Posted in bake, Bread, British Cuisine, Oven, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Snacks

White Bread Loaf

Who doesn’t like a slice of deliciously home made bread with their meal. After all you can eat it with almost anything.  Whether it is to accompany a cheese plate, dip into a curry or to make a simple sandwich.  This is such a quick and easy recipe, and pretty cheap to make which is good news for me with the steady increase on the cost of bread here.

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

400 g white flour

1 tsp salt

7 g packet dried yeast

Wet ingredients

284 ml buttermilk (normal milk with squeeze of lemon juice)

2 eggs

2 tbsps olive oil

Method

Grease your loaf tin(s).  This recipe makes one large loaf (tin size 900 g) or two small loaves (tin size 450 g).  The above photo is a small loaf tin.

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in a different bowl.

Now slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a sticky dough.  You will need to add more flour to form a ball (as it will be quite sticky to begin with) then turn out onto a floured surface.  Knead the dough (adding more flour as necessary) to release the air.

If making small loaves, split the dough into two halves.  Form the dough into a sausage shape then place into the tin(s).

Place a piece of oiled cling film loosely over the top of the tin and leave it some where warm for about an hour to allow it to rise.

Preheat the oven to 190 c (Gas mark 4) about half an hour before you want to bake it.

Remove the cling film and place in the oven.  Bake it until golden and well risen (approx 45 – 55 mins depending on size of tins used).  You can test if the inside has cooked by slipping a sharp clean knife into the centre. If it comes out clean it is ready.

Remove from tin(s) onto a cooling rack and wait 10-15 minutes for it to cool before slicing.

 

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Posted in Biscuits & Cookies, British Cuisine, Cakes, Cheese, Chocolate, Mediterranean, Oven, Uncategorized

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

slice cheesecake

Living in Bodrum, a once small Aegean town in Turkey, which is growing rapidly each year, you cannot miss the abundance of orange and mandarin trees.  With not only the Christmas season upon us, but with it being the season to harvest all those sweet fruits, I thought it would be the perfect time to make a chocolate orange cheesecake, to remind me of my favourite Christmas treat, Terry’s Chocolate Orange which I can’t get here.

The recipe is quite simple to follow so you do not need to be a master chef to bake this cake.

Ingredients

Base

250 g digestive biscuits

100 g melted butter

Filling

200 g labne (mascarpone)

200 g soft white cheese (Philadelphia)

200 g suzme peynir (a type of soft white cheese in Turkey)

150 g thick cream

3 whole eggs and 1 yolk

75 g sugar

3-4 tablespoons orange flavouring

Zest of one large orange

100 g chocolate chips

Topping

200 ml bitter chocolate

300 ml thick whipping cream

2 tsps sugar

2-3 tblsps orange flavouring

Sliced baby oranges and a star anise for decoration

Method

First of all prepare your baking tray.  Line a spring release cake tin (approx. 20 cm) with baking paper.  Cover the underneath with aluminium foil to seal it.  If you have a release tin with a lipped tray that holds the water you don’t need to use the foil or submerge in another dish of water.

For the base

Break the biscuits in a bag, then using a rolling pin roll over them until finely crushed. Alternatively you can use a blender.

Mix into the melted butter and mix well until all combined.

Place into the cake tin and spread out pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon.  If you have too many you can press against the sides too.  (This may be the case if your tin is a little smaller) Place the cake tin in the refrigerator to chill for around 30 minutes.

Now pre-heat your oven to 180°c.

For the filling

Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk.  Then add the sugar and the cream and whisk together.

Place the labne (mascarpone), soft white cheese (Philadelphia) and the suzme peynir (a type of soft white cheese in Turkey) into a separate bowl and mash together until smooth.

Now add this to the first bowl containing the eggs, cream and sugar along with the orange zest and then add the orange flavouring and whisk together until smooth.  Finally, add the chocolate chips and stir gently to spread evenly.

Pour onto the cheesecake base and level out with the back of a spoon.  Make sure to get into the corners if not a round tin. Place the tin into another larger bowl or tray with water about one third of the way up the sides in order to stop the cake from cracking.

