Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Curry, Gnocchi, Popsicles, Chocolate Banana Stud Cake & Molten Chocolate Cakes!

Hey Guys,

So I must have filmed about 2 vlogs since my last upload, but there seems to be something up with my account, so hopefully I’ll be able to put something up soon.

In other news, today ended up being pretty packed, and I went on a bit of a cooking bonanza.
I started off the day experimenting with a vegetable curry for lunch. It tasted amazing (nothing like I thought it would), and incredibly hearty.


As soon as I was done with that, I got the overwhelming urge to try and make gnocchi.  Although everyone in this house is a hardcore pasta eater, we’ve never really ventured that far from the basics.


So with that in mind I challeneged myself to some gnocchi making.
1.boil potato
2. "shred it" (super technical I know!), until it's super light and airy

3. Roll, roll and roll,and do that special forky thing, and ta-da!


 cute little pillows


I'm still shocked at how light and airy the dough was... not what I was expecting...


5 minutes after it was done.... 
I ALWAYS forget to take a picture of the finished product (more like I'm too hungry to remember!)

This recipe from Martha Stewart that I ended up using turned out amazing, and was incredibly fluffy.  It was a very easy recipe to follow (especially for someone like me who can miraculously mess something up), and didn’t take as long as I was anticipating.


Potato Gnocchi
Serves 6
4 large (about 2 pounds) Idaho potatoes, scrubbed
2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Place unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 2 inches with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high, and cook until tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill another large saucepan with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. (These are for cooking and cooling the gnocchi.) Drain potatoes, and peel while still hot, holding them with a clean kitchen towel. Pass potatoes through a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with the finest disk onto a lightly floured work surface. Make a well in the center of the mound of potatoes, and sprinkle flour evenly over the potatoes. Break eggs into the well, and add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and the pepper. Using a fork, lightly beat eggs, and incorporate the remaining ingredients to form a dough. Knead lightly on the work surface until the dough is soft and smooth.
Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Divide dough into four balls, and shape each ball into a rope 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. Shape the gnocchi: Hold a dinner fork in one hand, and use your index finger to hold a cut edge of a piece of gnocchi against the curved back of the tines of the fork. Press into the center of the gnocchi with your index finger to make a deep indentation. While you are pressing the piece against the tines, flip it away over the tip of the fork, allowing the gnocchi to drop to the work surface. If the gnocchi becomes sticky, dip fork and index finger into flour. The finished gnocchi will have ridges on one side and a depression on the other. At this point, gnocchi can be refrigerated on a lightly floured baking sheet for several hours before boiling and serving.
To cook gnocchi, drop half of them into the boiling water, and cook until they float to the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and repeat process with the other half of the dough.

I’ve come to realization that once I start cooking, I’m barely ever able to stop unless I’m  ingredient deprived, or I’m exhausted.
The next thing I ended up doing were some fresh apple and lemon popsicles (since it’s starting to get really warm here, and ice cream intake in the house has sky rocketed).

I then decided to make this intruiging banana chocolate cake from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (via Project Foodie) for a little get together that my mum’s invited to tomorrow.
right out the oven


all glazed and ready to go


getting my chocolate chips ready....


all studded (though very differently from the original!)

I must be honest and say that the main thing that attracted me to making this cake was to stud it with chocolate chips! I love the idea, it’s so original!

Just as I was about to sit down, I remembered that my sis’s Arabic tutor was going to come, so I got back to work and whipped him a molten chocolate cake. 

As usual, the day was an ‘experience’.
Hopefully one day I’ll be able to install a more reasonable ‘on’ & ‘off’ switch.
Until then,
Lyla.


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