Friday, August 28, 2009

Daring Baker's Dobo's Torta

DB


The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus:  Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

For the Daring Baker's August challenge we made a Dobo's Torta, which is an Hungarian specialty.  A Dobos Torta, or torte, is a multi-layer cake (most of the time 5 layers) that is filled with a rich, chocolate buttercream frosting then topped with thin layers of caramel.  The cake is named after a well-known Hungarian baker, Jozsef C. Dobos, who invented the cake.

Here is a history of the torta:

"Dobosh or Dobos Torte (type of cake) was first introduced at the National General Exhibition of Budapest in 1885; Franz Joseph I and his Empress Elisabeth were among the first to taste it. The cake soon became popular throughout Europe as it was different from all others. It was simple but elegant, as opposed to the multi-storey, flaming cakes of the age. Its other secret was its use of fine buttercream, which was very little known at the time; cake fillings and frostings were usually made with cooked pastry cream or whipped cream. The chocolate buttercream and the batter of the cake were both invented by Jozsef C. Dobos.

Dobos travelled around Europe and introduced the cake wherever he went. For a long time he kept the exact recipe confidential, until 1906 when he retired and gave the original recipe to the Budapest Confectioners' and Gingerbread Makers' Chamber of Industry, providing that every member of the chamber can use it freely.

Dobos Torte is known everywhere in the world and there are more than one hundred recipe variations. It is a commonly made torte in the upscale hotels, restaurants and pastry shops of the world. Another famous Hungarian dessert created in the same era is Rigo Jancsi."

Information source: Wikipedia

I always enjoy attempting to make things that are different and that I've never made before.  That's one of the many things about the daring bakers I like, I am always able to attempt new recipes and new methods of cooking.  Since I have joined, my eyes have been opened to many new techniques and many new recipes.  This month was no exception. 

I have never made or attempted to make a sponge cake, so when I found out this challenge involved sponge cake I was pretty excited but I was also a little hesitant.  After I read the recipe for the cake, the process sounded a little similar to a recipe that I attemped a while back that I did not have success with.  So I wasn't really sure if I was going to have success with this recipe or not. 

For this being my first attempt at making a sponge cake I was pretty happy with the outcome.  I've never worked with a cake batter that turned out to be the consistency of this batter.  It was definitely a different experience.  It was also neat being able to pour the batter and watch it stay in the same place your poured it, rather than it spreading all over the pan.  I did learn from my experience this time and I will do a few things different next time, but all in all it was a good experience. 

I did have a little problem with the caramel sauce, I couldn't really get it to the consistency I wanted.  After working with it for quite some time, I finally settled with the consistency and poured it over a layer of sponge cake.  It set fairly quickly, and after comparing pictures from other posts I decided that mine looked very similar.  The only thing with the caramel is that it tasted a lot like lemons.  I used the right amount of lemon juice, so I'm not sure if the lemon taste was supposed to be that evident or of the juice was just extra strong.  I didn't want to ruin the taste of the cake and icing so I just put a little accent piece of the caramel topping on the cake.

I'm so happy I was able to attempt this recipe.  I wouldn't say it turned out perfect but I am happy at the results since it was my first time.  I will probably try a recipe like this again and make a few changes to get the results I want.  

Daring Bakers Dobo's Torta

Dobo's Torta 


Sponge Cake:

6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

1 1/3 cups confectioner's sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour

pinch of salt

Directions:

Place the racks in the top and centre of the oven and preheat oven to 400F.

Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Use the bottom of a 9" springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn't touch the cake batter.)

Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar, and the vanilla in a bowl on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted.  Bean about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don't have a mixer.)

In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the remaining 2/3 cup of confectioner's sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.

Line one of the baking sheets with a circle-marked paper. Using a small spatula, spread about 3/4cup of the batter in an even layer, filling in the traced circle on one baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 5 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center and the edges are lightly browned.

While this cake bakes, repeat the process on the other baking sheet, placing it on the centre rack. When the first cake is done, move the second cake to the top rack. Invert the first cake onto a flat surface and carefully peel off the paper. Slide the cake layer back onto the paper and let stand until cool.

Rinse the baking sheet under cold running water to cool, and dry it before lining with another parchment. Continue with the remaining papers and batter to make a total of six layers. Completely cool the layers. Using an 8" springform pan bottom or plate as a template, trim each cake layer into a neat round. (A small serrated knife is best for this task.)

Sponge Cake Layer


Sponge Cake Layer


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:


Ingredients:


4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar

4oz bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Directions:


Prepare a double-boiler: fill a large saucepan a quarter full with water and bring it to a boil.

In a separate bowl (heat safe), whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes. You can use a balloon whisk or electric hand mixer for this.

Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken. Whisk in the chocolate and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes.

Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. It should be quite thick and sticky in consistency.

When cool, beat in the soft butter, a small piece at a time. An electric hand mixer is great here, but it is possible to beat the butter in with a spatula if it is soft enough. You should end up with a thick, velvety chocolate buttercream. Chill while you make the caramel topping.

Caramel Topping

Ingredients:

1 cup caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar

Choose the best-looking cake layer for the caramel top.

12 tablespoons water

8 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)

Directions:

 To make the caramel topping: Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. Place the reserved cake layer on the paper. Score the cake into 12 equal wedges. Lightly oil a thin, sharp knife and an offset metal spatula.

Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved into a smooth syrup, turn the heat up to high and boil without stirring, swirling the pan by the handle occasionally and washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush until the syrup has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.

Immediately pour all of the hot caramel over the cake layer.

***There will have some leftover most probably but more is better than less and you can always make nice toffee pattern using the extra to decorate. Using the offset spatula, quickly spread the caramel evenly to the edge of the cake layer. Let cool until beginning to set, about 30 seconds. Using the tip of the hot oiled knife (keep re-oiling this with a pastry brush between cutting), cut through the scored marks to divide the caramel layer into 12 equal wedges. Cool another minute or so, then use the edge of the knife to completely cut and separate the wedges using one firm slice movement (rather than rocking back and forth which may produce toffee strands). Cool completely.

Assembling the Dobos

Divide the buttercream into six equal parts.

Place a dab of chocolate buttercream on the middle of a cake base and top with one cake layer. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 4 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.

Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.

Propping a hazelnut under each wedge so that it sits at an angle, arrange the wedges on top of the cake in a spoke pattern. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can pipe rosettes under each hazelnut or a large rosette in the centre of the cake. Refrigerate the cake under a cake dome until the icing is set, about 2 hours. Let slices come to room temperature for the best possible flavour.

Dobo's Torta


Variations:

Shape: The traditional shape of a Dobos Torta is a circular cake, but you can vary the shape and size if you want. Sherry Yard in Desserts By The Yard makes a skyscraper Dobos by cutting a full-size cake into four wedges and stacking them to create a tall, sail-shaped cake. Mini Dobos would be very cute, and you could perch a little disc of caramel on top.

Flavour: While we both love the dark chocolate buttercream and this is traditional, we think it would be fun to see what fun buttercreams you all come up with! So, go wild! Or, you could brush each layer with a flavoured syrup if you just want a hint of a second flavour. Cointreau syrup would be divine!

Nuts: These are optional for decoration, so no worries if you're allergic to them. If you don't like hazelnuts, then substitute for another variety that you like.

Egg concerns

The cooking process for the buttercream will produce lightly cooked eggs. If you fall into a vulnerable health group then you may wish to use an egg-less buttercream.

Resources
http://cafechocolada.blogspot.com/2008/04/dobos-torte.html
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4VHMjIfxfYcC&pg=PA240&lpg=PA240&dq=%22dobos+torte%22&source=bl&ots=tcE2j8dTLl&sig=QoPANOL_MJnfi_vmHm5rW2ncC60&hl=en&ei=jidySrbpKeG2jAec58mODA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7
http://paulaerbay2.wordpress.com/2007/07/24/dobos-torte-recipe/

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup


It's August in the south and the last thing on my mind should be soup, but for some reason it sounds so good.  I believe I've had more soup this past summer than I've had any other summer.  I don't know what my deal is but there is just something so comforting about a big bowl of soup, no matter what season. 


I don't think I've met a soup that I don't like but I do have my top favorites: broccoli cheddar, potato and chicken tortilla.  Those three are my "go to's" that I can eat any time.  Out of those three soups the only soup I've tried to make at home so far is the potato.  The potato soup turned out well; it was thick, creamy and it had a little richness to it.  It was definitely a hit and although I did like it a lot I am still going to try to create another potato recipe that isn't so rich; jus so I can have a choice when it comes to making it.  So, I say all that to say this, since those are my favorite soups I figured I need to find some recipes that I like that I can make at home.  Going out to get a bowl of soup is great but it would be so much better to just stay at home and have some comofort food in the comfort of your own home.  So I'm working on finding or creating some soup recipes that I love that I can add to my recipe collection. 


