Sunday, September 26, 2010

Creme Brulee

So easy and so good!  Who knew?  And why didn’t you tell me? 

creme brulee

This month’s baking challenge was creme brulee and was chosen by Michelle of One Ordinary Day.  The creme brulee recipe she chose comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

cinnamon creme brulee

I loved this recipe.  The hardest thing about it is the waiting, for it to bake and then chill for several hours.  Oh, and did I mention that there was fire involved?  There is!  I had an ol’  kitchen torch that wasn’t working so well so my honey and I took a little trip to Home Depot and came home with Taluela the Torch or as I fondly call her T.  :) 

 cinna creme brulee

I made two versions, a vanilla bean (the round dish) and a cinnamon. Both were very good and am not sure I can pick a favorite.  I’m thinking I’d like to try a spiced version next.  What flavor would you make?  Oh, wait! You need the recipe, right?  Hop on over to Michelle’s for it and be sure to also check out Monica’s version.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you found some chocolate involved in one of theirs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lesson #182

strawberry galette

Test the level of your fruits’ sweetness prior to using them in a recipe that only calls for 2 tablespoons of sugar.  ‘Cause if you don’t, you might end up with a very pretty but NOT very tasty Strawberry Galette.  :(

I learned my lesson.  I made an apple galette  last night and had to add more sugar.  No photos of that one the kids were standing at the ready with plates and spoons.  :)

strawberry galette1

Strawberry Galette adapted from Eat & Be Happy 


1 2/3 cups plain flour
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
150g or 5.3 oz unsalted butter, cubed  
2 to 4 tbsp iced water

2/3 cup ground almonds, lightly toasted (I ground my almonds in the food processor)
1 tbsp plain flour
1 pint of strawberries
2 tbsp sugar (check the sweetness of your strawberries and add to taste)

  1. To make the pastry Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Rub the cold butter in until a loose mixture forms. Add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, until a loose dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour.  Or buy it like I did.  :)
  2. To make the filling Combine the ground almonds and flour; set it aside. Take the stems off the strawberries , halve them and gently combine them with the sugar.
  3. Preheat the oven at 200C or 392F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll the pastry out into a 9 inch circle. Spoon the almond mixture into the centre of the pastry. Spread the almond mixture evenly, leaving a 3 inch border. Place  the strawberries on top of the almond filling. Wrap the pastry edges over the strawberries. I brushed mine with some cream and sprinkled turbinado sugar for added crunch.
  4. Bake the galette for about 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.  Top with some lightly sweetened whipped cream. Serves 6

strawberry galette2

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Calling All Banana Lovers!

Oh, my goodness have I got a banana recipe for you!  Banana beignets.  Ever heard of them?  I hadn’t until  Maranda at Jolts & Jollies made them and then I couldn’t stop thinking about them.  I never blog about a recipe the same day I make  it but these, oh, I couldn’t keep these from you a moment longer. I also wanna apologize for the less than stellar photos but I had the kids gathered around me wanting to eat them hot and I’m still trying to figure out my camera’s manual setting.

banana beignet

A coupla notes about the recipe.  Besides being insanely delicious(the beignets)  the batter is super easy to make.  BUT I’m not gonna lie, I needed another pair of hands once I started frying. You could go it alone but I found things went smoother once I called in reinforcements.  Another thing, your first coupla beignets aren’t going to look like much but that’s okay ‘cause they’re gonna taste just as good as the pretty ones.  The pretty ones?  Those will be the last few batches you make as you get the hang of things.  The recipe called for rolling the beignets in cinnamon sugar but  I only did half of them and used powdered sugar on the other half.  (The kids were all over the powdered sugar ones.)  Almost done and I’ll let you can get to makin’ these for yourself.  The recipe calls for banana extract.  If you have it, use it and really kick up the banana goodness!  :)

banana beignet1

Click here for a printable recipe.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quick & Easy

Here’s a quick and easy dessert you can make when that last minute invite comes through and you don’t want to go empty handed.

s'mores brownies

I’ve made similar brownies before but found this idea for the base on a blog recently.  (I apologize for not remembering which one.  Let me know if it was YOU and I’ll update my post with a link.)  The other blogger just layered graham cracker squares on the bottom instead of making a graham cracker crust.  Doesn’t get any easier. I like easy.


Quick & Easy S’mores Brownies

  • One box of your favorite brownie mix
  • One box of graham crackers
  • One bag of marshmallows

Grab desired pan and line with aluminum foil.  Once lined layer with graham crackers. Prepare your brownies according to the box directions and pour into pan.  Set timer for 5 minutes prior to the recommended bake time to allow for the addition of your marshmallows.  When the timer goes off quickly top brownies with marshmallows and put back into oven until marshmallows are puffy and browned, 5 minutes or so.  Once out of the oven I added more graham cracker squares to the top and allowed to cool.

Note:  You don’t need the whole box of graham crackers or bag of marshmallows.  Add as much or as little as desired. You could, if so desired make homemade brownies instead of a box mix and you could get even crazier and use homemade graham crackers and marshmallows.  I’m not that crazy.  :)


Hope everyone is enjoying their three day holiday weekend!    :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lesson #127

Okay, folks today’s lesson is #127.  When you are getting all of your ingredients prepped and ready for a recipe put up the unnecessary ones.  Why?  So that smaller ingredients like 2 tsps of vanilla don’t get hidden behind your giant canister of flour. butterscotch chip bars 2

The answer is yes.  Yes, I did forget to add in the 2 tsps of vanilla called for in my recipe.  Yes, the bars were still good but you (I)could tell there was something missing. Or that they needed something more.  With that thought in mind I sprinkled some coarse sea salt on top.  It helped but they still weren’t “right”.   I didn’t take any photos but my final solution was to top the bars with vanilla ice cream and some salted caramel sauce.    Better!

b-chips 2

Today’s lesson was brought to you by me but the recipe was brought to you by Lori from Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness.  For those of you that haven’t met Lori I suggest you hop on over, grab this recipe, and take a look around.  Lori is as real as it gets.  I’m in awe of all that she makes.  I admit I’m picky and don’t know if I would like it all but I like that she isn’t afraid to try new things.  When I think of daring, I think of Lori!