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flourless-peanut-butter chocolate-chunk-cookies-recipeI’ve always liked the flavor of peanut butter cookies, but was turned off by the dryness and gritty texture that comes from using flour. This recipe is great because it uses organic peanut butter as binder rather than flour. While you’re making them, the dough might seem a little different than what you’re used to. It’ll be more wet seem to fall apart a little bit. Don’t worry. Once they’re baked, everything falls into place and you’ll really appreciate the flavor and consistency organic peanut butter gives these cookies.

Yield: 24 cookies

1 cup organic unsalted peanut butter
¾ cup granulated cane sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts,chopped
Fine grain fleur de sel to finish cookies

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottoms of two 12-by-18-inch sheet pans with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and kosher salt until combined. Stir in the chocolate and peanuts.

3. Using a small, greased ice cream scoop, measure out the dough in teaspoon sized balls. Place the dough on the prepared pans, spacing them 2 inches apart.

4. Bake on the middle shelves of the oven, rotating the pans 180 degrees halfway through the baking time, until lightly golden and spread to a puffy mound, about 12 to 14 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Let cool completely on the pans on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to week.

Excerpt from Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor by Michael Recchiuti (Author), Fran Gage (Author), Maren Caruso (Photographer), Stewart, Tabori and Chang (September 1, 2005)

Chocolate Obsession Confections and Treats to Create and SavorChocolate Obsession by Michael Recchiuti
Hardcover: 200 pages
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1584794577

>>>>>>>>  I WANT THIS!  <<<<<<<<

Posted on May 20, 2008


We featured Gateau au Yaourt or Yogurt Cake recipe in the second issue of Desserts Magazine by Paola Westbeek, of In my Life. The Gateau au Yaourt, is a traditional French cake made of yogurt, it is an easy, quick and simple cake to make. The cake is moist, not too sweet and a perfect pairing with your favorite tea or coffee, especially when served warm. Gateau au Yaourt is great any time of the day and occasion.

Makes about 8 servings

250 g all- purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Fat pinch fleur de sel
225 ml vanilla yogurt
3 large eggs
2 Tablespoons creme de cassis
175 g caster sugar
100 ml sunflower oil

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (355 degrees F). Lightly butter and flour a 22-cm springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of baking paper.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the fleur de sel, grinding it well between your fingers, and stir to combine.

3. In another bowl, beat the yogurt, sugar and creme de cassis. Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until combined. Add oil and beat again.

4. Pour the batter into your prepared springform pan and bake the gateau for 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Posted on Apr 24, 2008


Fear no more, Helene of My Tartelette wrote a detailed how-to article with step-by-step recipe and photos on macaron in the second issue of Desserts Magazine, Issue #2. Helene demystified the making of macarons.

100 g egg whites
50 g granulated sugar
200 g confectioners’ sugar
110 g blanched almonds, whole or ground

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue.

2. Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a quick pulse if you use already ground almonds (that you have ground ground yourself separately.) It will break the powdered sugar lumps and combine your almonds with it evenly. If you use whole almonds, pulse thoroughly for a minute or so.

3. Add them to the meringue and start to give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: If the tops flatten on its own, you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple more folds.

4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe a small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.

5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on their size. Let them cool completely before filling.

6. Pipe or spoon some of your filling on one shell and sandwich with another one.

For flavored macarons:
1. After the first few folding strokes necessary to start incorporating the ingredients, divide your batter into 3 equal amounts.

2. Keep one third plain, add 2 teaspoons sifted matcha powder to another one, and 1 Tablespoon red powdered food coloring to the last one.

3. Proceed with the rest of the recipe, following the folding guidelines explained above.

4. Sprinkle crushed toffee on the plain shells right after they were piped.

For the fillings, use a white chocolate ganache for the matcha macarons, a toffee bittersweet chocolate ganache for the plain ones and a white chocolate raspberry ganache for the red ones.

Bittersweet Toffee Ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup crushed toffee
In a heavy saucepan set over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the stove and add the chocolate to it. Let stand 2 minutes and then stir until fully combined. Let cool until firm enough to put in a small piping bag.

