Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blackberry muffins

Here it is - real autumn. Last week we even experienced some grass frost, so I decided to move chillies from the greenhouse into the house. Tomatoes are doing better on windowsill and the only vegetable left in the garden is carrots, kale, broccoli and some lettuce in polytunnel.
On my way to Emo Court two weeks ago I tasted some blackberries in hedges and was pleasantly surprised with lovely real taste. So on Saturday I took plastic box with me for cycling and got home with my fingers black and sticky and box almost full of nice blackberries.

Off course, the first thing which came to my mind was blackberry muffin. I used slightly adapted recipe from my Kitchen Aid Mixer Cookbook.
200g blackberries
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
175ml thin yogurt (buttermilk or milk can be used)
115g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence
Put the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into the bowl. Make a well in the centre and add eggs, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla essence. Beat everything together being careful not to overmix. Gently fold in blackberries and spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tins. Bake in preheated oven to 190 C for 25 to 30 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on wire rack.

They are delicious of their own, but I quickly whipped simple cream cheese frosting:

50g mascarpone

70g cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla essence

5-7 tbsp vanilla sugar - according to taste (homemade is so easy - just pop vanilla beans into the jar of icing sugar and leave it for couple of weeks)

Have a bite of real autumn stuff!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Holiday eating highlights

When on holidays, one of the most important things for me is always food. I try to sample something new and indulge myself. Luckily, people around me are somehow the same. So when our friends came over from Australia, they were brave enough to sample Slovak nation meal "halusky s bryndzou" - gnocchi with special unpasteurized sheep cheese topped with bacon. Some people might find sheep cheese too strong, but it didn't bother Reedik who liked it!

Farmers market is one of my favourite things ever. Seeing all the fresh produce and homemade goodies just fulfills me with joy. This particular one not far from Bratislava city center used to be my local one - I lived just 10 minutes walk from there and often stock up my larder there. This time I saw some pickles that I have never seen before...

Popular outdoor Hungarian snack Langos - almost bread like dough fried and topped with garlic sauce, sour cream and grated cheese. Not really suitable for dinner party, but oh so tasty...

As it was September - the middle of harvesting season - we helped my father-in-law harvest grapes from his vineyard. Grapes were then pressed and left to rest before separating juices from fruit.

This suspiciously looking liquid is freshly pressed red grapes juice. Looks awful, taste divine... And in couple of month it will turn into wine. Cheers!