Saturday, November 27, 2010

CROSTATA: DB November Challenge

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I decided to make a caramel apple crostata and a PH inspired banana and chocolate crostata.

Ok here is the deal with the bottom recipe. The PH inspired caramel, banana and chocolate tart. I don't have a recipe for anything I put in it. The caramel sauce is homemade, so just pick your fav recipe and add a little less cream to make a stiffer sauce. The chocolate truffle is ganache. Just use your favourite recipe here as well. The banana's you can brulee or not, whatever you fancy. This tart had a lot of wow factor, and it was delicious.

Version 1 of pasta frolla


  • 1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar or a scant 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option)
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
Making pasta frolla by hand:
  1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
  4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
  6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
Making pasta frolla with a food processor:
  1. Put sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistenc y of coarse meal.
  3. Empty food processor's bowl onto your work surface
  4. See step 3 above and continue as explained in the following steps (minus the lemon zest, which you have already added).
Jam or cooked fruit filled crust:
  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
  2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
  3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
  4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
  5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
  6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
  7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
  8. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
  9. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.
  10. Take out of the fridge the reserved pasta frolla you had cut away earlier. Roll it with your pin and cut into strips or use cookie cutters to make small shapes (this is not traditional, but it looks cute); or roll with your hands into ropes.
  11. Spread the jam or fruit preserves evenly over the bottom of the crostata.
  12. Use the prepared strips or rolls of dough to make a lattice over the surface, or decorate with the cut shapes. (Note: You can use dough scraps to make cookies: see the Additional Information section for some pointers)
  13. Brush the border and strips of dough with the reserved beaten eggs. You can add a drop or two of water to the beaten eggs if you don’t have enough liquid.
  14. Put the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  15. After 25 minutes, check the tart and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue. (Note: Every oven is different. In my oven it took 34 minutes to bake the tart until golden.)
  16. When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving.

Apple filling:
- 5 apples assorted kinds, peeled and diced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg or freshly grate to your heart's desire
- 1/4 c. water

Place everything in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook unitl apples are nice and tender. Some will be applesaucy (?) and others knife tender.
Cool for 15 - 20 mins and place in pie shell following instructions listed above.

Blind Baking:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF [180ºC/gas mark 4].
  2. Roll out a batch of the pasta frolla and cover the base of the tart pan. (You can use Version 1 or 2: if you use Version 1, you will have more leftover pasta frolla to turn into cookies.)
  3. Cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom of the crust and extend out a bit over the edges of the pan.
  4. You can use pie weights or dry beans to blind bake. Place whatever weight you’re using directly on the parchment paper or aluminum foil in an even layer.
  5. Place the crostata shell in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the weights and parchment paper and continue baking the crostata shell until the border is light golden, about 5 minutes (watch carefully to avoid over-baking, which results in a hard shell). In the absence of weight, the crust may rise in th e middle: if that occurs, gently push it back down with the back of a spoon.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the crostata shell cool completely before proceeding.
  8. If you use a tart pan with removable bottom, release the base from the fluted tart ring, then slide the cooled crostata shell on a serving plate for filling. (Note: If you’ve used a cake pan or pie plate, use a bit of care in taking the shell out of the baking vessel.)
  9. Spread the prepared pastry cream over the cooled shell.
  10. Decorate the surface with fresh fruit. The crostata mus t be cool, but not cold, so if you refrigerate it, take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving. This crostata is best eaten the same day it is prepared.
Caramel, Bruleed Banana and Chocolate truffle crostata:


Pour caramel onto bottom of the crust enough to coat the bottom about an 1/8 - 1/4 in.
Place bananas in a single layer across the bottom

Pour ganache on top to come up to the top of the tart shell. Place in fridge for about 1.5 hours till slightly firm, or freezer for about 30 -45 minutes.
Slice with warm knife and serve.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Short and Sweet: DB Challenge October

This post will have no words of wisdom or funny stories. I am simply late, late, late on this post. However it was my birthday this past week and I can do as I want to... or so the song goes. I used this recipe from Food and Wine.
Mmmmmmm it was amazing and instead of jam I used Nutella

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sugar, Sugar Cookies: September DB Challenge

This challenge could not have come at a better time for me this month. I was really excited to make these, since this challenge was so open for interpretation. The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?! Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

September for me is the beginning and the end of seasons. It's the end of soccer season for my son but the beginning of school season for him as well. With school, comes fundraising and with that comes money! This month I did 2 themed cookies 1 - was soccer jerseys for the boys on my son's team for an awesome playing season. 2 - is for a Breast Cancer fundraiser.

