Smoked Salmon Souffles

I’ve just been on holiday in Paris and so whilst I was there I found this recipe called Le Souffle that I wanted to visit. Unfortunately, it was full and we couldn’t go but the idea to eat a souffle stuck in my head so it was the first thing I made after I came back from holiday. When I’ve made souffles in the past I tend to go for the cheese ones but this smoked salmon souffle recipe on the BBC Good Food website was lovely and light. I made these in a haphazard way, using the random collection of ramekins I have in my cupboard and they turned out ok. Serve as a starter or a light dinner with salad.

Makes 6

Ingredients

  • 40g butter (plus extra to butter the ramekins)
  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 85g cream cheese
  • 2 tsp dill (actually I didn’t have any and they were still good)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 85g smoked salmon (plus extra to serve)
  • 1 lemon

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Butter 6 ramekins

3.) Chop up the dill and measure out the cream cheese. Zest half the lemon.

4.) Separate the eggs, put the egg whites into a large bowl.

5.) Melt the butter in a saucepan and once it’s melted add the flour. Stir into a paste and cook for 1 minute to cook off the flour taste,

6.) Gradually add the milk and whisk after each addition to get rid of all the lumps. Once all the milk is added, cook for another couple of minutes to thicken the sauce.

7.) Take off the heat and add the cream cheese and dill. Beat to incorporate.

8.) Move the mixture to a bowl to cool quicker.

9.) Whisk up the egg whites into stiff peaks.

10.) Chop up the salmon and add to the cream cheese mix. Add the egg yolks and lemon zest and mix everything.

11.) Half-fill a roasting tin with water.

12.) Fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mix.

13.) Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, just below the top. Place the ramekins in the roasting tin.

14.) Bake for 25 minutes or so, until they’ve risen over the top, the egg is set and the top is brown.

15.) Serve with some extra salmon and maybe a dollop of creme fraiche.

Cherry & Rose Cupcakes

Rose might not be a flavour to everyone’s taste but I think the people that like it really love it. I definitely fall into that camp and actually rose was a very traditional flavour in the UK until it was usurped by vanilla. If you love the rose flavour too I highly recommend Zymurgorium Turkish Delight gin liqueur. Despite the name, it’s made in my hometown Manchester as symbolised by the bee on the label – the worker bee is the symbol of Manchester and can be seen all over the city. This recipe I found in Lola’s cookbook was actually for cherry blossom cupcakes but I thought that if rose pairs well with raspberry it can also pair well with cherry and I was happy with the result.

Makes 9 larger cakes or 12 smaller

Ingredients

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  • 95g butter + 125g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Morello cherry jam
  • 2 tbsp almonds
  • 500g icing sugar
  • rose water

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C

2.) Melt the 95g butter in a bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds.

3.) Sift the flours, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.

4.) In a stand mixer (or by hand with a wooden spoon), beat the vanilla, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one and beat afterwards.

5.) Add the flours to the mixture, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp rose water and beat until fully mixed.

6.) Heat up 90g morello cherry jam in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it a bit runnier. Stir the jam through the batter but leave swirls.

7.) Put the cupcake cases in the cupcake tin. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases.

8.) Sprinkle the cakes with the almonds and bake for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

9.) Whilst the cupcakes are baking, make up the icing.

10.) Melt 125g butter in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften. Add to the bowl of the stand mixer, beat with 1 tsp vanilla extract and 3/4 tsp rose water.

11.) Warm up 75g Morello cherry jam for 20 seconds in the microwave and add to the butter.

12.) Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until fully combined. Sift in the rest of the icing sugar and beat again until fully combined.

13.) Set up an icing bag with a nozzle and add the icing sugar. Chill in the fridge until the cupcakes have cooled.

14.) Once the cupcakes have cooled, ice the cupcakes by starting on the outside of the cupcake, following the outside then spiralling inward to a point.

Sausage Rolls

These little babies are the last part of my Apprentice ‘party’ as you can’t have a party in Britain without these things. I used Richmond’s vegetarian sausages which are the closest I’ve found to the real deal. Rough puff pastry as used in this recipe gives you a lovely flaky pastry, you can see the layers on the photo above, but is pretty fool proof compared to normal puff pastry. I got the pastry recipe from Paul Hollywood’s ‘How to Bake’ then just wrapped it round the sausages. Serve with some ketchup or even better – Piccalilli which is a British spin on Indian chutneys.

