The most exciting thing I made from my latest OddBox was a rhubarb galette. I’ve just realised that I never got around to writing a blog post about that box, so here is a picture of the contents.
I don’t think I’ve actually cooked with rhubarb before, so I’m pleased with how my first attempt went. I adapted the pastry from the roasted vegetable galette I made and it worked really well. I’m a fan of the galette as a pastry format. So much less fussy than a pie.
- 1 1/4 cup (150g) plain flour
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup ice cold water
- Salt, a pinch
- 3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ slices (about 4 stalks/250g)
- 3/4 cup (125g) sugar
- 2tbsp crystallised ginger, minced (I used this recipe to make my own)
- Zest of one orange
- 2tbsp plain flour
- 4tbsp ground almonds
- 1tsp vanilla extract
Combine the flour, oil, salt and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Stir to combine. Add up to 2tbcp water if the dough it too dry to come together.
Form into a ball, using a little flour of needed. Refrigerate for around 40 minutes. You can cover the bowl with a tea towel but it’s not necessary.
Preheat oven to 180C/375F.
Meanwhile, combine the chopped rhubarb, sugar, ginger, orange zest, vanilla and flour in a bowl and leave to macerate for around 15 minutes. No additional liquid is required.
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface, fairly thin and in a roughly circular shape. Gently transfer to your baking tray (roll it onto the rolling pin if that helps).
Leaving a 2″/5cm border, sprinkle around 4tbsp ground almonds over the centre of the pastry. This will help to soak up the rhubarb juice and prevent a soggy bottom.
Add the macerated rhubarb on top of the almonds. If the rhubarb has released excess liquid, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the bowl.
Fold over the edges of the pastry to form your galette. The pastry is quite robust and can tolerate being handled.
Add a sprinkle of Demerara sugar on top for an extra crunch if that’s your bag.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-30 minutes. The crust should be golden and the filling bubbly.
Leave to cool on a rack for at least half an hour before serving.
The galette was delicious both hot (served with ice cream) and on its own cold over the next couple of days.
I’m trying out a few new recipes. Changing my diet is inspiring me to cook differently, which has been fun. I also went to an amazing vegan supper club with my flatmate.
I’m definitely going to do Veganuary so I’ve also been getting a few recipes out of my system. Karelian/Carelian pastries (both spellings appear to be acceptable) were one of my favourite foods from Finland and I suddenly had a hankering to try making them last Friday.
Karelian pie sounds absolutely repulsive but tastes amazing. It’s thin rye pastry filled with savoury rice pudding and topped with egg butter. Lots of fat and carbs to help withstand the freezing Nordic temperatures. Or London in November.
I followed this recipe quite closely, using a mixture of arborio and pudding rice. I had around 1/3 of the pastry left, I believe because I put a lot of filling in each one. I considered trying to freeze the dough, but I think it will be a while before I attempt this recipe again so I just binned it.
The only plastic waste generated from these was the chive package. I had purchased the chives for a new black lentil recipe I was trying to use up my OddBox potatoes. I went to a greengrocer and Eat17 but neither place had them unpackaged and I wasn’t willing to go without.
Oh! I nearly forgot that I bought milk in plastic for this recipe too. I trialled making two of the Carelian pies with almond milk and they were nice but I made a slight mistake using a sweetened product. I think oat milk would work better.
The stars aligned for one of my increasingly rare opportunities to bake. I was hosting a gathering at my house for my quidditch team, one of whom was having a birthday the next day. Since she is lactose intolerant, I decided to have a go at a dairy-free bake. I looked specifically for a recipe that still included eggs, since I’ve had mixed success with vegan bakes in the past. This Nigella recipe popped up on Pinterest, so I decided to give it a go. The cake is also gluten-free.
The recipe states that the cake is best eaten warm, so I made the apple sauce in advance to save some time. The apple sauce was delicious- I might well make that again. I enjoyed this cake, especially considering it’s a ‘free from’ type recipe. Not the best pictures I’ve ever taken. I may have already started drinking when I was making this cake.
I froze some grated courgette because I wanted to have another go at making the chocolate courgette cake that I baked a few years ago. It’s based on a BBC Good Food recipe. I think I made a few errors when I was plagiarising it (slap on the wrist to past me), so maybe go from the original! Here’s a picture of the second attempt.
Something that’s really nice about having this blog is the ability to look back on my previous makes, and my thoughts about them. So interesting to see me describing myself as a ‘lifelong loather of the courgette’ when just over three years later, I am eating it on a daily basis.
I felt that the cake turned out a little bit dry this time- I think I shouldn’t have squeezed the courgette. I also think I over-baked the cake slightly. However, my colleagues seemed to enjoy it and one even asked for the recipe, so it can’t have been that bad.
In the past couple of weeks, my garden has started to produce a lot of courgettes. I got the seeds as part of a ‘funky veg’ kit and kind of just planted for the hell of it- I’m not the biggest fan of courgettes. However, I sense that my glut of yellow beauties may make me learn to love this humble vegetable. We’ll see how I do at the challenging task of not embarrassing myself with phallic references in this post. I am a follower of Freud, after all.
I turned my first fistful of small courgettes into a tasty salad. Adapted from this recipe.
I knew that my staff summer picnic would be a good excuse to use up some more courgettes. As you can see, these ones were much larger.
I made another salad for the party- this was actually my first time cooking and eating fennel. I selected a vegan recipe, but when the vegan in the team wasn’t at the picnic, I did add some cheeky feta. Cheese makes everything better.
The cake was lovely- light, moist and tasty. Would probably omit raisins next time. My favourite bit was the frosting, but then I am dangerously addicted to cream cheese frosting. I have a LOT more courgettes coming, so I need to stay ahead of the game with ways to use them.
My baking has declined massively over the past few years. The almost weekly bakes of my early twenties have reduced to making cake for my colleagues on my birthday, plus a handful of ad hoc cakes. This year I wasn’t feeling massively inspired. After looking through my ‘recipes’ Pinterest boards and rejecting most of the items, I settled on the Ultimate Vanilla cupcakes from the Cupcake Project, which I was super into about five years ago. I absolutely love their Ultimate Chocolate cupcakes.
Because the batter is very liquid, the sugar dissolved too quickly and did not produce the little neon flecks I had hoped for amongst the black-speckled vanilla cake. I also used coconut oil instead of vegetable, which was fine apart from the fact that I didn’t melt it fully. I knew the batter was too lumpy, but I couldn’t be bothered to get out my hand blender and blitz it. Mistake.
Overall, I probably would give these cupcakes a second chance. While I liked the Ultimate Vanilla Frosting (basically buttercream) from the same site, I don’t think it paired especially well with the UV cupcake. It’s just sweet on sweet. I think you need a bit of a contrasting flavour in there for balance.
My friend Anna gave me some very exciting National Trust spreads for my birthday, and I can see these being incorporated into bakes soon. If only to stop me from eating both jars by the spoonful.