Friday, January 30, 2009

Nougat Liquor Cake

Christmas fieber is over. It has left us with some pounds that we will have to sweat, but it's gone. To celebrate, I was going over Backen macht Freude from Dr. Oetker, a book my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday.

I stumbled upon this recipe (well, yet another one) a very tempting one, Egg Liquor Cake. As it turns out, I haven't been able to find this liquor, yet another inconvinient in the provinces life, but I have replaced it with this other Nougat liquor (talking about Christmas time) and here it is. Irresistible. It hasn't disappointed us.

Nougat Liquor Cake
Adapted from Backen macht Freude

Ingredients:
  • 125 gr. flour
  • 125 gr. cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 250 gr. sugar
  • 2 valline sugar envelopes
  • 250 gr. sunflower oil
  • 250 ml. nougat liquor
  • 5 eggs (medium size)
  • powdered sugar to dust
Method:
  1. Grease and flour a cake form.
  2. Sift flour, cornstarch and baking powder in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir vigorously until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Pour into your cake form and cook in a preheated oven (180º C) for one hour aproximately.
  4. Dust with powdered sugar.
Keep reading...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rosquillas with Anisette

My grandma Antonia was an artist. She cooked like a chef, knited from the scratch, sewed and embroidered fastastically well. Unfortunately I grew up in a different city so I couldn't learn a lot from her. However, she always had these at home. As it comes out, my little girl really loves to eat them, so here they are. They are quick and easy to make, with ingredients that everybody usually has at home.

Rosquillas with Anisette
31 rosquillas

Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoon sweet anisette (liquor)
  • 26 tablespoons flour aprox.
  • oil to deep fry
  • Powdered sugar to dust
Method:
  1. Beat eggs with sugar, baking powder and water.
  2. Add the cold oil. Keep beating. Put the anisette in.
  3. Add the flour until you have a soft mixture.
  4. With well floured hands, form the rosquillas.
  5. Dreep fry them in hot oil.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar.
Keep reading...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Little Bro Birthday Cake

This cake is irresistible, yes, I know it's not right for me to say it, but it is the truth. I don't remember where the recipe came from, I apologize. I have it written down in my cook notebook. Surely I got it out of some cook magazine from a friend ...

This bomb is a chocolate cake filled with two layers: dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate mousse. Can you possible desire more?

To fully enjoy it, it's mandatory to forget about calories. Say what? Calories? What's that! Don't know. Let your inhibitions go, and then you'll get the full taste of it.

Besides, it allows variations. Next time we bake it, I will be using an sponge cake, very moist.Yummi! I'm already salivating, just like Pavlov's dog...

Little Bro Birthday Cake
For lots of people and a 26 cm cake pan

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake

  • 225 gr. dark chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 100 gr. butter
  • 100 gr. flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250 ml. water
  • 50 gr. sugar
  • 95 ml rum

  • Dark Mousse
  • 350 gr. dark chocolate
  • 50 gr. butter
  • 300 gr. whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons rum (optional, I didn't use it)

  • White Mousse
  • 350 gr. white chocolate
  • 50 gr. butter
  • 300 gr. whipping cream


  • To Garnish

  • 100 gr. dark chocolate, o half white, half dark chocolate
  • podwered sugar to dust


Method


Cake
  1. Melt chocolate (I do it in the microwave) and let it cool.
  2. Beat egg whites, when they star to become firm, add one tablespoon sugar. Keep beating, you have to have kind of a meringue.
  3. Cream butter with the other tablespoon sugar.
  4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time.
  5. It's time for the chocolate to blend in.
  6. MIx flour and baking powder and add it to the mixture.
  7. Finally add the meringue, this is always the final step. Do it with round movements, so the air doesn't come out.
  8. Cook at 180ºC in a pre-heated oven for 30 min. Let cool.
  9. Cut it in three slices (good luck).
  10. Brush each slice with the syrup (that you've previously cooked: water and sugar for 5 min.)


