Sunday, September 4, 2011

POACHED PLUMS

Its nice to have something to look forward to, and this is my sanctuary.. Its been hard for the last couple of days, getting used to a new diet.. and its been a while since I made a nice dessert, so I decided to treat myself... had some friends coming over, so why not prepare something special.

I personally love poached fruit... it started all with apples... on a cold winters day, warm poached apples are to die for. Plus the combination of warm, sweet, fluffy fruit, with ice cream is the best way to end dinner

Poached plums are very simple to make, simmer them and just add sugar and water. I wanted to add a little more layers of flavor so i included a dash of vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and a nice full-bodied red wine. And the result to this is a very succulent plum, full of flavor, enriched by the sweetness of the mulled wine.

INGREDIENTS
makes 4 servings
500G Plums
1/2 cup Brown sugar
Ground cinnamon
Ground cloves
2 cups Red wine
1 Brioche for serving







































PREPARATION
Cut plums, and discard the stones
Add the wine in a medium saucepan, with the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves.
Gently dissolve the sugar over moderate heat, stirring continuously
Bring wine to boil, and gently slide plums into saucepan. 
bring down heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Once ready, turn heat off and let plums cool for 10 minutes.
Served with ice-cream and brioche cut into small "crouton" sizes



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lemon Kisses & Homemade Lemon Curd

It's about time, and finally I'm back with a new blogpost! I couldnt think of what my next recipe was going to be, so i was inspired by the Lemon tree in my parents garden, they have so much lemons left over, why not try lemon Curd. This is the first recipe involving lemon curd, and there is more to come... since I've got leftovers

 




























LEMON CURD

3 large eggs

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)

4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest



In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to a week.

Makes 1 1/2 cups (360 ml).



Note: If you want a lighter lemon curd whip 1/2 cup (120 ml) of heavy whipping cream and fold into the lemon curd.

The cookies recipe is here











Saturday, April 30, 2011

Strawberry tart

Strawberries are currently in season here in Malta, and I haven't yet experimented with them, more than just milkshakes and strawberry meringues, so this is a new recipe for me.







































I knew i didn't want a custard tart, so I just went with a basic Sweet tart pastry, then I made a strawberry caramel with Cinzano, which didn't turn out so great looking since it didn't really harden up, and remained quite watery :( Next was double cream with sugar and vanilla extract.. topping up with Strawberries, simple and delicious





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To stew or not to stew... That is the Question!!







































Im not a big fan of stew's but this recipe won me over, I decided to keep the rustic idea, so I placed the stew in half a loaf of bread... it not only looks appealing but tastes great too since once finished the bread woul have absorbed the juices from the stew and it tastes just divine.



INGREDIENTS
3 pounds beef (I used steak)
Worcestershire sauce
Olive oil
3 tbsp Kunserva (Sweet tomatoe paste)
2 cups tomatoe sauce
1 pint stock (i used half vegetable and half beef)
3 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
2 onions
6 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
10 potatoes
4 loafs


PREPERATION
Cook the garlic and onions until browned. Add the beef, leave until cooked through
Meanwhile in a large saucepan put the stock, vegetables, sauces, salt, pepper, and let simmer for 10 minutes. 
Add the cooked beef, onions and garlic into the large saucepan, and simmer on low heat for an hour.
In another pan, boil the potatoes for 25 minutes
Once ready, drain the potatoes, cut into wedges, season with paprika, olive oil, salt and pepper and place in oven on 250 degrees, for 15 minutes
Once the stew is ready, half the Loafs and cut out the inside (make sure not to cut through)
Place the stew inside loaf and serve




Friday, April 22, 2011

The one, the only, Butternut Squash Soup







































And im back... kitchen is now back to working order, and what better way to than to kick start with this soup. I have been craving this since visiting my friends... it seemed sweet, but yet has no sugar.. no honey or sweeteners, just that the combination of ingredients bring out that luscious, mouthwatering taste... which keeps you wanting more... at least that's how it was for me.