Makes about 32 rolls

Ingredients

  • 8 vegetarian sausages
  • 225g plain flour (and more for dusting)
  • 200g butter
  • 150ml cold water
  • 1 egg

Method

1.) Chop up the butter into small cubes and add to a big bowl with the flour.

2.) Rub the butter into the flour. You want a few chunks of butter. (You could do this bit in a food processor but don’t tell Paul Hollywood!)

3.) Add the water and form a ball with your hands.

4.) Dust a surface with flour and roll out the dough to a large rectangle, about 1cm thick. (I can never get this into a perfect rectangle but to be honest – it doesn’t really matter).

5.) Fold over the two sides into three, like folding up a letter.

6.) Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.

7.) Roll out the pastry again into a rectangle and again fold into thirds, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

8.) Repeat this twice.

9.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Roll out the pastry again. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

10.) Place sausages along the width of the pastry and roll up until the pastry meets. Cut across with a knife. Repeat until all the pastry is used up.

11.) Cut the spaces between the sausages then cut each sausage into 4 pieces.

12.) Line them all up on the baking tray with a little space in between.

13.) Separate the egg and whisk up the egg yolk with a fork.

14.) Wash the knife and put slices across the rolls with a sharp knife. Not enough to go through the pastry.

15.) Brush the rolls with some egg.

16.) Bake the rolls for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Salmon & Leek Quiche

This is another dish I made for my Apprentice viewing ‘party’. There’s a lot of great TV on at the moment and I’ve even got into The Masked Singer. I was absolutely shocked to discover that any of the guys from the band Westlife actually had any talent to the point where I thought they were actually Adam Lambert! Westlife were the scourge of my teenage years being at a girls school. I just used a food processor to do the pastry as I did the pastry on a lunch break and added the filling in later on.

Ingredients

  • 150g butter (block of butter – very cold)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 tbsp ice cold water
  • 2 fillets of salmon
  • 1 leek
  • 10g chives
  • 300g crème fraiche
  • seasoning

Method

1.) Make the pastry by chopping up the butter into small chunks.

2.) Add the butter to the food processor and then the flour. Blitz until breadcrumbs are formed.

3.) Separate the egg and tip in the egg yolk and the water.

4.) Blitz a little more until the pastry has become a ball in the food processor.

5.) Dust a surface with flour and a rolling pin.

6.) Roll out the pastry to about 0.7mm thickness. Roll the pastry up on the rolling pin and transfer over to a 25cm tart tin.

7.) Use a bit of the extra pastry that’s overhanging and roll into a ball. Push the pastry down into the tart tin so it fills all the corners. The pastry will shrink down when baked so this is important.

8.) Roll the rolling pin across the top to cut off the excess pastry.

9.) Cover in cling film and refrigerate.

10.) For the filling, wash and slice up the leeks and cook in a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter until completely soft.

11.) While this is cooking, dice the chives and add to a measuring jug. Pull the skin off the salmon and chop into chunks.

12.) Add the salmon to the pan with the leek and cook, turning around until all sides are pink.

13.) Turn off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.

14.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

15.) Put some parchment paper over the quiche and weigh down with baking beads (you can use rice if you don’t do so much baking)

16.) Bake for 10 minutes then remove the parchment paper and baking beads and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 180 degrees C.

17.) In the measuring jug, add the crème fraiche, 4 of the eggs, separate the other two eggs and add the yolks to the measuring jug. Season and give it a good whisk.

18.) Spoon the salmon and leeks over the quiche base.

19.) Pour over the egg mix but not over the top of the pastry.

20.) Bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is golden brown and set in the middle.

