Pistachio Financiers

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Classic Pistachio Financiers

Adapted from here – MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN SMALL CAKES

INGREDIENTS:

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for pans
½ cup flour, plus more for pans
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
4 egg whites
½ cup finely ground pistachios, plus ½ cup finely chopped
2 tbsp. finely ground almonds
1 tsp. baking powder

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METHOD :

Grease 1½” round financier molds or mini-muffin pans; and set aside.
Now, let us make brown butter, the most essential and tasty ingredient on making financiers. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook without stirring, until butter begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Do not let it burn further. Once it cools down a little bit pour through a fine strainer into a bowl. Keep it aside till we assemble everything else.

Whisk both sugars, salt, and egg whites in a bowl until smooth or if you are using standing mixer beat it with the help of paddle attachment.Add flour, ground pistachios, almonds, and baking powder into the egg whites mixture; stir until combined. Add browned butter; stir until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

You can either refrigerate the mix for few weeks or then bake them as you want to eat them. Or bake them in batches or all together. It’s up to you. They are best eaten warm fresh from the oven but you can also store them to enjoy it later on.

Heat your oven to 350° once ready to bake. Pour about 1 tsp. batter into each mold; sprinkle with chopped pistachios, and bake until golden brown, about 16 minutes.Once they are baked remove the muffin pan from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Or remove them from the muffin pan and serve them hot with coffee or tea.

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Orange Cake with Ganache

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Last few months passed by in a glimpse.Sometimes, I want to stop the clock ticking and freeze the moment. I was so busy to even come and check the comments on my blog or update it.There are so many things, I have to tell you all about my trip to Boston on long weekend, our trip to Canada and how excited we were to watch Formula One Grand Prix. And, a birthday surprise that I planned for my husband. It takes a lot of lies, poker face to plan a surprise. It was so tough for me to keep a secret. But, I somehow managed to keep it up. He could smell that something was fishy when we were at the place for the surprise.

I had planned everything in advance in such a way that he couldn’t find out anything. I had made a list of dishes that I would be serving and the cake flavor had to be decided. I started with making a list of friends I were planning to invite. Then, I went on evite and made invitations and sent them out. I had to make sure that the friends are also a part of this surprise.They all were wholeheartedly ready to support me.

The day before the surprise, I had taken off at work and wanted to prepare everything in advance, after all I was cooking for about twenty people. Not, only that I had to hide everything from my darling husband. What if he found out.

I went grocery shopping with one of my friend and made sure I got everything I needed for the surprise. I had made a list of dishes I was cooking, I had made a list of what I have to remember to carry to the park. I had kept the gathering in very lovely park close to our home.

Lucky me, my husband was working on Saturday, day before the party. So, I could catch up on all the last minute details while he was at work. The food was ready and I had kept some of the stuff in the friends car. Some things, I had planned to keep in my car while my husband was busy getting ready to leave for the music concert. Yes, he was told that we are going to a music concert in the park. He believed me , that his problem.

I had asked his friends to come a little early, so that when we arrive they all are ready to give him surprise. It went exactly the way I wanted it to. The friends were on time, the food tasted great and the cake was the highlight of the afternoon, and everyone loved it. I didn’t really plan any games or anything because I wanted people to have time to chit chat and talk to each other. Overall, it went really well.

Only, that after the party we came home  to curry filled car. I had placed the red curry in the trunk, it spilled a little bit. Till today, we can smell a little bit of red curry. We are hoping, the smell would just go away.

Everything turned out to be really good. Everyone loved the cake. I could not take my eyes off that cake; as I had no idea how I would decorate the cake. But, the at the end it came our looking  pretty.

Here’s to the delicious cake.

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Recipe for the orange cake adapted from here

Ingredients:

2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature

1  8 ounce cream cheese package, room temperature

1 1/4 or 1 1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

zest from 2 oranges

1 cup of orange juice fresh

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional – You can add cranberries, chocolate chips, etc in the batter. I liked it the way I made it. Also, I made the cake with 1 1/4 cup of sugar. But, you can make it with 1 1/2 cup which is ideal measurement.

Method:

Before any baking take out all the ingredients from the refrigerator. Everything should be at room temperature for best results.

Preheat the oven at 350 F.

Take the butter in the mixer bowl and with the help of paddle attachment cream the butter then cream and sugar altogether. Once it looks light and fluffy, add the orange zest and mix it. One by one add the eggs, at a low speed and mix it till the all the eggs are well incorporated.

Mix in the vanilla in the orange juice.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. With mixer at low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and orange juice, one by one until everything is mixed well and get well incorporated.

Divide the batter into buttered cake pan, if you are using two pans. If not, then pour all the batter in one pan. Bake it for 45-50 mins or when toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave them for few minutes and then remove from on a wire rack and let them cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Mousse Frosting

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 cups of  milk or dark chocolate chips (I prefer milk chocolate)

1 1/2 cup of Heavy whipping cream

1 cup of Chocolate Glaze (method below)

Fruits for garnish

Chocolate decorations or chocolate curls

Method:

Heat the heavy cream on a stove. Let it simmer and come to boil. Once it is warm enough, take it off the stove. Add the chocolate chips to the cream and mix it really well until everything is well incorporated and you have smooth chocolate cream.

Let it cool in the fridge and then when you are ready to frost, with the help of a whisk attachment whisk the cream until it is fluffy and doubles in volume. Your frosting is ready. This is an easy chocolate mousse or whipped chocolate cream. You can frost your cake immediately or store the frosting in the fridge but whisk it anytime you take it out of the fridge before frosting if you have stored it in the fridge.

So, to assemble the cake.

Take the cake, cut it into two layers or if you have made two separate layers then frost them. Place a small dollop of frosting on the cake board in middle so that the cake sticks to it. Place one of the layers, and with the help of a piping bag spread frosting on the cake (piping bag makes the work easier but if you do not have one or do not want to use one then simply spread the frosting with the help for spatula). It’s okay if the extra frosting is falling off on the sides. Just leave it as it is. Then cover it with the second layer of cake and spread lots of frosting to cover the cake. This is crumb coating. I usually place the cake in the fridge after this step and then spread extra frosting. (Crumb coating helps to frost the cake faster without any crumbs sticking to frosting or spatula and you have smooth frosting).

I use a revolving cake stand and with the help of spatula at around ninety degrees angle, keep spreading the frosting until it looks smooth and take off extra frosting with every spatula. Make it even.

Lot of times, my cakes would not be even, there will extra frosting on one side and little lesson the other side and so it looks sloppy. But, I have learnt my lesson. It comes with practice. Once , the cake is completely frosted , let it go back to the cool place i.e. refrigerator.

Meanwhile, lets make Chocolate glaze recipe.

There will be some leftover chocolate frosting. With the remaining frosting add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and melt it in the microwave or double boiler.It will look shiny and smooth and liquid. Once, the cake is cold enough, take it out place it on a wire rack, place a dish almost bigger size from the cake below the wire rack so that extra glaze  run out wire rack and gets collected in the dish. Drizzle the chocolate glaze (I used a pouted cup) and let it spread on its own , drizzle until it the whole cake is covered. Then, let it set in the fridge.

Meanwhile, chop the fruits like Kiwi, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc. of your own choice. And, garnish the cake as you want. I placed them randomly and I had chopped them in different shapes as well.

Make chocolate decorations. Let it rest in the fridge.

Until then, make chocolate decorations. Chop the fruits.

Garnish the cake with fruits and the chocolate decorations.

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The happy husband and the happy me!

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Ramp and Rhubarb Chutney- Hurray Its Ramp season!

Ramp and Rhubarb Chutney

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The ramp, sometimes called wild leek, is a wild onion native to North America. Though the bulb resembles that of a scallion, the beautiful flat, broad leaves set it apart.The flavor and odor of ramps is usually compared to a combination of onions and garlic and  is an early spring vegetable, a perennial wild onion with a strong garlic-like odor and a pronounced onion flavor.

The first time I came across ramps were when there was a contest on food52. Honestly, I had not heard about ramps or even tasted them. So, it was a good opportunity to try them. And, because they are so close in taste to onions and garlic I was all the more excited.

It was same with Rhubarb, I had never seen or tasted rhubarb. But, after learning from web I found out rhubarb had a sour taste and goes well in desserts and people often used it to make jams. In culinary use, fresh raw petioles (leaf stalks) are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong, tart taste. Most commonly, the plant’s leaf stalks are cooked with sugar and used in pies and other desserts.Rhubarb is one of the first food plants harvested, usually in mid- to late spring Rhubarb stalks are poetically described as “crimson stalks”. Rhubarb has lots of natural water content in it. 

