Back to the Yeasty Beasty! Frittelle anyone?

Si, si, si per favore!!  I have to say these little beauties (in general) are gorgeous and so easy to make . The ones in Venezia are sublime, especially the ones with the pastry creme in them. Heavenly. I have seen other variations throughout Italy but i didn’t take much notice at the time:(  They were selling something similar at night in Siena at the odd stall around the city. Not at Palio time, in winter…….

So this my Frittelle friends, is what we are aiming for!!

Assorted Frittelle mmmmmm

Lets get Yeasty!!

Fritelle dough

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of flour, I used strong bread
  • 1/2 cup of castor sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp dried yeast
  • 6-8 cups oil  for frying err preferably NOT fat.
  • 1  jar Nutella err, not quite as large as this one in my photo!!
  • 2 tsp cinnamon for garnishing
  • 1 cup castor sugar for garnishing
  • A big Beasty!!

Method:

  • In a bowl warm half the milk, add in the sugar to warmed milk until dissolved
  •  Stir in the yeast.
  • Leave in warm place until creamy/frothy.
  • Place all dry ingredients in a bowl, flour and salt.
  •  Stir the eggs and half of the milk together and add it to the flour mixture a little at a time.
  •  Add the yeasty mixture to the flour mixture and stir until all the ingredients are combined.
  •  The dough will be wet and sticky. Don’t be alarmed!!
  • Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rise for about 5 hours when it should have doubled in size.

Pour that Oil in!!

On the matter of oil, my husband and I have often debated getting a mini fryer. He says no, we would put on 5-10 kgs in a VERY short time and sadly i think it is true but then when i make something like this, doughnuts, beignets or deep-fried ice cream balls, then we have this huge pot of oil (which i will filter) which will be on the stove for a while until its used. When I cook, i like to use olive oil but sadly the cost of filling a pot with olive oil would make the cost of the frittelle astronomical! The kids use the oil and make chips a few times (but that for them is LABOUR intensive) and i will slowly chip away at it but i do wonder, ” mini fryer”? Would be easier and i could just pop it in the cupboard. Hmmm, more pondering maybe?

Hmmm wondering???

Back to the dough:

  • Prepare the sugar and cinnamon mix on a large plate.
  • When the dough is ready, stir it again. It should be sticky. If it’s not, add a little more milk.
  • In a heavy pot for frying, heat the oil . I don’t have a thermometer but i usually test the heat by putting a wee piece of raw food in it. My granddad used to spit in the oil!!
  •  Spoon the dough batter into the oil. I used a tablespoon but the original recipe used an ice cream scoop. Not plastic obviously!!
  • Fry until the frittelle are cooked through, about 5 minutes. I like to turn them over with tongs. They brown pretty quickly. Don’t overcrowd your pot as they will take longer to cook .
  • Remove the frittelle with a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered with paper towels to drain.
  •  Once drained, quickly roll them in the sugar.
  • Poke a hole in the frittelle and fill a pastry bag fitted with a tip with Nutella and pipe Nutella into each frittelle.
  • Best eaten when warm.
  • Don’t forget the most important thing!! Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy!!

yummmm

Almost all gone

filled with Nutella

P.S : You can easily insert other delights into these, white chocolate, milk chocolate, jam, pastry creme, cream, moro bars err perhaps not cream,  the list is endless……..But things that hold shape and have some heat resistant are probably better. My son seemed to think jelly lollies would be nice!! I don’t think so…………You could,  if you were really adventurous, make it a savoury recipe but that we will look at another day 🙂

Frittelle how i love thee!!

Recipe adapted from Luscious Lucca Blog @ i love Lucca tours http://www.ilovelucca.co.nz/about-me/recipes/ which was originally adapted from http://foodloversodyssey.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/02/nutella-filled-venetian-frittelle-world-nutella-day-carnival.html

 

Feeling a little Devilish today?

