Recipe Rescue: Alfajores

Dulce de leche is perhaps the closest thing to magic that can happen in the kitchen. A simple can of sweeten condensed milk is transformed into the most perfect caramel with the greatest of ease.

Our favourite way to enjoy this culinary sorcery is to sandwich it between two buttery cookies and roll them in coconut. The result of this minimal effort is a sophisticated, yet simple cookie called an Alfajor (al-fa-hor).

Enjoyed in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Andorra, and many more countries, this luxurious cookie is sure to become your new favourite.


Recipe: Makes 12 Sandwich Cookies

  • 300 ml (1 can) Sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup White sugar
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 Large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Shredded coconut

Method

Dulce de leche
To make the dulce de leche, place a sealed can of condensed milk on its side in a heavy bottom pot and cover with water (at least 4” above the can). Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for 3 hours, making sure that the water does not boil off. Drain and let cool.

Alfajores

  1. Place the softened butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer and beat with a paddle on high, until mixture is light and fluffy (scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary).
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Fold the dry ingredients into the sugar and butter, working the dough by hand, until it is smooth and well mixed.
  4. Form the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Once the dough is chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface, to a thickness of 1/2 cm.
  6. Use your favourite size ring cutter to cut circles out of the dough, and place them on a lined cookie sheet. Reserve the trimmed dough and use it to make more discs, until you have yielded an even number of cookies (approximately 24).
  7. Once your cookies are all cut and arranged on a cookie sheet, let them chill again in the refrigerator for an additional 30 minutes before baking.
  8. Preheat your oven to 350 F
  9. Bake cookies for 10-12 mins, until cookies begin brown slightly.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to completely cool on the cookie sheet before making your sandwiches.

Assembly

To assemble the cookies, sandwich 1 tbsp of dulce de leche between two cookies and gently squeeze just enough so that the caramel reaches the edge of the cookies. Roll the edges of the cookies in the shredded coconut to coat.

Enjoy the fruits of your labour immediately, or savour them, and keep them for later. Cookies will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days, but we promise they won’t be around that long!

Recipe Rescue: Rustic Partridgeberry Bread

Each week, Bangbelly brings you Recipe Rescue, with a pantry-friendly, easy to execute dish sure to impress your nearest and dearest.

Recipe Rescue

Rustic Partridgeberry Bread

Fogo Islanders: Do you have a frosty bag of partridgeberries that have been in your deep freeze since the fall? Well, we have just the recipe for you. And for the rest of you, feel free to substitute your favourite berry. 

For the uninitiated, partridgeberries are what many of you know as lingonberries, which are very similar to cranberries, but we digress.

The result of your efforts, will be a nice crusty, pink loaf of bread, and we’d argue that it is just what you “knead” to brighten your weekend. This free form loaf is a simple, delicious, and the best part is it will make you look like a pro! 

Recipe

  • 600g All-purpose flour
  • 25g Dry active yeast
  • 25g White sugar
  • 20g Kosher salt
  • 250 ml Frozen Partridgeberries
  • 400 ml Cold water

Method

  1. Put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, and knead with the hook attachment for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer or, you simply want a good upper-body workout, combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl; stir them all together with a wooden spoon, and then transfer to a countertop to knead by hand for 15 mins.
  2. When the dough forms a shiny ball; transfer it to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
  3. Let the dough rise for approximately 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
  4. Punch the dough down to knock out any big air bubbles, and then shape it into a round loaf.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375° F
  6. Transfer your loaf to a parchment-lined sheet pan and cover it once more; allow it to rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  7. Once proofed, gently dust the exterior of your loaf with flour, and score the top of with your preferred design. Allow your loaf to rest, uncovered for a final 5 minutes.
  8. Bake your loaf at 375° F for 40 minutes, or until it is crusty and sounds hollow when given a firm tap.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack, and allow your loaf to fully cool before slicing.

Recipe Rescue: Pimento Cheese

Each week, Bangbelly brings you Recipe Rescue, with a pantry-friendly, easy to execute dish sure to impress your nearest and dearest.

Newfoundland Springtime is often late to arrive, but this recipe is certain to put you in a warmer state of mind. A Southern comfort-food classic, our take on pimento cheese just may become a staple in your quarantine kitchen.

Ever wondered what that little red thing is in the middle of your martini’s olive? It’s pimento! A pimento is a type of pepper similar to red bell pepper that boasts a bit more sweetness and a touch more juiciness. And, if you’ve ever been to the South, you already know that pimento and cheese make the very best of friends.

This recipe is incredibly easy and can be served as a delicious sandwich filling, or as a tasty spread, sure to make the sun shine!

Recipe:

  • 3 Pimento Peppers (or red bell peppers, or 1 cup roasted peppers in oil)
  • 1/2 cup Cream cheese, room temp
  • 450 g Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2/3 cup Bread and butter pickles chopped
  • 1/4 cup of pickle juice
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp White sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Smoked paprika 
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper 
  • 1 tsp Hot sauce of your choice

Method:

1. If using fresh peppers, give them a good char under your oven’s broiler until the skins begin to blacken and blister; then place them in a metal bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let peppers sweat and cool.

