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.

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.)

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.

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.

Honey Lavender Fritters With Fig Compote

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 20 -25 fritters

Ingredients

1 pound fresh ricotta, drained
3 eggs, beaten
1 vanilla bean scraped, bean scrapings reserved
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons lavender flowers (fresh or dried)
Oil for frying
Lavender Powder *1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers crushed and mixed with ½ cup powdered sugar
Fig Compote (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta, eggs, vanilla seeds, sugar, baking powder and flour until combined. Mix in the lavender flowers and mix again until the batter is thick. Refrigerate the batter for one hour. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or fry pan making sure that there is at least 2 inches of oil in the pan to a temperature of about 375 degrees. Once hot drop spoonfuls of the batter in the pan and fry until golden brown, making sure to flip for a total of about 3-4 minutes. Take out and drain on paper towels. Once slightly cool, sprinkle powered lavender sugar over the top. Serve with fig compote.

Fig Compote
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.

Spicy Summer Fruit Muffins

July 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons fresh nutmeg, grated
2 teaspoons fresh cinnamon, grated
½ teaspoon (a pinch) ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
â…“ cup honey
1 cup soy yogurt
¼ cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup fresh summer fruit
Coarse sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, salt and sugar, and set aside. In another large mixing bowl whisk together honey, soy yogurt, coconut milk, vanilla and fresh ginger until smooth. Add in fruit and mix well. Combine together the flour and fruit mixtures a little at a time until thick but still smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle course sugar over the 12 muffins and pat in slightly with fingertips. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick that is inserted comes out clean.

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.

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.

Fruit, Herb & Nut Parfaits

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla flavor
½ cup blackberries
½ cup strawberries, cut in half and hulled
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds

Directions

In a small saucepan combine the fresh herbs, honey and vanilla extract and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the honey is infused with the herbs flavor. Place the yogurt in a bowl or a glass and place some berries on top. Next sprinkle some almonds and pumpkin seeds and top with a few flax seeds. Drizzle the infused honey over the entire parfait while the honey is still warm, not hot.

Strawberry Quinoa Cookies

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 cup black quinoa
¼ cup rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flax seeds
¼ cup almonds, chopped fine
1/3 cup almond oil
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup almond milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped fine

Directions

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a blender blend the quinoa and the oats until a gritty powder is formed. In a mixing bowl combine, ground quinoa, oats, flour, baking powder, soda, salt, flax seeds and almonds, mix well and set aside. In another mixing bowl whisk together the almond oil, sugars, vanilla, almond milk and egg until well mixed. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet mixing well as you combine mixtures. A thick oatmeal cookie type batter should form. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest to harden and solidify for about 3-4 minutes before eating.

Dried Strawberry Basil Buttermilk Biscuits

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 biscuits

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
½ cup sweet vanilla dried strawberries

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 basil 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.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

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. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into even shapes of your choice- circles, squares, triangles 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.

Sweet Vanilla Dried Strawberries

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup dried fruit

Ingredients

2 cups strawberries, destemmed and sliced thin
3 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped (bean discarded)

Directions

Preheat oven to 225°F. Mix vanilla bean scraping with sugar in a small bowl. Lay on top of prepared strawberries, and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until dried through. Store in an airtight container up to 4 weeks.

Strawberry Almond Granola

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 4 cups

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
½ cup maple syrup
2 ½ cups old fashioned oats
â…“ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup sliced raw almonds
¼ cup flax seed meal
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sweet vanilla dried strawberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 325ËšF.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add butter and maple syrup. Heat until warm and butter has melted.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, almonds, flax seed meal, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter and maple syrup mixture and combine thoroughly. Mixture should be a wet consistency. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven for a total of 40 minutes, making sure to check every 10 minutes, stirring, so granola is toasted evenly. Once granola is golden brown, remove from oven and mix in dried strawberries. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Mint Pudding

February 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1½ cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
12 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate
3 cups milk (infused with fresh mint, recipe follows)
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
Salt

Directions

In a heavy bottom saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add chocolate, and melt down, whisking well. In another bowl, beat eggs with milk, and add vanilla. Gradually whisk into chocolate mixture. Bring to a boil, whisking until mixture is thick. Remove from heat, and add a pinch of salt.

Milk Infused with Mint

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

3 cups milk
1 cup fresh mint, crumbled between fingers

Directions

In a medium saucepan, add milk and fresh mint. Heat on simmer, about 5 to 8 minutes. Strain out mint, and discard.

