All posts by Victor Laszlo

Prawn and zucchini spaghetti

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Prawn is very good protein source, zucchini can be a great partner to them.

This can be a warm salad as well.

Ingredients

150 g fantail prawns

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1 green zucchini shredded

1 yellow zucchini shredded

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste

1 teaspoon piri-piri mixture

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Method

On  2 tablespoon vegetable oil stir-fry the prawns. Add the onion and the ginger-garlic paste. Stir fry for two minutes. Scatter with chili flakes, piri-piri mixture, salt, coarse black pepper if you like and fry for a minute more.

Add the shredded zucchini and fold continuously. We don’t have to cook the zucchini, it is ready when it is hot.

You can scatter parmesan over it if you like.

Serve and enjoy hot with a glass of Gewurtztraminer.

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Enjoy!

 

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My Eccles cake recipe (Eccles cake filled with prunes)

Eccles cake filled with prunes

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I was so spinned up by the article of the 10-Desserts ….that I created a prune-filled Eccles cake.

Plum is a very nice (if not the best) filling in pastries, gnocchi and many more things (I will show you a few later). I know a southern Italian sweet recipe named Sfogliatelle. The pastry is made from flaky pastry or puff pastry. It is very simple.

But there is a small problem with plums in England. The plum is not native here, or the sweet plum is not. The real plum is so sweet that housewives in Hungary and the neighbouring countries cook marmalade from it without added sugar. Plum marmalade is the Queen of all marmalades.

To have something similar, I use canned prunes. Normally I buy it in TESCO shops. If you want to use better quality, I don’t know where to buy.

So, I created an Eccles cake with prunes.

Ingredients

1 box ready puff pastry

1 can prunes pitted or unpitted

icing sugar, cinnamon powder

Buy ready rolled puff pastry and take out the box. Lay it on a surface dusted with flour. With a pizza cutter cut 8×8 cm squares.

Open the can, discard the juice, and pit the prunes and put one or two pitted ones in the centre of the squares.

If you like you can scatter with a little cinnamon powder, but I like it on the top with a little icing sugar.

Take together two opposite corners of the pastry and lift the third and fourth corner to them, pitch them.  Make nice parcels and place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Bake the at 180 C degree until they turn golden, approximately 25 minutes.

Take them out, put on a tray or plate and serve on room temperature scattered with cinnamon and icing sugar.

If it is cold, for a better feeling put them into a warm (100 C)  owen for 5 minutes. It is perfect when it is warm.

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Enjoy!

 

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Potato noodles/Gnocchi dough

Ingredients

1 kg potato

300 g flour + dusting

2 tablespoon lard

1 whole egg

 

Method

Boil the potato until it is soft. Take the skin and put into a kitchen robot machine and make a mash. Let it cool completely.

When it is cold add the flour, egg and lard and kneed the dough until it makes a smooth dough.

Use it for gnocchi, ravioli.

You can freeze in portions and keep in your fridge until 6 months.

When you want to use it, remove from the freezer and keep in your fridge overnight.

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Bourbon chocolate cherry-hazelnut mousse cake

The cake I saw on the website of One Aldwych inspired me to prepare my version. The original cake was:

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The layers of my cake from the top are:

Caramel mousse quennelles

Bourbon hazelnut chocolate mousse                     Bourbon chocolate and cherry-hazelnut cake Bourbon hazelnut chocolate mousse                     Bourbon chocolate cherry -hazelnut cake

I started with the base of the cake.

Ingredients

The cake

4 egg whites

4 tablespoon sugar                                                          pinch of salt                                                                            4 egg yolks                                                                             4 tablespoon Bourbon cookie crumbs                4 tablespoon ground hazelnut

50 g dark chocolate                                                                                                             2 teaspoon Bourbon whiskey

2 tablespoon cherry marmalade

In a bowl beat the egg whites with the sugar and salt until stiff peaks form. Incorporate the egg yolks one at a time, then add the dry ingredients. Incorporate well.

Melt the chocolate with the Bourbon and add to the mixture.

Line a tin cake form (I used a loaf tin) with paper. Pour the mixture in the tin and bake at 170 C for 20-25 minutes.

When it is ready dump the mold and let it cool on a wire rack.

My loaf was 4 cm high, I cut it into four horizontally.

I wrapped two pieces in clingfilm for a later use.

