My version of a beef bourguignon recipe


After making so many versions of beef bourguignon, at the same time not entirely sure which is the true version, I have came up with the version that suits me the most! haha..

This is my version of a beef bourguignon which I found tasty enough for my liking, doesn’t matter whether it’s the true version or not,

Ingredients:

1.5kg best braising steak, aberdeen angus, sliced into decent chunks, seasoned with salt and pepper

250g bacon lardons

1 bottle of full-bodied red wine – burgundy or bordeaux

500g chestnut or button mushrooms, halved if mushrooms are big

500ml beef stock

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 bouquet garni

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 whole onion, finely chopped

5 sprigs of fresh thyme

salt and black pepper for seasoning

3 tbsp of cornflour – mixed in water so they do not form clumps

15 small onions

Steps:

1) Preheat the oven at 170 deg celcius. Heat a large casserole pan, add in 2 tbsp of olive oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Fry until the meat is browned all over. Add in more olive oil if necessary. (some would like to use goose fat instead of olive oil but I go for a slightly healthier version). Do this in a few batches (at least 4-5 batches) so that you don’t overcrowd your pan. Set the meat aside when it is browned.

Note: Some people use plain flour to coat the beef prior to frying it which works as well but I find that this method tends to leave a burn coating on the inside of the casserole so I then avoided using this method. If you use plain flour to coat the beef, you can omit the cornflour from the ingredients list.

2) After all the beef have been set aside, in the same casserole pan, add in the bacon lardons in 2 batches and fry until golden brown. This would render all the fat from the bacon into the pan. Set aside the bacon lardons once it is golden brown.

3) Using the bacon oil in the same pan, fry the onions. Add the fresh thyme, bouquet garni, mushrooms and garlic into the pan and fry until lightly browned. Mix in the tomato puree and cook for a few minutes. Then return the beef and bacon lardons and drained juices into the pan and stir through.

Note: Some people prefer frying the mushrooms in the middle of the process of step 6 and add it into the casserole so it’s entirely up to you!

4) Pour the bottle of wine and beef stock into the casserole and let it boil. In the meantime, put the small onions into another pot of boiling water and let boil for 5 minutes. After the onions are boiled, drain the water away. When the onion is cooled enough, chop the root off the onion and peel the skin off the onion leaving it whole. Add the peeled onions into the casserole.

5) Season it with some salt and pepper bearing in mind that the stock (beef stock and red wine) will reduce so don’t add too much. You can season at the end if you like to, rather than doing it now.

6) Put the casserole lid on once the casserole is boiling and put the casserole into the oven. Leave it in the oven for 2-3 hours to cook. Towards the end of 2-3 hours, add the cornflour into the casserole to thicken the mixture. If the mixture is not thickened enough to your liking, then add more cornflour.

7) Garnish with some chopped parsley. 

Enjoy!!!

Ferrero rocher butter cake recipe by Kenneth


Stumbled across a ferrero rocher cake recipe from a blog http://kwgls.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/rich-mans-butter-cakeferrero-rocher-butter-cake-or-hazelnut-butter-cake-or-oreo-butter-cake-(金莎牛油蛋糕)/

Thought that it sounds like heaven adding ferrero rocher into a cake!

Hence decided to try baking it and my friends loved it! Only thing was I turned down the temperature a bit too low after the initial 20 minutes bake so my cake took longer to cook. Then I got a bit impatient at the end and turned up the heat above 175 celcius for 10 minutes which resulted the top in looking marginally burnt….well close to tasting like bitter chocolate haha….but it still tasted pretty good and moist! Liked the hazelnut crunch form the ferrero rocher on top of the cake.

Would try it again, hopefully without any mistakes. Forgot the icing sugar on the cake this time!

For those who have been asking for the recipe, please refer to the master of the cake: http://kwgls.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/rich-mans-butter-cakeferrero-rocher-butter-cake-or-hazelnut-butter-cake-or-oreo-butter-cake-(金莎牛油蛋糕)/

You will see step by step pics which will help a lot! :)

Btw, I increased the amount of ferrero rocher in the cake from 250g to 300g, just because I am plain greedy and my boyfriend brought back 500g of ferrero rocher rather than 250g, so might as well….

Enjoy!

Raspberry and double chocolate cake recipe


Bought 7 boxes of raspberries at a reduced price from Waitrose (still in pretty good condition!) and didn’t know what to do with them. Sudden inspiration to bake a double chocolate cake topped with raspberries. I was surprised how well the taste turned out though. When i was cutting the layers, I somehow think that this cake can be split into 3 layers but of course I didn’t have enough cream to do so. Perhaps next time… Got this recipe from a website but the instructions were pretty confusing at one point so I did some rephrasing work on the recipe.

Nevertheless, credits to the original person who made this recipe: http://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recipes/raspberry-and-double-chocolate-cake

Ingredients:

200g self-raising flour
25g cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
225g butter, at room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing
225g caster sugar
4 eggs

For the filling:
200g white chocolate
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g fresh raspberries

Method

1. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, electric mixer or food processor if you have one.

2. Beat in one egg, then a spoonful of the flour mix, continue adding eggs and flour alternately until it has all been added and the mixture is smooth.

3. Pour the mixture into a lightly buttered 23cm spring form tin, that has been lined with a circle of greaseproof or non-stick baking paper, then bake in a preheated oven, 160°C /325°F /gas mark 3 for 35-40 minutes, or until the top feels firm and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre.

4. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then loosen the edge and unclip the tin. Loosen the base and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. When the cake is cold, melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whip the cream in another bowl then fold in 3/4th of the melted chocolate and the vanilla. Reserve the 1/4th of melted white chocolate for making curls.

