Updated: May 16, 2020
The current global pandemic has forced us all to spend more time indoors, and although we now can officially leave our homes, the still ongoing danger of public places has led to us spending more time in our houses than ever before. Cooking is a great option if you want to fill up your time, and it is sure to please your family, or whoever you might be living with, so here are 3 absolutely delicious recipes that you can make with ingredients you most probably already have on hand, as complicated grocery shopping is not exactly a viable option at the moment.
Chocolate crepe cake
A crepe cake is one of the easiest, but contrastingly most time consuming, types of cakes that you can make, so it is sure to cure quarantine boredom. It is made up of thin crepes layered with decadent cream creating a delicious cake that is stunning when cut into.
For the Crepes:
3 cups of flour
2 cups of milk
2 cups of water
100g of melted butter
4 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp cacao powder
For the cream:
800ml heavy whipping cream
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1. Mix together the flour, eggs, milk, water, butter and sugar into a large bowl until everything is well incorporated. Add in the cocoa powder and mix until there are no streaks left.
2. Preheat your pan and start frying your batter. Make sure that your batter evenly coats the bottom of your pan so that your crepes turn out thin and smooth. Flip your crepes when the edges start curling up, and ensure that they are cooked through.
3. Repeat this with all of your batter. This recipe yields about 25 crepes but it will depend on the size of your pan.
4. While your crepes are cooling down work on your cream. Whip your cream until it is thick and fluffy, and add in your sugar and vanilla essence, mixing until the sugar is fully dissolved.
5. When your crepes have cooled apply a thin layer of cream between each crepe and stack them evenly. Frost the sides and the top of the cake with the remaining cream
6. Top the cake with cacao powder, chocolate shavings, fruit, sprinkles or anything else that you have on hand, slice and enjoy!
2. Creme brûlée
Despite how intimidating this classic French dessert might sound, creme brûlée is actually very easy to make and requires only a few ingredients that you probably already have. Although this dessert traditionally requires some more complex equipment (ramekins and a blowtorch) more accessible substitutes work just as well if you don’t own those, and I will describe those below. Creme brûlée is surely a crowd pleaser, and it is one of the creamiest and richest desserts ever!
5 egg yolks
400ml of heavy cream
⅓ cup of sugar + 5 tsp for topping
2 tbsp of vanilla extract
Whip up the egg yolks and the sugar until all of the sugar has dissolved and the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
In a medium saucepan, heat up the cream until small bubbles appear, but it is not boiling yet, and stir it together with the egg mixture, then add in the vanilla extract.
Separately, fill up a tray about halfway with boiling water, and preheat your oven to 160 degrees.
Fill your ramekins with the egg and cream mixture (if you don’t have ramekins any ceramic, oven-safe containers will work) and place them in your tray with water. The water's role is to ensure that the creme brûlée is cooked all the way through.
Place the tray in the oven and bake the desserts for 25 minutes. Once they are out of the oven allow them to cool down and place them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
When they are cold, top each creme brûlée with about one teaspoon of sugar, and use a blowtorch to caramelize it. If you don’t have a blowtorch, heat up the sugar in a saucepan until it caramelizes and turns golden brown, then pour it on top of your desserts.
Let the top layer of sugar harden, then dig in and enjoy!
3. Savory muffins
Savory muffins are a unique way to use up common pantry items. They can be eaten as a snack or a light meal, and are completely customisable. This recipe uses smoked salmon, bell peppers, spinach and mozzarella, but any meats, vegetables and cheeses can be used, for example ham, bacon, corn, green onions, cheddar and ricotta, so be creative as the possibilities are endless! The seeds are also optional and can be substituted for any other type.
250g of flour
75g of melted butter
175ml of milk
1 tbsp of baking powder
150g of mozzarella
½ of a bell pepper
120g of spinach
140g of smoked salmon
6 tbsp of sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Dice the bell pepper and salmon, then grate the mozzarella and set those aside.
Mix together the butter, milk, eggs and shredded mozzarella, then add in the spinach, pepper and salmon.
Add in the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and scoop your batter into cupcake liners, then top them off with sesame seeds.
Bake them for 25 minutes and when they are done enjoy your muffins!
I hope that these recipes inspired you to cook something delicious while spending time at home. Now is the perfect time to perfect a skill or take up a new hobby, so don’t be afraid to step in the kitchen, even if it is not something that you are used to, and who knows, maybe you will spark a passion you never knew you had.