Friday, 27 June 2014

Macarons With Cheesecake and Raspberries

There was a time when I was so crazy for making Macarons , that when I just mentioned the name macaron Hans and Shyama got nuts.

As you all know Hans used to hate macarons in the begning when I started making them as he thought they are to sweet etc... but I always did sneaky , I mostly made a filly with some kind of boose so then Hans would be tempted to eat them :-)
I do have to admit he likes them when the filling is special.

Anyway there is no panick in my home for macarons as I haven't made them for a while.
These macarons I made a while ago and actually I don't know when I made them , only thing I know it must be a while ago.

I was planning to do a guest post for a friend this macaron when I made them, but then one or the other thing came up and it didn't happen .
And now I thought it is about time I posted these as the filling is so good.

When I Sandwich the macarons I kept inside each of them a small raspberry and gave a press so then got squached together with the cheese cake cream.
Which is absloutley super delicious, minus point as there is a fresh fruit inside I think the macarons should be ate in two days otherwise they get too soft because of the moisture from the fresh fruit.
Well if i remember the filling was so good that the macarons didn't stay that long in our fridge.

 As always I stick to my Ottelenghi recipe fro Macaron and if you want to see the step by step pic how to make them just click here

110gm icing sugar
60gm almond flour
60gm egg whites (of 2 eggs) ( Normally you have to age the egg whites, which I suggest you do too, but these days I find myself not agening them but I don't take the freshest egg, I just take egg which is atleast a week old and then make the Macarons when ever I want as I don't like the agening part of the whites as I am a impulisive baker, but don't listen to me age you eggs )
40gm castor sugar
Few drops of any food colour ( pink i used)
Freeze droed raspberries to add on top ( optional)

Whiz the almond flour and icing sugar in the coffee grinder and sift 2-3 times
Whisk the egg whites and castor sugar till it forms a thick aerated meringue, firm but not too dry.
Turn the nut mixture into the bowl, and fold gently to get a lava type batter.
Add this mix into a pipping bag with a plain nozzel and pipe into circles.
If you are using the freeze dried raspberries crumble them up and sprinkle on top of each macarons.
Hold the tray firmly and tap the underside firmly. This should help to spread and smooth out the macarons.
Leave out, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 150C (the original recipe has 170C).
Bake in preheated oven for about 18 to 20 minutes. They are ready when they readily leave the paper when liften with a palette knife. Remove from oven as soon as this happens, and leave to cool completely.
I take out the macaron shells when I take them out from the oven, and I do this trick always, splash a little bit of water under the baking paper which allows the Macaron to lift from the baking paper easily.

For the Butter Cream

200 gm cream cheese ( room temperature)
1 egg yolk
60 gm fine sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extraxt
125 gm soft butter
Raspberries for keeping inbetween the macarons.

Add the egg yolk and the sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl and whisk using a hand mixer till the mix is fluffy and light colored.
Add the butter little by little and whisk till it is creamy/
Add the cream cheese to this and stir it well using a wooden spoon till the mix is fluffy and creamy.

Sandwich the macarons with the cream cheese filling and also donn't forget to keep a raspberry inside the filling .

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Beef meatballs with broad beans and lemon

I am planning to do few post this week, atleast that is what my sister has asked me to do.
Hans is gone from tommorow for  a concert trip and he will be only back Monday evening.
So sis was like he is not home you should post then more in this week.

But knowing me I will be not doing, as I have already told Hans when he is not home I am not going to cook anything at all :-)
And he remarked I can be like the old lady who live above us in the apartment, when her husband was in the hospital for few weeks she hardly cooked.

By now you all know I am crazy for the cooking style or recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi .
And if you are not convinced you can check out all these post Chermoula Aubergine, Acharuli Khachapuri and I am sur eyou will find more similar dishes in my blog.

I made this dish when I did a Ottolenghi evening here at home together with the chermoula aubergine when i did a ottolenghi evening here at home.

This is what it is written in the book about the recipe and I must say I totally agree to it.

Fresh, sharp and very, very tasty, these meatballs are our idea of the perfect spring supper. Serve them with basmati rice and there isn't much need for anything else. Whole blanched almonds make a good addition, for texture as well as for taste – add them to the pan at the same time as the unshelled broad beans. 

