B and I don’t usually make a habit of taking short breaks away. I’ve never seen the point in them. By the time you’ve planned your trip, taken it and then travelled all the way back, you’re left exhausted and in need of another holiday.
But after spending a few days in the wilderness, and now feeling somewhat restored, I’m beginning to see its appeal. Even if the surprise lack of internet or phone reception was a source of initial anxiety.
We tramped through rainforest, experienced a flat tire, got sun burnt, swam in a river and then returned in the evenings to the cabin to rustle up a meal just as the sun was starting to dip. Postcard stuff.
The cabin we hired had a little barbecue stove on the verandah which was perfect for cooking for two. For dinners, we had marinated steak with plenty of fresh vegetables, homemade blue corn tortillas and warm soda farls. Afterwards, a very satisfying chocolate dessert. Two recipes I’ll definitely be taking with me the next time we go away again.
Soda Farls (that are perfect for breakfast or just the thing to chase the leftover bits of sauce on your dinner plate) :
2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 cup buttermilk (or thin yogurt)
Measure all the dry ingredients into a container or plastic bag. When you’re ready to make the farls, preheat your barbecue (or fry pan). Mix the buttermilk into the dry ingredients to form a dough. Pat the dough out into a flat disc roughly 1/2 inch thick. Cut the disc into 4 and cook the farls on low/medium heat for 6 – 7 minutes on each side. When done, split and serve with plenty of butter.
Sticky Chocolate Pudding Cake (to have spoon wars over after the dishes have been done and the sun has set) :
For the cake :
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup long life milk
For the sauce :
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
In two separate containers, measure out all the dry ingredients for the sauce and the cake. When you are ready to make the cake, tip the dry ingredients for the cake into a heatproof container (round or square disposable pie tin is perfect). Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, add the egg, melted butter and milk. Mix together. Sprinkle the dry ingredients for the sauce over the cake mix, then pour the boiling water on top. If you want the resulting pudding cake to be extra fudgey, only use 1 cup of the required boiling water. If you like it to have more sauce, use the recommended 1 1/2 cups. Place the dish on a preheated barbecue (the temperature gauge should read between 150′C to 180′C) and cook covered for about 20 minutes. If the barbecue seems too hot, insulate the base of the dish with a bbq flat plate or something similar.