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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lemon-Cardamom Bars


My friend Nina came over with some wonderful organic lemons from work and we made some lemon bars. Being Persian, I thought it would be a nice touch to add some cardamom. Personally I think it was the perfect idea! A little different but you still pretty much get the standard lemon bar you are looking for :)

Here's how you make them:

Preheat oven to 350

Ingredients

Shortbread Base:
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Lemon Topping:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  • Directions

    Shortbread:
    • Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces.
    • In a food processor process all ingredients until mixture begins to form small lumps.
    • Sprinkle mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and with a metal spatula press evenly onto bottom.
    • Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 20 minutes. While shortbread is baking, you can prepare the topping!
    Lemon Filling:
    • Whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until well combined
    • Add lemon juice and flour
    • Add 1/4 tsp of cardamom
    • Pour lemon fixture over hot shortbread
    • Reduce the oven temperature to 300
    • Bake for 30 minutes
    When they are all done you can let them chill to solidify a little, or you can just eat them right-away!

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Chocolate Tart


    To what few fans and followers I have, I am sorry for taking forever to post! The holidays were busy and I have been catching up with everything in this new year. Hopefully this first post of 2011 will serve you all well though.

    As I post this and eat my Bi-Rite Mexican Chocolate with Salted Peanuts ice cream, I realize I have been on a chocolate kick lately. If you are on one too you will love this chocolate tart. For one, it's French, and who knows delicious pastries and desserts better than them? And if that isn't convincing enough, it is rich and not too sweet. It's actually quite bittersweet which is great if you are not too into the really sweet stuff. I on the other hand eat everything of course!

    Preheat oven to 350

    Ingredients

    Crust:
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
    • 3/4 cups flour
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
    Filling:
    • 14 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 6 tbs unsalted butter
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    Instructions

    Crust:
    • Process the sugar and walnuts in a food processor until finely ground
    • Add the flour, cocoa, and salt and pulse in the food processor until blended
    • Add the butter and pulse until it all starts to come together. A good test is to pinch it and if it clumps together you are set. Don't over-process it! It should not start to form a ball in the food processor.
    • Press the dough on the bottom, and along the sides, of a greased tart pan
    • Bake for 15-18 minutes until the crust begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, then let it cool once it's all baked
    In the meantime, you can make the filling.

    Filling:
    • Melt the chocolate with the cream in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water, whisking until smooth
    • Remove the bowl from the heat once it is all melted and whisk in the eggs and sugar until well blended
    • Whisk in the vanilla and transfer the filling to the warm crust
    Bake the tart for 12-15 minutes until the filling is set around the edges but still a little jiggly in the center. When it is done let it cool completely, for at least 1 1/2 hours. Then say a "oui oui" and a "hon hon" and a "bon appetit!" and enjoy :)