Tag Archives: baking

Earl Grey Crème Brûlée

Playing with fire in the kitchen for a fancy dessert 🙂

Ingredients for 2 servings: 4 egg yolks,1 1/4 cups light cream, 4 tsp loose Earl Grey tea, 1/4 sugar, 1/8 cup sugar for finishing

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat up the cream in a saucepan so that it almost reaches boiling point.  Remove from heat and stir in the tea leaves.  Let sit for 15 minutes.

2.  Beat egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl.  Strain the leaves from the tea and cream mixture.  Slowly mix in the tea mixture into the eggs and sugar.

3. Set two ramekins into a roasting pan or other oven-proof dishware.  Fill with the mixture, and place in the oven.  Fill the roasting pan with warm water until it reaches to half the height of the ramekins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

4.  Let the ramekins cool in the water, then remove and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.

5.  About 20-25 minutes before serving, sprinkle the tops with an even coat of sugar.  Caramelize with a blowtorch and wait until the creme brulee reaches room temperature before serving.

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Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Breakfast baking with a sweet indulgence.

For 6-8 Muffins

Ingredients: 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup milk, 1 tsp vanila, 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 plain yogurt, 3/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat  oven to 375 degrees and grease baking pan.

2.  Mix together the egg, sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla until well combined.  Next, stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, but do not overmix.

3. Finally, add in the yogurt, followed by the blueberries and chocolate chips.

4.  Pour batter into the muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes.

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Flourless Chocolate Cookies

I am somewhat perplexed by the concept of flourless baking.  If there is no flour, what makes up the physical essence of baked goods?

All chemical and philosophical baking thoughts aside, I thought I would attempt Francois Payards’ chocolate cookie recipe.  Francois Payard is a renowned French chef known for his fancy and decadent desserts sold at his high end bakeries around the world.  A small box of these very cookies will cost you $40, so best to try to make them yourself!

Ingredients: 2 3/4 cups roasted cashews (original recipe calls for walnuts, I just used what I had on hand), 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 4 large egg whites at room temperature, 1 tbsp vanilla extract

These are quite literally sugar cookies…

1. Pre-heat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.  Coarsely chop the nuts.

2.  Mix the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.  Stir just enough so that the batter is moistened – do not overmix!

Mmmmm…chocolate sludge

3. Spoon mounds of the batter onto a lightly greased baking sheet.  Make sure to leave ample space in between as these cookies will spread out while baking.

4.  Bake for 15 minutes and cool slightly before eating.

These cookies are cracked, sticky, and crispy on the outside and edges, but moist and fudge-like on the inside.

Also some serious admiration for the crispy goodness of the cookie bottom 🙂

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“Pi” Day

Happy π Day! Baked my first pie ever.  Went with an all-American classic: apple pie.  Your kitchen will smell amazing after making this.

Recipe adapted from Sugary Winzy

Pie Filling Ingredients: 5 peeled and thinly sliced apples (you can use any kind, but I recommend Granny Smiths and Mackintosh), 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp salt

Pie Crust Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup shortening, 3/4 tsp salt, 7-8 tbsp cold water

1. Mix the apples with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator as you prepare the pie crust.

3. Mix the salt and flour.  Add in shortening and butter.  I find it easier to mix with your hands at this point.  The flour should resemble pea-sized crumbles.

4.  Add the water one tablespoon at a time.  It should be enough of a dough-like consistency to roll into a ball.

5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

6.  Take out the dough and cut in half.  Each piece will make up the top and bottom crust.

7.  Roll out the bottom crust on a lightly floured surface.  The crust size should be slightly larger than the pan size.

8.  Transfer the crust to a lightly grease 9″ pie pan.  Press the crust against the bottom and sides of the pan.  Bring the pan with the crust to the refrigerator to cool while rolling out the top crust.

9.  Roll out the top crust in the same manner.  You can choose to keep it as one piece or cut strips to weave.

10.  Take out both the bottom crust and filling.  Pour in the filling into the pan and then place the top crust.  Pinch the sides together, completely sealing the crust.  You can form a decorative crust.  Cut slits on the top crust to allow steam to escape when baking.

11. Make an egg wash by lightly beating one egg with 1 tbsp of water.  Brush on top of the pie crust.

12.  Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

Just admiring that flaky buttery golden crust

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Salted Dark Chocolate Candied Ginger Cookies

Spicy and sweet, ginger is a very versatile ingredient.  If anything, make this so that you will be able to bake these delicious salted dark chocolate and candied ginger cookies.

Candied Ginger

recipe adapted from Food Network

Ingredients: 1/2 lb fresh ginger root, 2 1/2 cups water, 1/2 lb sugar

1. Peel and slice ginger into thin slices.  Place ginger in a sauce pan with the water and cook for 30 minutes.

2. Drain the ginger, keeping 1/8-1/4 cup of the water.  However much the ginger weighs, measure out the same amount of sugar.

3.  Bring to a boil the ginger, water, and sugar.  Stir frequently for twenty minutes, as the sugar will thicken into a syrup and eventually crystallize.

