Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Jam Strips Cookies

If you like sweet shortcrust pastry and jam or jelly you are in for a treat. The original recipe calls for a cranberry jelly, but you can change that to a taste of jelly you like or want to try in a cookie.

These strips are filled with tomato, fennel and anisseed jam, a combination that is awesome and not common on every shelf of all supermarkets. During tomato season, make it yourself and you have something to fall back to in winter baking season.

Trust me, it tastes wonderful and most people will asked you about the jelly you´ve used.
125 g butter
60 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
150 g flour
25 g cornstarch
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
200 g jam
Make a shortcrust dough and wrap the ball in clingfilm and rest it in the fridge for 1 hour.
roll it on some baking paper to 3mm thickness and cut 10 cm strips.
loosen your jam or jelly with a spoon and leave a 2cm spare strip on each side. Fold over the sides so that a small centerwith jam is free anf bake it at 190 C for 12 minutes on the lowest shelf in the oven. When baked  wait until cool then cut into 1 inch pieces.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Jasmin Rice and Cardamom Cake GF

I wanted to bake a Birthday cake to feed it to my coworkers. It took me a long time to find a cake that spoke to me and wasn ´t filled and topped with butter cream. I have to confess, I am not a real fan of butter cream. I put it on m my sideboard at the office at 7 AM and it was gone at noon. Everyone was surprised and liked the cake a lot.

I was on a trip through the Garden of England this spring and in Lanhydrock House in Cornwall in the Gift Shop I found a book from Fiona Cairns- Seasonal baking. She is the one who made the wedding cake for Kate and Prince William.
This is the first time I used one of the recipes as an idea for me. It is a gluten free bake, that is something challenging and I wanted to make it and changed it a bit.
Now, that the cake is done- I have not tasted it yet - I know one thing: it is very time consuming.
I started with the first task at 7:40 AM and finished the cake at 3:40 PM. It needs many hours to cool down in between.

unsalted butter for the baking tin 24 cm diameter
and baking paper for the bottom and the rim

10 cardamom pods
250 g Jasmine rice
750 ml whole milk
2 stalks lemon grass
2 fresh bay leaves
1 pinch of salt
75 g coconut flour sugar
50 g caster sugar
150 ml double cream
150 ml coconut cream
 6 eggs, separated
200 g curd low fat
300 ml double cream
zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pandan extract (green colour)
30 g icing sugar
some Physalis for decoration and some green sprinkles

Start with the cardamom pods. Use a pestel and mortar and beat the pods open and get the seeds out. Grind the seeds into a fine powder, put it through a sieve.
In a big pot, bring unsalted water to the boil and cook the rice for 3 minutes. Drain and clean the pot.
Put the rice back into the pot with the milk, cardamom powder, bay leaves and lemon grass and the sugar, except 1 tbsp of it.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Let it cool down completely and then remove the bay leaves and lemon grass.

Separate the eggs and beat the egg white to stiff peaks, adding the tablespoon of sugar at the end.
Mix the yolks with the cream and coconut cream and loosen the cold rice in the mix. Fold in the egg whites gently.

Butter and paper the baking dish and heat up the oven to 180 C.
Fill in the mix and bake for 40-45 minutes, it should  still wobble a little in the middle. Cool down in the baking dish completely.
Open the dish and turn the cake upside down on a cake platter and peel off the paper.

Get the curd loosened up with a whisk and whip the double cream to soft peaks. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract and a bit of green pandan extract.

Use a cake turntable if you have one, makes life a lot easier.
With an offset palette knife and coat top and sides of the cake.
If you put some paper strips under the cake, you can get a clean cake platter when you are finished.
Cool it down, the decorate it with some sprinkles and a bit of Physalis.



Sunday, 27 November 2016

Parsley Root and Purple Carrot Risotto

Risotto is a dish that needs usually a bit of work. But I was decorating my two Christmas trees today and had not so much time to cook. This recipe idea is from the newest Thermomix magazine issue and I bought parsley roots and mixed carrots today.

Having a cooking helper made it sooo easy. I shredded the parmesan cheese together with the parsley leaves and filled it into a small bowl for later.
Then I shredded onion and garlic and then added to shred the parsley roots and carrots.
Next step was just to add the risotto rice and the spices and water and wine with a stock cube. Best is, you do no need to add any oil.
I closed the lid and set the cooker to 24  min.
Finish, I just gave in 25 g of butter and half of the cheese herb mix a stir.

