Savoury Bread Pudding

If you’re getting sick of the usual potatoes or rice side dish, try this please.

This recipe is one of my favourites from school, but I decided to change it around a bit at home to make it lighter and healthier.

The original used tons of butter – I’m talking Barefoot Contessa style – and I knew my family wouldn’t be happy if I served them bread and butter pudding for dinner.

I started by heating the onions in a small bit of oil until they were translucent.

Then I deglazed the pan with chicken stock and added some herbs – chopped thyme and rosemary.

I brought this mixture to a boil and removed it from the heat.

I gradually added 6 eggs, whisking rapidly – this made the custard.

I drizzled a little olive oil on the cubed bread and mixed it into the custard.

Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes until the bread absorbs all the liquid – there should be no excess liquid.

Then pour mixture into a medium-large sized baking dish.

Place the dish into an even larger baking dish or roasting pan and fill the larger pan with warm water until it reaches about halfway up the bread pudding dish…

The picture explains this step a lot more easily – this is called a bain marie!

Keep an eye on the pudding – it should be done after about 45 minutes – make sure that when you insert a toothpick it comes out clean.

I cut you a slice…

Savoury Bread Pudding (Adapted from GB Recipe)

Ingredients

  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 12 slices whole wheat bread, cut in 1cm cubes
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 325°F and grease medium-large baking dish with Pam spray or oil.

Heat the onions thoroughly in a lightly oiled pan until translucent – do not brown. Add the chicken stock and herbs and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and place in large bowl.

Slowly add the eggs into the onion mixture, whisking rapidly. Season with salt and pepper – this is the custard.

Drizzle the cubed bread with olive oil and add to custard.

Allow bread to absorb custard for about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture into baking dish and place into large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with warm water until it reaches halfway up baking dish with bread pudding mixture. This is called a bain marie.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Yours edibly,

Elana

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Mini Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

When it comes to trying out new recipes, there’s always a few people I know I can trust – one of those lucky few people is Ina Garten, otherwise known as Barefoot Contessa.

I swear that every single one of her recipes I have tried has been a huge hit and this is my latest.

I guess she has the best food critic to try and test all her recipes — Jeffrey!

Anyways, this recipe is so simple and so delicious.

If you’re looking for an easy dessert that is not too sweet, but is rich and fabulous – you’ve got it right here.

First, fluff the butter and sugar together – then beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Then, add in the chocolate syrup and vanilla.

Fold in the flour and pour into greased muffin tray.

I opted to use a mini-muffin tray and no paper liners – so I just greased the tray with lots of butter.

While the cupcakes are baking, you can make the ganache – melt semi-sweet chocolate chips, whipping cream, and instant coffee granules in a double boiler and that’s it.

Once the cupcakes are cool, dip them in the ganache, one by one.

The center of these cupcakes are dangerously moist…

…eater beware, you won’t be eating just one.

You can find the recipe here.

Thanks Jeffrey!

Yours edibly,

Elana

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Gou!!!

I figured it was about time for me to end my Irish shenanigans and move on to different foods.

Over the summer, my boyfriend and I went to Budapest – an amazing city which we both loooveedddd (maybe more than Dublin?). Anyhow, we had an incredible goulash at this restaurant called Klassz and I basically tried to relive that experience with this recipe.

If you’re sick and tired of your typical beef stew, then you really got to try this. But just keep in mind, good gou needs several hours of simmering and it really is best the day after — I learned this the hard way 😦

I started by browning the bacon and meat – I chose beef, though I was very tempted to try lamb.

After browning, I set aside my meat and started cooking everything else.

Then I added back my meat and let the gou simmer for hours – about 4 in total plus a little extra heating the next day.

After all that waiting, I finally got to eat this…

Was it worth the wait??

You betcha!

By the way, the best wait to tell if the gou is ready is to test a piece of meat with a fork. You don’t have to eat it, just check if the meat tears easily with a fork.

If it does, you know the meat is tender and ready to eat 🙂

Also, sweet paprika may be hard to find, but you need it so find it.

I found the recipe here, but I changed it just a little.

Hungarian Goulash

6 pieces bacon (any kind should work)
4 lbs stewing beef, diced
4 medium onions, diced
2 large garlic cloves, pureed
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
3 cups green sweet peppers, diced
5 tbsp sweet paprika
2 cups canned tomatoes diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
4 cups beef broth
3 cups water
5 cups potatoes, peeled & diced into ½ inch cubes

Salt & pepper to taste

1)  In a large cast iron or thick-bottom pan, fry the bacon over high heat until light golden brown. Some of the fat has been rendered.  Remove the bacon.

2)  In the same pan, fry the diced beef that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.  Continue frying until the meat has a light golden brown colour, then remove from the pan.

3)  Turn down the heat, add the onion and garlic, and sauté gently for 4 – 6 minutes.

4)  Next, add the bay leaf, thyme, caraway seeds, green peppers and paprika, followed by the tomato and tomato puree.

5)  Return the beef and bacon to the pan.  Add the beef broth and water, and gently simmer on the stove top for approximately 2 hours or more – depending how close your meat is to being tender.