  11. Dark Mousse
  12. Melt butter and chocolate together.
  13. Whipp the cream, not to hard. Stir in 1/3 of the chocolate.
  14. Mix rest of the chocolate with the brandy. This is optional and you can take the liquor that you best like, as well. Join both creams and put it in the fridge.


  15. White Mousse
  16. Same as the dark mousse, without the liquor.

    Assembly
  17. Put the top slice of the cake facing down in the cake pan you used to bake it.
  18. Spread the dark mousse
  19. Put the central slice on the dark mousse.
  20. Now spread the white mousse.
  21. Put the last cake slice, the bottom slice, on top of everything.
  22. Let it cool in the fidge a couple of hours. Before serving, let the cake rest at room temperature at least two hours.
  23. To decorate, melt the chocolate and pour it on the kitchen counter.
  24. Spread it and let it set. It doesn't have to become completely hard.
  25. With a knife, scrape the chocolate to make curls.Arrange them on the cake and dust with some powedered sugar, if you feel like it. Enjoy!

Keep reading...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Limes and Lemons


Perhaps someone out there can help me? It turns out that my mother and I have a discussion from the years I spent in Brazil: are limes and lemons the same fruit? Here are our diverging opinions:

Me: They have different names, sizes, colors and flavors (my better half declares that a caipirinha made with lemons isn't the same, it has another aroma) therefore they're different fruits.

My mother: limes are green lemons.Period.

I've researched the net. I have reached no conclusion. I still have to look it up in my Espasa (encyclopedia), wanting to end this intelectual suffering I found myself in... Meanwhile, does anyone have the answer? I'd be eternally grateful ...

So we gather again tonight for dinner. I was the cook and this was the menu:

- Russian potato and leeks soup(recipe)

- Stuffed Onions (recipe)


- Lime meringue pie (recipe)

Keep reading...

Lime and Meringue Pie



This is one of my favorite pies. I just can't resist it. If allowed I could gobble it, afterwards I'd surely have to have my stomach pumped out...Not even the shadow of this pie was left...

I normally fill this pie with lemon curd, but this time I had to prove that limes and lemons are not the same... I don't like my meringue with lots of sugar. It's a nice contrast to the sweet curd. So, this was like a little sunshine in this unpleasant winter that we are having.

Lime Curd
For a 26 cm. pie shell

Ingredients

* one pie crust
* zest of 4 limes
* 125 ml. freshly pressed lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
* 285 gr. sugar
* 250 gr. soft butter
* 5 big eggs
* a pinch of salt
* 3 egg whites
* 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Method

1.- Mix zest with sugar.
2.- Beat butter and sugar until you have a cream.
3.- Add eggs, one at a time.
4.- Pour in the juice and salt.
5.- Cook it in a water bath for 15 min aprox., removing constantly with a wodden spoon. The curd is done when it covers the back of the spoon. If you run your finger on the back of the spoon you have to see like a "road". Let it cool completely.
6.- Fill in the pie shell or eat it with the spoon, if you can't help it...

Meringue

1.- Beat the egg whites until firm. Add the powdered sugar and beat again.
2.- Put it gracefully over the filled pie. Grill it, be careful, I almost burned it!

Keep reading...

Pie Crust



This is a basic pie crust for all kind of pies. the problem with this type of crust is that it tends to shrink with heat (in the oven). I've read all kinds of tricks and secrets to prevent this from happening, from letting it rest several hours in the fridge to replace water for vodka... I have my own secret: I put the rolled dough on the pie shell and let it rest the whole night in the fridge. I cook it the next day and it's perfect! So here it goes:

Pie Crust
For a 26 cm pie shell

Ingredients

* 200 gr. flour
* 80 gr. buter, cold in 4 big chunks
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 tablespoon oil
* a pinch of salt
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 3 tablespoons cold water