2. While your peppers are cooling, gather the rest of the ingredients and combine them in a large mixing bowl.

3. Once the peppers are cool, rub/peel off the skin and remove the stems and seeds.

4. Dice the peppers into small pieces and fold them into the rest of the mixture.

5. Chill for 1 hour and serve as a dip, or enjoy it as a sandwich between fresh white bread.

Update: Delayed Opening in Response to COVID-19

Dear Bangbelly Family, 

We are writing today with a message regarding our ongoing response to COVID-19 and our responsibility to you as valued guests and patrons.

Many of you know that we intended to re-open our doors for the season in mid-March. It is with careful consideration that we have decided to extend our closure, to reflect recommended health protocols during this time of global challenge. 

We are taking this measure with the well-being of our community, and the world at large, in mind. Together we can flatten the curve

Our anticipated re-opening is now scheduled for Thursday April 2, 2020; pending further developments

We will also be operating as a cashless business until further notice

In the meantime, we will be practicing self-isolation, and social-distancing, while we refine and perfect our menus and dream up new ways of conducting business. 

Upon re-opening, we ask that our patrons return the favour by practicing self-isolation if necessary, in consideration of our community.

For your safety and comfort we will be monitoring the health and well-being of our staff, and commit to providing them additional support should it be required for them to forgo work.

Further to this, we will be conducting additional sanitization practices on top of our daily cleaning routines. And, while it should go without saying, we will continue to practice thorough and regular hand washing and sanitizing.

Before we wrap up, we have one small request: Please do whatever you can to support your local restaurants and small businesses. 

At Bangbelly, we are fortunate enough to be able to afford some flexibility, and while this temporary slow-down is irksome and concerning, we believe in our ability to rebound. We know we will be okay.

We ask that you join us in solidarity with our fellow small business owners and show your support by purchasing merch, gift cards, and necessities from your Mom-and-Pops wherever possible. Don’t forget to tip well too! Many small businesses, especially those in the restaurant industry, operate on razor-thin margins and your ongoing support can mean all the difference. 

If you, like us, are feeling a bit powerless in this climate of self-preservation and resource-hoarding may we recommend a donation to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund? We’re fairly confident that your contribution will make you feel better about humanity, and it will have a positive and important impact on those without the same access to health care or prepared health systems.

As always, we cannot thank you enough for your endorsement and patronage. Wishing you all a happy, healthy March Month.

See you as soon as possible!

Your friends at Bangbelly

Two Heads are Better than One

We believe in the magic of collaboration. Team work can inspire out-of-the-box-thinking, and greater innovation. It can lead to unexpected and exciting results, and most importantly it can help to broaden one’s perspective.

It is clear to us that your ideas and feedback can only serve to make us better. As always, we are keen to deliver you the best possible service. We believe your ideas and reflections are the pathway to improvement, which is why we want to hear from you!

Have a thought for an event that might work well? Maybe there’s a movie you’d love for us to screen at the café. Perhaps you’ve thought of a menu item you just know people will love. We humbly invite you to send an email to hello@bangelly.com and thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration.

Any and all ideas are welcome and appreciated because we know we don’t have all the answers and we certainly can’t read minds (as hard as we may try).

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

Where’s the Merch?

As with all of our products, we are careful to source our Bangbelly merchandise from responsible manufacturers who guarantee safe working environments, fair wages, and environmental responsibility.

So far, the response to our small line of Bangbelly products has been extremely positive, and it is with careful consideration that we wish to expand our offerings.

From our enamel mugs to our organic cotton tote bags, we are constantly on the lookout for new, useful products so that you can take a piece of Bangbelly home with you.

As we prepare for the 2020 season, we are collecting your thoughts and feedback. One thing we’d love to know is whether there is a product you’d like to see on our shelves, or a company you think we should be working with.

Have an idea for more fabulous merch? Drop us a line at hello@bangbelly.com

Our Favourite Bread Recipe

Okay, all bread is our favourite bread (kind of like how all dogs are our favourite dogs). Without too much preamble, we thought you might appreciate some Bangbelly bread at home. We may be on hiatus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy our popular, fluffy buns when the mood strikes.

The following direction comes directly from our Head Chef: “Invite all the kids to the party.” Which means, simply place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix with a dough hook on medium speed for 10 minutes. Yeah, we’ve gotten used to these short-hands around here.

Once your dough has mixed, give it a light spray with some cooking oil, and cover loosely with a clean cloth. Let stand for one hour, until doubled in size. Once doubled, shape your dough into buns of equal weight – we like to aim for buns that are approximately 110g.

If you are new to bread-making and bun-shaping, we recommend checking out a YouTube video or two. Or, head on over to The Kitchn for a step-by-step guide to shaping perfectly round buns.

Now, you’re nearly there. It’s important that you let your hard-won buns rest on a parchment-lined baking sheet before baking. You should be able to fit twelve buns on a standard baking sheet without issue. Yet again, your buns will increase in size, nearly doubling. Note that it’s okay if they touch, let them get cozy with one another. After approximately 30 minutes it’s time to bake.

