Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chocolate salami

Have you ever heard of the site www.foodgawker.com? I like to stare at it sometimes. It has a million pictures of people who cooked, baked or combined loads of different kinds of food. I was staring at it again for a while, which was when I stumbled on this recipe. I’d never heard of chocolate salami and it sounded really peculiar. Obviously you have to try it right?

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Ingredients:
100 grams biscuit
55 grams (milk) chocolate
38 grams butter
40 grams sugar
1 small egg
powdered sugar


1. Crush the biscuits. Don’t leave them to big or to small, about one to a half fingertip will do.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter over a low fire. When melted take it off the fire.
3. Add the sugar to the chocolate and butter and mix it in.
4. Beat the egg slightly before mixing it in as well.
5. Use greaseproof paper or kitchen foil to roll the mixture into a cylinder. If you’ve ever made sushi, it goes exactly the same way except you’re using a chocolate-biscuit mixture in stead of rice and foil in stead of sushi nori.
6. Leave in the fridge until set. This will take about an hour.
7. Roll the chocolate salami out of the foil and cover it in powdered sugar so it doesn’t stick. And done! Cut into slices to serve.

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I made one roll the day before yesterday and I cut it into slices to take pictures of it later, when I came back it was completely gone. I got compliments of the rest of the family that it was very delicious. So I was forced to make it again yesterday to be able to make pictures. Also my mom asked me if I could make more because she really liked it. Obviously I wanted to taste a bit more than just the edges I trimmed off myself too! Guess what happened next? My mom blamed the dogs for eating most of it and asked me to make another one. So I made the roll again today. There you have it! I made the same recipe three days in a row! It’s really easy and doesn’t take long either. You could easily change the recipe to your liking as well. Today I soaked raisins in rum for a while and added them to this recipe. You could also use white or dark chocolate in stead of milk. You can add different kinds of nuts, dried fruits or alcohol. You can even change the shape of the cylinder. I might use this recipe for the dessert table I’m making. I could easily turn make little balls instead and cover them in more chocolate and call them bonbons!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Doughnut muffins with blackberries

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I felt like baking so I decided to make something from one of my cute books about muffins. After drooling over several delicious recipes I decided to make doughnut muffins, because it just sounded so delicious! I added the blackberries myself, because muffins without berries or chocolate aren’t really muffins. Here’s what I ended up with:

Ingredients:
275 grams self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50 + 100 + 50 grams caster sugar
75 ml sunflower oil
150 grams (Greek) yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 handful blackberries


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1. Wash the blueberries and drop them into the first 50 grams sugar until each blueberry is coated in sugar. Set them aside and leave them to dry.
2. Sift the flour, the bicarbonate of soda and 100 grams sugar together.
3. In a separate bowl add the oil, yoghurt, vanilla extract and eggs together and whisk.
4. Add the flour/sugar-mixture and mix until everything is thoroughly mixed. Try not to beat the batter any more than necessary as the muffins might be dry.
5. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake cups and drop a spoon in each case. Add a blackberry or two and add another spoon of batter. Repeat this until all blackberries are used and the cupcake wrappers are filled for about 3/4.
6. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius or 375 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the muffins in for about 16-20 minutes.
7. When the muffins are done and have cooled a bit, melt the butter in a small pan. Brush the muffins with the butter and dip them in the last 50 grams of sugar.

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There you go! Covered in sugar like real doughnuts, taste like doughnut, but have lovely extra berries in them like muffins and in the shape of muffins: these are definitely going to be made again! I made a cake tin full of them (12 muffins) and even though we’re with only 5 people at home of which a few say they’re on a diet, they were gone in a day! I felt bad I was only able to eat three.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Tsatsiki

As you might know I’ve been to Greece a while back and I’m going to have to admit that one of my favourite Greek dishes is tsatsiki. I’m not sure if it’s counted as a side dish or a salad or something altogether different, but I love it and that’s what counts. I’ve made it several times before, or someone in the family has done, but I looked up recipes and it seems we’ve been doing it wrong. We ended up with cucumber salad rather than tsatsiki. Hopefully the real Greeks won’t laugh at me! From the recipes I’ve found, basically here’s what you end up with to make real tsatsiki:

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Ingredients:
1 small cucumber 
1-2 garlic cloves
250 ml Greek yoghurt 
2 spoons (olive) oil
dash of vinegar

1. Start with grating the cucumber and draining all the juice from it.
2. Chop the garlic cloves.
3. Add all the ingredients in one bowl and done! Decorate with some basil leaves.

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A note on the garlic: the more garlic you add, obviously, the more garlic you’ll taste. Also try to keep in mind however that the longer you leave the tsatsiki (in the fridge for instance) the more garlic you will taste as well. I’m not quite sure how this works, but it works for every recipe with garlic in it!

I tried the tsatsiki again yesterday and added walnut oil. However, it really didn’t make a good match. I feel using any special oils will be wasted on tsatsiki, unless it’s perhaps garlic or basil oil. If you dislike the taste of the oil, just add more Greek yoghurt. I’m not entirely sure how much yoghurt I used the first time, but it’s somewhere between 250 and 500 ml. In case you don't have any Greek yoghurt at all, adding normal yoghurt with a few spoons mayonnaise will do the trick too.

