Caramelized Banana Tartlets with Chocolate Port Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8-10


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


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!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

November 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 loaves


1½ cups milk
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110°F)
3 eggs
½ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
¾ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted


Warm the milk in a small saucepan until bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside until yeast is frothy. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter, salt, and raisins. Stir in cooled milk. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Place in a large, greased, mixing bowl, and turn to grease the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle ½ inch thick. Moisten dough with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix together ¾ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and sprinkle mixture on top of the moistened dough.

Roll up tightly; the roll should be about 3 inches in diameter. Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends. Place loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans. Lightly grease tops of loaves. Let rise again for 1 hour.

Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and sounds hollow when knocked. Remove loaves from pans, and brush with melted butter or margarine.
Let cool before slicing.

Recipe by Ashton Keefe

Agua de Valencia

November 22nd, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 1 Drink

This Cava cocktail, straight out of the Valencia region of Spain, showcases the fresh sweet oranges of the region and makes a terrific addition to any Sunday brunch.


3 ounces cava (super cold)
2 ounces Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon white sugar


Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, and shake lightly. Strain, and serve in a champagne glass.

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