Recipe: Lime and Lady Grey Tea Biscuits

Back when I was a poor student, there was one luxury I allowed myself: these incredibly lime and lady grey shortbread biscuits sold at the markets at what was then Fox Studios. Sadly, though, the stall disappeared, and for years, I was without these delightful morsels of yumminess.

Then, a few years ago, I went searching. And while I couldn’t find the exact recipe, I found this very similar one, for Orange and Earl Grey Tea biscuits, from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Naturally, I adapted it, and these have been an absolute staple in my kitchen ever since- and are very popular with my friends and family. My favourite thing about this recipe is that the dough needs to be frozen, so I can prepare it earlier, leave it in the freezer, then just slice and bake before friends come around- so you have that gorgeous, freshly-baked smell without any of the mess

Lime and Lady Grey Tea biscuits

2 cups plain flour, plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons finely ground Lady Grey tea leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest

Directions

Mix together flour, tea, and salt in a small bowl and put aside.

Put butter, sugar, and zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low; slowly mix in flour mixture until just combined.

Divide dough in half. Turn out each half, roll into a log, then wrap in baking paper. Freeze for at least 1 hour (I usually freeze one for an hour and bake, and save the other one for later).

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Space 1 inch apart on a baking-paper lined cookie tray..

Bake until edges turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on tray.

Sweet Potato Patties, version 2.0

The final product- and in under 10 mins of work (today)

The final product- and in under 10 mins of work (today)

A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Sweet Potato Patties that came from an idea from my dear friend Amanda.  Like all good, invented recipes, this one has improved as I’ve played around with it.  I wanted to get some really healthy and yummy grains and sources of protein into it, so this is v. 2.0 of Sweet Potato Patties.

The best bit about this is that the patties freeze quite well.  I put 6 at a time on a tray and froze them til they were no longer wet and could easily be put in plastic bags and stored.  As the recipe makes about 16 patties, it’s a great one to save for the nights when you just don’t have the time or energy, but you still want to eat something yum.

Recipe after the fold.

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Recipe time: Apple and Raspberry cake

This isn’t really a cake- it occupies a strange space somewhere between cake, pie and pastry.  But it is impossibly easy, and the result is amazing- a crispy, almost cookie-like crust, with apple and raspberry in the centre.  I’ve been meaning to blog this recipe for a while, as it’s one of my very favourites, but Ben at Internet Food Association put a call out for good desserts, and I couldn’t resist.

My very favourite thing about this recipe is that you can serve it warm or cool and you can assemble the whole thing but not bake immediately.  I’ve been known to make it in the morning, have it all ready to go, then pop it into the oven as we start dinner.  It needs to cook for 35-40 minutes, then cool for at least 10, which makes it pretty much perfect timing.

It’s adapted (pretty closely) from Bill Granger’s AMAZING bills food, which I cannot recommend enough.  Also, try making his coconut bread.  It’s to die for.

Ingredients

4 large apples
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of sugar

125g of butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g caster (very fine) sugar
1 egg
185g of all-purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
250g raspberries
sugar, extra

Instructions

Peel the apples, remove cores and cut into pieces.  Put the apples, lemon zest, sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a medium saucepan, cover, and allow to stew over low heat until apples are soft (but not too soft!).  Set aside and allow to cool.  Stir in raspberries.

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy.  Add egg and mix.  Sift flour and baking powder into wet ingredients, then mix until combined.  Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  Divide into two equal portions, wrap in cling wrap, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

With a rolling pin, roll out each half of the cake dough into a 9 inch round.  Press one into a 9-inch, non-stick, springform cake pan.  Add the apple and raspberry mixture to the centre, then press the second round over the top, joining well at the edges.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

This can either be baked immediately in a 350 degree (F)/ 180 degree (C) oven for 35-40 minutes (I find just under 35 is right with my oven), or covered with cling wrap and refrigerated, to be cooked later that day.

Serve cool or warm, with ice cream, whipped cream, custard… or just on its own. Bliss.

*edit* Link fixed.  No clue what was going on there.

Presenting: Heidy and Erin Cook! Volume 1

This is Heidy:

She is lovely.  A very dear friend.

We had planned to have dinner together this week, after both returning from overseas.  However, we decided instead to buy some food and cook a meal together.

After my Great Wall Walk and the INCREDIBLE meal I ate at the end of it, which I swear I dream about, I have been obsessed with being able to cook a Gong Bao Ji Ding just like the one they served.   Finding a good, authentic-looking recipe has been tough, but last night’s meal was getting pretty close to what I ate at Simatai.

It’s a pretty simple process.  First, make the marinade then let the chicken sit in it for at least 15 minutes.  I prefer to leave it in for an hour.

Once the marinade is done, add sesame oil, garlic, ginger and chili to a fry-pan (I used an electric wok).  Add chicken and cook til chicken is done.  Remove from pan.  Add sliced vegetables (celery, red capsicum and the new love of my cooking life, water chestnuts), another tbsp of sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine and 1/3 cup of water.  Cook til liquid boils.

Finally, add the chicken back in, then throw in the cashews.  And the final product:

Recipe:

Gong Bao Ji Ding

500g chicken breast – diced
2tbsp soy sauce
1/4 t pepper
1/4t dried garlic granules
2 tbsp rice wine
1tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp sesame oil
2 or more fresh hot chilies, diced
2 tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp cornstarch blended with 1 tbsp of water
Soy sauce or salt and pepper to taste
1/4C roasted cashews
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 cup diced red capsicum
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 small can water chestnuts, sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
1/3 cup water

Mix and marinate the diced chicken with the next 5 ingredients. Set aside.

Heat oil in a non-stick wok or pan. Saute hot pepper, ginger root, and garlic. Add chicken and stir-fry until color turns (about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes). Remove.

Add the last 7 ingredients; bring to a boil and add soy sauce or salt and pepper to taste. Add blended cornstarch; mix well.

Add cooked chicken, nuts, sesame oil and mix well. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.