Gimme Some Sugar, Baby… Or Not

paleo dessert
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Heheh.

We live in a world that is slowly turning it’s collective nose to the use of refined sugars. One big, fat nose the size of South America being scrunched up so it looks like it belongs to a bulldog, and the noise of an almighty “hmph” from just below it’s Antarctica moustache. Very Freddy Mercury-esque. Well-played sugar haters. Get a famous moustached musician onto your cause.

It is true that soon such sugar shall only be available from shady looking characters dealing their wares from the boot of their car in an undisclosed location near you soon. Pastry chefs across the world shall be soon made redundant, pan handling their wares in a back alley, right next to the blue dumpster… They shall be given a wide birth, now the outcasts of society, like the red headed step child, a leper or even Billy Ray Cyrus.

Sugar should be treated akin to, say, cocaine, masturbation or showering with your team mates after a tough game of football; it’s all good and well and a heap of fun for a period of time, but you don’t want… no wait, you can’t physically do it all the time. People flip out a little, genitals become red and inflamed… and then there’s the masturbation and cocaine.

My Jennee is one amongst many it would seem, who would be more than happy for that legislation to pass. I am of the opinion that most things are OK if consumed in moderation… sugar included… and let’s chuck cocaine on that list too, but, as it was Jennee’s birfday recently and not mine I did not insist that she eat 4kg of refined sugar that was just barely being held together with a couple of eggs, a stick of butter and a handful of gluten (more work of the devil that I will be more than happy to discuss at a later date). Instead, I was more than happy for my cousin Amelia to make Jennee a lovely raw, vegan, refined sugar and lactose free, PETA approved, energy efficient, chocolate, raspberry and coconut slice.

It was pretty damn tasty, too. Someone with smart brains put some serious thought into this one! The original recipe was the brainchild of @lissywilson. Kudos to Lissy!

Jennee loving the bonfire effect on her birthday slice
Jennee loving the bonfire effect on her birthday slice

Have a piece or two the next day while you type away on your computer
Have a piece or two the next day while you type away on your computer
Just damn good. I don't care what fucking diet you're on
Just damn good. I don’t care what fucking diet you’re on

PRETTY DAMN HEALTHY CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY-COCONUT SLICE

RASPBERRY CHIA JAM (makes approx. 2 cups. Half for now and half for toast later)

3 cups frozen raspberries
7 dates
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup hot water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ cup coconut oil
A few cacao nibs and shredded coconut to garnish

• Blitz all ingredients, except coconut oil, in a food processer until pureed
• Reserve 1 cup of jam for later use
• Add coconut oil to remaining jam and blitz until combined. This will help jam to set nice and firm on your hippy slice
• Set aside until needed

CHOCOLATE-COCONUT ROUGH MIXTURE

1.25 cups coconut oil
1.25 cups coconut sugar
1.25 cups cashew butter (if you don’t know what this is ask any passing hippy or yoga instructor)
¾ cup raw cacao
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup water

• Combine all ingredients in a cake mixer and beat until thoroughly combined and free of lumps
• Set aside until needed

PRETEND BISCUIT BASE

12 dates
1 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup tahini
½ cup desiccated coconut

• Blitz all ingredients in a food processer until well combined and a dough-like product has formed
• Cover the base of two – loaf tins or one larger baking tin with baking paper and evenly press a layer of pretend biscuit base into each
• Place tins in fridge for 30 minutes to set

NOW TO GET THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER

• Just divide the chocolate-coconut mix over the bases and smooth over a little with a spatula
• Divide the raspberry layer over the choc mix, garnish with a sprinkle of cacao nibs and shredded coconut, if using, and get that shit in the fridge to set. A couple of hours should do the job

Also, our friend Inga the usually-so-damn-health-conscious doctor made a cake for Jennee that did contain the white death (real sugar), which was a little out of sorts for her. I wasn’t concerned about that though, as… well… these types of things just don’t generally concern me. The cake was gluten free though, so she got a couple of points for that. I did taste fucking delicious too. I think I ate a third of that cake, and because of that I thought I’d best include this recipe too.

The candle was upside down but I really didn't give a damn as I filled my face hole
The candle was upside down but I really didn’t give a damn as I filled my face hole

I added some cream because I could
I added some cream because I could
Last pic
Last pic

NOT SO HEALTHY BUT STILL NOT HEAPS BAD FOR YOU CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY CAKE

2 blocks of dark choc
125g unsalted butter
1.25 cups almond meal
5 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup of raspberries
Cream or ice cream to serve

• Melt chocolate and butter over a bain marie or in the microwave (keep an eye on it), stirring to combine
• In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except raspberries. Once combined, fold raspberries through mix
• Pour into a cake tin lined with baking paper, cover with foil and bake at 180C for 1.25 hours. Uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out almost dry… not quite though… still a little moist
• Serve it with cream or ice cream
• Eat it and love it (that is a direct quote from an actual doctor, so I suggest you do it. Do it now)

Paul’s Caul… Eat, drink Perth

eat drink perth demo photo

Eat, drink Perth

If I had to use ten words to describe me, ‘Eat, Drink Perth’ would be three of them.

