Thursday, 22 June 2017

Potato Chip Tortilla with Sriracha Mayo

I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to food.  I like making things from scratch, using fresh, unprocessed ingredients wherever possible.  I enjoy simple food cooked the way it's been cooked for generations... An "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kinda thing. Having said that, I also like to try new and innovative things when they catch my eye (this does not include freak shakes or deep fried Mars bars). Which brings me to this glorious creation.  I've made my fair share of Spanish omelettes over the years using the traditional method of peeling and thinly slicing potatoes.  Drying them and frying them in copious amounts of olive oil. Draining them, mixing them with the eggs and crossing my fingers and toes, hoping that by the end the potatoes are soft and the eggs are set, but not overcooked. But that's the way I used to do it.  This new method is hands down much quicker and easier and just as delicious. It's the only way I'll be making my Spanish Omelettes from this day forward. And if it's good enough for Ferran Adrià, it's good enough for me.

Potato Chip Tortilla with Sriracha Mayo
ever so slightly adapted from here
Serves 6

For the Mayo:
¼ cup good quality mayonaise
2 tablespoons sriracha 
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

For the Omelette:
10 eggs
100ml pouring cream
250g salted potato chips
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coriander leaves, for garnish
Sriracha, for garnish

Make the Mayo:
Put all the mayo ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Make the Omelette
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the cream and whisk until combined.  Tip in the chips and mix gently.  Set aside for 10 minutes stirring now and then.  The chips will soften and settle in the egg mixture.

Put a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add the oil.  I used a 20cm pan which was perfect.  Once the oil is hot, add the omelette mixture and tamp it down with a spatula, pressing it gently onto the base and into the sides of the pan, making leveling the top.  Cook for 5 minutes, loosening the sides with your spatula as it sets.

Remove the pan from the heat, place a large plate over the pan and deftly tip the pan over so that the tortilla ends up on the plate, cooked side up.  Gently side the tortilla back into the pan, uncooked side down and return it to the heat to cook for another 5 minutes.  Turn the tortilla out onto the plate and set aside for 5 minutes before serving with dollops of the Sriracha Mayo, a drizzle of Sriracha and a scattering of coriander leaves.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

Snackage... Seriously good, snackage.

Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Brownie Bites
slightly adapted from here
Makes 16

For the Base:
150g raw cashews
Pinch salt
100 rolled oats
15 medjool dates, pitted
20g cacao powder

For the Filling:
150g natural peanut butter (I use Mayvers Dark Roasted Smooth Peanut Butter)

For the Topping:
150ml coconut oil, melted and cooled
80ml maple syrup
20g cacao powder

Make the Base:
Line a 20cm x 20cm cake pan with baking paper.  Set aside.

Blitz the cashews, salt and oats in a food processor until they become a fine meal.  Add the dates and cacao powder and blitz again until the mixture comes together.  Add a splash of water if the mixture seems too dry.  Press the mixture into the prepared pan and stick it in the freezer for an hour.

Once the base is chilled, spread with peanut butter.

Put the oil, maple and cacao powder in a bowl and whisk until combined.  Pour the topping over the peanut butter layer.  Chill in the refrigerator until firm before cutting.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Rye Soda Bread

I had planned to bake a loaf of sourdough, but I got distracted with this and that and ran out of time and motivation.  And then there was Soda Bread... Life. Saved.

Rye Soda Bread
Slightly adapted from here

250g wholemeal flour (I use Atta flour), plus extra for dusting
100g rye flour
50g traditional oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 level teaspoon fine sea salt
1 egg
300ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 190C and dust a baking tray with wholemeal or Atta flour. Set aside.

Place both flours, oats, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk together.  

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until it starts to come together. Flour your hands and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Bring the dough together and form it into a ball.  Press the ball down until it is about 3cm deep.  Sprinkle the dough with some flour, score a deep cross in the top using a serrated knife, and bake for 40 minutes.  Eat while warm, preferably slathered with the best unsalted butter you can get your hands on. 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Churros con Canela

This is the second recipe for churros on the blog.  You can read about one of our many meals at Movida and the first recipe for churros here.  But to my mind, there can never be too many recipes for churros, or too many times to try and perfect them, or too many excuses to eat them, or too many opportunities to take better photos of them, or too many doughnuts on the planet at any one time.  I'm a free spirit when it comes to doughnuts.

slightly adapted from here

For the Dredging Mixture:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons caster sugar

For the Doughnuts:
350ml water
50g unsalted butter
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
125g "00" flour
1 egg
Sunflower oil, for deep frying

Make the Dredging Mixture:
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and pour it onto a tray.  Set aside.

Make the Doughnuts:
Pour the water into a saucepan, add the butter, salt and sugar.  Bring to a boil and stir in the flour. Cook over medium heat, beating with a wooden spoon, for about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and leave it to cool slightly.  Add the egg and beat vigorously. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm star-shaped nozzle.

Heat the oil to 180C.  

Squeeze the dough into the oil, letting it slide gently in and snipping it off with scissors into approximately 15cm lengths.  Fry in batches, a few at a time.  They are done when golden on all sides.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.  While warm, toss them in the dredging mixture to coat.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting

We always have cake in our house.  Except for that time our best friends from interstate, travelled the width of this wide brown land to visit us. It was the day after we arrive home from a 3 week holiday in Japan. On that particular, I had nothing.  I've never been able to live that down.

Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting
slightly adapted from here

For the Cake:
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
400g brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
350g plain flour
120g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
375ml buttermilk, at room temperature

For the Frosting:
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
400g brown sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
125ml cream
325g icing sugar, sifted

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 180C.  Grease 3 x 20cm round cake pan and line them baking paper or paper liners.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar for 5 minutes on medium-high, scraping the sides of the bowl down now and then.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and beat again.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, instant espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  

Reduce the speed of the mixture to its lowest setting and add a third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk.  Do the same again, then add the final third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for about 25 minutes, until the cakes spring back when gently pressed in the centre.  Allow cakes to cool in the pans for 20 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting:
Put 115g of the butter and all of the sugar into a saucepan, stir to mix and place it over a medium heat.  Bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream (being careful as steam will billow up and the mixture will spit and bubble).  Place back on the heat and cook for a further minute.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes, stirring now and again.  

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the still warm mixture on medium speed and add the icing sugar. I place a clean tea towel over the mixer and bowl to stop the sugar from puffing up and out.  Continue beating until the frosting is just about room temperature.  Add the remaining butter and the vanilla and beat until the mixture becomes a spreadable consistency.  It should still be a little warm.

Place one cake on a serving platter. Spread with a big spoonful of the frosting.  Place another cake on top and frost it and then do the same with the final cake layer.  Using the remaining frosting to cover the sides of the cake.  If the frosting starts to set, run your spreading knife or palette knife under hot water to heat it up, dry it and continue spreading.  Leave it for 2 hours before slicing to allow the frosting to set. Keep the cake at room temperature.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ribollita Salad

I love Ribollita, the hearty (and frugal) Italian soup.  The soup that makes use of yesterdays bread and whatever is in the garden and pantry.  It's my kind of cooking.  And while I love a big, deep bowl of hot, fortifying soup, a salad of this magnitude is certainly welcome on my table on these chilly evenings.  As the winter weather rolls in and my basil is on its last legs and my cavolo nero is going through the roof, it's time to put these homegrown treasures to good use, as any good Italian mama would... not that I'm Italian, unfortunately.

Ribollita Salad
adapted from here
Serves 4

For the Basil Cream:
150g sour cream
1/2 cup basil leaves
50g parmesan, finely grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad:
4 thick slices of sourdough, crusts removed and roughly torn
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes 
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
100g semi-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 big bunches of cavolo nero, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 x 400g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
50g parmesan, finely grated
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn

Make the Basil Cream:
Put all the ingredients for the basil cream into a blender and blitz until smooth.  Set aside to chill in the refrigerator until ready to dress the salad.

Make the Salad:
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Put the bread onto a baking tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat the bread in the oil and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil to a large frying pan and heat over medium heat.  Add the garlic and the semi-dried tomatoes and toss for about a minute. Add the cavolo nero and some salt and pepper and fry for about 5 - 7 minutes or until the leaves are wilted and tender.

Put the cavolo nero onto a large bowl add the fresh cherry tomatoes, toasted sourdough and borlotti beans.  Spoon over the basil cream and toss everything together.

Tip the salad out onto a large serving platter and sprinkle with grated parmesan and torn basil leaves.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Boston Cream Pie

I made this for afternoon tea on the weekend... not sorry.  A weekend full of sport, sport and more sport... like most of my weekends.  And I love sport, but I think I love pie (or cake, or pie and cake or cake that thinks it's pie) more.

Boston Cream Pie
slightly adapted from here

For the Cake:
1 cup sugar
1¼ cups "00" flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
115g cool unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
125ml milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Crème Pâtissière:
½ cup cream
½ cup milk
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1½ tablespoons cornflour
30g unsalted butter

For the Ganache:
½ cup cream
100g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Make the Cake:
Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Grease a 23cm cake pan with cooking oil spray and line the base and sides with baking paper.  Set aside.

Sift the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl on an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix until it becomes rubble.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together.  Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and beat on medium-high for about 5 minutes.  The batter should become pale and thick.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to knock out any air bubbles and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Crème Pâtissière:
Heat the cream and milk in a saucepan with the vanilla seeds until it just reaches simmering point.  Remove from the heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar and cornflour.  Set aside.

Put the butter into another bowl and put a strainer over the bowl.  Set it aside.

Gradually pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.  Then pour the mixture back into the pan and place the pan over medium heat.  Whisk constantly until the mixture becomes thick.  Pour this mixture through the strainer and into the bowl with the butter.  Stir until the butter has melted.  Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the crème pâtissière and chill in the refrigerator.

Make the Ganache:
Put the cream into a saucepan.  Bring it up to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted.  Add the oil and sryup and stir again.  Set aside to cool to pouring consistency.

To Assemble:
Slice the cooled cake in half horizontally and place the bottom layer, cut-side up on a cake plate. Spread the cut surface with the chilled crème pâtissière abd top with the other layer of cake.  Pour the cooled ganache over the top of the cake, easing it out to the edges, but not down the sides of the cake.  Chill until ready to serve.