Method

1.- Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl or on the kitchen counter. Add butter and egg yolk. Mix quickly cutting it with two knives until it looks like crumbles.
2.- Add in the water, a tablespoon at a time. Maybe you don't need it all, it depends on the humidity of the flour. The dough won't be very smooth, just enough to make a ball with it. Wrap it up in foil.
3.- Let it rest some hours (or the night) in the fridge.
4.- Sprinkle the kitchen counter with flour and roll the dough. You have to think ahead and take it out of the fridge at least one hour before you roll it. Mine always break so I end up putting the pieces on the pie dish. Nobody's perfect...
5.- Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork so it doesn't loose its shape when cooked and cover it with foil again. Put some uncooked beans on it. Leave it in the fridge during the night. Cook the crust at 180º C in a preheated oven about 30 min. It shouldn't turn golden.
6.- Let it cool a bit and brush the bottom of the crush with half a beaten egg white. Shove in the oven for 5 min.
7.- Fill it with whatever you fancy.
Keep reading...

Stuffed onions


It has been a long time since I made these. Probably due to the lack of time. Now I just have to organize myself better and begin to prepare part of the dish the day before...

This recipe comes from one of my basic cook books: Simone Ortega's 1080 recetas de cocina. Mine is a simplified version, not less tasteful nonetheless. Judge yourselves...

Stuffed Onions
8 servings

Ingredients

* 8 big and round onions
* 400 gr. ground beef
* 200 gr. minced pork meat
* 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
* 2 big garlic cloves, minced
* 2 medium eggs, beaten
* 2 toast bread slices, whitout rind
* 1/2 wine glass of warm milk
* 250 ml. meat stock
* 80 ml. cream
* A string of olive oil

Method


1.- Put the toast bread in the milk. Prepare the stuffing: in a bowl mix meat, salt, parsley, garlic, eggs and drained bread. Reserve it.
2.- Peel the onions. Cut a thin slice underneath so they don't roll, and another bigger on the top so you can stuff them. Cook them in salty water about 15 min. Drain them carefully and set the water aside, you can use it to make the stock (with maggi cubes...)
3.- Carefully empty the onions. You can use what comes out to make a pasta sauce, for example.
4.- Stuff the hollow onions and put the lid on that we cut out earlier. Put the stuffed onions in an oven dish (or maybe two). Sprinkle them with meat stock, just up to the middle of the onions. You can cover them if you want to with a little bit of chopped parsley. Drizzel them now with olive oil. Cook them at 190º C in a preheated oven for 50 min, give or take.
5.- You can grill them after they are done, for instance with a mixture of butter, garlic and breadcrumbs. I didn't have any so I used some grated parmesan cheese...
6.- Arrange the onions carefully on a serving plate.
7.- To make the sauce, take the cooking liquid and reduce it with the cream. Mix everything with the electrical mixer right before you serve it.
Keep reading...

Russian Soup



I love eating soup. All Kinds of soups. I could eat it everyday. I found this recipe here. It is fantastic. It has now officially a place in my recipe collection.

In Spain we cook the soup eather in meat, chicken or fish stock. We put some vegetables and noodles, bread, fish... and done.In Central and Eastern Europe, then enrich them with cream. Um! Yummi! Sure, with such low temperatures, cream is wonderful.

RussianSoup
12 servings

Ingredients:

* 70 gr. butter
* 2 leeks, sliced
* 2 big carrots, aprox. 350 gr., diced
* 1.420 ml chicken stock
* 1 teaspoon dried dill
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper
* 1 bay leaf
* 910 gr. potatos, diced
* 455 gr. fresh mushrooms, sliced
* 120 ml. cream
* 120 ml. whole milk
* 1 tablespoon flour

Method:

1.- Melt half the butter in a big casserole. Sauté leeks and carrots about five min. Add the stock. If someone makes their own stock, congratulations, she has my complete admiration. I buy it, I'm too lazy...Now add pepper, dill, bay leaf and salt.
2.- Mix in potatos, put the lid on the casserole and cook everything on low heat about 20 min.When the vegetables are ready, discard the bay leaf.
3.- Meanwhile, melt the rest of the butter in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms until they are slightly golden. Pour them into the soup.
4.- In a small bowl, mix the flour with the milk and cream. Mix it in the soup and cook until it becomes thicker.
Keep reading...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pumpkin Cake with Orange and Walnuts

This is a delicious cake (excuse my modesty...) It is moist and refresing, not at all heavy. It can perhaps be improved adding some cinnamon and/or nutmeg, next time maybe...

