2014. április 18., péntek

Me and my brownies.

Almost Easter!! Everybody happy? This is going to be the first Easter in my life I don't spend at home. I am quite sad, but also relieved that I will miss all the watering drama. The only Hungarian tradition I don't like.
I'm hosting an Easter lunch on Sunday, and I'm preparing with plenty of food. Since I am going to make them tomorrow I'll try to post them before Easter, so you may give it a try. I am definitely making kalács [ˈkɒlaːtʃ], a Hungarian sweet bread. Similar taste as brioche, but it has a very lovely braided form, you'll see. And also I am going to make doubled eggs or stuffed eggs or whatever is the correct English tense. The two favourite Easter foods of mine.

But today, it's time for brownies! I am not sure if I shared this with you guys but most of the cakes and sweets I've made in my life turned out to be great, but I had a struggle with brownies. I know, right. Brownies. Damn easy thing.
It has never been horrible. Or uneatable. It has been alright. But we all agree brownies is not a thing what is supposed to be alright. Whenever brownies is mentioned, everybody want to pass out and they start craving for a little slice of chocolate goodness. My brownies were okay, especially for a non-British or American family, where this cake is not traditional. They didn't have high expectations.
I did. And after so many semi-bad attempts, I started to try different combinations, creating my own recipe. I don't know how is the real traditional brownie, but in my head, it has no nuts. 90% percent of the recipes I ran into had some kind of nuts in them. Well, if brownies have nuts, my almond-chocolate Christmas cake is brownies, end of story. So what I was looking for is a perfect combination of chocolate, butter, eggs and flour. And yeah, it happened... as you might have guessed reading all this. Here is my perfect brownie.

For a small tray, double the measurements if you have a normal baking tray. This is finished by me in a day.

185 g plain flour
185 g butter
185 g good quality dark chocolate
70 g sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg

First thing. I put one egg because somebody in the halls has been stealing my eggs and I had only one left. It is not easy to cut the brownie when it is hot, but when it is cold, it is totally alright. However, feel free to add another egg.
Preheat the oven for 180 C. Whisk the eggs, add the sugar and whisk them together for a minute. Melt the butter with the chocolate (I used the microwave). Add the chocolate and butter to the egg mixture and finally add the flour and baking powder. Grease a tray, pour the mixture and bake it until ready. In my oven it requires 25 minutes, but in a better owen, 17-20 minutes is enough I believe. Keep checking, when the middle is set, it is ready.
Always have a glass of milk while eating it.

2014. március 17., hétfő

Cheese & onion pie + NEW DESIGN!

Wohoo, new design!
As you have seen, I created new widgets recently with a hand-draw shelf theme. I always ask my friend who's a graphic designer to give me feedback, and she suggested to create the whole layout of the blog like that, so I finally drew the header. I hope you like it! Let's celebrate with pie.

I love this cheese & onion pie since it is soooo easy to make, you don't need any special ingredients, and it is good as a starter, a main or even a side! The crust is my favourite quiche crust, which is so easy to remember - the flour has to be the double of the salted butter so if you use 100 g butter you need 200 g flour etc etc. So easy to remember, and you can always create new variations.
This was made for a small pie chart, if you have a classical one, use 300 g flour and 150 g butter. You also have to cover it, don't forget!

Cheese & onion pie (for a 20 cm pie chart)

200 g flour
100 g salted butter 
1 egg

1 giant leek
100 g cheddar cheese
0,5 dl cream
salt, pepper
1 egg

Cut the butter into small pieces and using your fingertips, mix it with the flour. When it is crumby, add the egg and mix it together. If you don't have an egg, you can use 2 tblsp of water. Wrap it into folpack and put in the fridge for half an hour.
Cut the leek, and grate the cheese. Mix it together with the cream and egg, add salt and pepper (be careful - the crust is already salty!).

Butter the chart and preheat the oven (175 C) Half the dough, make the other half a bit bigger. Use 2/3 of this half to roll a circle for the bottom of the chart. Use the rest 1/3 for the sides. Put parchment paper and baking beans on it and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Wait a little bit so it chills down, then spoon the leek and cheese mixture on it. Roll the other half of the dough, and place it on the top. If it is bigger than the chart, squeeze the edges between the mixture and the baked dough. Otherwise just squeeze it to the baked layer gently with a fork. You may "draw" some marks on top with a knife. Pierce the top dough so the air could come out.
Bake for 35 minutes. Always serve hot! You can heat it up again in the oven or in the microwave.

2014. február 10., hétfő

A cheesecake week

I know it's my second cheesecake post in a while, but I got a bit obsessed. I made three, THREE cheesecakes in the past week. I ended up buying more cream cheese anytime I went grocery shopping, saying 'I'll make a cheesecake later tralala', I always made it on that day.
I kinda created my own, easy cheesecake recipe and now I am trying new variations. One thing happens all the time - when it's ready and I take it out from the oven it looks perfectly pretty, but as it chills down, the top's breaking. all. the. time. If anyone knows why and how to avoid it, I'd be really happy to know! I wanna eat pretty cakes.
What I do basically is having a simple batter, and creating a thin layer on the bottom with a different flavour. So far, I tried chocolate and different jams. If you work with jam, however, you should prebake the bottom layer, otherwise it won't stay a bottom layer. When I tried it for the first time, the bottom and the top layer perfectly changed place!! It was sort of funny and now I know what to do.
I share my white chocolate vanilla cheesecake this time. If you want berry or any fruit flavour, replace the white chocolate with 1,5 tbsp. jam, and after pouring the bottom layer on the crust, prebake it for 8 minutes or so.
What kind of cheesecake is your favourite? 

