June 27, 2009

Bakewell Tart - Daring Bakers

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.
I haven't even heared of this tart before! What a loss! It is simply gorgeous and I love everything about it. So far this was one of the best recipes I baked being a Daring Baker
among the Danish Braid, the Cheesecake pops, the Eclairs and and...I decided to use that last basket of strawberries and cooked a quick jam with some red currants for the tart.

500 g strawberries
200 g red currant
150-200 g sugar

Slice strawberries, puree and sieve red currants. Bring it to boil together with the sugar and cook for 1-2 hours depending on the thickness you want to reach.

June 23, 2009

The last basket of strawberries...

Probably today, I bought the last portion of strawberries this season, so I was totally keen to prepare a nice dessert using them. I found a cake recipe with fresh strawberries, jam and whipped cream. I thought, yes, this is it! But later, when organising the fridge I discovered some exotic ingredients that I almost forgot! Besides I was craving for chocolate, so instead of a fresh strawberry dessert I prepared lemongrass ice cream, grapefruit-chili jelly and an ordinary chocolate cake, among some candied kumquats using Amy's recipe. The ice cream is just amazing!

250 g dark chocolate
4 eggs
220 g sugar

250 g butter
70 g flour

Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt chocolate over steam. Whisk eggs with sugar and whisk in melted butter, then add melted chocolate. Stir in flour and bake in a buttered and floured form for 25-35 minutes. Let it cool.

150 g lemongrass
100 ml lime juice
80 g sugar
30 g maple syrup
15 g grape sugar
150 ml cream, cold
200 ml milk, cold

Slice lemon grass and heat together with the sugar and lime juice. Remove from the heat and stir in maple syrup, grape sugar and let it cool. Mix it with the cream and milk and let it stand
for 2-3 hours. Sieve and let the ice cream machine do the rest. (ice cream recipe by Johann Lafer)

June 15, 2009

Pea and mint soup with Parma ham

Often, when I do not have much time to prepare lunch, I like to pick a recipe from Gordon Ramsay's book: Fast Food. I was very curious about the pea-mint combination already since quite a while, but somehow I always shifted. Frankly, I couldn't believe that it can be delicious. To many of you it might be something totally usual but for me it became my new favourite combo. It was today's great surprise, what a pity that I waited so long to try! And... what a fantastic soup!

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
4 slices of Parma ham, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper

handful of mint leaves (about 6 stalks)
500g peas (fresh or frozen)

200g crème fraîche

Heat olive oil and fry Parma ham, that is sprinkled with black pepper, over high heat and crisp. Drain on a kitchen paper to remove oil. Bring about 500 ml salted water to boil, add mint leaves and peas. Blanch for 2-3 minutes until tender. Drain and keep the water. Add peas and mint into a blender and add enough of the water so that you get a smooth puree. Add olive oil and all crème fraîche, but set 4 tablespoons aside. Serve soup with crème fraîche and scatter Parma ham over it.

June 14, 2009

Chinese potstickers - Daring Cooks

Here it comes! The second Daring Cooks' Challenge by Jen from use real butter. Is there anyone out there who could possibly resist potstickers? I prepared them using Jen's pork filling and the whole bunch was gone in half an hour!

Chinese dumplings/potstickers

pork filling:

1 lb (450g) ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced
1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced

1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil

2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

dough: (double this for the amount of filling, but easier to make it in 2 batches - or just halve the filling recipe)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (113g) warm water
flour for worksurface

In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.

Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side. Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

June 11, 2009

Lekváros bukta

Bukta or Buchteln are sweet dumplings made of yeast dough and filled with lekvár (=jam). Last time I ate bukta when I was 12. I bought it often in the school for breakfast. I remember, it was end of the summer holiday, so I had to get my school bag out of the locker. I had the habit that I didn't pack out my bag on the last day of school, but left it for the last day of the holiday. That way I always found a bunch of surprises, once even a half bukta. Yesterday I baked my first bukta ever, using a recipe by Johann Lafer. Mmm...I can tell you that there was no left over today morning!

