Monday, April 25, 2016

Chocolate Tart

Warning: this dessert is rich! It is delicious and wonderful. Sometimes you just want chocolate. Maybe you want chocolate because it is tastes so good?  Maybe you want chocolate because you gave your daughter lots of loving care since she had a cold in which she shared? Maybe after having a cold it is a celebration that you can actually taste again?
Chocolate Tart
Pastry Crust:
2 cups whole wheat white flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp ice water
1 egg white

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
10 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 egg white

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. 
  2. Add the butter and pulse about 20 times. 
  3. In a small cup, mix the egg yolk with the ice water in a small bowl.
  4. Slowly, pour the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture while pulsing.
  5. Pulse until the dough comes together. 
  6. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. 
  7. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  8. Roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
  9. Place the dough into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  10. Press the dough evenly into the pan and into the scalloped edges.
  11. Cut off any excess dough hanging over the edge with a knife.
  12. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  14. Place the tart pan onto a cookie sheet. 
  15. Line the tart with aluminum foil and add pie weights/dried beans to keep the sides down.
  16. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and weights.
  17. Using a pastry brush, coat the crust with a beaten egg white. 
  18. Return the tart to the oven and bake for 8 minutes until golden color.
  19. Set aside to cool.
  1. Lower the heat to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium pan, heat the heavy cream and milk over medium low temperature.
  3. Heat until the cream comes to a slight simmer around the edges.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. 
  5. Stir the chocolate until smooth and melted.
  6. Stir in the sugar and salt until incorporated.
  7. In a small bowl, beat the eggs.
  8. Stir the eggs into the chocolate mixture.
  9. Pour the filling into the tart shell. 
  10. Bake for 15 minute or until the filling is set and glossy.
  11. If any bubbles or cracks form, remove from the oven since it is beginning to over bake (like mine).
  12. Allow to cool before serving.
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence.

One year ago.....................Provence Chicken.
Two years ago...................Lemon Bars.
Three years ago.................Roasted Hazelnut Ice Cream.
Four years ago..................Store Top Chili Mac.
Did you already know.............
-In the US, there are about 1 billion cases of the common cold each year. 
-On average, a 70 year old person probably had over 200 colds in their life time. 
-Most colds last about seven to ten days.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ciabatta bread

Since I am trying to use up the white flour in the house, I decided to make some bread. I rarely make a sponge when I'm making bread but it really isn't hard. It just takes a little more planning. It came out good. Plus anytime I make bread, my family thinks it is fancy. Soon, I will be making bread with whole wheat flour and I just hope it doesn't come out dense.
Ciabatta Bread
1 package of active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp warm water (110 degrees F)
1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 cup bread flour
1 package of active dry yeast
2 Tbsp warm milk (110 degrees F)
2/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt

  1. In a cup, combine the 2 Tbsp of warm water with 1 package of yeast with a pinch of sugar. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large freezer bag, add the water with the yeast. 
  3. Add the 1/3 cup warm water with 1 cup of bread flour to the freezer bag. Mix well for a couple of minutes.
  4. Seal the bag and allow to set in a cool place for 12 to 24 hours to form a sponge.
  5. In a large bowl, combine 1 package of yeast with the warm milk. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the sponge mixture to the large bowl with the 2/3 cup water, olive oil, and 2 cups bread flour.
  7. Mix until just combined then add the salt.
  8. Mix for 8 minutes and the mixture is smooth and elastic.
  9. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for about 90 minutes.
  10. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide into half.
  11. Place each half onto a parchment lined baking sheet and form into oval loaves.
  12. Dust the top of the loaves with flour and dimple the surface with fingertips.
  13. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel and allow to rise for 90 minutes.
  14. Preheat oven to 425 with a baking stone in the oven.
  15. Transfer one loaf with the parchment paper onto the baking stone. 
  16. Bake the loaves one at a time on the baking stone for 20 minutes or until pale golden. 
  17. Allow to cool on a wire rack. 
Recipe adapted from Allrecipe.

One year ago.....................................I made Blueberry Oatmeal.
Two years ago...................................I made Creamy Polenta.
Three years ago.................................I made Lemon Cookies.
Four years ago..................................I made Bruschetta.
Did you already know.....................
-Ciabatta bread originates from Italy.
-Ciabatta means slipper since the shape of the bread resembles a slipper.
-Since the bread is very porous, the bread is chewy and light.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Breakfast Bake

Hello Everyone! I haven't meant to be gone so long. I haven't been cooking much. Since I have blogged last, a lot has happened. My oldest daughter came to visit. Also, we went to Maine for a visit. My Dad wasn't feeling the best and was admitted to the hospital. We visited him often. I took my Mom to New Hampshire to visit family. My husband has been diagnosed with diabetes. I have been trying to change our eating habits. I will admit that I have made this dish several times. The family love it. My husband told me that he is going to make it. I'm not saying this dish is the best dish to make for a diabetic. I did double the vegetables. I reduced the potatoes. Also, I used the Jiffy baking mix since it had lower carbohydrates than Bisquick. I figure even if I blog a recipe a week until I get back into cooking more than I can share what I have made and liked.
Breakfast Bake
2 packages (12 oz.) breakfast sausage
2 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp pepper
4 eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray a baking dish with nonstick baking spray.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the sausage, bell peppers, and onions until the sausage is fully cooked. 
  4. Stir in the hash browns and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese.
  5. Spread the mixture into the baking dish.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the baking mix, milk, black pepper, and eggs until well blended.  
  7. Pour the baking mixture into the baking dish.
  8. Bake the mixture uncovered for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  10. Bake for a couple of minutes longer until the cheese is melted.
  11. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. 
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.

