Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)

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6 tablespoons butter, cut into bits

1 cup water

pinch of salt

pinch of white pepper

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

6 eggs

2 cups coarse shred, gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a samll sauce pan bring water, salt and butter to boil. Remove from heat and stir in flour and pepper n. Reduce heat to with a wooden spoon reduce heat to medium and return mixture to heat. Stir vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture becomes very thick and a thin film begins to form on bottom of pan, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and place in stand mixer set on medium-high speed. Add eggs one at a time, waiting until each egg is combined thoroughly. The dough should be the texture of thick mayonnaise. Stir in 1 1 1/2 cups cheese.

Line baking sheet with parchment, stick corners down with a bit of batter to keep parchment in place.

Place batter in piping bag and pipe the batter in about a heaping tablespoon amount onto parchment spaced at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle tops with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until tripled in volume and golden brown. Cool on rack and serve warm.

Pineapple Kolaches

Pineapple Kolaches

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Dough

2 cups milk

1 (1/4 oz. ) package active dry yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tsp. salt

8 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Pineapple Filling

1- 1lb 4oz. can crushed pineapple

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

5 tablespoons butter

Combine the pineapple with the juice and the cornstarch and blend well in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in 5 tablespoons butter. Set aside and allow to cool.

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons butter , cut into small pieces.

Whisk together flour and sugar and cut in butter until it forms crumbles

To make the dough, warm milk in medium saucepan over medium heat until it begins to form a skin ; do not boil. Cool until reaches 110-115 degrees. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and let set until foamy. Melt butter and allow to cool.

In a large bowl , whisk the eggs, sugar and salt with melted butter. Add cooled milk and the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour 2 cups at a time. Use a wooden spoon to mix the flour into the wet ingredients. Keep adding the flour until it is completely incorporated and dough begins to hold together. Use a light hand; do not over work dough or you will have tough kolaches. The dough will be sticky, moist and light.

Lightly grease  large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap,and allow to rise until double. Leaving dough in bowl, punch down and wrap , place in refrigerator for at least 4 hour or overnight.

Remove dough and with lightly oiled hand form 18 dough balls and place in a oiled 12×17 inch baking pan. Make an indention in each bun without going through the bottom and fill with filling. Place pan with filled kolaches, covered in warm place to rise to almost double. Sprinkle tops with streusel . Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Spinach-Pancetta Quiche

Spinach-Pancetta Quiche

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preheat oven to 350 degrees

Crust

1 cup chilled butter, cut into cubes

3 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup white wine

1 egg

1/4 cup olive oil

Filling

6 eggs

2 cups heavy cream

salt and pepper , to taste

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1/2 lb. pancetta, chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/4 lb. Gruyere cheese, grated

1/2 lb. fresh baby spinach

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade add flour, salt, and butter cut into cubes. Pulse until it resembles cornmeal. Add the wine , olive oil and egg. Blend until dough comes together. Remove from bowl and divide in half. Place one half wrapped in plastic in freezer for later use. With the other half, wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Roll dough out to fit a 10 pie plate or 1 1/2 -2 inch deep tart pan. Prick bottom with fork , line with parchment and weight down with pie weights or dried beans(dry beans can only be used for weights once used as such, save for other crusts which need weighted) Place crust on baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and gently lift parchment and beans. Set crust aside and complete filling.

In a large bowl combine cream, eggs, thyme , salt /pepper and nutmeg. Whisk and set aside.

In a sauce pan add pancetta and cook until browned and crisp. Remove the pancetta and place on plate with paper towels. Add the chopped onions to pan with pancetta fat and saute until translucent. Drain through and sieve to remove fat and add onions and pancetta to a large bowl. Stir in spinach and cheese.

Place pancetta , cheese , spinach mixture into crust and spread evenly. Slowly pour in cream mixture.

Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until golden and set. Depending on the thickness of the pan cooking time varies. Remove from oven and allow to set 10 minutes before slicing.

Plum Tart with Mango Sauce

Plum Tart with Mango Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

6 plums , remove pit with melon baller and cut into 1/4 inch slices

Crust

2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup almond paste

3 eggs

2 tsp. almond extract

In a bowl of food processor fitted with a metal blade place all crust ingredients and pulse until in forms dough. Press into a 12 inch tart pan and bake for 10 minutes . Remove from oven and set aside.

In a bowl of a food processor add the granulated sugar, almond paste, and cram . Blend until smooth. Ad eggs while motor is running along with almond extract.  Blend until well combined and pour into crust. Place the sliced plums in decorative pattern on top on filling. Place tart on sheet pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes until filling is set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mango Dessert Sauce

1 mango, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons sugar

Dash ground nutmeg or cinnamon

Puree mango in food processor or blender until smooth. In a saucepan combine puree with cornstarch and sugar. Bring mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in nutmeg or cinnamon. Use warm or cover and chill for up to several days.

Espresso Cream Filled Doughnut with Dark Chocolate Ganache Top

Espresso Cream Filled Doughnut with Dark Chocolate Ganache Top

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Doughnut Dough

1 cup lukewarm water

2 packages active dry yeast

1 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

6-7 cups bread flour

Pour water into small bowl, and then add yeast and stir allowing yeast to dissolve. Scald milk and let cool to lukewarm. Add milk to yeast.

Blend together the eggs, butter, sugar, slat, and cinnamon until well combined. Add the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour until dough is elastic and easy to handle. Cover and let rise until double in size. Punch down and divide into 2 pieces. Roll out one half to 3/4 inch thick and cut dough into rounds. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and cover allowing to rise again. Repeat with other half. Makes about 2 dozen.

