Blueberry Balsamic Galette

Hi remember me??

Summer has flown by with a quick snap. Work has been busy with a big capital B!  Managing a culinary program, taught awesome kids and teens how to cook and bake all summer, and taken on new awesome clients. End of the day it’s coming home and collapsing on the couch while I get a lovely foot rub from my wonderful boyfriend (I don’t even ask for it you guys). It’s been an awesome couple of months, sure my brain gets a little fried, but enjoying what you do and going to it is a great feeling.

 

My goal going forward is learning how to juggle a busier life. Not just work, but all social and fun stuff, stuff I should also be doing (hint hint right here). I haven’t gone to the gym as consistently as I’d like and that’s something that gets me down. Not being on here that much is also something I want to get myself to improve. I’m learning to write in a journal more at the end of the day to reflect my accomplishments for the day, that way I’m not beating myself over what I didn’t do. This encourages me to want to take on more tasks you know? Hopefully somebody knows.

 

If I’m feeling enough energy to bake, this is high on list for go-to dessert. I enjoy calling this the “lazy pie” as you don’t need a pie plate for this, no pricking the dough, no baking the crust first and then putting in filling. EASY EASY EASY! Galettes are fantastic as they can go either sweet or savory, add cheese, sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, lemon zest, I could go on and on but I think you get what I’m saying. You have OPTIONS.

 

I got some delicious blueberries this summer and I love pairing this berry with balsamic vinegar! I love the flavor pairing so so much, rocks my world. Tossed with some sugar and orange zest and you’ve got your filling.

 

Homemade pie dough is my ride or die, so easy to make once you put a little work into it. Use that food processor, if you’re like me and had a long day, maybe just grab that pastry cutter and work on that butter with your own two hands. I love to have a couple extra doughs in the freezer in case of emergencies (trust me it helps).

 

Finishing off the last slice as I finish typing these words. I plan to be back on here soon, communicating to you all the awesome recipes I’m making. Let me know what your favorite flavor combo you’d love to have in a galette!

 

 

 

Blueberry Balsamic Galette

Makes: 1 Large Galette

Handy Tools: Rolling pin, pastry cutter or food processor, pastry brush

 

Ingredients

Pie Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks (1 Cup) unsalted butter, really cold, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 – 5 tbsp ice cold water

 

Blueberry Balsamic Galette

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries (frozen blueberries can work too, make sure to thaw)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest from an orange
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Egg, whisked
  • Sparkling Sugar for decorating

 

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Whip Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp bourbon of choice (Angels Envy or Four Roses are my favs)

Instructions

  1. For pie dough, in a food processor or large mixing bowl, put in flour, salt and briefly mix.
  2. Scatter your butter cubes throughout the dry mixture and push the pulse button 10-15 times or until butter resembles the size of peas. Hand mixing, use a pastry blender and break it up until same size.
  3. Slowly add in 2 tbsp of water at a time and mix your dough, add the remaining water and mix again. If it’s still feeling dry, add 1 tbsp at a time. You should be able to gently squeeze and have the dough hold together.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, try not to knead dough too much, we are looking to shape it together into a disk. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and place in fridge to rest for an hour.
  5. In a large bowl, add blueberries, sugar and orange zest. Stir until berries are coated in sugar. Add balsamic vinegar and cornstarch to help thicken blueberry mixture. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and make sure your oven rack is centered in the middle.
  7. Set up a sheet tray with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside. Remove pie dough from fridge and flour your counter to roll out your dough.
  8. Roll out pie dough, keeping it closest to a circle shape, you will transfer your rolled out dough to the sheet tray. It’s okay if the sides are going over the sheet tray, it’ll get wrapped up after the filling. (If you rolled it out a little long and you feel it getting a little warm or soft, chill it on the sheet tray for 10-15 minutes in the fridge)
  9. Spoon your filling right in the center of your rolled out dough, making sure it doesn’t spill out towards the edges.
  10. Start with one portion of the pie dough ends and fold it towards the filling, making sure that the blueberries are still showing, you don’t want to cover them. Once you fold one piece, move onto another piece of the dough end and fold all the way around until complete. You should have a beautiful displayed window of blueberries in the center.
  11. Whisk an egg until combined, take a pastry brush and brush your egg wash all over the tops of the dough. Follow over with some (optional: LOTS) sparkling sugar over the egg washed crust and blueberries for a little extra crunch.
  12. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until the crust has reached a medium golden all the way around. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
  13. For whipped cream, pour heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and bourbon into a stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment to your mixer. Start on low speed to let ingredients blend together before putting up to a medium speed (I usually do 4-6 on my KitchenAid) until it has reached medium peaks. Chill in fridge or dollop over galette right away.
Continue Reading

Korean Mule Cocktail

Your girl is back in the midst of this crazy summer heat picking up strong here in Portland. Summer is here and I'm ready to embrace everything it has to offer, from berry picking, sun staying up past eight pm, and delicious cocktails to keep me cool.

