Thursday, February 25, 2010

Culinary Olympics

When I thought about this competition I decided I wanted to accomplish two things.  I wanted  a recipe that reflected some type of traditional cooking or baking. I felt that there wasn't anything more traditional than the down home mountain baking which occurs in Appalachia. And secondly I wanted  to bring attention to hunger in the US.  As we all know it's not just 3rd world countries who experience poverty and hunger. I found this article from a recent newswire.
"46 percent Increase in U.S. Citizens Receiving Emergency Food. 37 Million Americans, Including 14 Million Children, at Risk of Hunger"

"CHICAGO, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A landmark study released today from Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, reports that more than 37 million people, one in eight Americans -- including 14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors -- receive emergency food each year through the nation's network of food banks and the agencies they serve. The findings represent a staggering 46 percent increase since the organization's previously released study in 2006."

 In searching for recipe ideas- I came across a site by Mark Sohn along with his recipe for Apple Cakes.  It is from his book Appalachian Home Cooking,History , Culture & Recipes .  If you know anything about Appalachia it has a very high poverty level and has been the focus of many studies and articles dealing with hunger.

What the author  has to say about the Apple Cakes:
"Like prune cakes, carrot cakes, or pumpkin cakes, we make fresh apple cakes with either oil or margarine. Some add cinnamon, allspice, raisins, coconut, and butterscotch chips. You may also vary the cake by reducing the flour by a cup and adding a cup of rolled oats. Try the basic cake, and then try one of the variations."-Mark Sohn

I thought this  recipe was a perfect fit for what I wanted to accomplish.
So all that being said here is my entry for the Blogger Aid Changing the Face of Famine Culinary Olympics. 


Fresh Apple Cakes

Yield: 12 servings.

1 cup  margarine at room temperature

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 cups chopped raw apples

1 cup (1/2-inch-size) black walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Select, grease, and flour a 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Peel, core, and dice the apples into 3/4 inch pieces. Cream the margarine and sugar, and when they are well-mixed and a bit white, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Mix and sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir this into the butter mixture. The batter will be thick.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread and scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until it has browned across the top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 1/2 hour and cut into 12 pieces.

It was delicious with a side of butter pecan ice cream !

The members of BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine have published a cookbook where 100% of the proceeds target children and education through the World Food Programme called School Meals. Purchases can be made by clicking the cookbook cover above.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spring is in the air

It is unseasonally warm here in Seattle and while walking my sweet Hailey I was surrounded by pink blossoms all along our walk.  It is so beautiful.  After our walk I made a quick trip to my favorite market , Metropolitan Market, and being in a pink frame of mind , I couldn't help but notice the beautiful raspberries on display. I could hear their sweet little voices crying out, take us home, take us home. I found one very chatty and said what would I make with you my plump little red angel? She answered, I don't know but I want to go home with you. I don't want to sit on this shelf among those blueberries, I’m tired of hearing them talk about how easy their life is, no thorns you know! Just take me home, something will come to you and I’m sure it will be beautiful and sweet and a wonderful. So I brought my sweet little friends home and this morning while perusing some of my favorite blogs low and behold Tartellete had published a Raspberry Macaron recipe. Serendipity! I have egg whites aging now and almost ready to become marvelous macarons and now I have a place for my plump sweet little red raspberry friends.

Basic Macaron Recipe
Adapted from Pierre Herme’s PH10 – Via Foodbeam  and Pierre Herme's Macaron Recipe from his Chocolate Desserts Book



 125g Icing Sugar (powder sugar)

 125g Ground Almonds

 125g Caster Sugar (very fine Baker's Sugar)

 31g Water

 47g Aged Egg Whites (that have been sat out for 48-72 hours)

43g Fresh Egg White(I used the aged egg whites for this portion too )

Food colouring

 1. Put the Icing sugar and Almonds in the food processor and blitz for around a minute or so until you have a fine powder. Sieve this mixture twice.

2. Preheat your oven to 160c

3. Put the caster sugar and water in a saucepan and over a medium heat bring to 120c

4. Just before the syrup gets to 120c (around 114) start the aged egg whites going in the mixer, set to high,  Whisk egg white till they are white and foamy. Turn the speed up to high and whip them just until they are firm but still glossy and supple - and when the syrup gets to 120c pour it into the mixer, down the side of the bowl avoiding the whisk, and keep it going until the bowl is cool. The meringue should be thick and glossy.
when you lift the whisk, the whites should form a peak that droops just a little.

