Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Warm Chocolate Coffee Tarts With Bailey's Ice Cream

Tart Shells:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg yolk. Mix together flour and cocoa powder. Mix together butter and flour mixtures. Chill for 1 hour. Roll out and line tart pan. Bake weighted at 350 F for 10 - 15 mins.


1 cup coffee beans

2 1/4 cups heavy cream

1 lb bittersweet chocolate

1 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs

2 yolks

1/2 cup corn syrup

Bring cream and coffee beans to a simmer. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep for 15 mins.

Add chocolate, cinnamon and corn syrup. Stir until chocolate has melted. Mix in eggs and yolks. Strain. Pour into prebaked tart shells. Bake at 350 F for about 15 mins.

Bailey's ice cream recipe can be found under the heading ice cream in the recipe section.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tender Potato Bread

This is my first Daring Bakers challenge....and I'm late. But I did it. I kept putting it off then thanksgiving came and I ummm kinda forgot hehe. I made one large loaf and a bunch of minis.
The only problem I really had was trying to knead the dough. It was just so sticky.

The Blob!

This dough was very very sticky. It just kept spreading across my counter. I think it ate my microwave, a few candles and I think my dog is missing.

Ready for the second rise.

Fresh out of the oven.

Ready for me to eat.

I really liked the bread but not sure if I would make it again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

4 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, I use tahitian beans
pinch of salt
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
about 16 tbsp turbinado sugar *

Preheat over to 350F.
Place ramekins in a roasting pan.
Heat cream, vanilla bean seeds and pod until hot but not boiling. Whisk together egg yolks, salt, and sugar. Add about a cup of the hot cream to the yolks and mix well. Now add the yolk mixture to the hot cream. Strain through a fine strainer.

Pour into ramekins. Quickly run a tourch over the tops to pop all the bubbles. (This makes for a smooth surface when they are baked). Bake in a hot water bath for 30 - 45 mins (depends on how deep the ramekins are), or until set.
Remove from water bath and refrigerate for several hours.

Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over each custard. Caramelize with a torch.

Serve with fresh fruit and a cookie.

*Granulated sugar or brown sugar can be used. Be extra careful with brown sugar, it tends to burn faster. I use turbinado sugar because it has the flavor of brown sugar but doesn't burn as fast.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ginger Cookies

These cookies have a strong ginger taste...it's one of my favorite cookies. The amount of ginger can be adjusted to your tastes.

10 oz all purpose flour
3 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz butter, room temp
1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

Mix together flour, ginger, soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and molasses. Mix in flour until blended. Using a tablespoon, shape dough into balls. Roll each ball into sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven, 350F, about 10 -12 mins.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Creme Filled Oatmeal Cookies

These taste like those famous little cakes you can buy in the store :-) YUMMY!!!

1 cup butter, room temp
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups oatmeal

Mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cream together butter, brown sugar, white sugar, molasses, and vanilla. Add eggs. Combine flour mix into butter mix. Add in the oatmeal. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 F preheated oven for 10 -12 mins. Cookies should just start to brown around the edges but still look moist in the center. Cool to room temp.

1 cup shortening (softened butter may be used)
1 cup marshmallow creme (recipe below or you can just buy it hehe)
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat shortening (or butter) with vanilla, salt, and sugar until fluffly. Beat in marshmallow creme. Spread filling on flat side of one cookie, then top with another cookie.

Marshmallow creme:
2 egg whites, room temp
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp extract

Beat whties until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a saucepan combine syrup, water and sugar (add vanilla bean and seeds if using). Cook over high heat until 242F or soft ball stage. With mixer runnin slowly pour hot syrup into whites. (add extract now if using) Beat until has thickened (it should almost hold it shape).

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Sage Frosting

Read about this cupcake hero thing over at Quirky Cupcake and thought I would try my luck.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
5 oz butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups drained merlot cranberries (recipe below)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside.

Beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add brown and white sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk. Add vanilla and pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated. Fold in merlot cranberries.

Divide into muffin pan. Bake in a preheated over at 325 F. until toothpick comes out clean.

1 lb cream cheese, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sage scented cream (recipe below)
Beat cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until fluffy. Slowly beat in sage scented cream. Spead onto cooled cakes.

Merlot cranberries:
2 cups merlot
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups dried cranberries
Add merlot and sugar to saucepot. Bring to a boil and reduce until mixture has thicked (like pancake syrup). Add dried cranberries. Cool to room temp. 1 1/2 cups goes into cupcake batter. The remaining 1 cup is used to garnish the tops of frosted cupcakes. Drizzle merlot syrup on top.

