Triple Chocolate Tart

9 Dec

Sorry for the blur, y'all. This tart is from the archives... when I lived in my old apt!

Hello! I hope you’ve had a good last couple of weeks after Thanksgiving! Hopefully you’ve recovered from the massive amounts of turkey and/or candied yam leftovers, and have had the chance to get started on all the new holiday flavors that surround Christmas! I’ve been loving all the cookie ideas, hot beverage recipes, and other festive treats I’ve been seeing on my regular food blog list. They’ve definitely got me in the mood for Christmas cheer. :)

Well, this chocolate tart is no different. I don’t know about you, but in my family, the Christmas season is always accompanied by a (maybe a few) box(es) of chocolates on the coffee table. I’ve always been the family member known to eat about 5 a day, until my sister opens the box and notices there are none left for her. :[ Sorry sis. I’m definitely an extreme chocolate lover (if you couldn’t already tell from the high ratio of chocolate recipes on this blog), so I thought this Triple Chocolate Tart would be a perfect holiday recipe.

Yes–triple, my friends, I mean business. This tart is overloaded (in the best way possible) with chocolate crust, chocolate truffle filling, and a chocolate ganache topping. But even if you’re not the biggest chocolate fiend out there, this delectable dessert won’t taste too rich or strong. The tart is at a maximum 1-inch tall, so there isn’t much filling in each slice as there would be in, say, a deep-dish pie pan. It delivers just the right amount of richness for the average tart-consumer, but will leave the chocolate-devotee craving more. :)

Moreover, this tart is truly striking, with the matching deep brown colors of the chocolate crust and filling together, all in the dainty tart pan. Garnish the center with a sprig of mint, pipe whipped cream swirls along the edge, or dust the top with powdered sugar, and you’ve got a real showstopper. All the more reason to bake this treat up for a holiday party! Your guests or your host/hostess will really be impressed. But don’t tell them this took merely all but 1 hour of hands-on kitchen time. ;) That will be our little secret.

 

Here’s the simple and easy recipe! It takes no fancy techniques or special skills. The hardest part for me was the 1-hour resting time for the chocolate dough (that’s because I’m impatient, and a bad planner).

Triple Chocolate Tart
Makes about 8 servings

Chocolate Crust
1 1/2 c. All purpose flour
1/4 c. Powdered sugar
1/4 c. Cocoa powder

1/2 c. Unsalted butter, at Room Temperature
3 Egg yolks
1/4 tsp. Salt

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until well beaten.*
  2. Add the yolks and salt, and beat until incorporated.
  3. Dump in the flour and cocoa, and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form a flattened disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350. Roll out your dough on a floured surface, and press it into your 9-inch tart pan. Bake in the center rack for about 10-15 minutes. After you take the tart out, keep the oven on 350.

*Notes: Since the crust is chocolate and we want a homogeneous distribution of this flavor, the typical “cutting-in” method of preparing tart/pie dough won’t work. We want to use this creaming method instead.

Truffle Filling
1 1/3 c. Semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 Sticks of butter (3/4 c.)
3 tbsp. Sugar
1/4 c. Strongly brewed coffee

  1. While the tart is baking, you can prepare the filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and coffee together.
  2. Put your chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate and let it stand for about 3 minutes to melt the chocolate.
  3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until smooth.
  4. Pour this mixture into the tart shell, and bake about 20-30 minutes, or until the center has set.
  5. Cool on the counter.

 

 

Chocolate Ganache
2/3 c. Semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. Whipping cream
2 tbsp. Unsalted butter

  1. Scald the whipping cream on the stove (heat to just under boiling).
  2. With the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, pour the cream over the chocolate. Let stand for about 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the butter. When the ganache is smooth, pour over the cooled tart, and smooth out with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until ganache has firmed up or until ready to serve. Then eat and enjoy!

Adapted from Tartlette

 

One more thing before I go! Last night, I finished up a little of my Christmas shopping at the malls, and had the opportunity to go and support one of my fellow San Diego food bloggers, Brandon Matzek! He was doing a live demo on 4 scrumptious recipes, and the BF and I got to go and see just how simple it is to prepare these delicious dishes, and even got to taste all of the food he made! They were downright delectable, and we both had seconds of everything. Seriously, friends, this guy has got talent! Not to mention, meeting him was such a pleasure! Really a down-to-earth, funny, super-nice guy. We chatted briefly about food blogs we like, and the challenges of posting regularly. He encouraged me to set goals, so this blog won’t fall to the wayside. So you can thank Brandon for this blogpost!

Brandon runs the ever-so-tasty Kitchen Konfidence, and has just released a new book, The Home Distiller’s Handbook, in which he took all the photos! If you’re a fan of interesting and novel flavors like Jalapeno Pepper vodka, or Chinese 5-spice and Pumpkin ice cream, definitely check out his blog (he’s got lots of equally delicious and easy recipes like this), enter the contest (just comment!) to win The Home Distiller’s Handbook, or pop over to Amazon/Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy for yourself!

Thanksgiving, and the Verdict – Triple Silken Pumpkin Torte

26 Nov

Hello again, everyone!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of family, friends, love, great food, and of course thankfulness. :) I had a great double thanksgiving–one on Thursday, and one on Friday! I love this time of year. There are so many things to be thankful for– for my family with all their wonderful imperfections and amazing love, for my friends with all their steadfast support, for the blessing of an education, for the opportunity to live in this great country (despite its issues), and most of all for the free Grace we’ve been given in Christ. It’s times like these when I am reminded most that I am still a work in progress–I fail so many times, but with His gift of the good news of grace I can stop trying to be perfect with my own will power, stop feeling guilty, and instead turn my life into a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1) out of gratitude for what He’s done for me. And I can hold onto this and be full of gratitude despite my circumstances. And gratitude is what Thanksgiving is about, right? This is a perspective I must remember and foster all year round. What are you thankful for this year? It could be a job in these tough times, a new friend, warm Fall clothes, a fabulous new book? Leave a comment below to share what you’re thankful for!

