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Campfire Tales

Belinda Neame

Escape a rarely ‘unplugged’ world by grabbing family and friends, some picnic blankets and a few kitchen staples and gathering around the campfire. 

Warm your bellies with hearty winter foods while sharing tales the old fashioned way.

HOMEMADE BAKED BEANS

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 175g pancetta (optional), cut into small squares
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves
  • 2 x 400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 x long red or green chilli, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon HP sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon each of Dijon and English mustard
  • 2 x 400g tins cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley and Parmesan cheese to serve

METHOD

Place fry pan on a grate over the fire pit. Heat up the olive oil. Add the onion and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add pancetta, thyme leaves, tomato, chilli, sauces and mustards to the pan. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cannellini beans and cook for another 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper
and cook for another 10 minutes. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and parsley and serve with the warm damper.

Recipe adapted from ‘What Katie Ate’ by Katie Quinn Davies.

DAMPER

TIP

Prepare the damper dough ahead of the baked beans so when you are ready to start cooking, you can pop the damper in the oven and it will be ready to serve fresh and warm.

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g (3 cups) self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80g butter, chilled, cubed
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) water

SERVES 8

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200°C and line a round baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the water to the flour mixture and use a round-bladed knife in
a cutting motion to mix until the mixture just comes together, adding 1-2 tablespoons extra water if the mixture is a little dry. Use your hands to bring the mixture together.

Gently knead the dough for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Shape the dough into an 18cm disc and place on baking tray. Using a sharp knife, mark 8 wedges on top. Dust with a little extra flour and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the damper is cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Serve warm with baked beans.

Recipe adapted from Taste.com.au

OATY S’MORES

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INGREDIENTS

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 11⁄2 cups (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • 100g each of dark and milk chocolate chips
  • cups (30g) rolled oats
  • 20 pieces of flat chocolate dark chocolate (we used the Lindt Excellence range)
  • 20 marshmallows

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180°C and line 2 x baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Place the softened butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat until well combined followed by the flour and baking powder and beat until just combined.

Fold through the dark and milk chocolate chips and rolled oats. Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture and place on baking trays, leaving space between them to spread. Flatten slightly and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until golden. Cool on trays until you are ready to assemble.

To assemble, toast a marshmallow on the campfire. Once it is warm and starting to ooze, top one biscuit with a piece of chocolate and then another biscuit with the marshmallow and sandwich together. The heat from the marshmallows will melt the chocolate.

Recipe adapted from donnahay.com.au

HOT CHOCOLATE

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Nothing screams ‘campfire’ louder than a billycan! This is a thrown-together style hot chocolate that is delicious to wrap your hands around on a chilly night.

Add 4 cups of milk to a billy can and place over the fire until just before boiling point.

Using the left over chocolate pieces from the S’mores, place 1-2 pieces (depending on how chocolatey
you want it) into 4 mugs. Add the warm milk and stir to melt.

Add some marshmallows (optional) and stir through until melted and gooey.

CREDITS

RECIPES + STYLING BELINDA NEAME

PHOTOGRAPHY TIM BEAN

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Future for Winter 2017, available for free while stocks last. Find out more about Magazine here

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Belinda Neame

Belinda is HerCanberra’s Production Manager. A foodie and lover of handmade, Belinda enjoys nothing more than a good coffee and seeing Canberra businesses thrive. In her ‘spare time’, Belinda organises the quarterly Canberra street food event, The Forage with her husband Tim.

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