viernes, 30 de octubre de 2009

Lemon friands with lemon curd

Since I came across friands I cannot get enough of them. These wonderful almond cakes are so moist they will melt in your mouth. they are like oval wonders to your palate. The ground almond and the whites gives the batter a light and airy mixture. Once you've tried one, there's no way back. They will keep moist and delicious for 3 to 4 days. You need a special friand tin, but you can use a muffin one, if you dont have it. So, there you go, now there's no excuse.

Lemon curd is one of the simplest and yummy things in the world. Keep it in the fridge in a glass jar and you will have the most delicious toast. I really don´t thinkk that lemon curd it's so fattening, as there´s not so much sugar and it only has 8 grams of butter, or at least this recipe that I always use which comes from Aran Goyaga, a five star pastry chef, with mouth watering recipes and outstanding photography.

For the lemon curd

100 grams organic eggs
35 grams sugar
100 grams lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
8 grams unsalted butter

Whisk eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a bowl. Place the bowl over a double boiler and cook slowly while whisking until it thickens. Pass through a sieve and let it cool in an ice bath. Add the softened butter and whisk until incoporated.

For the friands

6 eggwhites
185g melted buter
120g ground almond
240g icing sugar
75g plain flour
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180degrees.
Grease the friand or muffin tins.

Place egg whites in a bowl, and whisk with a fork until they are combined. Add butter, ground almond, and sifted icing sugar, then the flour, lemon juice and zest. Mix. Divide the mixture among the tins, bake for 20 minutes.

Cool for five more minutes in their tins before turning topside up on a cooling rack. When completely cool, cut them open and spread a generous amount of the lemon curd, cover with the lid and sprinckle with icing sugar.

miércoles, 21 de octubre de 2009

Koftas in the sky with spices

A few days ago I had a craving for a turkish pizza, Lahmacun, but I didn't want any pizza dough or bread, so I updated the ingredients for the topping to my taste and made this delicious and suculent koftas, a middle eastern meatball that can be eaten hot or cold, and they are perfect for a picnic. You can serve these with some yogurt (previousy dressed with salt, peper and choped garlic)

One of the main ingredients is Ras el hanout, an extremely aromatic blend of spices from the middle east, widely used and with a distintive flavour, the blend includes cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli, coriander, pepper,cloves and turmeric which gives the blend a wonderful yellow colour. Its available in moroccan deli shops, and you can also add it to couscous ad rice.


250g minced lamb
1/4 finly chopped onion
1/4 finely chopped red pepper
1/4 finely chopped red chilli
1/2 garlic clove
5 or 6 sprigs of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ras el-hanout
1/4 teaspoon ground dried coriander
1 egg, beaten

Mix all the ingredients, and put them in a sieve over a bowl to get rid of the excess liquid and let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour in fridge, for the flavours to combine.

Shape into medium balls and flatten them a little bit. Bake on a slightly oiled foil sheet, on a baking tray at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Or you can also pan fry them.

martes, 13 de octubre de 2009

Caramelised banana galette

The base of this "galette" is a thin layer of puff pastry. Coated it with thin slices of banana and caramelised in the oven to perfection. The recipe comes from the Goodfood channel program, Market Kitchen, and it was made by Matt Tebutt one of the presenters. It's really simple to make and the result is delicious.

If you don't like bananas you can use thin slices of apple, or pear, or figs, whatever fruit you fancy.

2 or 3 Bananas finely sliced
1 sheet puff pastry, rolled to 2-3mm thick
20g unsalted butter,
melted 2-3 tbsp caster sugar
splash of rum or brandy


Preheat the oven to 180C
Take a sheet of baking paper and place it on a baking tray. Cut the pastry into a 12inch round circle and place on the baking paper. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
Arrange the slices of banana on the pastry, in a spiral, making sure they overlap, starting from the outside and finishing in the middle.
Sprinkle a good layer of sugar all over the bananas, then brush with the melted butter and sprinkle generously with more caster sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes minutes or until the tart is caramelised.
Remove from the oven and invert onto another baking tray, drizzle the rum over the base and return to the oven base side up for 5 minutes or until cooked.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce or both.

martes, 6 de octubre de 2009

Smoked salmon and scrambled egg tartalettes

The base of this tartalettes is the same I used for the Asparragus and red peppers flan , from the Michel Roux recipe. I was thinking of a nice, tasty and smart appetizer, and came out with these tartalettes. They're very easy to make, and you can freeze them separately. I used smoked salmon for the filling, but you can use whatever you want to add to our scrambled eggs, or have in your fridge, the possibilities are endless, ham and cheese, mushrooms with parsley and garlic, bacon and chives, spinach and spring onion, etc. The result is always the same, a crispy and delicious base filled with scrambled eggs and the filling of your choice.

For the Pate brise (shortcrust pastry)

250g plain flour

150g softened butter

1tsp salt

pinch of caster sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp cold milk

For the filling

1 Tablespoon butter
3 eggs

2 tablespoon creme fraiche (or single cream)

one packet 250g smoked salmon

salt and pepper
beaten egg for brushing

to garnish


Method for the pastry:

Roll out the pastry and cover six individual tart tins or a big one, chill for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Prick the base of the pastry, brush the outside with the beaten egg, cover with parchment paper and fill with baking beans, or any beans, or rice, this will stop the pastry from rising and bake for 10 minutes, remove the beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. If you are using the big tin you have to double the baking time. Set aside while you prepare the filling.

The filling

Beat the eggs and mix with the creme fraiche and the salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a non stick pan, add the egg mixture and cook slightly until you see the egg starting to dry out, don't over cook. Transfer to a bowl, and add the finely chopped smoked salmon, reserve some for the garnish.

When the tartalettes are cold, take out the baking beans or whatever you have used, and fill with the smoked salmon scrambled eggs. Garnish with a smoked salmon rose, a sprig of dill and some caviar. (fake caviar of course for us mortals!, or use the real one if you can afford it)