Recipe For Karha Masala

I wanted to make chai ice cream, but in my search for what actually goes into chai, I discovered that the word chai means tea! Which means that the term chai tea is redundant. In fact, chai is made with a masala – a mix of spices, known as karha masala. I could not find an exact recipe but I did find a long list of ingredients, some vital and others optional and so I decided to make my own masala for this ice cream. This karha masala uses all the warm spices, and as this was made in time for Christmas, it was just perfect. It has a strong emphasis on ginger so if you are not partial to the heat in ginger, reduce the amount you use. If you want it sweet, add some sugar.

"Pain Perdu With Karha Ice Cream"

Pain Perdu With Karha Ice Cream

 

Karha Masala
 
Ingredients
  • 5mls ground ginger
  • 5mls green cardamom pods
  • 5mls ground cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 2.5mls fennel seeds
  • 1.25mls black peppercorns
  • 5mls whole cloves
  • 1.25mls allspice
  • 2.5mls ground nutmeg
Method
  1. lightly toast the spices until fragrant
  2. place the spices into a spice blender and blend until smooth

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Tandy

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Recipe For Chai Inspired Karha Ice Cream

I think the most important thing for me is that I continue to learn and exercise my mind. I want to emulate my mother-in-law and still be educating myself in my 90’s. She is 92 and is reading up on quantum astronomy. Don’t let me kid you, I have no clue what that all entails. Dave tells me that when he was studying mechanical engineering that Marguerite read more of his text books than he did. She has encyclopedia’s on mathematics and if she had been born 10 years later I am sure she would have been a Nobel prize nominee.

So, I have learnt that chai means tea and using the karha masala that goes into chai, I came up with an ice cream recipe. For the ice cream you can reduce the amount of masala you add, but as I made it very spicy, I sweetened it up with maple syrup – a perfect offset for the fiery ginger and warm cinnamon notes. This was enjoyed in milkshakes during our very hot summer days.

"Pain Perdu With Karha Ice Cream"

Pain Perdu With Karha Ice Cream

Chai Inspired Karha Ice Cream
 
Ingredients
Method
  1. place the milk into a sauce pan and heat until just starting to boil
  2. while you are waiting for the milk to boil, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until you get to the ribbon stage
  3. pour half the milk onto the eggs, whisking all the time
  4. then pour the egg mix back into the milk and return to the stove
  5. stir continuously over a moderate heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon
  6. mix in the masala and then pour through a sieve into a bowl
  7. mix in the cream and then churn in your ice cream maker

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

"Ice Cream Challenge"

I am linking this post to Kavey Eat’s challenge

Tandy

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Liam Tomlin Food At Leopard’s Leap

The blog world is going to be buzzing with reviews on this amazing evening, and I am sure that the print media will soon follow. I received an email with a save the date request and was then asked which day suited me. I chose the Thursday, expecting an invitation to a lunch time affair and was most surprised to be invited to an evening function – dress code cocktail, and with a partner. It was fantastic that Dave was extended this invitation as I would not have gone without him. Being the ever practical person he is, Dave booked us in to a guest house one kilometer away. I was so glad he did, as we could enjoy every moment of this evening late into the night.

"the leopard statue"

© the leopard statue

We arrived promptly at 7pm, me in a little black and white number and Dave dressed up (read long pants and a long sleeved shirt). The majestic building greeted us, together with staff offering us a cocktail. I am not sure how many waitrons were in attendance but each person we came across was well groomed, polite and efficient. If you put your plate down, it was whisked away seconds later. And I never had an empty glass!

"liam tomlin foods at leopard's leap"

© liam tomlin foods at leopard’s leap

While sipping on our cocktails we walked around the impressive dining hall, reading lounge and the shop. Cooking heaven! The shop has kitchen gadgets, spices and books, loads and loads of books. The wine is displayed on racks and there is even an old fashioned step ladder on castors so that you don’t have to go on your tip toes to reach what you are looking for. We then found the chef’s table dining room, and I cannot wait to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon enjoying the experience.