5. In a seperate bowl mix the fresh egg white into the almond/sugar mix until you have a thick paste add the colouring to this. bear in mind that the meringue and the baking will make the final colour paler.

6. Mix a third of the egg whites into the second bowl just to lighten the mixture. You dont need to be gentle on this addition.

Tips from Tartelette for folding the meringue:

Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. 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 flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns

7. In two seperate additions fold the meringue in gently until your mixture just begins to shine.. It will seem like a lot of dry ingredients to go into a relatively small amount of whites, but keep folding and you'll get everything in. Don't worry if the whites deflate and the batter looks a little runny - that's just what's supposed to happen. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, the mixture will look like a cake batter, if you lift with your finger, it should form a gentle, quickly falling peak.

8. Pipe the mixture into small rounds onto a lined baking sheet and then bake for around 9 mins

9. Remove macaroons from the parchment - they should be removed as soon as they come from the oven. You will need to create moisture under the cookies. Carefully loosen the parchment paper , lifting the paper, pour a little hot water under the paper. The water may bubble and steam.Allow the macaroons to remain on the parchment for about 20 seconds, then peel the macaroons off the paper and place them on a cooling rack.

10. Sandwich with the filling of choice and if you can resist, refrigerate overnight to get better flavour.

This is what step 5 looked like for me !

My little sweethearts drying while I do the offering to the macaron gods that they grow feet !

For the filling

Adapted from Tartelette

4 oz mascarpone, room temperature

2-3 tablespoon good quality raspberry preserves , I used fresh raspberries instead.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and preserves together until well incorporated. Fill a small piping bag with a large plain tip (Ateco #809) with it and pipe in the center of each shell. Press a fresh raspberry into the filling and cover with more of the filling . Cover with another shell. Let the shell mature at least 24 hours in the fridge so all the flavors have the chance to meld together.

Not too bad for my first attempt ! Tiny little feet caused by underbeating-I was so afraid of overbeating !

PS. Serious Eats has everything you wanted to know about macarons but were afraid to ask. And desperately seeking macarons is a very good site for even more information.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Looking for Inspiration ?

Seeking inspiration ? I found this incredible website this week: . Please visit and enjoy. Sandra's photography is beautiful. Besides the gorgeous photos there are recipes , travel information and inspiring articles . I really enjoy her Wisdom quotes. She has been referred to as the Martha Stewart or Donna Hay of France. Visit the site and you will see why.

Poppy field in Tasmania

If that doesn't inspire you and you are wondering what to bake,cook,eat or drink this month maybe this will help !

February 18: Drink Wine Day

February 19: National Chocolate Mint Day

February 20: National Cherry Pie Day

February 21: National Sticky Bun Day

February 22: National Margarita Day

February 23: National Banana Bread Day

February 23: Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

February 27: NationalStrawberry Day

February 24: National Tortilla Chip Day

February 25: National Clam Chowder Day

February 25: National Chocolate-Covered Nuts Day

February 26: National Pistachio Day

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Missing Melbourne

I can't believe 2 months have flown by since we returned from Australia and New Zealand.  Why can't we be on vacation every day.  Maybe that's the frame of mind I need to get thru the grey days,that everyday is a vacation !  Ha easier said than done.  What made me think about Australia again was that I was feeling really hungry for some fabulous Szechuan chicken tonight and it made me think of my quest for the Holy Grail of Szechuan in Melbourne.  If I haven't told you the story let me begin....

While we were down under one of my missions was to find the Szechuan Restaurant that Anthony Bourdain visited while he was in Melbourne.  This was a challenge and one I wasn't going to give up on ! Everytime we headed to Chinatown I was  keeping my eyes peeled for what Anthony Bourdain described as his  favorite best szechuan food in the world restaurant . When we left home I thought I wrote the restaurant name down in my notebook but alas I didn't . I thought I remembered the name as Dai Te or something so we just started searching the streets in Chinatown.  My thought process was if it was so good it should be easy to find-wrong ! Well one night during our wanderings I thought I found it ! Thought is the key word-the sign was in Chinese so I asked 2 employees outside if this was the Dainty Szechuan (the real name not Dai Te ) -yes yes it is. I was so excited that I had finally found it,we went inside and were seated and given the menus. Everything looked so delicious and I was trying to picture the episode from No Reservations and where Anthony Bourdain had been sitting. When the waitress returned I started talking to her about my quest to find this place,like the Holy Grail !. Imagine my heart sinking when she said no they moved along the Yarra River-oh no ! But good news,same owner and one of the same chefs-so in a way I did find it. Can you tell that I will rationalize anything you throw at me !! Dinner was incredible,we had the Chicken Szechuan Wok which was one of the hottest things either of us had ever eaten,but it was sooo good we couldn't stop burning our mouths ! Crispy chicken morsels,a variety of red and green hot peppers,onions and the hottest pepper oil in the world-yummy. We ate and ate and burned our mouths and tummy's some more until we couldn't take another bite. Then took our stuffed selves back to Melbourne Airport content that we had found the restaurant we had searched for.  To read all about our wonderful trip down under check out our blog ,Three Weeks and a Wedding on Travel Pod

