Friday, 28 December 2012

Onion Marmalde Sausage Rolls

I love sausage rolls. I reeeally love sausage rolls. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I stalk the reduced isle in asda in case they have any, but I definitely do. Of course everyone knows homemade are even better. Now, don’t judge me for this, but I’ve used ready-made puff pastry. You will understand in a while when I finally get around to blogging about another pastry related endeavour. Let’s just say making puff pastry from scratch is long and although totally worth it, ‘aint no nobody got time for that.

I decided to spruce things up a little bit and add some onion marmalade to these sausage rolls. They were bang tidy if I do say so myself.

375g ready-made puff pastry
400g sausage meat
1 egg, beaten
Lots of onion marmalade
Salt, pepper and a bit of plain flour
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C, and prepare a couple of baking trays with some parchment.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pastry into a large rectangle, about half a centimetre thick.

Heat the onion marmalade in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and then using a pastry brush, brush a line all the way along about two inches from the top of the pastry.

Season the sausage meat with some salt and pepper and roll it in your hands, using a little flour so it doesn’t stick, into long sausages. Roll them as thick as you want, but if you’re making them for a party do them on the smaller side so that you will make more.
Place the rolled sauce on top of the onion marmalade.

Brush the beaten egg all around the sausage meat, in a sort of box shape so that all the connecting edges are covered.
Gently fold the pastry over the sausage and press together with your fingers. Use a knife to cut all the way along the pastry horizontally, and then use a fork to crimp the edges all the way along and at the sides. Brush the egg wash all over the top.

Carry on in this way, working down the pastry. You should get three good lines of sausage roll.

When the sausage lines are ready, use a fork to prick holes on the top of the pastry all the way along, about an inch apart. This will let the steam out when they’re cooking. Use a knife and cut in between the fork pricks to make the individual sausage rolls, and place them straight onto the prepared trays.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack then serve in a wicker basket with some Christmassy napkins for good measure.

These are delicious hot or cold, although I think I love them a little bit more at three in the morning after a few (many) glasses of wine.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Mary Berry's Yule Log

The good thing about being the designated pudding cook for Christmas is that you can make something that is actually nice I.e. not figgy pudding, fruit cake, mince pies etc. because they are gross.

I was originally going to make Nigella’s Yule Log but after seeing The Great British Bake Off Christmas special, I liked the look of Mary Berry’s much more. I think it’s because she used cream instead of copious amounts of icing which can be a bit sickly. I’m glad I did because this went down an absolute treat yesterday with some mulled wine.

4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
600ml double cream
300g dark chocolate (30-40% solids, I used Bourneville)
Icing sugar to decorate
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C. Lightly grease a Swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment. Mum had this weird wobbly silicone one from Lakeland. I would suggest putting it on a baking tray if you use one of these so you don’t do what I did and have a spaz when it almost fell on the floor…

To make the sponge, first whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until it is pale and frothy.

Sift the cocoa powder and flour into the bowl and gently fold it into the egg mixture.

Pour it into the tin and spread it evenly.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch.
Cut a piece of baking parchment slightly larger than your tin and cover it generously with icing sugar.
When the cake is baked turn it out onto the sugared paper and peel off the bottom lining.

Gently cut a score mark about 2-3cm in along one of the long edges of the sponge.
Start at this edge and roll the sponge up tightly with the paper inside. Leave it to cool completely like this.

To make the ganache topping gently heat 300ml of the double cream in a saucepan. It should be just hot enough that you can still touch it. When it gets to this point, remove it from the heat and add the chocolate, broken into pieces. Still the chocolate and cream until the chocolate has completely melted. Pour it into a bowl and leave to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge to harden up. You need to leave it a good hour or so because the ganache has to be thick enough to pipe.

Beat the cream with an electric whisk until it holds its shape.

Unroll the sponge when it’s cool and spread the whipped cream evenly all over. Re-roll it tightly.

Cut a quarter of the cake off, at a slight angle and place it at the side of the main log to make a branch.
Fill a piping bag with a large star nozzle with the ganache and pipe thick lines all along the cake. Mine became a bit of a disaster here because my nozzle had some hardened chocolate blocking it, and it all got a bit messy. Luckily, icing sugar hides a multitude of sins- When you’ve covered the entire cake, including the ends of the logs, dust liberally with icing sugar.

