Friday, May 29, 2009

The End

Sorry, but I don't have the time anymore to translate my cooking. It was fun.

Maybe some other time.

Farewell
Keep reading...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chocolate and rolled oats bars

I'm still exploring my microwave oven possibilities. This huge thing that's eating up one third of my kitchen working space is trully useful. It's funny: flats, rooms and kitchens tend to get smaller. Nevertheless, there are abundant numbers of "decorative" accessoires on the market which take our space away. If I think about it, my microwave oven isn't decorative at all...

I should get to the point. After one of my kids, these bars taste like brownies. They remind me of chocolate fudge with porridge. And you?

Chocolate and rolled oats bars
Adaptaded from Técnicas Avançadas, Curso práctico de Microondas

Ingredients:
  • 100 gr. brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 175 gr. flour
  • 175 gr. butter
  • 175 gr. rolled oats
  • 400 gr. sweet condensed milk
  • 150 gr. dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 100 gr. walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Method:
  1. In a bowl, put sugar, salt and flour. Add butter cut in pieces and oats. Mix lightly until you have a dough like breadcrumbs.
  2. Put 2/3 of this dough in a 20x30 cm microwave safe form, pressing well.
  3. Cook in the microwave at 50% power for 6 min. The form will probably be to big and the plate won't be able to rotate, turn after 3 min. Set aside.
  4. Put sweet condensed milk in another bowl, add chocolate in chunks and cocoa powder. Cook it at the highest power (mine is 850) for 3 min., stirring each minute.
  5. Spread chocolate cream over cooked oats layer.
  6. If you're going to add nuts, this is the moment: sprinkle them over chocolate cream.
  7. Cover everything with the 1/3 remaining oats dough. I mashed it with my fingers to make it very thin so I was able to cover the whole surface.
  8. Cook it in microwave at highest power for 6 min or until chocolate cream begins to bubble. Remember to rotate form after half the time.
  9. Let it cool down completely. Cut it in bars.
Keep reading...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

White chocolate and lemon pie

Trying not to pay attention to the fact that the first May half is already gone and it's still very cold, I've decided to make this refreshing white chocolate and lemon pie. No oven is required and you make it in no time. The downside is you have to cool it for at least four hours, so yes, you have to plan ahead. I skept this last step. I had to take a short cut: I simply put it in the freezer. Bless technology.

White chocolate and lemon pie
Adaptaded from my recipes.com

Ingredients:

Para la crust
:
  • 100 gr. butter
  • 200 gr. digestive or digestive like cookies
Filling:
  • 310 gr. white chocolate
  • 250 gr. whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon souer cream (add some lemos drops to whipping cream)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 80 ml. feshly squeezed lemon juice
Decoration:
  • one medium lemon, in thin slices
Method:
  1. Chop cookies very fine. Melt butter. Mix butter and cookies. Set aside.
  2. Grease and line (bottom and wall) a round cake form with 23 cm diameter. Press cookie dough in the bottom, trying to get an even layer.
  3. Let's make the filling: in a pan put the whipping cream and the chocolate in chunks. PUt it over medium fire and stir constantly until chocolate has disolved completely. Pull away from heat.
  4. Add zest, juice and souer cream. Stir. That's it.
  5. Pour filling over the crust and let it cool in the fridge for at least four hours.
  6. Once the filling is set, slice lemon, make a cut in each slice. Arrange them on the pie artistically (not like me).
  7. Serve cold.
Keep reading...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Suspiros (Sighs)

Sighs is what one has to do when eating these cookies. Something like mmmmmmmm! For instance, kid #3 gobbled three of them still warm. Golden youth! Where does she put them?

Those of you afraid of getting dirty in the kitchen: refrain from doing this recipe. Already as a little child it was me the one greasing the pans with butter and these tiny hands...

Anyway, here they are.

Suspiros

Ingredients:
  • 500 gr. flour
  • 140 gr. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 25 gr. butter, room temperature
  • 125 gr. margarine, room temperature
  • 100 gr. lard, room temperature
Method:
  1. Put the flour in a bowl, close at hand.
  2. In a separated bowl, put egg, sugar, fats and mix with one bare hand, until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Slowly, add flour and keep kneading. You have to have a soft dough but it shouldn't stick to your fingers.
  4. Flour your kitchen counter. Roll the dough. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter or a cup.
  5. Bake at 200ºC in a preheated oven about 20 min., 'till they turn pale golden.
  6. Rub them in sugar when they're still warm, because if they get cold, sugar won't stick.
  7. Try one. Sigh.
Keep reading...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Apple and pear Crumble

This recipe isn't suitable for high cholesterol people. It has a very high butter , that's why it's so tasty. Butter quantity is no wonder. It comes from a breadcrumbs box I bought when I was living in France. French people don't understand life without butter, lots and looooooooots of butter. I've made some variations, for example, the original recipe used only apples.

