St David’s Day dinner

In honour of St David’s Day, I made something with leeks for tonight’s dinner. St David’s Day is like St Patrick’s Day for Irish peeps but for the Welsh peeps. This recipe is from the GoodFood magazine.

Leek tart with ricotta and Gruyere

You need:

  • 500g all-butter shortcrust pastry
  • 25g butter
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 250g ricotta
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon (or you can substitute thyme)
  • 100g Gruyere
  • 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200˚C
  2. Roll-out pastry on to the tin. Prick the pastry with fork. Line with baking sheet and put baking beans. Bake for 10 mins then remove baking paper and baking beans and cook for another 5 mins until pale golden. Reduce heat to 180˚C
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Gently cook leeks for 10 mins or until softened.
  4. Beat ricotta, double cream, eggs, and chopped tarragon. Add a pinch of salt and generous pepper. Mix in cooked leeks and a third of cheese.
  5. Pour mix into the tart case and then scatter rest of cheese on top. Bake from 25-30 mins until set.
  6. Leave to settle for 5 mins before serving.

Spring onion and cheese tart

spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

I wasn’t planning to blog this recipe just yet since I just posted one yesterday. But my dear friend, K-Man, requested it so here it is.

It’s fairly easy to make, however, it takes about an hour and a half to prepare and cook.

spring onions © dan and tuesday

spring onions © dan and tuesday

I got the spring onion from the Sunday Riverside market in Cardiff. I bought it from an organic farmer and a big bunch only costs £1 and the bulbs came in different sizes and still with soil attached to them. I love it!

The rest of the ingredients are supermarket-bought and the pastry I used are even ready rolled. If using a block of pastry then roll it out in a floured surface before using it.

"intense" tarragon © dan and tuesday

"intense" tarragon © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 250 g shortcrust pastry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • About 12 spring onions, sliced in 1.5 inch lenths
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 200 g crème fraîche
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 150 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed milk)
  • 2 tsp tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 125 mature cheddar (I prefer extra-mature!)
    grey poupon © dan and tuesday

    grey poupon © dan and tuesday

What to do:

  1. Line a fluted tart tin or bakeware with the pastry. Gently press them down the fluted sides. Remove extra pastry from the edges. Prick the base with a fork so it doesn’t expand later on. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200˚C.

    blind baking shortcrust pastry © dan and tuesday

    blind baking shortcrust pastry © dan and tuesday

  2. Line the pastry with baking paper or grease-proof paper or foil and then fill it with baking beans. I use ceramic baking beans but if you don’t want to buy those, you can use uncooked beans or chickpea. I think you can also use pasta shells. Bake for 20 mins. Take it out of the oven, remove the cover and the baking beans and cook for another 5 minutes, until it’s golden brown.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 190˚C.
  4. Now the filling – heat the olive oil and stir-fry the spring onions on high heat for about 3 minutes.

    stir-frying spring onions © dan and tuesday

    stir-frying spring onions © dan and tuesday

  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the Dijon mustard and crème fraîche. Slowly mix the eggs and then the milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Tip the spring onions and half the cheese into the pastry case. Scatter the chopped tarragon. Then pour the egg mixture. Topped with the rest of the cheese.

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

  7. Bake for about 28-30 minutes, until it has set. It looks like a big omelette!

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart © dan and tuesday

  8. Serve with salad. I also served it with onion jam which I made with some Rowan jelly. It’s divine. See how my jam glistens! 🙂

    spring onion and cheese tart with onion jam © dan and tuesday

    spring onion and cheese tart with onion jam © dan and tuesday

Cheesecake and poppy seed tartlets

lemon cheesecake tartlets © dan and tuesday

lemon cheesecake tartlets © dan and tuesday

Last weekend, I saw a recipe which I couldn’t resist: tartlet cheesecake and you make your own pastry from scratch! It’s a recipe that calls for lemon and poppy seeds which are lovely together. I love a really tart lemon poppy seed loaf!

