Ode to Miami Cupcakes

May 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Guava and Cream Cheese Cupcakes, aka Ode to Miami Cupcakes

Recipe, adapted from Hungry Sofia’s recipe for Estrellitas (thanks!)
makes about 18 cupcakes

Ingredients, for the Cupcake

2 cups cake flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 cup + 4 T of sugar
4 large eggs
4 T skim milk
1 t vanilla extract

Ingredients, for the filling

14 oz guava paste
splash of rum
1T orange juice

Ingredients, for the frosting

16 oz cream cheese
1c confectioner’s sugar
2 t lemon juice (which I totally forgot to add, but probably would have been a good addition)

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Dark Chocolate Torte, an update

April 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

from epicurious

I posted some Pesach recipe plans, and I had included a recipe I found on epicurious for a Dark Chocolate Torte with Blackberry Coulis. Either because I was in a hurry or I just didn’t read the recipe that well, I missed the section that explains how to make the blackberry coulis and I also missed that it called for cocoa powder. Needless to say, I had none of the ingredients for the coulis and I wasn’t returning to the store for cocoa powder. I still wanted to make the torte, so I proceeded with some changes. It was a hit at Pesach Seder, and I would definitely make this dessert again for another special occasion. It’s an impressive dessert that is actually quite simple to make. It does require a lot of cooling time in between steps, so keep that in mind.

Dark Chocolate Torte, with blackberries and whipped cream
adapted from Epicurious

16 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate (2 2/3 cups). I used Scharffen Berger’s Bittersweet Baking Chocolate.
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
5 large eggs
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Brush 9-inch-diameter springform pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment.

Stir 10 ounces (1 2/3 cups) chocolate and 3/4 cup butter in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Whisk in  espresso. Cool 10 minutes.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in large bowl on high speed until thick, about 6 minutes. Fold in chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake torte until dry and cracked on top and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist batter attached, about 42 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 1 hour (center will fall). Using spatula, press raised edges so top is level. Cut around pan sides; remove sides. Place plate atop torte and invert onto plate. Remove pan bottom; peel off paper, and cool torte completely.

Stir remaining 6 ounces (1 cup) chocolate and 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan over low heat until smooth (do not overheat). Cool glaze 15 minutes. Pour glaze into center of torte. Smooth top with spatula, allowing some of glaze to drip down sides. Refrigerate uncovered until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

Cut torte into wedges.  Spoon whipped cream alongside and serve with blackberries.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1T sugar, optional or to taste
1t vanilla extract, optional or to taste

In a stand mixer, combine all ingredients and whip until firm. Be careful not to over whip or it will break apart.

pesach plans: recipe roundup

March 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any recipes, and it’s not for a lack of cooking. I have just been super busy and haven’t uploaded any food photos lately. So, instead of waiting until after I’ve cooked to post a recipe I thought I’d post an early Pesach recipe roundup. The picture above is from our Seder last year.

Lentil Soup – adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe – add another 1/2c carrot; use veggie bouillon cubes instead of chicken broth; no grains of paradise because I don’t have any.

Cabbage and Kale Gratin – adapted from the NYTimes – I usually leave out the rice because I don’t think the dish needs it. For Pesach, leave out the breadcrumbs and sprinkle the top with matzo meal before baking.

Crunchy Noodle Kugel – first time making this dish I cut out of the Times a few years ago. I went to a Seder where someone brought this dish and it made me like kugel! I will try to find some time to make it this year.

Lasagna Tart – adapted from 101Cookbooks – make the crust with matzo meal instead of flour for Pesach.

Dark Chocolate Torte with Spiked Blackberry Coulis – I’ve never made this dish, but it looks good.

Charoset – apples, walnuts, dates, wine, cinnamon, ground ginger . . . taste and adjust.

Bumuelos de Masa – Sephardic Pesach breakfast; lovely with agave nectar and strawberries.

Recipe Roundups Around the Net:
Diet, Dessert, and Dogs
Elana’s Pantry
Gluten-Free by the Bay
New York Times

gingerbread people

December 24, 2009 § 3 Comments

Happy holidays, happy solstice, happy almost end of the year . . .

Just a few days ago it was really feeling like “winter” in Miami with temps in the 50s! It’s back to the 70s now, and up to 80 tomorrow, so we’ll just have to pretend and go ahead with the “winter favorites” anyway.

My sister and I made the gingerbread people pictured above a couple of years ago and they were delicious. We scoured the stores to find a gingerbread person cut out (since we decided to make these on a whim), and ended up using a very large gingerbread person shape that is meant to form pancakes.

We used, and will be using again, a recipe from Food and Wine, and I don’t recall making any adjustments to the cookie recipe.

I would suggest dusting the dough in flour before rolling it out because it got very sticky for our first round of cutouts.

We also cut the icing recipe in half.

They are crisp on the edges and soft in the middle. The cookies have a wonderfully sweet, spicy, and warm taste. Plus, they are just so cute!

Next on the baking agenda: a gingerbread house. I haven’t made one of these since I was a little kid. So, I’ll keep you posted on the plans and results.

Channukah Cooking

December 13, 2009 § 3 Comments

Channukah crept up on me this year, but this weekend I did have a chance to celebrate by cooking and lighting the candles. More holiday celebrations to come this week as Channukah continues through the 18th. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to post a couple of things I cooked this weekend or will make this week.

Latkes – baked, not fried from the New York Times Jewish Cookbook. The recipe is also posted here. I highly recommend this cookbook. It has hundreds of Jewish recipes from all over the world. I serve latkes with the traditional sour cream and applesauce plus cranberry sauce.

Beignets – I followed the recipe from Baking and Books. They are a fun take on the traditional frying fest of Channukah. Plus, having recently visited New Orleans, I was eager to try to recreate Cafe Du Monde’s famous treat. Interestingly, as Ariela explains, though beignets are fried dough they don’t have a greasy taste because the oil is heated to a high temperature and doesn’t seep into the pastry. They are still indulgent, but a fun way to celebrate the holiday of oil and light. *Just a note* Don’t be afraid of this recipe if you don’t have a thermometer. I don’t have one and they came out fine. I tested the oil by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. If it didn’t sink, but rose to the top, the oil seemed to be hot enough.

Macaroni Pie – Borrowing from my significant others’ Trinidadian holiday traditions, macaroni pie has found its way into my Channukah repertoire along with the next item. This pie is basically a casserole with noodles, evaporated milk, and cheese. Growing up my s.o. had this pie with elbow macaroni noodles. I prefer rigatoni and I usually use a mix of cheeses including Gruyere, which is one of my favorites. Here’s one version of the recipe. And, here is another. As you can see, there are many ways to make macaroni pie.

Stewed Pigeon Peas – Another Trinidadian addition this dish is a bean dish with green pigeon peas, tomatoes, and spices.

blueberry picking and blueberry scones

July 20, 2008 § Leave a comment

blueberry scones

blueberry scones

Friday marked the beginning of blueberry picking season over at Dexter Blueberry Farm. We picked about 3 pounds of blueberries at a nice price of $1.55 a pound. So, while blueberries are great to eat on their own, I also decided that I needed to bake something with our bounty. I had some leftover buttermilk, so I adapted this scone recipe which utilized it. Normally I make cream scones which don’t use any butter, or I make scones which only use butter and no cream. These buttermilk scones were a bit lighter- more cake-like- than the ‘butter-only’ scones, and had a similar texture to the ‘cream scones.’ The addition of the blueberries was wonderful. They burst open as you eat the scones.

Click more to read the recipe.

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