I will use only two slices for this cake.

The mousse

200 g Bourbon hazelnut chocolate spread                                                          70 g dark chocolate (min 50%)                                                           300 ml double cream whipped until soft peaks form                                     2 egg yolks                                                                                                                                 2 tablespoon sugar                                                                                                               50 ml Bourbon whiskey                                                                                                     1 leaf gelatine (25g/15 leaves)

First with a hand held beater beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale, add the bourbon while stirring and cook it over simmering water until becomes thick. Let it cool to room temperature. Fold the egg cream in the whipped cream.

Melt the Bourbon spread and a chocolate pieces in a bowl over simmering water until it is as hot what your finger can tolerate. Soak the leaf gelatine (1,67 g) in cold water. When it is soft, add 1 tablespoon warm water and mix until melts.

Fold the Bourbon mixture in the whipped cream, incorporate well. Add one tablespoon cream to the melted gelatine, mix and add this to the cream mixture. Incorporate well. Place the bowl over simmering water to keep the mousse soft.

Spread both slices with cherry marmalade.

To assemble the cake, line the loaf tin with cling film. Place one slice of the cake into the tin. Put the mousse in a piping bag and spread half of the mousse with 1-1,5 cm thick on the sponge. Place the second piece of sponge on top with the cherry spread upward and pipe the rest of the mousse on it, even the surface with a card. Put the tin into the freezer for a few hours.

When it has set, remove from the freezer, remove from the tin to a chopping board.

You can style the surface and sides with a zigzag card if you like. Cut the sides of the cake with a wire cutter or with a sharp thin bladed knife to have smooth sides to show the layers.

Mark the lines on the top where you want to cut the cake crosswise with a knife or wire cutter. With a great round piping attachment arrange caramel mousse in the middle of every slice.

Caramel mousse

I had a half piping bag of caramel cream from the caramel tiramisu I made for a friend. I used this to garnish my cake.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

I arranged one slice on an art deco plate this way.

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The first slice across the cake. Well, honestly, the mousse was a little hard. I expected a light mousse, but it was hard. And the flavors …

The caramel top dominated a little, pushed back the other flavours I planned to play a more stronger flavour. I tried another slice without the caramel topping. Although it was still harder than what I expected, the flavours were better. The sponge with the cherry flavour on it and the bourbon mousse. It was better, but it was not perfect, or at least acceptable.

I had to make modifications on the mousse.

The new mousse

Ingredients

200 g bourbon chocolate spread                                                                                 50 g dark chocolate                                                                                                             4 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder                                                             500 ml double cream                                                                                                         1 tablespoon sugar

I took the remaining two slices of the sponge out of the fridge and spreaded both slices with cherry spread.

I melted the Bourbon spread and the chocolate over simmering water. Added the cocoa powder incorporated well.

I beat the cream with the sugar until soft peaks formed. Added a little to the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then folded the chocolate into the cream. Incorporated well and topped on the cake base.

I kept it in the freezer until the mousse set.

Pudding tasting

I was a little excited if it had the the structure I expected. When I cut across with my fork I felt the mousse was much softer although firm. The flavours were balanced

I was satisfied with what I created.

 

Enjoy!

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Dinner at Indigo at One Aldwych

How to self develop myself the most effectively?

How to learn, how to get to know a country’s desserts better?

I had questions like these.

I found out, that the best way to get to know english desserts is to eat them and try to reproduce them. Very easy isn’t it.

I am regularly contacted by recruiters for pastry chef jobs . Before every interview and trial I like to see the place, in order to know what environment I should work in.

A few days ago Ben, my agent contacted me with a pastry opportunity at One Aldwych.

Good name close to  Waldorf Hilton, but I didn’t know more about it.

I wanted to test it, so I booked a table at the Indigo for dinner.

At seven o’clock I was in front of the hotel. When I entered I walked into the Lounge. It is a grandiose hall nicely furnished. (I found this picture on Tripadvisor.)

onealdwych

 

The restaurant was situated in the gallery, it was quiet, the armchairs around the tables were stylish.  Cool, clear elegance, nothing ostentation. I liked it, this is my style I said.

I was showed to my table.

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Nobody wanted to penetrate into my aura with the napkin, the staff let me do what I wanted. And I wanted to talk on the phone with my friend. Nobody urged me to order, nobody asked me if was ok. I was left alone and I liked it. I saw the staff keeping an eye on me from the distance if gave a sign that I needed any help.

