karohemd: (Chef)
In my previous "baking" post, I mentioned I'd try making a savoury tart with the shop-bought, ready-rolled puff pastry I bought Saturday (JusRol).
I'm pleased to say it worked really well as you can see below.
I didn't have quite enough left to fill my tray so I patched the last piece together with some offcuts from the weekend and it worked (although you can see the wonky lower right corner), scored a rim into the pastry, spread some diluted tomato puree on the pastry, arranged courgette slices, quartered cherry tomatoes and bits of crushed garlic topped with bits of goats' cheese and finishing with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Maldon sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Into my toaster oven for about fifteen minutes and out came this:
Courgette, Tomato and Goat's Cheese Tart
Photo taken on my phone and processed with instagram, I quite like it.
karohemd: (Chef)
As a general rule, I don't bake. There are three main reasons: I don't have a proper oven, baking is a precise science which doesn't go well with my intuitive approach to cooking and a real cake is just too big for just one person. I've made crumbles before because the mix is just equal amounts of flour, sugar and butter so easy to scale down.
Today I tried something else. I bought a pack of pre-made, rolled puff pastry from the chiller cabinet (JusRol), cut a piece of pastry for a tartlet, scored a line for a rim, arranged some sliced apple dusted with cinnamon on it and shoved it into my toaster oven. Out came this:
Apple Tartlet

It was a little overdone (will need to watch more carefully next time) and dry (an extra layer of filling would have done nicely, or thicker apple slices). Also, the pastry is a litle salty so a little dusting of sugar should do the trick there.
All in all, not bad for a first attempt. I'll be attempting a savoury version tomorrow as I have cherry tomatoes and goat's cheese.
karohemd: (Chef)
I made brownies yesterday, using various online recipes as a guideline and my measuring jug instead of a set of scales (which I don't have). I used melted dark chocolate, butter, raw demerera sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and two eggs. That amount was just right for the baking tray that came with my mini oven. After 25 minutes the surface was still soft to the touch but after it had cooled it was done almost all the way through, possibly a bit too dry on top. However, they tasted rather lovely, not too sweet, not too bitter.

Brownies!
karohemd: (Chef)
I experimented with baking today. Yes, that's right, the guy without a proper oven who doesn't do measurements. However, I reckoned I could try a crumble as it's just the same amount of flour, sugar and butter and as there's no egg, you can make as much or little as you like.
For the filling I stewed together two sticks of rhubarb and an apple, a bit of sugar, some lemon juice, some water, some grated ginger (about a teaspoon, could have done with a little more) and an inch or so of cinnamon until the fruit was soft. I set the saucepan to the side to cool down and infuse a bit more.
For the topping I mixed cold butter, flour and sugar (about 2 tbsp each), rubbing the mix between my fingers until incorporated.
Then I spooned the drained filling (it was rather liquid) into the bottom of an aluminium takeaway tray (of which I bought a couple as I didn't even have an appropriate oven dish), spread the topping in bits loosely on top and baked it in a preheated oven at 180 until the topping was golden brown and crispy (about 15 minutes).
Meanwhile I made the custard by heating together milk and double cream with the husk and seeds of half a vanilla pod until steaming. This I poured in a steady but slow stream onto two egg yolks beaten with sugar while whisking vigorously (and not cooking the egg!), transferred it back into the milk pan heating it again slowly until it coated the back of a wooden spoon.

The next bit was the hardest: Waiting until the crumble had cooled enough to eat. It smelled so good but I stayed strong until it was time to serve. I filled some custard into the bottom of a bowl and spooned chunks of the crumble on top.

February 2013

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