6)  During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the diced potatoes.  Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.  The meat should be tender and moist, and the sauce slightly thickened.

7)  Once cooked, remove from heat and remove the bay leaf.

Serves 8 – 10

Try serving with a dollop of sour cream – delicious!

Let me know how the gou tastes.

Yours edibly,

Elana

St. Patrick’s Day: Brownie Bites

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

I was tempted to title this post Attempt #2 – Cake Balls – but then I realized that what I’ve created is really nothing like Bakerella’s Cake Balls. I used the same basic steps but totally different ingredients.

Thus, I get to call these beautiful things – Brownie Bites – my own lovely creation.

They were so easy to make! I started by breaking up the extra brownie bits from the Three Leaf Clover Nutella Brownies into even smaller bits.

Then I added some more Nutella, which I heated in the microwave first for about ten seconds.

Mix in just enough Nutella so that the brownie stuff is at a good rolling consistency.

Then, begin rolling!

Refrigerate these for a little while.

Once brownie bites are nice and cool, begin melting some chocolate – I used milk chocolate chips.

Seems all I do these days is melt chocolate.

Then drop in a brownie bite.

Roll it around for a little while…

And decorate!

I used Cake Mate green sprinkles.

All done and ready to eat.

If you’re nice to me, maybe I’ll give you a bite?

But don’t get your hopes up.

Yours edibly,

Elana

St. Patrick’s Day: Three Leaf Clover Nutella Brownies

Oh brownies, brownies, how I love you so.

I made these brownies special for St. Patrick’s Day – can you tell?

The recipe was pretty simple.

I started by melting some semi-sweet chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler.

Once the chocolate and butter melted, I added sugar and cocoa powder.

Next, I whisked in three eggs and some vanilla.

Finally, I folded in flour and salt and poured the batter into a pan greased with lots of butter. I used a larger pan so I would have more surface area for the cookie cutter. I baked the brownies for about 20 minutes.

After baking, I let the brownies cool for a short while.

Then, while the brownies were still warm. I heated up about a cup of Nutella in the microwave for 20 seconds and poured it over the brownies 🙂

Spread around that Nutella nice and evenly.

And let the brownies cool down in the fridge or freezer for just a short while before cutting into them!

I found this three leaf clover cutter at Bulk Barn. It was a bit larger then I wanted but still worked well.

Having a little bit of trouble but no worries!

So many extra bits, what to do, what to do.

I’m thinking maybe Cake Balls, Attempt #2 with brownie balls!

I dipped the clovers in green sprinkles and voila!

These will be a huge hit tomorrow….

I just know it!

This is a great St. Patrick’s Day activity. Try them out and let me know how they taste 🙂

Here is the recipe, adapted from joyofbaking.com:

Three Leaf Clover Nutella Brownies

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces (140 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • Three Leaf Clover Cookie Cutter!
Method
Preheat oven to 350 Fand place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Melt chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar . Next, whisk in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, fold in the flour and salt.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Heat Nutella in microwave about 20 seconds and pour over brownies while brownies are still slightly warm. Spread evenly with spatula and cool in fridge or freezer before cutting.

After cutting, dip in green sprinkles 🙂

Serve at room temperature or chilled. These freeze very well.

Makes about 9 brownies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter (mine was quite large). I am testing out a recipe for the extra brownie bits so please don’t discard!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Yours edibly,

Elana

Disaster Strikes: Cake Balls, Attempt #1

Last night I attempted to make Bakerella’s famous cake balls (not to be confused with pops). I had all the necessary ingredients — a lovely piece of red velvet cake, yummy cream cheese frosting, and Baker’s white chocolate.

Bakerella makes the process seem so simple, yet the final product looks like a masterpiece. I began by crumbling the red velvet cake, as instructed.

Then I added the cream cheese icing into the bowl with the cake crumbs and mixed it all together until it was at a good rolling consistency.

I rolled the batter into beautiful cake balls — no problems here!

I melted the white chocolate in the microwave then began rolling one ball at a time in the white chocolate.

AND THIS WAS THE RESULT!

Cake bits came off into the white chocolate and the white chocolate didn’t form a smooth covering over the balls.

Oh geez. I got off to such a good start!

I’ll save you goodies for Attempt #2.

At least they still tasted good…

Yup, definitely still edible.

Bakerella, where did I go wrong?

Yours edibly,

Elana

More Craic

On a day trip I took to Wicklow and Glendalough, where P.S. I Love You was filmed, our tour bus stopped off at Avoca. This place is unbelievable.  The company is famous for their handwoven scarves, blankets, rugs, and throws, but I loved their beautiful cafe and the amazing selection of food.

AVOCA!

and the Fern House Cafe.

Inside the cafe…

This is the gourmet cafeteria-style eatery!

Sugar Tree Cafe!

Not quite sure what these things are but they look fabulous!

Now for some elegant pastries,

Please take me back.

Where can you get profiteroles like this in Toronto?

Dying…

Drooling…

I can’t take it anymore. Last one.

Thanks AVOCA!

Yours edibly,

Elana