Parsley & Lemon – Ricotta Cupcakes

May 19th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

muffin

Makes 6 large cupcakes

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup turbinado sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons chopped fine, parsley
1 stick butter ( salted) softened
¾ cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
juice of three lemons

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift or mix together the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and soda and salt, in a medium size-mixing bowl.  In another medium sized bowl mix together the sugar, parsley and lemon zest until a crumbly mixture is created.  (Set aside 3 tablespoons of the mixture in a small bowl.) Add the butter and ricotta to the sugar mixture in the medium bowl.  Mix well by hand is fine.  Add the egg and continue to mix well until a light fluffy batter is created.  Spoon the mixture into a muffin tray lined with muffin papers or greased well.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture from the small bowl set aside on the top of each muffin.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Fresh Dates, Mint Infused Honey & Ricotta

August 2nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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Serves 6

The dessert is one that combines the love of fresh dates with the amazing ricotta and honey found throughout the Middle East, the tea, purely a Tunisian thing, interesting and quite good.

Ingredients

½ cup honey
1/2  cup water
24 fresh Deglet Nuir or Medjul dates, pitted
2 cups fresh ricotta


Directions

In a small saucepan heat the honey and the water, whisking to incorporate, do not boil.  Add the dates and let the dates simmer on low in the honey for about 5 minutes.  Serve a dollop of ricotta with a 3-4 dates and a drizzle of the honey.


Cinnamon Basil Grilled Plums and Sichuan Pepper Ice Cream & Toasted Quinoa Spiced Crumble

July 31st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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Serves 6-8 , makes 1 quart

Ingredients

2 tablespoons fresh cinnamon basil, chopped fine
2-3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons  Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon pink salt
2 pounds red flesh plums, halved
½ cup of honey or cinnamon basil syrup  ( Field Apothecary)
2 cups heavy cream
Toasted Quinoa Spiced Crumble

Directions

On a large plate place the plums flesh side up.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the cinnamon basil sugar, (only) 1 teaspoon of the Sichuan peppercorns, and the salt and mix well.  Sprinkle the mixture all over the tops of the plums and let sit for about 20 minutes.  Heat the grill to a high heat.  Place the plums flesh side down on a clean grill and cook until slightly charred and tender.  About 2 minutes.  Take off grill and place back on the plate with the sugar etc.  Allow to cool.   In a blender, combine the plums and all the scrapings from the plate with the honey or syrup and blend until totally smooth.  There will be pieces of skin but this adds beautiful color.  Add the heavy cream and blend again until well combined.  Refrigerate mixture until well chilled.  Process in an ice cream maker according to directions or just freeze, the creamy texture of the plums allows for a creamy ice cream simply in the freezer!  Serve with a little Toasted Quinoa Spiced Crumble on top.

Toasted Quinoa Spiced Crumble

Makes ½ cup

Ingredients

½ cup almonds, chopped fine
¼ cup black quinoa
½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, cracked fine
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
½ tablespoon almond oil

Direcitons

Pre-heat oven to 325˚ F.  In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients until well mixed and all nuts and seeds are coated.  Place the nut and seed mixture on a lined baking sheet making sure to lie out evenly.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until slightly browned.  Allow to cool completely. Alternatively, toast the quinoa in a saute pan and add almonds and sichuan peppers. Add honey and almond oil, stir and take off heat.  Place on wax paper to solidify.


Ginger Ice Cream with Chai Spiced Oven Caramelized Blood Oranges and Pistachios

March 31st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

chai spiced citrus

Serves 5

Ingredients

For the ice cream

2 eggs
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped fine (chopped not grated)


For the topping

1 vanilla bean, split, scraped and cut into pieces
3 blood oranges, halved and sliced thin ( peels on)
2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar
1 chai tea bag or 1 tablespoon fresh ground chai tea/spices
½  cup chopped pistachios
Pinch of salt

Directions

Whisk together the eggs and the sugar until a creamy whipped consistency occurs, add the heavy cream and continue to whisk until a smooth cream is formed.  Meanwhile bring the milk, fresh ginger and vanilla bean to a boil in a medium sauce pan, making sure not to burn the milk by stirring often.   When the milk is boiling  reduce heat to a medium low and continue to stir.  Add about a half of a cup of the hot milk to the cream and egg mixture and stir.  Slowly pour the cream and egg mixture into the hot milk, whisking slowly the entire time.  Continue to cook on a medium to low heat until he mixture thickens and a velvety custard like consistency forms, about 4 minutes.  Take the mixture off the heat and place in a stainless steel bowl and cool completely and chill.  When fully chilled process the ice cream in a n ice cream maker.

Pre heat oven to 400° F.  In a large bowl  combine all the ingredients and toss together until all the citrus is coated nicely.  Place the mixture on a large flat baking sheet, making sure the blood oranges are arranged flat.  Bake for about 7-8 minutes.  Turn the oven to broil and finish for about 2 minutes, making sure that the citrus brown and crisp or caramelize but not burn. Serve warm over the ginger ice cream.

Oven Caramelized Citrus Sundaes with Vanilla and Sage

January 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 lemon, halved and sliced
1 lime, halved and sliced
1 mandarin orange, halved and sliced
10 kumquats, halved
1 cup demerara sugar
Handful of fresh sage leaves
1 fresh vanilla bean, split
Vanilla Ice Cream

Directions

Pre heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl combine all the citrus halved and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the sugar and toss together well. Chop up the fresh sage (leaving a few sprigs whole) and toss those into the citrus bowl, along with the vanilla bean. Arrange the segments on a baking sheet flat and sprinkle with the remaining amount of sugar. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Place the oven on broil and broil for a few more minutes until the citrus is charred slightly. Spoon the mixture over vanilla ice cream!~

Oven Caramelized Citrus Sundaes with Vanilla and Sage

January 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 lemon, halved and sliced
1 lime, halved and sliced
1 mandarin orange, halved and sliced
10 kumquats, halved
1 cup demerara sugar
Handful of fresh sage leaves
1 fresh vanilla bean, split
Vanilla Ice Cream

Directions

Pre heat oven to 400° F.  In a large bowl combine all the citrus halved and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the sugar and toss together well.  Chop up the fresh sage (leaving a few sprigs whole) and toss those into the citrus bowl, along with the vanilla bean.  Arrange the segments on a baking sheet flat and sprinkle with the remaining amount of sugar. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.  Place the oven on broil and broil for a few more minutes until the citrus is charred slightly.  Spoon the mixture over vanilla ice cream!~

DARK CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN TRUFFLES WITH SPICED PUMPKIN SEEDS

October 10th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 truffles

Ingredients

½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon ground spiced pumpkin seeds
¼ cup pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nut meg
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet  dark chocolate, chopped
cocoa powder mixed with a little pumpkin pie spice, for dusting

Directions

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the heavy cream, vanilla, pumpkin seeds, spices  and pumpkin puree to a simmer, about 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the pan where the cream builds up. In a separate metal bowl, place the chocolate. When cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate, let sit for about 1 minute, and then stir until smooth and chocolate is melted and incorporated evenly. Place the metal bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Spoon small amount into hands, and roll into a little ball. Do not handle the chocolate ganache too much as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in refrigerator overnight. Roll in cocoa powder/pumkin pie spice mixture..

*Spiced Pumpkin Seeds : mix 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds with ¼ cup melted butter,  ¼ cup turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon of the following spices: black pepper,, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice.  Bake in a 400° oven for about 15-20 minutes or until browned and crisp.  Allow to cool before grinding.  Grind seeds as needed into a course grind like black pepper.


Spring Herbal Pavlova Cups with Rhubarb Rosemary Granita and Beet Lavender Flower Syrup

April 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

pavlova

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For pavlovas

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

For granita

2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup honey
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped fine


Directions


For pavlovas


Preheat oven to 300°F. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and herbs. Set aside. In a mixer (or with a whisk), beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the water, and beat. Continue beating soft peaks. Increase speed, and add sugar and corn starch mixture a little at a time. Next, add vinegar, and beat on high speed until glossy and stiff. Place a spoonful on a lined baking sheet, making 6 to 8 little bowls. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes, until starch hardens, before eating. For serving, place a little granita in a pavlova cup and drizzle a little lavender syrup on top. Garnish with some fresh herbs.


For granita


In a blender, combine all ingredients until mixed well. Add more honey to desired sweetness. Pour in a shallow, metal pan, and freeze, scraping frozen granules every 10 to 20 minutes for about a total of 2 hours.


Beet  Lavender Flower Syrup


Ingredients


½ cup honey
1 cup water
1 medium beet chopped
¼ cup turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped


Directions


In a small sauce pan, whisk the honey, water, sugar and herbs together while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 8 minutes, take off heat and allow to cool.

Shortbread Cookies with Winter Herbs and Dried Fruit

April 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
3½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
Fine sanding sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and chopped rosemary; set aside.

Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in olive oil. Reduce speed to low. Mix in flour mixture. Add cream; mix until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and dried cherries and mix until just combined.

Shape dough into ¾ inch balls and space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with fingers and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, about 13 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on sheet or wire racks. Store in airtight container.

*Alternatively use fresh thyme, orange zest and chopped dried dates; dried cranberries, fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped fine, Winter Savory and 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 teaspoons orange juice.

Orange Halva Ice Cream with Ros Al Hanout Brown Sugar Sauce

March 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk
Zest of 2 oranges
¼ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1½ cup tahini
Cup heavy cream
Salt

Directions

In a medium sauce pan combine milk, orange zest, orange juice and sugar and bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes allowing zest to infuse. Bring the heat to medium again, whisk in sugar and egg yolks making sure that the mixture stays smooth and creamy and that it does not boil. Take off heat add a pinch of salt and whisk in tahini and heavy cream until combined. Chill the mixture for a few hours in the refrigerator and often follow the instructions for your ice cream maker.

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Herbal Icing

March 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 18 cupcakes

Ingredients

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon meyer lemon zest
3 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups buttermilk
¼ cup meyer lemon juice
4 eggs
Herbal Icing

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 piece muffin tins. In a large mixing bowl sift together the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest. In another bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients, until well mixed. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet, stirring continuously until all the dry mixture is incorporated and a smooth batter is formed. Divide the batter into the 18 cups and place in the oven to bake for about 25 minutes or until stick inserted inside comes out clean. Take out of tins and allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack with pan underneath. While still warm but not hot drizzle the herbal icing over the top.

Meyer Lemon Herbal Icing

Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup meyer lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped fine
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped fine

Directions

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Pain Au Chocolate

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12

This version gives a shortcut to the traditional sweet Parisian breakfast treat by using already prepared puff pastry.

Ingredients

1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 package puff pastry, cut into 12 rectangles
1 package puff pastry, cut into 12 rectangles
18 ounces bitter sweet dark chocolate, thin bards, cut into 1½ ounce pieces
Sugar
Cardamom, ground (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Mix the water and beaten egg together and brush the puff pastry (top side) with the egg wash. Please each 1½ piece of chocolate at the end of one of the rectangles. Roll the chocolate up inside and placewith the seam face down on the baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and brush with the remaining egg mixture. Sprinkle with a tiny amount of sugar or sugar mix with a dash of cardamom. Place in the oven and bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm!

