Popovers + my 3-year blog anniversary

Popover

I can’t believe that it’s been three years since I started my blog- time has really flown by! The experience has been so rewarding- the discovering of new recipes, the continual striving for perfection in my food photography (sometimes resulting in frustration), and pleasure in ‘meeting’ new people who follow my blog.

When I published my very first post Chocolate Fondant (Lava Cake) I had no idea what sort of things would lie ahead for me in the blogosphere. Would my posts be flung out into a dead Ethernet, would anyone at all be reading my posts? After posting a few times, I happily discovered that a few brave souls were indeed clicking on my blog to have a look.

The one thing I have discovered is that no matter how many new recipes and posts I publish, Profiteroles with Custard Cream and Chocolate Sauce has consistently been my most popular post. I guess that people just can’t get enough of chocolate cream puffs and spend lots of time searching the internet for that perfect recipe (thank goodness they land on my post)!

Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce- consistently my most popular post

(P.S. I would love it if you would ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page or subscribe to my blog!)

To celebrate my third anniversary, I would like to unveil my recipe for Popovers. Despite being a graduate of a famous Parisian culinary school, I had never heard of Popovers before- until I saw a recipe for them in Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook.

Popovers are a light hollow roll made of a simple egg and flour batter: the batter swells and ‘pops over’ the edge of the muffin tin- creating quite an amazing site as they first come out of the oven. A pocket forms on the inside of the roll, so you can either eat them plain, fill them with jam, scrambled eggs or any other goody that strikes your fancy. I even filled one of my popovers with guacamole and salsa in a Mexican restaurant as I waited to board an international flight back to Australia- yum!

Popovers filled with scrambled eggs

Popover

Popovers work best using a special Popover pan with steep sides, however you could also use a large muffin tin. I ordered my popover pan from Amazon, but I have also seen them for sale at Bed Bath and Beyond in the US.

Popovers are so easy and produce an amazing site first coming out of the oven!

Popover

Popovers
Serves 6
Light fluffy rolls with a pocket ideal for stuffing. You'll be amazed how beautifully they 'popover' the rim of the baking pan!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 large eggs at room temperature
  2. 2 cups whole milk
  3. 1/ tsp salt
  4. 2 tbsp butter, melted
  5. 1 ½ cups all- purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Lightly grease the insides of 6 popover cups (or muffin tins) with melted butter.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk and salt using electric beaters. With the machine running, add the melted butter and then the flour. Mix until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and transfer to a cup with a spout for pouring.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared popover or muffin tins, filling all the way to the top of each cup. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F (180 C). Bake for a further 10 minutes until the popovers turn golden brown and crown above the rim of the pan.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; best served hot or warm.
Notes
  1. You'll get best results from using a special popover pan, but muffin tins could also be used.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Orange Spice Cake

Ornage cake

I would like to dedicate this recipe to my blogging friend, Maureen, whose grand daughter just passed away. Sometimes we get sad news from friends or family and blogging about another recipe at this time just doesn’t seem right. However, dedicating this recipe to her might just help her to ease her sadness, as well as mine.

I recently saw this recipe for Orange Spice Cakes in Better Homes and Garden magazine. These spice cakes are small and compact, but full of flavor as the candied tangerines, figs and orange syrup yield lip-smacking goodness. If you’re looking for a cake recipe that tastes good but doesn’t require oodles of layers and gallons of icing, then this may be for you!

For this recipe, you can use either fresh figs or dried figs that have been re-hydrated. I found that thinly sliced tangerines work best for the ‘oranges’ because they are small and sweet, although you could also use clementines.

So here’s to you, Maureen- your tears will be slow to dry but in some small way, may this help to soothe you.

Orange Cake

Orange Spice Cake
Small and compact orange spice cakes, served with warm syrup
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For the candied oranges
  1. 3-4 tangerine oranges
  2. 1 ½ cups sugar
  3. ½ cup water
For the cake batter
  1. 1 cup dried figs, stemmed and finely chopped
  2. ½ cup water
  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 1 ½ cups sugar
  5. 2 tsp allspice
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1 cup butter, melted (2 sticks)
  9. 3 eggs
  10. ½ cup milk
  11. 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice the tangerines (do not peel first). Bring 1 ½ cups sugar and ½ cup water just to boiling, add the tangerine slices, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the mixture becomes like syrup. Remove the orange slices and set the syrup aside to cool. Grease 6 custard cups or muffin tins with softened butter; arrange several candied tangerine slices in the bottom of each and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  3. Over medium heat, cook the figs and water together on the stovetop for 10 minutes, or until the figs soften. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, allspice, baking powder and salt. Add the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth using electric beaters. Fold in the figs and liquid. Add the batter to the prepared cups, filling each ¾ full. Place the cups (or muffin tin) in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool for several minutes, loosen sides of cakes and invert onto serving dish. Spoon reserved syrup over cakes and serve warm.
Adapted from Better Homes and Garden
Adapted from Better Homes and Garden
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Al’s Famous Chili

chili

This is Al’s Famous Chili- it’s so ‘famous’ that it’s survived more than 50 years in the family! “Who’s Al?”, you might be asking. Well, Al is my brother who passed away in 2001 at the age of 57.

