Sorry again for the long wait. I have just been really busy, plus our internet is not working like it should be which doesnt help. But I have been cooking!
This is the 'Apple and Walnut Cake' from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess. Except after making all sort of substitutions I had really made Anna del Conte's Torta di mele. But what's for certain is that the cake is absolutely delicious! Doesnt really come across in the picture, but trust me, it was lovely. This is an excellent way of using up apples past their best.
The way I made it:
100 g raisins boiled in 75 ml water until water has evaporated (drain though in any case!)
150 ml vegetable oil
200 g caster sugar
350 g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
450 g apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
Zest of 1 lemon
20 cm springform cake tin, buttered and floured.
Preheat oven to 180'C/Gas 4.
Beat oil and sugar together with an electric mixer, then add the eggs one by one. Fold in dry ingredients with a metal spoon, then stir in apples, lemon zest and raisins. This will be quite a stiff batter. Spoon into prepared tin and smooth the top and bake for 1 hour. Do check towards the end. Let the cake stand in the tin for about 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Lovely eaten that day, but even nicer the next!
This spinach risotto is yet another recipe from Ursula Ferrigno's Truly Italian and yet again it was yummy!
Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and lemon.
Monday, 4 July 2011
Monday, 11 April 2011
I am baking bread fairly regularly, sometimes every day. 1) like it fresh, 2) small freezer. Now that my husband is converted to homemade bread, I have to bake more often as he takes it to work too. This first bread was absolutely gorgeous and I shall be making it again very soon. It's from Ursula Ferrigno's 'The New Family Bread Book'. It uses half strong brown flour and half strong white, but I think next time I will go just strong brown as I think this bread will carry it really well. And it's only myself and Miss 1 who eat bread with dried fruits anyway and we don't mind a bit of wholemeal. I did not follow the recipe to the letter... and I rarely do. Here is the recipe as I made it. Treacle and Date bread: 250 g wholemeal flour 250 g strong white flour 20 g fresh yeast (or 3.5 tsp dried yeast) 50 g butter, cold and cubed 1 tsp fine sea salt 85 g dates, chopped (note: 100 g would be nice I think) approx 300 ml tepid water For some reason blogger wont let me write this recipe neatly on different lines. So bare with me....(as the ladies on the phone say). Rub butter into the flour and add salt (and dried yeast, if using). Mix your fresh yeast into a little of the water and add to the dry ingredients, then add more water until the dough comes together. Add the chopped dates and knead the dough until smooth. I did about 5 minutes. Form into a ball and leave to rise for 1 hour or when it has doubled in size. Then knock back gently by spreading the dough flat onto the worktop and fold the 'ends' in to the middle until it makes a round shape. Then turn it around and tuck the dough under itself to make a nice ball. Leave to prove for 30 minutes and score the bread so it has several diamond shapes. Bake at G7/ 220'C for about 30 minutes. This all depends on your oven. Mine needed to be turned down to G6/200'C half way through. Lovely as it is or with butter. Even after 3 days it was yummy. Some people has not quite got the hang of scoring yet: This bread is the plain white loaf (with some wholemeal in my case) from River Cottage. UK residents can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc4lqdBiizM&list=SL (PS. Totally MUST have an outdoor pizza oven like that. First I need a garden though!) For every kg of flour, you need 10 g dried yeast (I used 20g fresh), 15 g sea salt and water to form a dough. Even though I mostly do stretch and fold, I did some good old kneading here and then left it to rise in the fridge overnight. Formed the loaves this morning before the school run and baked them when I came back. Simple and delicious. That people think it's hard to bake bread is a mystery to me. It seems like someone has had a slice of the bread to the left..I wonder who... :D
This bread is half strong white flour and half fine semolina. Didn't take note of how much I put in of what, but I reckon I used about 500 ml of water.
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
We had our wedding anniversary recently and we're both very keen on mushrooms and so the choice fell on a most delicious dish, Mushroom Stroganoff. I turned to my very favourite cookbook - Nigella's Feast - and to the tried and tested Mushroom Stroganoff recipe in the 'Meatless Feasts' Chapter. I didn't get the chance to take a photograph when it was all dished up, but took one as it was bubbling in my beloved Le Creuset buffet pan. You can find the recipe here: http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/mushroom-stroganoff-with-basmati-rice Next up is Floyd's Daily Bread: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/mydailybread Made with a poolish it has lovely flavour and the high hydration gives a great texture.
This is my favourite Focaccia from Ursula Ferrigno's Truly Italian. That book is a real gem and a must have for any lover of the Italian Cuisine in my opinion.
I first saw this cinnamon pull apart bread on Joy the Baker's blog. http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2011/03/cinnamon-sugar-pull-apart-bread/
I admit that I didn't follow her recipe, but used my usual sweet dough recipe and copied her way of layering the dough.. although to be fair, hers is a little bit prettier.. what can I say, I am a rustic baker! As usual I didn't pay attention to the order I uploaded the pictures, but I think you can see what is the finished product.