What did you eat for Thanksgiving? On the first Thanksgiving I had with one half of my family, we had a lot of delicious Vietnamese food, and then on the second day, a more traditional fare of Cornish game hens and all the wonderful sides that go along with it (chestnut stuffing, SO YUM). Of course, we dug into the Triple Silken Pumpkin Torte that I shared with you all on Wednesday!

First slice

Since I had never made this torte before, and wanted to save cutting into it for our Friday dinner, I didn’t know exactly 100% what to report back on the flavor, or what I might have changed in the recipe at the time of my first post. Here’s a little update on all of that, based on my preferences, so you have  some ideas on how you might want to alter the recipe for the future.

Tastes: I loved this torte! As someone who isn’t a huge fan of the homogenous pumpkin filling in traditional pies, and who appreciates a greater mix of flavors, this was the perfect Thanksgiving dessert for me.

  • One thing I loved about this pie was the pumpkin/ginger flavor. I opted to use fresh ginger root instead of the more common ground ginger spice (in the little jar from McCormick or the like) and it was phenomenal! I’ve tasted many desserts made with that powdery-like cabinet spice, and never really thought much of the flavor it brought through. On the other hand, I noticed that the fresh ginger immediately made my ingredients fragrant and heavenly smelling. A big plus! This may be because of my strong affinity for ginger, so you may or may not agree with me, but I think this addition really added a wonderful dimension to the torte. Verdict: Stick with fresh ginger.
  • I was a little concerned that the maple cream layer didn’t have enough maple taste–when I tasted it before I put it into the mold, it tasted more sour (like the creme fraiche) than maple-y. After I got feedback from my family, however, they loved how the cream layer tasted, and thought that more maple sugar would have overpowered the pumpkin layers and not really allowed them to shine. Verdict: Keep the cream layer sweetened with 4 tsp. maple sugar. :)
  • The top layer (caramel pumpkin chiboust) was very sweet! I moderately liked the way it tasted, but my family likes subtley sweet desserts, and commented on this strongly sweet flavor. To remedy the possibly over-sugary taste, next time I will reduce the amount of caramel made, or allow it to “burn” a little longer to get a warmer flavor, or both! Verdict: Modify top layer recipe to contain less sugar, or cook the caramel longer.

Textures: The overall texture of this torte was very light, which I enjoyed. Although each slice contains a lot of carbohydrates and fats, the texture made me believe I wasn’t eating a ton of dessert.

  • The pie crust recipe used was the typical short crust pastry (recipe in this post) that I utilize in most of my pie desserts. It’s formulated for tarts and the like, because its higher flour to fat ratio makes it crumblier rather than flakier. However, I find it so easy and almost just as tasty as real pie crust (I’m not super picky in this area). It’s flaky enough for not containing any shortening, but I would really have loved to get the traditional pumpkin pie feeling of a real pie crust in this torte. Especially since the filling is so light, I would have liked to feel a heavier crust. Verdict: Next time, use a pie crust.
  • The term that describes this torte is silken, so the fact that I didn’t add gelatin to the top layer really screwed that part up. The top layer was more of a very light mousse-y texture than a silken, creamy texture. The lightness of the folded-in egg whites needed to be complemented by the stabilization of gelatin, but wasn’t, which resulted in quite a foamy top layer. This created a bit of interest because the torte got lighter in density as you rose up the layers, but even so, I really made a mistake in not adding the gelatin. There was very little “silken” nature, and because there was no gelatin, I doubt that what I made qualified as a true “chiboust.” Verdict: Don’t skip the gelatin! The recipe in the post reflects this addition.

Second Slice

There you go–a little bit of my personal take on Thanksgiving, and a little bit of my deliberation over perfecting this recipe. I hope this helps any of you who were thinking about making this treat for a holiday meal/party/potluck, and who wanted a little bit more information on the final taste test! Are there any other tweaks or alterations you would make? Any tips that pop into your mind that would make this torte more phenomenal? Please let me know in the comments! I appreciate constructive criticism–I love to learning about baking, and it can only make me better, right? :)

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend, friends! I’ll be reuniting with a bunch of old school friends that are in town for the holiday. It’s going to be pretty epic, and I am way excited!

Triple Silken Pumpkin Torte

23 Nov

It’s the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving! I hope all of you are joyful and full of peace at this happy season. There is so much to be grateful for! If you’re hosting your Thanksgiving dinner, you’ve probably got your menu planned out, most of your food prep waiting in the fridge, and your house all cleaned and shiny. If you’re like me, however, and only think about dessert, I bring you the mother load of pumpkin treats! YES. Or at least that’s according to several pie contests in which this torte won the Grand Prize. :)

Can I tell you about this torte?! (Rhetorical question, because I’m going right ahead and doing it anyway). This torte contains three different, perfectly complemented flavored layers that are light and creamy. I have yet to taste this baby (waiting till Thanksgiving), so I’m judging all this based on the quality of the recipe. And it’s a good one, peeps. But I will let you know exactly what the final verdict is once I’ve tasted it , with a picture of it plated and all. :) I just wanted to get this recipe up in case any of you wanted to try this tomorrow. Although it may be time-consuming and may produce a sink full of dishes, this torte is truly a showstopper. Check out this picture I found via Google on this website:

Of course, mine doesn’t look as impressive. I’m going to have to work on the photography/food presentation skills. Anywaaaay, since this is a pretty long process, I took the liberty of taking some step-by-step pictures, in case those help you at all. I know I loved step-by-step photos when I first started reading food blogs!








