Thursday, August 20, 2009

Roasted Artichoke Sauce

One component of my steak dish.

Roasted Artichoke Sauce

- 2 artichokes, peeled, de-choked
- 1 small Russet potato
- cream
- salt/pepper
- olive oil

  1. Peel and de-choke 2 artichokes.
  2. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt/pepper. Oven roast.
  3. Remove from oven, simmer in cream with chopped potato.
  4. Add in alcohol of choice, e.g. nice brandy.
  5. Puree in blender.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pear Frangipane Tart

I still haven't been able to make a truly nice 9" pear tart to date, so here's my next attempt.

Unshrinkable Sweet Tart Dough

- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 stick + 1 Tbsp cold butter

  1. Using a stand mixer (or food processor), mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Then add in butter, cut into small chunks. Mix until it resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add in egg, slightly beaten. Dough will come together.
  4. Chill in refrigerator for 1/2 before using.
  5. Place into tart pan; pierce with fork.
  6. Freeze for 1 hour (this is the unshrinkable part). Don't need pie weights!
  7. Cover with buttered aluminum foil, pressing against the crust.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.


- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 stick softened butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp AP Flour
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 large eggs

  1. Mix together, adding in almond extract and eggs last.
  2. Add into tart shell.

Pear Poaching

- 6 ripe (but still firm) Bartlett pears
- red/white wine
- fresh lemon juice
- a little sugar

  1. Peel pears, remove stems, de-pit. Slice in half.
  2. Poach pears for 10-15 minutes, or soft all the way through (test with toothpick).
  3. Save poaching liquid.

Tart Assembly

  1. Slice poached pears and lay them carefully in a symmetrical pattern. I over-poached my pears, so I first moved the entire half-pear into the tart dish, then sliced them in the pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 50 minutes.
  3. Make a glaze using the poaching liquid, instead of with apricot preserves. Add a little cornstarch to the poaching liquid, bring to a rolling boil, bring down to low, then turn off. Liquid should have thickened sufficiently into a jam like state.

With a piece eaten from it...

I'm reasonably happy with the way the tart turned out.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mini-Lattice Top Blueberry Pies


- 2 pints blueberries
- flour, cornstarch, confectioner's sugar
- lemon zest, 1 tsp lemon juice

  1. Toss blueberries in other ingredients.
  2. Fill mini-pie shells with blueberries; should fill at least 16 mini-pies.
  3. Cover with lattice top.
  4. Brush with a wash of egg, heavy cream, sugar.
  5. Bake 15-20 min. at 375 degrees F.

Posed with dish towels.

Pita Bread with Lamb Burgers, Tzatziki

Pita Bread

- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2.5 tsp yeast proofed in 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

  1. Mix dough together, let sit overnight in fridge.
  2. Remove from refrigerator, let sit 10 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Roll into small pancake sizes.
  4. Bake at 475 degrees F until browned and puffy, about 5-10 minutes. Note, the pitas will not puff up if the dough is not sufficiently moist.


- 1 mini-cup plain yogurt (Greek yogurt works)
- I also used some of my left over creme fraiche
- 2 small diced garlic cloves
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 shredded cucumber (with seeds removed)
- 2 tsp diced mint

  1. Mix together, let sit overnight.

Lamb Burgers

- 1.5 lbs ground lamb (I used a mixture of veal, pork, and beef)
- 1 diced onion
- diced parsley
- salt, pepper

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Shape into small patties, pan sear.
  3. Serve with pita bread, tzatziki, fresh sliced tomatoes.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Green Tea Shortbread

Use the basic shortbread recipe, but add in some high quality green tea (macha) powder into the flour.

All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cupcakes

I swear by Rose Levy Berenbaum's recipes, after her recipe helped me out of my genoise mess a few months ago. Her all-occasion yellow cake is delicious, fluffy, and like its name, works for all situations, like these cupcakes for example. Be sure to follow her exact recipe and instructions.

Yellow Cake

- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup milk
- 2.25 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 sticks softened butter

  1. Combine egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/4 cup milk together in separate bowl.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (flour + sugar + baking powder + salt) in stand mixer on low for 30 sec.
  3. Add butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. First mix on low, then turn to medium high to aerate and develop the cake structure.
  4. Add the egg mixture in third, beating 20 seconds after each addition. This will help strengthen the cake strcuture.
  5. Bake in cupcake liners- only fill 1/2 way, otherwise middle will rise too quickly then subsequently collapse.
  6. Bake about 18 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  7. Top with your favorite buttercream.
  8. Makes about 30 cupcakes.

Fresh out of the oven.

Final product; topped with piped lemon buttercream, candied ginger. I think the candied ginger turned out beautifully.

2.5 Layer Chocolate Espresso Buttercream Petit Fours

I call these 2.5 layer cakes, the reason being that the top layer is not a full layer. I was making tuiles, and used the remaining tuile batter to make a thin flat sheet cake on my Silpat. I found that the resulting cake had a delicious fluffy consistency, and resolved to make petit fours from them. Thus, stamped out rounds from the thin cake layer, with the thin layer resulting in my top 1/2 layer.

Used swiss meringue espresso buttercream between layers, then partially covered in a bit of chocolate ganache, then topped with oven roasted almond pieces. To be served with a port wine reduction.

Here are the rounds which will form the top 1/2 layer.

Assembled version.

Mini Peach & Creme Fraiche Pies

Using the homemade creme fraiche made previously, you can make these tasty, whole skin peach pies.

Pie Ingredients

- Pre-baked Keebler graham cracker mini pie shells
- Creme Fraiche
- Ginger-cardamom streusel (butter, flour, confectioner's sugar, ginger, cardamom,
- Peaches sliced (keep skin on), tossed in confectioner's sugar

  1. Assembled by first putting down a layer of creme fraiche, then a layer of streusel, then two slices of peaches.
  2. Top with more creme fraiche, streusel.
  3. Bake about 350-375 degrees F for 20 min.
  4. I cheated by using store-bought pie shells; saves a lot of time though.

Assembling the pies.