Thursday, December 3, 2015

My All-time Favorite Chocolate Cake




CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE
butter and flour 2-8inch cake pans

½ c cocoa powder
1 c boiling water
¾ c brown sugar
½ c buttermilk
1 T. vanilla
4 oz. butter
1 ¼ c. sugar
1 ¼ c AP flour
¾ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 eggs

Combine and mix smooth, cocoa powder and water. Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Set aside

Combine and sift, flour, soda and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.

Alternate adding cocoa mixture and flour mixture to the egg mixture until thorourly mixed.

Bake at 350f




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Roasted Broccoli With Lemon Tahini Dressing


Roasted Brocoli:


2 lbs. brocoli crowns, washed and dried
1/4 c. olive oil
1 T. salt

On a sheet pan, toss broccoli with oil and salt. Roast at 350f for 40 minutes. See below notes and photos on roasting brocoli.

Dressing:
2 T. tahini
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt

In a blender, blend all the ingredients until smooth. 

Garnishes:
1/4 c. sliced pitted olives
2 T. capers
1 t. lemon zest
2 T. parsley leaves


When Roasting Broccoli, slice the florets into 1/2 inch planks. Roasting typically implies dry direct 400f and up in the oven. However, for broccoli, I suggest 350f for 40 minutes.

 
As you can see in the before and after photos, roasted vegetables shrink!



Allow the broccoli to cool to room temperature. In a bowl, combine the dressing and broccoli. Pile the dressed broccoli onto a platter and garnish with the olives, capers, lemon zest and parsley. 

Note: This salad can be made up to twelve hours ahead and refrigerated until serving. This salad is ideal for buffets.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Garam Masala Roast Sweet Potatoes With Mint-Cilantro-Almond Chutney


Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes, washed, dried and cut into 1/4 inch strips
1/4 cup olive (or other preferred oil)
1 t. garam masala
1/2 t. salt

on a sheet pan, toss the sweet potatoes, oil, garam and salt. Roast for 45 minutes at 350. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool, before transfering to platter.

Chutney

1/4 c. olive oil
2 c. washed and dried cilantro (remove most of the stems)
1 c. mint leaves
3/4 c. raw almonds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed
1/2 t. salt
2 T. lime juice
1 t. turmeric (opt.)

In a blender, blend all the ingredients, on the lowest speed until almost smooth. Serve with room temperature sweet potatoes or.....?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash Rosemary Pie



Single All-Butter Pie Crust

1-1/4 cups AP flour
½ t. salt
4 oz. unsalted cold butter
3-4 T. ice water

 Combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter. Add water and gently press into dough. Refrigerate for a least one-hour. Roll out dough and transfer to a 9inch pie dish. Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes at 350.

 Pie Filling
 3 cups (large dice) butternut squash
1 T. minced fresh rosemary
2 T. olive oil
1-12 oz. can sweetented condensed milk
1 T. vanilla 1 t. ground green cardamom
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
3 eggs

On a sheet pan, toss the squash rosemary and oil. Roast for 30 minutes at 375.

 In a food processor, puree the squash mixture, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. Add the eggs and pulse thoroughly, to incorporate (without over mixing). Pour the mixture into the pre-baked crust.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Rosemary Almond Cake with Orange blossom, Brown Butter Glaze



1 C. AP flour
¼ t. salt
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 ¼ c sugar
8 oz. blanched almonds
1/3 C. oil
10 oz. butter
6 large eggs
1 t. almond extract
2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. finely minced fresh rosemary

3 oz. brown butter
1 t. orange flower water
1 t vanilla extract
2 T milk


About 1 ½ c powder sugar

Cake
Combine:
flour
salt
baking powder
and set aside


Combine in food processor:
sugar
almonds
Blend to a smooth powder
Add 1/3 c oil
Blend again to a smooth paste

In a mixer:
Cream butter and the almond mixture
Add 6 eggs one at a time.
Add almond extract, vanilla  and  rosemary.

Vigorously fold in the dry ingredients.

Bake in a 9-inch prepared cake pan at 350 for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes and invert to cool completely. 

Glaze
3 oz. brown butter 
1 t. orange flower water
1 t vanilla extract
2 T milk
About 1 ½ c powder sugar

Combine into a smooth thick pourable glaze. Spread on top of the cooled cake.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding




Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

12 c. cubed brioche (about one loaf with crust)
3 c cream
1 c milk
16 oz. bittersweet chocolate (55-65%), chopped into almond size pieces
1 c sugar
2 eggs
6 yolks
1 T. vanilla extract
¼ t. salt
1/3 c brandy (opt.)

Lightly toast cubed brioche and  Cool in a medium sized bowl.

In a heavy bottom non-reactive pot, combine the cream, milk, sugar and 8 oz. of the chocolate. Gently heat the mixture, whisking until the chocolate melts.  Temper the hot mixture into the eggs. Add the vanilla, brandy, and salt. Pour the chocolate mixture over the bread. Stir to combine and let rest for one hour.

Pour the bread pudding mixture into a buttered 9x13 baking dish.

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Carefully, fold in the remaining chocolate (most of the chocolate can be on the top half of the bread pudding). Continue to bake for 30 more minutes.

*Serve warm with vanilla bean whipped cream



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Tapenade Toasts and Goat Cheese





Tapenade
2 cups pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped 
2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup almonds. Lightly toasted and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon grated orange zest 
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil Freshly ground pepper
*4 ounces Goat cheese (for garnish)


Combine Ingredients (except goat cheese) in a bowl. The tapenade can be made 24 hours before serving.


Vinaigrette
1 shallot, finely diced
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil 
Salt & Pepper to taste

Macerate the shallot in the vinegar and a pinch of salt for ten minutes. Stir in the oil and season with salt and pepper. The vinaigrette can be made up to 8 hours in advance.


Toast
Prepare 16 toasts by thinly slicing a baguette on the bias. Brush with olive oil. Toast at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. The toasts can be made 8 hours in advance.


Salad
pint basket assorted cherry tomatoes
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, different colors and sizes 
1⁄2 cup herbs (a mix of basil, tarragon, parsley, dill), chopped arugula, about 6 cups 



Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Core the larger tomatoes and cut them into wedges. Wash and dry herbs and arugula. Place tomatoes, herbs and arugula in a large bowl. 


To Serve:

Spread the goat cheese on the toasted bread, followed by a  spoon of tapenade

Toss the tomatoes, herbs and arugula with vinaigrette. Place the salad on a platter. arrange the toasts around the rim of the platter.