Sunday, 26 May 2013

Hazelnut Cake




Last weekend, I had another go at baking with this delicious Austrian recipe. Now, baking is always a kitchen adventure if ever I’ve seen one! I think I told you that our oven has a quite hazardous way of expressing itself. It’s an old gas cooker with a funny graduation starting at 270°C, then there’s a line for 250°C followed by a last one indicating 150°C. Between these, it’s freestyle cooking at its best! Imagine how this situation makes it “easy” when you want to bake a cake! Cakes need precise temperatures and cooking times, as you all know. But each time I decide to venture into the dangerous territory of Cakes ‘n’ Sweets, I have to hold a wet thumb into the wind to gage whether my oven has the right temperature or not. What a surprise, thus, when I realized a perfectly cooked, fluffy and light cake this time. 


What you need: 
  • 120 g of butter 
  • 250 g of sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 250 g of flour 
  • ½ pack of baking powder 
  • 100 g of grated hazelnuts 
  • ¼ l of milk 
  • Some more butter and flour for the cake pan (a ring-shaped cake pan would be perfect)
How to proceed: 
  • Make sure you’ve taken the butter out of the fridge in time as you need it to be soft. 
  • Preheat your oven at 150°C. 
  • Sift the flour, stir in the baking powder. 
  • Mix the butter, sugar and eggs until they are foamy. 
  • Add the mixture flour-baking powder. 
  • Mix in the grated hazelnuts and the milk. 
  • Grease your cake pan with some butter and coat the buttered inside with some flour. 
  • Bake the cake at 150°C for about 50-60 minutes. 
Serve the cake with a coating of icing sugar. This is perfect as a dessert together with a glass of cold champagne, but also for a coffee break or for breakfast. I really loved this cake, and I’m sure so will you!
Bon appétit!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Pide (Turkish Pizza)


Hey, I’m back! And it’s about time, I’d say. I’ve been very busy lately and haven’t found time to blog a lot. But now I’ve simply taken the time and even did a complete blog make-over – tidied up its look and even changed its name! It’s simply “Dieter in the kitchen” from now on. 

Well, it’s Monday, and I have a day off, which explains I have enough time to work on this blog. It’s really shitty weather outside (pardon my French), rainy and windy and rather cold. But we didn’t have much of a spring up until now, anyway, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. To get into a better, pre-summery mood, I will prepare a nice Mediterranean dish for you: the pide, a sort of traditional Turkish pizza. The fact to write about it already makes my mouth water. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe. 

What you need: 
To prepare the dough: 
  • 600 g of flour 
  • 1 pinch of salt 
  • 100 ml of warm milk 
  • 200 ml of warm water 
  • 1 small bag of yeast 
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar 
For the meat topping: 
  • 500 g of minced beef 
  • 2 tomatoes 
  • 2 little bell peppers 
  • 2 little onions 
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato puree 
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 4 teaspoons of flat-leaved parsley 
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika 
  • 1 egg 
  • Some olive oil
How to proceed: 
  • Mix the warm milk, water, sugar and yeast (neither cold nor hot water and milk will do because both would kill the little fungus of which yeast basically consists – and you need these little devils to be well alive if you want your dough to rise). 
  • Let the dough rest for ten minutes until the yeast reacts (you should see bubbles on the surface). 
  • In a big bowl, pour the flour and salt, then add your “yeasty beast”. 
  • Knead until you have a nice, smooth dough (my tip: you know you’re getting there when the dough stops sticking to your fingers and to the bowl; if it doesn’t, simply add some more flour – or ask someone to help you as you’ll have, well, sticky fingers, lol). 
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rise (approx. 40 minutes in a warm place). 
  • In the meantime, prepare the “topping”. Start by chopping the tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and parsley. 
  • Add the minced beef, the spices, the tomato puree, and mix everything nicely. 
  • After 40 minutes, the dough should be twice the size it was before. Cut it in 4 parts of the same size (for 4 pides). 
  • Preheat your oven for 10 minutes at 220°C. 
  • With a pastry roller, spread out each part in an oval shape (not too thick, not too thin – I’d say 1-2 cm). 
  • Place each pide on the baking tray on which you’ll have drizzled some oil before. 
  • Spread the meat topping on each pide
  • Scramble your egg. 
  • Fold up the brims of the pides and spread some egg on them (for a nice and golden crust). 
  • Put the pides in the oven and cook them for 20 minutes in its upper section. 
Serve the pides hot, with a side helping of green salad or even a bowl of Greek salad.
Glad to be back amongst you, my dear friends. Please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think of my new Food Blog – I’m always very excited to hear from you!
Bon appétit!

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