Place in the oven for 55-60 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool then cover with stretch film and place in the fridge over night for best results.

Topping

Break the bitter chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.  In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream until it almost comes to a boil.  Pour the hot cream over the broken chocolate and stir continuously until all the chocolate has dissolved and you have a smooth chocolate topping.  Add the orange flavouring and decorate with the sliced oranges and star anise.

 

 

Posted in Cakes, Cheese, Oven

Bodrum Orange Cheesecake

  

Bodrum is a small Aegean town in Turkey, which is abundant with orange and mandarin trees.  For that reason, I thought it would be the perfect fruit for my next cheesecake.  The recipe is quite simple to follow so you do not need to be a master chef to bake this cake.

Ingredients

Base

250g digestives

100g melted butter

Filling

200g labne (mascarpone)

200g soft white cheese (Philadelphia)

200g suzme peynir (a type of soft white cheese in Turkey)

150g thick cream

3 whole eggs and 1 yolk

75g sugar

3-4 tablespoons kumquat liquor (optional)

Zest of one large orange

Topping

100ml fresh squeezed orange juice

45g sugar

1 gelatine sheet

White chocolate shaving

Preserved orange for decoratin

Method

First of all prepare your baking tray.  Line a spring release cake tin (approx. 20cm) with baking paper.  Cover the underneath with aluminium foil to seal it.  If you have a release tin with a lipped tray that holds the water you don’t need to use the foil or submerge in another dish of water.

For the base

Break the biscuits in a bag, then using a rolling pin roll over them until finely crushed.

Mix into the melted butter and mix well until all combined.

Place into the cake tin and spread out pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon.  If you have too many you can press against the sides too.  (This may be the case if your tin is a little smaller) Place the cake tin in the refrigerator to chill for around 30 minutes.

Now pre-heat your oven to 180°c.

For the filling

Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk.  Then add the sugar and the cream and whisk together.

Place the labne (mascarpone), soft white cheese (Philadelphia) and the suzme peynir (a type of soft white cheese in Turkey) into a separate bowl and mash together until smooth.

Now add this to the first bowl containing the eggs, cream and sugar along with the orange zest and finally add the kumquat liquor (if using) and whisk together until smooth.

Pour onto the base and level out with the back of a spoon.  Make sure to get into the corners if not a round tin. Place the tin into another larger bowl or tray with water about one third of the way up the sides in order to stop the cake from cracking.

Place in the oven for 55-60 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool then cover with stretch film and place in the fridge over night for best results.

Topping

Put the orange juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the gelatine, and then stir.  Allow to cool for a bit, and then pour the mixture over the cheesecake.  Once again place in the fridge to set.

You can decorate with grated white chocolate and preserved orange if so desired.

 

 

Posted in Fish, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Mediterranean, Oven, Sauces, Side dishes, Turkish Cuisine

Prawn Casserole with an Eastern Asian twist

On a cold wintery evening, there is nothing better to warm you up than a nice casserole.  And, what could be better than giving it a little bit of a Thai kick! This recipe is based on a typical Turkish hot meze (appetiser) dish known as Karides Güveç (Prawn Casserole) with a few extra touches of my own.

I used frozen prawns, but of course you can use fresh ones, just make sure you clean them carefully first.  I also use pepper paste instead of tomato puree as it does not give you the burns as tomato puree tends to give some people.

This recipe serves 2-4 depending on the size of serving dish.

Ingredients

250 g prawns (cleaned)

1 medium onion (finely chopped)

1 or 2 gloves of garlic (crushed)

1 red pepper & 1 green pepper (finely chopped)

A handful of mushrooms (cut in half then thinly sliced)

A handful of capers

8 cherry tomatoes (chopped) – 2 regular tomatoes can be used instead

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of sesame oil

1 tbsp of oyster sauce

1-2 tbsps of pepper paste (or tomato puree)

1 tsp of hot sauce (optional)

A glass of white wine (optional)

500ml boiling water (for stock)

Salt and pepper and some oregano for seasoning

Grated cheese for garnishing (about one handful)

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. Put the olive oil and sesame oil in a frying pan (or wok) over a medium heat and fry the onions for 3-4 minutes.

