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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recipe for our garlic aioli...

As I was prepping for the ailoi for the day, I was thinking about the amount of customers who ask about the garlic aioli! So here it is...This makes quite a bit...and we use it on most of our sandwiches, burgers and also comes with our sweet potato chips!
8 egg yolks, 4-5 cloves garlic, 2 table spoons dijon mustard, chili powder, squeeze of half of lemon and an assortment of fresh herbs! put in food processor and whiz...gradually add sunflower oil as the machine is running..keep adding until desired thickness! It is very important to use the freshest eggs possible...and to keep you aioli refridgerated

ok, this turned out a little wonky..but this is the finished product!

this is what the aioli looks like before it fully emulsifies

lemon, garlic and fresh oregano

all of the ingredients going into the food processor!


Monday, March 14, 2011

cooking lessons abroad...

The summer is a very busy time for us at Diva, and most of our customers know that we do close for a few months after Christmas...this year we intend to open on the 18th of March..we will also be participating in a street market in Cork city on Sunday the 20th...
My customers always ask what will I be doing when we are closed...and for the last 3 years I have travelled to sunnier climates...this year I went to Mexico..2 of my good friends that I used to fish with in Alaska bought a beautiful condo in a town called Manzanillo...there, they have made good friends with a local family...I spent one day with Laura cooking traditional Mexican of the ingredients was pig skin! Now, I know you are thinking crispy crackling, but this was boiled and thinly sliced, then made into a tostado...I tried it, but I had to discreetly pick out the skin..the rest was yum! I also made some great sauces and made a beautiful pickle(at the cafe we make one that we serve with our burgers that is pretty similar, but now I think we will upgrade to this one)
The great thing about traveling is getting ideas for the cafe...I think you will be seeing some new and tasty items on the menu this year! Here are some photos...
pigskin tostado

prep table

sauteed whole onions

cooking meat on top of onions

jalepeno pickle


Thursday, March 10, 2011

sacher torte

so im going crazy with that "Kaffehaus" book (see previous entries). i think its the history behind the recipes... vienna, budapest, and prague are steeped in tradtions and it comes through in the baked goods there. i feel the same when i use julia child's "mastering the art of french cooking" with her book you can sense french chefs and american housewives looking over your shoulder, and into your pot.

so i naturally went for a sacher (pronounced kinda like soccer) torte recipe, sacher torte has been around for almost 200 years and it has many unique stories to go with it.

heres one from the Hotel Sacher's Website, i believe its in vienna:

"The story of the world-famous Original Sacher-Torte began in 1832, when the all-mighty "coachman of Europe", Wenzel Clemens Prince Metternich, ordered the creation of a particularly palatable dessert for spoiled high-ranking guests, "take care that you do NOT make me look a fool tonight", he warned. That very day, however, the chef was unavailable! The order was reassigned to a 16-year-old apprentice in his second year, the quick-witted chap Franz Sacher...

One thing was certain; the speciality which was finally presented to the masters and mistresses was a resounding success: a soft and fluffy chocolate cake with the tasty apricot jam under the icing. Franz certainly never forgot the great success of his ingenious idea within this exclusive circle. He spent his apprenticeship working for the Count of Esterhazy, first in Bratislava and then in Budapest. When, as a fully qualified cook, he started to work on his own account, he offered his successful composition once again, this time on a large scale. He was successful and soon the "cake by this man named Sacher" was in great demand, and the victorious career of the probably most famous of all cakes began.

P.S: ... Did you know that the Original Sacher-Torte made it into the Guinness Book of Records? In 1998, the Hotel Sacher Wien made a single cake with a diameter of 2.5 meters!"


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Victoria Sponge...

This past December, a friend of mine rang the cafe and put in an order for a birthday cake...nothing unusual about that..however, she had requested a Victoria Sponge cake.. being from Seattle i had never heard of a Victoria Sponge.. So, I asked Taylor if he had...and he said no, so then we asked Taylor's partner Kevin, who is Irish and a chef, and he said, "Of course! Its made like this..." and proceeded to tell us how it was made...So, we made one, and my friend said it was delicious...three layers of sponge with a bit of jam, fresh berries and cream...
Yesterday I made another one for a friends 50th birthday...this time I dipped the strawberry's in chocolate and soaked the sponge in a vanilla-Cointreau simple syrup...punched up the cream by adding honey...and a dusting of icing is a photo:

PS...add a bit of zing to any of your cakes: to make a simple syrup simmer equal parts water and sugar...then steep the herb of your choice(tyme, rosemary and lavender are my fav's) or used vanilla pods...I then add a little liquor(like Cointreau or Grand Marnier or a lovely Frambois) into the mix!! Cool, and use a pastry brush to brush on to the cake..aloow to saok in and frost! If you dont use all of the syrup for your cake, save it in the fridge and use it when you are mixing some lovely libations at the end of your work day!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Breakfast Pizza

yesterday shannen hosted a potluck brunch, she had some ideas in mind to try for this years cafe menu. we had a great time, lots of people showed up with delicous homemade food, mimosas, my linzer tart made an appearance, hommade crepes, the works! from the experiements shannen had up her sleeve her breakfast pizza took the cake. here's some photos:
the dough was made the night beofre and was let to rest in the fridge over night. or up to two days, which was the draw of this recipe.
the dough is lovingly rolled out flat and topped with free range eggs from beechwood farms, italian crispy panchetta from boots specialty's in cork, dubliner cheddar, ballymalloe relish, and fresh herbs from the windowsill, a glug of olive oil its ready for the oven

here is one of the specimens baked and ready to eat

and enjoyed...


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Linzer Torte

today i tried out a linzer torte recipe from the book "koffeehaus." its made up of recipes commonly used in budapest, vienna, and prague. super yum stuff!

this recipe worked well, it calls for black currant jam, but i used some odds and ends from the pantry.... kevins mum's blackberry rosemary jam, apricot jam, my plum nigella jam. whatever i had that could make 1 cup! its delicious. the crust was a bit weepy when i baked it so ill probably add another 1/4 cup of flour to even it out.

i remember hearing somewhere that for every 1/4 pound of butter you should use a cup of flour.

this torte is tasty, easy, and fun to make. the crust uses ground hazelnuts with cinnamon, clove, lemon zest, and lemon juice. then you prebake the crust and fill it with preserves! add the lattice top and bang it in the oven for a half hour. cool and enjoy the heck out of it!

i think this will make it into the cafe pastry case and onto the menu....


nearly 2 months!

so we've left you hanging here. its been about two months since our last post! wow.
but the season is upon us and we are getting down to the last fixings in re-opening for the year!
diva is expanding with a new kitchen/deli space across the street. from there we are going to be offering more: take away baked goods, sandwiches and salads, and an array of cheeses and other deli items. the new space will allow us to do more catering and weddings as well as allow the space for wholesale baking. arent you excited? we are!
stay tuned for what we are up to: we've been recipe testing in the background for new yummy cakes and savouries.
opening date: friday march 18th for paddys day weekend, then thurs -sunday till the ball gets rolling