08 July, 2012

yoghurt vanilla ice-cream

You have to find ways of surviving this heat. Therefore, as far as I can see all Hungarian food blogs are full of ice-cream and lollies.
They appear in all shape, size and flavour so I thought I have to join in :) (yeah, sometimes there is nothing wrong with following the masses, is there?!). Since, I have no male adult audience at home the purpose is purely self-indulgence but as I look after myself, it has to be the "bikini-body friendly" version of the good-old vanilla ice-cream...so I won't feel bad eating it after doing a bit of a sport, but to be honest in 38°C mere existence is a sport.

3 egg yokes
3 tbs of sugar (for me equivalent of sweetener)
300 ml milk (I used 2,8% for added creaminess)
1 vanilla pod and its seeds
1 tsp of dried lavender florets (optional)
200g natural yoghurt

Pour the milk in a pan, and add the seeds of the vanilla, pop in the empty pod, as well the lavender (if you are not keen you can leave this out). Bring to boil and take off the heat, let it cool-off for 5 minutes. In the meantime whisk the egg yokes with the sugar (or sweetener) until it turns to pale yellow and pour (sieve - actually, you have to get rid of the lavender and the vanilla pod) the walk milk over it and put the bowl over simmering water (in French it is called bain marie if you keen to know) but before doing that prepare some icy water in your sink or in a bigger bowl. Stir it constantly until it starts thickening. There are two ways to learn if it is done. 1) the temperature of the mixture is about 80°C. For which you need a kitchen thermometer to figure out. or 2) put your spatula into the mixture, take it out and draw a line with your finger and if the little "patch" remains on the back of the spoon then it's thick enough. Now, you gotta be quick, since the residual heat of the bowl is going to keep cooking the mixture if you don't put it into ice-cold water to cool it (just pop the bowl into the icy water, make sure that the kitchen tap is not actually dribbling over it - trust me it has happened to me once that the cream curdled from the dribbling water...). Let it cool for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then put the mixture in a big box (the bigger, the better as on big surface it cools quicker) and put it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Then all you have to do is to stir in the yoghurt, put it back to the fridge, then either churn in your ice-cream maker or freeze in the fridge. If you don't have an ice-cream maker you can still do three things to make this look-like ice-cream.  a) add choc. chips or dried berries etc to the vanilla cream then pour the mixture into a loaf tin and freeze as it is and call-it a semifreddo b) you pour the cream in lolly maker (like this one) and call it a lolly, or cover the lolly in chocolate and call it Magnum vanilla... or c) pour in an ice-cream box, stir the content with a fork every hour until it sets and it is going to resemble like shop-bought ice-cream (though less creamy).

29 April, 2012

Pogácsa with pumpkin seeds, which is not a scone

Let me elaborate on this. Maybe the shape of the scone looks alike the Hungarian pogácsa, but oh my, it is really not the same thing. Therefore, no translation please since, it is not the same thing. It is like when you compare a ratatouille to a good vegetarian curry. You see what I mean? The two might look the same, but OMG a Frenchman would kill me for this statement, likewise a true-born Indian.
After this intro let me tell you that Pogácsa, with a capital P, is a real deal in my family. You can really bribe certain family members with a pogácsa or two...so having good experience in making pogácsas, let me share with you my latest creation, which comes from mixing two recipes.
No, I did not mix the recipes, as Rachel did in Friends. You know when she was making the English trifle for Thanksgiving, and added one layer of minced beef to the trifle as she was following the recipe. Then, it turns out that the pages of the recipe book of the trifle and the cottage pie stuck together...
Anyway, my pogácsa is edible, good snack -even for the under-aged family member as well (sometimes)- and easy to make (and btw, 100% success is guaranteed!)