Note: I've already been told off for my spelling! Apparently it's not tzaziki, but tsatsiki, although I've found translations of tzatziki and even tzadziki. The Greeks I know however didn't say anything bad about my recipe. They mentioned it looked good!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lemon jam

This is something I’ve been wanting and promising to post for ages now, but just haven’t done at all. While organising my massive folder of pictures I realised I still had pictures of the lemon jam I made in a ‘Not Posted’ file. After I looked into it I found that I indeed hadn’t posted anything about lemon jam yet, even though I mentioned it several times. Shame on me! So finally here I go! One of the most delicious jams in the world that is especially nice to use on desserts, buns and cakes, but even brightens up your daily bread at lunch. I managed to put some in real cute little jars and put ribbons around them. Like this, it’s actually perfect to give away for mothers’ day or some other event.

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Ingredients:
3 lemons
200 grams granulated sugar
115 grams butter
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks


1. Wash the lemons and grate the peel. Squeeze out the lemon juice and add the peel and juice into a pan.
2. Dubbleboil the peel and juice with the sugar and butter. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved.
3. Put the eggs and egg yolks in a small bowl and mix them together. Add them to the lemon-mixture and beat everything until you have an even mixture.
4. Keep stirring until the mixture turns thicker. Then turn off the fire, poor the jam into jars and seal them.

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The jam is nice and sweet, very fresh and has a bit of a lemon taste too it. It doesn’t taste that much like lemon that you start making odd faces after tasting it. I figured it was also really nice to serve over apple slices. The jam is supposed to last about 3 months and I'd definitely keep it in the fridge. I'd also definitely make it again. Perhaps for the dessert table I'm planning to make.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lemonade, sweets & chocolate!

I think I was randomly browsing some recipes again when I found this one. I’ve never actually had real lemonade myself. I mean, I’ve had the syrup to which you add water and such, in quite a lot of different tastes as well, but never actually had the lemon lemonade you see in movies. It was totally worth a try. I sent my dad out to buy me 6 lemons, which I hoped was enough. It was exactly enough! At least enough according to the recipe. I added less water (around 2 cups!) because I thought it was completely destroying the lemon taste and didn’t want to end up with water with a hint of lemon. But because I did I ended up with something way too sweet. Although I thought it was good, I could add a little less sugar next time.

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Ingredients:
6 lemons
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 cups water
Ice cubes


1. Put 1,5 cup of water and the sugar in a pan and put it on medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then set aside and eave to cool.
2. Squeeze out the lemon juice and leave the pulp.
3. Put the lemon juice, sugar-water and the rest of the water in a big bowl and stir. Add the ice cubes and serve!

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Note: I found out that for 1 lemon, 3-5 spoons of sugar and 1-2 cups of water will do.

You could always add some mint too. Or limes. Perhaps oranges would work?
The day I decide to make this me and my mom also decided to go to town, where I had to show her a few cute shops. In one of them (obviously filled with sweets) we bought two kinds of soft Italian nougat (strawberry and lemon), fudge (tiramisu and lemon flavour) and lavender chocolate. The latter I bought because obviously you need to try something like that and the package was so cute.

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Look!

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It reminds me of tobacco packages, which somehow just makes this chocolate extra cute and special (even though I am very much against smoking). I served all of this, with the lemonade at the jacuzzi we recently got, in the garden, in the sun, and we all just relaxed and enjoyed the sweets. It was great!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lemons in olive oil with cumin twist!

Here’s something I made a while ago: a way to preserve lemon. Basically it’s just a way to give a bit of extra taste to olive oil and to make yourself delicious lemons for on fish or the likes. One thing I’d advice anyone who uses olive oil a lot is to give it an extra taste. With all the herbs we have in the garden, we tend to just throw a few in the olive oil bottle – or any cute jars to put them in. But we’ve also added a lot of garlic, or little peppers work too. Anything that can give it a bit of extra flavour! Normally you leave it for a few days to a week before it’s fully absorbed the flavours, but we’ve used it the next day as well. Works for us.
Now back to the lemons!I think I found the recipe on a site for Dille & Kamille (such a pretty shop!). I’ve made it for my mom in the hope to make her happy, but apparently it looked like I only wanted this for myself. There goes your good intentions! We’ve had it once on fish and it was delicious! And I have to admit I hate fish! Never add too much though, at some point I was eating lemon with fish, which can make your face look really odd...

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Ingredients:
2-3 lemons
200 grams coarse/rough sea salt
3-5 spoons cumin seeds
olive oil


1. Cut the lemons in thin slices. Take a bowl or oven tray and cover the bottom with salt, then cover the salt with lemons, to cover those with more salt and then more lemons and even more salt. Basically you’re making sure all the lemon is covered in salt.
2. Leave the lemons to soak up the salt and the salt to soak up lemon for about a day. After a day brush the salt off the lemons. (You can wash them as well.)
3. Dry the lemons with kitchen towel and leave them a few hours to dry some more.
4. Take a pretty glass jar and sprinkle some cumin seeds on the bottom, then add a layer of lemons. Sprinkle the lemons with more cumin seeds and keep stacking layers of lemon and cumin (like with the salt before).
5. Then poor over the olive oil till everything is soaked and drowning and close the lid. Leave it for about a week or two before using it.

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A little note on the washing and drying of the lemons: make sure the lemons are not wet when you add the water. Water and olive oil don’t mix, and this can have a pretty nasty effect. I have not completely understood the purpose of the salt. Perhaps it’s just to soak up most of the lemon juice, instead of giving the lemon extra taste. Who knows?
Well, hopefully you can enjoy it! Especially if you like fish, you should try this! Until next time!

Late note: The lemon taste of the oil get's really strong after a while, which actually makes it really nice as well. Also, I've been ordered to make more!