Wednesday, June 6, 2012
if I still have any... I haven't blogged in over a year and boy has a lot changed. However, I missed blogging and I heard from a few fans that they missed me too... so without further hesitation... here's the new blog.
I'd love to catch up with you all again, it's just been too long.
Thanks for your support and comments over the years, they've never gone unnoticed.
xo- Sara T
Monday, May 2, 2011
I'm going to make Tequila Sunrise Sorbet this week... so keep an eye out for that!
And now, on to the good stuff... cashew brittle. JALAPENO cashew brittle. make it. eat it. love it.
I won't lie, sometimes making candy is scary. Sugar is not scary, but 300 degree sugar is super scary. However, face your fears friends, because you won't regret it.
I got this recipe from this great blog I found. So be sure to check it out!
What you'll need:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 cups cashews
- 3 medium jalapeno peppers
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
What you'll need to do:
- Butter a large baking sheet (I used a silpat, but do what you do) .
- Gather and portion all of your ingredients.
- Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds.
- Place sugar, corn syrup, water, and pepper halves in a large pot over medium heat.
- Attach the thermometer to the side.
- When mixture comes to a boil (about 5 minutes), add in butter. Stir occasionally.
- When mixture reaches 230 (about 15 minutes) degrees remove peppers and begin stirring frequently.
- Turn heat down slightly to medium low.
- When mixture reaches 275 degrees (about 20 minutes) add cashews and stir constantly.
- Turn heat back up to medium.
- When mixture reaches 300 degrees (about 10 minutes) remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
- Pour onto baking sheet and spread out with two forks while candy is still hot.
- Place sheet on wire cooling rack and do not touch until it is cool.
- Invert baking sheet and snap brittle into pieces.
- Store in an airtight container.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
What you'll need (it looks like a lot, but just hang in there!) :
• 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
• 2 1/2 cups sugar
• 2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 1/4 tsp salt
• 2 eggs + 1 yolk
• 1 1/4 cups warm water
• 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
• 1/2 cup + 2 T oil
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/4 c Kaluha (or whatever coffee liquor your have)
• 3 ounces french vanilla yogurt
• 2 Tablespoons hazelnut agave
This makes quite a bit of cake, so have lots of liners or cake pans or whatever you are baking in ready. I'd give you more specific yield amounts, but I used a silly shaped pan for a majority of it and filled the rest in the little loaf pans you see above.
This will blow your mind. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease your pans.
1. Add all the liquid ingredients.
2. Then, add all the dry. Tada!
Sinfully simple. Just make sure it's all combined and you'll be set!
While those little guys are baking at 350 F (bake until top is firm, and a cake tester comes out clean)
start on your mousse!
Frangelico Mousse, adapted from here. I'll list the whole recipe, but I definitely halved this.
• 5 large egg yolks (I used three since it's kinda difficult and annoying to "half" 5 eggs)
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup Frangelico hazelnut liqueur (non-drinkers substitute 1/3 cup water)
• 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 66% cacao), finely chopped (I used milk chocolate)
• 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
In a heat safe bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is uniform and light in color. Place over a double boiler and whisk until slightly thickened. A ribbon of the egg sugar mixture should flow back into the bowl when the whisk is lifted and the sugar should just be beginning to dissolve. Add the Frangelico (or water) and then continue to whisk over the simmering water until the mixture hits roughly 160°F and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add the finely chopped chocolate. Stir until your arm cramps or the mixture becomes cool to the touch, whichever comes first (roughly 10 minutes).
Set the chocolate aside and beat the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the chocolate, then cover and chill until pipeable.
Fill those suckers!
Using a small knife, cut out a hole in the center of each cake. Don't cut through the bottom or things will get real sticky. Now you have a hole in the middle of your cake waiting to be filled with glorious filling and a delicious little cake plug. Fill your hole with the mousse (don't be stingy!) and then place the cork back in. If you need to trim some of the bottom of the "plug" off so that it fits evenly, go so! Just make sure you eat it :)
Repeat the process until all of your cupcakes, cakes, mini loafs, dinosaurs, whatever pan you baked them in, are filled.
Then, top with your whipped cream icing below!
1-2-3-4 Frangelico whipped cream topping
(I honestly realized after getting home from the store with my cream that I was out of powdered sugar, so I just sweetened the cream with Hazelnut Agave since I had it on hand and since I was already on the hazelnut theme. Feel free to use powdered sugar, and just add a few more tablespoons of the frangelico to bulk up the hazelnut flavor.)
