Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

February 26, 2011

Lasagna tart

Filed under: Baked items, Healthy, Light lunch, Vegetarian — peoplewhoeat @ 11:10 pm

I had a vegetarian friend over and wanted to make something substantial, so I went for a lasagna tart from 101cookbooks. I couldn’t find ricotta at the store so I used cottage cheese, which I like in lasagna anyway. I used 250g, about 1 cup. I also layered parmesan cheese (by eye and taste) over the cottage cheese in each layer.

I did find that the wholemeal olive oil pastry was incredibly difficult to roll out unless quite a lot of water was used. It was very flakey and kept falling apart and was rolled thicker than I usually roll butter-based pastry. I may have to practice a few more times. I didn’t find that the taste of the lemon zest came through either so feel free to skip that. There was also a lot of leftover pastry even though it was quite thick, so I lined a few new mini tartlet tins I wanted to try out. Rolling it out thinly for the small tins was much easier; if you have small tins and don’t mind the tedium, use them instead. I baked them for 20 mins.

February 20, 2011

Lobiani (Georgian Bean Bread)

I made this recipe from Darra Goldstein’s excellent The Georgian Feast. I brought it to a Super Bowl party, and it was a big hit–a savory, finger-food that’s quite filling but also a little different. The texture wasn’t the same as the lobiani that I bought on the streets of Tbilisi, but it was still very good. My friends suggested, though, that they would prefer a different spice blend; I’m not sure what would be good though. Any suggestions?

Makes 2 incredibly large breads (fortunately you can freeze it after you cut it)

For dough:
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) softened butter
2 eggs
2 cups sour cream (light worked fine)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda, divided into quarters

For filling:
1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked overnight to soften
3 or 4 medium onions
2/3 cup vegetable oil (yes, you do need that much or else it gets dry)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper to taste

one egg yolk to brush on top while baking

Cream the butter. Beat in the eggs and sour cream. Mix in flour to make a soft dough.

On a well-floured board, roll the dough to a 15 x 18 rectangle. The dough will be INCREDIBLY sticky at this stage, but it will calm down fast, so just do your best the first few times. Sprinkle the rectangle with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Fold the dough into quarters and reroll, repeating the baking soda, fold, re-roll procedure until the baking soda is used up. Place the dough into a floured bowl, cover it and leave to rise for 6-8 hours indoors or 2-3 hours in the sun.
For filling: Boil the kidney beans for about one hour. Drain, and then mash. Dice the onions and sautee them in the oil until soft. Stir the onions (and oil) into the kidney beans, and add the spices. Divide in half, and set aside.
Before you start assembling the bread, preheat the oven to 350* F. When the dough has risen, divide it into two parts. Roll each out in a large circle, keeping the inside of the circle thicker than the outside. Place the filling in the center, and bring the dough up around it, forming a sort of ball. Flatten this out, to a large disc. Brush the top of the bread with beaten egg yolk, and bake for 40-45 minutes until browned.

Enjoy!
Emma

Blueberry Banana Bread

I made this recipe yesterday and found it DELICIOUS, but I thought the directions and ordering of ingredients were a bit confusing. I haven’t made any substantive changes to the recipe, I’ve just rewritten it a bit for clarity.

Makes two loaves of bread, or one loaf and one tray of muffins.

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
3 medium mashed bananas
1/4 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 cups frozen blueberries

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream together the egg and sugars. Add wet ingredients and mix, then dry.
Add the mashed bananas and mix.
Fold in blueberries, coconut, and pecans if using.
Pour into greased loaf or muffin pans.
Bake at 350* F for about an hour for a loaf, and about 20 minutes for muffins.
Cool slightly, loosen, and turn onto a baking rack to cool.
When cool, wrap in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.

Enjoy!
-Emma

December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookies

I was under de facto house arrest for a large portion of my winter break, so I took the opportunity to explore some new Christmas cookie recipes. My Mom made her usual assortment: Pinwheels, Nutella Stars, Sandtart Trees, Thumbprints, Russian Tea Cakes and Rugulach (unfortunately I don’t have her recipes, but if I get them, there will be some follow-up here). I made these:

These are probably my new favorite: Coffee-Spice Shortbread
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/12/coffee_spiced_shortbread_with_crystallized_ginger

If you don’t have a tart pan, you can also use a cake pan with removable sides. You just want to be able to get to the shortbread without making a mess of it.

These are delicious and gorgeous, but kind of difficult: Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chocolate-peppermint-pinwheel-cookies-recipe4/index.html

A few tips:
Make sure you crush the living daylights out of the peppermints or candy canes. Any large pieces will make it REALLY difficult to make slices of the roll.
The chocolate dough is hard to work with, but delicious. Just tough it out.
These cookies don’t expand very much, so if any of them look less than perfect when you cut them (as many probably will) squish them back together before you bake them. They’ll look pretty much exactly the same when you take them out as when you put them in.
The peppermint melts, so you’ll want to take measures to still be able to get them off the pan.

