In continuation of what to do when - to avoid throwing down the drain and with respect to my #NoWaste kitchen experiments - your friends give you 6L of Whole Milk [to carry single-handedly on the tube home]:
Make fresh Butter [possibly one of the most miraculous and rewarding kitchen experiences I’ve had to date] via Food 52, Buttermilk [duh, but who knew…], yoghurt, no-recipe Bread + Butter Pudding, home made Dulce de Leche, Milk Jam, and Fudge. The recipe for all of which I will be sharing over the course of the week as part of March’s #OneWeekOneDish.
All in the name of #NoWaste.
Amazing what you can do with 6L of whole milk, time and a little effort. [I’ll be honest, I’m a wee bit proud].
Y’all can give me your expired, leftover whole milk any day.
Salted Dulce de Leche + Milk Jam
Recipe adapted from A Cosy Kitchen. Makes about 1/2 cup Dulce de Leche + 1/4 cup Milk Jam.
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup White Caster Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil, keeping a close eye as the baking soda will cause it to froth and rise to the rim quite suddenly. As it does so, turn the heat down, and leave to simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until the mixture has thickened and turned a deep chestnut colour. As it simmers, give it an occasional whisk, and ensure it doesn’t sporadically bubble over.
When ready, turn off the heat, and pour into a sterilized jar of choice through a sieve: the sieve residue will be your ‘jam’ – which in the original recipe I believe is to be discarded, but to me had the most wonderfully chewy, jam-like consistency, definitely warranted safe keeping. Henceforth known as the jam in 'milk jam'. The ‘liquid amber’ [not quite gold] settling in your jar, is your home made, Dulce de Leche. Firstly, savour this moment. You’ve just made Dulce de Leche. From scratch. By hand. Secondly, no need to wait until it cools before pouring on everything [and consuming by the spoon].
Jam - to be slathered on cake, toast, muffins, crumpets, scones [with clotted cream?], fruit.
Dulce de Leche - folded into ice cream, poured over ice cream, baked into cookies, sandwiched between cookies, swirled into brownies, squeezed between macarons, fondant au chocolat filled, [literally, everything].
And wait until tomorrow for one more application...
100% inspired by Granger & Co. 100% worth replicating. [nb. no recipe was read nor followed prior to the making of this ‘fudge’ – hence the inverted commas – and I am not in fact what one might call a ‘fudge person’, which is why, to avoid that cloyingly sweet flavour I have found typical of most fudges, I most definitely aired on the lighter side of the amount of caramel needed to create what a confectioner might deem actual fudge…however. This. This I could gift with confidence, and certainly finish in one sitting.]
Salted Dulce de Leche, Chocolate + Pistachio Fudge
nibs etc. original recipe. Inspired by Granger + Co. Makes 9 1.5-2cm slabs.
3 tbsp (about 75g) Dulce de Leche
150g Dark chocolate (65% - 80% at most)
Pinch Salt (flaky/Maldon is best)
1-2 tbsp Pistachios
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper, unless it is non stick/silicon in which case leave as is, and set aside.
Break dark chocolate into bite sized pieces, before placing in a bain-marie (bowl over a pot of water, on the stove) with the Dulce de Leche. Turn the heat on low, and allow to heat, slowly, making sure the water barely reaches a simmer at most.
Meanwhile, toss roughly chopped/halved pistachios and a pinch of salt (as heavy or light handed as you like – I tended to air on the heavy side) into a pan over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes until just lightly toasted (and you start to smell them). Take off the heat and set aside.
When the liquid is melted and fully incorporated – you could add a small knob, 10g-14g or so, though I don’t feel it’s necessary – it may start to form a stiff ball. Tip contents into your mold, smooth out with the back of a spoon or spatula, until about 1-1.5cm thick, sprinkle with salted pistachios (pressing in slightly as you go), and leave in the fridge for 40 mins – 2 hours (max).
When ready to serve, delicately remove from the mold, slice into 2cm thick slices, plate, and don’t try to refrain from eating immediately. (But, can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. Just try to leave it that long...).
Topped with a variation of toasted nuts: walnuts, macadamia, almonds, cashews.
Sprinkled with herbs and or spices such as lavender, thyme, and rosemary.
Add dehydrated and or dried fruit.
Double the quantity of Dulce de Leche for sweeter and fudgier, well, fudge.
Finally, while not featured here, substitute dark chocolate with crunchy peanut butter: if peanut butter is runny, leave recipe as is, but if thicker, add an additional tbsp. or 2 of Dulce de Leche, sprinkle with salt and perhaps a couple dollops of your favourite jam, swirled onto/into/over the top. Proceed to try with all favourite nut butters.
Before this moment. I had never made butter. I had never thought about it. To be honest, I’d never even realized it was something one could do in one’s own home [ssh don’t tell anyone]. Until now.
Please note. I happened to have 6L of whole milk lying around – hence this week’s #1Dish1Week revolving around all things milk - high quality whole milk meaning there was a rather elevated cream content to each 2L carton. This may not be the case for your average store-bought whole milk. Do not despair. (While you can attempt this anyway with milk bought at the farmer’s market, or straight off the farm). Buy a large carton of heavy cream instead.
