Monday, 2 April 2012

Chocolate brownies with mascarpone cheese and ganache

"Chocolate, nothing better than that! I love this Canadian recipe that includes lots of chocolate and mascarpone cheese. These two ingredients make the brownies heavenly delicious! Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice creams. It is so simple that even the less advanced cooks can make it."

220g unsalted butter 
90g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids; finely chopped)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain flour
pinch of salt

170g dark chocolate 
90 ml double cream
45 ml unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 160C. Place the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl and melt in a water bath. When melted, sift in the sugar and cocoa powder. Add mascarpone, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Gently fold the flour.
Pour the mixture into the prepared square baking tray (greased with butter).  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden skewer (or chopstick) inserted into brownies comes out clean.
For the ganache, place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Bring the butter and cream just below boiling point and pour it over the chocolate.Let it stand for 30 seconds and then stir.
Spread the warm ganache over the cooled brownies. Allow to set before serving.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Tuna steak with red cabbage salad

"My own recipe with tuna, tagliatelle and red cabbage."

Serves 2
2 tuna steaks (200-250g each)
sea salt
knob of butter (to fry tuna steaks)

8 fresh sage leaves
olive oil

Red cabbage salad
300g red cabbage (outer leaves removed, the thick stem removed, finely shredded to long thin slices)
small handful celery leaves (chopped)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small sweet onion (finely chopped)
1/2 small leek (finally sliced)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring around 1 liter of water to boil, add cabbage and boil it for about 2-3 minutes or until "al dente". Drain the cabbage and place it in a bowl. Add vinegar, onion, leek and celery leaves. Add salt, pepper and sugar to achieve a sweet-sour taste. Add olive oil and set aside.

Salt the steaks on both sides and fry them on a medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on each side (you will need less time if you like your tuna less fried). Around 1 minute before the steaks are ready add sage leaves to the pan with tuna and fry them until crispy. Set aside.

While frying the tuna, boil the tagliatelle, drain it and put it back to the pan. Toss the tagliatelle with olive oil. Before placing the food, warm the plates in the oven preheated to 140C for about 5 minutes, or 1-2 minutes in a microwave. Arrange the tagliatelle in the middle of the plate, put the steak on top of the tagliatelle and arrange the red cabbage salad on top of it. Decorate with the fried sage leaves.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Tomorrow on the blog tuna steak

Matjes herring and apple salad

"I found this recipe long time ago in my cooking bible (Off Duty, The World's Greatest Chefs Cook at Home). John Williams's recipe of matjes herring  and apple salad on a bed of carpaccio of beetroot is so simple and tasty. Since matjes herrings are not available in all countries you may try to use a regular herring fillets instead."

Serves 5
500g small raw beetroots
320g Matjes herrings (finely diced)
2 apples (cored, peeled, and finely diced)
1 tea spoon finely grated fresh horseradish
3 1/2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
100ml creme fraiche
lemon juice
80g mixed baby salad leaves (I used alfalfa)
1/2 garlic clove (crushed)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 1/2 tablespoons ground oil (peanut)
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs (chives, chervil, tarragon, parsley and basil) (I didn't use any of these herbs)

Preheat the oven to 140C. Top and tail the beetroots, wrap in foil and roast them in an over for about 45 minutes until firm. Allow to cool, peel and slice them very finely.

Mix the apples, herrings and horseradish together, add yoghurt and creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste.

For the dressing mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt.

Prepare 5 serving plates. In the middle of each plate place a ring and spoon the herring mixture into it. Remove the ring. Arrange the beetroot slices overlapping one another, around the herring. Toss the mixed leaves (with me alfalfa) with some of the dressing, then arrange on top of the herring. Spoon some of the dressing over the beetroot.