Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Frangipane Tartlets

Frangipane Tartlets

- 8 oz. Solo marizpan
- 3 beaten eggs
- 1 Tbsp flour
- dash of milk
- 1/2 cup butter

  1. Cream butter, then slowly add in chunks of marzipan, beaten eggs, flour, milk.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Pour into previously made tartlet cups.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees C for ~ 25 minutes, or until set.
You can also make the frangipane filling from blanched almond powder, but since I had some marzipan on hand, I decided to go this route instead.

Sirloin Steak Wellingtons with Triple Mushroom Duxelle

Triple Mushroom Duxelle

- Portabello, oyster, shiitake mushrooms
- onions or shallots
- red wine
- light cream

  1. First sautee onions/shallots in butter, then add finely diced mushrooms.
  2. Add red wine, cook until dryness.
  3. Then add cream until mixture has a whitish, creamy texture. Remove from heat, refrigerate for later use.
Sirloin Steak Wellingtons

- Sirloin steaks or Filet Mignons
- Pepperidge Farm Puff pastry
- Egg wash
- duxelle from above

  1. Sear steaks, ~ 2 minutes per side, to about light/medium rare.
  2. Let steaks cool.
  3. Wrap in puff pastry dough; top with previously made duxelle.
  4. Save some leftover dough to make leaves, berries for wellington garnishing.
  5. Brush with an egg wash.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F ~ 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with deglazed red wine sauce (from steak searing) and green beans.

Seared Scallops with Creme Cauliflower Soup

From the Bon Appetit October 2006 issue.

Seared Scallops with Creme Cauliflower Soup

- Scallops
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 pint light cream + 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- (optional) 1 potato

  1. For the soup, first sautee the onions in butter. Then add chicken broth, chopped cauliflower, and optionally, the diced potatoes. The potatoes add a thick texture to the soup, and it may not be for everyone.
  2. Simmer for ~ 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is softened.
  3. Add cream, simmer some more.
  4. Puree with food processor/immersion blender.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Sear scallops with butter, ~ 1 minute per side. (depends on size of scallop).
  7. Add to soup, garnish with chives.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Miniature Millefeuilles

I had some extra puff pastry dough, so this seemed like a nice dessert to make. In French, it literally means 'thousand sheets', and according to Wiki, "it is a pastry made of several layers of puff pastry alternating with a sweet filling, typically pastry cream, but sometimes whipped cream, or jam."

Well, I didn't have enough time to make the pastry cream (refer to my other posts for recipes), so I used mascarpone and apricot preserves instead. The mascarpone was a nice creamy fill-in; went well with the apricot.


- Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets
- Mascarpone cheese
- apricot preserves
  1. Cut 1" circles out of the puff pastry.
  2. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Slice in half.
  4. Add preserves, mascarpone.
  5. Dust with confectioner's sugar.
  6. Voila.

Millefeuilles waiting to get their filling.

Millefeuilles waiting to get eaten.

Meringue Mushrooms

I had some trouble making nice mushroom 'domes' with my pastry bag. I'll have to work on that next time. Also, baking any higher than 275 degrees F will make the meringues too brown- I prefer a whiter looking mushroom. So I used my toaster-oven for a gentler baking cycle.

Another recipe I saw suggests baking at 350 degrees F for the first 5 minutes, then turning the temperature down to 250 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Meringue Mushrooms

- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- chocolate
- dark cocoa powder

  1. Beat egg whites and sugar until they form stiff peaks.
  2. Fill pastry bag with meringue mixture, and pipe stems and mushroom caps.
  3. Bake at 275 degrees F in toaster oven for ~15-20 minutes. Turn off heat, let cool 15-20 minutes in oven.
  4. Melt chocolate, paint mushroom cap bottoms with chocolate.
  5. Push stems into caps.
  6. Dust with cocoa powder.

They turned out ok, but the mushroom caps aren't spherical enough.

Palmiers (aka Elephant Ears)

This turned out to be a simple dessert to make, given ready-to-bake puff pastry. Pepperidge Farm pastry works best. Unfortunately, my puff pastry expanded too much in the oven, and ended up making an 'M' shape; I think next time I'll pinch the neck area a little tighter and make the two 'ears' at the end a little smaller and actually curl the ears.


*Makes about 32 palmiers from one package of puff pastry.

- 1 Package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
- Confectioner's sugar
- Water, or egg-wash
- melted butter
- (maple syrup would work well too, negating the need for a wash)

  1. Using a pastry brush, paint the entire pastry sheet with melted butter. Then sprinkle confectioner's sugar to coat.
  2. Next, fold the two ends toward each other as shown in the diagram below.
  3. The pastry sheet should look like the diagram shown below, with the two ends meeting in the center black line.
  4. Next, fold it one more time back on itself, into a long rectangle, so that the border where the two ends meet (black line), is facing to the back.

  5. Lastly, cut the rectangle into ~16 smaller portions, with horizontal cuts.
  6. Pinch the neck together, flare out the tips into 'ears'.
  7. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Midway through, make a solution of heavily concentrated sugar in water or egg wash, brush on pastry.

Here are the palmiers before baking, with their 'ears'.

After baking, the syrup glaze browned it nicely.

Of course, another probably simpler way to avoid all the folding is to first brush and coat with sugar as one would normally do, then roll both ends towards each other until they meet in the middle. Then cut into pieces.