Today, NOT strictly yeasty beasty or bread at all………..But when my baby wants to cook with me and will allow me to do it with him like we used to all the time,  how can I say no and discriminate against NON- YEAST products. He makes a mean chocolate cake with vanilla bean icing!! Mmmmmmmmmmm

Soon to be not seen!

Especially as SOON he won’t want to cook with mumma, being on the cusp of teenage hood as he is and i will miss my helper until he is about 17-18 I suppose……..

Cream the butter and sugar!!

We have used the wonderful recipe of a Devils food cake from David Lebovitz and tweaked it for NZ conditions. I love David’s blog, he is so funny and he is able to laugh at himself and his fellow americans and their somewhat quirky ways. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/08/devils-food-cak/

Without further ado:

Alex’s amazing moist chocca choc cake with vanilla bean icing.

  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • 120g butter
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 9 tbsp of dutch cocoa
  • 1.5 cups of castor sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup warmed milk
  • 1/2 cup coffee
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch salt
Icing:
  • 3 cups of sifted icing sugar
  • Vanilla bean pod
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 50 g butter
  • 1-2 tbsp milk to mix.

Add in some fresh coffee

Method:

  • Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time.
  • Add in vanilla essence.
  • Prepare coffee and pour into milk .
  • Preheat oven to 180 celsius.
  • Sift dry ingredients (flour, salt, cocoa, BP)
  • Add baking soda to coffee milk mix, stir well.
  • Add half of dry and half of milky mix to butter mix.
  • When combined well, add rest of dry and milky to butter mix.
  • Pour into prepared and lined baking tin.
  • Look at using 20 cm tin but it’s not hard and fast but remember the bigger the tin, the less height you will get.
  • I usually use a tin that I have had for ever, it will be passed on to my kids:)
  • Place in oven and bake for 30-35 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
  • Carefully slice cake in two or you could bake this in two pans or just leave it as one cake and not layer it.

Mmmmm, lovely chocolate mix..

Strange what chocolate cake will attract!! Especially when this specimen usually doesn’t come out of his room:)

  • Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 mins BEFORE removing from the tin. Cool on a rack until cold before icing.

Fresh from the oven

Ready to ice

  • To make the icing, sift icing sugar into clean bowl
  • Scrape seeds from Vanilla pod and mix in icing sugar
  • Mix softened butter through icing sugar
  • Add in essence
  • Add enough milk until firm but creamy paste is achieved.
  • Mix until smooth.
  • Use icing as filling and icing.

With vanilla bean icing:)

Now have a slice!! Well done Alex!!

Cut a HUGE slice to have with a coffee or Tea and ENJOY!!

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

i love fairy bread!!

No, I don’t as the taste is horrid but Fairy bread for most people brings back memories and even though now days the lunchbox nazi’s have banned fairy bread in all forms, there are still many die-hard fans! If only for memories………My sons love it and even though they are nearly all teenagers now (and they would never ask for it), they still love Fairy bread and so I thought today is a fairy bread day especially as soon they may be too old for Fairy bread 😦 For a while at least .

As a special treat, I have done two types of fairy bread,  rainbow (traditional) and Chocolate hail version.

Ahhhhh Fairy bread

So here is my recipe for Fairy bread..Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy.

Michelle’s Marvellous Fairy Bread.

Serves 2 hungry boys

  • 4 pieces of white bread. It needs to be the LEAST nutritious you can. Don’t even think of making this with nice bread ok? I had visions of a homemade ciabatta (I am sure Italian children would use ciabatta for Fairy bread) or a crusty french loaf. NOPE!!
  • Chocolate Hail, 100’s and 1000’s or Rainbow hail.
  • Butter for Spreading

Remember highly processed!! Plain white bread

White plain bread!! REMEMBER not nutritious highly processed is essential!!