Triple Silken Pumpkin Torte
Makes 8-10 servings

Pumpkin Custard Layer
Dough for a 9-inch pie crust. (If you need a good recipe, this post [or this post] contains the shortcrust recipe I use 75% of the time.)
1/4 c. Granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. Finely minced ginger
1/2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
2 Eggs
1/2 c. Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 c. Pureed Pumpkin (canned, or the like)
1/2 c. Sour cream
3/4 c. Heavy cream
2 1/2 tbsp. Brandy

  1. Roll out your pie crust and place it into a 9-inch springform pan, with a little lip on the sides. Make sure you allow your pie crust to rest for 30 minutes so that it doesn’t shrink when you bake it blind. Allow the crust to cool.
  2. Heat your oven to 325 F. Whisk the sugar, ginger, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the eggs and whisk till smooth. Then add the pumpkin, brown sugar, brandy, heavy cream and sour cream, mixing until smooth.
  4. Pour this mixture into your pre-baked pie shell, cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, and bake the custard layer in the oven for about 1 hour, or until just set. The middle will still be jiggly, but when you cool it, it will firm up nicely. Refrigerate

Maple Cream Layer

3/4 c. Heavy cream
1/2 c. Creme Fraiche
4 tsp. Maple sugar

  1. Combine the cream and the creme fraiche, and whip it until it starts to gain volume and thicken.
  2. Add the maple sugar and continue to beat until the cream is stiff.
  3. Pour this layer into your springform pan and smooth out the top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate!

Caramel Pumpkin Chiboust Layer

1/2 c. Heavy cream
2 tbsp. Brown sugar
1/2 tsp. Finely minced ginger
1/2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
3/4 c. Granulated Sugar
3 tbsp. Water, divided
1/2 tsp. Lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. Unflavored gelatin
3/4 c. Pureed pumpkin

3 Egg whites
1/8 tsp. Cream of tartar
3 tbsp. Granulated Sugar, divided

  1. In a bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks.* Try not to whip it too much, or it will curdle.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, minced ginger, and cinnamon. Mix well.
  3. In another separate small bowl, bloom your gelatin by combining it with the 2 leftover tbsp. of water. Stir well and set aside.
  4. In a non-corroding saucepan, make the caramel. Put 1 tbsp of water and the lemon juice into the pan along with the 3/4 c. of granulated sugar. Stir this until you get a homogenized mixture, and then don’t touch it anymore. Heat this over medium-high flame until you get a deepish caramel color, or 335 F. As a reference, this may take about 5 minutes. Remove this immediately.
  5. While the caramel is cooling down, whisk in your gelatin, brown sugar mixture, and pumpkin. Set this aside.
  6. With an electric mixer, whip your egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat, adding the 3 tbsp. of sugar in a steady stream. Continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
  7. To break up some of the caramel pumpkin mixture, add about 1/3 of your egg whites and fold in. Then fold the remaining 2/3 egg whites gently. Fold in the whipped cream.
  8. Pour this chiboust into your springform pan over the cream layer, and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 2 hours.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the springform pan, and gently unmold. You can set it on a fancy cake plate and garnish with additional whipped cream, if you like. Use a hot knife to cut each slice. Enjoy!

*TIP* It helps to whip cream in a cold metal bowl. Don’t ask me why. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Adapted from LA Times Food

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles

21 Nov

Hello again, long lost blog.
Yes, it has been over a week since I’ve posted anything delicious! Bad blogger, bad! I’ve been pretty busy y’know, just studying for the test that will determine my future, aka the MCAT (I’m signed up for January 28–crazzzzy).

However, it ISSS Thanksgiving week, one of the best weeks of the year, and I would be remiss if I didn’t post at least one Fall-y treat for y’all, especially since this is the holiday that’s mostly centered around food. Hence my return! On the other hand, it is called Thanksgiving, so  more importantly than enjoying food, it’s time to be grateful for all that we’ve been given, and to re-commit to using those blessings to bless others. D’awww :) Now before I waste any more time, let me bless you with these scrumptious waffles.

Oh my goodness folks. These waffles made my life. They’re supposed to be “Belgian,” but I read somewhere that authentic Belgian waffles are yeasted, and these are not, so I decided to put some bananas (quotation marks) around the word. Do not be concerned, however! These are still SO delicious, and on the plus side, the lack of yeast makes it very quick to whip up a batch! I served some to my mom in bed because she was having a bad week, poor mom. Yeah, these crisp, pumpkiny, clouds of air definitely do the trick!

The vegetable oil is the secret ingredient to creating a crunchier waffle, and distinguishes this batter from pancake batter, which makes a soft and pillowy product. I loaded these with pumpkin pie spices (all the ones you see below), and they turned out the most gorgeous orange color, perfect for a cool fall morning. Serve these with generous helpings of powdered sugar, maple syrup, apple butter (SO YUM), just plain old wonderful full-fat real butter, chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar, caramel sauce, anything your heart desires. Yum, I want seconds.

I hope you enjoy, and that they can brighten your Thanksgiving week! I know there’s so much food prep that goes into Thanksgiving, but if you want to go the extra mile, make these in the morning for the loved ones that you stay with before/after Thanksgiving! These would be the perfect breakfast treat to surprise them with when they wake up from your couch, or when they stagger in the door from the outlet mall/Best Buy Black Friday sales. :)

Pumpkin “Belgian” Waffles
Makes about 6 Waffles

2 scant c. sifted All-purpose flour
3 tbsp. Granulated sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs, separated
1 c. Milk
1/3 c. Vegetable oil
1/2 c. Pureed pumpkin (canned or freshly made)
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. Allspice/Mace/whatever other yummy warm spice strikes your fancy

  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff (forms peaks on beaters that do not fold over).
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks well and stir in the milk.
  4. Combine the egg yolk mixture and the dry ingredients until just moistened.
  5. Mix the pumpkin, the spices, and the vegetable oil together, then add the mixture.
  6. Fold in the egg whites gently just until no streaks remain.
  7. Your batter is ready! Ladle dollops onto your waffle maker as instructed. We have a Krups, and it takes approx 4-5 minutes to make them brown and crisp! *

*TIP* If you have a toaster oven, crank it to 200F and put all of your finished waffles in there until ready to serve! A regular oven works as well, but takes a lot more energy, and being the half Nor-Cal girl that I am, I must say that waste would be quite undesirable. ;)
*TIP #2* Make sure your baking powder is nice and fresh for this one, otherwise you may end up with a tough and chewy waffle instead of a crisp and airy one.

Do you have a waffle maker? Are you a fan of pumpkin? Who do you think would enjoy these? Let me know in the comments below if you tried these, and how they turned out!

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies <3 Happy Birthday Tiffany!