Life has been very busy the past month. I've taken on a new promotion (so bossy...in the good way), taking on new clients for personal chef gigs, all I do is cook and cook and I'm okay with that. With all these new additions in my life, I'm learning to sit down and look back on all my accomplishments and stop overthinking the bad. I'm my own worst critic, so I'm working on being my own cheerleader.

I'm slowly reducing baking projects, with this heat kicking up I don't know if I can manage that kitchen heat?! When I do, I fill up on the refreshing chef juice to keep me going. Chef juice of choice recently...this delicious Korean mule cocktail hits the spot. Back when I was 21 I was working in a few Korean BBQ restaurants, cooking till late late late, and the reward at the end of shift was cold bottles of soju while sitting in parking lots. At times it was always mixed with beer or this delicious treat of an upgraded Moscow mule. Instead of vodka, we using soju, very similar to vodka, but made with rice, barley or sweet potato. My go to has been Jinro from the start, they also come flavored in green apple, plum, peach (told it taste like peach ring candy), but I usually like to keep it classic.

Haven't always been the biggest vodka fan, so subbing soju in this makes it super refreshing paired with ginger beer, fresh ginger, and lime. I tend to be very picky when it comes to ginger beer. I've had some that are just too sweet it makes me sick.  It overpowers my drink no matter how much extra booze goes in.  So after all the samplings for the right flavor, I have found the holy grail and it's so affordable compared to others, Trader Joe's!  Can't get enough of this delicious beverage, I put this into spiked lemonades and other drinks.

Korean Mule

Makes: 1 Cocktail

Handy Tools:

Microplane

Ingredients

  • 2 oz soju
  • 6 oz ginger beer
  • 1 lime
  • Fresh ginger
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Fill your mule cup with ice.
  2. Add soju and juice from half a lime.
  3. top off with ginger beer.
  4. Using your microplane, add some fresh grated ginger to your beverage.
  5. Garnish with a couple slice of fresh ginger and a lime wedge.
  6. Serve and repeat as this is delicious!
Continue Reading

Chocolate Stout Layer Cake

Long time no see! Sorry for not keeping you fulfilled on recipes. April was a busy month, I honestly did slack a bit, and then I went on a vacation to ITALY! Still in complete awe over the amazing two weeks I got to experience. I will be posting all about it with pictures and my favorite eats in the next post or two so keep an eye out for that.

I know as a person who has stated they are #teampie over cake, I will state that I still enjoy cake! I'm not here to be the bad guy, we all are gonna love something more than another, but I'm no monster, I enjoy a delicious cake from time to time. This culprit right here is one of those cakes that I can't say no to. My delicious chocolate stout cake piled on one another and covered in a cocoa buttercream is a winner in my book.

This is something I make when I really want to treat myself, if I'm having a phenomenal week, I need to celebrate something, or when I do crave chocolate and candy won't cut it, but do you really need a reason to make chocolate cake? I'll let you decide that.

Why stout though? My two lovely friends Conrad and Dorien have gotten into their own home brewing and gifted me a couple bottles of a super delicious and dark stout. The first idea that popped into my head was C-A-K-E!

So with this cake being chocolate AND stout, this cake will be as dark as...well as dark as the night during the battle of Winterfell. I mean I had to rewatch that battle a few times cause it was super dark to see what was all going on, I was on the edge of my seat, just like I'll be while I wait for these cakes to cool.

Cocoa powder comes in a few varieties, dutch vs natural. You're gonna find the natural more in the big grocery stores, it's a very light brown color (Hershey's for example). But dutch cocoa powder will be a lot darker, it's washed to neutralize it's acidity. I enjoy using dutch for that bold, dark color of chocolate. I kicked it up a notch and used black cocoa, for a more boldness and dark color to the cake.