Pear & Almond Clafouti

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Traditionally a clafouti is French dessert made with black cherries in an excessively buttered dish in a cakey almond pudding like batter, baked and dusted with powdered sugar. This version is adapted form Julia Child’s clafouti recipe and utilizes almonds and pears.

Ingredients

3 bosc pears, cored and sliced thin (peels left on)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1¼ cups milk
13 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
½ cup flour
¼-½ cup almonds, sliced and blanched
Powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Gently toss together the pears, lemon juice and sugar. Excessively butter a round shallow baking dish, making sure all the sides and corners are greased well. In a blender mix together the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour on medium high speed until smooth. Place a small amount of the batter in the greased pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven for about 3-5 minutes or until the batter is set and semi firm. Remove the pan from the oven and arrange the pears in a creative design, making sure the peel side is facing upwards. Sprinkle a few almond sliced over the pears. Pour the rest of the batter evenly over the pears and then toss the remaining almonds over the top of that. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. The clafouti is done when it is puffed and brown and an inserted test stick comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Ginger Apple Tart Tatin

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8-10

Traditional Tart Tatin are made with apples and is essentially an upside down pie!

Ingredients

1½ cups flour
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
½ teaspoon cardamom, ground
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, 1 stick cubed and ice cold the other room temperature
4-6 tablespoons ice cold water
5 medium tart apples (pink ladies, honey crips, jonagold or braeburns), peeled quartered lengthwise and cored
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated
½ cup sugar
Ginger Whipped Cream (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and cardamom and mix well. Using a pastry cutter cut the ice cold butter cubes into the flour mixture swiftly until a crumbled mixture is formed. (A food processor is an easy alternative) Place the mixture in the freezer for a few minutes to get it ice cold again before adding the water. Add the ice water to the crumble mixture and using your fingers quickly mix it in just until the dough start to hold together. It will resemble a big course ball stuck together. You don’t want it smooth and you don’t want it to fall apart. Form the dough into a disc shape and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl toss the apples with the lemon zest, juice, brown sugar and ginger and mix until the apples are completely covered by the sugar and ginger. In a cast iron pan heat the butter on high until melted. Stir in the sugar and using a wooden spoon mix slowly until a caramelized syrup starts to form. (The sugar will begin to turn a deep amber color) Reduce the heat to low and add the apples in and continue to cook, mixing well until the apples are beginning to cook and the sugars begin to combine. Take off the heat and arrange apples in a creative pattern in the caramel covering the bottom of the pan.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cold dough disc until it is about a half an inch larger than the cast iron pan. It should be about ½-¾ inch thick and again slightly larger than the pan. Make sure to work quickly and handle the dough as little as possible. Shake of any access flour and gently place the dough over the apples. Making sure to tuck the edges in along the inside of the pan. Cut a few tiny air holes in the top of the crust in order to allow heat to escape. Place in the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and semi crispy. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan in order to loosen the grip of the dough on the pan.

Place a large flat serving dish on top of the pan and turn upside down, gently tapping if needed until the tatin releases. Serve warm with ginger whipped cream.

*Ginger Whipped Cream-whip 1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger until whipped cream consistency!

Bay Leaf Créme Brulee

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 ramekins

One of the most traditional of the French desserts a rich custard with a glass like burnt sugar topping!

Ingredients

2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
12 fresh bay leaves
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out (seeds reserved)
3 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
¾ cup of sugar
Pinch of salt
Bay leaf sugar (1 cup sugar and 4-6 bay leaves in a jar for 1 week-shaking each day)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan combine the milk, cream, bay leaves (crack before putting in pan to release oils), vanilla bean pod and seeds and bring to a boil. Take off heat and let steep for about 20 minutes. In the meantime beat the eggs, egg yolk and ¾ cup sugar and the pinch of salt. Remove the vanilla pod and bay leaves and whisk the cream mixture into the egg yolk until thick custard is formed. Divide the custard into 6 lightly greased ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking dish with sides and place about 1-2 inches water in the dish. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the water bath and place in the refrigerator to set up for at least 3 hours. For serving place a tablespoon of bay leaf sugar over the top and with a kitchen blow torch heat the sugar until it caramelizes. Allow brulée to set for a few minutes while the caramelized sugar hardens.

Pumpkin Buttercream

February 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 2 cups (enough for about 4 dozen macarons)

Ingredients

2 large egg whites
23
Pinch salt
6½ ounces (13 tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly cooler than room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup canned pumpkin puree (at room temperature)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Large pinch ground cloves
Orange food coloring, preferably paste or gel

Directions

Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until they form soft peaks.
Meanwhile combine the sugar and about 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over moderately high heat. Bring to a boil and cook to the soft ball stage (235-240°F) on a candy thermometer.
Gradually pour the syrup into the egg whites with the mixer on a low speed. Scrape down the sides and beat on high speed until the meringue is at room temperature. Gradually add the butter and salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly. Beat until completely smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in the remaining ingredients adding enough orange food coloring to give the buttercream an attractive color. If the buttercream seems to be separating beat on high until it comes back together.

Recipe copyright by Michael Kronkl

Pumpkin Macarons

February 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

*You will need some almond flour. If you can’t buy it, you can make your own, just make sure the almonds are really dry. Seperate the eggs at least 1 hour before using or preferably the day before. And if you want to ensure all the macarons are the same size makes a huge difference here.

The recipe makes about 2 dozen 1½-inch macarons

Ingredients

215 grams (7½ ounces) confectioners’ sugar
140 grams (5 ounces) almond flour or sliced almonds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
100 grams (3½ ounces) egg whites (about 3 large) at room temperature
Pinch salt
25 grams (2 tablespoons) castor or superfine granulted sugar
Orange food coloring preferably paste or gel
Pumpkin buttercream (see following recipe)

Directions

Line two 18-by-13 inch cookie sheets with parchment paper adhering them to the sheets with a little butter.
If sliced, grind the almonds very fine in a food processor with about half the confectioners’ sugar, scraping regularly. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and process until very fine. Pass through a medium-coarse sieve and regrind the remaining almond bits if necessary. If using almond flour, sift together with the confectioners’ sugar.
Beat the whites and salt with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and beat until stiff and shiny. Add enough coloring for an attractive orange color and beat until stiff and shiny. Add enough coloring for an attractive orange color and beat until homogenous. Using a rubber spatula fold in the almond mixture in two additions until just homogenous. The mixture will deflate.
Fit a piping bag with a 38-inch (1 cm) round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheets in circles about 1 inch in diameter. Let the macarons dry about 20 minutes (a little longer is OK if you need to cook them in two batches) so a little skin forms on the outside.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Set the macarons in the center of the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 350°F. Prop the door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon or something similar. For small macarons, bake about 8-10 minutes, larger ones will take about 12-15. They are doen whe shiny and hard on the outside. When you pry one apart it should be a little moist in the middle. Set on a cooling rack and cool briefly. Remove the macarons from the parchment paper while still warm. Cool on cooling racks.
Sandwich the macarons with 1-2 teaspoons of buttercream. Set in an air-tight container and refrigerate overnight.

Pumpkin Buttercream

Makes about 2 cups (enough for about 4 dozen macarons)

Ingredients

2 large egg whites
23
Pinch salt
6½ ounces (13 tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly cooler than room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup canned pumpkin puree (at room temperature)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Large pinch ground cloves
Orange food coloring, preferably paste or gel

Directions

Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until they form soft peaks.
Meanwhile combine the sugar and about 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over moderately high heat. Bring to a boil and cook to the soft ball stage (235-240°F) on a candy thermometer.
Gradually pour the syrup into the egg whites with the mixer on a low speed. Scrape down the sides and beat on high speed until the meringue is at room temperature. Gradually add the butter and salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly. Beat until completely smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in the remaining ingredients adding enough orange food coloring to give the buttercream an attractive color. If the buttercream seems to be separating beat on high until it comes back together.

Recipe copyright by Michael Kronkl

Gianduja Buttercream

February 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 1 cup buttercream

Ingredients

125 grams (4½ ounces or 1 stick + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
70 grams (2½ ounces or 5 tablespoons) granulted sugar
3 egg yolks at room temperature
2 ounces gianduja

Directions

Melt the gianduja along with 2 tablespoons water in a double boiler. Set aside to cook to room temperature.
Beat the butter until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and foamy.
Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and boil to the soft ball stage (238°F). Very gradually add the syrup to the egg mixture in a thin stream, beating rapidly between each addition. Beat with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy and room temperature. Beat in the butter, a tablespoon at a time. If the mixture looks curdled keep beating at high speed. If it gets soupy, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and beat again. Finally beat in the gianduja buttercream.

Recipe Copyright by Michael Krondl

Gianduja Macarons

February 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

215 grams (7½ ounces) confectioners’ sugar
100 grams (3½ ounces) egg whites (about 3 large) at room temperature
130 grams (4½ ounces) peeled, lightly toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
25 grams (2 tablespoons) castor or superfine granulated sugar
Pinch salt
Gianduja Buttercream (recipe follows)

Directions

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper adhering them to the sheets with a little butter.
Grind the hazelnuts very fine in a food processor with about half the confectioners’ sugar, scraping regularly. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar and process until homogenous. Pass through a medium-coarse sieve and regrind the remaining nut bits if necessary. Whisk in the cocoa.
Beat the whites and salt with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and beat until stiff and shiny. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula fold in the nut mixture in two additions until just homogenous. The mixture will deflate.
Fit a piping bag with a 38-inch (1 cm) round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheets in circles about 1 inch in diameter. Let the macarons dry about 20 minutes (a little longer is OK if you need to cook them in two batches) so a little skin forms on the outside.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Set the macarons in the center of the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 350°F. Prop the door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon or something similar. For small macarons, bake about 10 minutes, larger ones will take about 15. They are done when shiny and hard on the outside. When you pry one apart it should be a little moist in the middle. Set on a cooling rack and cool briefly. Remove from the macarons from parchment while still warm. Cool on cooling racks.
Sandwich the macarons with 1-2 teaspoons of gianduja buttercream. Set in an air-tight container and refrigerate overnight.

Gianduja Buttercream

Makes about 1 cup buttercream

Ingredients

125 grams (4½ ounces or 1 stick + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
70 grams (2½ ounces or 5 tablespoons) granulted sugar
3 egg yolks at room temperature
2 ounces gianduja

Directions

Melt the gianduja along with 2 tablespoons water in a double boiler. Set aside to cook to room temperature.
Beat the butter until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and foamy.
Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and boil to the soft ball stage (238°F). Very gradually add the syrup to the egg mixture in a thin stream, beating rapidly between each addition. Beat with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy and room temperature. Beat in the butter, a tablespoon at a time. If the mixture looks curdled keep beating at high speed. If it gets soupy, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and beat again. Finally beat in the gianduja buttercream.

