Friday, August 19, 2011
Well, a muffincake is basically a cupcake... with muffin-like qualities.
Or maybe a muffin that happens to have a more cupcake-y texture.
Either way, it's delicious. This wonderful treat is the result of my laziness. I was planning on making a batch of my raspberry dream cupcakes, but I didn't really want to make a white chocolate buttercream. Or reduce a raspberry filling. So I threw some white chocolate chips and fresh raspberries into the vanilla-almond batter. And a wonderful creation was born!
White Chocolate & Raspberry Muffincakes (approx. one dozen)
Ingredients originally based on this recipe.
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 tsp Penzey's double-strength vanilla extract)
~42 fresh raspberries, washed and dried (enough for 2-3 raspberries per cupcake, plus 12 for decoration)
~60 white chocolate chips (I stuffed 2 inside of each raspberry, though some fell out and into the batter)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. If necessary, line muffin pan with paper liners or spray with a nonstick cooking spray. (Paper liners are recommended, as the raspberries can be a little messy.)
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-to-large bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, sugar, egg, and butter. Thoroughly mix, then combine with the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula.
Gently fold in the raspberries and white chocolate chips; attempt to distribute evenly throughout the batter. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3-3/4 full, and gently push a raspberry onto the top of each cup of batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are slightly golden and spring back from the touch. (Toothpicks may not come out clean from the center, as the water from the raspberries adds to the moisture/stickiness of the cupcake.)
Let cool on a wire rack before serving. (May be served before fully cooled, but should be cooled at least 5-10 minutes to allow for setting.)
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Sunday, August 14, 2011
The recipe is taken from the Tartine Bakery cookbook (Tartine), authored by Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson.
Flaky Tart Dough
(Makes two 9- or 10-inch pie crusts)
Ingredients:1 tsp (5 ml) salt
2/3 cup (150 ml) very cold water
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (455 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling tool and work surface
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tablespoons (300 g) very cold unsalted butter (maybe frozen), cut into 1-inch pieces
In a small bowl, mix together salt and water. Keep very cold, perhaps in freezer, until ready to use.
Measure flour into the bowl of a food processor. Scatter butter chunks over flour. Pulse briefly until mixture forms large crumbs. Add the salt-water mixture until a dough begins to form into a ball but is not smooth. There should still be pea-sized streaks of butter.
(If a food processor is not available, you can use a pastry blender or forks to cut the butter into the flour.)
On a lightly-floured work surface (such as a large cutting board or clean counter-top), divide the dough evenly in half. Form each portion into a disk about 1 inch thick (about 5 inches in diameter). Wrap each disk with plastic wrap (or in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag-- see numbered points below) and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight (about 8 hours or so).
the remainder of the directions are taken directly from this blog
To line the tart pan or pie dish, place a disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out 1/8 inch thick, rolling from the center. Lift and rotate dough a quarter turn every few strokes to discourage sticking. Lightly dust the dough with more flour as needed.
If lining a pie pan, cut out a circle 2 inches larger than the dish. If lining a tart pan with a removable bottom, cut out a circle 1 1/2 inches larger. Carefully transfer the round to the dish/pan, easing it into the bottom and sides, pressing gently into place. With a sharp knife, trim the dough even with the rim of the dish/pan.
Line the pastry shells with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (you can also use dried beans.) For a fully baked shell, bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes, or until the surface looks light brown. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment paper and weights. Return to the oven and continue baking until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.
Cool completely on wire racks before filling.
1) Do not pre-bake the pie shell unless your recipe calls for a pre-baked pie shell. Most of the pies that I bake only call for unbaked pie dough rounds.
2) Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for More Food gives a lot of helpful tips for rolling out pie dough. His recipe for pie dough instructs the reader to roll the dough out inside of a large zip-top bag. This makes it so that you don't have to worry about the dough sticking to the work surface, the rolling pin, your hands, or anything else in the vicinity. And then you just cut open the sides of the bag and peel the plastic layers off of your rolled-out dough. Really easy and far less messy!