60 ml milk, lukewarm
250 g flour
45 g sugar
20 g fresh yeast
2 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 pinch of salt

zest of 1 orange
60 g butter, room temperature
150 g jam
30 g melted butter

Whisk milk, 30 g flour, 20 g sugar and yeast and let it raise until double its size. Add the resf ot the flour, yolks, eggs, rest of the sugar, salt, orange zest and room temperature butter. Knead a smooth dough and let it raise until double its size. Roll out dough about 1/2 cm thick and cut out circles of 6 cm diameter. Fiil each with one teaspoon of jam (i used apricot and sour cherry) and form a dumpling. Place dumplings in a buttered form and let it raise for another 30 minutes and smear melted butter over them. Bake for 30-40 minutes on 180°C.

June 10, 2009

Tarte au citron

It happens once in a while that I buy too many lemons, because usually I have no idea what I am going to cook from my long list and because I can hardly resist their smell. Luckily, it happened again! I wanted to prepare a nice lemon sorbet, but the weather turned really cold and rainy so I decided rather to bake something. I picked Pierre Hermé's tarte au citron. If you haven't tried it already and you are a lemon fan, well then this is a must! I am already longing for it again and how great it is that I still have two portions of pate sucrée in my freezer!

500 g flour
4 pinches of salt

300 g diced butter (room temperature)
1/2 vanilla pod
190 g powder sugar
60 g ground almond
2 eggs

Sieve flour, add salt and butter cubes and with the help of your fingers mix it so that it is like crumbled. Mix powder sugar with vanilla and add to the flour mix. Add eggs and knead a
dough, but do not overknead! Leave it for 4 hours in the fridge. (this recipe is enough for 3 26-28 cm cake form) Blind bake pastry.

5 lemons

240 g powder sugar
4 eggs
160 ml lemon juice
300 g diced butter (room temperature)

Mix the zest of the lemons with powder sugar and whisk in eggs, after add lemon juice. Cook
it over steam until it thickens (82-83°C). Let it cool down to 60°C and mix in butter. Cool cream and fill the pastry. Chill for 2-3 hours.

June 8, 2009

Cook fish - think twice!

Lately, I became aware of the overfishing problem and I realized that some of the fish recipes on this blog are at least questionable or even an absolute NO GO (e.g. lemon sole). From now on I will think twice what kind of fish I buy. You might want to do the same, so check out the informations published by WWF and Greenpeace and consider what they say.

I feel guilty not having done this earlier.

Strawberry ice cream

Lately, my head is full with ideas and I simply can not catch up on! Especially on Sunday evenings, while reading or watching tv, I always need to have a piece of paper next to me to write them down. Sometimes even before I fall asleep I write this or that down in the dark, and wonder the next day what could I meant. Actually, I should be in the kitchen now baking a bunch of dog treat, but before I thought to post the strawberry ice cream from yesterday. I collected some wild ones during the morning walk. There are a lot of them around here, but unfortunately not easy to collect.

500 g strawberry
400 ml milk
50 ml cream
170 g sugar
4 egg yolks

Heat milk and cream until it starts cooking. Whisk egg yolks with sugar and slowly add hot milk mix to the eggs while whisking. Take it back to the cooking plate and cook until it thickens (it should be 85°C). Let the mixture cool over night or at least for 5-6 hours. Stir in starwberry puree and let the ice cream maker do the rest of the work.

Goat cheese soufflé with spinach salad

On the farm, where I get my strawberries, eggs, potatoes from, they also have goats and produce fresh goat cheese. Normally it is all eaten within a weekend with a nice tomato salad, but yesterday I decided to prepare a soufflé. Though I used the same recipe as for the blue cheese one, I didnt manage to get it out from the forms properly, and even forgot to take a photo when the soufflés were still high. Nevertheless it was a nice starter. I flavoured it with rosemary and instead of sugar I used honey and served among a nice spinach salad with grapefruit. Thinking about it now, I guess some roasted almonds would have gave the missing crunch to the salad.

