28.2.14

Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake)




Dutch buttercake, or boterkoek as we call it, is a dense sweet and indeed buttery cake that is easy to make and unfortunately even easier to eat. Because it is rather heavy it is often served in very small pieces. Characterized by the shiny golden top with a diamond pattern cut in, boterkoek is an ideal cake to make in advance and bring to any gathering. The ingredients are super simple to remember. It is basically a poundcake with less egg and no raising agents.


Ingredients

  • 250 g butter
  • 250 g sugar
  • 250 g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 175 c. Melt the butter and add to the sugar, flour, salt and one of the eggs. Mix this for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar is completely incorporated. It will be a shiny sticky dough/batter. 


Step 2

Put the dough into your pie tin, or even cake tin, and smooth down the top. You can butter the tin in advance, but it isn't strictly necessary. Whisk the remaining egg and use as a glaze. Now use a knife to carve in the diamond pattern. 


Step 3

Put into the hot oven and bake for 25 minutes. The top should be a golden brown. Take out of the oven and let the cake cool completely in the tin. 

22.2.14

Call For Recipes : Apples



As it says on the tin. I'm going to start doing 'Fruity Fridays', highlighting the wonderful world of fruit. Part of this will be a recipe roundup with some of the most appetizing fruit recipes from the web. So if you have any apple related recipes or even just a fun apple tip, don't hesitate to drop me a comment or contact me via the contact me box somewhere on the left.

21.2.14

Honey Crunch Peanut Butter





Making your own peanut butter is easy and it gives you the opportunity to experiment. This peanut butter combines a smooth base with some honey coated crunchy bits. Giving this peanut butter that salty sweet moorishness of salted caramel. All you need is some peanuts, honey, sugar, salt and a food processor.


Ingredients

  • 450 gr dry roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt


Step 1


To make the crunchy pieces; take two handfuls of peanuts and put them in a hot dry pan. Roast them for a couple of minutes before adding a teaspoon of honey and a good pinch of salt. Shake the pan so every peanut is coated. To give them an extra crunchy caramel layer you can add a spoonful of sugar. Once the sugar has caramelized you can remove the peanuts from the pan and let them cool off.

Try not to eat all these, even though that is quite a challenge.


Step 2


Transfer the caramelized peanuts to the food processor and give them a couple of pulses so they break up a little. Remove from the processor and set aside.


Step 3

Now add all the other peanuts into the processor and press start. At first the peanuts will look like a powder but they will quickly form a ball and later a paste. Once it is smooth you can add some pinches of salt and a teaspoon of honey. Blend it some more and taste to see whether it could use more salt or honey, it probably will. Once you are happy remove the peanut butter from the machine.


Step 4


Now add your lovely crunchy bits to the smooth peanut butter and mix them together. Transfer to one of those empty peanut butter jars you probably have laying around somewhere. 

There are no emulsifiers in this peanut butter so it is entirely possible a layer of oil may form on top. This is no big deal just stir it back in when you want to use it.

12.2.14

Shiitake and shrimp rice paper rolls




Having your knifes professionally sharpened is just great. Simply chopping veg suddenly becomes tremendously enjoyable. So making these healthy rice paper rolls with chopped shitake and thin slivers of red pepper and spring onion was a no brainer. Even the sound of sharpened knifes appears to be more musical than before. (Click the little audio button on the left hand side of the vine below for sound)



It is also mildly dangerous. No matter how careful I am, I will cut myself within the first week of use.

But you could never do this with dull knifes. No radish was left unharmed during the making of this GIF.


What I wouldn't give for a high speed camera.


I saw this pin on Pinterest and loved the way it looked. I remembered I still had some rice paper sheets laying around somewhere and got chopping.



Ingredients

  • Rice paper sheets
  • Cooked shrimp
  • Spring onions
  • Red Pepper
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Bean Sprouts
for the dip
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • Red chilli
  • Garlic

Step 1



Remove the ends of the stalks on the shiitake mushrooms and throw them in a pan with a drop of oil. Cook them until soft, about 5 minutes. Chop them as finely or roughly as you like. Cut the spring onions and red pepper in thin strips.


Step 2



Soak the rice paper in warm water for about 30 seconds. It becomes sticky, translucent and not particularly easy to handle. Lay it on a board or plate and assemble the shrimp, shiitake, veg and beansprouts on the paper. Roll and fold up and you're done.


Step 3

This isn't the traditional dip but I made this as an emergency dim sum dip and rather like it. Smash and cut up a red chilli and clove of garlic. Mix with soy sauce, a splash of vinegar and a couple of drops of sesame oil. It is quite salty so you could use low salt soy.


Makes for quite a saintly lunch.






8.2.14

Pizza Salt (and parsley lemon)





I love getting herbs at the Turkish deli. You get huge bunches, not the miserable plastic sealed sad little leaves in the supermarket. But I always end up with leftover herbs, no matter how much parsley I chuck in the couscous. Instead of binning the leftovers or feeding it to reluctant chickens I made two different flavoured salts. One a simple combi of parsley and lemon peel and the other a pizza / pasta salt with basil, garlic and dried tomatoes.


Ingredients

Pizza Salt


  • Big handful of fresh basil
  • Handful of dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/5  cups of salt
Lemon Parsley Salt


  • Bunch of half eaten parsley, including the stems
  • Peel of two lemons
  • Cup of salt



You want to pack as much flavour into the salt as humanly possible, so you only need a light sprinkle to add a lot of flavour. Put the ingredients into the blender with about half the salt and let it blend for a minute or so. Now add salt until it has the consistency of slightly wet sand. This may take a little more than the cup listed in the ingredients, depending on how much moisture there is in your herbs. 


Both of these salts smell fantastic. The pizza salt somehow smells like the platonic ideal of umami, extremely pungent so you only need a little bit. I can't wait to sprinkle this on some home made pizza or use it in a pasta sauce. The parsley lemon salt is pure freshness and would be great on a piece of fish or some cooked buttery potatoes. Just put the salt in a old jam jar and it will keep for a long long time.