Thursday, December 31, 2009
But anyway here I am at home thinking perhaps you might (not sure why...) wonder what a serial baker does when she doesn't have to bake! Well, I took some shots of what I did today and it doesn't have much to do with food but it was such a wonderful day here on the coast of California in the middle of winter... I thought I would share the amazing area in which I live....
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
But first I am meeting another dear friend that I have known since I was a wee foodie. Our favorite haunts are around North Beach so we will probably have for lunch a little chinese and then some Italian food but I must go light since I am then heading down to meet Beth for the restaurant crawl...I will take some pictures of the food and drinks I promise!
I am hoping all you readers out there have had an inspired Holiday season and will have a wonderful New Year! Here's hoping you bring in the New Year with fabulous food and even more fabulous friends and family!
Have a good one and remember we can always diet NEXT YEAR!!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
MY Goodness, I have the sweetest friend in the world...and not only sweet but brilliant and a warrior for the world at large...ok not the entire world but for sure the tropical one... she began by selling vanilla from Mexico and with the connections she amassed in her travels she realized there was a need to support these people who work in the jungles to give us one of our most prized flavors. Now she has found a new passion... helping all those farmers in the tropical areas growing all of our favorite foods and flavors from those areas such as chocolate, spices, nuts, and many more. Her website is an exciting blend of culinary information and information about these foods and the farmers who produce them. Please check out her website at:
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
My class has been in the pie section for the last few weeks and I had no idea how fun this section would be. They get so excited by making a traditional pie such as a double crusted apple pie or the lemon custard tart... and last week we made the peach sourcream pie, cherry clafoutis and a lattice topped cherry pie...all adored!
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
1 T. or 3 sheets gelatin (bloom in 3x the water or soak sheets until soft)
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
1 ¼ cup canned pumpkin
2 egg yolks
1 ¼ cup evaporated milk
- Place all of the above ingredients into the top of a bain marie or double boiler and cook about 10 minutes until it mounds on a spoon or holds a ribbon.
- Take off heat and add softened gelatin stirring until dissolved.
- Cool pumpkin mixture.
2 egg whites
¼ cup sugar
- On an electric mixer whip the egg whites until foam begins to form and then slowly pour in the sugar.
- Whip until stiff peaks form being careful not to over whip to dry peaks.
- Fold whites into the cooled pumpkin mixture and pour into prepared and pre-baked pie crust.
- Let set up in refrigerator for at least an hour and then ice with sweetened whipped cream.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Well thank you all for pitching in and getting this baby rolling! I am so new to this and if feels funny writing to cyberspace when I am used to writing emails and such... so thanks!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
As I learn my way through this blogging world, I have to wonder... does anyone even read this stuff??? I know about posting on my facebook page and I do but the comments are few and far between... how long does it take before folks actually WANT to read your blog? And how do I get my blog out to folks to see if they are even interested? I constantly get requests for recipes and ideas for desserts and sweet goods and this, I think, is a great way to put all my recipes and ideas out to the world...but is anyone listening?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I adapted this recipe from one I tasted at a party at my sister in laws. I loved the crunchy cracker, the brown sugar/butter caramel with toasted almonds and chocolate but I wanted more caramely (is that a word?) flavor so I made them with graham crackers and that seemed to do the trick! Enjoy!
Also, I quadrupled the recipe for gift making but below is the formula for making one half sheet pan which is a large cookie sheet...
Chocolate Almond Roca Cookie
You will love the simplicity and result of these very addictive sweets.
Each cookie sheet will make about 2 dozen depending on the size of square
27 minutes ( 15 mins prep time, 12 mins cook time )
To make four times this recipe you will need:
one box of plain graham crackers
6 cups of slivered almonds (sliced will do if you can not find slivered)
2 pounds butter (salted or unsalted both work well)
2 pounds light brown sugar
For each half sheet (12" x 17") pan measure out:
16 graham crackers
1 ½ cups almonds
2 cubes butter (8 ounces)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
Make the cookies
- Layer an 11 x 17 cookie sheet, with sides, with the graham crackers cut to fit snuggly.
- Sprinkle with the almonds and set aside.
- Put the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate the butter
- Pour the sugar mix in a thin stream over the almond/cracker base
- Place in a 350° F oven for 8 minutes or until bubbly all over.
- Remove from oven and while still very hot sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
- Run the tines of a fork through the chips to spread over the entire pan.
- Set on counter to cools and cut into squares or break into random pieces.
- Package in cellophane bags to stay crisp and look good for gifting.
I always toast nuts before using in any baked product this gives a more nutty flavor to your sweets.
Use a semisweet chocolate of good quality. The better the chocolate you use the better the cookies taste! However, with that being said, you must use a chocolate chip so the chocolate doesn’t bloom on your cookies (bloom is the grayish white streaks you sometimes see on chocolate, unsightly but not dangerous only cocoa butter and sugar that has risen to the surface). I prefer Guittard Real Chocolate chips. They come in the baking section of most large grocery stores now and I think are the best quality for this cookie.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Here are the pumpkin breads with chocolate chips added... the students came up with that little creative flair. I am not such a big fan of chocolate and pumpkin but HEY whatever floats your boat! I am not one to squelch creativity! I do have a nice pumpkin bread recipe if you are interested. I like the one at the top with the decorations... so veerrry Frennnnchhh
Prepare a ½ sheet pan measuring 12”x 18” with parchment paper on the bottom… no need to grease the pan.
Preheat your oven to 375°
In a large mixing bowl, measure out :
1 cup pumpkin puree
8 egg yolks
1 Tbl. dark rum
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
Mix together until smooth.
Then have ready:
8 egg whites
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
Whip the egg whites with the salt until a foam begins.
Add the sugar very slowly so it absorbs into the whites.
Whip the whites until a stiff but still soft peak forms.
Fold the whites into the pumpkin mixture and carefully lay out the batter
into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. It will rise a bit and then fall when it cools. Don’t be alarmed. This is a soufflé and it will fall. The goal here is to create enough structure in the egg whites that it doesn’t fall completely but leaves a nice ½” thick cake to roll up with whipped cream.
The cream filling:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 T. dark rum
Whip the cream with the sugar and rum until stiff peaks form.
Lay the soufflé out on plastic wrap with powdered sugar sifted on it so it doesn’t stick.
Spread the cream over in an even layer.
On the long side of the cake nearest to you, begin to roll the cake up using the plastic wrap. Start by folding the end up in a tiny roll so it makes it easier to roll the cake up. Wrap it in the plastic, refrigerate for several hours and serve with powdered sugar sifted over top.