Homemade Gyoza Wrappers

I love Japanese food, a lot, but I haven’t found a Japanese restaurant here in Berlin that I love yet so when I had a craving for Gyoza, possibly one of my favourite things in the whole wide world, there was only one thing for it. I had to learn to make Homemade Gyoza Wrappers and here is my recipe:

Ingredients

  • 120g of Flour
  • 60ml of warm water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Extra flour for dusting
Homemade Gyoza Wrappers

Homemade Gyoza Wrappers

Method

  1. Start by adding the salt to your warm water and stirring until it has dissolved
  2. Then sieve the flour into a bowl and gradually add the water whilst combing, at this point the douch will be quite dry and look rough but this is OK, if you think it is too dry you can add a tiny bit more water
  3. Once combined, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and has some stretch
  4. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces and roll each into a log shape, wrap in cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes
  5. After the dough has rested, unwrap and divide each log into 8 equal pieces, place onto baking paper and cover with a damp piece of kitchen roll to stop it drying out
  6. Take one piece of dough and roll into a ball in your hands
  7. Then place onto a floured surface and flatten into a disc before using a rolling pin to fully roll out the wrapper
  8. Roll out the wrapper until it is as circular as can be and around 1mm thick
  9. Place on the baking paper under the wet kitchen roll and dust with a little flour to stop it sticking and repeat with each piece of dough

Note: This recipe makes 12 wrappers

The Homemade Gyoza Wrappers are then ready to be filled and wrapped, I will be sharing our recipe for this with you at the weekend, so keep your eyes peeled! I can assure you they work and taste great, we have made them twice now and they taste as good as any you will get in a restaurant but you can easily make them at home!

Chocolate Fondants

We have a slight obsession with Celebrity Masterchef at the moment and although our culinary talents are probably not to their level we can try right? You bet we can… and we did, here is our attempt at making Chocolate Fondants (a very popular Masterchef dessert):

Ingredients

  • 50g of Melted Butter
  • 100g of Cocoa Powder
  • 200g of Good-Quality Dark Chocolate
  • 200g of Butter
  • 200g Of Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 200g of Flour
  • 20g of Icing Sugar
Chocolate Fondants Fresh from the Oven

Chocolate Fondants Fresh from the Oven

Method

  1. Start by getting your moulds ready. Using upward strokes, heavily brush the melted butter all over the inside of the pudding mould
  2. Place the mould in the freezer for 30 minutes
  3. Brush more melted butter over the chilled butter, then add a good spoonful of cocoa powder into the mould. Tip the mould so the powder completely coats the butter. Tap any excess cocoa back into the jar, then repeat with 1 the next mould
  4. Place a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then slowly melt the chocolate and butter together.
  5. Remove bowl from the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes
  6. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail (I would receommend using an electric whisk or you will get arm ache!)
  7. Sift the flour into the eggs, then beat together
  8. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition, until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined to a loose cake batter
  9. Tip the fondant batter into a jug, then evenly divide between the moulds
  10. Heat the oven to 200C (Fan).
  11. Place the fondants on a baking tray, then cook for 10-12 minutes until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their moulds
  12. Remove from the oven, then leave to sit for 1 minutes before turning out
  13. Loosen the fondants by moving the tops very gently so they come away from the sides, easing them out of the moulds. Tip each fondant slightly onto your hand so you know it has come away, then tip back into the mould ready to plate up
  14. Finally dust with icing sugar before serving
Chocolate Fondants

Chocolate Fondants

Note: This recipe will make 6-8 fondants, dependent on your ramekin size

To be honest, I expected us to fail as many many do on these cooking shows, but it turns out they make a fuss for nothing! Our Chocolate Fondants came out absolutely perfectly and were so so so delicious, if not a little rich, I think a cream or vanilla ice cream would be a good accompaniment if we make them again just to soothe the flavour a little! The best thing, you can freeze the left overs in the ramekins and then bake them from frozen at a later date, just add 5 minutes onto the baking time and they taste just as good! So this way, you can enjoy them for longer (or just the next day if you are greedy and cannot resist eating them all like us).