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Ingredients:

1 Stalk of Rhubarb, chopped

6 to 7 stalks of ramps, chopped

3 tablespoons Brown Sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons Granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Coriander- cumin powder

¼ teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper

1/3 cup White Wine

1 teaspoon White Distilled Vinegar

Ramps

Ramps

Method :

Wash and clean the rhubarb and chop it into small pieces. And, similarly clean the ramps and chop them into small pieces including the green and the white part.

Combine everything in a pot and let it  cook on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes , or till it thickens. Keep an eye on it and keep stirring it once in a while. You don’t want to burn the sugar.

Once, it thickens remove it in a bowl or if you are making a big batch then can it using water canning method.

You can also use fresh rosemary , you can serve it with lamb chops or chicken or on a toasted bread with some blue cheese or Gorgonzola. The recipe can be easily doubled. This was purely on experimental basis so I have tried to share exact measurements that I used. Recipe could be easily doubled.

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It tasted so great! It was also picked as community pick on food52. I would like to share the review from food52 : by deanna1001

I’m a chutney maker (and especially rhubarb) from way back so I was intrigued by this recipe for a quick version. Usually chutney takes hours to cook down into a thick mass, but PistachioDoughnut’s version cut that to about 20 minutes. Probably the very small volume had something to do with it. Anyway – it was delightful – the simple list of ingredients made for a clean, bright flavor with the ramps really coming through. (The aromas while cooking were just fabulous.) The amount of pepper makes this a bit spicy, and I added a little rosemary as suggested after about 10 minutes of cooking. I think it added some depth to it. I ate some with a soft blue cheese on croutons and the pairing was spectacular. The recipe as written makes a very small volume (enough for 2-3 servings as a condiment), which is nice for smaller households. Keep experimenting PD – this one’s a winner!

After this review I had cut down the amount of black pepper. But, If you want you can always use more based on your personal preference.

So, go grab your aprons and make some chutney before the ramps season is over and rhubarb is out of sight.

Hope you give it a try.

Karen from Markets of New York city just posted the recipe of the chutney on her blog.

Do you want to check out her blog- Here’s the link

Guest post!

 

 

 

Almond Berry Muffins!

These fabulous berry muffins are awesome and healthy. When I was looking for a perfect muffin recipe I found this one and adapted to my and Mr. Picky eater’s taste. They are fabulous as I substituted the flour with almond meal, it immediately changed the texture and is not at all floury. They are nutritious as well tasty and makes a good morning breakfast. We both ate this for a week and could not stop raving about the taste.

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 Almond Berry Muffins slightly adapted from here

Ingredients:

1 cup of All Purpose Flour

1 Cup of Almond Meal plus 2 Tbsp for the topping

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream

 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

 1 egg

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries and strawberries

( you can use either one type of berry or different varieties like raspberry, blackberry etc)

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 Method:

Pre heat the oven to 350 F. And, line the muffin pan with cupcake liners. If you are not using liner, then please grease the pan.

Meanwhile, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. On the other side, whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold until mixed well and fold in the blueberries and chopped strawberries.

Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin pan with the help of a  ice cream scoop or spoon. I prefer ice cream scoop for perfect measurement. And, each and every muffin is equal in size. Sprinkle some almond meal on top of it. And, bake it for about 20 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Once they are done, remove them from the oven and after resting them few minutes remove them on a cooling rack in order to prevent them from having soggy bottoms. Let them cool for few more minutes and they done.

Enjoy them with a hot cup of coffee for breakfast or afternoon pick me up.

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 Hope you enjoy them. This recipe is a keeper for us.

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I would like to know what is your favorite muffin recipe. Please let me know.

Tiramisu!

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

 

When it comes to easy and quick dessert I think of Tiramisu. Because it comes out in minutes and tastes great.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

 

 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of any kind of liqueur

6 tablespoons of sugar

16 ounces of Mascarpone cheese at room temperature

1  cup heavy cream

1  tablespoon  sugar

1 cup strong brewed expresso

16 to 24 ladyfingers

8 ounces dark or milk chocolate curls or grated

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Method:

In a medium bowl, beat liquer, sugar, and marscapone with an electric hand-held mixer for 1 minute, until well-combined and lightened. In a separate small bowl, beat heavy cream with mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar and beat until firm peaks form. Fold into the marscapone. Line a loaf pan with 8 lady fingers dipped in the espresso. Layer on top half the marscapone and then sprinkle with half the chocolate. Repeat with another layer of dipped lady fingers, marscapone, and chocolate. Cover with plastic and chill of as long as possible, ideally overnight.

Enjoy!

 

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