Bagels

I’m not at all sure why but generally at Christmastime the supermarkets like to sell big packets of smoked salmon. As much as I love the stuff, I wasn’t aware of it being a traditional Christmas thing. So after Christmas, these packs of salmon go on sale and I decided to take advantage and have my favourite breakfast, bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese. I used the recipe in Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ as she is an absolute genius and I love her. So much so in fact that I ended up purchasing the same dressing gown she wore in one of her shows – decorated with a map of Venice, partly because I loved it and partly because I want to be her. The recipe makes 15 bagels which I didn’t need so I actually quartered the recipe though I made half the amount of bagels which probably explains why they were a bit smaller than what I was expecting. Also, I think my yeast might need replacing as they didn’t rise as much as the last time I made them where the hole in the middle almost completely closed up. The method below is correct though and as you can see, I still got pretty decent bagels so it’s pretty foolproof.

Makes 8 bagels

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 7g yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp oil and more for greasing
  • 250ml tepid water
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar (or sugar)

Method

1.) Measure out the water into a measuring jug and sprinkle the yeast on the top. Leave to ferment for about 10 minutes.

2.) Into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or you can do this by hand) add the salt, sugar (1/2 tbsp) and oil to the bottom of the bowl.

3.) Weigh out the flour into the bowl.

4.) Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer, connect the bowl and pour the fermented yeast on top.

5.) Put onto a low setting for about 10 minutes. (It will take longer by hand as it is quite a dry dough).

6.) Take the dough out of the bowl, drizzle it lightly with oil. Put the dough back in and turn around to coat the dough with the oil.

7.) Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave the dough to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.

8.) Knead and divide the dough into 2 pieces.

9.) Roll each piece out into a rope and cut into 4 pieces.

10.) Roll each piece out even thinner, form a circle and squeeze the ends together.

11.) Boil a kettle and pour the water into a pan. Add the vinegar and turn the pan onto a simmer.

12.) Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper. Grease with oil. (I did forget this step but I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t improve the bagels)

13.) Place 2 bagels at a time into the water, they should float, leave for 30 seconds then flip over to poach both sides.

14.) Put the poached bagels onto the baking paper, spread out. They’ll be a bit puffy from the poaching.

15.) Preheat the oven to 240 degrees C. Leave the bagels for 20 minutes, covered with a tea towel.

16.) Bake the bagels for 10 – 15 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool before serving.

Frangipane Mince Pies

Mince pies are a traditional Christmas treat in the UK. Generally it’s a mince pie and some sherry that gets left out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Mince isn’t a meat but a mixture of dried fruits, nuts, rum or brandy and spices. It’s really easy to find jars of the stuff around wintertime in the UK but if you can’t it’s not a particularly difficult thing to make. There are a lot of odd people that don’t like mince pies. Admittedly, mince pies are pretty commercially produced when shop bought and the pastry has to be a bit robust to survive. I think these mince pies taken from the Baking Bible that is Nigella Lawon’s ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’ would convert the hardiest of doubters, the pastry is so light with the icing sugar and the frangipane goes beautifully with the spiced fruit. I think the almond flavour of frangipane just makes it extra Christmassy, reminiscent of marzipan and stollen. Serve one of these with a cup of mulled wine for the ultimate winter treat.

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 175g plain flour
  • 30g ground almonds and another 90g for the frangipane
  • 65g icing sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 125g unsalted block of butter and another 90g for the frangipane
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g mincemeat
  • 90g caster sugar

Method

1.) For the pastry, add the icing sugar, flour and 30g almonds and a pinch of salt to a food processor.

2.) Chop the 125g butter into small cubes and throw them into the food processor.

3.) Pulse the mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs.

4.) In a bowl, separate 2 egg yolks and add a tbsp iced water. Pour into the food processor and continue to pulse until the pastry is starting to clump together around the food processor.

5.) Bring it together with your hands and form two discs. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6.) Roll out one of the discs and stamp out 6 circles. Use these to fill the inside of a cupcake tin. Repeat with the other disc. I only had a muffin tin so I had to do a bit of a cut and paste job with the rest of the pastry which was fine but it was a bit difficult to get the pies out of the tin in the end.

7.) Refrigerate the mince pies for another 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

8.) Divide the mincemeat among the twelve tarts.

9.) To make the frangipane, melt the other 90g butter in the microwave for 20 seconds, beat with the other two eggs, the 90g caster sugar and the 90g ground almonds.

10.) Add dollops of the frangipane onto the top of the mincemeat. Cook for about 15 minutes. (Mine may look a bit brown but weren’t burnt at all!)

11.) Let them cool to room temperature before removing from the tin.