I Want to Be a Chef by Murdoch Books [pdf e book]

  • Full Title : I Want to Be a Chef: Baking
  • Autor: Murdoch Books
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books; Original edition
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741969174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741969177
  • Download File Format: azw3


All it takes is learning a few basic techniques, and kids will see that a lot of the “grown-up” items they see made in the kitchen are right within their reach. Budding chefs will be amazed at how easy it is to make spectacular cakes, desserts, and cookies when they just have a little help from I Want to Be a Chef: Baking.

This book comes with over 100 recipes for culinary kids to choose from, ranging from simple cookies, to massive cakes they can show off to the whole family. In no time at all kids will be baking up a storm, just like they were a professional. Maybe there’s even a TV cooking show in their future!


About the Author

Murdoch Books is an independent publishing company with extensive on-site test kitchens.



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wonderful staple of any nation that cultivates pomegranates, the molasses (or syrup) is simply a concentrated reduction of raw pomegranate juice. It is sweet with a wickedly sour aftertaste that, when paired with the right ingredients, can be marvelous. I use it as a salad dressing on tomatoes or any mixed-leaf salad, especially when there is a sweet ingredient added to it. It is also a great dressing for grain salads featuring freekeh, brown rice and bulgur wheat and makes a wonderful sauce for game and red meat.



A blend of different chile peppers and spices, harissa is sold in abundance in markets and is a staple in every home, playing a key role in North African cuisine. I use it in salad dressings, yogurt sauces, mayonnaise, stews, soups, pasta sauces and stir-fries. I fry it with rice and noodles and even mix a little into couscous, bulgur wheat or rice salads to give them some pep. It also makes a great marinade for meat, poultry and chicken destined for the grill, but beware—a little goes a long way.


Preserved Lemons

These wonderful little lemons are packed in salt or brine and preserved to jelly-like perfection. The fact that they are preserved means they have a long life and you can always turn to them when you need to give a dish a little zing. Ready to use in marinades, stews, salads, sandwiches and wraps, and as garnishes and seasonings, they are incredibly useful and give everything an instant perkiness and sharp-and-salty flavor.


Pickled Chiles

One of my all-time favorite pantry ingredients for the sheer convenience factor alone, pickled chiles are used endlessly in my home. Whether in salads, sandwiches, dips, marinades, pastas, rice, noodles, stir-fries and sauces, or served with meat, poultry, fish, vegetables or grilled halloumi, I cannot live without them. They even make the most wonderful addition to a grilled cheese sandwich. They never go bad, unlike fresh chiles.



Being Iranian, I am fortunate enough to always have access to the best-quality Iranian saffron in abundance. One of my favorite dishes to make is a simple pasta with tinned crab meat, chile, garlic and saffron, so it’s not all Middle Eastern style. Saffron makes mayonnaise, sauces and marinades and gives life and color to rice dishes, both in the water absorption method (as with paellas and risottos) and in the aromatic steaming method (Persian rice dishes and biryanis). It is also great thrown into tomato sauces and used with seafood and poultry.


Whole Spices

Some of my favorite whole spices are cumin seeds, coriander seeds, green cardamom and black cardamom. Toasting whole spices in a pan and grinding them down into a powder is the best way to get the most out of their flavor.


Spice Blends

Indians call them masalas, Lebanese call them baharat and Persians say advieh. In many homes in the East, a staple and versatile signature spice blend is made and used in various dishes to add flavor and character. The way in which the blend is used can vary greatly and create different dimensions and tastes, despite the same base of spices being used to make the dish. There are some great spice mixes available in supermarkets, and Ras El Hanout (a Moroccan spice blend) and baharat (Lebanese) are two of my favorites. I especially love using them to rub or marinate red meats and sweet vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin—all of which can hold spice so well.


Garlic Oil

Garlic oil is my secret weapon in the kitchen and I use tons of the stuff. A little drizzle can transform a dish, so I use it in everything, from classic roast potatoes and fried mushrooms, meat, poultry and fish to rubs, marinades, dips, dressings and sauces. I even drizzle it over toasted or grilled bread when making bruschetta. If you ever run out of garlic or can’t be bothered to peel garlic, it is a great substitute.

Butternut Rostis

Bread Boats

Parsee Duck Egg Scramble

Avocado Mash on Griddled Sourdough

Butternut, Sage & Tulum Pan Toasties

Two-Cheese Melts

Bacon Pitas

Cardamom Doughnut Brioche French Toasts

Sour Cherry & Ricotta Pancakes

Pear, Feta & Honey Toasts

Rose & Spice–Infused Berries



with Poached Eggs

Traditionally made with potatoes, rosti are a great way to use up spare root vegetables or squashes. I like using butternut squash in mine and adding lots of spices to complement the sweet flavor of the squash. These little rostis make a great breakfast or brunch dish, but also work really well as an accompaniment to a main meal, in which case omit the eggs. SERVES 4

1 small butternut squash, peeled and coarsely grated

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 teaspoons flaky sea salt

1 heaping tablespoon all-pupose flour

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced

½ small package (about ½ ounce) of dill, leaves and fronds finely chopped

5 large eggs

vegetable oil, for frying

freshly ground black pepper

Put the grated butternut squash and chopped onion in a mixing bowl and add the salt. Using your hands, mix well. The salt will draw out excess moisture from the squash and onion, resulting in crisp rosti. Leave to stand for approximately 30 minutes. Using a sieve or clean cloth, extract as much moisture as you can from the mixture and return it to the mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for poaching the eggs. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the flour, spices, scallions and dill (reserving 1 teaspoon dill for sprinkling) to the squash and onion mixture and mix well with your hands. Once the spices and dill are evenly incorporated, crack in 1 egg and mix again, adding a generous seasoning of black pepper. Shape the mixture into 12 patties, each approximately 4 inches wide and ½ inch thick. Heat a good amount of oil in the hot skillet and fry the patties in batches for 6–8 minutes on one side or until nice and crisp, then flip over and fry on the other side for 5–6 minutes or until deep golden brown. Keep the cooked patties warm in the oven on the prepared sheet while you fry subsequent batches.

To poach your eggs, stir the boiling water to make a well in the center and carefully crack the remaining eggs into the water. Cook for 3 minutes (if you like them runny), then remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and plunge them straight into cold water.

Place 3 rosti on each serving plate, top with a poached egg and a little sprinkling of fresh dill and freshly ground black pepper, then serve immediately.


Much like pizza, a bread boat, popular in Turkey and Georgia, is a complete meal all in one. They are great at any time of day, especially for brunch with the crowning glory of an egg cracked on top. MAKES 4

For the dough

¼ ounce fast-acting dried yeast

2 cups warm water, plus extra if needed

5½ cups white bread flour, plus extra if needed

2 heaping tablespoons crushed flaky sea salt

⅓ cup olive oil

¼ cup butter, melted

For the filling

6 large eggs

8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (not Buffalo mozzarella)

4 ounces baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

pinch of grated nutmeg

finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make the dough. Stir the yeast into ¼ cup of the warm water; allow it to sit until dissolved. In a large bowl, combine the flour and crushed salt, then make a well in the center. Pour in the remaining warm water, ¼ cup of the olive oil and the yeast mixture and combine using your hands until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is a bit too sticky, just add a little extra flour and, if it is dry, an additional splash of warm water.

On a clean, floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes to activate. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes before kneading it again for 2 minutes. Repeat this process another 3 times and, on the second, incorporate the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with a clean dish towel and leave it to rest for 3 hours until tripled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form each into a “boat” shape and place on the lined sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for 45–60 minutes.

Make the filling. In a mixing bowl, beat 1 egg with the mozzarella, spinach, scallions, cayenne, nutmeg and lemon zest and season well with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and place 1 in the center of each bread boat, leaving 1 inch clear at the edges. Pick up the clear edges of dough and tuck them inward to secure the filling. Beat 1 of the remaining eggs and brush any exposed pastry dough with this egg wash. Bake for 15–17 minutes, remove from oven and carefully crack 1 egg into the center of each boat. Bake for 6–8 minutes more or until the egg whites are opaque.


