27 September 2010

Slow Cooker

There is a great discussion going on in the Member's forum at the moment about slow cooker desserts so I thought I'd let you know that I have a new favourite book. You all know of my absolute love of my slow cookers - I have two - so it will be no surprise to you to learn that I have fallen in love with "Slow Cooker" by Sally Wise.

Some of you may already have Sally's other books A Year in a Bottle and Out of a Bottle, two of my other favourite books. Slow Cooker is just as delightful to read and use. If you don't have them or haven't read them, get them from your library and immerse yourself in a warm, old fashioned foodie heaven with a slightly modern twist.

Slow cookers aren't just for winter and they don't just cook soups and stews. I use mine at least twice a week all year round, even in summer. They do make beautiful soups and stews, but they also cook the perfect corned beef, wonderful roasts, delicous puddings and even perfect porridge for a warm winter breakfast. So when I found this book I stood and read it (always a good sign for the bookshop). I didn't just skim it, I read pages and pages before deciding I would use my mad money to buy it. And I am so glad that I did.

It was thrilling to find out that I am not the only nutter with a collection of slow cookers, something Wayne thinks I made up. He finds it hard to understand why I'd need, let alone want, more than one. But then I point out that I find it equally hard to understand why he needs so many trains and that end the discussion quick smart.

Right now Italian Vegetarian Meatballs are simmering in the crockpot for dinner tonight. They smell delicious and Wayne will be home from work soon and I know he'll have a smile on his face when he walks in and can smell dinner cooking. I'm going to put them over mashed potato and green beans (from the garden) tonight. Do you all know that you get the creamiest, smoothest mashed potatoes if you use some of the water they were steamed in and a quarter cup of milk powder to mash them rather than fresh milk? No butter or cream needed if you use the cooking water. Any leftover water can added to the soup or stock pot or frozen to use in gravies, sauces and so on later. Don't pour it down the sink and waste all those vitamins and minerals. If you don't want to use it yourself, pour it over your indoor plants for a treat.

You'll find slow cooker recipes for baked apples, bread and butter pudding and apple pudding in the Recipe File. They are all delicous and just perfect for the slow cooker but my favourite is self-saucing chocolate pudding.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Self- Saucing Pudding
100g butter, melted
½ cup milk
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup caster sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups boiling water

Combine melted butter, milk and egg. In a separate bowl, sift flour and cocoa together and mix in the sugar. Gradually add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix well. Spoon this mixture into a buttered 6 cup pudding basin. Place a saucer upside down in the bottom of the slow cooker and sit the pudding basin on the top. Combine the cocoa and brown sugar together, sprinkle over the top of pudding. Carefully pour boiling water over the mixture. Cover and cook on High for 3 1/2 hours or on Low for 5-6 hours.  Serve hot with ice cream or custard.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cath, I am also a fan of Sally Wise. I have all her cookbooks. I too love slow cookers and have 4 that I use. Our favourite slow cooker dessert is Sally's 'Black Forest Chocolate self saucing pudding'. It's decadently scrumptious! :)


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