Pumpkin Cake with Orange and Walnuts

Adapted from Madame Cugnac
For a 26 cm can

Ingredients:
  • 800 gr. pumpkin puree
  • 2 oranges
  • 200 gr. sugar
  • 80 gr. grated walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 gr. butter, melted
  • 120 gr. flour
  • 150 gr. shelled walnuts (130 gr. chopped and 20 gr. in halves to decorate)
  • 3 eggs, yolks and whites divided
  • 1/2 envelope baking powder (about 2 teaspoons)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Method:
  1. To make the pumpkin puree: cut the pumpkin in four big chuncks, use a serrated knife and sawing motions, otherwise the knife can slip and you can hurt yourself. With a spoon, take out the seeds. Place it in a microwaveable bowl with lid and cook it on high for 20 min. or until the flesh is tender. Scoop out the pulp and mix it with a hand blender.
  2. We need the zest of the other orange. Squize both orange to get the juice. Mix pumpkin puree, orange zest and juice. Add the vanilla extract.
  3. Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale.
  4. Now add flour, baking powder, grated and chopped walnuts and pumpkin puree.
  5. It's time for the melted butter to come in.
  6. Perare your pan (grease it and coat it with flour). Pour in the cake mixture.
  7. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 210 ºC for aproximately one hour.
  8. Take it out of the pan when completely cooled. Arrage nicely your walnut halves on top of it. Roll the orange peel like flowers and dust with powdered sugar.
Keep reading...

Crepes with Gorgonzola Cheese, Arugula and Walnuts

Crepes with Gorgonzola Cheese, Arugula and Walnuts
From Julius sigue cocinando en 22 minutos
2 Servings

Ingredients
  • Your favorite recipe for crepes
  • 100 gr. gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 4 serrano ham slices
  • 4 walnuts, chopped
  • A bit of butter (to make the crepes)
  • Ground pepper
Method:
  1. Make the crepes and reserve in a warm place.
  2. Cut in pieces gorgonzola cheese and chop arugula leaves.
  3. Cut the cured ham slices, in squares (in the book says stripes but the little brother did it in squares)
  4. Fill each crepe with half the ham, arugula, chopped walnuts and, if you feel like it, ground pepper to taste.
  5. Roll the crepes carefully. Heat them a little bit in the skillet.
  6. Serve with some ham pieces and arugula on them. Enjoy.
Keep reading...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pine nut - marzipan cookies

These delicious bites (we call them empiñonadas in Spain) are eaten the whole year round, but they are even more typical during Christmas. Yes, I know, we still have a complete year til next Christmas, but it's now when I have the time to post this recipe. Preparing the dough both easy and quick. They just little marzipan balls covered with pine nuts. Thus the problem: getting the pine nuts to stick. Those of you with no patience, don't even try it, you'll become an urgent drive to throw everything out the window.... There goes the dare:

Empiñonadas
38 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 250 gr. sweet raw almond meal
  • 250 gr. powdered sugar
  • 38 cl. (aprox) water
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 eggwhite, small
  • 255 gr. pine nuts
  • 1 egg
Method:
  1. Put almond meal and sugar on the kitchen counter. Add water little by little and knead well. We have our marzipan. Let it rest a day in the fridge.
  2. Next day, add lemon zest and eggwhite to the marzipan. Knead well. Form it into a long tube about 4 cm diameter and wrap it with foil. Let it rest in the fridge.
  3. Beat egg. Put pine nuts in a deep bowl.
  4. Cut the tube in little pieces and form them into balls.
  5. Deep each ball in egg and, immediately after, deep it in the pine nut bowl. Press so pine nuts stick.
  6. Put empiñonadas in a lined baking sheet and bake them at 210º until they star turning golden.
You have to keep them in a can or tupperware, otherwise the dry up and become hard.
Keep reading...