4.  Transfer the ginger to a baking sheet to cool.

Salted Dark Chocolate Candied Ginger Cookies

recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients: 1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, salt, 1 stick softened butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg, 3/4 cup chopped sea salt dark chocolate (I chopped up a pack of Lindt Sea Salt Dark Chocolate), 1/4 cup candied ginger – chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and both sugars together.  Mix in the vanilla and egg.

2. Add the dry ingredients, followed by the ginger and chocolate.

3. Form 1 tbsp sized balls and set on a greased baking sheet.

4. Bake for 10 minutes.

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Dinner for Two

An easy Sunday night meal consisting of elegant comfort foods.  Everything is cooked in the oven, so this is a set it and forget it meal.

Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken Ingredients: 6 chicken drumsticks, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, flour

Sauce Ingredients: 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 cup hot sauce, splash of white vinegar, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper (all to taste).

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Rinse the drumsticks and pat dry.  If the drumsticks are on the larger side, cut slits into them to ensure full cooking.

2. Lightly coat the chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Set the drumsticks on a greased baking sheet and lightly dust with flour.  Bake for one hour.

4.  In the meantime, prepare the buffalo sauce.  Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat until all combined.

5.  When the drumsticks are done, toss to coat in a bowl of the sauce.

Potatoes Au Gratin

Ingredients: 3 medium potatoes – peeled and thinly sliced (use a mandolin), 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 cups half and half, 1 cup grated Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tbsp herb seasoning

1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Mix together the garlic, half and half, salt and pepper, herb seasoning, and a 1/2 cup of Parmesan.

2.  Stack the potato slices around a baking pan into even levels.

3. Pour the mixture over the potatoes.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top and bake for 45 minutes.

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Banana Nutella Oatmeal Cookies

Again, here’s one of those cookies that has all of my favorite food words in one title.  These aren’t too pretty to look at, but they’re awesome breakfast dessert cookies.

Recipe adapted from Chef in Training

Ingredients: 2 very ripe bananas, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp butter, 1 egg, 1 3/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup Nutella

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter.

3.  Add in the wet ingredients – bananas and egg.  Then the oats go in the mix.

4. Swirl in the Nutella – do not mix thoroughly so that it creates a marble effect.

5. Spoon drops of the batter onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

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Sweet Potato Cakes

I somehow always manage to grab some type of sweet potato while grocery shopping.  The health benefits and nutritional value of almost all types of sweet potatoes are well known.  I never really know what to do with the potatoes other than making sweet potato fries or just steaming and eating as is.  This cake recipe is so simple and works well to bring out the sweetness of the potatoes.  Most likely, you will already have the ingredients on hand in your kitchen, adding to the convenience.

Recipe adapted from Origami Mommy

Ingredients: 2 medium sized Japanese sweet potatoes (any type of sweet potato or yam will work), 2 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 tbsp cream (sour cream or plain yogurt are fine substitutes), 2 tbsp sugar, 2 egg yolks (separated), 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/3 cup flour.

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the potatoes for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, cut the potatoes and scoop out from the skin.

3. Mash the warm potato in a bowl with the butter so that it is melted by the heat.  Mix in one of the egg yolks, sugar, cream, vanilla, and cinnamon.

4.  Mix in enough flour so that the batter is thick enough to hold a shape.  You might not need to use all of the flour.

5. Scoop out golf ball sized mounds of the potato batter onto a greased baking sheet.  Brush the tops with beaten egg yolk.

6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

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Warm Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

The end of the year is often a very busy season in terms of workload.  At the end of an exhausting week, I like to reward myself with an easy sweet treat.  These gooey butter cake cookies have all the adjectives I love about desserts in one title – there was no way I could pass on making them as soon as I stumbled upon the recipe.  They use minimal ingredients and taste as delicious as they sound.

Ingredients: 4 oz plain cream cheese, 4 tbsp softened unsalted butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk, 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt, 1/3 cup powdered sugar

1.  Beat the cream cheese and butter together until mixed well and fluffy.  Slowly add in the granulated sugar while beating.

2. Mix in the vanilla extract, egg.  Add the flour in sections, beating to mix well.  Cover the bowl of dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes – DO NOT skip this step.

3.  Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough, coat in the powdered sugar, and place on a baking sheet.

4. Bake for 14 minutes.  The cookies should brown slightly on the bottom, but not on top, so keep a careful eye on them!

5.  Coat with more powdered sugar on top if necessary, and serve warm.  Your stomach and heart will thank you.

The original recipe notes that the cookies should be cooled before eating, but I think anything with a gooey cake-like texture is best when eaten hot from the oven!

Oops

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Thumbprint Cookies

Classic holiday baked sweets based on a simple shortbread cookie recipe.

Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup jam of your choice

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Sift flour and salt together.  In a separate bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until it becomes a creamy blend.

2.  Mix the flour into the sugar and butter mixture in parts.  The resulting dough should be crumbly but will hold together in your hands.

3.  Scoop a tablespoon size amount of dough into your hand and shape into a 1″ ball.  Using your thumb, press into it to create a small well.

4.  Place on a greased baking sheet 2″ apart.  Fill each well with a 1/2 tsp of jam.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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