Monthly Archives: February 2014

Mudcake and Home Made Ice Cream

Mud cake with homemade vanilla ice cream
Mud cake with homemade vanilla ice cream

We have never made homemade ice cream before. It was surprisingly easy to make and you don’t even need an ice cream machine. Yet the texture and taste are perfect! However you need to make the ice cream a night before serving because it needs to freeze overnight. The inspiration for the ice cream came from our Finnish friend Anna, who writes a blog called Ruokasurffausta, Food Surfing. In addition to ice cream we decided to make some mudcake. It fulfills urges of even the most enthusiastic chocolate lovers!

Ingredients for Vanilla Ice Cream for 4 Servings

  • 4 egg yolks – yemas
  • 1 dl (0.4 cups) sugar – azucar
  • 1,5 dl (0.6 cups) milk – leche
  • 2 dl (0.8 cups) double cream – nata cocina
  • 1 dl (0.4 cups) maple syrup – jarabe de arce
  • 1 vanilla bean – vaina de vainilla

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds to a sauce pan using a knife. Add the vanilla bean, cream, milk, syrup and bring to boil. Remove from heat and take out the vanilla bean.

Gradually pour the contents of the sauce pan into the whipped egg yolk mixture. Keep whisking constantly so the eggs don’t curdle.

Let the mixture cool down about an hour before placing it in the freezer. Stir the ice cream a couple of times during freezing in order to get smooth structure. Freeze overnight.

Ingredients for Mudcake

  • 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate – chocolate oscuro
  • 200 g (7 oz) butter – mantequilla
  • 4 eggs – huevos
  • 2 dl (0.8 cups) sugar – azucar
  • 2,5 dl (10 cups) flour – harina de trigo
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder – levadura en polvo

Preheat the oven to 200 ºC (400 ºF). Butter and line a 26 cm (10″) springform pan. Put aside. Melt the chocolate and butter in a sauce pan and let it cool down until hand warm.

Use eggs which are at room temperature. Make egg foam by beating the eggs with sugar. Pour the melted chocolate mixture carefully into the egg foam.

 Combine baking powder with the flour pour carefully into the mixture. After this pour the mixture into the springform pan. Put the pan to the oven on lower level and bake 20 minutes. 

Let the mudcake cool in the springform pan before serving with the ice cream.

¡Buen provecho!

Mussels with Garlic Butter

Mussels with Garlic Butter
Mussels with Garlic Butter

Fresh mussels can be found everywhere in Costa del Sol area on fish counters. They are cheap, too: A 1 kg bag (2 pounds) of mussels usually costs about 3 € (USD $4). In many restaurants they are just steamed and served with a slice of lemon, but this time we have a bit more sophisticated version of this delicacy. You can’t go wrong if you have a lot of butter, garlic and white wine, can you?

Ingredients for Mussels with Garlic Butter for 4 Servings

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) mussels – mejillones
  • A splash of olive oil – aceite oliva
  • 1 shallot – chalote
  • 1 glass of white wine – vino blanco
  • 2 sprigs of thyme – ramas de tomillo 
  • 2 handfuls of sea salt – sal marina
  • 3 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • a bunch of basil – albahaca
  • 1/2 lemon – limón
  • 100 g (4 oz) of soft butter – mantequilla
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Wash and debeard the mussels. Also check that they are alive by knocking them on the table. If a mussel stays open, throw it away – it’s dead.

Next, let’s make the butter. Use soft butter which has been in room temperature for awhile. Chop the garlic and basil and add into the butter. Squeeze half the lemon into the mix and and season with ground black pepper. If there’s not enough salt in the butter for your taste, add some more.

Pour a splash of olive oil along with finely chopped shallot and thyme in a sauce pan. Put in on high heat. When the onions are soft, add a glass of white wine and bring to boil. Add the mussels and cover with lid. This way the white wine steam will cook the mussels! Shake the pan after couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the heat when most of the mussels are open. Don’t wait until the last one of them is open, because there might be some dead ones and you’d destroy the soft structure of those which are fine.

Remove top cover of the mussels which are open. Throw away the ones which are closed. Put a teaspoon of butter on top of each mussel and place them on a baking tray which is covered with sea salt (see the picture below). Put the baking tray in 200 ºC (400 ºF) oven for about 5 minutes so that the butter melts. Serve immediately with the same wine you used for cooking the mussels.

¡Buen provecho!

Creamy Shrimp Soup – Sopa de Langostinos

Creamy shrimp soup.
Creamy shrimp soup.

Andalucian people consume a lot of seafood – especially langostinos – Spanish shrimps. Red ones are precooked and can be enjoyed as is. The grey ones are raw. Both are widely available from fish counters in different sizes. We buy the grey ones quite often. One popular way to make them as a snack is to marinate them with shells in olive oil, garlic, parsley and lemon juice, and grilling on iron grill plate, plancha. We always collect the shells after eating and freeze them for making shrimp stock later. The more shells you have, the more intense the flavor becomes. It’s not a problem if you don’t have any extra shells stashed aside. The flavor of the soup is still very good. You can also use frozen shrimps, just melt them slowly in the fridge overnight in order to peel the next day.

Ingredients for Shrimp Soup for 4 Servings

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) of raw shrimps with shells – langostinos frescos
  • A small can of double concentrated tomato pyre – tomato frito doble concentrado
  • A glass on brandy – un vaso de brandy
  • Half a bottle of white wine – vino blanco
  • Water – agua
  • 2-3 carrots – zanahornas
  • 1 chili pepper – pimiento picante
  • 1 spring onion or leek – cebolleta o puerra
  • 1 celery – apio
  • 1 fennel – hinojo
  • A splash of olive oil – aceite oliva
  • 5 dl (2 cups) of double cream – nata cocina
  • A pinch of Spanish smoked paprika, spicy – pimentón picante
  • A pinch of sea salt – sal marina
  • A pinch of ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • A bunch of dill – eneldo
Making the shrimp stock

Preheat oven to 120 ºC (250 ºF). Peel and devein the shrimps and place shells (heads, too!) on a baking tray. Put the peeled shrimps in cold water and into fridge to wait. Roast the shells in the oven for 20 minutes.

Wash the vegetables and cut into large slices without peeling them. Put a splash of olive oil in a large soup pan on high heat and put the roasted shrimp shells along with the vegetables there. Cook them for few minutes and add tomato pyre and brandy. Bring to boil.

Add the white wine and some water so that all ingredients are covered. Let the stock simmer for about 30 minutes and skim foam from the surface, if needed. Strain the stock to another soup pan. If you end up with excess stock, you can cool it, freeze it and use later for another soup such as bouillabaisse, the French fish soup.

Making the shrimp soup from the stock

Bring the stock to boil. Chop the chili pepper. If you don’t want much heat, remove the seeds.  Add cream, chili pepper, salt, pepper and smoked paprika to the soup. Smoked paprika is a strong seasoning, add it carefully. You don’t want to override the delicate shrimp flavor. If the structure of the soup feels too watery, thicken it with corn starch.

When seasoned to your taste, remove the pot from the heat and add the shrimps. They cook within couple of minutes in hot soup. Serve immediately with fresh white bread. You can garnish the soup plates with freshly chopped dill.

¡Buen provecho!