Sage Scented Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 large sage leaves
Add cream to a saucepot. Chop sage and add to cream. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Put in a covered container and chill for several hours. Strain.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Apple Cider Sorbet

5 1/2 cups apple cider

14 oz sugar

juice from 1 lemon

2 cinnamon sticks

Put everything in a pot and heat until hot but not boiling. Make sure sugar is dissolved. Chill over night. Turn in ice cream machine. The time depends on your machine so just follow the instructions that came with it. yummy yummy

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Molten Chocolate Cakes

This recipe makes alot of cakes..you could store some of the mix in the refrigerator and bake it another day.

10 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (I use Scharffen Berger 70%)
10 oz unsalted butter
2 1/2 tbsp water
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
5 large egg
3 large egg yolks
1 cup flour
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Melt chocolate and butter. Mix together water, vanilla, eggs and egg yolks. Combine flour, cinnaomon, and sugar.

Mix egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Then mix in flour mixture. Pour into ramakins or cake rings. Bake in preheated oven. 425 f just until set. The tops will barely be set around 10 mins.

Serve warm.
Pictured with choclate covered corn flakes, white chocolate cocoa nib ice cream, and a white chocolate cocoa nib bark.

Funny Stuff

Ok you guys should get a kick outta this

This is my pantry and refrigerator.
Expected more didn't ya lol. Oh and its not that I can't afford food, its just that I rarely cook at home. I usually get take out.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Made this cake for a coworker's kid today.

My days at work

Today I'm gonna do something a little different...I'm going to show you where I work :-)

The Pastry Kitchen (where I spend most of my time)

The hot line

Garde Manger station (where the salads and desserts are plated)

I am the pastry chef where I work. Which means I'm in charge of writing the dessert menus and doing all production work for the dining room. I also make some of the banquet desserts, mostly the plated ones.

I start each day (2pm) by taking an inventory of the production coolers and ice cream freezer so I can make a production sheet. So I know what to make :-) Then I check the banquet sheets (called banquet event orders or BEOs) to make sure there weren't any parties added and to make sure the party numbers haven't changed. Next its on to the produce and dairy coolers...just to make sure I have everything I need to work with. While I'm in the dairy cooler ..grab some butter so it can come to room temp. OK now to the reservation book to see how many people we are gonna do tonight and to see if there are any birthdays or other special occasions.

Meet with sales manager about desserts for a party next week.

Now time to get to work. Make birthday plates. Start ice creams and sorbets. While ice creams are going I start anything that has long baking times like cheesecakes or baked custards or any cake layers that need to cool. Time to take ice cream out and clean ice cream machine.

Hummm 4:30 already...time to meet with the garde manger station to let them know about the special dessert and how I want it plated. Then meet with servers to let them know if we are out of anything, what ice cream flavors we have, and what the nights special dessert is.

Take phone call about a birthday cake.

Most of our banquet parties start around 6 or 7 so its time to get those desserts ready. Off to the banquet kitchen I go. First I usually help the banquet chef plate salads. Then we plate desserts. Time to go check on those cheese cakes. Back to the banquet kitchen to help plate the hot food. Ok now back to my desserts.

Check garde manger station to see if they need help or anything.

Time to finish up that production sheet. After everything has finished baking I start to make my cake frostings and decorate those cake layers. After everything has been covered and put away, its time to clean. Let chef know of anything special I need ordered. Then I go home around 11 or 12.

Any extra time is usually used to work on new recipes or ideas and I usually grab something to eat when I can (its never a sit down thing).

Pumpkin Flan

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup water

Cook sugar and water on high heat until mixture is a dark amber color. Pour enough caramel in each ramekin to fully cover the bottom. Be careful caramel is Very hot. Flan is baked in a hot water bath so place ramekins in a large pan. Pour hot water into pan so that it comes 3/4 of the way up the side of the ramekins.

1 qt milk
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp extract
6 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Place milk, vanilla bean seeds and pod, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin puree to a medium saucepot. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer and remove from heat. While milk mixture is heating, mix sugar, eggs and egg yolks (and vanilla extract if using) in a bowl. Add a small amount (a cup or two) of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture. (this is called tempering...it brings the temp of the eggs up to help prevent the eggs from curdling) Add the egg mix to the hot milk. Mix well. Strain through a very fine strainer. Pour into prepared ramekins. Bake at 350 F for around 2 hours. Flan should barley jiggle when you shake them. Chill several hours before serving.