Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Pumpkin and milk chocolate soft cookies...

Yes, it's October, and yes - it's yet another recipe with pumpkin! But when else to embrace all that this amazing veg has to offer than in October?! October to me shouts: Autumn, pumpkin, rain, wind, orange leaves, wet socks... ;) But it also shouts: comfort one-pot food, warm blankets, lit fireplace, hot chocolate or tea and... baking with pumpkin puree filling the house with the scent of all those spices.

If I could I would use pumpkin puree all year round, but then, I guess it would loose some of that magic, charm and uniqueness that you're getting from that veg during October and November months.
Most of us would think about pumpkin pie or a soup, but personally I like baking with pumpkin puree like you would with carrot (for ex carrot cake). I've already made pumpkin bundt cake, scones, fritters and my favorite pumpkin bars! It was time for some cookies. Those cookies are quite unusual ones - they're soft rather than crunchy, little like a sponge. You really need to use chocolate chips  - being it milk, dark or even white chocolate, I'd say that without it they will be quite bland and the texture won't be right either.

pumpkin and chocolate soft cookies

The below recipe comes from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook "Life is sweet", but I've changed it slightly (less sugar in mine, less ground ginger and different chocolate used). Hope you'll try and make them! :)

How to make it...

Friday, October 02, 2015

Apple & blackberry pie...

Yes, I'm lucky enough to have blackberries growing in my back garden. You have to be quick though - before all the birds will get to them first! It is tricky to pick them up too... The very top ones are gone, eaten by the birds, bottom ones - I dare you to pick up, I have a big rabbits family living in my garden and it's also an occasional visit place for a for or hedgehog :) So... the only "good ones" are kind of in the middle of the bushes. Tricky to get to them, but so worth it!
Had a little help from my 3 year old - she was holding a box, while mummy would bend almost like a member of the Cirque du Soleil while trying to reach those black, juicy fruit ;)

Don't know about you, but for me blackberries always mean one thing - a pie! And they go so well with another "autumnal" fruit - apples.
I'm always all for full butter pastry, but... but having read and watched about pastry making I've decided to use lard too. I'm still not entirely convinced that it was a good move on my part. There's something very rich and comforting about all butter pastry, whereas butter + lard combination failed to give me that feeling... It was good, short pastry, but for me I think I'll stick to all butter for my sweet bakes. Maybe there's something wrong with me, or my taste buds, but all butter pastry is the way to go for me when it comes to sweet pies.
I'm left with more than 100 g of lard, so I think that savory pie will happen someday soon. Can't simply throw away all that fat, besides - it might just convert me when it comes to meat/vegetable pies and their pastry casings ;)

apple and blackberry pie

How to make it...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Rose veal rib eye steak with carrot and cumin puree, horseradish hollandaise and red onion tarte tatin...

How good does it sound now - Rose veal rib eye steak with carrot and cumin puree, horseradish hollandaise and red onion tarte tatin... Makes me hungry already! :)
This isn't my recipe, but it's one I'm familiar with, having it done with Chef Mark Doe from JustCooking, during our cookery demo at Flavour of Killorglin. It was only right that I'll share this with you. I'm a huge fan of veal, I was brought up on it, it's still very popular kind of meat in Poland. It did gain a "bad reputation" in UK and in Ireland, but thankfully it's changing. Methods of producing rose veal has changed a lot, the welfare of the animals, as well as process itself.

Our meat on this occasion came from Ballyhar Farm, locally from Co. Kerry. You can't get any fresher than that, not to mention that it's organic.
Hope you'll try and look out for rose veal - it really is worth looking for, and paying that bit of extra as well. It's not your everyday kind of meat, but for a special occasion, for that Sunday dinner it's perfect! 

Personally, I was responsible only for the hollandaise - lots of whisking that one, but so rewarding, creamy, velvety almost in texture and perfect accompaniment not only for veal! I loved the little red onion tart tatins - such a great idea! I was thinking that if you're having more people over for a meal, you could probably make one, big red onion tart tatin and just cut it normally, as you would, into triangles. If you were to add some nice salad on the side - those red onion tarts would be a brilliant idea for a vegetarian meal :)

How to make it...