Monday, 20 November 2017

Wild Rice Burgers

It has been a week of burgers.  It has been such an intense few weeks that some simple burgers have been welcome meals.  We have had to deal with Sylvia's flu, medical appointments, school swimming lessons on consecutive days, neighbours' noise and my workplace gearing up for some big events, just to name a few of the challenges.  Sylvia has embraced Christmas (thanks major supermarkets and all your unseasonal displays) so I am now starting to worry about getting organised for festivities.

I had my eye on these Wild Rice Burgers from Pinch of Yum for some time and finally made them on the weekend.  I still had salad vegetable that I had bought the previous week in hope of making them.  Unfortunately it was more the sort of week when I was eating baked beans for tea because no energy to think about it, or eating a little tub of nuts and some stewed fruit found in my bag because I didn't have time to make lunch or go and buy it.  Thank goodness that I have well stocked pantry and bag even in busy times.

I decided to veganise the burgers.  Actually I had seen these burgers veganised on Yup It's Vegan but wanted to come at it from another angle.  There are so many ways to make any dish vegan!  I stuck a lot more closely to the recipe, using vegannaise instead of mayonnaise and substituting aquafaba (chickpea brine), chia seeds and flours for the 4 eggs.  I also changed around the flavours.

At first I thought that my changes had made the burgers too soft.  However once chilling them, they mixture was much easier to handle.  I also found that the flavours, which initially seemed too strong, settled after chilling.

My burgers were much darker than Pinch of Yum's burgers.  I am not sure why.  They were really really good.  I really loved them because they reminded me a little of the burgers I had as a child and they crisped up really nicely.  Though I wish they had had a bit more protein.  I was pleased in a busy period that the mixture produced 12 burgers which almost lasted a week.

The first day I served them on  my own sourdough buns , which were a bit heavy for the burgers.  The more traditional light and fluffy white burger buns worked better.  The day after I made them I took a sandwich to work of fresh sourdough bread and cold burger with some cheese and tomato sauce.  It was so good I ate it before lunch with a colleague and did not see anything better at the cafe where I was quite content just to drink a green smoothie.  I took them down to my parents on the weekend and cooked them up for dinner.  The leftover I took for when we arrived home. 

I can highly recommend these burgers.  I would suggest maybe starting with a bit less aquafaba and serving in a burger bun.  But I am confident that they would be excellent in so many ways.

More vegan burgers on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Earth Burgers (gf, v)
Roasted beetroot tofu burgers (gf, v)
Smoky apple vegie burgers (v)
Sweet potato, chickpea and hemp seed burgers (v)
Tamale burgers with mole sauce (gf, v)
Vegemite burger (v) 
Watercourse Foods tempeh burger (gf,v)

Wild Rice Burgers
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Makes about 12

1 1/2 cup raw wild rice
1 cup button mushrooms, finely diced
1/2 cup aquafaba*
3 tbsp potato starch
2 tbsp tapioca flour/starch
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2-3 cup breadcrumbs
2 tsp salt and pepper mix
2 tsp smoked paprka
1 tsp seeded mustard
oil for frying

Firstly cook wild rice.  Place raw rice in hot water, cover and bring to the boil.  Stir, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Pinch of Yum says this should make about 5 cups of cooked rice.

Mix rice with all ingredients.  It is best to chill the mixture in the fridge.  My mixture lasted about a week in the fridge.  Heat 1-3 tbsp of oil in a large frypan.  Wet hands.  Take a handful and shape into round flat burger patties and put straight into frypan.  Fry for a few minutes on each side over medium heat or until crisp and dark.  Drain on kitchen towel.

Mixture keeps in the fridge for up to a week.  Serve straight away in a burger bun or keep overnight and eat cold in a sandwich.  Cooked burgers can be left in the fridge overnight and heated either in the oven or on the grill.

On the stereo:
Flood: They Might Be Giants

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Sock doughnuts and doughnut mania

When Sylvia's suddenly loved everything about doughnuts I decided it was time for a craft project.  I mentioned a while back that we had made some sock doughnuts.  Real doughnuts are delicious but they do get stale quickly.  These doughnuts really liven up Sylvia's doughnut den.  So here is a post on how we made them and a little more on everything doughnut.