This lemon cheesecake tartlet is really, really good! The cheesecake just melts in your mouth and the pastry is soft with a hint of lemon tartness mixed with the poppy seeds. It is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe published in The Guardian Weekend last week. For the non-UK blog visitors, it’s a magazine which comes out every Saturday with The Guardian newspaper.

It’s very easy to make but it takes awhile for the tarts to be ready.

poppy seeds © kirsten loza

poppy seeds © dan and tuesday

For the poppy seed pastry you need:

  • 170 g plain flour plus extra
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 90 g cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp poppy seed
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • about 1 tbsp cold water

For the cheesecake you need:

  • 200 g cream cheese (I used extra light Philadelphia cream cheese, perhaps it would set better if I used the full-fat version? I’ll let you know next time!)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 small free-range eggs
  • 90 g sour cream
  • 2 small lemons for 50 ml lemon juice and 1 tbsp zest
  • butter for brushing the tins
  • icing sugar to sprinkle

Tools

  • mixing bowls
  • lemon juicer and zester
  • shallow muffin tins or tartlet tins or silicone bakeware
  • rolling pin
  • food processor
  • hand whisk
  • baking beans

What to do:

  1. Make the pastry by putting the flour, sugar, butter, zest, poppy seed, and salt in a food processor and let it mix for a bit. Then mix the egg yolk and just enough water so that it’s all together.

    pastry dough © kirsten loza

    pastry dough © dan and tuesday

  2. Take the pastry out, wrap in a cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 160˚C. Grease the baking tin or silicone bakeware with butter.
  4. Flour your work space and roll out the pastry  until it’s about 1/2 cm thick.
  5. Cut circles- the recipe says 8 but I manage to get a dozen out of my pastry. Line the tin with pastry circles. The put it back on the fridge for 20 minutes.

    cutting circles © dan and tuesday

    cutting circles © dan and tuesday

  6. Line each pastry case with baking parchment and fill it with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Take out of the oven, remove the beans out and let the pastry cool down. Lower the oven temperature to 150˚C.

    baking beans © dan and tuesday

    baking beans © dan and tuesday

  7. Now to make the cheesecake – whisk the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream,  lemon juice and zest.
  8. Fill the pastry cases with cream cheese to the top and bake for 15 minutes until it has set.

    lemon cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

    lemon cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

  9. Leave to cool then chill for about an hour before removing from the tin.
  10. Dust with icing sugar before serving, if you like.

    Very, very delicious cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

    Very, very delicious cheesecake tartlet © dan and tuesday

Spiced choco chip muffin

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and  tuesday

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

This muffin recipe puts a twist on the regular choco chip muffin by adding spices. I used a spice I found in the Sunday Riverside market in Cardiff. It’s called Victorian cake spice. I’m not really sure what’s in it – if you know, feel free to enlighten us! But it smells of Christmas, of cinnamon and nutmeg!

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

I’ve made this a few times now – to share at work, to give us a present for Kielo, and, now, for our friends Helen and Phil.

You need:

  • 100 g softened unsalted butter
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g dark chocolate chips

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

Tools

  • 12-cup muffin tray, lined with muffin cases
  • mixing bowls
  • handheld mixer
  • pre-heated oven at 190˚C

What to do:

  1. Mix butter and sugars in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Add milk and cream and mix until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  4. In another bowl, sift flour, spice, bicarbonate of soda, and cocoa powder.
  5. Mix the wet and dry mixture very well. I just use a spoon at this stage and not the handmixer.

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

  6. Add the chocolate chips. Mix well, agin with a spoon.
  7. Spoon mixture on the muffin cases.
  8. Bake for about 28 – 30 mins then take out from the oven and let it  cool in the tray for about 10 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool properly.
spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

Maybe this is more of a Christmas muffin… but so far no one has objected to a little taste of Christmas in the summer.

Spanish manchego and courgette muffins

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

This evening I am channelling my friend and colleague, Sandy, who is the best muffin baker I know. I’ve decided to make a savoury muffin after Sandy made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s courgette and pine nut muffins for my bbq birthday party last month.