This was my first attempt making homemade broccoli cheese soup and for my first attempt I think it was pretty good.  I honestly wasn't sure what all went into making this type of soup but it wasn't hard at all and there really wasn't that much to it.  Overall, I believe it had a pretty good consistency and it tasted good too.  I believe next time I may puree some of the soup so some of the broccoli pieces are a little bit smaller and I think I may add some more cheese to the next batch too.  You can never have too much cheese:)!  For my first attempt I'm pretty happy with the way it all turned out.  I will definitely be making it again and hopefully the next time I will come up with the perfect consistency. 


Broccoli Cheese Soup
Broccoli Cheese Soup


Ingredients:


2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup chopped sweet onion
3 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 1/2 Ounces chicken broth
5 1/2 Cups broccoli florets, chopped (fresh or frozen, I used frozen)
1/4 Teaspoon parsely
1 1/2 Cups half and half
1/4 Cup cream
1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste


Directions:


Melt butter in a large nonstick saucepan and then add onions and garlic.  Saute both until tender.  Stir in the flour, make sure the mixture is well blended, and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the chicken broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cook and stir for 1-2 mintues or until slightly thickened.
Add the broccoli, parsley, salt and pepper and return to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.  Reduce heat to low and then add 1 to 1 1/4 cups cheese.  Stir the cheese until it's melted. 
Serve while warm and top with shredded cheese. 
Broccoli Cheese Soup





Recipe Source: adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Chewy

 

The Chewy


 


 

Chocolate chip cookies are classic cookies and I believe they are probably at the top of mosts people "favorite cookies" list.  There really isn't anything  much better than a tall glass of milk and chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.  I've always been a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies, I've made my own chocolate chip cookie recipe which tasted pretty good (I'm still working on making it better though) and I'm also a fan of the neiman-marcus recipe.  There are always new recipes coming out for this classic and I'm always looking for new recipes to try, just to see if there is one better than what I've had previously. 


I've read where quite a few people have made "The Chewy" by Alton Brown and they've all seemed to be big fans of it.  After reading a few reviews of the recipe I put it on my "to make" list so I could see what I thought about it.  Once I finally got around to making it I discovered all the rave about these cookies was dead on.  They are so good; the consistency is perfect and they have the right amount of chewiness and crunchiness to appeal to people of all tastes.  I think the main difference between these cookies and other recipes is the use of bread flour versus regular flour.  The bread flour just adds something to the consistency and texture of the cookies.  I believe this recipe will quench anyones cravings no matter what type of cookies they like; crunchy or fluffy and chewy.  Alton Brown definitely gave this cookie the appropriate name when he named it "The Chewy ". 


If you like homemade cookies then I definitely suggest trying out this recipe at some point in the near future.  I honestly think you will not be disappointed. 


The Chewy


Ingredients:


2 sticks unsalted butter


2 1/4 cups bread flour


1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter completely.   Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix until completely combined. Slowly add the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto a prepared baking sheet.

The Chewy


Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

The Chewy


Recipe Source: Alton Brown,  The Food Network 

 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Crab Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese has been around as long as I can remember.  It has always been a crowd pleaser, kid pleaser and also considered one of the ultimate comfort foods.  Probably the most well recognized brand of macaroni and cheese is "the blue box", Kraft Mac and Cheese.  There have been many other brands that have followed in Kraft's footsteps and there have also been different types of mac and cheese created, but I believe that Kraft still takes the prize as being the most popular among all age groups. 

You definitely can't go wrong with the classic mac and cheese, but I've seen quite a few recipes that have taken the recipe and spiced it up a bit.  After seeing some of the adaptations, I became very interested in them and wanted to try one myself.  I started looking around for some different recipes and different versions and I came across on from Sauce Magazine that sounded incredible.  This was a recipe for Fonduta Mac 'n' Cheese.  After reading the recipe I knew this was the one I had to try, it definitely put an adult spin on a children's favorite.

I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone who wants to try something different.  It was so good and it had so many different flavors but they all blended together wonderfully.  As much as I loved this one I will try others and I will try to make a more "normal" homemade macaroni and cheese recipe; but this one will definitely stay in my recipe collection. 

  

Fonduta Mac 'n' Cheese

Crab mac and cheese


Ingredients:

2 cups fonduta cream (recipe follows)
½ lb. macaroni, penne or bow tie pasta
¼ cup Riesling
½ cup heavy cream 
16 oz. crab meat
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Bread crumbs


Directions: 

In a 2-quart sauce pot, combine 2 cups fonduta cream, the Riesling and the heavy cream and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat (be careful to not scorch). 
Add the crab meat and simmer for 1 minute or until the crab is heated through; remove from the heat. Swirl in the butter and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Stir in the cooked pasta. 
Transfer the warm ingredients to a casserole dish. 


