I love French Fries.
I love French Fries.
I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date... (1. being the posting date of the DB Cheesecake and 2... well... you'll get the significance of 2 in a minute).
Once upon a time, I was dining at Market Table in NYC in honor of Jack's birthday. I rarely order dessert (I know, bad baker, support my people!) but since this was a special occassion, I went for it. I order Maida Heatter's Polka Dot Cheesecake.
Then, using the same procedure, squeeze out six balls around the rim. In order to space the six balls evenly, place the first one at twelve o’clock (straight up). The next at six o’clock (straight down). Then two on each side. Doing it this way, the chances are that the spacing will be quite even. The balls around the rim should be smaller than the one in the center, and they should not touch each other or the center ball. If you have some chocolate mixture left over add it to the center ball; if you still have some left over add a bit to each of the other balls.
The top of the cake will not be smooth and level now, but it will level itself during baking. When baked, the polka dot in the center will be about 2 ½ inches wide, the dots around the rim will be about 1 ½ inches wide.
Place the cake pan into the larger pan. Place it in the oven and pour hot water into the larger pan about 1 ½ inches deep. If the larger pan is aluminum, add about ½ tsp cream of tartar to prevent the water from discoloring the pan.)
Bake for 1 ½ hours. The top of the cake will still be come golden brown and it will feel dry to the touch but the cake will still be very soft inside (it will become firm when it has cooled and been refrigerated).
Lift the cake pan out of
the water and place it on a cake rack. Cool the cake in the pan for 2 ½ hours.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
For now, lets pretend that these Jamaican Veggie Patties are cheesecake, shall we?
I just got a new camera - WOOT!
Heat oven to 450°.
Meanwhile, discard any innards from cavity of cornish game hen; rinse inside and out, pat dry and season cavity and outside with salt and pepper. Put 1 sage leaf into the cavity of 1 cornish game hen; place a second sage leaf on top of breast side. Wrap breast of cornish game hen with 1 prosciutto slice, turn and repeat on the other side. Thread cavity closed with a skewer (or toothpicks). Repeat with remaining cornish game hen.
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted and bubbles form; add cornish game hen, breast side down. Sear for 7 minutes, breast side down, then turn breast side up and sear for another 7 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and roast for 6 minutes; roasting until just cooked through (check inner thigh—meat will still be slightly pink, and a thermometer should read 165 degrees F).
Remove pan from oven; transfer to a plate. Reserve pan (with drippings).
In a separate heavy saucepan bring chicken stock to a boil; gradually whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until polenta is very thick and pulls away from side of pan, 8 to 10 minutes.
In the reserved chicken pan, add carrot and shallot to skillet (skillet handle will be very hot; use a heavy pot holder to handle); place pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot is tender, about 8 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to medium-high and simmer for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, garlic, chives and pinch salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Spoon polenta and vegetables onto plates. Top with cornish game hen. Drizzle with pan drippings and serve.
Yes. For reals.
Let me give you a bit of a rundown on these brownies:
Typical Brownie Recipe (12 servings):
46 grams carbohydrates
For Reals? Brownie Recipe (not including walnuts because I hate nuts in my brownies but if you like them, add 16 calories and 1.5g fat per brownie ):
0.5 grams of fat
23.4 grams of carbs
Now, you may think that these brownies are too good to be true. "They must taste like low-fat grossness," you say to yourself.
Well, you are wrong.
When I handed these brownies to Jack, he looked at me with confusion and said, "I thought these were low-fat brownies".
Since they are low-fat, he uses that as an excuse to eat 3 at a time (which kind of defeats the purpose) but even if he does, it is still 15 less grams of fat per "Jack serving". And he has super fast metabolism, so he can eat whatever he wants and still be thin. Sigh.
Now, don't get me wrong. There is no way to imitate the wonderful deliciousness that goes into regular, full fat, butter filled, artery clogging, egg yolk-having, cholesterol-toting brownies. But these are damn close. For low fat brownies, these are fantastic.
These are fudgey, incredibly moist, and delicious and taste best (in my opinion) when heated and served with a dollop of whipped cream (if you want to keep it healthy, have it with Cool Whip and only add 25 calories!). A-MA-ZING.
I'll never look at brownies the same way again.
