Thursday, 19 June 2014

Pastel de nata


Custard: 3 tbsps plain flour, 1 ¼ cups milk, 1 ⅓ cups caster sugar, ½ tsp vanilla essence, 6 egg yolks, 1 tsp cinnamon.
Dough: 220g plain flour, 7g yeast, 160ml milk, 2 1/2 tsp caster sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, 150g butter.

Serves: 9 Preparation: 2 hours (plus overnight)

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Portugal. Pastel de nata are stunning little cinnamon custard tarts, with a gorgeous flaky croissanty crust that has to be tasted to be believed. It's a LOT of work to make these, but they're well worth it and they freeze well.

1) To make the dough for the pastry case, please see up to step 5 of my croissant recipe.

2) To make the custard, bring the sugar and cinnamon to the boil in a pan with 2/3 cup of cold water until a syrup forms- don't stir it!

3) Separate the milk with 1/4 in a bowl and 1 cup in a pan. Whisk the flour in with the bowl of milk until smooth and set aside. Meanwhile, scald the milk in the pan, then whisk in the flour-milk mixture.

Add the cinnamon sugar syrup into the hot milk and flour whilst whisking furiously (you might want to ask someone to help!) then take off the heat once it is a smooth, just pourable consistency. Stir in the vanilla and set aside.

5) When the mixture has cooled just enough for you to comfortably touch it without swearing (about the temperature of a cup of tea if that helps!) whisk in the egg yolks and set aside to cool.

6) Pre-heat the oven to 290 degrees celcius and grab your pastry from the fridge. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1cm thickness and cut it into squares the approximate size of your chosen muffin tin dimples. Wet your fingers and press the dough into the muffin tin, moulding with your fingers until you've created a "lip" about 1/2cm above the muffin tin surface and pour in the custard.

7) Bake until the edges of the pastry are brown and the custard has a good wobble on. Serve warm, sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Monday, 16 June 2014



1 yukka/cassava root, ½ cup butter, 2 plantains.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 1 hour

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Ghana. Fufu is used as a side dish in the way we would eat mashed potato, but also in place of bread to scoop up soup. The plantain gives it a wonderful sweetness which I find works wonderfully with traditional peanut soup.

1) Peel the rough bark from the yukka/cassava root with a knife and chop off the ends. Dice into chunks the way you would a potato.

2) Bring to the boil in a pan of cold water and leave to simmer for 30 minutes until soft.

3) In the meantime, add the whole plantain to a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer until you see the skin begin to split, then remove and peel.

4) Add the cooked plantain and the yukka/cassava to a blender with the butter and puree until smooth and elastic.

5) Allow to cool just enough to handle, then serve with soup.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

New England Clam Chowder


1 lb potatoes, 1 lb clams, 1 pint vegetable stock, 4 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp dill, 50ml double cream, 2 tbsp butter, 2 stalks celery, 1 white onion, 1 tbsp plain flour. Bread

Serves: 4 Preparation: 1 hour

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of America. If, like me, you're vegetarian then separating a portion to add sweetcorn to just before the clams go in makes this really easy dual-chowder! It's a lovely hearty soup, just the thing to comfort one on a cold day (please ignore the fact that it is June!) - especially if you serve it in a bread bowl!

1) Peel and slice the potatoes into inch cubes and set aside, peel the onion and dice it along with the celery.

2) Add half the butter to the pan and sautee the onion and celery until completely soft (about 10 minutes), then add the remainder of the butter along with the flour and whisk until a roux has formed.

3) Add the potatoes, bay leaves and vegetable stock to the pan and stir through. Once the potatoes are cooked, add the clams and dill and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

4) Hollow out a bread bowl by cutting a circle into the top of the crust and scooping out the soft centre with your fingers. Stir the cream into the soup, season to taste with salt and black pepper, then ladle into the bread bowl.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Bratwurst with braised cabbage


1 white cabbage, 1 onion, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar, 1 tsp mustard, 4 bratwurst sausages.
Serves: 2 Preparation: 30 minutes

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany. It feels like such a cliche and so unimaginative to instantly associate Germany with sausage, but if you look past the meat (typical vegetarian, eh?) and simply delight in the utter fragrant glory of the bed of cabbage, I can promise you that this dish is a national treasure for a very very good reason.

1) Peel and chop the onion into 1/2cm slices. Pop out the rings and add to a pan along with the butter and cloves. Sautee gently until the onion is completely soft and translucent and take the pan off the heat. Pick out the cloves and discard.

2) Cut the cabbage into 1/2cm slices, then slice into thin strips. Parboil for 5 minutes, drain and add to the pan of onion.

3) Return to the heat, add the vinegar and mustard and stir through until the cabbage becomes soft, adding a little extra butter for glossiness if desired.

4) Grill or fry the sausages for 6-8 minutes, then serve atop the cabbage.

Everything Goes With Toast   © 2008. Distributed by Blogger Templates. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital