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Posts Tagged ‘bake’

The berry season has arrived to California!  Eager to part with everything citrus I’m presenting this simple berry creation.  The chocolate ribbon, even though a bit messy, is super easy to make. 

BerryCake_WM-8

/Chocolate cake recipe adopted from Martha Stewart’s Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake/

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CHOCOLATE BERRY CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

Cake

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • Assorted berries
  • 4 tbs powdered sugar

Chocolate ribbon

  • 200 g of your favorite chocolate, chopped into pea-size chips

 

Yields: 8 small cakes

DIRECTIONS:

Make cakes: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat eight 6-ounce (3.5 inch diameter) ramekins and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.

Stir flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix with a paddle attachment. Add egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and 1/4 cup water. Mix on medium speed until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes.

 

Divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into a center of a cake comes out clean. Place the ramekins on a wire rack.  Let cool completely before unmolding.  To unmold run a knife around sides of the cakes.

Wrap cooled cakes in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to 1 day.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place cooled cakes on it.

Make chocolate ribbons.  Measure the circumference and height of the cakes.  Cut out 8 parchment paper ribbons, making sure, their length is about 7 mm (1/4 inch)  longer than the circumference and height is about 2 cm (3/4 inch) higher.

Line a table with a large sheet of parchment paper – this is your working surface.  Have a wet towel handy, as working with melted chocolate could be a messy ordeal.

Microwave the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for about 2 minutes (or until the chocolate starts to melt).  Mix the chips with a spoon to a smooth consistency.  Working with each parchment paper ribbon individually: place a ribbon on your working surface and, using a large spoon, spread a thin layer of chocolate over it, completely covering the ribbon.

Let the chocolate cool to a jelly-like consistency (about 30 seconds). Carefully lift the ribbon, using a knife to help you separate it from the work surface, and wrap it around a prepared cake, chocolate side facing the cake, overlapping the ends.  Make sure the bottom of the ribbon is lined with the bottom of your cake, the ribbon should be taller than the cake (creating a cup for the berries).

Repeat with the rest of the cakes.  Immediately place them in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Assemble: After the chocolate is hardened, carefully peel each paper ribbon off, gently breaking the piece of chocolate where the ribbon overlapped.

Fill the cups with seasonal fruit and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

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Why did this Russian mom, whose only thoughts about baseball are that the outfits could be a bit sexier and that Tim Lincecum is kind of cute…, why did this mom goto watch the World Series? Well, because her lovely neighbor Amie was bringing an apple pie.  Amie’s pie is to die for, and it has an ability to make any game a hundred times more exciting! Since I first tried one of her masterpieces, I was hooked!

My friend Kusum just brought beautiful red gold sea salt from Hawaii , and the idea of this slightly salted dessert was born.  Well, it wasn’t all that original – just google “salted apple pie” but I’m still very proud of the outcome!

So, our family drove to an apple orchard, picked some apples, and made this.

/Adopted from Martha Stewart Living and Cooking Channel

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SALTED APPLE PIE

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pea-size pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup ice water

FILLING

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • juice from 4 lemons
  • 6 medium to large sour apples
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar (castor, unrefined, large granule sugar)
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

TOPPING

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • raw sugar to sprinkle
  • sea salt flakes to sprinkle

DIRECTIONS:

Make the crust. Place 3/4 of the butter in the freezer for about 30 min, and keep the rest in the fridge. In a food processor combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add refrigerated butter, pulse about 10 times.  Add frozen butter, pulse again till the mixture resembles coarse meal, with some blueberry-size crumbs.

Add ice water, and immediately pulse until water is incorporated, about 10 more times. lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap, separate the dough in halves, and place each half on the plastic wraps.  Bring the edges of wraps together to gather dough.  Press into disks. Roll each disk (still in plastic) into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Refrigerate for at least 45 min.

Make the filling. In a medium sauce pan mix sugar and water and heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Add butter and bring to a slow boil.  Continue cooking until the mixture turns golden brown.  Remove it from heat immediately and add cream, whisk the final mixture on low heat , sprinkle the sea salt, and let cool while preparing the apples.

