Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Fudgy Brownies: The Katharine Hepburn Brownie Recipe




This is definitely a recipe for chocoholics. Notice the scant amount of flour as compared to the chocolate! The brownies are supposed to be gooey and fudgy! Whatever I’ve marked as optional is not included in Miss Katharine Hepburn’s recipe, but I have found that the extra ingredients add a whole new depth of flavour and temper the strong taste of chocolate. Either walnuts or pecans can be used here, but I prefer pecans. Cut these brownies into small pieces — about twenty pieces per recipe — and keep them in the refrigerator; they do taste better cold. They can be frozen, too!

Ingredients:


1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter (115 grams)
1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
1 cup chopped or broken-up walnuts
1and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
 1/8 teaspoon of salt



Directions:


1.     Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit / 160 ° Celsius
2.     Must do: Line an 8x8-inch (20x20 cm) pan with parchment paper. The brownies will stick and will not be easily removed from the pan without the use of parchment paper. Lightly grease the top of the parchment and set the pan aside.
3.     Combine flour, nuts, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
4.     Bloom the cocoa: Melt the butter and cocoa in a saucepan, stirring until smooth. Add the coffee and stir. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl and add sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until the sugar is dissolved. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon.
5.     Add the flour mixture to the cocoa mixture. Mix until combined.
6.    Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, but do not over-bake; the brownies should be gooey and fudgy!!! Let cool, then remove from pan and cut into bars. Cut into small pieces because these are rich brownies. I usually get 16 to 20 pieces. Place the brownies in the refrigerator or freezer. They taste better cold.
7.     Sometimes I add the walnuts on top rather than mix them in the batter.



Sunday, 14 July 2019

Greek country-bread / Horiatiko Psomi


TO PREPARE THE YEAST:
2 tablespoons of active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar

In a medium-size bowl dissolve the yeast in the water. Add sugar and the flour and mix until no lumps are left. Let rise for about twenty minutes.

FLOUR(S):
8 cups bread flour 
or
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup semolina flour
5 cups bread flour 

If using more than one type of flour, sift them together so that they are well mixed.

LIQUID INGREDIENTS:

2 cups water at room temperature 
8 tablespoons olive oil 
tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt 

Plus:

Some extra flour as needed for the work surface 


Directions:

Add the water, oil, sugar, and salt to the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with the hook attachment and mix for about two minutes.

Add the reserved yeast mixture.
Mix on low speed for about a minute. 
Begin slowly adding the flour and keep mixing on the low speed. The dough will be ready when it begins to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl. 

Turn out onto a floured work surface and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. 

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and roll it around in the oil until it's covered on all sides. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about two hours. 

Punch down the dough and move it on a floured work surface. Knead it for about a minute or so and divide it into two to three equal portions. Shape each portion into a loaf.

Place the loaves onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Score the tops to your liking. 
Cover each loaf with a towel, and allow to rise for one hour.

Have the oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celcius.

Bake for about thirty-five minutes. You'll know the bread is done if when tapped on the bottom the loaves sound hollow. Allow the bread to cool before slicing.



Saturday, 18 May 2019

The Broccoli Experience: Broccoli Yoghurt Salad with Fruit


All the broccoli enthusiasts are bound to adore this gorgeous salad! It's festive and it's both tangy and sweet. It's got multiple tastes and textures to enjoy which blend together very well. Even if one dislikes broccoli ... I don't think there are any people who dislike broccoli, but even — let's say hypothetically, even if there were, there is so much going on in this salad that the broccoli can be overlooked very easily. 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 bunches of broccoli florets 
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple cut in cubes
  • 1/2 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • Directions:

  • Make the dressing:
  • Combine the yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Mix well.
  • For the salad:
  • Into a large serving bowl combine the broccoli florets, the cheese, grapes, pineapple, dates, and nuts. Pour the dressing over and toss.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

A GARLIC CONFIT RECIPE

Let's face it: whatever its merits, the taste of raw garlic is heavy and may even cause stomach upset. However, there is always that lovely concoction called garlic confit which comes to the rescue by transforming raw garlic into a wonderful, mashable condiment. Yes, garlic confit turns the taste of garlic into a soft, sweet, and mellow experience! 

Garlic confit is made by slow-cooking garlic in a bath of olive oil that's flavoured with spices and herbs. In this way, garlic attains concentrated flavour while losing its sharp acidic taste. 

Each time I need garlic confit I make a small batch; it's easy and quick to make. I have what I need to use and there is a portion left over for adding to vegetables during the week to come. How about garlic confit on garlic bread??? Try it!

I start by peeling two heads (or three if they are on the small side) of garlic. The other ingredients I use are bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, and a little salt. 

The oven is preheated to 275°F/135°C


I grab a baking dish; a glass one will do the job nicely. In go the peeled garlic cloves, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, salt, and peppercorns. 
I add olive oil and a smidgeon of water to cover. 
I cover the dish and place it in the oven. 
Baking takes about fourty five minutes. When the garlic cloves become soft and slightly golden in colour, the garlic confit is ready. 
To store: Cool the confit. Transfer the contents to a clean resealable jar. 
During cooking, the garlic loses its acidity, therefore bacteria will build up if the jar and its ingredients are not kept clean and refrigerated. The jar must always be kept refrigerated and care should be taken that the lid and mouth of the jar aren't contaminated. Each time garlic is needed, it must be retrieved with a clean utensil. Don't place the same utensil in the jar twice. If more confit is needed, another clean utensil should be used.  For me, maximum storage time is a week to ten days. 

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Roasted Asparagus with Pinoli Nuts


Ingredients:

one pound Asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
lightly toasted pinoli nuts (pine nuts)


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Trim the asparagus and place it on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Toss the asparagus with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Roast until the asparagus just begins to brown. This should take about ten minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the pinoli nuts, parsley, and lemon zest.
Remove the asparagus from the oven and toss it with the pinoli nut mixture.
Ready to serve and enjoy!  

Sunday, 7 April 2019

A FRENCH APPLE CAKE



Ingredients:

5 large apples
some cinnamon and brown sugar
some slivered almonds
the juice of one lemon
the zest of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
some apricot or apple jelly


Directions:

  • Peel the apples and remove the cores. Cut them up into 1-inch chunks. Place them into a bowl and sprinkle the lemon juice on top. Sprinkle some cinnamon and brown sugar over the apples, mix, cover and set aside.
  • Mix the lemon zest with the sugar and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Grease a spring-form pan and place it on a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, almond flour, and baking powder.
  • In the bowl of a mixer, beat the eggs until they are foamy. Add the sugar and beat until it’s incorporated and has dissolved.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in one-third of the flour mixture, then add one-third of the butter. Folding gently, repeat this process two more times, until all of the flour and butter have been used. The mixture should turn out smooth and a little thick.
  • Reserve one of the apples. Fold in the rest, making sure they are coated with the batter.
  • Add the mixture to the spring-form pan.
  • Arrange the reserved apple and the slivered almonds over the cake batter. 
  • Bake for about one hour or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to rest for about fifteen minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edges of the cake and open the spring-form pan slowly. Make sure nothing is stuck to it.
  • Allow the cake to cool for about an hour. Remove the sides of the spring-form pan.
  • Invert the cake onto parchment paper and remove the bottom of the spring-form pan. Flip the cake onto a serving platter.
  • Glaze the top of the cake with some melted apricot or apple jelly