Photo by Tessa Aitchison
Xmas has been and gone and New Year looms. At this time of the year I seem to spend most of my time cooking for other people – a lot. I get a bit stressed and end up making a lot of food to take to other people’s places, so I need to take things that travel easily and unmessily and which most people like. Potato salad is one of those things. I think that on that potato salad you should try this dressing.
It is the dressing of choice here for potato salad, but is equally good with crunchy carrot sticks or other little things which need a dip, you can make it thinner just thin with a little water, it is a very thick dressing. It is perfect on sandwiches with leftover turkey or ham or lamb. It is just grand! The original recipe comes from Susan who is the Mum of my friend Rebekah and it works every single time. I know that lots of people are a bit frightened of making mayonnaise but this one is trouble free and has never disappointed. Feel free to double it. Keeps ages in the fridge in a jar.
Use any herbs you have to hand, but I always have basil mint in my garden at this time of year, it is too cold to grow basil here and mint is patchy for me so I grow basil mint, and have mountains of it so it goes into everything salady.
You need: 2 eggs, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp mustard (whatever type you have), 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of herbs, about 2 cups of oil (I use rice bran)
Add the eggs, salt, mustard, garlic, vinegar and sugar to the food processor and press go. Beat for a bit then add the oil in a slow stream with the motor running. I do it a cup at a time and don’t get too panicky if it seems to be going too fast, this is a forgiving mixture. I add the herbs last and taste. Adjust taste to suit you. Stand for 30 minutes and use with reckless abandon.
I love melting moments. It is simply as simple as that. They are yum in a bun! Yet certainly not a bun! However this love of melting moments is not all encompassing. There are melting moments and melting moments. Quality control is key to the melting moment.
- Dry – is not allowed.
- Flat and skinny – is not allowed (no one who truly loves melting moments is either flat or skinny it must be said)
- Too much butter (unbelievable but there is such a thing)
- Not enough icing in the middle is a crime against the melting moment. Squishy icing is bad too! It should be nice hard and thick icing.
- Too brown is just wrong – don’t look too closely at the photo
- Too dense – the ‘mouth feel’ will be dry like that peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth thing. Bleugh!
- Too dry – see above.
So, all in all it is a tricky thing the melting moment, but I think you should try this recipe. It comes from something called Cafe Cafe. No idea who wrote it or where it came from but that is the name on the photocopied page. I’ve had it for at least 10 years and the recipe works every time gorgeously. It is attributed to Joan Campbell in the book. Another point: you can make ’em tiny, you can make ’em huge but make lots, they disappear in a very short time.
I always double this recipe! Turn oven to 160 C.
250g butter, 4tblsp icing sugar, 4tblsp cornflour, 1 + 1/2 cups of plain flour
Beat the butter and icing sugar together and then gradually beat in the cornflour and flour. Mix well. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to a 1 cm thickness. Cut into rounds and place on a non-stick baking tray, making a small indent with the flat of a fork on each biscuit. Bake for 10-15 mins or until golden and firm.
The icing: 1 1/2 cup icing sugar, 2 tblsp butter – softened, 1 tblsp vanilla (oh yes really!) Make in the usual way and use it to sandwich two biscuits together. Or one of any of these are allowed: a grating of lemon or orange zest. a squirt of lime juice, passionfruit pulp added to the mix.
I really think you want a nice tart icing, to contrast and cut through the butteryness of the moments as they melt in your mouth.
Go on – you know you want to make them!