250 g parsley roots
2 carrots (one purple)
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
120 g carnaroli rice
280 ml water
50 ml white wine
1 veg stock cube
salt and pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
50 g parmesan cheese
30 g fresh parsley
25 g butter

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Chicken Crumble

The base and idea to this recipe is SortedFoods Turkey Crumble.
Since we have Thanksgiving today, I wanted to celebrate a bit after work with a bit of poultry.

I bought some rotisserie chicken breasts a while ago and some can of sweet corn was sitting around, sour cream in the fridge and the only thing I had to buy was baby spinach.
This is so easy peasy and the taste is great.

A very homey dish with not so much work to do. It is great as a packed lunch the other day or can be frozen for an other meal.

200 g precooked chicken breast
2 spring onions
1 can of sweet corn
300 g baby spinach
200 g creme fraiche
1 tsp Korean chili powder
1 tbsp mustard
salt and pepper
80 g flour
30 g bread crumbs
80 g butter
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp onion and garlic powder
some celery seed
salt and pepper
dried thyme

Cut the chicken into cubes.
make a kettle of boiling water and put the spinach into a large bowl and pour the hot water over it.
Drain and squeeze the spinach
Open the can of sweet corn and drain it
cut the spring onions fine.
Use an ovenproof dish and chuck the ingredients in. Pour the creme fraiche on top, season and give it a good mix.

Preheat the oven 180 C

In a second bowl mix butter and flour and breadcrumbs with the seasoning until you have crumble pieces. Sprinkle them on top of the mix and get it into the oven for 15 min.
Set the grill on high and give the crumble 5 more minutes to get brown.
Serve with toast.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Tomato Ricotta Squares

I found this recipe years ago in one of my favourite French supermarkets. It still is sticking to my corkboard today. I exchanged the feta with homemade ricotta cheese.  I used puff pasty as the base and it is a very fast and nice dish to serve if you have guests around. The combination of different flavours makes a wonderful snack.

puff pastry about 200 g
1 egg yolk
8 cherry tomatoes
100 g ricotta cheese
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp pine nuts
some dried thyme
some dried zaatar
salt and pepper
some parsley

Preheat the oven 180 C.
Cut four same size rectangles.
sear 1,5 cm around the egde and use a fork in the middle to prick the dough.
smear some mustard on.

Place some ricotta on top.

Add halfed tomatoes and season with thyme, zaatar, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with pine nuts and honey and some honey.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Mulled wine cookie cuts

Here in Germany you get mulled wine or Glühwein at every Christmas market. The spices are in the air and people are drawn to the booths that sell that hot red or white wine. You can get berry wines too. They are overly sweet, so I rarely drink them. When I will have some mulled wine, I choose one of the red wines in my wine cellar and add a bit of sugar and a couple of spices and an orange and lemon peel, that´s it.

But I bought a bottle to use it while baking christmas cookies and looked for the good stuff from a local winery. SO I CAN enjoy the rest :-)

The cookie recipe is from a coworker, I´ve tried her cookies before and knew they were good.

recipe for a 30x50x2 cm oven baking dish: 
250 g softend unsalted butter
125 g sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
4 eggs
250 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
150 g 80% dark chocolate
125 ml red mulled wine

250 g icing sugar
4 tbsp mulled wine
3 tbsp almond slices

Grate the chocolate  and place all the ingredients into a bowl, take a hand mixer and make a soft batter.
Preheat the oven 160 C fan
Grease the baking sheet and put baking paper on. Spread the batter evenly over the paper.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Cool completely.
Make the glaze and spread that oven the cake. Sprinkle with almonds.
When its dry, cut out cookies the way you like them.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Bread Santa Hats

The recipe comes from the same website as the Easter bunnies I baked in March this year.
All that sweet Christmas cookie baking needs a savoury counterpart. This little hats are nice to serve with a braised meat instead of baguette, pasta, potatoes or rice. They are going great with a cheese board too. It is a bit of work, but it is fun to work with the dough and add all the trimmings.
They are also a nice treat for breakfast for your friends.

350 g strong flour or bread flour (use spelt flour if you like)
150 g semolina duro
12 g salt
15 g fresh yeast
12 g olive oil
300 ml water
1 tsp bread seasoning (caraway-, anise-, fennel- and fenugreek seeds -check out my blog on South Tyrolian bread)
black and white sesame seeds
caraway seeds
smoked paprika
coarse salt
poppy seeds

Knead the dough for 10 minutes and let it rest for 1 1/2 hours in a warm place or overnight in a fridge.
Knock back the air and flour a counter top.
With a rolling pin make a flat dough about 1 cm thick.
Cut off a 12 cm strip of dough.
Cut triangles with one side 7 cm wide.
The smaller pieces of dough set a side for the balls hanging on the Santa hat.
Use both hands and pull the 7 cm bottom side a bit wide, fold it over about 1, 5 cm and make a rim of the hat.

