My Love for Naples by Anna Teresa Callen [htmlz | 8,04 Mb] ISBN: B00EK1VNNI

  • Full Title: My Love for Naples: The Food, the History, the Life (Hippocrene Cookbook Library)
  • Autor: Anna Teresa Callen
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books; illustrated edition edition
  • Publication Date: November 12, 2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B00EK1VNNI
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format | Size: htmlz | 8,04 Mb
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In this lovingly rendered cookbook memoir, Anna Teresa Callen takes readers on a culinary journey to Naples, one of her favorite Italian cities. From antipasti, soups, and pizza, to a host of pasta, fish, meat, and vegetable dishes, this collection of more than 250 recipes covers the cuisine of the Campania region, including its capital, Naples, the islands of Capri and Ischia, and the Amalfi coast. Neapolitan cuisine exemplifies la cucina povera or "the cooking of the poor", whose inventiveness with inexpensive local ingredients produced the region’s legendary mozzarella di bufala, the famed, succulent ragu alla napoletana, and simple, hearty dishes that make the most of seasonal vegetables and abundant seafood. A skilled cooking instructor, the author provides easy, step-by-step instructions and much more.

 

Editorial Reviews

 

Keywords

Page

Introduction

Our Ten Commandments of Grilled Cheese

The Bread

The Cheese

Cooking Methods

EASY CHEESY

GRATEST HITS

LEGENDAIRIES

BRIE HAPPY

SIDES & SMALL PLATES

CHEASONINGS

Index

Acknowledgements

Copyright Page

A TRUE FRIEND IS SOMEONE WHO THINKS YOU’RE A GOOD CHEESE EVEN IF YOU’RE HALF BLUE

We are two friends who love cheese. There is NOTHING better than melted cheese oozing out of golden buttery bread.

Food has always been a huge part of our lives, but it wasn’t until we moved in together that we really developed a passion for creating delicious cheese toasties. In May 2013, we decided to follow our hearts (and our stomachs) and open Grill My Cheese.

Our friends and family got the goods of our experiments and after some great feedback from them, we decided to hit the streets. We began our journey at a council-run market in West London. After a horrific first day trading (tears, tantrums and failing equipment) we discovered people were excited by our menu and genuinely wanted to eat our food. We were thrilled! Street food was the ideal platform for us to get started on our journey and although it hasn’t been plain sailing, we wouldn’t change it. So this is us, still learning, still eating and having an amazing time as we go along (as cheesy as that may sound).

This book is all about trying new ideas. Although there is always a place for a standard white bread toastie, we knew we could do better. Taking inspiration from classic combinations and the foods we love, we make them our own, creating sandwiches like the Slumdog Grillionaire. This is based on both our mums’ recipes with our own special twist – our take on a Bombay sandwich.

We also love sweet and salty combinations. One of our favourites is the PB&J but don’t forget to give the Doughnut Grilled Cheese a go, too.

We set out to make people happy with our food. There’s no better feeling than when someone comes up to us and says it was the best toastie they’ve ever had. We are so excited to be able to share our recipes with you in this book and hope you feel the same when you try them at home.

Nisha Patel & Nishma Chauhan

OUR TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GRILLED CHEESE

1 DO IT YOUR WHEY

There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ toastie. Everyone has their own version, and we hope these recipes will give you the inspiration to create your ideal toastie.

2 MORE IS MORE

Spending a little more on your ingredients will make a big difference to your grilled cheese. There is always a time and place for the nostalgic ‘white bread’ toastie. It’s a comforting classic. That being said, you deserve better.

3 BUTTER ME UP

Buttering the outside of your bread is a MUST to ensure a golden buttery crust. We recommend using a small amount of unsalted butter.

4 CHEESE ME BABY

Melty, Stretchy, Cheesy – this is what you want from your grilled cheese. Experiment with different cheeses.

5 GRATE EXPECTATIONS

Without getting too scientific (not really), cheese melts quicker when it’s grated. Ultimately, resulting in a perfect cook, especially when you add more ingredients.

6 MIX IT UP

Hams, jams and pickles – most things taste better with cheese. Play around with different flavour combinations and don’t be afraid to try new things. Some of our best sandwiches have come from having fun with flavours.

7 CHEASON’ IT

All our sauces and chutneys work great with grilled cheese, either inside or as dips.

8 GRILLING ME SOFTLY

Cook on a medium heat to ensure your sandwich is golden on the outside and fully melted to gooey perfection.