I like to use sour cream in my cake to aid to all that intense flavor we're adding from the dark chocolate, the espresso powder, and the stout. Not only does it add a wonderful creaminess, it will help make sure the cake won't dry, each bite you take will be fluffy but connected.

Because we are using both baking soda and baking powder, you want to make sure once you've made this batter, that you don't let it sit out too long. Very important to have your ovens preheated and ready to go. So if you're oven can only fit two cake pans in at a time, you can bake two and also cut the cakes in half to turn into a four layer if you want to get crazy.

Very important step to cake decorating is to make sure these cakes COOL! I see a lot of people in classes or events get ready to stack warm cakes with their freshly made buttercream, that is the biggest no no! You need your cakes to cool a bit before you remove them from the cake pans, put those cakes on a cooling rack and let them sit at least an hour (I know waiting is hard, but we gotta do it). Sometimes I like to make my buttercream morning of or even night before, that way it has time to cool in the fridge. Putting it all in the pastry bag, easy to pull out and let sit on the counter for half an hour before I'm ready to decorate my cakes. Nobody wants soggy layer cakes here.

 

 

Chocolate Stout Layer Cake with Cocoa Buttercream

Makes: Three 8" cakes or Two 9" cakes

Handy Tools:

Stand mixer/hand mixer, medium offset spatula, cake stand, pastry bag, pastry tip, parchment paper

 

Ingredients

Stout Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup black cocoa powder (you can sub for dutch cocoa powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups dark stout (I was able to use a whole standard beer bottle)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened + some butter to grease cake pans
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

 

Cocoa Buttercream

  • 2 cups butter, softened (4 sticks)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or GOOD quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Shaved chocolate for topping, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease your cake pans with some unsalted butter rubbed all over the bottom and up the sides. Place a parchment round on the bottom and rub the top of that parchment with butter. Set aside.
  2. To make sure this cake is fluffy and smooth, I add an extra task of sifting my dry ingredients through a fine mesh sieve (I know I'm the worst, but I notice it has an extra nice texture to it vs not sifting). You'll add your flour, dutch cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sift into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. I pour my stout into a Pyrex measuring 2 cup, add vanilla extract and espresso powder. Running espresso powder through a sifter can leave a lot of it behind so I prefer stirring it in with the stout to pair the flavors together. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle or large bowl with a hand mixer, drop your softened butter and granulated sugar in and cream together. Occasionally scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixing in. Continue until no longer clumpy, smooth and creamy.
  5. Mixer on low speed, crack one egg at a time, wait for the egg to mix in before adding another.
  6. Add in your sour cream on a medium low speed until mixed in completely.
  7. Reduce mixing speed to low. Add a small portion of your dry in, followed by a small portion of your wet stout mix. We are adding a little after the other so I eyeball about a third at a time (no need to be exact, just don't dump everything in at a time. Mix until no dry streaks or wet puddles, smooth batter.
  8. Pour evenly into your cake pans. Put cake pans into your oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or when a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Pull cakes out of oven once done and put cake pans on cooling racks and leave alone for 20 minutes or until the cake pan is cool to touch.
  10. Use a butter knife and ring around the edge of the cake to ensure it loosens. Place a large enough plate or cutting board over the top of the cake and flip over to release the cake and put onto the cooling rack until they are COMPLETELY cool.
  11. To make the buttercream, bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or hand mixer, mix your butter and vanilla bean paste on medium speed until smooth.
  12. Add your cocoa powder in two portions to the butter mixture.
  13. Gradually add your powdered sugar and mix until no dry ingredients are shown in the bowl (check the bottom of the bowl).
  14. Put a small little dollop of buttercream in the middle of your cake stand, this is the glue to hold your cake so it won't move around while you decorate it. You can also square off the edges of your cake stand by having parchment paper strips so you won't have a messy cake stand when done.
  15. Take your first cooled cake and flip that cake upside down and center it on that dollop of buttercream. You want the dome top to be on the bottom so you have the flat bottom of the cake on top to even your cake.
  16. Using a medium offset spatula, put a hefty dollop of buttercream on top of your first cake and spread all over the top (Don't worry about making it perfect).
  17. Take your second cooled cake and flip that upside down and place on top of your buttercream topped cake and repeat with more buttercream. If you have more cake, repeat this step again.
  18. Once all cakes are stacked, Take a small dollop of buttercream and slab it over your in between layers on the side (kinda like filling holes in the wall to ensure you get your deposit money back).
  19. Once all the lines are filled with buttercream, start spreading generous amounts of buttercream onto the cake and spreading. Don't be afraid of putting too much on in the beginning, easy to take it off if there is too much. You will not be using all your buttercream!
  20. Once the cake has a filled first layer and you can't see any naked cake, you can call it a day with dabbing on rustic designs with the remaining buttercream OR you can put this in the fridge for half an hour to cool this "crumb coat".
  21. Putting remainder of buttercream in a pastry bag with a pastry tip of choice (I used Wilton open star tip #22) you can take your cake out and do designs of your choice to finish it.
  22. Share with others, or do your best at hiding this from others because this will get demolished.
Continue Reading