I can’t lie, the first time I was presented with duck eggs I was rather dubious about how they would taste and was worried I wouldn’t like them. Now? I am absolutely addicted in a where-have-you-been-all-my-life kind of way. They are so delicious and make the best scrambled eggs you’ll ever eat. Their rich and creamy character allows them to hold their own against spices—even better than ordinary hens’ eggs do. This is a great breakfast or brunch dish, but in my culture, it’s very common to eat eggs for a light but totally fabulous evening meal. SERVES 4

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

vegetable oil, for frying

handful of fresh curry leaves (8 or so)

1 long red chile, thinly sliced and finely chopped (deseed, if you prefer)

1 large garlic clove, crushed

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced from root to tip

2 tablespoons salted butter

6 duck eggs, beaten

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

zest of 1 unwaxed lime

½ small package (about ½ ounce) of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and toast the cumin and coriander seeds for a few minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Remove the toasted seeds from the pan and grind them to a powder using a mortar and pestle.

Drizzle some oil into the same pan, add the curry leaves and, once they start to make popping noises, add the chile and garlic, followed by the cumin and coriander powder and the turmeric. Stir well. Add the scallions and butter, swiftly followed by the beaten duck eggs. Using a wooden spoon, scramble the duck eggs by stirring quickly to prevent sticking. Add a generous seasoning of salt and pepper, the lime zest and cilantro and remove from heat immediately. Stir and serve, ideally with some warm flatbread or even simple flour tortillas. I also love chili sauce or mango chutney with this dish.


with Tahini Dressing

For me, avocado is one of those food-of-the-gods kind of things. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and am happy to have it with something, in something or just by itself. So it’s a total bonus that avocado is actually good for you! However, I do find that on its own, avocado needs a little help: a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon and, as I discovered one day by accident, some tahini dressing—a match made in heaven. SERVES 2–4

2 large ripe avocados

2 tablespoons garlic oil

3 scallions, thinly sliced from root to tip

1 long red chile, seeded and finely chopped

½ small package (about ½ ounce) of cilantro, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 slices of sourdough or bread of your choice

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tahini dressing

2 heaping teaspoons tahini

2 teaspoons Greek yogurt

finely grated zest and juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon

2 tablespoons cold water

Preheat a skillet over high heat.

Scoop out the avocado flesh into a bowl, add the garlic oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper and lightly mash the avocado with a fork. Switch to a spoon, add the scallions, chile, cilantro and ground coriander and mix well. Set aside.

Brush the sourdough bread with olive oil on both sides and grill on the hot skillet for 2 minutes on each side or until char marks appear on each side.

In a small bowl, combine the tahini, yogurt, lemon zest and juice and the 2 tablespoons of water until an even sauce is formed and the tahini is fully dissolved. Season well with salt.

To serve, divide the avocado mixture into 4 portions and spoon 1 portion over each slice of toast. Drizzle over the tahini sauce to finish and add an extra glug of olive oil, if you wish.


Sometimes, you just need a really quick meal. The Italians have pizza, the Mexicans have quesadillas and I make pan toasties. Why pan toasties? Well, there was a rather long period when I didn’t own a toaster, so I became pretty nifty at making a variety of toasted sandwiches using a dry skillet. I’ve used everything from regular white bread and focaccia to khobz and lavash, but the bread that stood out (perhaps purely because it was skillet sized and shaped) was the humble flour tortilla. Tulum is a wonderful salty Turkish cheese traditionally made in animal hides, but if you can’t find it, feta or a strong sharp cheese will work well, too. MAKES 2

½ small butternut squash (unpeeled), quartered and seeded

olive oil, for drizzling

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 sage leaves, finely chopped, or 1 heaping tablespoon dried sage