That statement is not only the truth, but it is quite highly possible that it will not hold any relevance to anything or anyone ever, yet here we are using talking about the correlation too my fictional ten word autobiographical blurb… why? Because its also a festival here in Perth WA, and what’s more a festival that requested my services to host an event throughout the festival.

Better question… what the fuck are the other 6 words, all I knows for sure that academic certainly ain’t one.

Now, if you are all shocked that either G-bags McFilthy Mouth or I actually hold down jobs as Chefs and what’s more get taken seriously by people in the community… then get in line because it blows my fucking mind!!!

Don’t get me wrong I’m honored to be working in a job that allows me to be creative and passionate at work. Work that is now not only just food, its entertainment, science and magic (magic may or may not be just magnets) but what the guys from City of Perth wanted was a little of all that, they wanted a cooking demo along with samples and they wanted that wrapped up in ramblings about food being the best shit ever. So how could I resist, I jumped on board and ‘Date night with Paul Macnish’ was created.

Hang on did you just say date night?

Well that name was a surprise to me also… and I dare say anyone that came ready to fling their metaphorical keys in massive metaphorical bowls.

But name aside we moved on, and the night consisted of me for an hour getting to share whatever food I wanted not only the production of said dishes but actually handed out proper tangible cuisine, brilliant! And they had a couple of massive screens behind me which were used for the screening of the food orientated movies afterwards, beanbags and wireless headsets where handed out for free and all in all it was a cracking success.

I managed to only swear a few times over 5 hours of talking and only offended two countries I know of, but all in all I was just happy not to of mentioned how much the inside of a papaya looks like a vagina… I really do set the bar of expectation very low and of the most part goals are very achievable.

Heaps of friends came down to support me which, as always, made it all worth it. I love to see new people getting into food and I love to be part of their education and growth in the world of deliciousness. But what is the best thing about food? It’s not the preparation of food and it’s not purchasing of food. It’s not the looking at food or smelling food… it is all of that and more, but above all it is about sharing it with friends… so a massive thanks to all that came down.

I promised heaps of people that I would get the recipes from the demo’s up on here. These are the recipes from the dessert week…

This a belting dessert and easy as… so get amongst it

Lemongrass panna cotta with lychee ice & ginger cacao crumb

Panna cotta
450ml cream
300ml milk
2 sheets leaf gelatin
150g castor sugar
2 large stalks lemongrass, bashed and chopped finely
• In a saucepan bring the cream, milk, sugar and lemongrass to the simmer and let cook for 3minutes, then turn off heat and allow to in fuse for 15minutes.
• Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
• Squeeze out the water from the sheets and whisk into the cream mixture.
• Strain mixture into a jug.
• Pour mixture equally into dariole moulds filling them 1 cm from the top.
• Allow to set over night in fridge.

Lychee ice
230g tinned lychee
30g palm sugar
4 kaffir lime leaves
1lt water
• In a small pot add the water and palm sugar and heat to dissolve.
• Add the lime leaves and allow infusing off the heat for 15 minutes then strain.
• In a good quality blender, blend lychees and add the palm sugar liquor.
• Allow to cool.
• Either churn in ice cream machine or put in freezer and stir every 15 minutes until it freezes.

Ginger, coconut & cacao crumb
1 packet of ginger nuts
30g cacao nibs or beans (that have been shelled)
100g fresh or moist coconut
• In a good blender blend all ingredients to desired texture.

Banana Cake for Sammy… yeah. It’s all about Sammy at the mo’

Banana cake.

I actually have never had a reason to contemplate making a banana cake until now. And that reason is my dear friend Sammy, and her desire to impress her new beau. Myself, I think banana cakes are for the elderly and very creative monkeys, of which I am neither… Yet.

I don’t know how to make banana cake. I don’t even like banana cake yet (Give it 30-40 years and I’m sure I’ll be all over that). And this is why Sammy will never truly love me.

Banana Cake
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
½ vanilla pod, scraped, or 1teaspoon vanilla extract (not essence)
185ml oil
½ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup almond meal
2 cups mashed banana
1teaspoon ground cardamon
1teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ cups self raising flour, sifted
½ cup plain flour, sifted
• Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and thick (not unlike your average white trash bogan)
• Stir in all other ingredients until combined
• Pour into a lined cake tin and bake in a preheated oven, 160C for 45-50 minutes (when skewer comes out clean)
• Cool and ice with some kind of cream cheese icing I guess. Cream cheese, a splash of cream, icing sugar and lemon zest whisked together. Sounds good.

