Saturday, December 6, 2008

Flourless Chocolate Torte

This was the dessert I brought for dinner with friends a few weeks ago. It was VERY rich but absolutely wonderful. The recipe is from my dear friend Dana (and her fabulous recipe blog can be found at Freddie's Favorite Foods) originally from Sharon Lebewohl's Signature Flourless chocolate Cake

I served the torte with a very light dusting of powdered sugar and some mostly-thawed frozen strawberries.

Ingredients:

1 pound dark chocolate, chopped (chocolate that is between 65 and 70% cacao) *
2 sticks parve margarine (only parve if you are looking to be kosher)
1/4 cup coffee liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Powdered sugar


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Stir chocolate, margarine, coffee liqueur, and vanilla in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.
Cool to lukewarm.


Using electric mixer, beat eggs and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until thick and pale, and slowly dissolving ribbon forms when beaters are lifted, about 6 minutes. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into lukewarm (make sure it is not hot or the eggs will cook when you fold them in) chocolate mixture. Fold remaining egg mixture into chocolate mixture.

Place prepared pan on baking sheet. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 55 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

Gently press down edges of cake. Cool completely in pan. (Cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.)

Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Remove sides of pan; transfer cake to platter. Remove parchment paper.
Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar and serve.


*Since chocolate is the main ingredient, it is important to use the best available chocolate. (I used 8 oz bittersweet chocolate and 8 oz semisweet)

Cinnamon Ice Cream

This was my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner with the In-laws. I couldn't find a cinnamon ice cream recipe that was exactly what I wanted so I found a great-looking vanilla and ran with it to come up with my own.
This was the easiest ice cream I've made so far. And delicious. It was a great side to pumpkin and pecan pies.

Ingredients:

3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk


¾ cup sugar


pinch of salt


2 heaping tsp. cinnamon


1/2 tsp. vanilla extract



Directions:





Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.


 


Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream (or cream and milk), cinnamon and the vanilla extract.


 


Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  Churn the ice cream and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.



Source: I used the vanilla bean recipe from Annie's Eats and made a couple of changes.



Alfredo Sauce

I've had the biggest craving for Alfredo lately and I finally made it. I've only made Alfredo once or twice before and it never turned out as well as this time did. I was fantastic! I used the recipe found at Amber's Delectable Delights but I wasn't very strict on measuring. The only problem was, it didn't take away the craving for it. It just made me want to make it again and again. Oh darn :) I doubled this recipe and had a TON of leftovers.

176

Ingredients:

½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter (I used more like 2)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste

Directions:

Simmer the cream and butter in a saucepan over low heat until it has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese, remove from heat, and stir until mostly incorporated and melted. Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Toss with pasta.

Pepperoni Cheese Bread

This is quite similar to the Pizza Bite recipe but I think I liked this one a touch more, mostly for the bread. I wasn't a huge fan of the pizza dough from the Bites recipe but the frozen bread dough was pretty tasty. (Is it wrong for me, the bread baking addict, to admit that? LOL)

Ingredients:

1 loaf frozen (or refrigerated) bread dough
Sliced pepperoni
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

I let the frozen bread dough thaw/raise throughout the day and then cut it in half and rolled out two rectangles. Layer the pepperoni on the dough, and then cover with mozzarella cheese. Roll up lengthwise and seal the ends and seam and place seam-side down in a baking pan (I used a jelly roll pan).

The second roll I did something a little different. I brushed butter on the dough, then sprinkled with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese before layering the pepperoni and cheese and rolling. Then I brushed the top of the roll with butter and sprinkled with more parmesan cheese. After tasting the finished product I actually think this would be great with a marinara dipping sauce!

I baked them at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups warm water (about 100°)


1 ½ tbsp. instant yeast


¼ cup honey


4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted


2 ½ tsp. salt


¼ cup rye flour


½ cup toasted wheat germ


3 cups whole-wheat flour


2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour



Directions:





In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey, butter and salt with a rubber spatula.  Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup of each of the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours. 


 


Add the remaining whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, attach the dough hook and knead at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Knead just long enough to make sure that the dough is soft and smooth, about 30 seconds.


