3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into half-inch cubes
1+1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for flouring the counter and the dough
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated
3/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a bowl.
Add the chilled butter pieces and rub into the flour mixture (or use a pastry cutter) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the Parmesan cheese and mix well.
Add the cream and stir with a spatula until most of the flour is absorbed (at this point it is OK if the dough doesn’t come together completely).
Place the dough on a lightly floured counter, sprinkle 1 tbsp of flour over it and bring it together by folding the corners over to the center. Flatten it until it becomes approximately an inch thick.
Cut into 3-inch rounds and and place them an inch apart on a parchment lined baking tray.
Bake until golden on top, for about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.
L’ORANGE – Orange, Chocolate and Almond Cake Recipe Recipe for L’Orange adapted from Fran Bigelow’s “Pure Chocolate”.
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Valrhona Guanaja)
2 oranges, preferably organic
1+1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1+2/3 cups (6+2/3 ounces) almond flour
2 tbsp cocoa, sifted
1+1/3 cups lacquer chocolate glaze (recipe below)
Prepare the lacquer chocolate glaze (recipe below) and set aside (it takes an hour to cool down) while you prepare the cake.
Preheat your oven to 300F.
Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
In a double boiler melt chocolate over low heat, remove from heat and stir with a spatula until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter on high speed for a minute.
Finely grate the zest of two oranges directly into the bowl (so that all the fragrant oils are captured) and beat on high speed until light in color, for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add the eggs, one by one, beating until well mixed after each addition.
Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed for a minute until you have a smooth batter.
Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the almond flour and cocoa with a spatula.
Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until puffed and domed in the center with a slight fracture 1 inch from the rim. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with few moist crumbs. Allow to cool to room temperature for 20 minutes.
Place a cardboard circle or tart bottom on top of the cake and lightly press to even out the surface. Invert the cake and place on a cooling rack set over a large, rimmed baking sheet (you can also use a long double layer of wide heavy-duty aluminum foil) to catch the glaze.
Remove parchment paper and have ready the lacquer chocolate glaze.
Pour the glaze in an even circular motion on top, starting with the sides, allowing it to cascade over and coat them completely. Start pouring in the middle and as the glaze starts going down the sides, pour the glaze about an inch from the edge to help cover the sides evenly. Reapply glaze as needed. 1+1/3 cups of glaze is enough to cover the cake in a single shot, but you can use the glaze accumulated in the baking sheet if needed.
Allow the cake to sit for about half an hour until the glaze stops dripping, then move the cake to a serving plate.
Allow the glaze to set for 4 hours. It can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep fresh for two days. If you plan on refrigerating the cake, it will keep fresh for 5 days in an airtight container, but make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving for fullest flavor by taking it out of the refrigerator 2 hours beforehand (and a brief wave of a hair dryer set on low heat will bring the shine back).
Pour 1/4 cup cold water in a small mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top, give it a stir, cover with plastic and set aside.
In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar and 1/3 cup water over medium heat. When the sugar completely melts, take off heat and with the help of a wire whisk, stir in corn syrup, followed by the cocoa. You’ll have a smooth and glossy mixture.
Stir in heavy cream with a spatula and return pan to medium heat. Bring the mixture to the boiling point, remove from heat and strain into a metal bowl. Cool until an instant-read thermometer reads 122 – 140 F, for about 15 minutes.
Stir in softened gelatin until completely dissolved.
Strain the glaze into a bowl and let cool until an instant-read thermometer registers 80F (best temperature to glaze the cake; if you’re making this ahead, make sure to reheat to 85 F as it will be thicker). The recipe says this will happen in a few minutes, but it took an hour for the glaze to cool down to 80F (and I’ve made it twice so far).
AND MANY MORE DELICIOUS RECEPIES!
INSTANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY) Recipe by Herve This & Heston Blumenthal
Place a large mixing bowl on top of another slightly smaller one, filled with ice and cold water (the bottom of the large bowl should touch the ice). Set aside.
Put chocolate and water (also sugar and/or liquor if you’re using) in a medium-sized pan and melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl sitting on top of ice and water, and start whisking with a wire whisk (or an electrical hand-held mixer) until thick. Watch the texture as you whip and make sure not to over-whip as it will make the mousse grainy. If the mousse becomes grainy (which is possible at your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.