2 handful of baby spinach
2 grapefruits
1 shallot
2 tablespoon elderflower vinegar
1 pinch of sugar
3 tablespoons white wine

5 tablespoons grape seed oil
salt, pepper

Chop shallot, cut fillets out of the grapefruits and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

June 7, 2009

Candied Ginger Cookies

I was planning to prepare Millie's candied ginger already since quite a while, but somehow I didn't manage to do so before. On Thursday, I wanted to bake some cookies and when I read that the recipe calls for candied ginger it was clear that I am going to make it myself.

y the way Millie surprised me with the "Super Duper Chef" award. Thank you again! Now it is my turn to give it to 5 great cooks out there! Here they are: Rosa, Manggy, Dhanggit, Robert and Jasmin. Now let's see the cookies!

200 g flour
50 g maize strach
100 g candied ginger, chopped
100 g ground almond
100 g sugar

175 g butter, room temperature
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together and knead a dough. Let it stand 30 minutes in the fridge. Roll out and give it the shape you desire. Bake for 10-12 minutes on 180°C.

June 5, 2009


Atlantic Sea Scallops

Actually this post is about mussels and me, but it includes some gorgeous tomatoes, like the Berner Rose, an old Swiss variety. Until a few days ago, I haven't ever tried mussels, not even had the idea to do so. Last week I bought a bunch of frozen scallops, yeah frozen, because I didn't know when and how to prepare them and I was simply totally curious about them. Frankly, I was sure that those are not going to be my favourite... I was absolutely wrong! The scallops were simply fantastic! What a great texture, what a fabulous flavor! I didn't want to risk anything so I chose a recipe by Gordon Ramsay: scallops with maize
salsa. I loved the idea of flavouring the scallops with curry salt (1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder), simply wow! ...and the tomatoes, I am crazy about them, so many different shapes, colours and tastes. The above mentioned Berner Rose has such a fantastic flavour, you can see them on the photo in front of the big red one.

12 scallops
400 g maize (canned)
200 g cherry tomatoes
1 red chili

1 red onion
2 spring onions
3 tablespoon sesame oil
1 handful of cilantro
juice of 2 limes
1 shoot soy sauce
salt, pepper

Half scallops horizontal and season with the above mentioned curry salt. Heat a big sauce pan and fry scallops in olive oil, 1 minute per side (I needed less because mine were small). For the salsa slice spring onions in thin rings, chop onion and add everything into a small pot and warm it up. Season with salt and pepper.

June 4, 2009

Black sesame ice cream

The ginger-coconut parfait made me think about ice cream with sesame. I guess many of you know halva and the many kinds available. My personal favourite is the tahini based one. So that brought me to idea to try black sesame ice cream. I also prepared some coconut praline filling to have something in contrast to the dark colour of the sesame.

5 tablespoon black sesame seeds
350 ml full fat milk
150 ml heavy cream
150 g sugar

4 egg yolks
150 g coconut flakes
90 g sugar

4 tablespoon milk
1 egg white
2 tablespoon powder sugar

Heat milk, heavy cream and ground sesame seeds until it starts cooking. Whisk egg yolks with sugar and slowly add hot milk mix to the eggs while whisking. Take it back to the cooking plate and cook until it thickens (it should be 85°C). Let the mixture cool over night or at least for 5-6 hours. Let the ice cream maker do the rest of the work. Mix sugar and milk and heat until sugar is dissolved. Let it cool and add to the coconut, egg white and powder sugar mix. Form it as you wish and leave it fridge until it hardens.

