Today’s post is one such snack option. Kale Chips. I never thought I’d love it as much as I do. I’ve had the option to cook with Kale only in the last couple of years. I’ve not tried too many Kale recipes so far. Just this Skillet Breakfast Hash and now these Kale Chips. I’ve made them both a few times and we love them. That is how I knew, I had to share these Kale Chips with you. Kale is really good for you. They are choc full of antioxidants. These are baked and I can’t tell you how delightful they are to snack on. You have to try it to believe it. What I love is that the options for the seasonings are endless. I have a soft spot to this Spicy Masala Chaat Seasoning. It is a little tangy, a little salty and a little spicy – just perfect. And its such an easy recipe too. All you do is prep the leaves, sprinkle the seasoning over, toss and bake. So what are you waiting for? Try it out. You’ll definitely want to make it again.
You can watch the recipe here –
1 bunch of Kale, washed and shaken dry
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or to taste
1/2 tsp Chaat masala, or to taste
Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
To prep the Kale leaves, break the leaves into smaller chip size portions, discarding the tougher stem.
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, the chilli powder, chaat masal and salt together.
Drizzle this over the the kale leaves and toss well to make sure all the leaves are coated with the spices. Its best to do this with your hands. Rub the leaves gently to get the seasoning in the little nooks and crannies.
Either line a baking tray with some parchment paper or lightly spray with some oil
Arrange the kale leaves in a single layer on the tray.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or till the leaves are lightly browned.
Keep a close watch on the leaves as they can go from just right to burnt very quickly.
Take them out of the oven and let the chips cool completely before eating. They crisp up as they cool.
Sit back and enjoy.
Pin now and enjoy later!
Let’s go back to where it all began, shall we! My husband and I were sitting one evening and watching the latest season of Masterchef Australia (one of my favourite food shows) and it happened to be a Masterclass episode. I’m so stoked they brought back the Masterclass episodes this year. I felt quite cheated out of them last year. Anyway, Matt Preston was making a baked cheesecake. We love cheesecake in our house. So we were very keen to check this masterclass out. Long story short, we loved the way his cheesecake turned out and decided that we would try it sometime soon.
Now I didn’t know how soon “soon” would actually be. I figured it would be a while before I got a chance to make one of them. Turned out, my husband had other plans. The following Saturday while I was at work (yes, unfortunately I do work some weekends), he actually went to the shops and picked out all the ingredients for the cake and had it prepped by the time I got home from work. We popped it in to bake and then in the fridge to set. After dinner that day we were both anxious to see how it turned out. It was HEAVENLY. Soft, creamy, beautifully flavoured with a fantastic crust. We we both very, very pleased with the way this cheesecake turned out and I can happily say that this will now be my go-to recipe for a baked Cheesecake. Thank you Matt Preston! and thank you Masterchef Australia!
For the base –
1 packet of Granita biscuits (250g pack) (if you can’t find Granita biscuits, you can use Digestive biscuits instead)
75 g butter, melted
For the filling –
750g cream cheese, at room temperature
230g or 1 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
300ml double cream
Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
Line a 23cm spring form cake tin with baking paper.
Double wrap the outside of the cake tin with extra wide aluminium foil. This is to make the tin water tight to ensure that water from the little water bath you will create for the cake, doesn’t seep into the cake.
For the base, blitz the biscuits in a food processor till you get crumbs. Add the sugar and blitz again for a couple of seconds till its mixes well. Add the unsalted butter and blitz again to combine.
At this stage, your base mix should resemble coarse wet sand.
Press the mix into the bottom of the prepared cake tin, spreading it out with the back of a large wooden spoon to even it out.
Bake for 10 minutes till lightly brown and set.
Remove the tin from the oven and set aside to cool. This base should be completely cooled before you add the filling.
For the filling, place the cream cheese in a stand mixer and using a padding attachment beat till smooth and creamy.
Add the sugar and beat till the sugar has completely dissolved.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition and make sure the egg is fully incorporated in the mix before adding the next one.
Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt and mix until well combined.
Now add the cream and mix until well combined.
Pour the mix over the cooled base. Set the cake tin in the middle of a larger roasting tray or larger baking dish. You want to ensure your roasting tray / baking dish has high sides. Set this on the middle rack of the oven.
Carefully, fill the roasting tray with boiling water upto a 2 cm height and bake till the cake has set and the top is a little golden brown. This should take about 65 minutes.
Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside the oven to cool with the oven door closed.
Then take the cheesecake and leave to cool completely.
Cover it and pop it into the fridge to cool a little and set further.
Serve with fresh berries if desired. But even by itself, the cake is so good you’ll be glad you baked it.
After a little looking, I settled on this recipe that requires just 3 ingredients. Making the cookie dough was super easy and after a few minutes in the oven, I had a pile of little cookies. I split the dough and to half of it I added a fourth ingredient – some chocolate chips. You don’t have to do this, but who can resist a little chocolate. With this cookie you get a little sweet and a little salty. If you are going to use some crunchy peanut butter like I did, you’ll have a few small pieces of nuts in there too. I love having a quick and easy recipe like this one in my arsenal. I would, however, cut down the sugar in this recipe the next time I make them. I did find them a little too sweet for my taste. I’d probably drop it to 3/4 of a cup the next time and take it from there. The recipe below has the original quantities.
3-ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
Yields:18-20 depending on size
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 170ºC.
Mix the peanut butter, sugar and egg till smooth.
At this stage, if you’d like to add chocolate chips to some, or all of the dough, you can do so.
Portion out and roll into balls. I just use my hands for this.
Press down lightly with a fork. The tines of the fork give you a criss cross pattern. You could either press down just once to give you some lines across the cookie or turn the cookie a little and press the fork down again to get a chequered pattern.
Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Don’t let it overbake or brown it off too much.
So with a single cake pan and a wooden spoon, I set out to bake this cake. Please excuse the aesthetics on this one and don’t let it fool you for a single moment. This cake was so very good, I was amazed. I know I will make this recipe again. This cake was down right delicious. I think I might’ve jumped the gun when I tried to sandwich the cake with the icing. I now know better. I would’ve had a better looking cake had I just iced it on top. Which is why I don’t have a picture of the entire cake, just one enticing piece 🙂 That’s something I know I will do differently the next time. But all said, this is a winner of a recipe.
Chocolate Mud Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
For the cake –
400g butter, chopped into cubes
400g dark chocolate, chopped
15g instant coffee powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
60 ml water
225g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 large eggs
440g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Line a 9″ round cake tin with parchment paper and lightly grease it.
Place the butter, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir and heat till melted. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Sift another 2 times.
Beat the eggs and sugar till pale and thick.
Add the chocolate mixture and beat till combined.
Fold in the flour cocoa mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 90 minutes or till done.
Leave it in the baking tin to cool for about 10 minutes.
Take it out of the cake tin and cool it down completely.
Note: According to the Donna Hay Magazine, where this recipe is originally from, she recommends testing a mud cake with a skewer. Piece the skewer into the center of the cake. It will emerge coated in cake. Roll the cake from the skewer onto your fingertips. If it balls up and feels tacky, the cake is done. Take the cake out of the oven.
For the ganache –
250 ml single cream
300g dark chocolate, chopped
Place the cream and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and stir till melted and smooth.
Cool to room temperature.
To assemble –
When the cake has completely cooled, spread the completely cooled ganache over the cake.
Note: I did cut and split the cake into 2 layers and placed some ganache in the center. This is something I won’t do the next time, it just messes up the finish. I would recommend baking the layers separately, if you’re keen on a layered mud cake.