Monday, February 15, 2010

In a Pierre Herme Frame of Mind

When I woke up this morning the fog was so thick I thought the clouds had fallen from the sky. It took what seemed like hours to drive to work and at every turn I kept feeling like I would fall off the end of the planet. It was very quiet except for the symphony of the foghorns. By noon the sun had burned off most of the fog and sunny blue skies looked down on Seattle.

My mood was so uplifted I thought what could I do in my kitchen today? I have been trying to translate Pierre Herme's Macaron book, and trust me it's a challenge since I am by no means fluent in French. But I feel as though I'm accomplishing 2 things, learning French and learning the Pierre Herme method for Macarons!

Yes I know we have been inundated with macarons but I love them and I have always been afraid of trying the complicated process but I'm throwing aside my fears and I'm going to try my first attempt at baking them this week. Why you ask the delay, why not today? Because the egg whites must age-sounds crazy doesn't it, but it has to do with the chemistry, I’m not even going to try and explain.

Anyway while the egg whites are aging I must find something else to bake and since I'm in a Pierre Herme frame of mind what better then some delicious brownies from his Chocolate Desserts book, written by Dorie Greenspan.

First of all I began with my mise en place:
I followed the recipe except I was out of Valhrona chocolate so I used the Green & Black's Dark Dark chocolate. I used pecans which I roasted as PH recommends.

Can I tell you the brownies almost didn't get baked -the batter was so incredibly delicious I couldn't stop testing and tasting it!! Step away from the mixing bowl!!

I couldn't wait for these to cool but I was very well behaved and waited about 45 minutes before I sliced them. They are absolutely heavenly, so light, so moist and so tasty. Will they make it to the office tomorrow? Or will they disappear tonight? Check back later and find out!

Here is the recipe, which has been published on the Internet. I do recommend you buy the book if you don't have it in your baker's library-there are so many fabulous recipes. Enjoy!

"So that the flavor of the nuts really stands out, I toast them and cut them into big pieces. And while I often use walnuts, the traditional nut for this bar cookie, I am just as likely to make brownies with pecans. I like the way the pecans' sweetness blends with the chocolate." Pierre Hermé

5 ounces  bittersweet chocolate (preferably Valrhona Caraïbe, finely chopped)
2-1/4 sticks  unsalted butter (at room temperature)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/4 cups  sugar (I use Baker's Sugar which is superfine
1-cup  all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1-1/4 cups pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted , coarsely chopped


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F . Butter a 9 x 12-inch baking pan, fit the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, butter the paper, and then dust the inside of the pan with flour; tap out the excess and set the pan aside.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over — not touching — simmering water or in the microwave oven. Be very careful if using the microwave that you don't burn the chocolate. Use 20seconds spurts of power and stir to ensure it has your full attention. Remove the chocolate from the heat and leave it on the counter to cool slightly. The chocolate should be warm to the touch (no more than 115°F , as measured on an instant-read thermometer when you mix it with the other ingredients.

Working in a bowl with a flexible rubber spatula (or in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy but not fluffy or airy. Stir in the chocolate. Gradually add the eggs, and then add the sugar, followed by the flour and nuts, stirring only until each ingredient is incorporated. (If the mixture separates when you add the eggs, use a whisk to blend the batter and continue with the whisk when you add the sugar; go back to the spatula or paddle for the flour and nuts.) This is not a batter to be beaten or aerated.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 19 to 22 minutes; at this point, the top of the cake will be dry, but a knife inserted in the center will come out wet. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow the brownies to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan and unmold the brownies; remove the parchment paper and turn the brownies over to cool to room temperature right side up. When you are ready to serve, cut the brownies into 18 pieces.

Yield: Makes 18 brownies

Keeping: The brownies can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature for 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Anthony Bourdain on Martha Stewart????