Core, peel and cut apples using a mandoline.  Sprinkle with juice, sugar, and spices, and toss well. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

Assemble the pie. Roll each piece of the dough into a disk that can fit a 9-inch pie-pan.  Line the pan with the first disk.  Lay 1/3 of the apple mixture on the bottom and pour a layer of 1/3 of prepared caramel.  Repeat the layering two more times.

Cover the pie with the second disk, cutting it through for the air to escape any way you like, or cut the second disk into strips and make a lattice top like mine, pinch the edges together.

Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar and salt flakes.

Bake. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 375°F/190°C.  Reduce the heat to 350°F/175°C and bake for another 45 minutes.

Serve warm or cold with ice cream.

 

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Long-long ago in the Soviet Union this cake became the first one to be copyrighted.  The recipe was kept in secret; and the Moscow bakery that invented it had a guaranteed long line in front every day. The cake kept well for just a day, so it was made in relatively small quantities. Yet, very quickly it became exceptionally popular, and due to its shortages it was named “Ptich’e moloko”, which means birds’ milk.  Right… well, it sounds much better in Russian…

Here is my version of this light and super-easy to make delightfulness…

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TORTE “BIRDS’ MILK”

INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup cake flour, sifted twice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt

SOUFFLE

  • 7 egg whites
  • 20 g gelatin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 170 g butter
  • 150 g sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

GLAZE

  • 150 g bitter chocolate
  • 30 g sugar
  • 100 g cream
  • 30 g butter

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375⁰F/190⁰C. Spray baking pan with removable bottom with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.  Spray the paper with cooking spray.

Make the batter. Mix egg yolks and ½ cup of granulated sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until the foam is 3 times its original volume and falls in thick ribbons when the whisk is lifted.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

Place egg whites in a clean bowl and beat them with a clean whisk attachment on medium speed until frothy.  Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar and continue to whip until medium peaks form when the whisk is lifted.

Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture with a rubber spatula in 2 or 3 additions. Scatter all flour, vanilla, and salt over the batter and fold it just long enough to blend the flour evenly.

Prepare the gelatin. Pour ½ cup of water over the gelatin and let stay while the cake is baking.

Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread gently with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the edges star to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

Prepare the soufflé. Beat the butter on high speed until it starts whitening, slowly add the condensed milk.

Place soaked gelatin into a small sauce pan and add 125 g of sugar. Cook on low heat until it reaches 140⁰F/60⁰C.
Beat the egg whites on high speed with a whisk attachment; add lemon juice and 125 g of sugar and vanilla. Whisk till hard peaks form.
Lower the mixer speed to medium and gradually add gelatin mixture to the egg whites. Slowly add butter cream.
Assemble the torte. Separate the cake into two disks using a long knife. Place one half into the pan that you used for baking. Cover with half of the soufflé, cover with the second half, and the rest of the soufflé. Flatten the top with a knife. Place the torte in the fridge for 1.5-2 hrs.
In about 1.5 hours make chocolate glaze. Pour cream into a sauce pan, and 30 grams of sugar and heat up till the sugar completely dissolves. Place chocolate in a bowl, and pour hot cream over it. Whisk, till chocolate completely dissolves. Whisk in butter and make sure it is completely dissolved as well.
With a sharp knife separate the cake from the edges of the pan. Take it out and place on a serving dish. Pour chocolate glaze over the cake, letting it drip over the edges. Completely cover the cake with chocolate and let rest in the fridge for another hour. The torte is ready!

 

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For my husband’s birthday dinner I tried to mix healthy vegetable dishes with vile butter/carb plates.  With all the health hype the most popular items, naturally, were dill biscuits, casserole, and mashed potatoes.  Of course stuffing ourselves with the Evil Mother-In-Law Corn dish didn’t make us feel guilty at all, since healthy greens (in form of bean salad and plain steamed broccoli) were dutifully added to the plates!  See full menu here.