Before I tell you about making sock doughnuts, let me tell you a story about my late father-in-law.  He told his daughter that it was so hard to find "fun socks" any more.  She went and found some socks with lots of crazy colourful stripes and spots.  He looked disappointed.  Apparently she had misheard him and he had asked for "fawn" socks.

I agree with my father-in-law.  Fawn socks are very hard to find.  Which makes it tricky trying to make sock doughnuts when fawn or beige socks are the first thing you need.  I ended up buying mostly fawn socks.  I didn't choose this project for the socks.  What attracted me was that there was no sewing involved.  Lots of hot glue gun instead.

So we ended up cutting the fawn legs off socks, rolling them up and then when I glued the edges on I had to pull it as tight as possible to make the holes in the middle more visible.  Then I cut out felt icing to glue on top.  Lastly we used fabric paints to put sprinkles on top.  It was great fun.  We made a dozen over a few weeks.

We experimented with a few different ways of decorating the doughnuts.  The white on chocolate was to be a lamington but the white paint was not quite bright enough.  The coloured sprinkles were the best.

Ironically after avoiding all the sewing, Sylvia has decided to start sewing a stuffed felt doughnut that I have finished off for her.  We just need to sew on the sprinkles.

While we were in doughnut sock mode, Sylvia had to do a craft project for school.  So she put some googly eyes, a red felt mouth and icy pole stick limbs on a sock doughnut.  Voila!  A walking, talking doughnut. She used some modelling clay that we bought at the Wallace and Gromit exhbition to make more little doughnut.

The sock doughnuts go in the Doughnut Den.  That is the area where Sylvia creates her own world's in our living area.  All her doughnutty things go in here.  Even her doughnut outfit.  Just so you know she is not totally obsessed with doughnuts, she does not wear her own doughnut very much.

I have scratched my head about this doughnut obsession.  It seemed to come out of nowhere.  When I think back, it might have started with purchasing some Sylvanian Families dolls house furniture and Sylvia pouring over the catalogue, as she loves to do.  She decided she must have the doughnut shop.  It took quite a while before I found it in a shop but you can see why it would make you swoon over doughnuts.  They are so so cute.

Once you start to look, there is actually quite a lot of doughnut stuff around.  Not enough for Sylvia.  But enough for my wallet.  She also says there are not enough doughnuts in movies.

So here are 5 movies/tv shows with notable doughnuts:
  • The Simpsons
  • Zootopia
  • Adventure Time
  • Wreck it Ralph
  • Emoji Movie

We've been giving Sylvia pocket money so she has to make some choices about what she buys.  Then she finds a Shopkins Delish Doughnut for a bargain $1 in a department store.  Right beside her is Donatina who was bought with her savings.

There are heaps of shops selling doughnuts.  Sylvia loves collecting their business cards.  Quite a lot of them were collected at the Donut Fest.

But we have been visiting more doughnut shops than usual.  Above are some of them: from top right: All Day Doughnuts, Doughnut Time, Krispy Kreme, Donut Fest, Doughnut King and Dooughnut Time.  My favourite doughnut place is not there though - the hot jam doughnut van at the Queen Victoria Market.

Even when doughnuts aren't involved, they look like they are.  Here are some gingerbreads we made to take to the Grampians holiday home.  We used the doughnut cutter to shape them and then iced and sprinkled them.

And then we made "cheese puffs" with a doughnut cutter.  That is what Sylvia calls it when we grate cheese on a sheet of puff pastry, cover it with another sheet, cut it into shapes and baked until golden brown.

And of course we have been baking lots of doughnuts.  Mostly for social occasions.  They don't last well if not eaten on the day.  Occasionally we have just been experimenting.  Above from top right chocolate sourdough doughnuts, yeasted doughnuts, baking powder doughnuts and overnight sourdough doughnuts.  Don't ask me which are my favourites!  I love them all.  Just don't ask me to fry them.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

How to make a Loch Ness Monster cake

When it came to making a birthday cake for Alex and Ian this year, the issues to take in to consideration were a serious lack of energy (mine) and a serious desire for doughnuts (Sylvia's).  A Loch Ness Monster cake seemed to please everyone.  Easy enough for me, doughnuts for the monster for Sylvia and Scottish enough for E.  I didn't have any grand plans and did some learning as we went but it was a fun cake that impressed our guests.