INGREDIENTS

1.8kg/4lb wedges of butternut squash
3 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, 4 whole, unpeeled and 2 finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely sliced
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
1 tbsp freshly chopped sage
1 litre vegetable stock
1 litter chicken stock
(for sweetness half a teaspoon of sweet chili sauce)






































METHOD
Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 9.
Cut the butternut squash (including skin) wedges and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. Brush the wedges with 1 tbsp olive oil, place in a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until soft and caramelised.
After 25 minutes of cooking, add the unpeeled garlic and the sprigs of thyme.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, sage and remaining garlic and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until soft but not brown.
Pour the stock into the vegetables, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Allow the squash to cool for 5 minutes when cooked. Using a large spoon remove the flesh from the skin and add to the stock. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin into the stock and discard the thyme.
Simmer the stock and vegetables for a further 5 minutes or until the squash is beginning to break up.
Place the soup in a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and gently reheat. Check seasoning.
For the parsley purée, place the chopped parsley into a food processor with 
Serve immediately with crusty bread/pita.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchen Under Construction

My kitchen is currently undertaking some TLC... and I feel lost... thank god for family and friends who invite us over for dinner... don't know what we would do without them...

Last week we were invited to our neighbors, who cooked one of the best meals Iv ever had.. they're Big Jamie Oliver fans so, we started off with Squash Soup with Parmesan Bruscetta, (It was so delicious and cooked to perfection that I'v been craving since last week) Recipe is here.

Will definitely be trying this recipe once the kitchen is back on track :) though i will be needing a liquidiser... just like this one, which is up for grabs on the The Good Mood Food Blog.

Would be a great addition to the refurbished Kitchen :)

Have a great day

La Roquette

Monday, February 14, 2011

STYLISH BLOG AWARD

What a lovely surprise this morning, to have found that I have been mentioned/nominated for Stylish Blog Award! by Katrina

Things like this make me want to cook more.. and photograph more.. (I should start carrying my camera with me more often)

Have a Lovely Day :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vanilla Cake with Liqoured Chocolate Ganache



INGREDIENTS

Serves 12. 

(adapted from martha stewart recipe)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • White frosting

CHOCOLATE GANACHE
4 cups cooking chocolate
2 cups thick cream
2 tablespoons liquor 


    DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely
CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
Boil the cream in a pan, until nearly boiling, constantly stirring, add the chocolate, one cup at a time, until it has melted, stir in the liquor. Let it cool down and place in fridge for 4-8 hours until thick






Red Velvet Cake











































INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • White frosting, recipe follows

WHITE FROSTING

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the shortening, eggs and sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and food coloring. Add the paste to the shortening mixture. Sift the flour and salt together over parchment. Add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk in 3 additions. Add the vanilla extract. Fold in the baking soda and vinegar. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack. Invert the cakes from the pans.
Frosting: Over medium heat, cook the flour and milk until thickened. Let cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour mixture.

Frost the top of the first layer with frosting and set the second layer on top. Frost the entire cake with remaining frosting.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Almond and Cinnamon Cupcakes, with Strawberry Frosting


INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoon ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups milk
eggs
red food coloring


STEPS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter at medium speed until smooth, add sugar and beat until well. Add two eggs, beat until smooth. Dump in the rest of your ingredients (you can whisk the dry ones together in a separate bowl first as way to "quick-sift" them) and beat until nice and smooth. Dip a toothpick into the food coloring, and place into the mix, beat until colour is light pink. Fill cupcake liners (or greased tins) 2/3 full, bake until golden brown (about 20 minutes, depending on your oven). Makes 24 regular size or approx 10 jumbo size.
































FROSTING
2cups heavy cream (hopla)
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
red food coloring


Whip the heavy cream, and start to add the sugar half a cup at a time. Place the rest of the ingredients till the mixture is thick enough to use as piping.