Divide into four serving cups and serve immediately.
DRIED APRICOT AND PISTACHIO SCONE RECIPE (recipe adapted from Fine Cooking’s Holiday Baking special issue Winter 2004)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup of dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks, lights beaten
1 large egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk for glazing
1 tbsp granulated sugar for sprinkling
Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400 F (205 C). Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the dried apricots and pistachios, tossing until evenly distributed and coated with flour (this allows the dried fruit and nuts to be evenly distributed among each wedge). Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two table knives until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas.
In a small bowl, stir the cream and egg yolks just to blend. Add this all at once to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork to begin combining the wet and dry ingredients and then use your hands to gently knead the mixture together until all the dry ingredients are absorbed into the dough and it can be gathered into a moist, shaggy ball.
Do not overknead: This dough is sticky but benefits from minimal handling. Set the rough ball in the center of the prepared baking sheet and pat it gently into a round about 1 inch thick and 7 inches in diameter. Don’t be tempted to make the round any flatter.
With a sharp knife or pastry scraper, cut the round into eight wedges; separate the wedges. Brush the scones with the egg-milk glaze and sprinkle (liberally) with the sugar. Bake until the scones are deep golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a wedge comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Slide the parchment onto a rack and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
Best served fresh, these scones will keep for up to a month, wrapped well and frozen. Thaw at room temperature and then warm in a 325 F oven.
CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT BİSCOTTİ
Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes Recipe Recipe adapted from delicious. magazine’s June 2009 issue
Makes 12 lemon cheesecake cupcakes
3+1/2 oz (100 gr) gingersnap (or shortbread) cookies
2 oz (55 gr) ground almonds
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
Important: For a creamy consistency, make sure that all the ingredients below are at room temperature.
1 lb. cream cheese
3+1/2 oz heavy cream (or sour cream)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
5 oz mulberries (or any kind of berry)
2 tbsp powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases and set aside.
Crush the cookies to fine crumbs and mix with ground almonds, sugar and melted butter.
Press 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture into the base of each muffin case and place in the refrigerator to chill.
Beat the cream cheese, heavy cream and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest, beating well after each addition.
Rap the mixer bowl hard on your counter to knock out the air bubbles trapped inside the filling.
Spoon the mixture over the cookie bases 3/4 full.
Press three mulberries into the filling and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheesecakes are puffed and starting to color.
Cool, then chill until ready to eat.
Decorate each cheesecake with more mulberries and dust with powdered sugar to serve.
A freshly baked batch of muffins is often reserved for the weekends, when we have the luxury of being able to spend some extra time in the kitchen and some extra time to drink coffee, read the paper and relax. But muffins can easily be an everyday food, especially if you make a batch that has a few health-conscious tweaks made to it, and you can bake a batch over the weekend to enjoy even on a busy weekday morning. These Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins are that everyday type of muffin. Packed with fresh mashed banana, they are made with whole wheat flour, vegetable oil and have a handful of heart-healthy nuts thrown into the batter to add a little extra texture and flavor. The muffins are moist and have that same tight, dense crumb that a traditional loaf of banana bread will have, as opposed to a light and cake-like crumb. They have a good banana flavor, accented with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar. They muffins aren’t too sweet and you can taste the nuttiness of the whole wheat flour, which actually works well with the nuts in the muffins.
I prefer to use white whole wheat flour in these muffins because the finished product is slightly lighter than muffins made with regular whole wheat flour, although both will work just fine in the end. I typically use a mixture of chopped pecans and walnuts in these. You can opt for one or the other – or even use chocolate chips if you want to make these slightly healthy muffins a little more indulgent.
These muffins, like banana bread, store quite well. They will stay moist and fresh in an airtight container for a few days if you’re not going to eat them all at once. They also freeze fairly well, though I like to wrap the individually so that they’re a little more convenient to grab for snacking. They’re good plain, but I also like them warmed up and served with a little smear of salted butter on top.
Bread puddings are one of those dishes that can be incredible versatile. Like a basic muffin recipe where you can incorporate all different kinds of fruits, nuts and other goodies to change the flavor completely, you can do the same thing with a bread pudding. A basic bread pudding gives you a rich, custardy base for both sweet and savory dishes – and this Fig and Goat Cheese Bread Pudding happens to have both sweet and savory in one dish.
