Friday, 24 May 2019

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford

Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

A couple of weeks ago, amongst the cake madness (see previous post) I received a beautiful book in the mail. Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford. I had a brief flick through and thought wow, yum, um I need this now, ooo I think I had that in Bali, mmm noodles, but had to put it down to get back my cakes. It wasn't until last week I finally got the chance to have a real read and start cooking from it. And let me tell you, this book will make you hungry. It will make you hungry to source fresh turmeric and water spinach, and it will make you hungry to go and book a flight to Indonesia and not just sit on the beach of Nusa Dua drinking beer and eating Nasi Goreng every day, as delightful as that is.

The flavours and colours of the dishes in this book show waaaaayyy more variety of Indonesian foods than what we experienced. I have been completely oblivious of Indonesian cuisine before this year, and I'm embarrassed to say, the only Indonesian food I'd had was Mi Goreng from a packet, cooked in the microwave. Don't judge, I know you love the stuff too! Spicy and salty noodles, perfect street food/late night snack after too many drinks.

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

As much as I wanted to recreate the first meal Tris ever made me (true story!) and make a proper Mi Goreng recipe from this beautiful book it was the the Potato Tuturuga which caught my eye. It's essentially a potato curry and they are a huge hit in our home. If you like potatoes in your curry, then you'll fall in love with this one. I served it with a roast chicken like Ford suggests and goodness it was delicious. It's comforting and savoury from the coconut milk and mild spice paste but keeps its freshness from the fresh herbs and splash of lime juice at the end. Ford also suggests you can serve it with Fiery Sulawesi pork ribs which I want to give a try next time.

I apologise for my photo's, I think it's a hard one to make look pretty, gravy and potatoes. Well, curry and potatoes but still... you're just going to have to trust me (as usual) that it tastes a thousand time better than it looks in my photos. Because this really does.

It was surprisingly simple and didn't take hours to make which I think a curry that starts with a home made paste can often get a reputation for. I'm not saying this is a 15 minute meal with 5 ingredients but it'll come together while your chicken is roasting in the oven. You make a bumbu paste first, a spice base used in a lot Indonesian cooking, by wizzing fresh turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilli, shallots and a few almonds in the food processor, heat a frying pan big enough to fit all the potatoes in and fry off the bumbu paste until it's fragrant and making your kitchen smell utterly delicious. Wilt a couple of limes leaves in the pan, toss in the potatoes, a cup of coconut milk and top the rest up with water so the potatoes are covered. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. Finish with a squeeze of lime and shredded basil and mint. It spices up a roast chook in more ways than one!

Potato Tuturuga from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford | salt sugar and i

Mind blown with this cookbook and Indonesian Cuisine. Oblivious no more and hungry for more.

Has a book ever blown your mind?

Potato tuturuga

Serves 2-4
Recipe from Fire Islands, Recipes from Indonesia by Eleanor Ford

Lime leaves, mint and lemon basil perfume this spicy, savoury curry. Tuturaga is made by the Minahasen people of North Sulawesi where the name means 'turtle' - the original meat cooked with potatoes in this red spice paste. Today chicken or beef is more typical, but I keep mine meat-free as I think potatoes cloaked in the spiced coconut milk are the best bit.

500g potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon oil
2 lime leaves (I used kaffir lime leaves)
250ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
small bunch of lemon basil leaves, shredded (I used regular basil)
small bunch of mind leaves, shredded
juice of 1/2 lime

Bumbu spice paste
4 small red Asian shallots, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 large red chillies, half seeded
2cm ginger, peeled
3cm turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 candlenuts or 10 blanched almonds

Start by making the bumbu spice paste. Roughly chop the fresh ingredients and grind to a paste in a food processor, adding a little water if needed to help it come together.

Cut the potatoes into 4-5 cam chunks.

Heat the oil in a pan that will be large enough to hold the potatoes later. Scrape in the bumbu and fry until fragrant and the rawness has gone. Add the lime leaves and wilt in the heat of the spices. Add the potatoes, coconut milk and salt and top up with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a slow boil and cook uncovered until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has reduced to a good consistency, about 20-30 minutes.

Leave to cool a little then stir through the lemon basil and mint. Taste for seasoning ans brighten the flavours with a zap of lime juice.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

LOVE and Carrot CAKE.

I have been a little MIA for the past month and the reason is because of love. Well, a wedding to be exact but a wedding really is just a big ball of love so, I have been MIA because of love. And cake. Lots of cake.

