bread tips #cupcakehour

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A successful bread dough is all about the ratio of flour to water. You will get more consistent and reliable results if your measurements are accurate

proof your yeast, all you’re doing is proving that it is alive. That it is eating sugar and emitting bubbles of carbon dioxide

One half the weight of the flour is the amount of water you’ll need. Know that, even if you think the dough seems too sticky, if your ratio is correct,

Don’t Use Flour When Kneading

The purpose of kneading is to develop gluten After kneading for several minutes, tear off a small piece of dough if it stretches a lot before pulling away, that is another good indicator of good gluten formation

A bread dough that rises in a warm place rises more quickly than a bread dough that rises in a cool place but you’ll get better flavor from a longer, slow rise

Have you ever baked a loaf of bread and ended up with a large air pocket right under the crust? Well, slashing your loaf helps prevent this.

To freeze fresh bread, make sure it is completely cooled first. Then, slice and put in freezer bags. Press out all the air that you can and seal.

Prior to slashing, you can brush the dough with egg wash, water, milk or egg white. Now is the time to add some poppy seeds, sesame seeds or whatever topping you would like

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cowberry

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cowberries

These berries are new to me in that I don’t associate them with my childhood, finding out about these quite recently

Alternatively known as lingonberry or foxberry. They can be found across ireland and Scotland and parts of England, found predominantly in bogland and woodland areas.
The berries are edible but are acidic and unpleasant to eat until they are cooked. They are revered in Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

Cookery

They are bitter and until baked or cooked with the addition of sugar. In Nordic countries they make it into a jam and use it as a condiment to meat dishes.

As a member of the heather it is thought to have medicinal uses, some suggesting that it eases cold and flu symptoms, helps with stomach discomfort and dahrreoa

Jam/jelly recipe

In a heavy pot
1 kg of washed and destalked
Add 250ml water and bring to the boil and leave boil until the berries are soft
Add 500g sugar and dissolve
Boil vigorously for 15 mins
Pass through a sieve or muslin cloth if making a jelly
Add 500g sugar for every 600 ml liquid
Boil vigorously for a further 6 minutes until it begins to set.

How do you know it will set
Take a side plate and chill it
Place a spoon of the liquid on the plate it should solidify in a matter of minutes

A big thanks to James “Macdaddy” for the intro to these berries

by paul cotter @chefpaulc

taste Kerry event

 

taste Kerry @tastekerry1 held their first food event at the dome in Tralee as part of the rose of Tralee festival. eabha joans restaurant was invited to take part , to show some of Kerry’s finest products been used by a restaurant,

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we were of course delighted and I was asked to do a cooking demo along side sid Sheehan and mark murphy

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some of Kerry’s brilliant artisan producers were at the event show casing show truly wonderful produce with the likes of @hartysjellies @leahspudding @bakeiteasyie

@dinglesushi @dinglespirits

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some famous faces were in the crowd as well , taste Kerry have a video of the event on youtube

make sure to look out for more taste Kerry events coming up and those on twitter can follow some of the producers there

 

#cupcake hour baking tips

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only the bottom of the pan is greased, allowing the brownies to adhere to the sides as they rise to prevent the center from collapsing

Line the pan with aluminum foil when making several batches of brownies. Extend the edges of the foil a couple of inches over the edge to form a handle for easy remove

For cake-like brownies, use recipes with more eggs. For chewy brownies, use recipes with fewer eggs

For fudgy brownies, use recipes with more butter and chocolate and less flour.

To substitute unsweetened cocoa for unsweetened baking chocolate, use 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter for each ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate

For best results, brownies should be mixed by hand

Overmixing the ingredients can cause brownies to turn out tough or a thin crust may form on top

Mix wet and dry ingredients just long enough to blend them. Do not over-mix after the eggs have been added.

Be creative when topping brownies. Use powdered sugar, chocolate frosting, chocolate curls, nuts or candied fruit

#cupcakehour elderberries

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Elderberries are in season in the autumn and can be used for all manner of delicious things, from warming puddings to elderberry liqueur

 

Come autumn, the small purplish-black ripe berries hang prolifically in clusters in the hedgerows and are not grown commercially, so picking them in the wild is the only option.

 

The easiest way to remove the berries from the stalks is to strip them using the prongs of a fork

 

The berries are quite rich so I find they’re best mixed with other autumn fruits such as apples, pears and plums

 

make them into jams and chutneys, which have a wonderful fruity flavour, although the berries are low in pectin so need the addition of jam sugar or lemon juice to ensure a set.

