The Oven has baked its last loaf. This blog is no longer being updated.

My cooking videos appear at

I write on food at

Daring Bakers: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It scares me a little that I always have in my store cupboard the ingredients for a cake or pastry. That means there's nothing stopping me from making some kind of confection whenever the fancy takes me.

With Mr NoTime as my only roomie, our fridge often ends up like a supermarket pastry display cabinet, with the various concoctions spelling out Eat Me! like the currants on the cakes Alice finds down the rabbit hole ­­– and doom for my sweet tooth.

Well, if there was a Mock Turtle Cake inspired by Wonderland, it might look like the fantastic turtle/tortoise shell lookalikes from the Daring Bakers.

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

For the full recipe in pdf format as provided by Sunita, click here.

And so, with my non-existent self-control in mind, I decided to make just two mini bombes, but ended up with three even though I halved all the ingredients.

The cakes were made in three moulds with different shapes. One of those cakes I covered in melted chocolate (left). Only I didn't do it well, and instead of hardening into a sleek shell, it turned out looking ­­– and feeling ­­– like a cannonball! It was certainly heavy enough.

The one at the top and right at the bottom of this post is the traditional bombe shape and the one below is my favourite. I used Maltesers to plug the gaps between the swirls.  

There are a few components to the cake and each one works off the others superbly. I really like the two ice creams. The recipe is very easy ­­– no need for an ice cream maker ­­– and it produces vanilla and chocolate ice cream flavours with a kind of "chewiness" that really appeals to me. I think I may be making my own ice cream using this recipe from now on.

The cross-section of the cakes
The only thing I did differently was the sponge. I was left with the whites after making Momofuku's Crack Pie with four egg yolks so I used them instead of whole eggs. The recipe is adapted from the Strawberry Roulade in Baking by Martha Day.

4 egg whites
115g caster sugar
75g all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g heavy cream, whipped
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Oil a Swiss roll tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
  • Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the sugar. Fold in half the flou, then fold in the rest with the vanilla extract.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading evenly. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  • Meanwhile, spread out a sheet of non-stick baking paper and sprinkle with caster sugar. Turn out the cake on to this and remove the lining paper. Roll up the sponge loosely from one short side, with the paper inside. Cool.
  • Unroll and remove the paper. Spread whipped cream over the sponge up to 1.5cm from the edge; reroll. Wrap in cling film, seam side down, and chill before slicing for the bombe.

Turning into crackheads

Monday, July 26, 2010

CRACKING DELICIOUS. Photo by Hungry Caterpillar
There's been no end to comments on Momofuku's Crack Pie. It sells at US$44 a pop and has celebrity fans, including CNN's Anderson Cooper and Martha Stewart. So when Hungry Caterpillar was reviewing chef David Chang's memoir/cookbook Momofuku, she asked me to try making the pie even though the recipe isn't in the book.

The LA Times featured the recipe in February so I got down to business. It's a pie filled primarily with sugar, and as creator Christina Tosi explains it in the NYT Magazine:
"It’s something that I made one day for family meal at WD-50 ­­– we used to call it Sunday Funday when the chef was away. They would always tease me for eating all this candy and sugar, so I thought it would be funny to make this sugar pie. It was so good that it got to the point that I had to put it on someone else’s station because I couldn’t have it near me. It’s brown sugar, regular sugar, butter, cream, salt, and a little corn flour to hold it together." (Read the full interview here.)
I followed the recipe exactly except that I used a 9½-inch pie tin instead of a 10-inch tin and I made one pie instead of two. I left the pie in the oven for five minutes longer and the filling formed a beautiful golden top, all bubbly in the oven and still wobbly when I took it out. A crust forms as it cools and perhaps that's the "crack" part of the pie. Some people say it's better eaten warm but I did what the recipe recommends and chilled the pie overnight, covering the tin with cling film. The next day, the sweet butterscotch aroma from it was unbelievable! We could hardly wait until it was photographed to try a slice. Yes it was sweet, but that seemed to work for it. Everyone who tried it just loved it and no one complained about the level of sweetness.