6 Nov

Today is a special day! If you couldn’t already tell, today is my dear friend Tiffany’s birthday! For the occasion, I baked up some very simple but very delicious “mocha chocolate chip cookies,” which should be sitting on her kitchen counter right now, along with some other goodies, if USPS did what they were supposed to! :)

These cookies are basically a glorified chocolate chip cookie recipe, infused with a good helping of cocoa powder and a couple spoonfuls of instant espresso powder, a.k.a. a match made in HEAVEN. I made these for Tiff’s birthday because of our shared love of mochas, and the many times we indulged in these drinks over our college years together. In making these, I didn’t do much in the way of fancy techniques, intricate decorating, or innovative flavor additions–these morsels are just full of plain good old espresso and chocolate flavor.

That’s OK with me though. This post is mostly about how wonderfully awesome and fabulous my good friend Tiffany is. I am writing this post as a little addition to what couldn’t fit on her birthday card, because I know she’ll be reading this eventually. Right now, however, she’s out celebrating with friends and a fishbowl margarita while I study for the MCAT all by my lonesome. I’m totally not joking either, she even sent me a picture text of it all! Yeah Tiff, thanks for that. ;]

Anyway, I must warn you that this may get a little warm… a little fuzzy… maybe even a little (OK, A LOT!) mushy. So if you’re here purely for the cookie recipe, scroll to the bottom and enjoy the sugary goodness there. I don’t presume that y’all want to know every detail that follows (this is really for her). But if you’d like to stay a few minutes and hear about an example of a true friend, keep on reading. :)

HOMAGE COMMENCES: Tiffany and I met on the very first day of our sophomore year in college. We got all settled into the dorms, and wanting to get a head-start on meeting my floormates and being social, I (and a bunch of other people) ended up in Tiffany’s double, just shootin’ the breeze about our summers. I remember how excited I felt, because here was this girl speaking in such an earnest and passionate manner, and I could see right away how easy it would be to get to know her an be friends. What made it even better was that she was a pre-med just like me, and we were even enrolled in some of the same classes! On the other hand, Tiff was so darn beautiful and vivacious, and she seemed so pulled together and outgoing that I was a little intimidated. Little did I know that Tiffany would turn out to be one of the most down-to-earth, easy-going, fun-loving, hilarious girls I would ever meet.

Here we are at a splinting workshop!

Three years later, we’ve accumulated these (and many more) memories:

  • Me (sometimes futilely) knocking on her dorm room door, trying to wake her up for our 8am bio class
  • Subsequently staggering to class, and consistently being unable to resist the call of mochas and bagels from The Coffee Spot on campus
  • Then being faced with more than 6 chalkboards full of color-coded notes that were written by our professor before anyone even showed up in the lecture hall… and then furiously trying to copy them all down before he started talking.
  • Solidarity in pain and suffering after a physics final, which included a shared pint of haagen dazs and The First Wives Club dvd. Ballin’.
  • Tiffany introducing me to the Dance Fail, Can I Have Yo Numba? (best things evar), and Glee.
  • Our shared affinity for 80’s songs we’re embarrassed to admit we love (Don Henley’s Boys of Summer, George Michael’s Faith, to name a few). I have to text her whenever I hear these songs playing in my local Safeway.
  • Random crazy Irish men
  • AMSA national conference at the Disneyland Resort, churros, and karaoke
  • Being stuck in a tiny elevator with 12 people for 45 minutes, and then being broken out by firemen with axes (AMSA, again)
  • Basically every Monday and Thursday night for the past two years of our lives (AMSA, what else?)
  • Tiffany giving me the SUBLIME gift of Philz Coffee
  • Long study sessions at The Beanery coffee shop… and basically our entire obsession with coffee.
  • Talking about everything– friends, school, guys, faith, our goals, our families, fun we’d currently be planning…
  • Shopping, need I say more?
  • Dancing in SF!
  • By chance always wanting to do the exact same thing at the same moment. This girl is “down to hang,” as she puts it :)
  • Sharing the same heart for serving in the medical field
  • Being Toasts. ’nuff said.

Wow, I did not mean for that list to get so long, but what can I say–this girl is amazing! I know all these things may sound only fun and lighthearted… The truth is, we shared a ton of those awesome carefree memories, but most of the times our friendship is a little more serious–Tiffany is constantly inspiring me with her example to be the best that I can be, to never shrink from challenges, and to not be afraid to give all of myself for my beliefs, my passions, and my goals. She may be embarrassed if I reveal these things about her, but I am actually proud of her for them. She is such a hard worker, she never settles for the status quo, but always strives for something better. That’s the way she is–a woman with a clear vision, complete confidence, but also complete humility.

We're about to walk!

Even with her many accomplishments and her bright future, above all Tiff is a friend whom I can lean on. Throughout all my ramblings, problems, insecurities, she’s always the one to listen, encourage, and strengthen me in that calming, compassionate, realistic manner that she has. Even though we are individuals and may not share the same perspective all of the time, or even though we may disagree about something, my friend will always completely consider what I’m expressing because she values me. Of course, I also value her more than I could ever say. I am so thankful for this 3-year friendship, and am SO excited for the years that are to come.

Happy Birthday, Tiffany! YOU ROCK!

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Tiffany’s Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 30 4-inch cookies

2 c. All purpose flour
1/4 c. Cocoa powder
1 tsp. Baking soda

1 tsp. Salt
1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted butter,
room temperature
3/4 c. Granulated sugar
3/4 c. Brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Espresso powder
2 Large eggs, room temperature
2 c. Semi-sweet cho
colate chips

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F
  2. Whisk/sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. With a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter till it is light and fluffy. Add the sugars and continue beating till fluffy, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the vanilla, and add the espresso powder. Beat the espresso powder into the wet ingredients until it is dissolved.
  5. With the electric mixer again, add the egg/espresso mixture in a steady stream to the creamed butter. Beat till smooth.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated. Turn off the electric mixer, and add in the chocolate chips with the rubber spatula.
  7. Place spheres of roughly 1.5-inches onto your baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake about 15 minutes. After baking, let the cookies sit on the sheet for about 2 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Package these up and send them to your best friend, birthday or not!