On to my experience baking bread from scratch. In the past, using yeast overwhelmed me. I tried my hand at bread a few times a couple of years ago and each time ended up with blobs of unrisen dough resulting in brick hard bread, no, you could definitely not call that bread. Later on I learned that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Infact, I was using a brand of yeast that was known to fail; only I didn’t know that. So if any of you reading this are based in India and have tried baking bread using Bluebird yeast, without much success, you know why. Please change your brand of yeast.
This Crusty Italian Bread is something I am so proud of. Once you get the hang of making bread, its actually a lot of fun and very satisfying to see a beautiful loaf emerge from the oven. The flavor and texture was fantastic. My husband isn’t overly fond of bread, but he went back for seconds. He liked this bread so much that he had a slice after dinner with some butter. I was elated. I knew that I had done something right. I can’t wait to make this again.
Crusty Italian Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 heaped tsp instant dry yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp salt
Place the flour in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the yeast, salt and sugar.
Add the oil and the water and mix it well till the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough well. Add more flour gradually if the dough is too sticky. Knead the dough for about 7 minutes. The dough should be well knead, soft and not tacky or sticky.
Smooth it out into a ball and place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Keep the bowl in a warm place for about 60 minutes or until double in size.
Remove the cling film and punch the dough back to knock out the air.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten the dough with your hands. Roll it to form an oval shape. It should be rolled tightly and press the seam well. Repeat the process again. You should end up with an oval loaf with slightly tapered ends. Place it onto a lightly floured board and cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven and your baking tray to 220°C.
When the dough is ready to be baked, remove the tray from the oven, sprinkle some semolina and place the loaf of bread over it, to add some crunch to the base.
Using a sharp knife, make a couple of slits on the top of the loaf about 1-2cm deep.
Spray the loaf with water and place it in the oven for 3 minutes. Repeat this step 2 more times, leaving the dough to bake for about 40 minutes after the last spray.
If you think the bread is browning a little to much or too quickly, place some aluminium foil loosely on top.
When the bread is done, take it out of the oven, turn over and tap the base of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, the bread is done.
Leave the bread on a cooling rack. Once it has cooled, slice and enjoy!!!
Chicken on Skewers
250g boneless chicken
1/3 cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
11/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
Olive oil, to drizzle over the chicken
Soak the wooden / bamboo skewers in some cold water for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cut the chicken into cubes.
Mix the spices in the yogurt in a bowl and check for salt levels and adjust if needed.
Add the chicken pieces to the spice mix and toss well to coat.
Cover the bowl with some cling film and leave it to marinate in the fridge for about 4-6 hours or overnight. If you are in a rush, try and let it marinate for atleast an hour.
When you’re ready to bake, carefully thread the chicken pieces onto the wooden skewers. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken.
I placed the skewers on a foil lined baking dish to catch the drip (since I didn’t want to add to the clean up later).
Bake in a preheated oven (about 180ºC) on the top shelf under the grill, for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.
- Don’t cut the chicken pieces too small else they’ll dry out while cooking.
- You may baste the pieces with a little olive oil when you flip them over.
Baked Fish in Mushroom Sauce
300g Basa fillets (You can use any fish fillets of your choice)
1 tbsp. butter
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp mixed dried herbs (I used an Italian mix)
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 cup milk
Salt, to taste
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese (You can used a processed / Cheddar cheese if you prefer – I used a little of both)
Fresh coriander, finely chopped, to garnish (I left this out since I didn’t have any on hand)
Heat the butter in a pan. Add the mushrooms and salt and sauté on a medium flame till the liquid dries out.
Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes till its not floury and has cooked out.
Now lower the heat and add the milk and whisk well so that no lumps are formed.
Add the herbs and cook for a few minutes on low flame.
In a glass baking dish, drizzle a little olive oil to grease the base of the dish, place the fish and the garlic and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over it.
Pour the sauce over the fish and sprinkle the cheese over the sauce.
Sprinkle the fresh coriander over (if using) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes.
Keep a close eye on it while it is in the oven, I think I should’ve taken my dish out of the oven a few minutes before. It browned a little more that I would have liked, however, it still tasted fantastic.