Healthy Brownies adapted from Maple N Cornbread
1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1/2 cup white whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an individual brownie pan or 8 inch square baking pan, with non stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix together all of he dry ingredients. Mix the applesauce and egg whites and gently fold into the dry mixture. Stir only until moistened.
Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until desired texture is reached. Less time will result in a more dense, gooey brownie and longer time will produce a cake like brownie. When cool, cut into 12 pieces.
I made the tiramisu cream (which was outrageously good) and yet again, Cooks Illustrated proved that pure brilliance emanates from their test kitchen. The cream was rich and creamy (obvs), yet fluffy and light as air, with a subtle hint of rum.
And it was PERFECT with the Tiramisu bread pudding. I can't even explain how good this was. My boyfriend did his happy dance again. I had 2 more bites. Fatty McGee be damned!
Well, this definitely deserves a "Challaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" times twelve. Seriously. Try this recipe. Check out the other TWDers. Unleash your inner McGee.
Have a 9-x-13 inch baking pan at hand (a Pyrex pan is perfect here), as well as a roasting pan big enough to hold the baking pan and how water. Line the roasting pan with a double thickness of paper towels
Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. It the bread is stale, put it and the raisins or cherries, if you are using them, into the baking pan. If it is not stale, spread it out on a a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat and bake in a 350-degree-F oven to "stale" it for 10 minutes, then toss into the pan (with the fruit).
Bring the milk and cream just to a boil.
Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolks, rum, brewed coffee and sugar together in a bow. Still whisking, slowly drizzle in about one quarter of the hot milk mixture--this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they don't curdle. Whisking all the while slowly pour in the rest of the hot milk. Add the chocolate and whisk it in gently until it is melted and the custard is smooth. Rap the bowl against the counter to pop bubbles that might have formed, then pour the custard over the bread and press the bread gently with the back of a spoon to help cover it with liquid. Leave the pan on the counter, giving the bread the back-of-the-spoon treatment now and then, for 30 minutes.
GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. F.
Slide the pan setup into the oven and very carefully pour enough how water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the pudding pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the pudding is uniformly puffed, the top is dull and dry and a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
Tiramisu Cream recipe (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
In a heat proof bowl set over simmering water, beat yolks at low speed with a hand mixer until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-hgih speed until pale yellow, 1 ½ to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice. Add remaining 4 tablespoons rum and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl once or twice.
In a separate bowl, beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Increase speed to high and contine to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1 ½ minutes longer. Using rubber spatula, fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain.
A great man once said "If at first you don't succeed, don't cry about it, you big baby! Do it again!"
1 1/3 cups milk
6 chai tea bags
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
Honey Ginger Cream (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the tea bags, being careful not to let the paper tags dip into them ilk. Remove from the heat and allow the tea to steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the teabags carefully squeezing the milk from them back into the pan. Let the chai milk cool completely.
In a medium bowl, combine whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/3 cup of the chai milk. Whisk to blend.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds the dry ingredients. Add the butter and the remaining chai milk and, with the mixer on medium low, beat to blend well. Raise the spread to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 prepared pans.
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 ounces softened cream cheese
6 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup honey (liquid)
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to incorporate, then scrape down the bowl and process until smooth and well blended. Transfer to a bowl and chill for an hour before using to fill and cover the cake layers, allowing any excess to drizzle down the sides.
No, despite the title, I did not make a bad meal that tasted like dog food.
I write this post today, you see, because my beautiful 2 1/2 year old Australian Shepherd, Remy (named after the character Remedios from 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, NOT THE ALCOHOL) is getting surgery today. Remy has cataracts.
Australian Shepherds (aka - Aussies), famous for their beautiful coats, outstanding intellect, and their two-toned eyes, are actually known to have various eye defects. Some have one brown eye and one blue eye, but in Remy's case, each eye is half-brown and half-blue. It sometimes makes her look like she has a severe case of lazy eye and my father always relishes in making fun of her, calling her Marty Feldman (from Frankenstein).
Cataracts is actually very common in the breed, so although Jack and I were sad to discover a big, white mass in her retina, we were not surprised. When we learned that Remy would have to get surgery, we started to worry like two parents would. We were instructed to give her eye drops twice daily and at first, she struggled and ran around the apartment as if we had said the dreaded B-A-T-H word. After a few weeks, however, she sat obediently as we delicately dropped liquid into her eye (she is such a good girl!).
