Sunday, 31 August 2014

Recipe Month: Tempest Fudge

A little something to accompany the coffee


Fudge is a confectionery that is found on the other side of the North Sea. We (as in Belgium and Holland) know a similar kind of candy and call it "babelutten" or "babbelaars" (transl. a maunderer): small soft caramel candy that melts in the mouth.

A word of caution: This recipe is not destined for health freaks. With three base ingredients like butter, sugar and condensed milk this is a true calorie bomb!



Ingredients Tempest Fudge


  • 185 ml condensed milk
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 tbs Bowmore Tempest Batch (IV) whisky

Preparation

Pour the sugar in a cooking pot and heat slowly. Add the butter and the tablespoon of Tempest Batch. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring occasionally.

Lower the fire before pouring the condensed milk. If not, be prepared to clean your work area / kitchen.

Bring to a boil and keep it there for fifteen to twenty minutes. Do not forget to stir sometimes.
Remove from the fire and beat the mixture until it starts to thicken.

Pour the fudge into a rectangular cake pan covered with parchment paper. Let it cool for a few hours. Once it is cool enough you can safely remove the parchment paper and dice it.

Fudge can be stored up to two weeks in the refrigerator. But I can guarantee that it won't survive that long...



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Friday, 29 August 2014

Recipe Month: Big Peat chocolate mousse

Time for dessert 'underneath the mango tree'.


Everyone looks out for the final chapter of a delicious dinner. No matter how tasty the previous courses were, it is the dessert that reminds everyone of a great dinner.
Peated whisky matches perfectly with white chocolate and Big Peat needed a well deserved vacation  'underneath the mango tree'.




Ingredients


Chocolate mousse

  • 200 gr. white chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 160 ml double cream
  • a dash of milk
  • one tbs Big Peat whisky
  • one gelatine sheet (3.5 gr.)

Mango compote

  • 1 ready-to-eat mango
  • 50 gr. sugar
  • a dash of water
  • 3 - 4 mint leafs

Caramel

  • 75 gr. sugar
  • a dash of water


Preparation



White chocolate mousse


Break the chocolate and melt au bain-marie with a dash of milk and a tablespoon of Big Peat whisky. I prefer only a limited amount of peaty whisky into this recipe. It still is white chocolate mousse after all...

To melt something au bain-marie you need two cooking pots that fit into each other. Fill the larger one for one quarter with water. The smaller one is placed into it and is indirectly heated by the vapourising water.

Let the chocolate melt and soak the gelatine in cold (!) water. Do not forget to stir regularly the chocolate.

Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff. Whip the double cream to yogurt-like consistency.
Once the chocolate becomes smooth you can add the squeezed leaf of gelatine. Stir until it is dissolved. Remove the cooking pot from the fire and transfer it into a clean bowl. Fold into the egg whites until completely incorporated. Finally fold into the whipped cream.

Pour the mousse into smaller glasses and let them cool in the refrigerator.


Mango compote

Peel the mango and dice the fruit. Heat the mango with the sugar and a small dash of water. Bring it to a boil and keep it there for fifteen minutes.

Remove from the fire and let the mango compote cool.

Caramel

Heat the sugar with water to boiling point. Fill a bowl with cold water and have it ready for the caramel. Once the mixture starts to colour, remove it from the fire and cool it in the cold water.

From now everything should be done really fast. Make horizontal and vertical lines with the back of a spoon on parchment paper. This will create a fine caramel maze that can be broken into small pieces.

Finish

Add the shredded mint to the mango compote and add a layer of compote on top of the chocolate mousse. Break the caramel maze and put a piece on top of every glass.





Next week's conclusion: coffee with home made Bowmore Tempest fudge.
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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Recipe Month: Home made Spice Burger with celeriac potato mash

Comfort food for rainy days


Summer is slowly leaving the country. The dull and grey autumn wheater makes us crave for comfort food. Easy to prepare and savoury food to warm us. Making fresh hamburgers is not a great deal of work and a lot tastier than the regular frozen hamburgers. And you really do not want to know what's in these burgers...

Have the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack dusted off and let's go to work!



Ingredients


Celeriac Potatoe mash

  • 1/2 kg starchy potatoes
  • 1/2 celeriac
  • 4 cloves
  • 150 gr butter
  • 1 egg
  • pepper, salt, nutmeg

Spice

  • 400 gr. pork and beef mince
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tsp dried and chopped red chili peppers
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of (white) bread
  • 4 tbs Springbank 10 year
  • 8 strips of smoked bacon


Preparation



Celeriac Potatoe mash

Peel the potatoes and cut them in parts. Cook them ready in 20 minutes in slightly salted water.
Clean the celeriac and cut it in cubes. Stew in butter with cloves on low heat. Stir regularly until it's soft.

Drain the potatoes when they're ready and add them to the celeriac. Use a potato masher to mash until smooth. Add the butter and season with a mixture of salt, pepper and nutmeg. The secret to unctuous mashed potatoes is butter. Lots of it! You could also use a food mill for an even smoother result.


Spice burger

Cut the crust from the bread and slice it in cubes. Put them in a bowl and sprinkle the Springbank whisky onto it. Let it rest a bit.
Shred the onion and garlic and add them to the minced meat with all the spices: cumin, coriander, garam masala, smoked paprika powder and chili. Add Worcestershire sauce and crack in two eggs and the whisky-soaked bread. If the mixture's is too wet you may need some more bread.

Form 4 large burgers from the mixture. Wrap them in bacon and fix the strips with a few toothpicks.



Bake the spice burger in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Sear the burgers on both sides and reduce the heat. Cook the burgers further and dry them with a paper towel. Remove the toothpicks and you are ready to serve.



Pairing it with a Springbank 10 would be the logical choice. I've chosen a Highland Park 18. This full-grown Orkney whisky with it's sweet and smoky flavours is an excellent companion for this burger



Next week's dessert: Big peaty white chocolate mousse with mango compote and mint.
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Monday, 11 August 2014

Recipe Month: Ostend tomate-crevette

Classic starter with a twist


Tomate-crevette (grey shrimp stuffed into a hollowed-out tomato) is a classic Belgian dish. Fresh shrimps and ripe tomatoes go hand in hand. Old fashioned food and ready in no-time.

Let's have a fresh look at this recipe and pair it with an Islay whisky.


Ingredients


Krupuk with red pesto

  • a small bag of krupuk oedang (with schrimps)
  • 100 gr. sun-dried tomatoes
  • 20 gr. Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 5 cl. olive oil
  • 1 tsp Kilchoman Loch Gorm
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • some pine nuts
  • one coriander twig

Tomate-crevette

  • 150 gr. shrimps (peeled)
  • 8 cocktail tomatoes
  • dried dill and parsley

Whisky basil mayonnaise

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 1 tbs mustard
  • 1 tbs warm water
  • arachis oil
  • 1 tsp Kilchoman Loch Gorm
  • 5 - 8 fresh leaves of basil
  • 1 clove of garlic



Preparation



Krupuk with red pesto.

Slice the tomatoes and garlic and grate the cheese.

Blend these ingredients in the food processor or blender and add olive oil, Kilchoman whisky and balsamic vinegar (optional). Blend to a smooth paste.

Spread some of the pesto on the krupuk and garnish with some chopped coriander and pine nuts.

Whisky-basil mayonnaise

Beat the egg yolks and ad mustard, vinegar and water. Add the arachis oil drop by drop while whisking until you get a nice thick and white mayonnaise. Add the whisky, finely chopped basil and garlic and mix everything.
Season the mayonnaise with pepper and salt.

Tomate-crevette

Cut the top of the tomato and a small part of the bottom. That way the tomato won’t roll over on the plate.

Remove carefully the flesh of the tomato and drizzle some mayonnaise in them. Spread dill and parsley on the shrimps and stuff the tomatoes with the shrimps.

Garnish with some dill, basil and a thin slice of radish. Serve with a dollop of mayonnaise.

Pair with a Kilchoman Loch Gorm. You prefer an unpeated whisky? A Benromach Organic could be an excellent choice then.




Next week's main course: a spicy hamburger with mashed potatoes and turnip-rooted celery.
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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Recipe Month: Golden Sixteen

A refreshing cocktail to start the evening

Like many rum based cocktails the classic mojito is of Cuban heritage. Writer, and notorious drinker, Ernest Hemingway loved the mixture of rum, cane sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint.

Golden Sixteen is loosely based on this classic. For once, looks come first. Rum, cane sugar and sparkling water are to be replaced with 'golden' ingredients.



Ingredients

Everything you need for part one of recipe month!

  • 50 ml Glenmorangie The Original (10yo) whisky
  • 20 ml honey
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 lime to garnish
  • 10 - 15 fresh mint leaves
  • crushed ice
  • 330 ml Canada Dry

Preparation

Mix the whisky, honey and the lime juice in a highball glass. I prefer a liquid honey, so the mixture can blend nicely. Keep half a lime to garnish the cocktail. Stir well.

Cut the lime in parts and add them and the leaves of mint to the glass. Fill it with crushed ice until 3/4. Stir everything and make sure the mint and lime mingle with the ice.

Poor the Canada Dry over the ice and stir one last time. Be gentle now!
Decorate with some mint leaves and a slice of lime and you're done.

Cheers!


Next week's starter: a true Belgian classic with Ostend shrimps.
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