The doughnut theme actually helped make the cake seem possible because we were one step ahead with doughnuts in the freezer ready to be baked.  Right from the beginning I knew the sturdier yeasted variety would work far better as decorations than the more delicate baking powder doughnuts.  They weren't quite as smooth as the first batch of doughnuts but it was close enough for jazz.  As I usually try to do, we started the day before.

We looked online at some Nessie cakes and decided to just make a green icing and dunk the doughnuts in it.  I didn't really think this through.  Ideally I should have used an icing sugar and water or milk icing that would have set more firmly and maybe more smoothly.  Using up the rest of the tub of cream cheese and some margarine in the icing made it quite soft and reluctant to set firmly.  Check out the mess they made on the baking paper below!

Perhaps if I had thought it through more I might have cut the doughnuts before we dipped them in icing.  (Though the off cuts would not have tasted so good!)  At least I had the foresight to keep some icing aside so I could patch where we cut or where fingers made marks.  The next day I cut  the doughnuts into parts of the monster.  I initially thought we would do two humps but there wasn't room.  I cut a small piece for the tail and a larger piece for the head which I whittled slightly to make it rounder.

I had made the chocolate cake base earlier in the day.  Chocolate is always my preference.  I chose a vegan chocolate cake that I know well.  It is a simple recipe and tastes really good too.  And it holds up well when decorating.

We managed to put on the lake (teal icing), dirt (chocolate icing), grass (green coloured coconut), rocks (milo cereal) and the Loch Ness Monster doughnuts by the end of the night.  Having the muesli around the lake helped give it definition. I also considered Oreo biscuit crumbs instead of the muesli

By the end of the evening I was able to report to Sylvia in bed that Lochie has done a faceplant.  Yes, the head had keeled over, eyes and all.  It took a bit of patching with my spare bits of icing to try and rectify it.  Luckily Sylvia is a smart cookie and suggested I put a skewer through the head to keep it up.

It was just as well we had got so much done the night before because we had lots to fo the next morning.  Just making the trees to put around the shore was enough to get done.  Actually it was the moment when I told everyone to leave me alone to just get it done.  But the trees turned out fine.  I had got the idea from a cake that used pretzel sticks but there were none to be found in the supermarket so we got breadsticks instead.  Given how thickly we piped the green tinted white chocolate out of a ziplock bag, the breadsticks worked really well.

Everyone was suitably impressed by the cake.  I am impressed that we managed to serve 3 doughnuts - the chocolate doughnuts on the Loch Ness Monster cake, the home made monster doughnuts and the fancy shop bought Uncle Doughnuts.

If you look closely at this last photo you will see a bone of contention between Sylvia and me.  She insisted that Lochie had a moustache.  I resisted as long as I could.

It is unlikely that I will ever make another loch ness monster cake but if I do, I will have learnt quite a lot from this experience.

I am sending this cake to We Should Cocoa and Baking Crumbs.

More monster food on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Franken sushi (gf, v) 
Monster cake
Monster doughnuts (v)
Monster rice krispies (gf, v)
Watermelon monster (gf, v)  

How to Make a Loch Ness Monster Cake
You can take shortcuts by buying the cake, the doughnuts and frosting or make it all from scratch.  I didn't take measurements of my icing/frosting or other elements.  This really depends on the size of your cake.  There are three different green icing batches to be made in different tints of green  Add a little blue or yellow to green colouring for different tints.  Keep some icing aside after spreading it on cake in case you need it for patching up bits of the cake.