Recipe Copyright by Michael Krondl

Key Lime Macarons

February 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

215 grams (7½ ounces) confectioners’ sugar
100 grams (3½ ounces) egg whites (about 3 large) at room temperature
140 grams (5 ounces) almond flour or sliced almonds
25 grams (2 tablespoons) castor or superfine granulated sugar
Pinch salt
Green food coloring (preferably paste)
2 teaspoons very finely grated key lime rind

Directions

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper adhering them to the sheets with a little butter.
If sliced, grind the almonds very fine in a food processor with about half the confectioners’ sugar, scraping regularly. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar and process until homogenous. Pass through a medium-coarse sieve and regrind the remaining almond bits if necessary. If using almond flour, sift together with the confectioners’ sugar.
Beat the whites and salt with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and beat until stiff and shiny. Add coloring and beat until homogenous. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula fold in the almond mixture in two additions until just homogenous. The mixture will deflate. Gently fold in the lime rind.
Fit a piping bag with a 38-inch (1 cm) round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheets in circles about 1 inch in diameter. Let the macarons dry about 20 minutes (a little longer is OK if you need to cook them in two batches) so a little skin forms on the outside.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Set the macarons in the center of the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 350°F. Prop the door sligthly ajar with a wooden spoon or something similar. For small macarons, bake about 10 minutes, larger ones will take about 15. They are done when shiny and hard on the outside. When you pry one apart it should be a little moist in the middle. Set on a cooling rack and cool briefly. Remove from the macarons from parchment while still warm. Cool on cooling racks.
Sandwich the macarons with 1-2 teaspoons of buttercream. Set in an air-tight container and refrigerate overnight.

Lime Buttercream

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

125 grams (4½ ounces or 1 stick + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
70 grams (2½ ounces or 5 tablespoons) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
3 egg yolk at room temperature
2 teaspoons key lime juice
1 teaspoon key lime rind
Green food coloring (preferably paste)

Directions

Beat the butter until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and foamy.
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and boil to the soft ball stage (238°F). Very gradually add the syrup to the egg mixture in a thin stream, beating rapidly between each addition. Beat with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy and room temperature. Beat in the butter, a tablespoon at a time. If the mixture looks curdled keep beating at high speed. If it gets soupy, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and beat again. Finally beat in the food coloring, then the lime juice a drop at a time and finally stir in the lime rind. Refrigerate until firm enough to pipe.

Recipe Copyright by Michael Krondl

Ginger & Orange Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts

February 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 dozen doughnuts

*Recipe adapted from Donna Hay

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying

For the glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup milk, warm
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped fine
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon orange zest

Directions

In a large bowl whisk together the yeast, water  and milk and set aside.  The mixture should begin to foam, allow to sit and “activate” for about 7-10 minutes.  Add the sugar, orange zest, salt , eggs and butter and mix well.   Next add the flour stirring well as you add the flour in a little at a time until a sticky dough is formed.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead for about 5 minutes or until super elastic.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel.  Set in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut  doughnuts using round cookie cutters and using the small cutter for the center hole. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let stand for 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan filled about 3 inches filled with oil to a medium heat.  Cook the doughnuts a few at a time until golden brown flipping ounce.  (about 3 minutes per side.)  Drain on paper towels.

To make the glaze, combine the milk rice syrup, zest, ginger , chocolate and vanilla in a sauce pan and heat on low stirring until all is melted and incorporated.  Take off the heat and add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Dip the doughnuts in chocolate and let sit in a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Vanilla Bread Pudding with Golden Raisins

January 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 loaf Challah bread, hardened, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup (6 ounces) golden raisins, plumped in hot water, for 15 minutes
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
18 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
18 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
¼ cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a deep 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6 minutes, until crisp. Transfer to a bowl and add the apple and raisins. In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer or whisk, beat the eggs with sugar. Beat in the ground spices, vanilla and salt. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk with the molasses until just warm to the touch. Gradually beat the warm milk into the egg mixture, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. Spread bread mixture out in your large baking dish, or distribute it among ramekins. Pour the custard over the bread mixture, nudging the bread around a bit to make sure it soaks all of the pieces. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes, until puffed and set, with the tops lightly browned. Let the bread pudding rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Moroccan Spiced Dried Fruit & Nut Sundaes

January 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup dried figs, chopped
½ cup dried dates, chopped
½ cup almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon traditional ros el hanout recipe
1 cup turbinado sugar
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons orange juice
½ stick butter
¼ tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
Vanilla ice cream

Directions

In a medium mixing bowl mix together the dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, zest and ros al hanout until well mixed. In a small sauce pan on medium heat place the sugar, water and orange juice and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increased the heat to high and boil, stirring constantly until the sugar turns a deep amber color. Brush the sides down with a wet pastry brush to ensure that caramel doesn’t form on the side of the pan. This should take approximately five minutes. Whisk in the butter and then once the butter is melted and whisked in, whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla. Add the dried fruit and nut mixture and take off heat. Let stand a few minutes to cool and drizzle over ice cream!

Ras El Hanout Poppyseed Butter Cookies

January 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

These are more an adult cookie – sweet, sultry and exotic!

Ingredients

1 butter cookie recipe with orange zest in it
½ tablespoon traditional Ros El Hanout
½ tablespoon brown sugar
½ tablespoon poppyseeds
Rose Petals (optional)

Directions

Prepare the butter cookie dough according to the directions, adding 1 tablespoon orange zest into the mixture. Prepare the butter cookies as per directions. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the rose el hanout, sugar and poppy seeds and mix well. Sprinkle the mixture on the prepared butter cookies. Place one rose petal in the center of the cookie and bake according to directions!

Healthy Junk Bark

December 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves about 6-8

This simple low calorie snack is perfect for kids and adults. Creativity is the key in this recipe, mixing and matching flavors to create an amazing chocolate experience!

Ingredients

16 ounces semi sweet of bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped or chips
Dried fruit of choice: cranberries, cherries, apricots, blueberries, chopped
Nuts of choice: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts roasted and chopped
Seeds of choice: pumpkin, sesame
Sea salt flakes

Directions

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Spoon the melted chocolate over a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper making sure it is about at least ¼ inch thing. Sprinkle your bark items thoroughly evenly. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand in a cool place for at least an hour, alternatively you can place in the refrigerator to harden faster. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Here are a few of our favorite junk bark combinations:

Almond and dried cherry
Peanuts, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
Pretzels and dried cherries
Almond and blueberry
Almonds, pumpkin seeds, cherries, walnuts and sesame seeds

Mini Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Preserve Sauce

December 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen Cheesecakes

*Recipe from AllREcipes.com

Ingredients

2 cups graham crackers, crushed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2-8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
¾ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Preserve Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line one 12 cup mini muffin tins with paper liners. In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, stir with a fork until just moistened. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of crumbs into each liner and pack down (a shot glass in a useful tool for this!). Bake the crusts for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cream together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Top each crust with the mixture, filling the cups almost to the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Top each cheesecake with about ½ teaspoon for the berry topping. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Store leftovers covered in the fridge.

Strawberry Preserve Sauce

Makes 1 cup sauce

Ingredients

½ cup strawberry preserves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup rose wine or water

Directions

Bring all ingredients to aboil in a small sauce pan, continue to boil a few minutes, and then reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce by about ¼ or until desired consistency, stirring often. Cool and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

Medjool Compote (Sweet)

December 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2½ cups

Ingredients

2 cups Medjool dates, chopped fine
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped fine
1 tablespoon orange zest
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup hot water
2 tablespoons honey
1 cinnamon stock
2 star anise

Directions

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir and place tempeature on a low simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture is a soft compote. Serve with cheeses, cakes, or on warm sweet breads.

Fall Fruit Farro Tart

December 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 tart, serves 6 to 8 people

Ingredients

1 cup farro, cooked
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pie dish
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
4 medium plums, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
Plums & Rosemary for decorating the top
Honey creme fresh

Directions

Cook farro until tender, following package instructions, about 30 to 40 minutes. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a glass pie dish by greasing it with butter. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add butter. Cook plums and rosemary until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add cinnamon, stir and remove from heat. Set aside. In a separate  bowl, mix ricotta cheese, eggs, salt, and freshly grated nutmeg. Add plum mixture and cooked farro, and combine thoroughly. Pour into glass pie dish. Arrange plums and rosemary leaves on top. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until set. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with honey creme fresh.

Orange, Cranberry & Pecan Muffins

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans  (optional)
1 tablespoon orange zest

Topping:

2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Fold in sour cream. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in orange zest, cranberries and pecans. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups two thirds full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Recipe Property of Shawona Jones.

Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastries

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

For the filling:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup crushed blueberries

For the glaze:

11/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Quick puff pastry
2 boxes quick puff pastry

Directions

Make the filling: In a bowl beat together the cream cheese, the sugar, the yolk, the vanilla, the salt, the zests, and the flour until the mixture is smooth and chill the filling, covered, for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Unroll 1 defrosted box of puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut into even squares. Each square will be cut at the corners. Add a tablespoon of filling and 1 teaspoon blueberries to enter. Cross the left side of each slit made onto the top of the filling, overlapping dough. Continue around until pastry resembles a pin-wheel. Brush with egg wash.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Keep an eye on pastry as extra filling may change baking time.
Make the glaze while the Danish pastries are baking: In a bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, sifted, and enough of the lemon juice to make a thick but pourable glaze.
Transfer the Danish pastries to a rack and drizzle some of the glaze over each pastry. The Danish pastriies may be cooled to room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, and frozen for 1 month. Transfer the Danish pastries to a baking sheet and bake them in the middle of a preheated 400°F oven for 5 minutes, or until they are heated through.

Recipe Property of Shawona Jones.

Cinnamon Buns

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

4 cups all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk, scalded and skimmed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Filling:

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
21/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

Icing:

8 tablespoons butter, softened (1 stick)
11/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Dissolve the yeast in warm milk and set aside for 5 minutes to proof (foam). Combine sugar, butter, eggs and salt. Stir in flour and yeast mixture. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth. Sprinkle lightly with flour, as needed, to keep dough from sticking  (dough should be slightly sticky). Add as little flour as possible; the more flour that is added, the heavier the bread will be, and the goal is to have very light bread, so if the dough is sticking rub a little oil on your hands. Place in a lightly greased bowl and turn once to grease top. Cover, let rise in a warm place free from draft about one hour or until dough has nearly doubled in size. Punch down, and roll the dough on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. Roll out to a rectangle shape until it is approximately 21 inches long and 16 inches wide by 1/4” thick. If dough begins to resist, stop working and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. While oven is preheating, mix ingredients for filling. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Starting from the long side, begin rolling the dough down to the bottom edge, jelly roll style. Cut the rolled dough into 13/4” slices and place and place into a lightly greased baking pan, allowing about 1 inch space between each.
Put the rolls into a warm place and allow to rise again until nearly double in size (approximately 30 minutes). Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden. While the rolls are baking, mix ingredients for icing.
Beat well with a rotary mixer until light and fluffy.
When the rolls are done, drizzle generously with the icing while still warm.

Recipe property of Shawona Jones.