I am using a recipe from a Marks and Spencer “magical muffins” cookbook (only £5!). This is the first muffin recipe I am using from the book. It’s a good muffins cookbook which contains sweet, savoury, and healthy muffins, and muffins for special occasions.

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are stock items in my pantry. The only things I needed were fresh flat-leaf parsley, courgette, and Spanish manchego cheese. The trickiest bit is having a shredded courgette but I have my trusty magimix food processor for that.

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 150 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 280 grams plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated/caster sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 175 ml milk
  • 400 g shredded courgettes
  • 30 grams grated Spanish manchego cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Tools:

  • grater for cheese and courgette
  • food processor (optional)
  • 12-cup muffin tray oiled or line with muffin cases
  • muffin cases (optional)
  • Pre-heated oven at 200˚C
  • mixing bowls
  • beater (optional)
oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

What to do:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a big bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork or a beater. Stir in milk and the vegetable oil and mix well.

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

  3. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir to mix well.
  4. Add the courgettes. Lightly stir.
  5. Add the manchego. Lightly stir.
  6. Add parsley. Lightly stir.
  7. Really, don’t over-stir. It’s fine if it’s a bit lumpy.
  8. Divide evenly in the muffin tray filling it at least 2/3 full.
  9. Cook in the oven for about 25 mins until it’s golden. You can test if the muffins are already cooked by sticking in a toothpick and if it comes clean then it’s cooked.
  10. Remove from the oven leave it on the tray for a bit and then transfer on a wire rack to cook properly. Eat it right away (most awesome idea) or you can freeze it for about a month. I like mine with a bit of butter but Dan prefers it without.
lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

What I want to try next time with this recipe

  • use different fresh herb like oregano, rosemary or basil
  • use less oil
  • use young spinach with the cheese
  • oh, and use more cheese!
  • Manchego cheese is a bit mild for me so I might try a strong cheese like smoked applewood or even parmesan next time.

Dark chocolate biscotti

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

I have been wanting to do some baking but in the summer, I don’t really crave a lot of heavy cake-based kind of desserts. Eating fresh fruits beats any kind of fancy dessert in the summer. My favourite summer dessert is probably Eton Mess.

Still, I fancy getting the oven working to make me something lovely that does not need to be eaten in a couple of days. This biscotti should last a week if you store it well.

I have adapted this from the Hamlyn Cookery Book which is a fantastic book for beginning cooks (like myself).

You will need:

  • 150 g of dark chocolate, chopped (I only have chocolate chips in my cupboard so I used those)
  • 25 g of unsalted butter (Also run out so I used a slightly salted one)
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 50 g light muscovado sugar (Didn’t have any so I used light brown caster sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g almond nuts, chopped or sliced (original recipe called for pecan nuts)
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Tools

  • baking sheet, greased or lined with baking paper
  • Pre-heated oven at 190˚C
  • mixing bowls

What to do

  1. Melt 200g of the chopped dark chocolate with the butter.

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

  2. Sift self-raising flour to a mixing bowl and then add eggs, sugar, nuts, vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate and butter mixture.

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

  3. Add the rest of the chopped chocolate until you have a dough.

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

  4. Dust the work surface with flour, transfer the dough, and cut it in half.
  5. Form two logs of about 10 inches long (really depends on how big the baking sheet is!), flatten to about 2 cm thick (a little less than an inch). Transfer to the baking tray and then bake for 18-20 mins.

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

  6. Remove from the oven and then reduce the heat of the oven to 160˚C.
  7. Leave the biscotti to cool for 20 mins before cutting it with a bread knife (serrated) into 2 cm thick slices. In my first try, it keeps crumbling so I lost a few biscotti 😦 So I started cutting them a bit thicker.

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

  8. Place the cut biscotti back into the baking tray with a little space in between them and then cook for another 15 mins.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and then dust with icing sugar.

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

  10. Best served with coffee.

PS. I still love my Nespresso machine. It’s one of the best things I bought for our kitchen.

PPS. I am really liking the new flickr look, I find that inserting images is easier and does not involve going back and forth pages for me.