Then if you’re a bit naff like we are, add some plastic snowmen or whatever you like really.

To be eaten with a fork, I reckon.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough is something that you need silly amounts of free time to do, so obviously now is the perfect window of opportunity. For one thing to even make sourdough bread you have to make a sourdough starter, which takes about three ruddy weeks. I’ve never made it at uni because I’ve never had the time, but luckily my mum has too much of it to devote to these things. Generally a sourdough loaf takes between 15-20 hours all in all, so give yourself at least two days.

This first basic recipe makes enough dough for two loaves, and then I’ve chosen to do two different variations just to be awkward. Don’t be put off by my moaning about how long it takes, because sourdough is exceptionally banging bread. It’s because it’s proved for so long that gives it its distinctive taste. Eat it while it’s fresh! Oooh also, if you’re looking for good sourdough recipes, look to Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake- it’s the sort of book you want to use as a pillow, it’s that good.
750g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
500g sourdough starter
15g salt
350-450ml tepid water
Olive oil for kneading
This is a picture of the sourdough starter, which is made out of flour and apple and other bits and bobs which you have to ‘feed’ after every time you use it.

Firstly, put the flour, starter and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Add 350ml of water and start to mix using your hands, picking up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. If you need to add a little more water, but be careful not to add too much.

When you’ve formed a rough dough, drizzle a work surface with a little olive oil and tip the dough out onto it.
Knead for a good 10 minutes until the dough feels soft and smooth.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise for 5 hours or until doubled in size.

This is where the method splits into two for each type of bread.
The first one I chose is an Apple and Cheddar Sourdough
Extra ingredients
150g cheddar, grated
2 small dessert apples, cored and roughly chopped
After the dough has been left to rise for 5 hours, split it into two equal halves and use on half for this bread.
Lightly flour a work surface and tip the bread out, squishing it a bit to knock some of the air out. Flatten one of the halves into a large rectangle, around 2cm deep.
Sprinkle 100g of the grated cheese onto one side of the rectangle of dough, leaving a clear margin around the edges. Top with the chopped apples then fold over the dough to make a sort of parcel. Press down the edges to make sure the loaf is firmly sealed.
Cover a tray with a muslin cloth and dust heavily with flour. Place the loaf onto it, then put the whole tray inside a clean plastic bag.

Leave it to prove for about 13 hours or until doubled in size. I left it overnight.
When the dough’s ready to be baked, transfer it onto a tray lined with baking parchment. Heat the oven to 200⁰C.
Sprinkle the top of the loaf with the remaining 50g of cheese, and use your finger to make a deep indentation all the way along the centre of the loaf. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap the base.

This sourdough would definitely taste amazing with a nice, cold pint of cider.

For the other loaf I made a Smoked Bacon and Garlic Sourdough
Extra Ingredients
2 small garlic bulbs
Olive oil
100g smoked bacon
While the dough is going through its first rise, prepare the filling for this loaf. Heat the oven to 190⁰C, cover the garlic bulbs in olive oil and place inside a parcel of foil. Roast for about 45 minutes or until tender. When it’s cooled, crush it into a puree. (Note: For whatever reason, I failed miserably at this and managed to burn my garlic into ash. I definitely could not be bothered to wait around for another 45 minutes though, so I just fried some lazy garlic for a few minutes. Personally I think it worked just as well…)
Heat a small frying pan and cook the smoked bacon until just cooked. Roughly chop into small bits with a pair of scissors.

After the first rise, and division of dough, knock the air out as before. Flatten out the dough. Spread the garlic all over one side, and top with the bacon.

Roll up the dough (definitely misread this and folded it instead, woops). Shape it into an oval. Cover a baking tray with a muslin cloth, sprinkled heavily with flour. Pop the tray inside a plastic bag and leave for 9 hours or until doubled in size. I left both loaves to prove overnight and it didn’t seem to do any harm to leave them for a bit longer.
When the dough is ready to be baked, heat the oven to 200⁰C. Place the loaf onto a tray covered with baking parchment. Sprinkle a little bit of water all over its surface and lightly coat it in flour. Bake for 35 minutes or until hollow when you tap its underside. Cool on a wire rack.

And just to show that we have been going a bit baking mad in the Ryan kitchen- here’s some cupcakes we made for the hell of it.