Pumkin Coffee Cake

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

Topping:

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoon cold butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cake:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

In a small bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the sour cream, pumpkin and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture. Beat on low just until blended. Spread the batter into two greased and floured 8 inch round cake pans. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 325°F for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted neat the center comes out clean.

Recipe property of Shawona Jones.

Simple Scones with Dried Fruit

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
21/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz cold butter or margarine
2/3 cup whole milk
1 egg separated
3/4 cup dried fruit
2 teaspoons sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut butter into flour mixture. Will resemble crumbs.
In a small cut, with fork, mix milk and egg yolk.
Make well in center of flour mixture. Pour in milk mixure and dried fruit. Stir just until combined.
Transfer dough to un-greased large cookie sheet.
With floured hands, shape into 7 in round. With floured knife, cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate wedges.
Brush wedges with egg white sand sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar on top.
Bake 22-25 minutes until golden brown and just cooked through.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe Property of Shawona Jones

Chocolate & Pumpkin Bread Pudding

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 ramekins

Ingredients

1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon, freshly grated
2 teaspoons nutemg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups day old bread, cubed about 11/2 inch thick
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Powder sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Grease 12 ramekins. In a large bowl whisk together the coconut milk, almond milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices until smooth. Mix in the bread and the chocolate. Place the mixture in greased ramekins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned. Remove from oven and take out of ramekins while warm by cutting around the mold and turning upside down onto a small plate. Dust the tops with powdered sugar.

Whole Wheat Cranberry Sage Rolls with Pumpkin Butter

December 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 24 rolls

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon dark molasses or honey
21/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup fresh sage, chopped fine
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pumpkin butter (recipe follows)

Directions

In a small bowl, gently whisk together the yeast, 1/4 cup lukewarm water and molasses. Let the mixture stand until frothy, about 7 minutes. In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, salt, cranberries, sage and walnuts. Mix well. Combine the two mixtures and mix well, adding the olive oil in the end. When the dough is well mixed, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 7-8 minutes or until texture is elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled ceramic bowl, dampen a kitchen towel in warm water and use the towel to cover the bowl. Let dough rise until double in size, usually about 11/2 hours. Punch the dough down and again turn onto lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes. Divide dough into 24 evenly shaped balls and place on lightly greased baking pan. Allow to rise another 20 minutes. Bake rolls for about 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown in 450° oven that has been preheated for at least an hour.

Pumpkin Butter

Makes 1/2 cup

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped fine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and  mix well, heat to a medium heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally until thick. Allow to cool and let set in the refrigerator to set up.

Rosemary Plum Pie Pockets

November 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12-15 pies

Ingredients

Basic Pie Crust Dough (Recipe Follows)
6 medium plums, peeled, cored and chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 pinch of ground cardamom
½ cup light brown sugar or sugar in the raw
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar or sugar in the raw

Rosemary Sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all plum filling ingredients and mix well. Roll out dough and cut dough into 12 to 15 4-inch squares. Put 2 tablespoons of mixture of the dough on one side, and fold over. Using wet hands, moisten the seal so it sticks together. You can use a fork to press it down or roll it over like an empanada. Place on a greased baking sheet. Brush outside with beaten egg wash, and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle some rosemary sugar on top!

Pie Crust Dough

Ingredients

1½ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ sticks of unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water

Directions

Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until combined well. Using your hands, add butter and crumble into the flour (a food processor can also be used) until the crust mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolk and the ice water, and mix together gently until dough is moist. Form dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

Maple Sage Crusted Pumpkin Tart with Nutmeg Cardamom Whipped Cream

November 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 tart

Ingredients

For the tart

1½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped super fine
1 stick butter, cold and cubed
3 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup whole milk

For the filling

2 eggs
1 can (12 ounces evaporated milk)
¾ cup brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons fresh cinnamon sticks, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, freshly grated
½ teaspoon fresh cloves, ground
½ teaspoon fresh allspice berries, ground
1 pinch (¼ teaspoon) white pepper

Directions

For the tart

In a food processor combine the flour, salt, and sage and mix well. Add the butter cubes into the flour and pulse several times until a coarse meal is formed. Add the maple syrup and pulse a few more times. Then as it is running pour in the milk until a ball is formed, which will be just about instantly. Turn off the machine and form the dough into a disc and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 375°F. Roll the tart dough out to fill an 8 inch deep dish tart pan (13-14 inches in circumference). Press the dough gently into the tart mold, roll the rolling pin over the top of the mold to cut off excess dough. Place in the refrigerator to chill at least 30 minutes.

Roll the pie dough out large enough to fill a 9-inch deep dish pie or tart pan (about 13-14 inches). Press gently in pan. If using a pie pan, crimp edges. If using a tart pan, roll the rolling pin over the top to cut the excess dough off. Chill the dough-filled pan in the fridge. In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until beaten, add the evaporated milk and brown sugar and continue to whisk. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk or stir until totally incorporated and mixed. Add the spices and continue to mix until smooth. At this point taste the mixture and adjust spices to taste preference. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and pour the filling into the tart dough filling the mold. Place in the oven and bake until the center of the pie is cooked through and does not jiggle loosely, the crust should be golden brown. This process could take up to 50 minutes. When a stick inserted into the center comes out clean, the tart is done. Take out of oven and allow to cool. After at least 7 minutes you can slip the tart through the ring mold. Cool at least 30 minutes before refrigerating to serve chilled. Serve with Nutmeg Cardamom Whipped Cream.

Nut Meg Whipped Cream

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cardamom pod (shells removed, seeds used)

Directions

With a mixer, mix all ingredients until whip cream with soft peaks is formed!

Old Fashioned Apple Pie with Cross Stitch Top

November 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pie

Ingredients

For the crust

2½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or light brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated cinnamon
1¼ sticks butter, cold and cubed small
½ cup ice water

For the filling

6-8 medium tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced about a ½ inch thick
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
½ cup turbinado sugar, white sugar is okay too
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Next, cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal. Next add the water a little bit at a time mixing after you add each few bits. Mix just until dough comes together without being wet or sticky. Turn out dough from bowl onto work surface, and knead once or twice to combine. Flatten into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

In another medium bowl add the apples, and mix with lemon juice and zest, tossing until well coated. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar and flour and mix well again until all is evenly coated all over the apples.

On a flat lightly floured surface roll out one of the discs until a smooth thin disc a few inches larger than the circumference of your pie plate. Gently fold the disc in half and then in half again and transfer to the pie plate, unfold and arrange the disc in the center of the pie plate. Place the pie plate on a large flat baking sheet and place in the refrigerator. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Next roll out the second disc into the same size thin disc. With a pastry wheel cutter cut the dough into 12 strips about ¾ inch wide. Take the pie plate out of the refrigerator and poke holes in the bottom layer with a fork. Add filling to the pie plate, making sure it is evenly distributed. Lay about 5-7 strips across the pie evenly and parallel to each other. Then fold back every other strip half way. Lay another strip over the pie and fold the other back and then the opposite way in half. Repeat until remainder of the pie is latticed. Seal the edges with a crimping pattern making sure the dough is smooth and pushed together well. Place in the refrigerator for a few minutes and then the oven for aboout 45-50 minutes or until browned and apples are soft.

Bay Leaf Créme Burlée

October 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 ramekins

Ingredients

2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
12 fresh bay leaves
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out (seeds reserved)
3 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
¾ cup of sugar (plus more)
Pinch of salt
Bay leaf sugar (1 cup sugar and 4-6 bay leaves in a jar for 1 week-shaking each day)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan combine the milk, cream, bay leaves (crack before putting in pan to release oils), vanilla bean pod and seeds and bring to a boil. Take off heat and let steep for about 20 minutes. In the meantime beat the eggs, egg yolk and ¾ cup sugar and the pinch of salt. Remove the vanilla pod and bay leaves and whisk the cream mixture into the egg yolk until thick custard is formed. Divide the custard into 6 lightly greased ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking dish with sides and place about 1-2 inches water in the dish. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the water bath and place in the refrigerator to set up for at least 3 hours. For serving place a tablespoon of sugar over the top and with a kitchen blow torch heat the sugar until it caramelizes. Allow to burlée to set for a few minutes while the caramelized sugar hardens.

Petit Fours

October 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

For the cake

½ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
113 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
23 cup milk
3 egg whites

For the fruit glaze

12 ounces apricot or raspberry preserves (or heated jelly may be used instead)
3 tablespoons water

For the icing

9 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
Food coloring (optional)

For the garnish

Tiny edible sugar flowers and/or leaves, for decorating tops of petit fours

Directions

For the cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a sheet of parchment in a sheet pan and grease sides. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 12-15 or until cake is golden. Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Cut cake in half and spread preserve on one side and carefully stack second side on top. Place in fridge for 10 minutes.

For the icing (icing can be colored)

Combine all icing ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Heat over boiling water to lukewarm. Leave on double boiler. Remove cake from fridge. Cut into squares or use cutters for more unique shapes. Add each individual cake to a wire rack with a sheet pan to catch drips and pour warm icing over cakes evenly. Repeat if necessary. Careful not to over ice cakes. Add garnish.

Ginger Lemon Meringue Tarts

October 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

4 egg yolks (reseve whites for meringue)
13 cup cornstarch
1½ cups water
113 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 box gingersnap cookies (2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grind gingersnaps into crumbs. Add butter and press into tart molds. Place on a sheet pan for easy transport. Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.

Over a double boiler, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine, stirring frequently. Allow mixture to thicken. Add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture. Return egg mixture to double boiler, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour mixture over gingersnap crumbs and top with meringue while filling is still hot. Cover filling with meringue (can use a piping bag). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

For meringue

Place egg whites and pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

Rainbow Cookies

October 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

8 ounces almond paste, at room temperature
8 ounces butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups all purpose flour
6 drops yellow, pink and green food coloring
13 cup raspberry preserves
13 cup orange marmalade
1 cup semisweet chocolate (melted)

Directions

Cream butter, almond paste and sugar until creamed. Add egg yolks and blend to smooth. Add flour to form dough. Whip egg whites to soft peaks in separate boil. Fold into dough in three additions. Separate batter and add food coloring. Prepare three pans with parchment paper. (Can share pan between two colors). Spread evenly each color batter. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden. Cool, approximately 10 minutes.

Layer each color alternating with raspberry jam and orange marmalade. Stack heavy books over covered cakes. Allow to thin for at least 1 hour in fridge. Next, melt chocolate over double boiler. Spread evenly over layered cake. Place in fridge for five minutes. Cut with hot knife into squares and serve.

Skyr Mousse with Crowberry Sauce and Sweet Rye Bread Dust

October 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 12

Ingredients

For the Skyr Mousse

1 vanilla bean pod
18 ounces plain skyr
3 ounces granulated sugar
2 ounces heavy cream
7 ounces heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
3 sheets gelatin, soaked in warm water until pliable, excess water squeezed out

For the Crowberry Sauce

5 ounces fresh crowberries
2 ounces granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the Sweet rye bread dust

12 thinly sliced pieces rye bread (rugbraud)

Directions

For the Skyr Mousse

Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Reserve the seeds for the mousse and reserve the pod for making something else such as infused vodka or sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together the skyr, sugar and vanilla seeds until incorporated. Set aside. In a small saucepan, gently heat the heavy cream over low heat. Set aside for three minutes. Add the gelatin and stir until dissolved. Combine the gelatin mixture with the skyr mixture and stir until incorporated. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a rubber spatula and distribute into 12 small bowls. Transfer to the freezer until set.

