food blog

I like to experiment with food and try different cultures and diets.I also like trying out new combinations and I frequently substitute one food for another. This is useful when cooking to a budget or you only have a little of something/are only cooking for one. I use lots of resources to help me out in this endeavour and I like to think I’m quite good but things still trip me up and always will because you must always expect the unexpected ūüėČ

Cooking proportions and methods part one savoury

This is very important if your food is to taste right. Don’t mix imperial and metric.
Basic ingredients required for normal cooking egg, flour, butter, milk, salt, pepper, yeast, baking powder, lard.
From this, you can make scrambled egg, omelette/frittata, souffle, pasta, unleavened bread/vegan pizza dough, savoury shortcrust pastry, savoury scones, bread, matzo crackers,

  • Yorkshire¬†puddings/crepes¬†are 5 parts¬†plain¬†flour,¬†2¬†eggs¬†and 1/2 pint¬†milk. Lard¬†for cooking puddings.
Method
You beat the mixture to add air then let it rest to allow the gluten time to expand and thicken the mixture. Cook crepes in a hot frying pan quickly so that they are crispy at the edges yet soft in the middle.
For Yorkshire pudding heat lard in a bun tin so it melts then pour mixture in and cook for 20 minutes at 180c and resist the urge to open the oven door to check how they are doing because you will knock all the air out of them causing them to deflate. Yorkshire buns and towers are also possible.
  • Bread¬†is 10 parts¬†self-raising¬†flour¬†to 6 parts¬†liquid¬†but only 1 part¬†salt¬†and¬†fat¬†if using.¬†Yeast¬†can be 1 part¬†instant,¬†yeast¬†extract¬†or 160 ml¬†craft¬†beer¬†as¬†liquid¬†and¬†yeast.¬†Lots of optional¬†extras.¬†You can coat your bread and use water sprayers and steam trays to keep it moist but I think if you just lower the temp and cook for longer its better.
Method
Weigh¬†flour, add¬†yeast¬†if dry and¬†salt¬†if using, then add optional¬†fat,¬†yeast¬†if wet and¬†liquid. Add inside extras. Mix into a dough then transfer to a floured surface. Stretch and knead for 10 minutes then put into a greased, covered bowl and leave for 30 mins or more to rise and prove. Afterwards, take out and knead again for 5-10 minutes. If it feels satiny or you have no more time you can put it in a loaf tin, preheat heat the oven to 180c then score the top of your bread and add any decoration you want. If you have time you can continue to knead and rise bread 4 more times but eventually it will stop increasing in size. Then you need to cook it for about 30 mins. Check on it’s browning through the window and adjust the temperature accordingly. It is cooked when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped and it has a nice cooked appearance. Cool on a rack to assist in getting a crisp loaf otherwise it may be a little soggy with condensation.
  • Savoury Scones¬†self-raising¬†flour,¬†butter,¬†sugar,¬†egg,¬†extras.
Method
dough
  • Pasta¬†plain¬†fine¬†flour,¬†egg,¬†salt,¬†water,¬†extras.
Method
Weigh flour, mix in the egg and salt, add in extras and finally the water. Make into a ball of dough then roll out on a floured surface to desired thickness. Cut into shapes, fill if wanted, then boil until cooked. Coat with sauce if required.
  • Unleavened¬†bread/vegan¬†dough¬†plain¬†bread¬†flour,¬†water,¬†salt, extras.
  • Method
  • Combine ingredients together and make a ball of dough. knead for 5-10 minutes then roll out and decorate if desired. Cook at standard temp and for standard time.

Souffle egg whites, flour, extras.

Method
Whip up the egg whites like you are making a meringue, gradually fold in the flour and any extras that you are using. Cook on a low heat to prevent burning and don’t open the door otherwise it will fall flat as you have knocked all the air out of it.

  • Scrambled egg¬†egg,¬†salt,¬†pepper,¬†butter,¬†milk. extras.
Method
Use one egg per person along with a splash of milk and a couple of knobs of butter. Beat the egg with the other ingredients then you can cook in the microwave or on the hob. You can use cream instead of milk if you want it to be indulgent or spices and herbs for a different flavour.
  • Omelette/Frittata¬† as above with¬†extras
Method
Make as above adding extras. If there bulky add in the pan while cooking otherwise add just before cooking.