Beef Glace de Viande

Yesterday I spent my whole afternoon preparing beef glace. It takes quite a lot of work and though I was toally happy with the result, I ended up with about 150-200 ml glace out of 800 g beef bones. I wish you could have a smell of it! It is simply fantastic! Mmm... and now some infos about stock and co:
Let there be stock! Stock is actually very similar to broth, but usually broth refers to the finished product, while stock is used as an ingredient. Stock is prepared by simmering various ingredients, such as: meat, bones, mirepoix, herbs an spices. Mirepoix is a combinations of onions, carrots and celery or sometimes other vegetables. Spices is usually added in a form of bouquet garni that contains various ingredients, depending on the stock you want to prepare.
There are many types of stock:
Fond brun (brown stock): bones and mirepoix are roasted, that gives it a brown colour.
Fond blanc (white stock): raw bones and white mirepoix.
Jus is a rich, lightly reduced stock.

Demiglace is any rich stock that is reduced half to enrich it.
Glace de viande is made the same way but it is reduced about 8-10 times more to have a really thick and highly concentrated reduction at the end.

2500 g beef bones
500 g onion
250 g carrot
100 g celery
8 tablespoons oil

6-8 white peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
2 juniper berries
1 twig thyme

1/2 garlic clove

Preheat oven to 180°C and roast bones until golden brown. Meanwhile chop vegetables. Pour oil from the roasted bones, add vegetables and roast until brown. Transfer everything in a large pot and pour water in the empty roasting tin. Scrap up all brown b
its on the bottom of the pan and add this to the pot with the veggies and bones. Fill it up with water and add herbs and spices. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, while removing foam and fat as often as needed. Sieve and cook over low heat until it thickens. It can be kept in the fridge up to 3 months.

June 3, 2009

Strawberry Bavarian Cream

Somehow we managed not to eat the whole bunch of strawberries like we did when the first ones arrived. Luckily! A part ended up in a Bavarian cream with strawberry puree on top and an other handful as strawberry chips.

170 g strawberries
1 1/4 tablespoon gelatin

3 egg yolks
75 g sugar
125 ml milk
200 ml cream

Puree strawberries and sprinkle gelatine over it. Whisk egg yolks with sugar. Bring milk to boil and stir in yolk-sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in puree. Let it cool and after stir in beaten cream.

June 2, 2009

Spicy blueberry pound cake

Early this afternoon I was craving something sweet. I received some blueberries from my neighbour, but I had no lust to bake muffins. Therefore I decided for a fast pound cake and baked it in small tart forms. It was just perfect to extinguish my thirst for sweets.

1 handful of blueberries
140 g flour
10 g cocoa powder
100 g cane sugar
50 g ground hazelnut

1 tablespoon Lebkuchen spice mix
2 teaspoon baking soda
8 g vanilla sugar
1 egg
180 g yoghurt
2 tablespoons oil
butter and ground hazelnut for the forms

Butter form(s) and coat with ground hazelnut. Preheat oven to 180°C. Whisk all ingredients together and fill into the form, place blueberries on top and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Sole with saffron sauce

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

Well, this dish was inspired by two things. Some time ago I prepared a saffron strudel filled with white polenta, goat cheese and pea puree. Though I should have used spinach instead pea, don't ask me why I haven't, and therefore I didn't post about it. Now it might sound a bit strange, but this saffron strudel inspired me to prepare a saffron sauce, and a strudel filled with polenta. The mangold growing on my window ledge was also ready to be used, so I filled the sole fillets with the leaves and poached in white wine.

1 shallot
1 teaspoon butter

100 ml white wine
1 tablespoon sherry

100 ml fish stock
1 pinch of saffron threads

50 ml cream

Melt butter, add chopped shallot, stew and pour wine over it. Let it reduce a bit, sieve, add sherry, fish stock, saffron and cook until reduced half. Stir in cream, bring it to boil and season with salt and pepper.

June 1, 2009

Bostini Cream Pie - Double DB

The best way to celebrate the rebirth of my computer is a nice cup of delicious Bostini Cream Pie. Now I am busy reorganising everything, but soon I am back with a fish dish!

Related Posts with Thumbnails