For the Crowberry Sauce

In a blender, purée the crowberries until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and add the sugar. Over medium low heat, bring to a simmer while stirring frequently. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the cinnamon and lemon juice then refrigerate until chilled.

For the Sweet Rye Bread Dust

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the rye bread on a sheet tray and bake until dry, about 20 minutes. In a blender, puree until the texture of fine sand.

To serve

Spoon crowberry sauce over the skyr mousse and sprinkle with rye bread dust.

Jeremiah’s Boozy Banana Bread with Vanilla Rum Butter

September 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas
¼ cup vanilla and cinnamon infused rum
¼ cup melted butter
2 tablespoons almond oil
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups all purpose flour

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Smash together bananas, rum, vanilla, melted butter, almond oil and sugar until well mixed, add the beaten egg and mix. Add the salt and baking soda and mix. Fold in the flour a little bit at a time mixing until all flour is incorporated and a smooth batter is created. Pour the mixture into a greaed loaf pan and cook for 50 minutes or until inserted stick comes out cleans. Allow to partially cool, remove from pan and serve with rum butter. (1 tablespoon infused vanilla, cinnamon rum with 3 tablespoons butter.)

Coconut Sticky Rice Mangoes (Mock Sushi)

August 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 cup of sweet/ glutinous or “sticky” rice
2 cups of coconut milk
¾ cup of white sugar
1 tablespoons lime zest
2 teaspoons rice flour
1 ripe mango, sliced into thin “sashimi” like pieces
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Wash rice three times in cold water, draining after each wash. Then completely soak washed rice in water overnight or for 10 hours. Place drained rice into a pan with the coconut milk, white sugar, zest and rice flour. Steam until rice is cooked through and sticky, about 30-40 minutes. Form sushi oval with the sticky rice and place a mango slice on top. Enjoy the mock sushi pieces!

Apricot Plout Almond Tart

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup honey
1 cup ground almonds
2 eggs
½ cup heavy cream
Vanilla been scraped, seeds reserved
10 apricots, pitted and halved
8 plouts, pitted and halved
2 sheets of puff pastry, white or whole wheat
Apricot syrup

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Mix together in a large bowl the butter, honey, almonds, vanilla seeds, eggs, and cream until smooth. Arrange sheets of puff pastry on a greased baking sheet and brush with apricot syrup. Make sure you create sides on the dough on all sides. Arrange the apricots around the dough and pour in the almond filling. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Upon pulling out of the oven brush with apricot syrup while warm.

Apricot Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½ cup apricot puree
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Combine apricot puree, sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium sauce pan and place on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes and add honey and vanilla and simmer another few minutes.

Rustic Rye Apricot & Cherry Gallette

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1-2 inch gallette

Ingredients

1 cup dark rye flour
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 tablespoon apricot puree
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup ice water
10 apricots, sliced
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
½ cup raw suconat sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

Mix together the flours turbinado sugar and salt, cut in the butter with pastry cutter or fork until a course meal is created. Add the apricot puree, apple cider vinegar and mix. Adding the water a little at a time, slowly and gently combine mixture until a soft dough ball is formed. Place the dough ball in the refrigerator and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. In a large bowl combine the apricots, cherries, sugar and lemon juice and let stand approx 30 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured surface until it forms a large circle about 16 inches in diameter. Place rolled dough on a large, thick, greased cookie sheet or pan with sides or, better yet, a large, greased cast iron pan. Place apricots and cherry mixture in a big pile in the center of the dough, reserving liquid. Fold dough up all around the pile of fruit leaving a big hole at the top like a shallow volcano. Pour a little of the liquid in the top and reserve a little for the end. Bake in a preheated oven 375° for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and crispy. Drizzle finished tart with the remainder of the juice from the fruit in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Apricot Baklava

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1 cup apricots, chopped fine
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups apricot syrup (recipe follows)
1 package whole-wheat Phyllo pastry (white can be substituted)
1 stick butter, unsalted and melted

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, mix the filling mixture ingredients (walnuts, apricots, and sugar) until well combined and set aside. Butter a large baking sheet making sure to get the corners and sides as well. Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Place two sheets of dough on the pan and brush with melted butter thoroughly. Sprinkle a later of the nut mixture atop the sheets and repeat the layers creating a total of between 5-8 layers. With a sharp small knife, cut the pastry in diamond or square shapes carefully, making sure to get all the way to the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup by combining apricots, sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon and place on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes and add honey and vanilla and simmer another few minutes. Keep warm and spoon over baklava (when it first comes out of the oven), making sure the baklava is soaked fully.

Let baklava set for about 30 minutes before serving.

Apricot Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½ cup apricot puree
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Combine apricot puree, sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium sauce pan and place on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes and add honey and vanilla and simmer another few minutes.

Honey & Herbed Ricotta

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup fresh ricotta
¼ cup honey
1 /2 cup of chopped herbs of choice

Directions

Mix together all ingredients until smooth and mixed.

Almond Cream

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup honey
1 cup ground almonds
2 eggs
½ cup heavy cream
Vanilla bean scraped, seeds reserved

Directions

Mix together in a large bowl the butter, honey, almonds, vanilla seeds, eggs and cream until smooth. Use in tarts that are baked for about 10 minutes at least.

Mini Cream Fruit Tarts: Apricot, Italian Plum & Prune, Raspberry, Blueberry

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 Tartlets

Ingredients

Lemon Cream
Almond Cream
Honey & Herbed Ricotta
1 cup sliced apricots
1 cup sliced Italian plums
¼ cup prunes, chopped fine
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
8 tartlet shells, par-baked
Ginger Honey Glaze
Herbal Honey Glaze
Sweet Black Pepper Cherry Glaze

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 ° F. Place about 3 tablespoons filling of choice into a par-baked tart shell and place about ½ cup of fresh fruit, (for the plum add the prunes as well) nicely arranged on top. Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Take out of the oven and brush with a little bit of glaze of choice. The recipe makes 2 of each variety of tartlets.

*Pairing ideas: Blueberry Lemon Cream with Honey Ginger Glaze, Apricot Almond Cream with Herbal Honey Glaze or Black Pepper Cherry Glaze, Raspberry Herbed Ricotta with Ginger Honey Glaze, Plum & Prune with Almond Cream and Ginger Honey Glaze.

Fresh Star-Anise Strawberry Sauce

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup strawberries
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 star anise

Directions

In a medium saucepan combine the strawberries, sugar, water and the star anise and bring to a boil and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until thick and strawberries cooked down. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes and take of heat and let stand to cool before serving. (discard the star anise before serving.)

Sweet Spiced Red Bean Paste

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup adzuki beans, cooked very soft
¼ cup turbinado sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated

Directions

In a blender mix well while beans are warm and allow to cool.

Mango Banana Spring Rolls with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 rolls

Ingredients

1 cup sweet red bean paste (recipe follows)
6 small rice paper wrappers
1 semi ripe mango sliced long and thin
2 bananas, halved and sliced into 3 inch long strips about ½ and inch thick
Fresh Star Anise Strawberry Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large bowl of warm water, dip the rice paper wrappers for about 7-10 seconds. Take out and shake off excess water and lay flat on a kitchen towel. On the middle of the wrappers, place a long dollop of the bean paste mixture, a few mango strips and a few banana strips. Wrap the roll up like a present but rolling. Serve garnished with strawberry sauce.

Sweet Spiced Red Bean Paste
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup adzuki beans, cooked very soft
¼ cup turbinado sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated

Directions

In a blender mix well while beans are warm and allow to cool.

Fresh Star-Anise Strawberry Sauce
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup strawberries
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 star anise

Directions

In a medium saucepan combine the strawberries, sugar, water and the star anise and bring to a boil and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until thick and strawberries cooked down. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes and take of heat and let stand to cool before serving. (discard the star anise before serving.)

Tarragon Biscuits

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15 biscuits

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cold & cut into cubes
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, sliced into thin strips

Directions

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and gently mix. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.) Combine the cream, zest, orange juice and tarragon in a measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, ¾ to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 6-10 even shapes of your choice, circles, squares, triangles, etc. and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Tarragon-Ginger-Peach Shortcake

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 medium fresh peaches, pitted and cut into wedges about ½ inch thick
½ cup turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons ginger
½ cup water
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped fine
Tarragon Biscuits (recipe follows)
Tarragon ginger Cream (recipe follows)

Directions

Place the peaches, turbinado sugar ginger and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil for a few minutes and reduce and simmer for about 5 minutes or until peaches are semi soft and the liquid is thick. Let stand for at least 30 minutes, before using. Split the biscuits in half and place a spoonful of the peach mixture on the top of one half and a dollop of the cream, place the other half of the biscuit on top and a few peaches and cream as well.

Tarragon Biscuits
Makes 15 biscuits

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cold & cut into cubes
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, sliced into thin strips

Directions

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and gently mix. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.) Combine the cream, zest, orange juice and tarragon in a measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, ¾ to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 6-10 even shapes of your choice, circles, squares, triangles, etc. and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Tarragon Ginger Sweet Cream
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
½ cup heavy cream
1-2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

In a blender or with a hand held food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.

Lavender Peach Doughnuts Bites Tossed with Lavender Fairy Dust

August 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 30 bites

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose white flour
¼ cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons fresh lavender, chopped fine
2 teaspoons sea salt
½ cup whole milk, room temperature
¼ cup plain white Greek yogurt
¼ cup fresh peach puree
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup butter, melted
Canola oil for frying
Lavender Fairy dust for dusting (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large bowl mix together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, lavender, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, yogurt, peach puree, vanilla, sugar, eggs and melted butter. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and gently mix until it is smooth and a little elastic. To fry the doughnuts, fill a pan up to 3″ of canola oil. Heat the oil until it reaches 375ËšF. Drop spoonfuls of the doughnut mixture into the hot pan. Do not over-crowd the pan with doughnuts. Fry about 5 at a time (depending on the size of the pan). They will sink to the bottom but then float to the top. Turn them over and let them cook for an additional 2 minutes or so. Drain them on paper towels and while hot, coat them with the lavender-rosemary sugar. (Wait until the hot oil runs off the donut before dusting.)

Lavender Fairy Dust
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar, white
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers

Directions

Rub dry lavender flowers between your fingers creating a powder, mix with powdered sugar and voila!

