Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Marzipan

Marzipan is that food where when you find it in a croissant you get all happy. Well I do anyway. I have never made it and we needed some so I made it. Yes I made it.

Marzipan is actually super easy to make. It has 3 ingredients and takes probably 5 minutes. This is a really short blog post because I already posted today.

Based on the recipe in Scandinavian Baking.



Ingredients:

250g ground almonds

50g icing sugar

30 ml water


Mix the ground almonds with the icing sugar. Add the water and mix again. Nead on a surface covered with icing sugar until it forms a smooth dough. This will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014

It is the last day of 2014. This year has been full of surprises and I have had the time of my life. Here are some of the things I did this year:


Entering my first cooking competition. I had to cook 3 courses which was a first. And it got judged by professionals. That makes you proud. Really proud.

New Zealand. This country is amazing and I really want to go back again sometime. The food was brilliant. The views were breathtaking. And the beaches? Well having a beach to yourself during the warm times of the year can't really be beaten.

Another cooking competition. This one was a healthy one that was judged by the cooking teacher. I made coconut carrot soup and it was very good.

Finishing my first year of high school (I live in Britain). It was fun and I really enjoyed learning new subjects i.e. French.

San Francisco. This one's obvious. I have so many friends there and it was great seeing them all. It was also nice eating sushi again. And Mission Pie. SF's food is great. We also got to go out to Russian River where we relaxed. I went in a kayak while we were there.

Starting my second year of High school. That came with learning German, loads of homework, tests and an essay for History. Of course I am enjoying it but sometimes it gets a little stressful...

Yet another cooking competition. As you can see I enjoy having people eat my food. This was like the first and this time I won. That made me so happy. It also took a while for me to believe it.

I passed my second piano exam. That was scary on the day but when I got a distinction I was happy. Duh.


My favourite Instagrams I posted:















Friday, 26 December 2014

Roast Veg with Couscous, Eggs, and Pesto

This week was awesome. No homework, no tests and best of all, time to cook. I have done tons of stop motion and drawing and pinteresting(not a word but who cares)





I always forget how nice this meal is. And then I make it and I'm like WOW. Where did all this loveliness come from????

Here is the recipe (in ls form):

This recipe is from Sam Sterns book 'Cooking up a Storm'.

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

2 aubergines cut into 5 mm/ 1/4 in slices

3 courgettes, cut into chunks

2 red peppers, seeded and cut into thick strips

4 red onions, quartered

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Fresh rosemary sprigs

1/4 lemon

8 cloves of garlic, peeled

12 cherry tomatoes

225 g/ 8 0z couscous

250 ml boiling water

Lemon juice

6 eggs

4 tablespoons pesto

2 tablespoons French Dressing

4 tablespoons parsley

Method:

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°/gas 8. Brush a baking tray with oil and lay the aubergines on it. Brush lightly with olive oil. Chuck courgettes, peppers, onions and sweet potatoes into a roasting tin. Drizzle with oil. Add salt and rosemary - turn to coat. Chuck in the lemon. Put both tins in the oven for 45 minutes.

Turn aubergines. Stir other veg and add garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes. Cook for another 10-20 minutes or until ready.

Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl. Season. Pour in the boiling water and cover with clingfilm. Leave for 4 minutes. Add a bit of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon, and fork up to mix. Cover and leave for 2 minutes.

Boil eggs for 5 minutes, till softly set. Mix the pesto and French Dressing. Fork chopped parsley into couscous and tip onto plates. Pile veg on couscous. Drizzle with the dressing. Top with shelled and halved eggs.



P. S this is an old blog post so some of the things written are old.

Gingerbread Men and Christmas Talking

Merry Christmas! Beanbags and new cushions make me want to blog.

I am happy right now. Very happy. I got the Top with Cinnamon cookbook! I have been wanting that book for so long.

Gingerbread people are amazing. They have little eyes, buttons and cool shoes. And they taste good. Yum.



And while we are talking about cookies, thank you Father Christmas for the cookie cutter. (It was a dove I think)

The Gingerbread station for decorating


I have always wanted to pipe. When it became winter I found an excuse to pipe. GINGERBREAD MEN.

It then became a mini sister party. Lottie and I spent a while icing our gingerbread men and decorating them with smarties and silver sprinkle things.


Decorated Gingerbread


Recipe based on Tamasin Day-Lewis' recipe from Tamasin's Kitchen Bible.


Biscuits

110g unsalted butter, softened

100g light muscovado sugar

170g golden syrup

400g plain flour, sifted

2 tsp ground ginger, use dried ginger root and grind it yourself if you can

1 tsp bicarb. of soda


Icing

1 egg white

55g icing sugar, sifted

a few drops of vanilla essence

a couple tablespoons of water


Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5.
Place the butter and the sugar in a bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add the golden syrup, flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and mix until it has formed a smooth dough.
Roll out your dough to about 4mm thick. Cut out your gingerbread men using your cutter(duh) and place them on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and not too doughy. Cook on racks.


