Category Archives: Pudding

Cava sabayon with strawberries and cherry tomatoes (Sabayon de Cava avec fraises et tomates cerises) – Sunday lunch with friends!

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I had a lunch at my place on the weekend for some special dinner guests so needed to put some effort in to make a full 3 course lunch 🙂  They are special dinner guests because when I’ve been to their place, I’ve definitely had some of the nicest meals ever so now was not the time to be cutting corners!

I decided to cook a couple of recipes which had already been on the blog as well as a new one for dessert which I will feature here; strawberries and cherry tomatoes in a sabayon sauce.  I took this approach because 3 courses is not something I do that often so to do a couple of familiar recipes, while mastering one new one seemed like a good balance where I wouldn’t get too stressed!

For the starter I did chicken nuggets which was my last post 🙂  There were 5 of us for lunch and I wanted a relatively simple starter and also so that people were not too full before the main of risotto.  The idea was that the lunch would get posher as we went through the courses!  The chicken nuggets seemed popular anyway so a good choice to kick off the lunch 🙂

Risotto is one of my old favourites and I hadn’t made it for these friends yet so a good opportunity to cook it again as the main 🙂  Also I was able to focus my energy on the dessert.  Actually in the end, the dessert was pretty simple so I would say the risotto won in terms of the most time consuming part but all in all a good mix between the dishes!

The dessert recipe comes from one of my current favourite books; Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo.  Again it looked quite light so wouldn’t be too much after the risotto.  It was pretty simple to make overall.  I think I whisked it for longer than the 10 minutes it suggested but apart from that it was quite straightforward.

The highlight of this recipe was being able to try an egg yolk separating trick with a plastic bottle that I’d seen on an internet article!  So I cracked an egg into a bowl (gently so the yolk didn’t break) and then squeezed the bottle directly above the yolk to suck it up, before depositing the yolk in a separate bowl.

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It’s probably easier if you watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAp8pEaWB1Y

I did this to get 6 egg yolks and then added 3 tablespoons of sugar.  I whisked this over a bain marie a little before adding 150 ml of cava (the recipe quotes champagne but living in Catalunya, I had to choose cava above champagne!).  Then I carried on whisking for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickened and was a little foamy (the tip is if you can draw a figure of eight shape in the sauce and it stays then the sauce is ready).  I chilled the sabayon sauce in the fridge until it was dessert time and I think you can do this for upto a couple of hours (one other tip; I do think the sabayon sauce evaporated a little while chilling so I didn’t have as much as I expected!).

When it was time for dessert, I put 3-4 tablespoons of the sabayon sauce into bowls and added a few quarters of strawberries and deseeded cherry tomatoes.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the finished product so I’m posting it from the book instead!

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It was definitely a nice end to this meal, with a good combination of plates.  It’s true that cherry tomatoes go very well with strawberries (apparently, scientifically speaking, strawberries and tomatoes have the same flavour components) which was a nice discovery and the sweetness of the sabayon sauce goes very well with these fruits.

Other learnings from this post are that I don’t appear to be able to spell the word dessert (just had to go through and correct many references to sand!) and also that I think my food pictures have improved when looking at my old risotto post from over a year ago 🙂  I also got a new iPhone…I guess it helped 😛

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Filed under Cherry tomatoes, Desserts, Food, Food blogging, French, Pudding, Recipes, Strawberries, Uncategorized

Empanadas and chocolate fondant

My realistic target is to blog once a week now on weekends so with this weekend be relatively clear, I thought I would go for 2 dishes in the same post and my first blogged dessert. Usually I don’t cook many desserts (which is not to say I don’t eat them!!!). Normally I prefer to focus my attention on savoury dishes but this chocolate fondant has been on my mind for a while…  Also as I am gaining a little more confidence with my cooking, I wanted to see if it really was so simple to make a pot with a gooey centre… And actually it was!

For now back to the empanadas! Again I’ve wanted to make these for a while as they are quite a typical spanish dish. I made these with tuna but there are many different varieties of course. The full list of ingredients is at the bottom of the post. From the original recipe I made 3/4 of what was recommended, partly as there are only 2 of us at home so 24 portions seemed a bit gluttonous but also because we were close to a flour shortage and i could not forego the chocolate fondents now that they seemed so close!  So the adjusted ingredients below should make you between 16-18 empanadas.

I mixed the flour with the butter by hand trying to get close to a breadcrumb like consistency. Then i added about 1.5 eggs with the wine (keeping the remaining half aside for basting at the end). I was a bit worried at one point that the consistency didn’t look right but after a little while longer it looked fine. The recipe actually says do not knead the pastry too much else the end product will be tough. I’m not sure whether I did or not but for a first attempt I needed the pastry to be solid at least and not breakung apart! So after being happy with the consistency, I wrapped it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for 30 mins.

Meanwhile, i cooked the chopped onion for about 5 mins, added the tomato sauce and cooked for 10 mins to thicken.  Then I added the tuna, roasted pepper, parsley and freshly ground pepper and mixed together.

I rolled out half the pastry and used a mug to make as many circles as possible.  I repeated this process with the left over pastry until I had used it all (it made 16 circles for me).

Then I put a little bit of the tuna mixture in each circle, folded and pinched together at the sides to seal them.  I put them on an oiled baking tray and basted them with the leftover egg.  Then I cooked them for about 30 minutes at 190 degrees until they were golden.

While they were cooking I got on with the preparation for the chocolate fondants.  I melted the chocolate with the butter in a glass dish over a pan of simmering water.  Meanwhile I mixed the flour with the beaten eggs and sugar until smooth.  Once the butter and chocolate had fully melted I left to cool for about 30 mins before adding to the flour mixture and mixing again until smooth.  I poured this mixture into 4 buttered ramekins and put in the fridge for 10 mins before then cooking for 15 mins at 200 degrees.

The results were great!  The empanadas were a little harder than the ones you get in the bars here (according to my photographer!) but I put this down to the fact of maybe kneading for longer and also because they were oven baked rather than fried.  The taste was still great in my opinion.  They are quite fiddly to make but it’s another recipe ticked off my list!

The best was the fondants!  They were very gooey inside when we put our spoons into them and the taste was really good too.  I will definitely be making these again as they are fairly simple to make and look and taste great!

Ingredients

Tuna empanadas

  • 300g plain flour
  • 60g softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 ml white wine
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 150g chopped tomatoes (from a can)
  • 200g of tuna (from a can)
  • Half a roasted pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Chocolate fondants

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g chocolate (I used cooking chocolate)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 20g plain flour

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Filed under Chocolate, Desserts, Fish, French, Pudding, Spanish