Apple Honey Pie

Happy Pi Day!

Hands down one of the best holidays, we eating pie all day. A slice of pizza before work, coming home to eat a slice (or two) of this delicious apple honey pie.

Honestly I'll eat pie over cake more. I KNOW, I sound crazy but you can make pie savory or sweet, endless flavor options. I mean have you ever heard of shepherds pie or chicken pot pie?

My number one craving is always hands down apple pie, cherry is great, but I like it when delicious cherries are in season. Apple is fun because you can combo the fruit anyway you like, I always mix sweet with tart, greens with reds. In this case I got some delicious Jonathans apples with a light red skin and a mix of sweet-tart flavor. Paired these with some Fuji to make the apple flavor bold and a little more sweet. You can use whatever mix you want, whatever is in season.

To make the apple flavor really shine in the pie, I used a little bit of apple jack because why not? Favorite trick I learned when I was 21 working in a pie shop. Making apple pies at 4 am, a whiff of that would wake me up. A little goes a long way since it is quite sweet. If you're worried about using alcohol, you can sub in apple cider vinegar or go without any extra apple enhancement.

I hope you all have a lovely Pi day. Go out and eat all the pizzas and pies, make a pie for someone you love, or eat that whole bad boy straight out of the pan with a scoop of ice cream (I'm sure some of us have been there).

Happy Holidays!

Apple Honey Pie

Makes: One  9" Pie

 

Ingredients

Pie Crust (makes 1 double crust)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, really cold or frozen
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 - 6 tbsp ice cold water *

 

Pie Filling

  • 6-8 medium/large apples (your preference, mix or match all apples, I used Jonathans and Fuji)
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp honey (I used Bee Local because it's my favorite)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp apple jack
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • Sparkling sugar (optional)

Side Note:

  • Pie can be very thirsty, depending on the freshness of your flour and the weather, you may need more or less water than what a recipe calls for, so add a little at a time, prepare to have more water near by just in case.

Instructions

  1. For pie dough, in a food processor or large mixing bowl, put in flour, salt and sugar and briefly mix.
  2. Scatter your butter cubes throughout the dry mixture and push the pulse button 10-15 times or until butter resembles the size of peas. Hand mixing, use a pastry blender and break it up until same size.
  3. Slowly add in 2 tbsp of water at a time and mix your dough, add the remaining water and mix again. If it's still feeling dry, add 1 tbsp at a time. You should be able to gently squeeze and have the dough hold together.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, try not to knead dough too much, we are looking to shape it together into a disk. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and place in fridge to rest for an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half baking sheet with parchment or a silpat and place on the middle rack in oven.
  6. Cut apples in thin slices and place in large bowl.
  7. Juice half lemon over the apple slices and mix really well with hands or wooden spoon.
  8. Add honey, vanilla bean paste and apple jack and mix until fully coated on apple slices.
  9. Add brown sugar, all spices and flour, mixing one last time. Letting it sit for 10 minutes to soak up all flavor.
  10. Pull out pie dough and have a counter floured to roll out dough. Cut your dough disk in half, wrapping one half back up and put back in the fridge. The other half coated lightly in flour.
  11. Taking a rolling pin, start from the middle and roll up and down twice. Stop, taking a bench scraper or quickly using your hands (they warm so don't use them to much) rotate it 90 degrees and repeat the rolling. If you rotate it every couple of rolls, it'll spread out into a more even circle.
  12. Take your pie pan and turn it over, laying over the dough, it should have an inch or two of over hang. When dough is large enough, gently roll it up over your rolling pin and lay it on top of your pie pan, gently and quickly using your fingers to press it in, no air gaps near the bottom of the pan.
  13. Trim any long excessive overhang of dough, leaving close to 1/2 inch of hanging dough. If this dough has softened up, put the pie plate into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool the dough.
  14. Place pie filling into the pie dough lined pan and make sure it's laid in evenly, no large gaps. Place pie back in fridge to cool while you pull out the remaining unrolled dough and roll out your top crust.
  15. Once you've rolled out your top crust large enough, take your cooled uncooked pie out and roll the top crust on top. You can trim off some of the excess top crust.
  16. Pinch the bottom crust ends with the top crust to seal together then tucking it underneath right at the edge of the pie pan. You can do a crimping style or take a fork and seal it all around for a little extra design.
  17. Cut a couple 1" vents on your top crust, however you want it designed, this helps ventilate the filling so your pie won't burst or get too soggy.
  18. Whisking your egg, take a silicone brush and lightly coat your crust with the egg wash all over the top crust and edges. Top with some sparkling sugar.
  19. Place on the hot baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes. After that reduce your oven to 375 degrees and finish baking for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden. When I reduce the temperature I also make some diy pie crust edge covers to prevent the edges from burning. Use some tin foil strips and cover the edges.
  20. Take out and place on cooling rack for 20 minutes.
  21. Eat while it's freshly warm with whip cream, ice cream, caramel sauce, whatever floats your boat.
Continue Reading

