Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every one's favorite, these classic cookies will disappear as fast as you make them. Recipe makes about 24 cookies.


4 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups self-rising (raising) flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dark chocolate bits or drops
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease two large baking trays.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and vanilla. Gradually beat the egg mixture into the creamed mixture.
3. Sift the flour and cinnamon together. Stir into the mixture. Add the chocolate bits or drops and the chopped walnuts; mix until evenly combined.
4. Using a teaspoon, place heaped spoonfuls of the mixture 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the two baking trays.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool a few minutes until cookies start to firm, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool fully.

Tip: To double check that the cookies are ready, turn one over - the base should be golden brown too. Make and freeze several batches of these cookies. Quick to thaw, they are always there for a hungry family.

Coconut Cream Dessert

Use Thai fragrant rice for this dish. Desserts like these are served in countries all over the Far East, often with mangoes, pineapple or guavas. Although commercially ground rice can be used for this dish, grinding the rice yourself - in a food processor - gives a much better result. Recipe serves 4-6.


Scant 1/2 cup Thai fragrant rice, soaked overnight in 3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2/3 cup single cream
1/4 cup caster sugar
Fresh raspberries and mint leaves, to decorate
For the Coulis:
3/4 cup blackcurrants, stalks removed
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries


1. Put the rice and its soaking water into a food processor and process for a few minutes until the mixture is soupy.
2. Heat the coconut milk and cream in a non-stick saucepan. When the mixture is on the point of boiling, stir in the rice mixture.
3. Cook over a very gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then stir in the sugar and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes more, or until the mixture is thick and creamy.
4. Pour the rice mixture into a rectangular pan that has been lined with non-stick baking paper. Cool, then chill in the fridge until the pudding is firm.
5. To make the coulis, put the blackcurrants in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Set aside for about 30 minutes. Tip into a wire sieve with the raspberries and press the fruit against the sides of the sieve so that the juices collect in a bowl underneath. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
6. Carefully cut the coconut cream into diamonds. Spoon a little of the coulis on to each dessert plate, arrange the coconut cream diamonds on top and decorate with fresh raspberries and mint leaves.