When I do make the pie again­­ – and I will; look at the recipe, it's really simple (and I may do it just for the smell of butterscotch!) ­­– I think I might chill the cookie before using it for the pie crust. The recipe says to bake the cookie, and allow it to cool slightly before processing it with butter for the crust, but I had some leftover cookie which I kept in the fridge and it had a desirable crispness to it the next day.

I doubt anyone would pay even RM44 for "The Wayward Oven's Momofuku Crack Pie", nor would it get any B-List celebrity's endorsement. Still, this homemade pie is delicious. Try the recipe and let me know.

Grill and stack

Saturday, July 24, 2010

 Three-veg pile-up
Capsicum, apart from the green one, can be expensive in Malaysia but sometimes we get lucky and find bags of these peppers that sell for less when they're about to turn soft. That's when you can get a whole bunch  in a variety of colours, preserve them and no one will ever know they were about to be discarded.

Home canning or preserving is something I do often so that even when I don't have fresh ingredients at home to cook with, there will still be food with some semblance of freshness in my fridge for a good and quick meal and I don't have to resort to a packet of instant noodles. Sauces can be tossed through pasta, relishes can be scrambled with eggs, and preserved peppers make one of the best sandwich fillers or salad components around.

So since I was going to have a big dinner tonight, laden with meats and a few starches, I'm quite sure, at a German place that one of my brothers had discovered, a simple sandwich was all that was required for lunch. Of course, I reached for the newly marinated bottle of roasted peppers.

Packed and ready for a meal
For an even heartier sandwich, cut some aubergine/eggplant/brinjal into 1cm-thick slices, spread them with miso paste and grill them. Grill some plain slices of zucchini/courgette as well. Then layer these two vegetables and the marinated peppers between two thick slices of grilled rustic, preferably homemade, bread. What's not to like?

The quantity of ingredients for the marinade is only a guide. Taste as you go and adjust accordingly.
6 red, yellow and orange bell peppers/capsicum
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly

Clean glass jar with lid

6 whole peppercorns
6 juniper berries 
2 dried bay leaves
  • Preheat the grill.
  • Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and white pith. Rub the skins with a little oil and place cut side down into a baking tray. Grill until the skins are blistered and turn black, about 20 minutes. Place grilled pepper halves in a large bowl and cover with cling film to sweat. When cool, peel off the skins over the bowl to collect the liquid. Discard the skins. DO NOT WASH THE PEPPERS.
  • Mix the balsamic vinegar with sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add the pepper liquid to the mixture.
  • Layer the pieces of peppers in the glass jar together with the garlic slices and some of the optional ingredients, if using. Add a little of the vinegar mixture between each layer until everything is used up. Store in the refrigerator and use after two days.

No-knead bread: Sticky-finger buns

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The last cinnamon rolls I made were light and could be eaten any time. Not these ones...

One is fine, two is pushing your luck, three and you're on your own...
A recipe for Banana Cinnamon Bread from Cookistry gave me the idea to try my own version of a yeasted banana bread. I actually started out using that recipe but when the dough remained wet even after I had added more flour, I decided to take another route to making the bread. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with the recipe from Cookistry ­­– it calls for bread flour and I only had all-purpose and I think that is what did my dough in.

But no harm done; I went with the no-knead method popularised by baker Jim Lahey and writer Mark Bittman, but also perfected by others such as Nancy Baggett, whose book Kneadlessly Simple often serves as my reference. The sticky bun recipe that follows is an amalgamation of the various recipes from Cookistry, Lahey and Baggett.

For those familiar with the no-knead method, you will know that very little instant yeast is used. There were already 3 teaspoons of yeast, as called for in Cookistry's recipe, mixed into the dough so I couldn't change the recipe midway. It did make the dough rise faster ­­– you don'­­t want that ­­– so next time, I'll use just 1 teaspoon (as listed in the recipe below) for the long-rising method. This recipe is off to Yeastspotting.

These buns really live up to their sticky name ­­– they start out as a wet, sticky dough and end up as tender bread with gooey glistening tops.

