Friday, December 31, 2010

Apple Bretonne Tartlets

I saw this recipe in the bookstore (Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine and Rick Rodgers) and hastily copied it down because it looked so delicious. I was so excited to use our new tartlet pans. Before we just use old pie tins and it's always so difficult for the pie to look pretty...problem solved now!

almond tart dough recipe

Apple Filling:
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
Seeds from 1/2 Plumped Vanilla Bean

Vanilla Cream:
3 large egg yolks (save the whites for the almond topping)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Seeds from 1/2 Plumped Vanilla Bean
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at soft room temperature
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Almond Topping:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 cups sliced natural almonds, toasted

Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. line eight 3-3/4 by 3/4-inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms with the dough. Pierce the bottom of each tartlet in a uniform pattern with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Place the tartlet pans on a half-sheet pan. Line each with a round of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the pastry is set and dry but not beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Remove the parchment paper and the weights. Let cool.

Meanwhile, mix the apples, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes. Transfer the apples to a large colander set over a medium bowl and drain the excess juice. Return the apples to their bowl. Stir in the flour and vanilla seeds.

To make the vanilla cream, using a handheld electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg yolks, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla seeds in a small bowl until thickened and light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the butter, then the flour, and beat until very pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

To make the almond topping, whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Whisk in the sugar. Add the almonds and mix gently with your hands (which work better than a spoon for this job) until the almonds are well coated; take care not to break the almonds. Set aside.

For each tartlet, using a tablespoon, place the vanilla cream in the cooled shells. Spread evenly with a small offset spatula. With an ice-cream scoop, add apple filling to each tartlet, leaving the filling mounded. Using your hands, spread the almond topping thinly and evenly over the apples, masking the apples as best you can. Place the tartlets on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper to catch any drips that might occur.

Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the crusts are golden brown and the tartlets feel firm when gently pressed with your finger in the center, about 30 minutes.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mixed Berry Pie with Ginger, Orange, and Almond Streusel

First time making a berry pie. I was tired of chocolate and rich desserts and found this very refreshing. From Epicurious.

Pie Crust:
Almond Tart Dough

Streusel topping:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds

5 cups fresh berries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Pie Crust:
Bake 15 min 350 degrees

Streusel topping:
Blend flour, sugar, crystallized ginger, orange peel, and salt in processor. Add butter; using on/off turns, blend until coarse crumbs form. Blend in milk (mixture will resemble moist coarse crumbs). Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Stir in almonds. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Gently toss blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sugar, and orange juice in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch and toss gently to coat. Transfer berry mixture to crust, mounding slightly in center. 

Bake 20 minutes. Remove pie from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over berry pie filling. Return pie to oven and bake until crust is golden brown and berry juices are bubbling thickly, about 25minutes.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake

Layer cakes take a really long time so Christmas was perfect since everyone could help out. I enlisted my sister as my sous chef. I combined Epicurious's Twelve Layer Mocha Cake, Joy of Baking's Chocolate Hazelnut Torte, and a Tiramisu recipe from a cookbook. Next time I'd probably leave out the souffle layer since it's similar to the cake layer and double the cream layer.

For cake layers (double everything):
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
3 ounces (170 grams)semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2-3 ounces (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup granulated whitesugar(divided)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

For soufflé layers:
  • 6 ounces fine-quality 60%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

For meringue layers:
  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 3 large egg whites at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar

For cream layers:
8oz container mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
heavy cream
Frangelico liquor

For cake layers:

Souffle Layers

Line second sheet pan with parchment paper.

Melt chocolate with water, then cool to lukewarm.

Beat yolks, salt, and 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes with a stand mixer or 8 minutes with a handheld. Fold in melted chocolate.

Beat whites with cleaned beaters until they hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

Fold one third of whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in remainder gently but thoroughly. Spread batter evenly in lined sheet pan.

Bake until puffed and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack, then cover top of soufflé with 2 layers of damp paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove towels and cool soufflé completely in pan (soufflé will deflate as it cools). Sift cocoa over soufflé, then loosen edges with a sharp knife.

Halve soufflécrosswise, cutting through parchment, to form 2 (10-by 7 1/2-inch) layers.

Meringue Layers

Toast hazelnuts, then cool, wrapped in a kitchen towel, and rub off any loose skins. Reduce oven to 250°F.

Finely chop nuts. Beat whites with salt and cream of tartar using electric mixer until they just hold soft peaks. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until meringue is stiff but still glossy.

Line bottom of third sheet pan with parchment. Put small dabs of meringue under corners of parchment to secure to baking sheets.

Fold nuts into meringue and spread evenly in pan. Bake until set and pale golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Halve meringue crosswise, cutting through parchment, to form 2 (10-by 7 1/2-inch) layers. Return to oven and bake until crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. Cool in pan, then peel off parchment.

Cream layers
Beat the mascarpone and confectioners' sugar. Stir in coffee.
Whip the cream and liquer til stiff peaks, Fold in mascarpone.

Cake assembly
Cut the torte, souffle, and meringue layers in half and aseemble alternating layers with the cream.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Hazelnut Crust

Adapted from Epicurious. This is a half batch recipe, and I was surprised it filled up one pan anyway... the the real one must make 2 cheescakes. The marshmallow topping look pretty and hides cracks but otherwise isn't neceassary (and I'm a whipped cream person anyway)

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Hazelnut Crust

1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
1 cup hazelnuts
1/8 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
5 tbps unsalted butter, melted

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3/4 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
2 extra large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup marshmallow
1/8 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/16 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream

Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with nonstick spray.

Grind cookie crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter; using on/off turns, process to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate each addition. Add flour, spices, and salt; beat just to blend. Beat in vanilla.
Transfer filling to cooled crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Run knife around sides of pan to release crust. Chill cheesecake uncovered in pan overnight.

Topping: Stir marshmallows and milk in medium saucepan over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Cool marshmallow mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Add sour cream to marshmallow mixture; fold gently just to blend. Pour topping over cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving 1/2 inch uncovered around edges. Chill to set topping, at least 1 hour.

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Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

My dad is kind of obsessed with these cookies. They were so good I regretted just half batching them as they ran out so quickly. I didn't have any toffee and added extra hazelnuts. From Giada de Laurentis.


1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces English toffee candy (recommended: Heath or Skor bar)1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, and chopped
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Finely chop the oats in a food processor. Transfer the oats to a medium bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the toffee, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop 1 rounded tablespoonful of dough onto sheet, spacing 1-inch apart (do not flatten dough). Bake until the cookies are golden (cookies will flatten slightly), about 15 minutes.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Honey Walnut Prawns

Originally posted 12/12/10
Recipe updated 9/14/13

Made this with two friends a while back and made it again for B. Whenever we go to any Chinese restaurant he ALWAYS orders this dish, so he keeled over when I told him I could make it.

We made the batter and sauce and coated as many shrimp as possible since I like very little batter. This recipe is definitely healthier than what you get at buffets and even more delicious... you've gotta eat it fresh. Adapted from Allrecipes.

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup walnuts
3 egg whites
1/3 - 1/2 cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
2 lbs large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup mayonnaise (can substitute up to 1/8 cup with plain Greek yogurt)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canned sweetened condensed milk (or substitute honey)
vegetable oil for frying

Stir together the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the walnuts. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain and place walnuts on a cookie sheet to dry. Optional: Bake in oven until crispy, about 10 mintues

Whip egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Stir in the mochiko (add more if necessary) until it has a pasty consistency. 

Heat the oil in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip shrimp into the mochiko batter, and then fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with chopsticks and drain on paper towels.

In a medium serving bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, honey and sweetened condensed milk. Add shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the candied walnuts on top and serve.
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Gingerbread Men

We always decorate sugar cookies for Christmas but we're not really into eating them. I wanted to try gingerbread men since they look so cute. I realized I've never eatn gingerbread before, though I feel like I know the taste. These looked and smelled amazing, though I would add more spices for a stronger kick next time. From Joy of Baking.

3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup unsulphured molasses

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture beating until incorporated. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease pans. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out the cookies. Bake about 10 min when they are firm and the edges are just beginning to brown.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mango Mousse Tart

My mom really liked this...light and not sweet. Personally I wasn't crazy about the coconut in the crust and wouldn't mind eating it just as pudding.

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
3/4 cup crushed graham crackers
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups chopped ripe mango (from two 1-pound mangoes) plus 1 1/2 cups diced (1/3-inch) firm-ripe mango (from one 1-pound mango)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (~ 1/2 envelope)
1/3 cup well-chilled heavy cream

Crust: Preheat oven to 375. Mixtogether flour, coconut, butter, confectioners sugar, and salt. Press dough onto bottom and up side of tart pan. bake til golden brown ~7 min

Filling: Purée chopped mango (2 1/2 cups) with sugar, lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until smooth. Take some puree, microwave, and add/dissolve gelatin in. Add gelatin mix back into mango puree. Beat cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks, then fold in purée. Pour into crust and chill overnight.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Key Lime Pie

I didn't realize that I really like key lime until my professor brought it one day. It's amazingly easy! From Epicurious.


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh key lime juice

Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.

Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Filling: Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill. Serve with whipped cream
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

This is a light cake that isn't too sweet or rich. The hazelnuts give a delicious texture. Recipe (1/2 batch)
from Joy of Baking.

1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
3 ounces (170 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2-3 ounces (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup granulated white sugar(divided)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).

Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until nuts are brown and fragrant and the skins are starting to peel away from the nuts. Remove skins. Place nuts in a food processor, along with the flour and salt, and process until hazelnuts are finely ground. Set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter the pan. On a stove melt the chocolate and butter. Remove from heat and set aside. Beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar until pale and thick. Beat in the vanilla extract.

With a rubber spatula gently fold in the warm chocolate mixture and the nut and flour mixture. Set aside while you whip the egg whites. In a clean bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, at medium speed, until foamy and then add the cream of tartar. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/8-1/4 cup sugar, beating at high speed until stiff but not dry. Quickly fold in the remaining whites. Do not over mix or the batter will deflate.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake shows moist crumbs. Cool the torte completely in the pan on a wire rack. It will rise and then fall in the center, leaving a higher rim of cake around the sides and there will also be some cracking and crumbs. Once the torte has cooled completely remove from pan.
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Macadamia Nut Pie

I love macadamias and I love pies; thus I googled "macadamia pie." Since I hate it when nut pies are all sugar/corn syrup and no nuts, my version is more of a pie crust filled with caramalized macadamias (which my lil bro hates since it's not supersweet, but hey he's not the one doing the baking). So easy, takes about 10 min to prepare, and delicious with vanilla ice cream. Adapted from Epicurious.

1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Kahlua
1 frozen 9-inch pie crust
3 cups roasted unsalted macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Whisk sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter and vanilla and kahlua in large bowl to blend. Fill pie crust with nuts. Pour sugar mixture over nuts in pie crust. Bake pie until center puffs slightly, about 55 minutes. 

Notes: since I only had a regular not deep dish crust, and I like a LOT of nuts and little sugar, I had extra sugar mixture leftover. I put them in ramekins filled with pecans for crustless pecan pie.
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Almond Crust

Apparently adding either sour cream or marscapone makes the cheesecake lighter (marscapone more so). I've made cheesecakes before but I really like this one because it's so simple and delicate. From Giada de Laurentis.

1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon amaretto extract
2 large eggs, room temperature

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (large ramekin). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla and amaretto. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
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Flourless Monster Cookies

My roommate Abe bought a 10 lb bag of oats from Costco (not sure what he was thinking), and we were wondering what to do with it when we found this recipe. I don't normally bake cookies but I have fallen in love with this recipe.

They're my favorite cookies now - hearty, delicious, and not too sweet. They're so good, you can't go back to normal cookies. Recipe from Picky Cook.

2013 update (including the photos): I baked these for Bryan's mom, and nothing is as nerve wracking as baking for your potential future mother in law. Especially one who's an expert cook.

Chef Uy: Oh my gosh, it's so sweet. Oh no! What should I do?!!! O_O
B: Well, if it's bad (and it won't be bad of course) but just in case, I'll eat all the cookies for you.

That's true love right there. I've adjusted the recipe by reducing the sugar some more (what was I thinking in 2010!)

Flourless Monster Cookies

1 1/2 cup peanut butter - chunk or smooth
1/2 cup unsalted butter - softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats - not instant
1 1/2-2 cups of stuff (chocolate chips, pecans, raisins, peanut butter chips, toffee bits, etc. The possibilities are endless)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars together in mixer (about 3 minutes). Add eggs to butter & sugar mixture one at a time. Make sure the eggs are mixed in well. Add vanilla and salt. Mix to combine. Toss oats, cinnamon and baking soda together and add. Then slowly add the "stuff" and mix until it is incorporated. No need to worry about over-mixing because there is no flour.

Scoop the cookie dough onto the lined baking sheets, flattening tops. Bake for 10 min.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Iron Chef Challenge: Taro!

My friend Karen is a fantastic chef and does her own iron chef challenge.  I was very excited to do this challenge with her.

The rules:
-- you find out your secret ingredient at noon
-- you must come up with four dishes, buy everything, and cook by dinnertime.
-- The catch: you cannot look up any recipes or cookbook

I came up with several potential secret ingredients and mom selected taro to be secret ingredient. Initially, I was like "omg, wait...taro... TARO?? This is gonna be so hard!" when I realized neither of us ever cooked with taro before. I've never made up my own dishes, but fortunately, I've been cooking so much lately, it wasn't too bad coming up with stuff. I LOVE taro and it's a versatile ingredient.

#1 vegetable chips with tempura sauce
Used 2 types of taro and 2 types of sweet potato, cut into slices, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and baked in oven 400 degrees for 40 min. Topped with black sesame seeds and served with tempura sauce to dip.

#2 mashed taro cakes with chili eggplant and green beans
I love dimsum taro cake with chili oil, which was inspiration for this dish. This is like the green beans and mashed potato side, excep Asian.

Taro portion: 
Boil taro for 15 min, and mash, adding a little milk to make smoother. Add cilantro, garlic powder, salt, pepper, green onions. Sautee shrimp (used same pan as the one used for vegetables for flavor), dice and add to taro. Dice Chinese pork BBQ and also add and mix
Vegetables portion: 
Sautee green beans and eggplant with vegetable oil, cooking wine, soy sauce. Add sambal balado chili relish (chili paste introduced to me by my neighbor, apparently chili pepper or green chili is blended together with garlic, shallot, red or green tomato, salt and lemon or lime juice, then sauteed with oil). Add water chestuts.

#3 Watercress Pork Rib Stew with Taro Gnocchi
Boil pork ribs, taro, carrots, onions. Add salt to taste. Add taro gnocchi and watercress, cover lid and let simmer.

Taro Gnocchi: (Gnocchi is a potato dumpling), mix mashed taro (boil beforehand), green onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, milk, flour. Roll into ovals/balls and drop in boiling water to cook (they sink initially but will float to top when done)

#4 Taro Buko Banana Pie
3 cups taro, boiled and mashed
1/3 can coconut milk
1 cup shredded coconut meat
1/3 cup can condensed milk
2 small bananas (1 mashed, 1 to decorate)
1 egg
pie crust

Preheat oven and bake piecrust for ~10 min

For filling, boil taro and mash in saucepan (3 cups). Add coconut milk (1/3 can), condensed milk (1/3-1/2 cup), shredded coconut (1 cup) and stir over heat to thicken. Add mashed banana (adjust amount of banana so just hint of flavor). Temper with 1 egg by adding some taro filling to whisked egg, mix to heat egg, and add egg mixture slowly to saucepan so egg doesn't scramble. Stir until thick. To adjust consistency you can probably add coconut juice or evaporated/regular milk (our coconut meat had some ice)

Add filling to piecrust and bake for another 20-25 min, until crust is golden brown. Slice banana and use to garnish.

Notes: Afterwards I googled taro pie/pudding and nothing similar came up... I'm so delighted we came up with a new dish. I was hesitant about bananas, but it really added a nice depth of flavor.

Pie crust makes it look really pretty, but I actually didn't care for the crust (though I think maybe not we didn't bake it enough) The filling is great on its own without any crust, and I maybe could add tapioca.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Buko Pie

Done with my "hubby"/roommate Abe after scooping out tons of coconut meat. The pie turned out great; I may try it next time with evaporated milk (if so must add sugar). 

This was modified out of 3 diff recipes found online. I think we are starting to become real chefs :)

PS. Buko juice is amazing


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
2 tbsp cold water

2 1/2 cups shredded buko or young coconut
2/3 cup buko juice
1/2 generous condensed milk
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Make the pie crust. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt. Cut the shortening with 2 knives or with a pastry blender until texture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1 tbsp of cold water to a portion of the flour mixture. Push to one side. Sprinkle another tablespoon of water to another dry portion. Push to one side.

Repeat until all flour mixture has been sprinkled with water. Make certain that you don't add more than a total of 2 tbsp. water. 

Fit the dough snugly on the 9 in pie pan. (did not make top crust) Prick liberally with the tines of the fork. Bake at 300°F to 10 minutes. 

Make the filling. In a saucepan, place shredded buko, buko juice, condensed milk, cornstarch, egg (tempered egg at end).  Cook in low heat until thick. Pour the hot filling over the baked crust.
Bake at 425°F for 20-35 minutes until brown on top
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Carrot Pineapple Cake

This was the reason I started a food blog. I couldn't find a delicious carrot cake recipe I once made and after searching through a zillion sites to no avail, I decided, "That's it! I'm gonna keep track of my culinary adventures." And hence, OCD was born. 

I made these into muffins rather than cake. I added more nuts, halved the butter in the icing, and reduced sugar. This is an amazing recipe from Ina Garten, one of my favorite chefs. 

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 pound carrots, grated
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Cake: Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.

Frosting: Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Assembly: Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with diced pineapple.
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Parsnip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sounds weird, but very good, parsnips are similar to carrots and tastes like carrot cake. From Ming Makes Cupcakes

I halved butter and sugar in icing. In the future I will add nuts for more deliciousness.

1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
2 cups grated parsnips
1 tsp vanilla

4 oz. room temp. cream cheese
1/2 stick room temp. butter
1/2 lb confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cupcakes: Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting: Mix ingredients together by hand. Once blended, whip with an electric mixer until fluffy. Top with slivers of candied ginger and a sprinkle of brown sugar
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Zuchinni Quiche

First recipe for this blog and yay, it turned out amazing (I ate half of it immediately), so that's a good omen. From Real Simple.

If you want easy quick recipes, Real Simple is a great source. I remember when my mom first subscribed, I though it was the most boring "housewife/mother" magazine ever, but after reading it, it's really good and practical! I think in my college application for Stanford, I was probably the only one who put in the "favorite magazine and TV shows" section housewife things like Real Simple, HGTV, and Food Network. I guess Stanford liked my weirdness.

3 cups grated zucchini ~ 3 zuchinnis
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated provolone cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan. 

Spoon the zucchini mixture into a 10-inch round glass pie plate or metal pie pan that has been coated with vegetable cooking spray.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
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