Monthly Archives: November 2012

Profiteroles..the result of a rainy Saturday

The best way to spend time during a rainy week end afternoon is making a cake, that afterward will be enjoyed as a fair rewards for the effort. Browsing in the internet I came across a recipe of profiterole which looked quite easy and I decided to go for it.  First step is to make the choux pastry.

Ingredients for the pastry:

100g of Butter

250ml of water

120g of “00” flour

4 eggs

6g of sugar

6g of salt

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.  For the choux pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted. Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go. Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously for around 3 minutes until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. At this point add one at the time the eggs while mixing the pastry until all the eggs have been absorbed by the mixture.

Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet. Put the tray in the oven and let it cook for 15-20 minutes at a temperature of 200C. Low the temperature to 190C and cook for 15-20 minutes longer until golden brown.

Ingredients for the filling

Although for the filling you might simply use whipped cream, I decided to try something different. A combination of custard and whipped cream. So:

For the custard:

4 eggs yolk

150g sugar

500ml Milk

40g of 00 flour.

Vanilla flavouring

Preparation

Start heating 3/4 of the milk plus the vanilla flavouring to hit and let boil gently. Mix together the eggs yolk  and the sugar, until the sugar is dissolved. At this point add all the flour, which you before sifted. Mix everything together while pouring into the mixture the 1/4 put on the side before. Once you obtain a smooth mixture add the hot milk and keep steering.  Put the whole mixture back on a gentle fire and steer frequently until you have a smooth and creamy custard of the consistence you’d like. Leave it to cool in a bowl covering with wrapping film.

While the custard is cooling down, whip the fresh cream adding sugar and vanilla flavour. Mix the custard and the cream together. I did more or less 60% custard and 40% whipped cream.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Sauce

300g dark chocolate or a mix between milk and dark

400ml single cream

100ml milk

10g corn flour

Preparation

Heat the single cream and the milk until start boiling, add the chocolate which has been previously chopped. Steer the mixture and sift in the corn fluor and keep steering to avoid the formation of lumps. Leave the chocolate sauce to cool down for a couple of hours in the fridge if you decide to serve the profiteroles cold, or use it straight away.

Once the filling is ready and he profiteroles are cold, use a piping bag to pipe the cream into the profiteroles. Serve in a small plate and pour the warm chocolate sauce on the top.

It is an easy but long recipe as several preparations are required. Or probably it was just me that took long time to make it.

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Brixton Market

If you are a foodie in London you must pay a visit to Brixton Market. The market sell a wide range of food and however it’s best know for its African and Caribbean produce, it has developed in the years lovely little place where to eat at anytime of the day. Wide is the offer for fresh fish, fruits and also meat.

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Homemade bread

Making bread at home is one of these thing I really enjoy doing: it’s fun, it is healthy and first of all the homemade bread taste far better of any supermarket one (if you chose the right recipe and/or technique, though). You might think that bread it’s just flour, water and yeast. However it’s much more than this: several are the variables which influence the final result. First of all the flour: it must be a strong one, meaning with an high content of gluten. You can choose a white one or a combination of wholemeal and strong white flour. Yeast: I used a really small amount of dry yeast. Some use a fresh homemade yeast (a whole school on this), which give that extra kick to the dough. Last but not least the time and conditions of the rising process. I start making the dough (see details below) on Saturday afternoon, left to rise for 10/12hrs, then after kneading the dough again, left to rise for further 2 hours.

My main source of inspiration was  this blog; although in Italian, is very clear and easy to follow thanks to the video.

INGREDIENTS:

200g strong white flour

180g wholemeal flour

225 -250g of water (room temperature)

1g of dried yeast

6g of salt

HOW TO:

In a bowl start with mixing the two flours, add the salt. Dissolve the yeast in water at room temperature, add into the flour and start mixing. Gradually add the rest of the water to the mix and keep kneading the the dough, which will be wet and sticky, but it’s ok! Actually it’s a good sign. Leave the dough to rise in the bowl inside the oven with the light on. Add in the oven a small container with water in order to increase the level of humidity for a better result in the rising process.

After 12/14 hours gently remove the dough  from the bowl, sprinkle a surface with some flour and fold the dough a couple of times onto itself, put the dough on a baking tray, cover it and leave to rise for a further 1 or 2 hrs.

In the main time switch the oven on at 230 degrees. Put a small container with water to create some steam which will improve the quality of the bread. Leave to cook for 30-35 minutes.

This time the results have been satisfactory, however it is difficult with the bread to obtain identical results every time. A small difference in temperature during the rising process, for instance, might affect the final result. But in this occasion I was happy with my homemade bread!

Blogs where I took my inspiration from this time:

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