Harry Potter-Inspired Pumpkin Pasties

27 Oct

Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t love Harry Potter? Nor have I! I’ve been a big fan of the books ever since my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Kraus, introduced them to our class. I would wait patiently until that time after P.E. when we would finish up assignments quietly while she read to us out of the first, and then the second book. I just loved that imaginary, exciting, and magical world, and hoped that in a couple months when I turned 11, I would receive a letter by owl asking me to attend Hogwarts.

Unfortunately I never was visited by an owl, so now I must resort to other ways of coping with being a muggle–hence, these Pumpkin Pasties, inspired by the Harry Potter Cookbook! I don’t own this cookbook, so I am improv-ing this recipe from what little I know of pumpkin pies. :) These palm-sized treats are perfect for Fall because of the deep/spicy/warm flavors, and are also great for this Halloween weekend, especially if you’re planning on enhancing the spirit of your Luna Lovegood costume with some Harry Potter foods!

Being so portable, these little empanada-type hand-pies are also wonderful for popping into your hubby’s lunch for work, or your daughter’s brown bag for school (this is one thing she won’t be trading with friends)! They’re also awesome for people who prefer a larger crust-to-filling ratio. Do I need to say anything more? Probably not, but I will– the ingredients are SO simple and basic, and these hardly take up any time. Literally, I only spent about 30 minutes of actual hands-on action in the kitchen making these delectable treats. Honeydukes, meet your match. ;)

I decided to make these because my bf’s sister is coming home for the weekend from college! She is a huge Potter fan (we saw the last installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight together), and I think she would appreciate these. Here’s to you, Emily!

Short Crust Pastry
Makes about 7 pastry shells

2 c. All-Purpose flour
1 c. Unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tbsp. Granulated sugar
2 tbsp. Cold water
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

  1. Sift your flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl.
  2. Cut the butter into slices about 1/4-inch thick and put these into your flour mixture.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it looks like cornmeal. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can also use two knives or merely your fingers, but I find that it works much better with the tool. Read more about this cutting technique in one of my posts here.
  4. Mix the vanilla and the water together, and sprinkle it over your mixture in the bowl. Use a fork to toss. After about 30 seconds of tossing, I like to start pressing my fork into the dough that is starting to form, causing it to lump together more. If your dough looks too dry… I say trust in this recipe, it’s my go-to ultimate favorite! Don’t add more water, just press as much as you can with your fork. The dough will come together in large lump.
  5. Dump out your lump onto a piece of plastic wrap. Press the lump together with your hands to form a ball, flatten the ball, and wrap in the plastic wrap. Put this in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let the gluten proteins develop.

Great, now you’re finished with the crust! This takes about 10-15 minutes

Pumpkin Filling
Makes enough for 7 hand-pies

1 can (15 oz.) of Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2/3 c. Granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/8 tsp. Ground Ginger

  1. Merely stir all these ingredients together with a spatula or what have you!

Easy as… dare I say it?… PIE?

Assembly

  1. After your crust has rested, take it out of the fridge for about 5 minutes. At this time, set your oven to 400 degrees F. Then flour your surface and your rolling pin, and roll the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Try roll from the middle, and not back-and-forth.
  2. Use a 6-inch saucer or other template to cut circles out of your dough.
  3. Place about 1/3 c. of the pumpkin filling on one side of the circle. Fold the other half over, and press the edges together with the tines of a fork. Continue until all the dough is used, gathering the scraps and re-rolling as you go. Cut slits in the tops of the pasties to let steam out.
  4. Place all the pasties on a baking sheet. Beat one egg, and brush the egg over the pasties with a pastry brush. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cool before digging in!

So, what do you think? Are you a fan of pumpkin? Would your special someone like to take this handy taste of fall with them to the office? Who in your life is a die-hard Potter fanatic? Got any tips or tricks that I could use to hone my baking skills? Leave a comment below to let me know!

Happy Halloween, everyone! Stay safe :)

Coffee Eclairs

16 Oct

My mom says, “Everybody loves eclairs,” and I couldn’t agree more. Seriously, who could resist a light and puffy treat, filled to the brim with smooth, luscious pastry cream, and then topped with a stripe of glaze? And to make it even better, I made these with coffee! Likewise, everybody loves coffee… or at least I think they should, because coffee is a blessed substance! Besides being absolutely delicious, it is imbued with miraculous properties of competitive inhibition in the brain’s adenosine receptors, i.e. it can keep you awake. Thank you IB 132 Human Physiology!

Since this was my first time making this type of pastry, Pate a Choux, I used information from three different sources– Chez Panisse Desserts, Baking Illustrated, and this intense French pastry book given to my mom by my grandpa. It was written by a renowned pastry chef from Le Cordon Bleu, who won a gazillion awards (listed in the front of the book). It comes in three volumes of which we have two, and is called “Something something Livre de something Patisserie something.” 5 years of learning another romance language, and my mom translating a bit beside me helped me to understand their recipe for Pate a Choux! This is what I gathered from the literature:

  • Pate a Choux is leavened by steam alone.
  • Steam trapped inside the pastry can cause it to collapse after taken out of the oven if vents (holes) aren’t cut into the pastry after baking to let the steam escape.
  • Drying the pastries in the oven after venting them will help the insides to not be too soggy
  • The amount of eggs and the ratios of yolks to whites is pretty important because they help to leaven the dough as well as provide the firm texture necessary for the baked dough to hold up under the wet pastry cream filling.

Aaaaand these are the things I learned from experience!

  • Do not do as I did in this first picture! I piped the pastries WAY too close together!! As a result, the edges that were close did not have enough heat circulating around them. Thus, very little steam formed, and that edge hardly puffed up.
  • I may be guessing at this, but in the stage of cooking the dough over the stove, you should remove it if it begins to steam. My thought process on this one is that you should “reserve the liquid” in the dough so that it can steam up in the oven, in order to puff the pastry up more. If it evaporates on the stove, that means less puffing in the oven. Does this even make sense? Tell me what you think in the comments below! Sometimes, I really need a sounding board for my wacky baking science ideas.

Making coffee pastry cream

Anyway, when it is prepared correctly, this dough bakes up into amazing hollow pastries. Hollow means good for filling! And oooh boy, does this filling satisfy! My boyfriend said his eclair was like eating ice cream (ice cream is his #1 favorite food)! And here’s a funny story (at least funny to me)– We carpool to church, so I arrived at his house with a little box of these eclairs. He ate one, said the aforementioned statement of approval, and we left for worship service.

Immediately after the last song ended a couple hours later, he promptly turned to me and said, “Where did you put the eclairs?”
I answered him, “In the fridge.”
Then he said, “Good, then [the dog] couldn’t have gotten to them.”

Like he had been worrying about them being stolen by the dog throughout the entire church service. I laughed out loud, but of course he hadn’t been that preoccupied. :-P

Pate a Choux
Makes about 24 5-inch Eclair shells

4 eggs, 2 whites (or 1 cup of this ratio)
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. Unsalted butter
4 tbsp. Whole milk
12 tbsp. Water
3 tsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 c. Flour

  1. Place water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile beat the eggs (save the two extra yolks for the pastry cream), preheat your oven to 425, and prepare two baking sheets with cooking spray and parchment paper on top of that.
  3. When the milk mixture boils, remove from heat immediately and stir in the flour, until the dough clears the sides of the pan. This shouldn’t take very long at all.
  4. Return to low heat, stirring continually until the dough looks shiny, about 3 minutes.
  5. Take this off the heat, and transfer to a bowl. After the dough has slightly cooled, add the beaten eggs in a gradual stream, mixing constantly. A smooth paste (pate) should form.
  6. Transfer the paste to a pastry bag (or a ziplock, like I do), and pipe strips 1×5 inches on the parchment paper. The strips should be at least 1 inch apart to allow for heat circulation.
  7. Bake those babies for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 for 8-10 minutes.
  8. After they’re done baking, remove them and cut slits in the sides to let the steam escape. These holes can be used later to open up the hollow pastry for filling, so I just went right ahead and cut long slits in them, like hotdog buns.
  9. You can return them to the oven (off) to dry out for 30-45 minutes.

Coffee Pastry Cream
Makes about 5 cups, enough for the 24 eclairs

4 c. Whole milk (You can use the milk you have on hand, and add half-and-half or cream to make 4 c.)
2/3 c. Flour
12 tbsp. Sugar
12 Egg yolks
2-4 tbsp. Unsalted butter
3 tsp. Instant coffee (you can increase or decrease this depending on how much you like coffee flavor)

  1. Heat the milk to just under boiling. Dissolve the instant coffee in the milk while heating.
  2. Meanwhile, mix flour and sugar in a large saucepan and set aside. Beat the egg yolks until light-colored and set aside.
  3. When the milk scalds, whisk it into the flour and sugar, cooking this over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture has boiled for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Temper the eggs with a little of the hot milk mixture (warm the eggs up by adding hot milk mixture so they don’t cook and clump if you add them all at once). Stir all of the eggs back into the milk.
  5. Continue to stir constantly until the cream reaches about 170. At this point, it should hold a little of its shape, like in the picture above. Do not let the cream boil after adding the eggs!
  6. Remove from heat, stir in the butter, and push it through a strainer with a spatula to remove any clumps. Wait for the cream to cool, and stir it periodically to prevent a crust forming. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the eclairs.
  7. Eclairs can be prepared a little in advance, but not too much, because the choux pastry cannot be soggy. Pastry faux pas. :) When it’s time, place the cream into a piping bag fitted with a large-ish tip, maybe 1/2 inch. I just use ziplock bags with a corner cut out. Pipe the cream into the hollow of the pastry, and don’t be stingy!
  8. Finish with a simple glaze (below).

Coffee Glaze
Makes enough for the 24 eclairs

6 tsp. Whole milk/Half-and-Half/Cream
1 1/2 tsp. Instant Coffee
About 2/3 c. powdered sugar

  1. Dissolve the instant coffee in your milk/cream.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, whisking well, until you have reached the desired consistency. I am guessing that I used about 2/3 c, but I forgot to measure exactly! I just used a knife to spread this glaze like frosting.

Et Voila! Scrumptious coffee eclairs that taste like you are an angel floating around and eating fluffy clouds that rain coffee. Yes, they taste exactly like that.

This took me about 1.5 hours, not including baking/cooling time, so not long at all! I got to share them with my mom, my mom’s French student, the student’s mom, my bf, and my bf’s family. They all seemed to really enjoy them, which made me so happy inside. I definitely suggest that you make the whole batch, and don’t halve the recipe! Seriously, I could not get enough of these and wish that there were still some left over!

So, what you think about these eclairs? Have you ever used Pate a Choux before? What have you learned from your trials and/or errors? Who do you know that would enjoy these–everyone, like my mom says?! What should I bake next? Leave me a comment below to let me know!

Secret Breakfast Cupcakes– Bourbon + Corn Flakes

2 Oct

Greetings, all! This lovely little experiment is what I would like to call the Secret Breakfast Cupcake, inspired by Humphry Slocombe’s famous Secret Breakfast ice cream flavor, just as promised.

And an amazing flavor it truly is! The San Francisco ice cream shop that I mentioned previously in this post creates this flavor with Jim Beam Kentucky bourbon and little bits of corn flakes scattered throughout, which makes complete sense. Of course you’d want a breakfast of bourbon + corn flakes to be secret! I am in no way condoning this type of nutrition or habit, but how very sassy of them! And what an interesting and novel flavor combination! This is among my favorite flavors at Humphry Slocombe, so I decided to make a cupcake out of it. Of course, if you’re not a fan of the cornflakes, just leave them out and you’ve still got scrumptious bourbon cupcakes! Hope you like bourbon. :)

It’s my first attempt at creating an original recipe, not borrowed or adapted from anywhere/anything, and I’ve gotta say, making your own recipe out of nothing was a long and arduous process! I did some research, I drafted and tried many recipes (I think 4 or 5 in total), and came out with many flops, finally arriving at this product. Throughout the whole thing, I was wondering, Do professional bakers do this? Do they make recipes up off the top of their head? What is their secret power?! Needless to say, after so many batches, I was quite frustrated, but when I tasted this version a few minutes out of the oven, I almost keeled over in surprise and triumph. It was SO good. I don’t typically like to toot my own horn, and I know I probably got a lot wrong in the traditional ingredient ratios and techniques involved in creating cupcakes, but gosh darnit!–these tasted delicious! But that is just my opinion. You’ve got to make these and judge for yourself :)

The cake I ended up with was very dense and moist, almost like pound cake or a quickbread. I tasted just the right amount of bourbon flavor, and the little vanilla seed specks throughout made the cake look oh-so-pretty! The buttercream frosting was very sweet and a little overpowering–I couldn’t really taste the corn flakes at the same intensity as I did in the ice cream flavor. However, after many trials and errors, adding the corn flakes on top of everything was the only way I could think of to not have them absorb moisture and lose all their crunchiness.

**As always, starred steps will have notes at the end.

Bourbon Cupcakes
Makes about 20 cupcakes

2 c. Cake flour
2 c. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3 tsp. Baking powder
1 c. Unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 c. Bourbon, like Jim Beam
4 eggs, room temperature
1 c. Buttermilk (I improv’ed with milk topped it off with white vinegar)
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2/3 Vanilla bean pod

  1. Pour your buttermilk into a measuring cup. Split the vanilla bean in half length-wise with a sharp knife. Using the non-cutting edge of the knife, scrape the inside of both bean halves to remove all the tiny black seeds. Add the seeds to the buttermilk, along with the pod, and let that steep for about 30 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature.
  2. At this point, preheat your oven to 350. Heat the bourbon in a saucepan over medium heat until it just reaches boiling. Set this aside to cool.
  3. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together and set aside.
  4. Using a stand or hand-held mixer, cream the butter and the sugar together for 5 minutes until it has gained volume and turned a very light shade. Add the eggs, mixing well after each.* Add the vanilla extract.
  5. Once the bourbon has cooled, add it to the buttermilk. Take the vanilla pod out at this point, of course.
  6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter. Mix slowly. Add 1/2 of the liquid ingredients, and mix slowly. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, then the last 1/2 of the liquid and mix, and then finally the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.*
  7. Pour the batter into the wells of a muffin pan lined with paper liners, and bake for about 18 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Notes:

  • Since these cupcakes came out quite dense, you can try this method to make them a little fluffier: In this step, only add the yolks to the creamed butter mixture. Save the whites and beat separately until they form soft peaks. Gently fold these whites into the batter after step 6.
  • This method of adding the dry and wet ingredients in a series of 3/2 prevents a lot of gluten from forming when batter is over-mixed. This keeps the cake tender instead of tough.

Bourbon Buttercream
Makes enough to frost about 20 cupcakes

1/2 c. (1 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 c. confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/3 Vanilla bean pod
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
About 4 tbsp. Bourbon

  1. Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Incorporate about 1/2 of powdered sugar at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Cut the vanilla bean pod, scrape, and add the seeds.
  4. Gradually add the bourbon and mix well.
  5. Continue adding powdered sugar or bourbon until you reach the right consistency for piping. If you’ve reached your desired bourbon flavor, but the frosting is still too dry, you can add milk to avoid the overpowering bourbon taste.

You could frost these cupcakes with a knife, or pipe them like I did. I don’t have any piping tips, so I just mimicked this piped look by filling a ziplock bag with the frosting, cutting a 1/4-inch hole in the corner, and piping with that. I use a handy no-mess method to fill the baggie: open up the ziplock and place it in a glass, cuffing the open edges around the rim of the glass. Now you still have two hands to manage the bowl and your spatula :)

Of course, this recipe probably has  a lot of issues, especially coming from an amateur with very little baking experience. So if you’ve got suggestions for how to make this cupcake less dense, or how to incorporate the cornflakes so you can taste them better, leave me a comment in the space below! I’d love to hear your feedback!

I shared these cupcakes with my bf’s family! I hope you make them for a special person, or special occasion, or maybe just for Wednesday night dessert. Let me know if you tried them, and how you liked them!

KISS ME Apple Pie!

26 Sep

Hello, strangers!

Yes, it’s me again, the bad-blogger girl. It’s been a hella (can you tell I miss NorCal?) long time since my last blog post, and I must apologize for that. I really don’t have an excuse for you, other than that I’ve been pretty busy. LAME! However, I hope this delicious Kiss Me Apple Pie recipe will make the wait worthwhile!

I absolutely adore all apple pies–definitely in my list of Top 10 favorite foods. It’s just such a comforting, down-to-earth, homey, all-American, totally delicious dessert! There are a million different ways of baking it, all of which I want to try one day, but for this blog, a simple Kiss Me Apple Pie with crumble topping kicks off the Fall season fabulously.

I call it by this name because the crust is so amazingly flaky, the filling is sweetened and spiced just right, the crumble on top adds a scrumptious accompanying texture, and the rich caramel sauce warms you from the inside out…  so much so in fact, that after his first bite, the bf gave me a gigantic kiss–even more delicious than the pie, might I add. TMI? sawree. :] Needless to say, I stowed this recipe away in my mind as a keeper for sure!

ANYWAY! {awkward chuckle} I can only speak from my personal experience, so I don’t guarantee that this pie will always produce kisses, but have no fear! I can definitely assure you that whoever you share this with will no doubt express loads of affection. Hugs. Gushings of your greatness. Noogies. Make this for your Dad? Your math students on Pi Day? Friend’s baby shower? Thanksgiving dinner? For the benefit of your own serotonin receptors? Dive right into the recipe below!

* <-Asterisks mean that I’ve written a note or two below about the indicated step at the end of the recipe.