Cream + Jar = Butter. Or as Food 52 put it very well: 1 + 0 = 2.
I mean on what planet does that actually add up? It is literally, magic.
Recipe adapted from Food 52. Makes about ½ stick / 56g Butter.
2L Whole Milk
Either, pour the milk into a container out of which you will be able to scoop the cream (big enough surface area at rim for scoop action, such as a bowl), and leave in the fridge over night/24 hours, until cream begins to separate and sit on top of the milk. Or, whip whole milk in a bowl for 10 or so minutes, then leave to sit for 10-20 minutes, again, until cream separates.
When separated, scoop the top layer of thick cream (a touch of thinner milk will get caught in the scooping – don’t worry) into a jar. I managed to collect about 1 cup’s worth. You will need at least 2-3 inches of space above the liquid. Seal jar, tightly. And shake. Literally. Just shake, for 15 minutes (and not a minute less!).
Strain liquid, also known as butter milk - DO NOT TOSS. We're getting to that tomorrow... - into a bowl/another jar, either through a cheesecloth that you can then squeeze, or a sieve using the back of a spoon to help extract all remaining liquid from newly formed butter.
Tip butter onto a sheet of parchment paper - I added about a pinch/1/4 tsp of salt at this point – roll up and shape like a log, before twisting the ends to make your very own, butter bonbon. Refrigerate until use. And be very proud, because you just made something with your own bare hands, you’d been buying from the supermarkets for as long as you can recall.
Skip the first step and pour your cream straight into a jar.
You can whip the cream in a mixer/with a hand mixer, for 15 minutes or so or until buttery granules start to form in your container.
Flavour your butter with: Maldon salt, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, basil/sage/rosemary (or any herb), maple syrup/honey, cocoa nibs. The possibilities are endless.
Next up on our 6L-Whole-Milk 'domino' challenge: Soda Bread.
I'll be honest, this particular #1Dish1Week series has been especially eye opening for me. And I have LOVED it. From the seemingly complex yet simple affairs of home made butter, to - if, as the excellent food hoarders I hope I am training you to be, you held onto last round’s leftovers – the infamous, oft heard of yet never tried, Soda Bread. A freshly baked loaf of bread made in 30 minutes, no waiting, no rising, no proofing. This stuff is AMAZING. I'm in love.
A week of firsts. A week of saving 6L of Whole Milk from the drain. Feeling accomplished.
Buttermilk Soda Bread
Recipe adapted from Paul Hollywood. Makes 1 load about 15cm diametre. Serves 2-4.
63g Plain White Flour
63g Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Soda
Preheat your oven to 200*C/180*C Fan/390*F.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, and slowly pour in the buttermilk, incorporating the flour bit by bit, with your fingers or a metal spoon, until the dough has come together and all the flour has been absorbed - note you may not need all the buttermilk, I'd recommend starting with 3/4.
At this point the dough will be sticky, but should come off fairly easily when brushing your hands against each other. Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface, and, moving quickly, shape into a ball, place onto a lightly floured baking tray, pat down gently with the palm of your hand, and score with a pointy/sharp knife: 2 incisions to form a cross/divide into quarters, going almost all the way through the dough.
Dust the top with a sprinkling of flour, place in the middle of your oven and bake 20-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown, and the base, when tapped, sounds hollow. Serve either hot out of the oven, once cooled, or the following day.
With a knob of your freshly made salted/garlic-ed butter.
Add fillings: toasted nuts/seeds, goats/feta/gorgonzola cheese, dried fruit, caramelised onions.
Shaped as a loaf before baking (potentially in a loaf tin), slicing to create individual portions, for table pull-apart bread.
Fresh for a dinner party, throw in the oven for brunch, as the perfect side to a soup or salad.
It sounds naïve, especially for someone who would generally consider themselves fairly kitchen-able… but dairy products such as aforementioned butter, and now yoghurt, were always store bought, and would forever be so.
Having discovered that this does not in fact have to be the case, and newly inspired after my WWOOF trip to Italy last year, I came back determined more than ever, to make everything from scratch. So after wandering down to the local laitrie (dairy shop), meandering through green alps to the closest farm and buying my first liter of raw, fresh, whole milk, I started on my first batch of home made yoghurt. After batch number 3 I am by no means an expert; what I have learnt is that to make perfect yoghurt at home with one pot and 2 ingredients, is not easy. However, to make half decent yoghurt in the comfort of your own home, along with the immense satisfaction that comes with it, is easy. And so worth it.
It’s also an excellent way to use up that last dollop of yoghurt that’s not quite enough for a bowl of muesli, and that litre of milk that’s about to go off because you only bought it for that one time you craved a drop of tea in your milk (or when you find yourself with 6L of milk to save…).
There ain’t no going back now.
1 litre of Whole Milk
14 tsp Plain Yoghurt (2 tsp/1 tbsp per small jar, the size of your average supermarket single-portion yoghurt).
