Thursday 21 February 2013

Burguer Buns

I often repeat making bread at home is one of the most wonderful, rewarding things you can do. Preparing all the ingredients, kneading softly with your hands, discovering how the dough is taking consistency, keep looking how it grows impatiently and then, the wonderful smell coming from you oven. It is really a complete and therapeutic experience for any Saturday. However, the biggest pleasure comes when you taste them while being warm. And really, it is neither expensive nor exhausting, promise. 

The only thing you have to have is time and patience and they are, or should be, cheap ingredients, so there is no excuse to avoid making your own bread. These burger buns are one of the best recipes to start with, as they have no added difficulties if you follow the process and the result is amazing: you will not only have very soft and fluffy buns but also healthy ones made with olive oil instead of butter. Try it, you'll feel so proud of yourself once you've baked it…

Burger buns (6-7 units)

- 350g flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 30g olive oil
- 10g baker's yeast
- 225ml milk

In a medium blow, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the egg and the half of the milk. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the other half of the warm milk with the yeast and stir until it has combined. Add the olive oil and put into the flour. Stir with a fork until it’s lightly combined and then transfer the dough to your working surface, lightly floured. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Return the dough in the bowl, covered with film and let it to prove for about one hour. 

Once the dough has been proving and has doubled in size, without kneading it too much, divide it in small pieces of about 75g each. Take each piece and give it round shape, flatten them lightly and put them in a baking sheet with parchment paper, covered with a kitchen cloth. Let them rise for 45 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 180º. Before baking them, brush the top of the buns with warm milk and sprinkle some poppy seeds or sesame seeds. Bake about 15 minutes until they are golden brown. Enjoy!

Friday 8 February 2013

Berry mascarpone cupcakes

It has been a while since I last made cupcakes, the last were the beer and lemon cupcakes from last summer, a very fresh recipe perfect for the Barcelona hot summers. These days, I find myself feeling like being spring yet, and I can't wait to have those long, sunny and warm days from april or may. I love spring, as well as winter, but I don't know why this winter feels too long to me.

I used all the time last weekend gave me to stay in the kitchen as much as I could. I woke up early in the morning, as I am used to during week days, took a peacefully coffee at the cozy corner coffee shop, and I came into the kitchen: cupcakes, burger buns and bread for all week. I had already taken photos when it was an appropriate hour to go out and enjoy fresh air, so I really exploited time.

Today's recipe is not only the result of having frozen berries and mascarpone near the expiring date in the fridge and of my aim to use everything I buy before having to throw it away, but also to try a low-butter cupcakes recipe, as the batter is made with sunflower oil (and not too much) and the frosting is made of mascarpone. They were totally delicious and I really feel I have found the perfect basic recipe for cupcakes batter as it results very soft and fluffy. They certainly help to endure these last days of winter.

Berry mascarpone cupcakes

- 2 eggs
- 140g white sugar
- 120g flour
- 40ml sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 50ml milk
- vanilla extract

- 200g mascarpone
- 30g de mantega
- 2 tablespoons berries puree
 - 60g caster sugar

Preheat the oven at 180º. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar until lightly white and thickly, add the milk, the sunflower oil and the vanilla extract and combine.

In another bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and start adding it slowly to the wet ingredients bowl.  Whisk together until well combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake molds and bake them for twenty minutes or until they are golden brown. Let them cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream together the mascarpone with the room-temperature butter, add the powder sugar until there are no lumps. Add the berries puree and combine until it's a smooth cream. You can refrigerate until cupcakes are completely cool, or if you think it is too runny.

Monday 4 February 2013

Grapefruit bundt cake

I don’t know the reason for not having a free time to cook or write here during this week. Maybe it’s because I am a bit exhausted mentally and I don’t find a moment for it. Maybe it’s because I don’t like the photos of this recipe, made in a hurry and without natural light. The fact is days have gone by without writing. 

I discovered this bundt cake mold in the kitchen cabinet. This may happen when you are sharing a flat... I didn’t know we had it, if I had known that I would have used it before, but when I saw it, I couldn’t resist. This was the perfect office breakfast for  a Monday morning.  

In addition, I had some ecologic grapefruit and some poppy seeds from the citrus cake, so this was an invented recipe which did not disappoint.. 

There are some tips we should know before making a bundt cake:

-   It’s totally necessary to grease the bundt pan before baking if we want to be able to unmold it properly.
-   Before unmolding, let it cool for ten minutes.

-         150g sugar
-         180g flour
-         8g baking powder
-         Grapefruit juice
-         50ml sunflower oil
-         3 eggs
-         Orange and grapefruit zest
-         Poppy seeds
-         cinnamon

In a bowl, mix the sugar, the flour, the baking powder, cinnamon and poppy seeds. Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar. Add also the juice, the sunflower oil and the zest. Start combining the flour mix with the eggs, mixing properly before adding more flour. Bake the batter for 25 minutes at 180º degrees. Let it cool before unmold. 

Friday 1 February 2013

Pumpkin, caramelized onion and goat cheese Galette.

I have always thought there are not wrong decisions. There are negative or positive outcomes to taken decisions, but a decision is always correct. Decisions are, or at least should, the result of have taken some time analyzing what you feel, what you want and which your action alternatives are; the result of being engaged with yourself and of having made the determination of  advancing, or even going back, taken in a specific context, not exchangeable to another one. Decision is a very conscientious and subjective process you make in a precise moment. Therefore, decision is a strong act from a consistent process, so it can never be considered as an incorrect. The act of decide is always correct and can never be undervalued. 

Instead, maybe what has brought you to a disadvantageous situation is not a conscientious decision, but a non-decision. Non-decision is dangerous. Non-decision made us forget our will and let us go to social context or manners' will, being not who we are but who we should be. Non-decision is when you abandon yourself to luck, when you do nothing to redefine the way, when you wait for an imaginary reward without your effort, which doesn't always arrive. The act of non-decision is always, always wrong and despite of being comfortable, you always realize about how wrong you are, and it is also always too late to solve it. 

Sometimes you feel you are in the limit of the decision, and that if it takes longer, you’ll be able to consider it a non-decision and it will be too late. Maybe you believe it is better not to think about it and let it flow: it is a non-decision. During this weekend I have felt like that, we have felt like that, in the limit of non-decision. The kitchen is my thinking place, so this galette, and something more, were the results of a morning in the kitchen, while I was thinking how to avoid non-decision taking, while I was totally immerse in decision process. This galette is not a wrong decision, isn’t it?

- shortcrust pastry
- Pumpkin
- Onion
- Goat cheese
- Rosemary
- Modena vinegar
- Brown sugar

Let the oven heat to 180 degrees while you peel and cut the pumpkin into small squares. In a baking dish, put the pumpkin pieces and spray tops with a little bit of oil and a salt and bake for twenty or twenty-five minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft. Let it cool. 

Meanwhile, cut the onion and cook it for five minutes or until it starts to become soft and transparent. At this point, add two tablespoons of brown sugar and a generous dash of Modena vinegar. Add the rosemary and let it cook while vinegar reduces. Finally, add the half of the goat cheese so it starts to melt, the other half will add before baking.

Mix the baked pumpkin with caramelized onions. Unroll the pastry over the baking tray. Sprinkle the filling trying to leave about three or four centimeters of edge. Try to close the galette while folding and sprinkle the goat cheese on top. Bake for twenty minutes or until the dough crisp and lightly brown. 

Crêpe cake with custard

Filloas, or crêpes as you may know it, is a Galician typical dessert which is made, traditionally, during carnival festivity. It is one of the most versioned desserts existing nowadays, as they are known as pancakes in the anglo-saxon countries, crêpes in France and they even have relationship with oriental phylo dough which is uses for baklava recipes.

It is a very easy four-ingredient recipe and they are also easily frozen (we only to place them in frozen bags and defrost for an hour before serving) so they are the perfect lazy Sunday breakfast.

The recipe for these crepes is from Pam (Uno de dos), the owner of a beautiful and amazing blog which I totally recommend; you can use the custard recipe I used for “fruit and custard tarts”.

-          0,5l milk
-          200g flour
-          2 eggs
-          Teaspoon salt
-          Butter

It is important to make de custard before starting with crepes, as it will be cool when finishing them.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and the eggs and gradually, add the flour and the salt. Beat until smooth and let it rest for one hour.

Heat a lightly buttered frying pan and pour the batter onto the pan. Tilt the pan to properly cover the entire surface and cook it for about two minutes. With a spatula, turn and cook the other side.

Place a crepe in a plate, spread with some custard and top with another crepe. Continue layering and top with some jam and custard. You can cut the crepes with a cookie cutter so it will be a smaller cake for two, as the one you see in the photo. 

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