 


Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.


 


Heat the oven to 375°.  Gently press down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces.  Gently press each piece into a rectangle about 1-inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.  With a long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing down to make sure the dough sticks to itself.  Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed.  Place each cylinder of dough into a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam-side down, pressing the dough gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.  Cover the shaped dough; let rise until almost doubled in volume, 20 to 30 minutes.


 


Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim reads 205°, 35 to 45 minutes.  Transfer the bread immediately from the baking pans to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.



Note: To see instructions for hand-kneading, click the link below for the original recipe.

Source: Annie's Eats

Pizza Bites

Ingredients:

2 cans refrigerated pizza dough (I used Pilsbury but I think next time it would be worthwhile to make my own crust)
1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz thin sliced pepperoni
2 tsp Italian seasoning (combine oregano, basil, parsley, and garlic)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
pizza or marinara sauce

Directions:

Prepare pizza dough and roughly chop pepperoni.

If you are going to bake some right away preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 3 pie pans.

If using refrigerated pizza dough: roll one dough out into a large rectangle and cut into 24 pieces. I didn't lay out my dough properly so mine turned out a little wonky and funny shaped, but in the end they were fine, just a little more difficult to close up some of them.

Repeat with 2nd pizza dough. If using homemade dough just pinch off walnut sized pieces as you go. In each dough piece place a couple pieces of chopped pepperoni and a tablespoon of cheese. Seal dough around meat and cheese and place seam side down in pie pan.

Repeat, placing approximately 16 dough balls in each pie plate.  Once assembled, combine oil and spices and brush over the dough. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Now you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze or you can bake right away.

When ready to bake: bake at 400°F for 16-20 min. Serve with warm pizza or marinara sauce.

Source: Elizabeth's Edible Experience

Honey Yeast Rolls

I made these a few weeks ago when we had dinner with some friends. She was in charge of the chili (which was amazing, by the way) and I was in charge of the bread and dessert.

I don't think I gave the rolls enough time to rise (I started too late. Oops.) So they were very dense (which her husband and my husband prefered, I think). I think next time, though, I'll actually, oh... follow the directions maybe? LOL.  As we were eating these we kept mentioning different things they'd be great with. My favorite suggestion was as a turkey sandwich with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Honey Yeast Rolls
print this recipe
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ields 12 rolls

Ingredients:
2 ¼ t. instant yeast
1 C warm water (105°-115°)
¼ C honey
3 T. canola oil
1 ¼ t. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 C bread flour
vegetable cooking spray
1 T. butter, melted
1 T. honey

Directions:
Combine the yeast and warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix in the honey, oil, egg and salt and blend.

Mix in 3 cups of the bread flour and beat until the dough forms a sticky ball. Add the last 1 C of flour and beat until the flour is completely mixed in with the dough.

Switch to using the dough hook and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and stretchy, not tacky. This will take about 8 minutes.

Lightly spray a large bowl with the oil, then drop in the dough ball, turning it around in the bowl to coat it. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for about 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Lightly dust a counter or surface with flour, then turn the dough out and knead for about 30 seconds. Cover again and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 400°.

Punch down the dough, then divide and shape into 12 equal sized mini-dough balls.

Place the dough ball on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover again and let them rise for about 20 minutes.

Mix together the butter and honey, then brush over the tops of the dough balls.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Source: Annie's Eats

Penne Rustica

I told you I loved What's Cooking in the Orange Kitchen! This is my 3rd update in a row from her blog :)

This pasta was heavy but fantastic. And incidentally, it made fantastic leftovers for lunch the next day too. I was a little heavy handed with the pepper flakes and cayenne pepper so it had a bit of a kick which was great because we love spicy!

