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[personal profile] salmakia
I spent most of this evening trying, and largely failing, to cook.

It started with the tomato soup. I've never made tomato soup from scratch but I thought two tins of chopped tomatoes, two red onions and a clove of garlic and some creme fraiche should do the trick, right? Wrong.

Firstly, I burnt it because I was on the phone and let it boil too much. The gas was on low, but it still had started burning. I poured everything into another saucepan, washed the first pan and then tried to blend the veg. I burnt myself when soup splashed up from the pan and got it on my clothes, the wall and the cooker. It also transpired that the onions weren't really cooked enough, despite having been fried for a bit and then boiled for another 10 minutes. I decided to try sieving it. This worked well and was producing a nice creamy looking soup. But somehow I just kept splashing myself and getting stains all over my new top. It also took FOREVER. I was left with lots of vegetable pulp which was veeerrry sloooowwwllyy being passed through the mesh of the sieve. I got bored of this and just mixed it in with everything else. It still tasted burnt so I added some sugar. It then tasted burnt and sweet, which would have been nice if it was toffee, but sweet, burnt tomato soup is not so nice. I added the creme fraiche and ate it with some basil, trying not to screw my mouth up too much. This is dinner for at least one more night. It doesn't taste too bad, but it's not what I was expecting. Then again, maybe I was expecting Heinz and should have just bought a tin in the first place.

The chocolate brownie I made afterwards, and which my family are getting for Easter, was a breeze in comparison. Using Bailey's in the mixture (as opposed to in the icing) and muscovado sugar instead of granular makes for a much stickier structure. I used 100g of milk chocolate instead of 125g and added more cocoa to stiffen the mixture. It rose a lot more than usual but might sink with cooking, we'll see. I say it myself, but I make damn good brownie. Sometimes I make it with cointreau and orange peel. Sometimes I make alcoholic icing and sometimes not. This evening I added grated almonds. Now I just need to get good at making other things. I do like cooking, but it's more fun when it works...

Date: 2009-04-07 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spammysam.livejournal.com
Are your brownies made from scratch? Adding Bailey's to the mix sounds delicious! I've recently gotten into baking from scratch... my friend sent me this link and I think they sound pretty interesting (when it comes to baking with alcohol): http://chewonthatblog.com/2009/02/25/irish-car-bomb-cupcakes/

Date: 2009-04-29 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salmakia.livejournal.com
I got the basic recipe out of a local parish magazine while I was working on my first weekly paper. I thought it didn't sound too hard and I'd give it a go. The result was really nice and I've been experimenting with it ever since. A friend suggested the orange peel and it worked really well. I really like cooking, I've been making victoria sponge cakes as well but I can't get them to rise properly. Not sure what to do about it, have been using self-raising flour AND baking powder. It should work, dammit!

That recipe sounds amazing, I may well have to try it, even though I'm not the biggest fan of Guinness, I'm sure I could stomach it with the other ingredients.

Date: 2009-04-08 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterary.livejournal.com
Was about to comment that your brownies sound delicious, then I remembered I've had one AND THEY ARE DELICIOUS. Recipe? Or is it a closely-guarded Hanni secret?

I've never tried to make tomato soup, but I quite often make leek and potato and sometimes carrot (with leek. Everything is better with leeks in, except boats. See what I did there?) and I just fry the leeks (lots of them) fairly quickly, with some onion, then add the chopped-up potatoes and boil them in stock for an hour and a half or so. Then whizz them with a food-choppy thing with a whirring blade that makes splashes and looks dangerous. Can't remember what it's called. Om nom nom, many soups. Then freeze what's left over. 'tis delicious. I think my point was: if the soup is made with stock and then made creamy later on, it's less likely to burn. But I clearly also wanted to point out: leeks are good.

Date: 2009-04-29 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salmakia.livejournal.com
Why thank you, I'm glad you like :)

Recipe:
250g of butter/hard margarine (I use butter)
125g cocoa (I use 125g of actual chocolate and add more cocoa powder if the mixture is too runny at the end)
Four large eggs
400g of granulated sugar (I used a mixture of muscovado. brown, caster, anything really, but it does change the consistency)
125g of plain flour
1-2 tsp vanilla essence

Melt the butter and the chocolate, then add everything else in the order it's listed in the recipe. Mix well. Cook for 20mins at 200 degrees centigrade in a baking tin. Mine's about one inch deep and prob something like five by 10 inches. Grease the tin with butter and line it with greaseproof paper before putting the mixture in.

If I'm making chocolate orange brownies, I buy candied orange peel and put that in, as well as about 10 lidfuls of Cointreau. I like putting butter icing on, but you don't have to. With the Bailey's, I either put about 10 lidfuls of that in the mixture, or add a little to the icing. If you do put alcohol in though, it'll need to cook longer to let the mixture dry out. I guess you could put nuts and stuff in if you wanted to. I use ground almonds because I don't like the crunchiness of nuts.

For butter icing, you just need butter and icing sugar. Use double the weight of icing sugar to butter. I normally melt the butter for 10 secs in the microwave. Add half the icing sugar and whisk using an electric whisk. Add the rest of the icing sugar and repeat. Add vanilla essence as a base flavour. Add cocoa poweder for chocolate etc. Warning: butter icing is v messy to make, icing sugar is very light and goes everywhere. Does that help?

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