Apple and pear Crumble

Ingredients:
  • 5 medium apples
  • 4 medium pears, green
  • 150 gr. breadcrumbs
  • 300 gr. butter, romm temperature
  • 225 gr. sugar
  • 120 gr. raw almond meal
  • juice from one orange
  • 45 gr. flour
Method:
  1. Peel and slice apples and pears. Put them in a big oven proof baking dish. Sprinkle them with the orange juice, so they don't turn black. Set aside.
  2. Beat 200 gr. butter with 150 gr. sugar, until it turns white and fluffy.
  3. Spread this mixture over fruit, pressing well.
  4. In a separated bowl, mix 100 gr. butter with the 75 gr. remaining sugar. Add flour, breadcrumbs, almond meal until you obtain a crumbled dough.
  5. Pour this mixture over butter-sugar mixture, pressing again.
  6. Bake at 180º C in a preheated oven for 50 min or until fruit is cooked and the top has a nice golden color.
  7. Serve hot. If you don't have health problems, add a scoop vanille ice.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sobaos, spanish butter cake

I had to nearly execute an scientific research to find this sobaos* recipe. I've got one but, frankly, they came out like bricks. My kids allow me almost everything in the kitchen and they ate them with enthusiasm, but I wasn't satisfied.

First, I went to the supermarket and read the ingredients' percentages of our favorite sobaos brand. Then, I did several easy mathematical operations to adapt the recipe to these percentages. After a few attempts, two to be completley honest, the third time was the good one.

I'd like to share this recipe, so you all can enjoy them. I hope you like them as much as my kids do.

*This cakes come from Santander, north of Spain. We eat them at breakfast and as a snack.

Sobaos pasiegos

Ingredients:
  • 400 gr. butter, room temperature
  • 350 gr. sugar
  • 300 flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 8 gr. baking powder
Method:
  1. Beat butter and sugar until it turns whitish.
  2. Add eggs one at a time: first one, beat until fully incorporated, then another and so on till you've mixed them all.
  3. Mix flour and baking powder and add it to the butter mixture with a wooden spoon. Stir just enough, if you overstir, cake will harden.
  4. Turn oven on at 180º C.
  5. Line an oven sheet with parment paper. Pour dough in, even out and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool on the sheet. Cut the cake in bars. I find they are even better after resting the night.
You can enjoy them for breakfast, coffee break, afterschool snack or during the day.
Keep reading...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Strawberries and whipped cream cake

The other day we finished the birthday's marathon in my family, they all seem to have been born between March and April. My girk picked a strawberry cake. Here is the recipe:

Strawberries and whipped cream cake


Ingredients:
Genoise cake:
  • 3 eggs, separated eggwhites and eggyolks
  • 3 tablespoons very hot water
  • 100 gr. sugar
  • 100 gr. flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 25 gr. corn starch
Filling:
  • 400 ml. cream to whipp, very cold
  • 80 gr. powdered sugar
  • 600 gr. strawberries
Decoration:
  • powdered sugar
  • whole strawberries
Method:
  1. Let's star by making the genoise. Grease a round 26 cm diameter cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder and corn starch. Set aside.
  3. Beat eggyolks with hot water until they have double their volume and their color turns pale yellow.
  4. Add sugar and keep beating.
  5. Carefully fold in the flour.
  6. Whisk eggwhites until stift and fold them in with the rest of the batter.
  7. Pour the batter in the cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180º C for 30 min.
  8. Let it cool down upside down on a kitchen rack.
  9. When it's cold, cut it horizontally in two discs.
  10. Whisk cream, when it begins to get thick, add powdered sugar. Whisk until very stift.
  11. Rise and cut lengthwise the strawberries.
  12. Put the upper cake disc on a serving plate. Put a round ring the size of the cake around it.
  13. Arrage the cut strawberries against the ring wall, the rest on the center of the cake.
  14. Spread whipped cream on the strawberries, pressing to fill the gaps.
  15. Cover with the bottom cake disc. Let cool in the fridge a couple of hours. Take ring away.
  16. Dust with powdered sugar and arrage some whole strawberries on top to decorate.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coffee chocolate chip cookies

One of the best american inventions are the famous chocolate chip cookies. I love them. I can make myself sick eating a dozen at once.

Thinking about it, I came to the idea to give a special touch to my favorite chocolate chip cookies recipe, I added some instant coffee. If you want to try them, here is the recipe:

Coffee chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 3/8 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/8 cup packed sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate, in chunks
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee
  • a handful walnuts, chopped (optional)
Method:
  1. In a bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and instant coffee. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat butter with sugar. When it turns white-ish, add egg until it's well incorporated. Add vanilla essence.
  3. Add flour mixture and stir just enough to have a batter.
  4. Add chocolate chunks and nuts.
  5. Make a log with the dough and wrap it with kitchen foil. Let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour (I normally let it for a couple of days, until I have time to bake them).
  6. Cut the log in slices, put them on a lined baking pan and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180º C for about 10 min. Let them cool on the baking pan, outside of the oven.
  7. Try to eat just one.
Keep reading...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Caramel Crunchy Bars

Following the sugestion of a nice anonimous comentarist I've made this caramel cruncy bars, in the microwave oven. Yes, microwave oven is something more than a huge box to warm milk up. So, why not benefit from it?

