Friday, August 7, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bakewell Tarts - the short version...

Let's get to it:

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

Once they were pruned a bit they looked quite presentable - and eatable for sure - not the last time I'm going to make these babies.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cheesecake deconstructed...

This month the challenge from The Daring Bakers was to make a cheesecake and get creative about the presentation of it. Now here in Denmark cheesecake is 124known, of course, but it's not a big thing, where we have contests about the best recipe or where the magazines are filled with different styles of cheesecake fillings and such.

Personally I looove cheesecake and this recipe was simple and yet gave a really great outcome (applause). I tried to deconstruct the cheesecake. Turned it upside down and played with the idea of crust being a heavy dough bit of grahamcrackers and butter. I played it lowkey ith the usual top - my buttom - and made my own crust to put on top. I added a bit of lemon juice to the cheesecake filling but otherwise left it minimalistic.

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

I made the filling according to the recipe given by Jenny. The crust cookies were made using this recipe:

70 g. sugar
70 g. brown sugar
100 g. butter, softened
70 g. flour
100 g. graham flour
50 g. rolled oats
1 egg
½ ts. baking powder
1 ts. vanilla extract
1/4 ts. salt
A handful of almonds, finely chopped

Turn on oven to 175 C.

Mix sugars and butter, then add the egg and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Add flours, oats, salt, almonds and baking powder. When well integrated make a bigg ball of the dough and leave it in your fridge for a couple of hours covered with plastic wrap. Roll out half the dough at a time and use small cookie cutters (choose your own favorites or use a small glass even) and cut cookies to put on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in oven for about 10 - 15 minutes depending on size.

This recipe yields about 100 small cookies but I assure you that no matter the size you choose, they'll be a great snack to go in your lunch box or with a good cup of coffee after a day's work.

This leaves us only to thinly slice a few strawberries and decorate the plate. Place the cheesecake on top and finish off with the crust cookies.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Orange sorbet with Flo Braker's Pain d'amande Cookies

To make the sorbet you’ll need

6 dl. fresh squished orange juice (I used 8 oranges, but it depends on the size of the fruit)
1 dl. lemon juice (I used two small lemons)
(orange and lemon zest, make sure you buy organic fruits)
200 g. sugar
250 ml. water
1 egg white
40 g. confectioner’s sugar

Heat sugar and water on medium high heat just to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Add zest and leave to cool. Stir in orange and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn for about 40 minutes.

In the meantime using your electric mixer make a small amount of meringue by mixing the egg white and confectioner’s sugar. Fold the meringue into the half frozen sorbet and transfer the sorbet into containers and put them in your freezer for at least 4 hours.

It shouldn’t be necessary but to make sure you get a smooth, fine-textured sorbet, you might remove the containers from the freezer to stir with a fork once or twice during freezing.

With the sorbet I served Flo Braker's Pain d'amande Cookies.


As you can see from the picture below I might have been a little too generous with the coating - but boy, did these bagels taste gooood. They deserve an encore for sure.

Here's what I used:

500 g. flour
275 ml. tapid water
12½ g. fresh yeast
1 tbs. honey
10 g. salt
25 g. butter, softened

Caramel water:

300 g. sugar
3 l. water

Mix water, honey and salt and yeast until well integrated. Add butter and flour. Knead for 5 to10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Leave to proof – preferably in the fridge until the next day.

Divide the dough into 7 – 8 pieces and make a hole using both thumbs in each ball forming an O. Leave to proof another 20 minutes.

Prepare a plate of scatered sesame seeds.

Preheat oven at 200 celsius.

Melt sugar in a pot and when caramelized add water – be careful of the hot caramel. Now looking like simmering brown water! you add a bagel at a time; poach each side for about 1 minute.

Leave to dry a little on a baking sheet with parchment paper then depending on how much coating you want on each bagel you either sprinkle a small amount of seeds on top of the bagels or gently press each bagel onto the plate of seeds.

Put all 7 – 8 bagels back on the baking sheet with parchment paper and bake in oven for about 15 minutes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

...and in the morning I'm makin'...crumpets...

Do you remember when Donkey moves in with Shrek and he places himself in Shrek's favorite chair with the words "...and in the morning I'm making waffles" Much to Shrek's dismay? Well I haven't made waffles - this time anyway (and I haven't moved in with someone green and crumpy) What I did do was make crumpets, an English bread snack, sometimes eaten in the morning with a bit of butter or jam. For an English teacher this is almost like being there and if your oven's not working - well, this is what you could do.

English (as opposed to Scottish) crumpets (Idea's from Delia): 14 crumpets

250 g. flour
1½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
60 ml. water
300 ml. milk
12 g. freah yeast

Heat the milk and water until handwarm, pour in a bowl and add yeast, sugar. Leave to ferment for 15 - 20 minutes. Sift into the bowl flour and salt and beat well to make a smooth batter.

Grease a pan and some iron rings (egg rings) with butter. Place rings in the pan and turn on the heat to medium. Spoon 1 large tbs. batter in each ring and leave to cook for 6 - 7 minutes. Remove the rings - they're hot! and turn the crumpets over to cook for another 5 minutes.

Once done remove the crumpets; regrease and reheat the rings to cook the next batch.

Served warm with butter and jam. You can reheat them later by toasting them lightly on both sides before serving.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Crepe Cake - Happy Easter 2009

This year for Easter I wanted to have a go at The Crepe Cake. For some it must seem SOOO yesterday (Snap) but since I'm a selfproclaimed newbie at cooking and baking - there are no NO-NOs at my house. Here's the recipe. It takes some time to make this cake. You start out one day making a batch of crepe dough and the egg mixture for the custard and then wait till the next day to bake your crepes and assemble the cake - and then you wait another 2 - 3 hours before serving. Yes, it is a good kitchen exercise (and as such worth the 12 eggs...)

Need I add that the cake was a huge success?