Method:

  • Spread butter on bread. This has to be thick, ok? Don’t do a woman spread, it has to be a man/ boy spread!! People with son’s or who have watched brothers/husbands/partners etc spread butter know what i mean!! If you look at it and feel yourself recoil, revolted at the amount of butter, then that IS the amount you need!!
  • And don’t do the butter to the edge either, Boys do not like that. If you have girls, yes, you can 🙂
  • Sprinkle, and once again, don’t be light handed here, the more the better. Yes, I know, yuck but they like it!! I admit, i have been a little miserly in the above photos but HOPEFULLY they will be starving and the fairy bread will be approved 🙂
  • Cut into triangles, it can’t be rectangles, no, no, no, no…. TRIANGLES.

  • Don’t be stingy with the hail or toppings!!

    Arranged all lovely…

    You can amuse yourself as i do and arrange it nicely on the plate.But remember boys do not see this either, only quantity!!

    Argh Fairy bread…and remember Cheerios? Are we allowed them anymore? In fact I swear I have a bread recipe with them in it………..pigs in muck or something. I must find it….

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy …..

Bready for Challah?

Brrrr Cold today, so some nice fresh, hot Challah will be a treat!!

This Challah, is the result of trial and error over time of 3-4 recipes that i tried, pulled apart and added things in my quest to recreate the Challah from Sasha Finkelstzyn in Rue de Rosiers, Paris. All I can say, is that nothing else tastes like it (Sasha’s Challah, not mine, i wish!!) and I need to use way way more butter as its bready but very buttery but not like a pastry or sickly buttery. Hmm, more work is needed. In saying that however, the quest will continue BUt this Challah here is still pretty good, if i do say so myself:)

Ingredients CHECK!!

Michelle’s yeasty beasty Challah:

  • 6 eggs + 1 for egg wash
  • 150g butter or Dairy free margarine
  • 20g yeast
  • 5 cups of flour , Strong bread flour is best
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup milk warmed
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Olive oil
The dough ready to rise!!

Method:

  • Dissolve 1 tbsp sugar in warm milk and stir in yeast.
  • Cover with gladwrap and leave in warm place until creamy and frothy.
  • Place flour and salt in bowl and mix well.
  • Rub in butter
  • Add in sugar and raisins.
  • Remove creamy yeast from warm place and add in the 6 eggs beaten and oil to yeasty mix.
  • Add Yeasty eggy oil mix to dry to form a dough
  • Turn out on floured area and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elasticy

All ready for punching down!!

  • Place in lightly oiled bowl and cover, leave in warm place for 90 minutes.
  • Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  • Remove from warm place and turn out on floured area.
  • Knock pout excess air and knead for 5 minutes.
  • Shape into the shape you want.
  • Traditionally this is braided but it can be oval, rectangle anything you like.
  • Braiding is VERY VERY easy even an unco like me can do it:)
4 braid

4 braid ?

Perhaps a 6 braid?

4 braid all ready for proving!!

You wouldn’t think i had 3 sons with this braiding!!

  • Place braided or shaped loaves, covered in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Be careful not to over prove as i did on the 4 braided one (see below)
  • Over proving meant when baking, the braids would not look separate as i wanted.
  • Pre heat oven 15 minutes before ready to 210 Celsius
  • Remove loaves from warm place and brush with egg wash.
  • Place in over for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool (if you can wait that long)
  • Perfect- not overproved!!

     

    See, over proving!!
    Its ok, and tastes good but the braids are not easily seen.

     

    Just great!! Very nice and tastes……divine!!

    Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy!!

    You can omit the raisins and all the sugar bar a small amount for the yeast and make this a savoury or plain bread.You can also sprinkle it with poppy seeds or sesame seeds, I have also seen a poppy-seed mix inside the Challah too. You could change the raisins and add other fruits and spices as well.

    Many  variations and many happy hours of trialling these methods are to be had 🙂

Feeling Spicey today?

Spices…………..

Check out the updated spices and essences page.

My favourite things………. and one of my favourite spice books, a fiction one nonetheless……….

“Mistress of the spices’.

I believe they make a movie of it…………but the book was great.

Magical mystical and medicinal spices: 🙂 and the aroma………….

Spice shop in Jordan. Heaven, imagine it!!