Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Delia Project (#27): Thick Onion Tart

Thick Onion Tart

I love onions – especially when they’re slowly cooked and caramelised. This recipe has a lot of onions, 700 grams in fact. It was a bit painful to chop them up small; I had to take regular breaks and wipe my eyes. But the end product was worth it.

The pastry is a wholewheat cheese pastry and the filling is simply caramelised onions, eggs, cream and a bit of cheese. My only complaint is that it was too small! It only just fed 4 adults and two onion-phobic Munchkins. (The Munchkins were bribed with the promise of Easter chocolate afterwards). Next time, I would make a bigger tart, but that would mean chopping almost a kilo and a half of onions… But, I’d say it’s probably worth it!

Thick Onion Tart

And here is Delia Smith’s Thick Onion Tart recipe.

OK, I must eat some Easter chocolate now.

Happy Easter! (More buns and a Hot Cross Bunny pancake recipe)

Hot Cross Buns

This is the third batch of hot cross buns in a week as I’m practicing for a morning tea event at our local café next week. These are mini buns, using exactly 40g of dough each (I took some tips from the Great British Bake Off and weighed my dough, to make them all a uniform size). I think I could probably make them just a little smaller. This is the Delia Smith hot cross buns recipe and I used the dough hook on my mixer as my kneading technique isn’t quite there yet.

Hot Cross Bunny Pancakes

Then, the Munchkins requested these hot cross bunny pancakes for Easter morning. Every Christmas I make Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer pancakes, so Easter has to be something special too!

Here’s the recipe:

Hot Cross Bunny Pancakes

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • handful of currants
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, soda and mixed spice in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the handful of currants. Make a well in the centre and add sugar, egg, buttermilk and melted butter.
  3. Stir the mixture gradually, drawing in the flour from the sides to make a smooth batter.
  4. Put tablespoons of the batter into a hot, greased pan. Start with a circle, then use smaller spoonfuls of batter to make your bunny ears.
  5. Cook until bubbly on top, turn and brown on the other side.
  6. Butter and jam your bunnies, if that’s how you like ’em.
  7. Then have fun making bunny faces: I’ve used little smarties for eyes, banana slices for cheeks and a raspberry for the nose. The whiskers are dried bananas cut into thin lengths. The mouth is a banana slice cut in half and an apple corer makes it into a moon shape. The bit remaining from cutting the moon is squared up and joins the mouth to the nose.

Recycling Day

Recycling Day

I wanted to take a quick break from the Delia Project posts and show a little something about daily life in Switzerland. Even though I’ve lived here for nearly 7 years, I’m always impressed by the neat pile of papers put out for recycling day. Since I am too lazy busy to make such a pile and tie it into a beautifully neat bundle, I tend to throw all my recycling into a paper bag 🙂

On being realistic

I’ve been thinking a lot about this project lately and its’ 487 recipes and whether I’ll actually cook through the entire book. I can get enthusiastic about most of the recipes, but some I just read the title and think ‘bleuurrh‘ or ‘my kids will never eat that!‘ or ‘where am I going to find that in Switzerland?

Then I came back to thinking about why I was doing this project in the first place: to learn how to cook properly and try out a variety of recipes that I wouldn’t normally look twice at. It’s not about rigidly cooking every. single. recipe. and if I don’t make all 487 recipes, then I’ve failed. I have such a perfectionist personality that sometimes I have to step back and ask why I’m really doing something. I forget that it’s all about the journey and above all, having fun. At the moment I’m still really enthusiastic about the project and I wouldn’t want to ruin that by forcing myself to cook something with smoked eels or pickled ox tongue. (Yes, I’m going to pass on those).

I think 400 recipes is probably a realistic number to aim for, and even then, it will have been worthwhile.

The Delia Project (#26): Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a traditional vanilla ice cream recipe, made with a custard base. That is, you heat up some single cream and whisk it into some custard powder, vanilla essence, sugar and egg yolks. Whipped double cream is then folded into the custard, before being placed in the freezer. I cheated somewhat and used my ice cream maker, rather than wait 5 hours for it to freeze.

Easy enough, though due to an almost lifelong aversion to custard, the custard taste of this ice cream put me off a little. I can really recommend Mary Berry’s homemade ice cream recipe, which uses whole eggs and no custard powder. It’s also easy to make without an ice cream maker; you just pour it into a plastic container and freeze it, and it’s still super creamy without any further whisking.

The Delia Project (#24): Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Since Easter is next weekend, this recipe is very timely! Hot Cross Buns aren’t known about in Switzerland and my husband likes to eat them in great quantities at Easter time. Normally I would pull out the bread machine, but instead I followed Delia’s instructions to knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes and leave it to rise. They are then shaped into bun shapes and left to rise a second time. Next time, I’ll use the same recipe but give the kneading and rising over to my bread machine; my kneading skills aren’t quite up to scratch. The buns were a little on the dense side, but this didn’t stop them being eaten in 2 days.