3) Alton's recipe calls for a little lard, which I don't really have on hand. Therefore, I haven't yet tried out his version. However, I'm unbelievably satisfied with the super flaky and delicious pie crusts that result from the Tartine recipe. Just look at those layers that form!
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Sunday, July 3, 2011
Chicken Pot Pie. I mostly followed this recipe from AllRecipes.
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed (I used more than 1 lb.)
1 cup sliced carrots (used more than 1 cup, sliced in half-coins... ~3 carrots.)
1 cup frozen green peas (I may have used just over 1 cup.)
1/2 cup sliced celery (used more than 1/2 cup, thinly sliced... <1/4 inch? ~2 stalks.)
2 small-medium potatoes, cubed *optional
1/3 cup butter (used ~5-6 tbsp. butter.)
1/3 cup chopped onion (used more than 1/3 cup chopped onion. ~1/2 medium onion.)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (I only eyed the salt, didn't actually measure it. Definitely need more than 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (I only eyed the pepper. Definitely used more than 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 teaspoon celery seed (used ~1/2 tbsp minced celery tops, rather than celery seed.)
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (used low-sodium organic, free-range chicken broth.)
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts (used the recipe from the Tartine Bakery cookbook for flaky tart dough)
In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water (or chicken broth, for more flavor) to cover and boil for 15 minutes. (*If adding potatoes, begin boiling ~7 minutes into the 15) Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. (I added 1 cup chicken broth, then all of the milk, then the remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth) If necessary, add more salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. (You may want to place the pie plate on a parchment-paper-lined, lipped cookie sheet in order to avoid a mess in your oven!)
(I used the sauce to bind the crust edges, then glazed the top crust with olive oil and sprinkled with fine-granule sea salt. Delicious. I neglected to trim the excess dough from the crust, but that simply meant more tasty and flaky crust to eat with the filling. The excess veg & chicken & sauce was combined in the sauce pot. Totally yummy on its own. Or you can add in more chicken broth and some cooked orechiette pasta for a thick and creamy soup.)
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Throughout the process, I'd forgotten to follow a note from the comments section:
- add a little garlic when cooking the onions. (I still haven't done this, and it has not been necessary.)
Dinner for four. The leftovers were also fantastic :)
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Thursday, June 23, 2011
Chocolate Chiffon Cake, taken from the Tartine Bakery cookbook (10-inch by 3-inch) (I used this cake pan)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (40g)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300g)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used safflower)
6 large egg yolks (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup water
zest from 2 small or 1 medium lemon
10 large egg whites (1 1/3 cups)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch cake or springform pan with 3-inch sides with parchment paper cut to fit exactly; don’t grease the pan.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the salt and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, egg yolks, and water. Make a well in the flour, add the yolk mixture, and then whisk thoroughly and quickly for about 1 minutes until very smooth.
In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and beat on medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar slowly while beating on medium-high speed until the whites hold firm, shiny peaks. Add a third of the egg whites and fold into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the rest of the whites until just combined.
Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top if necessary. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once completely cool, run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake an then release and lift off the pan sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment
(I didn't use a springform pan, and I probably should have lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper or a cooking spray. Also, the cake took a little longer to bake. I had to test it 5 times before I was satisfied with the fork/toothpick.)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache, influenced by Tartine and this recipe.
12oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used E. Guittard chocolate wafers/coins)
~3 tablespoons peanut butter (I used an actual spoon, not a measuring tablespoon.)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Heat the chocolate and peanut butter together in a double boiler until melted, then remove from heat and add heavy cream, stirring until incorporated. Use while still warm.
(I reheated a little to help it incorporate better. To be honest, I forgot to add the heavy cream until after I'd already used like 1/3 of the mixture, so I only used ~1 cup heavy cream after all.)
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, mostly from this recipe.
10oz. cream cheese, room temp.
