Friday, August 30, 2013

French Fridays with Dorie: floating Islands

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Again it's Friday. Last day of the week. The recipe of this week on French Fridays with Dorie is floating islands. Dorie Greenspan described that, although floating islands floating in creme anglaise, are great, when they are accompanied with homemade chocolate ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce, they are superb.
We didn't even like them, we loved them! The quantities in the recipe are for 8 persons. That much weren't around at our dinner table last night. So I made half of the recipe. Only forgot to take a smaller baking form, so the islands weren't as high as they used to be. That didn't mind to much.
The preparation was very easy, because you didn't have to boil the milk and spoon the eggwhites at the right time in and out of the milk. This was a recipe in the oven and afterwards just getting them out and chill.
Real easy and nice.
At French Fridays with Dorie, we don't give the recipe, but you can read it in the cookbook of Dorie Greenspan: Around my French table.

For the end result:
4Pure: floating islands with chocolate ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The daring bakers: Mawa cake

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen was our August 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to make some amazing regional Indian desserts. The Mawa Cake, the Bolinhas de Coco cookies and the Masala cookies – beautifully spiced and delicious! :)

It's time for the daring bakers and this time it's an Indian cake. I think it's very special and relative unknown. At least in the Netherlands.
The most special part for me was boiling the milk until it was lumpy and had a caramel colour. I suspected something like condensed milk, but it didn't have the sweetness. You had to stay on top at the end of the process because it burned very fast.

I had to make the cake twice though. Not because I let the Mawa burn. Nope. The cake flour in Holland is quite different from the Indian one. It's got all kinds of additives, like baking powder (I didn't read the ingredients list, wrong, wrong, wrong). So I had a huge cake, and my oven was a mess. That one won't trick me in the future.
Lucky for me, both times it tasted very good, so that wasn't a problem.

And for the recipe:


For the Mawa:

  • 1 litre (4 cups) full fat milk

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) (120 ml) (4 oz) (115 gm) unsalted Butter (soft at room temperature);
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) packed crumbled mawa;
  • 1-1/4 cups (300 ml) (10 oz) (280 gm) castor sugar;
  • 3 large eggs;
  • 5 to 6 cardamom pods, powdered, (about 1-1/2 tsp powdered cardamom);
  • 2 cups (500ml) (9 oz) (260 gm) cake flour;
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking powder;
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt;
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk;
  • Cashew nuts (or blanched almonds) to decorate (about 18 to 20).
First make the “Mawa”. Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably a non-stick one. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring it on and off, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking the milk until reduces to about a quarter of its original volume. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half.
The important thing during this process is to watch the milk and stir it frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the pan and get burnt. The danger of this happening increases as the milk reduces and gets thicker.
Once the milk it has reduced to about one fourth, 1/4 quantity, lower the heat to low and let cook for a little while longer. Keep stirring regularly, until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance. There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be moist and not stick to the sides of the pan.
Remove the pan from heat and transfer the mawa to a bowl and let it cool completely. Then cover and refrigerate it for a day or two (not more) till you’re ready to make the cake. It will harden in the fridge so let it come to room temperature before using it.
You should get about 3/4 to 1 cup of mawa from 1 litre (4 cups) of full-fat milk.
Now start preparations for the cake by pre-heating your oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Beat the butter, the crumbled mawa and the sugar in a largish bowl, using a hand held electric beater, on high speed until soft and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed till well incorporated. Add the milk and beat till mixed well.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt onto the batter and beat at medium speed and well blended. If you cannot find cake flour, place 2 tablespoon of cornstarch in the
bottom of your 1-cup measure and then fill it with all-purpose (plain) flour to make up to 1 cup.
Grease and line only the bottom of an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan. Pour the batter into this and lightly smooth the top. Place the cashew nuts (or blanched almonds) on top of the batter randomly. Do not press the nuts down into the batter. A Mawa Cake always has a rustic finished look rather than a decorated look.
Bake in a preheated moderate oven for about 1 hour until the cake is a
golden brown and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Do
not over bake the cake or it will dry out. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover it will aluminum foil hallway through the baking time.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10 min in the tin. Release the cake, peel off the parchment from the base and let it cool completely.

4Pure: daring bakers Mawa Cake august 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesdays with dorie: Johnny Cake Cobbler

Today it's Tuesdays with Dorie, where we baked a recipe from the cookbook Baking with Julia (Child). Today there were two recipes, from which we could choose. First there was the Johnny Cake Cobler (where I've never heard of before I made it).
The second recipe was a raspberry/fig crostata (and I've never heard of that one either).

