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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Properly Posing with Statues




















Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chocolate Ginger Pear Fudge Cake


Fondant aux Poires et au Gingembre

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
4 oz. Butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup Flour
1 tbsp. Yeast (or use flour with yeast incorporated)
3 Ripe Pears
1 tbsp. Shredded Fresh Ginger (or ginger powder)
Powdered Sugar to decorate
Butter for baking dish

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Butter baking dish.
2. Peel pears. Cut into thick slices. Place slices, going from the center to the edges, on bottom of baking dish. It should look like a multi-tipped star.
2. Combine flour, yeast, ginger, and cocoa powder. Stir.
3. In another bowl mix the butter and sugar until it is smooth.
4. Stir in 2 eggs, one at a time into butter cream. Slowly add flour mixture. Stir until homogenous.
5. Pour batter into baking dish over pears. Bake for about 30 minutes. Check to see that the fondant is cooked by inserting the blade of a knife. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, continue baking until finished.
6. Turn off the oven, leave fondant inside, with oven door open, for 10 minutes.
7. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar and serve slightly warm or cold.

French classic

Eclair au ChocolatÂ… A delightful French classic!

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Ingredients (for 20 eclairs):

Eclair Dough:
2/3 cup Milk
2/3 cup Water
4 oz. Butter
1 cup Flour
5 Eggs
2 tsp. Granulated Sugar
Pinch of Salt

Chocolate Cream Filling:
6 oz. Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
1 cup Milk
4 Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Flour

Chocolate Icing:
5 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate
2 oz. Butter
1/4 cup Water

How to Make It:

Eclair Dough:

Preheat oven to 425°F
1. In a pot, mix water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt.
Bring to a boil.
2. Once butter has completely melted, take off flame,
 and slowly pour in flour, stirring constantly.
3. Put pot back on flame and continue to work it with
 a wooden spoon. Continue stirring and kneading with
 spoon until the dough dries out and stops sticking to
 the sides of the pot.
4. Take off flame. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring
 energetically.
5. Fill a baking sac with batter. Butter a baking sheet.
Squeeze out "finger-sized eclairs" onto baking sheet,
 well-spaced.
6. Bake for 10 minutes. Then turn oven down to 385°F
 and bake another 10-12 minutes with the oven door open.
Voilà !

Chocolate Filling:

1. Melt chocolate (chopped) and milk in a pot, and
 bring to light boil, remove.
2. In a bowl, whisk yolks and sugar until it whitens.
3. Slowly add flour, stirring.
4. Slowly add chocolate and milk, stirring until homogenous.
5. Put back in pot, bring to light boil, stirring constantly,
 until cream thickens and becomes smooth.
6. When cream cools off (and eclairs have cooled off as well),
 you can begin filling the eclairs: Cut a small slit lengthwise,
 and then stuff with cream, using your baking sac or a small spoon.
Voilà !

Icing:

Almost done! Hang in there! Chocolate eclair recipes are
 well-worth the time they take!!!
1. Melt chocolate with water in a small pot over a low flame.
2. Once melted add butter, whisking the whole time.
 Should look shiny and creamy!
3. Remove from heat. Spread a thin layer on each eclair, using a spatula.
4. Wait until icing hardens a bit to serve it.

Extra Moist Chocolate Truffle Cake

Chocolate Truffle Cake
 Extra Moist!

Gâteau Truffe… The ultimate French chocolate cake!

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

9 oz. Unsweetened Baking Chocolate (or your favorite high-quality dark chocolate at 70% cocoa)
9 oz. Granulated Sugar
9 oz. Butter
6 Eggs (separate whites and yolks!)
Butter for cake pan

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Melt chocolate and butter in a bain-marie (double-boiler) without ever letting the water boil. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Whisk egg yolks with the sugar and then gently stir in the chocolate.
3. Beat the egg whites until firm and "snowy". Gently stir into batter.
4. Pour 2/3 of batter into a buttered cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Put the remaining 1/3 of batter in the refrigerator -- it's going to make the truffle cream!.
5. Let cake cool off and then remove from cake dish. Very carefully, cut the cake into two disks (cut in half lengthwise.)
6. Whisk the remaining third of batter to give it a little volume and air.
7. Gently spread half of batter "cream" on one disk. Cover with other disk. Spread the rest of the batter on the top. Put in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
Voilà! The best moist chocolate cake recipe!

BLINTZs from a friend


BERRY-TOPPED BLINTZ BAKE

Yield: 6 servings
BLINTZ:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces small curd cottage cheese
3 eggs, plus one egg yolk
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
1 tsp baking powder
TOPPING:
1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries, thawed
3/4 cup blackberry of blueberry syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square
 dish with 2-inch high sides (2 quart pan).