Give your buns a quick egg or milk wash, and bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Then, all you have to do is resist the urge to eat the entire sheet. Good luck!

Bangbelly Buns
(yields 12 buns)

750g                all purpose flour
25g                  yeast
25g                  white sugar
20g                  salt
250 ml            whole milk
250 ml            cold water
2                      large eggs
1 TBSP            butter, softened

Bangbelly at Home

We know. We know. We’re leaving you.

Well, at least we’re stepping away for a winter break, and you’re going to be without your Bangbelly fix for a spell. So, we thought we’d try to help you through with a tip or two.

Love our lattes, but lack the necessary equipment to make your own? You may be surprised to find out that there are a couple of clever workarounds you can use to approximate the textured milk that our fancy espresso machine can produce.

We’ll leave the espresso to you (and we’ll turn a blind eye if you need to use the instant kind in a pinch) and give you some ideas for creating the effect of steamed milk.

Our favourite alternative to a steam wand is a French Press. You heard that right. Simply warm your milk on the stovetop or in the microwave and pour it into a coffee press. Then, plunge the filter up and down multiple times until foam is produced (be careful not to be too vigorous, or else you may create a molten milk volcano).

If you find yourself without a coffee press, have no fear, because there is a method that MacGyver himself would approve of: The Mason Jar. Yes, the humble, multifunctional Mason Jar may be your gateway to textured milk. Just warm your milk however you see fit, pour it into a Mason Jar, secure the lid tightly and shake! Don’t forget that your jar will be hot – may we recommend oven mitts?

Just remember: Bangbelly cannot be held accountable for steamed milk-related accidents, or inferior coffee products; so, make sure to practice good safety, and stock up on good, high-quality beans during our hiatus.

Good Cheer for All

Fortunately for many this time of year is filled with joy and abundance. For others, however, the impending holiday season can create stress and strain.

We believe in the power of community and, as a new business, we have seen firsthand the kindness and generosity of our friends and neighbours.

This year, we are ‘paying it forward’ by organizing what we are fondly calling a ‘Cheer Drive.’ Open to all residents of Fogo Island, the purpose of our drive is simply to spread some holiday cheer.

Eligibility criteria are simple: Could you, or someone you know stand a little pick-me-up? Let us know! We won’t pry, or scrutinize applications in any way.

Perhaps you have a family member living alone, or a friend with family in far flung locales; maybe the past few months have been a real kicker, and the thought of a little random act of kindness puts a smile on your face.

Whatever the reason, all nominees will be given a free care package including grocery items and gifts, no questions asked.

Should you wish to contribute to our Cheer Drive, we will be accepting shelf-stable foods and new, unused gifts up to December 10, 2019. Whether it be a new ‘re-gift’, or favourite pantry item, we will gratefully accept it all.

Bangbelly’s elves will then distribute their bounty on December 11, 2019.

To sign up for a free holiday care package, or to nominate a deserving individual or family to receive one, call 709.266.2020, email manager@bangbelly.com, or pop by during our operating hours to fill out a confidential form.

When applying, please make sure to identify the recipient’s name(s), age(s), and a detailed delivery address so we can easily find the drop-off location. The more information you can provide, from interests to clothing size to favourite colour, the better equipped we will be to select appropriate gifts and goodies.

All applicants will be handled with the strictest confidentiality, and all information collected during the drive will be destroyed upon use.

‘Tis the season of giving, so let’s work together to bring cheer to everyone on Fogo Island this holiday.

Architecture 101: Start with Gingerbread

The first known recipe for gingerbread can be traced back to Greece in 2400 BC. Amazing to think that one of our favourite treats has been enjoyed for millennia, isn’t it?

Ginger has long been used for its medicinal properties as well as its distinct fiery flavour. Gingerbread itself has deeply-rooted connections to festivity and merriment. Today, one is hard pressed to think of gingerbread without also thinking of the winter holidays.

Now synonymous with the season, the construction of gingerbread houses came into popularity during the 16th century in Germany. It is suggested that our appreciation for gingerbread houses may be due, in part, to the story of Hansel and Gretel, the hapless characters of Brothers Grimm who stumble upon a house constructed entirely out of confectionery.

Whether we can credit a fairy tale with this winsome pastime or not, we are solidly in the camp of those who wholeheartedly appreciate a well-constructed cookie house.

Our love of this tradition will be on full display this December as we host an afternoon of Gingerbread House Decorating, complete with cups of hot cocoa, and all the tools required to complete Bangbelly’s “Architecture 101” course.

House-builders will each be equipped with pre-baked gingerbread, icing, and decoration enough to let their imagination run wild. Pre-booking for this event is required, so that our resident gingerbread contractor may produce the right materials.

We will be breaking ground on Saturday, December 7 at 3 PM and look forward to seeing your creativity come to life!

To book our afternoon of Gingerbread House Building for just $15 per person, call or email 709.266.2020, manager@bangbelly.com.