So I'm going to make two blogs. One of the Johnny Cake Cobbler. And tomorrow the second one about the raspberry/fig crostata.

The Johnny Cake Cobbler is really delicious and easy to make. You make it with plums, I forgot the peaches (really did), butter and sugar. You spoon this fruit into small oven-proof bowls. You top it with a surprising element. The dough contains cornflour and cream as special ingredients.

You put the bowls in the oven and when the crust is golden brown, you can eat it. And then you get a real great taste. The sweetness of the plums, the creamy dough, the unique taste of cornflour and a little bit of salt. With a little bit cream of better ice it's simply delicious.

The recipe you can find in the book: Baking with Julia from Dorie Greenspan. Try it!

4Pure: Johnny Cake Cobbler

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The daring cooks challenge: Chicken tika biryani

Grace, one of our talented non-blogging Daring Kitchen members, was our Daring Cooks’ August hostess who shared with us some of her family’s tried and true Bengali Biryani recipes – all of them delicious and all of them prepared fresh from our own kitchens!

As you might know I'm a participant in the daring kitchen. Why, because we are challenged every month to make, in my case, two recipes which, most of the times we usually don't make. And sometimes even don't heard of. And that's a lot of fun and quite surprising and gave me quite a bit new recipes which I make more often. 

This month was another time something I didn't heard of before. Chicken tika biryani. Yes I've heard about chicken tika marsala, but not of tika biryani. 
But I'm a big fan of Indian food (too bad I'm the only one in my family) so I had a good excuse to put Indian on the table.

The end result. My family still didn't like Indian (because of the spices). However I still liked it. I thought the recipe tasted quite well. So for that matter, nothing really changed.

Chicken Tika Biryani


  • 1 lb (½ kg) boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (20 ml) tandoori masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¾ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3 tablespoon (45 ml) (1 ½ oz) (45 gm) yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 inch (5 cm) ginger, peeled and minced fine
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz) (15 ml) ghee
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 cups (750 ml) (550 gm) (19½ oz) basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Fresh coriander, chopped


Mix together 1 tablespoon of the tandoori masala powder, ½ teaspoon each of turmeric, curry powder, garam masala, cumin, and coriander powder with the yogurt, lemon juice, half of the minced ginger and garlic, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover the chicken with the marinade, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour or preferably overnight.
Roast the chicken at hot 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8 for 15 minutes
Melt the ghee with the oil. Add the onions, and the rest of the minced garlic and ginger. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon tandoori masala, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon each garam masala, coriander powder, and cumin, and 1½ teaspoon salt. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes, cover the pan, and cook on low heat for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the chilies, if using, and the cooked chicken. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes, then cover the pan and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the coriander and remove from heat.
Drain and rinse the rice. Boil the rice with 6 cups (1½ l ) of water, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the rice is half cooked. Drain any remaining water.
Alternate layers of rice and chicken in a large saucepan, starting and ending with rice. Cover the pan and cook over very low heat for 10-13 minutes until the rice is cooked.

4Pure: Daring cooks challenge august 2013 Chicken tika biryani

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Vacation recipe: Spaghetti with stir-fried zucchini

This will be the last vacation recipe. In the Southern part of Holland this are our last couple of days of our vacation. Schools start at Monday. We've got a great vacation with lots of good weather over here. I can't remember a summer vacation with this lot of sun and high temperatures.
Our swimming pool has been used quite a lot.

Yesterday it was French Fridays with Dorie. I didn't participate because duck isn't available until Christmas around here. Next week I will attend though.

So for the last vacation recipe, this is one of our favorites. Especially for my youngest son, he loves spaghetti. He loves all Italian dishes. He could been born in Italy for that reason.


  • Spaghetti;
  • Cubes of bacon;
  • Minced meat;
  • 1 Onion
Stir-fried zucchini
  • 2 Zucchini;
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil;
  • 2 cloves of garlic;
  • 1/4 cup of cherry tomatoes;
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil;
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt;
  • freshly grounded pepper at taste.
Half the zucchini and slice half moons of about 0.5 inch thickness. Mince the garlic. Chop the basil. Half the cherry tomatoes. Set everything in place, so it's ready to use.

Slice the onion very small. Heat a pan and bake the bacon with the onion for about 3 minutes. Add the minced meat and cook it until it's done. Set aside. Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the manufacturers description.

