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Bicentenary in Madrid

May 4th, 2008 by nek0
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Soon!

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Tags: events1 Comment

Cutest cupcakes EVER!

May 3rd, 2008 by nek0
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You HAVE to see these cupcakes:

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Pic: Not Quite Nigella 

They’re from Not Quite Nigella, from her Panda Vanilla, Sesame and Green Tea Cupcakes post.

What can I say? They look FANTASTIC! I wouldn’t dare to make them as they have fondant in them (yikes!)

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Bacon…

May 3rd, 2008 by nek0
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 With chocolate!

Reading one of my  favourite blogs,<a href=”http://www.accidentalhedonist.com”>The Accidental Hedonist</a>, I found this intriguing post ;)

Chocolate bacon!

So I lurked around the original posts to see if it existed. And it did. Or better said, it does. They sell it in Santa Cruz (California), at a Chocolate shop called Marini’s. Apparently is one of their best sellers now!!

If you really REALLY want to try it, somebody posted a recipe @ <a href=”http://karagitz.blogspot.com/2005/09/chocolate-covered-bacon_28.html”>http://karagitz.blogspot.com/2005/09/chocolate-covered-bacon_28.html

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Tags: chocolate · la nek0cina · meat2 Comments

Simple and tasty dinner

May 1st, 2008 by nek0
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I looove pork tenderloin. It’s versatile and you can do tons of stuff with it. I always have a piece in my freezer, my parents always save me them from their butcher’s shop :)

A few weeks ago I made this for dinner, I had a little pork tenderloin waiting for me in the fridge. I opened The Gourmet Cookbook and found this plate, Grilled Tenderloin with Mojo Sauce. Mojo is a Latin orange, garlic and oregano sauce.

Solomillo de cerdo con salsa mojo
The Gourmet Cookbook

Solomillo de cerdo con mojo

You can find the recipe at the epicurious website.

We liked this a lot, although the garlic can be a bit hard on my stomach sometimes :(

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Tags: la nek0cina · meat · oven · cerdo1 Comment

Pop, pop… cheesecake pops! - April Daring Bakers challenge

April 27th, 2008 by nek0
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My third Daring Baker challenge was… Cheesecake pops!

The hostess were:

Elle – Feeding My Enthusiasms
Deborah – Taste and Tell

My first take on it was a bust :( I used some not-so recently opened whipped cream, resulting in an off-tasting cheesecake :((((( At least my husband insisted in tasting the cake before making the pops! If this had happened when I already had shaped and went through all the process I would have died!!

Other than this little misshap the recipe was easy to make but a bit time consuming. The recipe includes making the cheesecake the day before (or 3-4 hours before), balling and freezing for a few hours the cheesecake, and after that you cover it in chocolate.

The recipe was perfect, except for the oven timing. The first time I had it for over an hour and it was kind of on the undone side. So this time I got a bigger pan (slightly bigger) and I had it for over an hour again. I think this has been an issue for most of the DB, maybe it’s supposed to bake in a bigger pan?

I had some technical problems with the pan with the pops and my fridge, it did not fit in the freezer so I put it in the fridge. But they did not freeze! So I improvised put them in my biggest cake pan and put them instead of stood up, lying sideways and they did fit!!! hooray!

The shaping was not very fun as it was a bit sticky but I resolved it wetting my hands between batches. But the chocolate dipping was!! In Spain we don’t have tons of decorating stuff or lollipop sticks so I used wooden skewers. And the decoration, I kept it simple: dark and white chocolate, sprinkles and nuts.

I made some pops, some non-pops, and simply some cheesecake balls, cause I was having a chocolate fondue later that night. I thought it would be a good piece for it… and it was!!

Well, no more blabber, now the pics!!!

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Waiting for….

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Storage!!

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I kept them in the freezer until later that night for dinner. I still have half, for tomorrow as I am taking them for my co-workers ^_^

The post from the DB site:

Cheesecake Pops - UPDATED with questions and answers

Introduction from Elle & Deborah

These cute little bites of cheesecake, held on a stick and dipped in chocolate and, if you like, decorations, are sure to make you smile. The cheesecake is New York style, the pops can be jazzed up with different toppings, and they are FUN…just right for a party. They are from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. Isn’t that an alluring title for a cookbook?

