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

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
  • 400 ml. cream to whipp, very cold
  • 80 gr. powdered sugar
  • 600 gr. strawberries
  • powdered sugar
  • whole strawberries
  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.
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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

  • 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)
  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.
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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


Crunchy layer:
  • 200 gr. butterscotch candies
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 100 gr. peanut butter
  • 100 gr. rice krispies
  • 100 gr. salty peanuts
  • 170 gr. black chocolate, in chunks
  • 100 gr. peanut butter
  • 50 gr. butter
  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


  • 125 gr. coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 180 gr. hazelnut meal
  • 6 egg whites
  • 70 gr. sugar
  • 200 gr. powdered sugar
  • 300 gr. dark chocolate
  • 200 gr. strawberries, chopped
  • 6 eggs, separated yolks from whites
  • strawberries
  • powdered sugar
  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

  • 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
  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

  • 250 gr. flour
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 125 ml. water, tepid
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 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
  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

  • 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
  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

  • 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
  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


  • 1/2 sachet instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup tepid water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 8 big weenie-sausages
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 8 cheese slices (I used gouda)
  • 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

  • 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
  • 25o gr. cream for whipping, cold
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanille esence
  • 140 gr. dark chocolate
  • 100 ml. cream
  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...