My First Cake Ever - Carrot Cake !

Today I made my first cake ever and because carrot cake is my favourite I decided that that's what I will try to make. I thought it would be much more difficult than anything else I ever cooked but surprisingly I made it in no time. The recipe is very simple and I think nobody can get it wrong.  

Ingredients for the cake (without the cream): 

- 2/3 glass of flour
- half a glass of sugar
- a teaspoon of bicarbonate
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove 
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 glass of oil of olive
- 2 eggs
- 1 glass of thinly chopped/mashed/ground cashew nuts
- 1 glass of dry cranberry
- 1 glass of grated carrot

Equipment : 
- bakery paper        - baking tin        - hand mixer

Cover your baking tin with bakery paper. To make the paper stick to the baking tin butter the tin.

You'll need two bowls. In the first one you'll mix all the dry ingredients. Salt, flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate and all of the spices go to the same bowl.

In the second bowl you'll mix oil of olive and 2 eggs.

Combine the two bowls.

Add the carrot, nuts and cranberry and mix well. Put the mixture into the baking tin and spread evenly.

Bake in the oven at 175ºC for 40-45 minutes.

As you can see I chose a very wide baking tin that is why my cake came out so thin.

Normally it should be much thicker and then you cut in half and in between the top and the bottom you put the cream.

But because my cake is thin I've cut it differently. And then I've but both tops on top of each other.

Cream Ingredients : 

- 300 g of cream cheese
- 6 spoons of butter
- a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of sugar powder (pass it through a sieve)

Mix it with a hand mixer until the texture of it is smooth and without any clumps.

As I told you before my cake came out too thin so I've cut it into two tops. One of the tops will use as the bottom of the whole cake. On this piece I spread a thick layer of cream.

Then I covered the bottom piece with a top piece. The rest of the cream went on the top of the cake.

Decorate your cake with some ground cinnamon and chopped cashew nuts.

Voila !

This cake takes an hour to make and I bet everybody who loves sweets will find it delicious.

If you never tried the carrot cake before trust me it doesn't taste like a carrot. It's sweet, soft, the cranberries add some sourness and the cashew nuts some crunch.

Hope you enjoy it ! 

Butterfingered Chef

Deep Fried Basil Fail

Few days ago I've heard of deep frying herbs. When I ate something like that it reminded me of dry sea-weed. I really liked the taste, the texture and the idea and I tried to do it myself.
I don't know what I did wrong but I failed badly. My basil burned in a split second.

I am going to try to do it until I finally manage. I'll also ask a friend how he has done it.

Wish me luck !

Butterfingered Chef

Creamy Vegetables with Chicken

Quick dinner for me and my grandparents.

- Carrots
- Yellow Peppers
- Mushrooms
- Onions
- Cream
- Sesame Oil
- Salt
- Chicken marinated in salt, pepper, chopped lime leaves and yoghourt

Throw the chopped vegetables in a pan in a sequence written above. When they're ready add cream and on a low heat cook it for a few minutes. Add salt and sesame oil. Fry the chicken on a separate pan until golden brown.

Simple, quick and delicious ! Try it out ! 

Butterfingered Chef

Eggs Benedict - Ups and Downs

Today I decided to try and make Eggs Benedict. I tried to make them yesterday too but I failed miserably. Yesterday my hollandaise sauce tasted right BUT it had the wrong texture. When cooking this sauce there's a moment where you have to add a tea spoon of boiling water to the yolk and butter mixture and I did. Unfortunately I forgot that to the pot I took the water from I already added vinaigrette for the eggs... So of course when I added the vinaigrette water to my yolk/butter mixture it resulted in clumps appearing in the sauce. The texture of it was terrible...
I also failed in making poached eggs yesterday. I cooked them for too long and when I finally started to eat I realised that there was no yolk. I have no idea where it disappeared but it was not there...

Now, today I tried to make those eggs again.

Ingredients : 

- yolk x 2      - 3/4 slices of butter     - lemon juice    - salt
- 2 whole eggs   - vinaigrette     - pepper    - bacon/ham    - bread

The hollandaise sauce 
In a pot melt the butter. Run it through the sieve. Whip two yolks. Prepare a pot for the sauce. Take the pot and fill it with water and bring it to boil. On top of the pot put a glass bowl (it's the same as melting chocolate). Pour the whipped yolk into the bowl and mix. Add the melted butter and stir. Best to use for this is the eggbeater. While still mixing the sauce add lemon juice, pepper and a tiny bit of salt.

It's ready !

