Monday, December 11, 2006

Baked Blog

I only recently discovered blogworld.

The reason that I discovered it is because my oven had died and I had a weekend of visitors - including my daughter's grandfather (that is the shortest description) and the impact this was having on my psyche, complete with his dietary requirements and the desire to be the perfect hostess meant that I had to find a solution - and fast!

(My previous attempt to delight his palate had failed dismally. Not due to my inferior cooking ability, I might add, but due to quite a few things that would include swearwords and unflattering reflections on the man's country, arrogance and manners).

A few weekends before, I had bought a slow-cooker to attempt to fill the gap in my culinary requirements. But the only experiment I had tried had failed.

I was desparate - I turned to my good friend Google.

"Google," I said "I want to find the sort of culinary delight that will both please my child, she of the S-Sound diet, and bridge the gap of understanding between an elderly, autocratic, diabetic Croatian man and his deceased son's ex."

Google of course did not follow such a request with anything useful, so I had to be more concise with my search terms.

Anyhow, that is how I discovered blogworld - Becki does a recipe a day, and happened to be doing Crockpot Cooking that week. (My search did not go unnoticed, either, as she had a post wondering who would be looking for "crockpot children"!)

From there, I discovered a lot of the mums on the MomsBlog board, and through their links more folk, and through their links more folk - the core of which is my links list.

Anyhow, as my letters and postings to my messageboards tend to be blogs anyway, I thought I would do one of my own - ha ha ha - it took me until Jenn called for the virtual cookie exchange last week that I finally pulled my proverbial out and put together a blog (or whinge, thus far)

But it gets back to my original problem - I have no oven, and therefore I really have virtual biscuits (and also no photos – good thing, as I am on a steep html learning curve as it is!) ...

Ginger Nuts would have been my first choice. These bikkies have family favourites since the Australian Women's Weekly published a cookbook in the 1980s at about the same time as my mother had Ross River and I became the family chef for a while. I loved cooking, and especially (and still do) loved taste - and these offered that in spades as well as perfect dunking (actually required) opportunities.

Anyhow, as I was at my mother's on the weekend I thought it would be a perfect chance to dig the recipe out for Jenn... The problem being, the reason I was at my mother's on the weekend was to assist in packing her hoardings over the last 40 years - and it took two full days to pack the display case and other china (19 boxes of breakables - my mother doesn't really hold the "cull" mentality as well as some) and therefore the recipe book cupboard didn't get a look in. Will have to look to my own recipe books - but as I am going as virtual as possible, cannot be any that I have not yet made...

Then I remembered Anzac Biscuits - but have discovered they are a recipe that falls into the category of "unfound since moving", and I can scoff at my mother no more…

So, I am reduced to giving two recipes, neither “biscuits” in the strictest sense, but both offering a cultural experience, I promise.

The first is Chocolate Squares. At any country event where a plate is required (which is basically every social occasion in the country excepting those you aspire to during your 15-30 age years, where alcohol is the only offering), there will be a variation or two of these on offer. This offering is from the “Mulgildie School P&C Recipe Book” – but is so good that I have it copied onto a scrap of paper and the paper has travelled this country and been enjoyed by many!!

Chocolate Squares

  • 1 cup cornflakes
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 4 oz melted butter

lol – my on paper instructions are shorthand!

  • Anyhow, mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the melted butter.
  • Press this mix into greased and lined slice trays.
  • Bake for 20 minutes in a moderate (180/350) oven. (If you double the mixture, bake for 30)
  • Ice with icing (made of 1 cup icing sugar, 1 dessertspoon cocoa and enough milk to make icing) while warm and sprinkle with more coconut.
  • Cut into squares and see if any actually make it to the event – it is delicious!!!

My second is from my (to try and minimise the explanations) mother-in-law, and is from Croatia. When asked for its proper name, the answer is Biscuit Kolaca. Another divine creation with minimal explanation on my piece of paper. Baka (means grandmother or old woman) used to make this for everyone’s birthday treat – but arthritis, old age and excess weight means she can’t stand up to do the time in the kitchen any more.

Biscuit Kolaca

  • 1 litre milk
  • 8-10 tablespoons plain flour
  • 5-6 tablespoons sugar
  • 60-70g butter
  • ½ block dark chocolate
  • ½ block milk chocolate
  • 1-2 tablespoons imitation rum
  • Cup of milky coffee (instant is fine)
  • ½ block dark chocolate
  • ½ block milk chocolate
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-2 packs of milk coffee biscuits (rectangular plain biscuits of any variety)

Again, my paper instructions are very brief - and a little stained - I will translate as best I can.

  • Mix together milk and flour on lowish heat on stove until thickens – about when your spoon leaves tracks (I am making this more detailed than her notes, I swear!)
  • Take off heat and add next 5 ingredients. Refrigerate for a few hours.
  • When mixture is cooled, make a cup of milky coffee and let cool to blood temperature.
  • Line a baking pan with alfoil.
  • Quickly dip individual biscuits into coffee, spread with the chocolate mixture and layer in baking pan. It makes no difference how creative you are with your biscuit layering – the coffee “opens” the biscuit to soak in flavour and the choc mix sort of melds in and you end up with a 4-6 layered block.
  • When you have run out of your bricks or mortar, melt the remaining chocolate then mix in milk and butter and pour over the top. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Slice and serve – very rich and very delicious.
Warning: If you haven't put weight on reading this recipe, you may do so eating the offcuts! Slice about 1cm x 5cm slices with a hot knife and it will be eaten like wildfire!!!

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Anonymous said...

Mmmm! Sounds delicious. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great recipe. I'm going to go try and bake some right now!