White chocolate vanilla cheesecake
400 g Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250 g Digestive biscuits
100 g butter
90 g white chocolate

Grind the biscuits, and melt butter in a bowl. Spoon the grinded biscuits in the melted butter, and mix them together. Grease a spring form (I used a very small one), and cover it with parchment paper. Put a bit less than half of the crust mixture on the bottom, spread it and using the bottom of a glass, gently squeeze it down. Do the same on the sides with the rest of the crust. Put it in the fridge for 3 hours or if you don't have time, in the freezer for a shorter while.
Preheat the oven for 175 C.
Beat cream cheese for a minute, add sugar, vanilla extract and eggs, and beat together. Put approxiametly 1/3 of the batter in another bowl. Melt the white chocolate (in a pan or the microwave is fine), and mix it with the 1/3 of the batter.
Pour the white chocolate layer on the crust. Then very very carefully, spoon the plain layer on it. 
Bake for 50 minutes or until the middle is set. Let it cool completely, and put it in the fridge. The cooler the better!

2014. február 2., vasárnap

Spicy squash pie

I made this pie for Thanksgiving but forgot that I actually made photos too. (...) Reviewing them I remember how good this pie was, so I will redo it very soon. During the autumn, I made many versions of squash pies but this one turned out to be the best. This is one of the variations of the classic pie I bake very often - it is kinda impossible to forget the recipe as it follows the 3:2:1 rule; 30 dkg flour, 20 dkg butter and 10 dkg sugar. Well, these amounts apply for a classic, big ceramic pie chart - which I do not have at the moment, so I used a small one, halving everything The pastry was still a bit more than I needed, you can see on the pictures how tall it is.
Happy baking!

Spicy squash pie (for a 30 cm pie chart)
30 dkg flour
20 dkg butter
10 dkg icing sugar
1 egg

1 small butternut squash
2 eggs
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 dl cream

Mix the icing sugar with the flour. Chop the butter into tiny cubes and using your fingers, mix it together with the flour-sugar mixture. Add the egg and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic foil and put in the fridge until the batter is ready.
If you have time, simply put the whole squash in the oven and bake on 180 C for about an hour or until it's soft. Then cut it into half, remove the seeds and simply spoon the inside into a bowl. You may cut the squash into half and remove the seeds, then cut into pieces before putting into the oven - in that case it will be ready quicker. Leave the oven on 180 C.
Once the soft, baked squash is a bit chilled, mix it with an electric food blender until smooth (I don't have one, and a fork worked as well). Add the cream, spices and eggs and mix with and electric hand mixer until smooth. 
Grease the pie chart, and using the 2/3 of the chilled dough, roll a circle and place it to the bottom. Use the remain of the dough for the sides. Gently squeeze the dough together everywhere. Place baking paper and baking beans/rice on the dough and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes. Pour the squash mixture into the dough and bake on 180 C for 35-40 minutes or until the middle is set. Serve it hot or cold.

2014. január 29., szerda

Wait, what happened to the holiday food posts?!

10 kg hand baggage happened, and the fact that I didnt have space for my camera. Back at home my parents dont have one, so I couldnt take any photos about the foods and sweets I made during the holidays.
BUT for New Years Eve, I went to my cousins' house and they HAD ONE. I mean a camera. So some photos were taken of the great cheesecake I made for that night.

Cheesecakes have became popular in Hungary only a few years ago, and the reason for that is very simple: we didnt have soft creme cheese in the supermarkets before! Ridicolous, isnt it? We had some, but they were more like a spreadable thingy you use to put in sandwiches etc. I remember, some years ago I read in a cookbook that the writer brought entire New York cheesecakes home in her hand luggage from the US, because she just couldnt get the ingredients at home.

We do have Philadelphia creme cheese now, but they are incredibly expensive. And we know that for a cheesecake, you do not need one package, but at least three. I read many recipes on the internet using a little bit of creme cheese, and substituting the rest with sour cream. I'll try it once, but I am sure it isnt the same.
So I wanted a massive cheesecake for 8 people, found the perfect recipe on call-me-cupcake, but didnt really want to buy 600 g Philadelphia. So I used mascarpone since we had it at home (it was on sale somewhere, otherwise I do not think it would be THAT much cheaper). I was a bit worried, but it came out perfect. I created a bit simpler version of Linda's recipe.

One thing did not really work out for me: you supposed put the chocolate cheese layer first, then the plain one. How should it work out: put the brown layer, then slowly and carefuly spoon the white on it. How it worked out for me: I put the brown layer, then literally poured the rest on it. The result is a slightly weird-looking, shakey-wave pattern. Nobody complained, but next time I will be careful.

