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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Frozen Summer Treat


















In an effort to try and be a little more healthy I recently took a tip from my friend at work who found a suitable replacement for ice cream. I say "suitable" because it is not ice cream, but it is actually really good for something that wishes it were ice cream. Or, maybe I just wish it were. 


If you are having the usual ice cream or fro-yo craving but just trying to stick to whatever health goals you may have set for yourself, then I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by what I whipped up.

Grab your blender and start throwing in the following:
  • 2 chopped bananas (frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
    • honey to make it as sweet as you like
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk (not the condensed canned kind)
    Top with chia seeds once blended for some extra health benefits, and voila! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    Kiwi Mascarpone Tart




       I haven't blogged in ages but I have been baking! I really enjoyed making this one and the way it turned out so I thought I'd blog it since it is a great dessert for this hot weather we have been having in The Bay.

       This dessert is refreshing and not too sweet. Here's how you make it:

    Ingredients:

    Crust

    • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (what I used) or all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup cornmeal
    • 2 tbs sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted cold butter
    • 3 tbs ice water
    • 1 large egg yolk
    Filling
    • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
    • 2/3 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 4 kiwis, sliced
    • I added a couple dashes of cinnamon
    Directions:
    • To make the crust, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar and mix by pulsing in a food processor.
    • Cut the butter into chunks, add to dry mixture, and pulse a few more times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    • Mix the egg yolk with the ice water and add to the mixture in the food processor. Pulse together until the mixture starts to press together.
    • Place the dough on a clean work surface covered in flour, and shape into a 5" diameter disk. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-24 hours.
    • After it has been refrigerated, use a rolling pin to flatten and form dough into an 11" circle.
    • Place into a 9" greased tart pan, smooth the edges, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
    • Preheat the oven to 350 during this time.
    • Remove the crust and line with tin foil. Use beans or pie weights to hold the foil down and keep the shape of the crust. 
    • With the foil on, bake for 15 minutes, rotate and bake for 15 more minutes. After 30 minutes of baking remove the foil and bake for 6 minutes uncovered.
    • While the crust cools, whip together the filling ingredients with a hand mixer and fill the tart once crust is cooled.
    • Top with sliced kiwi.
    Bon app├ętit!


     

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    Rocky Road Biscotti


    I felt like making some biscotti, and so I did just that. As usual I couldn't make something common so I opted for the unusual and decided to test out some Rocky Road biscotti. When I was little I actually hated Rocky Road anything. But for some reason lately I have been leaning towards Rocky Road ice cream when I go to Mitchell's (hmmm, perhaps Mitchell's is to blame.) So here it goes, let's make the classy...trashy.


    Preheat oven to 350

                                   
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 6 tbs unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 cup walnut pieces
    • A handful or two of mini marshmallows
    • 1 cup chocolate chips, or baker's drops (I used the TCHOPro baking drops pictured above, from local chocolatiers TCHO. I like them because they are really rich in flavor, and melt nicely. Just remember to break them up into smaller pieces!)
    Directions
    • Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
    • Beat butter and sugar together using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.
    • Add eggs and beat on low speed until well-combined.
    • Add flour mixture and beat together to form dough. Then mix in the chocolate pieces, walnuts, and marshmallows.
    • Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet, and form into a slightly flattened log (as seen above.) It should measure about 12x4 inches.
    • Bake until slightly firm for roughly 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.
    • Once cool, cut biscotti into slices about 1 inch thick. You can cut diagonally or horizontally. I prefer the second.
    • Once cut, re-arrange the biscotti on a baking sheet (cut sides down) and bake for about 10 minutes. You'll want them crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside.
    Enjoy!



    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Miette Honey Tea Cake

    As promised I am posting this delicious recipe for a honey tea cake that I got out of the Miette cookbook. You really can't go wrong with this cake. The flavor is simple yet rich, and the consistency is absolutely perfect - somewhere between a sponge cake and a pound cake (I think the 8 egg yolks, and cup of heavy whipping cream might have something to do with it.) Next time you're just in the mood to bake, but not sure what, go ahead an try this.

    Preheat oven to 350

    Ingredients
    • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 8 large egg yolks
    • 2 large whole eggs
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup + 6 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup honey, warmed and diluted with 2 tbs water - I added some cardamom. You'll want to use this simple syrup as the glaze at the end
    Directions
    • Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans, and dust with some flour to ensure nothing sticks and it all pops out smoothly.
    • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.
    • In another small bowl stir together the egg yolks, whole eggs, vanilla, and cream.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients with the sugar on medium speed for 30 seconds. Reduce to low and add the butter and half the egg mixture. Beat for 2 minutes, then beat for another 2 minutes at medium-high speed and watch it start to build some structure. You'll then want to reduce to low speed again, add the remaining egg mixture, and mix it for 2-3 minutes.
    • Pour batter among pans and bake for 30-45 minutes. You'll know it's done when the tops are golden brown, and you can stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean.
    • Once done, let cool and glaze with honey syrup.

    Enjoy!



    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Gluten-Free Maple Chocolate Chip Cake

    I am trying something completely against my baking, sugar, and wheat flour loving self...I am testing out a gluten free diet! But have no fear - I will still provide you with recipes full of gluten, with little gluten-free experiments like this thrown into the mix :)

    My first experiment is a gluten-free cake made with coconut flour. So far I don't like it as much as regular flour but the consistency is great and the flavor is not bad. It just has a simple hint of coconut.