175g good quality butter on room temperature
400g (bread) flour
100g wholegrain rye flour
50g pumpkin seed
1 whole egg (plus one for brushing)
110g blue cheese
150g natural yoghurt
20g fresh yeast (or 7g dried)
1/2 Tbs sugar
cca. 100 ml warm milk
1-2 tsp salt

Warm the milk, dissolve the sugar and crumble in the yeast. Let it rest for 5 mins, until it gets frothy on the top. If you use dried, fast action yeast then you can miss out this step.
Sieve the flours in a big bowl, and rub in the flour with your fingers. Make a well in the middle, add the yeast(y) milk and incorporate. Add the crumbled blue cheese, the egg, the seed and enough yoghurt that makes a good dough. Kneed it for 5 minutes, or use your bread machine or whichever kitchen gadget you prefer. Let it rest for an hour in a warm corner of your kitchen until it doubles in size.Pour the dough on a lightly floured surface and need a bit. Roll out to 1,5 cm thick, cut out to your favourite shape and let the pogácsa rest on a baking sheet for an other half an hour. In the meantime pre-heat the oven to 180-200°C.
Once the pogácsa rested, and has risen enough, brush with lightly whipped eggs and put in the oven for 25 minutes. You will not regret trying it straight out of the oven...

ps.:this dough makes around 40 pogácsa. If you do not want to make all of them at once, then you can freeze half of the dough after the first resting, before rolling out. Once frozen, can be kept in the freezer for 2-3 month. If you want to use it, then thaw in the fridge overnight. Then let it rest on room temperature for 3-4 hours, then roll our, cut out, let it double in size (I usually use my oven for this on 40-50°C for 15-20 mins) then egg wash, finally bake in the oven as described above.

21 April, 2012

shortbread deluxe

This Eric boy surprised me again. His shortbread is so nice, that it's going to be part of the usual Mrs Moore repertoire at home!
This is my second attempt for making shortbread, the first one was catastrophic (now I know). I mean for me it was fine, nice, edible buut that was the first time that I ate shortbread ever, and I did not have anything to compare with. So, the first attempt was nice if you have never eaten shortbread before. Husband did not even touch that portion, so from this you can see that it was no good at all...
All in all, today I had to try at least something from my goodie package, and I decided to make Eric's shortbread so that I can try my mega-fantastic cookie stamp
who told you that my cookies are not home made? 

Well, I must say that 1) the recipe is simply perfect as it is 2) and the cookie stamp functions perfectly (repetition it is but true).

Shortbread with blackberry coulis:
200g chilled butter
250g flour
100g icing sugar (I used 60g and it is perfectly enough. Eric has a very sweet tooth...)
2 egg yokes
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Rub the butter (only v. good quality butter to be used in this recipe) into the flour. Once it resembles to sea sand, sieve in the icing sugar (you need to get rid of the lumps in the icing sugar). Add the egg yokes and the vanilla and make a dough. You don't have to work it long, just two seconds and it gets its shape easily. Chill in the fridge for 1 h minimum. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and make the coulis while the biscuit is in the fridge. For that you will need:

300g blackberries (frozen is good)
100g raspberries
1 lemon juice and zest
3 Tbs of brown sugar

Put the berries, the lemon juice, the zest and the sugar in a dish and cook on the stove for 2-3 minutes. Then blend (if you have a blender) or mush with a fork, pass it through a sieve to get rid of the pips and cool until usage.

Remove the dough from the fridge, roll out between two layers of clingfilm to 0,5 cm thick, and cut out your favourite shapes. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes (and not more) and let it cool on the cooling rack before touching it (it is very fragile when it's piping hot). Serve the cookies with the blackberry coulis, and you will hear the angels singing Hallelujah!
no, it is not a tadpole on the right -  it is the blackberry coulis

01 April, 2012

paid my dues

The girls came, and helped me a lot. They were nice, asking a lot of questions but still they were heroines, no complaints, no talking back, no drama just did their job. So...in return I promised them that I will pay my dues in cake.
And I did and actually they were very happy with it.
They were promise a chocolate ganache cake with blackberries and they were not complaining... I think everyone was green with envy but never mind, the girls did the job, they earned the cake.