9 HALLOUIT’S NOT-MI

There are very few don’ts to making a grilled cheese. The main one is using hard cheeses that don’t melt, such as halloumi and paneer. Cottage cheese is also a no no. We do use some ‘non-melty’ cheeses in some of our sandwiches, such as ricotta and cream cheese. These add texture and richness.

10 BRIE-LIEVE IT

Grilled cheese is simple and honest. Don’t take it too seriously, it should always be made with love.

THE BREAD

When it comes down to it, the humble cheese toastie is made using three vital ingredients, bread being one of them. There needs to be enough texture to withstand the mounds of melted cheese and all the crispy bits.

SOURDOUGH

Our personal favourite. We find sourdough the best type of bread for a grilled cheese sandwich – its slightly sour flavour cuts through some of the richness of the cheese, and its firm and slightly waxy consistency makes it sturdy enough to hold all your components together. The fantastic air pockets also mean loads of cheesy crispy bits post grilling. There are many sourdoughs you can use and even mixed flour sourdoughs (which are more likely to come in a friendlier shaped loaf). We recommend you buy your loaves sliced, and would suggest a medium thickness of about 12mm (½ inch) as an optimum.

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e rice on the stovetop. True, I didn’t own a pressure cooker. But neither did I own an Elvis costume. Was either really necessary? Bottom line, did I need an Instant Pot?

As it turns out, the answer was yes. (For the Instant Pot, not the Elvis costume.)

Yes, to yogurt that all but makes itself while I sleep. Yes, to dinners I can prep in the morning and leave to cook all day. Yes, to dried beans that I can make for dinner without the foresight to presoak them. Yes, to steaming vegetables without having to fiddle with the stovetop temperature. Yes, to rice that comes together quickly without moving it on and off the heat. Yes, to things I couldn’t have imagined I would be saying “yes” to: quick-pickled vegetables, no-fuss hard-boiled eggs, mulled cider.

In short, yes to the Instant Pot.

On the day my Instant Pot arrived, I opened the package but had only begun to unwrap the mystery. I was excited but . . . what had I gotten myself into? I grasped the idea of the Rice button, but why was there a Porridge button? What were the valves on the lid for?

How did I use this thing? I know how to bake, boil, skillet, and waffle (I’ve written books on the last two). But how to Instant Pot?

Cooking in an opaque, sealed chamber requires a culinary leap of faith. After the lid is locked tight, you can’t cook by sight or smell. Was I willing to take the plunge? Sure, but I had two goals:

1. Don’t ruin dinner.

and

2. Don’t anger the machine.

I was willing to sacrifice No. 2 if it meant that No. 1 could be accomplished.

I’m here to tell you that you can have it both ways. Not only that, you can take advantage of a unique and useful tool that may nudge its way onto center stage in your kitchen and change the way you cook. In short, you can master the Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot presents a new paradigm even for experienced cooks, but it’s one that you can master regardless of your experience or comfort level in the kitchen. While there is a bit of a learning curve, this book is here to make it more of a gentle slope—and one that lets you eat as you progress.

The Instant Pot is useful but not immediately intuitive. That’s where this book comes in. The main functions of the Instant Pot are covered—pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer—as well as the auxiliary functions that allow you to sauté food and to keep food warm.

You’ll learn:

• What the buttons mean

• How to decipher the LCD screen

• How to convert your favorite recipes for the Instant Pot

• How to clean your Instant Pot

• How the Instant Pot is different from other pressure cookers

• Which optional accessories you might want for your Instant Pot

In short, you’ll learn how to Instant Pot. Now, let’s get cooking.

How to Use This Book

This book arranges its chapters by function. You have a machine that offers many functions in one. What better way to master those functions than by breaking out and exploring each one separately? Of course, two functions are used mainly in conjunction with others and do not have their own chapters:

• The Sauté function plays a key role in many slow-cooker and pressure-cooker recipes.

• The Keep Warm function can serve a valuable purpose, but is perhaps less useful on its own.

For information on how to use each, see Instant Pot Basics.

Chapter 1

Instant Pot Basics

Meeting Your Instant Pot: Equipment and Set-Up

Function and Button Overview

How to Speak Instant Pot: Deciphering the LCD Readout

Converting Your Favorite Recipes to the Instant Pot

Cleaning the Machine

Instant Pot FAQs

Look, I get it. You were hoping this book would help you avoid reading the Instant Pot manual. If that’s the case, go to your happy place (puppies! kittens!) as you read this next bit: While this section covers the basics of the Instant Pot and hits the highlights of using and maintaining the machine, it’s worth looking over the manual that came with it. There won’t be a test later, but you might learn a few things.

