Oxmantown – best sandwiches in Dublin

Sandwiches are probably the boys favourite food! I’m pretty sure he would have them for every meal if he could. So we are always on the look out for a new one to try.

As you walk down through Stoneybatter, you can just feel the history. You walk past the beautiful fruit and veg market. Even though there are so many places to choose from Oxmantown is a must go to. In fact, it’s probably the best sandwich town in Dublin! Plus it’s just down the road from the Luas stop. It’s only open Monday to Friday, which is heartbreaking if you work 9-5pm. But if you find yourself this side of the river, and hungry this is the place for you.

Firstly, the interior is adorable! I want that triangular shelve with those gorgeous succulents. And I love the idea of writing the menu on the tiles! Also see if you can spot Lego Homer!

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Breakfast is served 8-11am. They have the most amazing Black Pudding Sandwich, served with pickles, relish and rocket. This sandwich is soft, filling and so flavourful. The black pudding is amazing, if it wasn’t so bad for me I would try to go pre work everyday for this. They also have a BLT – crispy bacon and aioli, need I say more! Plus the BLTs are made using sourdough bread. All of this for only €5.50!

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The coffee is by Cloud Picker! Dublin’s first micro coffee roastery, established in 2013. Smooth, light and creamy, the perfect match to your morning sandwich.

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To top it off, their cakes are delicious AND reasonably priced, which is so rare to see around Dublin. We got these for takeaway as we didn’t really need them for breakfast. We went for the brownie, Pastéis de Nata, and a blueberry Madeleine. I was surprised but my absolute favourite was the Madeleine, so light and fluffy but still packed with flavour!

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Have you been? Or do you have another favourite sandwich place?

 

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Custard Tart, a family fav!

The tart originated in England (or France) but let’s stick with England today, as to me, they are such an English treat. A crumbly shortcrust pastry filled with a creamy egg custard. Back in the day, if they were made for the rich they would have the addition of spices. Now days you can’t imagine it without them. They even (apparently) inspired the famous Portuguese version, the Pastéis de Nata. Though for me this week it was the other way round, inspired by the Portuguese tarts on GBBO I wanted to make the English version.
Also my stepdad absolutely loves custard tarts! For years when we would go to the bakery that’s what he would get. So this is dedicated to him (even if he only got a small slither that had to travel on a plane to him).

So this is my version, and let’s hope it lives up to my stepdads expectations.

Ingredients

Shortcrust Pastry
225g Plain Flour
150g Butter, cubed and chilled
1 Large Free Range Egg

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270ml Whole Milk
30g Plain Flour
1 Lime Leaf
1 Cinnamon Stick, broken in half
130ml Water
265g Caster Sugar
5 Large Egg Yolks

Whole nutmeg

Method
For pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl and add the cubed, chilled butter. Rub together using your finger tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg and add, mix to form a soft dough. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, till it is about 3mm thick! Line a rectangular 30cm fluted tin, press the pastry lightly to the corners and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Now for the custard, in a small pan add the sugar and water and heat gently. Bring to the boil, so it creates a syrup, approx 106-112C.
In a large saucepan, add the milk and flour and whisk. Add the lime leaf and cinnamon stick, and bring to a simmer, keep whisking! Cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat.

20171006_141708Gradually whisk the sugar syrup into the milk mixture.
In a large bowl whisk up the egg yolks. Slowly pour over the milk mixture while continuing to whisk. Do this super slowly otherwise you can curdle the eggs and end up with a sweet , milky scrambled eggs! Place a sheet of cling film over the surface of the mixture to stop a skin forming. Leave to cool.
Pre heat the I’ve to 180C. Blind bake your pastry. Do this by lining the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with ceramic beans (or in cooked rice or lentils!) And bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove the parchment and bake for a further 7-10 minutes. Pour over the custard and bake for another 15-18 minutes. You want it slightly golden on the top while still slightly soft.
Leave to cool and remove from the tin. To serve, chill and grate over a little nutmeg!

 

 

 

Almond Millionaire Shortbread Squares

As I work full time, and no longer as a baker, I try to make sure I find time to bake but it’s not just the time it’s the “What to bake this week” question I hate. But GBBO has become my saving grace. I love it. It gives me such inspiration each week. So this week I’ve gone for the millionaire shortbread, a classic, and a family favouirte – shortbread, caramel and chocolate, an instant winner. I’ve gone for simple flavours, as in my eyes, you don’t want to mess around with a classic too much.

Ingredients 

Shortbread

225g Plain Flour

200g Unsalted Butter

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120g Caster Sugar

1 Egg Yolk, whisked

50g chopped blanched almonds

Caramel

 

300g Light Brown Sugar

150ml Double Cream

40g Unsalted Butter

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Salt

Chocolate

 

200g Dark Chocolate

30g Unsalted Butter

1/2 tsp Coffee Powder (I use either Nespresso Espresso or Nescafe Azera)

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Topping 

50g chopped blanched almonds

Method

Line a 34x24x2cm baking tray.

Make the shortbread first! Place the flour and butter into a large bowl and with your fingers rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and give a quick stir. Followed by the egg yolk. Mix until the mixture comes together to form a ball of slightly soft dough. Try not to over mix as this with ruin the soft crumbly flavour that we all love about shortbread!