"the chef's table"

© the chef’s table

We exchanged our cocktail glasses for wine glasses and headed out to the lovely appointed balcony to sit comfortably watching the sunset. The sun dipped behind the mountains, and as twilight disappeared, the grape vines were lit up by subtle green lighting. These vines were planted by Hein’s father 12 years ago, and the wine is fantastic. We tried the Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Merlot.

"the man pointing upwards is Dave"

© the man pointing upwards is Dave

Dinner was not expected – a cocktail party made me think we would get canapés but we were treated to 8 mostly wonderful courses. The well appointed kitchen had been set up in 8 sections, with two chefs at each section preparing and plating the dishes. At no stage was there a mess anywhere – the chefs were constantly wiping down their surfaces, a compliment I passed on to Liam himself. As he said, “they are good chefs”, but it is their training and leadership that makes them such.

"before service"

© before service

We started with a sweetcorn and basil velouté and I loved it. I could have had a dozen more, and I was so impressed by the silky smooth texture, that I tried to recreate this at home the weekend afterwards. I will share my version with you next month.

"sweetcorn and basil velouté"

© sweetcorn and basil velouté

The soup course was followed by raclette and prosciutto with baby potatoes. Half a wheel of cheese was placed under the heat, and then the melted top was scooped onto the potatoes and reminded me so much of our trip to Germany last year. It was served with baby pickled onions and gherkins.

"raclette and prosciutto with baby potatoes"

© raclette and prosciutto with baby potatoes

Our next course was a rotisserie szechaun chicken and we could see the chickens being cooked and then carved up and lovingly plated. This dish was judged by Dave and I as the best savoury dish of the evening and we had second helpings after dessert.

"rotisserie szechaun chicken"

© rotisserie szechaun chicken

We then moved on to what was the first of two disappointing seafood courses. The steamed sea bass with vermicelli noodles had bones in it. We had to do a fair amount of extraction. Also, I am not a big fan of sea bass, it is an imported fish with not much taste, and I would so much prefer our local fish being showcased.

"steamed sea bass with vermicelli noodles"

© steamed sea bass with vermicelli noodles

Our next delightful dish was a spring onion pancake with roast belly of pork. I could have had a plateful of them, all nicely rolled up ready to pop into my mouth. I however stopped at one.

"spring onion pancake with roast belly of pork"

© spring onion pancake with roast belly of pork

This was followed by seared salmon with avocado togarashi dressing, which was overpowered by the sesame. It was such a pity, as salmon and avocado have such gentle flavours, and they are a great combination.

"seared salmon with avocado togarashi dressing"

© seared salmon with avocado togarashi dressing

Our last meat course was a duck saucisson which took Dave and I right back to our trip to France where we were in duck country. This was reminiscent of the rough duck pâté’s we enjoyed. The saucisson was prepared in the skin from the neck of the duck.

"duck saucisson"

© duck saucisson

Now, dessert time! And not one, or two, but three sweet tastes to follow. I had my first taste of a recipe I have been wanting to try for some time, and now I have no reason not to.  The lemon posset with raspberries  and pistachio was sublime. I could have (should have) had the whole tray!

"lemon posset with raspberries and pistachio"

© lemon posset with raspberries and pistachio

This dessert was followed by Bailey’s Irish cream parfait with cocoa crunch. It was not as sublime as the posset and it was boozy! Some people were clambering for more chocolate, but were told that there was not enough.

"Bailey's Irish cream parfait with cocoa crunch"

© Bailey’s Irish cream parfait with cocoa crunch

Dave and I decided to get a plateful more of the chicken before heading off to sample the truffles. Dave chose one each – we have no idea what they were as no-one could tell us the flavours. But, they were made on site and were divine. I had one that was especially good and so stopped there with the food for the evening.

"truffles to be enjoyed with espresso"

© truffles to be enjoyed with espresso

After we had enjoyed our food, our wine, and our coffee, we were offered cigars (no thanks) and Cognac (yes please). The staff just mingled among the guests, silently offering the humidor and the Cognac without intruding.

"the gentleman's way to end a meal"

© the gentleman’s way to end a meal

A bit of confusion reigns about which door leads to the men’s and which to the ladies. We had a great debate about this, and Liam has suggested some earrings for the lady. Needles to say, there were men and women using both rooms! The wire whisk chandeliers caught my eye on so many occasions and when I downloaded my 137 photographs, most were of them. That and the center chandelier of grape leaves, over the wine tasting station will leave a lasting impression, together with the tables that teach you about meat, cheese and knives.

"I want these for my kitchen!"

© I want these for my kitchen!

I cannot get too effusive or enthusiastic about how awesome this venue is. I am already planning on doing a few of the cooking courses and Dave will join me for those. There has been a serious investment here, and you will love your visit. Click the link for more information on Liam Tomlin Food.

disclaimer: I was invited to the opening. I was not asked to write a blog post about my experience. This is in line with my blogging policy.

Edit: Liam Tomlin is no longer situated at Leopard’s Leap.

Tandy

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Baked Apples Recipe

This month, my friend Hila is the host for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle. She challenged us with a Heart Healthy theme and even though this is part of my every day eating, I was not sure what to share with you. Dave and I have eaten a heart healthy diet for many years. I do not want him to die of heart failure or some such ill, and I come from a family where both my parents have high cholesterol. It has not skipped a generation for some time, and my sister suffers from this as well. I however am lucky, and can eat what I want when it comes to fat and butter and all the good things. I look after our hearts by making sure we eat healthy food, we exercise often, and we watch our alcohol intake. What I cannot do, is protect our hearts from sadness. Today my heart is heavy. I woke up to sad news, and this is news I cannot share, so the burden of sadness is mine alone. And worry – I am worried about the person who shared the sad news. I am worried, because there is nothing I can do. My heart is heavy because I fear that the person who is hurt, has been hurt beyond repair. I am sad because they cannot move away from what is hurting them as they are the one inflicting the hurt. I cannot mend the broken heart.

The saying “an apple a day keeps the Doctor away” could be the perfect heart mending advert. Apples help reduce heart disease and help with controlling cholesterol. So, where I will have to leave my friend’s heart mending to those that can help, I will share my simple recipe to keep your hearts healthy.

"Baked Apples"

Baked Apples

Baked Apples
 
Ingredients
  • 30g pistachios
  • 30g cranberries
  • 2.5mls rose water
  • 15g butter, melted
  • 1 apple per person
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. Roughly chop the pistachios and the cranberries
  3. Add to a bowl with the rose water and the butter
  4. Core the apples and then cut off the bottom of the cored bit and plug it back into the bottom of the apple to make a stopper
  5. Fill to the top with the pistachio and cranberry mix
  6. Bake for 12 minutes
Cooks Notes
If you are serving this as a dessert, add a spoonful of crème fraîche to the bowl when dishing up

I used really small apples, but if you are going to use larger ones, please see Misk Cook’s post for a few more instructions on how to bake them.

Tandy

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I Take A Day Off

I have had an emotional 26 hours, a myriad of things have happened since 6am yesterday morning, and I just don’t have the energy to type up my blog post. I did not have time to do it yesterday due to back to back meetings. I also have not been around reading many blogs, and if I have missed yours out then please accept my apologies. My wordpress reader is overwhelmed with blog love. I have just installed RSS Popper and will slowly start setting it up. I tried to do google reader but that was not working for me. So, please be patient with me, I will be back tomorrow :)

I have been nominated, together with 9 other amazing bloggers, for an award and I would so appreciate your vote.

"Best Local Food Blog"

Best Local Food Blog

No matter where I end up, to be counted as one of the top 10 is an honour. And the people who stand alongside me are all great bloggers (and great friends)!

With thanks and blog love

Tandy

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Recipe For Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake

This month I have been assigned Plain Chicken for The Secret Recipe Club. I am in a new group as I wanted a later posting date, and so I am about to meet a whole lot of new bloggers, Steph being the first. Steph is from Alabama – a place I remember well from my trip to the South. Her one love is travelling, and we have that in common for sure. She loves New York City and it still ranks as one of my top cities in the world, even though I have not been there for over 20 years. Steph is hoping to visit Italy soon, and as you may know, Italy is my home away from home, il mio cuore vi appartiene Italia. For my recipe I chose a pasta dish – this is one meal we eat once a week, with Tandy Tuesday the inspiration behind this.