So if you have been put off making them by failure, DON’T just follow this recipe for perfect Chocolate Fondants! (Or maybe my baking skills are just that special).

Have you had any recipes you thought would fail turn out better than expected, if so, what?

Lettuce Tacos

My last post was some what of the dessert that came after, so today’s post is what came before! This is something that my Husband and I have been enjoying regularly since we got back from our Honeymoon in Mexico so have finely tuned it to perfection. As before, I think these Lettuce Tacos are perfect for a hot evening with friends (especially when one is gluten-free):

Ingredients

  • 500g of Beef Mince
  • 1 Red Pepper (Chopped into small chunks)
  • 1tsp of Oregano
  • 1tsp of Coriander
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Chilli Flakes
  • 1tsbp of Olive Oil
  • 2tbsp of Tomato Puree
  • 2tbsp of Lime Juice
  • 1 White Onion
  • Grated Cheese (as much as you want)
  • Sour Cream (again as much as you want)
  • Lettuce
Lettuce Tacos

Lettuce Tacos

Method

  1. Begin by heating the oil in a pan
  2. Once hot, add the mince and fry until it has all turned brown
  3. Then add the oregano, coriander, black pepper and chilli and fry for a further minute
  4. Add the chopped pepper and stir through
  5. Then finally, add the tomato puree and lime juice and allow to cook for 10 minutes
  6. Whilst this is cooking you should prepare the lettuce and sides
  7. Was the lettuce and separate into the leaves and place in a dish for later
  8. During this time you can also grate the cheese, cut up the onion and pour the sour cream into a dish
  9. Once the mince is ready you can serve each element in its own dish for everyone to make themselves at the table

Note: This recipe serves 4, you can half it easily for 2

This recipe for Lettuce Tacos was inspired by a mixture of things, our honeymoon in Mexico, cutting calories and also Pinterest and I can definitely say that it is a successful collaboration! It is also great to serve with friends as you all help yourself saving you time from standing in the kitchen away from guests and it always goes down a hit!

Do you have any calorie cutting tips for traditional dishes? If so, let me know!

Summer Strawberry Pavlova

Summer is here and it really is here in Berlin with it barely going under 30C, not really the best baking climate… However I have still been baking and cooking a little and last weekend with friends coming over for dinner, one of whom cannot eat gluten and a temperature of 38C I had to find a suitable dessert. What I decided on was a Summer Strawberry Pavlova:

Ingredients

  • 5 Eggs
  • 275g of Sugar
  • 1tsbp of Lemon Juice
  • 200ml of Whipping Cream
  • 1 Heaped Tbsp of Icing Sugar
  • Strawberries (as many as you want)

Meringue Ready for the Oven

Meringue Ready for the Oven

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan
  2. Separate the egg whites into a bowl and whisk until stiff
  3. Then gradually add the sugar whilst whisking to keeps the eggs whites stiff
  4. Finally add the lemon juice and give a final whisk
  5. You can then use a large spoon to create a shape on a baking tray lined with baking parchment (I have only tried the above design but you can get creative)
  6. The place into your oven and turn the temperature down to 150C Fan
  7. Leave in the oven for an hour
  8. Once an hour has passed turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside until it has at least cooled although it is best to leave it over night
  9. When the meringue has cooled you can whip the cream with the icing sugar before using this and the strawberries to decorate as desired
Summer Strawberry Pavlova

Summer Strawberry Pavlova

Note: It is best to make this the night before you need it and once it is made you MUST keep it cool!

A cold dessert like this is just perfect when it is hot and what can shout British summertime more than Strawberries and Cream?

The recipe for the Summer Strawberry Pavlova has been passed down to me from my Mother-In-Law and I hope that I can improve my technique as although this one worked perfectly, I have had a few mishaps in the past!

What recipes have you had passed down to you from family or friends?