 

Elderberry syrup, made by cooking the berries with water and sugar, straining, then boiling the liquid until reduced and syrupy

 

Elderberries can be used to make a liqueur in the same way as sloe gin

 

some people find that eating raw elderberries makes them feel nauseous

 

Dried Elderberries can also be added to muffins or pancakes for a berry flavor similar to blueberries but not quite as sweet

 

they’re very tart, but incredibly rich in antioxidants

#cupcakehour is on at 8 o clock every tuesday night at 8 o clock

@chefnoelk on twitter and @chefnoelkeane on instagram

number 21 off licence

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fever tree elderflower tonic water

 

Fever-Tree has transformed the way in which people see tonic and in doing so, have made a huge impact on the way people perceive gin. It’s difficult to state just how big an impact they have had on drinking habits and in shifting the focus back to the origins of tonic and the importance of provenance.

Fever-Tree goes as far as the Congo, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tanzania and Sicily to source the best ingredients for their range of premium natural mixers. Their Tonic Water uses the highest quality quinine blended with spring water and boasts a total of eight botanical flavours which include ingredients such as marigold extracts and bitter orange. No artificial sweeteners, preservatives or flavourings are added to the mix at any stage of the production. It’s impressive.

For its latest trick, the top-shelf mixer maker is releasing flavoured tonic water. As the name implies, Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water is an elderflower infused tonic water, made with Fever-Tree’s typically high-end ingredients, including cane sugar and natural quinine.

For those who find standard tonic water too bitter, this expression is just the answer. The bitter quinine is softer here, mellowed by sweet-and-sour citrus notes that run more distinctly toward grapefruit and lime zest than elderflower specifically. The finish is clean and bittersweet, refreshing as those citrus notes endure. This tonic water can be very refreshing on its own, but where it truly shines is when it’s paired with gin or vodka, especially gins like Martin Millers Gin, Tanqueray No 10 Gin and Hendrick’s Gin, which have more subtle flavours.

Number 21 Off licence follow number 21 on facebook and @no21 on twitter

#cupcake hour blackberries

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DON’T wash the berries until you are ready to use them or freeze them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling

You can easily freeze berries that you cannot use right away – just wash, cut the hulls off and pop them into a ziplock bag, removing as much air as possible

Even under ideal conditions blackberries will only keep for a week in a refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, use them as soon as possible

A ripe blackberry is deep black with a plump, full feel. It will pull free from the plant with only a slight tug.

If the berry is red or purple, it’s not ripe yet

After a few days in storage, however, the fruit loses its bright color and fresh flavor and tends to shrivel

Try and add your berries as late in the mixing process as possible and stir very gently

Add frozen berries into the cake batter at the end of the mixing process to prevent them from staining the batter

Adding berries while still frozen also helps the berries retain their shape and texture

Dusting fresh berries with flour also prevents them from staining your cake batter too much

#cupcakehour is on every Tuesday night at 8 o clock on twitter

@chefnoelk  on twitter & @chefnoelkeane on Instagram

number 21 beverages

 

 

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number 21 off licence listowel is joining the blog  covering all aspects drink

Grappa is one of Italy’s most popular alcoholic drinks, with somewhere in the region of forty million bottles of grappa being produced every year. It’s also a very Italian drink; since 1989 the name has been protected by the EU, meaning that the drink can only be called grappa if it’s sourced and produced in Italy. The main ingredient of grappa is pomace, which consists of the grape skins, seeds and stalks that are left over from the winemaking process.

To make a good grappa, the pomace must be completely fermented and distilled as soon as the wine has been racked off, after only a light pressing. The average alcohol content of the distillate obtained is 75% vol. and before bottling, it is diluted with distilled water to the desired alcohol content. It is then cooled to a temperature of 10 °C and filtered 48 hours later. Grappa Stravecchia has a characteristic amber-gold appearance and is presented in an ornately crafted crystal bottle. Full-bodied, aromatic and subtly elegant; a seriously good spirit with a unique sensory profile, it is distilled in limited amounts. Just like a good scotch or tequila, you don’t need to chill grappa, and you can drink it straight or you can mix it with fruit juices over ice. Alternatively, why not try a hot chocolate mixed with grappa, coffee and chocolate for a pick-me-up; mix two parts grappa, one part chocolate liqueur and top up with espresso coffee. Finish with cream and garnish with grated dark chocolate.

Number 21 Off Licence.

number 21 can be followed on facebook at number 21 listowel and on twitter @no21listowel