Crunchy, sticky, tender
½ cup tepid water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
¼ cup caster sugar
½ cup mashed overripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
¼ cup strained yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped dates (or raisins)
12 teaspoons molasses (or golden syrup)

Streusel topping
This makes a fair bit of streusel and you may not want to use all of it. The leftover can be frozen in an airtight container.
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, chopped
½ cup toasted almonds (preferably with skin on), chopped
  • Place water, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Combine mashed bananas, yoghurt and vanilla extract and add to yeast mixture. Add the flour and salt and stir until combined. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave at room temperature or in the refrigerator until surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12-18 hours.
  • When the first rise is complete, make the streusel topping. Combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, a fork or two butter knives until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the nuts. Set aside.
  • Vigorously stir the dates into the dough until fairly evenly distributed. Grease a twelve ½-cup muffin pan. Fill each cup with 1 teaspoon molasses and divide the streusel mixture between the cups (this may look like a lot but it gives the the buns their definitive brown and sticky tops). Dust the dough slightly and divide it into 12 equal portions (use well-oiled kitchen scissors if necessary); lay the pieces into the muffin pan and cover with a tea towel. Let rise at room temperature until dough doubles in size.
  • Risen and ready for the oven
  • Preheat oven to 180°C 15 minutes before baking time. Bake on the lower rack until top is nicely browned, 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out with only a few particles. Remove to a wire rack, cover with a tea towel and leave pan to cool slightly, 5 minutes. Run a knife around the buns to loosen. Place a large baking tray against the muffin tin and invert the tin; shake to remove the buns ­­– the bottoms are now the tops. Scrape out any topping that remains in the tin and place on the buns. Transfer buns to a serving plate. They are best eaten hot and fresh.
Note: The sugar in the topping will crystallise when the buns are refrigerated. Warm them in the oven before eating.


    Putting the 'olé' in boleh*

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Chicken enchiladas (photo from 500 Mexican Dishes)
    * boleh = Malay for "can/able to"

    500 Mexican Dishes declares itself to be "the only compendium of Mexican dishes you'll ever need" in the subtitle. I don't know about that, but I do know that it is a nice little book to have for those who want to try their hand at Mexican cooking for the first time.

    The recipes in this book are not intimidating ­­– they're easy enough for the novice. However, some of the ingredients, for example the cheeses and chillies, may not be so accessible depending on where you live. That shouldn't be a hindrance since substitutes are always available.

    I reviewed this book for the Don't Call Me Chef Cookbook Review column in The Star (the link to the published article will be up shortly is now up) and there's really not much more to say about it here, except that Mexican food is based so much on fresh ingredients, vegetables especially, and that's the big appeal for me. I tried out the Mexican Roasted Sweetcorn and Chilli Soup and Prawn-Papaya Quesadillas with Mango Cream for the review and they were really easy to do. In fact, I even made flour tortillas from scratch (recipe below). They're much softer than the hypermarket brands you get in Malaysia.

    The Chicken Enchilada pictured at the top of the post is another recipe from 500 Mexican Dishes. I had to use the image from the book because, distracted by the extraordinary Kristin Chenoweth singing on a rerun of Glee, I left the dish a little too long in the oven ­­– which was on full blast as you will notice in the recipe ­­– and the top turned black. The enchiladas still tasted good but they weren't fit to be photographed.