Chocolate oreo cheesecake
300 g oreos (or similar chocolate biscuits)
100 g butter, melted
500 g mascarpone
350 g sweetened condensed milk
1/2 dl sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
90 g dark chocolate

Grind oreos in a food grinder, then mix it with melted butter. Cover the bottom and the sides of a greased springform with the mixture. It is a bit tricky to do it on the sides, but if you are patient and careful, it works out. Put the form in the fridge while you prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
Boil water in a saucepan, and place an other one on top. Mix the condensed milk and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add the eggs carefully: mix constantly with one hand while you add the egg with the other one, so it will not be cooked in the hot filling. Melt chocolate above the water bath and mix it with the 1/3 of the cheesecake batter.
Put the springform in an other big pan. Spoon the chocolate cheese batter first, then spoon the rest of the cheese batter on top. Boil water in a kettle, and pour it in the larger pan, around the springform, the water should reach halfway up the sides.
Bake for an 1 hour then let cool completely to serve.

this time, the photos were taken by Dorotea Engel, my lovely cousin.

2013. október 9., szerda

New recipe book

I am still alive. I've just moved thousand-something miles away, and I am pretty unorganized yet. My new location is Glasgow, Scotland. 
I am staying in student accommodation which means I do not have the prettiest kitchen ever, but I do my best to figure out how to continue making photos and gifs. 
Now I show you some photos from back at home; I started a new "project", a new recipe book. I have many of them, and a lot of recipes all around the house on piece of papers (which I should stop). This is something I do not want to use in the kitchen, but to save the best and nicest recipes of mine, and add some cute drawings to them as well. I do not have many in it yet, but I have time. The book has two sides, one for sweet and one for non-sweet recipes. I made the cover myself and applied it on a simple sketchbook I bought back in Italy. The wonderful blue textile is from Tilda.

Még mindig élek. Csak ezervalamennyi mérföldre költöztem, és még eléggé szét vagyok esve. Az új lakhelyem Glasgow.
Kollégiumban élek, tehát nem vagyok megáldva a legszebb konyhával, de igyekszem kitalálni hogyan folytathatom itt a fotózást, mert mindenképpen szeretném.
Most néhány még otthon készült fotót mutatok. Elkezdtem egy új "projectet", egy új recepteskönyvet. Sok ilyenem van már, meg persze rengetek papírra lefirkantott recept szanaszét (erről sürgősen le kell szoknom). Ez egy olyan darab, amit nem szeretnék a konyhában használni, hanem csak lejegyezni a legjobb receptjeimet, néhány rajzzal is megtoldva. Nincs még benne sok, de van időm. A könyv kétoldalú, egy a sós, és egy az édes recepteknek. A borítót én készítettem és applikáltam fel az egyszerű könyvre, amit még Olaszországban vettem. A gyönyörű kék textil Tilda márkájú.

2013. szeptember 12., csütörtök

Goodbye plum pie

It is actually in rhytm. Good-bye-plum-pie.
It is a goodbye one, because there's only left three days at home. Monday I move to Glasgow. 
I am confused and everything, just not organized.
I made this pie because I thought it would be great for next day's breakfast. It was gone in an hour. That tells it all.

15 dkg flour
10 dkg butter
5 dkg icing sugar

plum (I am sorry, I didnt count, how many. About 0,5 kg I think...)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbls brown sugar

Mix the flour with the icing sugar. Chop the butter into little cubes and using your fingertips, knead it into the flour mixture. In the end, add a bit of water (1-2 tbls) to shape a nice dough.
Cover a pie chart with butter. Roll the dough into a round and place it in the pie chart. Bake it on 180 degrees for 15 minutes (I didn't use baking rice or beans this time).
Half the plums, and remove the seeds. Place them on the pastry, starting from the edges, in rounds. Mix the cinnamon with the brown sugar, and sprinkle it on the plums.
Bake it for additional 20 minutes.

Búcsú-szilvapite, mert már csak három napom maradt itthon. Hétfőn költözök Glasgowba.
Össze vagyok zavarodva, és semmi sincs megtervezve.
Azért csináltam ezt a pitét, mert gondoltam, jó lesz másnap reggelire. Egy óra alatt elfogyott. Azt hiszem, ez elmond mindent.

15 dkg liszt
10 dkg vaj5 dkg porcukor

szilva (nem mértem sajnos, de kb fél kiló)
1 tk fahéj
2 ek barna cukor

Összekeverjük a lisztet a porcukorral. A vajat kis kockákra vágjuk, és az ujjainkkal beledolgozzuk a lisztes keverékbe. A végén hozzáadunk egy kis vizet, hogy szép, egyenletes tésztát tudjunk gyúrni.
180 fokon 15 percig sütjük (most nem használtam sütőrizst vagy sütőbabot).
Elfelezzük a szilvákat, és kivesszük a magokat. Elrendezzük őket a tésztán. A fahéjat elkeverjük a barnacukorral, és megszórjuk vele a pitét.
További 20 percig sütjük.