We wanted to pick something that had potential for putting your personal stamp on. We like them for a challenge because the recipe for the cheesecake part makes use of the concept of a water bath, an essential tool for bakers, plus there are many ways to personalize them. And they are cheesecake!! The photo in the book showed the lollipop sticks twined with pretty ribbons and bows, too.

It is unclear if this recipe can be halved. A key thing is that the cheesecake be in a pan where it bakes deep enough to scoop out the balls.

Allowed Variations. Yes you can make some changes to this cheesecake as long as you promise to use the basic cheesecake recipe (although you can add a flavor to it if you like) and do keep it white (sorry, no chocolate or coffee or mocha), and keep the pops to the 2 ounce size.

The dipping flavors and colors are completely up to you.

If you want to use decorations, go for it. Same with drizzles and ribbons on the sticks. Or leave them plain after dipping them. You can even dip them in graham cracker crumbs and then the chocolate – to get more of the cheesecake feel to them.

You can cut the cheesecake into geometric shapes instead of making balls…triangles or squares or diamonds…just keep them about 2 ounces each. We can’t wait to see what combinations our Daring Baker come up with…just make sure to use the basic cheesecake recipe, to make the pops 2 ounces or close to that in size, and to dip each pop in chocolate or confectionary coating and have it on a lollipop stick.

Here are some exceptions to the “you must follow the same recipe rule”.
– Particular ing
redient is hard to find in your area.
– Particular ingredient is cost-prohibitive. We don’t want anyone stressing over having to pay for something that’s too expensive, especially if you have to buy a large quantity for just a smidge in the recipe. So if the ingredient is way too expensive you can leave it out or sub something else that will work.
– The host allows a specific ingredient change, but that must be specified in the host’s challenge recipe announcement post. For example, the hosts say i
t’s okay to substitute the rum in the cream with a flavoring of your choice as long as the cream is still “white”. But making chocolate or coffee pastry cream is not okay.

– Allergies.

Cheesecake Pops

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy cream

Boiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.

Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

  Answers to Questions Asked:

Q - Do you have to add shortening? Can I just use straight chocolate?

A – You can use tempered chocolate without shortening or your own bonbon candy coating. We are not promising it will work, though. In Elle’s words – “the shortening is added to help the chocolate coating firm up quickly. It didn’t make the coating taste bad at all and helped with that nice ’snap’ quality when bitten into”

Q - Can you use a springform pan if you want to? What if I don’t have a 10-inch pan?

A – A springform pan should work if it is properly lined with foil. The important thing with the pan is to make sure the cheesecake is deep enough to scoop out the balls. As long as the pan is the right size to make the mixture deep enough, you can use it. Make sure if you use a different sized pan to keep an eye on your cheesecake – the baking time will probably be different.

Q - Can I dip the balls in something before dipping them in the chocolate?

A – We mentioned in the post that graham cracker crumbs are acceptable. If there is something else you would like to try you can, but we aren’t guaranteeing that it will work. Some things might make it so the chocolate doesn’t have anything it will adhere to. Also, in Elle’s words – “Personally, I found the combo of the creamy cheesecake and deep dark chocolate so wonderful that, perhaps except for the graham crackers on the bottom for that cheesecake taste, it would be a shame to monkey with it too much. There are lots of avenues for self-expression with the toppings and it’s OK to change the flavoring (lemon, peppermint, almond for example) via the extract so that gives lots of leeway for difference.”

Q - But how many are 5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature and 1 pound chocolate in grams?

A – Both of us agree that we are terrible at conversions, so if there is someone out there that is good at them and wants to share, that would be great!

Q - I have a ton of popsicle sticks in the cupboard. Can we substitute them for the sucker sticks?

A – The popsicle sticks are probably too big. The balls are only about the size of a walnut, no bigger than a golf ball.

Q – How about halving the recipe?

A - The volume of a 10 inch by 2 inch standard cake pan is 10 3/4 cups. I measured 5.5 cups of water and then tried out pans until I found one where the water came up in the pan to 1 1/4 inches. That worked perfectly for a half batch. The measurement came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “The Cake Bible.”

Elle also mentions that these freeze well. So if you are worried about having too many, they should hold in the freezer for a few days. I’m sure they won’t last that long around my house!!

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Tags: cheesecake · chocolate · desserts · events · la nek0cina · oven · daring bakers17 Comments

Free Ice Cream Day!

