Sunday, 29 June 2008

Daring Bakers - Dainish Braid

Yes its that time of month again, The Daring Bakers Challenge.
Thos month was something a bit different. Something that I had never contemplated creating, but have eaten on numerous occasions. Danish Braid.
I actually found this recipe fairly easy. There were no unusual ingredients to source and the method was nothing unusual. My only problem was timing. I didn’t read the recipe all the way through when planning my timings. I started my creation mid-late afternoon. That would have left plenty of time to prepare, rollout the pastry four times, chilling it for 30minutes between each turn, preparing the filling, and assembling it for baking. I didn’t read that I had to let the pastry chill for 5 hours after the final turn, and didn’t read that I had to let it prove for 2 hours after assembling it. Lets just say it ended up being a late night…
The recipe stated that there was enough pastry for 2 braids, So I made 2 braids over 2 nights, one with the apple filling & the other with cream cheese & black cherries.
The pictures you see here are of the 2nd braid. The first was not a braid but a rope. I’d cut the slits down the wrong (long) side of the pastry. Still, the apple filling was nice! This braid i glazed with a cherry syrup, for a dash of colour.
Now onto next months challenge. Hopefully a recipe without buttercream!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Paper Chef - June

Here I am doing a last minute write up for my entry for The Paper Chef. This was meant to be created & posted yesterday, but a slight hitch with Paul’s Kangaroo tail lasagna meant everything was set back a day…. (The lasagna was divine by the way).

The gorgeous Ilva from
Lucullian Delights and more recently The Paper Chef is promoting this event. And what is the Paper Chef? It’s a challenge using four selected ingredients & creating something out of it in a limited time. Think of the love child of the TV shows “Ready Steady Cook” and “The Iron Chef” and you get the general idea.
This month we had the following ingredients:

English Peas (?)

Like Ilva, I’m still trying to work out what English peas are! So I stuck with the frozen variety... Otherwise sourcing the ingredients wasn’t a problem.

Now what to do with these ingredients?
I decided to do a cross-cultural collision:
Buckwheat galettes (recipe courtesy of Rick Stein) made into parcels filled with ground lamb & peas and served with a leek soubise.
The parcel idea came from childhood memories of my grandma’s meat filled crepes.

Buckwheat Galettes
75g buckwheat flour
25g plain flour
large pinch of salt
120ml Milk
120ml water
2 medium eggs, beaten
25g melted butter, plus extra for cooking

Sift the buckwheat flour, plain flour & salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
Mix the water & milk and whisk enough into the flour to make a smooth batter.
Lightly whisk in the eggs and warm melted butter. Do not over beat the mixture or it will become elastic resulting in tough galettes.
Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.
Just before you are ready to cook stir in a little more of the water/milk, until the mixture has the consistency of double cream.
Brush the base of a crepe pan with a little melted butter and pour in a thin layer and swirl the pan so the mixture lightly coats the base.
Cook over a high heat until lightly browned.
Flip the half cooked galette out onto a plate and continue cooking the remaining batter. Do not cook both sides!

400g Lamb mince
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown the mince in olive oil & add oregano.
Season with salt & pepper.
Add the peas & set aside to cool.

Leek Soubise
1 leek juliennned
béchamel sauce (left over from the lasagna)

Sweat the leek in butter. When tender add the béchamel. Enrichen withcream. Use a stick blender to whiz some of the leek into the sauce.

Place 1-2 spoonfuls of the lamb onto the fried side of the crepe, the fold in the bottom, sides & finally top to create a parcel. Repeat with the remaining crepes.
Shallow fry the parcels in oil/butter over a medium heat, folded side first to seal the parcel, then flip when the parcel is a nice golden brown colour.

I served these with the Leek sauce drizzled on top, but in hindsight (an amazing thing) I should have combined the sauce with the lamb inside the parcels.

Its fun being creative & inventive & I love The Paper Chef and its challenges!

12June08 i just added the logo at the top, created by Toontz of Okara Mountain