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (I used ~3 heaping tablespoonfuls-- once again, using a regular tablespoon rather than a measuring tablespoon)
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
(This may have worked out better without an electric mixer, as it was a messy ordeal with the powdered sugar, but it still turned out well. It may have been a little too sweet, so maybe I didn't need all 5 cups of sugar... though the sugar helps the frosting retain its structure. The cake tasted awesome cold, though. I think the frosting was better after refrigerated.)
I only sliced the baked cake into 2 layers, rather than three.
I spread the ganache between the cake layers, then used it as a crumb coat on/around the entire cake. (Spread like frosting, in order to pick up the crumbs that the cake will inevitably shed before layering on the frosting, which looks better when it's not unintentionally speckled with cake crumbs.)
I then placed cake in refrigerator while making the frosting so that the chocolate would have cooled/stiffened enough before added the frosting.
Once frosted, the cake was ridiculously decadent. Click Here to Read More!
Adapted from two recipes, as well as users' comments:
Food Network: Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Epicurious: Lattice Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Delish - Huge hit at my office. It was all gone in record time. Only use 1/2 teaspoon of cinn. and use 4 cups of rhubarb and 4 cups of strawberries and leave sugar amounts as receipe states. Use a heaping 1/4 cup of cornstarch for a nice thicker texture. Mix filling and let stand for 1 hour. Drain juice and reduce in a pan over low heat and reincorporate into filling right before putting it in the crust. After you finish the lattice top chill the pie for 15 minutes or so before baking. Bake tented with foil at 350 for 20 minutes then 40 minutes at 400. Uncover and bake until crust is golden (aprox. 20 more minutes). Make sure you place a pan lined in foil on the bottom rack to catch the drippings.
by Husberi from Seattle, WA on 07/09/09
~2.5 cups chopped red rhubarb (used 4 stalks of even thickness, 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices)
~2.5 cups cut strawberries (used ~3 small green baskets-worth from the farmers' market)
1/2 or 1/3 cup white sugar (used just over 1/3 cup Wholesome Sweeteners evaporated cane juice Organic Sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark (results in slightly different flavor) (used Trader Joe's brown sugar)
2 tbsp Minute tapioca (will result in small tapioca pearls unless ground) (ground ~1/2 cup in an electric coffee/spice grinder ahead of time)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp lemon zest (didn't exactly measure... from 1/2 medium lemon)
1/2 tsp lemon juice (I may have added extra, probably amounting to just under 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (used Penzey's China Cinnamon--may have added an extra tiny pinch)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 9-inch pie crusts (used the recipe from the Tartine Bakery cookbook for flaky tart dough, prepared before preparing the filling)
Mix filling and let stand for one hour.
(I continued stirring/folding from bottom for about an hour while watching an episode of Friday Night Lights, while waiting for the crust dough to refrigerate. I made sure that filling was always covered in juice to allow flavor to remain consistent throughout filling... even though this may have been unnecessary. But it smelled amazing, so it was totally worth it.)
Drain juice and reduce in a pan over low heat. Reincorporate filling right before putting in the crust.
(It was hard to drain the juice, and there wasn't much left after it was reduced. And it was already pretty thick to begin with. Might wait to add tapioca and flour until this step next time. I only added the reduced juice on top of the filling when already in bottom crust, then spread around the top a little. I had too much filling to fit in the pie, so I sautéed some of it in the reduction pan, and shoved the rest in a makeshift galette/turnover using excess pie dough.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Latticed the top crust, starting with the two longest strips criss-crossed across the center. (I used this tutorial). Used remnants of filling juice (from original bowl, not pan) to help adhere the strips to the bottom crust. Trimmed edges by running a paring knife along the edge of the 9-inch Pyrex pie plate. Used remnants of filling juice as a glaze, then sprinkled thoroughly with turbinado sugar. May mix a little cinnamon with the sugar next time.
Place pie on a parchment paper-lined pan, then place in oven.
(Used the middle rack position in the oven.)
Bake with tented foil (loosely covered, pretty much) at 350°F for 20 minutes, 400°F for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake until crust is golden (~15 to 20 more minutes).
(I followed this carefully. I think I only needed the 15 minutes.)