The original recipe idea came from Lila Füge, a very much liked Hungarian celebrity blogger wannabe (ok, ok I take it back), whose style I don't really like but whose blog I still read sometimes ;).

Chocolate ganache cake with blackberries
180 g flour
1 pinch of salt
40g cocoa powder
20g corn starch
250 g sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp bicarb
175g natural yoghurt (or a bit less)
1,5 dl water
1,5 dl oil
2 eggs

for the ganache:
300 g dark chocolate
a pinch of cayenne pepper (you can omit)
300 ml thick double cream
3-4 tbs blackberry jam (or whatever you like)
fresh (or frozen but I don't want to know about it) blackberry to decorate

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Butter and line your cake tin(s). If you have two tins, then you are lucky. I was working with one so it took more time to get ready with the sponge cakes.

Sieve the dry ingredients into a big bowl and add the wet ingredients one by one. Stir with a spatula, you don't need a hand mixer or any voodoo kitchen gadget for this cake. Pour the cake mixture into the tin(s) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. If you find it undone in the middle (you know cake test with a needle) but actually the top is turning dark brown, then put it back in the oven for an extra 5-10 minutes but cover with tinfoil to prevent burning.
While the cakes are being made in the oven, heat up the double cream on your stove, add some fresh vanilla (or extract) and/or some cayenne and pour the hot cream over the chocolate (you can use good quality dark chocolate drops/pastilles as well) and let it rest/melt for 2 minutes. Once molten, stir carefully, and put aside 200 ml from the ganache. Put the ganache in the fridge for an hour, and in the meantime your cake can cool enough to handle. If the cake is not in level, then trim the excess to get two nice thick disks. Put a layer of blackberry jam on the top of one of the cakes, spread carefully and pour that 200 ml, cooled ganache on the top. Spread the ganache but make sure that you leave 0,5 mm at the edges. Put the second sponge on the top, and press down carefully so that you even out the filling.
Pour rest of the ganache over the cake, and decorate to your preference. Put the blackberries on the top of the ganache to remind yourself that it is actually it is a chocolate AND blackberry cake!

25 March, 2012

whole lemon bar from david lebovitz

I like David Lebovitz. He is funny, always has one or two good recipes and a good adventure as an Americano living in Paris.His recipes are sometimes incredibly easy, not stunning but tasty and quick business. I recommend his blog for reading anyway.

Since, there is a lot of sunshine here I thought that David's (like we are on you term w/ each other...) sunny lemon bar would do here. It is very yellow, light and refreshing. If you are like myself, and always have some lemons hanging around in the fridge, then beside that you will only need to grab some store board ingredients to make this lovely bar. Very quick, very easy and disappears in minutes :)

whole lemon bar:
for the crusty bottom

140g flour (70g graham flour and 70g low carb flour)
50g sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
115g melted unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
cca. 100 ml milk if necessary

for the filling
1 whole lemon (cca. 150g)
100g caster sugar (or 200g as per original recipe of David if you are not on diet)
sweetener to taste to substitute an other 100g of caster sugar
3-4 tbs lemon juice
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 teaspoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
45g melted unsalted butter

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. 

For the crust melt the butter and then mix the ingredients together. If too dry only then add some milk, but originally it was not in the recipe. Put the mixture  in your squared tin, and flatten with your hand or with a spatula. Put in the oven for 20-25 mins. until golden brown.

