Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Sometimes simplicity is key.  Just as Coco Chanel said in regards to a lady removing one accessory before leaving the house, maybe us cooks should consider the same thing.  In a culture of additives, sauces, condiments, molecular gastronomy, and costly grocery lists, it is refreshing to find a recipe with only 4 ingredients.  Oh, and it tastes pretty delicious as well :)

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
  2. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove pastry shell from oven, and cover with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Grapefruit Salad with Pomegranate, Mint, and Orange Blossom

Detox after the holiday feasting?  Most of Americans say yes to this concept, at least for a couple weeks... or days.  But let's be positive about our resolutions!  With delicious dishes such as this refreshing and flavorful citrus salad, it is easy!!

I first tried oranges sliced thinly with mint and oranges in a Moroccan restaurant in France, and I fell in love with the low-calorie dessert that I made it several times after.  However, for brunch I thought I should dress it up a bit with grapefruit instead of oranges and juicy pomegranate seeds. Healthy and delicious!

Grapefruit Salad with Pomegranate, Mint, and Orange Blossom

  • 4 grapefruits
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint chiffonade
  • 1/2 pomegranate seeded
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  1. Slice grapefruits very thinly and de-seed
  2. Sprinkle sugar on top, then orange blossom water
  3. Top with pomegranate seeds and mint

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread Stix

Yummy homemade gingerbread is the essence of Christmas baking.  In fact when I told most people that I was making Gingerbread, they said, "Gingerbread... what?"  GingerBREAD.  The actual thing!  Not gingerbread cookies, mousse, lattes.... the bread.  This recipe is from the Gramercy Tavern.  It is dark, sticky, spicy and perfect for dessert or breakfast. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Stix

  • 1 cup Guinness Stout
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
  2. Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. 
  4. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.
  6. Cut into stix for easy eating 

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gramercy-Tavern-Gingerbread-103087#ixzz1hHhYX7zG

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chubby Hubby Truffles

For Christmas I have decided to go baking/candy-making insane... and to kick things off, these chubby hubby truffles are idyllic.  They are peanut-buttery, pretzely, chocolatey, holidayey... well, they're just really good.  
Chubby Hubby Truffles
  • 1.5 cups crushed pretzel pieces
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs butter softened
  • 3 tbs powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate-peanut butter swirl chips
  • 1 tbs shortening
  1. Mix the pretzel pieces, peanut butter, brown sugar, and butter
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix until fully combined
  3. Roll mixture into quarter-sized balls and refrigerate for at least half an hour
  4. Melt the chocolate chips and mix in the shortening
  5. Dip the cooled truffles to cover in chocolate and place back in refrigerator to cool

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snickers Cupcakes (Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting and a Snickers Center)

While you're busy studying for finals, why not take a break and bake some cupcakes... haha, even I can't do that.  And I make time in my life to bake for pretty much everything, but with Microeconomics and Computer Science for Business finals coming up, this is a flashback recipe.  My friend, Rachel (the photographer of this photo!) and I actually developed this recipe while we were living in France.  We were craving some good American pastries, not frilly and pretentious, but some messy, gooey treats... and what is more American than Snickers? Plus, the French notoriously hate peanut butter, so we had no competition to eat them :)

Snickers Cupcakes

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup espresso
  • 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 Snickers bars roughly chopped
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers
  2. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt
  3. Whisk together the two sugars and the egg, then add the milk, espresso, butter, and chocolate, and whisk until uniform
  4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms
  5. Fold in the sour cream
  6. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way up, place a snickers chunk into the middle
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, pull out and let cool
  8. Top with Salted Caramel Frosting, recipe below, and then add more Snickers on top!
Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1.25 sticks unsalted butter

  • 3/4 package confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean pase

  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel

    1. Brown butter over medium high heat until fragrant and nutty
    2. Let it cool
    3. Beat all of the ingredients except the cream
    4. Once smooth add the cream in a slow stream until frosting becomes light and fluffy

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Triple Fudge Cocoa Puff Brownies

    College students are not known to have the best of tastes or the deepest of pockets; however, I see know shame in embracing typically "trashy" college foods and enhancing them.  Be honest, you like the original ones anyways.  And if you do enjoy ramen, easy-mac, and cereal at 12 pm, then you will love when these dorm room dishes are taken to the next level.  

    Triple Fudge Cocoa Puff Brownies are chocolate overload.  Death by chocolate is an understatement.  They are gooey and dense, and then the cocoa puffs add an airy and light texture, but throughout all of these textures the only flavor is chocolate.  

    I was inspired by two dishes:
    The brownies from Baked in Brooklyn
    picture from http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/10/08/the-baked-brownie/
    Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon
    picture from http://10thirty.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/breakfast-at-voodoo-doughnut/

    Triple Fudge Cocoa Puff Brownies
    Yields: 2 dozen
    • 1¼ cups flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
    • 1½ cups sugar
    • ½ cup light brown sugar
    • 5 eggs, room temp
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
    • Fudge Frosting (recipe below)
    • 3 cups Cocoa Puff cereal

    1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line brownie pan with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium bowl, mix the salt, flour, and cocoa powder.
    3. Melt chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a double broiler, stirring occasionally, until  smooth. Turn off the heat and add the two sugars. Mix until uniform and let cool to room temperature.
    4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk right away. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Add the vanilla and stir until just uniform. 
    5. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just uniform. 
    6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and add Fudge Frosting and sprinkle with Cocoa Puffs!

    Fudge Frosting

    • 4 oz dark chocolate chopped
    • 1.5 sticks cold butter
    • 2.5 cups sifted powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
    1. Melt the chocolate and let it cool
    2. Beat the butter until it is fluffy
    3. Incrementally add the powdered sugar, beat until fluffy and incorporated
    4. Add the vanilla bean paste and melted, cooled chocolate
    5. Spread onto cooled brownies

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Thanksgiving Salad

    Thanksgiving is full of delicious treats that we get only once.  But when you eat all of those rich foods, you need something fresh to cut the fat of those foods and lighten up your meal.   This salad is perfect, filled with holiday flavors and very refreshing.  Try it on your table on Thursday- field greens with dried cranberries, smoked gouda, and a maple vinaigrette!

    Field Greens with Cranberries, Smoked Gouda, and Maple Vinaigrette

    • 1 package field greens
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • One 3 oz smoked gouda, shaved thinly
    • Maple Vinaigrette
    1. Mix all of the ingredients; keep vinaigrette on the side if you would like
    2. Maple Vinaigrette: 
      • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
      • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
      • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
      • Salt and Pepper to taste
      1. Whisk ingredients in a bowl and season to taste