18 May 2013
It's Chestnut Season!
Chestnuts are available in stores now. I have tried roasting chestnuts a couple times now. It is all new to me, as I did not grow up with roasted chestnuts.
I asked Gaby how to roast them, as she gew up in Europe, where you can buy roasted chestnuts from street vendors. She said to "roast them until they're burned."
The last time I attempted to roast them, I cut an "X" across the flat side with a chestnut knife. Gaby said that wasn't right. She said to cut them across the flat side. That's what I thought I did...
I watched a video on YouTube where a street vendor in Rome had cut around the perimeter of each chestnut and they looked split and wonderfully plump. This time I cut the chestnuts around the perimeter and put them in the roasting pan.
I roasted these chestnuts for about 15 minutes over a low flame and gave the pan a jiggle every now and again.
"Are they done?", I asked Gaby.
"Are they burned?", Gaby replied.
"They popped open", I answered, as I removed them from the heat.
They were still a bit hard and very difficult to peel. They were not done.
Next time, I'll cut them across the flat side and roast them until they're burned.
17 May 2013
10 May 2013
Chocolate Ganache Tarts
Time for more pastry!
Yesterday I made a quantity of salted pastry and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Today, I rolled out the pastry and lined 8 tart rings, then let them rest in the fridge for 30 minutes whilst the oven heated to 190C.
After 20 minutes in the oven, I pulled off the beads and brushed the inside of the pastry cases with egg wash, then baked them for an additional 8 minutes.
I made a simple chocolate ganache filling by melting equal portions by weight of Belgian chocolate in simmering cream. These look good enough to eat.
I have some cream left over. I think I will serve these topped with whipped cream. Oh, that reminds me... I spotted clotted cream at the store the other day - need to pick up a pottle, I think.
I have already been thinking of what pastry to bake next. I suppose you will just have to wait for it.
06 May 2013
Sourdough Is Back On The Menu!
I put my sourdough culture into deep freeze in January, whilst we went on holiday to East Cape. I restarted the culture about a three weeks ago and baked a few pizzas with it last week. It was time to bake some bread.
Yesterday, I mixed up a batch of Tartine sourdough, formed two boules, and left them to retard in the fridge overnight. This morning, I baked off the boules. The weather was a bit rough last night and I was not sure we would still have power in the morning, but the power stayed on and I was able to bake two boules early this morning without interruption.
Fresh from the oven. Quick, grab a bread knife!
There's nothing quite like the hot, steamy, almost custardy texture of a slice of home made sourdough bread fresh out of the oven. It needs no adornment; but, if you must, a slathering of Lewis Road Creamery Premium New Zealand Butter goes down a treat!
01 May 2013
Sourdough Pizza: 3 Day Cold Fermentation
Three day sourdough fermentation. Now we are getting into prime pizza making territory: 3-5 days fermentation.
I picked up some fresh mushrooms at the grocery store and mixed them with dried porcini in a mushroom duxelles. The mushroom duxelles proved to be quite robust and overpowered the prosciutto. Next time I will try cooking the mushrooms more simply and sauté them in olive oil with salt & pepper.
Look at that crust! After three days of cold fermentation, the crumb of the cornicione is very well developed and the oven spring is not too bad.
The hot sopressata was nice, but the Kalamata olives could have been better quality. I will have to do some shopping...
29 April 2013
28 April 2013
Hello Pizza, My Old Friend!
It's been a while since I last made pizza, as I put my sourdough starter into deep freeze in January. It's been a long time. Too long.
I mixed up a batch of pizza dough this morning. I usually let the dough cold ferment for at least three days before I make a pizza, but it's been so long I couldn't wait...
Pizza Margherita: Chopped tomato, Fior Di Latte, Basil, and a Well Deserved Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.