The Best Brown Butter Bourbon Rice Krispie Treats

 

It's national cereal day today! Best way to celebrate is to bust open your favorite box of cereal and milk and have a bowl!

But being constantly on the move, It's not convenient taking cereal to go, not to mention sharing doesn't work very well. Bless the human being who invented the Rice Krispie treats. Instead of having the day off, I'm out the door to teach a couple cooking classes, so this is my little commute treat.

These delicious, sweet and creamy cereal bars were a childhood favorite of mine growing up. Now being a grownup, I thought I would make it a bit more grown up with some bourbon.

The only problem I have when making these is I need to make a double batch so Michael can get his fair share of a dozen to satisfy his sweet tooth. But most importantly, save some for mom when she comes to visit from Salem, she missed the last batch. Sorry mom!

The Best Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Makes: 9-12 bars depending on pan

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter
  • 6 cups rice krispies cereal
  • 10 oz mini marshmallows
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 tbsp dutch cocoa powder
  • Butter or oil to grease pan, bowl, spatula, and hands.

Instructions

  1. Grease large bowl with butter or oil of choice all up the sides and bottom. Place rice krispies in bowl and set aside. Grease 8" square pan or 9x13" rectangle pan and set aside. Lastly, grease a silicone spatula so rice krispies don't stick.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, add stick of butter and let melt into liquid. Bring heat up to medium and keep an eye on butter as it will slowly but surely get to browning.
  3. Turn heat off and remove from stove.
  4. Add marshmallows and stir consistently until combined. Pour in bourbon and continue stirring.
  5. Pour over rice krispies bowl and start mixing quickly (don't forget the bottom of the bowl, stuff likes to clump there).
  6. Add cocoa powder for the final stir.
  7. Once it's evenly mixed, pour into your greased pan, using your spatula to evenly spread and push it into the pan. (use your hands but grease them up so the krispies don't stick to your hand)
  8. Let cool for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Take a clean knife and cut squares to desired size, wipe knife clean in between cutting.
Continue Reading

Blood Orange Yogurt Cake

While it's only the beginning of the week, it always ends up being my weekend, yay to Tuesdays! These are the days when I get the most baking done when I'm not teaching cooking classes.

Nothing says day-off happiness like citrus seasons...at least for me...I don't know about you. But when I see blood oranges in stock, I panic and buy all I can cause next week they might not be there. With my bounty of blood oranges, this was first on my list to make on my day off.

I've realized as February is coming to an end quickly, I have less than 60 days until I go to Italy! Finalizing trips and classes, my boyfriend is most excited for his morning trips getting fresh blood orange juice when we grab our big slab of focaccia in Florence. So of course he's been happily eating this cake while we continue planning this trip.

This recipe uses a lot of the citrus, not just the juice but also the zest! I get upset when people go straight for cutting citrus and forget all about that delicious flavor on the skin of any citrus. If you've got a microplane, you should try zesting that first layer of skin and adding to anything that calls for citrus, whether it's baking or adding in cocktails. You only want to zest the first layer, once you've gone over a spot on the blood orange, you don't go back over it, otherwise you'll start pulling the bitter part, yuck.

