The True Sea

The human mind, old films, literature and podcasts.


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Recipe: Korean chopped salad with sesame dressing

My favourite cuisines are without a doubt Japanese and Korean. It’s a bit surprising perhaps considering that I have a strong aversion to seafood, and I’m a massive cheese fiend. This crunchy salad has been my go-to salad for years. It’s delicious with spring rolls, gyoza, tofu katsu or simply topped with a fried egg.

Ingredients

Sweetheart cabbage or green cabbage
Carrots
Daikon or radishes
Gherkins
Black sesame seeds
Rice vinegar
Toasted sesame oil
Soy sauce

Preparation method

1. Grate carrots and radishes into a large bowl. Shred the cabbage and slice the gherkins. Add them to the bowl and mix all the vegetables together.

2. In a small bowl mix all the ingredients for the sesame dressing. I do this to taste but I would advice you to not go overboard with the sesame oil. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all the vegetables are evenly coated.

Note: I mixed mayonnaise with Eat the Bits Chilli Oil and drizzled it over the salad but it’s equally yummy with gochujang (fermented Korean chilli paste). If you decide to use neither, add fresh ginger and garlic to the dressing. Also, try adding bean sprouts or edamame to the salad.


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Recipe: Quick-pickled red onions

Being a massive cheese enthusiast I guess my first savoury recipe on the blog was always going to be something that goes with cheese. I was inspired to create this recipe by my grandmother’s love for pickling.Ingredients:

3 medium-sized red onions
350ml apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 clove
1 tsp pink peppercorns
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp dill seeds

Preparation method:

1. Slice the onions into rings. Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. The onions should be soft but not falling apart.

3. Let cool before pouring into a jar or bowl. The onions will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Note: Be careful not to breathe in the fumes when the onions are cooking as it will make your sinuses sting. I recommend turning the extractor fan on or opening a window.


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Recipe: Boules de neige (Snowballs)

Recipe adapted from The Art of French Baking by Ginette Mathiot. Makes approximately 23 biscuits.

Ingredients

125g caster sugar
100g dairy-free butter
1 egg
1 tbsp soya milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 tsps baking powder
250g plain flour
4 tbsps apricot jam, preferably smooth
100g desiccated coconut

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

2. Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. In a small bowl beat the egg with the soya milk, then add it along with the vanilla to the large bowl.

3. In another medium-sized bowl mix baking powder and flour together. Add this to the large bowl taking care to incorporate. The dough should be smooth, thick and slightly sticky.

4. Roll balls of dough about the size of a walnut between your hands. Place the balls on the baking trays, spaced about 5 cm apart. Bake for 10 minutes then turn the oven up to 200C and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Leave the biscuits to cool on a wire rack.

5. Once completely cooled warm the apricot jam and sieve it if not using the smooth kind. Pour the coconut on to a side plate. Roll the biscuits in the jam and then in the coconut.
I cannot recommend The Art of French Baking highly enough. It’s a fantastic baking book that covers absolutely everything. There’s even a Maison Bertaux recipe in it which happens to be one of my favourite places to have cake in London.


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Recipe: Strawberry soured cream cake with cheesecake frosting

This cake is one of my favourites and the strawberries make it the ultimate summer cake. I’ve previously made it with blueberries and with a raspberry blueberry combination.
strawberry cakeRecipe adapted from BBC Good Food.

Ingredients

175g soft (dairy-free) butter
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsps vanilla extract
150ml soured cream
450g strawberries
200g cream cheese
100g icing sugar

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 20cm springform cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

2. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla in a bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes until lighter in colour and well mixed. Beat in 4 tbsp soured cream. Quarter the strawberries and fold 350g of them into the batter.

3. Tip the mixture into the tin and spread it level. Bake for 50 minutes until it is risen, feels firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed. When the cake is cool enough to handle, take it out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

4. To make the frosting, beat the soft cheese with the icing sugar and the remaining soured cream in a bowl until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake and scatter with the remaining strawberries. The cake will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.


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Recipe: No-bake dark chocolate cheesecake

Ingredients

50g (dairy-free) butter
150g dark chocolate digestives
200g cream cheese
75g caster sugar
2 eggs
150g good quality dark (85%) chocolate
130ml double cream

Preparation method

1. Melt the butter. Crush the chocolate digestives. Mix the butter with the biscuits and line a 20cm springform cake tin with the mixture. Refrigerate.

2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Set aside to cool.

3. Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until stiff. In a medium-sized bowl, lightly whip the cream. Set aside.

4. Blend the cheese, sugar and egg yolks together in a big bowl until smooth. Mix in the melted chocolate, taking care to incorporate.

5. Fold in the lightly whipped cream. Once incorporated, carefully fold in the whisked egg whites.

6. Spoon the mixture onto the biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge.

Note: It is crucial that all the ingredients are at room temperature and that you let the melted chocolate cool down considerably. You don’t want to scramble the egg yolks when adding the chocolate.


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Recipe: Dark chocolate hobnobs

My hobnobs are less sweet and more oaty. They’re also vegan if you use dairy-free butter and chocolate like I do. I smother them in 85% dark chocolate but feel free to use one of your own preference. This recipe makes 12.chocolate hobnobsIngredients

150g porridge oats
120g plain flour
50g caster sugar
100g (dairy-free) butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling water
80g good quality dark chocolate

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Combine the oats, sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and stir in the golden syrup.

3. In a small bowl, mix the bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water before adding it to the butter mixture. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients, taking care to incorporate.

4. Form the dough into small balls between the palms of your hands and place onto the baking tray. Press them down; they won’t spread much during cooking. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden all over.

5. Let the hobnobs cool on a wire cooling rack. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Use a spoon to generously spread the chocolate on the biscuits. Let the chocolate set before devouring.


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Recipe: Swedish Spice Cake

Swedish spice cake is basically a soft gingerbread cake that’s traditionally eaten around Christmas. Earlier this week I tried to create a recipe that would taste like my grandma’s cake and this is the result. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. This cake keeps really well and actually keeps getting yummier.Ingredients

2 eggs
75g caster sugar
75g brown sugar
240g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
100 ml (soya) milk
100g (dairy-free) butter

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Butter and flour a round 20cm cake tin.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Leave it to cool.

3. In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients apart from the sugars. In another large bowl, beat the sugars and eggs until fluffy.

4. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients mixture alternating with the milk. Add the melted butter gradually, taking care to incorporate. The batter should be smooth.

5. Transfer the batter to the cake tin. Bake for 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean and dry.

6. Let cool for about half an hour before removing the cake from the tin and transferring it to a wire cooling rack. Let it cool completely before cutting.