In the meantime you can make the filling, which cannot be simpler than the crust was. Wash your lemon thoroughly, if necessary put soap on that and wash with hot water (unless you have unwaxed lemon), cut that into 8 wedges and put in the food processor (get rid of the pips beforehand). Add the sugar and whiz to paste. Once done, and you have some liquid sunshine then add the eggs, one by one I prefer to do, and the starch, the salt and the gently molten butter, whiz and then last but not least add some more freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. (don't worry about the pulp, it's fine)

Once the crust is done and cooled a bit pour the lemon mixture on the top, put back into the oven for 25 minutes (or less, depending on your oven). Let it cool before slicing up. Maybe serve in the company of some limoncello?:)

18 March, 2012

let's talk about Eric

Here is Eric. He is not a "oh-just-like-my-neighbour" type of boy at all. He is a master pâtissier and he lives up to the expectations as such :)
Probably, he was the boy in the public school whose English was not understood by anyone, since he is French, and his arrogance made him the perfect target for school bullies. But Eric is not the type of guy who would allow himself to be bullied, he would say 'ow dare they' and would walk off to the nearest patisserie to get the sweetest, coolest, most fashionable cake for himself  and then a haircut.
So, let me introduce you Eric Lanlard, with his latest series on television. He is very bad with the cameras, not able to make any convenient small-talk with his guest, but still...I am watching him every day!
Reason being, that he is over-confident with his cakes and dessert (must be since he was trained at the Roux brothers), he is making fancy cake decorations that even the chockywockydoodah would be envious with and last but not least his English is funny. Oh, and he is showing some quick bakes, which I tested and proved to be really quick, really! :)
So, here it is a cupcake from Eric's kitchen, which a bite. Lovely light sponge, and creamy yummy frosting. You will see what I mean!

Mexican chocolate Cupcakes: 

175g flour (85g low-carb, 90g graham for me - sieved)
1 tsp bicarb
1tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pinch of cayenne pepper powder
1 pinch of salt
225g caster sugar (175g I dared...not more)
4 tbs cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 splash of white wine vinegar
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsb vanilla extract
250 ml water (I needed to add 100 ml milk too)

Combine the dry ingredients with the wet (the raw pastry must be runny, don't worry it is normal). Portion out to the papered cupcake tin, and bake in the 180°C pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.

While it is baking in the oven prepare the frosting.
 150g sieved icing sugar
150g butter (on room temp)
100g melted dark chocolate
1 pinch of cayenne pepper powder

Combine the sugar and the butter with a spatula at first, then use your electric mixer to cream. Once light and fluffy add the cooled but still runny dark chocolate and the cayenne. Combine then put in the fridge for 20 mins, or at least till the sponge cools down.
Decorate to your liking!

12 March, 2012

a very health conscious muffin

Do you get the feeling that you are eating something very healthy when they eat carrot cake? I am pretty sure that all of us do so...:) But if we put the recipe under a magnifier glass, then we will find that it is far from being healthy. Butter, sugar, eggs and all of our good intentions of healthy eating is thrown out of the window.
So, being a health conscious mum I took a deep breath and reviewed the recipe I had in hand. All in all, I vamped up a healthier version of my all time favourite carrot cake.

Here is the result:
125 g butter
125g natural yoghurt (so instead of 250 g butter, we start having healthiness here)
150 g xylitol (the fad still holds)
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs (if you know any alternatives for this, then be my guest and use that)
100 g graham flour (which is slightly better than white flour but only slightly. Don't have illusions)
100 g low-carb flour (Still has the same calorie content as normal flour, thought less carbs)
50 g desiccated coconut
200g grated carrots (equivalent of 2 medium size of grated one)
2 tsp. all-spice
zest of one lemon
2 cm piece of ginger grated
1 pinch of salt, bicarb and baking powder each

Turn on your over to 180°C and put paper in the muffin tin's holes.
Mix the melted butter, with the yoghurt, the sweetener and the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one. Grate in the ginger and the lemon zest then put the mixture aside.
Measure out the flour, coconut and grate the carrot. Add the all-spice, the salt, bicarb and baking powder into the flour, add the carrot, then pour in the liquid (or wet) ingredients. Measure out the mixture equally in the muffin holes and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 mins.

If you follow my recipe, and bake 12 muffins, then one muffin will contain 198 kcal, which is not that bad. 

p.s.: my little one just chomped away one and he was not complaining. That's all I can say.