Saturday, 29 September 2012

Thai Crab Cakes.

This is an old recipe of my mothers it is super easy to make as it does not require mash potato. It also works just as well with tinned crab as it does with fresh, if you are using tinned make sure you buy the ore expensive tins which are only white meat. This makes enough for a large started for four or a small main course.

450g cooked crab meat this is roughly two cans.
1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
1 tsp fish sauce
handful of coriander
2 heaped tbsp mayonaise
2 small red chilies chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
75g bread crumbs

Put ingredients into food processor and pulse it. You don't want to end up with a paste. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes. Shape and dust with flour. Fry in hot oil for about 4-5 minutes until crisp.

Marshmallow icing.

The basis for this recipe comes from the Primrose bakery book. I must admit that I have been really disappointed by this book so far but I am still reserving judgement. I am no going to bother posting the primrose recipe for the sponge as it was a pain to make. It involved three separate mixing bowls and folding in stiff egg whites. The sponge was not noticeably lighter and frankly didn't taste of much. The icing however really did work and would be a great substitute for fluff based icing used in whoopie pies as fluff is not cheap in this country.

120g granulated sugar
80g golden syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract [optional]

Cook the sugar, golden syrup and water over a high heat until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage 115C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until soft peak stage. Beating on a low speed while slowly pouring the hot sugar syrup in a steady stream on to the egg whites. Continue to beat on a low speed until all the hot syrup is in the mixing bowl.

Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating the mxture until it becomes thick, glossy and cool. Add the vanilla extract, if using, towards the end of the mixing process.

Twice Baked Cheese Souffle

I have uploaded this recipe for Bebe. We have cooked together for years and both of us fortunately like cooking what the other hates. Cheese souffles are one of the things Bebe hates cooking so I usually make, unfortunately she is about to go off on a job where she has to make them three times in a week. She tried making them according to her mother's recipe and ended up with something which closely resembled puke. I unsympathetically laughed a lot, so here is a fool proof twice baked cheese souffle recipe. They are best made and eaten on the same day but do work if you make them a day ahead.

The photo is of a left over one so it has shrunk.

290ml milk
pinch nutmeg
pinch cayenne
pinch dry english mustard
45g butter
40g flour
110g grated strong cheddar
4 eggs
200ml double cream

Generously butter and line the bottom of 6 ramekins or moulds. Make a rue with butter, flour and spices. Add the milk as you would a white sauce bring to the boil for a couple of minutes and allow to thicken. Stir in three quarters of the cheese and the egg yolks. Whip the egg whites to a stiff peak, fold into the cheese mixture. Fill your containers. Cook the souffles for 15minutes at 180C in a bain marie.

They should have risen considerably but won't be cooked through. When they have cooled turn them out on to an oven proof dish. Don't over cook them of they won't rise again when you reheat them. To reheat sprinkle with the remaining cheese, pour over the cream and cook for 7-10minutes at 220C.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Salted caramels.

One of my favourite things to make is petit fours so having treated myself to a sugar thermometer I embarked on mission to make salted caramels.

This is best made in the bottom of a 2lb loaf tin. It makes 30-40 depending how big you chop them up.

180ml Double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
rounded 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
160g Golden syrup
200g Caster sugar
60g Salted butter

Line loaf tin with foil and spray the inside with cooking spray or liberally grease with vegetable oil.

Heat the cream with 1/3 of the butter with the vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat but keep warm.

In a medium sized pan heat the golden syrup with the sugar, and cook, stirring gently, to make sure the sugar melts smoothly. Once the mixture is melted only swirl the pan don't stir it.

Cook until the syrup reaches 310ºF (155ºC). Turn off the heat and stir in the warm cream mixture, until smooth. Turn the heat back on and cook the mixture to 260F (127C).

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cubes of butter, until it’s melted and the mixture smooth.

Pour the mixture into the tin and wait ten minutes, then sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the sea salt over the top. Set on a cool rack and let cool completely. Once cool, lift out the foil with the caramel, peel away the foil, and slice the bar of caramel with a long, sharp knife into squares or rectangles.