Bring your litre of milk to a hard boil for about 1 minute. This will kill any bacteria.
Turn off the heat, and allow to cool until you are able to comfortably leave a finger in the milk for 3 seconds (but not more). When this stage is reached, gently stir in the yoghurt (culture). Place your saucepan, lid on, in the centre of a towel (or 2), and wrap it up like a parcel. The idea is to keep it warm for as long as possible, 6-10 hours (during the day or overnight), in a warm place or your (turned-off) oven for the yoghurt to set. (It should still be warm when you check on it 8 hours later).
If, after 6 hours, there is only a slight jiggle, your yoghurt is ready. If it still appears runny, leave to rest, checking every hour.
When ready, fill your jar/jars with yoghurt, and leave to cool and set completely in the fridge for minimum 2 hours, before serving.
As is with a spoonful of sugar - like when we were kids.
Make a batch of Bircher Muesli.
Add to your breakfast smoothie.
Top with fresh fruit, nut butters, Shortcut Granola, Date Jam.
Strain to thicken and turn into: Greek yoghurt, Skyr, or Labneh.
Lucky for me, [albeit unlucky for my waistline…but sacrifices must be made for the greater good, that is reducing food waste], I’ve been fortunate enough to go home with a sizeable bag of stale-ing pastries from the coffice at which I work. Providing ample produce with which to experiment.
After a couple rounds, I think this is it: not only does this recipe kick so much food waste butt – from frozen peel saved from an orange eaten last week to old pastries - it also relies on leftovers from two of this week’s #1Dish1Week milk applications. Oh and it’s the perfect thing to bake for brunch on Sundays, because leftovers make excellent breakfast bars all week long!
And with that, there’s not much more to say other than on weekends, we bake. Oh and please, please don’t toss your day/week old pastries. Not only is that a lot of money in the bin, it’s also a hell of a breakfast tray bake amiss on your brunch table.
Dulce de Leche Croissant Pudding Breakfast Bake [a mouthful, I know].
nibs etc. original recipe. Makes 16 portions in a roughly 25cm/10in tin.
25g Olive Oil
160g Ground Almonds
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate/Baking Soda
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
6 or more ‘stale’/day-old Pastries [raisin bun, pain au chocolat, plain croissant]
1 cup Milk [whole/semi-skimmed]
1/4 cup Dulce de Leche
1/4 cup Raisins
Zest from 3/4 Orange*
1 ‘stale’ Pastry
1 tbsp Jumbo Oats
2 tbsp Mixed Seeds [pumpkin + sunflower]
¼ cup Walnuts
Zest from 1/4 Orange*
Line your baking tray with parchment paper.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing with your hands until everything is evenly distributed, and you can start to clump it into a ball. Tip the contents into your baking dish, pressing down with the back of a spoon until you have formed an even layer. Fold the lengths of parchment paper coming up on the sides of your dish, back into the dish, and press, to make sure that the pastry is not thinning at the edges – which would cause it to burn – and is even all around. Place in your fridge to rest for 20 minutes – or freezer for 10, if you’re impatient like me – and preheat your oven to 180*C/350F.
Bake your pastry for 20 or so minutes, until it starts to turn a golden brown.
While your pastry bakes, make the filling: cut your pastries into roughly small, 1in pieces, and toss into a bowl.
In a saucepan, on low, place your milk and dulce de leche, heating just until you are able to whisk your caramel into the milk.
Take off the heat, and when you are able to comfortably hold your pinky in the liquid, add in your eggs, one at a time, whisking consistently as you do, before pouring into your pastry filled bowl. Quickly add the rest of the filling ingredients before tossing with a wooden spoon, to coat and soak.
When your pastry is ready, remove from the oven, and turn the oven up to 200*C/390F.
Tip the entire contents of the filling over your pastry base, and using your wooden spoon, distribute evenly across the pan, pressing into the corners – it is perfectly ok that your pastry will have become a little mushy.
Moving quickly, cube your stale pastry, roughly chop your walnuts, thinly slice your zest, and either in a bowl or on your chopping board, combine all other ingredients, before sprinkling evenly over your tray bake. Press the topping into the filling, just enough so that it holds – this is important otherwise the topping will not stick to the filling and is more likely to burn.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the bake is set, and the top is nicely browned and a touch crispy. Serve once cooled, or immediately – not judging.
*Tip: As often as I can remember, using a peeler, I save and freeze strips of citrus zest, so for ¾ of an orange it would be 5-6 peels [a whole orange makes about 7-8 peels].
Served hot for brunch with an extra dollop of Dulce de Leche, (yours, home made, of course), or drizzle of maple syrup/honey.
As dessert, hot, with ice cream, or cold, with custard.
With a berry coulis/fresh fruit salad.
Serve cooled with a dollop of greek yoghurt/skyr
Substitute the nuts, dried fruits, seeds, for anything you prefer: pecans/almonds/hazelnuts/peanuts, cranberry/apricot/goji/cherry, chia seeds/linseeds, respectively.