This must be happening in a parallel universe-Anthony Bourdain on Martha Stewart-oh my gosh I can't wait to see this. Tune in Tuesday,February 16

Tuesday: Chefs Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert make coq au vin. Plus, how to get work-life balance and adorable Westminster dogs

Dorie's World Peace Cookies

Melt In Your Mouth Delicious

My official taste tester described these as the best cookies he has ever had ! And I have to agree. They literally melt in your mouth. The most difficult part of this baking process was removing them from the oven after 12 minutes. I'm a tester kind of gal and just trusting the directions was a challenge for me. But I did and my oh my, what was I thinking in even questioning Dorie's directions.

Baking: From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Recipe from CookBook Habit


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Makes about 36 cookies.

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek — if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

SERVING: The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature .
STORING: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

I try to use the best ingredients possible and for the World Peace Cookies I used Valrhona Cocoa, some fabulous Jacques Torres bittersweet chocolate that I had ordered a few weeks ago and the sea salt that I brought back from Paris. They were well worth it-these cookies are decadent.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In Honor of the Olympics

I was trying to think of what to bake to commemorate the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.  I was thinking something golden and sweet and came across a recipe in Paris Boulangerie-Patisserie: Recipes from Thirteen Outstanding French Bakeries for Bombes Amandes.  They look so pretty in the pictures.

The recipe is from the oldest Patisseries in Paris-Stohrer.  I couldn't find the recipe on the internet so I won't be publishing it here-copywright laws you know-so go and buy the book!   It is not one of those simple throw it together recipes. But I figure if the athletes can do all that training and preparation well a little mise en place on my part won't hurt me. The recipe requires you to make the pate sucre dough ahead of time (and it is a dough that needs gentle handling).Make sure you ground your almonds to a powder consistency -you don't want lumpy,bumpy bombes! And make sure you don't leave any lemon seeds behind or lemon pith. I made the dough the night before and used my silicone muffin molds that I bought last year.  I followed the recipe from the book exactly and these came out perfectly! All I can say is yummy and Bon Chance to Vancouver and all the athletes gathered there!

Blog Away Hunger and Blogger Aid Changing the Face of Hunger

Blog Away Hunger
I stumbled on these blogs today. Take some time and check it out and then do something,no matter how small,help anyway you can.Blog Away Hunger is an effort started by Marc Matsumoto of No Recipes to raise awareness and money for the World Food Program. Part philanthropic endeavor and part social experiment, the goal is to mobilize the world of bloggers and quantify just how much sway we collectively have.
The World Food Program is a global aid organization dedicated to end world hunger; providing food to those who need it most, while building long term solutions that enable people to provide for themselves. Last year they helped 102 million people in 78 countries with 3.9 million tons of food. They are the only U.N. agency that does not receive regular allocations from the U.N. budget and so they need help from everyone to continue their work.

And who you ask is Blogger Aid Changing the Face of Hunger ? Glad you asked ! "We are a growing group of international food bloggers determined to make a difference. The love of food and community that brings us together continues to drive the compassion of its members to reach out to help those less fortunate than we are. In this ever changing world we are banded by a mission of helping to make a change in a world where starvation and tragedy affects such a profound number of people. Our mission is to raise awareness and funds for those in need in our worldwide community."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Caneles Bordelais Needed to Clear the Fog

Today is a typical Seattle winter day,foggy,damp and gray. So to cheer myself up I have decided to make caneles. I ordered the molds from a place called Mastercuisine. Even with shipping, currency conversion etc. they seemed to be the best price for the quality. They are deBuyer molds and I am very happy with the response and service from .
I can taste them already.

Caneles-Bordelais Molds

This  recipe is adapted from a recipe by Chocolate & Zucchini.


2 Cups whole milk

3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter-diced into small cubes

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 Cup All purpose flour

1 Cup Sugar minus 2 Tablespoons

3 Eggs

1/3 Cup rum

Combine the flour and sugar in a medium size mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl break the eggs and beat gently. Combine the milk and butter in medium size saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently and bring to a boil. As soon as you see the first signs of boiling remove from the heat. Pour the eggs into the flour mixture but don't mix it yet. Pour the hot milk mixture in with the flour and eggs mixture and whisk until combined and frothy. Mix in the vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool and then refrigerate for at least 24hrs or up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 480F. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and whisk gently to combine the ingredients which will have separated. Fill the molds almost to the top. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes don't open the oven door but reduce the oven temperature to 400F and bake for another 40-60 minutes. The caneles should be carmelized a dark brown color when finished. Remove the moulds from the oven and allow to cool 10-15 minutes before removing the caneles.

