There are just some days you need to fall back on the comfort of food from your past. It nourishes you, and makes you feel that you can face whatever life throws your way. One of the dishes that I turn to is a dish from my childhood Macaroni Cheese, not any Macaroni Cheese, the one that my Mum used to make. She used to put lots of interesting bits in, always halved boiled eggs, mixed vegies, ham or salami, tomato, cauliflower or any leftover vegetables. The top was always crunchy and the sauce very cheesy.
I am very old fashioned and make my cheese sauce the old fashioned way, if you prefer another quicker method do so. I made enough for 3 to 4 servings.
50 gm butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1-2 cups grated cheese
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of macaroni elbows
Additions of choice – I used sliced biersticks, cauliflower, 1 small leek, 2 boiled eggs , slices of tomato, breadcrumbs.
Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and cook for a minute or so till starting to form a ball. Add mustard. Gradually add milk stirring to make the sauce smooth with each addition, Cook till sauce boils, add Worcestershire Sauce and grated cheese, keep some aside to sprinkle on top. Season.
While sauce is cooking cook macaroni and vegies, (I add the cauliflower and leek to the mac water). Slice the sausage and cut eggs in half. When cooked put pasta and additions in baking dishes. Pour the sauce over and put sliced tomato on top with some grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Cook at 170 Celsius till brown and bubbling usually 20 - 30 minutes. Serve with a green vegetable.
This was enough for me to have one helping straight away and one the next day and rest I froze for another meal in the future.
As always if I am using the oven I cook something else to save on power. I decided to keep with food from my childhood. This cake was for special occasions and it always greeted us when we visited my grandmother during the school holidays.
Gugelhopf kiwi style
This cake is my grandmother’s version of her German mother-in-law's recipe. My great grandmother originally used yeast and sultanas and currants. Over the years the fruit varied but a favourite variation was prunes or prunes and dried apricots. Today, I’ve used my favourite, prunes and apricots.
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup chopped pitted prunes
cold tea or water
170 grams butter
170 grams sugar
2 large eggs
225 grams flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
125ml runny yoghurt or milk.
Cover the dried fruit with the cold tea or water leave for a few hours. Drain.
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy, add eggs and beat till well mixed if it curdles don’t worry. Add the flour, salt, baking powder and yoghurt or milk. Using yoghurt makes the cake moist.
Finally add the drained fruit.
Sugar Mix -Mix separately 110 grams brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1tsp cinnamon. Place a third of the cake mix in greased 25 cm ring tin or Kugelhopf tin, sprinkle with a third of sugar mix and repeat twice. Bake at 170 C for 45 - 60 mins (I find it takes 60 minutes in my Kugelhopf tin) or until a skewer comes out clean.
This cake can be eaten plain or for special occasions a lemon icing drizzled over it is scrumptious!
Gugelhopf is sometimes called Kugelhopf depends where you are from. It is originally from the Alsace area but many European countries have a version. It also can be sweet or savoury. I have made the yeasted version and it is very nice but like a lot of yeast cakes it has to be eaten on the day. The version above stays moist for quite a while.
The weather is at last showing signings that winter is coming and the trees are starting to loose their leaves, the pavements are covered in leaves and there is nothing so comforting or fun as wading through them an d hearin g the crackle of the leaves.
Even the evening sky is golden!
Have a wonderful week!