Tag Archives: foodgasm

Spelt Focaccia Bread

I’m no Paul Hollywood but I have to say I’m quite liking my bread making experience recently. For Christmas I got Ajay a bread making course. I thought it would be a nice brother sister bonding day making bread together…etc.etc. Although the class wasn’t as mind blowing as I thought but I did learn how easy Focaccia bread is to make!

Serving 2

For me this is one of those things to make on a Sunday when bored! The smell the bread makes whilst in the oven is incredible! I know it’s strange to say but personally I feel like an old Italian grandmother when making this. You seriously don’t need any special equipment just the tools god gave you (your hands)!

checking

I think you can add anything to this bread…from peppers to oregano, even to different infused flavoured oils…it’s one of those chuck it all in and see what we get types of dishes!

 

Yeast mix

The base to every bread is Yeast, Sugar, Warm water and salt…then you’re ready to go!

 

Flour

As you can see the post is called ‘Spelt’ Focaccia so I’m obviously going to be using spelt flour. You can use normal white flour just be careful how much flour you add. And don’t panic if you get carried away with the flour, just add a drop of water. I am one of those, ‘Organic is best’- but if you cant get it don’t worry tesco values is just as good (I’m lying).

 

And no I don’t think your dumb if you don’t know how to knead. There is kind of an art to it! once you mix the dough till smooth, plonk it on the table. Make sure you’ve sprinkled a little flour on the table!

Kneading 1

Push the dough, using the bottom of your palm away from you.

 

Kneading 3

Then pull the furthest tip back toward you and repeat the process for a good few minutes. This is if you using spelt flour. If using normal white flour knead for 10-15 minutes! By the end of it you’ll have a good set of guns!

 

Kneading 2

You’ll notice you’re folding makes layers. With White flour the kneading makes the dough more stretchy, that will be the gluten-Food Devil. Why I think its the devil is because that is what bloats you, making it a bad carb! Yes my mum is a health food addict! she is the reason I made this with Spelt flour-so she could eat it!

holes

To make that authentic Focaccia style. you literally just dab 2 fingers into the bread, to create those dimples. Obviously you start from one corner to the other.

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Ingredients:

  • 200ml of lukewarm water
  • 1tsp of dried active yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (this is to feed the yeast and help it grow!)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Spelt Flour or Flour (Now I haven’t given a precise amount because it can vary. Just have at least 1/2 a pack at your side)
  • 1 Sun-dried Tomato
  • 5 olives (either colour)
  • A Few sprigs of Rosemary
  • Olive Oil/Rapeseed Oil (I use basil infused oil. Try Garlic oil or even chilli oil)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning on top
  1. Add together the water, yeast, sugar and salt and whisk together. I would advise leaving it for a couple of minutes
  2. Gradually add the flour until a good consistency. You would rather add less flour to start so you can add more when kneading. Especially with spelt flour, use less flour and see.
  3. Now, use those guns and knead the dough for a good 3 minutes!
  4. Put in a bowl and cover with cling film. leave in a warm place for an hour. I usually leave the oven on and keep the door slightly open. that’s my warm spot!
  5. after 40 minutes place into square tray and flatten down. using your 2 fingers dab all over and sprinkle your delicious toppings and oil.
  6. Whack it in the oven on 200c for 30 minutes or until golden!
  7. leave to cool for another half an hour and enjoy!

 

serving 1

I love this literally cut up and served with Balsamic reduction and olive oil! you could even use chilli oil with some salt rocks in it!

 

The idea of this is to give you inspiration to jazz it up yourself. add more crushed salt, experiment with different herbs, go wild. Just don’t forget to mention me when you get asked for the recipe!

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie is my all time favourite dessert – with ice cream = MY HEAVEN!

Arji requested this the other day, so I thought maybe I should also share with y’all my recipe. I have to admit…I did fuck up the presentation but this is what I get for trying too hard! Soz that it looked a little strange!

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I don’t know why but I have a weird obsession with pecans. At least once a day I will have a ‘small’ handful of pecans with another ‘small’ handful of salted almonds. I know it strange but its sooo good! thought I’d share that with you for no apparent reason!

 

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As you can see at the beginning it started of well…just…once it went through that hell of an oven it got worse…and worse.

I know people find it offensive using shop brought pastry but I’m sorry I seriously don’t think its wrong to by a pack of ready made. So bite me if you think I’m being too lazy! just remember Gordan Ramsey said there is nothing wrong with shop brought pastry! Just sayin!

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So I seen this style crust done on Pinterest and thought I’d give this a go. Looks good here but just wait!

