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.  

05 March, 2012

lemon drizzle cake

So easy, and quick that it takes longer to write down the recipe than to make the cake.
Since I am pursuing the xylitol fad recently, it is made with that. Otherwise, there is nothing special in it. 
lemon drizzle sunshine

Lemon drizzle cake: 
200g natural Greek yoghurt
150g xylitol
2 eggs
juice and zest of one lemon
grated ginger up to your own taste (optional)
1 tsp vanilla escence
225 g sifted flour
1 pinch of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
100ml oil (rapeseed, or sunflower)

50g xylitol
juice of one lemon

Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, add the oil gradually. Sift in the flour and the baking power.
Use a rectangular, or a plain loaf tin (which was buttered and floured beforehand) and bake the mixture in the oven (preheated to 180°C) for 45-50 mins (might take a hour). If burns quickly, then put tinfoil on the top to prevent burning.
While it's in the oven warm up the xylitol with the lemon juice in a pan until the sweetener dissolves, then a pour over the hot cake when taken out of the oven. Wait till it cools to room temperature and take out of the tin. Consume! :)