Tag Archives: Dessert

Sea Salt & Browned Butter Brownies

Sea Salt & Brown Butter Brownies
Cold nights and long days require delicious sweet treats. I rarely bake as I don’t want to single handed-ly eat everything I make that’s just a bit excessive but after having to work this past weekend nothing sounded better than home made brownies. Something warm and gooey, sweet and taste-y perfect with a cup of warm tea on these cold nights we have been having here in New York.
Sea Salt & Brown Butter Brownies
Now I did not just want any brownie I wanted something a bit more grown up that your normal fair which is why I decided a sea salt and browned butter brownie was the perfect choice. Something salty but sweet and with more depth than your usual brownie, I added in chopped chocolate for that extra burst of chocolate and texture. As for texture I love my brownies soft and fudge-y not cake like and I think this recipe comes close to perfection at least for me.

SEA SALT & BROWNED BUTTER BROWNIES

Makes one 9″x 9″ pan

1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

2/3 Cups AP Flour + some for dusting the pan

2 Cups Sugar

1 1/4 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

8oz Browned Butter (see below for instructions)

4 Large Eggs

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

2oz Chopped Chocolate (I used 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar)

Sea Salt for finishing (about 2 Tsp) something large grained is best

Butter for greasing the pan

9″ x 9″ Baking Pan

Mixing Bowls

Sieve

Small offset spatula (optional)

TO PREPARE

Preheat oven to 300°F

Grease your pan and dust with flour and set aside

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, brown butter, and vanilla extract. Make sure the eggs are slightly whisked before you add the butter to make the process easier. Add the brown butter to the eggs right after you have strained it add it in slowly in a stream while whisking to keep the eggs from coagulating.  The egg mixture with thicken up a bit once everything is incorporated after thoroughly mixed add in the vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix together until the dry mix is fully incorporated.

Mix in the chopped chocolate and about 1 tsp of the sea salt

Pour out the mix into your prepared pan and use the offset spatula to even out the top. Hit the pan a few times on the counter to make sure all air bubbles are out.

Sprinkle a bit more of the sea salt on the top of the brownies

Cook for 30-45 min until a cake tester or tooth pick comes out clean

Let cool and turn out and cut into squares (use your offset spatula to help release the brownies from the pan if you are having a hard time getting them out)

Sea Salt & Brown Butter Brownies
BROWNED BUTTER HOW TO

technique adapted from Bouchon Bakery

8oz Butter

Large Sauce Pan

Mixing Bowl

Whisk

Sieve

Cheesecloth

TO PREPARE

Over your mixing bowl place a sieve with two layers of cheese cloth over it for straining the browned solids once you have browned the butter.

Place your large sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter.

As soon as the butter melts start whisking to keep the butter from separating.

Once the butter comes to a boil turn up the heat and stop whisking.

Keep cooking the butter whisking occasionally so it does not burn until the bubbles lessen indicating most of the moisture has evaporated.

Once the butter is a caramel color remove from the heat and strain the solids out and use in your recipe.

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Blue Cheese Frozen Yogurt with Grilled Pear and Honey

Blue Cheese Ice Cream
Please tell me what is better than a cheese platter turned into a dessert? I can’t think of much that can beat it. For a long time I have been thinking about making a Blue Cheese and something ice cream but I put it on the back burner for whatever reason. A few weeks back I was flipping through the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook and saw the Chèvre Frozen Yogurt (pg 217) recipe and which re-inspired me to make a blue cheese frozen treat.  Since I was quite busy when the idea came back to me I figured I would make it for the Bastille Day Picnic I was trying to plan with some friends , as I talked about here, but alas schedule conflicts came up and that fell through.

So this past weekend I thought it would be the perfect time to finally make it as I had been collecting all the components over the past week and there was the massive heat wave there is not much else I wanted to cook. When it is 90 + degrees and humid the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the stove (you can tell in my photos that my frozen yogurt was getting a little bit melty) . So Ice Cream (well frozen yogurt but whatever) it was.

This Frozen yogurt is nice and tangy which makes the pear and honey a nice accompaniment to the tangyness and would be great served as a first course cheese course replacement but is also great as a desert course ( or heck as a meal on its own… not saying that’s how I ate it or anything).

Blue Cheese Ice Cream

BLUE CHEESE FROZEN YOGURT W/ GRILLED PEAR AND HONEY

Makes 4- 2 scoop servings or 8 – 1 scoop servings

1 recipe Blue Cheese Frozen Yogurt (See Below)

1 Pear Sliced into 1/4″ Pieces

About 1 Tbsp per serving of your favorite Raw Honey

Coconut Oil to Grease the grill

Grill pan or Grill

Large Spoon

TO ASSEMBLE

Pre-heat your grill pan or grill until it is very hot.

