Monday, 16 June 2014

The most delectable buttermilk pancakes . . . .a weekend tradition (only 5 and a bit ingredients!)

 I have a bad habit of being very non-committal with certain things. Hairdressers, makeup brands, recipes. I always think that once I have found something that I like that there must be something better out there so generally always try new things in the hope that I will find the holy grail of whatever I am using / making.

Pancakes are a love of mine from way back. When I was a kid, crepes were the go, but then I was introduced to fluffy pancakes at a friends house. They were very sophisticated in the 90's and had the pre-made mix that comes in a little plastic bottle and you add milk or water to it. I was enamored.

From then on, my breakfast of choice when eating out or at home has been pancakes. I used to use a Marie Claire recipe and was quite happy with that but I wanted them fluffier!

I Googled some buttermilk pancake recipes online but they seemed a little long winded for the morning so then I turned my eye to the buttermilk container and decided to try their recipe.

There is no need to test a pancake recipe any further. I have found the ultimate, and from the weirdest place, the recipe on the side of a buttermilk container! I changed the recipe a little as there were blueberries and orange zest in it (which are awesome additions but wanted something plain).

Check out the elevation on these little suckers!

Buttermilk notes: often there is a suggestion that you can make your own buttermilk by adding an acid to milk (i.e. vinegar or lemon juice). I find in this case it is better to use buttermilk that comes in a container. It makes the pancakes rise more.

So here is a modified recipe for mindblowing recipes adapted from Dairy Farmers

1.5 cups self raising flour

2 tbsp sugar
375ml buttermilk
1 egg
20gm of butter, melted
*optional - the finely grated zest of half a small orange

1. In a mixing bowl, add sugar and flour and mix with a whisk.

2. Melt butter in microwave and allow to cool slightly.
3. Add buttermilk and egg in a separate bowl and whisk lightly.
4. Make a well in dry ingredients, add in buttermilk/egg mixture and stir. Once there aren't many lumps, whisk in slightly cooled butter (and zest if you are using).
5. Heat a non-stick frying pan to a medium/low temp and melt a smidge of butter.
6. Drop 1/4 cup amounts (or however big you want them) of pancake batter in pan and cook until bubbles rise to surface, then flip. Cook for a small amount of time until the other side is golden and when you press lightly on the pancake it bounces back.

Et voila! My favourite thing to eat with pancakes is maple syrup and banana or strawberries, with lemon juice and sugar coming in a close second.

Get these suckers into your weekend rotation!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Daring Bakers Challenge May 2014 - Pao De Queijo

 This month's Daring Bakers' Challenge took us on a trip to beautiful Brazil! Renata of "Testado, Provado & Aprovado!" taught us how to make Pao De Queijo, tasty cheese buns that make the perfect snack or treat, and that will make your taste buds samb
First month of completing the Daring Bakers challenge and I was travelling to Brazil. I'm excited!

I enjoy baking but I was after a bit of direction and a challenge so decided to join onto the Daring Baker phenomenon that I have noticed on quite a few of my favourite foodie blogs.

I decided to go for the 'traditional' version of the recipe that was provided before I tried any quick versions.

It was really interesting to mix due to the tapioca flour, it reminded me of when I was in primary school and we made our own 'Gak' from cornflour and water. You know Gak, punch it and it's hard but you can poke it slowly . . . .eeekk.  If you feel like making some Gak (if you even know what I am talking about) click here!

It was quite easy to make with few ingredients. The only unusual ingredient was the tapioca flour, but this was easily found in the Asian section of Woolworths. 

I halved the recipe as it was supposed to make 80 balls. Really, what would I be doing with 80 cheeseballs? Making myself sick, that's what!

So, find below the recipe that was halved.

The daring bakers challenge suggested using the batter as a waffle or using the completed balls in a sandwich press with some ham or cheese. I don't have a sandwich press, the thought of making them into a waffle didn't really float my boat, so I used them as a kind of biscuit for some coriander and lemongrass dip. Oh. Yum.

I am excited to see what the next Daring Bakers challenge is!

Please find the recipe below, I halved this.

Yields about 80 small balls

500 gm (4 cups) tapioca starch (If you have access to sour tapioca, you can use 250gm (2 cups) of each)
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2-3/4 tablespoons (40 ml) (1½ oz) (40 gm) butter
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) salt (or to taste depending on how salty your cheese is)
3 cups (750 ml) (9 oz) (250gm) Monterey Jack Cheese (or another cheese of your liking, or a mix of cheeses), coarsely grated
1 to 3 large eggs
  • Heat milk, butter, and salt in a small sauce pan until it comes to a boil. Watch closely as it may boil over. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Sift tapioca starch into a large bowl.
  • Pour the boiled (hot) mixture over the tapioca and start stirring with a fork. The milk mixture will not be enough to form a dough yet. You will have a lumpy mixture, that's what it is supposed to be
  • Keep stirring with the fork, breaking down the lumps as much as you can, until the mixture cools down to warm.
  • At this point, preheat your oven to moderately hot 400° F/200° C/gs mark 6
  • Add the grated cheese to the tapioca mixture and mix well, now using your hands.
  • Add one egg at a time, mix with your hands until dough comes together. I suggest you lightly beat the egg with a fork and add little bits until the dough comes together into a soft but pliable dough. You only have to knead it a bit, not as much as you knead a yeasted bread. It's OK if it is slightly sticky.
  • Form balls with the dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon mat or lightly greased with vegetable oil. If necessary, you can oil your hands to make shaping easier. The size of the balls may vary from small bite-sized balls to the size of ping pong balls. They will puff up quite a bit after baking. I personally prefer the smaller ones.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until they just start to brown on the bottom. You may have golden spots of cheese on the crust. Don't over-bake as they will get hard and bitter.
  • NOTE: If your dough gets too soft and sticky to shape balls, you can always add a bit more tapioca starch or pop the dough into a piping bag and pipe the dough on a baking sheet.
  • Serve hot or warm. Brazilians love them with a cup of coffee!

Gratuitous cute cat shot. Of course she was lying in the only spot in the house with sunlight.