Prepare the fonduta cream. 
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. 

Crab mac and cheese


Top with the bread crumbs and broil until browned.


Crab mac and cheese 


Crab mac and cheese


Fonduta Cream


Fonduta Cream


½ cup minced white onion
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup Riesling
½ cup 40 percent whipping cream
1½ cups whole milk
¾ lb. cheese; 1/4 gouda, 1/4 cheddar and 1/4 asiago
Pinch mace or fresh nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste 


Sauté the onion in the butter until softened. 
Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. 
Add Riesling and whisk to combine. Add the whipping cream and whole milk and bring to a simmer. 
Add the cheese, whisking until melted. 
Season to taste with mace or nutmeg, salt and pepper.


Crab mac and cheese


 


Recipe Source: adapted from Sauce Magazine

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Simple Squash

I love summer time for many different reasons; the warm sunny days, fun on the lake and in the pool, and the fresh garden vegetables along with other things.  The taste of flavor of fresh vegetables is absolutely amazing, it's  a taste that just can't be beat.  I love having the fresh vegetables on hand; sometimes I'll just snack on them raw but they are also good to use in cooking because they add some extra flavor. 

Squash is one of my favorite vegetables.  It's so easy to prepare and it can be prepapred in many different ways.  Squash also goes with a lot of different types and flavors of food. 

I wanted to make some lighter sides to go with my chicken fried chicken and I had some squash on hand and thought that would go well.  This recipe is so simple and quick to put together, it's definitely one of our favorites.  My mom has been making this recipe since I can remember and I've always loved it.  The first time I made it for Spencer he loved it, so it's been a staple in our recipes ever since.

Squash and Onions

Ingredients:

1 Large squash or 2 medium squash

1/2 Large onion

3-4 Tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice squash and onions into thin slices.

Place in a microwave safe dish and add the butter and salt and pepper. 

Place lid on the dish and place in the microwave for 6 minutes.  After the 6 minutes stir and heat up for another 6 minutes.  After the microwave goes off leave the dish sitting in the microwave, undisturbed for about 5 minutes. 

The squash should be tender and the onions should be transparent.  If everything is not tender put in the microwave for a few more minutes. 

***This recipe can also be made on the stove top.  Just place all ingredients in a pan and place over low-medium heat.  Cover the pan and stir occassionally until the veggies are tender.

Squash and Onions


Recipe source: My mom

 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oatmeal Pancakes

I have always loved breakfast foods of all kinds.  I love the classics but I also like to try new and different twists on recipes as well.  I'm always looking for new ways to prepare breakfast foods and when I saw this recipe for oatmeal pancakes I knew I had to try them.

Pancakes are one of the classics that have been around for a long time and there's nothing wrong with them in their original form but it's always fun to try new things.  They are also very versatile; I've seen them served for breakfast but I've also seen them made with more of a savory taste and served as some other type of meal.  No matter how they are served and no matter what they are served with they are always a hit.

This recipe for oatmeal pancakes was no exception, it was wonderful too.  Having the oatmeal in the mix really made the pancakes a little more hearty and filling.  The texture was a little different than regular pancakes, so if you have a picky eater on your hands you may want to try these first before setting a plate in front of them.  One other plus about this recipe is the mix can be made in advance and then just scoop out the amount needed to make a batch, that really makes for a quick meal no matter what you have going on.  We thoroughly enjoyed these pancakes and we'll be making these many more times.   

 

Oatmeal Pancakes

 Ingredients:

2 Cups oatmeal pancake mix

2 Eggs

1/3 Cup canola oil

1 Cup water

Directions:

Mix the pancake mix, eggs, canola oil and water in a bowl. 

Ladle onto a lightly greased nonstick griddle and cook until light brown on both sides. 

Serve with applesace topping. (recipe below)

 Oatmeal Pancakes with Applesauce


Applesauce Topping

Ingredients:

1/2 Pound apples, peeled and chopped

1/4-1/2 packed brown sugar

3/4 Teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon cloves

1/4 Teaspoon allspice

Directions:

Cook apples in saucepan over medium heat for 30 minutes or until tender. 

Add brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and allspice and mash until desired consistency is reached. 

Serve over pancakes while both are still warm. 

 

Recipe Source: "Big Taste of Little Rock" by Junior League of Little Rock

 

Oatmeal Pancake Mix

The concept of dry mixes have been around for a long time and they have also become a very popular gift around the holidays.  There are many recipes for cakes, cookies and many other thing "in a jar" but I have never made any of them.  I've never made a mix for something to keep around the house so when I came across this pancake mix I wanted to try it.