Grease the grill with your coconut oil

Place your pear slices onto the grill and grill until nice grill marks start to form then flip until the other side has developed the same marks.

Place the pear slices onto your plate in a fan type pattern

Scoop out your ice cream (1 or 2 depending on how large you want the desert to be) on to the pear slices or if you want to be fancy you can make a Quenelle (that fancy shape you get at a fancy place).

Drizzle with honey and serve

Blue Cheese Ice Cream

BLUE CHEESE FROZEN YOGURT

Makes 1 Pint

This recipe was adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar and like my Rhubarb Sorbet it uses corn syrup (or glucose) to help stabilize it and keep the liquid from crystallizing to much and helps create a good mouth feel. The Gelatin used helps do the same thing and keeps the frozen yogurt from freezing to hard or melting too quickly.

When making this Frozen Yogurt make sure to pick out a cheese you really like the flavor of because this is an intensely flavored ice cream so you want to use a quality good tasting product.

2 Gelatin Sheets (or 1 Tsp of powdered Gelatin)

55g (1/4 cup) Milk

60g (1/4 cup) Blue Cheese

55g (1/4 cup) Buttermilk

50g (2 tbsp) Greek Yogurt

35g (2 tbsp) Corn Syrup (or 100g of Glucose)

50g (1/4 cup) Sugar

2g (1/2 tsp) Kosher Salt

0.5g (1/8 tsp) Citric Acid

Blender

Fine Mesh Strainer

Mixing Bowl

Scale to measure ingredients

TO PREPARE

Bloom your sheet Gelatin by soaking it in a small bowl of cold water for about 2 minutes. It should get soft but not so soft that it is falling apart. Squeeze out the extra water and place in your mixing bowl. You can read up more about gelatin at Modernistpantry.com and purchase the gelatin sheets there as well.

Lightly heat some of the milk and whisk in the gelatin sheet until it is dissolved.

Add to Gelatin/ milk mixture to blender along with the remaining milk, Buttermilk, Blue Cheese, Yogurt, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Salt, and Citric Acid.

Puree the mixture until smooth.

Pour the frozen yogurt mix through a fine mix strainer into your mixing bowl.

Set up your Ice Cream Machine according to your manufacturers instructions and freeze according to your machine’s directions

Once spun I like to let my ice cream set for about an hour or two before serving so it can set up a bit more. You can serve though straight out of the machine or store for about 2 weeks.

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Summer Treats: Rhubarb Sorbet

RuharbSorbet_4While  browsing through my reader the other day I came across a recipe for Rhubarb Lime Vanilla Bean Sorbet from Susan Eats London and it immediately sounded interesting. What drew me first to the post was the short bit of information about using stabilizers to ensure your homemade ice cream and sorbet has a nicer texture which is something that I have been having a problem with. Going back through my books now though I realize that is why gelatin sheets and glucose are used in the Milk Bar recipes (which I have a grand idea I am going to make in the near future that uses one of those as the base). Also I have always wanted to try making something with Rhubarb since my experience with it has been slim and I did not want to make a pie. So when I was checking out a newer grocery store in the city (Union Market @Houston & Essex/ Ave A for any New Yorkers) and saw some great looking rhubarb which I had to get to make sorbet since the idea had been floating around in my mind.

When I got home to make the sorbet base I decided to wing the flavoring with what I had on hand and not go out an buy a vanilla bean for this. Since I had rose water I added a bit of that in, as well as vanilla extract, and lime juice. Due to the rose water the final product has some nice floral notes but I wish that it had a bit more acid in it. If I am to make this again I would add more lime juice or take another page out the Milk Bar Cookbook and add a bit of citric acid for the acid note.  In this recipe you can substitute the Corn Syrup with Pure Glucose if you have that on hand though you might need a bit less, taste and see, or any other inverse sugar syrup (i.e Golden Syrup) but regardless of what you choose do make sure to use one of the above this is what helps keep the sorbet from getting too crystallized and icy which often happens with homemade sorbet and ice cream.

So get out your ice cream maker and whip this up right in time for these crazy heat waves that seem to be going on all across the country!

RuharbSorbet_7

RHUBARB SORBET

Makes 1 Quart

1 lb Rhubarb Diced

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Tsp Rose Water

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Lime Juice

1 Tbsp Corn Syrup

1 Large Stock Pot with a lid

Food  Processor

Mesh Sieve

Large bowl

Ice Cream Maker

RuharbSorbet_5

The Procedure

In the large pot bring the sugar and water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil add the Rhubarb and cover with the lid and turn down the heat to medium low

Let cook for about 10-15 min or until the Rhubarb is soft.

Take the mix from the heat and pour it into your food processor. Run the processor until the mix is smooth (alternatively you can use a hand immersion blender if you have one).