Roll out the dough about 5mm thick and large enough to fit your tray. Sprinkle over the chopped almonds, gentley pressing them into the dough. Chill for 20 minutes. Pre heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F. When they have chilled back for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Leave to cool completely!

Time for your caramel! Place the sugar, cream and butter into a heavy-based, medium-sized pan, put it on a low heat. Heat gently, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes until the sugar and butter are completely melted and the sugar is no longer grainy. Add in your vanilla and salt. Turn up the heat, stir continuously until the caramel comes to around 112°C/242°F.

Remove from the heat and plunge the base of the pan into a sink of very cold water to stop the mixture cooking. Stir constantly for one minute. You want it cool, but still spreadable. Pour your cooled caramel  over your shortbread and leave to set.

While that is cooling make your chocolate ganache. Finely chop the chocolate and put it into a heatproof bowl with the butter. Set over a pan of simmering water, stir frequently until melted and smooth. Add in the coffee powder and almond extract. Pour over your caramel! Sprinkle over the remaining chopped almonds and leave to set completely.

Cut your squares into 12, or smaller if you prefer, these work great as bite size, I’m just greedy.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies

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Ingredients

125g Brown Butter

2 Eggs

220g Light Brown Sugar

200g Plain Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

3g Salt

60g Pretzels

75g Salted Caramel Sauce (plus extra for serving)

 

Method 

Line an 8″ round tin. Pre heat the oven to 150C/300F

Start by making the brown butter.  Do this by make this by placing the butter on a medium heat and cooking until it reaches 150C/300F, it will start to smell slightly caramelly. Leave to slightly cool.

Whisk together the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whisk in the butter, followed by the four, baking powder and salt. Fold in the pretzels and 50g of the salted caramel sauce.

Place into your tin and drizzle over the remaining 25g of Salted Caramel Sauce. Bake for 35 minutes. It will be soft when it comes out but if it wobbles too much cover with foil and bake for a further 10 minutes.

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To serve cut small slices and drizzle with more caramel sauce! It’s best eaten on the day of baking but will last 3 days in an airtight container!

Pickled Rhubarb

So the obsession with pickling continues!! This time Rhubarb. With the season coming to an end I want to try something a bit different.

20170909_210148Ingredients 

300g Rhubarb

160g Apple Cider Vinigar

160g Water

1 Cinnammon Stick

1/2 tsp Salt

3 Whole Cloves

1/2 tsp Peppercorns

1 Green Cardamon Pod

Method

Cut the rhubarb into sticks to fit your jar.

In a large pan, combine all the ingredients bar the rhubarb. Place on a medium heat, leave to come to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.

In a sterilised jar, add the rhubarb with the spices, try to distribute them evenly.. Pour over the brine and tap out any air bubbles. Seal and leave for at least 2 weeks before eating!

 

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

With GBBO back on, it obviously influences what I bake! I had to go for sandwich cookies, bit more interesting than just cookies. I also wanted to see if I could make a cookie that didn’t squeeze out it’s filling when you bite into it. This was something I had yet to achieve! But I managed it, I finally played around with enough recipes to stop my filling oozing everywhere. Plus these are super easy to make…and highly addictive to eat.

Screenshot_20170909-204423.jpgIngredients 

Cookies –

125g Caster Sugar

225g Buter

250g Plain Flour

50g Cocoa

Filling –

40g Butter

100g Peanut Buter

100g Icing Sugar

30g Golden Syrup

 

Method

Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. Tip onto the work surface and shape into a log 5cm in diameter. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr. You need to do this otherwise the cookies will spread too much in the oven.

For the filling, mix all the ingredients to form an icing. Roll this into a log, like the cookie dough, though make it a little smaller so it will fit in the cookie nicely. Refrigerate until you need it!

Pre heat the oven to 140C/285F.

Cut the cookie log into 5mm discs. Place them on to a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Leave them to cool on the baking sheet. Cut the icing into 4mm discs. Once the cookies are completely cooled, place a disc of icing on one cookie and using another sandwich together!

 

 

 

Pickled Blueberries

I admit this sounds like an odd one but bear with me, they turn out great! This will recipe makes approximately one 500ml jar. It’s a lot of blueberries but they last! They are great for those warm sunny evenings – slather some good crusty bread with goats cheese and sprinkle these on top! You can even jazz it up even more by doing it on Melba toast with some charcuterie and serving them as canapés! Or eat them out the jar like I do!

Ingredients 

125g Apple Cider

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135g Water

75g Granulated Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

Zest of one Lemon

Zest of one Lime

5 Peppercorns

1 Green Cardamon Pod

6 Whole Cloves

15g Fresh Ginger

1 Cinnamon Stick

250g Blueberries

 

Method

In a large pan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Place on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.  Take off the heat.

Slice the ginger and had to the hot brine along with he zests and other spices. Leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the spices and place to one side.

In a sterilised jar, add the blueberries with the spices, try to distribute them evenly amongst the berries. Pour over the brine and tap out any air bubbles. Seal and leave for at least two days before eating!

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