Friday, August 31, 2007

Gaufres de Liege (Sugar waffles)

I love to make food from all different parts of the world and I have heard of gaufres before and decided that I would find a recipe...

These sweet delicacies are so popular in Brussels, Belgium that you can find a waffle stand on almost every corner! You should never eat these like a regular breakfast waffle, these are more like a snack and the most you should do with it is maybe sprinkle a light dusting of confectioners' sugar on them and eat them plain.

This recipe was too loose and a friend of mine from Brussels told me it should be like a soft bread dough almost. So, I made some changes to the recipe that I found and they turned out great!

Serves 4


2 packages ( 1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm milk
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten to mix

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and the sugar; set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.

2. Sift the remaining flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and egg. With a wooden spoon, stir well to make a smooth batter.

3. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for 2 hours to rise until the batter has doubled or tripled in bulk.


9 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cups flour, give or take until you get the texture of a non-sticky smooth dough
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup pearl sugar, or white decorating sugar, or raw sugar
Extra flour (for sprinkling)

1. In a bowl with a wooden spoon, work the butter, vanilla, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, and pearl sugar into a paste.

2. Work the butter mixture into the sponge mixture until well combined. Slowly work your flour into the dough until you get the consistency of a non-sticky light and fluffy dough. Cover, and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. With floured hands, shape the dough into 10 balls. Flatten one slightly and dust it with flour.

4. Heat a waffle iron until medium hot. Place a flattened ball in the middle of the iron; close the top. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. If the waffle iron is too hot, the sugar will burn. Some electric waffle irons bake on such a high temperature, it may be necessary to unplug the waffle iron intermittently to cool it off. Continue baking until all the waffles are done.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pumpkin Pancakes

Autumn is near and I can see the leaves turning already and the cool weather is going to be setting in soon... So, in celebration of this wonderful time of year, I have made up a version of the beloved pancake, but with an Autumn flavour. :)

Pumpkin Pancakes:

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 40 Minutes
Yields: 4 servings

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs, seperated
2 tablespoon butter (only the real stuff!!), melted

See below for a syrup recipe to serve with these autumnlicious pancakes!

1. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin, egg yolks, and melted butter. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. Fold in the egg whites into the mixture just until barely mixed in.

2. Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium-low heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the hot griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup:

1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cup water
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer at a gentle boil for 30 minutes or until syrup is as thick as maple syrup. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes before serving with pancakes.

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Dobby and Winky's Butterbeer

I found this recipe on the internet, and it's really good, but I've made my own revisions to it and I also made my own butterscotch sauce for this recipe. This is from the famous Harry Potter series.

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 7 min
Serves 1

1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon mixed spice (I like pumpkin pie spice from trader joes)
1 1/2 tablespoons hot chocolate powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 - 1/4 cup butterscotch sauce (measure depending on how sweet you like it), see recipe below

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butterscotch sauce and honey together. Next add milk and vanilla. Remove from heat and mix in hot chocolate powder and mixed spice. Enjoy!

Butterscotch Sauce:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup half & half

Boil the butter, sugar and corn syrup very gently for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in cream and mix until smooth and silky. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container/jar in the refrigerator.

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Vegetarian Fusilli with Pesto

This is a recipe I made up... I was trying to figure something out for dinner one night and I decided to throw some stuff together... :)

Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min

1 lbs. fusilli pasta a.k.a. spiral pasta, cooked
3 tbsp butter

1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cream (you can substitute this with half&half if you wish, but please don't use milk)
4 tbsp homemade or store bought pesto
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

3 tbsp tapenade, or chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into strips
8 tbsp romano cheese, for garnish

After cooking and draining your cooked pasta, it should be al dente which means still a little bit chewy and firm when bitten.

In the same large saucepan you cooked your pasta in, place it over medium-low heat and melt your butter. Add the pecans and toast for 3-5 minutes.

Add your pasta back to the large saucepan over medium-low heat, and add your pesto, cream, salt, and pepper to taste and stir gently until well incorporated. Once the mixture is warm, add your beaten eggs and stir for 3-5 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Remove from heat once your sauce has thickened and add your tapenade and sun-dried tomatoes, and stir to heat the tapenade and sun-dried tomatoes throughly.

Serve in pasta bowls and garnish each plate with romano cheese.