Strawberry-Basil Galette

February 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 large galette

Ingredients

For the pastry
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cups (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons orange liqueur

For the filling:
6 cups strawberries, stems removed and cut in half
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Cointreau
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin

Directions

Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined well. Using your hands (or a food processor), add butter, and crumble into the flour until the crust mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolk and the tequila, and mix together gently until dough is moist. Form dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile mix together strawberries, sugar, Cointreau, orange juice and zest, and the basil leaves. Let soak for at least an hour. Strain and set aside, reserving liquid.

Preheat oven 375°F.

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 with sides or, better yet, a large, greased cast iron pan. Place strained berries in a big pile in the center of the dough. Fold dough up all around the pile of berries leaving a big hole at the top like a shallow volcano. Pour a little of the reserved berry liquid in the hole and reserve a little for the end. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and crispy. Drizzle finished tart with the remainder of the juice from the berries.

Earthy, Grainy Rhubarb-Thyme Crisp (Chock-full of Nuts & Seeds)

February 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup quinoa, toasted
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
¼ cup pecans, chopped
¼ cup almonds, chopped
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 egg, beaten
3 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flours, thyme leaves, oats, quinoa, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add nuts, seeds, and beaten egg and mix. Set aside. In a glass baking dish, mix together rhubarb, sugar, ginger, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, mix orange juice and vanilla together, and whisk in cornstarch. Add to the rhubarb mixture and combine. Sprinkle the oat-nut topping over the rhubarb, and bake 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Caramel Almond Pear Tart

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 long rectangular tart

INGREDIENTS

For pie dough

1 sweet pie dough recipe
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For filling

1½ cups sugar
½ cup pear juice
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup almonds, chopped
2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, halved, and sliced

DIRECTIONS

To make this dough, use sweet pie dough recipe, and add ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon to dough. Flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove dough from refrigerator, and let come to room temperature, 5 to 10 minutes so dough rolls out easily.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Transfer to a long rectangular tart shell with removable bottom. Trim edges, and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 17 minutes. Remove foil and beans and set aside. Maintain oven temperature.

In a medium heavy bottomed pan, combine sugar and pear juice, and bring to a boil. Do not stir. Using a pastry brush, wipe any sugar from sides of pan, so sugar does not burn. Once sugar begins to melt, the caramel color will become a deep amber. Reduce heat to medium, slowly whisk in heavy cream, and mix until smooth. Remove from heat, and add butter, honey, and vanilla, and combine. Add chopped nuts, and combine.

Arrange sliced pears on tart shell, and spoon caramel nuts on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Caramelized Banana Tartlets with Chocolate Port Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS

½ cup raw hazelnuts
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 bananas, sliced in rounds about ½ inch thick
1 package puff pastry, thawed
4 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ cup tawny port

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine hazelnuts, white sugar and nutmeg. In another small bowl, combine vanilla and melted butter and pour over hazelnut mixture, tossing to coat well. Lay on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Once out of oven, set aside to cool and then chop.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, butter. Sauté bananas and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly browned. Add chopped hazelnuts, and sauté another few minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside. Cut puff pastry sheets into 8-10 squares (4 X 4 inches) and place on a lined baking sheet. Spoon a few spoonfuls of the banana mixture onto the center of each square and place in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.

In the meantime, fill a saucepan ¼ with water and bring to a simmer. Place a metal bowl on top to create a double boiler. In the metal bowl, add chocolate, heavy cream, brown sugar, and stir until all sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, add port, and stir well. Once tartlets come out of the oven, drizzle chocolate over tarts, and serve!

Chocolate Nutty Pretzels

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12-15 medium pretzels

INGREDIENTS

1 New York style pretzel dough recipe
Coarse sugar
12 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup nuts and/or seeds (hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds or any combination of)
Maldon Salt

DIRECTIONS

Follow the recipe for the pretzels with one exception, before baking sprinkle with coarse sugar instead of pretzel salt. In a double boiler (sauce pan with water simmering with a metal bowl atop) place chocolate and vanilla and melt until chocolate is creamy. Place the nuts in a medium bowl. Get a few baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Dip half the pretzel in the chocolate, using a spoon to help coat if you need to. After the entire side (just one half) is covered let drain a bit over the chocolate so that all excess chocolate is dripped off. Dip the chocolate side in the nuts and again use another spoon to help coat with the desired level of nuts. Place on the lined baking sheet, fill in the blank spots with more nuts by hand as needed. Sprinkle with maldon salt. Do not refrigerate, the pretzels taste better when softer, so let chocolate set up slowly and keep in a cool not hot place.