    Serves 6-8
    Salsa roja (recipe follows)
    250g grated Monterey Jack or Chihuahua cheese (substitute with a sharp Cheddar)
    450g shredded cooked chicken
    Salt to taste
    Vegetable oil for frying
    12 tortillas (store-bought or homemade)
    • Preheat the oven to 230°C. In a medium bowl, mix 60ml salsa roja and 50g cheese with the chicken. Season with salt to taste. Coat the bottom of a medium frying pan with oil, and place the pan over a medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, dip each tortilla into the remaining salsa to lightly coat, then fry on both sides until softened. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil when necessary.
    • Spread out the tortillas on a flat surface and place 50g of the chicken filling in the centre of each one. Roll up. Place each roll in a 23x33cm baking tin. Spoon the remaining sauce over the rolled tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.
    Makes about 700ml
    6 large, ripe tomatoes
    3 serrano chillies (hot chillies; substitute with bird's eye ­­– cili padi)
    3 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    40g chopped onion
    Salt to taste
    • Place the tomatoes and chillies in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the tomato skins are peeling off and the tomatoes are soft bu not mushy, about 5 minutes. Remove ½ cup of the cooking water and whisk it with the chicken bouillon in a small bowl until completely dissolved. Remove the tomatoes and chillies with a slotted spoon and leave to cool for a few minutes. Then peel off the tomato skins and stem and seed the chillies.
    • Place the bouillon mixture, peeled tomatoes and deseeded chillies in a blender or food processor and pulse to process for just a few seconds until blended but still chunky. heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat , then sauté the garlic and onion until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, 6-8 minutes. Season to taste and serve hot.
    Makes 12 (23cm) tortillas
    300g plain flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    ¾ teaspoons salt
    240ml warm water
    • Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir in the water to make a soft dough, adding a little more water if necessary. Divide the dough into 12 portions and form each portion into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth to keep the dough moist and leave to rest for 15 minutes. 
    • Roll out each ball of dough on a floured surface to a 23cm diameter round. Heat an ungreased frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla for 1 minute per side, pressing down with a spatula for several seconds or until browned and blistered in spots. Remove from the pan and start cooking the next tortilla. Stack the cooked tortillas on top of each other, cover with a tea towel and place in a sealable plastic bag to steam until ready to serve.

    Texas mornin' roll

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    This roll ain't big enough for the two of us...
    I enjoyed quite a few good meals when I was in Dallas on assignment a couple of years ago. The odd thing was that I never actually got to try any dish that was decidedly Texan ­­– not the barbecue ribs, nor chili, chicken fried steak or iced tea. When in a media party, you go where you are taken and eat at whatever restaurant you are bused to, especially in a huge city like Dallas. The portions, however, lived up to the everything-is-big-in-Texas reputation.

    I like big breakfasts and Texas Morning Glory, Memorable Breakfast Recipes from Lone Star Bed and Breakfast Inns, a little spiral-bound book that I got in Dallas, has recipes for BIIIIG breakfasts. I didn't get those either since the other members of the party preferred just a coffee for breakfast and to eat big at lunch and dinner instead.

    I don't know if I'll ever get to Texas again, whether on another assignment or on my own holiday, but I know I'll be able to at least cook some of the things the state is famous for.

    I wish we had had a tour of Dallas ­­– it is historic, after all, and even if our bus had just driven pass the former Texas School Book Depository from where Lee Harvey Oswald supposedly shot President John F Kennedy, that would have been something to remember, instead of just seeing the inside of outlet malls ­­– all the organisers wanted to do was shop.

    History aside, here's my slightly adapted version of Texas Morning Glory's Sunday Morning Cinnamon Rolls, from the The Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast situated outside Waco in Central Texas. The original recipes calls for ⅔ cups milk, which was too much for my dough, and the original filling did not contain nuts, which I think is a sad omission.

    And now I have to mention Morocco again...

    Among the food items I brought back from my trip, which I have gushed about in many earlier posts, were salted almonds* and some very aromatic cinnamon powder, and I used both in this roll. Normally, unsalted nuts are used but after trying the recipe with the salted variety, they are what I am going to use from now. They're such a good flavour enhancer.

    These rolls are good and I wouldn't keep them just for Sunday mornings ­­– they're for every day. Which explains my developing double chin.

    Buns on the balcony
    Makes 10-12 

    3 cups all-purpose flour
    3½ teaspoons baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ½ cup sugar
    ½ cup milk, plus extra just in case
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    ½ cup melted butter, cooled
    • In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup milk, eggs and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients. If too dry, add a little more milk. Roll into 1.5cm-thick rectangle, about 17cm x 22cm. 
    ¼ cup butter, melted
    ½ cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons cinnamon
    1 cup salted almonds*, chopped
    • Spread melted butter over dough. Mix the remaining filling ingredients together and sprinkle on top of the butter. Roll up tightly like a Swiss roll starting from the long edge. Seal edge. Cut into 2cm-thick slices. Places slices, cut side up, in a large greased baking sheet so the sides are NOT touching. Bake at 190°C for 25-30 minutes.
    • Cool on wire rack and drizzle with frosting with a fork or your fingers. 
    * I use salted almonds for the reason I wrote about above. That's my tip for this recipe. If you don't want to use salted nuts, toast unsalted nuts before chopping to add flavour.
      Frosting (optional)
      1½ cups icing sugar, sifted
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • Combine icing sugar and vanilla extract, then stir in enough milk so frosting is smooth and thick, but with a fluid consistency.

