Saturday, May 31, 2008

Olive oil and orange rosquillos

If you take a look at the food blogs around, it seems like almost everyone's already attempted a baked doughnut, except yours truly of course. I've bookmarked this recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller eons ago and finally found the time to try it this morning.

And the entire batch almost ended up in the bin. 2 things happened. One: it wasn't a recipe for baked doughnuts but fried ones, but it did not deter me still since I am on a quest to eat more healthily. Two: I decided to ignore the quantity stated for the orange juice and go by 'feel' as I do sometimes. Uh-oh. For someone who loves everything in excess, the mere 1/2 cup of orange juice that the recipe called for didn't look enough and moreover I did not feel like wasting half an orange (yeah it was a BIG orange), so in went an entire cup (probably even a little more). So it's little wonder that the batter didn't come together as it should.

With my fingers stuck in what felt like gunk, it got to the point where I wanted to chuck out the dough and just settle for some Milo cereal and milk for brekkie instead. But the dough clung on so tenanciously that I decided what the heck, I'll just dip my hands in copious amounts of flour and try to do the best I can.

These were already brushed off as a lost cause and I only had enough curoisity to warrant 5 small rings. When the little rosquillos browned and cooled, I absently picked one up and nibbled on it. Thinking it would be rock hard from the excess amount of flour that was added, I was surprised when it was soft, chewy and bready. Mmm, not half bad really. Paired with a little chunk of 70 % cocoa chocolate that I had bought for making brownies for Tony, it was quite good too, but I found myself preferring the rosquillos on its own even without the recommended dredging in cinnamon sugar.

Before I knew it, I finished 3 little rosquillos. Think these deserve a try again.

Olive oil and orange Rosquillos
Note: The yoghurt I used in place of the pouring cream imparted a slight tangy, sourish flavour that people might not be used to. I only used it to make it healthier, but stick to pouring cream otherwise :)

1 egg
1/2 cup pouring cream (I used plain thick yoghurt instead)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 orange, finely grated rind only
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Vegetable oil for deep frying if desired
1 Combine eggs, cream, orange juice, orange rind, olive oil and 120gm sugar in a large bowl, mix to combine, add flour and mix until a soft dough forms, then knead for 1 minute. Divide dough into 20 pieces and roll onto a lightly floured surface to form 15cm-long cylinders, then pinch ends together to make little doughnut-shaped rings.
2 If you would like a sugar dressing for your doughnuts, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.3 For deep frying: Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 180C and cook rosquillos, in batches, for 4 minutes, turning once or until golden, then drain on absorbent paper. Cool completely, then coat with cinnamon sugar. Rosquillos are best eaten the day they’re made, but will keep for 1-2 days when they will be best suited to dunking in coffee.
If you wish to bake it, what I did was preheat the oven to 400F and put the rosquillos in til they turn brown (approximately 15-20 min).

adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller

Friday, May 30, 2008

Royal National Park

I didn't mean to take a hiatus on blogging. Honestly. I even missed out on May's DB challenge (which everyone did such a fantastic job on btw!). But you'll see why in a sec...

Instead of labouring over joconde and mousse layers like a good Daring Baker should, I went on a camping trip instead to the Royal National Park. In winter. Amazing feat for a tropical-blooded person like me (yeah the moment it hovers around 20 deg celsius, I start reaching for a sweater).

Well and a fabulous time I had! Imagine enjoying a beautiful smoked salmon roll, perched on a stone cliff, soaking the sun from the cloudless sky and watching barrels of seawater form and crash in front of you.

Btw this salmon roll that Wendy whipped up was so yummy, we bought a pack of lebanese bread, a bag of mixed salads, smoked salmon slices and a chunky olive dip and had that for lunch everyday in uni. Easy peasy but so satisfying.

The coastal trail in Royal National Park is absolutely breathtaking. The landscape keeps changing - from tall trees with skinny trunks to short bushlands to spiny heather. And we had company too. Foxes, little birdies which go "Hoy!", a cute little bush rat and even a black snake with a red-belly which I didn't get to see cos I was right at the back dotted our trail.

Mind you, it wasn't all that easy. In all the hike was 26km long and consisted of soft, sandy trails that worked every inch of your calf muscles, maneuvering around slippery rocks and trying, arduous climbs that had us huffin' & puffin' and legs feeling like jello. Each time we crossed a hill, a glance back at all that ground covered leaves you a feeling of satisfaction like no other.

It's definitely time to brush up this blog a bit! Even though I haven't been taking photos or writing, I've been steadily building on my repetoire of recipes - deliriously full-flavoured coconutty rice with fried shallots, coffee-braised beef with orange rind, chewy oatmeal cookies, olive oil lemon cake, pillowy-light ricotta pancakes and a lovely, dense rum-soaked date and walnut cake that I brought along for the hike but was finished in one sitting (we really should have rationed that).

Til the next post! Ta!