Taking extra precaution, we fed Remy her last meal before the surgery at around 5 pm. She was not to eat or drink for at least 12 hours, so at 8:00 pm we gave her her last bowl of water. She lapped it up quickly and excitedly, as if she knew that it was the last taste of water she would have for a little while.
We cuddled with her in bed while we fell asleep. I awoke at 5 am and headed to the gym, knowing that an hour later, Jack and I would have to give her her last set of eye drops. Remy excitedly jumped out of bed and ran over to her food bowl, thinking that she would get an early breakfast. I sighed and pet her head as I apologized for starving her. When I returned, Jack and I gave applied the eyedrops and I began making breakfast as she trailed my every move, still waiting for her breakfast to be prepared as well.
But there was to be no breakfast for my little Remy.
She watched me intently as I prepared my egg white omelet, positioning herself next to a 20 pound bag of Pro Plan Salmon and Rice flavored food. She dropped her nose into the opening of the bag, quickly pulling it out and looking at me with a look of both longing and confusion, as if to ask, "Mommy, what about my breakfast?"
It killed me.
I sometimes think having a dog is like having a child, but the difference is that you can't communicate with a dog. I couldn't say, "No, Remy, if you eat now, you'll go poop all over yourself and throw up during the surgery." Instead, I just hugged her as she shook her butt (Australian Shepherds have docked tails, so when happy, they shake their butts like hula girls).
Jack then took our thirsty, hungry, and confused dog off to surgery. I swore to her that I would make her the BEST dinner ever when I got home tonight.
I scoured the internet for a good meal, keeping in mind that, although the meal can contain some human food, Aussies also have very weak stomachs and cannot eat too many different kinds of foods (much to their dismay, I am sure). I was shocked at the plethora of foods you can find on the internet! And they look tasty!
I might actually steal food from her this time! The tables will be turned!
UPDATE: She's out of surgery and doing great! She'll be even better after dinner!
Salmon Dog Food Dinner Recipe - From Gourmet Sleuth.com
Picture this. You are walking down the streets of Chinatown. New York City. The sun is setting in the distance as you maneuver your way through the crowded city streets, passing stands featuring gorgeous steamed buns, $2 dumplings, and buckets of raw chicken necks. The bright signs illuminate foreign characters, growing brighter as the sun sets lower. Steam rises from the netherworld of the subway below your feet. You arrive at an unmarked glass door, illuminated by the most subtle of pink lights. A large man towers over you and wordlessly extends his hand and grunts. You instinctively reach into your wallet and retrieve your license and quickly hand it over to the imposing figure. His eyes bounce from the license (which is dwarfed by his enormous hand) to your face and back to the license. Without saying a word, he grabs your wrist and stamps your hand as he opens the door glass door with his free hand and grants you entrance. You head down the dark hallway as the pink light grows brighter and you are swallowed by the darkness behind you. You reach an open doorway and take a deep breath, ready for the onslaught that is about to attack you.
Think about that. Eight cupcakes in an hour.
The crazy thing is that I don't think he was the only one to accomplish such a feat. People were pushing their way through the event with 2 cupcakes in each hand and going back for seconds and thirds. In all seriousness, frosting was flying everywhere. I kept finding frosting in my hair hours after the event. However, I somehow managed to not eat ANY cupcakes, partially because of my willpower and partially because, after baking cupcakes and tasting and adjusting frosting for six hours, I wanted to vomit six times over. So I had three bites of interesting cupcakes and called it a day.
There were cupcakes from amateurs and professionals alike (Magnolia Bakery, Baked by Melissa, and Billy's Bakery were just some notable New York City bakeries that brought cupcakes to the event.) Some cupcake highlights were Domo Cupcakes (I had no idea what Domo was before this event), Pink Lemonade Cupcakes, Strawberry Mascarpone, and Bacon, Cheddar and Chive Cupcakes.
Jackie of Food Wanderlust and I are organizing Cupcake Camp DC this summer! Our website is still under construction, but follow us on Twitter for the time being and we'll keep you updated with all of the Cupcake Camp DC happenings! It is a month before I move back to NY, and what better way to leave a city than to bombard it with cupcakes!