Elongate the tip a bit, fold it over your index finger to the right side.
Make a small ball out of some dough and with some water glue it to the hat.
Set the hats on baking paper. Brush with some water and put seeds along the rim of the hat and on top of the ball.

Flour the middle of the hats a little, it looks nice.
Let the hats sit covered to rest for 20 minutes.
If you have a baking stone in your oven, use that. If not, the baking sheet will do fine.
Heat the oven to 220 C
Set in the hats with the baking paper and bake for 15 minutes, remove them from the paper and bake on the stone for 5 more minutes.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Marshmallow Coffee Walnut Dessert

A long forgotten recipe. I thought about a coffee marshmallow cream and went through my 400 cookbooks to find the right one, I got lucky. It is always good to remember the combination of book and recipe, that makes it easier to know what it looks like.
I updated the recipe a bit and added some twists.

recipe for 6:
150 g marshmallows
150 ml very strong mocca coffee
450 ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp hazelnut brandy or liqueur
75 g chopped walnuts

Cook a strong mocca or espresso and put it into a saucepan.
Melt the marshmallows in the hot coffee and use a silicon spatula to stir.
Add the vanilla and the hazelnut brandy.

Beat the double cream to soft peaks and wait until the coffee mix is only a bit warm.
Fold the cream into the coffee.
Stir in 1/2 of the walnuts.

Fill in single portions and top off with the other walnuts.
Place in the fridge for 3 hrs minimum.

Japanese Coconut Peanut Noodle Soup

I had this soup on my second day in Tokyo when I went during lunch break into a small side street off the Ginza main shopping area. It was a very small restaurant with just 10 seats. I had that soup there and tried to figure out what has gone in it. I memorized the taste.

Today I gave it a try- and I got excited, the taste nearly matched!

250 g dried Udon noodles
200 g pork sausage meat
2 spring onions
1/4 red fresh chili
2 tbsp sesame oil
375 ml water
1 red curry paste stock cube
1 tbsp dried Asian soup spices
200 ml coconut milk
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut butter
5 mini pok choy
2 tbsp fresh corinander

In boiling salted water cook the dried Udon noodles for 10 minutes, toss in the pok choy for 90 seconds and fish it out,  drain the noodles and wash them in cold water to get the starch out.
In a saucepan heat 1 tbsp sesame oil and take 4 wooden chop sticks and toss the sausage meat in. Start stirring with the 4 chopsticks  in one hand until you have meat Soboro, meaning: fine cornels of meat.

Use the noodle pot and dry it.
In 1 tbsp sesame oil fry off the chopped onions and chili, add the broth and the soup spices. Cook for 4 minutes, add the coconut milk and peanut butter.
To finish the taste, add 1 heaped tbsp of coconut butter.
Chop the coriander.

In a bowl put in a good hand full of Udon, topp with some pok choy, fill in the soup, add the meat and the coriander and enjoy!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Bread Baking Seminar

At our company you do some kind of Christmas event with your department. So many years we went somewhere to eat and drink and that was it. After a couple of years the number of participants dwindled a lot and only a few went out in December together.

So last year in February we talked about the next Christmas event and everyone moaned. We came up with a solution and decided to get rid of the December stress and go for a earlier event- and  not just sit around and eat and drink. We collected several ideas and went on a Segway tour in a mountain area and that was fun!
So this February we started to collect ideas for 2016. Someone came up with the idea of baking artisan bread at an artisan bakery not so far away from our office so that everyone who wanted to take part had a chance to do it.
Today was the day.

It showed even me some tricks and I was so excited to have my bread out of the oven and in the car. But on the way home at Friday rush hour and backed up Autobahns it was a torture just to have that lovely warm sourdoughy smell wafting through the car for an hour.

It is a rye bread dough with a cooked rye starter and some fresh yeast and it took a while to be kneaded in the machine and rested.

Then we all had the chance to form our on piece of bread and make a sign on it, so we could identify it later. It rested a while after that and was baked for 70 minutes. We all waited a bit unpatient for the oven door to open.