Makes about 20 meatballs, to serve four

4½ tbsp olive oil
350g broad beans, fresh or frozen
4 whole thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, sliced
8 spring onions, cut at an angle into 2cm segments
2½ tbsp lemon juice
500ml  chicken stock
Salt and black pepper
For the meatballs
300g minced beef
150g minced lamb
1 medium onion, finely chopped
120g breadcrumbs
2 tbsp each chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint, dill and coriander, plus ½ tbsp extra of each to finish
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp baharat spice mix ( if you don't get this spice mix in the book there is a recipe,look below in this post for the recipe of this spice)
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp capers, chopped
1 egg, beaten
Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Add three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper, mix with your hands and form into balls about the size of ping-pong balls. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in an extra-large frying pan for which you have a lid. Sear half the meatballs over a medium heat, turning them until they are brown all over – this will take about five minutes. Remove from the pan, add another half-tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook the other batch of meatballs. Once browned all over, remove these from the pan, too, then wipe it clean with kitchen towel.
While the meatballs are cooking, throw the broad beans into a pot with plenty of salted boiling water and blanch for two minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water, then remove and discard the skins from half the broad beans.
Heat the remaining oil in the meatball pan, add the thyme, garlic and spring onion, and sauté over a medium heat for three minutes. Add the unshelled broad beans, one and a half tablespoons of the lemon juice, 80ml of the stock, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. The beans should be almost covered by liquid. Pop on the lid and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.
Return the meatballs to the pan, add the remaining stock, cover again and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. If it is still very runny, remove the lid and reduce a little. Once the meatballs stop cooking, they will soak up a lot of the juices, so make sure there is still plenty of sauce at this point. You can leave the meatballs now, off the heat, until you're ready to serve.
Just before serving, reheat the meatballs and add a little water, if needed, to get enough sauce. Gently stir in the remaining herbs, lemon juice and the shelled broad beans and serve immediately.
Baharat Spice Mix:
1 tsp of black pepper corns
1 tsp cirriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick (5 cm) roughly broken up
1/2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp cummin seeds
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 nutmeg grated

Add all the ingridients in a spic grinder and powder to a fine powder.
You can keep this spice powder for 2 months in a closed jar.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Strawberry & almond cheesecake sponge

There was a time when I always made a cake for Sunday afternoon coffee and I used to take them to my inlaws home and the cake would be finished in a flash as we were always with some 7 for coffee and then If by chance there was some left over she would keep the rest for the next day for them.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that she passed away last year and now for sunday coffee we have gone down from 7 people to just 4 ( ok mostly 3 as Shyama is only there for coffee ifshe come home for weekend)

And mostly we end up buying cake if it is just 3 of us as Hans would be saying to me why you want to do all the work making a cake as we are just 3.
So ususally we end up buying tarts/ cakes these days from the bakers .
And i was fed up paying too much for the small cakes plus they are too sweet etc... and I go on grumbling about it, so I ended up making this cake for one sunday.
And I kept the rest in my FIL's fridge saying he can have a slice for next day and also to give for Niece when she come there.
The cake is really good and moist. And as strawberry season is still going on there it was a good way to use the delicious strawberries.
Mu cheese went to the bottom so next time when i make this cake i will add more than half of the cake batter and then add the cheese mix.

Recipe Copied from BBC Good Good

  • 175g butter, really soft, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 75g full-fat natural yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • handful flaked, toasted almonds

For the cheesecake blobs

  • 200g full-fat cream cheese
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 23cm cake tin with baking parchment. Mix the ingredients for the cheesecake blobs together in a bowl until just combined – be careful not to overmix or it will become runny. Set aside.
  • Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds, yogurt, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, and beat together until smooth using an electric hand whisk.
  • Scrape half the cake mixture into the tin, then scatter with half the strawberries. Use the back of a teaspoon to create dips in the surface of the cake and dollop in spoonfuls of cheesecake mixture – saving about half for the top. Cover with the remaining cake mixture, being careful not to disturb the cheesecake and strawberries below. Scatter with the remaining strawberries and spoon on the remaining cheesecake mixture, using the same method as before.
  • Scatter with almonds and bake for 50 mins-1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 20 mins in the tin before turning out. Delicious served warm or cold

Friday, 13 June 2014

Hawaiian Rolls

The first time I had Hawaiian bread was when I visited my sister in Houston in 2012 , we were in this supermarket and sis said to me Finla these breads are so soft a bit like our Kerala bakery bread and she bought a pack.
Of course her son Vishal love these bread too that he and I ended up eating ( Hogging) the whole lot.
So I have been wanting to make these bread from the time when I came back . And was looking for a good recipe.

The moment I saw this recipe in this blog Milk and Honey I knew I was going to make this Hawaiian Rolls as they were looking super soft and so delicious.

And must say they were really so so good.
If i could I would have eaten in one go more than I had ate :-) if I had ate more I think I would have also had to do running and squats like she does, and I do really wish I did so I could eat more of these delicious bread.
The recipe I have given is from her place and I have written what I changes, actually didn't change that much.
I think the bread is eaten the best the day itself of making them.

You should check out Milk and Honey blog , she has so much delicious dishes that I am sure I will be visiting her place to make few other dishes from her place.

How to make them.

Recipe Copied from Milk and Honey

Sweet Buns - aka Hawaiian Rolls

500g "00" flour (a little more or a little less) and some for dusting on the work surface ( Use White bread flour)
1 large egg
250ml pineapple juice, room temperature
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger ( I added more grated ginger)
1 scant teaspoon fine sea salt
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
60g unsalted butter, melted
Egg wash - (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
30g unsalted butter, melted for brushing

Grease a 20 x 30 baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, pineapple juice, sugar, ginger, vanilla and melted butter. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, dump in about half the flour (no need to measure, just eyeball it) and the salt. Add the egg mixture and mix on low until roughly incorporated. Sprinkle in the yeast and mix. Add the remaining flour and mix until you have a slightly tacky dough. If it's too wet, add a little more flour a tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Leave to double in size for about an hour. (Mine took almost one and half hour to double up)

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Add more flour if the dough if it's too sticky, but only enough to make it manageable. Divide the dough into 15 even portions. Roll the portions into balls and place them in the baking tray. Cover and leave them to double in bulk for another hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Brush the tops of the balls with egg wash and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter and serve warm
Sending the Delicious super soft bread to Yeastspotting

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tortellini with peas and Ham

Here it was Fathers day sunday ( I know rest of the world have next week and belgium has it one week earlier)
Shyama is having exams plus she is busy with her thesis so she is staying there a month and not comming home on weekends So we decided we will go and visit her for father's day and take her out for lunch.
So as we were any way going that side I told her I will bring for her home made ravioli. So I made ravioli with ragu sauce in a tomato sauce and I thought why not take another pasta dish and decided to buy shop bought cheese  tortellini and make a easy sauce and take that too.

So that is why the invention of this recipe as I have used ham, peas and cheese combination in pasta sauce and knew this will be very good, which I was not wrong as I did taste to see how it was before i put them in tupperware for taking with me.

Tortellini with Peas and Ham :

300 gm fresh Cheese Tortellini ( Shop bought )
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 garlic finely chopped ( optional)
100 gm peas ( I used from a can, you can use fresh or from the freezer) if you are using fresh ones or from the freezer cook them.
100 gm thinly slices Italian ham chopped
200 ml single cream
50 gm parmesan grated
Pepper and salt to taste
1 tbsp of chopped parsley

In a pan add the oil and fry the onions for few minutes , add the garlic if you are using, fry for one minute , add the ham and saute for few minutes, add the peas and the cream bring everything to boil, add pepper and salt to taste .
In the mean time cook the cheese tortellinin according the the package instruction. Drain and add to the creamy sauce, mix everything and serve sprinkled with the parsley and generous portion of parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Yotam Ottolenghi's chermoula aubergine with bulgar and yoghurt

I have been a huge fan of Ottolenghi for years and I have two books from them.
I even wen to one of their place with two other bloggers, Nisha and Vinetha and we had their delicious pastries, we would have had our lunch there but w ehad planned to go for biriyani .

And now a days I am trying to make new dishes as when ever I say I don't know what to cook , Hans will remark, Finla the place is over flowing with the cook books and magazines I buy :-)
So I took out the Jerusalem Book and looked through it and decided on this recipe.

And I must say I am so happy I made this as it was so good that I did a Jerusalem book party last weekend inviting a uncle and aunt and gave this as a starter. And they loved the dishes I made from the book.

Tip: When I made them I covered with a foil loosely by half time . As I didn't want the spices to get burned on top.

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon skin
140ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
2 medium aubergines
150g fine bulgar
50g sultanas
10g fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra to finish
10g fresh mint, chopped
50g green olives, halved
30g flaked almonds, toasted
3 spring onions, chopped
1½ tbsp lemon juice
120g Greek yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. To make the chermoula, mix together the garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, preserved lemon, two-thirds of the olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score the flesh of each half with diagonal, crisscross lines, making sure not to pierce the skin. Spoon the chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, and place on a baking sheet.

Roast for 40 minutes, or until the aubergines are very soft.
Meanwhile, place the bulgar in a large bowl and cover with 140ml boiling water. Soak the sultanas in 50ml of warm water for 10 minutes, then drain and add to the bulgar, along with the remaining oil. Stir in the herbs, olives, almonds, spring onions, lemon juice and salt, taste and add more salt, if necessary.

Serve the aubergines warm or at room temperature. Place one half-aubergine per portion on a serving plate, spoon bulgar on top, allowing some to fall over the sides, spoon over a little yoghurt, sprinkle with chopped coriander and finish with a dribble of olive oil