Saturday, September 25, 2010

raspberry-blueberry muffins

Damn good muffins. No other comments necessary! 

  To prepare 12 big muffins you will need:
  1      cup of frozen blueberries
  1      cup of frozen raspberries
  2      cups of self raising flour
 50      g melted butter
0.5      cup yogurt
0.5      cup brown sugar
0.5-0.75 cup of milk.
1        egg

Mix flour and sugar, add butter, egg, and yogurt. Mix briefly again and add from 0.5 milk. Muffin batter shouldn't be to fluid, but if it's really thick add the remaining milk. Add fruits (no need for defrosting!) and mix really briefly again. Fill muffin cases with batter and sprinkle top of each muffin with some brown sugar - delicious crust will develop. Bake for approx. 25 minutes in the oven preheated to 190 degrees C. 

Important: don't over-mix the batter, otherwise muffins will turn out dry!

Seriously, it can be the best muffin recipe I've  ever came out with!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

coconut pralines

OK, they do not exactly take minutes to prepare. However, even rows of ready chocolates on your kitchen table - this view is not the worst reward of your effort.

For 30 quite big pralines you will need:
50    g butter
0.25  cup of milk
0.25  cup icing sugar
100   g coconut flakes
125   g powdered milk
200   g milk chocolate

Also: tiny muffin/pralines cases (mine are from Dr.Oetker, you can find them for example in Dunnes Stores baking section)

Warm up (don't boil!)milk in a medium pot, add butter, wait until butter dissolves. Add sugar, coconut flakes and powdered milk. Mix carefully. Obtained pralines filling should be relatively soft but plastic enough to shape. If you think it is too dense, add some milk. If you consider it too loose, add more powdered milk. Cool mixture down in the fridge (1 hour is enough). 

After  chocolates' filling is cooled it is easy to form it into small balls. The only thing left to do is covering them in melted milk chocolate. I think that the easiest way of melting chocolate is using microwave set at low power option for several minutes rather than water bath (less messy!). Just keep on checking on your chocolate to ensure it is not getting too hot.
Place pralines in cases (do not worry if they do not look perfect or if you smear some melted chocolate on the cases - it is a homemade product after all), wait until chocolate sets and eat!

Monday, September 20, 2010

white wine onion soup

All food containing wine appeals to me quite intensively, including the wine itself. Perfect comfort food: if you had a bad day this soup will warm you up fast. Actually it's nice even if your day wasn't bad at all. Onion is healthy, let's eat onion! And then jump into pyjamas and stay cosy in bed.

To feed two hungry people you will need:

  4   medium sized peeled onions
750   ml of chicken stock 
 70   g of salted butter
  2   bay leaves 
0.5   cup of white wine
  6   generous tbsp of sour cream
0.5   tsp of ground black pepper 

  4   slices of white toast
      good splash of extra virgin olive oil

Chop onions and fry them with butter in big pot on medium heat until caramelized (gold and soft). Add all other ingredients, bring to boil and cook for 10-15 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and (optionally) blend until creamy.

Prepare the croutons (my fav soup garnish!) simply by frying toast bread cut into 1 x 1 cm squares on olive oil. The secret is: use really good quality olive oil - such as one from Aldi (which conveniently happens to be really cheap as well).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

grilled sweet potato chips

I am not a giant fan of regular chips, they're my strive only after few pints late at night. I would rarely go for them except the classic fish&chips combination. However, the creamy and rich texture of sweet potatoes under the crispy skin... 

For two people you will need:
4   big sweet potatoes 
8   tbsp of olive oil
1   tsp of chili powder
1   clove of garlic
pinch of salt

Thick-cut peeled potatoes and rub them with sliced garlic. Cover with olive oil and chili powder, sprinkle with salt. Fry on the grill pan for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally (if you do not own a grill pan, then move yourself to Dublin's Ikea and grab one for less than a tenner, you won't regret it, I promise). Serve with sweet chili sauce and sour cream.

simply nice scones

Super easy recipe - actually the more careless you are the better scones you bake. With really crunchy crust and soft, light crumble. Add jam, butter, creme fraiche, several cups of coffee, please don't let this Sunday morning to end.

For 8 medium sized scones you will need:
2.5  cup of self-raising flour
70   g of soft salted butter
0.5  cup of sugar
1    egg
0.5  cup of milk

Mix flour and sugar, add butter, egg and milk. Remember not to over knead! Flatten obtained dough on surface sprinkled with flour to 1.5 inch thick and cut out your scones with knife or alternatively, small glass/cup/biscuit cutter. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, 200 degrees C. 

It is important not to overmix the scones dough because mixing builds up gluten, which makes the final product more of the stone rather than a nice, leavened scone.