 

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See the Leaf thing really ain’t working! At least now you know don’t try this as pastry does shrink and it’ll look ridic!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack/500g of shortcrust pastry
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 250ml of golden syrup
  • 60g butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 20g Dark Chocolate (70% is a must!)
  • 3/4 tsp of flaked salt
  • a pinch of grated lemon zest (4 strokes against the grater will do)
  • 120g pecans, chopped & some for decoration (like 12 halves)

 

Recipe:

  1. Roll out the pastry till thin enough (I would the thickness of £1 coin-that’s what Nigella says) then set aside in the fridge. Trust me this will help it later.
  2. Heat up the syrup and sugar on the cooker until the sugar has melted and leave to cool
  3. Beat up the egg and slowly pour the ‘cool’ syrup mixture into the eggs. make sure its steady and not all in one go otherwise you will regret this!
  4. Add your butter, vanilla, lemon, chocolate, salt and nuts! Then pour into the cold pie crust.
  5. Now you can whack in the oven for an hour. Make sure the oven is preheated at 170c.
  6. I would recommend that you leave this to set for at least 2 hours then demolish with ice cream. ENJOY!

 

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I genuinely love this recipe and have used it for soo many years so this is one you can actually use because its an actual recipe and not just me making it up as I go along!

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Hotel Praktik Bakery – Barcelona

Carrying on from my trip to Barcelona…

Its quite exciting this is my first hotel review I’m writing. but I’m mainly writing what you would see on tripadvisor just with extra pictures!

Anyway back to my experience The Hotel Praktik Bakery. You’ll notice the hotel from its famous yellow roof.  Honestly there was never moment where it was quiet in the bakery.

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I know you are probably going to hate me for saying this but when I’m in a foreign country I’m one of those typical ignorant Brits who cant speak a word of the language besides please and thank you and the odd hand gestures to ask for the bathroom. I have said this year I want to learn a new language, so Spanish it may be!

 

So every year my Christmas present budget for everyone is £40 as mum hates us spending too much on gifts (that’s more her thing). I still am in shock that that my trip cost me £150 for flights and hotel for THE BOTH OF US (for 2 nights, 3 day)! yes! I know! this amazing deal was found on lastminute.com by moi. I am advising everyone to have a look online if they’re looking for a small break.

 

I am 100% a lover for tripadvisor, from restaurant reviews to hotels; I would’ve most likely checked it out on tripadvisor before going. The review on here were majority positive but with the odd review moaning how busy and noisy it could be. Its a bakery in a hotel. What would you expect?!?

 

First of all the hotel location was too good to be true. Literally 2 blocks away from Passeig de Gràcia which personally I think is like our knightsbridge with shops, from Louis Vuitton to Stella McCartney. It is unreal! And the metro is soo easy to use. Again the station is on Passeig de Gràcia and is 2 stops away from Les Ramblas and 2 trains to Sagrada Familia. And the Metro Subway is so much cleaner than the London tube so I would honestly recommend it if you want to travel in Barcelona and so much cheaper (you can buy a travel card which has 10 travels for 10 euros)

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I have to admit it is a pretty unusual lay out. As soon as you walk in you greeted with the bakery and you’re not quite sure where the reception desk for the hotel is until you walk further down an notice the receptionist in a bright yellow blazer hidden on the of the counter shared with the bakery side. I will admit it was little annoying the fact that we arrived at the hotel 12ish and waited till 2pm to check in but our room still wasn’t ready. I guess it gave me more of a chance to try out more baked goods!

 

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This swirl in the middle was my FAVE! Cheese Bacon and puff pastry. That honestly is my heaven. The further you bite in the more cheesey bacony good is stuffed in there. I know you have 2 types of people in this world…those who like crispy bacon and those who like when the bacon is just cooked. I can’t really say I am just one. I mean I love crispy bacon with a fry up but I don’t mind a bit of just cooked bacon. This bacon was just cooked so the fat was still a little chewy which I love!

 

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Major PERK from staying here is that because the bread is baked freshly every morning, you get that freshly baked bread aroma oozing through the building. Seriously, what could be better than that? Nothing that’s what!

 

 

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This was my favourite part of the hotel- the lobby/bakery seating area. I just found it so soothing watching the bakers prepare the pastries and breads. I actually fell in love with one of the bakers. I seen him everyday whilst staying here and every morning he would smile whilst I creepily stared at him in awe whilst he rolled the pastries into cones to make croissants. Don’t worry this man was literally older than my dad with a peppered beard. I have to admit I feel like he looked like Pablo or maybe a Densel. I didn’t take a picture of him because well that’s a bit too far!

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This was my breakfast whilst at the Praktik Bakery. Toasted ham and cheese croissant. Sorry I’m just going to be showing my food!

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I loved loved loved their lemon cheesecake. seriously zesty and soo addictive!