Basic Sugar Cookies:
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies

200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture.

• Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during baking, losing their shape.

• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoid flour flying everywhere.

• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.

• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)

• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.

• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.

• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.

• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.
Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.

• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.

• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.

• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in some cookies being baked before others are done.
Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.

• Leave to cool on cooling racks.

• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated cookies can last up to a month.

Royal Icing:

315g – 375g / 11oz – 13oz / 2½ - 3 cups Icing / Confectioner’s / Powdered Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
10ml / 2 tsp Lemon Juice
5ml / 1 tsp Almond Extract, optional


• Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.
Tip: It’s important that the bowls/spoons/spatulas and beaters you use are thoroughly cleaned and grease free.

• Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites.
Tip: I’ve listed 2 amounts of icing sugar, the lesser amount is good for a flooding consistency, and the larger amount is for outlining, but you can add even more for a much thicker consistency good for writing. If you add too much icing sugar or would like to make a thinner consistency, add very small amounts of water, a few drops at a time, until you reach the consistency you need.

• Beat on low until combined and smooth.

• Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.
Tip: Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Truth about Scones

There are certain foods in life that are synonymous with breakfast or brunch. Scones are close to the top of that list for me. So when I realized that I was stuck with a plethora of blueberries and I had a Sunday brunch planned you would have to say there was really no choice but to venture down the path of no return.

I had never made a scone, ever, and again it is one of those things that seems daunting to me. Don't knead to much, ice cold butter, careful you don't touch it to often. When there are rules like that, a lump automatically starts to form in my throat.

So it was off to foodgawker, I went to find the perfect blueberry scone recipe in hopes that I could find a recipe that was amazing but not finicky.
As per usual for that website I have succeeded in finding my now base recipe for scones.

The recipe can be founds here. The only addition I have made was the white chocolate chips.

Enjoy these.
Trust me, you want to.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's all Neutral: Swiss Roll July DB Challenge

Let me just say that any language I used while making this "swiss roll" was not neutral. I owe my child about $5 to his swear jar :(
I decided I was going to make this month's challenge gluten and dairy free. Gluten free for my sis-in-law and dairy free for my son. The dairy free aspect was no problem at all.
The gluten free aspect was a whole new story. I used this recipe here, which is a good recipe but I think I spread it to thin and also I added a bit of xanthum gum but I don't think it needed it.Needless to say it stuck to the parchment and tore which is like the end of the world for swiss roll making.
When I sliced it the ganache filling and the roll had no definition between each other and it looked awful when sliced so instead I made a Italian meringue and covered the bombe which gave it a baked Alaska look. From my pictures you can see the cake layer of what should have been swiss rolls. Oh well it tasted amazing and everyone got to eat it.

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

The recipe is posted as I made it but you can pick up the recipe at Sunita's site no probs.

Swiss Roll Bombe!!!!!!!! Recipe:

Swiss roll:

Recipe found here

Almond Ice Cream:

4 c. almond milk, unsweetened
6 egg yolks
1/3 c. honey
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
pinch of salt

Heat 3 c. almond milk and honey in a pot.
Meanwhile whisk egg yolks and sugar together till thickened.
Temper milk into eggs.
Pour the mixture back into the pot and heat and stir till about 170 degrees.
Remove from heat and add the reserved 1 cup almond milk.
Then add salt and extracts.

Chocolate Ganache:

2 c. chocolate soy beverage, whatever is your favourite
2 c. chocolate chips or carob chips

Heat milk till hot, do not boil.
Pour over chocolate.
Wait 2 mins and then stir.


Assemble according to the original recipe's instruction.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

a bright idea

You know when you think of an idea so brilliant you swear that no one could have possibly beaten you to the punch????
K.. well for me that lasted all of about 2.5 seconds when I punched in rhubarb, strawberry and almonds into google and of course David Lebovitz had beaten me to the punch by publishing the EXACT idea I wanted to concoct.Sure, sure your thinking "please this idea is not original", but just let me have it for once. Mr Lebovitz and your multi book publications and your famous blog and newspaper columns.
Sorry...back to the post.
For the record I HEART David Lebovitz, from ice cream to gorgeous dessert concoctions this man is awesome.

I have successfully grown rhubarb in my garden now for the past 2 years. I mean a really good crop. Also it's local strawberry bonanza season here, so I had some of those on hand as well.
Then I decided I would add one of my top 3 favourite things...frangipane.
I need no excuse to add this to anything. I look for ways to add it to any dessert I can find.