The benefit to adding the zest is all that delicious flavor held in the rind. When you cook or bake with any citrus juice, it can still cook out some of the flavor, but if you add juice AND zest, you'll get a solid flavor foundation.

Using oil in cake always helps the texture of your cake from drying out and giving it a little fluff. With this cake, I like to add a bonus ingredient to really elevate the texture, yogurt! As I like to say, "Kaylin looooves her yogurt" (Brooklyn 99 is the best show, end of discussion). I use whole milk yogurt but if you can find whole milk greek yogurt that equally works great. I can't stress enough on the importance of whole milk, it provides a great texture versus low to non-fat yogurts that don't provide the right mouth bite. If you're in the market for a vegan yogurt, I really enjoy Kite Hill almond yogurt for my vegan recipes.

If you aren't lucky enough to find blood oranges this season, don't sweat it! A combination of grapefruit and orange works wonderful. So warm up your zesters and get to making this delicious cake, just make sure to leave enough glaze for the cake while your eating it straight up with a spoon. 😉

Blood Orange Yogurt Cake with Zested Blood Orange Icing

Makes: 1 Standard Sized Loaf

Ingredients

Blood Orange Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt or greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or you can use coconut oil, melted then cooled

Blood Orange Icing

  • Zest from 2 blood oranges
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed blood orange juice, depending on your preference of consistency

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and line with parchment. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk your flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs and sugar until combined. Whisk in yogurt, blood orange juice and vanilla extract until mixed well.
  4. Add your dry ingredients in two portions, stir gently until most of dry is combined before you add the rest of the dry ingredients, final stirring until the flour is mixed well with the wets.
  5. Fold in the oil and stir until combined all together.
  6. Pour batter into your greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean with barely to no crumbs.
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. For the icing, whisk your blood orange zest, powdered sugar and blood orange juice together in a medium bowl until smooth and even color.
  9. Once cake has cooled, pour or drizzle icing over cake.
  10. Cut and serve, sharing optional.
Continue Reading

Valentine Meringue Hearts

Happy Valentine's Day! Celebrating the love with these tasty hearts bursting with a delicious strawberry flavor. I had a craving for something light with just the right amount of sweetness for Valentine's Day.

Meringues are a straight forward dessert that you can easily master and turn into your own, I use these for many holidays and it's easy to make a big batch of these to gift for someone's birthday. The recipe list is just how I like it, short and sweet! Egg whites and sugar, followed by your flavors of choice, for Valentine's day I went with freeze dried strawberries to add a sweet but tart flavor. Freeze dried fruit is awesome (Thank You Trader Joe's), it not only boosts flavor but also adds a light boost of color, though I still added a tiny bit of food coloring to make show off the pink more.

I surprised Michael with these when he got home from work, the verdict...he loves them! He never had them before, delighted by a crisp yet fluffy treat, woofed a couple more down and took the rest of them to work to share with his co-workers. That's a happy Valentine!

 

Valentine Heart Meringues

Makes: 24 Meringues Prep Time: 20 minutes  Total Time: 2 Hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries, ground
  • Pink food coloring (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl or medium mixing bowl with a hand mixer, add egg whites to bowl and turn speed on low.
  3. Add cream of tartar and wait until whites have formed a surface of foamy bubbles.
  4. Stop mixer and add all granulated sugar to the egg whites. If sugar got on the sides of the bowl, use a spatula to push it down to the whites.
  5. Turn mixer speed to medium high speed (I use a 6 on my KitchenAid and halfway bump it up to an 8). Whites should go from clear to a glossy and shiny white.
  6. Keep mixer running until you reach stiff peaks, feel free to stop mixer a couple times and see if your peaks on the end of the whisk move or stay still, you want it to barely move when you shake it.
  7. Crush your freeze dried strawberries until finely ground (you can use a food processor, I was lazy and used my mortar & pestle) and run through a fine mesh strainer over the bowl of your meringue.
  8. Take a toothpick or use the edge of a spoon to dip into your food coloring (Little goes a long way!) and add to meringues. Fold mixture with a spatula until combined and color is to your liking.
  9. Transfer mixture to a piping bag with a pastry tip of your choice (I used a Wilton #10 for simple smooth piping (feel free to use a star tip or any tip you like).
  10. You can either free form your hearts, I used a 2 inch heart cookie cutter to help pipe more consistent looking hearts. Place cutter on parchment, pipe inside cookie cutter until shape is filled. Pull cookie cutter firmly straight up and shape should still hold place.
  11. Pipe all hearts leaving an inch apart from another.
  12. Transfer baking sheets to oven and cook for 110-120 minutes depending on size of meringues, or check by touching texture until dried out on outside.
  13. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
Continue Reading