BLINTZ: Place cream cheese, cottage cheese, the egg
yolk, 1 Tbs. of sugar, 1 Tbs. of flour and vanilla in a
 blender container. Blend on low speed until smooth,
 stopping and scraping down side of container once.
 Transer cheese mixture to bowl; set aside.
Do not wash blender.

Place the 3 eggs, sour cream, milk, butter and lemon
 peel in blender container. Blend on medium speed
 until smooth. Add combined 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup
 sugar and the 1 tsp. baking powder.
Blend on high speed until smooth.

Pour half of the batter into the baking dish. Drop smal
l spoonfuls of cheese mixture in evenly spaced rows
 on top of batter. Pour remaining batter on top.
Bake until puffy and edges begin to turn golden,
 about 45 minutes.

TOPPING: Combine berries and syrup in a small
 saucepan. Heat over low heat until warm, stirring
 occasionally. Cool blintz on wire rack for 5 minutes.
 To serve, cut into squares; top with berries.
 Makes 6-8 servings.

BLINTZ LOAF

Servings: 6
Batter:
1/2 c. margarine
1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. milk
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Filling:
8 oz. dry cottage cheese
2 eggs
8 oz. creamed cottage cheese
2-4 T. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
dash vanilla
Optional:
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1-2 oz. cream cheese
1-2 oz. sour cream
DIRECTIONS:
Cream together margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs
 and milk. Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
 Combine and blend all. Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together filling ingredients. Pour half of batter
 into a greased 8x8 inch glass baking pan. Pour in
all of the filling and spread evenly. Cover with
 remaining batter. Bake 55 minutes. Cool slightly,
 cut into 12 pieces. Serve with sour cream and jam.

Can easily be doubled. Don't double salt or cinnamon.
 Use a 9x13 inch pan.

FRUIT TOPPED CHEESE BLINTZES

1-1/4 cups (10 oz.) Ricotta Cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) Shredded Swiss Cheese
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 package (4 oz.) crepes (9-inch)
4 medium pears, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
Stir together Ricotta and Swiss cheeses, confectioners
 sugar and lemon rind. Separate crepes according
to package directions. Place bout 2 tablespoons
 cheese mixture in center of each crepe.

Fold both sides over filling; fold top and bottom
 edge over center, forming squares. Place blintzes,
 seam-side down, in 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
 Cover with foil.* Bake at 350F
10 minutes or until heated through.

Meanwhile, in medium skillet, cook pears in butter
over medium heat 3 minutes or just until
crisp-tender. Stir in lemon juice, brown sugar,
 raisins and cinnamon; heat through. Pour over
blintzes. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. 10 servings

*At this point, blintzes can be refrigerated overnight.
 Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before
baking. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

CREPES:

2 eggs
few shakes salt
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup milk (whole, low or non fat)
Butter or margarine to grease the pan
FOR CREPES: Beat 2 eggs well and combine with
 salt and flour. Mix to a creamy consistancy. Add
 milk gradually and keep mixing so batter does not lump.
If lumpy, strain after mixing. Put aside or refrigerate.
(May be prepared a day or two in advance and kept in
 the refrigerator until ready to use. If you do this, bring it
back to room temperature before starting to make the crepes.)
 Also, mix well before starting and as you are making the
 crepes as the mixture tends to separate slightly.

MUFFIN BLINTZES

Yield: 8 servings
12 ounces creamed cottage cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
7 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch salt
Dash Paprika, nutmeg
Combine cottage cheese, eggs, flour, baking powder,
sugar, butter and salt, mix thoroughly. Fill (to the top)
about 8 well- greased muffin cups. Top each with
dash of paprika and nutmeg.

Bake in a 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Muffins will
puff up high while cooking but will drop back down.
 Can also be made day ahead and reheated.
Serve plain or with sour cream.

Once a year abouth the fouth of July, we would go
 to Jersey for big sweet blueberries. She would make
 this sauce and it is so good!

Warm Blueberry sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
pinch of salt
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup blueberries
1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour, water, salt,
 and lemon juice. Cook until mixture thickens slightly.
 Add the blueberries and cook over moderate heat,
stirring for one minute. Remove from heat, add butter,
 and stir until melted. Add cinnamon and stir.
Spoon sauce over

SPINACH AND CHEESE BLINTZ

4 cups frozen spinach
3 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 cups scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella, grated
Salt and pepper
Completely defrost the spinach and squeeze out any
 excess liquid. Add the butter or olive oil to a skille
t and saute the scallions about 2 minutes. Add the spinach
 and continue to cook about 5 minutes longer. Add the
 sesame oil, cheddar, and mozzarella, folding the spinach
 over the cheese until it melts. Season with salt and pepper
. Remove the filling from the pan and cool
before stuffing your blintz crepes.