Pour the mix out into your bowl and run through your sieve if you want your mix extra smooth, I skiped this step because I was okay with the mix as it was.

Add in the Rose water, Vanilla, Lime Juice and Corn Syrup and mix until everything is combined.

Move the mix to the refrigerator and leave until it is cool all the way through.

Once the mix is cool (I left mine overnight) set up your ice cream maker and pour in the sorbet mixture.

Run your machine per your manufacturer’s instructions.

Once the sorbet comes together transfer into your storage container and let it set in the freezer.

Serve once the sorbet reaches the desired consistency!

RuharbSorbet_8

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Almond Cream Crepe Cake

Crepe Cake

My sister’s friend was hosting dinner for Easter at her apartment and since she was cooking I felt like I needed to bring something because I always feel so weird if I am not the one cooking. Since I had left over Frangipane (Almond Cream Filling) from my Matcha Macarons I made the other day I thought it would be a great and delicate dessert to make a crepe cake with it. It was a great hit at the dinner and I will defiantly be working on more flavor combinations and layers in the future. I defiantly recommend making a crepe cake for your next social function it makes for a fantastic presentation and takes much less effort than you would think!

ALMOND CREAM CREPE CAKE

1 Recipe of Frangipane (Almond Cream Filling)

1 Recipe of Crepes (see below)

Some Powdered Sugar and Almond Flour for finishing

Sifter

Decorative serving plate or tray

Offset spatula

Crepe Cake

TO ASSEMBLE

On your serving vessel place one crepe down and take about 2-3 tbsp of the Frangipane with the offset spatula and spread out the almond cream on the crepe.

Lay another crepe down and spread out another 2-3 tbsp of the Frangipane with the offset spatula, continue with all the layers of crepe until you get to the last layer.

On the last layer use your sifter and cover the crepe cake with some powdered sugar and almond flour.

Cut into slices and serve, or store in the refrigerator until later.

Crepe Cake

CREPES

Makes 6 Crepes

This crepe recipe is based on my two favorite crepe recipes the one in Ratio by Michael Ruhlman and the Crepe Recipe from the Good Eats Episode ‘Crepe Expectations‘.

4oz Egg (2 Large)

3oz Almond Milk

1oz Water

3oz Flour

3 Tbsp Melted Butter

1/4 Tsp Salt

TO ASSEMBLE

As I live in a small New York apartment I don’t have a lot of appliances like a blender since I don’t have room for them but this batter can be made quickly in a blender if you have one.

Mix the eggs, milk, water, butter, and salt together very well with a whisk. If whisking by hand sift the flour into the wet mix if using the blender just mix everything together.

Let the batter rest for about an hour in the refrigerator. It is important to let the bubbles settle so the crepes do not gain any volume while cooking.

After the batter has rested set up your crepe making station.  I keep my mixing bowl with the batter right on the stove with my measuring cup for transferring my batter to the pan near by.

Start by preheating your oven to about 200 degrees F and prepare your sheet pan by laying a piece of parchment down and having a clean kitchen towel near by. This is how the crepes will be stored while you are cooking the rest.

Right before making the crepes I gently mix the batter with a spoon to make sure that anything that settled to the bottom of the bowl is mixed in. Be careful to not introduce a lot of bubbles when doing this.

Grease your pan with some oil or butter and let it heat up on a medium high burner once it is warm (not too hot as it is non stick and you should not let it heat to a high temperature with out something on it) take your pan off the heat in and hold in one and take your scoop of batter (for my pan almost a 1/3 of a cup is the perfect amount) and pour in the middle of the pan and swirl around to coat the whole pan in a thin layer. Just remember the first crepe will always be funny due to too much oil or to cool/ hot of a pan.

Place your pan back on the heat and let cook for about a minute depending on the heat of your pan, when you start seeing the edges brown you know you are ready to flip.

To flip your crepe there are many ways to do it, as advised in Mastering the Art of French Cooking they suggest 2 spatulas or using your fingers. I failed at both these methods, for me it is just easier to give the pan a good shake and flip the crepe, it takes a little practice by the showmanship of it is fun too.

Cook the crepe for about 30 seconds on the second side just until it starts to be a bit spotty brown.

Then take your crepe and put it on your sheet pan, cover with the kitchen towel and put in the oven to keep warm (as my oven gets too hot this is when I usually turn it off as the radiant heat will keep it plenty warm. Do what works best for your particular kitchen set up)

Continue until you are out of batter, keeping all the crepes warm in the oven until you are ready to use.

