YOU’RE “MINT” FOR ME!

Karina’s Trifle-Misu with Chocolate-Cowby Custard, Chocolate Soil and Chocolate-Mint Herb Pot Plants

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If you like cooking, as well as gardening, then this recipe is for you!

This recipe is very fun to do for kids as well as big kids (like me)!

I made up the recipe, however, the idea of an edible plant was someone else’s (not sure who, so all credits go to this person).

Ingredients:

Custard Ingredients:

  • 500ml custard made up as per custard powder packet directions (this usually means using custard powder, 2 tablespoons of castor sugar and 500ml of milk).
  • 200g good quality milk chocolate
  • 3 heaped tablespoons good quality cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons premium strength cowboy drink
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Coffee Soak:

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of strong coffee
  • 3 flat tablespoons of ‘creme de cacao’ Liqueur
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 550g Italian lady finger biscuits

Chocolate Soil and plant Topping:

  • Ten long sprigs of fresh ‘chocolate mint’ herb, freshly cut.
  • 250g chocolate ripple biscuits, crumbled and smashed with a rolling pin

Cream Layer:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 400g whipped cream
  • 3 egg whites, whipped until soft peaks form
  • 3 egg yolks, whipped with 1/3 cup castor sugar, until pale and thick

Utensils:

  • 2 x new medium-sized terracotta pots, cleaned thoroughly, then set aside to dry naturally
  • 1 x new medium-sized garden trowel, cleaned thoroughly, then set aside to dry naturally
  • Foil to line the inside of both terracotta pots, also using the foil to cover the hole at the bottom of the terracotta pot.

Method:

Combine 250g mascarpone with 400g whipped cream, then gently fold in the creamed egg yolks, followed by the whipped egg whites until combined, but still light (refer to cream layer ingredients). Place this cream mixture in a large bowl in the refrigerator to chill.

Place chocolate ripple biscuits in a large and lockable glad wrap bag, ensuring all biscuits are placed inside and all air is knocked out of the bag before closing. Close the bag, then, using a rolling pin, crush all the biscuits until they maintain the consistency of soil. Set aside (away from heat or cold).

Boil 2 cups of water, then, using a spoon and a large bowl, combine all the coffee soak ingredients. Once combined and whilst still hot, carefully and briefly dip all the Italian lady finger biscuits in this mixture, place in a large bowl, then set aside.

Make your chocolate cowboy-custard by following the directions of your custard powder mixture packet and by adding milk and sugar, then follow all directions until your custard is lovely and thick. Whilst your custard is still hot, add 200g cadbury milk chocolate, separated into cubes, then gradually whisk in, along with your bournville cocoa, cowboy drink and vanilla essence. Whisk until all ingredients are well combined, then set aside. Refer to my custard ingredients section under the ingredients section.

Compiling the Beauty:

Grab your two terracotta pots, then line them both with foil. Now the fun begins!

Grab 1/4 of the soaked italian biscuits, then evenly place them at the bottom of one of your terracotta pots. Pour 1/4 of your chocolate-cowboy custard over this, then pile 1/4 of your mascarpone and whipped cream mixture on top. Repeat this process one more time for this first pot. Top with half of your chocolate soil mixture, then gently and artistically stab your chocolate soil mixture with 5 ‘chocolate mint’ herb cuttings. Repeat this process to make your other pot.

Serve with a mess of your chocolate soil and your garden trowel, using your garden trowel as a scoop for your dessert!

N.B. The fresh ‘chocolate mint’ herb is a perfect match for the chocolate-cowboy custard in one mouthful!

This was heaps of fun to make!

Makes 2 pots!

Enjoy!

Karina x

HOW HAVE YOU “BEAN”?

Karina’s Environmental Cooking Tips!

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Above is a photo I took today of one of my many vegetables I’m growing at the moment: Beans. Since I’ve been gardening a lot lately, I can say with confidence, that I have “bean” great! How have you “bean”?

I would like to share some of my sustainable gardening tips for happy vegetables and an even happier planet, as below:

  • Use natural bamboo (as above) to use as a natural plant support framework, for when the plants would like to crawl up structures in order to grow. I have used natural bamboo grown over my neighbours fence, which had become a bit of a weed. Instead of buying plastic stalks, help the planet and your budget, by using natural bamboo.
  • If you don’t have access to natural bamboo, use any dead branch you may find which has fallen from trees. This will also help the planet and your budget, by using natural branches.
  • If you don’t have enough space in your backyard to have a garden, nor a few pots around your dwelling, then you can always join a community garden. You will receive similar benefits of growing your own vegetables, along with meeting like-minded green-thumbs. Win-win!
  • Try to take full advantage of your plants natural climbing abilities and try not to use garden ties, unless the plant needs them. By using either bamboo or dead tree branches, this will help the planet, your budget and your time 🙂

Have fun in the garden!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

Having a ‘ball’ of a time!

Environmental Tip: Making Seedballs, thanks to http://www.milkwood.net !

