September 2019

Porridge Scones

Posted on September 27, 2019 at 7:53 am in

Porridge is another name for cooked oatmeal. It’s easy to make, cheap, and is not too bad for nutrition. So, what do you do with all the leftover porridge? Here’s one answer, and it’s two recipes for the price of one!

OVERNIGHT SLOW COOKER PORRIDGE
Add oats to water at a 1:4 ratio, that is for every unit of oats add 4 units of water. You can do this by volume or weight as you prefer, so long as you maintain the 1:4 ratio. For this recipe I’ll say to use 1 cup of oats to 4 cups of water along with a pinch of salt, because that’s the size of my small slow cooker.

Plug the slow cooker in, go to bed, and in the morning have some nice warm porridge for breakfast. Put the leftovers in a plastic tub in the fridge so that they are completely cold. Thoroughly stir the refrigerated porridge before you make the scones.

PORRIDGE SCONES

  • 50g/1.75oz steel cut oats (if you can get them, if not use regular oats)
  • 150g/5.5oz self raising flour, sifted, or gluten free alternative
  • 25g/1oz brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt (if your flour mix doesn’t already have salt)
  • 250g/9oz cold cooked porridge
  • 75-100ml/2.5-3.5oz cream (single or double cream, half and half, whipping cream, the cream left over from making clotted cream), or sour cream
  • Preheat your oven to 230C/450F. Place your lightly oiled baking sheet into the oven while it heats up.

    Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix. Add the porridge and mix with your hands. Add just enough of the cream to bring the dough together in a shaggy dough – it should look kinda ugly, not a nice smooth dough.

    Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape it into a thick round, about 1 inch / 2.5cm tall. Cut out into scone shapes with a cookie cutter, or deeply slash the top into 8 segments.

    Bake for 15-20 minutes for individual scones, or 20-30 minutes for the whole round. Serve with clotted cream and jam. Because of all the oats it will be hard to tell when they are done. You’ll have to practice across multiple batches till you know when they’re done.

    FLAVOUR ENHANCEMENT
    Try toasting the oats and the steel cut oats before you cook them. This will add a nice nutty flavour.

    As always, when you’re making a recipe like this you should absolutely adjust it for your own nutrition, health, or dietary reasons, so long as you keep the proportions the same. If you want to make your porridge with heavy cream I am sure it will be deliciously rich and gluttonous!

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    Ice cream

    Posted on September 22, 2019 at 2:19 pm in

    Recently I saw one of the kids at my son’s school eating an ice cream bar. Well, it was called an “ice cream bar”.

    Then I looked at the ingredients.

  • nonfat milk and milkfat
  • water
  • sugar
  • corn syrup
  • whey
  • citric acid
  • stabiliser (mono & diglycerides, guar gum, polysorbate 80, xanthan gum and and carob bean gum
  • artificial flavour
  • artificial colour (red #40, yellow #5, blue #1)
  • I read these ingredients with increasing horror. WHAT is this stuff? It sure as heck doesn’t sound like ice cream! I immediately searched for an easy ice cream recipe. Compare the above with this ice cream recipe:

  • 1.75 cups heavy cream
  • 1.25 cup whole milk
  • 0.75 cup sugar
  • 1/8th teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean split in half
  • Which would you rather feed your child? I know which one I prefer. Hop on over to Barefeet in the Kitchen for the full ice cream recipe.

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    Sodium citrate

    Posted on September 5, 2019 at 3:43 pm in

    Is a moderately expensive substance to buy.

    But why would you buy some anyway?

    Because you can turn any cheese into melty cheese. How’d you like a slab of “processed cheese” that melts just like those cheese slices, but it’s made from an actual cheese? Sodium citrate does it. It’s also used in molecular gastronomy, but I don’t do that. Yet… 😉

    But why would you buy it.. when you can make it? Well, I am a cheapskate. So I made it.

    I provide weights in metric first. Accuracy is important in this recipe so please use metric if you can.

  • 125g (1/2 cup) water
  • 97g (3.42oz) sodium bicarbonate / bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
  • 74g (2.61oz) citric acid
  • Add the citric acid to the water. Stir till the citric acid is dissolved. Warning before adding the baking soda – it will fizz like mad. Make sure the pot you use is a large one.

    Add the baking soda. Stir thoroughly while it’s fizzing. Once the foam dies down, it will fizz gently for a while – possibly over an hour. Keep an eye on the pot, and stir from time to time if you start seeing any cloudiness.

    Once the fizzing has died down, heat the liquid on medium-high until it comes to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and keep stirring. You want to cook off all the water. Stir constantly, you want to break up the crystals as they form.

    Once all the water is cooked off, you’re left with what looks like slightly odd shaped salt. That’s your sodium citrate.

    The thickness of the cheese product will depend on the ratio of liquid to cheese. If you weigh the cheese and then add the liquid as a percent of the weight you will get:

  • Cheese plus 0% to 35% liquid – firm, moulded cheese, cheese slices
  • Cheese plus 35% to 85% liquid – thick and flowing cheese sauce, good for dips and quesos
  • Cheese plus 85% to 120% liquid – thin cheese sauce, cheese foam, fondues, mac and cheese
  • Cheese plus 120% liquid or more – continues to become thinner and thinner.
  • Add sodium citrate at 2% to 3% of the combined weight of the cheese and the liquid. As a specific example, to make a tasty cheese slice:

  • 400g/14oz aged cheddar, shredded
  • 140g/5oz water
  • 15g/0.53oz sodium citrate
  • Add the sodium citrate to the water, stir while heating over low-medium until it’s dissolved, add the shredded cheese and stir until the cheese melts. Quickly transfer to a plastic wrap lined mould and refrigerate until completely cold. Slice thinly and melt over your burgers!

    Further customisation – instead of cheddar, why not try blue? Or pepperjack/blue cheese blend? What about the liquid – again, let your imagination go wild. Water, milk, cream, stock, beer, what do you want to add? What will go with your final dish?

    Since sodium citrate brings a salty, sour taste it’s important to use appropriate proportions while keeping the flavour of the dish in mind. But with it being so cheap to make, you can experiment to your heart’s content.

    Final note – a double batch of this yields 231g, or just over a half pound of SC. This should keep you in experimental materials for quite a few batches!

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