There is no exact recipe for this tart. If you can ad lib it then great if not here is a recipe for frangipane that I just made up today.


1 sheet puff pastry
1 cup strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
6 - 8 stalks of rhubarb, cut inot 1 inch pieces
1/2 - 1c. of sugar
Frangipane - recipe follows
2 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Mix strawberries, rhubarb and sugar in a bowl
Cut the sheet of puff pastry in half.
Score a border around the outside about 1/2 inch border.
Prick the middle with a fork.
Add a moderate layer of frangipane to the middle portion of each sheet of puff.
Top with strawberry/rhubarb mixture.
Some juices may leak out, don't worry about it.
Brush border with melted butter
If you would like to place tarts into fridge for 15 - 20 mins then no probs.
I just worked quickly and placed them straight in.

Bake at 425 for 10 mins, then lower oven to 400 for 15 mins or until nice and golden.

Serve warm or at room temp. I made 2 today and they are gone.
Nuff said.

1 1/2 c. ground almonds
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg yolk
4tbsp softened butter
1 tsp almond extract

Mix everything together in a bowl till a paste forms.

Like I said this is a rough recipe I threw together. If you need a proper one just google or foodgawker, there are a ton of options

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Wedding

Ahhh... to be back to the blogging world again from an extremely extended hiatus.
Life can get a little hectic sometimes and with that you just have to know when to step away and get down to business for a while.
In saying this with the summer fast approaching here in the great white north, I cannot wait to be back to blogging on a regular basis, bringing more food and more fun and more photos to share with anyone and everyone who may stumble across this tiny project I call my own.
For my first back to summer blog I thought I post about celebration of new beginnings was in order. This past weekend I did my very first wedding. Making 130 something-ish cupcakes to be eaten by friends and strangers in sober or not so sober states.
The bride is a chocolate fanatic so I made 2 kinds of cupackes:

1. Dark chocolate with dulce de leche filling

2. White chocolate cream cheese icing with white chocolate ganache filling

Both had a deep dark chocolate cupcake base, the recipe which I stole from my step-mother , which she stole from another blog. Thanks P!

Pictured is the dark chocolate and dulce de leche cupcakes and YES I made the gumpaste flowers myself.

The recipe for the deep dark chocolate cake can be found here.
The icing is chocolate ganache whipped buttercream, which is posted below.

That dulce de leche is store bought, try and find a good label not that artificial butterscotch stuff because it tastes NOTHING like dulce de leche. DO NOT BE FOOLED!

Buttercream Icing:

4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips, wafers (something good quality)
3 c. Whipping cream
2 pounds unsalted butter @ room temp.
1 c. powdered sugar

Heat whipping cream in a pot or in a bowl in the microwave until cream is hot.
Pour over chocolate, wait 2 mins then stir till smooth.
Let cool.
Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer or by handheld till pale and smooth. Pour cooled chocolate into butter mixture. Taste and add more sugar if needed, you shouldn't.
Mix until well blended about 2 mins. Icing will be loose.
Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 -3 hours.
When ready to use. Beat again till fluffy and smooth.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March DB Challenge: Orange Tian Gone Healthy

I'm Back!!!
After a long hiatus away from the blog world and I am happy to announce that I have returned. The last 2 months have been a whirlwind of adventure.
I had the privilege of being taken on as a volunteer for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. This would explain my missing the last 2 challenges :(
I was based in Whistler, BC for nearly a month with the great responsibility of MASSAGING athletes...mmmm hot bodies....ahem.. back to the blog post.

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings.
She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

I fancy myself a pretty knowledgeable person on the realm of desserts, but I can honestly say I have not heard of a Tian with orange.Unfortunately, this challenge has popped up just at the beginning of my family's new healthy eating regime. When I read the ingredients I was worried I wouldn't be able to think of a healthy alternative. Never fear though, I did it, I think.

I followed the process for the pate sablee...let's not mess with the perfection of pastry shall we?
As for the marmalade, I used a low sugar peach/citrus and vanilla bean jam that I had made in the summer. The recipe is honestly peaches, orange rind boiled with sugar (only enough to make it sweet).The peaches I used were perfectly ripe so I think I ended up using only about 1 - 2 cups of sugar as opposed to the usual jam recipes of 5 - 6 cups of sugar. The vanilla bean is scrapped and added last then heated for 5 more minutes.

In place of the whipped cream I made yogurt cheese instead and sweetened it with honey, orange juice, orange rind and lime juice.

The fruit I used was kiwis because they had yellow and green at the store which I love!


