Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Look! Another post so soon after the other? Is the world coming to an end? No, but I found an awesome recipe; it is a simple, delicious bread-ish recipe that I just had to try. Because it's bread, and... Well. If I have a favourite savoury food, its crusty bread slathered in butter. And of course, now that I've typed that and put the idea in my head, there is nothing I want more than that, right now.
I should stop babbling about my food obsessions and get on with the information, I know. So here I go.
As evidenced in the title of this post, I made Tarallini, after spotting the recipe on my daily food-blog-athon. Man I'm glad I did. They are shockingly easy to make, and so deliciously satisfying, plus open to lots of flavour playing. I love anything that I can play around with, because I love a versitile recipe I can adapt to multiple situations. Tarallini are the smaller version of the Italian snack food, Taralli, which seems to be a rather intriguing cross between a cracker and a soft pretzel, while being bagel-esque at the same time. However, they are not boiled with soda or anything, just mildly salted water, nor do they contain yeast as a bagel requires. And even more thankfully, you do not have to bathe them in a solution of water and lye as you would a pretzel. Lye, people. That does not inspire me to make traditional pretzels any time soon. I naturally baulk at recipes that require I put on protective gloves and goggles, in order to prepare it. I think I'll just stick to tarallini, which are just as satisfying and much less dangerous. Which is a good thing when you're as prone to accidents as I am.
250 g plain flour
1/4 c olive oil
100 mls white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1. Place the flour, salt and olive oil in a bowl and mix until well combined.
2. With your mixer on medium, slowly add in your wine until it forms a cohesive ball of dough.
3. Kneed for at least five minutes until the dough becomes elastic.
4.Set a pot of water to boil, and then divide your dough up into sixteen pieces. I found that it was easiest to cut it in half, then cut each half in half... and then continue that process until you have sixteen pieces.
5. Shape your dough. I decided to go with simple and just make rings, which means I rolled them into a ball, then poked my finger through the middle, and then just stretched the dough a little.
6. Drop eight of the tarallini into the boiling water. When they float to the top, they are done and need to be removed from the water and put onto a teatowel so they may dry. Don't put them on paper towels, as they will stick to the tarallini.
7. When everything is done, decorate them with the poppy seeds. I poured some into a little bowl, then dunked each tarallini into the poppy seeds so the got an even coating.
8. Pop into 180 degree oven, until golden brown.
I ate mine with a generous slathering of cream cheese, and it was delicious.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
It's been a while, I know. All I can say is that I'm lazy. And I hate photobucket. It has made uploading photos physically painful, so I just ... didn't. Now I've switched to tinypic and it not only actually uploads the pictures, but it does it in less than half the time. So expect lots of posts, while I work through the back log of recipes I've got stored on my computer, little pieces of paper and (less reliably), in my head. The next few recipes are going to be simple, delicious ones that were great over christmas, or like this one, just when I feel like indulging in some five am baking, but know I don't have the patience for something complicated. Or the ingredients.
Before I get into the recipe side of things, I want to introduce you to the new love of my life.
My Kenwood Patissier MX271 Mixer. It is white and shiny and it makes baking ridiculously easy. I have been wanting a good quality cake mixer for as long as I can remember, but in New Zealand, such thing don't come cheap. The iconic KitchenAid? Nearly a thousand dollars. Anything else of quality? All over four hundred and fifty dollars. My purse wept little patent leather tears at the idea. But then, the christmas sales! And the presents! And my parents rock, because they some how managed to find a brand new Kenwood Patissier for a ridiculously good price, and I am beyond happy. It makes baking so much easier, and it's quiet. So very quiet. I have previously used those electric hand mixers, which certainly have their use, but goodness they're loud. Beyond loud, actually. They take the definition of loud, and then pervert it. So in short, I love my new baby, and if you can, I'd definately suggest investing in a good cake mixer.
Anyway, the recipe. Yum. My family has a little bit of a love affair with citrus, and if I ever had any doubt as to why, it's recipes like this that smack me on the back of the head and call me an idiot. What do I love about this cake? It's so easy, and there are no ingredients you'll have to leave the house for. Not even sour cream. I know right? A lemon cake without sour cream, or buttermilk, or something extra creamy and bad for you? Such a concept is so foreign to me I was in mild shock when I stumbled upon this gem. If you're worried that it may not be moist, fear not. This cake, as the title might suggest, has a syrup that after stabbing the cake with a tooth pick, you pour over and let it seep in. Sweet, tangy and moist. What more could you ask from a lemon cake?
Lemon Cake Batter
120g softened butter*
1 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c flour
1tsp baking powder
Zest of one lemon - or more, if you like.
Generous pinch of salt
*Cue tangent: American recipes and butter drive me insane. One stick, half a cup, ounces! Grams people, grams.
1. Cream the butter and sugar until they are nice and fluffy. As there is much more sugar than butter, you'll need to mix for at least a few minutes to get the right consistency.
2. Adding one at a time, and beating for about a minute in between, crack in the eggs.
3. Then in true Two Cups of Flour fashion, simply throw everything else into the bowl and combine.
4. Spoon into whatever baking mould you like. I had just purchased some cute mini bunt moulds, so I decided to use those. As you can see, getting the mixture in to the moulds was a little more difficult than I anticipated. But the heat of the oven melts the mixture down a bit, enabling it to smooth out.
1/4 c sugar
Juice of one lemon
1. Place the ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat through until the sugar is disolved.
2. Stab your cake(s) with a tooth pick all over, so that when you pour the syrup over, it will seep easily into the cake.
3. Pour the syrup over the cake, making sure it is sitting on a cooling rack, over an area where you do not mind the syrup dripping.
Finally, dust your cake with a little icing sugar, and serve. You could even make a glaze to pour over the cake, or serve it with cream. But it is quite yummy and refreshing just on it's own.