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Brokkoli & Smoked Trout Strudel with Wild Garlic!

7 Apr

Let me tell you a sad, sad story with a happy ending!

Last Thursday, I received sad news indeed. Friday’s training session was cancelled. No boxing on Friday night! Don’t cry for me, though, dear reader, for I came up with an alternative. This alternative couldn’t make up for the missed boxing training but it lead to the happy ending of my wonderful story: I went cycling on Friday morning. And after about 30 minutes, I found myself in the woods and overwhelmed by the loveliest smell! Either I had died and gone to heaven (part two not being bloody likely! ;) – or it’s wild garlic* season!

* aka ramsons, buckrams, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek or bear’s garlic. Or so Wikipedia says.

There was wild garlic everywhere. So I got off my bike, gathered as much of the stuff as my bicycle basket would hold, and then cycled home smelling slightly garlic-y.

Great story, isn’t it? :)

And in the evening of that lovely day I made:

brokkoli & smoked trout strudel with wild garlic

brokkoli and smoked trout strudel with wild garlic

Much more yummy looking (and yummy!) in real life. Sorry you missed it! :-P

I used store-bought puff pastry. The filling is really just cooked brokkoli, smoked trout, chopped-up wild garlic, some cream cheese and a handful of kalwanji seeds. The strudel was extremely easy to make, and it tasted so. Flipping. Nice.

The hardest part was standing my ground in the discussion with two males from Northern Germany who had never heard of savoury strudel. Barbarians! (They liked the result, though. I win!)

Oh, and 48 hours later I think I can safely say that apparently I picked little to no lily of the valley or meadow saffron leaves with the wild garlic. (Both these leaves look very much like wild garlic but are highly poisonous!) I win again! :)

By the way, I went back to the woods and gathered some more, MORE, MOOOOOOOOORE. Expect me to smell of wild garlic for the next two weeks. :)



Eurovision Disco Cake Balls et al

26 May

Eurovision Disco Cake BallsD – I – S – C – O!

It’s Eurovision day, are you excited?

There’s Eurovision decoration all over the living room; there’s a lot of champagne in the fridge; my costume is ready to be put on; scorecards and drinking game rules have been printed off for all my guests; and of course there’s food. Sounds like the perfect set-up for a perfect night to me!

My main treat for my mad friends (Not the zombie film gang, though; I have more mad friends! And the boys aren’t cool enough for the Eurovision) are disco cake balls. They are strawberry and vanilla cake truffles covered in white chocolate and decorated with girlie glittery sugar sprinkles. Disco! :)

Orange Chocolate Cake Balls

Looking slightly more grown-up – fie! – yet also rather delicious, these are orange and chocolate cake balls. Made from, you guessed it, orange and chocolate cake.

This past week, I’ve had to convince somebody that oranges and chocolate are an awesome combination, which in turn has made me fall in love with it all over again!

mini strudels

And finally I am feeding my friends mini strudels. I was going to make crescents (I used the same dough) but I decided to go for a slightly different shape because I am a rebel like that. :)

There are three fillings: cheese, ham and spring onion; dried tomato and chilli; and dried tomato and poppyseed.

A friend gave me a small jar of dried tomato paste a while ago, and I never knew quite what to use it for. Now I think I have found a very good use for the lovely stuff!

That’s it; I’m ready. Let’s get the party started!

Yummy intestines

3 Feb

You know, food photography is not easy. This is something I know from my own experience, and yes, I am aware that a number of photos on this blog also bear witness to this fact, thankyouverymuch. To be honest, I have had posts that never saw the light of day because I didn’t want to blog about something I’d baked without a picture – but neither did I want to publish really horrible photos. (You have NOT seen the really horrible ones, believe you me.) It bugs me that delicious food can look absolutely disgusting in a picture.

So it’s nice when you’ve got something that’s supposed to look a bit gross anyway. Kinda sorta like when you bake…

… intestines!
Yummy intestines

It’s a puff pastry strudel sort of thing with a hazelnut and chocolate filling, and the blood is red food colouring. Although I guess I could have used raspberry or strawberry jam as well. In any case, I’ve been told that it tasted nice.

For 15 monsterbake points, guess whether I baked this for our horror film group! :)

Now all that’s left to do is give you the link to the blog I got the idea from: The Knead for Speed. Here you go. That’s it from me for today. Good fight, good night!

My Austrian Baking Heritage — and something new

17 Sep

Austrian Poppyseed Strudel

I’ve been away for two weeks – but I have not been inactive! :) I went to Austria to see my grandmother, who gave me a one-day Austrian Baking Heritage class. It was GREAT. We baked strudels all day long. In the picture above you can see our poppyseed strudel. This one’s been made with a yeast dough; but I also learned how to make proper strudel dough. The stretched kind. The kind that requires more hands and arms than anybody’s got and that always ends up with at least little holes in it. They say that proper strudel dough has to be stretched so thin that you if you put it on top of the page of a newspaper, you should still be able to read it.

Two rather unfortunate things though: I can’t give you any recipes because the quantities are a tad imprecise.  – “Add as much XY as the dough needs, then bake at a good temperature until the colour is right.” I guess that’s the way grandmothers all over the world hand down their recipes. It’s a sort of rite of passage for the baking kind. As soon as your grandmother’s recipes make sense, you’re there. You’re it. :) I’m not quite it yet – I still struggle with some recipes – but I’m getting there! Er, sorry, there.

The other unfortunate thing is that the other pictures I took are rubbish, so you cannot see for yourselves that yes, my stretched strudel dough was thin enough to read a newspaper through it, and it was almost flawlessly hole-less too! From this dough we made an apple strudel and one apple-grape-almond strudel. Delicious!

… and something new

My nana is always up for trying out something new. I must get my adventurous-experimental baking spirit from her. So anyway, inspired by my friend, who in turn was inspired by all of these, we made cinnamon pull-apart bread.  It tasted nice but I wasn’t really satisfied with the result. You couldn’t really pull away the slices; we ended up tearing off junks of it. Maybe we used too little butter? If I ever make one again, I might use a recipe.