Monthly Archives: January 2013

Chocolate pots with coffee cream

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Chocolate pots are a new thing to me. I’ve heard of them before, but never made them.. now I’m kicking myself for not making them all my life 😉 they’re simple and delicious.. and you probably have all the ingredients you need to prepare them- on hand 😉 so , let’s get started.

For 4 portions you will need:

175g of dark chocolate

250 of whisking cream

1 tbsp of brown sugar

1 tsp of vanilla extract

4 egg yolks

 

For the topping you will need:

About 40ml of whisking cream

1 tbsp of coffee essence ( 1 tbsp of instant coffee disolved in 1 tbsp of hot water)

Mocca beans for decoration.

 

You will also need 4 ramekins – ovenproof.

So,all you need to do is heat up the cream in a small pot, add your vanilla, sugar and chocolate to it and mix, until it’s all melted (but doesn’t boil). Let it cool for a few minutes. When it’s room temperature, add your yolks- one at a time- and mix it in well, quickly. The mix will thicken slightly. If you have the time- pass the batter through a sieve. Divide it between 4 ramekins, and put into a baking tray. Fill the baking tray up with water, so it goes up to 2/3 height of the ramekin, be careful not to pour any water into the ramekins!

Bake in a preheated oven – 150C- for about 30-35 minutes , or until they’re JUST set. Take them out and let them cool completely, before putting them into the fridge for about an hour.

While they’re cooling, whisk up your cream with a tsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of coffee essence. Once the chocolate pots are cooled, decorate the top with coffee cream and a mocca bean.

Enjoy! 😉

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Polish Pierogi – ”ravioli” of eastern Europe :)

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Pierogi are one of the foundations of polish cuisine. They’re basically ravioli, but the dough doesn’t  need any eggs. The filling can be whatever you like.. traditionally you use beef and cabbage.. for christmas we make a vegetarian version with mushrooms and cabbage.. but there are many other like white cheese,potatoes and onions..or evern fruit- blueberries or strawberries are the most popular.

Today I’ll show you a recipe for the ones I like the most- with braised beef and cabbage. They’re simply delicious. As simple as the recipe is- it takes a long time to cook, so prepare the filling a day in advance. You can also freeze it and use it whenever you need it.

For about 45 pierogi you will need:

700g of braising beef

2 onions- chopped

400g of sauerkraut

About 300g of white cabbage- shredded

Salt, pepper, sugar to taste

White wine vinegar

Some garlic powder

3 tbsp of butter

For the dough:

About 800g of plain flour

Salt

About 200-250ml of hot water

So, start by boiling the beef in water. Use about 3-4l of cold water, 2-3 beef stock cubes, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 large leek. Cut the vegetables into halves and place in the water. Cut your beef into large chunks ( 10x5cm) and place in the water. Don’t salt it. Bring up to a boil and cook for about 3-3,5 hours until the meat is very tender and basically falling apart on it’s own.

Remove the meat from the stock and let it cool down.  As the meat cools down , chop the onions and fry them off until golden, then add chopped sauerkraut and cabbage. Add a dash of water, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of sugar. Cook for about 1-1,5 hour, adding water and butter in between, so the cabbage braises. By the end the cabbage should be cooked down, very soft and flavoursome. Season to taste at the end, and add the vinegar.

Chop your beef very finely, it’s very soft so it shouldn’t be an issue, it should be falling apart into strands. Then add the beef into the cabbage and mix. Add 2-3 ladles of the beef stock and let it cook out. Check the seasoning in the end. Add a really good amount of black pepper and a teaspoon of garlic powder.That’s your filling.

For the dough simply put your flour in a big bowl, add the salt and start adding water bit by bit, seeing how much it needs. Sometimes it needs more and sometimes less, so don’t add all the water at once..just add it gradually. Once you feel you have enough water to form a soft dough, start kneading , and continue doing so for about 15 minutes,until the dough is smooth,stretchy and soft. Then roll it out onto a flouered surface, cut out circles using a glass, put a good teaspoon of the filling in, fold in half and press the edge down with a fork.

Put your pierogi into simmering , salted water, they will take about 1-2 minutes max to cook, then take them out and serve them with some crisped up lardons on a flat plate, or with some of the beef stock in a bowl. They’re delicious either way 😉

Enjoy!