I used to try to show off with elaborate meals when I just got interested in cooking. Having kids dramatically changed my ambitions.  Now I find the simplest recipes more and more delicious appealing. I wonder why?..

Pork shoulder is almost ideal.  It requires minimal effort during the preparation and produces the awesomest results!

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GARLIC-ROSEMARY PORK SHOULDER

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder with skin
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 stems rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste or your favorite meat seasoning /I LOVE  Goya Adobo – it’s a perfect blend of garlic, oregano, black pepper, and turmeric/

DIRECTIONS:

Don’t ask me why, but some people like crispy pork skin.  This recipe accommodates their weird tastes by higher heat in the beginning of baking and open lid and higher temperature in the end.  Otherwise, the secret of softest, most flavorful pork is in long low-temperature baking…

Generously season meat with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning.  With a knife poke holes in the shoulder about 1 inch apart from each other.  Stuff the holes with garlic cloves and rosemary stems.  At this point the meat could be refrigerated for 24 hours, or you could bake it right away.

Preheat the oven to 425⁰ F (220⁰ C).

Position the pork shoulder in the baking pot (Dutch oven or turkey baking dish work great) skin up.

Bake at 425⁰ F for 30 min.  Cover with a lid or foil.  Lower temperature to 325⁰ F (160⁰ C).  Bake 30-40 minutes per pound.  During the last half hour of baking remove the lid and raise temperature to 350⁰ F  (175⁰ C) to crisp the skin.

Check the temperature with instant-read thermometer.  It should be at least 160⁰ F (71⁰ C).

Carve by removing the skin first.


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I call today’s dish “Evil Mother-In-Law Corn Casserole”.  Oh no, not because the MIL (who kindly shared this recipe) is evil (wink-wink); but because it has a stick of Butter in it!

This is as simple and unhealthy as it could go, But… er… so good!

Well, if you are scared of the “B“-word, here is my little secret: you can skip it all together…  You will hear a little less “Wow”-s and “Ah”-s, but it still comes out quite edible.

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EVIL MOTHER-IN-LAW CORN CASSEROLE

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn bread mix (Jiffy)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F , and lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. Spoon mixture into the dish.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown

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The hardest part about today’s dessert, profiteroles with ice-cream, was the ice-cream.  Oh no, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t making it, I was buying it!  The thing is, I am not an ice-cream snob – I love most of it!  Even the low-calorie kinds!  Some people (like my husband) are super picky about their vanilla, while I go by the rule – the more rum they put in those raisins– the better!

So, the kids and I went to San Francisco’s favorite – Mitchell’s Ice Cream.  The thing about this place –rain or shine – they always have a line.  Yes, there are plenty of other creameries in town, but apparently Mitchell’s is the IT!  So, I’m just standing in the line, looking at these other people waiting, wondering if they know something I don’t know, or if they are like me, lured by The Line…

Well, nevertheless, the result, in my opinion, is absolute deliciousness.  I’m sure some name dropping will make this recipe taste even better!  

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PROFITEROLES WITH ICE-CREAM

INGREDIENTS:

  • 113 g unsalted butter
  • 200 ml water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100 g flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup dark chocolate sauce
  • 1/2 pint Vanilla ice-cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I love my unbleached kind).  In a heavy saucepan, combine the water, salt, and butter and place over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a full boil.  Add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.  Keep stirring until the mixture has formed a smooth mass and pulls away from teh sides of the pan and some of the moisture has evaporated for about 3-4 minutes.

Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Start adding eggs one at a time and mix on medium-high speed waiting until each egg incorporates.  After all the eggs are added, the mixture will be thick and smooth.

Transfer the choux paste to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch (no. 6 or 7) plain tip.  Pipe out balls about 1 inch in diameter spacing them 2 inches apart.

If you end up with a bulge or a tail, it could be smoothed with a dump fingertip after you are done with the piping.

Bake until golden for 15-20 minutes.

Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

After the pastry is cool, heat the dark chocolate sauce, mixing with a spoon, until liquid.

Cut the pastries open and spoon ice-cream inside.  Top with chocolate sauce and serve.


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