Sauce:
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Garlic (I used 4 cloves)
1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tspn Salt
1/2 tspn Chopped Rosemary
1/2 cup Marsala Wine
1/8 tspn Cayenne Pepper
4 cups Heavy Cream (half and half is a fine substitute) I also used a tsp of red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Saute butter, garlic and rosemary until garlic begins to brown (DON'T burn your garlic, it will be bitter. I added the wine as soon as the edges of the garlic turned golden). Add Marsala wine and reduce by 1/3. Add remaining ingredients and reduce by half of original volume set aside. (I added parmesan cheese now)

Penne:
1/2 oz pancetta or bacon (I used bacon)
9 ea. Shrimp, peeled and deveined (I left out the shrimp)
6 oz. grilled chicken breast, sliced
16 oz. penne, pre-cooked
3 oz. butter (I used less than a tbsp)
1/2 Tbsp shallots,chopped
Pinch of Salt & pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp paprika
a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
sprinkle of cayenne peppe
r

Saute pancetta until it begins to brown. Add butter, shallots and shrimp. (I first melted the butter, then cooked the pancetta, then added the shallots and shrimp)Cook until shrimp are evenly pink but still translucent.(I used precooked so really I only warmed them) Add chicken, salt and pepper; mix thoroughly. Add sauce and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (I had already added the parmesan cheese)and simmer until sauce thickens. In a large bowl(I added my cooked pasta to my skillet then just put it right in my casserole dish), combine shrimp and chicken mixture with precooked pasta. Place this mixture into single serving dishes or one large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 300*(400) for 10-15 minutes.

Chicken Marsala

This is, quite possibly, my husband's favorite thing I've made. He LOVED it. I can't say I disagree with him. Yum!

Ingredients:

4-6 thin chicken breast pounded out to 1/8 inch thickness
1/2 cup flour
1/3-1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (We left these out)
1-2 cloves garlic minced
3/4 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 box angel hair pasta

Directions:

Dredge the chicken in flour. Place 2 chicken breasts at a time in the skillet with 2 tablespoons melted butter (add more with each addition if needed) in skillet. Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. As each one is done place it in a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.

Adding more butter if needed, saute mushrooms and garlic in the same skillet. When the mushrooms are done use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms and place them on top of the chicken.

Use the marsala wine to deglaze the pan then stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the temperature. Spoon 1/2 of the sauce over the chicken. Top the chicken with cheese and bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

While the chicken is baking prepare angel hair noodles. When the noodles are done drain the water and dump the noodles into the pan with remaining sauce.

Serve chicken and mushrooms over top of angel hair pasta.

**Recipe note** If you are concerned with the amount of butter in this recipe you can substitute olive oil for half of the butter. Some butter is required to give it a rich flavor but it is perfectly okay to use half butter and half olive oil.

Source: What's Cooking in the Orange Kitchen

Chicken & Mushrooms in Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

I've been a blogging slacker for a couple of weeks now. Morning sickness makes my kitchen an evil place to be pretty often these days which makes me so sad! I miss doing baking on the weekends and finding good things to make for dinners. I have a barrage of updates of things I've made in the last few weeks that I'm finally getting around to posting.

This is one of the first recipe blog recipes that I made and it was a HUGE hit. I love What's Cooking in the Orange kitchen- she always has fantastic recipes and are fairly idiot proof (phew! LOL) and absolutely delicious. This one was no exception.

Ingredients:

1 pound of chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp dry sage
1 tsp dry parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup of sliced mushrooms (I left the mushrooms out. Because, you know, ew.)
1 bulb of garlic roasted (400 degree oven for 1 hour with a drizzle of EVOO)
2 tbsp butter
a drizzle of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 bag of No-Yolk egg noodles

Directions:

Start by combining the flour, sage, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Toss the bite size chunks of chicken in the flour mixture to coat.
In a large skillet melt 1 tbsp of butter and a drizzle of evoo
Saute the chicken for a minute then add the mushrooms and some of the
roasted garlic (I think I squeezed in 3 cloves for this part). Continue to saute for 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and cover in foil. (Now is also a good time to cook your egg noodles)
To the skillet add the remaining tbsp of butter and flour.
Then add the chicken broth, white wine and remaining roasted garlic. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Slowly add the half and half and let it reduce.
When the sauce has thickened return the chicken and mushrooms to pan and let simmer.
Serve with the egg noodles.

Source: What's Cooking in the Orange Kitchen