Chocolate Madeleines dipped in Dark Chocolate Ganache

Happy February! To some it's the month of love, though everyday I'm loving everything from my boyfriend to beautiful corgis I see walking down the street. What I'm also loving is the month of chocolate! National chocolate month should really be celebrated all year, but I'm loading up on a bunch of my favorite desserts this month to share with everyone.

First up is a cute little treat, chocolate madeleines, which are mini french butter cakes. I love making these cause they are very simple, the batter is quick to make without any complicated techniques and baking time is short, who doesn't love that? Instead of taking butter out of the fridge and waiting for it to come to room temp, you instead get to melt butter, we're really making progress here.

One of my favorite things to pair chocolate with is SALT! Yes, I love being salty (in the seasoning way, no bad attitude here) and I love using flake salt on desserts. Using one of my favorites, Jacobsen's vanilla bean flake salt.

I enjoy making these more than a whole cake, I'd be tempted to eat a slice every hour that cake would be sitting in my kitchen. These lil guys are great to gift or take to a friend's housewarming, you'll be the fancy pants who brings french pastries.

Chocolate Madeleines dipped in Dark Chocolate Ganache

Makes: 24  Prep Time: 20 minutes  Total Time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredients

Madeleines

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp, plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for greasing pan
  • Cacao nibs or finely chopped chocolate to garnish (optional)
  • Jacobsen flake salt (optional)

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 oz dark chocolate roughly chopped

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take your 2 tbsp melted butter and use a silicone/pastry brush to grease your madeleine molds. Once coated, place pan in fridge to firm up, pull this out when your batter is made.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk all your eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract until fully combined (no big clumps of brown sugar or egg white clumps, smooth).
  3. In a small bowl, sift your flour, salt, and cocoa powder once through.
  4. Fold your flour mixture into your egg mixture until there are no flour streaks.
  5. Pour in your 5 oz melted butter and stir until combined.
  6. Take your madeleine pan out, I put this batter in a 16" piping bag for easier filling, or use a small cookie scoop and use the back of the scoop to smooth out the batter. You only want to fill the molds about halfway!
  7. Put into oven and set timer for 12 minutes.
  8. While madeleines are baking, take a small saucepan and pour in your heavy cream. Bring this to a simmer and remove from heat before it comes to a boil.
  9. With your dark chocolate in a bowl, pour heated heavy cream over chocolate, gently push any floating chocolate down into the cream and let sit for 2 minutes to evenly melt the chocolate before you start to stir. Mix until glossy and combined, no chocolate clumps. Stir in salt to finish and set aside to cool.
  10. Madeleines removed from the oven, let the pan sit out a couple minutes before removing cakes. If they are still a lil stuck, take a small offset spatula or butter knife to gently remove from pan and place on cooling rack.
  11. Once cakes have cooled, take one at a time and dip halfway in chocolate ganache, raise straight back up and gently place on cooling rack placed above a plate so any chocolate that drips won't make a mess.
  12. Garnish with cacao nibs, and flake salt.
  13. Snack away!
Continue Reading

Spiced Apple Old Fashioned

Finishing off January with lots of motivations for 2019. Planning my first out of country trip with my boyfriend to Italy this Spring, hoping to tackle my fear of driving, make more time to develop and post more recipes. But the biggest one of all...my boyfriend has FINALLY got me hooked on Game of Thrones. I’ve tried a few times in the past, never getting past episode 2. I thank dear Michael for all his efforts, cause wow I can’t get enough of it.

 

When we're in a deep show-binging mode, we always enjoying a cocktail in the evening, essential drink being old fashions. We happen to be big fans of bourbon in this household, whether it’s Buffalo Trace or Angels Envy, we pour it up.

 

I decided to take a Winter favorite of mine to pair with bourbon, apple cider. Sure I could go for a hot toddy at this point, but I don’t always go for a piping hot beverage, I run too warm to enjoy those. So stocking up on my favorite apple cider from a Farmer’s Market trip, I splash some of this with bourbon, and pair it with my spiced simple syrup, add a couple dashes of bitters, voila!

