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Aphra

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  1. When I was a teenager in high school our "domestic science" teacher taught us to make strudel dough, and I can remember making it at least once at home. This same teacher taught us to make rough puff pastry and some other things for which I can only admire her guts. But if she could teach a class full of fifteen year olds to make strudel dough, I don't think you've got anything to be afraid of. I bought two of the Time/Life "The Good Cook" series at a thrift shop recently, and the "Cakes and Pastries" one has a step by step guide to strudel dough.
  2. Aphra

    Dulce de Leche

    I have had a can explode. I had a long phone call and forgot about topping up the water in the pot. There was an almighty bang and sticky, semi-caramelized, condensed milk went everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. It took me hours to clean up the mess.
  3. Not a pastry, but what about a take on classic Pêche Melba? Poached peaches with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice-cream. Epicurious have a couple of nice variations.
  4. Hey a local almost. :-) Diggers Seeds also own the Garden of St Erth in Blackwood, which is a bit closer to Daylesford than Dromana. They carry a wide range of vegetable and herb seeds, as well as plants in pots. Lots of unusual and exotic varieties. The advantage of the Garden of St Erth is is that they carry stock which will grow successfully in this climate. http://www.diggers.com.au/GardensStErth.htm There is also Kyldara Park Herb Farm in Trentham. http://www.kyldaraherb.com.au/ Sadly, although it's just up the road from me, I've never visited it, so don't know if they sell herbs, but I'd
  5. It's not an expert opinion or anything, but provided your yeast is nice and active, which it looked like it was, there's no real reason why your bread shouldn't rise, eventually. I would usually consider the times in bread recipes as a guide, rather than being prescriptive, and if my bread hadn't risen adequately in whatever the recipe's time frame was, I'd have just given it more time. I think that if you'd given your bread a bit more time at the stages where you felt it wasn't working properly, you'd have got a good result. There are a lot of variables with bread making, and I've found it'
  6. Here are two cakes I make all the time, they are both from Claudia Roden's "Book of Middle Eastern Food", but because I've been asked for the recipes a lot, I've rewritten both recipes to reflect my own practic, so I think they're OK as far as copyright goes. I've specified flour for the pans, lately I've been using oil spray which works just as well, so the flour isn't necessary. I've also used a little caster sugar instead of flour (I'm not sure what caster sugar is in American terminology, it's fine sugar in the grade between powdered sugar and ordinary sugar). I've done a rough translation
  7. Aphra

    Yeasted Bread

    That's pretty much it. I spent most of last winter making sourdough and getting the hang of that, which was fun, but after a while I craved the "wheatiness" of ordinary yeasted bread. The technique I use for yeasted bread is pretty much the same way I've been doing it for twenty-odd years ... the only difference is that instead of kneading it, I experimented with the stretch and fold technique because I'm lazy. It's the long, slow, cool fermentation which gives the flavour. In Australia Pasta Dura is a name for a kind of bread, commonly found in Italian bakeries and restaurants. It's typicall
  8. Aphra

    Yeasted Bread

    I've made quite a lot of yeasted bread over the years, and I would probably use even less yeast than that for 1kg of flour, maybe a teaspoon which I think is about 7g? I'm not very accurate, I tend to make bread a lot by general feel. I usually set my bread up at night, using cold water and leave it in a cool place overnight to rise, the next morning do a gentle stretch and fold and leave it for the day and bake at night. The bread will have a lovely taste of wheat. I'm not convinced that yeasted bread is inferior to sourdough, it's just different. My technique is an adaptation of Elizabeth Da
  9. Thank you so much for your kind offer Kathryn. I live in Central Victoria, but I go into the Vic Market once a fortnight or so. Today I went to the Asian supermarket across the road from the Market and bought a packet of Yunnan tea, which is doing very well as an every day sort of tea. I'm saved! Of course, now I'm actually thinking about it, there is also a tea and coffee shop inside the Vic Market. Next week I'm going to be in Melbourne for a meeting at RMIT, and I know there is a specialist tea shop in the Queen Victoria centre, so I'll visit them. Thank you all for your help.
  10. After a brief flirtation with coffee in my youth, I have returned to the home of my grandmothers and am now, once again a tea drinker with a minor flirtation with decent coffee. Upon my return I realised that I much preferred China tea to Indian and Ceylon teas. Well, that wasn't a problem really, lazy human that I am, I could buy Twinings China Black in tea bags and be happy. In the summer I drank Lapsang with a little lemon or maybe a nice cup of Earl Grey, and all was well. For a little while. But the sudden influx of flavoured teas and ten varieties of green tea and whatnot invaded the sup
  11. Aphra

    Leftover bread

    I like bread salad. There's a recipe here, but I just mix cubes of firmish bread (i.e., not supermarket type fluffy bread) with some chopped, ripe tomatoes, lots of olive oil and some good, red wine vinegar and let stand a bit and then add some red onion, maybe some diced cucumber or whatever I feel like. I also have a recipe which I think I made up, although I'm sure it's not original. Fry lots of garlic and a couple of hot chillis in olive oil, spoon out the chillis and garlic and keep aside and add a couple of cups of coarse breadcrumbs to the oil and fry til the breadcrumbs are crisp and b
  12. Aphra

    Rice Pudding

    I don't know about elsehwhere, but in Australia you can often find liquid glucose at pharmacies, that might be worth a try.
  13. Aphra

    Rhubarb...

    A local cafe had rhubarb danishes last weekend which looked great although I didn't try one ... I was seduced by the home-made doughnuts. Elizabeth David has an apple crumble recipe which is a favourite of mine, the crumble is more like a shortbread flavoured with powdered ginger. I like to make it with a very tart apple puree because I like the contrast of the sweet crumble and the tart apple. I think it would work very well with rhubarb, especially with the ginger. The recipe is in her "Spices, Salts and Aromatics in the English Kitchen" and I think the recipe is called Apple Grassmere.
  14. Aphra

    Quinces

    I bought four quinces today, not sure what I'm going to do with them yet. I particularly like them simmered in red wine, sugar and spices (cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and lemon peel). Peel, core and slice them and then let them cook gently until they turn ruby red and the wine has gone a little syrupy. Then serve warm with lots of thick cream. I love quince jam, I made quince ice-cream a long time ago which was wonderful, and I remember a recipe for quince tart with browned butter which was delicious, but I don't know that I still have the recipe.
  15. Aphra

    Maple syrup...

    I love Maple syrup, although it's fairly pricey in Australia, and you're more likely to get the "maple flavoured" stuff at cafes. The organic stuff is around $13 for 250ml, and ordinary CAMP brand, which is available at supermarkets is about half that price for the same quantity. I've actually toyed with the idea of planting sugar Maples for myself, since I live in a frost and snow prone area, but I don't think I'll be up to caring about syrup after the forty years it takes to mature some trees. Thanks to Verjuice for her idea about Maple syrup and yoghurt. Last week I bought a tub of "Greek
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