Sunday, April 6, 2014

easy and delish tiramisu

I found this great new (new to me!) blog that does video tutorials as well.  It's called 15 Spatulas and I tried their recipe on tiramisu.  It was easy and tasted delicious!  You should check out the video recipe (see link below).

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RMEsbHHSJFQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUKojKxwpk8XsA8wwRezGwmA&v=RMEsbHHSJFQ

Tiramisu
Recipe from 15 Spatulas
Ingredients:
3 egg whites
6 egg yolks
8 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
3+3 tbsp sugar
1 cup freshly pulled espresso, cooled to room temperature
3-4 dozen ladyfingers, storebought or homemade
cocoa powder, for dusting

Directions:
1. In a super clean bowl, whip the egg whites and 3 tbsp of sugar together with a hand mixer, for
about 3-5 minutes until the egg whites hold stiff peaks (see photo above). In a separate bowl,
whip the egg yolks with the other 3 tbsp sugar for 3-5 minutes until the egg yolks are thick,
frothy, and pale yellow in color. Add the mascarpone and amaretto liqueur to the egg yolks and
whip until combined. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and set aside.

2. Gather up a 8x6 glass container (or you can do individual servings in glasses), and dunk each
ladyfinger into the espresso for 2-5 seconds and place the ladyfinger into the bottom of the
glass dish. Don't let the ladyfinger soak so much that it falls apart, just a quick dunk to let it
absorb a little bit of espresso. Once the ladyfingers have formed a single layer in the bottom of
the dish, spread 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of
espresso soaked ladyfingers on top, and spread over the remaining mascarpone cream.

3. Wrap the top of the glass container with plastic wrap and let the tiramisu refrigerate for 4-6
hours. This part is important, it allows the layers to soak into each other and the flavors to meld
together. Serve cold.

meringue frosting

This is a great recipe for making a smore like marshmallow frosting for cakes/cupcakes.  It can be easily torched with a baker's blow torched for a nice brown and toasted flavor.  The ingredients are few and the recipe is simple.  It makes a lot of frosting which is great for frosting a multi-layered cake or several dozen cupcakes!

Meringue Frosting
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Yield 6 cups of frosting 

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 large egg whites, room temperature

DIRECTIONS

1) Bring 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring. Wash down side of pan with a wet pastry brush, and cook sugar syrup, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees.

2) Meanwhile, beat egg whites with a mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

3)Add sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream down side of bowl. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and cool, about 7 minutes.

chocolate turtles

These chocolates are tasty but fairly expensive for a pack of three (comparatively speaking to other candy bars by the check out line).  A chocolate turtle consists of chocolate, pecans, and caramel.  The reason why they are called "turtles" is because of the shape of the candy.  The pecans are supposed to form the shape of the turtle!  You can recreate your own using this recipe below.  I made them in cupcake liners/cupcake pan.  

Chocolate Turtles
Recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up
Time: 40 min hands on + 20 min to cool and set
Yield: about 40 clusters

2 1/2 C pecans
1/2 C butter (I use salted)
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1/2 of a 14 ounce can)
1/2 t vanilla 
1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips

1. Toss 2 1/2 cups of pecans into a large skillet. Toast them over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until they have darkened just a bit and smell fragrant and wonderful. Should only take a few minutes.

2. Find yourself 2 large cupcake pan and line them with cupcake liners. In a microwave safe bowl pour 12 ounces of milk chocolate chips. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each cooking interval. Add enough chocolate to cover the bottom of the liners.  Then arrange your pecans into clusters, three to a group works well. You want to leave some space (about an inch) between each cluster. 

3. Make your caramel by placing 1/2 C butter into a medium-sized sauce pan. Melt it over medium high heat. Add 1 C brown sugar, 1/2 C light corn syrup and 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk to the pan. Increase the heat just a bit and stir it continually. Cook and stir until it reaches 235-240 degrees. I generally remove it from the heat when it reaches about 234 degrees. It will continue to rise in temperature just a bit even without the direct heat, making the caramel just the right texture.   

4. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

5. Carefully drizzle about 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel over each nut cluster. You'll want to work quickly, as the caramel will begin to set up. Be sure there is caramel touching all of the nuts in your cluster. The caramel works like glue, sticking the nuts together.

6. In a microwave safe bowl pour 12 ounces of milk chocolate chips. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each cooking interval.   Allow it to sit for a minute or two (so it can melt and make the chocolate chips more spreadable). Stir it all together.

7. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of melted chocolate over the top of the caramel and nuts. Swirl it around along the top making a pretty swoop with your spoon.  

8. Allow the chocolate to set up. Once it has hardened and cooled you can serve them immediately, or transfer them to an air tight container.

Monday, December 9, 2013

peanut butter cheesecake

The more and more I think about it, I believe cheesecake to be my speciality.  A while back, I wrote a blog post detailing some helpful hints towards making cheesecake which you can find if you click HERE.  And every time I make cheesecakes, I find it to be an intuitive process.  I don't follow a set list of procedures.  I just look at the cake and smell it while its baking in the oven and I can tell right away when its ready to shut off the oven.  But if you are starting out, those helpful tips linked about will definitely help you out!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Oreo Crust and Chocolate Drizzle