Thursday, August 15, 2013

A parcel from my kitchen for a fellow blogger...

Once upon a time, three German bloggers came up with the idea how lovely it would be if all the bloggers and kitchen goddesses in Germany would create a parcel every few months and exchanged that with one another - Post aus meiner Küche (A Parcel from my kitchen) was born. It's always a different theme and this time it was "It tastes better when eaten together" since the 30th July was the International Friendship Day and I met my lovely exchange partner exactly on that day to not just swap parcels, but to actually eat them together.

I had packed different little things in my parcel for Gesa and her little daughter.
It consisted of antipasti, redcurrant cupcakes,creamy rice pudding with cherries and lemon curd.

Since  my time in Australia I love lemon curd, you were never able to get it in Germany, but now it's available at more and more supermarkets, however, it's still quite pricey I find and it's soo easy to make at home! 

Lemon Curd
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

In a small saucepan, whisk together egg yolk and egg until combines. While whisking, pour in sugar, lemon juice and zest, and continue whisking until creamy and well incorporated, about one minute. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, one cube at a time (like making a hollandaise sauce). Strain into a bowl or jar and pour into 4-5 tiny little jam jars or 1.5-2 normal jars.

By the way, lemon curd freezes really well.

I often use it on toast but you can also use it as a filling for cakes, on top of some little tartlettes, mixed with buttercream or just eat it by the spoon! 

Next I thought, cupcakes are something I always like to share and all of my friends and colleagues love them. This time I used some redcurrants from my parents garden for a taste of summer. 

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 little dash of vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
a handfull of redcurrants

Preheat oven to 170°C. Line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake papers.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. 
Add sugar a third at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition.
After the last addition beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar has almost dissolved. 
Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg or until mixture is light and fluffy. After the last egg has been added beat until it has all come together nicely.
Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. 
Add a third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add half of the milk and beat until combined. Repeat this process. 
Add the remaining third of the flour and beat until thoroughly combined; do not over-beat or the mixture will toughen.

Spoon mixture into cupcake papers, filling each about half full, put some redcurrants on top and fill papers until about two thirds full. 

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the trays immediately and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
For decoration I added some pretty redcurrants on top (which Gesa's daughter loved!)

For me rice pudding or cream rice how they say in Australia, is an absolute comfort food. We used to get it when we were kids and even nowadays it's like a "bandaid for the soul". In winter I love to eat it warm with cherries and some cinnamon sugar, in summer I prefer to just have it cold with cherries.

Rice pudding with cherries
1l milk
50g sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean
200g milk rice

500g cherries in a jar
2 tbsp vanilla pudding powder

Put milk, sugar and salt in a pot. Cut the vanilla bean length wise and scrape out the seeds. Put seeds and vanilla bean in the pot with the milk. Bring the milk to the boil and add the milk rice. Stir and cook for about 30 minutes. Take out the vanilla bean, scrape out again and add seeds to the rice pudding. Put vanilla bean aside.

Put cherries in a separate pot, mix a bit of the juice with two tablespoons of the vanilla pudding powder. Add to the cherries and bring to the boil until it thickens.

Serve rice pudding hot or cold, however you prefer it. If you don't have cherries, it's also absolutely delicious with apple purée! 

The last thing I added to my parcel was something savoury, mixed antipasti, unfortunately you can't see them very well (or at all) in the photo. But they are yummy and they look great too! 

My mum often makes antipasti at home, it's the perfect food for when I arrive at their place late on a Friday night after a long drive and we sit out on the patio with antipasti, a cheese platter, some crusty bread and a glass of wine.

Mixed antipasti
White wine

Depending on how much you ant to make, you always need to mix 1/3 oil with 2/3 wine. Put in a pot and add finely chopped garlic, A LOT of salt and spices as you prefer.
Bring to the boil.

Peel the carrots and cut lengthwise into quarters, if need be cut in half again.
Cut the other vegetables and boil one vegetable after the other in the broth. Don't cook them all together as they need different times to cook. Carrots, capcisum and mushrooms needed a bit of time whereas zucchini on the other hand doesn't need long at all. Best to just watch and try. 

Take out antipasti and leave on a plate to cool. Put in tupperware containers with some of the broth and keep in the fridge. Serve with bread and cheese and a crisp, cool wine.

I really enjoyed putting together a parcel for Gesa and I absolutely loved what she made for me.

Enjoy giving some of the recipes a go and let me know how you went! 

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