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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good Food and Wine Show Cape Town 2011

Hello to all of you guys out there that do read my blog, i have just returned from the good food and wine show in cape town to see the crazy chef Heston Blumenthal he is an inspiration and a driving force to all new chefs out there to strive forwards towards doing food that is as appealing to look at as it is to hear and taste, food that work on all of your senses, i have not the time at the moment to write my complete blog about it but keep looking out for the next couple of days and i will be doing the complete story of the good food and wine show 2011 and i will add in a couple of other little things into the blog as well, maybe a recipe or two

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bacon and Egg Ice-Cream

This isn't a recipe as of yet, i am playing with something from a kitchen mastermind and that is Heston Blumenthal's Bacon and Egg Ice-Cream, it is a really really interesting thing i must admit, i have made my first batch and it is nothing short of awesome, i cannot believe how well it actually works, it really really does, when i have perfected it a little more i will blog the recipe for it, but i must warn it is not for the faint hearted cook who doesn't like to spend a long time on one dish, as it is something that takes 2 days to make.

I will play with it some more and i will take photo's and blog it for you to enjoy

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mini New York Baked Cheese Cake

This is the last recipe in the the set of three that follow the picture in the first recipe that i blogged, it was a trio of desserts.....creme brule, chocolate mousse and a mini New York Baked Cheese Cake, this is one of my favourite recipes, i never weight anything with this one either, but yet again i have a fairly good hand and judge pretty well, i have always preached that recipes are guidelines, if i ever pick up a recipe book the only things i ever do is look at what ingredients are used and never how much is used, it's all about the fundamentals the building blocks and understanding how different ingredients influence each other, once you start to understand these basics then the rest is just up to your hand, so i am going to try and guess backwards here back into a usable recipe.

250g smooth cream cheese (not cottage cheese, this makes a massive difference in the end product of the cheese cake)
25g Castor sugar or white sugar
1 egg
zest of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of lime cordial
1 tablespoon of milk
1 roll of store bought short crust pastry (when we get into the more detailed recipes i will blog short crust and puff pastry as homemade is far superior to any store bought you can get, they are however not the easiest pastry's to make from scratch.

to make these you will also need 500g of uncooked rice
a roll of cling film
a muffin tray or foil pie cases (fairly small ones, about the same size as "mama's pie's"

for this recipe it is best to have an electric beater if you do not you can get away with a whisk, i however am fortunate enough to have 2 kitchen aids in my kitchen,

ok now to start it is best to have all of your ingredients at room temperature, take the cream cheese put it into a deep mixing bowl and start to soften it with a whisk or electric beater until all the lumps are out and it is smooth, it usually takes around 3-5minutes, then you can add the milk whilst continually beating it, beat for about another 2 minutes now add in the lemon zest and lime cordial whilst still beating, beat this in for another 2 minutes, now add in the castor sugar and the one egg and carry on beating for about another 5 minutes. now set this mixture to one side.

Roll out the short crust pastry as to half the thickness of it cut it out in a small round about 3 centimeters bigger than hole of your muffin tray, now put these little disks into the muffin tray and push it all the way in ( i know i haven't mentioned anything about lining the muffin trays but usually with short crust or puff it has enough fat in it, so it doesn't stick. once the pastry is in the muffin tray line the inside of the pastry with cling film and fill it with uncooked rice and close the cling film as to make a little packet of rice, leave this in the pastry and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 200c for about 10minutes, then take them out and remove the little "rice" packets out of the pastry (this process is what is called blind baking) now drop the temperature of the oven to 140c.

Now take the pre-baked pastry cases and fill it 3/4 with the cream cheese mixture and bake it in the oven for around 30 minutes, take it our and check it, it should wobble like a set jelly, but not more than that, if it is not set yet, then put it in for another 5 minutes.

This recipe should yield around 6 or 8 mini cheese cakes. if you would like to make 1 large cheese cake you can multiply the recipe by 4 but not the egg you will only use 3 eggs and don't add them all at once either you must add them about 2 minutes apart whilst continually mixing. And don't use pastry for the base take some of your favourite biscuits and crush them and mix them with about 80g of butter, this would make a 20cm cheese cake.

happy baking guys, you can create the last two recipes a day or two before your dinner party and leave this one for the morning of the day you are doing the dinner party, it will impress even the hardest of food critics as they say the proof is in the PUDDING funny things is i do not favor doing pastry and desserts, but that doesn't mean that i can't do them, any good chef must have the know how.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Hungry Chef: Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse

The Hungry Chef: Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse: "Good day, this is a little dessert that i did this past Monday for one of my easy Monday night dinners, and it is rich, ..."

Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse

Good day, this is a little dessert that i did this past Monday for one of my easy Monday night dinners, and it is rich, smooth and really tasty, the recipe only contains 3 ingredients and can be made with only two ingredients, all you will need is a pot with a little water in it, a bowl that fits onto the top of that pot without touching the water and 2 bowls for whisking.