2 flour tortillas

5 ounces tulum cheese (or use feta cheese or grated mozzarella cheese)

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the butternut squash on the prepared sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 40 minutes until soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then scoop out flesh into a bowl and fork through it gently, adding the sage and a good amount of salt and pepper to taste.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and allow the pan to heat up. Put 1 tortilla into the pan, then crumble half the tulum cheese all over the tortilla. Divide the butternut mixture into 2 equal portions and gently cover half the tortilla with 1 portion of the butternut mixture and, if you like it spicy and want to add the Aleppo pepper, sprinkle half of it over the filling. Fold the clear half of the tortilla over the butternut mixture and pat it down to make a semicircle. Toast on both sides until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.


with Thyme-Roasted Onions

Everything about this recipe reminds me of my cousin Cyrus. He is the most chaotic and experimental cook I know, but his food is always wonderful. I’m very impressed by his bravery—he is an empty-the-contents-of-your-fridge-and-pantry-and-see-what-happens kind of cook, yet his concoctions always hit the spot. Cyrus was a guinea pig for several of the recipes that appeared in Persiana, and he is very much my inspiration for this recipe. SERVES 2

2 red onions

olive oil, for drizzling

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 large slices of thick, good-quality bread (I like to use sourdough)

3½ ounces aged Cheddar cheese, grated

3½ ounces feta cheese, crumbled

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Halve the red onions from root to tip, then cut each half into 3 segments. Place these on the prepared sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to toss the onion wedges in oil. Sprinkle with the thyme. Roast for 18 minutes or until the onions are cooked and browned around edges.

Toast the bread to your liking. Place the grated Cheddar and crumbled feta cheese in a small saucepan along with the cayenne pepper and a good amount of black pepper and begin to melt them slowly over a gentle heat, stirring regularly to ensure the cheese is melting. Once the cheese has melted, take the pan off the heat and stir the mixture again.

Pour half of the melted cheese mixture over each slice of toast and serve at room temperature with the roasted onions.


I just love the bacon naans at Dishoom restaurant in London. Generously stuffed with chunky, crispy bacon and a spicy-sweet sauce, they are absolutely epic. This is my humble homage to that wonderful bacon sandwich—perfect at any time of day. SERVES 4

For the pita

1 teaspoon fast-acting dried yeast

½ cup warm water

2 cups all-pupose flour

1 heaping teaspoon fine sea salt

2 tablespoons garlic oil

For the filling

6 tablespoons mango chutney

4 tablespoons ketchup

1 long red chile, seeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

12–16 slices of smoked or unsmoked streaky bacon

4 scallions, thinly sliced

½ small package (about ½ ounce) of cilantro, roughly chopped

First, make the pita. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and leave the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Combine the flour, salt and garlic oil in a mixing bowl, then pour in the dissolved yeast and blend to form a dough. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes, then cover with a clean dish towel and leave somewhere warm and dry to rest for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Gently simmer the mango chutney, ketchup, chile, cinnamon and cumin in a small saucepan set over medium heat, stirring to avoid burning. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Grill or fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, drain, cover it with aluminum foil and keep it warm in the oven while you finish making the flatbread.

After the proofing time has elapsed, heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Divide the mixture into 4 dough balls and roll them out to ¼-inch-thick rounds. Allow them to rest for 5–6 minutes, then place them directly on the dry pan and cook until the edges begin to come away from the pan (about 45 seconds). Flip them over and cook on the other side for 30–45 seconds. Place the cooked flatbreads on a clean dish towel while you finish cooking the remaining dough rounds.

To serve, split open each pita and put 3–4 slices of bacon inside it. Drizzle in some of the sauce and sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Serve immediately.


Doughnuts are a weakness of mine. Mind you, not just any old doughnut will do…I like mine without any filling, rolled in sugar, and no strong flavors. For me, simple is always best. This dish was inspired by domestic goddess Nigella Lawson’s doughnut French toast recipe from her book Nigella Express, which became a family favorite


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