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On the 31/05/15, Milkwood held a free class on making seed balls and talking permaculture. I was engaged the whole time and even got to make my own seed balls, then take them home! What an awesome day!

All credit goes to http://www.milkwood.net for showing me how to make Seedballs, what they are and how good they are for the environment.

Seedballs are made from the below ingredients:

– 3 parts clay

– 1 part compost

– 1 part seeds (we used a combination of lettuce seeds and parsley seeds)

– Enough water (just to make it damp enough to roll into balls)

The method:

Mix three parts clay, with one part compost, then one part seeds (whichever vegetable seeds you like), then pour just enough water to make the mixture moist.

Using your hands, roll the mixture into tiny balls (about 1.5 cm in diameter).

Lay out to dry in a sheltered/shady position for approximately 2 days, then store with plenty of ventilation, until you’re ready to use them.

Using the Beauty:

Simply roll these little beauties into your veggie garden, on the ground wherever there is soil, or simply on the grass in your backyard. It really is this simple.

How these Beauties Work:

Once these beauties make contact with the soil, all they need is a heavy downpour of water, be this by the rain, or man-made rain i.e. the tap. The idea behind these Seedballs, is that the seeds within the Seedball, become protected right until they germinate. This means that birds will not be able to peck at these seeds, as the seeds become protected within this clay/compost/seed/water mixture, allowing the plant to fully develop and to become resilient to wildlife.

Now this, people, is such a clever idea! I’ve got a few at home ready to simply roll into my garden!

Now, you can say you have had a ‘ball’ of a time!

Have fun in the garden!

Karina x

Better ‘Hop’ to it!

Karina’s ‘Fresh’ Environmental Cooking Tip!

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Pictured far left: Tamie, my Dog.

Pictured far right: Floppy.

My brother has a rabbit. His name is Floppy, however, he has many nick names. Apart from Floppy’s lovely nature and beautiful looks, he is also good for another thing. This thing is fertilisation for the garden!

I only started using rabbit poo for fertilising the garden about a few weeks ago, however, we have had Floppy for around ten years! The benefits to my vegetable garden have doubled! The crop is greener, fuller and tastier! The best thing is, you don’t need to pay for a fertiliser! This one is a very green environmental tip, since the rabbit poo goes straight from the ground, into the garden, by one scoop from the shovel! Beware not to over-fertilise, a very small amount of rabbit poo is sufficient, otherwise, you may do more harm than good!

Rabbit poo is one of the best manures for your gardens, since it is rich in many nutrients! One added benefit is that rabbit poo does not have an offensive odour, as some manures do.

Thanks Floppy, you’re the best!

Have fun in the garden!

Enjoy!

Karina x

The Great Australian Bite!

Karina’s Bite-Sized Lamingtons!

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According to http://www.wikipedia.org, ‘The Great Australian Bight’ is known as being “a large oceanic bight or open bay, off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia.” According to karinateuma.wordpress.com, ‘The Great Australian Bite’ is known as being “a delicious bite-sized parcel of chocolatey goodness, best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.” You take your pic which one you would prefer!

Ingredients:

– 120 g butter

– 1/2 cup caster sugar

– 2 large free-range eggs (or cage free eggs)

–  1/2 teaspoon Vanilla essence

– 1/2 cup skim milk

– 2 cups self raising flour

– 6 Tablespoons of cocoa (try to get the 70% dark cocoa for health benefits)

– Toasted shredded coconut, enough to coat

– 1 small pinch of salt

– 1 & 1/2 cups of icing sugar

– Boiling Water, as required

Method:

Preheat oven to 170°C. Spray your square cake tin with canola oil spray, then place baking paper over this oiled tray. Spray your baking paper with canola oil spray, then dust with flour.

Using an electric mixer, beat your butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add your vanilla essence, then gradually add your eggs. Triple-sift your flour and salt together. Combine your triple-sifted flour and salt mixture with your butter, sugar and egg mixture, then add the milk. Fold your mixture in (approximately 20 light folds).

Pour your mixture into your lined, greased and flour-dusted cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until your cake is cooked. Your cake will be cooked if you lightly touch the middle of the cake and it springs back (is resilient).

Once your cake is cooled, cut into bite-sized squares, using a sharp bread knife.

Now, its time to make your delicious chocolate icing! Sift your icing sugar into a medium-sized bowl. Using a metal spoon, mix your cocoa with a little boiling water, to make a smooth paste. Combine this mixture with the icing sugar, adding small amounts of boiling water, until the desired consistency is reached. The desired consistency should be similar to that of pouring cream, which should also be thick enough to coat your beautiful bite-sized cake pieces. Once your desired consistency is reached, add your vanilla essence.

Compiling the Beauty:

Lightly cover each side of your bite-sized cake pieces in the chocolate icing. Once all sides are completely covered in this chocolate mixture, let your toasted shredded coconut rain on your chocolatey square, until well covered in coconut. Set this finished bite-sized Lamington  on a wire rack, for the icing to firm-up slightly. Repeat this process until all your beautiful cake bites turn into bite-sized Lamingtons!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma