December 30, 2008

7th Course: Passion fruit Mousse, Melted Core Chocolate Cake and Rosa-Hibiscus Ice Cream

Unfortunatly I had no matching plate for the dessert and while serving I was nervous because of the chocolate cake so all together looked liked a big mess. Besides I used new forms for the cakes that were not stable enough and part of the batter flow out. The mousse could have been more fluffy but it tasted fabulous and the rose-hibiscus ice cream was a dream!

For the passionfruit mousse:
6 passion fruits
150 g cream cheese
3 tablespoon powder sugar

2 gelatine leaves
1 tablespoon water
75 ml heavy cream
For the rosa-hibiskus ice cream:
375 ml milk
100 ml Crème fraîche
6 egg yolks
100 g powder sugar
50 ml hibiscus syrup

2 tablespoon rose water
For the chocolate cake:
125 g butter
30 g sugar

125 g bittersweet chocolate
2 eggs
2 egg yolks

30 g sugar
12 g corn starch

Smear passion fruit through a sieve so that you have about 200 ml juice at the end. Stir in cream cheese and sugar. Put gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes, after dissolve in 1 tablespoon hot water and whisk in to the cream cheese mixture. Let it cool until it starts to thicken on the sides of the bowl. Beat heavy cream and stir in, set it in the fridge for 2 hours.

For the ice cream heat milk and crème fraîche and let it cool. Whisk sugar with egg yolks and stir in the milk mixture and warm it until it thickens so that it covers a wooden spoon. Let it cool and stir in hibiscus syrup and rose water. Let the ice cream maker do the rest. For the choclate cake whisk butter with 30 g of sugar until fluffy. Stir in melted chocolate. Whisk eggs and egg yolks with the other portion of sugar and mix it with the butter-chocolate mixture. Bake for 7-8 minutes on 210°C.

6th Course: Tomato Sorbet

I thought it would be nice to have something refreshing before the dessert, that is why I choose a tomato sorbet with warm tomato sauce, grissini, dried tomato and goat cheese with pistachios. Actually it is supposed to be a white tomato sorbet, but to me it is not that white as it should have been.

600 g tomatoes
3-5 basil leaves
1 twig thyme
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon white wine

Chop tomatoes and cook together with the herbs, sugar, salt vinegar and white wine. Let it cool and set it to the freezer or pour it into an ice cream maker.

5th Course: Filet Rossini

This course took me a lot of research: so many different informations and so difficult to decide. In my book about Italian Cuisine there is a recipe that calls for cheese and bacon. I was a bit shocked about that because if Rossini, then foie gras, truffel and madeira may not be missing! So I decided to go with the flow and just did it. For the toast under the filet I decided to bake my own bread, and luckily I have found a fantastic recipe on the Kochtopf. I did not manage to form the bread very well, but the taste after frying in butter is absolutely amazing!

4x100 g beef filet
4 slices of toast bread

4 slices of foie gras
2 twigs thyme
black truffle

50 g bacon
1 shallot
2 tablespoon olive oil
150 ml madeira

2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
300 ml veal stock
2 tablespoon grated parmesan
salt, pepper

Season meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil, and fry meat from both sides, set aside to the oven on 100°C for 10 minutes (depeds how you like it and how your oven works) add bacon, shallot and stew. Add veal stock, balsamic vinegar, madeira and cook for 10-13 minutes. Stir in parmesan, season with salt, pepper and truffle. Heat butter and fry toast from both sides.

In another saucepan heat butter add thyme and fry foie gr
as for 1 minute on both sides, season with salt and pepper.

4th Course: Canard Mousse with Corn Salad

I was curious about the mousse that turned out very aromatic and made a great match with the salad. I also served a slice of canard that I marinated in chardonnay with some rosemary for about an hour. To the salad I have added some red walnuts that taste pretty different than the normal walnuts, these are sweeter and somewhat less nutty.

For the canard mousse:
300 g canard breast
150 ml heavy cream
2 gelatine leaves

30 g butter
1 pinch of cinnamon
125 ml chicken stock

4 cl portwein
1/8 teaspoon majoram
1/8 teaspoon thyme
salt, pepper

For the salad:
a bunch of corn salad
1 shallot
18 ml red wine vinegar
37 ml walnut oil
salt, pepper

Remove the skin and fat of the canard breast and cut it in cubes. Heat a saucepan and add the skin and fry it until the fat comes out. Add breast cubes and fry for 3-4 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper, majoram, thyme and cinnamon. Set it aside and pour chicken stock and portwein into the saucepan and reduce to half. Stir in gelatine and set aside to cool until it is lukewarm. Ground fried canard breast and after smear it through a sieve.

Stir in butter and the liquid with the gelatine. Beat heavy cream and fold it into the mixture. Season with salt, pepper and some portwein. Fill mousse in portions and let is stand for 2-3 hours in the fridge. For the salad chop shallot, salt, pepper add vinegar and let it stand for 30 minutes. Whisk in oil and pour it over the salad.

December 29, 2008

3rd Course: Chicken on Lemon Grass with Fruit Relish

The biggest surprise of the seven courses: I never thought that this fruit relish is going to be such an explosion! Absolutely juicy, fresh, sweet but also sour and of course it softens the hotness of the chicken balls. Great combination!

For the chicken balls:
4 lemon grass
400 g chicken breast
1 teaspoon sambal olek

1 onion
1 piece of ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
juice of 1 lime

salt, pepper
For the fruit relish:
1 baby ananas
1 mango
1/2 avocado
2 tablespoon sugar

50-70 ml raspberry vinegar
juice of 1 lime

10 spearmint leaves

Ground chicken breasts, add grated onion, grated ginger, lime juice, peanut butter, sambal olek, salt and pepper. Mix well and form balls, that you stick on a lemon grass and set aside for 1-2 hours. Beat lemon grass before using so that it can unfold its flavour. Heat oven to 180°C and cook sticks for 10-13 minutes.

For the fruit relish cut fruits in cubes. Melt sugar, pour vinegar on it and cook for 3 minutes, after pour it over the fruits. (You also can cook the fruits in the vinegar for 5-6 minutes.) Stir in avocado and chopped spearmint, season with lime juice and pepper. Let it stand for 2-3 hours in the fridge.

2nd Course: Beetroot-Coconut Soup with Coconut King Prawn and Horseradish Foam

Tropical shrimps, both farmed and wild caught.

Coldwater shrimps.

This soup is for sure an eye-catcher and deliciously coconutty with crispy coconut flakes covered king prawn but the kick is the horseradish foam. I suggest to cook the soup some hours before serving, because it tastes a lot more delicious.

For the soup:
400 g beetroot
1 shallot
1 tablespoon butter
600 ml vegetable stock

1 star anise
250 ml coconut milk
salt, pepper
For the prawns:
4 king prawns
1 egg
coconut flakes
For the horseradish foam:
100 ml veal stock
100 ml milk
50-70 g fresh horseradish
juice of a half lemon
30 g grated almond
3 tablespoon Crème fraîche
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

Cut beetroot in pieces and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes with a star anise. Heat butter, add chopped shallot and roasted beetroot. Cook in stock for 15 minutes, puree, add coconut milk and season with salt and pepper.

Salt prawns, cover with flour, egg and coconut flakes and deep fry in oil. For the horseradish
foam cook milk and veal stock and reduce, add grated almond, crème fraîche, horseradish and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix until nice foamy and serve on top of the soup.

1st Course: Lemon Sole with Dijon Mustard Sabayon & Beluga Lentil

American plaice, Yellowtail flounder, Winter flounder, Flounder/sole from the Atlantic Ocean, Southern flounder, Summer flounder, Witch flounder

When I planned the Christmas Dinner I had to consider that my kitchen is extremly small. Without my pantry I would be lost. The kitchen fridge has a tiny freezer, that is why we have an extra freezer and a fridge in the pantry and my kitchen machine and steamer are also in there. So for this course I knew that I am going to need all the three cooking plates. In order to serve the second course also on time, I had to prepare a part of it while cooking the first course, so I decided to steam the fish with djion mustard-parsley-lemon filling, that way I had a free cooking plate and on the other two I could cook the lentil and the sabayon.

For the fish:

4 lemon sole fillets
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt, pepper

For the dijon mustard sabayon:
100 ml vegetable stock
100 ml chardonnay
1 shallot
1 twig thyme

1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

salt, pepper
For the beluga lentil: (original recipe by Ivo Adam)
100 g beluga lentil
20 g carrot
10 g celery
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 small shallot

10 g butter
100 ml red wine
200 ml vegetable stock
100 ml beef jus

Cut carrot and celery in brunoise (
cubes of a side length of about 3 mm). Heat butter and add vegetable, lentil and stew for 1-2 minutes together with the shallot. Add red wine, reduce, pour beef jus on it and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in cranberries, season with salt and pepper.

For the sabayon cook vegetable stock together with the
chardonnay, thyme, shallot and reduce half. Sieve, stir in dijon mustard. In another pot bring water to simmer. Whisk egg yolk frothy add chardonnay-dijon mustard liquid and whisk over steam for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix lemon juice, dijon mustard and chopped parsley and smear it on the fish, roll it up and steam it for 6-7 minutes.

December 28, 2008

Precooking for Christmas Dinner Vol. 3

In a few days I am going to publish my seven-course Christmas Dinner that took me 12 hours of cooking, plus let's say another 5 hours in three days for precooking. Until then I want to share those fabulous parmesan grissini by Giorgio Locatelli, that were also part of the dinner. These grissini are simply irresistible!

50 g butter
200 ml milk
10 g fresh yeast

375 g flour
3 tablespoon grated parmesan
10 g salt

Melt butter, add milk and heat until it is lukewarm. Stir in yeast. Mix parmesan, salt, flour (I used 300 g bakers flour and 75 g Italien Tipo 00), pour in yeast mixture and knead a dough. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and stretch into a rectangle. Work your way over the entire surface of the dough making deep indentations with eight fingers at once. When the surface of the dough is covered with indentations, fold it in half turn it ninety degrees, stretch it out to an A4 sized rectangle and repeat the indentation making process again. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a wet kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes. Repeat the dimpling and folding process and leave to rise in the covered bowl again for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 150°C. Cut the dough in half and roll each half out into a large rectangle about 30cm or more on its long side. Slice this rectangle of dough into 1cm wide strips.

Roll the strips one at a time on the work surface with your hands to form long thin sausages. Press down on one end to create a flattened spoon shape. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

December 23, 2008

Precooking for Christmas Dinner Vol. 2

Today it was time to prepare some more parts of my planned 7 course Christmas dinner. I cooked vegetable stock and made the decoration for the dessert: chocolate roses. I found a great tutorial in the Cake on the Brain blog. I never thought that would be so easy to model with chocolate and so much fun!

3-4 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 small piece of celery
1 leek
1 big onion
1 clove
10 black peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bunch of parsley
200 ml white wine

2 l water
1 teaspoon olive oil

Heat oil and roast halved onion until golden brown. Add chopped veggies and let it stew for 20 minutes. Add wine and let it reduce. Add clove, thyme, parsley, peppercorn and water and cook for another 20 minutes. Sieve and it is ready to use, or freeze. It is important to know if you cook vegetable stock, do not cook it longer than 45 minutes.

December 18, 2008

Honey Cookies

Every year as the last cookies, I bake honey cookies, that are my dad's favourite. Of course there are still some cakes missing: the beigli and our favourite poppy bars, but these will be baked only later. To me these honey cookies are the most Christmasy for many reasons: the shapes, the smell and the tradition, because in the past trees were decorated with apples and such cookies, and when these are baked it always means, that soon our family is together.

250 g honey
500 g flour
100 g butter

100 g sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
sliced almond for decoration

Heat honey and butter, until honey is melted. Add the other ingredients and knead a dough. Roll out and with a cookie cutter cut in forms as you wish. Smear cookies with egg white and add sliced almond on top. Bake for 10-12 minutes on 180°C.

Among these honey cookies I also baked Rosa's yummy Pecan Sandies, that are totally yummy and go perfect with a cup of tea while watching that winter wonderland outside.

December 17, 2008

Lemon Cookies

What a beautiful morning today! It is snowing again, hopefully we are going to have white Christmas this year. Among the vanilla stars, yesterday I baked some lemon cookies as well. I love the texture of the dough and it has a wonderful intense lemon taste.

3 egg yolks
125 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
juice and zest of one lemon

1 pinch of baking soda
250-300 g almond

Whisk egg yolks with sugar and vanilla sugar until foamy. Add lemon zest and juice, baking soda and whisk in ground almond, so that you get a not sticky dough. Roll out on ground almond and cut with a cookie cutter. Bake for 10 minutes on 170°C.

Vanilla Stars

Actually I agreed with my mom that this year we will not bake many cookies, like we did last year, because then, after giving one bag of cookies after the other away we still had more than enough. It seems like that this year it is going to be quite like it was last year if not "worse". However I do not mind, after all only once in a year is Christmas! I simply can not resist when I read through my cookbooks, and always think: this is going to be the last one. Well, not quite but let's see those stars! To part of the dough I have added some chilli and sprinkled with black salt.

200 g flour
1 pinch of baking soda
60 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch of salt
1 egg
100 g butter
1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon condensed milk

Mix together flour and baking soda, add sugar, vanilla extract, salt, egg and butter. Knead a dough, roll out and cut in pieces with a cookie cutter. Mix egg yolk with condensded milk and smear over the cookies, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 8 minutes on 180°C.

December 16, 2008

Marzipan Moon

Yesterday afternoon I baked the next bunch of cookies with marzipan. Actually I am not so much a marzipan fan and I was sceptic that these cookies are going to be tasty. It was a great surprise! Of course I had to try one, and I confess I ended up eating one after the other until I noticed that soon one baking sheet is empty.

200 g marzipan (raw mixture)
75 g powder sugar
150 g ground almond
3 teaspoon corn starch
1 egg white
juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon rum

Mix all ingredients together and knead a dough. If it is too sticky knead in more powder sugar until you can roll it out. With a cookie cutter cut in forms you desire and bake for 10-12 minutes on 180°C.
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