I did not read the ingredient list before choosing this dish, so I have changed it a bit due to the fact that I cannot buy ready made sauces. They all contain sucrose which I cannot eat. I changed the premade sauce for my own béchamel sauce and Dave gave this dish a resounding thumbs up. I made two dishes from the ingredients, and we shared one!

"Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake"

Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake

Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake
 
Ingredients
  • 200g pasta of your choice – I used gnocchi
  • 1l béchamel sauce
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, skinned and boned
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • 260g ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated hard cheddar cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • mozzarella cheese for topping
Method
  1. preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. cook the pasta according to the packet instructions
  3. make the béchamel sauce – this should take as long as your pasta
  4. while your béchamel sauce is cooking heat the olive oil in a pan
  5. season and cook the chicken and the mushrooms
  6. let the chicken breasts rest once they are cooked
  7. drain the pasta and put back into the pot
  8. cover with the béchamel sauce – mix in well
  9. add the ricotta, the cheese, the garlic, the parsley and the mushrooms
  10. slice the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces
  11. add to the mix, together with any juices and mix well
  12. adjust the seasoning
  13. place the pasta into lightly buttered baking dishes
  14. cut thin slices of mozzarella cheese and place on top
  15. bake for 20 minutes until nice and golden brown on top

For conversions click here

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Ruth, the founder of this amazing food challenge! And, it is the fifth year anniversary WOW :)

Tandy

To see other recipes from the  click the linky below:



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The Restaurant at Waterkloof Wines

The Restaurant at Waterkloof Wines has to be our favourite restaurant to visit. Not only for the spectacular view, but also because Chef Gregory Czarnecki continues to wow us with his dishes time and time again.

"Valentines Dinner"

Valentines Dinner

"Waterkloof"

Waterkloof

Wine and Alcohol

Wines available are from the estate and are served in decanters. I like this touch, especially with the white wine which is placed into a bowl of ice. The staff are well able to recommend wines for your meal, and the menu includes wine pairing options. Sparkling and still water is complimentary. Dave and I always start our evening with Steenberg Méthode Cap Classique and end our meal with port.

"amuse bouche"

amuse bouche

"goats cheese mousse"

goats cheese mousse

Food

Every meal at Waterkloof begins with home made bread and this is followed by an amuse bouche. The photograph above is an asparagus veloute with an almond foam. The menu changes with the seasons and according to what Greg can source so we seldom eat the same dish twice when we visit the restaurant. Cured Fizantakraal trout always features on the menu with variations in the curing and what it is served with. The trout has an amazing texture and is the one dish I will never tire of. Greg has shared his method of curing with Dave and it has made such a difference to our gravalax. Monkfish is another regular on the menu and a friend of ours who is in the fishing industry was most impressed with the way Greg cooked and served the fish. Before dessert is served your palate will be delighted with a pre dessert. Coffee is served with petit fours and makes a perfect way to end the meal.

"rainbow trout gravlax"

rainbow trout gravlax

"monkfish"

monkfish

Service

You will be met at your car by a friendly staff member who will show you where to go if this is your first visit. The management staff are friendly and efficient and will great you with a smile. The wait staff are attentive and some of them have been employed since the restaurant opened. The service is not silver service but you will be well looked after. Each course will be presented to you with an explanation, much in line with Michelin Star restaurants we have visited overseas.

"karan beef"

karan beef

"lamb loin"

lamb loin

Ambiance

The estate is all about the view, and the huge glass panels allow you to gaze over mountains and sea from nearly every table. The balcony provides the perfect place to watch the sunset over False Bay. There is a fireplace central to the wine tasting room which is lit more evenings than not. The open plan kitchen allows you to watch the staff busily at work. The ambiance here is serene and you feel like you are floating. This very modern building invites you to stay, just a little longer.