For the White Chocolate Raspberry Ganache:
1-1/2 cup white chocolate 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup good quality raspberry jam

Heat the cream until hot. Drop the chocolate and jam into the cream and stir until all are melted and come together. Let cool until firm enough to pipe or spoon onto the macaron shells.

For the white Chocolate Ganache:
Proceed as for the one above, minus the raspberry jam.

Posted on Apr 21, 2008



Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, was the host for the month of July Daring Bakers Challenge. Peabody chose something that will be difficult enough that people feel challenged by but not overwhelmed by it. Something that taste good and they will actually eat. Since pink is her favorite color and strawberries are her favorite fruit, it is only fitting that she chose to make this light, creamy mousse cake scented with strawberries, Strawberry Mirror Cake. She broke up the recipe into two days. She froze the cake layers and made the puree one day ahead. Then she did everything else the next day. Furthermore, she made mini strawberry mirror cake, using 4-½ inch springform pans. Do not be intimidate by this recipe, it is well worth the time!

Strawberry Mirror Cake Recipe
(Adapted from Cakes and Pastries At the Academy (California Culinary Academy))

3 eggs
3 egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup sifted cake flour
½ cup water
1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons kirsch or strawberry liqueur

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter and flour the sides of an 11- x 17-inch jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet). Line bottom of pan with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit bottom pan exactly.

2. Beat eggs, egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar together in a medium bowl until thick and light. Beat in the vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, ad cream of tartar and beat until whites begin to form peaks. Add the 2 Tablespoons sugar and beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks(do not over beat).

4. Sift flour over the egg yolk mixture and fold in. Stir in one fourth of the whites. Then carefully fold in the remaining whites.

5. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake until light brown and springy to touch (7 to 10 minutes). Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife along edge to loosen. Invert cake tin to cut out 8-¼ inch circles of cake. Wrap the cake layers, separated with waxed paper, and set aside. Cake may be frozen at this point.

6. To make soaking syrup: Combine water and the 1/3 cup sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Cool to room temperature; flavor with liqueur. Set aside or refrigerate in glass jar until ready to use.

7. To assemble cake: Brush sides of 10-inch springform pan lightly with flavorless salad oil or almond oil. Cut out a cardboard circle that is exactly the same size as the bottom inside of the pan; cover cardboard with aluminum foil and fit into bottom of pan. Center one layer of the cake bottom of pan. Brush the cake with some of the soaking syrup to just moisten (not drench) the cake; set aside.

8. Prepare Strawberry Bavarian Cream. Immediately pour about half of the Bavarian Cream over the first layer of cake in the pan. Set the next layer of cake on top of the cream. Pour remaining Bavarian Cream over cake and smooth top of the cream with spatula. Refrigerate until the cream sets (1 to 2 hours).

9. Prepare the Strawberry Mirror.

10. To serve: Wrap a hot towel around the outside of springform pan for a few minutes. Run a small sharp knife tip around the edge of the Strawberry Mirror to separate it form the sides of pan. Mirror will tear when sides are unlatched if it is stuck at ANY point. Slowly unlatch the pan and slide it off the cake. Slice cake in wedges and serve in upright slices.

Strawberry Bavarian Cream Recipe
2 ½ Tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 ½ cups strained strawberry puree (1 ½ baskets)
5 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups milk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Several drops of red food coloring
1 ¾ cups whipping cream

1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the strawberry puree in a small bowl and set aside until spongy.

2. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat until light. Bring milk to a boil in sauce pan. Pour hot milk into yolk mixture ans stir with a wooden spoon (it doesn’t say so but I would temper the egg mixture first to be safe). Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until your finger leaves a clear trail in sauce when drawn across the back of the spoon.(Do not boil or mixture will curdle.)

3. Immediately remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin mixture. Pour into a stainless steel bowl places over a bowl of ice water. Stir in lemon juice and a few drops of red food coloring. Cool over ice water, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens to the consistency of softly whipped cream.