One year ago............................I made Easter Cake.
Two years ago..........................I made Egg Cupcakes
Three years ago........................I made Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Four years ago..........................I made Chocolate and PB Ribbon Dessert.
Did you already know.................
-Type 1 Diabetes: the body has lack of insulin production.
-Type 2 Diabetes: the body ineffectively use of insulin properly. 
-90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Madeira Cake

I have this weather app on my phone which I have selected different places. I check the weather for North Carolina and Maine. Also, I check Edinburgh, Scotland since my Dad travels there a lot. I have Sidney on my phone since I know it is Summer there. Also, I check the weather in Florida. Well, I kept telling my husband how warm it was in Florida and he said lets go. My oldest daughter was visiting so it was fun. We went down for a couple of days. When we arrived home, it snowed. How different my children dress in Maine versus North Carolina. In Maine, my children had snow boots, snow pants, hats, etc. In North Carolina, they didn't even put on a thick jacket. Since they had no school for three days, we really didn't go anywhere even to the store.
Winter in NC for my Maine kids!
When my oldest daughter was here, I wanted to make her something for her birthday. She asked for strawberry shortcake. To be different, I made this Madeira Cake. We topped the cake with whip cream and strawberries. My daughter really liked the cake. I had to make conversions for this cake. The cake doesn't have any liquids besides the lemon juice which is different. The cake isn't very sweet and is crumbly. It tasted good but I prefer pound cake.
Madeira Cake
8 oz. butter, softened
1 cup sugar plus additional for sprinkling top
1 lemon
3 large eggs
1 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Spray a Bundt pan or a loaf pan with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  4. Zest the lemon and add to the butter mixture.
  5. Add one egg at a time to the butter mixture.
  6. Gently, mix in the flours.
  7. Add the juice of the lemon to the mixture.
  8. Add the batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle sugar on top.
  9. Bake the cake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before removing from pan.
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.

One year ago................................I made White Chicken Chili.
Two years ago..............................I made Pepperoni Cheese Bread.
Three years ago............................I made Hash Brown Potatoes.
Four years ago..............................I made Baby Back Ribs.
Did you already know...............
-Madeira Cake is an English sponge cake similar to pound cake. 
-Madeira Cake's name was derived as a cake to eat with Madeira wine.
-Madeira cake has no wine in it and is traditionally flavored with lemon.

I am apologizing ahead of time for not blogging in February. I have made a commitment to a family member plus I will be watching the Superbowl-Go Broncos and baking a chocolate tart! Stay warm while I'm gone.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Chocolate Souffle

Souffle, anyone? I told my husband that I was going to make a chocolate souffle. He said, souffle? Souffle? Let's have souffle! I asked him if he had ever had a souffle? He said he associated souffles with the rich and he has never had a souffle. I always associate souffles with complicated. Well, I have now made a souffle. Was it hard? It had many steps. Did my souffle fall? It did fall a little. I should have filled my ramekins a little more to get more of a top. When it came out of the oven, it looked beautiful. This is when it should be served. Even if it falls, it will not affect the taste. We topped our chocolate souffle with vanilla bean ice cream. I will say this dessert did impress my husband. He told me that I spoil him.
Chocolate Souffle
4 eggs yolks
4 egg whites
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar

  1. Allow the egg yolks and egg whites to be at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  3. Spray 6 small ramekins with nonstick baking spray.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the 3 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder.
  5. Coat the bottom and the sides of the ramekins generously with the sugar mixture. Set aside.
  6. Set aside the remaining sugar mixture to top the souffles for later. 
  7. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. 
  8. Whisk in 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, and the flour. 
  9. Add the milk and whisk. 
  10. Cook the mixture until it bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat. 
  11. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until combined with a fork.
  12. While whisking, slowly add a little of the milk mixture to the egg yolks.
  13. Continuing to whisk while adding the milk mixture to the egg yolks. Set aside.
  14. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. 
  15. Gradually add 2 Tbsp sugar to the egg whites. 
  16. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 
  17. Fold in 1 cup of egg whites to the egg yolk mixture. 
  18. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. 
  19. Equally distribute the batter to the prepared ramekins. 
  20. Bake the souffles for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  21. Carefully remove the souffles from the oven.
  22. Sprinkle the souffles with the remaining sugar cocoa mixture. 
  23. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Baking cookbook.

One year ago............................I made Thai Khao Tom.
Two years ago..........................I made Breakfast Cookies.
Four years ago..........................I made Orange Chicken.
Did you already know....................
-In the 18th century, souffles originated in France.
-Souffle means puffed up in French. 
-Souffles should be served immediately since it will begin to fall within 10 minutes once the heat escapes.