Louise Barker's Blog Page - Disaster Chef 2016

Challenge 5 – Spaghetti Vongole

Here we are at our last challenge already and I have to say I have enjoyed it so much – it is sad to see it all come to an end! I have never cooked shellfish before so this is going to be fun!

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First thing is to prepare the pasta dough and I have doubled the recipe as I need to feed nine again. All ingredients go into my fantastic Kenwood Chef Titanium and the dough hook whirrs into action – soon it looks just like Raymond Blanc’s. I carefully divide the dough up and wrap in cling film before popping in the fridge to rest.

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Setting up the Pasta Roller attachment is quick and easy and I eagerly roll out my dough before running it through the pasta roller. Wow it is so long – that can’t be right. I then discover that the roller was set to nine and I had run the pasta through on the thinnest setting!

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Second try was much better and I gradually thin the pasta to the number six setting. Quick change of attachment and the Spaghetti Cutter is ready for action. I carefully feed the pasta sheet into the top of the cutter and amazingly, strings of spaghetti appear beneath – the children think they would make great hair for Halloween! Carefully I hang the spaghetti over my wooden spoon hangers that the children helped to make.

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Now onto the main dish, I put the water to boil in a large saucepan for the pasta, prepare the shallots and garlic and carefully soften them in a pan. The spaghetti is added to the boiling water and I pop the clams and white wine in with the shallots and garlic. Lid onto the pan and all I can do is wait. I can hear the clams popping open in the pan and so I drain the spaghetti and add to the clams. A quick mix, some chopped tomatoes, herbs and lemon juice and Voila!

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Looks amazing, tastes delicious and all thanks to the Kenwood Disaster Chef Competition and my Kenwood Chef Titanium!

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Week 4 – Thai Minced Turkey Salad

Louise Barker Week 4

Following on from my success with bread rolls last week I decided to make ciabattas to accompany my Larb Gai. . . All the ingredients added to the Kenwood Chef Titanium and Dough Hook into action – the dough is wet and sticky so I am glad I am not kneading it by hand!

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The dough is left to prove and then carefully removed from the container, placed onto the baking sheet and cut into four ciabattas. Into the oven for 20 minutes – mmm smells amazing and when ready they look great!

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Now for the Larb Gai. I have doubled the recipe as I am feeding nine so prepare the lemon grass, lime leaves, ginger, garlic, onions and chillies and pop them into the Food Processor attachment of my Kenwood Chef Titanium. All is pulsed beautifully and put to one side.

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Turkey is diced and passes through the mincer attachment with ease – much to the delight of the children watching!

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The peanut oil is heated and the vegetable mixture goes into the pan, it smells lovely and our mouths are watering. The minced turkey is added and while it is browning I make the stock mixture – within seconds husband appears moaning about the smell of something awful . . . it’s the fish sauce and he now looks worried about eating my creation!

I pop the stock mixture into the pan whilst husband looks at me despairingly and leave it to reduce. Herbs are placed into the Multi Mill attachment and whizz up in seconds.

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The ciabatta is cut up and baby lettuce leaves are adorned with the Larb Gai and dressed with the herb mix. All looks and smells wonderful (luckily the fish sauce smell has gone). We all sit down and eat – it is absolutely delicious and everyone clears their plates, agreeing that we should have it again soon.

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Week 3 – Family Friendly Two Way Burger

I have been inspired by my fantastic Kenwood Chef Titanium and noticed it comes with a Dough Hook attachment. I am keen to banish the negative comments about my bread from my family, so burger baps could be the answer!

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The dough is kneaded by my Kenwood Chef Titanium with ease and then proves for an hour before I form it into bap shapes. Another hour of proving and into the oven... WOW, they actually look like burger baps and feel light and fluffy!

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Onto the burgers…it takes me a while to successfully butcher the lamb from the half leg but have the added bonus of an impromptu anatomy lesson with the children!

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The Food Mincer attachment works like a dream and on the second pass through the meat looks amazing. The Multi Mill attachment makes light work of the onion, garlic and thyme and all is mixed together with the k-Beater.

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After shaping the burgers and adding the chilli and cheese (brie or mozzarella), they all go into the oven. A quick salad prepared and soon the burgers are ready. Although they were perfectly cooked the burgers looked pale so I decided to pop them into the frying pan for a minute on each side to give them some colour – they then looked much more appetising!

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I popped them into my baps and the sound of happy munching followed. Both adults and children loved the burgers with their surprise cheesy centre and my baps went down a storm! At last, I have managed to make bread that is not only edible but absolutely delicious!

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Week 2 – Gluten Free Banana Bread

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It’s Banana Bread week and ripening the bananas whilst keeping them from my children's tummies has been challenging!

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Following Becky Excell's recipe and video, all was going well until an egg yolk broke into the whites – second attempt was much more successful. The Kenwood K Beater worked beautifully - lovely smooth batter. The Food Processor attachment on the Kenwood Chef Titanium was amazing, chopping the nuts and blitzing bananas was a breeze.

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Deciding to use Bramley apples (from our tree) to make apple sauce I was surprised how easy it was to make. It smelled delicious and the children devoured it in seconds!

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I took Becky's advice and used the loaf tin liner to save time but not accounting for the size of tin and quantity of mix, it overflowed!

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Lovely smell in the kitchen whilst the loaf baked and when cooked it looked just like Becky's. When cutting it was quite heavy with a dense structure, having not baked gluten and dairy free before I was not sure if this was to be expected. But it tasted of banana and cinnamon, so big tick in that box!

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Week 1 - Tuile Biscuits

Day 1

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With the Kenwood Chef Titanium sitting proudly on the unit, I carefully weigh out the ingredients. The Kenwood Chef Titanium mixes the icing sugar and butter together, strange though as the machine’s in-bowl illumination feature keeps going on and off . . . Hmmm . . .  with a hard stare at the children, problem solved! I then added the egg whites and flour. All mixed nicely together and amazingly, looks smooth like Raymond Blanc’s.

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I put aside the mixture to chill for one hour so watch my daughter fly her Harris Hawk. DISASTER . . . hawk steps on daughter’s unprotected hand and pierces two razor sharp talons through finger and thumb! Sobbing daughter dashed to hospital. Long wait spent at the hospital, but no serious damage.

Day 2

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I carefully smooth the Tuile mix (that was chilled for 24 hours!) over the leaf stencils made the day earlier. Eagerly I pop them in the oven, timer beeps and 'Oh, I forgot the toppings!'

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Batch 2 - with various toppings of lemon, orange and chocolate, I carefully place the biscuits over the rolling pin to shape and then transfer onto a plate. After having tried several batches, by the last I managed to perfect the colour and crispness, resulting in sounds of happy children munching and yelling, 'Mmmm yummy, make more mummy!'

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