Archive for May, 2011

Chocolate Pretzel Tart

May 31, 2011

I have meaning to make chocolate pretzel tart ever since I saw this post by G6.

I went with Susie Fishbein’s recipe, but made a few changes.

Changes: coconut oil instead of butter,7 ounces Schmerling Noblesse bittersweet chocolate instead of 8 ounces semisweet and milk chocolate, and 12 fudge filled Bloomeos instead of six Oreos. Just because I felt like it, I added a teaspoon of coffee powder to the tart shell. I chilled the tart shell instead of baking it, and I used a rectangular tart pan instead of a round tart pan.

I weighed out the ingredients because I prefer weights to volume measurements.

I’m not sure if it was the use of coconut oil, but I found that I needed to double the amount of cookie crumbs. With just six cookies, my crumb mixture was too wet and it didn’t seem to be enough for my tart pan.

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Ultra Light Cheesecake

May 29, 2011

Made from low fat vanilla yogurt and reduced fat sour cream, this cheesecake has a very delicate texture: light and airy, like a souffle or meringue, but moist and creamy. It is crust-free, which saves both effort and calories.

Per serving (1/8 of whole cheesecake,about 4.5 ounces): about 224 calories, 6 g. fat, 8 g. protein.

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Eggplant Parm, The Easy Way

May 29, 2011

I love Eggplant Parmesan, but I hate frying . . . So, I was thrilled to discover how well the breaded slices “fry” in the oven. All you need for this recipe is five ingredients: sliced eggplant, eggs, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, and shredded cheese. And you don’t need exact amounts, either.

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Parshat Bamidbar

May 27, 2011

A floating chocolate Har Sinai: a chocolate shell covers chocolate mousse topped with coffee cream, all resting on a thin sponge cake layer.

This week’s dessert is inspired by the Wednesday ladies parsha class. This week’s shiur covered the census discussed in Bamidbar (and see here for an explanation for the census) but, in anticipation of Shavuoth we also discussed the events around the giving of the Torah.

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Daring Bakers Do Chocolate Marquise

May 27, 2011

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle (I think the restaurant was Tango, the dessert was called El Diablo, and the pastry chef was Bennie Sata).

The basic idea of this recipe: frozen chocolate marquise (like a mousse), served on top of meringue, with optional sauce and candied nuts. Instead of cutting my marquise in cubes, I froze it in silicone muffin cups. The marquise sits atop mocha meringue with a garnish of chocolate sauce and caramel pecans.

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Carine’s Israeli Nesquik Chocolate Cake

May 25, 2011

In Sweet Secrets, Carine Goren explains that she developed this recipe when she ran out of regular cocoa powder. She improvised with Nesquik chocolate drink mix and loved the results.

The recipe in the book says the yield is one 8″ cake, but I had enough batter for an 8″ square pan plus 6 cupcakes (note that the recipe linked to calls for a large cake pan and not the size pan mentioned in my book; I think  tThe right pan size is 9″x13″ UPDATE: 9×13 pan works perfectly).

The only change I made to the recipe was swapping out the sour cream with coconut milk–which worked deliciously. The cake has a very rich, moist, compact crumb.  The cake is light brown and not as intensely chocolate as I usually prefer, but Carine Goren observes that the cake is also less bitter, making it more appealing to kids. (Update: for a more intense chocolate flavor, add a couple of spoons of pure cocoa plus a tsp. of coffee powder) (more…)

Need to Knead?

May 25, 2011

I came across the following quote that challah bakers should find interesting.

Maggie Glezer, author of an excellent book about baking challah, revealed in an interview with Kosher Eye that she no longer kneads bread: “I mix all my ingredients together, make sure the dough is the correct consistency (add more flour or water, whatever the case might be) and put the dough in a container to ferment (rise). I don’t use the food processor or the stand mixer anymore.  I have honestly not noticed any difference in my bread when I stopped kneading the dough.  However, that is because the kneading machines available to home bakers are so awful.  When I have used professional equipment, I notice a big difference. So if our kneading machines don’t really make a difference in the quality of the bread, why bother? There is really nothing to this method; you are just skipping a step.  Any and all recipes can omit this step.  Try it!”

So, wait . . . we don’t have to knead challah . . . . we can just mix it?

Why would that be? (more…)

Homemade Labneh: Make Low Fat “Cream Cheese” with Yogurt

May 25, 2011

I had lots of plain yogurt leftover from Passover that I had to use up before the pull date. Plain yogurt is one of those things that I buy with the best of intentions, but it usually just languishes in the fridge, buried behind all the sugary flavored yogurt containers.

Once I turn it into yogurt cheese, though, it gets gobbled up in a couple of days. (more…)

Chocolate & Coconut Milk Ganache: Easy, Delicious, Dairy-Free Frosting

May 22, 2011

I tried substituting coconut milk for cream in a chocolate ganache. The result was perfectly smooth, delicious chocolate frosting that did not taste of coconut and did not taste “dairy-free.”

You barely need  a recipe. Heat 4 ounces of coconut milk (I used a microwave), and pour the hot liquid over 4 ounces of finely chopped chocolate (I used Callebaut 60/40). Wait a minute, and then stir until smooth. That’s it. The frosting stays soft and shiny even two days later.

Update: I should probably add, for those people who are not used to working with ganache, that the ganache might be quite liquid at first, depending on how fluid your chocolate gets when hot, and on how warm your ganache is. As the ganache cools, it thickens. When it is thin, it can be used as a glaze, and when it is thickened, you can use it more like a frosting. The Callebaut 60/40 chocolate is less fluid when melted than some other fine chocolate and my ganache was thick almost right away. Chocolate chips are also formulated to be less fluid when melted, and also might make a ganache that is thicker more quickly. Just remember to finely chop the chocolate with a knife or in a food processor before pouring over the hot coconut milk.

One more thing: of course, this will work with heavy cream instead of coconut milk, if you want a more traditional ganache.

Minimalist Pickles

May 22, 2011

Leora’s post inspired me to make pickles. I noticed that she used an empty plastic rice container (I have lots of those!), cucumbers, salt, oaks leaves, garlic and pickling spices (I can get that!).

I stuffed six kirby pickles into the clear plastic jar (cleaned well and rinsed with boiling water), added a pinch of the pickling spice, six huge cloves of garlic, plus water to cover and kosher salt (2  Tbl.). Oh, and a couple of oak leaves on top of everything. I loosely screwed on the lid and waited.

Four days later, I had sour pickles.

Here is another pickle recipe, from Arthur Schwartz, as posted on David Lebovitz’s blog.