The following pages cover all the ins and outs of this marvelous (and occasionally maddening) machine, but if it all feels like a bit much, take heart—the chapter introductions explain the use of each of the pot’s main functions, and the recipes tell you which buttons to push and when. No guesswork needed.

One final note up front: The recipes in this book were developed for a 6-quart Instant Pot (models IP-DUO60 and IP-DUO Plus60). They can also be used with the IP-Ultra (see About the Instant Pot Ultra).

Meeting Your Instant Pot: Equipment and Set-up

Although the specifics vary depending on the model of Instant Pot and manufacturer modifications, the Instant Pot includes everything you need to get started:

Stainless steel inne
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y sizes of uncooked shrimp, high quality crabmeat, and lobster tails are also available. Some supermarkets will steam your shellfish (seasoned or unseasoned) for free while you shop—a great timesaver for weekday meals.

In the frozen section, pre-cut fish fillets, raw and cooked shrimp, baby clams, mussels, and more can be found in vacuum-sealed, FAS (Frozen at Sea), and IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) forms. Thanks to modern handling methods, the quality of frozen seafood has improved dramatically, and can sometimes be better than the “fresh” choices available at the seafood counter (some of which arrive frozen and are thawed “for your convenience”—at a higher price).

As you cook your way through the recipes in this book, you’ll find yourself becoming comfortable with fish and shellfish and may want to learn about and experience the more exotic varieties available. One of the best ways to do this is to develop a relationship with your local vendor, whether it’s the manager of the supermarket’s seafood department or your regular guy at the fish market. They can be a valuable source for information and practical advice on handling, storing, and cooking just about everything that swims. In addition, they often have access to a wide network of resources and can order anything you need, from the ordinary to the obscure.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the characteristics of any fish or shellfish you’re unfamiliar with, as well as any questions about source and quality. A good seafood vendor takes pride in his stock and will welcome your interest. (Be wary of any who seem impatient or circumspect; they might have something to hide!) They can show you firsthand what to look for and what to avoid.

If you happen to live near a coastal area where small-scale commercial fishermen dock, you might try inquiring about purchasing the day’s catch. Depending on the state, many are licensed to make sales directly to the customer. It may or may not be less expensive than buying retail, but you can’t beat “right-off-the-boat” seafood for freshness and flavor.

Once you start enjoying these recipes, you’ll find that cooking fresh seafood is exciting, rewarding, and not so intimidating after all—and you’ll never again settle for the ho-hum, the commonplace, and the “everyday.”

Because when you think about it, every day is a gift, and every meal can be a celebration.

A Note on Choices: As of this writing, the stocks of the fish species chosen for these recipes are considered to be sustainable or in the process of becoming fully sustainable. When in doubt, check with one of the online resources like the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program (www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx) for the most up-to-date information on populations and health advisories.

BUYING FISH

The 3 senses you will rely on for judging freshness are sight, smell, and feel

The freshness of the fish you purchase is more important than any recipe you use to prepare that fish.

First, look at the fish carefully. If whole, the fish’s eyes should be clear and full, not cloudy or sunken. Gills should be deep red. Fish that has been cut up should appear firm and moist with no bruising or dark spots. The color should be the true color of the fish—sole will be white, salmon bright orange, mackerel grayish-brown. Most fresh fish is fragrant and does not smell “fishy.” Look for the pleasant smell of the sea.

The flesh of fresh fish should be firm to the touch and elastic, not mushy. When pressed, your finger should not leave an indentation. Whole fish should be firm, not floppy.

Fillets and Steaks

• Fresh fish is moist and cleanly cut, with no browning around the edges.

• It should be fragrant, not fishy smelling.

• It should be firm and elastic to the touch.

• Fish should be kept on a bed of ice.

It’s important to find a fish market that you can trust. The people behind the counter should be able to answer all your questions on the fish they are selling. Fresh fish has a shelf life of about 5 days, if handled properly. Fish should always be refrigerated, preferably kept on a bed of crushed ice, which helps maintain moisture.

When it comes to buying fish, a good tip is to be flexible. Buy the freshest specimens available even if it’s not the type of fish you had in mind for a particular recipe. Many different kinds of fish can be used in any given recipe.

Buying Whole Fish

• The best way to buy fresh fish is to buy it whole.

