Monday, 27 February 2012

Recipe XLVI - Yorkshire Pudding (with Roast Beef and Roast Potatoes)

One of the single most delicious things only an oven can make is the simple Yorkshire pudding. It is one of the iconic objects of traditional English cooking. It goes so well with roast beef, it is almost as if the cow was created in case Humankind should invent the Yorkshire pudding.

3 eggs
280ml milk
120g flour
some animal fat or lard (for the bottom of the moulds)
a pinch of salt

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl, crack the eggs into it and pour in the milk. Stir in the ingredients until it makes a consistent, runny batter, not dissimilar to pancake mix. Use an electric whisk if necessary.

Once the batter is ready, put it into the fridge for between 1 hour and 10 hours. The air needs to leave it before it is ready for baking. Before you cook, switch on the oven to 220°C. In your baking mould, put the fat, making sure you cover all sides. I used simple butter. Even ordinary oil from a bottle will do.

Put it into the oven. When piping hot, take it out and pour in your batter.

In the end, there should be roughly the same amount per mould.

Put it back into the oven for between 20 and 25 minutes, or until it has risen. I unfortunately left mine in for a couple of minutes too long and they ended up a little too well-cooked, but they were still tasty.

I roasted them before I put the beef into the oven. So, now turn your oven down to 160°C.

To make the roast beef:
1 piece of roasting beef
2 spoonfuls of Colman's English mustard
10 peppercorns
1 onion
2 carrots
Salt to taste
6 potatoes

Put the beef on a preparation plate. Cut off the various pieces of fat and cover it in salt. With a spoon, spread the mustard evenly over the beef, then with the crushed peppercorns do the same. Put the beef into a frying pan and seal the outside. Put it to one side.

Cut the two carrots and the onion into slices, rings or lengths. Put them into the cold baking tray, in the oil you will roast the beef with.

Put the beef on top and place it into the oven. As it's on a low heat, it can stay there for a while if necessary.
In a saucepan, boil the potatoes for ten minutes. Save some of the water for making the gravy.

Remove the water and add them to the roast beef now, placing some garlic on top of the beef. They should stay here for a minimum of 20 minutes, with no real maximum. Five minutes before you want to remove it, turn the oven up to 200°C to crisp up the potatoes. Serve up the food.

Using the potato water and the juice at the bottom of the baking tray, make some gravy. The photo above shows the meal before the gravy went on.
A nice bottle of Bordeaux just under room temperature would go nicely right now.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Recipe XLV - Mascarpone Chocolate Trifle, or Mach-3

Sorry I missed last weekend. I needed a week off to recover from the buzz I got from the mascarpone. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I had another tub of it in the fridge, so I decided to make another recipe with it this week. This is a totally made-up recipe again, one I made for February, the month of love, which I am calling Mascarpone Trifle, or Mach-3 (Mascarpone + Chocolate on 3 layers) because it'll create a sonic boom in your mouth. I know the reason's a little over the top, but it's the best I could do...

250g mascarpone
2 to 4 eggs
2 bananas
2 x 200g cooking chocolate (one from milk, dark or white - I used dark and white)
180g to 200g biscuit (powdered)

Take the biscuit and put it in the blender, pulverising it until it is no more than powder. Put it to one side.
In a bowl, spoon the mascarpone. Separate the eggs, putting the yolk in the mascarpone and the white in a separate bowl. Fold the yolk into the mascarpone. Whisk the egg white until it is frothy and removing the mixer makes little mounds out of it. I know the photo below lakes the mascarpone look like egg mayonnaise, but it was truly mixed in.

In a saucepan, heat up the dark chocolate until it has fully melted. Take about a third of the mascarpone and put it tinto a third bowl. Pour the chocolate into it and stir until it is totally brown. Put it in the bottom of your presentation bowl.

Take the biscuit crumbs and make a layer on top, flattening it nicely. Then put a layer of sliced banana on top of that. I had a photo but it deleted itself, strangely enough...

Repeat the same thing with the white chocolate and finally the top layer with simple mascarpone, like below. No bananas this time, just a layer of biscuit as above.

Put it in the fridge to set and to give yourself time to realise that this evening you're probably going to have several out-of-body experiences!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Recipe XLIV - Wild Strawberry and Mascarpone Flan

Following a message from someone calling him/herself AnonymousCakeEater, who wrote: "Raymond, where's my bloody dessert?!" I decided to make my own recipe to prove I'm not a one-trick pony.

Mascarpone is and has always been in the Number One slot in my list of Favourite Things I like To Put In My Mouth (Edible/Decent Category), and this recipe has resulted in the need to find a whole new set of fantasies for myself. Each time I typed the word "mascarpone" below, I got a little bit hot...

For the base:
300 g of biscuits (I used Dutch shortcrust Pepernootjes, but anything like that is fine)
100g butter

For the filling:
200g wild strawberries (but any kind of red fruit/berries will do)
4 tablespoons of marsala wine or alcohol of your choice
250g mascarpone
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
1 egg (which you need to separate)
1 tablespoon of sugar

Instructions for the base:
Take your biscuits and put them in the blender, making a fine powder.
Heat up the butter in a saucepan and once melted, pour it over the crumbs. Stir thoroughly until the whole thing is dripping in the butter.

Using a flan base, spread it evenly over the mould, putting it in the fridge for a good hour to cool and harden. If necessary, use a rolling pin to get it properly even.

Instructions for the filling:
Separate your egg into two different bowls. With the yolk, add the sugar and mix into a paste.

Add the mascarpone and mix into a smooth, consistent paste. At this point, add the vanilla sugar. With the egg white, beat it until it turns frothy and you can make lumps on it with the whisk. Fold it into the mascarpone.
In a saucepan, put the fruit and the alcohol on a relatively low heat. Once boiling, put it into a blender and turn it into a thick paste.

Take the base out of the fridge. Very carefully remove the mould onto a large enough flat surface. Pour in the mascarpone and let it flatten itself out in the mould.

Spoon the red fruit onto the top of the mascarpone and make it into a pretty pattern. I'm hopeless at this, hence the terrible photo below, but you could alternatively mix it into the mascarpone before you pour it onto the mould. Put it into the fridge to set, removing it fifteen to thirty minutes before you want to eat it.