I was given a wine list. I started to study the list of wines by glass. I was alone, one whole bottle of wine would have been too much for a light dinner.

I had already made a plan what to order before I arrived. I wanted a light salad with a lean meat and dessert. I read the website of the hotel and I fell in love with a mousse cake with three  mousse dumplings on top.

Because I didn’t know those wines on the list, I asked whether I was allowed to taste all of them. I was.

I ordered roasted chicken breasts with a  “build your own salad”.

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The salad consisted of green lettuce (rocket, little gems), cherry tomato halves, avocado and cucumber pieces. The dressing was a french vinaigrette dressing.

I tasted four wines. The best match with the salad was a New Zeeland saugvignon blanc.

The salad dressing was a little oily, I didn’t find vinegar or lemon on it, and smoked chicken breast pieces instead of the unsmoked ones would have given a better flavour to the salad.  The salad I had a few weeks ago at the L’Eto Caffe is burned into my memory.

I made the salad below at home with smoked chicken breast (I smoked the chicken myself).

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After the main course I ordered the dessert. I expected this cake

2015-09-02 15.55.37I was a little disappointed, when I was given a different mousse.

It looked differently from what I expected, it was an ice hockey puck shaped piece of mousse in the middle of the plate with almond ice cream and some crunchy cookies crumbs.

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Nevertheless the mousse had a very good structure; it was soft, balanced, not too sweet.

After I removed those chocolate garnish pieces, I cut a piece with my dessert spoon and hammm. The chocolate  cookie crumbs made the soft mousse crunchy. Perfect.

The almond milk ice cream was forgettable, I didn’t find any connection with the flavour of the chocolate mousse.

To me the mousse with the crunchy crumbs was enough.

Nevertheless I decided to reproduce the chocolate mousse cake.

The layers from the top are:

Caramel mousse quenelles.                                                                                             Bourbon chocolate mousse                                                                             Bourbon chocolate cookies and hazelnut cake                                                   Bourbon chocolate mousse                                                                             Bourbon chocolate cookies and hazelnut cake

The recipe of my Bourbon chocolate mousse cake can be read here

 

 

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The best tofu ever

I have always loved tofu.

This is my favourite tofu recipe ever and it is very easy to prepare.

Ingredients

1 brick firm tofu (500 g)

100 g Rice flour

1 tablespoon Kurkuma powder

1 tablespoon paprika powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon chopped ginger

4 tablespoon chopped onion

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1-2teaspoon chili flakes

1 chicken broth cube powdered or vegetable broth cube

salt and coarse black pepper

Method

First mix the flour, kurkuma, paprika and salt together. It has to have a middle strong yellowish, reddish colour. Taste it for salt.

USE FIRM TOFU, NOT SILKY!

Cut the tofu into 32 little finger size sticks depending on the size of the tofu.

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Toss the pieces in the four mixture and deep fry them in hot oil, 15 pieces at one time.

It’s ready when the coating gets firm or hard if you touch them. Remove them and put paper underneath to remove excess oil.

When you have fried all put them aside until you want to use because this is a freshly made course.

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When it is time to serve, put your wok over high heat add 2-3 tablespoon of oil then ginger with the onion. Stir fry for a minute or two and 15 tofu pieces at one time. Season with chili flakes and coarse black pepper and stir fry (don’t brake the pieces).

Season with salt and the powdered chicken broth cube. It is ready when the ginger and the onion pieces get fried and have a light brown colour.

Do the same until you have fried all the tofu fingers you have.

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Serve with the ginger-onion crust on top.

Enjoy!

 

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Stir fried green beans with coconut shavings

This is a very good vegetarian recipe, this dish can be eaten in itself or with a piece of lean grilled chicken breast or chicken kebabs seasoned only with salt and black pepper and lemon.

Ingredients

150-200 g green beans

2-3 tablespoons of fresh coconut shavings or more (you can buy it in your nearest Waitrose)

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped ginger if you like

2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed

1 teaspoon chili flakes

1/2 powdered broth cube  or powdered vegetable broth cube if you are vegetarian

salt and coarse black pepper

Method

Instead of blanching vegetables I prefer steaming them in microwave. It makes less dishes to wash and is much faster.

