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    Wellington, NZ
  1. Hey all, I have just made a pound cake with a Mary Berry recipe which is an all in one mix with sultanas and cherries and raisins. The cake has sunken slightly in the middle even though it is cooked. I also made her large all in one Victoria sandwich from the "Mary Berry baking bible" (same book as above) and had the same issue - I tried the recipe again in case I had made a mistake but got the exact same result. I made no substitutions at all. I also found in all three cakes that the cake tin (correct sizes as per the recipes) were quite oily and the cakes all had oily bottoms - there was even a trace of oil seepage when pressing the base of the cakes. Both of these recipes use the same principle of mixing everything on one bowl and both have the same base ingredients (225g self raising flower) but in the Victoria Sponge she adds an extra two teaspoons of baking powder. I am using New Zealand ingredients but otherwise I am following things to the letter. Does anyone have any idea why this may be occuring? the flavor of the cakes is excellent and I'd like to keep using the recipes if I can get them right. I also made her black forrest cake and her Very Best Chocolate fudge cake and both were excellent with no issues at all.
  2. Larry for sure - though I have to say it is so much fun that I am now tempted to fill my garage with enough meat to feed 10 Italian families for a year! My butcher is going to love me
  3. Last week was the first week of my switch away from carbohydrate rich foods to animal fat products. I lost 1kg (2.2lbs) after eating eggs and bacon fried in beef dripping for breakfast, fatty meat for lunch, and meat and veges for dinner. I didn't reduce my wine intake and I didn't cut out dairy. I am using nuts and cheese and meat for snacks. I feel great - week two now. I plan to stick at this for the rest of my life. I am eating very very well.
  4. Thanks again Larry - I checked out the site and Jason says (on this page: http://curedmeats.blogspot.co.nz/2008/08/pancetta-easiest-cured-meat-of-all.html) that cure #1 is fine in this case as the meat is solid. I am not quite sure what that means but at least I know it is safe I am not excited to say that I will have a 4kg bacon and a 4kg pancetta! I bought a commercial meat slicer so I can't wait to try it out. Oh - also, Jason says to hang the meat for 3 weeks for pancetta so I will just leave it in the fridge when I am smoking the bacon.
  5. Thanks Larry - do you recommend "cooking" the unsmoked bacon in the smoker for the same duration and temperature without the smoke generator turned on?
  6. Thanks for the advice guys. The duck is AWESOME - so delicious. I have another question - I am making the MC bacon and I decided to do a double batch so I currently have two 4kg blocks of it drying in the fridge after the curing process. I was thinking that it would be nice to have one smoked and one unsmoked. Given that the smoking on the bacon is done hot - do I need to cook the unsmoked bacon before consumption? Also, will the cure be too overpowering for the bacon if it isn't smoked?
  7. Merkinz when I was cooking the huge US BBQ from MC I was also quite disappointed in the dressing for both the potato salad and the coleslaw - I found them boring and - for the first time in my memory - there were leftovers of both. Yesterday we had another BBQ but it was just a typical kiwi style one. I made my normal coleslaw and potato salad but - thanks to MC - I made a few changes which really did make a huge difference; I put bacon fat in my coleslaw dressing and I used muscat vinegar in the potato salad. They were big improvements to my original recipe which was already hugely more tasty than the MC version. I tend to think that the main point of these books is to teach a new technique and style and that maybe that is more important than the flavors in some of the dishes. So even though you feel your MCAH experience hasn't been all that great so far - I bet you will end up using some of the techniques in future dishes. Having said all that - I would still use the MC recipes for the meat on the BBQ as it was truly stunning.
  8. Hi all - I am in the middle of cooking my sous vide duck confit - can someone tell me how long it will last in the fridge? I did a double batch so if it is not going to keep for too long I will freeze some of it.
  9. Great review Merkinz - thanks for that. My copy hasn't arrived yet (I ordered it from Book Depository) - how are you all getting your copies before the shipping date?
  10. lesliec I haven't yet - I ought to do that soon though I guess! I am waiting for all the documentation to arrive so I can read more info on the structure and timetables.
  11. The Taubes book looks fascinating - I just ordered it and will read it.
  12. Great tips loki - your substitutions are very clever and the base soup sounds like it would be as good (or better) than any you get in Vietnam.
  13. In reply to you and also to HungryC below you, there has been no link shown between consumption of animal fats and cholesterol/heart disease. There is a link between cholesterol and heart disease but no study has yet shown that cholesterol levels are affected by animal fat consumption. Here is review of various studies on the subject: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.co.nz/2011/01/does-dietary-saturated-fat-increase.html
  14. Okay - I got everything sorted for the bacon - my butcher suggested using easy-yo yoghurt powder as a substitute for fermento so I did. Here are the ingredients all set out: And here is the pork belly vacuum packed in the cure - to stay in the fridge for one week:
  15. Dcarch - life expectancy is higher now but it is impossible to attribute it to food because of medical advances and so many other variables in life. I am certain they ate tastier and better though
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