Sunday, 14 April 2013

Food Tales

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the "Food Tales" workshop at the Blackwater Library.  These travelling workshops are a joint venture between the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Writers Centre. The incredibily charismatic and talented Dominique Rizzo presented throughout the Capricorn region, visiting Yeppoon, Rockhampton, Emerald and Blackwater and discussing the food memories of travel with the locals.  She talked about her own food journey and the experiences along the way which lead her into cooking as a career and were fundamental to her food philosophy.  I was also lucky enough to be able to purchase her beautiful book, "My Taste of Sicily" which she kindly signed for me.  This book is full of simple, versatile recipes perfect for every day cooking.  There is also a gorgeous sweets and desserts chapter which I fully intend on working my way through!

If you get a chance, I also recommend that you check out the "Food Tales" blog which is full of local and community content from the workshops. Dominique Rizzo also has a selection of delicious recipes available on her website that aren't included in her book (Click Here) so definitely have a click through!

Look out because I've got a stunning Silician cake from Dominique's book coming your way!

F. x

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Blondes have more fun.

In Blackwater, this week, the weather has been a tad bleak.  It's been cold and overcast and wet.  While this weather doesn't suit itself to outdoor pursuits, it is perfection for baking.  In fact, I have woken up each day this week and thought "pastry weather" and so, am devastated that I haven't found the time to create the particularly stunning chocolate tart that I've been giving the eye.  But you know me, I don't wallow for long and I found myself the perfect baking opportunity last night.  The inclement weather called for comfort food and there, in my pile of recipe clippings, I found it. It was exactly what I was looking for and didn't even know it.  A blondie.

White chocolate is, and has always been, a particular favourite of mine - on its own and as an ingredient in any baked good or dessert.  Pair it with fruit and you have a match made in heaven.   I was in a wonderful world of my own...just me, the kitchen and melting chocolate.  The only thing better was what came out of the oven forty minutes later.

Black Cherry Blondies
100g unsalted butter, chopped
180g white chocolate, broken into squares
3/4 caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup SR flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1 cup tinned, pitted black cherries

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and prepare a 19x29cm (or thereabouts) slice tin. Melt butter and chocolate together in a saucepan over a low heat. Allow to cool slightly before stirring in sugar, vanilla and eggs. Sift in flours and combine using a folding motion. Pour the thick batter into the tin, top with the cherries and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Edges should crisp and golden. You can (should) allow to cool before you slice but we can never leave this alone that long!

This is beautiful served warm with icecream or cooled for morning tea.  We sliced it and enjoyed steaming hot with a sweet cup of strong tea. 

F. x