"pre dessert"

pre dessert

"texture of chocolate"

texture of chocolate

And …

Even if you do not feel like a full meal, take the 2.1km drive up to taste wine and enjoy a platter with your tasting.

"petit fours with coffee"

petit fours with coffee

"and a little something to take home"

and a little something to take home

Telephone Number: 021 858 1491 reservations recommended

Open: Lunch Monday – Sunday and Dinner Monday – Saturday (closed mid June to mid July)

Cost per head: 2 course R260 / 3 course R340

Corkage: not listed

Food type: locally sourced fine dining

blog post updated 18 February 2014

Tandy

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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 10

Here is another Friday’s Food Quiz!

1. What is tortellini?

These are ring shaped pasta from the areas of Bologna and Modena and are usually stuffed with meat. The are served in a broth, or ragu (Bolognese sauce) or cream. I love this region of Italy – especially for the fact that both Ducati and Ferrari have their factories in this area.

2. What is the difference between a lassi and a smoothie?

Oh yay, a question relating to the food I have been cooking :) a lassi is a yoghurt based drink from the Punjab region. A lassi can be a savoury drink that has spices, salt and pepper mixed with the yoghurt, or blended with ground cumin, or a sweet drink made with sugar. A smoothie is a blend of fresh and frozen fruit or vegetables, either alone, or with ice, or with frozen yoghurt (or if you are my mom, icecream). Honey is added to the blend and it is mixed to a nice thick milkshake consistency. At the gym I go to they offer additives of whey powder or barley grass, but I like mine with my home made granola in it for a complete meal. 

3. What does caramelised mean?

Like your wonderful onions – caramelization occurs when the natural sugars in food cooks out and colours what is being cooked. This can be helped along by adding sugar to the dish. 

4. Give another name for lemongrass.

Citronella

5. What is a mirepoix?

A base for risotto, soups, stocks etc. made up of 2 parts onions, 1 part carrot and 1 part celery – all cut into even sized pieces. 

6. The scientific name for cacao beans is theobroma cacao. What does it mean?

Have you been watching Willie’s Chocolate program on channel 180? From bean to bar – pity I did not know about it before we went to the UK this year as I would have got some pure cacao bars :( the answer is food of the gods if my memory is good 

7. Mango is native to which country?

India

8. What will you get if your dish is served cordon bleu?

The literal translation is Blue Ribbon but I would prefer Michel Roux JNR!

9. What are the ingredients for Drambuie?

One of my favourites, heather honey and malt whisky with a blend of herbs and spices

10. What is molasses?

it is a by product of the process of turning sugar cane or sugar beets into sugar. it has a thick, honey like texture and is a sucrose based product (lesson learnt from a friend of mine who grew up on a sugar cane farm)

11. Name the method used to preserve food by salting, such as meat and fish.

if you use salt and water the method is pickling. if you use salt without water it is called curing. I just plain prefer biltong! (that is similar to beef jerky if you are American(

12. Name the four Indian breads.

There is Roti from the Rajasthan region; and Naan from the Delhi region (I got them confused when I started cooking from my curry book, and served the Naan with the first dish, and so used Roti with the Delhi dish); paratha. I have no clue about the fourth one. 

13. What is arrowroot and what is it used for?

It is an edible starch that when made into a flour is gluten free. It can be used in the same way as corn flour (maizena) to thicken sauces. It will not colour the dish in the same way corn flour can make the sauce cloudy, so can be used to thicken gels (for terrines etc.) It has no flavour and you need less of it than corn flour or ordinary flour to thicken a sauce. It cannot be used with dairy products. In SA this is readily available at a good health shop but can be found as a common store item in the supermarkets in Australia.

14. Why do apples float when placed in water?

So you can bob for them. I suppose something floats in water when it is less dense than the water?

15. What is the key to making perfect muffins?

And now I want a blueberry muffin for breakfast :) to get a perfect muffin to not mix the mixture too much. it must still be lumpy and just mixed.