Al was a real adventurer- he liked to fly his Cessna airplane down into Baja, California- places so remote there were just dirt tracks for a landing field and the term ‘air traffic controller’ didn’t even exist in the local language. Al also liked to scuba dive in Truk Lagoon in the Pacific Ocean, exploring the eerie graveyard of World War II sunken ships and occasionally salvaging a few old bottles.

Alan

Al also had a sense of humor- you never knew when he would sneak a Whoopee Cushion under you as you started to sit down.

And Al, of course, was known for his famous chili. When he and his wife, Diane, were newly-weds, they bought a Crockpot (one of those old round things that are now considered ‘vintage’). A little recipe book came with it, including the recipe for Chili Con Carne. Al decided to try the recipe and the rest is history- his famous chili continues to be served over 50 years later- in fact we had some several days ago during the 2016 Super Bowl.

The recipe is so simple I don’t even need to add any extra tips or explanations- except that the recipe works best in a slow cooker, but could also be put together on the stovetop in less than 30 minutes, if you’re in a hurry.

Here is a photocopy of the page from the little recipe book from over 50 years ago- the page is a little dog-eared and yellowed now, but the recipe is still going strong and still brings to life the memory of Al- we will never forget him!

Al's recipe cropped jpeg

 

Al's Famous Chili
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 1 green pepper, chopped
  4. 1 pound ground beef
  5. 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  6. ¼ cup catsup
  7. ¼ cup chili sauce
  8. ¼ cup water
  9. Salt to taste
  10. ¼ tsp paprika
  11. ¼ tsp tsp cayenne
  12. 1 tbsp chili powder
  13. 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  14. 1 can pinto beans, drained
  15. 1 can red kidney beans, drained
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté onion, green pepper and meat. Pour off excess fat and place in the Crock Pot with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours at Low Heat. If beans are desired, add to the uncooked mixture.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Strawberry and Cointreau Stuffed French Toast

French Toast

Well, we’re in the midst of political primaries in the United States where candidates are hurling slings and arrows at each other. Will it be Bernie, Hillary, or ‘the Donald’ who wins their party’s nomination? Only time will tell- stay glued to your TV set.

But while voters have been ‘stuffing’ their ballot boxes with votes, I have been whipping up my own kind of stuffing recipe: Strawberry and Cointreau Stuffed French Toast. This recipe expands on the usual French toast recipe by adding a stuffing of strawberries and Mascarpone cheese that has been flavored with a splash of Cointreau. Sounds like the perfect dish for a Sunday brunch!

After cooking the French toast on the stovetop, the recipe calls for popping the fry pan into the oven for a few minutes to finish the toast off into a crisp golden brown, This recipe should re-awaken your childhood memories of delicious French toast served on a Sunday morning, this time with an added ‘adult twist’!

French Toast

Strawberry and Cointreau Stuffed French Toast
Serves 2
Thick pieces of French Toast, stuffed with stuffed with strawberries and Mascarpone cheese flavoured with a splash of Cointreau.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 pieces sliced French bread
  2. 8-10 sliced strawberries
  3. 2-3 tsps sugar
  4. 4 ounces Mascarpone cheese
  5. 1 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  6. 3 eggs
  7. ½ cup milk or half and half
  8. 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
  9. Orange zest (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 360 F (180 C). Slice the strawberries into thin pieces; sweeten with 2-3 teaspoons sugar to taste.
  2. Slice the French bread into four pieces about 1 inch thick. Mix the Cointreau into the Mascarpone cheese and then spread the mixture thickly onto one piece of bread. Add some strawberries on top, then close the second piece of bread on top. Repeat with the other two pieces of bread.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla flavoring and orange zest (optional). Soak the two ‘sandwiched’ pieces of bread in the mixture, turning them over so that both sides are fully coated.
  4. Heat some oil and a little butter in a fry pan over medium heat. Add the French toast and cook about 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another few minutes until the toast becomes a little crispier. Garnish with strawberries and blueberries and serve with maple syrup.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/