Then add the peppers and garlic and continue frying.  Next add the mushrooms and the tomatoes. Now add the prawns.

Pour in a glass of white wine (optional).  In a jug, mix the pepper paste and boiling water with the oyster sauce and stir. Add this to the pan and stir.  Finally add the capers and the hot sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Season as preferred with salt and pepper and oregano.

Transfer the mixture into small casserole dishes and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes in the oven at 180c, then, serve with chunky bread for dipping.

Posted in American Cuisine, Barbecue, Beef Dishes, British Cuisine, Casseroles, Greek, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Italian Cuisine, Mediterranean, Oven, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Turkish Cuisine

Basic Meatball / Burger Mixture

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This is a basic recipe that can be used to make all kinds of meatballs or burgers.  In Turkey we like our Köfte, which are meatballs flattened into small discs.  In Italian and Indian cooking I tend to roll the meatballs into small balls.  You can even put small cubes of cheese in the middle of the balls which are especially nice when cooked in a tomato sauce and served with spaghetti. This is my husband’s recipe which he learned from his mother.

Ingredients

500 g minced beef

1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs (if using freshly ground – only use half a cup if using fine breadcrumbs bought in the shop or it will be too dry)

1 egg

1 onion (finely grated)

1 tsp cumin

A pinch of thyme

Salt & pepper

A pinch of hot chilli flakes (optional)

Method

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hand.  Knead it for a good few minutes then form into a ball.

Now you can pull off small amounts to form into meatballs which you can freeze for later or cook straight away.  You can also divide up larger amounts to make burgers too.

Posted in American Cuisine, Cheese, Mexican, Oven, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Snacks

Doritos / Nacho Cheesy Bake

IMG_0994

This is a quick and easy dish to prepare.  It can be a side for any Mexican meal, on its own with dips, you can build more layers around edges and fill centre with Chilli Con Carne… many possibilities.

Ingredients

1 packet of Doritos corn chips or Nachos

A load of grated cheese (as much as you like)

1 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)

1 tsp mixed herbs (Thyme/Oregano)

Method

Preheat oven to 180°c.  In an oven-proof dish, put a layer of the crisps. Now sprinkle with grated cheese.  Repeat with another layer of crisps then cheese until whole packet of crisps has been used.  Finally cover with grated cheese.  Sprinke with herbs and chilli peppers as desired.

**If you plan to serve with Chilli Con Carne or a dip such as salsa in the centre, then after the first layer, place crisps around the edges to form a well in the centre.  You could also tower up in a pyramid shape too.

Place in the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and serve immediately.

 

 

Posted in British Cuisine, Cheese, Oven, Quick and Easy, Savoury Pastries, Snacks

Cheese Pastry Baskets

 IMG_0889

This is a great idea for a quick snack.  They can be made in advance, can be frozen to be eaten later and you can even take them to work and zap in the microwave as a quick filling lunch.  I use frozen puff pastry as it is cheap, quick and easy, and here in Turkey comes pre-cut in perfect squares.

Ingredients

Puff Pastry (defrosted and cut into squares)

Tomato pureé

Grated cheese

Any other toppings as desired such as:

Sliced tomatoes or onions

chopped red or green peppers,

sliced sausages, pepperoni or ham etc…

1 egg beaten for glazing

Dried herbs for sprinkling

Method

Pre-heat oven at 180°c. Place a sheet of baking paper on an oven tray, then lay out your puff pastry leaving plenty of space between pieces.  Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut 2 ‘L’ shaped cuts on opposite corners (see photo below). Brush tomato pureé over the pastry (I water down my pureé so it is not so thick) and sprinkle on some herbs (I used oregano) then you are ready to decorate with the fillings.

1         3

You can add as many fillings as you like, it is up to you. On this occasion, I used sliced cocktail sausages, spring onions and cream cheese, which I then covered with grated cheese.  Sometimes just plain cheese and tomato is lovely too.

5     6

7

Now that you have loaded your baskets, you need to glaze the edges, then lift the handles from corner to corner and stick together.  Also do not forget to glaze the other side of the handles too.

9

Then place in a pre-heated oven at approximately 180°c for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden.

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