Bacon & Maldon Salt Truffles

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 truffles

Ingredients

½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup bacon, chopped super fine
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
Black Volcanic Salt for dusting

Directions

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the heavy cream and bacon to a simmer, about 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the pan where the cream builds up. In a separate metal bowl, place the chocolate. When cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate, let sit for about 1 minute, and then stir until smooth and chocolate is melted and incorporated evenly. Place the metal bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Spoon small amount into hands, and roll into a little ball. Do not handle the chocolate ganache too much as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Coconut Milk Caramel Dark Chocolate Truffle with Toasted Coconut

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 truffles

Ingredients

½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons caramel
1 tablespoon honey
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
Toasted Coconut for Dusting

Directions

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the heavy cream, vanilla, coconut milk,caramel and honey to a simmer, about 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the pan where the cream builds up. In a separate metal bowl, place the chocolate. When cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate, let sit for about 1 minute, and then stir until smooth and chocolate is melted and incorporated evenly. Place the metal bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Spoon small amount into hands, and roll into a little ball. Do not handle the chocolate ganache too much as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roll in toasted coconut. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Sweet Mango Curry Truffles with Sweet Curry Powder

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 truffles

Ingredients

½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon fresh chili, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup stone fresh mango puree or chopped ripe mango
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
Sweet curry Powder for dusting (*3 teaspoon curry powder mixed with ¼ cup powdered sugar)

Directions

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the heavy cream, vanilla, curry powder, fresh chili, honey and mango, to a simmer, about 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the pan where the cream builds up. In a separate metal bowl, place the chocolate. When cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate, let sit for about 1 minute, and then stir until smooth and chocolate is melted and incorporated evenly. Place the metal bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Spoon small amount into hands, and roll into a little ball. Do not handle the chocolate ganache too much as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle Sweet curry powder. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Ginger & Fresh Plum Sake Truffles with Black Sesame Seeds

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 truffles

Ingredients

½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ cup fresh plums, chopped
2 tablespoons sake
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Black sesame seeds for dusting

Directions

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the heavy cream, vanilla, ginger, brown sugar and fresh plums to a simmer, about 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the pan where the cream builds up. In a separate metal bowl, place the chocolate. When cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate, let sit for about 1 minute, and then stir until smooth and chocolate is melted and incorporated evenly. Place the metal bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Spoon small amount into hands, and roll into a little ball. Do not handle the chocolate ganache too much as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Stonefruit Jam Truffles with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 30 truffles

Ingredients

½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds (removed from cardamom pod), crushed
¼ cup stone fruit of choice jam
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
Himalayan Sea Salt for dusting

Directions

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the heavy cream, vanilla, cardamom seeds, and stone fruit to a simmer, about 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the side of the pan where the cream builds up. In a separate metal bowl, place the chocolate. When cream is warm, pour it over the chocolate, let sit for about 1 minute, and then stir until smooth and chocolate is melted and incorporated evenly. Place the metal bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Spoon small amount into hands, and roll into a little ball. Do not handle the chocolate ganache too much as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with Maldon salt. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Lavender Fig Compote

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 pound fresh black figs, ripe & sweet, de-stemmed & chopped
1 cup lavender syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Creamy Lime-Sickle Trifle

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pint 0% Greek Yogurt
4 key limes zest
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 vanilla bean pod
½ cup flaked almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon golden flax seeds, ground
½ cup of your favorite seasonal fruit (cherries, berries or mango work great)
¼ cup dried coconut
½ cup of granola
10 ginger snap cookies

Directions

In a small mixing bowl, mix together with egg beater yogurt, vanilla, lime zest, and agave. Toast almonds in a dry pan till golden. Crumble ginger snaps and flax seeds in a baggie. In tall clear glasses layer until the glass is filled:
a. Yogurt
b. Fruit
c. Coconut
d. Ginger snaps
e. Repeat
Top with the flaked almonds and granola.

Silver-Dollar Walnut Cakes with Berry Compote and Lemon Ricotta

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Pancake Mix

1½ cups buckwheat flour
1½ tablespoons agave nectar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups almond milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts
Cooking spray

For the Berry Compote

½ pint blueberries
½ pint strawberries sliced
½ pint raspberries
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
2 tablespoons water

For the Lemon Ricotta

½ cup skim ricotta
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped

Directions

In a small sauce pan, add berries, water and marmalade. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens. Mix together ingredients for the ricotta & store in fridge till its time to serve.

Preheat griddle over medium heat. Mix dry pancake ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix together wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to dry. Fold together. Measure out cakes with a small ladle or ice cream scoop to a sprayed griddle. Cook each for about 3 minutes per side, and store cooked cakes in a warm oven (200°) until all are cooked.

Place cakes on plate (3 for a full serving of whole grains). Top with compote and a dollop of ricotta mixture.

Turn leftovers into a trifle by alternating cake, compote, ricotta in a tall glass container. Top with any extra compote. Cover with plastic wrap and place a small plate on top to weigh down. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour. Turn upside down over plate and remove bowl. Slice like a cake and serve.

Crispy Flax Granola

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

2 cups traditional rolled oats
2 tablespoons ground golden flax seeds
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts
½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
½ cup peanut or almond butter
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons thyme
1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add honey, olive oil, nut butter, herbs and zest. Fold in the rest of the ingredients. Press flat into baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool, the break into bite size pieces and serve over your favorite fruit, yogurt or with milk.

Hand Rolled Vegan Truffles

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 truffles

Ingredients

½ pound pitted & chopped dates
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon of your favorite Liquor
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup cacao nibs
¼ cup finely shredded coconut

Directions

In a food processor add dates, water, liquor, and salt. Mix on high till it forms a ruff paste. Add ½ of the cocoa powder and date mix into a bowl and fold together well. Place 2 small plates on the counter one with the rest of the coco, one with coconut, the other with the nibs. Using a soup spoon, potion out date mixture. Hand roll each into a ball shape. Roll some of the truffles in cocoa powder, some in coconut, and the other in the nibs. Find your favorite combination. Place into fridge for 30 minutes to harden.

Lo-Cal Milkshake

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

½ cup fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped (optional flavor choice)
2 tablespoons chocolate powder (optional flavor choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups low fat milk
1 cup ice
¼ cup honey
1 pinch of salt

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Waffle Cones

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 12 cones

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cup powdered sugar
1½ cup flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
½ teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

In a medium bowl whisk together the cream and vanilla until the heavy cream begins to get thick, it will resemble somewhere between a yogurt or mouse consistency. Whisk in remaining ingredients until well mixed and thick batter is created. Let stand for at least 20 minutes before making the cones. Follow the instructions on the waffle cone maker and make sure you grease it. Before making the waffles, make sure to make a cone template, unless you are a pro! Using a piece of paper roll it creating a paper cone the size of the bottom of the rolled paper is the size of the cone you want to create. Tape the paper up the size you want your cone. To roll the waffle you must work fast. Heat the waffle iron and cook waffles according to directions on waffle iron. Remove from the waffle iron and use your mold to form the cone shape. Roll the waffle over the mold forming the cone and let stand to dry a few minutes and it will harden.

Raspberry Buttermilk Gelato

July 7th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¾ turbinado or raw unprocessed sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup raspberries, pureed

Directions

In a medium sauce pan combine the sugar and corn starch on medium heat and whisk in the buttermilk and the cream, whisking continuously until the gelato base begins to thicken and bubble. Take off heat and whisk int he pureed raspberries and cool mixture. Process in an ice cream maker using instructions.

Watermelon Lime & Mint Granita

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup fresh mint leaves
Juice and zest of 2 limes
2 cups watermelon

Directions

In a blender place all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a low metal dish with sides and freeze. After the first hour, using a fork, scrape puree every 20-30 minutes while it freezes. This should create flaky crystals. Freeze and scrape until desired consistency. The process should take approximately 2-3 hours. The granita can be scraped at the very end as well but the consistency (flaky ice crystals) will be better if you follow the method of occasional scraping. Before serving, scrape well to get icy crystals.

White Chocolate Lavender Peach Macaroons

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen macaroons

Ingredients

For the outer shells…

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup almonds, finely ground (grind in spice grinder or use almond flour)
3 egg whites (stored at room temperature for 6 hours prior)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons white cocoa powder
2 tablespoons crushed dried lavender flowers

For the lavender peach cream

1 teaspoon lavender powder (dried lavender flowers crushed)
3 tablespoons fresh peach puree
½ cup sugar
1½ cups butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and take out some cookie cutters the size of the macaroons you wish to make as well as pastry piping bags and tips. Take the cookie cutters and trace a shape with a pen of the macaroons to make templates for size. In a mixing bowl combine almonds, lavender powder, cocoa and powdered sugar. (The ratio for the powder sugar and the almond meal or flour changes the consistency, the more almond meal the more grainy and dense the more powdered sugar the lighter the density, play and mix and match according to your tastes). In a stand mixer or kitchen aid with a whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on a medium low speed until foamy. Turn the speed up and add in the sugar slowly until egg whites have a glossy meringue texture and look. Be very careful NOT TO OVERBEAT. Take the bowl attachment off the kitchen aid or stand mixer and gently fold in the almond, cocoa, lavender and powdered sugar mixture, trying not to over mix, but mixing just enough to create a lava like flowing thick meringue-ish looking batter. The batter should be heavy enough so that peaks do not form but that the heaviness pushes the meringue down. To test your batter on a plate or counter by seeing if it indeed condenses down as opposed to holding its shape. If peaks are present, give it another few turns by hand until they go away. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain tip. Pipe out the patters or templates you traced carefully. Let the macaroons sit for about 10-12 minutes so as the macaroons harden a little and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then gently remove from parchment paper before they stick, allow to cool fully before filling.

For the lavender peach cream

In a mixing bowl or mixer whip together softened butter, powdered sugar, lavender powder and peach puree. Mix until full incorporated, soft and creamy.

To assemble the macaroons spoon a small amount of the filling on one side (flat side) of one macaroon shell, making sure it is in the center. Place another macaroon shell on top (flat side to flat side).

Strawberry Basil Cream Macaroons with Sugar Fried Basil Leaves

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen macaroons

Ingredients

For the outer shells…

¾ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup almonds, finely ground (grind in spice grinder or use almond flour)
3 egg whites (stored at room temperature for 6 hours prior)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons condensed strawberry puree

For the basil cream

1 cup basil leaves
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
1½ cups butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and take out some cookie cutters the size of the macaroons you wish to make as well as pastry piping bags and tips. Take the cookie cutters and trace a shape with a pen of the macaroons to make templates for size. In a mixing bowl combine almonds and powdered sugar. (The ratio for the powder sugar and the almond meal or flour changes the consistency, the more almond meal the more grainy and dense the more powdered sugar the lighter the density, play and mix and match according to your tastes). In a stand mixer or kitchen aid with a whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on a medium low speed until foamy. Turn the speed up and add in the sugar slowly until egg whites have a glossy meringue texture and look. Be very careful NOT TO OVERBEAT. Pour the strawberry puree in the mixer for 2-3 quick turns or until the puree is mixed in some. Take the bowl attachment off the kitchen aid or stand mixer and gently fold in the almond and powdered sugar mixture, trying not to over mix, but mixing just enough to create a lava like flowing thick meringue-ish looking batter. The batter should be heavy enough so that peaks do not form but that the heaviness pushes the meringue down. To test your batter on a plate or counter by seeing if it indeed condenses down as opposed to holding its shape. If peaks are present, give it another few turns by hand until they go away. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain tip. Pipe out the patters or templates you traced carefully. Let the macaroons sit for about 10-12 minutes so as the macaroons harden a little and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then gently remove from parchment paper before they stick, allow to cool fully before filling.

