Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's steaming hot here!

So it’s that time of the month, Daring Bakers' time!

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet*.

* I could't find suet here so I've used one of the alternatives: lard.

I’ve done a few steamed cakes before, but in one of those special ovens that have that option. In a restaurant I used to do a chestnut steamed cake that was to die for. But steaming a cake like this (in a pan) it was something new to me. I went with the sponge type recipe provided and did 2 flavors: Hazelnut-Nutella and Peanut Butter Cup. And just for fun I also steamed a Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Here are some step-by-step pictures and the recipes I’ve used:

My pan ready to steam, with my homemade steamer: a round cooling rack. I’ve used small containers, first because they are cute and second because they take less time to cook (that means less waiting time to eat).

This is my "Peanut Butter Cup" inspired steamed cake. It doesn’t contain actual Peanut butter cups, but it’s like a giant one: a chocolate sponge with a peanut butter filling. Yum!

Steamed “Peanut Butter Cup” Pudding

  • (100 grams/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • (1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
  • (100 grams/4 ounces) vanilla cake crumbs
  • (75 grams/3 ounces) caster sugar
  • (75 grams/ 3 ounces) lard
  • (1) large egg
  • (6 to 8 tablespoons) Cold milk
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter

Sift flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder into bowl. Add cake crumbs, sugar and lard. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk. Turn half the batter into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin. Add the peanut butter in the middle and top with the rest of the batter. Cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours (mine took less time because I’ve used smaller containers). Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.

Let's peek inside?

Do you like the look of this one? Or do you think you'll like the Hazelnut-Nutella best?

Nutella. Enough said.

Steamed Hazelnut-Nutella Pudding

  • (100 grams/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • (1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
  • (100 grams/4 ounces) toasted, skinned and grinded hazelnuts
  • (75 grams/3 ounces) caster sugar
  • (75 grams/ 3 ounces) lard
  • (1) large egg
  • (6 to 8 tablespoons) cold milk
  • 2/3 cup Nutella

Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl. Add hazelnuts, sugar and lard. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk. Turn half of the batter into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin. Add the Nutella in the middle and cover with the rest of the batter. Cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours (mine took less time because I’ve used smaller containers). Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce (I didn’t serve with any sauce because the Nutella inside was enough).

Yep, that's good stuff.

Last, but definitely not least. Here’s a chocolate chip cookie that I also decided to steam last minute, from dough that I had frozen. Unfortunately I only had space to do one single cookie and I kind of regret that… It was quite interesting. It obviously didn’t have the crunchiness I love, but it was moist, cakey and chewy.

I don’t know if it was all this steaming yesterday, but today it’s steaming hot here! I leave you with the cookie and I’m off to the beach!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pizza Waffles

What do you want, pizza or waffles? What kind of a question is that? I want both!!!

Here’s something fun you can try next time you’re doing pizza at home: Pizza Waffles! I think this could be a cool idea for a party too. All you need is a waffle iron, your favourite pizza dough (homemade or store-bought) and toppings for your pizza!

PIZZA DOUGH

  • 300 gr (10.7 oz) flour
  • 150-170 ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package dry yeast

In a mixer with the hook attachment mix the flour, yeast, oil and salt. Slowly add in the water (use as little as much as you need) until your dough forms a ball that is not sticky or dry. Beat the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes (you can do it by hand to for about 15 m). Leave the ball of dough to rise in a warm place covered with a cloth until it doubles in size. If you’re doing a normal pizza at this point stretch or roll out the dough and put in a tray or pizza wheel leaving it to rise once again for about 45 m. Put your pizza toppings and bake in a hot pre heated oven (200ºC/ 400ºF).

For the pizza waffles: After the dough’s first rise, take small portions and make balls with the dough (don’t worry to make them perfect). Leave them to rise once more in a floured tray until they double their volume again. They’re ready for your waffle iron. Make sure it’s hot! Cook the balls of pizza dough until they start to golden, don’t get them too cooked because they’re still gonna go in the oven.

Put your cooked pizza waffles in a tray, spoon a little bit of tomato sauce and the toppings of your choice (I’ve used tomato sauce, roasted chicken, mushrooms, sliced black olives, oregano and shredded mozzarella cheese). Put it on you oven’s grill (hot) just until the cheese is melted.

Guess how took a bite? Guess that's a hard guess…

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chocolate with fried eggs

Did I just say chocolate with fried eggs? Oh yes I did! Wanna see it?

Easter is here and it means chocolate and eggs. Usually I would play with chocolate eggs, but this year I decided to play with fried eggs! Made out of chocolate of course, I’m crazy but not that crazy! Plus I wanted to play with my chocolate tablet mould, so I’ve made a chocolate tablet with a tiny fried egg in each chocolate square. Here’s how you can do it as well:

Start by doing the yolks: melt white chocolate and colour a part of it bright yellow (You’ll need a food colouring that can be used directly in chocolate). You can use a pastry bag with a small tip, a zip log bag with a tiny cut or (what I’ve used) a small paper cone. Just make small dots on each tablet square. Refrigerate for a few minutes.

With the rest of the melted white chocolate make the egg whites: put it in a paper cone (or any alternative) and start by going around the yolks and cover them. Make sure you have a realistic egg yolk-egg white ratio. Refrigerate again until they’re set, so they don’t bleed.

There you have it, the fried eggs! Now, where’s the bacon? Or in this case the chocolate…

I’ve used milk chocolate and I tempered it with the seeding method. But that’s optional, if you don’t want to temper it, just keep it in the fridge after unmolding. Poor the chocolate into the mould and when it’s all covered tap it gently on the table to prevent any air bubbles.

Refrigerate until set. It’s ready to unmold when it looks kind of foggy. Just invert the mould onto a table and it should release pretty easily. If it doesn’t release it’s not ready, so keep it in the fridge for a while longer.

So you see? You CAN have chocolate with fried eggs! Tiny tiny fries eggs, that is!

Eat eggs, eat chocolate, eat your eggs WITH chocolate… and have a happy Easter!