Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Can you believe that I took this photo yesterday .... in Ireland ...... in March!!!!! We have been having the most unbelievable weather recently, last week was all bright sun (although cold) then we had (almost) torrential rain on Monday, then SNOW yesterday.
Of course my thoughts turned to food the minute I looked out the window!! Comfort food was what the doctor ordered, so I turned to Nigella.com and to the members own recipes. There are two recipes that stand out on the cookie front: CAL's oat cookies, and Jon's peanut butter cookies. They have one thing in common, they are so much more than the sum of their parts. Both have few ingredients, but taste truly wonderful. If I had to choose one to go for it would be the oat cookies (sorry Jon!!) and that's a textural thing, I love that crumbly, crunchy feeling.
These are both real "store cupboard" standbys. The oat ones particularly handy as they don't contain any egg (the ingredient I am most likely to run out of), and they taste great. What more could you ask for??
CAL's Oat So Simple Cookies
Preheat oven to 180 C
Line baking trays
100g Plain Flour
100g Caster Sugar (see a pattern here??)
1 tbsp Honey/Golden Syrup
1 tsp Cinnamon/Mixed Spice
Makes about 15 cookies
Mix oats, flour and spice.
Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan.
Combine the flour and butter mixtures.
Use two spoons to form into balls and place on the lined baking sheets.
Dampen the spoon and press down on the cookies.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
It is simple to make large batches of these little beauties, as the proportions increase easily.
Jon's Peanut Butter Cookies
Preheat oven to 175 C
Line a baking tray
1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)*
1/2 cup sugar**
Beat the egg until frothy.
Add the peanut butter and stir with a wooden spoon until smoothish.
Add sugar and stir until smooth
Roll walnut sized portions between your hands.
Place on baking tray and press down with a fork.
Bake for 10 minutes (approx)
When baked remove tray from oven and leave for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
*Use good quality peanut butter.
** Original recipe called for 1 cup of sugar but I found this too much.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Had a bit of a cake emergency recently (!) - my nephew's birthday cake of choice was out of stock at the shop, so Aunty Brownieville Girl had to step up to the the (cake) plate!
The resulting cake was one of the best yet, I used an old favourite for the cake, but the icing was where things really hit the dizzy heights! AND I DON'T KNOW HOW I DID IT!!!!!!!!
Well I do know how I made it, I just used up any left over icings in the fridge, added a couple of tablespoons of Nutella and hay presto, delicious icing. I had a small amount of both malteser and chocolate icings and a larger amount of the custard icing I made for my pimped biscuit, I added the Nutella whipped this up for about five minutes and yummmmm!!!!! The obvious problem is how to replicate the icing, I will try, and try and try and I promise to let you know how it goes.
The cake is moist and soft and chocolatey, here is the recipe.
Excellent Chocolate Cake
Based on Margaret Costa's Chocolate Fudge Cake
225g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2tsp coffee powder
1/2 tsp bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)
55g 70% chocolate
175g caster sugar
150ml soured cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 190 C
Prepare 21cm ( 8") cake tin
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, coffee and bread soda together.
In a saucepan melt the chopped chocolate with 30ml of water, when melted stir until smooth - allow to cool slightly.
Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly, and then add the beaten egg a little at a time. Mix well.
Beat in alternately, half of each at a time the chocolate, flour and the sour cream. Finally add the vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then to finish cooling on a wire rack.
Decorate with your chocolate icing of choice.
Monday, March 29, 2010
This is another one of our regular breads - really handy when there is no buttermilk in the house. The abundance of seeds really bump up the volume both taste and health wise - great when that combination comes together!
Before my blog addiction started, and all my recipes came from cook books I had thought this bread unusual as it uses just baking powder as the raising agent - now of course I realise that there are plenty of yeast and bicarbonate free recipes around, but I still think that this one is a winner. It is incredibly easy to throw together, it's my bread of choice when I'm distracted (not an unusual occurrence!) as a light hand isn't necessary (as with soda bread) and energy isn't needed either (as with yeast!).
You will see from the photo that I have upped the sunflower seed ratio, I love that they can be used here with no risk of the "green" goblin (bicarbonate of soda reaction) getting to them!!
Extra Healthy Brown Bread
300g wholemeal flour
200g plain flour
100g seeds (whatever combination you want)
1 tbsp treacle, honey or dark sugar
2 heaped tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
600 ml milk (maybe less)
Preheat oven to 200 C
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the treacle (or whatever you are using) and stir in enough milk to make the mixture moist, but not as wet as a soda bread mixture.
Place in a well oiled 900g tin (or I use a tin lined with parchment paper to save on the wash up!) and bake for 1 hour, after the hour remove the bread from the tin and tap the bottom, if it sounds hollow remove to a wire rack - otherwise return it to the oven without the tin for another 10 - 15 minutes. I usually give it the extra time as the crunchy texture this gives is popular here.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I blogged about the wonderful Malteser Cake some time ago, I just thought I'd show you how well this recipe translates into cute little baby muffins!!!
These little cuties would be wonderful at a party (kids or adults!)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Please forgive me for repeating a picture - it's just that David Roche's version of his slow cooked chicken looked alot prettier than mine!
I think that it's a very good sign when a cookery demonstration inspires you to cook a dish within a day of seeing it prepared, and David should take a bow!! I was really anxious to try this pot roast chicken and to see if it was really as easy as it looked, and if it could handle all that salt!
The only bit of faffing around was the browning of the chicken before it goes into the oven, but that only takes a couple of minutes and is really worth it. About 35 minutes before the chicken was cooked I added new potatoes and carrots to the casserole - next time I will put them back in the oven to brown while the chicken is resting - that really is the joy of everyday cooking, you learn by trial and error with no pressure!
The really good thing about this chicken is that there is loads and loads of really tasty oil left - I am going to use some of it with the juices and some of the meat to make a simplified version of Nigella's Venetian Chicken. I will just cook some pasta and dry roast some pine nuts. When the pasta is just short of done, I'll drain it, put it back in the pan add some of the juice, oil, chicken and the pine nuts -bring this back to hot and serve. Really, really delicious.
Pot Roast Salted Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary
1 medium fresh chicken
Good handful of Maldon salt (or similar)
250ml olive oil
1 tbsp flour (heaped)
1 head garlic
4 sprigs of rosemary
100ml white wine
150ml chicken stock (I forgot about the stock, to no ill effect!)
Rub the chicken with the salt and leave to stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
After the 20 minutes preheat the oven to 150 C, and heat the oil in a casserole (big enough to hold the chicken)
Split the garlic into bulbs but leave the skin on, and put into the warming oil.
Bring the oil up to hot.
Rub the chicken with the flour, and then place breast first into the casserole to seal and brown. Seal all the chicken in the oil.
Squeeze the lemon over the chicken and place it and the rosemary in the pot, add the stock and wine.
Put the lid on and bake in the oven for 90 minutes.
Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
When cooked remove the chicken from the pot and allow to rest for 15 minutes, then place in a platter and garnish with olives and some of the cooking liquor.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
I discovered glucose liquid for the first time at the supermarket a few weeks ago .... not too exciting you might think, but in my world VERY exciting, I could at last try Delia's Truffle Torte.
Every year at the start of the build up to Christmas, the first thing I do is unearth my Christmas cookery books (except Nigella's which is on the go all year) and every year I come upon the picture of a delicious looking chocolate torte in Delia Smith's Christmas and decide to make it..... then every year I search in vain for glucose syrup. NOW can you understand how exciting my discovery was?
Next I just needed an occasion to serve it (a bit rich for just us) and my sister provided just the event (Thanks Sis!) It turns out that this torte is my nephew's favorite dessert of all time, and he is only 5! Pretty sophisticated tastes when you consider that it contains pretty much only 75% chocolate, double cream and rum!!
A word of warning, this torte is very, very rich and most people would only be able to manage a small portion (excepting said nephew who scoffed about 1/3 of it). I think it would be beautiful served with some fresh raspberries and some sour cream.
The next time I make this I intend to line the tin with ginger nut biscuits, I think they will give the torte a nice edge.
Line the bottom of a 23cm spring form cake tin with parchment and brush the sides with a tasteless oil.
5 tbsp glucose syrup
5 tbsp rum
450g high cocoa content chocolate
570ml double cream
75g biscuits (amaretti or ginger)
Crush the biscuits and scatter over the base of the cake tin.
Put the chocolate, glucose and rum in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
When melted stir until smooth and leave aside to cool for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl beat the cream until slightly thickened.
Fold half of the cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold this mixture into the rest of the cream.
Spoon evenly over the crushed biscuits in the cake tin.
Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight (at least)
To serve, run a palette knife around the edge, slightly loosen the spring form. Turn the torte onto a serving plate.
Dust with cocoa if you wish (I didn't) and serve.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
It's bookclub night soon (yahaa!) and I've realised that I didn't blog about the one I held here last month.
Our bookclub is a very relaxed affair, the host supplies cheese, grapes and crackers. The guests bring along the wine. We discuss the book for a short while and then get down to the important business of putting the world to rights!!
We discussed Colum McCann's "Let The Great World Spin", everyone enjoyed it, found it multi-layered, the type of book you could re-read and get even more from it next time round. He definitely deserves all the awards he has received.
Back to the food - I have never been one to allow an opportunity to try out new recipes pass. This time I was anxious to try out an idea I had had for a candied, spiced nut mixture - they were a huge success, I don't think I will be allowed to host another evening without serving them!!!
At my son's request I made cheese straws, I wanted to try a new recipe and found one that looked good on Deb's blog "smitten kitchen" - I subsequently made these into cheese biscuits using different cheeses (actually the ones left over from the spread above) and they were even better than the first time.
I, of course served brownies towards the end of the night - I will blog about these tomorrow.
Here's what I did:
100g pecan nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp curry powder
1 egg white
1 tsp maldon salt
Preheat oven to 150 C
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Whisk the egg white until light and frothy and set aside.
Mix the sugars and spices.
Combine the nuts and egg white until evenly coated.
Add the sugar mixture and toss well.
Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, stir occasionally to ensure there is no clumping.
Remove from oven sprinkle with the salt and allow to cool.
Serve and Enjoy.
1 1/2 cups grated hard cheese*
50g softened butter
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 180 C
Combine the cheese, butter flour and chili flakes in a food processor, in short pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and process until it forms a ball.
Roll out between two sheets of cling film until about 1/2cm thick. then either cut into strips (use a knife dipped into flour) or use a cookie cutter. The cookie cutter option makes them very attractive to kiddies. I think these cheese biscuits would be a great option for a children's birthday party, make you feel less guilty serving all the sugar rich food. (I would of course leave out the chili).
Gently transfer the strips/biscuits onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. They expand a little bit so leave some space between them.
Bake the straws/biscuits for 10 - 15 minutes, until they are a nice golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.
These biscuits keep well in a sealed container.
*First time round I used a strong cheddar, second time I used an Irish hard herbed cheese and a small piece of spicy cheese (left out the chili flakes).
Hope you enjoy the nibbles.
Friday, March 19, 2010
I make bread about five times a week, and really like to ring the changes - as with all my cooking and baking I wouldn't be the most loyal of customers! I think it would be boring beyond belief to have to make (never mind eat) the same bread day in day out.
Last week I even made two different breads on the same day - my old reliable brown soda (which I play around with quite a bit) and a bread recipe that I found in a newspaper years ago (I can't remember where, so apologies for not giving credit, although I have probably changed it beyond recognition by this stage!)
My friend and blog critic (!) K. has requested (instructed) that I give a recipe for an easy, everyday, no fuss, have everything in the cupboard, did I say easy soda bread, and I'm good like that - I do what I'm told!!!
The other bread is my husband's current favourite (he's pretty fickle too - bread wise only!) but I know why, this bread has a nice soft texture, but still retains an interesting mixture of tastes - I love it with butter and home made raspberry jam (freezer full of raspberries no longer an issue!!)
There are a few guidelines that help when you start making soda bread, hopefully they will ensure that you have success from day one :
Work your dough as little as possible
Be stingy (mean) with your bread soda (bicarbonate of soda) you really don't want that soapy taste you get from too much - if a recipe calls for a tsp, make sure it is level not heaped.
Sunflower seeds turn dark green when combined with bread soda, they still taste great, but the green can be off putting!
Make sure you use fresh bread soda (bicarb)
Always preheat your oven.
Easy Soda Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 cup bran
1 cup porridge oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (bread soda)
Extra milk to moisten as necessary
Any seeds/nuts/dried fruit you fancy
Preheat oven to 180 C
Line a loaf tin (approx 21cm x 10cm)
Mix all the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk (or soured milk). You want a sloppy mixture, like thick porridge. I like to scatter with seeds before I put the bread in the oven.
Bake for 1 hour.
Bread is baked when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
This recipe multiplies up very well, you can make as much bread as you have tins!
This next recipe is slightly more complicated, but not much.
350g wholemeal flour
350g white flour
100g porridge oats
50g brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)
2 tbsp seeds to taste (optional)
1 ltr buttermilk (approx)
Oven 180 C
Prepare 2 loaf tins as above
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, add egg and enough buttermilk to make soft and sloppy.
Divide between 2 loaf tins, bake for one hour, remove the bread from the tin and return to the oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool on a wire rack
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
I really enjoyed the Delia Smith programme which was on recently, it charted her work through the decades, and was a really interesting social history, as well as culinary history.
In the programme which covered the 80's (I think!) she spoke about a chocolate dessert that was one of her most popular recipes, seemingly everyone had served it at their dinner parties ..... and I hadn't even tried it!! Well I couldn't have that! So at the first opportunity I took out my incredibly battered copy of Delia's "Complete Illustrated Cookery Course" and located the recipe for "Squidgy Chocolate Log" ..... Chocolate Roulade stuffed with chocolate mousse stuffed with cream .... how had it escaped me!!
It was a truly decadent dessert, and maybe just a tad over the top .... but it was really, really good.
Squidgy Chocolate Log
6 Large eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
225g dark chocolate (I would say 75% max)
2 Large eggs, separated
225ml cream (double)
2 tbsp warm water
Preheat oven to 180 C
Line and grease a tin 29cm x 18cm x 2.5cm
Start with the filling.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water.
Remove when melted add the warm water, and stir with wooden spoon until smooth.
Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.
Meanwhile proceed with the roulade.
Whisk the egg whites.(I use the bowl from the last lot of egg whites) Put aside.
In another bowl whisk the egg yolks until they start to thicken.
Add the sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens a bit more.
Next whisk the sieved cocoa into the yolks.
Fold the egg whites into the yolk and cocoa mixture.
Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until springy.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin, don't worry about shrinkage.
When the roulade is cold, turn it onto a sheet of greaseproof paper which has been dusted liberally with icing sugar (although not quite as liberally as mine was!!) Peel away the cake tin lining paper- carefully. Then spread the chocolate mousse filling over the roulade. Now whip the cream to soft peaks and spread over the mousse. Finally roll up to make a log shape.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I have come across the Neiman Marcus Cookie story a few times, whereby a lady at the Neiman Marcus Cafe asked for the recipe for the cookies she had just eaten, the waitress explained that there would be a "two fifty" charge, the lady presumed that this covered the photo-copying and said that that was fine. When she got home she realized that they had charged her two hundred and fifty dollars for the recipe - so she e-mailed it to everyone she knew (requesting them to forward it to all their contacts) so nobody else would be stung like that!!!!!
With a back story like that I just had to try the recipe myself, and a very good recipe it is too..... not $250 good but very, very good. The blitzed oats give the cookies a wonderful texture.
I got my recipe from http://www.browneyedbaker.com/, a really enjoyable blog, with fantastic photos. I have used the american measurements, except for the butter which I have converted (I find measuring butter by cups far too messy!). I give you the recipe as I made it, with a couple of tiny tweaks.
The Neiman Marcus Cookie
Makes about 25 cookies
2 1/2 cups of rolled oats
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (bread soda)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
12oz milk chocolate chips
4 oz dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 180 C, Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Blend the oats in a food processor to a fine powder.
Using a medium to large bowl, combine the blended oats, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (bread soda), and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, (3-4 minutes).
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
On a low speed gradually mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Divide the dough into 2 oz balls ( about 2 tbsp worth) and place about 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.*
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
The cookies should be lightly brown and set in the outside but still look a little undone in the middle - that's OK they will finish setting up after they are removed from the oven.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
*At this stage I put half my raw cookies on a tray in the freezer, and after a couple of hours bagged them up.
They are the best thing ever to have in the freezer as they can be baked for 15 minutes from frozen when unexpected guests arrive - really impressive stuff!!!!
*An ice-cream scoop is great for measuring out the dough for large cookies.
Happy Mother's Day To You All :-}
Friday, March 12, 2010
Firstly apologies for the photo, I am such a piggie that I had already dived in when I realized that I'd forgotten to take a photo!!!
Despite the shameful photo, I really had to blog about my mushroom risotto. I don't think it's any better than anyone else's risotto, it's just that it is so handy.
Shameful admission number two, they are really building up today! I was watching "Come Dine With Me" recently, (I know, I know, but I love the voice over guy) and they mentioned the old restaurateurs trick of par cooking risotto, then finishing the dish to order. There are times when I feel like a short order cook, everyone coming home at different times etc. etc. - so I decided to give this "trick" a try, and it worked, it worked really well. You should try it too!
You just make your risotto as usual, sweat off the onion in butter and olive oil until translucent, then add your main flavouring, next add the rice, then the alcohol and finally work in half of your stock. Remove from the heat. You then finish off each portion as needed with more hot stock. It does mean you have to taste as you go (no bad thing) as you may need less stock than usual. Finish with your cheese of choice and serve.
Mushroom and Cheese Risotto
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil (you may need more, but I was trying to be goodish!)
1 small onion
300g risotto rice
125ml alcohol (white wine is probably best, I used Marsala)
250g mushrooms (I used chestnut)
1 tbsp porcini mushrooms (reconstituted - keep the water and add to your stock)
1 litre hot chicken stock
20g low fat cream cheese per portion (or any cheese you like)
Gently fry the onions in the butter and oil, until translucent. Add the fresh mushrooms and the drained and squeezed dry porcini mushrooms, continue frying until these are cooked too. Add the risotto rice and make sure it is well coated in oil, then add the white wine and still until absorbed.
Add the stock, one ladle at a time, making sure it is absorbed before adding more.
When the rice is half cooked, remove pan from the heat.
As needed take a portion of the risotto to a new pan bring up to bubbling and add more hot stock until cooked. Add your cheese and serve.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I am very fortunate to have a wonderful fish mongers in a nearby town, and recently I discovered that not only do they have great fresh fish but they also stock some treasures in the freezer!
I love crab, my kids love crab, even my other half (who loves fish, but isn't big on shellfish) likes crab, Connolly's stock bags of crab claws and boxes of crab meat in the freezer. The crab meat is unlike any I have bought in the supermarket as there are great big chunks of crab in it, not just the normal little splinters. I bought a packet of the claws and a box of the meat, and when I got home while still frozen halved the box of crab meat, kept one half out and put the other in the freezer.
Then I put my thinking hat on (it's very becoming!!!) and this is what I came up with, it is a really luxurious dish, I recommend it wholeheartedly. Because it is a store cupboard (and freezer) meal, it would be very impressive to hand up to unexpected guests, and perhaps even to expected guests! I think that the crab claws add to the appearance of the dish, but it would still be wonderful without. I am planning on adding some steamed asparagus next time for colour.
Pasta with Creamed Crab
100g crab meat
15 crab claws (optional but up the crab meat content if not using them)
1 tbsp garlic oil (is using the claws)
2 tbsp creme fiche (light cream cheese would work too)
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of half a lemon
pinch of something spicey (I used cayenne pepper)
1 tbsp of parsley - finely chopped (I didn't have any to hand)
plenty of salt and pepper.
Fry the crab claws in some garlic olive oil.
Combine all the other ingredients.