4. White gelatin mixture is cooling, whip the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks. When the gelatin mixture resembles softly whipped cream, fold the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture.

Strawberry Mirror Recipe
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon kirsch
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin
Few drops of red food coloring

1. Prepare strawberry juice.

2. Place lemon juice, kirsch, and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over this mixture; set aside until spongy and soft.

3. Measure 1-½ cups Strawberry juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer; pour over gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve gelatin. Tint to desired color with red food coloring. Place bowl over bowl of ice water and stir occasionally until the mixture is syrupy and just beings to thicken (do not let jell); remove from ice water.

4. When mixture is syrupy, pour a 1/16-inch layer over the top of cake. Refrigerate until set.

Strawberry Juice Recipe
1-½ pints (18 oz) strawberries
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup water

Wash and hull strawberries; coarsely chop. Place strawberries in saucepan; crush to start juices flowing. Place over low heat; add sugar and water; simmer slowly 10 minutes. Pour juice and pulp through damp jelly bag or cheesecloth-lined colander and drain into a bowl for 15 minutes (Do not press down on fruit).

Cakes and Pastries At the AcademyCakes and Pastries At the Academy (California Culinary Academy) by Olivia Erschen
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: California Culinary Academy (May 1993)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1564260399

>>>>>>>> I WANT THIS! <<<<<<<<

Posted on Apr 21, 2008


Molly Wizenberg of Orangette provided this Tarte Tatin recipe adapted from David Rosengarten’s Taste and Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. We featured the recipe in our second issue of Desserts Magazine. Molly Wizenberg wrote a memoir, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, with stories revolving around food, family, and friends, and of course she couldn’t leave out recipes, with illustrations by Camilla Engman.

Makes 8 servings

5 to 6 large apples, preferably Golden Delicious or Ginger Gold
Juice of 1 lemon
1-½ cups granulated white sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
About 14 ounces puff pastry (store-bought, such as Dufour brand, is just fine; if frozen, be sure to let it thaw for about an before using)

1. Peel and quarter the apples, removing the cores such that each quarter has a flat inner side. Toss the apple quarters in a large bowl with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes.

2. In a 9-inch cast-iron skillet set over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the remaining 1 cup sugar, along with a few tablespoons of the apple-lemon juices. Stir to mix. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon, for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is a smooth, bubbly, pale caramel color.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add apple quarters, arranging them rounded-side-down in a decorative pattern. Arrange a second layer of apples on top wherever they fit, closely packed. This second layer need not be terribly neat. Top the apples with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into dice.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

5. Cook the apples over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, occasionally spooning the bubbling caramel liquid over them. Press them down gently with the back of a spoon and watch to make sure that no one area of the pan is bubbling more than another. (Don’t worry if they shift a bit in the liquid; just move them back to where they were.) Shift the pan as necessary so that the apples cook evenly. They are ready when the liquid in the pan has turned to a thick, amber ooze. The apples should still be slightly firm. Do not allow them to get entirely soft or the liquid to turn dark brown. Remove the pan from the heat.

6. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a thickness of about 3/16-inch. Using a sharp, thin knife, trace a circle in the pastry about 10-inches in diameter (1/2-inch wider all around than the skillet), and trim away any excess. Carefully lay the pastry circle over the apples in the skillet, tucking the overlap down between the apples and the inside of the pan.

7. Place the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the pastry has risen, and is dry and golden brown. Remove the skillet from the oven, and let it to rest for a minute or two. Tilt the pan and look down inside the edge: if there is a lot of juice, pour most of it off into the sink. (Do not pour it all off, or the apples may stick to the pan.) Place a serving platter upside-down over the skillet and, working quickly and carefully (It’s hot!), invert the tart onto the platter. Rearrange any apple slices that may have slipped or stuck to the skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with a tokaji, a Hungarian wine from the region of Tokaj.

the way to cook

The Way to Cook by Julia Child
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Knopf; 1ST edition (September 28, 1993)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0679747656

>>>>>>>> I WANT THIS! <<<<<<<<

Posted on Apr 21, 2008

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