April 22nd, 2008 by nek0
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I have been EXTRA busy at work and studies so… my blog has been neglected last week, and probably part of this week :(

Just a little shoutout, just in case you don’t know about this… next Tuesday it’s FREE ICE CREAM DAY! At least for Ben&Jerrys.

phplxs0es

So check out your local Ben&Jerrys website for a shop near you ;)

Tags: events · la nek0cina2 Comments

Gourmet fair in Madrid!

April 14th, 2008 by nek0
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Today I visited the XXII International Gourmet Club tradeshow in Madrid, which is every year around this time.

It is a show for professionals although if you pay 6 euros you can get in, and eat tons of stuff for free (or almost). The purpose is to show off your product, so there is a lot of jamón, queso… and lots of other stuff ;)

Here you go, a few pics if you want to know what it’s like. And if you are in Madrid right now… its until the 18th, and opens 10-19 h, at Recinto Ferial de Casa de Campo.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
 

 

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Tags: events · la nek0cina4 Comments

Pizza?! texture food

April 9th, 2008 by nek0
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A forgotten pack of textured vegetable protein (TVP soy) is the leading character of this story.

The poor thing was bought some time ago, and lived solitarily in the cupboard. One day, it discovered daylight, to be used… in a plate!

A no-fuss recipe was chosen for the moment: Pizza Sloppy Joes. It was made low fat for it’s owners, who wanted something light for their lunch.

Sloppy Joe Pizza
adapted from de How to fix it  and forget it lightly
6 people

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1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP soy)
7 oz can mushrooms undrained
15 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can italian diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seeds and 1/2 crushed red peppers
1 tsp italian seasoning and 1 tsp minced roasted garlic
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all in the slowcooker. Cover and cook 6-8 hours.

Notes:
- You can serve this with bread if you like (and your diet allows!)
- If you don’t have Italian tomato sauce like here in Spain, use tomato sauce with basil, garlic and oregano

We liked it a lot! I had never used textured soy before but it was reaaaally good!

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Tags: la nek0cina · recipes · slowcooker · soy2 Comments

Discovering mackerel…

April 7th, 2008 by nek0
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Another recipe for one of those lazy, dont-know-what-to-do for dinner nights.

Searching around the cupboard I found a tin of mackerel (melva in Spanish if its not the correct name please tell me), which I did not know about. My parents and parents-in-law tend to bring me tons of food stuff all the time so I just take it and look at it later.

I never had mackerel until this summer @ Ca’ladis in Alicante (sorry post in Spanish) and after that at a friends place. 

It is very similar to tuna, a bit smaller and with a less delicate texture. As with all blue fish, it has good oils and many minerals. Apparently ‘melva canutera’ is very appreciated.

I saw this recipe at Erdecai’s website (in Spanish).

Green bean salad with mackerel (Erdecai)

Green beans, cooked
Egg, boiled
Mackerel in oil, drained
Vinegar and oil, salt

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It is VERY easy to make. Cook green beans, and egg if not cooked. Cut up the egg when cool. Separate everything into plates mixing it up, and put it some homemade oil and vinegar vinaigrette.

It is very simple and very tasty. I liked it a lot!!! It is a good recipe for when you are on a high protein diet :)

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Tags: diet · recipes · salads · desperation dinners!1 Comment

Green supper

April 5th, 2008 by nek0
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This past week I had some swiss chard from my organic box. So I looked for a simple recipe for my Thermomix because I did not want to cook and stirfry (as it is usual in Spain).

Googling around I found this recipe @ many sites. I got this one from MJmix’s website, a Thermomix seller from Spain. If you have one and read Spanish I reccomend her site :)

For me it resulted more as a cream than a soup. I think I chopped too much the veggies.

The resulting plate? A light but filling soup for a one-plate vegetarian meal.

The recipe:

RICE WITH SWISS CHARD (MJmix)

4-6 people

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  • 150 gr swiss chard
  • 100 gr potato
  • 100 gr carrot
  • 100 gr olive oil (I put 50 gr)
  • 100 gr white beans cooked (did not use) 
  • 1 tsp pimenton
  • 200 gr rice (I put brown)
  • 1000 ml water
  • Salt
  • Jamón dices (optional) (did not use) 
  • 1 beef boullion (optional) (I used a veggie one)

Directions

Put in the Thermomix blender the chard, potato and carrot, in that order. Chop during 4 sg v4 each, adding one after another. After that add the olive oil and 5 min Varoma temperature.  When it’s about to finish (the time) add the pimenton. Add the water and salt, 20 min varoma temp, spoon velocity. When its all done check out the salt and cook for 15 min the rice (25 min if its brown), 100C spoon velocity. When 10 min are left add the beans. Let it rest 2 min and eat! 