          Sweet and sour cake

          Monday, July 5, 2010

          Chutney in a cake
          Dan Lepard's recipe for Tamarind and Date Cake which appeared in The Guardian in April intrigued me. I love anything with dates in it, and while I also love the sourness of tamarind, I couldn't imagine how it would work in a cake.

          But after studying the recipe, I realised there's really not a lot of it – only 50g – so there would be a nice tang as from lemon juice, but because it is a paste, that would add moistness to the cake.

          Later, I reviewed Carol Selva Rajah's Malaysian Cooking (here's the published article and here's the post on it) which has a recipe for Sweet Tamarind Date Chutney.

          We were doing preserves and pickles for the July edition of Don't Call Me Chef, and thinking of how to use the chutney, I remembered Dan Lepard's cake. So I thought why not combine the two – there are dates and tamarind paste in the cake recipe, and the chutney contains dates and tamarind, so it wouldn't be weird at all.

          Except for the fact that the chutney also has chilli, fennel and mustard seeds in it.

          Well, you might think that the cake would taste odd with those "non-cake" spices, but it really doesn't. The people I offered the cake to all had more than one slice and they liked the fact that it wasn't overly sweet nor too dense from too many dates. And they certainly didn't say anything about tasting the spices.

          I used Dan Lepard's recipe as a guide, but only followed the spirit of it. The chutney on its own was very good and I wanted to put a bit more than 50g of it into the cake so had to experiment with the amounts of the other ingredients.

          Cakes made by the melting method – where the wet ingredients are cooked gently on the stove (as Dan Lepard has done) and blended before the dried ingredients are added – are wonderfully moist and keep better. Usually cakes made with butter by the creaming method turn to stone when stored in the refrigerator, but because the butter in this cake is melted, that doesn't happen. Instead of cooking on the stove, the butter in my cake melts from the heat of the boiling water added to the dates to soften them. That's one less step to handle.

          I have to say that when I offered the cake to my colleagues, it was unfrosted. I only decided to add Dan Lepard's cardamon-flavoured icing a day later because it is an unusual one and since I didn't use a lot of sugar in the cake, I thought it could handle some sweetness on the top. Biting into a cardamom pod in a curry or briyani isn't the most pleasant thing, but the ground seeds in the lemon-flavoured icing do add another level to this cake.

          Also, I didn't have enough unsalted butter so had to include about 4 tablespoons of salted butter. This cake must have been destined for success – the extra salt didn't hurt it. If only I were as lucky with my other experiments.

          150g chopped dates
          150g tamarind date chutney (recipe follows)
          150g unsalted butter, softened
          75g dark brown sugar
          2 medium eggs
          275g plain flour
          2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
          100g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
          150g icing sugar
          The seeds from 6-8 cardamom pods, finely ground
          Juice of ½ lemon
          • Line the base and sides of an 18cm deep cake tin with non-stick baking paper; grease paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the dates in a mixing bowl with 150ml boiling water to soften. Stir in the butter until melted; set aside to cool, 10 minutes. 
          • Add the chutney and brown sugar, stir well then beat in the eggs until smooth. Sift in the flour and soda and mix to blend. Stir in the nuts. Spoon into the tin and bake for about an hour, turning the tin around halfway through, or until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. 
          • Remove from tin and ice it, if desired, or cover with foil and store in the refrigerator overnight. To make icing, mix the icing sugar, cardamom, juice and a little water if needed, to a thick smooth icing and spoon this over the cake so it dribbles down the sides. This cake is best eaten the next day. 

