Ptichie Moloko (Birds’ Milk Cake)

Posted: February 24, 2018 in Recipes
Tags: ,

bird_milk_cakeIngredients
For the sponge cake base:

3 Large eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of unbleached all purpose flour

For the Birds Milk:

1 cup water
2 teaspoons of agar agar
4 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon of dry vanilla
3 egg whites (room temperature)
3 ounces of lemon flavored jello
2 Tablespoon of water

Butter Cream:

1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons of milk (I used 2%)
3 egg yolks from large eggs
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick) Softened

Ganache:

1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream (see recipe below)

Directions:

Pre heat your oven to 350F.
Butter up a 9″ round cake form.
In a stand mixer beat together 3 Large eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar, until pale and well blended.
Lower the speed to the lowest, add in 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 cup of flour.
With the help of a spatula transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 25 minutes. Set a side to cool down.
Combine a 3oz package of lemon flavored jello with 2 Tablespoons of water. Microwave for 30 seconds. (if you want you could also warm it up on the stove for a healthier way) Set a side till ready to use.
n a stand mixer on high, beat 3 egg whites from large eggs. Add in 1/4 teaspoon of dry vanilla. Keep beating until you will combine the other ingredients together.
On the stove, in a medium sized pot combine 1 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of agar agar on medium heat, bring to a boil.
Add in 4 cups of powdered sugar, whisk together and boil for exactly 6 minutes (no less – no more).  Take off heat and quickly do the next two steps.
Into the the egg whites add the jello mix. Keep mixing.
With the mixer still beating pour in the sugar powder syrup. Mix together for 3 minutes.
n the same size cake pan that you used for the base transfer this birds milk mousse. (mine was 9″ round cake pan)
Refrigerate for 45 minutes. Meanwhile you can make the cream:
On the stove or the microwave bring to a boil 1/2 cup of sugar, 3 Tablespoon of milk and 3 egg yolk from large eggs.
Place in the refrigerator to cool down.
After it completely cools down (30 minutes) beat with 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter. Using a hand mixer.
Spread the butter cream on the cake base you made first.
Gently take out the bird’s milk mousse from the form and place it on top of the butter cream.
Place it back into the refrigerator until the ganache is ready.
Important! The white bird’s milk mousse needs to be completely cooled down in order to pour the ganache over, otherwise your cake will melt.
Spread the ganache all over the cake.

ganache3 minute Ganache recipe
Ingredients
2 cups of chocolate chips (your favorite)
1 cup of heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Fill a medium sized pot half way with water.
Bring the water to a boil.
On top of the pot place a heat safe bowl.
To the bowl add 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.
Stirring occasionally melt all the chocolate chips. Will take 3 minutes.

Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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tarteSERVES 8-10   1 HOUR, 30 MINUTES
For the crust
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 1⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
Semisweet chocolate ganache filling, for filling
NOTE: For the glossiest ganache, use a semisweet or bittersweet bar (never chips) with 50 to 60 percent cacao (more cacao = grainy texture; less = mild flavor). Stir with a spatula; a whisk can mix in too much air, causing bubbles to form at the tart’s surface as it bakes and cools.

For the toppingsml_tarte
Flaky sea salt
2 tbsp. dark-roasted espresso or coffee beans, finely chopped or crushed
Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping down the bowl as needed with a spatula. Beat in the egg yolks, scraping down side of bowl as needed to incorporate.
In a separate medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Beat the flour mixture into the egg mixture on low speed in three batches, stopping as soon as it’s incorporated. Form the dough into a ball with your hands, then flatten it slightly into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until slightly more firm, 30 minutes or up to 1 day (if dough is very firm when you remove it, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes).
Remove the dough and reserve a golf ball-size piece. Place the remainder in the center of a 13×4-inch fluted rectangular tart pan or 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough across the bottom and up the sides of the pan to form a very thin (1⁄8-inch) layer, making sure the dough is not too thick in the corners. Dock the bottom of the dough about every 2 inches with the tines of a fork, and place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
Set a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 375°. Bake about 8 minutes; check to see if dough has puffed up, and if so press it back down using a spatula or by poking with a fork (if holes form, you can patch them later with the reserved dough). Bake until set, about 15 minutes more. Remove. While the crust is still hot, gently patch any holes with pieces of the reserved raw dough (the residual heat will fuse them together). Let cool completely in the tart pan. Crust can be made up to 1 day ahead. Once cooled, wrap in plastic wrap.
Quickly pour the chocolate filling into the prepared tart shell set on a baking sheet, tilting the tart pan as needed to help evenly distribute and fill the corners. Bake until the filling is just set but slightly jiggly in the center when the pan is shaken, about 20 minutes.
Remove and let cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle the tart generously with sea salt and lightly with chopped espresso beans if using. Transfer the tart pan to a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Carefully remove the fluted rim, then slice the tart and serve with whipped cream if desired. Tart can be made ahead. Once fully cooled, wrap in plastic wrap. After 1 day, store in the refrigerator.

Homemade Cannoli

Posted: February 22, 2018 in Recipes
Tags:

canoli

Ingredients
Shells:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup dry white wine
Filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup small semisweet chocolate chips
1 lemon
1 quart canola oil, for frying
Flour, for rolling
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions: For the shell dough: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Work the butter pieces into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes coarse and sandy. Add the egg yolk and the white wine and mix until it becomes a smooth dough. Spread a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface and place the dough in the center. Wrap the plastic loosely around it and press the dough to fill the gap. Flattening the dough will mean less rolling later. Let it rest in the fridge for a few minutes while you make the filling.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Mix to blend. In a separate bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat the heavy cream until fairly stiff. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cream into the ricotta mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Lightly zest the exterior of the lemon and stir it into the ricotta. Refrigerate for a half hour to an hour.