This recipe, adapted by me, comes out from a book that I was forced to buy in Brazil. I was the product of a scam. One day I received a call communicating me that I was the lucky winner of a book batch, if I "only" paid I-don't-remember-how-much in respect of I-don't-know-what. When they got home, knowing it was a trick and while I was having a look at them I decided I was going to keep them. This book from the batch is called Curso prático de Microondas Técnicas avançadas and I've two of them. I guess they were the surplus of some lost collection. I'll give you from now on some little recipe out of them.

Caramel Crunchy Bars


Ingredients:

Crunchy layer:
  • 200 gr. butterscotch candies
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 100 gr. peanut butter
  • 100 gr. rice krispies
  • 100 gr. salty peanuts
Glaze:
  • 170 gr. black chocolate, in chunks
  • 100 gr. peanut butter
  • 50 gr. butter
Method:
  1. Mix rice krispies and peanuts.
  2. Grease a 30 x 20 cm pan and pour rice krispies-peanut, levening it.
  3. In a microwave-proof bowl, combine candies, water and peanut butter. Microwave at maximum potence for 4 min (the maximum potence of my microwave oven is 850 wats). Stir until you have a smoth cream.
  4. Mix this cream with rice krispies-peanuts, levening it. You have to work fast, once the cream is cold, it hardens.
  5. Let's make the glaze. Put all ingredients in a bowl and microwave at maximum potence for 3 min. Stir to obtain a smooth cream. Spread it over the crunchy layer. Let it cool to set.
  6. Cut it in bars. We like them cold, out of the fridge.
Next time I'm going to use milk chocolate, I think to mix with peanut butter is even better.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dacquoise with chocolate mousse and strawberries

Again, a recipe from one of my french magazines, concretly Maxi Cuisine, which turned out to be the one which offered the most inviting dishes.

It's a dessert that I had never heard of until now. Better late than never. In short, hazelnut meingue layers, filled with chocolate mousse with strawberries. It's all about contrast: Se trata de contrastes: light and sweet meringue with rich and dense chocolate mousse, cut by the freshness of the strawberries. Heavenly.

Dacquoise with chocolate mousse and strawberries
12 servings

Ingredients:

Dacquoise:
  • 125 gr. coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 180 gr. hazelnut meal
  • 6 egg whites
  • 70 gr. sugar
  • 200 gr. powdered sugar
Filling:
  • 300 gr. dark chocolate
  • 200 gr. strawberries, chopped
  • 6 eggs, separated yolks from whites
Decoration:
  • strawberries
  • powdered sugar
Method:
  1. We start by making the mousse. Melt chocolate (I use the microwave, other use water bath). Add egg yolks. ñade las yemas. Monta las claras a punto de nieve con una pizca de sal e incorpóralas con movimientos envolventes. Refigera por unas horas.
  2. Vamos con la dacquoise. Whisk egg whites, when you are half way, add sugar and keep whisking until they're firm.
  3. Mix powdered sugar wiht hazelnut meal. Fold in the egg whites.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the meringue over baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarsely chopped hazelnuts and press gently.
  5. Bake at 180º C in a preheated oven for 20 min.
  6. Turn over a rack and remove paper. Let cool.
  7. Let's assemble the dessert. Line a rectangular baking pan with kitchen film.
  8. Cut dacquoise in three layers the size of the baking pan.
  9. Put a dacquoise layer upside down in the pan (this will be the top layer when you take it out). Spread half the mousse. Sprinkle with half the chopped strawberries. Put another layer and repite the operation. Finish with a dacquoise layer. Cover the pan with kitchen film and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  10. Carefully, turn the pan upside down on a serving plate. Remove film, put some whole strawberries on top and dust with some powdered sugar.
  11. Take it out of the fridge at least one hour before serving.
Keep reading...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lamb tatin with aubergines

Spring has come, time to eat lamb. One of my new cook magazines, which I bought in France, has innovative lamb recipes, at least for me. This one is time consuming but it's delicious. Luckily you can make it in advance and warm it for 15 min. in the oven before serving it.

Lamb Tatin with aubergines
Adaptado de Maxi Cuisine
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 pie crust recipe bought or homemade
  • 300 gr. minced lamb meat from the shoulder
  • 2 aubergines (about 600 gr.)
  • 1 big can tomatoes
  • 1/2 big onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method:
  1. Rinse and dry aubergines. Cut them in 1/2 cm slices. Sprinkle some salt on them and let them rest about 20 min.
  2. Chop 7 to 8 aubergine slices from the smallest. Brown for 5 min. together with onion and garlic with a little bit of olive oil over medium heat. Add mince meat. Stir constantly. When meat hes lost its red color, add strained tomatoes and one tablespoon pine nuts. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let shimer for about 30 min., until almost all liquid has disappeared.
  3. Brown rest of the aubergine slices in batches on a skillet. Put a tablespoon olive oil each time and let slices about 2 min. on each side. This action takes quite some time. Set golden slice aside.
  4. Brown the other tablespoon pine nuts in a skillet without any oil, watch that they don't burn. Set aside.
  5. Grease a round (26 cm diameter). Lay aubergine slices covering the bottom. Spread the met sauce, reserving one tablespoon to decorate. Put pie crust over closing up the tart, push dough well in in the sides.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 200º C for 30 to 35 min.
  7. Turn tart over on a serving plate. Put the meat sauce tablespoon in the center and spread the brown pine nuts.
  8. Serve hot.
Keep reading...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Apple Strudel