Cut the ends of the green beans, cut into 2-3 even pieces and place them into the steam bag. Seal the bag and put in the microwave according to the instructions on the bag. I set it to middle strong for 1 minute and go. I don’t want to cook it, only “blanche”. When it bells take out and open the bag carefully.

Put your wok over high heat, add the oil. When it is hot, add first the ginger, then the chopped onion. Saute for a few minutes while stirring. Drop the beans and 2 tablespoons of coconut shaving in the wok, fry for a minute than add the chili flakes, salt and coarse black pepper, the powder made from the half vegetable broth cube and stir fry. I like to fry it without adding water, if you like you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water.

I don’t like to over cook the beans I like it when it has a bite.

When it’s ready you may squeeze a wedge of lemon if you like a little sourness.

Serve and garnish with fresh coconut shavings.

Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Eton Mess

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Ingredients

300 g strawberries

1-2 tablespoon strawberry jam

300 ml double cream

100 g white chocolate, broken

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla pod

75 g ready made meringue broken

White chocolate shavings to decorate

Method

I like the white chocolate chantily cream. Bring the cream to the boiling point, remove from the heat than add the white chocolate pieces, stir until they melt. Chill for overnight, then with a hand held electric beater beat until soft peaks form.

Wash the strawberry and cut into half or even smaller pieces if you have big pieces. Put the strawberry pieces with the jam in a pan, and cook lightly for one minute.

Take a glass dish in which you would like to serve your Eton mess. Put one layer broken meringue pieces on the bottom, spoon a little strawberry coulis over it, cover with a little cream. Again put one layer of meringue and fruit and cream.

Garnish with broken meringue pieces and white chocolate shavings and strawberry pieces and mint leaves if you have.

Or…

Fold the ingredients into the whipped cream and spoon into glasses, garnish the top with strawberry and meringue pieces.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Light lunch at L’ETO Caffe, Belgravia, London

I was very busy with my blog today to do anything for lunch. I decided to go out to have lunch somewhere.

2015-08-27 17.35.37Early I saw a lovely caffe in Belgravia, it’s name is L’ETO Caffe, I thought I would try it.

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Picture gallery on Tripadvisor.com

I ordered cold chicken drumstics with dried apricot, grilled broccoli with sweet chili and soy sauce and smoked chicken breast salad.

The drumsticks were very hard, I could hardly poke my fork in it, I like when the flesh melts off the bone. It had a dried apricot- plum-vinegar flavoured dressing.

The broccoli was grilled, I think, and was served with a sweet chili-ginger-soy sauce dressing. It was simple and very tasteful, I liked it.

The smoked chicken breast salad was the best. Smoked chicken breast strips were mixed with leaf lettuce such as kale, radicchio, and sweet mango strips, bitter grapefruit segments, green bean, and snow peas scattered with chopped green coriander.

I reproduced this salad at home, you can read my smoked chicken breast salad recipe here

For dessert I had honey cake and cappuccino.

This honey cake was a very good replica of the Latvian Honey Cake, or the Czeh Marlenka wich is very popular in Hungary as well.

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The cake has five light and airy layers with Chantilly cream between them. When it was served I was a little worried because of its size, I saw myself knocked down by a heavy and sweet dessert, but it was light and its sweetness was simply perfectly tuned for me.

My honey cake recipe will be read here

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Smoked chicken breast salad with sweet mango

There is no any hocus pocus with this salad. Very simple to assemble in minutes.

Ingredients

200 g smoked chicken breast sliced (how to smoke chicken on your stove?)

100 g Iceberg torn to pieces

100 g Radicchio torn to pieces

100 g green beans

100 g Snow peas

1 Grapefruit segments

1 can mango slices, or one fresh ripe mango

1/2 lemon or lime juice

Method

Slice the smoked chicken breast and tear the lettuce to pieces, blanche the green beans and the snow peas al dente.

Al dente means pasta, rice or vegetables, that are cooked to be firm to the bite.

Cut the grapefruit segments over a bowl, reserve the juice.

Drain the mango slices and cut thinner slices if you like. Reserve a little juice as well.

Make the dressing.

Mix the grapefruit and the mango juice together, add 1/2 a little lemon or lime juice, season with salt and black pepper fold in green chopped coriander.

Mix together the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the dressing as much as you like.

You can keep the excess dressing in a jar in the fridge for the next day.

Enjoy!

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