Poached egg 

Fill a pot with water and bring to the boil. Add 2 spoons of vinaigrette and stir. Delicately put the egg in. The vinaigrette will stop the white and the yolk from spilling everywhere and it will hold it together. With a spatula gently move the white around the yolk. Leave for 1-2 minutes. Take out gently and 
dry it with a paper towel.

It's ready !

While you cook the poached egg and the sauce prepare the bread and the beacon. Fry the beacon until it's nice and crispy. Same with bread.

Put the beacon on the bread and the poached egg on the beacon. Pour the sauce on top of it.

Unfortunately when I was concentrating on the poached eggs I turned off the heat under the sauce and it cooled down and dried out. I tried to melt it again but I failed miserably... At the end of the day I didn't have a sauce, I had a yolk pâté.

Even though the sauce didn't come out the way it was suppose to it was really good ! It had a nice texture, very creamy and soft. It was so delicate that it melted in my mouth. The beacon was crispy and nicely browned and together with the crispy bread was a great base for the soft and delicate pâté and the poached egg.
I love the 
hollandaise sauce. The pâté that came out of my sauce had the perfect amount of lemon juice and pepper in it. I love the combination of the sourness with the saltiness of the bacon.

I'm really proud of myself for one thing. I managed to cook perfect poached eggs ! When I poked the yolk it spilled everywhere. At least I did one thing right !

I will have to try and make the sauce once more and hopefully the next time it will be perfect...
Apart from that mistake I am quite happy with what came out of my experiment and I hope you will try to make your own Eggs Benedict and leave a comment below about how did it go !

Good Luck !

Butterfingered Chef 

Julie And Julia

I liked the movie more the second time I watched it. I didn't concentrate on an annoying character of Julie (Amy Adams) anymore. She whines through out the movie and is basically pathetic when compared to Julia Child who, in addition to her breathtaking character, is played by a magnificent actress - Maryl Streep ! To be honest, this movie should be only about Julia Child.

In comparison to other movies this one actually shows a lot of cooking. This is a big plus as some of the movies about "food and kitchen" happen around the kitchen but not in the kitchen.

Unfortunately I didn't know Julia Child before watching the movie so my knowledge of her is quite new. This is mostly what I like the movie for - it introduced me to Julia. 


Dinner with Grandma & Grandpa

My lovely grandparents are staying over with me and this is what we ate today (and yesterday actually as we made a lot of it). My grandma cooked broccoli and cauliflower in a boiling water so long that they became really soft. She also bought a chicken and 'kopytka' (dumplings made of mashed potatoes, flour and eggs. They're like gnocchi but Polish. Just like me !). I came home and when I saw what my grandma made I decided to put it all in a pan and cook it once more all together and give it a different shape than vegetables, chicken and 'kopytka' in its true form. A bit of salt, pepper, sesame oil and sesame seeds and that's what came out of my experiment.
It tasted good and I really liked the texture of the dish. My grandparents ate it with appetite but at first my grandpa looked at it in a way that said "I'm going to eat that just because you're my lovely grand-daughter". He also gave me an idea to decorate it with small tomatoes.

So here it is. My grandparents called it 'A Tasty Poo'.

Butterfingered Chef

Amazing Sweet/Salty Rice Balls With Bacon

This recipe is amazing for breakfast especially if you're somebody who doesn't eat vegetables and doesn't actually like anything what so ever apart from meat, chocolate, rice and mushrooms
(just like one of my friends). It's also great if you had a "making sushi" day and you still have a lot of sushi rice left. You'll get rid of the leftovers quickly in a very tasty way !

Ingredients :

- Soy sauce
- Mirin sauce
- Sushi Rice (already with vinegar mixture in it)
- Thinly Sliced Bacon
- Toothpicks

Prepare sushi rice (other post). In your hand palm form rice balls. They should be a little bit smaller than your palm. Take a slice of bacon and wrap it around the rice ball. Pierce the rice ball with a toothpick so it hold together the bacon. In a cup mix soy sauce and mirin sauce. You don't need a lot of the mixture.

I can't really tell you how many spoons of mirin and soy sauce you need, you have to figure it out. Taste it. 

Pour the mixture on a hot pan. When it starts bubbling put in the rice balls and continuously move them around until the bacon is done, they're completely covered in the sauce and they're golden/brown.

As I said before great for breakfast. The saltiness will wake you up and the sweetness will make you smile from the very morning. Two of those will fill you up but because they're so delicious you'll probably eat more than that !

Good Morning to you ! 

Butterfingered Chef 

Landscape better than in Lord of the Rings

Let me show you some photos. I took them today and I think they're quite interesting...

...but for sure they're not delicious...

The heat of the weather created quite a painting on that bread.

Butterfingered Chef