PPPS. I re-discovered smitten kitchen and Deb shares a chocolate hazelnut biscotti which I’ll try next time.

Salmon en croûte

Salmon en croûte

Salmon en croûte © dan & tuesy

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe from the BBC GoodFood magazine (December 2009). Elisabeth at work loaned me the magazine and it is filled with wonderful recipes including the florentines I made yesterday.

But I won’t talk about the florentines just yet. Maybe next post. So about the salmon en croûte, you’ll need big piece of salmon fillet. I am lucky that I live just a couple of minutes walk to the central market in Cardiff which has a fishmonger. I asked for a piece of fresh salmon fillet and they cut me a lovely piece.

Black olive tapenade on salmon fillet © dan&tuesy

Black olive tapenade on salmon fillet © dan & tuesy

You need:

  • 500g all-butter puff pastry
  • about 800g salmon fillet
  • black olive tapenade paste
  • bunch of fresh basil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 150g mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Tools:

  • rolling pin
  • 2 large baking tray
  • baking sheet
  • pre-heated oven at 200˚C
Salmon en croûte © dan & tuesy

Salmon en croûte © dan & tuesy

What to do:

  1. Drizzle olive oil on the salmon fillet and sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and salt.
  2. Flour a work surface and then roll out the puff pastry about the size of the large baking tray. Dust the large baking tray with flour then place the puff pastry on the baking tray.
  3. Put the seasoned salmon fillet on top of the pastry, skin-side down.

    Working the pastry © dan & tuesy

  4. Spread black olive tapenade on top of the salmon then the basil and tomatoes. Tear the mozarella into pieces and put it on top, too! Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Gather the sides of the pastry. Beat an egg and brush the pastry with egg.
  6. Put the baking tray at the bottom of the preheated oven. Put a baking tray on the shelf above so that the pastry is not getting too much heat.
  7. Cook for about 35-40 minutes and then serve with vegetables. We like roasted baby potatoes, steamed brocolli, and peas.

More photos here.

Salmon en croûte © dan & tuesy

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies © dan&tuesday

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

So far I’ve done 3 recipes from the hummingbird bakery cookbook. The Pecan pie, that was first, and then this wonderful peanut butter cookies, second. The third one was the lemon loaf but that will be another post.

If, like me, you enjoy a super chunky peanut butter and dark chocolate, then this is a little piece of heaven on earth! It was even more delish after a day or two as the cookies become a bit chewy.

You need:

  • 225g unsalted butter at room temp
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240g chunky peanut butter
  • 340g plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75g chopped dark chocolate
Cookie dough © dan & tuesday

Cookie dough © dan & tuesday

Tools:

  • baking trays x 4 lined with greaseproof paper
  • freestanding or handheld mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • rubber spatula
  • Pre-heated oven at 170˚C

What to do:

  1. Dan tries to help © dan & tuesday

    Dan tries to help © dan & tuesday

    Use the mixer to cream butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar until it’s light and fluffy.

  2. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure that the ingredients are mixed well by scraping the side of the bowl using the rubber spatula.
  3. In low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  4. Add the flour, bicarbonate soda, and salt. Mix until you have a smooth dough. Then add the dark chocolate and mix well. Taking a break from writing his awesome blog, Dan wants to help!
  5. Put about 6 cookie dough on each baking tray. Space them apart as they will spread when they are baking.
  6. Bake until the cookies are golden brown which is about 10 mins.
  7. Cool the cookies onto a cooling wire rack.
Cooling the peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

Cooling the peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

Smoked fish kedgeree

smoked fish kedgeree © dan and tuesday

smoked fish kedgeree © dan and tuesday

Kedgeree is the best thing for breakfast or brunch on a lazy weekend. It doesn’t take long to make and the mixed flavours of the smoked fish and spices are absolutely divine. Dan used kipper when he made it for Chris and Lilly. I used smoked mackerel when Monette was visiting last weekend.