Add everything together and set aside.

Heat a frying pan and add the olive oil. Add the zucchini and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then quickly add the minced garlic and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Add the halved cherry and bake for another minute. Get the frying pan of the heat and season with salt, pepper and the basil.

Put the spaghetti on the plate and top it with the stir fried zucchini.

4Pure: Spaghetti with stir-fried zucchini

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tuesdays with Dorie: Eastern mediterranean Pizzas

Today a new recipe from the book Baking with Julia" Eastern Mediterranean pizza. Perhaps you saw the prepreparation earlier this week on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/4pure) and though what's that going to be : tadadada: it's a Eastern mediterranean Pizza.
It's a lovely recipe with quite unusual ingredients in our pizza.
We began with a whole wheat pita bread as our pizza bottom. Then we added a tomato sauce, with eastern herbs like Cinnamon and Allspice and minced lamb meat (but I've have to be honest, I couldn't get the minced lamb meat, so I took beef). And we topped everything with pine nuts.

And what did we think of it?
The pita breads were very crunchy (and as you can see on the picture they are whole wheat). The sauce could have been a little bit more spicier. Therefor we added rocket lettuce (which is also very healthy (good for us)) from my own meadow.
I liked it very much that way.
My husband thought it tasted better with the rocket lettuce, but missed the cheese in the recipe (he can't imagine a pizza without the cheese).

Overall we thought it was really nice and the pita breads were a hit.

And for the end result:

4Pure: Eastern Mediterranean pizzas

Vacation recipe: On the grill: salmon and zucchini with a feta dressing

Here in the South of Holland, we still got vacation. One week, but we've got such a beautiful weather that it was great. And the weatherforcast for the coming week is also very nice. So it's time for yet another vacation recipe. This time nothing with a stick, but a real nice salmon fillet. In the South of Europe fish is often very fresh and easily to buy. For the Mediterranean effect we serve this with a feta dressing. And it's served with zucchini from the grill, also covered with the same feta dressing.

Ingredients (4 persons):
  • 4 Salmon fillet;
  • Salt and pepper;
  • Olive oil, extra vierge;
  • 1 Zucchini;
  • 100 grams Feta;
  • A bunch of basil;
  • 1 Lemon.
Crumble the Feta with your fingers in a bowl. Cut the basil in very small strips. Grate the lemon peel, only the yellow part, not the white. The white part is very bitter.
Mix the feta, grated lemon, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the basil. Add enough olive oil until you get a soggy mixture.
Slice the zucchini in about 1.5 cm thick pieces. Coat the courgette with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coat the salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Turn on the barbecue. Grill the salmon fillets on both sides until they are done. Put on a plate, so the juices can set in the fillet (it's better for the taste).
Meanwhile grill the zucchini on both sides, until it's brown.
Take a plate and put a salmon fillet and a few slices of zucchini on it. Spoon the fetadressing on the zucchini and salmon fillet.

4Pure: grilled salmon fillet and zucchini with a feta dressing.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Vacation recipe: chicken mozzarella on the barbecue (or skottelbraai)

A new vacation recipe. Again made on our skottelbraai, but this recipe can also be made on a barbecue. The combination mozzarella, basil and chicken breast is surprising and a real nice variation on the usual chicken on a stick (which can be nice to). You probably know the combination tomato, basil and mozzarella as it's quite a classic, but this is quite a new way.

We ate it with grilled baguette and a Caprese salad (tomato, basil and mozzarella) and it was refreshing and delicious. This is a recipe we certainly are going to make again and again.

Ingredients (4 persons):
- 500 grams chicken breast;
- 50 grams mozzarella;
- fresh basil;
- cherry tomatoes;
- olive oil, extra virgin;
- salt and pepper.

Cut the chicken breast in long small strips. Lay the strips between two plastic sheets and beat the chicken with a meat hammer very flat. If you don't have a meat hammer on your vacation address (neither did I), use a rolling pin, can or an empty wine bottle.
Cut the mozzarella in small strips of 1 x 1.5 cm. Wind one or two leaves of basil around the mozzarella. Roll the mozzarella-basil in the chicken strip. Pin the chicken package on a stick. Next you pin a cherry tomato on the stick. Repeat this and end with a chicken package. Make a number of sticks this way. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Put on the skottelbraai or barbecue until they are done.

4Pure: chicken mozzarella on the barbecue