To roll and fry the shells: In a medium pot with a heavy bottom, heat the canola oil to 360 degrees F. Meanwhile, sift an even layer of flour on a flat surface. Flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough until it is very thin (about 1/8-inch thick). Cut the dough into fourths and work in small batches. Use any glass or small bowl that has a 3-to-4-inch diameter. Cut rounds, tracing around each one to assure the dough has been fully cut. You should have about 24 circles. Wrap each circle around a cannoli mold. Use a little of the egg wash on the edge of each round to seal it shut and to assure it won’t slide or fall off the mold before pressing it closed over the mold. Flare the edges out slightly from the mold. Flaring will allow the oil to penetrate each cannoli shell as they fry. Use a pair of tongs to hold the edge of the mold as you submerge and fry the shell in the oil until crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oil, and holding the mold in one had with your tongs, gently grip the shell in your other hand with a kitchen towel and carefully slide it off the mold. Set aside to cool. Repeat with all of the circles.

To fill the cannolis: Just before serving, use a pastry bag without a tip to pipe the ricotta into the cannoli molds. Fill the cannoli shells from both ends so the cream runs through the whole shell. Dust with powdered sugar. Powdered sugar gives that little extra sweetness and added texture to the exterior. It also makes me feel like I have a professional bakery touch in my own home. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:  If the ricotta has an excess of liquid, drain it over a strainer for at least a half an hour before making the filling. Make and fry the shells and the filling. Don’t fill the shells with the cream until you are ready to eat them. Everyone loves a crispy cannoli.


You won’t believe the difference!

potato-boostPotatoes are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. One medium sized potato has fewer calories than a grapefruit, more potassium than a banana, and more usable iron than any other vegetable. Potatoes are also high in fiber, and loaded with complex carbohydrates. And best of all, potatoes are fat-free.

Contrary to a common misconception, potatoes are not high in calories. One medium sized potato contains 110 calories, while a one-cup serving of rice has 225 calories, and a cup of pasta has 155 calories. Loads of people have boiled potatoes with their dinners. We love a good potato, but we like to add a bit of variation every now and then. For example, did you know that adding some pickle juice to your potatoes is delicious?It’s a true potato booster!

◾Boil your potatoes in pickle juice: boil your potatoes just like you would normally, but add about 30 to 40 milliliters of pickle juice. The potatoes will get a very subtle pickle flavor, which means you won’t have to add salt, butter or sour cream to flavor your potatoes.

◾French fries: pickle juice can also spice up your fries. Are you going to make French fries tomorrow? Soak the potatoes you’re going to use in pickle juice for about 12 hours. Dry them by leaving them on paper towels for a little bit, and then continue to make your fries like you normally would.

◾Potato salad: do you use mayonnaise when you make potato salad? Add a couple tablespoons of pickle juice to the mayonnaise. It’ll give your salad a very tasty twist!

Fun fact: Did you know that the average American eats approximately 126 pounds of potatoes each year? And that the potato is a relative of tobacco and the tomato?

Shrimp Scampi

Posted: January 21, 2018 in Recipes
Tags:

shrimpscampyShrimp scampi must be served right from the stove for the best texture. If it has to sit, the shrimp becomes slightly soggy as it soaks up the sauce.

Difficulty: Easy

Hands-on: 10 minutes

Total: 10 minutes

Serves: 10

Ingredients
1 lb. medium shrimp
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup fish stock
¼ cup cold unsalted butter
½ cup chopped parsley

Directions

Step 1. Peel and devein the shrimp (leave the tails intact). Rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Step 2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Season the shrimp with pepper and add to the hot oil. Sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Step 3. Add the garlic, then lemon juice and wine, stirring constantly. Sauté for 1 minute, then add the stock. Cook for 3 minutes.

Step 4. Add the cold butter, stir until melted, and remove from heat. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Slowcooker Pork Posole

Posted: January 20, 2018 in Recipes
Tags: ,

slowwcookerporkposolePosole is a spicy Mexican stew made from pork and hominy. This version is made in a slow cooker. For a milder version, use plain diced tomatoes instead of tomatoes with green chilies. Try serving it with shredded cheese, diced avocados, sliced black olives, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, or sour cream.

Difficulty: Easy

Hands-on: 10 minutes

Total: 8 hours 10 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients
2 lbs. lean cubed pork
2 cans (14.5 oz.) white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
1 can (10 oz.) cubed potatoes, drained and rinsed
2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies, not drained
2 cups warm water
1 cup chopped carrots
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a greased 4-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Ribeye with Exotic Mushrooms

Posted: January 19, 2018 in General

ribeyestkMushrooms add a lovely depth of flavor to this company-worthy steak.
Difficulty: Easy
Hands-on: 20 minutes

Total: 20 minute
Serves: 2
Ingredients

1½ Tbsp. butter, divided
1½ lbs. ribeye steak
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. rubbed sage
6 shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and chopped

Directions

Step 1

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a cast iron pan or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the steak with salt, pepper, and sage.
Step 2

Pan-fry the steak to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Remove steak from pan and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add remaining butter to the same pan. Sauté mushrooms about 5 minutes until softened.

Step 4

Slice the steak and top with mushrooms.