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Matcha Macarons with Almond Cream Filling

Matcha Macaron

I have been obsessed with making Macarons lately (as obvious by my Espresso Macarons and my first attempt) and I have been wanting to work on different flavors which is the fun part of Macarons. So since I got off  work a little early this past Friday for Good Friday I thought it would be perfect to make some Macarons for Easter. I have had some Culinary grade Matcha kicking around my apartment for a little while now and I thought this would be the perfect application for it. Some how the more Macarons I make the crazier they are starting to look… I need a lot of practice which my pastry bag skills and maybe grinding the almond flour a bit smoother could have helped these look less crazy, but as with anything practice makes perfect and as long as they still taste good all is well!

Macaron_Matcha_004

MATCHA MACARONS

For the Macarons I used the technique and recipe from Brave Tart, same as my last 2 attempts.

4oz Sifted Almond Flour

8oz Powdered Sugar

1 Tbsp Sifted Culinary Grade Matcha Powered

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

5oz Egg Whites

2 1/2 oz Sugar

For the filling wanted to do a Almond Cream filling for the Matcha cookies because I thought it would be a good compliment to the Matcha and since Macarons are made with almond flour it made sense that the flavors would go together. When I was researching types of almond cream on the internet I decided to do a traditional French Frangipane (Almond Custard Filling) and decided to use the recipe from ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck.

FRANGIPANE

Adapted from ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’

This makes way more than you will need for 1 batch of Macarons, use extra for a filling for a Gâteau de Crêpes (a crepe cake like I did with the left overs check out the recipe here)  or a tart

1 Egg

1 Egg Yolk

6oz Granulated Sugar (approx 3/4 Cup)

2oz All Purpose Flour (approx 1/2 Cup)

1 Cup Almond Milk (Boiling Hot)

3Tbsp Butter

2 Tsp Vanilla

2oz Ground Almonds, more chunky than that ground for almond flour (approx 1/2 Cup)

Mixing Bowl

Whisk

1 Medium Sauce Pan

Wooden Spoon

TO ASSEMBLE

Beat the egg and the yolk with the whisk in the mixing bowl, slowly adding the sugar while mixing and continue mixing until the mix is pale yellow and the sugar is fully incorporated.

Mix the flour into the egg and sugar mix until fully incorporated then slowly pour in the boiling almond milk while whisking.

Pour the mix into your sauce pan and set over medium heat. Stir slowly until the mix begins to thicken and then beat it quickly until it smooths outs and becomes a thick paste.

Once thickened mix with a wooden spoon over low heat for 2-3 minutes allowing the flour to cook through, being careful to make sure that the mix does not burn.

Take the pan off the heat and mix in the butter and vanilla extract until incorporated, then mix in the ground almonds until everything is fully incorporated.

Use as desired, if saving for later cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze.

If using for Macarons pipe or spread the filling into the cookies and sandwich them together.

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The Great Macaron: The First Attempt

Macaron
I recently bought the Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel and while browsing the beautiful pages of the book I came across the Macaron recipe and was re-inspired to finally attempt them. I have been meaning to make them forever because of the normal reasons that they are so cute and you can make them in a million different flavor and flavor combinations. I was always hesitant because of everything I read about them being so temperamental, but have always wanted to make them so this weekend I decided to just go for it I mean what could really go wrong? Its just food. So before I set out to buy supplies I did some extra research on the web for tips and tricks to make sure I got the best results possible and I found this wonderful post on Macrons by The Brave Tart.  Once I found this recipe and technique I decided to go with it since it was a lot less fussy than the Bouchon version and since I am not a fussy person at all this really appealed a lot to me.

While in this recipe you do not have to age the egg whites I did leave mine out for a bit while I was making french buttercream for the filling. I thought since I am doing this by hand leaving the eggs out a bit might make my whisking job easier. I do not have a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer so I had to do everything totally by hand which was an effort but not as bad as I would have thought it would be. When piping the cookies out they became a little off shaped because my pastry bag skills need to be improved upon but otherwise they did not come out too bad. The first tray were hollow because I accidentally overcooked them. The cookies were not releasing from the parchment because I accidentally used the less slick side of the parchment which I now know not to do in the future. The second tray of cookies were better in terms of hollowness but the shells cracked, I don’t think I rapped the pan enough and that pan in particular is cheap and has its own issues to begin with.

For this first attempt I did not add any flavoring or coloring to the mix to really focus on the technique. I filled them with a buttercream mixed with a blueberry/ pomegranate preserve for simplicity sake. I can’t wait to make the next round more exciting and even better than the first attempt!

Check out these wonderful posts for some more hints and tricks for Macarons and remember that Macarons are only as scary as you make them out to be and even ‘failure’ is tasty!

Hollow Pursuits by the Brave Tart

How to make macarons: what’s working for me right now by eat. live. travel. write.

Why do my macarons have hollow shells? A work in progress. by eat. live. travel. write.

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