Prepare your pasta of choice.
Stir the crab mixture and pasta together.
Divide the crab claws artistically (!) on the pasta and serve.
My search continues for the perfect brownie -although in this case I'm a firm believer in the "it's the journey not the achievement" philosophy!!
These beauties are thanks to Nigella Lawson, they are from How To Be A Domestic Goddess (like the baking/cooking part of that quest, not the constant cleaning bit!) and are my current favourite, it should be noted that I am very fickle when it comes to brownies, and that my favourite is usually the one I've just tasted.
The cream cheese gives them a wonderful contrast between the fudgy, sweet chocolate and the smooth and savoury cheese, these are on my "return to" list.
125g dark chocolate
2 large eggs
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g plain flour
200g cold cream cheese (Philadelphia or supermarket own brand)
1/4 tsp coffee powder (this is my addition, as I feel a tiny bit of coffee is great with chocolate)
Line and grease a 23cm square tin, 4cm deep (although I just line mine)
Preheat oven to 180 C
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in another bowl.
Measure the flour and coffee into a third bowl.
When the chocolate mixture has nearly completely melted - remove from the heat. Allow to finish melting and then to cool slightly.
Beat in the egg mixture.
Add the flour and coffee - combine until smooth.
Pour half this mixture into the prepared tin, and lay the thinly sliced cheese on top.
Pour over the remaining half of the brownie mixture, making sure that all the cheese is covered.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes (as always mine took longer). The top should be slightly pale and dry, but a cake tester (or piece of spaghetti) should come out still fairly sticky.
Cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut when cold and hide!
Monday, March 8, 2010
I love, love, love a proper Sunday dinner - a succulent roast, crispy roast potatoes, and loads and loads of vegetables, and of course gravy. This would have to be my last meal on earth (given the choice of course!)
This week I tried something a bit different, I knew things would be hectic towards the end of the week, so I bought my leg of lamb early, spread a marinade on it and popped it in the freezer until Saturday evening.
I made up the marinade with what was at hand, and it turned out beautifully - the spice was nice and subtle. This is going right up there with garlic, rosemary and lemon for future lamb roasts.
Marinade for a Leg of Lamb
Tbsp of fresh thyme (or half that of dried)
Zest of half a lemon
Tbsp Olive Oil (more if needed)
Stud the meat at regular intervals and rub the marinade with it. This should be done as long before roasting as is convenient. I really recommend the freezing with marinade option.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to tackle the "yeast issue" - I have always felt a bit nervous of kneading, proving, Knocking back etc.
Other than what is know in our house as "Coby's Bread" a wonderful No Knead, this is my first venture into the world of yeast.
I chose a recipe by Nevin Maguire, a chef who doesn't faff about, his recipes are straight forward and taste good. The bread was very good, with a light texture - I found it a bonus that it made two loaves, I could have a day off bread making duties!!!! Although the recipe is for a white bread I added wholemeal flour - just because I prefer it.
I give the recipe as I made it.
YEAST BROWN BREAD
350g strong white flour
350g wholemeal flour
2 x 7g sachets of easy blend dried yeast
25g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
I used my Kitchen Aid with the hook attachment.
Preheat oven to 180 C
Place the flours in the mixer's bowl and add the yeast, 450ml lukewarm water, sugar and salt. Switch the machine on and mix until you have a sloppy dough, then knead on medium for 6 - 8 mins until the dough becomes slightly sticky but pliable.
Shape the dough into a loose ball, then place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size.
Oil two 450g (1lb) loaf tins. Knock back the risen dough by punching it lightly with a clenched fist to knock our the trapped bubbles (my favourite part!), then return it to the mixer and knead for 2 - 3 mins until it becomes springy and smooth.
Divide the dough in two, shape them into a rectangle using the size of your tins as a guide. Place in the prepared tins, smooth down the tops and leave to prove for another 10 mins.
Brush the tops of the loaves with the beaten egg. Bake for 45 mins until the loaves are a deep golden colour and sound hollow when tipped out of the tins and tapped on the bottom. Return to the tins and leave for 5 mins, then transfer the bread to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.