Lemon and Honey Rum Baba

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Serves 6

 

250g plain flour

1 teaspoon fine seasalt

15g fresh yeast

zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 medium eggs

100g softened unsalted butter, extra to grease moulds

70g sultanas

250ml hot stock syrup

90ml rum

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Finely crumble in the fresh yeast. Add the lemon zest and mix in.
  2. Warm the honey until slightly runny, in a bowl whisk together the honey, vanilla extract and 3 eggs.
  3. Beat the 2 mixtures together with the softened butter for 3 minutes with an electric mixer.
  4. Beat the remaining eggs and gradually work into the dough, should be around 5 minutes on the medium setting. Add the saltanas with the last of the egg.
  5. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to prove in a warm place.
  6. Liberally grease 6 baba moulds. Gently knock down the dough and divide into 6 pieces. Place in the moulds and leave to prove again for around 30 minutes until the dough has risen to ¾ up the tin.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190C.  Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and firm but have some spring when pressed. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out.
  8. Leave to cool until warm then prick the tops with a skewer. Return to the moulds. Mix the rum and stock syrup together and pour over the babas.
  9. Once the syrup has been absorbed chill until ready to serve. Serve with chantilly creme and poached apricots.

Vegetarian Barbecue Recipe

Enjoy great barbecue ideas this summer

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian Barbecue Recipe

While the meat eaters are tucking in to their Chorizo and Secreto here is an easy one to try as a barbecue Mexican sandwich.  

Serves 4

8 tortillas 200ml sour cream 120g grated cheese of choice (I always use a monetary jack) Jalapenos

Black Bean Puree

250g cooked black beans ½ bunch of coriander (picked) Juice of 1 lime ½ tsp cayenne ½ tsp cumin

The Salsa

½ finely diced red onion Tbsp lemon juice 3 spring onions 4 plum tomatoes 1 clove garlic ½ bunch coriander (picked) 2 avocadoes

Start with the black bean by putting all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

For the Salsa

First soak the onion in the lemon juice. Chop the spring onions, avocadoes and tomatoes into small cubes and add to the onion. Puree the garlic and roughly chop the coriander and add to the mix, toss together gently not to mash the avocado.

Building the Quesadilla

Place a tortilla on your board and spread the puree over the tortilla leaving around 1.5 to 2cm from the edge. In one half add the sour cream and on-top add the salsa. Sprinkle with cheese and add as many jalapenos as you like then fold over the tortilla.   Repeat the process for the remaining tortillas.   Place on the barbecue or griddle pan at a medium to high heat. The filling should be warm and the tortilla slightly charred.  It will only take 2-3 minutes Slice at an angle and serve with the remaining salsa and picked coriander leaves.

 

5 Tips to Improve Flavor

5 Tips to Improve Flavor

 

With Valentines coming up you maybe thinking about cooking for your other half. Her are our 5 do’s & don’t to improve your cooking skills.

1. Temperature

Getting the Correct Temperature is vital to cooking anything well. When cooking proteins you need a hot pan to create what’s called the maillard reaction. This is the name granted to the browning that gives the item a good colour and where different flavor compounds are created. If the pan is too cold the item will not acquire flavor and will instead almost steam in its own juices.

2. Use the correct sized pan

Once you have got your pan to the correct heat, it is time to put that beautiful piece of bass in. But what if the frying pan you are using is way too big for the fish?. What will happen is that the outside of the pan will heat much quicker than the center where the fish is, so the edge of the fish will be brown or even blacken. Meanwhile the center will not have a crisp skin which is what you should be looking for.

3. Season

When I say season, I mean Salt. Adding salt will enhance flavor while adding pepper will add or change the flavor. Thomas Keller of the French Laundry encourages chefs to season their roasting joints the day before so the salt can penetrate, giving a better flavor.

4.Cook in batches

This also comes back to getting the correct temperature. When you add the food to a hot pan the temperature instantly drops. A great example of this is when boiling vegetables. Green vegetables are mostly affected by this mistake as they should always be cooked in boiling salted water. Cooking in boiling water will prevent the loss of colour and the vegetable being soggy.

