Friday, 30 January 2009

Daring Tuiles

I have just realised that the posting day was yesterday and I don't have my post up yet.. we are rather short of computers here currently as my little eeepc that you saw last month has had to go and get it's left mouse button fixed and so we have 4 people all wanting to use one computer, not a happy situation. I have a promise from my DH that he is going to build a couple more from all those parts he has boxed up !! This weekend I hope!

This is also my excuse for not doing my menu this week.. I started it and failed to finish.

Anyway on to the challenge

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

They gave us various versions including a nougatine version I may well try another time as it is automatically gluten free and even a savoury one. You really must check out some of the other Daring Bakers as some of them are just so artistic and imaginative. At the very least check out the versions our hosts this month did.

This recipe may be shorter and even quicker than many we did but it is not without it's challenges but it is a great one for showing off and adding flare to a meal !

So what did I get up to?

I tried the basic recipe but replaced the flour with hazelnut and coconut, both ground in my food processor. The resulting tuiles tasted great but I found them very difficult to shape. They were either to cooked or so soft they didn't hold together but i did get a couple of them to sort of roll into a tube. As you can see.. The bits in the background are my attempt to shape it over a small bowl!I made an apple fool to go with them , just apple puree made from bramley apples, honey and whipped cream but very delish !

Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.

Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour (I used hazelnut and coconut mixed)
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

Oven: 180C / 350F

Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly. (I just spread the batter out into a rough shape. I tended to spread to about the same thickness however thick it started out at)

Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. . Or: place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones…. or give up and eat as shards like we did :)

Monday, 19 January 2009

Weekly menu 19th to 23rd Jan 2009

This weeks host is Book of Yum one of my favourite blogs and she has picked lentils as the ingredient of the week which is great because I was thinking I should be cooking with them more. Go and visit her blog for some interesting lentil facts and a list of the other gluten free menus this week, many of which sound fantastic.

Monday - turkey stir fry

Tuesday - dry veg curry with a dal of some sort.

Wensday - Stilton and cauliflower soup

Thursday - fish - possibly fish pie ie topped with potato depending on what is in the veg box

Friday - lamb chops with pue lentils

Monday, 12 January 2009

Weekly Menu 12th - 16th Jan 2009

The soup last week was just as nice as i remembered it. The picture is of my lunch one day, the last of the stock and chicken with a pre-cooked potato, skin and all, chopped up, with some kale and orange pepper just cooked in the soup as it was warmed up.. really nice on a cold day.

This week's gluten free menu host is Fresh Ginger and they have chosen locally grown as the ingredient. Our veg box each week comes from the local organic shop and as much of it as he can manage is locally grown. This year one of our main objectives is to get our allotment up and running so we have our own veg at least part of the time.

Menu this week

monday - meatballs, oven roast veg and cabbage with saltanas

tuesday - bean stew

Wensday - pork chops, potatoes and leeks.

Thursday - omelets

Friday - out in the evening.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Weekly Menu 5th - 9th Jan 2009

First menu of a new year as the last few days have been eating up whatever is in the fridge, however school and work start tomorrow so time to get organised. This week will be a late shift week for Himself so quick to prepare or things I can do with a small under foot or prep in advance are the order of the day.

This weeks gluten free host is Gluten Free Goodness and she has chosen soup for the ingredient of the week something that will be no hardship here.

We have a lot of cauliflower and indeed other vegs knocking about so I think they will figure heavily particularly as after the holidays I feel the need for more vegs but in a warm winter sort of a way. I also got a new cooking book for christmas - cook your own veg, partly I think I was given in it the hope that we should be getting the allotment up and running this year.

Monday - Cauliflower with garlic and orange sauce (from above book) with potatoes and either chicken breasts or lamb chops...

Tuesday - chicken noodle soup as described in the use real butter blog. It is fabulous and easy to do as it's mostly just let chicken simmer in soy sauce and other things for a couple of hours to get the most amazing stock. !

Wednesday - Sausages and mash, served with cabbage of some type.

Thursday - Roasted white fish and leeks from the Jamie at home book, served with carrots and probably rice.
Might also try the winter coleslaw from James book as it sounds good for lunches.

Friday - some sort of veg soup depending what is left but probably some variant on cauliflower and potato or leek and potato with cheese scones.

Baking - We are running out of baked products and would prefer not to buy gluten free stuff it in as it is expensive. I certainly need more bread. Would also like to try these tortillas as mentioned recently on the gluten free yahoo group. Cheese scones and possibly some biscuits (cookies for those of you over the pond) if I can get myself sorted to do cooking early when himself is in.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Fish and Chip shops

I know that Fish and Chip shops are a very British thing so I thought I'd try and explain them to those of you who are not familiar.

The chipshop as they are commonly known is our traditional fast food and every town has at least one, though these days they compete with pizza, kebab, chinese and many others..

The standard fare on offer is chips obviously, fries to some of you but never thin cut which is what we would call french fries, chips are always cut a good fairly chunky size then deep fried. A good chip shop has nice crisp chips with fluffy middles. Traditionally the frying oil is beef dripping though many now use vegetable oil which of course allows you to sell to vegetarians but some will tell you the flavour isn't the same, personally I think the frying technique is more important than the oil.

Along with chips there is of course fish, always in batter. A chip shop batter is quite thick and puffed up and most people would not try to emulate it at home. This is out of bounds for us gluten free people so I have tried with some success to make my own, though it is a bit variable. What type of fish it will be varies though cod is the norm. Certainly in more coastal shops you often get a choice, traditionally cod, place or haddock though these days some are branching out or just specifying fish so they can use some of the tasty but less over fished varieties.

If you want something different the other things normally sold include breaded fishcakes, saveloy sausages, big battered sausages, and roast chicken portions. Steak or chicken and mushroom pies are normal too. It is very common these days for them to also sell doner and chicken kebab meat as well.

There are also regional specialities like potato scallops, deep fried roast potatoes, deep fried Mars bars (a Scottish 'delicacy') and even deep fried black pudding. We have cheese jacks in ours which are flavoured mashed potato, coated in a thin batter then deep fried and they have just started doing battered chips too !

Most of these come served wrapped in paper and liberally doused in salt and vinegar (normally malt or a pretend version there of) which you can then eat as you walk along.

There are a few extras that are normal to have on the side. These include mushy peas, curry sauce, pickled eggs, pickled onions and you can normally get little jars of pickled cockles too.

As you can see most things are deep fried and heavrly potato based often in batter which is a problem for celiacs. In all truth i probably shouldn't even eat the chips as there is going to be some cross contamination from the batter but I seem to manage though these new batter chips are making me rather nervous as that has got to up the chances.