Clandestine Cake Club. Each monthly meet up has a theme and for July it was “gluten free”. Lucky me…this time I could eat all the cakes!
- 120 g butter
- ¾ cup (165g) sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla essence
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp. instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tbsp. hot water
- 1 cup (170g) rice flour
- ½ cup (80g) gluten free cornflour
- ½ cup (80g) potato flour
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 2 tsp. gluten free baking powder
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
- 1 cup (250g) sour cream
- 40 g butter, cubed at room temperature
- ⅓ cup (90g) firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp instant coffee powder
- ½ cup (65g) pecans roughly chopped
- Cream cheese icing
- 250 g reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup (85g) pure icing sugar
- ⅓ cup (40 g) pecans, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Grease a ring cake pan.
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl with electric beaters.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift together flours, bicarb soda, baking powder and xanthan gum three times or whisk with an egg beater to thoroughly mix together.
- Add to egg mixture, alternating with sour cream.
- Spread half batter into greased pan.
- Spoon prepared filling on top of cake batter being careful not to touch the sides of the pan.
- Top with remaining cake batter.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or when firm to touch.
- When cooled remove from pan and top with cream cheese icing.
- Cream butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and instant coffee.
- Add chopped pecans and mix well.
- Cream cheese icing:
- Combine cream cheese, juice and icing sugar in a bowl and mix well.
Adapted from Sue Shepherd’s “Irresistibles for the Irritable” cookbook available through her website
Via my fellow bloggers on Twitter I recently became aware of a brilliant phenomenon called the Clandestine Cake Club. The CCC was created two years ago by cake lover Lynn Hill in Leeds, UK with the aim to be able to get people together in a relaxed social environment so they could “Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake”.
The concept was to strictly only include cakes; no cupcakes, brownies, pies or tarts are allowed and since its inception it has grown to over 133 groups around the world including Switzerland, Spain, France and Finland.
There is currently only one group in Australia and luckily for us it’s here in Perth! The Perth branch is coordinated by Carolanne from Carolanne’s Kitchen and Jackie from Where the wind blows me. Recent awareness of this group has surged thanks to some awesome publicity in Scoop magazine, on Great about Perth and Agenda City.
We decided to break our usual Sunday tradition again and stop in at The Partisan as opposed to our regular favourite pit stop at Toast. We had plans later that afternoon to meet up with the in-laws so we had to trim our standard epic hike down to a more time manageable ten kilometre power walk. In order to burn more calories and save some time I tried to encourage the Boy to run with me. After several failed attempts at this I eventually resorted to jogging alongside him like a crazed loon. How else am I going to get a bride’s body while maintaining fulfilling my constant craving for delicious food?
This blog post is the second in my series for this year’s Mushroom Mania. The month kicked off in full force commencing with my visit to the picturesque Millbrook Winery where we wined and dined until we nearly exploded. We even managed to successfully forage some wild field mushrooms from their stunning property. From there my madness for mushrooms continued and I posted my first recipe detailing how I cooked up these freshly picked delights. Don’t forget you can also go a little mushroom mad as there are over 2000 participating restaurants all over Australia serving up a variety of mushroom themed recipes. You can even win a $150 dinner voucher; see the end of this post for more.
After picking our own fabulous Field mushrooms on our visit to Millbrook Winery I decided to cook them up with a few extras in the fridge for our Meatless Monday meal. I had a packet of polenta with dried porcini that I purchased from Providore during our recent trip down to Margaret River and thought this traditional Italian dish would make a perfect and filling accompaniment to our roasted mushrooms. Better still I enjoyed it with one of the lovely wines I purchased from Millbrook! (You can read my review on our gorgeous lunch here.)
- 4-6 large field mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Soft goats cheese
- Truffle oil to serve
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Place mushrooms in a heavy-based, non-stick roasting pan. Sprinkle thyme and crushed garlic over mushrooms and then drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- Cover the mushrooms with foil and cook in oven for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
- Remove from oven and top with crumbled goats cheese and truffle oil.
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup rice milk (can use normal milk if not lactose intolerant)
- 2.5 cups gluten free chicken stock (I use Massels 7’s as they are also fructose friendly)
- 1 cup Providore Polenta with Porcini mushrooms (or use instant polenta and add your own dried porcini)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated parmesan
- Bring the water and wine to the boil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Use a wire balloon whisk to stir the water. Gradually add the polenta in a thin steady stream, whisking constantly until all the polenta is incorporated into the water (whisking ensures the polenta is dispersed through the liquid as quickly as possible). Don’t add the polenta too quickly or it will turn lumpy.
- Reduce heat to low (cook the polenta over low heat otherwise it will cook too quickly and you will need to add extra water). Gradually add in the rice milk while simmering, while ensuring to stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the polenta is soft.
- Remove from heat. Add the parmesan and stir until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
The recipe was inspired by Mushroom Mania which is happening all across Australia for the month of July 2012. There are over 2000 participating restaurants including many all over Western Australia who will be serving up delicious mushroomy dishes for us all to enjoy. The website also contains some delicious mushroom recipes so make sure you check it out.
Many of you may recall my ongoing obsession with mushrooms. I eat them nearly every day and they are definitely up there as one of my most favourite foods. Even better still they are so good for you! So logically I was so excited to be selected as one of eleven bloggers from around Australia to take part in Mushroom Mania! For the whole month of July, over 2000 restaurants, cafes, bistros and clubs around the country will be involved in serving up wonderful mushroom dishes for us all to enjoy. You can download the App on your iPhone for a locality guide of participating businesses.
I was lucky enough to secure three tickets to the last of the series of the Largesse dinners. These fabulous degustation evenings have formed a near cult following in Perth and are known to sell out within minutes of going on sale. So what on Earth is Largesse you ask?
Imagine the Head Chefs from six award-winning restaurants from around Perth donating their talents and time to each create one dish to contribute toward a six course extravaganza. Better still each course is then matched with exquisite wines and most importantly all of the proceeds from the evening go toward a charity of the host chef’s choosing. This year the charity of choice was The Royal Flying Doctors Service.
The six chefs are Scott O’Sullivan from Red Cabbage Food and Wine, Kiren Mainwaring from Dear Friends, Jason Jujnovich from Divido, Stephen Clarke of Clarkes of North Beach, Todd Stuart from Petite Mort and last but most definitely not least Hadleigh Troy from Restaurant Amusé.