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I know it’s so rude but no matter where I am, I always want proper cup of tea in the morning…PG Tips, milk, one sugar. This time at the bakery they did black tea (which is pretty much English breakfast), but with cinnamon. So I decided to go for an Earl Grey and I LOVED it! It basically a normal tea with a floral after taste! So now I just thought I’d share with you’s that I like a bit of Earl Grey (milk, one sugar).

Now for the Room itself although you could do what I did and stalk the reviews on tripadvisor but this just gives you an idea of what the rooms are like. from the reviews I think all the rooms are laid out the same just different views from the window.

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I love this picture! I love a town house. God knows why I find them ‘cultural’. I won’t bore you any more with my obsession of town houses.

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AND…

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Stepping out from the window literally you see this! Sagrada Familla.

I would honestly recommend this place to EVERYONE! from the price to the location. This is honestly one of my favourites and I am definitely returning next year (or even this year, maybe this summer…)

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Literally Sickly Chicken Kiev’s

Chicken Kiev’s are my childhood favourite, that and fish pie with extra cheese on top. I thought I’d treat my family and make them a proper dinner since we’ve all been too busy to eat together. I literally thought everything went well. I made the Kiev’s from scratch using fresh chicken thighs, hoping to keep them succulent and proper mash. Turns out it was that good I gave my mum and younger brother FOOD POISONING! They were literally sicking up this yellow bile from 6.30am-11pm. Arji even managed to sick up on the carpet which mum was not happy about. This is where I need help-I really don’t know where I went wrong? Apart from the food poisoning it was actually really nice. My excuse as to why they received food poisoning is because they were the two greedy bastards who had 3 pieces of chicken whereas my dad, Ajay and I only had 2 pieces. I think the fact that they were fried maybe I just didn’t drain them enough, especially with the garlic and herb butter oozing out. That was also another problem I did, once I fried the chicken in breadcrumbs I baked them for them after to properly cook them. Without realising once they were done I stabbed them each to check no salmonella I forgot I was letting the butter leak out. I guess I really did ruin chicken Kiev’s for myself.  I did take good pictures though so at least I have that!

Fried chckn 2

So the recipe for this dish is:

Ingredients;

6 Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

Garlic and Herby Butter
40g really room temperature butter
6 cloves of garlics crushed
1/4 lemon juice
handful of fresh Parsley, Chopped
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Breadcrumbs
3 slices of granary or white bread , toasted
the 1/4 lemon zest
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Handful of crunchy nut/cornflakes
salt and pepper

Egg
Flour

Instructions on how to get the poisoned chicken Kiev’s:

  1. Mix all the garlic butter ingredients together in a bowl
  2. open out the thighs and place a tsp of butter right in the center. Then using toothpicks pin the sides down.
  3. once completed all 6 thighs coat in flour, egg then breadcrumbs-this is known as panè to the french.
  4. Fry the chicken until the breadcrumbs are really golden brown in a large frying pan with a cm of hot olive oil.
  5. turn after a minute on each side, 3 times to make a triangle. Sounds weird but it locks the butter in.
  6. place in a 200c oven and let it cook for 35 minutes.
  7. DONE!
  8. I strongly advise you do not use this recipe yet but hopefully this can give you and idea on how to make them. I will try and perfect this to give you guys the proper recipe!

 

Butter

There will be extra butter made so keep in the fridge and add to mash or even use it to butter you toast or English muffins.

Egg and crumbs

A bit of professional photography

Raw Chicken

Stuffed raw chicken, again I’m trying it!

mash potatoesSo this is what I mean by adding the extra butter into the mash!

The last mealThe last of the pictures.

If anybody can seriously understand how I managed to give my family food poisoning please tell me! Like I promised I will try and perfect this dish, it might be a little too soon now, maybe in a couple of months/years!

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I want that Cake cake cake cake cake cake cake

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARJI!

My little brother turned 15 on Monday (23rd). Yeah I know 2 days before Christmas, ain’t he a lucky fella.

For months Arji has asked me to make him a fudge cake. And for months I have mugged him of. So since it was his birthday I thought he deserved a homemade chocolate birthday cake (marks & spencer’s can suck it!). This is a 6 layer chocolate cake filled with marshmallow and ganache frosting, yum. I feel bad since with Ajay’s birthday cake, it kinda went downhill (I’ll give you the dets later. All I’m say is look at the pics below.