Figs and goat cheese are a great combination any time they meet. I used dried figs in this recipe, which have a rich and intense sweetness to them. Mine were very moist, but you can rehydrate dried figs in a bit of hot water if yours are on the dry side. You can also use fresh figs in this recipe if you have them. The sweetness of the figs contrasts very well with the goat cheese, which has a rich, tangy cream cheese-like flavor with a slightly savory/salty finish to it. The cheese incorporates easily into the bread pudding, but holds its shape and doesn’t melt, so you get pockets of sweet fig and savory cheese in different bites as you eat. The custard for the bread pudding is made with buttermilk, milk and a little vanilla extract.
This bread pudding sounds very grown up, and while it will certainly appeal to adults looking for something a little different, it has a beautifully balanced flavor that almost anyone will enjoy. The dish is fantastic for breakfast or brunch, but also works very well when served for dessert. Serve it plain or dust it with a little bit of confectioners’ sugar to highlight the sweetness of the figs and the vanilla in the custard. It is good both warm and cold (and leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days).
Nutella Cheesecake Squares
Ingredients: crust: 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 1/4 cup flour 1/4 cup cocoa 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/8 teaspoon salt
filling: 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature 1/4 cup Nutella 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons flour 2 large eggs,at room temperature
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Grease or spray with baking spray an 8x8 inch pan. In a small bowl, add the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, oats and salt, mix thoroughly with a fork. Press into bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten and press firmly. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the egg and flour, beat until smooth. Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the 8x8 inch pan. Add the Nutella into the remaining batter and mix throughly. Spread on top of the first cheesecake layer. Bake 25 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.
When you have a serious chocolate craving, not just any chocolate cupcake is going to fit the bill. A batch of these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes is what you need when that kind of craving strikes. These cupcakes remind me of brownies, with their intense dark chocolate flavor. They also develop a slightly crackly top during baking, like brownies. Unlike brownies, the cupcakes are not dense and fudgy. They have a very tight and tender crumb that almost seems to melt in your mouth when you take a bite. This is definitely a go-to recipe when I’m looking for a really rich chocolate cupcake. The flavor comes from a generous amount of dark chocolate that has been melted into the batter. I typically use a dark chocolate that is around 70 or 72% cacao, but the recipe will still work with a slightly more or less dark chocolate. You’ll get a lot of chocolate flavor in the cupcakes, so be sure to use a good quality chocolate in this recipe.
These cupcakes are very versatile and can be topped off with any kind of frosting you like. Instead of sticking with chocolate or vanilla, I opted for a more fall-flavored pumpkin frosting here. Pumpkin puree by itself doesn’t necessarily have that strong of a pumpkin flavor (not strong enough that a small amount will be enough for a whole batch of frosting), so simply adding pumpkin puree to a buttercream wasn’t going to produce the flavor that I was looking for. Pumpkin puree can be a bit coarse, as well, and needs to be processed very finely or pushed through a sieve to get a silky texture. Pumpkin butter – a very smooth, sweet and intensely flavored pumpkin preserve – was the answer to my flavoring problem. A small amount of pumpkin butter packs a lot of pumpkin flavor and was the perfect way to introduce a pumpkin element to an otherwise vanilla frosting. Pumpkin butter is available at many stores around Halloween and Thanksgiving, and you can always make your own. If you can’t find it, you can use pumpkin puree that has been strained, but you will also want to add a bit of extra spice to your frosting for extra fall flavor.
· Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line standard muffin tin with paper cups. · Combine in medium size bowl both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. · Mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. · Add each egg one at a time until incorporated. · Mix in vanilla and add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. · Pour batter into paper cups each 2/3 of the way full. · Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. · Cool completely before icing, about 45 minutes.
Whipped Sweet Frosting
· 1 1/2 cups sugar plus 2 tablespoons
· 2/3 cup water
· 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
· 6 large egg whites
· In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with water and corn syrup. · Bring to boil over medium heat, stir until sugar has completely dissolved. · Continue boiling without stirring until syrup has reached 230 degrees F. · Ideally if you have a standing electric mixer, whisk egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form while your syrup is boiling. · Mix remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with eggs whites. · Remove syrup from heat when it reaches 230 degrees F. · Pour Syrup onto eggs whites and mix until completely cool, about 8 minutes. · Use on cupcakes immediately. · Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.