Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pie #4: Chocolate Mousse Tart with Caramel

I was a little bit unimpressed by pie #4 (again, made mini for J and I). Mostly that was my fault because I grabbed the wrong chocolate and used more of a milk when I would have preferred more of a dark. Despite this, the mousse was smooth and set perfectly and the caramel, made using the dry sugar method (which I find a bit easier than the wet method), was delicious. The tart disappeared very quickly indeed, although you must consider the context of J and I being in the middle of a move and trying not to bring food into the house (this tart was using things up, I swear). At one point, I think this was the only thing immediately available for J to eat (Or maybe that was the crostada ). Also, let's pause for a second and admire the handle of the knife that J and I got for Christmas from his Da and stepmum which, despite constant use, doesn't seem to have properly made it into photos yet.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pie #3: Cream Cheese and Strawberry Rhubarb Crostada

You know, I'm not entirely sure I put strawberries in this. Why do I think I'll remember these things without writing them down? I remember having trouble with my oven heat as there is a clear visual reminder of that. If I'd stayed with that oven, I suppose I would have had to start tin-foiling the edges of my pastry crusts, but now that we're moving I'll have a new oven with new quirks all of its own to learn. It does look like there are strawberries in there, doesn't it? And I seem to remember thinking that I would have preferred the tart had I left them out. But I have no memory of what stage I put them in.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pie #2: Double Crust Apple Pie

Rose Levy Berenbaum's cream cheese crust

Cream Cheese Pie Crust Recipe

This pie doesn't have many photos because it was eaten up almost as soon as it could be cut. I think I took a few shots of the leftovers the next morning, but they didn't turn out. This is one of the best apple pies I think I've ever eaten. Or maybe my palate has just changed in a pie-positive way.

Pie #1: Crack Pie

Mini Crack Pie
Crack Pie!
I like pie. I like pie more now than I did when I was young. I like making pie crust in an endless quest for perfection similar to the one for the perfect chocolate chip cookies or the perfect brownies. I actually baked all four of June's Daring Baking Challenge pies, but I haven't gotten around to posting them because J and I are in the midst of a cross-country move.

Friday, June 14, 2013

When J Cooks (Braised Lamb Shanks)



Meaty meatballs
On top of spagehhhhhhtiiiii cauliiiiiiiflower. . .
I didn't really go out of a limb with this month's meatball challenge. Many Daring Cooks put in so much more effort than me. (Holy crap Audex, I want to eat all of these! Where can I get kangaroo in Canada?) I just winged it (or "wung" it, as my French-Canadian prof might say) with a vague idea of recreating the meatballs that my mum used to make us when we were kids. The went over pretty well, and J exclaimed, "when you said 'meatballs' I didn't expect THIS!"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Prinsesstarta with Piere Hermé's Chocolate Pastry Cream

Prinsesstarta with chocolate pastry cream
Of course I forgot to post on time for May's Daring Baker's Challenge. As ever. I actually made this near the beginning of the month. We were challenged to make a prinsesstarta, which is normally layers of sponge cake, jam, pastry cream, and whipped cream underneath a covering of bright green marzipan. This is nearly that, except that I wanted to bring it to a party that we were having for two students doctors (yay!) in our lab who just successfully defended their PhDs. So, rather than a traditional prinsesstarta, it needed to be a mouse-shaped-prinsesstarta. Because that was relevant.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chicken Ballotine Stuffed with Sausage, Sweet Potato, Pecans, Apples

chicken stuffed sausage sweet potato
Warning: May be triggering for vegetarians.
So, if you've ever wanted to make a turducken, one of the things you have to contend with is de-boning all of the birds. I've never actually wanted to make a turducken, because the idea of stuffing whole animals with whole other animals doesn't exactly appeal to me. Remember that scene in The Temple of Doom where everyone is eating dinner in the creepy-palace and a server cuts open a boa constrictor and out crawl many smaller snakes? Ugh. Also, remember all those stories you heard in Latin class about Roman feasts that involved live birds literally flying out of pies when they were cut open? Unsanitary. I never thought that I’d de-bone a chicken.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chocolate Chickpea Cake, Potato Cookies

Chickpeas make it sutiable for breakfast, right?
For March's challenge of hiding vegetables in desserts, I made this chocolate chickpea cake. I've previously made the internet sensation black bean cake, and while it was pretty good and was eaten quickly I WAS able to taste a vague hint of beany flavour which seemed to fade as days went by. In my brain, the flavour of chickpea was a better match for chocolate than the flavour of black bean, and I have a general love of chickpeas besides (with vinegar, mostly). In the end, I thought that this cake had zero bean flavour from the get-go so even if the flavour of chickpea was hanging around, I couldn't detect it. I think that the cake looks a bit dry in these photos, but it wasn't really dry. It had an interesting rich denseness, and I found it more filling than regular cake.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Easiest Homemade Goat Milk Cheese

Late cheese post! I've been slow on this cheese challenge generally. It took me a while to pick up the rennet, and then I was just busy. But the mozzarella  the feta, the hallumi, the cream cheese--they are all on their way. There is weird fresh goat cottage cheese is in the fridge right now (from which I learned that Little Miss Muffet's meal was kinda gross). However, before I even chatted with the cheese man, I did make this rennet-free goat cheese. It's not really chèvre because it doesn't have the right culture added. It's mild but it's lovely and it's easy as all get out*. To make and eat, anyway. Not for me to photograph appealingly

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crackity Crackers! Rosemary, Pecan and Cranberry Raintree Crisps

Raincoast Crisp recipe

I'm not much of a cracker type these days. When the mixed box comes out, I tend to want to spread my creamy cheeses on the digestive biscuits which, lets face it, are more cookie than cracker. However, I always circle around for two or three of these raintree crisps when they are out for free samples down at the grocer's. I think I like them because they are mostly nut and dried fruit held together by a negligible amount of cracker.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nobel Prize Winning Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Dear Battlestar Galactica, I am watching s02e10 of you right now and you're AWESOME!
A while back I suggested that I would share some of what I consider to be 10 out of 10 cookies. Given a choice between this and every other chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever made or tried, I would pick this one every time, and I've made and eaten a LOT of chocolate chip cookies. I'm open to the idea of better ones, I just haven't found them yet.

Christmas 2012

I figured I'd share some of my Christmas 2012 goodies before it got too ridiculously late. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gevulde Speculaas, Coconut Style

speculaas spice cake recipe

I was pleased with January's Challenge of Gevulde Speculaas. I'm always looking for something to add to my list of cookie recipes that is as delicious as my go-to chocolate chip or lemon bar recipes, but is also has a unique look and flavour. When I make (or, really, imagine making) piles of Christmas cookies, I like the cookies to be distinct. This is definitely now on the list.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Panettone with Citrus, Fig, Apricot and Walnuts

Panettone recipe
The Italians make better fruit cake than we Brits.
Panettone was the December Daring Bakers Challenge and I was very pleased about it because not only had I never heard of it, but it was the perfect combination of "time consuming" and "bread making" that makes me feel like I've completed something really fancy and challenging, even though it wasn't terribly difficult. On top of that, it was lovely and delicious.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Shepherd's Pie, Cattle Rancher's Pie

Sweet Potato Lamb Shepherd's Pie
Comforting Christmas shepherd's pie. Technically the challenge was Pate Chinois,
but a rose by any other name 
still smells as delicious and all that.
Way back in December, I made a couple of shepherd's pies for the Daring Cooks Challenge. Proper shepherd's pie, I think, should be made with lamb because shepherds didn't watch cows, they watched sheep. The beef version should be called something else like. . . Cattle Rancher's Pie. God, that's a mouthful.