Heat peanut oil 2-3 inch depth in deep pan  until very hot around 350-375 degrees. Fry dough in small batches 2 minutes on each side. Drain and place on wire rack to cool.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup, chopped dark chocolate

Heat cream to just boiling. Pour cream over the top of chopped chocolate and stir until smooth and shiney.

Espresso Pastry Cream

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoons instant espresso or more to taste

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until well combined and pale yellow. In a saucepan add milk and  espresso and cook to boiling. Whisk in a small amount of hot milk to the egg mixture whisk constantly in order to temper eggs. Whisk back in all the egg mixture into the hot milk on low heat  and continue whisking until mixture becomes thick. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of cream and vanilla.Place the pastry cream in a bowl and cover the top of the cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until ready to use.

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Whip cream until stiff and fold in to pastry cream.

Using a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip, fill with pastry cream and jab into side of cooled doughnut. Dip tops into ganache.

Fill as needed to prevent soggy doughnuts.

Crepes

Crepes

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Crepes

1 cup all purpose flour

pinch of salt

eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup club soda

3 tablespoons melted butter, plus a small amount to lightly brush the pan

In a blender , blend all the ingredients until smooth. It should be a very loose batter. If too thick thin with a little milk. Allow the batter to sit for at least 30 minutes before using. Batter can be made at least 2 days in advance and refrigerated.

Brush a small amount of butter in a non stick saute pan. Be careful not to use too much butter. If it appears to be too much wipe out of pan with paper towel.

Put pan on medium heat. Add about 2 oz. of batter into preheated pan and swirl around pan to evenly cover the bottom.

When edges just begin to pull away and bottom just begins to brown, flip crepe and cook about another minute. Repeat process with remaining batter , wiping pan and very lightly buttering the pan with each crepe.

French Vegetable Tian

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2 lbs red , yellow or combination of bell peppers

1/2 cup olive oil

2 lbs. Swiss Chard, stalks removed and leafs coarsely shredded

2 tablespoons pine nuts

Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1 large eggplant, cut int 1/2 inch slices

5 small zucchini, thinly sliced on a diagonal

3 ripe tomatoes , cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs

1 oz. parmesan cheese, grated

1 oz. butter

Remove the seeds and membrane from the bell peppers and place on foil lined baking sheet. Broil bell pepper until skins are black and blistered. Place the blackened peppers in a zip loc bag and seal. Leave until able to handle, then remove the skin from the peppers. Place the skinned peppers in a 8×10 baking dish which has been lightly oiled.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy fry pan over medium heat and cook the chard for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Add the pine nuts and season to taste with salt , pepper and the freshly ground nutmeg. Place the chard and pine nuts evenly over the top of the roasted bell peppers. Heat another tablespoon of oil and add the onion. Cook onion over medium heat until soft and golden. Add the garlic and thyme, cook another minutes, then add diced tomato and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Spread sauce evenly over the chard. Wipe out pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat remaining olive oil and brown sliced eggplant on both sides , remove from pan to drain on paper towels. Place over the top of tomato sauce.  Season lightly.

Arrange the zucchini  and tomato slices in alternating layers over the eggplant. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and parmesan over the top and dot with butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cardamom Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Dough:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

4 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. cardamom

4 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter , room temperature

Filling:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Combine all ingredients, mix well.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons cream

Combine all ingredients , beat well.

To make the dough, in a bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm spot for 30 minutes.

Add the eggs, sugar,cardamom, salt and the remaining flour to the yeast mixture. Fit the mixer with dough hook and knead for 3-4 minutes at medium speed. Add the butter and continue to knead, adding a little flour to reduce stickiness if needed, until dough is smooth. Cover and let rise until double, about 2 hours.

Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Transfer dough to a floured surface and roll out to a 15×10-inch rectangle. Brush the rectangle with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the buttered dough. Sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the dough. Using a rolling pin , gently roll over the top of the dough sprinkled with sugar and nuts. Starting at the long side cover with sugar and nuts, roll up rectangle snugly and pinch seam together. With seam facing down , cut into 10 equal pieces. Place the pieces cut side up in prepared dish. Brush with remaining butter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove from refrigerator and let rise until half as high, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown , about 30 minutes. Let cool and spread frosting over rolls.

Apple Fritters with Orange Glaze

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Fritter:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

zest from 1 orange

2/3 cup half and half

2 eggs

3 cups apples, peeled and diced small

Glaze:

4 cups powdered sugar

3-4 tablespoons fresh orange juice

zest from 1 orange

Heat oil to 375 degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients for the fritter with the orange zest and whisk until well combined. Whisk the eggs and half and half together and stir into dry ingredients. Fold in diced apple.  Using a small ice cream scoop carefully place in hot oil and fry until cooked through and golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. Meanwhile combine all the glaze ingredients adding just enough orange juice to create the correct consistency for dipping, mix well until well combined. With each fritter place into glaze and shake off excess. Place on wire rack set into baking sheet to catch the excess glaze. Allow the glaze to hardened and enjoy.

Tomato-Prosciutto-Arugula Tart

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2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed using manufacturers directions

3 cloves garlic

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 lb. prosciutto

1/2 tsp black pepper

10 firm Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly

1 tsp. fresh thyme

1/2 cup loosely packed arugula, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out pastry sheet to 1/8 inch thickness. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Combine the garlic, prosciutto, pepper and 1/3 cup olive oil in a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until mixture is a rough puree. Spread half the prosciutto mixture onto the pastry sheet , leaving a 1/2 inch edge. Arrange the sliced tomatoes over the prosciutto mixture. Sprinkle the thyme over the top of tomatoes. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over tomatoes. Roll edges around outside of tart to form a crust. Repeat with remaining pastry.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped arugula over the top of the tarts. Serve immediately.