For the icing whisk the egg white until stiff and then sieve in the icing sugar. Mix to get rid of any grains and add in your vanilla. Mix to evenly distribute it and add the water, tbsp at a time. When it is soft but still stiff and can hold shape it is done. Take your piping bag, fitted with a smallish nozzle - star or circle shaped, and fill with the icing. Pipe onto the gingerbread (make sure they are cooled) and decorate with whatever you prefer. Leave to set after the decorating to make sure the icing is hard.

Note: This was too much icing for, me so if you don't want to use lots use that amount of icing on double the amount of biscuits.


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

I WON A COOKING COMPETITION!!!!!!!!!!!!

I WON A COOKING COMPETITION!!!

:)

eeeeeeeeeeek.

So you remember when I entered in February? No? If not check out this blog post. I entered a cooking competition within my school and cooked a 3 course meal. It was fun and a good experience but because I was quite new too cooking the meal was not the best.

My school then hosted another one this November and I entered again because, why not? There were the same judges (with one more) and the same policy except it was 2 courses not 3 courses.

For the second Competition I made:

Citrus Spiced Salmon with Turmeric and Cumin potatoes and a Fattoush salad

Little Lemon Puddings with cream and berries


So far I have only put the first recipe up and need to put up the pudding.

They were judged as normal and the scores were added up, They then announced 3rd, 2nd, and finally 1st. As each one went past I knew I wasn't going to win. Then I did. One could say I looked a little surprised. Ok maybe very surprised!

I had a few mini crises along the way. First I forgot to put the lemon juice in the lemon pudding. Of course I realised when they were done cooking...   That was fixed with a lemon syrup poured over. Tasted the same in my opinion. I then undercooked the potatoes a little. They were still edible though. I was checking my salmon and I noticed Steven Terry was behind me. He told me the salmon was done perfectly. So I didn't put it in. Lucky he saw though because I was about to put it back in the oven. That wouldn't have been good!


Mini Lemon Bundt Cakes

Ok. Mini Bundt Cakes are cute. Especially when they have icing. Ooh. :P

I won a cooking competition(see my next post for more info) and used the money to buy 4 bundt tins.
I looked everywhere for a recipe for 4 tins and could not find a single one. I finally found one in Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess that was lemon flavoured. It said it was for 6 but my tins were a bit bigger so it was fine.

These cakes were amazing. They have an amazing lemony taste and the icing is soo good. I put some lemon zest mixed with sugar on top as a bit of decoration but it really wasn't noticeable.


YUMMY

Ingredients:

125ml natural (preferably bio) yoghurt

75g butter, melter

2 large eggs

zest of 1 lemon

150g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

125g caster sugar

6 mini bundt moulds - approx. 9 x 4.5 cm, buttered well


Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.
In a measuring jug, mix the yoghurt, melted butter, eggs and lemon zest. Put the flour, bicarb, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients into the bowl, folding everything well, then fill the mini-Bundt moulds with the mixture, and cook for 25-30 minutes. When they come out of the oven, leave them to cool a little before turning them out, otherwise they'll break - but don't let them get too cold either, as they will stick. Let them cool on a rack, flat-side down.


Icing-

200g icing sugar

juice of 1 lemon


To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, and add enough lemon juice to make an icing thick enough to ice the tops and drizzle down like snow-capped peaks

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Pesto!

I just spent so long looking for a recipe for Mini Bundt cakes that makes 4. Guess what. I couldn't find any. Why. Why do this to me..

Anyway today I am not here to give you recipes of bundt cakes (though there will be one soon). I am here to give you my pesto recipe. This was requested and I wanted to put it up anyway.

I like pesto. No actually I love pesto. Pesto pasta, pesto on pizza, the list could go on and on. Let's just stop it there though.

This recipe is based on Sam Sterns. I say based because I never measure anymore. I just dump it in.

The other day I accidentally used Pecorino Romano and surprisingly it worked. So you can use that instead. Or both.


Ingredients:

Basil (duh)

Olive Oil

Parmesan OR Pecorino Romano

A Garlic Clove


Right. This is the part where you can run free. 50g of basil makes enough for 2-3, 75 for 3 and 100 for 4. This is my opinion and you may want to try a few times.

First blitz the basil and the oil together. Then add the garlic and blitz again. The amount of oil you add depends on the consistency you want.

Grate your cheese and add that to the pesto. Grate more cheese if you want a cheesier taste.