“Cake or death?”
“Um, cake please”
Hello ample darlings! I hope this blog finds you happy and well. This week I’ve been fairly busy helping set up the new Spanish and South-American inspired café deli in Putney. What once was a little Italian café has now been revamped, repainted and installed with a new and improved menu. Huzzah! However, with all the dusting and polishing that I’ve been up to as of late, I haven’t had that much time to myself aka in the kitchen. Therefore, this week I have only three recipes to promote. As we’ve previously established that I’m an appalling individual, I can only hope that the quality of the following recipes will soothe this culinary blow.
Our short and sweet love affair begins with a tender piece of pork fillet marinated in a homemade teriyaki sauce. I found this recipe awhile back in the Yo Sushi cookbook and it never fails. I recommend serving the lemon and garlic crushed potato salad on the side. This teriyaki sauce is incredibly quick and easy to make and works well with salmon, chicken and beef too.
75ml Soy Sauce
25g White Sugar
Place all ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce until all the sugar has reduced. Poor the liquid over your raw meat but keep a little back to brush your meat before serving. Leave the meat to marinate for an hour minimum then, place the pork into a hot pan and fry on both sides for a few minutes. Once the pork is cooked all the way through (not pink) and the juices run clear, serve immediately with a fresh brushing of sauce and side of the crushed potatoes. Enjoy with a nice glass of crisp white wine!
Moving on from savoury, let’s turn towards sweet. On Saturday I had a surge of baking desire and set upon two sweet recipes. The first is a gorgeous madeleine recipe by Rachel Khoo with piped lemon curd in the centre. I’ve made these little treats many times before and they’re perfect for afternoon tea. These cakes take a little while to make but they are utterly worth it. I’ve changed the lemon curd to a St Clemence curd as I think it tastes better but it’s only a difference of half an orange! Here is Miss Khoo’s recipe below with my small adjustment.
Madeleines à la crème au St. Clemence:
3 free-range eggs
200g/7oz plain flour
10g/¼oz baking powder
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only
4 tbsp milk
200g/7oz butter, melted and cooled
punnet of raspberries
icing sugar, for dusting
St Clemence Curd:
½ unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest and juice only
½ orange, finely grated zest and juice only
pinch of salt
2 free-range egg yolks
Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and frothy. Put the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and add the lemon zest. Mix the honey and milk with the cooled butter, then add to the eggs. In two batches, fold in the flour. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.Meanwhile, make the lemon curd. Put the lemon and orange zest and juice, salt, sugar and butter into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar and butter have melted. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then add to the pan and whisk vigorously. Return the pan to a low heat and whisk constantly as the curd starts to thicken. Don’t stop whisking or the eggs will curdle (if the curd starts to boil, take off the heat). Once the curd thickens and releases a bubble or two, remove from the heat and pass the curd through a sieve into a bowl. Place cling film in direct contact with the curd and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Butter and flour a 12-shell madeleine tin. Put the St Clemence curd into a piping bag fitted with a small, pointed nozzle and place in the fridge. Put a heaped tablespoon of batter into each madeleine shell and press a raspberry deep into the batter.
Bake for five minutes and turn the oven off for one minute (the madeleines will get their signature peaks), then turn the oven on to 160C/325F/Gas 3 and bake for a further five minutes. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, wash and dry the tin, then repeat the baking as for the first batch.While the second batch is baking, pop the piping nozzle into the mound in each baked madeleine and squirt in a teaspoon’s worth of lemon curd. Repeat with the second batch, then dust with icing sugar and serve straightaway.
My final recipe of the day was completely new territory for me. I decided that I wanted to get a head start on making pastry before I start at the Cordon Bleu and so, I got hold of a CB croissant recipe online and set about making my very own half-moons! Puff pastry is notoriously hard to get right and I must admit that I was a little worried that I would fail immediately. However, with a little time and effort it can be done. Once the pastry is made, you can make chocolate or even almond croissants as well as plain! Is it sad that this makes me really excited!? On second thoughts, don’t answer that.
15g fresh yeast
Sift the flour into a bowl and add all the other ingredients with the exception of the water and milk. Gradually add the milk bit by bit and mix in with your hands. Then, add a little bit of water to bind the mixture together. Once you feel that you can roll it out, sprinkle a little flour onto a surface and your rolling pin and transfer the dough to the surface. Knead the dough for the next ten minutes, pushing the dough away from you with your fists. When the dough stops being sticky, place it back in the mixing bowl with a cloth over the top and leave on the side for an hour and a half.
Take 250g of unsalted butter out of the fridge, remove the wrapper and place between two pieces of cling film. Using the rolling pin hit the butter into a square, around 12cm by 12cm. Roll out the dough to a slightly larger shape and size to the butter, place the butter on top of the dough like a diamond and fold the right and left side of the dough over the butter. The butter must be covered. Then, fold over the top and the bottom of the pastry and fold the whole thing into itself once more.
Roll out the dough once more and repeat the same folding method, both sides and then the top and bottom. Clingfilm the dough and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, roll out the dough and repeat the folding process for the second time. Place in the fridge for a further 20 minutes and roll out the dough and fold for the final time.
Now is the fun bit! Roll out the dough on some sprinkled flour to half an inch thick. This will take some muscle power but must be done. With a sharp knife cut the dough into long triangles. With the greatest point away from you, roll the pastry towards the point and pull into a curve shape shown from the blog below:
If you want to add fillings into the croissants, place the almond paste or your chocolate on top of your triangle before you roll. Make sure to brush your croissants with egg wash and place in a hot oven for 10-12 minutes. Keep a close eye on them though! No one likes burnt croissants first thing in the morning!
Now, I must you leave you here today. Next week I will be back with a little more flair! I’m about to send off my scholarship application to the Cordon Bleu so, there should be some funny stories coming way. If I get to the interview stage, I’m sure I’ll accidently slip out a culinary innuendo or two….oops! That wasn’t intentional!
Click on the link below to enjoy Eddie Izzard’s cake or death sketch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZVjKlBCvhg
Follow me on twitter (@blitheringtwit) and/or instagram (EKCWELLS) for more foodie snaps.
Love to all and happy baking!