After a long busy period, here’s the latest of my creative cooking. This French apple tart was prepared for the “Chefs Battle Winter” competition. I’ve finished baking it in the evening, and took the below pictures the morning after. The credit for this recipe belongs to Beth Le Manach.
The recipe and all the ingredients are targeted for a round baking form 24 centimeters in diameter.
- 150 grams of flour
- 100 grams of cold butter
- 10 grams of sugar powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 30 ml water
The inspiration for making this dish (as always) is that we recently visited our favorite fisherman store not far from Jaffa port. They have huge variety of fresh fish and seafood. The mussels were so fresh, that even after spending a couple of days in a refrigerator they were still in a top shape and almost all “opened up” when being cooked.
It is absolutely crucial to use fresh seafood for this risotto. Don’t even bother trying this with frozen or pre-cooked ones.
(For 6-7 portions)
A pinch of Saffron “threads”
1.5 liter of fish stock
300 ml. of dry white wine
0.5 kg. shripms
1 kg. mussels
6 small calamari
75 gr. butter
1 onion finely chopped
500 gr. of large round risotto rice
Parsley for serving
As opposed to most of the bakery recipes I publish on this blog, these breads take quite some time to prepare. On the positive side, they are amazingly good, and every time I make them, they get eaten within a matter of hours. So, if you’d like to take up a challenge – lets bake a filled Challah.
The original idea of making such a bread is not mine. It belongs to Erez Komarovsky, a chef/baker that started as an owner of a bakery, then developed it into a network of bakeries, then added restaurants, and then sold them all in order to move to a quiet and peaceful Galilee to continue cooking (and teaching others) there.
The idea of baking a Pâte à pain roll filled with vegetables (or meat, or cheese) is, of course, far from being original. The innovation here is taking the same approach with a Challah bread. For those not familiar with the concept, let me say a couple of words about Challah: it is a kind of bread loaf, prepared for festive days according to Jewish tradition. (Saturday, for instance, is a festive day). It is a kind of very soft (and, in many cases sweet) pastry, that is very aromatic. In fact, for many Jewish families, the aroma of freshly baked Challah is intrinsically connected with the aroma of “home”. The goal Erez has defined for himself was to keep these very important qualities of Challah, but to create a filled version, where the filling would combine naturally with the dough.
Here’s another cake that I make over and over again at home, and it keeps being one of the favorites for my family members, just like the Orange Cake I’ve written about previously. The cake keeps moist (thanks to lemon syrup) with clear yellow presence of lemon zest and crunchy touch of poppy seeds. Personally, for me, this is the absolute “apogee” of home bakery – light, tasty, unpresumptuous and very simple to make. Sort-of the ultimate answer to a question like “What do you have for tee?”. The best part is that, probably, most of the ingredients could easily be found at almost any kitchen.
The inspiration for this recipe is coming from a book about baking bread. Still, I dare to claim that this one is a cake and not a bread. I have modified the technique around beating the bread with the sugar for the dough (instead of mixing, as suggested in the original recipe). This cake can be baked either in English-cake form, or in a form for baking muffins, in addition to the round form as shown in the photo above.
(For a round form of 22 cms in diameter, like the one in the photo, or for a deep English-cake form):
3 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 glass of milk
75 gr. butter (at room temperature)
1 glass of sugar
1 1/4 flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Zest from 2 lemons
1/4 tsp. salt