Matzo crackers flour, salt, water.

Method
Weigh out 4x as much flour as water, add a pinch of salt, make a well in the flour and mix into a dough. Don’t over handle and cook in a greased dish for quite a well. Adjust depending on how much you have.
Cooking proportions and methods part two sweet
This is very important if your food is to taste right. Don’t mix imperial and metric.
Basic ingredients required for normal cooking egg, flour, sugar, butter, milk, salt, pepper, yeast, baking powder, oats, cocoa, chocolate, lard, honey/golden syrup.
From this, you can make waffles, fatless/whisked sponge, meringue, Yorkshire puddings/crepes, egg custard, American pancakes, cake, sweet scones, shortbread, sweet shortcrust pastry, biscuits, brownies, crumble, flapjacks, buttercream and royal icing, ice cream.
  • Waffles¬†yeast,¬†self-raising¬†flour,¬†sugar,¬†egg,¬†butter.¬†Beware of overflowing and expanding yeast when making these and it gets out of control pretty quickly if you are not keeping an eye on it. If you don’t have a waffle iron they turn out more like pancakes since these essentially are yeasted cakes cooked in a pan.
Method
Mix the sugar and butter together, then gradually add in your flour and egg. When finished add in the yeast and cover with a wet towel. Leave to rise for a short time before cooking in a hot oiled pan/waffle maker.
  • Fat-less¬†or whisked sponge¬†eggs, sugar, self-raising flour, extras.
Method
You separate the 5¬†egg¬†whites¬†from the yolks, make a meringue by whipping up¬†egg¬†white, add the¬†sugar¬†gradually, then the¬†egg¬†yolks and finally, you gently fold in the self-raising¬†flour. Add some extra¬†egg¬†if using non-metal containers because they won’t get as hot. Cook on 180c for only 15 Minutes but if using a fast oven reduce to 160 c for last 5 minutes.
  • Meringue¬†sugar,¬†egg¬†whites same as above¬†but only cook on 150 c for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
  • Yorkshire¬†puddings/crepes¬†are 5 parts¬†plain¬†flour¬†to 2¬†eggs¬†or 4 parts and 200ml¬†milk. Lard¬†for cooking puddings.
Method
You beat the mixture to add air then let it rest to allow the gluten time to expand and thicken the mixture. Cook crepes in a hot frying pan quickly so that they are crispy at the edges yet soft in the middle.
For Yorkshire pudding heat lard in a bun tin so it melts then pour mixture in and cook for 20 minutes at 180c and resist the urge to open the oven door to check how they are doing because you will knock all the air out of them causing them to deflate. Yorkshire buns and towers are also possible.
  • Egg¬†custard¬†egg,¬†milk,¬†sugar,¬†extras.
Method
Whip up your egg with the milk and sugar then pour into a dish and cook in the oven at 180c for about 10 minutes checking to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  • American¬†Pancakes¬†are the same as¬†crepes¬†but have a quarter¬†sugar¬†added to make them sweeter.¬†Raising agent¬†too.
Method
5 oz Self-raising flour, 2 egg, 2oz sugar, 200ml milk. Extras. You make them exactly like crepes but since they are thicker you put smaller circles in the pan and wait for bubbles to come through the liquid. Then you flip and finally stack on a plate. Can cook several at once for best effect.
  • Sponge Cake¬†is equal amounts of¬†egg,¬†self-raising¬†flour,¬†sugar,¬†butter¬†and some¬†milk¬†to mix.¬†Extras.
Method
There is the 2 step method where you make buttercream icing by creaming the butter and sugar then add egg and flour and finally milk to get a dropping consistency or the all in one method but 2 step works better. Cook at 180 c for 20 mins if making buns, 25 mins if making muffins, 30 mins if sandwich cakes then rest on a rack for 5-10 before finishing with jam, icing sugar, cocoa and/or cream.
  • Sweet Scones¬†self-raising¬†flour,¬†butter,¬†sugar,¬†egg,¬†extras.
Method
This has the same ingredients as a cake but in different proportions so that it’s a lot drier and you make a dough.
  • Shortbread¬†plain¬†flour,¬†sugar,¬†butter,¬†extras.
Method
This has a tendency to get sticky too especially if you are doing plain shortbread. Rub in the sugar and butter to the flour but so that it is like a dough. Coat and cook like the pastry above.
  • Sweet Shortcrust¬†Pastry¬†8 oz¬†plain¬†flour,¬†2oz¬†butter,¬†2oz¬†lard, 50ml¬†water, 2oz sugar extras.¬†Make sure you have cold hands otherwise the¬†fat¬†will get too hot and melt while you are making the dough but ensure the fat is warm because you will add in too much heat trying to rub in the fat otherwise. For sweet add in 2oz¬†sugar
Method
Rub in the fat that is cut into small pieces into the flour to prevent too much greasiness. Add in the water a little at a time to make a ball of dough. Be sparing with the water as if you add too much it will be sticky and you will have to compensate with too much flour when rolling out. Don’t over roll pastry and it doesn’t like being over handled. The less touching the better. You can egg wash the finished pastry to get a nice glaze, finish with sugar, etc or just use milk if that’s what you have. You can add designs in scraps or just leave it plain. Cook at 180 c for 30 minutes cooling on a rack for 5-10 minutes after.
  • Biscuits¬†self-raising¬†flour,¬†butter,¬†sugar,¬†egg,¬†extras.
Method
 