Molten Chocolate Cake with Cardamom Cream

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

½ cup butter
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (baking squares are best)
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 8 6-ounce ramekins with a generous amount of butter, and sprinkle with sugar.

Over a double boiler, combine butter, chocolate, and cream. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth and thick. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla and flour until smooth. Set aside. Mix on high speed, egg, egg yolks, and sugar until thick and lemon colored, about 10 minutes. Fold egg mixture, one third at a time into chocolate mixture. Be careful not to deflate the eggs. Divide batter into prepared cups evenly.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes until edges of cake are set and center still jiggles. Cool for 3 minutes. White knife, loosen cakes from side of each cup, and turn each out onto dessert plates. Serve immediately.

© Recipe Property of Shawona Jones

Cardamom Cream

Makes ½ cup

INGREDIENTS

½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cardamom seeds, taken out of pods and lightly crushed
1 vanilla bean, scraped

DIRECTIONS

In a medium-sized chilled bowl, add cream and begin to whisk. Once cream starts to thicken, add rest of ingredients and beat until medium-stiff peaks form.

© Recipe Property of Ger-Nis

Vanilla Cake

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one cake

INGREDIENTS

3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1¼ cups buttermilk
Lemon curd, for filling
Basic Buttercream, for frosting

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare 2 sheet pans with non-stick spray and parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and mix until incorporated.

Alternate dry ingredients with buttermilk, starting and finishing with flour mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in center comes out clean.

Lemon Curd

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
113 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1¾ sticks (¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

DIRECTIONS

Whisk together zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and a pinch of salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour curd through a fine sieve into a bowl, then chill, covered.

© Recipe Property of Shawona Jones

Chocolate Cake

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one cake

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1½ cups buttermilk
Basic Buttercream, for frosting

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare 2 sheet pans with non-stick spray and parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and mix until incorporated.

Alternate dry ingredients with buttermilk, starting and finishing with flour mixture.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in center comes out clean.

© Recipe Property of Shawona Jones

Brown Sugar Butter Glaze

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

¾ cups brown sugar
½ cup (¼ stick) butter
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sized sauté pan, over medium heat, add ingredients until warm and sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and drizzle over pop tarts.

Dried Cherry Almond Cream Filling

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon almond paste
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
½ cup roasted almonds, chopped fine
Pinch of salt
1 egg white, for brushing tops of pop tarts
2 tablespoons soy or rice milk (vegan option), for brushing of pop tarts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Lay one rolled piece of pie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and place filling in the center. Cover with another piece of dough and crimp edges closed. Brush top with egg white or soy or rice milk (vegan option) and sprinkle with topping of choice. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Suggested Crust: Whole Wheat, plain, cornmeal
Suggested Topping: Chopped almonds, flax seeds

Pear and Cranberry Galette

December 16th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 large Galette

INGREDIENTS

For the Pastry:

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons ice-cold sweet wine

For the Galette Filling:

6-8 pears, cored and cut in wedges, ½-inch thick
¾ cup fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom

PREPARATION

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Next, cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk and vanilla; add ice-cold sweet wine. Add the egg mixture to flour mixture and mix just until dough comes together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to overwork dough. Flatten into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator, and chill at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, combine pears and cranberries with sugars, lemon juice, zest, and spices, and set aside. Once dough has been chilled, remove from refrigerator and generously flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Pile pear mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 1½-inch border. Fold the border over the pears, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes; then slide the galette onto a serving plate.

Vanilla Rosemary Mousse

December 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

PREPARATION

Vanilla rosemary mousse can be served over apple or cranberry pie. Use the heavy cream mousse recipe and add 1teaspoon vanilla and use only ¼ cup rosemary leaves.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramelized Pears and Hazelnuts

October 12th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon ginger, chopped fine
2 large comice pears, cored and sliced
½ cup hazelnuts, roasted, unsalted and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of cardamom
1 pint of Vanilla Ice Cream

PREPARATION

In a medium skillet on medium high heat melt the butter. Add ginger and sauté for a few seconds and then add the sliced pears , hazelnuts and sauté a few more seconds until pears and nuts are coated with the butter ginger mixture and appear glossy. Add sugar and pinch of cardamom and sauté for 1-2 minutes, still on medium high heat until sugar becomes caramelized around the pears and the nuts.

Serve pear mixture warm over a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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