Tandy
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Recipe For Rooibos And Lavender Tea Sorbet

When we were younger my parents would often treat us to a silver service dinner. This was always at the top of the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg, and always to celebrate something special. I can remember that between the starters and the main course, we were given a spoonful of sorbet, to cleanse the palate. This sorbet cleanser has been served on many occasions, not only at silver service dinners. It somehow makes me feel ‘grown up’. A few year’s ago we went to Waterkloof for dinner and we got an amuse dessert to whet our appetites for the course we had ordered. It got me thinking, why not a sweet sorbet to cleanse the palate between the main course and dessert? This sorbet has a unique flavour of our local red bush tea, and whereas I could really taste the tea, Dave could really taste the honey. You can substitute any tea of your choice to make this sorbet – and you really only need a few spoonfuls as an amuse, or have a huge bowl for dessert itself.

"Rooibos and Lavender Tea Sorbet"

Rooibos and Lavender Tea Sorbet

Rooibos and Lavender Tea Sorbet
 
Ingredients
  • 500mls water
  • 3 tablespoons rooibos and lavender tea
  • 50g honey
  • 150g caster sugar – I used fructose
Method
  1. bring the water to the boil and allow the tea to infuse for 3 hours
  2. add the honey and the sugar
  3. chill the mixture in the fridge overnight
  4. churn in your ice cream maker
Cooks Notes
Adapted from Krups Ice Cream Maker Recipe Book page 29

For conversions click here

Tandy

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Recipe For Home Made Bagels

I love the challenges set for us from Fresh From The Oven. I am baking breads I would never try otherwise. This month was no different with us having to bake bagels! Now, being of Jewish decent, bagels have formed part of my diet for a long time, usually served with cream cheese and lox. These bagels were given similar treatment – we had them with home made gravadlax, smooth cottage cheese and dill with friends for our Sunday afternoon wine tasting session. I also made a special breakfast and served them with scrambled eggs, dusted with chives. I will make these again without a doubt. The machine does all the hard work, they are easy to shape and even the poaching was not difficult. It is the poaching that gives the bagel its ‘hard’ outside texture and they feel quite odd when you take them out of the water. I used caraway seeds on mine as I am not a big fan of sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Use what ever topping you choose, and experiment with what you put in them – I think there are so many possibilities out there.  Do take a look at Purely Food’s blogpost for her recipe, and watch out for all the Fresh From The Oven bagels.

"Bagels"

Bagels

 

Bagels
 
Ingredients
  • 450g bread flour
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 10mls salt
  • 250mls warm water
  • 15mls canola oil
  • 30mls honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • caraway seeds for topping
Method
  1. in a large bowl add the salt to the flour and then the yeast – keep the salt and the yeast separate
  2. stir the oil and the honey into the water
  3. using a stand mixer at a low speed, slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients
  4. knead for 10 minutes
  5. add more flour is the dough is too wet – the dough is stiffer than normal bread dough but will still have elasticity
  6. lightly oil the mixer bowl, return the dough to the bowl and turn to coat in the oil
  7. cover with cling film and put in a warm place until doubled in size
  8. lightly oil two baking trays
  9. remove the dough from the bowl, punch it down to knock the air out and knead briefly
  10. roll in to a sausage shape and divide into 7 pieces – I used my scale and each piece was just over 100g
  11. as you work one, keep the others covered with a clean tea towel
  12. shape the bagels by rolling each piece into a ball, pierce a hole in the centre with your finger, pull the dough open wide by twirling it round your index fingers (wider than you think you need as the hole will shrink when the dough proves, is poached and then baked)
  13. place on the prepared baking tray and repeat with remaining dough
  14. cover and allow to rise for a further 10-20 minutes
  15. preheat the oven to 200° Celsius
  16. fill a large sauce pan with boiling water and return to a simmer
  17. gently place each bagel into the water to poach (do not try to put too many bagels in at once as they will expand slightly)
  18. poach for 90 seconds on each side, turning gently with a slotted spoon
  19. remove the bagels from the water, allowing them to drain first and place on the prepared baking trays spacing them about 3-4cm apart
  20. brush with the egg and sprinkle with the topping
  21. bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn upside down for a further 10 minutes to cook the bases
  22. cool on a wire rack.

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Tandy

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