If you add the jamon do it when you are stirfrying the veggies. Instead of water you can use broth.

For non thermomix users, just chop the veggies, stirfry them with the oil. Add the pimenton. Cook it with the water and salt. When it’s done, add the rice and cook until done. Add the beans when its almost done. Let resst 2 min and serve!

If you are into soups and green stuff you should like this recipe ;)

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Tags: recipes · soups · thermomix · vegetablesNo Comments.

Tea, please!

April 3rd, 2008 by nek0
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 A few weeks ago I did not know what to make for dinner. I wanted a salad but also wanted to use up some beef that was in the fridge.

Searching my HUGE to-do list I found this recipe from Elise’s Simply Recipes blog. If you don’t know her, please visit!! Although the original recipe comes from Bon Appetit magazine. She made it Is my blog burning?  I love tea and everything oriental so… I gave it a try!

 

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You can check out the recipe at Elise’s site: http://elise.com/recipes/archives/001309ginger_beef_peanut_noodle_salad.php

I totally reccomend this recipe!! ^_^ 

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Tags: la nek0cina · recipes · salads · oriental2 Comments

Daring Baker’s March 2008 Challenge - Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake

March 30th, 2008 by nek0
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This month the Daring Baker’s challenge was…. cake!! The truth to be said, I have done tons of cakes, but… never a layered one! So this was quite a challenge for me ;)

 I just made it today, at the last moment, my semester started again at the beginning of the month and I have been juggling work and studies at the same time. It was for my Father’s day lunch (it is 19th March here in Spain, San José), but my parents were not at home so we waited until this Sunday to celebrate.

The cake was easy to make, although my stand mixer is getting worse each time (I got one for a sale at a bargain chain for 50 euros and well… it does the job but it’s getting rusty), exchanging the attachments gets worse each time… Hum… Kitchen-Aid is tempting me… ;)

 The cake turned out great! My husband ate two pieces even with the lemon! (and he HATES everything citrus, he just does not eat it!) My family liked it a lot to so… It was a huge hit!!

The composing was a bit of a pain in the ***. I realised this morning that I did not have two pans. I remembered that I threw one away a few months ago as it was rusty and did not buy another one :( So I made one in a bigger one and another cake in a smaller non cake pan. So the bigger pan was quite thin and the other not very thin but smaller and less defined as a cake layer. So… I wasn’t able to cut in half each of them! They were extra moist and kind of thin so I didn’t want to end up with a cake-mush. I couldn’t dare to do it! It was kind of scary… So I went for the double layer, one with each cake.

And… I have discovered I am not the master of the frosting arts!

Note: My pics are so NOT glamourous comparing to the other Daring Bakers! :(

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I guess 4 layers would have been more exquisite (I put all the jam and half the buttercream in the middle so it was a bit thick), but it was really good even though ;)

It was more like a mini-mountain cake.

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The recipe:

PERFECT PARTY CAKE

Courtesy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours (page 250).

Posting date Sunday 30 March.IMPORTANT NOTICE - RECIPE EDITED MARCH 10TH

(sorry I’m still a bit of a blogger “dummy” so don’t know how to highlight in red). For those of you who don’t read all the comments or don’t have Dorie’s book, there were a couple of omissions which some diligent Daring Bakers picked up. If these contributed to a “floppity flops” - my sincere apologies. Please note the changes in bold below - one is the reference to a 1/4 cup of lemon juice and the second is in relation to whisking together the egg whites and milk in the 2nd line of making the cake. I’ve also expanded on the Update on Playing Around.Introduction from Morven

I wanted to pick something that had potential for putting your personal stamp on. Although this is essentially a white cake I know there are some lemon haters among us so feel free to use your imagination. If you inner chef tells you that you need to make a chocolate layer cake then by all means do so. See Dorie’s words on playing around below for some flavour combination ideas.

Update on playing around. Yes you can do what ever you want with this cake as long as you promise to use the basic cake recipe and the basic buttercream recipe (if you are doing the buttercream that is) . The filling/frosting flavours are completely up to you. If you don’t feel like using Dorie’s buttercream recipe (flavoured as you wish) she says whipped cream will do for the filling and finishing and I say… go for it. If you want to use fondant or something else - it’s your cake. Bake a square one, a heart shaped one or any other shape you like but please make it a layer cake.