I also used red and green M&Ms in my usual chocolate chip cookies:
https://peoplewhoeat.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/presidential-cookies

If I were to do it again, I would put in a little extra flour and use parchment paper or something. They spread a little too much, making the M&Ms bleed and stick. Still delicious, though!

October 9, 2010

Crabapple Bread

Filed under: Baked items, Breakfast, Dessert — Tags: , , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 7:35 pm

Crabapples are (generally) free, so I went outside and picked a lot of them, and realized that the only thing I knew to do with them was make jelly…except I don’t have the get-up to can things. So after some googling and some experimenting I present to you: crabapple bread! (Be warned, though, coring crabapples is not fun!)

Makes one standard-size loaf.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups crabapples, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped

For optional streusel topping:
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Cinnamon, nutmeg (or other sweet spices) to taste

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and buttermilk. Then add dry ingredients. Fold in crabapples. It will be a goopier texture than many sweet bread batters; don’t worry! I think it’s because the crabapples are themselves a bit watery.

Bake at 350* for a little over an hour, until a knife inserted comes out cleanly.

If you want to add the streusel topping (which I recommend!). Chop the almonds finely (use a food processor), then add the butter, sugar and spices, and continue chopping/mixing until it reaches a sandy/crumbly texture. After a half hour of baking, remove the half-baked bread from the oven, add the topping, and then continue baking.

Enjoy!
Emma

November 14, 2009

Cheesy (American) Biscuits

Filed under: Baked items, comfort food, Side Dishes — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 11:10 pm

Red Lobster Style!

2 cups Bisquick
½ cup cold water
¾ cup sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated

¼ cup butter
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. Italian dressing

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a bowl, mix first three ingredients until thoroughly moistened. Drop by tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet (or in a greased muffin tin). Combine rest of ingredients and brush mixture onto biscuits. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Enjoy!
Emma

October 17, 2009

Banana cookies

Filed under: Baked items, Dessert — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 4:42 pm

In an attempt to use up two bunches of blackening bananas, I made a recipe I’d found on Simply Recipes, adapted for my starter (read: no spices) kitchen and my preferences. These come out as very soft, cakey cookies – almost spongey, in fact, even after cooling.

Ingredients

120g butter, room temperature (I used salted; if you use unsalted, add a pinch of salt when you add the flour)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup mashed bananas (I used three bananas, which was a heaping cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
Scant cup chopped white chocolate chunks

1) Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (or 350F)

2) Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and keep beating until creamy.

3) Add baking soda to mashed bananas and let stand a minute or two (this apparently helps give the cookies their lightness)

4) Mix banana mixture into butter mixture. I did mix it pretty thoroughly using a mixture to get rid of any latent banana chunks and to beat in air.

5) Sift flour into banana-butter mixture and stir until just combined.

6) Fold in chocolate chunks.

7) Drop onto a greased baking sheet. I used a tablespoon measure. They do spread a fair bit so take that into account. Bake for 11 – 14 minutes until ligtly golden brown. Let sit for a minute or so to firm up, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

August 4, 2008

dark chocolate and orange…

Filed under: Baked items, Dessert — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 1:36 am

Since returning home about a month ago, ive rarely ventured into the kitchen… barring the occasional snack raid. My grandma and aunts are always refusing any kind of assistance while preparing lavish feasts for the family (nearly every weekend)…. and if its not that, i find myself dining out almost every other day as there are always new places to try out and people to catch up with.

Worried that i might lose that baker’s touch (yes, i sometimes like to believe that ive been bestowed with such a gift), i decided try out a recipe that i found in one of the books my aunt had lying around. I found the exact same recipe on BBC Good Food so im going to shamelessly steal the picture from there. My cake looked pretty simillar to this one, except it was a square cake and i decorated it with a dusting of confectioners sugar as opposed to candied orange peel.  

While the cake turned out amazingly moist (thanks to the sunflower oil), the orange flavour is very VERY subtle. This may be due to the fact that i didnt bother looking for a seville orange.. and just used what was lying in my fridge. Also, reducing the sugar by about 50 grams is a good idea, as the dark chocolate ganache more than makes up for it.     

Ingredients :

  • 1 Seville orange
  • a little melted butter , for greasing
  • 100g plain chocolate , broken into pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 240ml sunflower oil
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • orange candied peel , to decorate
  • Method :

    1. Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through). Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until soft. Whizz the whole orange in a food processor until smooth; let cool.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C.Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in round cake tin. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave for 2 minutes on High, stirring after 1 minute. Let cool.
    3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Gradually beat in the puréed orange, discarding any pips, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate. Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder. Mix well and pour into the tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle. (Check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if it is browning too much.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
    4. Make the chocolate ganache: put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread over the cake – up to 1½ hours.
    5. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Using a palette knife, swirl the ganache over the top. Decorate with strips of candied orange peel.
    6. Since my cake tin was slightly smaller in width, my cake turned out to be slightly taller. So, once it cooled down, i sliced the cake into half (horizontally), spread some ganache on one slice, then placed the other slice on top and finally swirled it over the whole cake.

     

    Eat well… because life’s too short not to!

    Tina

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