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.

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