Category Archives: Food

stuff about food, cooking and recipes

Chocolate coated hazelnut toffee

I’ve been experimenting in candymaking, and this is the first “worth sharing”. It’s a fairly hard candy wrapped around hazelnuts and covered in delicious chocolate.

Ingredients

  1. 100g light/golden syrup
  2. A generous handful of hazelnuts (or other nuts)
  3. Chocolate. How much? How much do you like chocolate! I used a lot. I like chocolate.

Instructions

  1. Chop up hazelnuts (or whatever nuts you fancy). I got bored chopping and used a blender.
  2. Layer the hazelnuts on greaseproof/baking paper in a heatproof dish with cork pads or spare tea towels under it (to protect your surfaces). Spread the hazelnuts fairly evenly. The area of the dish will affect the thickness of the candy (big dish = thing candy)
  3. Put 100g of light/golden syrup and 200g of sugar in a pan (ideally a small radius pan with a thick base, and I don’t use non stick pans because sugar washes off easily if you don’t burn it)
  4. Use a sugar thermometer! Unless you’re already a candy master, getting consistent results is near impossible otherwise. Set it up in the pan (don’t let it touch the bottom, but make sure the bulb is immersed)
  5. Turn the heat on! KEEP IT LOW. I cannot overstate this. Do not rush. Burned sugar is not your friend. On a hob with 6 heat settings, 3 tends to work ok, but if you want to be safe, start with 2.
  6. Wait patiently for the temperature to reach 149C, meanwhile microwave the chocolate in a heatproof dish with a spout (use a low power setting, 10-20 second bursts with stirring in between). You want it to be -just- melted, not totally molten
  7. As soon as the sugar mix reaches 149C, pour it across the nuts. Wait for a little bit for it to get a bit cooler (I waited about 40 seconds) then slowly drizzle the molten chocolate all over it.
  8. Wait. And wait. And wait. This is torture, seriously. Oh, and while you wait, wash the pan.

Once it’s cool you might want to put it in the fridge to set the chocolate. Once it’s full set, you can do what you want with it! I strongly suggest eating it. As a side note, it’s actually better the following day – when the brittle candy has had a little time to soften and not shatter your teeth.

If you have any questions ask in the comments!

Delicious omelette

I just made a delicious omelette. I’m not sure which bit is the delicious factor, but I suspect it’s the occasional hit of sun-dried tomato amidst the fairly salty omelette.

To construct the artefact you need

  • Eggs (obviously).
  • A handful of black olives,
  • A handful of diced salami,
  • A few thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes.

I seasoned with a sprinkle of garam masala, paprika, tiny bit of balsamic vinegar and a little (very little!) salt. Salt might be completely unnecessary given the salami.

Then did roughly this

  1. Whisk the eggs till they’re a consistent color (not much effort needed), sling in the other bits, and cook on a medium heat (not hot!) till it’s pretty firm.
  2. Turn it using a plate inversion technique and cook for a minute or so more (don’t use a spatula or you have to clean up the kitchen like I now have to).
  3. Eat it. I would upload a picture but I already ate it. (the omelette, not the picture) Maybe next time.

The theory of good rice

This is the theory of good rice – having watched it in action and had it described step by step. The product was delicious! I am yet to successfully do it myself, but will try again soon.

  1. Rinse the rice in a pan until the water is clear. This takes about 15 rinses. (dry rice sinks, so you can pour off the water easily)
  2. Boil a bunch of water – enough to cover the rice by about 4cm
  3. Pour the boiling water over the rice, stir briefly with a fork and put a lid on the pan. Leave the pan to stand for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain off most of the water, leaving the water level a bit less than 1 cm above the rice, add a largish lump of margarine. (getting the water level just right here is key to getting good rice! Too little is better than too much, you can always add a bit more)
  5. Place on the hob, and set the heat hot enough to make the water steam, but not hot enough to boil. (don’t leave the pan here… rice can burn!)
  6. Cover the pan, stirring at regular intervals with a fork to prevent the rice sticking, for about 15 minutes. The aim is to let the rice absorb all the water.
  7. When the water is almost all gone, take the pan off the heat, and leave to stand with the lid on until the rest of the food is ready to be served. Don’t leave it on the heat at this point!

Then eat it. Nom nom nom.