viernes, 30 de noviembre de 2012

Nuts, Lentils and Roquefort Biscuits with a Silken Tofu and Nuts Sauce

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To my good friend Stèph ;)

Here is a recipe that I had already tried with my kitchen-mate Stéphanie. 

When I was living in Barcelona, we used to meet once or twice a month to have a cooking day: we would prepare recipes that caught our attention. And after a long day elaborating a menu, we would eat everything! such good memories, enjoyable moments. 
These recipe is from lovely Cléa's book: “Croquez salé".

Those biscuits are delicious, the lentils and nuts are softly crunchy on the tooth, then comes the roquefort strong but  delicate. We enjoyed so much discovering the recipe and eat the biscuits!
I am cooking these biscuits again as I take part in a contest Las Nueces de California, I have to propose a Christmas appetiser or a starter made with nuts (the winner gets a Kitchenaid !!!Oh yes!)
In order to look like an appetiser I decided to present the biscuits with a creamy sauce made with silken tofu...and nuts! Of course! This sauce is really tasty, it's pure pleasure and it's also so simple to prepare! It matches perfectly with the biscuits, but you could also serve it with many other things, with some vegetable dips for example. Yum!

For the biscuits (around 20):
60 gr of nuts

60 gr of flour

50 gr of green lentils flour (if you can't find the flour just make it yourself from whole lentils using a grinder, if you can't find green lentils just use normal ones. That's what I did actually, here in Spain they've never seen a green lentil...) 
100 gr of Roquefort cheese

Pre-heat the oven on 180°C. Put the nuts in the oven 4-5 minutes in order to roast them. (you can use a pan as well). Crush them finally. Add the two flours and mix thoroughly. Blend in the crumbled up cheese. Carry on mixing so to obtain a kind of homogeneous mixture. Add a little water to make a ball.  
Spread the doe on 3-5 mm and cut with a cookie cutter or simply with a knife. 
Place in the baking tray on a baking paper, cook for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool on a rack.

For the sauce (Fingers in the nose!):
75g of nuts
100g of silken tofu (it's softer than the tofu we all know, it's a great product, a good substitute for butter, cream, cheese etc..).
A pinch of salt (if you have some "interesting" salt such as pink salt from Himalaya or black's even better!) 
The day before soak the nuts in water in order to rehydrate them.
The day after, drain them and mix them with the tofu and the salt. Ready!

Dollop on a biscuit and straight to your mouth! Enjoy!!!!  

miércoles, 28 de noviembre de 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Pumpkin time! Great!

I love pumpkin, I usually cook it in a creamy soup with a hint of cumin. But this is the "classical"'s amazing what you can do with a pumpkin: ice cream, cookies, cakes etc... Today I'm sharing a cupcakes recipe. They're so cute those little chaps, and they don't last much, the cake is soooo smooth and soft, just delicious!

Alejandro a friend from the kitchen garden gave me two huge pieces of pumpkin. But this is no ordinary pumpkin, Alejandro won the pumpkin contest 2012!! He definitely knows how to grow the thing! ...I wish I will be able to get the same result next year. 
To have a look at our kitchen garden to rent (Ciudad Real, Spain):

for 12 cupcakes:

For the cupcakes: 
200g plain flour
1,5 tea spoon baking powder
150g sugar
100ml soft olive oil (not too strong in taste)
180ml(or 250g) mashed pumpkin
2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon clove powder

For the frosting:
120g Philadelphia cheese or similar,cold.
120g butter at room temperature
300g icing sugar
1 tablespoon of milk 
Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
Sift the flour with the spices and the baking powder. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and the olive oil. Blend with the pumpkin mash.  
When the mixture looks smooth, blend in the flour.
Line a muffin tin with paper cases (it helps to maintain the cupcake in it place while cooking :)).  
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until about two-third full (it's important not to "over-fill" the cases).
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top is springy to the touch. The cooking time is very important, if you leave them 2 extra minutes in the oven they won't be as soft and smooth as wanted).  
Remove from the oven, let them cool 5mn in the tin on the oven tray. Then remove them from the tin and place on a cooling rack.


For the frosting, mix the butter with icing sugar et the tablespoon of milk with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Cover the bowl with a cloth if you don't want your kitchen to look like a Christmas landscape!) Then, beat in the cold cheese. Beat for a few minutes until light and creamy.  
To decorate the cupcakes, dollop on some frosting and swirl it with a knife or a spoon, or use a piping bag with a star nozzle.  
You can sprinkle with nuts splinters. 

It's killer!!! :)

Recipe from Objetivo Cupcake Perfecto, the best blog ever for cupcakes and bakery. Thanks Alma!

lunes, 26 de noviembre de 2012

Home Made Rocket & Nuts Pesto

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There we are! The first post of my whole life! How exciting! We're gonna have a simple start with a quick and simple recipe but always nice to spread on your spaghetti! :) With this blog I'll try to share with you what comes out of my small kitchen.

I'm quite privileged to have a small kitchen garden from which I get my rocket. Its flavour is quite strong and a bit bitter, but that's how I like it! 
I spread it on a recently baked pizza, mixed with a salad to give it more strength or I make some pesto!

Homemade Rocket Pesto

Serve 4:
60 g fresh rocket
50 g walnuts and nuts 

20 g parmesan
50 g olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Wash and drain the rocket. Mix all the ingredients together, you'll get a non homogeneous green paste. When serving with pasta, we mix the pesto with a little bit of the water we used to cooked the pasta. Serve and eat without waiting!
The pesto can be kept 2-3 days in the fridge, not more. Very suitable for freezing.

Recipe inspired by Cléa

Bon appétit!