125g 70% Chocolate ( i use lindt 70% Ecuador dark chocolate)
6 large Free-range eggs separated
50g castor or white sugar

melt the chocolate over the pot of water on a stove, as soon as the chocolate has melted take it off the pot and put it to the side so that it can cool down.
whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl, make sure that there is not as much as a drop of water in it other wise it makes whipping the egg whites a mission, as well as when you separate them, make sure that there is no egg yolk in it, when the egg whites start to stiffen slightly you can slowly add the sugar a teaspoon at a time, you want the egg whites to be stiff enough that when you turn the bowl up side down they stick to the bowl without falling out.

Whisk the melted cooled chocolate into the egg yolks just until it has all incorporated in, then add 1/3 of the egg whites and softly whisk it in, this is to loosen the mixture so that you don't beat the air out of the rest of the egg whites when you fold them in at the end.

put this into the container that you would like to serve it in and put it into the fridge for about two hours to set slightly, it is not going to set to much it is a light and airy mousse.

Now for the interesting but where i give away some of the trade secrets ( i really shouldn't but after all this blog is to make it easier for the home cook)

you can use normal milk chocolate instead of the dark chocolate, just be careful when you melt it, it does not like heat much and if it gets to hot the sugars in the chocolate start to crystallize and the chocolate "seizes" if this does happen you can commit the ultimate cardinal sin and quickly whisk in 1 tablespoon of normal cooking oil or preferable butter, this should bring it back if not then it's really done for and you can throw it away.

Also in the instance where you do use milk chocolate over dark chocolate the sugar can be omitted otherwise it is going to be too sweet, try not to use milk chocolate though as it is much more intense and satisfying with dark chocolate.

I am going to add a little extra add on recipe here quick and that is for a nice quick berry sauce to suit the chocolate mousse.

1kg frozen mixed berries
1 glass good drinking dry white wine mixed with 2 teaspoon corn flour
2 cups of sugar
1 stick of cinnamon (if you have)
1 star anise (if you have)

put all the ingredients  into a pot at a very low heat and let it stew for about an hour, you don't want to ever boil.
take it off the heat and let cool before putting into the refrigerator and letting chill.

this is best served chilled, but if you want you can add 2 tots of good strong rum to eat, reheat it and serve it hot with a ball of good vanilla ice-cream. it is dreamy......

anyway good cooking, hope you enjoy trying out the recipes, in a couple of days i will blog an interesting pork and peanut curry that i tried on wednesday for the first time that was really big on one of our curry nights at the links. until then......................................

Monday, March 14, 2011

Classic & Easy Vanilla Creme Brule

To me creme brule's are one of the easiest tastiest desserts to make.
i will give a basic recipe for a plain Creme Brule, the recipe is designed as to be easy for even the home cook with the tools that you have at home to make this tasty dessert.

Basic Creme Brule
1 egg yolk
15g Castor Sugar or White Sugar
100ml Cream
1 drop of vanilla essence
(this recipe yields one creme brule of about 125ml, so just multiply everything accordinly)

Heat the creme with the vanilla essence until just under boiling point, it should be a medium heat, i would say on a home grade stove that goes up to heating setting of 8, you would want it on about 3.
Cream together the egg yolks and sugar (just whisk them together until they start to go a little pale in colour)

Once the cream is heated then add it to the creamed egg yolks, just a little splash at first and mix that in properly, then in a steady stream add the rest of the hot cream, not to much or if the cream is to hot, it may split the eggs.

Then transfer this mix into an oven proof serving dish like a ramekin or so forth.
bake it in a deep baking tray with water up to 3/4 of the way up the ramekin, cover it very lightly with tin foil as to leave the two ends open so that the steam can escape out, place it in the oven with a temp 160 c and bake it for about 40 min, to check if it is cooked take it out and shake it a little it should wobble like a set jelly, but not as much as cream. leave it in the try with the water to cool down to room tempreture.

then place them into the refridgerator for about an hour, in the mean time get the grill of the oven as hot as you can.

take the creme brule out of the refridgerator and sprinkle it with a little sugar (what ever sugar you like)
be careful not to put to much, it should be an even film of sugar over the top, then place it directly under the grill of the oven until the sugar has melted as starting caramalizing on the top of the dessert (it goes a semi-burnt golden brown colour, it is okay to have a little blackish spots on it too) take it out and place it in the refridgerator for another 5 minutes just to chill again, now you're ready to serve.

(please not if you have a gas tourch you can skip the grilling process and tourch the sugar with a gas tourch, this recipe is for cooks at home.)

There we go this is my first post and i will try to update my blog as often as i can, please excuse my spelling, after all i'm a chef, i can cook not spell.

This Picture is a little Trio of Desserts i will blog the other two desserts later in the week.

Please give me feed back on your attempts to make this dessert, i can try to help if things go wrong at any point.