6. Peel the lining paper from the cake, then cut into two layers. Put one of the layers on a serving plate, spoon over half the cream then sprinkle with half the raspberries. Add the other cake half and repeat the layers.

7. Drizzle some melted white chocolate from a spoon/disposable piping bag in zigzag lines over the top of the cake and finish with the chilled chocolate curls. Cut into slices to serve.

Lemon madeleines recipe


I love madeleines that I have been dreaming to bake them for a long time (I am talking about years..). Finally decided to buy a madeleine tray today and baked them the moment I got home! I love eating madeleines alongside a cup of tea and dipping the madeleines into a bowl of melted chocolate. TOOOOO delicious…

Anyway, my attempt to bake madeleines was not too bad an attempt. Pretty pleased with the result.

You can watch a youtube video on Gordon ramsay making lemon and poppy seed madeleines:

https://www.youtube.com/watcah?v=jTi8-_ykIx0

Lemon madeleines recipe (makes 29): Adapted from http://recipeyum.com.au/lemon-poppy-seed-madeleines/

Ingredients:

6 eggs

160g sugar

160g self raising flour

150g butter

zest of a lemon

Steps:

Melt the butter gently in a pan.

Crack the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk together with sugar until incorporated and mixture becomes thick and light in colour.

Sift and fold the flour into the mixture.

Add lemon zest and mix everything together.

When the butter is slightly cooled, pour into the batter and gently combine to make a batter.

Butter a madeleine tray and lightly dust some flour onto tray.

Pour the mixture into the tray until the top.

Bake at 180 celcius for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from tray and serve warm.

You can add poppy seeds into the madeleines. To do this, fold in the poppy seeds after you have fold in the flour, then add the lemon zest. I could not find my poppy seeds so just had to do without them.

Fluffy American pancakes


Decided to make some pancakes over the weekend because my sister came to Glasgow for a visit and my boyfriend have never tried my homemade pancakes before! Definitely prefer the fluffier American style pancakes!

Mmmmmm… yummy maple syrup drizzling away…

Recipe from http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/fluffyamericanpancak_74828 by Louisa Carter,

Ingredients

To serve

Preparation method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.

  2. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.

  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm (½in) thick.

  4. Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.

  5. Serve with lashings of real maple syrup and extra butter if you like.

Recipe tip:

For extra-fluffy pancakes substitute self-raising flour for plain flour and still use the baking powder. Serve the pancakes with fresh strawberries and good vanilla ice cream. Use half buckwheat flour and half plain flour and serve with maple syrup and bacon. You can also add one teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the buckwheat batter and serve with caramelised apple slices and thick double cream.

Pierre Herme’s Vienesse Chocolate Sables


I once ate some chocolate cookies bought from a small shop in Malaysia. I loved the cookies so much that I wanted to replicate them ever so desperately because I know that my small jar of cookies is going to finish some day and the jar will remain empty unless I refill it with something similar.

I was still hunting around for a perfect recipe which would help me feel sentimental and then I stumbled across this recipe which delivers pretty similar results.

Would definitely try the recipe again when I have another cookie crave. One thing I would do differently is that next time I would use a bigger piping tip as the mixture is quite stiff-ish so it was relatively difficult to pipe the shape of a star. Hence you can see why my cookies are taking a round ish shape instead.

Thanks to http://fuzzymazing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/pierre-hermes-vienesse-chocolate-sables.html for sharing this recipe on her website and I could be blessed with wonderful yummylicious cookies!

 

Pierre Herme’s Vienesse Chocolate Sables

Ingredients:

260g all purpose flour

30g Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)

250g butter

100g powder sugar, sifted

a pinch of salt

3 tbsp egg white

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Whisk together, flour and cocoa powder and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk butter until creamy. To ensure that the recipe succeeds, the butter needs to be very soft.
  4. Add in powder sugar and salt to butter and continue to whisk until light and creamy.
  5. Whisk in egg white until it is well combined with butter cream.
  6. Add in flour & cocoa powder, mix until well combined.
  7. Spoon dough into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe dough into W shaped cookies. (I just piped into a star, just like Dahlia cookies.)
  8. Bake cookies at 180C for 10-12 mins – no more. The cookies will be delicate – transfer carefully into cookie jar after cooled.

Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme by Dori Greenpan.

Source: atkokken.

Courgette cake with cream cheese and lime frosting


Another inspiration while dining at Kember and Jones cafe in Glasgow. I once tried a courgette cake and fell in love with it. Never did I thought that a courgette would make such a good combination with lime/lemon.

Decided to try baking it tonight and sure it was a hit! I love how moist the cake is. The cream cheese sure did work wonders on the taste buds as well. Courgette is not as wet as cucumber which probably explains why the recipe works.

Would definitely make this cake again for my work colleagues next!

Definitely a keeper! 

Courgette cake with cream cheese and lime frosting recipe: (Rephrased slightly from http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/33416/courgette-and-lime-cake.aspx)


  • For the Cake
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250g courgette, finely grated


  • For the icing
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 40g pistachio nuts (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest

 

Method 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / 160 C fan / Gas 4. Grease and line two 9 inch springform cake tins.
  2. Beat together the eggs, oil and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate soda and baking powder and beat well. Stir in the grated courgettes until well combined. Divide the mixture into the cake tins.
  3. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the cakes from the oven and carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Carefully peel off the paper lining and leave to cool.
  5. For the icing, beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and stir in the lime juice.
  6. Use a bread knife to level one of the cakes if necessary. Use 2/3 of the icing to sandwich the 2 cakes together, the levelled one on the bottom, and use the remaining icing to cover the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts and lime zest.