          Jolly good dip
          Makes 1 cup
          150g chopped pitted dates
          2 tsp fennel seeds, dry-roasted and ground to a powder
          1-2 tsp chilli powder, or to taste
          75g seedless tamarind pulp (asam jawa), mixed with 1 cup water
          2-3 tbsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
          Salt, to taste
          1 tbsp oil
          ½ tsp mustard seeds
          35g chopped toasted hazelnut, optional
          • Purée the dates, fennel seed powder, red pepper, tamarind juice, sugar and salt in a food processor. Heat the oil in a pan and stir-fry the mustard seeds over high heat until they pop, 1-2 mins. Add the purée and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the chutney becomes thick, 2-3 mins. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 mins. When the chutney has a dropping consistency, stir well and remove from the heat. Mix through the nuts, if using. To store, cool and keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for a week.
            Sweet Tamarind Date Chutney on Foodista

            Cowabunga! They're beans!

            Friday, July 2, 2010

            Holy cow! I can't believe it's not meat!
            If I hadn't made the sandwich myself, I'd swear that was meatloaf.

            Here's the cross-section of the sandwich:
            Like pulled beef, almost
            And as a patty:
            Version 2.0: Burger
            The filling is actually black beans, also called turtle beans (Cowabunga? Get it?). They're slow-cooked with a variety of spices till soft, ground and cooked in a loaf pan in the oven or shaped into patties and baked. They might not taste like meat, but that won't be a problem for many people. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike have enjoyed this sandwich. The pictures show a slice/patty topped with mushroom gravy. The bread in the first and second pictures is onion foccacia.

            Black beans are quite mild in taste so they are often combined with spicy seasonings. You can use tinned beans but I think cooking dried beans from scratch is best; I do this in a slow-cooker with chillies and other spices thrown in so the beans pick up all those flavours right from the start.

            1 cup dried black beans, cleaned and soaked in water for at least 4 hours (if cooking on the stove, soak for at least 6 hours; drain and change the water every few hours). This yields 3 cups of cooked beans. 
            • To cook, drain the soaking water and place beans in a pot for the stove or in the slow-cooker pot/crockpot. Add cold water to cover by 2cm.
            • To the pot, add 1 medium onion (cut into wedges), 2-4 dried chillies, 2-3 cloves garlic, a pinch of cumin seeds, and a dash of cayenne pepper or chili powder.
            • Switch on slow cooker (my cooker only has an on and off button; if you have a more sophisticated one, cook the beans on High) and leave beans to cook until soft (I leave mine on the boil for about 6 hours). For stove-top cooking, bring the pot of beans to a boil, then reduce heat to a very slow simmer for about 2 hours.
            • When beans are soft, drain them but reserve the liquid. Do not remove the flavouring ingredients (onion, chillies, etc)
            And now, for the "meaty" look...

            Serves 6
            3 cups cooked beans (from the recipe above)
            ¼ cup dried potato flakes
            Cooking liquid from the beans
            1 tablespoon butter
            1 medium onion, chopped
            1 bunch fresh coriander
            1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
            Salt and pepper, to taste
            • Preheat oven at 180°C. 
            • Place 1 cup of beans in a food processor and pulse for two seconds so the beans are coarsely chopped. Remove and set aside.
            • Blend the potato flakes with enough cooking liquid to form "mash potatoes". Set aside.
            • Fry the chopped onion in the butter until soft and light brown. Set aside.
            • Place the remaining beans in the food processor with the mash potatoes, cooked onion, coriander leaves and half the breadcrumbs. Process until the mixture holds together. Add more breadcrumbs if too wet or more cooking liquid if too dry. Remove from the food processor and mix with the coarsely chopped beans. Season to taste.
            • For the meatloaf, pack firmly into a well-greased foil-lined loaf pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes; remove foil and bake a further 15 minutes or until loaf is firm. For burgers, shape bean mixture into 6 patties and chill for 30 minutes. Place on a foil-lined tray, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, uncover and bake a further 5-7 minutes until firm.
            • Alternatively, shallow fry the patties for 5-7 minutes on each side.