I’d like to tell you to try this because it is delicious but I would be lying to you, and myself, because I just made it up. It is based loosely around a zucchini cake we used to make when I worked at a cafe called Utopia. It was a good cake so hopefully this will be to. This is not necessarily good reading…

I shall await the result Sammy. Also, if anyone out there in blogland needs a recipe or has a challenge for us, feel free to post it. We love a good challenge here at foodisthebestshitever. All I got at the mo’ is getting out of bed in the morning…

Cheats Apple Strudel-Hoffen

CHEATS APPLE STRUDEL-HOFFEN

Why would I want to go and call it a “cheats” apple strudel-hoffen? And what’s the hoffen part all about? (I actually just think it sounds more authentically German/Austrian suffixed with hoffen). What’s cheating in the world of cooking? Cheating is telling someone you cooked dinner but actually you bought Hungry Jack’s. Cheating is telling customers you are serving barramundi when you are actually serving Nile perch. Cheating is getting a pretty girl into bed only to realise she’s hiding a mans credentials, if you know what I mean.

I guess the cheat part comes into it to when I decided I would use filo pastry instead of hand made pastry for this recipe. And my nana Rose always makes her apple strudel pastry, which is probably the reason I feel like I’m cheating someone. And I put ricotta in this one too

So today I feel like making an apple strudel with filo and so that’s how I’m gonna roll. Wild people us chefs. Just doing whatever we want with food. Well, not whatever we want.

I mean, I am a huge fan of vegetables but you’re not going to catch me out the back with them. Not in the biblical sense anyway.

Maybe tending them in the garden would be acceptable, but I won’t be hiding out back behind the water tank if you’re getting the gist of what I’m saying.

*Random semi-related story #1 starts here. Maybe that’s how dildos were discovered? Possibly when a farmer came home to discover his wife with an array of his root vegetables? Or was it his son… with some livestock? Yep, that was the moment man called them “root vegetables”. And those corn farmers… crazy people. But at least it was ribbed for her comfort… hmmm.

Back on track here. We chefs do like to do things a little differently from time to time though. It’s something in our molecular make-up I’m sure.

We sleep with our feet on the pillow. We dress up like farm animals. And we’re born to torment week and needy apprentices. It’s just “what we do”.

We change recipes, not because we don’t care, it’s just that when one has been doing this shit for a while, a lot of things become intuitive. Second nature. Auto pilot. We do not have to think about it. My hands just grab things and put them on the bench and the next thing I know I’m cooking coq au vin for a group of friends and I didn’t even notice that my cheeky little hands had been making my mouth finish the first bottle of wine before anyone even got here. Cheeky little hands!

Recipes I cook all the time will all be just a little bit different depending on my mood or what I’m fancying at that point in time.

But that’s at home.

Food at the restaurant is a little different, because if it’s on the menu people want to be able to come back and eat the exact same thing each and every time they order it. They don’t give a shit if your apprentice is a Polish exchange student who can’t speak a word of English and can’t read the recipe. They just want their effing food and it better taste the same as last time.

And so do I…

APPLE STRUDEL-HOFFEN (type thing)
5 sheets filo pastry
2 Tbls butter, melted
2 cups diced apple
½ cup sultanas or currants or dried figs or sour cherries… please tell me you’re getting the hang of this
½ cup ricotta
½ cup castor sugar
zest ½ lemon
• Layer the filo sheets, brushing each layer with butter
• Mix all other ingredients together to make the filling
• Roll quite loosely with the filo (so it doesn’t have a blow-out), keep the seam on the bottom
• Brush the top with butter and sprinkle with a pinch of raw sugar
• Bake at 170C for 20 minutes or until nicely browned
• Serve with crème anglaise and vanilla icecream, and the company of a German beer hall wench if you know one…

Easy chocolate molten pud to impress chicks… or a title that is slightly more PC

This is a very simple chocolate pudding recipe which is great to impress someone you may or may not be keen on.. That is, unless they don’t like chocolate. This recipe is no good if you are trying to impress someone who doesn’t like … or is allergic to… chocolate. It would be an absolute disaster if you fed this pudding to someone who was allergic to chocolate. They could die! Actually, let’s not make a chocolate pud. Just stick to the cheese board….

Just kidding….

Let’s do this shit.

CHOCOLATE PUDDING
250g US butter
350g dark chocolate
100g plain flour, sifted
90g castor sugar
4 eggs
2 egg yolks

Melt the butter and chocolate over a baine marie. Stir to combine well.
Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Whisk in the eggs and extra yolks, one by one. Mix thoroughly.
If you want to flavour the mix with a splash of booze, some orange zest or a pinch of chilli, which I would encourage you to try at some stage, do it now!
Add the chocolate mixture to the batter and fold through until just combined.
Divide the mix into 6 brulee ramekins, or coffee cups are heaps good and usually quite accessible.
Into a pre-heated oven* at 180C for about 10 minutes, depending on your oven. Check the pud, it should have a cakey outside with a molten middle, kind of like a volcano!
Serve with some creme fraiche and chocolatey icecream if you wanna really go all out.

This is one of those puddings that has a gooey chocolate awesomeness centre. A magical chocolate fountain. Warm chocolate fudginess thing. I don’t know. Just try it.

*see what I did there? Told you about the pre-heated oven at the end of the recipe. That’s why you gotta go through the whole recipe first, before you start cooking. Sorry. Don’t be lazy now…