What you will need:

1 rectangular chocolate cake (see below recipe or use your own)
2 or 3 firm doughnuts (like these)
Green icing for doughnuts (made with icing sugar, water and colouring)
Green frosting for lake
Chocolate icing for around lake
Coconut and green food colouring
Milo muesli, coco pops, crushed chocolate biscuits (cookies) for rocks
2 candy eyes
1 skewer
Bread sticks or pretzel sticks for tree trunks
White chocolate and colouring for tree branches

What to do:
  • Dip doughnuts into green icing and leave for icing to set - best to leave overnight.
  • Spread cake with frosting in the shape of a lake.  Spread the chocolate icing around it.  Use muesli, coco pops or biscuits to create a border with rocks.
  • Rub a few drops of cheap green food colouring into some desiccated coconut to make it green.  Sprinkle green coconut over the  chocolate icing.
  • Cut iced doughnuts to have one or two halves to be humps (cut slightly more than half), a small piece of doughnut for tail and a third piece that is whittled a bit to make it look like a head.  Arrange on cake.  I had my frosting on thick enough that they sat upright in it.  Break skewer to just above height of cake and push through head and tail to keep them upright.  Smooth icing over if necessary.  Arrange eyes on monster head - use a little extra icing to make it stick if the icing has set hard on the doughnuts.
  • To make the trees, lay breadsticks on baking paper on baking tray.  Melt white chocolate and colour with green food colouring.  Pipe into branches over breadsticks - we did this in a ziplock bag and snipped a corner out to pipe from.  Place in fridge or freezer an hour or two until hard.  Arrange around edge of lake (move rocks if necessary).  I stuck them in cake by using a knife or chopstick to make a little hole and then pushed them into cake. 

Vegan chocolate cake
(also used here, here and here in different quantities/tin sizes)

1 and 2/3 cups plain white flour
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
1 tsp salt
2 cup soy milk
2/3 cup oil
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Grease and line 9 x 13inch rectangular cake tins.  Mix dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients.   Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Sit in tin 5-10 minutes.  Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

On the stereo:
Titanic: Music As Heard On The Fateful Voyage: Ian Whitcomb, White Star Orchestra

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Ponzu Stirfry

When I saw Ponzu on the shelves of a health food store recently, I was sure it brought good cafe meals to mind.  So I purchased a bottle.  At home I searched online for ideas and then went with my own variation on a favourite lo mein stirfry.  It had a pleasing lightness to it, thanks to the citrus flavours in this Japanese marinade sauce.

Years ago I overdid it on stirfries.  For an age, I didn't make them.  Then I found a simple lo mein recipe and my stirfy mojo returned.  We have them quite often but I really loved this ponzu variation and think it might be another favourite.

While I am very happy to have ponzu sauce in my house, I did choke for a moment upon reading about it online when sites started to tell me it usually has bonito (fish) flakes in it.  I had never even thought to check in the house.  I rushed to the bottle and checked but was relieved to see that my bottle didn't have any fish in it.

Once I had the sauce sorted, I started to fry the vegies.  I use whatever vegies are on hand for my lo mein.  Here I have written what I used but it is totally dependent upon season and availability for what goes into any good stirfry.  Just so long as there is some good variation in colour and texture. 

And a pile of comforting slurpy noodles.  I try and keep some ready to eat hokkein noodles in the cupboard for nights when I need dinner quickly.  I also like seasoned Japanese tofu.  Some plain tofu or cashews could be fried before starting on the vegies and added later.

It made a really pleasing meal with lots of lovely vegies.  There were enough leftovers for one for the next night.  E and I had them with some fried dumplings.  I mixed up a bit more of the dressing (2 tbsp ponzu, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp maple syrup) and it made a wonderful dipping sauce for the dumplings.  I think I am going to enjoy this ponzu sauce.

More stirfry recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Hal's stirfry sauce (gf)
Lo mein (v) 
Matthews delicious tofu (gf, v)
Tamarind tempeh with noodles (v)
'Teriyaki' tofu with brown rice and kale (gf, v)


Ponzu Stirfry
Serves 2-3

Sauce:
3 tbsp ponzu
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup

Stirfry:
1 tbsp oil
1 onion. chopped
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1-2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
bunch of asparagus, chopped
handful of snowpeas, diagonally sliced
4-6 button mushrooms, roughly sliced
150g Japanese seasoned tofu
200g pouch of hokkien noodles (ready to use)

Mix sauce ingredients together and set aside.  Fry onion in oil for a few minutes.  Add carrot, red cabbage and red pepper and fry a few more minutes.  Now add remaining ingredients and the sauce.  Stir through a few minutes until the sauce is mostly absorbed and all the vegies are a little wilted but not too soft.