•1 cup heavy whipping cream
•2 tsp good vanilla
•3 Tablespoons Hazelnut Agave nectar
•4 Tablespoons frangelico
(I added a bit of wilton gel pink food coloring to be festive)
1.) Put heavy whipping cream in cold bowl or in the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with whip attachment.
2.) Start your cream on medium high and slowly add the remaining ingredients.
3.) Watch your cream closely, you want whipped cream, not butter!
This recipe is super simple and will be best if you put your own spin on it! The whipped cream topping is just light enough to accent the cake without weighing it down or mellowing it out.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
These are the times you need to call your girlfriends over, make a giant pot of spicy chili with some pepper jack scones, bust open a bottle of wine and watch the Jersey Shore. You have those days where chopping up hot peppers, wrecking your kitchen, and talking about nail polish and cute outfits is a necessity. You need to laugh and you need to eat, a lot. You need to talk about diets after eating a lot. Sometimes you just need your girls. I'm glad to finally have girls. I needed them, bad.
Lucky for me, my main girl, is not only incredibly beautiful and stylish she's extraordinarily talented. Apart from being the sweetest girl on the planet, having a closet full of cute clothes, sharing a love for white wine, she also happens to be an amazing photographer.
Please please please check out her fabulous blog. You won't regret it.
I'll cut to the chase and tell you, this chili was excellent. Spicy and hearty, you won't even notice it's meat-free. Such great flavors and kick! I won't even bother listing all the ingredients and giving you step by steps, because once again this is from the ever fabulous Joythebaker. The only things I have to say about the chili apart from singing it's praises is that I didn't use veggie stock, I instead used Spicy V8. As for the scones, they were the most fabulous texture, and the cheese melted so beautifully. They soak up the chili in the most magnificent way. However, alone... they were super super bland. So I'd add some more salt for sure... that's my two cents (feel free to keep the change)!
Call up your girls and make this meal, then check out my girl's blog, and swoon over her photos.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I hope you all survived the super bowl. Can I be honest? I didn't even know which teams were playing until I asked a guy at work yesterday. I'm going to be honest again... I wanted to go shopping today. I mean honestly, wouldn't retailers make a zillion kabillion dollars if they had super bowl Sunday sales? I'm not talking rotel and velveta and beer. I'm talking... Anthropologie. I'm talking... Urban Outfitters. I'm talking... department stores, boutiques, salons, spas, everything women love. WE could be shopping spending lots and lots of money buying cute clothes, SUMMER clothes, sun dresses, heels, sandals, (can you tell it's really freaking cold in Missouri?) while the lovely men in our lives pretend to actually care about football. They can drink beer and feel manly, we can spend money and look fly. Fair trade? I think so.
*P.S. If you are offended by my "women should shop men should watch football comment", I'm truthfully not sorry, but if it makes you feel better, you can think I am. I'm a girl, I do like shopping. I however, do not care about the super bowl. On the flip side, I also like hockey, tattoos, working in a kitchen full of dudes, wearing pearls and diamonds, and cursing like a sailor. It's okay, we can all get along. I promise.
Anywho, last week, while snowed in for three days... I ate, a lot. I cooked a lot, but I def. ate a lot too. (Notice a new swimsuit wasn't in the list of summer wants) But I was checking out some of my favorite bloggers, so of course I went to joythebaker... my blog crush. I don't really know what a blog crush entails, but I know I look at her blog and then come back to mine, and feel like the stinky kid in class or something. I also feel like we'd be friends. It'd be pretty sweet.
Bake these. You won't regret it. The cupcakes are really dense, but yet still super moist... kind of an unusual texture. The frosting however, is mind blowing. She suggests using ovaltine, but I don't have that. I was a fat kid, I used Hershey's syrup for chocolate milk. So, I actually used a packet of French Vanilla hot cocoa (it was 1/3 of a cup worth of dry cocoa). It was d-e-l-icious! Okay okay, enough of me, more of you. Bake these!!
Vanilla bean cupcakes from JoytheBaker:
•2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
•1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
•4 large eggs
•1 cup whole milk (I used skim, no one died)
•1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
•1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (I used the full vanilla bean, people clapped)
•2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
-Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
-In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
-In a small bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds. Set aside.
-In a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This may take 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated.
-Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. If the batter begins to looks a bit curdled, that’s alright.
-With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the vanilla milk mixture in three batches, starting and ending with the flour. When the batter is almost combined, stop the mixer and finish mixing the batter with a spatula, making sure that any flour bits at the bottom of the bowl are well incorporated.