Let cool on wire rack or stove grates, then serve.
(Made in the afternoon, before dinner. Reheated for ~5-7 minutes at 350°F. We served ours with Clover whipped cream. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It still tasted fantastic cold.)
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011
At this point in my life, I am in the third week of my internship. F&G are on vacation after tomorrow's show, so I don't have to go in on Friday... or for another week and a Monday after that. A week-and-a-half off already?! A'ight. I can dig it.
Now where did I leave off?
House of Prime Rib for James' birthday was absolutely glorious. All of us, besides Tim, ordered the King Henry VIII cut, which is served still on the bone. I ordered mine medium rare. It was juicy, flavorful, meaty, and delicious. It was swimming in flavor. There was Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, and mashed or baked potato. I ordered the baked potato, which came with sour cream, chives, and bacon bits.
Phenomenal. I loved everything about the place, even the fact that it seemed to be a huge attraction for Asians. Seriously. Asians everywhere. Eating there, working there... We all thought it was hilarious-- since we're azn and all... except for our token white boy, Tim.
The next day, I got to work on James' strawberry-rhubarb birthday pie. I decided to be adventurous and created my own version of the recipe by combining two separate recipes and a very helpful user comment. I decided to really be risk-taker by making my first lattice-top pie.
And it turned out perfect. Absolutely perfect. I'll have to start putting recipes up on this blog sooner or later. Hell, I still need to properly type that recipe up. I have it written with all of my comments, but it's still just chilling in the kitchen. (06/23/11 Update: The recipe can be found HERE)
mm... yummy. I'm so making this again. We nom'd it so hard. It was good.
Besides the awesomeness of pie, big brother and I got Little Star pizza for our 'Friday Night Lights' Friday. Delicious and filling, and the caprese salad was pretty kick-ass, as well.
I've also now ordered my Palladium boots and reserved our Harry Potter VII:2 tickets. Yay!
In addition to all of the above, I've started playing Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on the PS3. It's great, and I love it. Click Here to Read More!
Monday, June 13, 2011
The night of the last post's fruit galettes, ratatouille was also made. (yum!) but not by me-- my sister and brother-in-law were the co-chefs of this dish. I just helped to slice/chop bell peppers, etc.
Friday was my sister's birthday, so her husband and she went on a weekend getaway to Ukiah. Spent the weekend with my brother, and we ended up getting sushi twice-- once at Hotei, and once at its sister restaurant Ebisu... Super delicious double hamachi roll, which can be ordered at both restaurants. (We also got pizza at Milano Pizzeria, where they have pretty damn decent pizza and really good garlic bread-- with cheese.)
Hit up the farmers market yesterday morning to pick up ingredients for dinner, dessert and tomorrow's pie.
Chicken pot pie for dinner (with help from my brother, and with the use of Tartine's flaky tart dough recipe) (Update 07/03/11: the recipe for chicken pot pie can be found here)
Birthday cake for dessert (Tartine chocolate chiffon cake layers, peanut butter chocolate ganache, peanut butter cream cheese frosting). You are still very welcome, dear sister. <3
(06/23/11 Update: The recipe for the cake can be found here)
Strawberry rhubarb pie will be made either tomorrow or Wednesday for my brother's birthday. :)
But first, we're going to House of Prime Rib tonight to celebrate.
I've just realized that the post times are wrong for these posts. I'm three hours behind, here, but my Google/Blogger account doesn't seem to have realized that yet... and I don't really feel like changing it. Click Here to Read More!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
From Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
Makes 2 large or 12 small galettes
• 455g unsalted butter, very cold
• 1 cup water
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• 5 cups all purpose flour
• About 6 cups fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots, berries, sautéed apples or pears – your choice), cut up if necessary
• Granulated sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tablespoon cream
• Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
1. To make the dough, cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and put them in the freezer. Measure the water, dissolve the salt into it and put into the freezer as well. Chill both for about 10 minutes.