I can’t wait to see what combinations people come up with. You can leave out the lemon, put different flavours of preserves in the middle, leave off the coconut - have some fun with it.

Words from Dorie

Stick a bright-coloured Post-it to this page, so you’ll always know where to turn for a just-right cake for any celebration. The original recipe was given to me by my great dear friend Nick Malgieri, of baking fame, and since getting it, I’ve found endless opportunities to make it – you will too. The cake is snow white, with an elegant tight crumb and an easygoing nature: it always bakes up perfectly; it is delicate on the tongue but sturdy in the kitchen – no fussing when it comes to slicing the layers in half or cutting tall, beautiful wedges for serving; and, it tastes just as you’d want a party cake to taste – special. The base recipe is for a cake flavoured with lemon, layered with a little raspberry jam and filled and frosted with a classic (and so simple) pure white lemony hot-meringue buttercream but, because the elements are so fundamental, they lend themselves to variation (see Playing Around), making the cake not just perfect, but also versatile.

For the Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour (updated 25 March)

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk (I prefer buttermilk with the lemon)

4 large egg whites

1 ½ cups sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Buttercream

1 cup sugar

4 large egg whites

3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Finishing

2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves stirred vigorously or warmed gently until spreadable

About 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut

Getting Ready

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.

Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.

Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.

Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.

Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.

Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.

Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean

Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.

Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

To Make the Buttercream

Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.

The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.

Remove the bowl from the heat.

Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.

Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.

During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.

On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.

You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

To Assemble the Cake

Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each layer horizontally in half.

Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.

Spread it with one third of the preserves.

Cover the jam evenly with about one quarter of the buttercream.

Top with another layer, spread with preserves and buttercream and then do the same with a third layer (you’ll have used all the jam and have buttercream leftover).

Place the last layer cut side down on top of the cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top.

Press the coconut into the frosting, patting it gently all over the sides and top.

Serving

The cake is ready to serve as soon as it is assembled, but I think it’s best to let it sit and set for a couple of hours in a cool room – not the refrigerator. Whether you wait or slice and enjoy it immediately, the cake should be served at room temperature; it loses all its subtlety when it’s cold. Depending on your audience you can serve the cake with just about anything from milk to sweet or bubbly wine.

Storing

The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator.

Playing Around

Since lemon is such a friendly flavour, feel free to make changes in the preserves: other red preserves – cherry or strawberry – look especially nice, but you can even use plum or blueberry jam.

Fresh Berry Cake

If you will be serving the cake the day it is made, cover each layer of buttercream with fresh berries – use whole raspberries, sliced or halved strawberries or whole blackberries, and match the preserves to the fruit. You can replace the coconut on top of the cake with a crown of berries, or use both coconut and berries. You can also replace the buttercream between the layers with fairly firmly whipped sweetened cream and then either frost the cake with buttercream (the contrast between the lighter whipped cream and the firmer buttercream is nice) or finish it with more whipped cream. If you use whipped cream, you’ll have to store the cake the in the refrigerator – let it sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.

 If you wish to know more about the daring bakers, please visit http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/

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Tags: cakes · desserts · la nek0cina · oven · daring bakers14 Comments

Upgrading…

March 30th, 2008 by nek0
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I am upgrading to the new WP software.

 Wish me luck! ;)

Tags: la nek0cina2 Comments

Super-Manuka honey!

March 27th, 2008 by nek0
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Manuka honey (from New Zealand) is used as a natural product, internally and topically on the skin. Apitherapy is the treatment with natural honey, used by many cultures throughout history. 

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‘Active’ Manuka honey is more and more popular every day, and it’s properties have swirld around the world.

It comes from New Zealand where beekepers set up the hives in areas where Manuka bushes grow. The bees gather the nectar from their flowers (indigenous to New Zealand only). Some Manuka honey have very special properties.

Not all Manuka honey is ‘active’ with antimicrobial properties. This property is called Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). They have to test the honey to verify that it has UMF. An UMF of 10 or more is consired ‘active’. It is the indicator of the strength of the antibacterial effect.

Apparently Manuka honey han help with stomach ulcers and related conditions, sore throats and colds, skin ulthers and wounds, burns and infections.

So after reading all this stuff and my friend Mel talking about it, and her have already tried it,… I bought it!!!

