I’ll be back

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Just a short note to say that I will be back up and blogging as soon as I get my new laptop.  Lost all my files when my mac was stolen, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles!

Chocolate Grand Marnier Pot de Crème

March 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

It seems like Pot De Crème’s have come and gone as far as food trends go.
One day they were all over and now you hardly see them and they are really worth the effort when finished off properly.
This version is topped off with an orange Sabayon.  Both textures are soft and creamy, but the subtle difference makes it so much more decadent.
Pot De Crème
3 cups full cream milk
5 ml Vanilla
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 tsp sugar
30 ml castor sugar
2 tbsp grated 100% cocoa
50 g milk chocolate
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees. Put eight cups or ramekins into a baking tray that will hold water half way up your containers.
Bring the milk to a simmer, remove from heat and add the chocolate, cocoa and vanilla. Stir to let the chocolate and cocoa melt into the milk evenly.   Mix the eggs, yolks and sugar with a fork or whisk, but do not allow it to get foamy.  Add a little milk and stir to prevent the eggs cooking.  Stir in the rest of the milk.  Pass the mixture through a sieve and carefully pour them into eight cups or ramekins.
Put the baking tray into the oven and pour in enough water to fill the tray halfway up your containers.  Cover with a sheet of baking paper and bake until just set.  Take the chocolate pots out of the water immediately and chill.
SABAYON
4 egg yolks
Rind of one orange
60 g sugar
Beat yolks and sugar in a double boiler until your whisk leaves has ribbons of the mixture trailing down.  Add  the orange rind and Grand Marnier and stir until mixture is thick and foamy.
Take the bowl off the heat and whisk until cold

If you can't find it, here's the link to Willie's Cacao & Chocolate Shop

If you haven’t been one to buy 100% cocoa, I would recommend using Willie’s Indonesian Black for this recipe.

Brie & Chived baked pasta

March 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Again with my mother’s cooking.  Her style of cooking has changed a lot over the years.  It’s only every now and then that she whips up something that transports me back to my childhood.   Whenever the mood struck my parents we would eat outside on the terrace beneath two huge old oak trees.  It felt so special even if it was something as simple as mac and cheese.

It’s been years since I had my mother’s mac and cheese and I felt like making some for dinner.  This is what happened instead.  Quite delicious.

2 cups (raw) of your favorite shaped pasta, cooked al dente

1/2 cup of grated cheddar

1  cup cubed Brie cheese

3 tbsp chopped chives

2 small onions, sliced

4 egg yolks

500ml milk

Olive oil

Seasoning

Cook off the onions slowly in the olive oil until golden.  Whisk the milk and eggs, being sure to season liberally.  Mix everything together in a oven proof dish and bake at 180 C 350F until just set, about 30 -40 minutes.

 

It’s not the fanciest dish in the world, but the flavor of the Brie pops through every time you get a bite of it.  It’s just such a comforting meal.

Saucy chocolate pudding

March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Growing up my mother used to make this chocolate pudding.  It was chocolate perfection as far as comfort food goes.  I found a copy of this highly fulfilling self saucing recipe during the last year and have since made it more times than I should imagine.

Over at The Bee and the Fruit in the kitchen the latest post made me think of it again.  Maybe just typing up the recipe will be good enough to satisfy my craving.

See the original post here: Nutella Chocolate Cobbler (Eggless)

50g butter

200ml caster sugar

1 egg

250ml cake flour

25ml cocoa powder

15ml baking powder

2ml salt

200ml milk

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.  Sift the dry ingredients and add, to the butter mixture, alternating with milk.  Spoon into a large oven proof dish.

Syrup

250ml water

250ml brown sugar

25ml Cocoa powder

5ml Vanilla essence

Mix all the ingredients, except the vanilla essence in a saucepan, heat and stir until sugar has dissolved and mixture starts to boil.  Add the essence.

Pour the syrup over the batter and bake at 180C / 350F for 30 minutes.

Food for Ostara

March 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve always loved a good quiche and this version is no less satisfying.  Part of why I enjoy quiche is the because it’s so earthy.  This version promotes that aspect.  The basil gives a deep, wholesome flavor that is only enhanced by the goats cheese.

Goats cheese and basil quiche

For the filling

100g goat’s Chevin
12 large basil leaves, washed
400ml cream
4 egg yolks
1 roll ready made puff pastry
1 large (30cm) pie dish, prepared with non stick spray.
Salt and black pepper

Oven to 190 C or 375 F.
Rolls the puff pastry out until it’s about 3mm thick. Line the pie dish with the pastry and put in the freezer to chill.
Whisk the cream and eggs together until you can’t see speck of yolk. Season the custard to taste.
When the pastry hardened up and is nice and cold, break the goats cheese into small pieces and lay out evenly over the pastry. Pour in the custard and then press the basil into it.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is just set.

The only thing here is that the basil tends to discolor as it is a fragile herb. No matter, it still tastes great! If you don’t like the idea of funny color basil, replace the fresh basil with pesto. Six tablespoons should do the job.

Banana Bread & Butter pudding

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I want something good and homely nothing can compare with bread and butter pudding. I made some today with added banana and baked with a thick custard over the top. It’s such a reminder of my mother’s food growing up, but I have to say my one tastes like a night in with my best friends.

1 loaf of banana bread
Salted butter
1 liter milk (Cream is divine!)
6 yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, cut into thin slices

500ml ready made or store bought thick custard

Beat the eggs and milk (or cream) until you can’t see any yolk.
Slice the banana bread into normal thickness slices. Butter both sides and layer onto the bottom of 20 x 20 cm oven proof dish. Pour in enough of the egg milk mixture to just cover the bread. Press the banana into the gaps. Repeat this until the dish is full, or the bread is finished.
Cover with tin foil and bake at 180 C / 350 F for about 20 to 30 minutes or until just set.  Spread the custard over the top of the pudding as soon as it has just set and put back into the oven to finish cooking.

Have it like this or with some ice cream. Brilliant!

Tomato soup with star croute

March 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Garreth makes the most amazing tomato soup.

1 kg tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 sprigs of thyme
1L stock or water

Slice the tomatoes in half and put in a large plastic container. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer this to an oven proof dish or tray and cover with tin foil. Roast the tomatoes at 200 C or 390 F until cooked very soft.
Pour the tomatoes and all the juices into a pot that will be big enough when the stock is added. You can use any kind of stock that you like, but beef tends to work the best. Water is fine as well, just let the soup reduce a little more.
Let the soup cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes. Blend and pass through a strainer.

For the croute

You will need one slice of bread per person and a star shaped cookie cutter. Cut the star out of the slice of bread and brush it lightly with olive oil.
On a baking tray, place a wire cooling rack and toast the bread in the oven at 180 C or 350 F after sprinkling with some flaky sea salt.