I learned to make strudel with Caroline, an Austrian that I met when I was living in Brazil. We (children #1 and #2 and me) had a great time learning. You have to smash the dough against the kitchen counter and the children had a blast when we did and by doing it themselves.
Strudel dough has to be very fine, so much that you have to be able to read the paper through it. There lays this dessert's difficulty. Caroline certainly mastered it, you could see she had practice. To obtain a very streching dough, you add some vinegar. The acid makes the wheat gluten develop better.

Apple Strudel

10 servings


Ingredients:
Dough:
  • 250 gr. flour
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 125 ml. water, tepid
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
Filling:
  • 120 gr. butter
  • 100 gr. breadcrumbs
  • 100 gr. raisins
  • a handful walnuts, chopped
  • 1.250 gr. apples
  • 1/2 juice of a lemon
  • 125 gr. sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
Method:
  1. To make the dough, put flour in a bowl, add salt, tepid water, grease (oil or butter) and vinegar. Form a ball with it all and knead energically for at least half an hour. Afterwards, smash the dough ball against the kitchen counter a couple of times. Dough is ready when cutting through it you don't see any air bubbles or wheat traces. When it reaches this state, make a dough ball again. Boil some water in a saucepan, discard it, dry the saucepan and put it upside down over the dough, so it becomes elastic. Let it rest about half an hour.
  2. While dough is resting, let's make the filling. Pill and chop the apples. Sprinkle the lemon juice over them and set aside.
  3. Melt 30 gr. butter in a skillet and brown breadcrumbs in it stirring constantly. Remove from stove and let it cool down.
  4. In a bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. Let's roll out the dough. Take a big kitchen cloth or better still a small table cloth and put it on the kitchen counter. Sprinkle with flour and your hands too.
  6. Roll out the dough on the table cloth with the roller, as much as you can. Then, with the palm of your hands upside down strech dough out carefully until it becomes very fine and you can see the tablecloth beneath. Don't strech with your fingers, but with the upper side of your hand, because the dough could break.
  7. Brush dough with 30 gr. melted butter leaving about 4 cm. rim all around.
  8. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the brushed area.
  9. Mix chopped apples with raisins and nuts and sprinkle them over the breadcrumbs.
  10. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over everything.
  11. To form the strudel, first fould to the inside the short sides dough and press. Then, fould the long side dough over the filling and roll to close the strudel.
  12. Raise strudel with the tablecloth, seizing the tablecloth by the short sides and puting it carefully on a greased baking pan. Brush again with half the rest of the melted butter.
  13. Bake at 250ºC in a preheated oven for about 40 to 45 min. when half the cooking time has passed, brush again with the rest of the butter, so it'll get crunchy.
  14. Serve hot with creme anglaise or vanille ice-cream.
Keep reading...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Leek Mousse

This cold cream can be made with plenty of other vegetables, like asparagus, carrots, spinach, cauliflower... I found the recipe in a book from my mother, I think it's called ¡Dame la receta! or something like that. It was wrote by a woman with whom she plays bridge, Mª Dolores Grande. It's a compilation dishes they eat at her home, some of them very inviting.

Leek Mousse

10 servings

Ingredients:
  • 6 big leeks, with green side
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 bread slices dipped in milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • butter and breadcrumbs for the pan
  • Lettuce and tomatos to decorate
Method:
  1. Clean throroughly, cut each one in four pieces and cook them in some salty water for 5 minutes in the pressure cooker. Drain them well.
  2. In the mixer, make a cream with eggs, bread, cream and leeks. Con la batidora, haz una crema con los huevos, el pan, la nata y los puerros. Strain it.
  3. Grease a rectangular pan and spread it with breadcrumbs. Pour the stained cream in it.
  4. Turn oven on at 200ºC. Cook the mousse in a water bath for 45 min. or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. When is cool, take it out on a seving plate covered with lettuce leaves and surrounded by tomatoes wedges.
  6. Serve at room temperature. I accompanied it with a hot blue cheese sauce.
Keep reading...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chicken croquettes

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I bought a notebook to write down my mother's recipes. I was leaving home and I didn't want to live without her cooking. This is one of those recipes, homemade croquettes. It has took me several trial and error years to reach my mother's level. I've finally did it. What I'm never achieving is not to get dirty by doing them, like my grandmother Antonia. I only saw her making them once, but she was able to form them all alike ( same size and shape) without getting her fingers dirty. She was an artist.

