Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Treats: Chicks in a Chocolate Nest

We made easter themed cupcakes, but we also attempted something new...

Chicks made with crushed cookies and covered in coconut. Nest made of popcorn and chocolate.

Too many cooks spoil the broth? Nah. Well yeah sometimes it can be annoying, but actually I’ve had plenty of fun cooking with others in the kitchen. Me and my buddy Kate have recently been baking up a storm, and we always have a laugh while doing it. So now that it’s Easter time, we thought it was a great excuse to have make some fun, and tasty, creations.

We decided on making some little chicks and cookies that we’d seen in a women’s magazine. They looked pretty basic so didn’t think they'd be too difficult for our amateur skills. They weren’t, but boy they were messy. The little chicks would be especially fun for kids to make as they don't require baking, and they are really hands-on. Your hands get covered with sticky crud that looks like vomit but acts like cement. More fun than it sounds. They ended up working out well, and they tasted good. The cookies on the other hand looked o.k. but the taste was bland and the dough was annoying to work with, so I won’t bother sharing the recipe for those. I have a much better sugar cookie recipe that I would use instead if I were to make them again. Let me know if anyone needs it.

Oh and after we’d made the little chicks we decided they needed a nest. We had some leftover popcorn from earlier in the day, and Kate had a great idea to melt some chocolate and mix it into the popcorn to make a nest. We just lined a bowl with tinfoil then pressed the chocolaty popcorn mixture into the bottom to create a nest shape. We then put it into the fridge to set. Once set, the foil then easily peeled off and we had our nest. It was a great idea and not one I’d have thought of myself. See, collaborating in the kitchen can be a great thing.

I don't have precise measurements on how to make the nest, since we were just winging it. It was basically just several handfuls of popcorn, and about a cup of chocolate chips (melted). All mixed together. But as for the little chicks, here's the recipe adapted from a 'Woman's Day' magazine:



250g plain sweet biscuits, crushed finely
395g can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup (60g) desiccated coconut, plus 1 cup (80g) extra
yellow food colouring
16 natural almonds
mini chocolate chips


In a large bowl, combine the biscuits, sweetened condensed milk and the first measurement of coconut.

Once mixed thoroughly, roll level tablespoons of mixture into 16 balls to form the bodies. Set these aside on a lined baking tray.

Use the remaining mixture to roll smaller balls to make the heads. Press a head and body piece together to create a chick. Repeat until all are complete.

To make the coloured coconut, put the extra coconut in a small plastic bag, then add several drops of yellow food colouring. Seal the bag and shake and rub the bag in your hands until the coconut is coloured.

Toss the chicks in the bag to coat. (If they have dried out too much, dip them in a shallow bowl of warm water and shake off excess water before coating in the coconut).

Place the chicks back on the lined tray and decorate them with the almonds to create beaks and chocolate chips for the eyes.

Makes 16.

"tweet tweet" happy easter!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Slow-Roasted Goat Leg

Random fact, we had the Crusaders stay here at the Forest Camp a few weeks ago. And while there was plenty of eye-candy during their visit, there was also some other big burly beasts lurking around that weren't as attractive. See, the Crusaders had gone on a hunting trip and had proudly brought back their kill. I saw some trophy heads, wild pigs I think, attached to the front of cars and other assorted beasts were strewn around. I heard they cooked some of it later at one of the local restaurants. But sources tell me that one poor animal got neglected, the humble goat.

I think hunting is all well and good if you intend to eat your kill, but why shoot a goat if you're not going to chow down on it. I'm looking at you Dan Carter. Seems rather wasteful to me.

Goat is a delicious and totally underrated meat, it should not be wasted! I guess it's most commonly used in curries, but it makes a mean roast too. If you cook it right, it wont be dry or unpalatable, in fact it's the complete opposite. So here's my recipe for a jerk-style slow roast, dedicated to the boys in red and black.


1 leg of goat with bone in
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons of oil
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt


Puree the onions, garlic, soy sauce and spices so that they form a paste.
Slash the leg of goat a wee bit and rub the paste over the meat.

Wrap it in foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160 Celsius/325 Fahrenheit.
Fry the leg in a large fry pan (use cast iron if you have it) to sear the meat on all sides.
Place the leg in a roasting dish and cover loosely with foil.

Cook for 3 hours, but remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking.