October 29, 2010

Kristen & Ryan


We shot this lovely couple on the most perfect fall day. The sky was blue and bright and everything was so colorful. More photos HERE.

October 28, 2010

Caramel Fleur de Sel Macaroons



French Almond Macaroons 
I found this recipe at My Food Geek it's pretty amazing and has photos to follow along with. Probably one of the best recipes I've tried for macaroons. 
For the Macarons:
120g egg whites, divided
35g sugar
150g finely ground almonds
150g powdered sugar
For the sugar syrup:
150g sugar and 50g water
Process the ground almonds and powdered sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Most recipes call for sifting, but I think this works better and gets everything combined.
In a stand mixer, whip 60g egg whites to soft peaks, add 35g sugar. 
In the meantime, in a saucepan on high heat bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 230 F. on a candy thermometer.Slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium – high speed until they are completely cooled and you have a shiny meringue (10-15 minutes).
Mix the remaining 60g of egg whites and the sifted almond/sugar and carefully fold into the meringue.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the mixture and pipe macarons about 3 inches in diameter on silpat lined baking sheet.
Bake at 320 for 15-25 minutes.
Check to see if macarons are done by grabbing the top of one macaron and trying to shake it. They are done when the top barely slides against the skirt. If they are not done, extend baking time by two minutes intervals, checking after each extension.
Caramel Fleur de Sel Filling
I found this recipe at Mad Baker and it is absolutely delicious! You could probably use this filling for cakes and other cookies. Using a digital scale helps make measuring precise. 


Ingredients
200g sugar
Sufficient quantity water
1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod
200g whipping cream, warmed
3g fleur de sel
140g unsalted butter, well-chilled and cut into cubes



Method
1. Place the sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Add just enough water to dampen the sugar.
2. Cook the sugar to 160 degrees C without stirring. The sugar syrup should take on an amber hue.
3. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste or the scrappings from the vanilla pod.
4. Add in the warm cream a little at a time - be very careful here as the caramel will foam up and sputter. I recommend wearing an oven mitt.
5. Add the fleur de sel and stir to make sure that all the caramel has dissolved.
6. Allow the mixture to cool to around 40 degrees C.
7. Add the cubes of butter and blend in the butter using an immersion blender until you have a smooth glossy paste.
8. Line the surface of the caramel with cling wrap to prevent a layer of skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator until needed.

October 26, 2010

Baking


Sour Cream and Lemon Pound Cake
(recipe from http://www.epicurious.com)
 

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 16-cup tube pan. Dust pan with cake flour; tap out excess flour.
Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in lemon juice and peel. Using rubber spatula, mix in dry ingredients. Mix in sour cream. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Cut around cake in pan. Turn out cake.
Carefully turn cake right side up on rack and cool completely. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Wrap in foil and let stand at room temperature.)

**MY TIPS
- to make cake flour add two tablespoons of cornstarch the bottom of the 1 cup measure and fill the rest of the cup with all purpose flour. This makes 1 cup of CAKE FLOUR 
- I cut this recipe in half and made the one loaf above and it was the perfect amount 
- I made a glaze out of the juice of a lemon & a bit of confectioners sugar and glazed the whole cake while still warm. 

this cake was super yummy, stayed moist for a while. 





So I've been obsessing about these and finally ordered a pan online and made them! SOO good, took them to  a party and it was a hit. The best part (well besides the dark chocolate) was that they were painted gold. I hope to try different flavors & combos and I'll share my findings here. 

October 12, 2010

Brooklyn Diary





Just received this book in the mail. Brooklyn Diary is full of wonderful artists, places to go and things to see and eat in Brooklyn. I'm a lover of Brooklyn myself so it's great to look thorough this book. * I love the printing of the photographs in the book.

October 6, 2010

Choco-Hoto-Pots

I cut the recipe in half and made these two for the husband and I last night.  It's super great because I always have these ingredients in the house. Like a warm gooey runny chocolate mess. 

Recipe created by Nigella Lawson
Servings: Makes 4 servings
Ingredients
Choco-Hoto-Pots
Butter for ramekins
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Directions
Place baking sheet in an oven preheated to 400°. Butter four 2/3-cup ramekins and set aside. Using a microwave oven or double boiler, melt together the semisweet chocolate and the butter. Set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar and flour. Add cooled chocolate mixture, and mix until blended. Fold in white chocolate chips. Divide mixture evenly among ramekins and place on baking sheet. Bake until tops are shiny and cracked and chocolate beneath is hot and gooey, about 20 minutes. Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve, reminding children that ramekins and chocolate are hot.