    Here's a recipe for a completely gluten-free maple chocolate chip cake!




    Preheat oven to 350


    Ingredients

    • ½ cup butter, melted
    • ½ cup coconut milk
    • 12 eggs (yes, 12)
    • 1 cup brown sugar 
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
    • 1 cup sifted Coconut Flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ¾ cup pecans, finely chopped or walnuts




    Directions

    • Blend together butter, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, salt and maple syrup. 
    • Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. 
    • Pour batter into a greased 11x7x2 inch or 9x9x2 inch pan. 
    • Fold nuts into batter. 
    • Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted into centre comes out clean.

    Let me know what you think!

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    Momofuku Birthday Cake for Reed!


    Reed is a smart man. He got me the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook knowing that I would eventually make something for him. Quite strategic if you ask me! So, for his birthday this month I made Momofuku's version of everyone's favorite out-of-the-box cake...Funfetti!! Nothing can replace Funfetti but this recipe came pretty darn close. The only difference I really found was that it is not as sweet (to be expected) and has more of an angel fool cake consistency (which could be something I did wrong...eeek!) Either way it came out good. Reed took some slices home with him and claims they only lasted a day AND he tells me how much he misses it; so I guess I did good! :)
    Before I get into the recipe I have to say that this cookbook gave me a new love for Momofuku. Most probably know it as one of the trendiest spots in NYC, but after reading through the cookbook I have a new found respect for it (not that I ever disrespected it, they are THE makers of crack pie; but now I just see the spot through a different lens.) I really like how they are all about experimenting and not wasting anything (i.e. the crumbs you see on top of the cake is actually "crumb." They have recipes for it but I took a short cut and just used the best part of the cake: the greasy crumbs stuck to the pan!) They also use a deconstructed look; so the fact that you can see everything in my layer cake, including its imperfections, is all intentional. It's just a really fun book with a nice fresh perspective on baking. Okay okay, enough from me. Here's how YOU can make it:

    Ingredients: Cake
    (I used two 9" round pans so this makes a pretty decent size layer cake!)

      • 8 tbs softened butter
      • 2/3 cups vegetable shortening
      • 2 2/4 cups sugar
      • 6 tbs packed light brown sugar
      • 6 eggs
      • 1 cup buttermilk
      • 2/3 cups grapeseed oil
      • 4 tsp clear vanilla extract (I didn't use clear and I think it was fine, just FYI)
      • 4 cups cake flour
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
      • A generous portion of rainbow sprinkles!! Just remember people should be biting into a mouthful of cake, not sprinkles ;)
      Ingredients: Frosting
      • 1 stick butter at room temperature
      • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
      • 2 oz cream cheese
      • 2 tbs and 2 tsp corn syrup (if you have glucose use 1 tbs of that in place of the 2 tsp of corn syrup)
      • 1 tbs clear vanilla extract (again, I used regular and it seemed fine to me)
      • 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
      • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
      • pinch of baking powder
      • touch of lemon juice (or a pinch oc citric acid if you can find it)

      Directions: Cake
      • Preheat oven to 350
      • Combine the butter, sugar, shortening, and sugars in the bowl of stand mixer and cream together on high for 2-3 mins
      • Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on high for 2-3 minutes. 
      • Scrape the sides of the bowl once more and, on a low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
      • Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and let mix for 4-6 minutes until it is all practically white (don't rush this process. You'll know it is ready when it is completely homogenous. There should be no traces of fat or liquid).
      • Stop the mixer and scrape the sides again. This time, while on a very low speed, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles. 
      • Mix for about 1 minute and then scrape down the sides of the bowl one last time!
      Directions: Frosting
      • Combine the butter, shortening, and cream cheese in the stand mixer and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 mins until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
      • Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
      • With the mixer on its lowest speed, stream in the corn syrup and vanilla. Crank the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
      • Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
      • Add the confectioner's sugar, salt, baking powder, and lemon juice.
      • Mix on low speed just to incorporate everything.
      • Crank the speed back to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes. You'll know it is ready when it looks like it came from a can!
      • Use the frosting immediately (as long as the cake is cooled) or store it in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
      Happy birthday Reed Townsend Jones!!!




      Sunday, April 8, 2012

      Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches


      Why I didn't think of this sooner I do not know. I can't take credit for the ice cream because I didn't make that, but I did find a better use for homemade cookies! I have been reading a lot of the Momofuku Milk Bar cook book lately and if there is one thing I learned it is that you waste nothing and everything can be used to make something delicious. I like that so I went with it and made the cookie of all cookies. I have no name for it, so I will just say it is the 'Everything but the kitchen sink cookie.' Now you'll see why...

      Ingredients
      • 1/2 cup brown sugar
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1/2 cup butter, softened
      • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 egg
      • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
      • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1 cup chocolate chips
      • 1/2 cup coconut
      • Nutella as desired, to spread on the cookies for extra goodness!
      Directions
      (makes roughly 30 cookies)
      • Preheat the oven to 375
      • In a large bowl combine the sugars and butter until light and fluffy
      • Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and egg; mix well
      • Stir in the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt
      • Stir in the chocolate chips and coconut
      • Drop by the tablespoon onto lined cookie sheets, about 2" apart
      • Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown
      • After you let them cool, spread Nutella on each side of the cookie and sandwhich in some ice cream
      • Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze them until you are ready to chow down!
      Enjoy!