5. Wine

When cooking with wine remember this, if it is not good enough to drink it is not good enough to cook with. You don’t need to go mad but cheap wine that’s highly acidic will affect your end result

Top Five Books for Chefs and Aspiring Chefs

Are you an amateur chef or are you thinking about becoming a chef?  I wanted to share with you some of my favorite books that have marked my life as a chef and that I still use often. de La cuisine

 

1. Le Repertoire De La Cuisine by Louis Saulnier First published in 1914, Le Répertoire de La Cuisine is an international treasure in the culinary world. Written by Louis Saulnier, a student of Escoffier himself, the Répertoire (as it is commonly known) is a shorthand guide to the cuisine of the master. Concise and incredibly comprehensive, it is the final word on the recipes, terminology, and techniques that make up classic French cooking. You won’t find big glossy photos; meticulous lists of ingredients and instructions; or details about measurements, temperature and the like here. The Répertoire is a handy, highly portable, quick reference for those who are already well versed in the classic techniques.

 

 

 

Culinary Encyclopedia 2. Larousse Gastronomique by Prosper Montagne Larousse Gastronomique has been the foremost resource of culinary knowledge since its initial publication in 1938. Long revered for its encyclopedic entries on everything from cooking techniques, ingredients, and recipes to equipment, food histories, and culinary biographies, it is the one book every professional chef and avid home cook must have on his or her kitchen shelf so they will find a chef inside of them . With entries arranged in encyclopedic fashion, Larousse Gastronomique is a fantastic read for anyone who loves food.

 

 

 

Thomas Keller 3. French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller Thomas Keller, chef/proprieter of the French Laundry in the Napa Valley—one of the best places to eat in the United States. Most dazzling is how simple Keller’s methods are: squeegeeing the moisture from the skin on fish so it sautées beautifully; poaching eggs in a deep pot of water for perfect shape; the initial steeping in the shell that makes cooking raw lobster out of the shell a cinch; using vinegar as a flavor enhancer; the repeated washing of bones for stock for the cleanest, clearest tastes.From innovative soup techniques to the creation of breathtaking desserts; The French Laundry Cookbook captures, through recipes, essays, profiles, and extraordinary photography, one of America’s great restaurants, its great chef, and the food that makes both unique. One hundred and fifty superlative recipes are exact recipes from the French Laundry kitchen that will find a chef—no shortcuts have been taken, no critical steps ignored, all have been thoroughly tested in home kitchens. If you can’t get to the French Laundry, you can now re-create at home the very experience the Wine Spectator described as “as close to dining perfection as it gets.”

 

 

 

David Thomson 4. Thai Street Food by David Thompson Thai Street Food transports readers straight into the bustling heart of Thailand’s colorful street stalls and markets–from the predawn rounds of monks fanning out along the aisles to the made-to-order stalls ablaze in neon and jammed with hungry locals after dark. Featuring nearly 100 authentic dishes plus lavish photography accompanying every recipe, this stunning cookbook is the definitive guide to Thailand’s culinary street culture. Scholar and chef David Thompson lives with a singular passion for Thailand’s customs, culture, and people. Although he claims “It’s all about the food,” this ambitious work shares his insights into the rhythms and nuances of Thai daily life along with a fascinating history of its richly diverse street cuisine. This cookbook is a tempting, inspiring, and authoritative account of Thai street food, the vibrant culinary mosaic rich with community.

 

 

Anthony Bourdain 5. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain After twenty-five years of ‘sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine’, chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain has decided to tell all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown; from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop the Rockefeller Center to drug dealers in the East Village, from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain’s tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable, as shocking as they are funny.     I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Thai Nights

Thai Street Food at Home 

Most peoples perspective of hiring a personal chef in the home is white gloved butlers serving the guests with pretentious food to go with it. We wanted to get away from that and thought what better way than to introduce Thai nights. Were just make it about flavor packed authentic dishes that you can enjoy with friends over a few Singha beers. Its up to you how it works, you can either just hire the chef to prepare the dishes and serve family style or make it that bit easier and add a waiter or two.   

Sample Menu  

Papaya Salad

Pork Satays

Crunchy Prawn Cakes  

Aromatic Prawn Curry with a Cucumber Relish 

Chicken and Green Melon Curry

Stir Fried crispy Pork with Broccoli 

All served with steamed rice and morning glory

Banana in a Coconut Crepe 

 

For more information please contact us.