Cake has been all I've thought about for the past couple of months and now the love birds are husband and wifey, I'm not quite sure what to do to fill my nights after work. No more cake testing or tasting or making. I'll tell you what... it was very fun to be back in a kitchen. I know it was just my own kitchen but I was making cakes with almost a kilo of butter in them and 15 eggs. I think our apartment must have smelt amazing to the neighbours all month long.

I made three cakes. A carrot cake with cream cheese icing, a rich chocolate cake sandwiched with dark chocolate ganache and iced in chocolate buttercream, and a vanilla butter cake layered with vanilla buttercream and rhubarb and vanilla jam. All topped with beautiful blooms on the day.

My biggest relief was that they arrived totally unharmed. They survived the 2 hour car trip! Yay! I practically skipped them to the fridge when we arrived and unboxed the cake boxes from their extra sturdy car packaging which was a giant eski and moving tub and lots of beach towels to secure them in. These puppies did not budge! The party-ing could now happen, the cakes had made it and so had we. Bring on the wine and dancing and friends and the big potato and celebrations and love and open fires and bunting and just a really really beautiful weekend celebrating the special couple and love. All the love.

I was pretty proud of them all dressed up with their flower crowns on, looking dashing. I think all three were delicious and I think I think others did too... unless everyone was just being very nice or I'd had too much wine... it could also be a combo of both.

Anyway, thought I'd share the carrot cake recipes I used here. Sorry no pics on the inside of the cake... I'd had too much fun and wine at this point in the night to even think of taking a photo of the cut cake for my lovely reader. Selfish, I know. You'll just have to make it find our for your self.

Carrot Cake

makes one 20-cm round cake (using two 20-cm round cake tins)
Recipe adapted from What to Bake and How to Bake it by Jane Hornby.
*For the wedding cake pictured, I tripled the recipe and used two 30cm round cake tins.

100g walnuts
200ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
250g plain flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g light brown soft sugar
1 orange
3 eggs
250g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (roughly 300g whole carrots)

Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Spread the nuts over a baking tray and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and toasty (you can normally smell this). Cool, then roughly chop. Toasting the nuts will give an extra depth of flavour to the cake but if you are in a hurry, just chop the nuts and use as is.

While you wait, get everything else ready. Grease two 20cm round cake tins with a little oil, then line with baking paper.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt together then sift into a large bowl. Add the sugar and work it in with your fingers until evenly blended. This helps break up any lumps of sugar you may have. Finely zest the orange into the bowl of the dry ingredients. Juice the orange into a small jug and save for later.

Crack your eggs into a large measuring jug with the oil and 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. Whisk together well.

Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Add the nuts and then the carrots, and stir until evenly blended. If the batter seems stiff, add 1 tablespoon more orange juice. Divide the batter between prepared tins.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are golden and have risen, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in tins on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out of the tins and cool completely.

Make the cream cheese icing. Recipe below.

To assemble and ice the cakes: Your cakes need to be cool and not even the teensiest bit warm! Even stick them in the fridge for 15 minutes (no longer) before icing. You'll thank me.

Place one cake down on your serving plate or cake board and dollop enough icing on top so that it is about 1cm thick when spread all over. Don't worry if it falls down the sides right now. Then place the other cake on top, top side down, bum side up. Brush off any crumbs that are hanging on or around your work surface to stop them making your icing dirty. Using the remaining icing, cover the sides and top of the cake.

If you like, you can do a crumb coat, which is a thin coating to lock in any stray crumbs and then place your cake in the fridge for 15 minutes for the icing to semi set. Then a thicker coating of icing to cover the cake properly.

Decorate with some walnuts or flowers or how ever your wish!

Cream Cheese Icing

makes enough to ice one 20 to 25-cm round cake
recipe from The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak
*For the wedding cake pictured, I doubled the recipe to cover a 30-cm round cake.

200g unsalted butter, softened
250g cream cheese (take out of the fridge about 15 minutes before using)
750g icing mixture/icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the butter until it is light and creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat well. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all butter and cream cheese are incorporated together. Gradually add in the icing mixture and beat on a low speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, then add the vanilla and beat for another 5 minutes.

The icing can be kept at room temperature for a couple of hours, otherwise store it in the fridge for up to one week. Before using, remove from the fridge and let soften for about 20 minutes, then whip again for about 4 to 5 minutes.

NOTE: Use a timer; the beating will take longer than you realise.