Thursday, May 13, 2010

Potato and Leek Soup

Since we now live in Wales I thought I should start using leeks more. So the first attempt was with this soup.


1 leek, washed and diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 medium potatoes, washed and diced (I didn't peel them)
3+ cups of vegetable stock
soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
bay leaf
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Heat the oil and butter in a pan.  Add the leek and the onion.  (I read that to wash the leek I should slice the leek lengthwise and wash out all the sand.)  Saute for about five minutes.

Add the vegetable stock, potatoes and bay leaf.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft.

Remove the bay leaf.  Puree until smooth (I left it just a little chunky), season and serve.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Crack Pie

Brigham posts about Momofuku, the restaurant franchise in New York, and it makes me want to live in NYC and go eat there all the time.  Alas, when we actually were in New York, we learned Momofuku is not made for vegetarians.  So we didn't even give it a go.  But Niall has a dream of modifying as many Momofuku recipes as possible to be vegetarian friendly.  He asked me to make Crack Pie, which took no modification.

It did, however, take me weeks to make this pie.  I don't know why.  Probably the baby.  It's kind of time consuming, but really good and really sweet.  But come on?  Butter, brown sugar, more butter, more brown sugar, some cream, and eggs and voila!  

It's also very forgiving.  I did a lot of stop and go on this and didn't use all the right measurements, plus I don't know how to use our oven.  And it still turned out pretty good.  I can't imagine what the real thing tastes like.  The recipe is here.

First I made the cookie crust.  Here's what part of it looked like.

We have a new range oven, which is pretty amazing, but I'm also still not quite sure how to use.  The cooking time was supposed to be 15 minutes, but we ended up going about 30!!

Once the cookie crust is done, crumble it up with butter, sugar and a bit or salt.  (Sort of like a graham cracker crust.)  Then put it in the pie dish.  I halved the recipe.

Make the filling.  It looked so pretty!  But with butter, eggs, brown sugar and cream I don't know why I would expect anything different.

Put the filling in the crust.

The recipe says to cook for 15 minutes then reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes until the pie sets.  We ended up cooking it another 30-40 minutes.  Like I said, I'm learning to use this new oven.

The pie really browned on top and we cooked it until it was just a little jiggly.  Then cooled it for a few hours.  We were supposed to sprinkle powdered sugar on top but we were out.  Like I said, this is a forgiving recipe.  It was still delicious.  At my first bite, I thought, "This is good, but quite sweet.  I can't see it being being extremely moorish."  But, uh, it was.  And now it's gone.

Monday, May 3, 2010

White Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

When I saw the Cookie Madness entry for Funfetti Cupcake Clones, I started looking for an excuse to try the white cupcake recipe because they looked so delicious.  Niall asked me to make treats for him to take to work (in the UK when it's your turn to celebrate you bring your own treats, including bringing in your own birthday cake!), so it sounded like a good excuse to me.  Plus I wanted to try an experiment making a frosting out of Buttermilk Syrup and the result was pleasing.  I liked it so much I ate WAY too much.  Here's the recipe for the caramel frosting:


1 cup granulated sugar
1 cube (1/2 cup or 100 grams) of butter
1 Tablespoon light Karo syrup
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk (we didn't have any, so I used milk with vinegar)
2-4 cups powdered sugar

Make the Buttermilk Syrup.  (Mix the granulated sugar, butter, Karo syrup, soda and buttermilk in a pan. Bring it to a boil, continue stirring while the syrup boils until it turns a light brown-should take about five minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.)

Let the syrup cool for five to ten minutes.  Then pour it in a mixing bowl.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency.

The frosting hardens fairly quickly.  I tried to add sprinkles shortly after frosting the cupcakes (known as hundreds and thousands in the UK) and they would not stick!

The cake recipe from Cookie Madness is my new favorite white cake recipe.  The recipe is here. It takes a bit more effort (whipping egg whites) but so worth it.  I liked the way the cupcakes tasted on day one, Niall liked the cupcakes better the next day.

Sift the dry ingredients

Whip the egg whites.

Cream the sugar and butter.

Add in the dry ingredients, milk, dry ingredients, milk, dry ingredients.  (I forgot the vanilla/almond extract and the cupcakes were still good.  I bet they're amazing with vanilla.)  Fold in the egg whites.

Niall did the folding.  Doesn't it look nice?

Bake for 22 minutes at 350 degrees.  Makes 24 cupcakes.