I hope you all enjoy this delicious mediterranean inspired pasta dish!

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Mrs. Weasley's Rock Cakes

I had read about rock cakes in Harry Potter and always thought they were something made up for the book, kind of like cauldron cakes or butterbeer.

Although, these light and fluffy delicacies are not made up, in fact they are a very popular tea cake in Britain, eaten cold with a nice hot cup of tea.

I have done you all the liberty of finding a recipe on the internet, from britain and converted it to imperial and even tested them out on myself before I posted the recipe, just to see if they'd turn out.

Oh, and I am sure you are wondering by now why they are called rock cakes.... It's not because they are hard. In Harry Potter, Hagrid's rock cakes are so hard, you will practically crack a tooth on his rock cakes. The reason they are called rock cakes is because when you drop them on to an aluminum sheet, they resemble the shape of a rock. :) I hope some of you out there will at least try my recipe... If you're not from the United States, I will post the recipe like this "4 cups / 450g flour" that way everyone from everywhere can make this recipe! :)

EDIT: July 15th, 2009 - After realising that my metric to imperial conversion skills are horrible, I realise that this recipe should nearly be doubled for the correct conversion. It is great the way it is, it's actually a half recipe, so underneath this I will post the correct conversion and fix the recipe I've posted.

Makes 6 Large or 8 Medium Rock Cakes

This is the half recipe version!

2 cups / 240g self-raising flour (or plain flour, plus 2 tsp / 10 mL baking powder)
1/2 cup(1 stick) / 120g butter
1/4 tsp / 1.25 mL kosher salt
1 tsp / 5 mL mixed spice (if you know what trader joe's is, I highly encourage you to go to that store and buy the pumpkin spice they sell, it works very well for this and it's a mixed spice blend)
1/2 cup / 100g granulated sugar
1/2 cup / 75g dried fruit (I used dried cranberries, most recipes call for currants or sultanas which are a white turkish or persian raisin)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk / 60 mL
1/8 cup / 25g granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

This is the full version!

Makes 12 Large or 16 Medium Rock Cakes

4 cups / 480g self-raising flour (or plain flour, plus 4 tsp / 20 mL baking powder)
1 cup(2 sticks) / 240g butter
1/2 tsp / 2.5 mL kosher salt
2 tsp / 10 mL mixed spice (if you know what trader joe's is, I highly encourage you to go to that store and buy the pumpkin spice they sell, it works very well for this and it's a mixed spice blend)
1 cup / 200g granulated sugar
1 cup / 150g dried fruit (I used dried cranberries, most recipes call for currants or sultanas which are a white turkish or persian raisin)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk / 120 mL
1/4 cup / 50g granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Grease a large aluminum sheet.

Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice together in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and rub it into the flour until it has the consistency of large crumbs.

Stir in the sugar and dried fruit. Beat the egg and milk together.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the flour/fruit mixture in the bowl. Using a large metal tablespoon, blend the mixtures together to form a rough dough. Try not to over mix, this causes the rock cakes to come out hard and tough, just mix it enough until the flour is mixed in, I even had some dry bits of flour in mine and they cook out when you bake them, just make sure most of the flour is wet.

Using the spoon, dollop portions of dough onto the aluminum sheet. They will fall off the spoon in a rather rough fashion - resist the urge to smooth them out! Make sure to leave 1 1/2 inches/4 cm between the mounds as they will spread when baked. Sprinkle each mound with plenty of granulated sugar. This gives both good crunch and shine when baked.

Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes - smaller rock cakes will take about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack immediately and let cool fully before eating. Best eaten within 2 days!

*NOTE: When I baked mine, I had my rack in the center of the oven and the bottoms got a little too brown for me, so when I baked my second batch, I put the rack a little higher, not all the way, but as high as I could go without having a hard time getting the aluminum sheet in and out of the oven. The second batch seemed to get a little less brown, but if you like yours to be darker than golden brown just follow the instructions the way it says, if you like them more on the golden brown side, put your rack up about 1 or 2 slots above the center.

I hope you all like these and will at least try them... They are easy to make and they are a great beginners recipe. Most young girls in Britain start out with this recipe when they are learning how to cook. So, if a 10 year old can make them, you can make them too! (Wink wink, that was directed towards you Matthew...)

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