A week of eating flour… high on the list of my idea of heaven. And since flour is a mix of Brasil, England and Italy, I thought it would be most appropriate to go through a week of eating flour with some favourite ‘eat-me’ flour recipes from the aforementioned design-meets-passion global hotspots.
England : Chocolate Cakes
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, with afternoon tea and a bit of English eccentricity
Mix 3 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 6 tablespoons of cocoa, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt. Make it all wet (no, not that sort of wet) by adding half a cup of vegetable oil (that’s what it says here), 2 tablespoons of vinegar (honest), 2 cups of water and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix it all together until. . . err. . .smooth. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When cool (the cake, not you) it’s ready for the icing. For this, mix half a kilo of icing sugar, a little salt, and some margarine in a bowl with a bit more vanilla extract. Keep going until smooth. Immediately spread over your by now ultra chilled-out cool cake with something like a spatula. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.
Brasil : Farofa Brasileira
Wednesday & Saturday, all day with feijoada completa and plenty of Caipirinha
In a large pan, heat 2tsp oil over medium heat and add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped garlic clove. Sauté for five minutes. Add half a chopped red pepper and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Add 1 grated carrot and sauté for another minute, then add 4 sliced spring onions and, believe it or not, do some more sautéing for another minute or two. Brasilians love their sautéing, don’t they? Add a quarter of a cup of blanched sliced almonds and quarter of a cup of chopped olives, reduce the heat and keep the mixture warm. Add a quarter of a cup of raisins that have been soaked in Cachaca. Discard the Cachaca. No, no. Stop! Drink the Cachaca instead! If you are still fit to be in charge of a cooker at all after this, heat a separate pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of farinha de mandioca (farofa flour to you) and toast for 1 minute, stirring (in every sense of the term ‘Stirring’). Stir this into the incredible mixture you’ve previously created, add 2 tsp of chopped parsley and there you have it – Farofa Brasileira… é gostosa!
Italy : Fresh Pasta
Anytime, with a sexy sauce, sharing a bottle of vino
Make a small sand-dune with 2 cups of “00” durum wheat flour on a work top and make a hole in the middle. Into this hole put 2 large organic eggs. Remember to take the contents out of the shell first. Then beat the eggs with a fork and gently mix in the flour from the sides. Start mixing the ingredients together until the dough becomes homogenous. At this point, start kneading the pasta on surface sprinkled with flour using the palm of your hand. If the pasta is too dry or crumbly, add a little lukewarm water. When a homogeneous texture has been reached, form a ball and leave to rest in a bowl. Cover the dough to prevent from drying. After about an hour, get the lot out of the fridge again, roll out into sheets and then cut into any one of the myriad of shapes, sizes and styles that Italy has given us in pasta-imagination and engineering, depending on whether, like flour, you’ve got one of those lovely stainless steel pasta machines, or whether you’re stuck without one.