Monday, 16 September 2013

Hearty Potato Bacon Quiche

Layers of potato, ham & spinach add a great flavor
If you are tired of traditional quiches and looking for a new twist try this recipe. This quiche has layers of potato, spinach and ham. Also, the traditional milk has been replaced with a B├ęchamel sauce which gives it a nice deep flavor.

If you serve this quiche with just a soup and salad, you would still have a hearty dinner. Also, this is great to make ahead of time and just pop in the microwave for a few seconds before serving.

I have skipped cheese in this recipe to save on calories but feel free to add it back.

This is a recipe that allows for personalization -- substitute the spinach with asparagus or eggplant, etc.

Here you go for the recipe:

Crust:
200 grams sifted flour
85 grams butter cut into cubes (cold)
1 egg
pinch of salt and sugar

1. If you use a food processor, add the flour to the processor bowl with the cold butter and sugar and salt and quickly blend. Add in the egg and blend again.
2. Remove from the bowl and lightly knead together to mix well and then cover with plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before rolling out.

Filling:
3 potatoes
4 eggs
1/2 package fresh spinach
150 grams ham or bacon
1 onion
35 grams flour
300 cc milk

1. Peel and slice the potatoes. Boil until just soft. Drain.
2. Wash the spinach and remove the stems.
3. Fry the ham (or bacon) until just browned. Drain on a paper towel.
4. Slice the onion and fry in a pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add the flour and mix with a spoon - slowly add in the milk and mix until the mixture starts to thicken. Turn off the heat.
5. Mix the eggs in a bowl and add #4 above in portions and mix with a small whisk.
6. Roll out the dough to fit a 20 cm tart pan. Fit the dough around the inside of the tart pan and cut off the extra.
7. Spread a little of the egg mixture to the bottom of the tart pan then layer with potatoes, ham, spinach. Add more of the egg mixture and another layer of the ingredients.
8. Pour the remaining egg mixture on top and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes.

Hearty dinner or lunch!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Deep Chocolate Loaf Cake

Just add coffee to this cake for the perfect match
No, it's not time for Christmas just yet. I had some pistachios & pecans in the refrigerator so I used them for decoration.

I know I say this about each recipe, but this cake IS really tasty. I put it together in less than 30 minutes - a really quick and easy dessert.

It is still hot in Tokyo so baking was a chore. Hopefully, it will be cooling off in the days to come.

The good news we had this morning is that Tokyo won the bid for the 2020 summer Olympics. It is seven years from now but I am looking forward to being in a city with the Olympics. Everyone in Japan is quite excited and looking forward to making the dream a reality.

Anyway, here is the cake recipe.


Chocolate Loaf Cake

160 grams milk chocolate
70 grams butter (room temperature)
45 grams sugar
2 eggs
100 grams sifted flour
2 grams baking powder
35 grams candied orange peel
65 grams dried figs (diced)
20 grams Grand Marnier liquor
55 grams milk

1. Mix the flour and baking powder together and sift.
2. Mix the eggs & milk together. Soak the orange peel and dried figs in the Grand Marnier liquor.
3. Melt the milk chocolate in a bowl over a sauce pan of hot water which is lightly boiling. The bowl should not touch the hot water. Use a spatula to mix the chocolate while melting.
4. Remove the chocolate from the hot water and gradually add in pieces of butter. Use a small whisk to mix in the butter. Put the chocolate back over the hot water if the butter does  melt fully.
5. Gradually add the egg/milk mixture into the chocolate and mix with a small whisk each time you add the mixture. Add the sugar.
6. Add the sifted flour and mix well.  Add in the orange peel/dried figs.
7. Pour into a lightly buttered/floured pound loaf pan.
8. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes.  Check if the cake is thoroughly cooked before removing from the oven.