Friday, 19 March 2010


Last week, when it was my baking day, i thought of making ciabatta bread with different flavours in them. I usually bake at least 3-4 to freeze for future use. So I made one loaf with mashed potatoes in, the other with chopped walnuts ( my favorite ), the third Butch was with black olives and the forth one with grated cheese. I used the no knead method that I love and found it so easy to do. Just make four batches of the master recipe of ciabatta bread then mix handful of walnuts, olives, cheese and boiled grated potato in each batch.

  • 3 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of lukwarm water
  • chopped walnuts, cooked and grated potatoes,
  • chopped black olives, grated cheese.
1) Mix flour, yeast, salt with the water, mix to make a sticky dough. Add the walnuts.Cover with cling film or foil and set aside for 16-18 hours. ( Make 3 more batches of the dough using measurements above to use for olives, potato and cheese ciabatta bread.)
2) After 18 hours punch down the dough with a spatula to take the air out.
3) Lay a cling film on the work top. Sprinkle flour on the cling film, scrape the dough on the cling film and make it long, flat dough with your hand.
4) Grease baking sheet with oil and sprinkle with cornmeal generously.
5) Flip the dough over in the baking tray. Sprinkle some flour on top. Cover with floured tea towel and let it rest for 2 hours.
6) Preheat the oven to 220 c, 200Fan setting. Cook 2 ciabatta together on the same shelf for 35-45 minutes. Cool on wire rack before cutting for serving.

Sunday, 7 March 2010


Today I have been experimenting and making meringue nests using splende, low calorie sweetener. I used the normal recipe for pavlova and used 1 cup of splende instead of caster sugar. Although it is not the same texture as normal nests,( these were a lot lighter in texture) I am pleased with the result and it is delicious mixed with low fat yogurt and fruit puree or light jam mixed with water and poured over the top. I find the meringues little bit too sweet so I sprinkle them with cinnamon which was a nice change from plain version. These meringue nests will be very low in calories when you consider 2 calories per teaspoon splender compared to 20 calories in a teaspoon of normal sugar.

  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup Splenda low calorie sweetener( 10 tbsp )
  • 1 level tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 10 walnut halves, roughly chopped
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling
1) Grease and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven at 150C.
2) Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until it forms soft peaks. If you turn the bowl upside down and it is not sliding down then it is ready to add the sugar.
3) Add the sugar spoonful at a time, whisking after each addition.
4) When all the sweetener is in, whisk in the cornflour and the vinegar.
5) Fold in the chopped walnuts.
6) Spoon meringue on the the baking tray and turn the heat to 140C. Bake the meringues for 35-40 minutes and leave them in the oven to cool after you turn the oven off. I baked these on 125 C fan setting for 40 minutes.
7) Sprinkle with cinnamon when they all cooled and store in a jar.

NOTE: I used the egg yolks as HAIR MASK. Just mix 3 egg yolks with 3 tsp or more of olive oil( depending on your hair type) and apply to your hair. It is great as a conditioner. Wash it off thoroughly after 20-30 minutes.

Monday, 1 March 2010


  • 450 g Edam or Gouda cheese, grated
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of chili pepper
  • French bread cubes for serving.
1) Place wine, garlic, parsley and lemon juice in the fondue pot or a small saucepan, stir and add the grated cheese.
2) Place the pot or saucepan on the hob at a LOW heat and cook until the cheese melts, stirring occasionally.
3) Mix cornflour with sherry to make a smooth paste in a small bowl. Add paprika and chili pepper.
4) Stir in the cornflour mixture into the pot with the cheese.Stir and take off the heat when it begins to bubble.
5) Serve immediately with cubes of french bread.

NOT: Slow cooking gives the best result in fondue making. If it is on high heat the fondue will be spoiled.
Some other cheeses which are good for melting and making fondue are: Emmental, Gruyere, Parmesan, Cheddar, blue cheeses and Camembert.