My mother's chicken croquettes
About 26 medium pieces

Ingredients:
  • Half a roasted chicken, and its sauce
  • 4 tablespoon flour
  • 2 big garlic cloves
  • 1 heaping teaspool kosher salt
  • 1/2 liter milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • breadcrumbs and egg to coat
  • olive oil to deep fry
Method:
  1. Bone and skin the chicken. Shred chicken meet with your fingers.
  2. Peel and crush garlic cloves in a mortar with salt. Reserve.
  3. In a big skillet, put the 3 tablespoon olive oil. When it's warm, add shreded chicken meet and its sauce.
  4. After a couple of minutes, add flour. Stir and let golden.
  5. Add all at once the milk, always stirring.
  6. Add crush garlic and salt.
  7. Let shimer over low heat. The dough should be rather solid, so that when it's cold we can form the croquettes. When it's like that, pull away from heat and let cool down.
  8. Put plenty breadcrumbs in a bowl and beat two eggs in another. Shape croquettes with two spoons or with your bare hands. I always star with the spoons, then loose my patience and end up with my hands. Roll each croquette first in the egg and the in the breadcrumbs. Reserve on a plate.
  9. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or frying pan if you have one over medium-high heat.
  10. When the oil starts to smoke, fry the croquettes.
  11. Serve hot.
These are chicken croquettes, but you can also make them with soup meat, fish leftovers, canned tuna, cured ham cubes... wahtever you feel like!
Keep reading...

Pizza dog

This a mixture between hot dog and pizza. Sometimes we order them instead of pizza and we love them. I thought I'd give it a try and bake some for D's birthday dinner.

They are easy and relatively quick to make and they're really tasty!

Pizza dog
For 8 people

Ingredients:

Dough:
  • 1/2 sachet instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup tepid water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
Stuffing:
  • 8 big weenie-sausages
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 8 cheese slices (I used gouda)
Method:
  • Disolve instant yeast in tepid water.
  • Add salt, oil and flour.
  • Knead until you have a smooth dough, for about 5 min.
  • Grease a bowl and put the dough in it. Let rise for about an hour or until it doubles its volume.
  • Knead dough some more. Divide it in eight pieces.
  • Turn oven on at 250ºC.
  • Roll one bacon slice around a sausage, then a cheese slice. Roll out a dough piece and roll it around the weenie. Put the pizza-dog on a baking sheet. Repeat with the other sausages.
  • Bake the for 20-25 min. or until dough starts to turn golden.
  • Serve them hot with ketchup and mustard.
Keep reading...

Chocolate Temptation

My dwarf #2 loves chocolate. Black chocolate.

I found this recipe in the book my mother gave me, dedicated entirely to chocolate. Dark chocolate cake, dark chocolate glaze, filled with whipped cream.

Chocolate Temptation
Adapted from Chocolatissimo, Rosalba Gioffré

Ingredients:
Cake:
  • 120 gr. dark chocolate, in chunks
  • 125 ml. sour cream
  • 150 gr. light brown sugar
  • 300 gr. flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 gr. butter, soft
  • 200 gr. sugar
  • 2 eggs, egg white and egg yolk separated
  • 175 ml water
Filling:
  • 25o gr. cream for whipping, cold
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanille esence
Glaze:
  • 140 gr. dark chocolate
  • 100 ml. cream
Method:
  1. We make the cake.
  2. In a small pan, melt chocolate, sour cream and brown sugar stirring constantly.
  3. In a bowl, sift cocoa powder and flour with salt and baking powder.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until you have a smooth batter. Add egg yolks one at a time until they are well incorporated.
  5. Add flour and water alternating between both.
  6. Beat egg whites until stift and add them to the batter with enfolding movements.
  7. Grease and flour a 22 cm diameter cake tin, pour batter in and bake at 180ºC in a preheated oven for 40 min.
  8. For the filling: whip cold cream, add vanille esence and powdered sugar. Reserve cold.
  9. When the cake is cold, cut it horizontaly in two discs. Put the bottom disc on a serving plate. Fill it with the whipped cream. Put the other disc on top. Put the cake in the fridge.
  10. Let's make the glaze. Melt chocolate and cream.
  11. Pour it over the cake. Let it set. Serve tart at room temperature.
Keep reading...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Petit Chef


We came back from Salamanca, and I found an invitation from Petit Chef, to join them.

I feel very flattered, like everytime a complete stranger, on the other side of the world stumbles upon my blog and lets my a comment. I love it.

Of course, I said yes. I've been checking their site. It's a very nice looking page, with interesting recipes; which you can search by ingredients or category and menus suggestions, which they can send you via e-mail if you choose to. I'm sure I'll be trying some of them. Also, they have recipes in english, french, spanish and other languages, so there's cooking opportunities for everyone.

Thank you so much, Petit Chef!
Keep reading...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sandtorte

I love this german cake, because it goes well either with a cold glass of milk as or with a warm cup of tea or coffee, because is tremendously light, because its consistency is plesantly sandy. fFom there its name, which translated would be something like Sand Cake. It doesn't sound very tempting, that's why I rather keep calling it Sandtorte.