  • Brownies¬†cocoa,¬†plain¬†chocolate,¬†egg,¬†self-raising¬†flour,¬†butter,¬†sugar,¬†extras.
Method
Weigh flour with the cocoa and sugar as there dry. Melt the chocolate and butter in a separate bowl as there wet. Add together slowly to make sure there well combined. Mix in extras if using. Transfer to a greased tin. Bake at 180 c in increments of 10 minutes depending on the thickness of batter and whether you want a gooey brownie or a more cake like one. Cool on a rack then cut into pieces.
  • Crumble¬†is half¬†fat¬†to plain¬†flour¬†and a third¬†sugar¬†to plain¬†flour.¬†Oats¬†can make up a quarter of the plain¬†flour.¬†Works best if you have 8:4:3 oz.¬†Extras
Method
You rub the butter into the flour and then you either add the sugar before if not adding extras or after if you are. Then put on top of fruit, garnish with more butter and sugar if wanted and cook at 180c for 30 mins. Cool on baking rack for 5-10 minutes after.
  • Flapjacks¬†oats,¬†liquid¬†sweetener,¬†butter,¬†extras.
Method
Start with oats, melting the butter and adding your sweetener. Add in extras if using. Put into a greased tin and bake 20 mins at 180c then cool on a rack after. Decorate if desired.
  • Buttercream¬†icing¬†butter,¬†icing¬†sugar, extras.
Method
Cream the butter and sugar together until they are both combined then add in extras if using. Beware of adding too much liquid as it will not work. Flavour is powerful so add small amounts same for colour. Spread onto a cool cake otherwise, it will melt.
  • Royal¬†icing¬†butter,¬†icing¬†sugar,¬†egg, extras.
Method
Make as above but the egg will make it stiffer as it has more body so you can be more creative with it.
  • Ice¬†cream¬†milk,¬†cream,¬†egg,¬†sugar,¬†extras. Twice as much¬†cream¬†as¬†milk¬†and a third¬†sugar¬†1¬†egg¬†so same proportions as the¬†crumble¬†but with dairy products. 2:3:2:1 higher fat ratios work better than low as your churning and freezing the mixture. You are also adding¬†air¬†to make the ice crystals as small as possible. Gives a better taste in the finished product.¬†Alcohol¬†prevents the mixture from freezing as well so add sparingly. Liquid Flavours are powerful but solid ones not so much. Adjust accordingly. Never use¬†Elmlea¬†as it produces chewy ice cream as will broken containers, ill-fitting lids and ice cream left in the freezer for over a year.
Method
Add the milk, cream, sugar and then egg into a bowl and whisk together until mixed. Now I use an ice cream maker to make a pint once a day and it takes 20 minutes to churn and freeze then I put it in a tub and put it in the freezer until it is required. However, if you do not have an ice cream machine it will take a lot longer and will be more complex possibly requiring salt and gelatine to set. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s