Thursday, 22 July 2010

Tasty treats Korean style!

Following a lovely long-lie, Ryan woke me up the other morning with the smell of these delicious Korean morsels wafting up the stairs. He had been slaving away for a couple of hours making these for breakfast and I have to say - they were delicious! So... we wanted to share the YUM with you all too...

Adapted from a traditional Korean recipe for hoddeoks found at the awesome Maangchi.

To make these little babies, you want to start with 3/4 cup of warm water. Into this, you stir one tablespoon of a light oil (olive, veg, ground nut etc), 2 tablespoons of sugar, a teaspoon of salt (few big pinches etc) and one sachet of fast acting yeast. Combine this liquid mix together well...

Now stir in 2 cups of strong bread flour - and, once mixed, you will end up with a very sticky dough. With very well floured hands, bring the dough to a ball in the bowl... put cling film over it, and leave to rise at room temp for an hour to an hour and a half until it looks bubbly and has approx doubled in size!

When you return to the dough after it's hour or so, knock the air out of it - it will be too sticky to use your hands so use a knife or a spoon to do this, and then roughly pull the dough back into ball and leave for another half hour.

In that half hour, make your filling!!

The filling will do 2 batches of dough, so keep the rest in a bowl or tupperware for the next time you make them (we kept ours for 3 days, and it was fine!). Combine 2/3 cup brown sugar, half a cup of ground almonds, half a cup of sultanas and a teaspoon of mixed spice... mix well together until you have a sandy, sweet, crumbly mixture.

When your half hour is up, and with very well floured hands and surface (we cannot stress this enough - keep flouring your hands through this process!) dump out the dough onto your surface: cut or break it into 14 - 18 pieces... flatten and form each wee ball into a rough thin circle-like pancake in the palm of your hand, then, in the centre of this wee pancake, put a teaspoon or so of your filling. Now work to pull the edges of your dough up around the filling like a pouch, sealing and twisting your bundle together to trap the filling safely inside the dough-ball.

Set aside each one until you have worked through the batch on a FLOURED surface ;)

Heat a frying pan to medium and put about tablespoon of the same flavourless oil in to heat. Watching them carefully, and in small batches of about 3-5 depending on your frying pans' size, fry each patty on the first side for about 2-3 minutes and until golden brown. Now, flip them over and squish them down with your spatula to make them more like pancakes again as they will have risen to something more like a little dumpling shape with the heat... (you want them flatter, like a tea-cake)... turn your pan down once you have flipped them (turning up again for the first side of each batch you cook), put a lid on the pan and fry for another 2-3 minutes until equally golden on the other side.

As you are cooking in small batches, and want to keep them soft and steamy, place them on a plate with a tea-towel over them to keep the heat in...

Serve warm and enjoy!!

p.s. you can also try a savory filling like mozzarella or tuna and sweetcorn - so you would want to reduce the sugar in the dough right down at the start! We're also going to try marzipan as a filling next as we think it would be tres tasty indeed... :) You can try anything you like inside...

p.p.s. We love that these are dairy-free for those who are Lactose Intolerant and are thinking of trying them with Rice Flour to see if they would work well Gluten-free too! :)

Have fun!!

Abigail & Ryan

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A cake fit for a VERY special party...

Things have been very quiet here on our blog for the last few weeks and that's because we had been working extremely hard on preparing a big surprise party for Ryan's Mums 50th Birthday last weekend.

On top of planning all the festivities (bouncy castle in the back-yard anyone?!) we decided we wanted to make a truly special birthday cake for the occasion!

After a lot of reading up on cake decorating tips and watching of many a tutorial, we designed and made a huge two tier fruit cake, traditionally covered in marzipan and fondant icing then festooned with white daisies (with bright yellow pollen-laden centres!) and covered with a bevvy of beautiful butterflies...resting atop the flowers and leaves...

We hand cut out all the butterflies from floral paste, formed them, letting them dry and then I hand painted each and every one in a three stage process that went from colour wash to markings and detail to final luster detail. I had a blast!!!

We were delighted with the final result, as was Jacki - and now can't wait to make another... best be sure to clear our diary for a week first though, egh?! ;)

More on behind the scenes of making the cake and fun at the party soon...


abigail*ryan in You, Supplement of the Year!

This past weekend, abigail*ryan tea-towels were again featured in the press - this time in 'YOU', the Mail's lifestyle supplement and Supplement of the Year to boot!

Our tea-towels were featured as 'get the look' items in a feature about celebrity florist Jane Packer's country retreat home...and we are delighted with the mention as we both love her floristry work and think her home looks absolutely stunning.

As we mentioned, our Rhododendron tea-towels are out of stock at the moment (we are re-printing as fast as we can!) - however, our lovely stockist Roost Living has some of them available so if you HAVE to have them now (and we wouldn't blame you!) head on over there and treat yourselves! ;)

Check out the rest of our lovely range of tea-towels to see our other designs...

More press on the way soon, so stay tuned!

Big thanks to YOU :)


abigail*ryan in Prima Magazine!

This month our Rhododendron tea-towels have been ALL OVER the show... first showing up in Prima Magazine in a feature about Summer Florals styled by the talented Selina Lake...

We were delighted with the shot of our Fuchsia Rhododendron towel (which we are currently arranging to have re-printed as we are now out of stock of this design - email us if you would like to be added to the wait list!) and have to say, we really think it stands out on that washing line of lovliness! ;)

A big thank you to Prima, Selina and the wonderful photographer who shot the feature, Debi Treloar!