Cheers to you lovelies!

 

Spiced Apple Old Fashioned

Makes: 1 Cocktail

(Multiply recipe for however many people you are serving)

Ingredients

Spiced Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed (I press them down with a cast iron skillet or use a mortar & pestle)

Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz apple cider
  • 2 oz bourbon of choice
  • 1 oz spiced simple syrup
  • Couple dashes of angostura bitters
  • Apple slice for garnish
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions

  1. To make simple syrup, heat up small saucepan with the water and granulated sugar. Stir until simmered liquid is clear. Remove from heat and add cinnamon stick and crushed cardamom pods. Let cool before use, strain and store extra in fridge for up to a week.
  2.  Take your old fashioned glass and add spiced simple syrup, apple cider, bourbon and bitters.
  3. Stir until combined, add ice (cubes, sphere, or the fancy whiskey rocks if you don't like your drinks watered down with ice).
  4. Finish with apple slice and cinnamon stick to stir your drink one last time before serving.
Continue Reading

Orange Cranberry Scones

Morning with this delicious scones

I'm slowly getting a few mornings to sleep in, though my definition of sleeping in is 8 am. But no matter, if I can't enjoy staying in bed, I enjoy having the time to make breakfast that's something other than toast or oats. One of my favorite things to make for the mornings is scones! I find this to be very simple to put together, also feels like my morning meditation while everyone is still sleeping, the kitchen is quiet and all to myself. You can go with blueberries, raspberries, even pumpkin for the holidays, but my favorite will always be orange cranberry. The sweet orange flavor combined with the tart but juicy cranberry is hands down the best. I had lots of scones growing up, many resembled the hockey puck thickness that followed with a dry choking for life.  However, I remember loving a smooth scone that dawned this flavor which forever changed my love for scones.

The making of a scone is fairly easy to manage as long as you have all your ingredients in place, can't stress that enough. Coooooold butter is mandatory for the result of delicious and soft scones (I avoided using the M word but I'm sure some of you were thinking it). I like to stick my butter in the freezer for 25 mins, cut the stick into squares and toss in with the dry ingredients, which will create luscious little pockets of flavor. I also use frozen cranberries in this recipe, I find frozen cranberries helps keep the dough combined from being chilled, you gotta keep that butter cold, so why not throw in frozen fruit? When the scones bake in the oven, the cranberries provide a little burst of flavor that soaks into your scones. You can't forget the glaze for extra tasty points. Since I zested a whole orange, I juice it in a separate bowl and whisk it with powdered sugar until it forms a thick and glossy icing. Adds an extra pop of flavor and compliments that soft scone texture.

If your mouth is watering, get out of bed and make these for breakfast! Or feel free to make these the night before, I seal them in a Ziploc after they cool, and make the glaze in the morning to finish them off.

Orange Cranberry Scones

Makes: 8 Scones  Prep Time: 15 minutes  Total Time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for forming and workspace
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 heavy cream or milk (heavy cream makes it fluffier)
  • 1 egg
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cranberries, frozen

Cream Wash

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • Coarse sparkling sugar to sprinkle on top

Orange Glaze

  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and adjust oven rack to the middle. Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add in frozen butter to your dry ingredients (I use a box grater for convenience). Using fingertips only, toss the butter around to combine until it resembles close to a coarse meal.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk heavy cream, egg, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest together.
  5. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and gently fold with a silicone spatula until there is little to no dry patches of flour.
  6. Fold in cranberries, the dough should still be a bit wet, combine into a ball and transfer to your floured work area.
  7. Making sure your hands are floured, work into a rough 8" circle. Using a bench scraper, cut into 8 pieces in the shape you desire (I go for my pizza cutting skills) and place pieces onto parchment covered baking sheet.
  8. Brush scones with that 2 tbsp of heavy cream and sprinkle as much as you desire of the coarse sugar.
  9. Bake for 20-25 mins (I always check 5 mins early to make sure my oven isn't too hot and scorching the bottom of the scones). They should be nice and golden on the outside. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.
  10. To make the glaze, whisk together orange juice with powdered sugar. If it's still dry, add a little more juice. Once to your liking, drizzle over scones.
  11. Enjoy!
Continue Reading