• The eyes should be bright and bulging.

• The fish should have a pleasant smell, not a fishy odor.

• The scales should be intact and have a glossy sheen.

Ideally, buy a whole fish and have the fishmonger cut it up for you while you wait. This way you’ll have steaks or fillets as well as the bones, which you can use to make your own fish stock.

Shop around for the best quality and price. Try to buy
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tyle (page 89), the famed northern dish most likely to find in Vietnamese restaurants, grocery stores, made with catfish, turmeric, and handfuls of dill.

and farmers’ markets in the West.

fish mint (rau diep ca)

Enjoyed in salads and wraps, this leaf (Houthuynia cordata) has little fragrance but provides a powerful sour note. The shape of rau diep ca’s leaves earns it an additional common name of fish-scale mint.

green perilla (rau kinh gioi)

This flavorful light-green leaf (Elsholtzia ciliata), bears a visual resemblance to perilla, and hence its common name. It is actually a cousin to lemon balm. In Vietnam, it shows up among the abundant leafy herbs presented with soups.

quick & easy vietnamese 14

mint (rau hung lui)

rice paddy herb (rau ngo om)

Spearmint (Mentha arvensis) is the type of mint most often used This little herb sprouts tiny leaves widely spaced over its long, in Vietnamese cooking, but any type of mint you can find will work plump little stems. Rau ngo om (Limnophila aromatica) is chopped nicely. Also called rau bac ha and rau thom, mint is used often, so or torn up whole, stems as well as leaves, and then added to soups try to keep it on hand along with cilantro.

and curries at serving time. With its petite oval leaves attached to the stem at intervals, from base to tip, rau ngo om looks like a sprig perilla (rau tia to)

of thyme that has been magically inflated. But the resemblance ends Perilla leaves (Perilla frutescens) are large, matte, and beautifully there; don’t try to replace it with thyme.

two-toned; deep green on top and rich purple on the underside.

Shiso is their name in Japan, where they are often used. Sometimes saw-leaf herb (rau ngo gai)

listed on sushi menus as “beefsteak leaves,” they make nice little Long, straight, smooth leaves set this aromatic and pungent herb wrappers, in place of la lot leaves, for Grilled Leaf-Wrapped Beef (Eryngium foetidium) apart from the crowd. Picture a flat green Kebabs (page 33), or bo la lot.

ribbon as long as your finger and with a delicately serrated edge.

Look for rau ngo gai, also known in English as saw-tooth herb, on piper leaf (la lot)

the herb plate whenever you order a bowl of pho (page 128).

This beautiful, hear t-shaped leaf (Piper sarmentosum) is used throughout Southeast Asia as a delicately flavored edible wrapper for savory tidbits. Known in Thailand as bai cha plu, it is the name-Rice Noodles and Rice Paper Wrappers

sake ingredient for Grilled Leaf-Wrapped Beef Kebabs (page 33), Within the bounty of Asian ingredients widely available to the or bo la lot. Piper leaves are not common in the West, but you can use perilla leaves, large basil leaves, spinach leaves, or grape leaves home cook, none have greater potential for the quick and easy as a wrapper in their place.

kitchen than dried rice noodles and rice paper wrappers. Many supermarkets stock them nowadays, and so do Asian groceries rau ram

and mail-order sources (page 162). Their virtues are many: With its bright, pungent flavor and aroma, rau ram (Polygonum auberti Rice noodles are a foundation for substantial meals at a minis-odoratum) is earning a place for itself among the herbs appreciated cule cost. They come in many sizes, from wire-thin threads to in the West. Pale green and smooth, but not shiny, rau ram leaves big, fat, fettuccine-like ribbons. Rice paper wrappers range from resemble those of Asian basil in overall shape. But unlike basil, a small, medium, and large translucent rounds to small triangles, rau ram leaf usually sports a dark, handsome mark at its widest point, perfect for wrapping up tiny spring rolls. They weigh very little on both sides of its spine. In Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, it and keep well for ages. Since they are shelf stable, stock up when is known as laksa leaf because of its role in the pungent seafood you come across a supply and keep them on your pantry shelf noodle soup laksa.

next to the boxes of spaghetti and macaroni.

glossary of vietnamese ingredients 15

Rice noodles offer wonderful options for vegetarians, vegans, bun

and people allergic to wheat. They satisfy, accept flavors beauti-These noodles are thin, somewhere between angel hair and fully, and cook very fast. Nobody makes better, more creative spaghetti, but flatter. They might be labeled “bun,” but you’re more use of rice noodles and rice paper wrappers than the cooks of likely to find them called “rice vermicelli” or “rice sticks.” Anything Vietnam, so it’s time you became better acquainted with them.

