Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Feeling Crabby??

Try an easy quiche recipe!

Quiche au crabe

* 1 round puff pastry or other pie dough
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cups sliced leeks (approximately 2 medium sized leeks)
* 2 x 225g cans canned crab meat, drained
* 85g shredded cheese - Gruyère, Emmental, or Swiss
* 4 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups crème fraiche (or substitute whipping cream, half and half, or
   part milk)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper

1.     Begin by blind baking the crust. Line a 10 inch tart pan with the pastry dough, pushing it firmly to
        the bottom and sides. Prick in several dozen places with the tines of a fork. Place the crust in the
        freezer for at least 20 minutes. When it is well chilled, place the crust in a preheated oven
        (200°C/400°F) to bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding other

2.     Melt the butter and oil in a medium sized skillet on low-medium heat. Add the leeks and cook
        until the leeks are soft (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. Don't brown the leeks. Stir in the
        drained crab meat and remove skillet from heat.

3.     Whisk together the eggs, crème fraîche (or substitute), and salt and pepper until combined.

4.     Spread the cooked leeks and crab in the bottom of the baked tart shell. Sprinkle with cheese, then
        pour in the egg mixture.

        Bake in 200°C/400°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serves 6

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tamara's Chocolate Challenge!!

Design your own chocolate bar with chocri

chocri is a German company, founded in September 2008, but launched in the US in January 2010. What they do is allow you to customise your own chocolate bar on their website. You get to choose a base chocolate of either white, dark, milk, or a milk and white combination, and then choose your favourite toppings from the five categories – fruit, nuts, spices, confections, grains and decorations. There are more than 100 toppings to choose from. For example banana chips, blueberries, papaya cubes, nougat pieces, gummy bears, but they can also be real gold flakes, bourbon vanilla, orange pepper, pretzel, chive rolls, jalapenos... you name it! They hand-make the bars in Germany, and ship them to you.

So now my challenge, set by Chef Eric here at Cook’n with Class is to design the most delectable sweet chocolate bar and the craziest savoury chocolate bar there ever was that is still also extremely delicious and has you craving for more more more!!!

I have decided to take on a Thai theme for my savoury chocolate. Flavours of the world, who can go wrong with that?

For this chocolate I have chosen to go with the dark variety. Dark chocolate and savoury flavours normally complement each other quite well. So my first ingredient is basil. Sounds strange I know but hopefully it will bring a nice zest to the chocolate. I have added orange pepper which will bring a mix of black pepper and citrus flavours. Lastly to complete this oriental themed chocolate, I have added coconut shavings and cashews to add some different textures.

Now for my sweet chocolate bar my theme will be one my favourite movies (and jewellery brand) Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I have chosen to use the traditional milk chocolate. Being a girl, I decided to head straight for the decorations and chose the silver pearls. Afterall who wouldn’t want to be at breakfast without their finest jewellery on? Secondly I have chosen ground coffee beans. No breakfast would be complete without that cup of coffee in the morning! My third ingredient is organic muesli flakes but who can forget that glass of healthy OJ, so I have added some orange pieces to the mix. Lastly breakfast wouldn’t be complete without that lovely bunch of flowers on the table. So I have chosen to add pink sweet candied lilacs.

Now time to place that order! You are asked to name your creation and they will print it on the packaging for you. So appropriately named, my masterpieces are called Tamara’s Thai Delight and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The big day…

A squeal of delight was heard throughout the school when the chocri box finally arrived this morning. Only 11 days I must say since I ordered it, so I was quite impressed we didn’t have to wait too long for my creations.

The Verdict:

A little worried at first how the basil would taste in Tamara’s Thai Delight, but the flavour worked perfectly. The dark chocolate they used contains 72% cocoa so it tastes a little rich but very good. I don’t think they used enough of the orange pepper, we were waiting for that spicy kick. Otherwise my favourite ingredient in it was the coconut shavings. Highly recommended.

Overall this creation has been given a 7/10 by Chef Eric.

Now for my very girly creation, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The appearance looks so good I don’t want to open it! But I am very eager to try it. On first taste it was very crunchy because of the pearls, they were there obviously more for decoration than taste but added that touch of class to my creation. The flavours of the coffee lightly scattered throughout the chocolate and the big helping of the orange pieces worked so well together. Coffee and chocolate…a great combination. The muesli you couldn’t taste so much, but the small lilacs added that little bit of sweet candy flavour.

This creation is voted a 10/10 by all at Cook’n with Class.

I am very proud of my chocolate delights however they were not cheap to create. They would definitely be great as presents for people. Don’t be afraid to add any unusual toppings. They are not very strong in the chocolate and not scary at all. So get wild and crazy!

To make your own creations, visit their site at:

Tamara Ratnayake