Friday, March 28, 2008

Almond Biscotti

I borrowed the recipe from Bon Appetit's December 1999 issue. I was a bit more liberal with the grand marnier and orange zest; I also added almond extract as well. I may have added slightly too many sliced almonds to the batter, because the dough was a bit on the crumbly side before baking.

- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/3 teaspoon salt

- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 tablespoon almond extract

- (at least) 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange liqueur
- (at least) 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped or sliced almonds

  1. Mix sugar, eggs together, then add grand marnier, orange zest, and melted butter.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder together, then add to step 1.
  3. Mix all ingredients together, form resulting "dough" into shallow loaves on pan. Brush loaves with egg wash prior to baking.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for ~ 30 minutes.
  5. Remove, and let cool for ~ 20 minutes. After cooled, slice the biscotti loaves.
  6. Keep the oven on.
  7. Bake one side of the now sliced biscotti for ~ 15 min.
  8. Reverse biscotti sides, and bake the other side for ~ 10 min, or until golden brown.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

4 Cheese Deep Dish Pizza

Pizza Dough

- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 packet Fleischmann's yeast
- 2 cups flour
- dash of sugar, salt
- several Tbsp oil (I substituted sesame, since I had no olive oil)

  1. Make dough.
  2. Add favorite toppings.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F @ 25 minutes.

I added onions, peppers, mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, and monterey jack cheeses.

Finished product: Delicious! The crust came out beautifully. I couldn't help but eat half the pizza.

A second attempt with much more cheese and peppers.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Berry Parfaits with Orange-Lemon Curd

When making parfaits, don't forget to make them several hours in advance, to let the juices meld together.

I decided to make a slight substitution this time, and make an orange lemon curd, rather than a purely lemon curd. The final product had some unexpected properties. I noticed that the curd did not coagulate well towards the end, and I nearly overcooked the eggs in my effort to thicken the mixture.

My theory is that the oranges have a higher pH than the lemons, and the reduced orange acidity was not sufficient to denature the egg proteins, thus delaying the onset of protein denaturing. The delay had to be over-compensated by increased heat and mechanical agitation; therefore, coagulation and thickening of the curd was retarded.

Conclusion: For future curds, stick with lemons, but add a touch of orange zest.

But they're still tasty. =)