9-Inch Pie Crust*
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. of salt
1 Pinch of sugar
6 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. shortening
Scant 2 Tbsp. ice water

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together.
  2. Cut half of the butter into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and use a pastry blender* to cut it into the dry ingredients until the dough looks like cornmeal. Add the rest of the butter and the shortening* in the same manner, but this time stop when the fat pieces are about 1/8-1/4 inch.*
  3. Sprinkle in the water and toss the dough with a fork until it has come together in lumps. Try to get it so that there is no dry flour left.
  4. However, if there is dry flour, don’t add more water. Simply do your best to gather the dough in the bowl as best you can by pressing it together. Knead only if you need (haha), and very minimally!*
  5. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.*
  6. After the resting period, preheat your oven to 375. Lightly flour your rolling surface and your rolling pin. Quickly roll the ball of dough into a 12-13-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. If this is hard (I definitely struggle), I suggest laying plastic wrap down on your surface instead of flour. Then on top of your flattened ball of dough, another sheet of plastic wrap. This makes it easy for the rolling pin to not stick, and also makes it easy to pick up the circle of dough without tearing. :)
  7. Ease your crust into a 9-inch pie place, without stretching.* Trim the overhanging edges or turn the dough under the plate’s edges. You can make a pretty scalloped edge by crimping it with your fingers, or merely press fork tines into the rim. Prick the bottom of the pan all over with a fork.
  8. You can let the pie rest in the freezer for an additional 15-30 minutes, but this is only to make sure the crust doesn’t shrink in the oven. If you don’t have time, this step is of course optional. Bake the crust with pie weights (optional) for 20 minutes or until it’s dry on the bottom.
  9. Turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. You can cover the crust edges with foil if they get too brown before the bottom dries.

Apple Pie Filling
6 1/2 c. Peeled, sliced cooking apples (Don’t know which apples to use? See this handy cooking apple guide by the amazing Joe Pastry)
3 Tbsp
Lemon juice
1/4 c. Flour
1/2 c. Sugar

1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Salt

  1. Mix apples, lemon juice, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together.* Fill the pie shell.

Crumb Topping
1/2 c. Flour
1/2 c. Regular oats
1/2 c. Brown sugar
3/4 c. Cold salted butter
1/3 c. Chopped Pecans

  1. Cut the butter into the flour. Add the brown sugar, oats, and continue cutting until the pieces are about 1/8-inch big. Top the apple filling with the crumble.
  2. Cover the pie crust edges with foil to prevent them from burning while the filling bakes. Pop the pie in the oven (still at 375) for 50 minutes. You can check your pie crust edges a couple times during this process. Judge how brown you want the edges to be–you can take off the foil at the end of the baking period or leave it on.
  3. Open up the oven and top the pie with the chopped pecans. Bake for another 5 minutes and remove the pie to cool.
  4. You can top the pie with caramel topping from a store-bought jar, or make THIS amazing caramel sauce from Annie’s Eats (one of my favorite cooking/baking blogs). For now, I’m not going to instruct you on how I made the caramel sauce for this pie. As mentioned before in this previous post, it didn’t turn out so well. *facepalm* Luckily, my bf actually loved the crunchiness of the caramel “sauce” (a.k.a. hard caramel candy) that I made. Haha go figure! The end!

**[NOTES]

  • Because making this crust can be time consuming (especially the rest period), I suggest making a double batch and freezing the other half!
  • Warm butter is easier to melt and distribute all through the flour, which is why we use cold butter and cold water. Hands are warm and melt butter, so that’s why pastry blenders or food processors are best for cutting butter into flour. If you don’t have either, you can use two dinner knives in both hands, but this is a bit laborious, and I suggest investing in a pastry blender. They’re affordable!
  • Butter makes a pie crust have that amazing taste. Shortening helps it have a flaky nature. Both are good to have in a pie crust.
  • The method of cutting fat into flour for pastry dough (like pie crust) ensures that the fat is not evenly distributed, but instead that the dough is a heterogeneous mixture with small lumps of fat throughout. In using this technique, the big slices of butter are slowly cut smaller, and are covered by more and more flour. It’s important to stop before the pieces get too small, otherwise your dough will be too homogeneous and your pie crust won’t be as flaky.
  • Kneading makes the dough more homogeneous, which is why we want to keep that minimal in the ball-forming step.
  • Resting the dough in the fridge is important, because the enzymes in the wheat flour react with the moisture from the water, and release their gluten proteins. Gluten strands are loosened and lengthened in the resting process.
  • When the pie shell is rolled out and baked, the gluten strands are stretched. When the crust is baked, the gluten strands will snap back into their non-loosened formation if they aren’t allowed a good rest period after being placed in the plate. Pie weights are usually small metal balls that are placed in the bottom of the pie to further help the crust from shrinking. You can also put foil down, and fill the pie with dry beans or rice in place of pie weights.
  • Some people suggest letting your sliced apples sit in a colander for 30 or so minutes, in order to let some of the moisture drain out/evaporate. This would prevent a soupy pie filling, but I’ve never actually noticed a difference with this tip.

There you have it, folks…  Kiss Me Apple Pie, a perfect way to start fall, in my opinion! Serve up the slices warm to your screaming fans sitting at the kitchen table. A dollop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t hurt either. I really hope you guys enjoy this one. :)

Also, I have been faithfully baking away at the inspired recipe that was promised a long time ago. Please trust, I have 3 failed batches wrapped up in the fridge, waiting for some poor soul to eat. A good (hopefuly) batch is coming soon!

<3 ATP

Pie crust adapted from Lindsey Remolif Shere’s Chez Panisse Desserts
Filling adapted from Ree Drummond’s Scrumptious Apple Pie

Quick Update!

17 Sep

Here’s a lightning-fast update!

  • I’ve added a few new awesome blogs to my blogroll! Be sure to check them out!
  • The About ATP section is now actually about me, and not a copy of my first post (haha). It includes this site’s new email address, atthepatisserie@gmail.com! If you have a question or comment that you don’t want to address in the comment section, shoot me an email!
  • I’ve discovered how to add the RSS feed link in the menu bar! Now you can subscribe via whichever feed you’re using. :)
  • Made some other small tweaks
  • The promised inspired recipe from my week up and down CA is not forgotten! I’m working on it, and it’s taking a long time because I procrastinate, and also because this is the first time I’ve ever made my own original recipe!

Meanwhile, here’s a photo from said trip!

at the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park

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