On the Stereo:
Thursday's Fortune: Club Hoy

Sunday, 5 November 2017

In My Kitchen: November 2017

October was a busy month.  The sun came out and it was time for holidays, Halloween and birthdays.  November has returned us to chillier weather and found us with the shops laden with Christmas merchandise and Sylvia laid low with a bad cold.  This month's kitchen peek shows some of the busy times, lots of fancy groceries and some of our everyday food.

Above is the kitchen table after returning from lunch in Geelong at my parents.  At the top is a slab of Guinness chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting that my mum made.  In the middle is parsley and limes from my brother in law John's garden.  At the bottom is leftover carrot and smoked cheese nut roast.

While we were at the Grampians last month I got into purchasing bush foods at the Brimbak Cultural Centre.  Quandong dessert sauce, saltbush flakes and ground wattleseed are not foods that I generally see about.  Unfortunately I haven't had much time and energy for enjoying them.  The same can be said of the rhubarb and the kitchen linen with Aboriginal designs.  Perhaps when Australia Day rolls around in January I will be inspired.

I enter spring with great expectations that I will eat so much more fruit and vegetables than in winter.  It usually takes a while to change habits (because the weather also takes a while to change).  This pizza base, as well as the usual tomato sauce and cheese, has some cauliflower that had been around for a while as well as a half open jar of olives.  It was really lovely.

I enjoyed a shopping expedition through Terra Madre in Northcote.  It is such a hipster health store.  Lots of unusual products.  Crazy prices.  At least the queues were better managed than last time I was there.  I was quite excited to buy 5kg of white spelt flour for $25.  It is the cheapest spelt flour I have found on my recent search.  Not a great addition to the kitchen floor!  I also bought elderflower syrup, hazelnuts, dried strawberries, wild rice, brown rice noodles and Oliana vegan smoked cheese.  I was curious about Oliana vegan cheese as it seems to be popping up in quite a few shops.  It worked as a melty cheese but was not so good when cold just sliced on bread.

Sylvia's school had an Art Fair with a BBQ, craft activities, a cake stall an lots of displays of the kids' artwork.  It was fun but in an overwhelming way.  Sylvia made a frame and bookmarks.  We also came away with goodies form the cake stall: mango jelly, lemon slice, grunbs, creepy cupcake, fudge with sprinkles and salted caramel fudge.  I helped out on the cake stall for a while and it was so busy I never stopped.

Sylvia finally got her heart's desire in ice creams from the supermarket and had a choc strawberry cornetto.  I enjoyed it but wasn't as delighted with it as she was.

One weekend recently Sylvia put together this little structure while playing with magnets.  We were all quite fascinated with the little gap between the metal ring and the magnet stuck under the lego arch.


I couldn't wait to try Jac's Easy Cheesy Vegetable Potato Cakes because with the corn and peas, they reminded me of the recent pot pies that Sylvia had liked.  I was a little slapdash with following the recipe so I take responsibility for these not working well.  They just collapsed every time they went near a frypan, even after being in the fridge.  So finally I gave up, added some flour (a la potato scones) and enjoyed the last of the batch.

Another recipe disaster that I managed to save were these Teriyaki Tofu Balls.  Again I took liberties with the recipe and so it is my fault they did not work.  Once I fried them they collapsed and became the tastiest teriyaki tofu scramble so I will have another go at that some time and report back with more details of what I did.  I served it with some vegies and some dumplings from the Asian shop freezer.  It is the first time I have managed to fry and steam dumplings perfectly.  At least I could be proud of that!

When I really love a recipe, I am unhappy if I only manage to take a photo on the run.  As I have said before, I don't always get the chance to make a recipe over and over to check it and take the best photos.  But when a recipe is made often, I get the chance to update a post with notes and better photos.  As is the case with these cheese and parsley muffins that I made earlier this year.  We make them so often that it was only a matter of time before I found the energy to take some better photos to use.  I made these using the Oliana vegan smoked cheese that I mentioned above.

