Hotteok (Korean pancake)

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Autumn is here and it is freeing! So to warm me up this cold morning I decided to make something hot, sweet and delicious. Hotteok is a Korean pancake that is jam packed with either a sweet filling of brown sugar and nuts or a savoury filling of stir fried veggie noodles. It's a popular street food in Korea and is only made during the winter.


Hotteok with a sweet brown sugar filling

Makes 8

1 cup warm water
2 tbsp CSR white sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 cups White Wings plain flour
1/2 cup CSR brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon

Place warm water into a bowl and stir in the white sugar, dry yeast, salt and vegetable oil. Stir well.

Add the plain flour and mix it by hand. Let the dough rise for about 1hr at room temperature.

After an hour the dough will rise to double it size. Knead the dough to rid it of gas bubbles. Let it rise for another 10-20 mins.

To make the filling combine the brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon.

Knead the dough again to rid it of gas bubbles. Place about 1/2 cup plain flour on to your bench top and knead the dough and divide into 8 balls.

Take 1 ball, flatten it, put some filling in the centre, seal it and then roll back in to a ball. Repeat with the rest.

Heat up some vegetable oil in a pan and place a ball on the pan and let it cook for 30 seconds.

When the bottom of the ball is lightly golden, flip the ball over and flatten it down.

Let it cook for about 1 min or until the bottom is lightly golden.

Flip it over once more and cook it on low heat with the pans lid on for 1 min.

Repeat with the rest of the balls.

Serve immediately! Enjoy!

Braised Lamb Shanks

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Dinner last night was juicy braised lamb shanks with homemade creamy mashed potato and steamed green beans (not pictured). Need I say more?

It was my first time cooking with lamb shanks and it was a huge success! They were juicy, moist and full of flavour. The meat was falling off of the bone. It was mouthwatering! To compliment this beautiful flavoursome meat, I whipped up some homemade creamy mashed potato and steamed some fresh green beans (not pictured). They worked so well together, I had to stop myself from overindulging in all of its finger-licking goodness. You have to try this at home! 

Braised Lamb Shanks with Creamy Mash Potato and Steamed Green Beans

8 Lamb shanks
Plain flour (for coating)
3 Onions, diced 
5 Garlic cloves, sliced
3 tbsp thyme
1x400g can of crushed tomatoes
4 cups Chicken/beef stock or water
Veggie of your choice

Coat all your lamb shanks in flour evenly, shake off any excess. Melt some butter or heat up some oil on high heat. Brown off the lamb shanks and then remove from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, melt off some butter and cook the onions and garlic until golden. Add the lamb shanks, stock, crushed tomatoes, thyme. Let it cook on medium heat for about 1hr 30mins or until the meat falls off of the bone. 

Once the lamb shanks are cooked, serve with mashed potato and top with the delicious thickened juices from the pot.

Coffee Swirled Walnut Cake

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A coffee swirled walnut cake is probably the most easiest thing you can make. Its perfect for when you want a quick sweet fix or you need to quickly whip something up for unexpected guests. This is a cake that my mum used to make. She basically threw a few ingredients together and voila, with each bite came a deliciously soft mouthful of goodness. It's now something that she gets me to make and it brings back lots of memories. She would whip this up back when I was in primary school (minus the coffee) with chunks of chocolate mixed through and together with my sister, we would heat it up and devour it with a glass of cold milk. It was so good, especially during the colder months.

Coffee Swirled Walnut Cake

Serves about 9

3 eggs
1 cup CSR caster sugar
1 cup oil
1 cup Pura milk
White Wings Self Raising Flour
1 tbsp Nescafe Coffee
1 tbsp boiling water
Crushed Walnuts

Mix all the ingredients together. Add the flour until you reach a thick cake-like consistency. Pour into prepared pan.

Combine the coffee and water. Spoon the coffee over the cake and swirl it around with a spoon. Sprinkle over the crushed walnuts. 

Bake in a 180C fan forced oven for 30 mins or until cooked through.

Serve warm with a cold glass of milk.

Tteokbokki (Spicy rice cakes)

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Tteokbokki is a combination of rice cake and fish cake cooked in a hot and spicy sauce. Its a very popular street food in Korea, during winter. I have always been meaning to try making this but could never find the tteok (rice cakes) to make it. By luck I found a Korean grocer who had heaps of them, frozen and fresh. 

So I made it then nearly ate all of it. I had to restrain myself because it was that good! It might not suit everyones palate as it is cooked in an anchovy stock and is super spicy but it was soooo yummy that I kept going back for more!
 These are the rice cakes. They're super soft and chewy. They're quite plain tasting, that's why its cooked in a delicious sauce.
Gochujang (fermented red pepper paste), gochugaru (red pepper flakes) and tteok (rice cakes)
 The fish cakes are chopped up to make reasonable bite sizes.
 To make the anchovy stock, you put together some water and anchovy and boil it off until you reach your desired strength.
While the anchovy stock was being made, I combined some gochujang (fermented hot pepper paste), hot pepper flakes, sugar and garlic to create the hot and spicy sauce.


Serves 3

4 cups water (more if you need)
handful of dried anchovies (more or less as desired)
650g tteok (rice cake) 
3 fish cake sheets
1/3 cup gochujang (fermented red chilli paste)
1 tbsp gochugaru (red pepper flakes)
1 tbsp sugar
3 garlic cloves

If your rice cakes and fish cakes are frozen, defrost them.

In a pot, boil the water and anchovies for about 10-15 mins or until an aromatic stock is formed.

In a small bowl, combine the gochujang, gochugaru, sugar and garlic cloves.

Once the stock is ready, remove the anchovies and dissolve in the hot pepper paste mixture.

Once dissolved, add the rice cakes and fish cakes. Let it cook for about 5-10 mins or until the sauce thickens and the rice and fish cakes are soft. Add extra water if it thickens to quickly or if you want it a little watery.

Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Rainbow Cake

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Rainbow Cake! It's colourful, pretty, fun and looks so delicious but that's where it all stops. The renowned rainbow cake just didn't do it for me. Did it taste good? Yeh I guess as much as any vanilla cake would taste but it didn't have an enough punch in flavours that I would have liked. And yes it was just another 'vanilla cake' so what was I really expecting? It is taking me forever to find a delicious vanilla cake recipe and this was just another cross off of my list. Im actually super happy that it didn't work out because this gives me a chance to experiment further and jazz up the flavours and the way it looks. YAY! 

So here it is. My first attempt at a vanilla flavoured rainbow cake. 

Rainbow Cake

Serves 6-8

2 cups White Wings flour
2 cups CSR caster sugar
3/4 cup Custard powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup Pura milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup boiling water
Red, blue, green, orange, yellow and purple food colouring

1 block (250g) unsalted butter
250ml thick cream
2 tsp vanilla essence or 1 vanilla bean
Icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 150C fan forced.

Combine the flour, sugar, custard powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix through.

Mix in the milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla essence. Pour in the boiling water slowly until mixed thoroughly. Mix on high for 1 min.

Divide into 6 bowls. Assign each colour to a bowl. Add the colour until its a bright and vibrant colour.

Bake separately in the same pan to get the same size for each layer for about 20-30 mins or until cooked through.

Mean while, whip the butter until light and fluffy, incorporate the cream slowly. Add the vanilla bean/essence. Add the icing sugar until you reach the consistency and sweetness that you desire.

Layer the cake and icing. Serve.
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