Sunday, 31 October 2010

Pancake time

Star, giraffe,  treestump, spiral by Tom as well as broken egg and horn by Noddles

A few days ago Tom decided to have a go at some pancakes after I pointed him to the blog Jim's Pancakes.

All of these pancakes are made with a combination of plain batter and one coloured with chocolate milkshake powder !

I think he did pretty well for a first attempt!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Daring Donuts

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Lori did give us a link to a gluten free donut but having just picked up a bunch of pumpkins from a local farm I decided to just try the pumpkin donut recipe she gave us using Dove Farm's gluten free plain flour mix which is really very good at pretending to be wheat flour particularly in cakey, baking powder raised recipes and they have other mixes for other uses anyway.

Lori found the pumpkin doughnuts are at Bon App├ętit.
I have put the recipe at the bottom of this posts as well.
The pumpkin I used was a crown prince I think, it has a grey skin and a very very orange flesh. Really nice flavour when baked which I did before mashing it up for the recipe. We also had pumpkin risotto last night!

Rather than rolling out shapes I made small balls and flattened disks, one big mouthful or a couple of nibbles and there were very nice indeed. I'm going to freeze some of the dough as the recipe does give you a fair size bowl full so we will see how it works after freezing later one. They did crack as they fried hence the slightly strange shapes but that didn't really matter and they tasted good, the spices and pumpkin were evident but subtle and the insides a noticeable rich orangey colour.


Pumpkin Doughnuts:
Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 15 minutes
Chilling time - 3 hours
Cooking time - 10 minutes
Yield: About 24 doughnuts & 24 doughnut holes
All Purpose Flour 3.5 cup / 840 ml / 490 gm / 17 ¼ oz
Baking Powder 4 teaspoon / 20 ml / 24 gm / .85 oz
Table Salt 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Ginger, ground ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Nutmeg, ground ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml / 1.5 gm / .05 oz
Cloves, ground 1/8 teaspoon / .6 ml / ¾ gm / .025 oz
White Granulated Sugar 1 cup / 240 ml / 225 gm / 8 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 1.5 oz
Egg, Large 1
Egg Yolk, Large 2
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon / 5 ml
Buttermilk ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon / 135 ml /
Pumpkin 1 cup / 240 ml / 285 gm / 10 oz (Canned pure pumpkin or fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin – DON’T use pumpkin pie mix!)
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Powdered Sugar Glaze:
(I didn't do this bit)
Powdered (Icing) Sugar 2 cup / 480 ml / 250 gm / 9 oz
Whipping Cream (About 32% butter fat) 4 Tablespoon + more if needed / 60 ml
  1. Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (the mixture will be grainy and not smooth). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.
  2. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch (12 mm to 15 mm) thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) -diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
  3. Using 1-inch (25 mm) diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches (40 mm). Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F (185°C to 188°C). Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.

Glaze Directions:

  1. Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze.
  2. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead.
  3. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat.
  4. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with powdered sugar glaze.
  5. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Autumn and sunshine

Mixed apple jelly

Autumn is definitely here, the trees are turning fantastic colours and starting to drop leaves in droves which is several weeks earlier than last year when I began to think the leaves would just gradually die on the trees and not give us any show at all ! We had a very wet and prolonged spring this year and so the summer growing season has seems very short. However the last few days have included some really quite hot spells so the sunshine isn't quite over yet !

I hope to use the next few weeks to get the allotment up to speed so come the spring we don't need to be doing lots prep to start planting with our clay soil we need to prepare in advance as it's to sticky to work when very wet!

The slugs eat all the winter brassicas I tried to plant but I have shallots, onions and garlic to put in to replace them and some broad beans and peas which can over winter as well. Plus various things that can be started in the greenhouse and coldframes.

For now though it is a season of using up as many apples as I can get for free ! I don't have apple trees that give me fruit as yet but several people I know do and I also know several places they grow on waste land so I really need to get out and grab some more while they are still available.

I do have some already which we have been eating fresh and I have made lovely apple jelly as you can see in the photo above. I have a few more jars but that was as many as I was risking carry outside so I could show you to glow through them! It is mixed apple jelly because it has four different types of apple in it including the few crab apples from our tree. I basically used all the apples that didn't look like they would last long plus some cooking apples.

This weeks theme from the celiac family blog for the gluten free menu swap is potatoes, something I will definitely use this week. We are still digging them from the allotment though we need to get the last ones up and stored before the ground gets to damp and cold.

So the menu

Monday - As I didn't do it last week. Braised Lamp shoulder with greens and Anya potatoes straight from the ground (very nice they were to)

Tuesday - Not sure Mum is coming to visit so it depends what we end up doing.

Wednesday -Potato bake. Potatoes layered with tomatoes (from our greenhouse) and covered in a egg and milk mix with a little cheese.

Thursday - Rice and Stuff. Basically our version of something similar to fried rice, rice with lots of bits added to it to make a one pot meal.

Friday -Dosas or salmon and veg if I fail to make the Dosa

Baking - Pear and raisin muffins, cheese scones.
Fermenting - I want to have a go at Dosas which includes fermenting the mix first. Make Sauerkraut and start a batch of ginger beer.  Can you tell I've finally got the book Wild Fermentation which I've been considering for ages :)  All these things I was planning to try anyway but it's just that extra push to do so.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

October Unprocessed and this weeks menu.

Carrie over at Ginger Lemon Girl is joining in the October Unprocessed challenge and committing to at least one unprocessed meal a day. The challenge originates from Eating Rules who defined unprocessed as
"Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients."

Which doesn't mean you have to make everything from scratch but that everything you do eat should be possible to make in a home kitchen so no weird chemistry lab ingredients. So I will still buy things like sausage and pasta which I can make but can't be bothered when others can do it better for me!

The original challenge is to eat unprocessed for the whole month, now we don't eat that many processed foods anyway but I'm still not sure I can do none at all for a month or at least I'm not sure my boys would want to however committing to one meal a day seems very possible so that's what I'm going to do as well as taking a good look at what we all eat and if we can cut back on the bad and increase the good.

The other thing I want to concentrate on is different, quick, easy and not to brain taxing things for breakfast. I'm trying to stay away from the pre-made bread I still have a stash of as much as possible and currently cereal isn't appealing but I need something I can make with little enough effort I get round to it before lunch time ! Any suggestions very welcome.

So onto the menu for the week.  This weeks Gluten free menu swap is hosted by Celiacs in the House who has chosen brussels sprouts. These veg get a very split reaction in our house, some of us love them, others hate them. I sit rather in the middle, I don't hate them but I don't go out of my way to get them either. My attempts at growing them failed due to me not getting round to planting the baby plants out.. oh well next year ! We haven't had any in the veg box as yet either so any dishes involving them will have to wait a bit I'm afraid.

Monday - by special request fish and chips ie battered fish and chips, chipshop style, very much made from scratch.

Tuesday - Butternut squash risotto.

Wednesday - Sausage and mash with onion gravy, a good old British classic. The sausages are bought in but made with basic ingredients.

Thursday - pasta bake

Friday  - Braised Lamb shoulder, served with green veg and oven roast root veg.

Baking - cheese biscuits, some muffins for breakfast and lunch boxes
Processing - lots of free apples !  Apple butter, apple jelly (using the few crab apples from our tree and some cookers), dried apple rings and apple beer.