28 January, 2012

cocoa swirls aka. kakaós csiga

Colleagues of mine started joking around on the social networking site regarding the concept of the kakaós csiga (husband calls them cocoa swirls). If you are Hungarian, then I am sure that you know what a kakaós csiga is and you don't think of something odd, or don't start frowning when I mention it. If you are a non-Hungarian, then you might find it funny that we named a nice chocolatey swirl after a sloppy animal. Anyway, the inspiration came, action followed and I made one of my best kakaós csiga of this year (easy, it's only January:))  (-let me please mention that the inspiration came from Maci )
The swirls were so successful at work and at home that 1. I could not take any photo of them since they were gone by the time I was about to do that 2. I am making the second portion today to satisfy family demand...
first he was approaching it

for the dough:
500g plain flour
250 ml double cream
50 ml milk
4 tbs caster sugar
10-15g of fresh yeast (or 7g if dried)
2 egg yokes
75g melted butter
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

for the filling:
40-50g butter (on room temperature)
150-200g brown sugar
3-4 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 tbs of hot chocolate powder (optional)

For the dough gently warm the milk and the cream with the sugar till it reaches room temperature (Use the defrosting function on the microwave). It should not be warmer otherwise, you will kill the yeast. If you use fresh yeast, then add to the milk/cream mixture and set it aside for 5 mins till the yeast starts working on room temperature.
Mix the flour and the salt, make a well in the middle. Add the yeast/milk/cream mixture and use your hands like claws to mix that in. Add the melted butter and the egg yokes and mix as long as your dough resembles to an elastic balls. Then kneed for 10-15 mins and let it rest for an hour in a warm place in your kitchen where there is no cold draught, since that would kill the yeast consequently the whole dough.
If you have a bread making machine then you can skip all of the above, and trust your machine to do the business for you.
After an hour rest, knock the air out of the dough and give it a good kneed again, but gentle now. Let it rest again for 10 more minutes.
Turn on the oven to 180 Celsius and roll out the dough into a rectangular shape, which is not thinner than 0,5 cm. Spread the butter evenly on the dough, and sprinkle with the brown sugar/ cocoa powder mixture (or hot choc. powder if you use).
Roll up the dough tightly, and using a 20-30 cm long thread cut the filled though into half, and then half again and half it as long as you reach 1,5-2 cm thick swirls. I don't like using a knife for cutting, as it squashes the "snail" and they would look rather like they have been run over by a car...
Place them on a baking sheet on their sides and if you want, you can sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and pour some hot milk/butter mixture (0,5 dl) on every swirl. Let it rest for an other half an hour before putting in the hot oven.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and pour the left-over milk/butter mixture (other 0,5dl), and bake till golden brown (an other 15 minutes). Eat it till piping hot! (no don't do that, I am joking...) Enjoy!
then he put his hands on it                                                                                                             
then he ate it

01 January, 2012

Kitchen Recycling 2012/January

Since it is a new year (and btw Happy New Year to all my readers!) we have the choice of making some new years resolutions.Something like I will learn, I will give-up, I will do this, I won't do that, I will enroll and finish you name it and then we all forget about these within a week or so...or sometimes life gives you no choice but you have to change your habits without any consideration and stick to that for a while (or a lifetime:)). Either way it is, I think that for 2012 a lot of people will make the resolution of saving, or not wasting (money, food, time, attention etc.) so why not starting that in your kitchen?

This is not a new invention, as women, having practice in cooking, know the tricks of "recycling" of food for hundreds of years. For example, we have the Italian Panzanella, the Hungarian Hortobágyi Palacsinta, the Cesar Salad,Spanish croquettes, the lovely Bread and Butty Pud that all British housewives know the best, and we could continue the list with a loads of other dishes that is created by creative chefs, wives, students in order to save the leftover.

A couple of years ago the BBC went as far as creating an entire series around the topic and filmed the TV program, the Economy Gastronomy, which was a successful attempt to make viewers realize how much food (and consequently money) goes into waste and what you can do with your leftover Sunday Roast besides chucking that into the bin.

I could also mention the great initiative of lovefoodhatewaste.com, which is trying to encourage us to get the most from every ingredient and giving us colourful ideas of serving up the leftover that would go into waste.

In the light of these said above I would like to give you some recipes this month that uses up some leftover from your fridge and helps you to clean out your cupboard, giving everyday food a bit of a twist but on a low budget.

The first recipe this month is a DIY chocolate rocky road, for which I got the inspiration from Nigella. She showed how to use up the remains of the Christmas Cake, turning it into posh (no offense but what else?) chocolate truffles and serving them like they have always meant to be posh chocolate truffles:)!
Since, I was not in the mood of faffing around with the truffles, I turned this recipe into (not a classical) Rocky Road, adding whatever I found in the kitchen.
If you want to have some fun in the kitchen, then be my guest and start making the little truffle balls. If you are lazy like myself, then follow me :)
The rules and the ingredients are really not strict here. I was trying to give you some idea where to start and the variation of the ingredients is up to your taste and (of course) purse.

DIY Chocolate Rocky Road:
1/3 of a traditional fruit and nut Christmas Cake (or the third of a 23 cm sponge cake or cca. 200g biscuits)
200g of Dark chocolate (any type)
200ml double cream
cca. 50g butter (if I say a knob of butter would you know what I am talking about)
cca. 2-3 tbs hazelnut cream and the same amount of peanut butter
a handful of raisin, chopped walnut and coconut (or almond, pecan, Brazil nut etc)
a dash of vanilla extract
cca. 1 dl sweet champagne (port,sherry or any sweet wine or any liqueur from the bottom of the bottle)*

Melt the chocolate over water bath, add the butter and the cream and take off the heat when molten. Let it cool.
Crumb the cake (the drier, the better) into a big bowl and pour in some champagne and add some vanilla extract. Stir in the nuts, any dried fruit of your choice, the melted chocolate and add the hazelnut cream and the peanut butter.
Turn the mixture into a cake tin, let it rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight and serve it sliced.

*FYI: Nigella used Pedro Ximénez :) but if you are serving this to children use some fruit juice or squash
it was difficult to take a good shot of this