thinner than banh pho will work just fine. Check out the noodles in a bowl of bun at your favorite Vietnamese restaurant, and then hunt for that size. Or better yet, ask the restaurant people if they

Dried Rice Noodles

might show you the noodles they use for their noodle dishes in The major kinds of dried rice noodles differ mostly in their their uncooked
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LING PEAS CAN BE A TEDIOUS TASK. BUT THE INTENSIFIED FLAVOR OF FRESH ENGLISH PEAS FROM A LOCAL FARMER IS WELL WORTH IT!

WE USE PROSCIUTTO FROM LA QUERCIA IN NORWALK, IOWA. THIS FAMILY BUSINESS SOURCES PORK FROM FARMERS WHO PRACTICE HIGH STANDARDS OF SUSTAINABILITY.

HONEY-RICOTTA PROSCIUTTO CUPS

Heidi was thrilled when our Northeast Minneapolis neighbors at The Lone Grazer Creamery began crafting an artisan ricotta, providing an eating experience so rich and real you can taste the farm. This unique finger food juxtaposes the fluffy texture of ricotta with crisp prosciutto and cured meat saltiness with sweet honey.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

24 pieces thin-sliced prosciutto

⅔ cup (80 mL) honey (preferably local)

2 eggs

2 cups (500 mL) fresh ricotta

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place a 24-cup mini muffin tin upside down on a baking sheet and coat outside of each cup with a thin layer of olive oil (1 tbsp). Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each cup, first around perimeter; then fold over onto center to finish. Ensure that edges overlap. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check color and consistency of cups. If an ashen color and still soft, return to oven and continue to bake, checking every 3–5 minutes. Prosciutto will be a deep golden-red and completely crisped when finished. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make filling. In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together honey, eggs, and ricotta. Strip rosemary leaves from stems. Reserve half of the prettiest leaf clusters (at least 24) for garnish. Roughly chop remainder and fold into ricotta mixture. Set aside.

After prosciutto cups have cooled, they should easily slide off muffin tin. Remove cups and reserve on a plate or platter. Place muffin tin right-side up on baking sheet and coat inside of each cup with a thin layer of olive oil (1 tbsp). Fill each cup with ricotta mixture and bake for 15–20 minutes, until ricotta cake is firm.

Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Use a butter knife or small spatula to gently nudge each ricotta cake out of muffin tin. Set ricotta cakes into prosciutto cups. Garnish each cup with a small rosemary leaf cluster.

Makes 24 servings.

SILICONE MUFFIN PANS WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE, AND THIS RECIPE, A HELLUVA LOT EASIER.

MARINATED CHÈVRE, THREE WAYS

So simple, yet so impressive, these lovely creations will keep for up to a week well-sealed in your refrigerator, becoming more delicious each day. If you’d like to make just one at a time, that’s fine too, but this trio offers a little something for every guest’s tastes.

MARINATED CHÈVRE WITH ROASTED TOMATOES & GARLIC

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (250 mL) halved cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tbsp olive oil (1 for roasting tomatoes, 2 for marinade)

½ tsp kosher salt

⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

4 oz (115 g) chèvre

sprig fresh thyme, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a medium bowl, toss tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and gently toss. Add thyme, return to oven, and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, shape chèvre into a disc about 1 ½-in (4-cm) thick, and smooth top and sides with a spreader or butter knife.

Remove tomatoes from oven and let cool.

On a small plate or in a shallow bowl, place half the tomato mixture. Top with chèvre. Top with remainder of tomato mixture, then drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Makes 12 servings.

WHEN MAKING ALL THREE VERSIONS AT ONCE, USE A LARGE CHÈVRE LOG AND CUT INTO MEDALLIONS.

MARINATED CHÈVRE WITH HONEY, ROSEMARY & MARCONA ALMONDS

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp coarsely chopped rosemary leaves

3 tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp kosher salt

4 oz (115 g) chèvre

3 tbsp local honey

3 tbsp roughly chopped Marcona almonds

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

rosemary sprig, for garnish

In a small bowl, combine rosemary with olive oil and salt.

Shape chèvre into a disc about 1 ½-in (4-cm) thick, and smooth top and sides with a spreader or butter knife.