Okay so this recipe is from ‘Sweetopia’. Not sure if you’ve heard of them. I was basically looking for ‘inspirational’ cakes when I went through all the bakeries I stalk and found this recipe on foodnetwork. It’s known as a s’more cake, but I like to think of it as Arji’s cake! It literally is him all over; he loves fluff, and eats more chocolate than a girl during her sensitive time of the month.

whole cake

so what you see here is chocolate letters which i made. Hah just joking i brought them from Sainsbury’s, for like £3. worth it though?and then i found a box of chocolate letters for 2 pound something. I originally wanted the candles but then Debden Sainsbury’s is so shit they don’t sell ’em. But the chocolate was just as good. please don’t laugh at the slant! you’ll see how it became like that!

arji letters

So as you cut into this beast you get this. Now I don’t know about you but this reminds me of Matilda. You know when Bruce has top eat the whole cake. That’s what I said to Arji, “I put my blood, sweat and tears into that cake. So EAT IT!” if you don’t remember it, then what is wrong with you? And if you haven’t watched Matilda, you have had a sad childhood.

6 layers of mush

The BEAST of all cakes.

Okay this slice is a little ‘damaged’. it shows 5 layers instead of 6, sorry i pulled the cake away to soon and forgot about the bottom layer.

cake slice

Aimee was right, i could make it look like it does on the recipe. they had clean layers and everything. yet mine look like they’re mushing together. Sorry folks, maybe next time.

Ingredients:

Sponge Cake

  • 330g plain flour
  • 600g GRANULATED SUGAR (not caster)
  • 135g cocoa powder (please no hot chocolate powder)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs always keep out of fridge!)
  • 360ml buttermilk (or yoghurt mixed with a little milk to thinen)
  • 360ml strong BLACK coffee, warmish-hot
  • 180ml veggie oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate ganache frosting

  • 450g butter, room temperature
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250g dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (PLEASE USE 70%+ otherwise its gonna taste like shit)
  • 120ml whipping cream

Marshmallow frosting

  • 125g icing sugar
  • 225g room temperature butter (make sure its not straight from fridge as it wont blend together and will become lumpy. Trust I’ve been there)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (none of that essence shit please)
  • 1 tub of Fluff

Instructions:

For the chocolate cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare three 8″ round cake pans (butter, line bottom with parchment paper, butter paper, dust with flour).

In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Combine eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla in a measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork.

Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer). Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. (Batter will be thin.)

Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Continue to bake until toothpick or skewer comes almost clean (a few crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.

I would make this a day in advance, so the cake is easier to trim after.

For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.

Add vanilla and salt, and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).

Add whipping cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute.

Use it when you are definitely going to use it right away as it stiffens up and turns into set ganache. I’m serious please use it right away, no faffing about!

For the Marshmallow Frosting:

In an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and icing sugar on low until blended, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and mix on med-high for about 3 minutes.

Add marshmallow cream and mix on lowest setting for about 1 minute.

originally this recipe uses real marshmallows that you toast. I ended up taking them out. look at pictures below!

Assembly of the Campfire Delight Cake:

On cake board bigger than the cake! Put a small dollop of frosting. Cut your 3 cake layers each once horizontally with a long, serrated knife, so you have a total of 6 layers. i would suggest you place it on a turn table and keep the knife dead horizontal and light engrave around the cake. then slice through. 

Place your first layer face-up on the board and cover with an even layer of the Marshmallow Frosting, leaving about 1/2″ around the edge. Place another cake layer face-up and repeat with Chocolate Frosting.

Repeat until you come to your final layer, which you will place face-down. If you find the cake too soft and unstable, put in refrigerator for a few moments to firm it up, then resume.

Frost entire outside of cake with remaining Chocolate Frosting. with any leftover frosting pipe on the top edge. i used a large plain nozzle and roughly looped the shell like piping. you can even make some plain butter cream and pipe pretty patterns etc. i’m making this again for Carol’s friend so i’ll show how else to decorate a cake. 

layering the cake

I would recommend you crumb coat the cake first. that means ice it but using a thin layer of frosting. bung it in the fridge to firm up for 1/2 hour and then frost it properly. This way you don’t have to fight the crumbs away from spreading into the frosting. 

crumb coatexcuse the fridge being cluttered, don’t forget it is Christmas time so my buddy the fridge is always stocked up! Plus i had to take a whole load out to make space for this bad boy!

see this is my disaster with the marshmallow frosting. i had to take out all the marshmallows because they were rock solid bits.

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Handy tip for the butter to be room temp instantly is: stick it in warm water. this was given to me by Pat (my cake dec tutor). it honestly works and the butter doesn’t dissolve into the water, duh, because its fat!

butter

okay so the original recipe is….

http://sweetapolita.com/2011/02/campfire-delight-6-layer-rich-chocolate-malted-toasted-marshmallow-cake/

please don’t laugh at mine compared to theirs. Don’t forget i am a Amateur and they are professionals!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~i am happy for feedback so please FEED ME!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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