My Caneles
I could hardly wait for these to cool . The smell of rum and vanilla filled the kitchen. I wasn't sure about the baking time of 40-60 minutes but I discovered with my oven 45 minutes was perfect. I have to confess that I couldn't wait for them to cool and bit into one still warm from the oven. Scrumptious ! I'm off to enjoy another one now with a fresh cup of coffee. What better way to take a mid day break !

Monday, February 8, 2010

Love Dorie

I must start an exercise program immediately. Since not tasting what I bake is definitely not an option ! And with Dorie Greenspan's recipes how can you go wrong. I made the Chocolate Coconut Creme Pie from pgs 352-353. And I used her pate sable dough as the base,pg 444. The only adaptation I made was for the chocolate creme filling, instead of 2 cups of whole milk, I used 2 cups of Half & Half. It made it a little bit richer. And warning to those of you who haven't tried this recipe, SMALL SLICES ! Unless of course you want to overdose on the most incredible combination of chocolate creme,coconut and shortbread. Just know you have been warned. Heading over to my treadmill to work off the slice I had this morning. Yes the breakfast of champions-Dorie's Desserts !

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Caneles and Ken's Artisan Bakery

A lonely Canele from Ken's Artisan Bakery

If you are lucky enough to live in Portland, Oregon you can get Caneles everyday at Ken's Artisan Bakery. I fought long and hard not to finish this last one but I couldn't bear how lonely it looked ! Ken's Bakery is a recent discovery of mine and his breads and pastries are soo wonderful they need to be shared with the Universe ! If you live in Portland you must make a trip there if you haven't already. And when you travel to Portland make sure you put this bakery at the top of your list . The Caneles are my favorite but close behind is his 1.5kg Blond Country Boule. Oh my gosh,we bought one the last two times we were in Portland and not only does it last us thru the week, it tastes just as wonderful as the first day we bought it. That fresh yeasty taste with a crunchy crispy brown crust.  Yummy, check out his web site for more info: .  My next guilty pleasure when we make it back to Portland will be to try his pizza !

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thank You to the Universe

I am so grateful for so many things, but mostly for my family and friends. I'm grateful that we all have a warm safe secure place to lay our heads down at night. If you feel the same way don't forget about those who don't , especially everyone who is struggling on a minute by minute basis in Haiti. If you haven't taken steps to do something then do it now,every little bit helps. Peace

Oh No Say It Isn't So

The following is from the above link....and sad but true as the article says the likelihood of my ever eating here...oh so low and so sad...

"El Bulli to Close
Tuesday January 26, 2010
Triple-Michelin star holder Ferran Adria is to close his award-winning restaurant, El Bulli, for two years.
The chef, famous for his 'molecular gastronomy' techniques (though he himself denounces the term), will not open El Bulli in 2012 and 2013. He has cited the high pressure of running the restaurant that is widely regarded as the best in the world.
But in reality, the likelihood of you ever getting a table at El Bulli was never really that high in the first place - 125 people apply for every seat at the restaurant."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Ground Hog Day

Well Phil didn't see his shadow but I did see mine so I'm celebrating the coming of Spring ! But just in case we really do have 6 more weeks of winter I think I need something fabulous to get me through those 6 weeks and I know just the thing. Chocolate Caramel Tarts with sea salt. I discovered them on the blog There's a Newf in My Soup and found the original recipe at Saveur. So heading out to the grocery store for some fresh eggs and the most decadent dark chocolate I can find at my Thriftway ! You can find the recipe here:
I adapted the recipe a bit by using mini muffin tins. After mixing the dough I formed it into a loose ball and refrigerated it for 15 minutes. I then took a cookie scoop and scooped the dough into little mounds. I took each mound and cut it in half. I took those halves and quickly rounded them into small balls with my hands and gently flattened them like tiny pizzas,placing them into each muffin tin. I then pressed them into the muffin mold. These were then refrigerated for 30 minutes.
This resulted in even sized tart shells for the creamy caramel filling with ganache! I used Green & Black's Organic Cocoa Powder and their dark chocolate for the ganache. The picture was taken just before I sprinkled them with my secret stash of sea salt brought back from Paris. These definitely took the chill off the rain and grey skies this morning ! Enjoy