Last night we had tortillas for dinner.  It was really quick.  I mixed cooked corn, black beans and salsa, made a coleslaw and sliced some avocado.  This morning, I had a lovely breakfast with mashed avocado, the corn-black-bean-salsa mix and some chopped cherry tomatoes on ciabatta.  My only complaint is that the black beans came from the supermarket - the first time I have seen them there - and Edgell just never cooked beans enough for me.  Sigh!

Today we went to Carlton to eat churros and watch Battle of the Sexes at the movies.  (Yes I took Sylvia to a movie about Billy Jean King's tennis match against Bobby Riggs because there were no kids movies on the big screen unless we went out to the suburban shopping centres!)

Afterwards we had a browse in the new Aunt Maggies where the food court used to be in Lygon Court.  We came away with a 10 pack of popcorn plus a fancy coconut maple popcorn (which smelled amazing and tasted almost as good), black beans (proper soft ones), raspberry lemonade kombucha, seaweed snacks, ponzu sauce (that was very good in tonight's stirfry) and a free bunch of roses.

I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event, that was started by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial,  If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 10th of the month.  Or just head over to her blog to peek into more kitchens. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Chocolate overnight baked sourdough doughnuts

After conquering the overnight baked sourdough doughnuts, I looked for bigger challenges.  Such as chocolate overnight baked sourdough doughnuts.  You see, I don't get really excited about most doughnuts but I am always tempted by a chocolate doughnut.  And these had to be our most beautiful doughnuts yet.

It's ironic really because I baked them to watch the AFL footy grand final.  Sausage rolls, doughnuts and lemonade are pretty standard fare for watching the footy but not the recipes I served.  Our sausage rolls were vegetarian, our lemonade wasn't that sweet and our doughnuts were both vegan although I topped them with a white chocolate ganache and some milk chocolate decorations.  Perhaps this is why I don't watch footy as a rule.  Except the grand final.

And I like to watch the grand final.  Especially when it is exciting.  Though it is better to watch without football fanatics whose team loses.  This year, like last year, was the year of the underdog.  The Richmond Tigers had not won a final since 1980 and The Adelaide Crows were favourites.  Working with a few Tigers fans meant the anticipation was palpable.  My boss told us that if we wore a Richmond jumper all week we didn't have to come into work.  One colleague turned to Ebay immediately to see how cheaply he could buy a jumper!


On the day, Sylvia and I made these doughnuts we promised one to my neighbour as part of the pre-match entertainment.  I was disappointed that they burnt slightly but the recipe was good enough to withstand it.  Sylvia scootered over to the supermarket with me to choose some toppings.  Unfortunately she accidentally picked up tiramisu kit kat and reminded me why I don't like coffee flavoured food.

We whipped up a white chocolate ganache and I was very pleased with my rose petal and blueberry decoration.  You might notice that we were influenced by the fancy doughnuts shops around Melbourne.  We even named our doughnuts.  The rose petal blueberry was The Roseberry! Or perhaps it could have been Roses are Red, Berries are Blue.  Or The Roses got the Blues.  Hmmm...  I think I would need to work on some better names if I had a doughnut store.  In fact even the naming of these doughnuts is a bit long and prosaic: chocolate overnight baked sourdough doughnuts.  I really should do some work on naming recipes!

But I digress.  We offered a doughnut to our neighbour when she came into watch some of the pre-match entertainment and the first goal.  She enjoyed her doughnut.  Which was probably just as well, give that the Crows were ahead in the early moments when she went off to do some chores.  We shook our heads sorrowfully about Richmond's propects as she left.  By the time she returned towards the end of the fourth quarter it was a different story.  The Tigers had thrashed the Crows.

I really loved the white chocolate icing on the chocolate doughnuts.  A cream cheese frosting or just vanilla icing would be fine too.  We didn't bake all of the doughnuts.  About half went into the freezer for another day, once they had risen.  Both halves of the batch baked a bit too tough on the outside.  I think perhaps the batter needs a bit less flour and a bit more liquid (as my mum suggested) though the mixture was already sticky so not sure how much stickier it can get and still be workable.

If I had my druthers, I would be concentrating all my doughnut energies on the chocolate variety but I suspect Sylvia and E might have other ideas.  

I am sending these doughnuts to Baking Crumbs and Treat Petite.