2. Measure the flour onto a large, flat work surface and spread into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour and toss a little flour over the butter so that your rolling pin won’t stick, and begin rolling. When the butter starts flattening out into long, thin pieces, use a bench scraper to scoop up the sides of the rectangle so that it is the size that you started with. Repeat the rolling and scraping 3 or 4 times.
(I used the kitchen table for the dough ordeal. It was seriously messy and time-investing.)
3. Make a well in the center and pour all of the water into it. Using the bench scraper, scoop the sides of the dough into the center, cutting the water through the dough. Keep scraping and cutting until the dough is a shaggy mass and shape into a rectangle.
4. Lightly dust the top with flour and roll out the rectangle until it is half as large again, then scrape the top, bottom and sides together to the original size and re-roll. Repeat 3 or 4 times until you have a smooth and cohesive dough. Transfer rectangle of dough to a large baking sheet (I lined my baking sheets with parchment paper), cover with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.
5. While the dough is chilling, prepare the fruit. Hull berries, pit the peaches and cut into eighths, etc depending on the fruit you are using.
6. When you are ready to roll the dough, divide it into 2 equal portions if making large galettes or 12 equal portions for small ones. Roll the dough into circle shapes by rolling from the center to each end, not flattening the end points. Turn the pastry so the flattened out corners are at the top and bottom. Again, roll from the center towards the points nearest and farthest to you, stopping short of the top and bottom. Roll the thicker areas and you will begin to see a circle forming. Transfer to baking sheets and chill for 10 minutes.
7. Fill the center of each dough circle with fruit, leaving a 5cm edge uncovered on the large galettes or a 2cm edge on the small ones. Taste the fruit for sweetness and determine how much sugar you want to use to sweeten it. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, typically using 2-4 tablespoons for large galettes and 1-2 teaspoons for each small. (I glazed the fruit with my lemon-sugar glaze, found at the bottom of the post, rather than adding sugar to fruit.) Fold in the sides of the circle to cover the fruit partially. Chill for another 10 minutes.
8. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375ºF. To make the egg wash, whisk egg yolk and cream in a small bowl. Crush the egg wash over the pastry edges and then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
(I favor a lemon-sugar glaze over the egg wash for my galettes. It also means that I don't really need to add sugar to the fruit fillings, because glazing both the fruit and the dough with a mixture of lemon juice and turbinado sugar adds enough sweetness alone. The lemon-sugar glaze, however, burns more easily when pooled on the baking sheet. The process for making the glaze can be found at the bottom of this post, under Cherry-Lemon Filling.)
9. Bake the galettes until the crust has visibly puffed and baked to dark brown and the juice from the fruit is bubbling inside – 45-60 minutes for large galettes and 40-50 minutes for small galettes. Rotate the baking sheets at the midway point to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature.
My galette varieties:
Cherry-lemon galettes (the original cherry-lemon filling, described below)
Yellow peach galette, with lemon-sugar glaze.
Cherry-lemon galette with glazed yellow peach.
Apple-lemon galette, with glaze and leftover rind/juice from cherry-lemon filling.
Apple galette, with glaze.
Mango galette, with glaze. (frozen mango from Trader Joes)
Blueberry galette, with glaze. (frozen blueberries from Trader Joes)
I defrost my frozen galettes for about an hour (baking them directly out of the freezer didn't work very well for me) before glazing and baking at 375°F for 40 minutes. They didn't turn out very well when I tried to bake or convection them in the toaster oven, so I just stick to the real oven when baking these delicious pastries.
Slice 1 (smaller) lemon paper-thin, removing seeds. (I stuck the lemon in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to stiffen, then cut off the ends before slicing in half length-wise, giving myself a flat lemon surface to lay on the cutting board.)
Soak slices in a non-metal bowl for at least 2-3 hours (I soaked mine overnight for ~16 hours) in ~1 cup turbinado sugar.
Pit cherries & mix with lightly drained lemon slices. (I used a slotted wooden spoon to move/drain lemon slices.)
Retain lemon-sugar juice separately as a glaze (on crust and/or on fruit-- good replacement for tablespoons of sugar).
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