Vanilla and Vanilla Cupcakes

Every month all of the UK based people at work have a team breakfast where we each bring something and share, it is our little tradition and I love being a part of it. I have not been to the past few months due to personal issues so this month I thought my donation had to be extra special. So what else than cupcakes… they are for breakfast too right? Here is my recipe for Vanilla and Vanilla Cupcakes:

Ingredients

  • 200g of Butter
  • 100g of Sugar
  • 100g of Flour
  • 1tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2tbsp of Vanilla Essence
  • 100g of Icing Sugar
  • Chocolate Vermicelli (for decoration)
Vanilla and Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla and Vanilla Cupcakes

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and put your cupcake cases in the tin
  2. Cream together 100g of butter and the sugar
  3. Once smooth sieve in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix until crumbly
  4. Then add the eggs and 1 tsbp of the vanilla essence and whisk until combined and your mix is smooth
  5. Pour into the cupcakes cases and leave to settle for a few minutes before placing into the oven for 10-12 minutes (you will know when they are ready by lightly pushing the top and the cake will spring back)
  6. Get them out of the oven and allow to cool
  7. Whilst they are cooling you can prepare the frosting
  8. Add the remaining butter and vanilla essence to a bowl
  9. The sieve in the icing sugar and mix until combined
  10. Using an icing bag or palette knife use to decorate the cooled cupcakes
  11. Finally sprinkle over the chocolate vermicelli to decorate!

Note: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes

These Vanilla and Vanilla Cupcakes are simple but still delicious so if you need something to whip up in a flash but still impress, these come highly recommended!

Snickers Brownies

Last weekend we were invited to a friends birthday party, these days I don’t bother with a gift as I know some form of cake goes down much, much better. When I asked our friends preference I was told chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. This alongside my new found obsession with all things Snickers (who knows why) it didn’t take me long to come up with Snickers Brownies and here is how I made them:

Ingredients

  • 360g of Dark Chocolate
  • 300g of Butter
  • 240g of Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 100g of Flour
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 3 Snickers Bars
Snickers Brownies

Snickers Brownies

Method

  1. Start by greasing a baking tin and lining it with baking paper and preheating the oven to 180C
  2. The prepare the ingredients as it is easier to make with it at hand
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder together and set aside
  4. In another bowl measure the butter and sugar out and also set aside
  5. Lightly beat the eggs and set aside
  6. Cut the snickers bars into small chunks for later
  7. Then start by melting the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water)
  8. Once the chocolate has melted take off of the heat but leave over the water
  9. Add the butter and sugar and stir until it has all melted
  10. Take the bowl off of the water and onto a cool surface
  11. Leave to cool slightly before adding the beaten egg and mixing
  12. Then gently fold the flour into the chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined
  13. Lastly, add the snickers chunks and stir
  14. Pour into the baking tin and leave to level for a few minutes
  15. Then place into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until it begins to firm slightly
  16. Take out of the oven and allow to cool in the tin
  17. Once cool you can remove the brownie and cut as desired
  18. Finally I dusted them with icing sugar to make them look pretty!

These Snickers Brownies were delicious but crumbly, extremely crumbly, a plate is always needed when consuming them, unless you want to shove a piece in at once, which you might when you taste them!

Micheladas!

Summer is definitely the time to enjoy yourself and relax. One way most of like to do that is with a beer or a cocktail but what if you could enjoy both? Enter the Michelada:

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp of Worcester Sauce
  • 1 tsp of Lime Juice
  • 2 Drops of Tabasco Sauce (or more if you like it hot)
  • 3 tbsp of Tomato Juice
  • 1 36cl Beer
  • Salt to decorate your glass
  • Ice
Michelada

Michelada!

Method

  1. Pour salt onto a plate and wet the top of your glass with lime juice
  2. Place the glass upside down in the salt to coat the rim
  3. Then put your desired amount of ice into the glass
  4. Add the Worcester sauce, lime juice, Tabasco sauce and tomato juice
  5. Then top up with the beer and serve cold!

The Michelada is my husbands favourite drink to enjoy (anytime really) but mostly in the Summer and he makes it on a regular basis at the weekends so I thought I would share his recipe with you.

This recipe is versatile as you can make just one or just increase the ingredients to make a jug when entertaining, no one is going to complain!

What are your favourite summer cocktails?

