26 November 2013

Apple, Walnut and Raisin Loaf Cake

Last weekend took place the 2nd show of the cake decoration and sugarcraft shoe of BCN&CAKE in Barcelona, you can have a look on my facebook page to the pictures I took. Beside attending some demostrations and buy some stuff I needed, I mainly went there to meet with the editor of the mazagine which I'm collaborating Sweet Magazine, and part of the team was also there: Marina from The Sweetest Taste, Alba from Galette, Alicia from Belle Cupcakes and Ester from La Cuinera. It was so nice to meet them, we spend such a nice and the good news is the magazine will start its printed version in January, which was announced during the fair.
Well and now let's got with the recipe of this week. I did serveral apple cakes before this one, but this one definitely became the one I like the most because of its moist and delicious taste, perfect for breakfast or an afternoon tea. The secret is to cook the raisins with rum which gives the special taste of this cake. The original recipes goes in a round pan, I did both but I totally recommend you to do it in a loaf tin. 

Apple and Walnut Loaf Cake 
100g raisins
75ml rum
150ml walnut oil, if you don't have use vegetable oil instead
200g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
300g plain flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
400g apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
zest of 1 lemon
100g chopped walnuts

Bring to boil the raisins and the rum in a small saucepan, remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 170°.

Line and grease a 18 cm loaf cake. Sift the flour, the cinnamon, the bicarbonate and the cream of tartar and set aside.
In a large bowl beat together the oil and the sugar by hand, with a manual whisk, add the eggs one at a time until fluffly. Add the sifted ingredients and beat just until incorporated. Add the raisins, the walnut, the lemon zest and the cubed apple folding with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and level with the spatula and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only few moist crumbs attached. Let cool for 15 minutes in the tin and after on a wire rack. 

You can serve it warm, but it will be some crumbly to cut it. This is an adapted recipe from a cake of "How to be a Domestic Goddess" from Nigella Lawson. She recommends to serve it the day after, it will stays good until 2 days after baked, keep it folded at room temperature. Walnut oil can be perfectly replaced by soft olive oil or vegetable oil.

Other apple suggestions this french apple tart, or the dutch one, or the famous crumble. Let me know if you try any of them! 
See you next tuesday with a new recipe, have a nice week 

19 November 2013

Pumpkin Quiche

Today I come with an other pumpkin recipe suggestion, this time a savory dish. I love quiches, and you know how much I love pumpkin, so this is a perfect combinaton for me. This is a delicious way to present this versatile vegetable. This quiche is suitable for vegetarians, it does not contain bacon. Actually it is not needed, since the pumpkin flavor with the aroma of herbs and the cheese intensity makes it tasty enough you will not need to add anything more. Perfect side dish for a salad or just as a simply snack.  
I recomend you use an old cheese such as the Old Amsterdam, Gruyère or Parmesan. You can add the herbs that you like, but rosemary and thyme fits perfect with the pumpkin

Pumpkin Quiche 
For the pastry:
100 g butter cold and cubed
100 g all-purpouse flour
1/2 teaspoon slat
a pinch of black peper
1 large egg

For de filling:
1 medium onion
1 garlic, crushed
250 g pumpkin purée
60 g pine nutes
100 g Old Amsterdam cheese, grated (or any other old cheese like Gruyère)
125 g crème fraîche
2 large eggs
a pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and peper
rosemary and thyme chopped

Prepare first the puree. Remove the skin and seeds of a pumpkin, cut into cubes put in baking tray ino a   preheated oven at 180 º together with the thyme and rosemary and a pinch of salt if desired, you will add latter salt to the batter also. Bake until it is soft, about 1.5 hour . Once it is cool blend it to a puree.

For the pastry sift the flour and salt, add the butter and pepper and knead with your fingers until the butter is dissolved and the dough is sandy. Add the egg and continue kneading until it forms a ball. If we see that the dough is too sticky add a little bit  flour. Wrap it with plastic foil and let rest in the refrigerator 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven heat to 170°.
Cut the onion and chop the garlic. Cook them in a pan and reserve.
In a separate pan toast the pine nuts until lightly roasted. You could do it in the oven but this way it is much faster. Keep them aside .