For the basil butter cream

In a medium sauce pan combine basil leaves, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to let cook on low for about 4 more minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend. Strain the mixture and discard the basil leaves. Place the mixture back on the burner and bring to a boil and cook until reduce to half and is very thick, stirring constantly for about approximately 4 minutes. Cool. In a mixing bowl or mixer whip together softened butter, powdered sugar, and basil syrup. Mix until full incorporated, soft and creamy.

For sugar fried basil leaves

In a little bit of almond oil in a small frying pan on high heat, fry basil leaves a few at a time until crisp but still green. Take of heat and place on paper towels, sprinkle with sugar while warm on both sides.

To assemble the macaroons spoon a small amount of the filling on one side (flat side) of one macaroon shell, making sure it is in the center. Place a sugar fried basil leaf on top of the filling and then place another macaroon shell on top (flat side to flat side).

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

June 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup turbinado sugar, plus extra
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
½ cup buttermilk
Course sugar for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a medium bowl combine and gently mix the strawberries, lemon juice and zest as well as the sugar and let stand for at least five minutes. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, nut meg and salt with about a tablespoon of the extra sugar. Gently cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or your hands, cutting or crumbling until the mixture resembles a course cornmeal. Mix in the buttermilk slowly stirring until the dough starts to come together. Gently fold in the strawberries and mix well, but gently. Make sure the dough is completely mixed. Drop dough onto a greased or lines cookie sheet (about a tablespoon for each) making sure to space them apart as they will fall a bit. Sprinkle a bit of the course sugar atop and place in the over to bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and take off pan immediately to cool completely.

Jersey Peach Popsicle Bites

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 cups jersey peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
½ cup water
½ cup honey

Directions

In a medium sauce pan place the peaches, honey and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 2 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool. Once cool, blend into a smooth puree. Place into popsicle molds and freeze for 6-9 hours.

Strawberry Creamsicles

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

053

Makes 6-9 popsicles

Ingredients

1 pint fresh strawberries, stems removed and chopped
13 cup honey
13 cup water
4 egg yolks
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon orange zest
13 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a medium sauce pan place the strawberries, honey and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool, once cool, blend into a smooth puree. Whisk together egg yolks, cream, and milk and place it in a sauce pan to heat on low medium heat whisking for about 5 minutes or until a custard-like texture begins to form, remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a bowl combine the strawberry puree, the custard mix and the orange juice, zest and vanilla until well mixed. Place into popsicle molds and freeze for 6-9 hours.

Watermelon Mint Lime Cubes

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
½ cup raw sugar or regular sugar
2 cups watermelon cubed into ½ inch cubes

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine the lime zest, mint, lime juice, and sugar and whisk until all sugar is incorporated. Place the watermelon cubes in a large bowl and pour the juice and zest mixture over the cubes. Toss together and place in a zip lock freezer bag and freeze for about 2-3 hours. Pop into your mouth and enjoy!

Blueberry Vanilla Cream Yogurt Pops

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6-9 popsicles

Ingredients

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cream
1 cup vanilla yogurt
½ cup honey

Directions

Blend up all the ingredients and pour into popsicle molds and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours. If you do not have popsicle molds pour into wax paper cups and freeze for about 1 hour. After the hour, place popsicle sticks into the middle of the cups and continue to freeze for 6 hours.

Fresh Ginger Whole-Wheat Nutmeg Butter Cookies

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6-9 cookies

Ingredients

¼ cup butter, soft
¼ cup turbinado sugar or raw unprocessed sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
¾ cup whole-wheat flour
Pinch of salt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. In a small mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar, spices and vanilla until well mixed, add the egg and mix well. In a spate small bowl mix together flour and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet a little at a time mixing continuously. Form the mixture into a long log shape about 2 inch circle and wrap in saran wrap for up to 1 hour. Slice the logs thin and place on a baking sheet. Alternatively you can bake immediately without refrigerating the cookies with be softer. Place spoons full of the dough mixture on a baking sheet and press down using fingers to a flat cookie shape. Bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. Place on rack to cool.

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ cups packed light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 firm-ripe bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into ¾-inch thick slices
¼ cup banana liqueur
½ cup dark rum
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
6 cups (½-inch cubes) day-old French bread
Vanilla ice cream
Caramel Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10 by 14-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup of the brown sugar and the cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add the bananas and cook on both sides, turning, until the bananas start to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the banana liqueur and stir to blend. Carefully add the rum and shake the pan back and forth to warm the rum and flame the pan. (Or, off the heat, carefully ignite the rum with a match and return to the heat.) Shake the pan back and forth, basting the bananas, until the flame dies. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Whisk together the eggs, remaining ½ cup brown sugar, the cream, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the cooled banana mixture and bread and stir to blend thoroughly. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake until firm, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. To serve, scoop the pudding onto dessert plates. Top each serving with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzle with caramel sauce, and serve immediately.

Caramel Sauce

Makes ¾ cup

Ingredients

¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons to ¼ cup whole milk

Directions

Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Carefully add the cram (it may splatter), whisk to combine, and remove from the heat. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before serving. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril’s Delmonico, by Emeril Lagasse

Empanadas de Guayaba (Guava Pie Pockets)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15-20 empanadas

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
¾ cup water (ice cold)
Guava Jam (recipe follows)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly with crumbles about the size of peas. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and water. Add the liquid a little bit at a time to the flour-butter mixture; mix it up with your hands or a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, a few more tablespoons of ice cold water may be needed. Form the dough into a flat disc shape about the size of a small salad plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Divide the dough in two and on a lightly floured surface roll out each piece of dough to a rectangular shape. Cut the dough in about 8-10 three inch squares. Place a tablespoon of the jam on the center of each square. Fold over the dough around the filling, and moisten borders with wet finger tips. Roll the edges of the border from one side of the empanada to the other in a crescent, making sure just to roll the very outer edge of the border. Place each empanada on a greased baking sheet. Poke one or two holes, using the tip of a knife, in each empanada to aerate them. Bake empanadas for about 15 minutes, take out of the oven, and brush with a little butter. Bake again for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat, allow to cool a few minutes and dust with powdered sugar.

Guava Jam

Ingredients

2 cups guavas, chopped fine (skins, seeds and all) (about 10 guavas)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 pinch of salt

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked down. Turn up heat to medium and boil for another 10 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or flour sifter making sure the seeds are caught, push as much as you can through the mesh. Place the mixture in a metal bowl and place in the refrigerator to solidity; Guavas natural pectin will create a more dense and thick jam.

Semita de Piña (Pineapple Tart)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 12 tarts

Semita is the most popular pastry in El Salvador and its basically a bread dough filled with jam. The most popular filling is pineapple utilizing El Salvador’s sweet pineapples!

Ingredients

1 cup milk
½ cup butter, unsalted
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
13 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
5 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups pineapple preserves (recipe follows)
(egg and water for glaze)
Turbinado sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan heat the butter, sugar and milk until all the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool to a lukewarm temperature. In a small bowl whisk together water and yeast and set aside for about 3-4 minutes until yeast is frothy. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Mix together the milk mixture and the yeast mixture and slowly add to the flour bowl mixing as you add forming a bread dough. Once a bread dough is formed and all the ingredients are mixed well, transfer to a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled metal or ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide into two sections and place again on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle sheet the size of a baking sheet. Place the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet (save the trimmings of dough if you have). Spread the pineapple preserves all over the dough evenly leaving a border around the edges for sealing the top layer. Roll out the second section of dough and place over the top of the jam. Making sure to seal the edges (by pressing together tightly). Roll out the strips of dough into long strips and make criss-cross pattern over the tart. Take some beaten egg and water and brush the tops of the tart and sprinkle with the turbanado sugar. Poke many holes in the tart to prevent it from puffing ad let the tart rest for about 30 minutes before placing in the oven to bake. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough (on the side) comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Pineapple Preserves

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup pineapple, chopped small to fine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (scraped parts reserved)
½ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan on low heat and cook slowly stirring often for about 20 minutes.

Pasteles de Tres Leches con Mango (Three Milk & Mango Cake)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ cup butter, soft
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (insides reserved)
2 cups mango, ripe and chopped small
½ cup vanilla brown sugar syrup (¼ cup water, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 vanilla bean scraped and cut)
1 can (15 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-12 four ounce ramekins. In a medium mixing bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside. In another larger bowl cream together the butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy. Mix in the scraped parts of the vanilla bean and mix until incorporated well. Slowly combine and mix the dry mix into the wet mix a little at a time until all is incorporated and a creamy batter is created. Pour the batter evenly between the ramekins. Bake the ramekins for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool. In a mixing bowl combine the mango, the brown sugar syrup, the coconut milk, the condensed milk and mix well. Carefully take the cake out of the ramekins and place down on a large baking tray or Pyrex baking dish with raised sides. Make sure the little cakes do not touch each other. Poke holes in the cakes using a wooden skewer (about 10 holes per cake), making sure the hole goes to the bottom. Pour your mango batter over the cakes and place in the refrigerator to soak up the sauce for about an hour.

Flan de Leche (Caramel Custard)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
4 eggs, beaten
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of whole milk
1 fresh vanilla bean, cut open and scraped out
½ cup sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 6-8 ramekins.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water and bring to a moderately high heat until all sugar dissolves. Continuing to boil the sugar without stirring, allowing it to begin to turn a light honey brown, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place a spoonful or more of sugar on the bottom of each greased ramekin, swirling it and coating the bottom of the ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet with a rimmed edge. In the meantime in a large bowl combine the eggs, condensed milk, scraped vanilla and the sugar and mix until smooth. Pour the batter evenly between the ramekins. Pour a bit of water in the pan that the ramekins are placed in. Place in the pre heated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Chill the flans well before removing from the ramekins. Run a knife around the edges and loosen the sides and invert onto a serving plate. Garnish with more caramel or fresh fruit.

Batido de Banana y Fresa (Strawberry Banana Shake)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3-4 milkshakes

Basically a milkshake, although a much looser version, often served over more ice cubes to keep very cold and fresh. Batidos showcase the fruits often associated with Central America and their rich and sweet flavors that are the very essence of their desserts.

Ingredients

1 cup fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped
1 banana, ripe and cut into chunks
2 cups milk
1 cup ice
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 pinch of salt

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. The Central American versions of milkshakes are often much looser than other milkshakes and often served over more ice.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart with Blood Orange Thyme Glaze

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 tartlets

Ingredients

Sweet Pie Dough-6 tartlet shells baked
2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and kept whole
1 cup rhubarb, sliced
2 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 tablespoons blood orange zest
13 cup sugar
½ cup blood orange juice
1 cup créme fresh
½ cup honey

Directions

In a medium saucepan combine rhubarb, sugar, blood orange juice, 1 tablespoon thyme leaves and 1 tablespoon zest. Cook on medium until all sugar is dissolved and the rhubarb is soft but not mushy, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the ¼ cup honey and créme fresh with 1 teaspoon blood orange zest until creamy. In a small saucepan place ¼ cup honey, ½ cup blood orange juice, 1 tablespoon thyme leaves and 1 teaspoon of blood orange zest and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer stirring until mixture is thick like a glaze. Place a few tablespoons of the honey créme fresh in the bottom of each tartlet and cover with a little of the rhubarb mixture. Place strawberries cut side down (pointed side up) so that no shell is visible. Brush the tops with the blood orange thyme glaze and chill for at least one hour before serving!