Divide into the lined cupcake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely before frosting.
Ridiculously awesome chocolate frosting: (makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes or one 8-inch layer cake)
•1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
•1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•2 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•2 tablespoons milk (I used skim milk)
•1/2 cup heavy cream (Yes, I used skim milk and then poured in a half cup of heavy cream. My baking has personality disorders)
•1/3 cup Ovaltine (I used French Vanilla hot chocolate)
-Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar.
-Turn mixer on low and mix in powdered sugar while adding milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until smooth.
-In a 1-cup measuring glass, stir together heavy cream and Ovaltine.
-Turn mixer speed to medium and pour cream mixture into frosting in a slow, steady stream, until you’ve reached your desired consistency. You may not need the full amount of Ovaltine and cream.
Probably two of the most influential and powerful words in modern culinary nomenclature. I mean honestly, Thomas Keller could microwave a hot pocket and charge a zillion dollars for it, and people would be lined up until next year hoping to get a taste of this precious morsel. His food is flawless. The textures, colors, presentation, and of course taste leave no room for error.
Now I'll stop gushing... but seriously. As I was paging through some of his books the other day I found myself thinking, how do you work for Thomas Keller? I'd have a panic attack just looking at an application for The French Laundry or Bouchon. It would probably somehow burn my finger tips, turn to dust, and get ingested in my body causing me to choke and die. Okay, maybe that's extreme... but seriously. I'd at the very least pass out without a doubt.
What does this all mean? I'm getting there! Have I lost my mind? Partially. I've been snowed in for the last three days. Haven't left my apartment in DAYS. My University closed the entire campus for the last THREE days, for the first time in University history. So honestly, I'm super eager to even feel as though I'm speaking to the "outside" world. I'm just thanking God we never lost power. Being snowed in is one thing, being snowed in with butter is another. I tried to make the best of it.
But yeah, this recipe comes from Claire Clark, the head pastry Chef at Thomas Keller's, The French Laundry.
Her book is called, Indulge, 100 perfect desserts. It's pretty intense skill-wise, but it's definitely something to get ideas and information from. It's beautiful.
I made this delicious and delicate banana cake topped with cream cheese frosting and pecan chips. It calls for dark brown sugar there are beautiful caramel undertones to this cake. I'll be honest, it pains me to make banana anything without adding hazelnut or cinnamon, but who am I to change one of her recipes? If Thomas Keller approves, I'll take his word.
Try it out, let me know what you think!
What you'll need:
•180 g/6 oz. plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
•2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•180 g/6 oz. soft dark brown sugar
•2 medium eggs
•4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
•180 g/ 6 oz. ripe bananas (peeled weight), mashed to a pulp
•50 g/ 1 3/4 pecan nuts
For the frosting:
•65 g/ 2 1/4 oz cream cheese
•190 g/ 6 3/4 oz. powdered sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
•125 g/ 4 1/2 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•50 g/ 1 3/4 oz. pecan nuts, chopped
What you need to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease a round 8 inch springform cake tin and line the base with parchment.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
3. Place the sugar, eggs, and oil in a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer on medium speed for about a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 4 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
4. Add the sifted flour mixture and the bananas and mix on a low speed for 30 seconds. Stir in the pecan nuts.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 mins, until the top springs back when pressed gently and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in the pan to cool completely before frosting.
6. For the frosting combine all the ingredients except the pecans in a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Spread the frosting over the cake with a palette knife and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Finally, dust with powdered sugar.
Bake and enjoy! Stay warm!
Monday, January 31, 2011
Anywho, back to business...I have returned yet again. I feel as though I write more, "I'm baaaack" posts than solid, sarcastic, food filled entries, full of awkward banter and truthfully this saddens me. I want to let you know all know I've not forgot about this blog, but rather I've been spending a lot of time trying to reinvent it. As I finish my last semester of college, I find myself busier than ever, and I've not had the time or energy to babble on here. I also find myself eating popcorn and multi-grain cherrio's perpetually, and I know I'm crafty but I can't really recommend any recipes for microwave popcorn or a bowl of cereal. However, I've gotten seven new cookbooks (and 3 new pieces of all-clad!!!) since we've last spoke, and I'm trying to focus all of my energy on becoming a more serious and well rounded cook/baker/person. I'm contemplating getting a "real" website and there is definitely something quite exciting in the works for me to share with you all. I'm absolutely certain you will love it.
So please, keep checking back, and I promise to serve you well. I'll be cooking up a storm, provided the storm doesn't stop me.