My Summer Favourites

I really haven’t been doing much baking recently, I think it is because it has just got really hot in Berlin and I just don’t fancy baking and having the oven on when it is upwards of 25C daily! So I thought that I would instead share with you a couple of things that I cannot get enough of this Summer. So here are My 2015 Summer Favourites:

Honeydew Melon

When we were in Mexico we were eating so much fresh fruit and I really enjoyed it, especially at breakfast time and this is one habit we haven’t changed since we got back. My favourite is Honeydew Melon as it is just so refreshing and hydrating which I find both great for breakfast and for hot days!

Honeydew Melon

Honeydew Melon

Snickers Ice Cream

My second favourite this summer is Snickers Ice Cream, seriously I just cannot get enough, probably too much! But sometimes, when it is hot you just want an ice cream and these are definitely my ‘go to’ this year.

Snickers Ice Cream

Snickers Ice Cream

These are My Summer Favourites, what are yours?

Triple Chocolate Cake

I have had my recipe for a Triple Chocolate Cake for ages and for some reason I have not yet put it up on the blog, so from the archives here is how I made it:

Ingredients

  • 200g of Sugar
  • 300g of Butter
  • 150g of Flour
  • 75g of Cocoa
  • 2tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 4 Eggs
  • 75g of Icing Sugar
  • 150g of Milk Chocolate
Triple Chocolate Cake

Triple Chocolate Cake

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan)
  2. Cream the sugar and 200g of butter together until smooth
  3. Then sieve in the flour, 50g of cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix until crumbly
  4. Finally, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is smooth and silky
  5. Then pour into a greased cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked (you can tell by prodding the top of the cake, when ready it will bounce back)
  6. Get out of the oven and allow to cool
  7. Whilst cooling prepare the frosting for the middle
  8. To do this sieve the icing sugar and remaining cocoa into a bowl and add the rest of the butter
  9. Simply cream together until smooth
  10. Then carefully cut your cake in half evenly through the middle and slather the frosting onto the bottom half before popping the top half back on
  11. Set aside and melt the chocolate (either in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water in a glass bowl)
  12. Once the chocolate is melted pour is over the top of your cake for the third layer of chocolate
  13. Allow to cool and set before serving

Note: This cake was made in a 13″ tin

Now what I do remember is that this Triple Chocolate Cake tasted amazing, it was really rich and a little sickly so you had to have a smaller piece. The upside it lasts longer!

I have not been doing much baking so that is why I am sharing an old recipe and I have one or two more up my sleeve but I guess I better get baking before I run out of ideas!

Gordon Ramsay’s Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles

This recipe is a little different that my usual creations, firstly because my husband always makes it and secondly because it is a Gordon Ramsay recipe. However, I had to share it with you as it is one of my favourite things to have for dinner and when I do not have to cook, even better! Here is the recipe for Gordon Ramsay’s Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles:

Ingredients

  • 200g of Thick Rice Noodles (Egg Noodles also work)
  • 250g of Chicken Breast
  • 400g of Broccoli
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2tsbp of Soy Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • Oil
  • 2 Limes
Gordon Ramsay's Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles

Gordon Ramsay’s Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles

Method

  1. Start by soaking your noodles in warm water so that they can soften for being added later, this takes 10-15 minutes
  2. Whilst the noodles are softening you should cut up the chicken into chunks and also cut the broccoli into individual stalks and peel and finely slice the garlic
  3. Then heat a wok over a high heat and add a dash of oil
  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and stir-fry until golden brown
  5. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds
  6. Then add the broccoli and continue to stir-fry for a few minutes until tender
  7. Add the soy sauce to season
  8. When the broccoli is tender, put the contents of the wok into a bowl and set aside
  9. Add another dash of oil to the wok and drain the soaked noodles
  10. Beat the 2 eggs in a jog and add the eggs to the hot wok, season with salt and pepper and stir allowing to bottom of the egg to cook
  11. Add the noodles and toss well, breaking up the egg as you do so
  12. Return the chicken and broccoli mixture to the wok and heat through whilst stirring
  13. Serve the noodles with wedges of lime to squeeze on top

We actually usually use egg noodles not rice noodles when making Gordon Ramsay’s Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles as we think it has better results, because of course we know better than Mr Ramsay!

This recipe is from the Ultimate Cookery Course cookbook and I highly recommend trying it, or even better get your other half too!