Friday, 21 November 2014

Sweet Potato Hummus (a dip with a difference)

This is one of those easy recipes to prepare but when you serve it up for friends to enjoy it becomes a talking point. I love it because it is full of flavor and interesting to eat especially with a nice bottle of craft beer. Serve it with toasted sour dough or simply crisps or anything else you can think of.

1 large sweet potato, baked in a hot oven until very tender
400g tin of chickpeas
2 garlic cloves peeled
100ml tahini
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
½ teaspoon of coriander seeds
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
Olive oil
Sea salt
1 tablespoon of chopped flat parsley

Scoop the flesh out of the sweet potato. Put the flesh, chickpeas, garlic and tahini in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Heat the cumin and coriander seed in a dry frying pan until they become fragrant, pound in a pestle and mortar until finely ground. Add to the processor with the lemon juice and zest, 1 teaspoon of salt and 3 -4 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Blitz together until the hummus is nice and smooth and not stiff.

Serve in a nice bowl with the chopped parsley on top.

Friday, 14 November 2014

The King of breads must be Brioche

This is the King of breads, sweet and rich and is best eaten with good coffee on a Sunday morning.

1 loaf

500g strong white flour
1-teaspoon fine sea salt
4 teaspoons of castor sugar
15g of fresh yeast or 10g fast action yeast
50ml of tepid water
6 eggs
300g butter
Egg wash

In an electric mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and sugar. Crumb the yeast into water, stir to dissolve and add to the flour. Using the dough hook, start the mixer on a slow speed and add the egg one by one. The mix will appear wet but that is exactly what we are looking for. Continue mixing on a medium speed until the dough just starts to come away from the sides. This will take up to ten minutes.
Dice the butter and add it a third at a time while continuing to mix. Add the next third once the first third has been incorporated into the dough. Continue mixing until the dough comes away from the side of the mixing bowl. It will still be wet but should be smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to prove for 1 hour in a warm place. The dough can be placed in a fridge at this stage and let rest for several hours.
When ready to make your brioche, remove the dough from the fridge. Portion the dough into three equal parts; shape the dough into three balls and place into the bread tin. Cover with a cloth and leave to prove for about another hour or until the dough has doubled in size again.
Place in a preheated oven 200c and put a roasting tin in the bottom. Brush gently with egg wash, then place in the oven and steam by adding cold water to the roasting tray. Cook for ten minutes then reduce the temperature to 180c and cook for a further 25 minutes until golden brown on top.
Enjoy with good coffee and a smile