For the Pate Sablee:


2 medium-sized egg yolks, at room temperature
granulated sugar - 6 tbsp + 1 tsp
vanilla extract - ½ tsp
Unsalted butter, cold, cubed - ¼ cup + 3 tbsp
Salt - 1/3 tsp
AP flour - 1.5 cup + 2 tbsp
baking powder - 1 tsp


Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

In a separate bowl, add the eggs yolks, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Pour the egg mixture in the food processor.

Process until the dough just comes together. If you find that the dough is still a little too crumbly to come together, add a couple drops of water and process again to form a homogeneous ball of dough. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle.

Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.

For the Marmalade:

Freshly pressed orange juice - ¼ cup + 3 tbsp
1 large orange used to make orange slices
cold water to cook the orange slices
pectin 5 grams
granulated sugar: use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked

Finely slice the orange. Place the orange slices in a medium-sized pot filled with cold water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, discard the water, re-fill with cold water and blanch the oranges for another 10 minutes.

Blanch the orange slices 3 times. This process removes the bitterness from the orange peel, so it is essential to use a new batch of cold water every time when you blanch the slices.

Once blanched 3 times, drain the slices and let them cool.

Once they are cool enough to handle, finely mince them (using a knife or a food processor).

Weigh the slices and use the same amount of granulated sugar . If you don’t have a scale, you can place the slices in a cup measurer and use the same amount of sugar.

In a pot over medium heat, add the minced orange slices, the sugar you just weighed, the orange juice and the pectin. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes).

Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

For the Orange Segments:

For this step you will need 8 oranges.

Cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and make sure to keep the juice. Add the segments to the bowl with the juice.

This is also called supreme - ing an orange.

For the Caramel:

granulated sugar - 1 cup
orange juice - 1.5 cups + 2 tbsp

Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it.

Once the sugar starts to bubble and foam, slowly add the orange juice. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and pour half of the mixture over the orange segments.

Reserve the other half of the caramel mixture in a small bowl — you will use this later to spoon over the finished dessert. When the dessert is assembled and setting in the freezer, heat the kept caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and just coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). You can then spoon it over the orange tians.

For the Whipped Cream:

heavy whipping cream 1 cup
3 tbsp of hot water
1 tsp gelatine
1 tbspof confectioner's sugar
orange marmalade (see recipe above) 1 tbsp

In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a hand mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken for about one minute. Add the confectioner sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously. Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade.

Yogurt Cheese:

1 large container of 3% yogurt

Put the yogurt into the cheesecloth and tie a knot or wrap around a chopstick and hang in the fridge or off your cupboards for 24 hrs int he fridge or 10 - 12 hrs at room temp. A LOT of water will come out.

Assembling the Dessert:

Make sure you have some room in your freezer. Ideally, you should be able to fit a small baking sheet or tray of desserts to set in the freezer.

Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone.

Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.

Have the marmalade, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use.

Arrange the orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter. Make sure the segments all touch either and that there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Arrange them as you would sliced apples when making an apple tart.

Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the cookie cutter in an even layer. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top so there is room for dough circle.

Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of orange marmalade on each circle of dough.

Carefully place a circle of dough over each ring (the side of dough covered in marmalade should be the side touching the whipping cream). Gently press on the circle of dough to make sure the dessert is compact.

Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.

Using a small knife, gently go around the edges of the cookie cutter to make sure the dessert will be easy to unmold. Gently place your serving plate on top of a dessert (on top of the circle of dough) and turn the plate over. Gently remove the cookie cutter, add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

This past weekend I went to a housewarming party and brought these for my chocolate/PB obsessed friend. These cupcakes were the perfect match of both. I will confess that I used a box mix (insert gasping noise here) but it was a convenience factor mostly.
The frosting was all homemade though. A chocolate/peanut butter ganache buttercream. SOOO GOOD!

I won't bother to give you a chocolate cupcake recipe since everyone has one they love I'm sure, but the recipe for the icing is here.

1 cup chocolate chips/wafers (bittersweet preferably)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup peanut butter, smooth
Powdered sugar (no amount, just add a bit at a time till you get that desired sweetness)

Heat heavy cream till simmer and remove from heat.
Pour over chocolate chips and wait 2 minutes.
Whisk together till combined and then add peanut butter and mix until you have a silky looking sauce, chill for 1 hour.
Combine butter in a mixer or use a hand mixer and beat until soft and creamy.
Add some powdered sugar till slightly sweet, (remember you still have chocolate to add!)
Add the ganache and mix until slightly lightened in colour, about 30 seconds or so.