Sandtorte
Adapted from Deutsche Küche, Rotraud Degner

Ingredients:
  • 200 gr. butter, soft
  • 250 gr. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 140 gr. wheat flour
  • 120 gr. cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Method:
  1. Beat butter and sugar until you have a smooth batter.
  2. Add eggs one by one, until each one is well incorporated.
  3. In a separated bowl, sift flour and baking powder.
  4. Combine flour and butter-sugar-egg mixtures with a spoon.
  5. Grease and flour a rectangular cake tin.
  6. Pour batter in the cake tin and bake it at 180º C in a preheated oven for 70 min.
  7. When it's cold, put it in a serving plate and dust with powdered sugar.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Milk Chocolate and Vanilla cream Tart


On our way to La Mongie, my mommy, who spoils me very much, bought me a book dedicated wholy to chocolate: Chocolatissimo. It contains pictures you feel like eating the pages. Seizing the opportunity of my daddy's birthday, who also spoils me a lot, I tried one of its recipes. It's so good you wanna lick-your-fin-gers. ItE's a crunchy base with dark chocolate and hazelnuts, créme anglaise and milk chocolate mousse. Need I say more?

Milk Chocolate and Vanilla cream Tart
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
For the base
  • 50 gr. dark chocolate
  • 70 gr. butter, soft
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60 gr. sugar
  • 40 gr. flour
  • 60 gr. hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
For the créme anglaise
  • 125 ml. milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 125 ml. whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 40 gr. sugar
For the mousse
  • 200 gr. milk chocolate
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 40 gr. sugar
  • 4 gr. gelatine (sheets)
  • 150 gr. whipping cream
Garnish
  • 100 gr. milk chocolate
Method:
  1. We start making the base. Melt chocolate and butter (I use the microwave, purist may use a water bath). Remove from heat.
  2. Add egg yolks, sugar and shifted flour. Add hazelnuts. Pour over a greased and floured round cake form, about 20 cm diameter.
  3. Bake for 180º C (preheated) for 10 minutes. Take it out of the form and let cool.
  4. Now the créme. In a pot, boil milk with vanilla bean. When it reaches the boiling point, remove from heat and take vanilla bean out. Add whipping cream.
  5. Mix egg yolks and sugar without stirring much. Add to vanille milk mixture. Pour in a round baking tin and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 100 ºC. Let cool for several hours. Creme must be firm to enable working with it.
  6. Lastly, we make the mousse. Melt chocolate, this time in a water bath, and let it cool down a bit.
  7. Beat sugar and egg yolks, add chocolate. Put it for a moment over the water bath.
  8. Soak gelatine sheets in cold water. Add them to the chocolate mixture.
  9. Whip cream.
  10. Add it to the chocolate carefully so it doesn't collapse. Let it cool down just a little.
  11. We assembly the tart. Put the base on a serving plate. Spread a third of the mousse. Put it in the fridge for half an hour. So it keeps its shape, put the cake tin ring around. Spread the crème anglaise on the mousse. Let it cool again. Lastly, spread rest of the mousse. Let it refrigerate for several hours.
  12. Coarsely chop the milk chocolate and put it on top of tart. Serve and enjoy.
Keep reading...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Festive Cous-cous

My friend Douja, who comes from Marocco, came today to cook for us a cous-cous. This dish is typical for celebrations and holidays and not having its original name, I've decided to call it Festive cous-cous. Of course it's cous-cous, accompanied by chicken and a wonderful sauce with onion and raisins with sugar and cinnamon. The bomb.

We had great fun cooking together and quite some laughs. I was the kitchen assistant, in between pictures, chopping up onions, searching necesary pots, crushing pepper... Whatever was needed.
Douja is an extraordinary cook. If she decides sometime to open a restaurant, she's already some clients. We didn't have much time, some we cheated: we used pessure cookers. Douja tells me it's best to plan ahead and have several hours, so everything cooks slowly. So it was delicious, I'd said unbeatable, we'll see next time...
Douja's husband accompanied us. We call him affectionately Juan, because his name is unpronounceable for us.
For those of you who want to try this divine delicacy, here is the recipe.

Festive Cous-cous
Serves 8 people

Ingredients:
  • One big chicken
  • 1 500 gr. cous-cous box
  • 1.600 gr. onions
  • 375 gr. raisins
  • 2 saffron threads papers**
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons freshly crushed black pepper
  • paella coloring*
  • olive oil
Method:
  1. Rise chicken well and pull out any feather it may still have.
  2. Finely chopp up two onions. Put about 6 tablespoons oil in a pressure cooker and sautée it. Add 3 tablespoon kosher salt.
  3. When they are a little bit transparent, add the first saffron paper and some paella coloring.
  4. Crush 2 teaspoon black pepper, I do it in my mortar and add it.
  5. Put chicken in the pressure cooker, add oil generously, about 200 ml. water and some more coloring, close pressure cooker and let it cook for about 20 minutes. We opened it passed half the cooking time, to turn the chicken so it got golden all around.
  6. Let's make the sauce. Peel rest of the onions. Cut them in half and slice them thinly.
  7. In another pressure cooker (yes, I've two), put a generous amount oil. Sautée sliced onions. Add two teaspoons kosher salt.
  8. Crush another two teaspoons black pepper and add them.
  9. Put the other saffron paper and some coloring on the onions. Close pressure cooker and let it cook for five minutes.
  10. Open cooker, add 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon and the raisins. Stir over medium heat until it caramelizes. Add some water (about 50 ml). All it rests is to add last 4 tablespoons sugar. Let shimmer some more, stirring constantly, until it's golden and it smells like caramel and cinnamon.
  11. Prepare cous-cous following the instructions on the box.
  12. Take chicken out of the pressure cooker. Cut it in pieces and put in on a serving plate.
  13. Strain chicken sause. Put it in a sauce boat.
  14. Put onion - raisin sauce on another serving plate.
  15. Serve hot.
* We use a mixture of coloring and sipices for paella and some other dishes. It's not necessary, it adds some color and a little bit of taste.

**We buy saffron threads in little papers. I think each has two grams.

Keep reading...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

It looks like chocolate, doesn't it? It's not. The main ingredient in these cookies is brown sugar. Dark brown sugar. The sticky one with a strong (and delicious) aroma. I'd said like caramel. The contrast of brown sugar with walnuts (crunchy), works wonderfully. Make sure you try them.

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies
25 pieces

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 60 gr. butter, soft
  • 225 gr. dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • a pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Method:
  1. In a bowl, mix oil and butter. Add sugar and egg.
  2. In another bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt. Combine with butter mixture. Add chopped walnuts.
  3. Put it in the fridge for an hour.
  4. Line your oven sheets: with paper or silicon.
  5. Make little balls and put them on the baking sheet, well apart, they spread quite a lot.
  6. Bake at 180º C, in preheated oven, for 10 to 12 min. Let them set on the baking sheet.
Keep reading...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

1-2-3 Cupcakes

My friend M., whom I met through this blog, has given me this recipe. I wanted to try it long ago.

Everything you bake as cupcakes can be baked as cake, you just have to adjust the cooking time, I'd double it, but without sticking my neck out for it...

The recipe's basic dough is that of the famous yoghurt cake. Its originality lais in mixing wheat flour and cornmeal. I woundn't have thought of it in a hundred years! They are awesome. My friend adds chopped walnuts and raisins (I didn't have raisins) to the dough and she finishings the work with some extra fine apple slices. Chapeau! To recommend.

1-2-3 Cupcakes
About 15 pieces

Ingredients:
  • 1 greek yoghurt
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 yoghurt can sunflower oil
  • 2 yoghurt cans sugar
  • 2 yoghurt cans wheat flour
  • 1 yoghurt can cornmeal
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 sachet (8 gr.) baking powder
  • apples (I used small golden delicious, one and a half)
  • a handful walnuts, chopped
  • a handful raisins
  • powdered sugar for dusting
Method:
  1. In a bowl, sift flours and baking powder. Reserve.
  2. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar.
  3. Add oil and yoghurt stiring constantly.
  4. Add lemon zest.
  5. Add flour mixture little by little, carefully upside down.
  6. Add chopped walnuts and raisins, if you feel like it.
  7. Distribute dough evenly in cupcake paper forms.
  8. Peel and slice apple very thinly. Put about three slices on each cupcake form.
  9. Bake at 180ºC for 20 min in a preheated oven.
  10. When they have cooled down, dust with powdered sugar.
Keep reading...

Friday, March 6, 2009

See you soon!

The moment has arrived. Almost everything is ready. We are leaving to go skiing. A week away from the daily worries. Wonderful.

I' ll seize the opportunity to put my world into prospective. On top of the mountains, of the world, one realizes how small we are and what we call our problems.

See you soon!
Keep reading...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Warm winter fruit salad

Winter is back. It rains, it hails, it's tremendously windy. To counteract this very unplesant weather, I've made this warm fruit salad. This are the fruits you need to prepare it. It's a version of one of Madame's Cugnac recipes. I hope you like it.

Warm winter fruit salad
8 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 golden delicious apples
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 2 pears
  • 1 little bunch white grapes
  • 1 handful walnuts, chopped
  • juice of a lemon
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 20 gr. butter
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanille extract
  • 100 ml. milk
  • 250 ml. double cream, cold
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, powdered
  • powdered sugar to taste
Method:
  1. Peel and chop pineapple and kiwi. Cut grapes in half and take pips out. Put these fruits in a bowl, sprinkle with one tablespoon brown sugar and lemon juice. Cover and let rest for half an hour.
  2. Meanwhile peel apples, pears and bananas. Cut them in slices. Put butter in a skillet. When it's hot, add fruits, sprinkle with another tablespoon brown sugar and brown. Reserve.
  3. Drain pineapple, kiwi and grapes and keep about 50 ml. from the juice. Reserve.
  4. Let's make a creme anglaise. Beat egg yolks with caster sugar and vanille extract in a bowl. Put milk and fruit juice in a pot to heat. When it boils, pour it over egg yolks and stir constantly. Put everything back in the pot and cook over medium heat until it thickens. Reserve.
  5. Turn oven on at 210ºC. Put the fruits and walnuts in a baking pan. Pour creme anglaise over them. Mix last brown sugar tablespoon with cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture over fruits.
  6. Bake for 20 min.
  7. While they are in the oven, we make the whipping cream. Beat it very cold for a couple of minutes with your kitchen aid. Add powdered sugar to taste. I guessed the quantity, I supose about a tablespoon should be enough.
  8. Serve hot with whipping cream on top.
Keep reading...

White beans with sobrasada* and cured cheese

This week we've changed our family reunion day. Little brother was in charge of the cooking. He's exploring his Julius book. He's offered us a savory and categorical dish, inspired by one of his recipes. It's ideal for these dog, I mean, winter days.... With his permission I give it to you.

You already know (if you follow my cooking adventures) that Julius cooks for two, so if you are a larger party, you only have to multiply (ingredients and time)

White beans with sobrasada* and machego cheese

2 servings
From Julius sigue cocinando en 22 minutos

Ingredients:
  • 1 can of white cooked beans
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 gouse garlic, minced
  • 150 gr. sobrasada*
  • 3 tablespoons pureed tomato (from the can)
  • 3 manchego cheese slices
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • Olive oil
Method:
  1. In a little skillet, sautée onions with a little bit of olive oil. After two minutes more or less, add garlic. Add pureed tomato when onion and garlic are golden. Strain beans and add . Stir and let cook some minutes.
  2. Put beans in a baking pan. Spread sobrasada over them and fin.
  3. Grill in the oven for some minutes, until cheese is golden.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley and serve very hot.
*Sobrasada: kind of chorizo but soft, you can spread it. It comes from the Balearic Islands. It can be sweet or spicy.
Keep reading...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blondies

I had some almonds in the fridge. Because next week we are leaving to go skiing (finally, I need a vacation RIGHT NOW), I'd like to finish everything that can go bad before.

This recipe came into my mind. To be honest, I don't have the slightest idea wher it came from. But here it is. From me to you.

Blondies

Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cups sunflower oil
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons hot water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup toasted and chopped (big chunks) almonds
  • 175 gr. dark chocolate, in chunks
Method:
  1. Turn oven on at 180ºC. Get a rectangular baking pan ready: line it with parchment paper or grease and flour it. If it is a silicone pan, you don't have to do anything.
  2. Combine oil, sugar, water and eggs in a bowl.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder and soda and salt in a separated bowl.
  4. Gradually add flour to egg mixture, blending well.
  5. Add almonds and chocolate. Pour in the baking pan.
  6. Bake for 30 - 40 min. Be careful not to overbake them as they turn hard.
  7. Allow to cool in then pan.
Keep reading...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Leek Gratin

My boss is a farmer on his free time. With the beautiful leeks he almost gave me as a present (they were so cheap!) I've made this gratin. You can serve it as a starter with rice other cous-cous or as a main dish, since it also has ham and cheese. I invite to try it.

Leek Gratin
6 servings
Adaptaded from Menie Familia und Ich

Ingredients
  • 1.800 gr. leeks
  • So many ham slices as leeks you have
  • 1 green pepper and 1 red pepper, cut up into pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 big can tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 200 gr. gouda cheese, grated
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Method
  1. Wash your leeks well. I like to slices them along to really wash all the dirt away. Cook them in boiling water for 5 min. in batchs. So that the leeks woudn't loose their form, I tied them. Let them drain.
  2. Lets make the sauec. Put about 5 tablespoons oil in a deep skillet. Sautée your onions. Onces transparent, add chopped peppers. After about five min, add canned tomatoes. Let cook over medium heat for 10 min. Add garlic, herbes and salt and pepper to taste. Let shimmer still about 10 min on the stove. Put the sauce on an oven form you want to use.
  3. Turn your oven on at 200ºC.
  4. Cut each ham slice in half. Roll each leek with a ham slice. Put your leeks lightly on the sauce.
  5. Sprinkel with grated cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 min. You can grill it for a moment at the end, if you like.
  7. Serve with rice or cous-cous.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brown Sugar Stars

These little stars are to die for. They are crunchy but they melt in your mouth. They just sweet enough. After eating one you want another one, and then another, and then another...

Brown sugar Stars
La Cuisine de Madame Cugnac

Ingredients:
  • 300 gr. flour
  • 200 gr. butter, soft
  • 100 gr. raw ground almonds
  • 150 gr. light brown sugar
  • 14 gr. vanille sugar (two sachets)
  • 1 egg for brushing (optional)
Method:
  1. In a bowl, cream sugar and butter.
  2. Add flour and almond meal to the butter cream. Form a ball with the dough.
  3. Divide your dough in two.
  4. Flour generously the kitchen counter and roll one half of the dough. Let rest in the fridge for 20 min.
  5. Line some baking sheets with vegetable paper.
  6. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut out stars in different sizes. Put them on the baking sheet. Repeat withe the other half of the dough.
  7. Brush them with the beaten egg. (This is optional, I didn't do it).
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 150º C for 25 - 30 min.
  9. Let cool on a kitchen rack.
Keep reading...