More doughnut recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Doughnuts - baked (jam or nutella)
Doughnuts - baked and topped with chocolate and coconut bacon (v)
Doughnuts - baked and vegan (cinnamon sugar or glaze) (v)
Doughnuts - baked, vegan, overnight, sourdough (v)
Doughnuts - cinnamon sugar (baked with baking powder not yeast) (v)

Chocolate overnight baked sourdough doughnuts
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Makes about 12-15 doughnuts plus holes

1 cup ripe sourdough starter
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup brown sugar
90g or 3 ounce margarine
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 3/4 cups flour

Remove starter from fridge a few hours before using to get nice and bubbly.  When ready to put ingredients together, melt butter with coconut milk.  Cool slightly to lukewarm.

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  It will be quite sticky but should come together into a ball.  Cover with a tea towel for 30 minutes and then knead about 15 minutes in the bowl with well floured hands.  Cover with greased clingwrap and leave overnight about 8 hours if the weather is good.  It should be about double in size.

In the morning, carefully scrape the dough out onto a floured surface.  Using floured hands pat down to about 1 cm thickness.  Cut out using a doughnut cutter or just cut into rounds or whichever shape you like.  Place shapes on baking paper on a tray and leave covered (I used the clingfilm off the mixing bowl) for 1-2 hours until the dough has got a little puffy. 

About 15 minutes before dough is ready, preheat oven to 200 C.  Cover doughnuts - I use foil but if you have a large dish with a lid that is fine.  Bake doughnuts for 15 minutes, remove foil or cover and continue baking for a further 10-15 minutes until they smell cooked and sound hollow when tapped.  Watch them once uncovered as they can burn.

Cool on a wire rack.  Frost and decorate as desired.  Best eaten on day of baking.

NOTES: We frozen some after they rose the second time and then took them out and left them 5 hours before baking - they didn't need that long but they were ok for sitting around though not quite as good as the ones we baked immediately after the rise.  The mixture is a little tough on the outside when baked - because mixture is too dry or because I used more sugar?  I have experimented with baking times and can't really reduce it so will experiment with recipe if I get a chance - but I liked them very much despite this.  We iced with white chocolate frosting that was a few dessertspoons each of white choc chips and margarine, then I stirred in enough icing sugar to make it spreadable and a little bit of milk if it got too stiff.  Cream cheese frosting or buttercream would also work.

On the stereo: 
At First Sight: the Stems

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Remembering Alex and Ian 10

Today is 10 years since our twin sons Alex and Ian were born and died.  It is a long time.  Hard to believe the years without them have piled up into double figures.  Though they are still part of our family.  Always remembered.  Always missed.

There seems to be a lot more information about stillbirth and grief online since the time 10 years ago when we were left bereft and wondering how to cope.  Here is some recent ones that are worth reading.  (More can be found in my annual remembrance posts for Alex and Ian.)

Now what (8 March 2017) - Pinch of Yum 
High profile blogger, Lindsay shares her grief and efforts to go on with life after her baby died 3 hours after birth.

On Triggers (3 July 2017) - Still Mothers
Reflections on experiences and words that can trigger grief after the loss of a child.

'It was unbelievably painful': Tina Arena speaks about her three miscarriages (8 June 2017) - Essential Baby 
Aussie pop star, Tina Arena talked about her three miscarriages on Anh's Brush with Fame.

Thank you Offspring for sharing this story and honouring our babies (17 August 2017) - Kidspot
Cassandra Leigh thanks Australian hospital drama series for featuring a story about stillbirth this year.  It is a rare moment that such experiences are shared in television dramas.

'They couldn't find a heartbeat' (July 2017) - Marie Claire
Jonnie and Jacqueline Hoy share their experiences and grief when one of their identical twins was stillborn.

People say the darndest things when you are pregnant again after a loss (2016) - PALS

A very private grief: the parents breaking the stillbirth taboo: (9 October 2017) - The Guardian
Emma Beck created Stillbirth Stories as a place online for people to share their experiences.

Journalist shares her personal story of losing a baby ahead of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day (22 September 2017) - The Courier Mail
Lauren-Martyn Jones writes about being pregnant with twins and finding that one of her girls had died in utero.

Elliott's Stardust
A blog written about the experiences of a mother whose child was stillborn.