Greek Style Baklava

May 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the filling

1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla

For the pastry

1 package phyllo pastry
1 stick butter, unsalted and melted

For the syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, mix the filling mixture ingredients until well combined and set aside. Butter a large baking sheet making sure to get the corners and sides as well. Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Place two sheets of dough on the pan and brush with melted butter thoroughly. Sprinkle a layer of the nut mixture atop the sheets and repeat the layers creating a total of between 5-8 layers. With a sharp small knife, cut the pastry in diamond or square shapes carefully, making sure to get all the way to the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup by combining sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon and place on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes and add honey and vanilla and simmer another few minutes. Keep warm and spoon oven baklava (when it first comes out of the oven), making sure the baklava is soaked fully.
Let baklava set for about 30 minutes before serving.

Vanilla-Saffron Rice Pudding & Rhubarb Compote with Orange Zest Ginger Butter

May 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
2 teaspoon orange zest
1 cardamom pod (seeds only)
1 cup jasmine rice
½ cup sugar
2 cups milk
Vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Rhubarb Compote (Recipe Follows)
Orange Zest Ginger Butter (Recipe Follows)

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, heat the butter on medium heat and sauté the saffron, ginger, zest and cardamom for a few minutes. Add rice and vanilla scraped from bean, and sauté for another few minutes. Add the sugar and milk and turn the heat down to simmer and keep it simmering uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes. Cook the rice pudding until it is of a thick porridge consistency. Serve the rice pudding with rhubarb compote and the orange zest-ginger butter.

Spicy Rhubarb Compote

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

¾ cup rhubarb, sliced thin
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped fine
1 teaspoon orange zest
¼ cup orange juice

Directions

In a medium sauce pan combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmering boil and allow rhubarb to cook down until soft and syrupy, or about 10 minutes.

Orange Zest-Ginger Butter

Makes ½ cup butter

Ingredients

13 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well until a smooth butter paste is formed, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Place the mixed butter on a small sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a tight log. Place in refrigerator to solidify.

Mint Ice Cream with Fresh Orange-Beet Swirls

April 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 5 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 cups 2% milk
2 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh mint, chopped
10 egg yolks
1 medium red beet, cooked and peeled and cubed
½ cup orange juice
½ cup sugar

DIRECTIONS

In a heavy bottomed saucepan bring the milk, half and half, sugar and mint to a boil and reduce heat immediately, and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring gently, allowing mint to steep into liquid. Discard mint. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg yolk well. Ladle a big spoon full of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking well, to avoid the eggs from cooking. Add the remainder of the egg mixture into the milk on the stove and the heat gently whisking constantly until a thick custard forms or until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon well; about 5-6 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to get very cold. Place in the freezer 10 minutes before making the ice cream. Process the ice cream in an ice cream maker, following instructions of the machine.

Thaw the ice cream so it is just starting to get soft. Place the beet, sugar and the orange juice in a medium saucepan and heat until the sugar is melted. Blend in a blender until a smooth sauce. Drizzle the mixture into the soft ice cream using a spoon and swirling it, being careful not to mix the ice cream too much. Freeze.

Strawberry-Lemon Thyme Rhubarb Tartlets with Honey Creme Fresh

April 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 tartlets.

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Pie Dough (1 recipe for one large tart) (add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme)
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup rhubarb, sliced
¼ cup fresh lemon thyme leaves
13 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup créme fresh
¼ cup honey

DIRECTIONS

Pre heat oven to 375°F. Place the pie dough into 6 little tart shells, making sure it is smooth and even out the dough in each tarlet tin. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tart crust is golden brown and crisp. In a medium sauce pan combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, lemon thyme and zest. Cook on medium until all sugar is dissolved and the strawberries and rhubarb is soft but not mushy, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place a few tablespoons of the honey créme fresh in the bottom of each tartlet and cover with a pile of the strawberry rhubarb mixture (about 13 cup). Chill slightly and serve.

Blackberry-Basil Buckwheat Flax Crepes with Basil Sweet Cream

April 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 cups blackberries
½ cup turbinado sugar
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups 2% milk
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon golden flaxseeds
3 eggs
Basil Sweet Cream (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl mix the sugar, basil and blackberries and let stand. Whisk together all ingredients until a smooth batter is formed. Batter will be much thinner than pancake batter. Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until coled before making crepes. Lightly grease a non-stick griddle pan and place over high heat. Making sure pan is very hot, pour batter to form a 7 inch circle. When crepe is cooked on one side, about 15 to 30 seconds, flip and cook on opposite side. Repeat until all batter is used. Place a few spoonfuls of the blackberry mixture on the center of a crepe and fold over into a square or just a roll up. Drizzle some basil sweet cream over the top of the creme.

Basil Sweet Cream

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

½ cup creme fraiche
½ cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon blackberry juice from the sugared blackberries
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine

DIRECTIONS

Whisk together all ingredients until a smooth cream is formed. Can be made thicker or thinner by adding less or more milk.

Mango Mint Sorbet

April 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
½ cups chopped mint
2 cups fresh mango, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
¼ cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

Make simple syrup in a medium saucepan by combining the sugar and water and chopped mint. Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves, simmer for 5 minutes, take off burner, add lime zest and juice, cool, strain, and set syrup aside. In a food processor, blend up the mangoes until a puree forms. Mix simple syrup, cream and pureed mangoes and follow ice cream maker instructions for making sorbet.

Pecan Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 8×12 cake

INGREDIENTS

For the streusel

13 cup all purpose flour
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 cup pecans, chopped

For the coffee cake

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

Preheat 350°F. Grease an 8×12 baking pan and set aside.

For the streusel

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut butter in with you fingers to form coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts and set aside.

For the coffee cake

In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to butter sugar mixture alternating flour mixture with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.

Scrape into pan and evenly cover with streusel topping. Pat crumbs gently into batter and cake 30-35 minutes or until cake has risen and golden brown. Insert a knife to test if cake is done, if it comes out clean, it’s finished. Cool for ten minutes and serve warm.

Recipe Property of Shawona Jones

Cardamom Dried Cherry Crumb Cake Bars

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 bars

INGREDIENTS

For the crumb topping

½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup walnuts, chopped
13 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
½ teaspoon instant espresso
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, cut into pieces

For the cake

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
23 cup sugar
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
4 ounces melted butter, cooled
2 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup strong coffee
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven 400°F. Butter an 8″ square pan and add cut parchment paper to bottom of pan.

For the crumb topping

In a medium sized mixing bowl add flour, walnuts, sugar, orange zest, instant espresso, ground cardamom and combine. Add butter and mix by hand to form crumbs. Set aside.

For the cake

In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, ground cardamom, and dried cherries.

In another bowl add cooled butter, eggs, milk, coffee and vanilla extract and combine well. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Stir to mix but not beat. Stir only to get an evenly moistened batter.

Scrape into pan and evenly cover with crumbs. Pat crumbs gently into batter and bake 30-35 minutes or until cake has risen and golden brown. Insert a knife to test if cake is done, if it comes out clean, it’s finished. Cool, cut into squares and serve with coffee.

Recipe Property of Shawona Jones

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 Bundt Cake

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
123 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blender. Fold in blueberries.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the batter in the pan. Spoon remaining batter over the top, and then sprinkle the remaining pecan mixture over. Use a knife or thin spatula to swirl, the sugar layer into the cake.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the crown of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate, and tap firmly to remove from the pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Recipe Property of Shawona Jones

Dulce De Leche Ice Cream with Strawberries & Mexican Chocolate Sauce and Jalapeno Strawberry Sauce

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 cups ice cream and ¾ cups of each sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dulce de leche
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup almonds, toasted and chopped
½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauce pan bring the milk, yolks, and the cream to a boil and remove from heat. Whisk in the dulce de leche until melted and fully incorporated. Add vanilla, salt and almonds. Mix well and then gently fold in the strawberries. Process in an ice cream maker using instructions.

Mexican Chocolate Sauce

Makes ¾ cup

INGREDIENTS

½ cup (4 ounces) of dark semisweet chocolate, shaved or chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a small sauce pan combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and whisk continuously for a few minutes until all chocolate is melted. Drizzle over ice cream.

Jalapeño-Strawberry Sauce

Makes ¾ cup

INGREDIENTS

½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped
1 tablespoon jalapeño, deseeded and chopped super fine
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve over ice cream.

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 cups 2% milk
2 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh mint, chopped
10 egg yolks

DIRECTIONS

In a heavy bottomed saucepan bring the milk, half and half, sugar, and mint to a boil and reduce heat immediately, and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring gently, allowing mint to steep into liquid. Discard mint. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg yolk well. Ladle a big spoon full of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking well, to avoid the eggs from cooking. Add the remainder of the egg mixture into the milk on the stove and heat gently whisking constantly until a thick custard forms or until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon well; about 5-6 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to get very cold. Place in the freezer 10 minutes before making the ice cream. Process the ice cream in an ice cream maker, following instructions of the machine.

Buttermilk Pie

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 eggs, separated

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix flour and sugar together. In a separate bowl, beat yolks until light, and then add to sugar mixture. Add to buttermilk, along with melted butter (slightly cooled so as not to damage eggs).

Beat egg whites until stiff, and then fold gently into buttermilk mixture. Pour all into blind-baked pie shell, then bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is brown and the filling firm. Cool until set enough to slice.

Recipe adapted from “Southern Cooking” by Mrs. S. R. Dull

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Irish Cream Frosting

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS

For the cake

2 cups Guinness
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
113 cups sour cream

For the icing

2 cups cream cheese, softened
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
¼ cup Irish Cream liqueur
4 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

For the cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups Guinness and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and 1½ teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add Guinness-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For the icing

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, butter, and Irish Cream. Slowly add the powdered sugar while mixing.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread 23 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 23 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.

Puff Pastry Pear Tart

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup sugar in the raw
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced thin
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut in cubes
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly butter a baking sheet. Set aside.

Sprinkle a work surface with sugar-in-the-raw and spices and roll out puff pastry about 18 inch thick, turning once to coat both sides. Place puff pastry on baking sheet and using the tip of a pairing knife create a ½ inch border around the entire sheet. Prick pastry all over with a fork (to prevent pastry from puffing up) and place baking sheet in freezer until pastry is chilled well, about 15 minutes. Once chilled, arrange pear slices on puff pastry (in whatever design you like), sprinkle with sugar and place cubed butter on top. Finish by adding juice and zest of 1 lemon. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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