Recent experiments…

#1 Corn bread

Here we actually have a formation of corn pancakes – as my last visitors had gobbled up all the golden syrup, a darker German sugarbeet syrup was used to stick the mutated disks together. My initial idea was to try to recreate the lovely corn bread I had at a place called ‘M&M Soul Food Cafe’ in Las Vegas (if you ever get to go there, check out their banana pudding and home made lemonade). They were very fluffy, a bit like Scotch pancakes (as in Scottish, not the alcohol), but tasted of corn. I did an internet search on corn bread and corn pancakes, but, so far, have not come across a recipe that sounds like it could bring the desired result. Nevertheless, I tried out some other recipes I found – at the end of my ‘test series’ I did not even bother with a recipe any more – and ended up with a moderately satisfactory pancake-bread thing. Still, I’d like to try out some more until I’ve found the ultimate corn bread recipe… 😉 Am open to suggestions!

#2 Beautiful Butties

Here we have my most recent butties: an omelette butty and what I call a ‘sausage turtle’ – a fried and split veggie sausage in a heavily ketchup-ed muffin – sometimes with a layer of melted cheese, fried onions, mustard, pickles or random sauces/vegetables in between. I love butties.

# Improvised Gateaux

I’m really getting into making gateaux. Here we have a somewhat less intricate incarnation of the cake Germans call ‘Jaegertorte’ (Hunter’s Gateau). It was one of my grandmother’s favourite cakes, and she baked it at almost every occasion. I made a smaller version, because we were just three people eating it  (and we did eat all of it). Here is the recipe for a full-size cake:

125 g unsalted butter (you can use salted butter if you don’t mind the taste – or use a mixture of both if you want to use up leftovers!)
100 g sugar (I used less at this is really sweet!)
3 eggs
100 g roughly ground hazelnuts
2 tbsp cocoa (or chocolate sprinkle or whatever chocolate-resembling matter you’ve got in the house)
baking powder
50 g flour
a bit of milk

Bake at medium heat (Gas Mark 5-6) for about half an hour – until the sponge is firm-ish and starts to brown.
For the topping: Mix 1/2 – 1 pint of whipped cream with one jar of cranberries/cranberry sauce (Lidl and Aldi have ironically the best one). Spread over the cooled cake and top with chocolate sprinkles or shavings. You can also decorate the cake with any other chocolate decorations like they do in the bakery.

Other variations I’ve seen on the net included adding a layer of egg-nogg liquor, adding rum to the dough or mixing the cranberries with whisk(e)y – just to confirm the stereotype of the permanently pissed huntsman!

# 4 Potato casseroles

Once again, I tried out a recipe from my favourite internet chef, PrincessDiana161! She made a dish called ‘Diana’s Tatas’ which involved subjecting potatoes to a process of boiling and baking at the same time. Basically, the spuds are chopped up into large-ish pieces and put in the oven in a broth made from vegetable stock, oil and spices. As I am always looking for ways of making potatoes more bearable to eat, I had to make this dish. Obviously, I did not have all of the ingredients, so I started messing around with the recipe a bit. I did not have any stock cubes left, for instance, and just used salt and spices instead. I also had no lemons, but limes etc. But the concept, let’s call it ‘spiced water plus some oil’ (preferably of the tangy kind) remained the same. Another advantage apart from the great taste: the oven dishes are easier to clean than after plain roast potatoes! The thus-produced potato dish can then be consumed with stuff such as green beans, purple broccoli, veggie sausages or tomato sauce and butter beans… Ah, and the most important stuff in the broth for me is: garlic!! (onions also help)


One response to “Recent experiments…

  1. What you had at the soul food restaurant was “hot water cornbread.” It’s a soul food delicacy.

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