On a small plate, drizzle half the honey and half the olive oil mixture. Center chèvre on plate and drizzle with remainder of olive oil mixture and honey. Sprinkle with almonds and a grind of black pepper. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Makes 12 servings.

MARINATED CHÈVRE WITH WILD MUSHROOMS & ORANGE

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small shallot, minced

4 oz (115 g) cremini, porcini, shiitake, chanterelle, or other mushroom

1 tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp fine
over with a palette knife, making a swirl at the top if you wish. Coat each cupcake in desiccated coconut and top with a piece of coconut chocolate.

Custard Cream Cupcakes

Nothing beats accompanying a cup of tea with a custard cream; except, perhaps, our cupcake version of this well-loved classic biscuit! You can always bake and assemble the cookies the day before and store them in an airtight container, then finish the recipe the following day.

MAKES 12-16 CUPCAKES

FOR THE COOKIES

100g (3½oz) UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED

140g (5oz) CASTER SUGAR

1 EGG

200g (7oz) PLAIN FLOUR, PLUS EXTRA FOR DUSTING

¼ tsp CREAM OF TARTAR

FOR THE SPONGE

70g (2½oz) UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED

210g (7½oz) PLAIN FLOUR

250g (9oz) CASTER SUGAR

1 tbsp BAKING POWDER

½ tsp SALT

210ml (7½fl oz) WHOLE MILK

2 LARGE EGGS

1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT

FOR THE CUSTARD

220ml (8fl oz) WHOLE MILK

2 LARGE EGG YOLKS

1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT

40g (1½oz) CASTER SUGAR

15g (½oz) PLAIN FLOUR

15g (½oz) CORNFLOUR

FOR THE FROSTING

660g (1lb 7oz) ICING SUGAR, SIFTED

210g (7½oz) UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED

60ml (2fl oz) WHOLE MILK

1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT

A FEW DROPS OF YELLOW LIQUID FOOD COLOURING

EQUIPMENT

3½cm (1½in) ROUND, FLUTED COOKIE CUTTER

PIPING BAG AND NOZZLE

1. First make the cookies. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3, and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

2. In a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or using a hand-held electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated. In a small bowl, sift the flour and cream of tartar together. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on a slow speed until a dough forms. Don’t overmix.

3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, to about 3–4mm (⅛in) thick. Using the cookie cutter, cut out 32 (or more) cookies. Carefully place them on the prepared baking tray. Bake the cookies for approximately 10–13 minutes or until they start to go golden brown around the edges. Set aside to cool completely for later use. Any excess dough can be made into more cookies or frozen and used again at a later stage.

4. Leave the oven turned to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3, and line the muffin tins with paper muffin cases to make the number of cupcakes you require.

5. In the freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or using the hand-held electric whisk, mix the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together until they form a crumb-like consistency.

6. In a jug, mix together the milk, eggs and vanilla extract by hand.

7. With the mixer or whisk on a slow speed, gradually pour half of the liquid into the crumb mixture and mix thoroughly until combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat until the batter is smooth and thick with no lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Once all lumps have been beaten out, reduce the speed and gradually pour in the remaining liquid, continuing to mix until the batter is smooth and combined.

8. Spoon the batter into the prepared paper cases, filling them two-thirds full. Using a 50ml (1¾fl oz) ice-cream scoop can make this process easier and will result in even cupcakes. Bake for approximately 20–25 minutes or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

9. While the cupcakes are baking, make the custard. Place the milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, vanilla extract, sugar, flour and cornflour to make a paste, adding 1 tablespoon of the hot milk to thin if necessary.

10. When the milk has boiled, remove the pan from the heat and mix 4–5 tablespoons with the egg and flour paste, then pour this back into the pan with the remaining hot milk and return to the heat.

11. Bring back up to the boil, whisking constantly, and continue to boil for a further 3–4 minutes to ensure the flour and cornflour are fully cooked. However, be careful not to overcook or the eggs may begin to scramble. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the custard into a baking tray. Cover at once with cling film and set aside to cool completely.

12. Using the freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment or the hand-held electric whisk, make the frosting by gradually mixing the icing sugar and butter together on a low speed until combined and there are no large lumps of butter. Gradually pour in the milk and vanilla extract, while mixing on a slow speed. When all the liquid is incorporated, turn the mixer up to a high speed and beat the frosting until light and fluffy. Colour the frosting a very pale yellow using liquid food colouring, mixing it through until all of the frosting is the same shade.

13. To assemble the mini cookies fo

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