Friday, March 29, 2013

Chocolate swirls

Sammy is a fan of all things chocolate, and when I asked him what he fancied as an alternative to the ginger crush in my ginger swirls, he immediately suggested these. The results were great. Adding chocolate to dough tends to be disappointing, as it makes the dough dry while also diluting the impact of the chocolate. But spreading chocolate across a layer of dough and then rolling it solves both of those problems, and the result is both light and chocolatey.




Ingredients
the dough
175ml warm milk
300g strong white flour
1/2 egg, beaten
2.5g instant yeast
12g demerara sugar
25g melted butter
2.5g salt

the filling
1/2 egg, beaten
100g dark chocolate

the glaze
25g demerara sugar
25ml water
caster sugar for sprinkling

Method
  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and mix well. With the dough still in the bowl, stretch and fold, leave for 15 minutes, then repeat the 'stretch-and-fold'/15-minute rest cycle three more times. Leave dough to stand for a further hour at room temperature.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bain mairie. Form the dough into a boule, then roll out on a well-floured surface to form a rectangle. Brush the surface with the remaining beaten egg, spread the melted chocolate over it, and roll it to form a swiss roll.
  3. Cut the roll into slices, and arrange them next to each other in an oiled and floured flan tin or on a baking tray, and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  4. In the meantime, make the glaze by heating 25g of demerara sugar in 25ml of water until all the sugar has dissolved. 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, set the oven to 200oC.
  5. Once the swirls have risen, brush them with the glaze, sprinkle with caster sugar, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pot roast chicken

Gemma bought a big orange casserole dish the other day, and I have been rediscovering the joys of pot-roast chicken with vegetables.



Ingredients
1 whole chicken
potatoes
carrots
onions
olive oil
bay leaves
garlic
butter
English mustard
salt
pepper
water

Method

  1. Set the oven to 190oC. Peel and roughly chop the vegetables, and put them in the casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and a couple of bay leaves.
  2. Finely chop a couple of cloves of garlic, mix with plenty of butter, some mustard, and some salt and pepper, and smear generously over the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, add a little water, put the lid on and roast for about 2 hours.


Ginger swirls

These ginger swirls are sweet and spicy, and go brilliantly with a cup of coffee. 


Ingredients
the dough
175ml warm milk
300g strong white flour
1/2 egg, beaten
2.5g instant yeast
12g demerara sugar
25g melted butter
2.5g salt

the filling
10g melted butter
100g ginger crush

the glaze
25g demerara sugar
25ml water
caster sugar for sprinkling

Method

  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and mix well. With the dough still in the bowl, stretch and fold thoroughly. Cover dough and leave  to stand for an hour at room temperature.
  2. Form the dough into a boule, then roll out on a well-floured surface to form a rectangle. Brush the surface with melted butter, spread the ginger cross over it, and roll it to form a swiss roll.
  3. Cut the roll into slices, and arrange them next to each other in an oiled and floured flan tin or on a baking tray, and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  4. In the meantime, make the glaze by heating 25g of demerara sugar in 25ml of water until all the sugar has dissolved. 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, set the oven to 200oC.
  5. Once the swirls have risen, brush them with the glaze, sprinkle with caster sugar, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden brown.


Rolled, filled dough


Filled slices, waiting to prove

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Braised sweet and sour red cabbage with chestnuts

Ingredients
olive oil
100g dried chestnuts
3 sticks of celery
2 rashers of back bacon
1 small red cabbage
1 cooking apple
3 tbsps cider vinegar
3 tbsps balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
salt
pepper
water

Method

  1. Soak the dried chestnuts in hot water for 30 minutes. Wash and chop the celery, cut the bacon into small pieces, core and slice the cabbage, and core the apple and cut into chunks.
  2. Gently fry the celery in olive oil. When it has started to soften, add the bacon and continue to fry until the bacon is done.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, together with enough water to barely cover. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to minimum and simmer until the chestnuts and cabbage are soft.


Sweet potato and pea curry with coconut milk

Sweet potaoes are another of those vegetables that I'm never quite sure what to do with, so they usually end up in soup. However, I think I'll be making this really simple curry more frequently. Unfortunately, I was so busy eating it that I forgot to take any pictures.

Ingredients
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tsps good quality curry powder
2 good-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
400g coconut milk
salt
100g petit pois

Method
  1. Fry the sliced onion in oil. When it is nearly done, add the garlic, fry for another 30 seconds or so, add the curry powder, fry for a few seconds more, then add the sweet potatoes, coconut milk and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to minimum and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft. Add the petit pois, heat through and serve.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Crepes

Crepes are back in fashion - and I don't even have to cook them.



Ingredients
200g plain flour
380g milk
2 eggs

Method
Whisk all the ingredients together, fry in a hot, lightly-oiled pan, flip and serve with the topping of your choice.