I know there's not much too it but I think it's a neat concept and it's a way to see what exactly goes into a dry mix like you would buy at the store.  There really isn't a whole lot to putting a mix like this together; which I didn't think there was but I wasn't sure since I had never made one.  It also saves quite a bit of preparation time when it's time to make the product.  

I really enjoyed putting this mix together.  Another plus to making your own mixes is that you can control the quality of the ingredients that go into the food.  You can also add your own touch of flavor as well; that way it's not the same old recipe all the time.  I hope you enjoy this mix as much as I do and it's even better with the warm, homemade applesauce topping.   

Oatmeal Pancake Mix

Ingredients:

4 Cups rolled oats

2 Cups all-purpose flour

2 Cups whole wheat flour

1 Cup packed brown sugar

1 Cup instant nonfat dry milk powder

3 Tablespoons baking powder

2 Teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon cream of tartar

5 Teaspoons salt

Directions:

Combine the oats, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, dry milk powder, baking powder, cinnamon, cream of tartar and salt in a large bowl and mix well.  Store in airtight container.

Recipe source: "Big Taste of Little Rock" by Junior League of Little Rock

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vanilla Ice Cream

 I'm finally using my ice cream maker attachment!  I got the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas and I finally decided to break it out and give it a try.  I know I've only had the attachment for almost 9 months but I've just had so much going on that I haven't really had the chance to use it. 

I'm usually a big ice cream eater no matter what season, but for some reason I didn't eat a lot of ice cream during the winter so I never got it out.  Now that we're in the dead of summer, it's definitely time for some ice cream.  I was so excited when I got the ice cream attachment and I was just as excited to get it out and use it yesterday. 

I have seen tons of different ice cream recipes that I want to try, so now that I've finally gotten it out I'm sure I'll be making quite a bit of ice cream.  Since this was my first time making homemade ice cream, I decided to keep it simple.  The first kind of ice cream I made was vanilla, you just really can't go wrong with homemade vanilla ice cream! 

I have heard tons of wonderful things about the recipes from David Lebovitz.  When I started broke out my ice cream maker I knew that I wanted to use one of his recipes so it was a no-fail first attempt.  His directions were so easy to follow.  I'm so happy that I went with this recipe because it was definitely everything I expected and then some.   

 Vanilla Ice Cream

 Vanilla Ice Cream


About 1 quart (1l)
Adapted from
The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press)

Ingredients:
 


1 cup (250ml) whole milk

A pinch of salt

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 cups (500ml) heavy cream

5 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

 
1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.


 
2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.


 
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.


 
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.


 
5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.


6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Vanilla Ice Cream


Recipe Source: David Lebovitz

Chicken Fried Chicken

 My poor blog has been so neglected the past few months and I feel terrible about that.  We've had quite a bit going on around our house lately so my blog has been on the back burner for a bit. The biggest piece of news is that I'm pregnant!  We're so excited and can hardly wait to meet our little guy, that's right, we're having a boy.  I haven't had a lot of energy lately so in turn I haven't been in the kitchen hardly any over the past few months.  I've finally gotten through the rough part of the pregnancy and I'm getting my energy back so I'm finally back in the kitchen.  I've got quite a few things to put on the blog, so over the next few days there will hopefully be quite a few entries. 

Southerners have perfected the art of frying foods of all kinds, being from the south I've been around southern foods pretty much all my life.  There are many different types of southern food but I believe any time anyone thinks of southern food the first thing that pops into their head is some type of fried food.  You just can't beat some of the classic fried foods that southerners have to offer.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

Risotto is a dish that has become very popular in the recent years and it's popularity has come from nowhere.  As I've seen more and more recipes for risotto I've become fascinated with it and have been dying to try it.  It just seems to be such a versatile dish and it's one of those that can go so many different ways and there can be so many flavor variations. 

I have seen many recipes for risotto and there are many that I want to make but I came across one that jumped out at me from Williams-Sonoma and I knew I had to try it.  I liked this recipe because it had the meat in the risotto so it could be served as the main course and a side at one time.  Another reason I liked this recipe to start with is because there wasn't a whole lot to it, it seemed to have the basic ingredients and that was it.  This was the perfect starter recipe. 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Daring Bakers July Challenge-Mallows

daring-bakers

 It took me a little longer to get this posted than usual, but better late than never.  For July challenge for the daring bakers we were supposed to make a couple of classic cookies that have been in grocery isles for quite some time; Mallows and Milan Cookies.  I was so excited when I found out what the challenge was for this month.  It's so exciting to find out how to make a version of a cookie that has been so popular and been on store isles for such a long time. 




 The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at sweet tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the food network.
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