Rica asked me on facebook what kedgeree was. Clinton replied that it is “tinapa wth cream mixed with lugaw =)” Tinapa is a smoked milkfish or bangus; lugaw is a type of congee. Since I don’t put cream on my kedgeree and it doesn’t look like lugaw to me, I looked it up and found out that this is a variety of kedgeree. I also read that kedgeree is a popular breakfast dish during the Victorian time. More on kedgeree here.

This recipe serves 4.

You need

  • 4 boiled free-range eggs, quartered lengthwise
  • cooked boiled rice* (2 cups uncooked)
  • 500g smoked fish (mackerel, kipper, haddock, tinapa), flaked
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • lemon or lime wedges (we prefer lime)

Tools

  • mortar and pestle
  • frying pan

What to do:

  1. Crush fennel seed and cardamom pods using mortar and pestle. Remove the cardamom husks, leaving the seeds.
  2. Melt butter in frying pan then fry onion and all the spices in medium heat for about 5 mins.
  3. Stir the fish and rice. Make sure that the rice is covered in turmeric so it will have a yellowish colour.
  4. Add the eggs and parsley, stirring gently so as not to destroy the eggs.
  5. Serve with lime or lemon wedge.

* I cheated here as we used a rice cooker. I got my rice cooker on my birthday from a group of Pinoys living in the UK who probably cannot believe that I do not own one. I used 2 cups of rice for this recipe, about 250g. More picture of making the kedgeree from the slideshow below or from my flickr account here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “smoked fish kedgeree“, posted with vodpod

Cappuccino cheesecake

cappuccino cheesecake © tuesday

cappuccino cheesecake © tuesday

With my oven’s thermostat fixed,  I’m so excited to try a new dessert. Something I haven’t done before. My first stop is the Divine: Heavenly Chocolate recipes book. It has wonderful recipes with beautiful images. This is the second recipe I’ve used from the book. The first one was the rich, dark chocolate cup cake.

The cheesecake turned out really well. It has a perfect texture and the coffee taste really works well with its creaminess.

Oh, I should remind you that this is best prepared the day before. Now how to make this gorgeous dessert…

You need:

biscuits © tuesy

biscuits © tuesday

For the base of the cheesecake

  • 1 bar of dark chocolate or Divine coffee chocolate (100g)
  • 50 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 200g Hob Nobs or digestive biscuits

crushing biscuits © tuesday

crushing biscuits © tuesday

For the cheesecake

  • 500g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
  • 125g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1tbsp of hot water
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua (optional)
  • 2 large free range eggs

Dusting: cocoa powder

Tools:

  • 23cm spring based cake tin, greased, put on a baking tray
  • Oven pre-heat at 160˚C

What to do:

  1. melting chocolate © tuesday

    melting chocolate © tuesday

    Break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heat-proof bowl with the diced unsalted butter. Melt together. If you have not done this before, you can read here.

  2. Crush the biscuits. I put them in a ziplock bag and then used a rolling pin.
  3. Once the chocolate with butter is melted, remove from heat and then add the crushed biscuit. Mix very well then tip the mixture into the cake tin. Press the mixture into the base of of the tin and halfway up the side. Chill.
  4. cheesecake mixture © tuesday

    cheesecake mixture © tuesday

    For the cheesecake, put all the filling ingredients in a food processor and run it until the mixture is smooth. Pour the filling on top of the cheesecake base.

  5. Bake for about 40 minutes until it has set then turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake and let it cool in the oven.
  6. Cover and let it chill overnight.

    © tuesday

    © tuesday

  7. A good trick in removing the cheesecake from a spring-based tin is by putting it on top of a tinned beans (or tomatoes) and then unclip to let the sides drop.
  8. Dust the cappuccino cheesecake heavily with cocoa.
  9. This can be stored but must eat within 4 days.
removing cheesecake from cake tin © tuesday

removing cheesecake from cake tin © tuesday

The photos I took for this recipe are also part of my project in the Intro to Photography class I am currently taking. The homework is take images that shows depth of field. If you have some time, please please please visit my flickr site by clicking here.

If you want to see the cappuccino cheesecake collection, you can click here. Or to see in a jazzy slideshow, click here.

Thanks! xx