Sunday, 18 November 2012

Winter Tomato Tarts

Winter Tomato Tarts
with Parmesan short crust
New / old tins from ebay have been staring at me for two months now so here goes...
Rule - half fat to flour. I used 110g flour to 55g butter (Netherend is simply the best) with a pinch of salt and tbsp of water. Rub the fat into the flour lifting as much as possible - mum says add the water and mix with a knife - do no knead. Add some grated Parmesan if you fancy. Pinch the ingredients together, form a ball and put in the fridge wrapped in baking paper until you are ready.

Roll out the pastry and push into your tin(s). Metal tins are best as they are good heat conductors. Prick the pastry, fill with your beans to bake blind and bake on 200C for 12-15mins.
Meanwhile make you're tomato sauce, a basic sauce that can be used for many things. Slice and slowly cook an onion in olive oil, add a clove of crushed garlic. Add one tin of tomatoes, a handful of fresh tomatoes (not many around right now), chopped basil and salt & pepper. Simmer for 20-30mins. Cool.
Heat the oven to 180C and when the pastry has cooled make the filling - whisk one egg and one egg yolk, add 110ml milk/cream mix and your tomato sauce with a tsp chopped marjoram. Season. Pour the filling into your tart(s) and bake for 30-40mins until firm to touch. Eat warm.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Berlin - 5 days of food

Last weekend i went to visit Julia and her Keston Kuche in Berlin. The weather was very chilly but the cafes were warming and there is an amazing choice of food to sample from traditional German to cuisines from around the globe.
Berlin may not be the obvious choice for a foodies paradise but if you go to the right places (and hanging out with a resident definitely helps) you will be pleasantly surprised.
Her are some of my culinary highlights, take note if you are planning a trip there!

Rachael x

 My favourite gallery in Berlin is the Hamburger Bahnhof, before embarking on the art we paid a visit to the restaurant in the gallery. I have been to Berlin a few times and always avoided currywurst and the orange sausages they serve everywhere but this menu made it sound appetizing and promised that the sausage was organic. It came with lots of mustard and fresh horse radish which made it edible!

For dessert at the gallery restaurant we had apple strudel with vanilla sauce which was absolutely delicious and not to be missed!

It was Julia's friend Andrew's birthday while we were visiting so Ju whipped up some black bottom cupcakes (from the humming bird bakery cook book) and a lovely coffee cake to celebrate.

This brunch featured in the previous Keston Kuche post and rightly so, i was keen not to miss out on trying it for myself. Anna Blume is a bustling cafe in Prenzlauer Berg, the brunch was worth making the trip for - a tower of meats, cheeses, salad, fruit and jams and a basket of bread to go alongside.

 Julia and I stopped for cake at a cafe in the Hackescher Markt courtyards, i had a huge slice of apple, walnut and caramel cake with cream cheese and caramel frosting. Ju had an equally exciting looking carrot cake.

After a long morning of culture in the sub zero temperatures we were in serious need of a hot meal, we stopped at a restaurant called Schwarzwaldstuben for a hearty lunch of schnitzel with fried potatoes and a cucumber salad. 

Back to Anna Blumes for a fruity breakfast

We headed south one evening to a jazz night in Neukolln at Cafe Engel and stopped off on the way for a Korean meal at Kimchi Princess. Lu and I opted for this feast which was strips of pork belly that you barbeque yourself at the table and the eat wrapped in lettuce with a selection of tasty curry pastes and spicy cabbage. I will definitely be keen to try more Korean food in future.

 The last thing i ate before leaving Prenzlauer berg was at my favourite cafe from previous visits. Kauf Dich Glucklich on Oderberger Strasee does the most amazing waffles with a huge choice of toppings. Every time a visit i have the same though - apple sauce and cinnamon!