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”World’s easiest” part 2- apple cake.

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I decided to put the recipe for this cake on here, as I posted the ”world’s easiest plum cake” before.. and mentioned that it’s also possible with apples.. It’s really very simple.. the dough is completely the same as in the plum cake recipe (scroll down for the dough recipe).

The filling is pretty easy too. I peeled and chopped 8 small apples. Fried them off in some butter and waited until they oozed some juices out. Then I added sugar, cinammon and continued cooking them for about 15 minutes, until they were mostly soft. Then I squeezed them down using a fork, so most of them are mushy and sticky. That’s your filling. Just let it cool completely and tip it over onto your dough. (no pre-baking whatsoever). Then I used 1 big apple, sliced very finely, and arranged the slices into what I call a ”rose” pattern. I glazed the slices with some apricott jam, so they don’t dry out. After about 35 minutes in a hot 175C oven , your dough should be golden and baked and your apples warmed through ( they don’t need much as they’re already cooked).

I hope you’ll enjoy it 😉

 

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World’s easiest plum cake.

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This cake is a really easy one to make. It’s made from start to finish in under 1 hour and it really tastes great. Most importantly – it looks amazing because of the ”rose” pattern formed by the plum slices 😉

Let’s get started.

Serves 8-10

1,5 glass of flour

0,5 glass of sugar

0,5 cube of butter (about 110g)

Pinch of salt

2 egg yolks.

1tsp of baking powder

Half a jar of plum jam

4 ripe plums

2 table spoons of demarera sugar.

The first thing you need to know about this cake, that I really don’t use exact measurements to make it. I use proportions instead. It doesn’t matter if the glass you are using is a bit bigger or smaller than the one I use. It just means you will have slightly more or less dough 😉

So, put the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into a bowl and mix through. Add the cubed, cold butter, and rub it through your fingers, as if you were making a crumble. Once the butter is more or less incorporated into the flour, add 2 egg yolks and knead until it forms a dough. It’ll be soft, short and pretty plastic. I rip pieces off, forming them into balls and press them into the baking tin. It sticks to the sides very well. Once I formed a dough case in the tin I smear the plum jam evenly over the raw dough case, then put the plum slices on the cake (arranging them so they overlap and form a rose pattern), then I sprinkle some demarera sugar on top, for some crunch.

I bake it for about 30min in 175C , or until the crust is golden brown. Let it cool completely before taking out of the tin.

It’s a really simple cake, as you see, if I made it, anyone can. This cake can also be made with peaches, nectarines or apples. Then just cook some chopped fruit with sugar until they’re more or less soft, smash them up with  a fork, so they’re jam-like consistency. Smear the jam onto the raw-dough case, and decorate with slices of fresh fruit. Bake the same as the plum-variant.  Enjoy! 😉

 

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Crème brûlée – a delicious french classic

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As a child this dessert seemed like the most decadent, most elegant thing in the world.. and I always wanted to have it 😉 well, now as an adult I can have it whenever I want, as it’s so easy to make! It takes hardly any time to prepare it, all it needs is plenty of resting time to set.. So.. let’s get started!

For 4 servings you will need:

4 egg yolks

4 tbsp of sugar

1 vanilla pod

200ml of whisking cream

100 ml of milk

Pinch of salt

4 ramekins

This is dead simple. Just mix the yolks with the sugar. Don’t whisk them too much, you just want to mix the sugar in, not airrate the batter too much. Heat up the milk and cream in a sauce pan, add the seeds of a vanilla pod. Once it’s hot,but not boiling, turn it off. Pour some into the yolks while whisking at all times, then add some more and more..gradually, until all your milk/cream is in the yolks. Once that’s done I mix it well, so all the sugar is disolved. I pour the mix into 4 ramekins. I put them into a deep tray and pour in some recently boiled water- until about half way up the ramekin. I put it into the oven for about an hour, 15-160C. they will come out wobbly, don’t worry. Let them cool completely in the water. Then cover with foil and put into the fridge for the night to set.

When you’re ready to serve, take a spoon of sugar, smooth over the top of the Crème brûlée and torch it until you have the desired colour on the caramel. I like to serve it with some fresh fruit 😉 enjoy!

 

P.S it should crack when you brak it open with your spoon!

 

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