You can read more about Manuka honey at http://manukahoney.com/

I got mine @ www.greenhealth.co.nz It arrived in two weeks! It tastes fine, a bit stronger than regular honey but other than that it seems OK :) It is quite expensive (from 25 $ a 5 UMF honey to 40 $ a 25 UMF - the strongest, which I bought).

Let’s see if my stomach gets better (I have GERD and it bothers me from time to time) ^_^

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New book!

March 22nd, 2008 by nek0
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You never know when you’ll find something you like…

This week I went with my husband to his favourite comic shop and I found this!

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If you have read my blog, you will know that i LOVE Hawaii!!! I went there for my honeymoon. I would go to live there in a snap!!

The book, explains all about the tiki world: legends, history and mysteries… and tons of drinks and appetizers!!

The name tiki comes from the Polynesian god Tiki, which the Polinesian considered as the First Man. It is also the name of the wooden and stone statues of tiki gods you can find all around Hawaii, the Easter Islands and New Zealand.  

The book takes you into the Tiki paradise to do wonderful cocktails, as Mai Tai, or appetizers asn Thai tuna rolls, Tamarind glazed beef ribs, and other recipes.

No matter where you are, The Great Tiki Drink Book will take you to your own paradise ;)

You can find it at Amazon.com  (although the cover has changed, I think I have an old version).

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Tags: Hawaii · books · la nek0cina · shoppingNo Comments.

Boring… NOT! Tofu scramble

March 18th, 2008 by nek0
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Little over a month ago Heidi posted a tofu scramble on her site. She claimed it was a bit boring but that we had to give it a chance. And I did!

Tofu, fennel, onion? Check

Garam masala, pistachios, cranberries? Check.

So, when least expected I had a recipe for dinner when I did not even know what to do!!

Garam masala tofu scramble

Heidi Swanson

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You can check out the recipe at her site.

It is VERY GOOD! I loved it. Its perfect for a vegetarian day or meal, and it does not taste like tofu! (for those non convinced about tofu!) Totally NOT boring!!!

Tags: la nek0cina · recipes · heidi swanson · tofu3 Comments

Celebrating my b-day ‘La carta de Rast’ restaurant

March 18th, 2008 by nek0
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I have a friend who works as a chef at a restaurant called La carta de Rast. Apparently Rast means break in German.

He has worked there for some time now, but I never had gone there. My b-day was the perfect excuse!

It is near Suances metro, an office area. The restaurant serves Basque-Frech food, with an excelent quality and good price. The presentation of the plates is very exquisite. The menu goes from foie to rices, fish, meat… a bit of all!

This is what we ate:

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 House tapa: cheese tartalettes. Yum!! So pretty that they were a shame to eat!

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Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, truffle and brie cheese. This was our only entreé because they told us it was big… and it was!!!!! It was delicious. I love any type of shrooms and cheese so this was perfect for me  :)

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Ox tenderloin with foie and Pedro Ximenez reduction, and mustard sauce. I did not try this as I do not like almost raw meat. But my husband loved it!!!

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Red tuna with tomato confit. This was my main dish. The tuna was perfectly done, and the tomato confit was lovely. It was, again, huge!! and even though I was stuffed I could not stop eating!!! :)

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Blondie with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate. My friend discovered what a blondie was at a party at my place, and now it’s at the menu of the restaurant!! ;) It was very good, with macademia nuts, which I also love.

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Chocolate soup with hazelnut cream. The combination was perfect.

I hope you have liked it!! The price is around 30-40 euros which is a normal price for this type of food in Madrid. The portions are huge so you get very good value for your money!  I totally reccomend it!!

Restaurante La Carta de Rast

Calle Cronos, 8 

28037 Madrid - Madrid

Teléfono: 91 304 14 53

Tags: Madrid · la nek0cina · restaurants · bdayNo Comments.

Baked doughnuts!

March 17th, 2008 by nek0
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If you read this blog, you know how much I love Heidi!! I totally recommend her book, Super Natural Cooking :)

A few months ago, I saw her Baked Doughnuts and… I made them! For my b-day. I took them to the office and dissapeared… IMMEDIATELY!!!

Mine weren’t as pretty as Heidi’s but… were DELICIOUSSSSSSS!

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Baked doughnuts recipe @ 101 cookbooks

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Tags: breakfast · buns · la nek0cina · oven · recipes · stand mixer · heidi swanson4 Comments