Roll out the pastry on a light floured surface and line a buttered tin.  Beat the crème fraîche and 2 eggs with salt and pepper, the nutmeg, add the pumpkin puree, onion, pine nuts and a third of the cheese. Incorporate everything with a spatula and pour the batter in the tin. Finally cover with the remaining grated cheese .
Bake with the tray in center of oven about 30 minutes or until golden and curd. You can serve immediately or eat once cooled.

If you don't have crème fraîche use heavy cream.
If you are in hurry you can boil the pumpkin and make the puree quicker, but for this dish is better to do in the oven. Likewise it is not necessary to roast the pine nuts, but of course you have a better flavor and texture if they are roasted. 
Next weekend I will be in Barcelona in the BCN&CAKE show, is anybody going as well? I will let you know next week about my experience. 

Enjoy your week 

12 November 2013

Fig Chutney

I love to make my own perserves, but what I really like the most is to enjoy them with cheese, patés or foie, as an appetizer spread. I use to make fig jam, is actually one of my favorites, also for salty dishes, but the chutney fig is even better for grilled meats, I love its sweet and sour taste. Did you ever try the chutney? Is a traditionally perserve from the indian cousine, probably the most known is the mango one, but there are many varieties of chutney.
Jam and preserves is a nice homemade present, last year I give away some jams to my relatives and friends for Christmas, and this year I'm thinking to delight them again with any other handmade jar such as this chuteny. 

Fig Chutney 
1 small red onion chopped
1 lemon zest and juice
50 ml white wine vinegar
50 g sugar
fresh ginger grated, about 1 cm
1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 small cinnamon stick
3 cloves
a pinch of salt
50 g raisins
250 g fresh figs
soft olive oil

Cook the onion in a medium sauce pan with some oil. Add the rest of the ingredients except the figs. Let cook over a medium low heat until the onion is completely softened., about 20 minutes. Add the fig quarters, cover the pan and cook on low for 5-10 mins. Remove the lid and cook 10 to 15 minutes over low heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens and becomes like jam. Pour into a hot sterilized jar, seal and allow to cool. up side down, for 2 hour and refrigerate.

With these amount of ingriedients I filled 2 jars of 150 ml.
This recipe is adapted from here
If you enjoy making your own perserves you can have a look to this pumpkin jam or this chestnut cream.
Enjoy your week 

05 November 2013

Dried Fruit Nut Bread

I love this bread, the sweetness of the dried fruit and the brown sugar makes it taste like a cake, perfect for breakfast but also as a side dish for a dinner or lunch, it combines delicious with a savory dish. This is my adapted recipe from a lardy cake. When I saw this recipe on tv I knew I had to try it, but I don't like to use lard in my kitchen, instead I used only butter. You can fill the dough with any fruit or nut and do not be scared with the instructions below, it can seems a little bit dificult, but once the dough is ready to fill you just need to fold it several times before shape it.

Raisins & Nuts Bread 
225 g strong white flour
7 g yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
75 g butter (or half butter, half yard)
300 ml water
100 g mixed dried fruit and nuts, I used blueberries, raisins and walnuts.
30 g brown sugar
extra flour for dusting

Mix together the flour, the salt and the yeast in a mixing bowl, add in 20 g of the butter using your fingertips. Add three-quarters of the water and hand-mix the flour into the water to form a dough. Add as much of the remaining water as you need to get a dough that is soft and leaves the sides of the bowl clean.

Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours, it will depend on the temperature of the room.

Put the dough onto a floured work surface and roll into a rectangle. Pour a third of the remaining butter over the surface of the dough using your fingers. Scatter over a third of the fruit and nuts and a third of the sugar. Fold the top third of the dough down and the bottom third up so that the dough is folded in three and roughly square. Turn the dough a quarter turn. Roll out and repeat the out process twice more, to use up all the butter and fruit.

Line a 20cm/ round loose bottomed tin with baking parchment. Roll out the dough to fit the tin. Cover with plastic film and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180º.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin. Cut into squares and serve warm or cold. But better to eat it within the same day after done. 

If you follow me on facebook you will know already I'm collaborating with a magazine, you can have a look to the new issue full of amazing tips and recipes. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Enjoy your week