Last week marked my second time teaching with Just Simply Cuisine, and I’d like to think it was a great success. I will be providing pictures from both the class and my own recipe testing. There can never be too may pictures of chocolate, and I really challenge you to think of a dessert that isn’t photogenic. The only thing I can think of is baby shower cakes that depict the mother giving birth. And I’d probably still have slice.
Although it may look complicated, this recipe is fool proof. Somehow sprinkling on edible flowers looks complex, and actually takes just a flick of the wrist, while taking the dessert to a new level.
Pistachio Chocolate and Mixed Berry Tart
- 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until finely ground. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium speed until pale. Add the ground pistachios, almond extract and salt and beat until combined. Add the flour and beat at low speed until incorporated and the dough is crumbly. Press into a buttered 9-inch tart pan evenly. Gently poke holes into the crust with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees for 20- 25 minutes, or until edges begin turning golden brown.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 pint of raspberries
- 1 quart of quartered strawberries
- Edible flowers (pansies or arugula flowers)
Heat the heavy cream and milk in a pot over medium-low flame, until it simmers slightly around the edges. Remove from the heat; add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smoothed out. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until well incorporated. Beat the eggs in a small bowl until blended and add them to the chocolate mixture, stir until completely blended. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes until the filling is set and the surface is glossy. Chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Top with berries and edible flowers of your choice.
Occasionally I go to a bottomless mimosas brunch, and occasionally have one two many mimosas. The result is an inexplicable desire to FaceTime with pretty much anyone in my phone book. I don’t know if this is a post colligate phase, where I feel far away from my friends, or just an inexplicable bad day drinking choice. Either way after a particularly bad bout of Facetime harassment I decided I need to apologize with brownies. Although brownies don’t entire make up for the time wasted trying to dodge my calls, they do soften the blow. Especially when stuffed with Fast Break candy and frosted.
When it comes to desserts, I am always trying to up the anti. Rice Krispies aren’t complete until they are doused in sprinkles and every quick bread needs dozens of add ins and some sort of glaze. Maybe one day I’ll be a purest but for now I want each dessert to be more extravagant than the last. Besides, plain chocolate chip cookies are not overly interesting to photograph… I want something with layers and textures and variety. Mission accomplished with these brownies. Find the recipe here.
I often experiment with recipes, which can either end deliciously or with inedible crap and wasted time/ materials. I used to be bitter about failed experiments but after endless batches of failed bread puddings and cheesecakes you tend to get used to it. In fact, I just pulled a treat out of the oven that started off as chocolate chip cookies and ended in a dark chocolate, date fruit cake, so we’ll see how that turns out tomorrow. I ran out of butter, milk, and white sugar during the composition process so cross your fingers for me.
Rice Krispies Treats happen to be one of the sweets that are fool proof. You can’t go wrong melting butter and marshmallows and then adding cereal. And the beauty of Rice Krispies is that it allows some room for creativity. You can sub in Raisin Bran (although please don’t) and other cereals; or mix in sprinkles, chocolate chips or other candy. For this batch I stuck with two classics, Fruity Pebbles and peanut butter chip. Find the recipe here and feel free to express yourself through cereal.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been obsessed with soda. It all started with the the invention of Pepsi Blue. I had never really been allowed soda before Pepsi Blue but for some reason was allowed to purchase this at any connivence store stop. Maybe my parents thought it was so disgusting and toxic looking, that we would be turned of soda forever. Or because it was limited edition, my brother and I would not be able to get addicted. How wrong they were. Nothing is more satisfying then drinking a liquid that closely resembles toilet cleaner in color, and battery acid in taste. Through my childhood this developed into a sickly obsession with overly sugary sodas. It took reaching the point that I couldn’t get out of bed without a Mountain Dew, to realize I needed to change.
Although it was hard to quit cold turkey, I switched my caffeine dependency to a healthier vice, coffee. I may over load my coffee with creamer and Stevia, but hey it’s better than Dr. Pepper right. I still have not mastered how to brew the desired amount of coffee, and decided to put the extra to good use in some brownies. As for the frosting, there are complimentary packets of hot chocolate in my apartment lobby. Best explanation I could come up with, but trust me it’s delicious…
Brownie recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/deep-dark-fudgy-brownies-recipe
Frosting recipe: http://cookiesandcups.com/hot-chocolate-frosting/
After graduating I went from poor college student, to the even less glamorous position of unprepared adult. The adulthood where you have to think about paying your own rent and cell phone bills. And that sh#t ain’t cheap. My active efforts to “reel it in” spending-wise, have been counter acted by the time vex left by outside school work. Without homework I now have so much additional time to happy hour. Also known as the most expensive pass time.
The point of this all, is that I have had very little money for ingredients. When I bake it has mostly consisted of raiding my fridge for anything that goes well together, which is the case with these peanut butter bars. These bars also represent my tendency to go overboard. I kept adding layer upon layer, when stumbling on new items in my pantry. In the end they consisted of four layers: caramel brownies, peanut butter mousse, peanut butter cookie dough and peanut butter chocolate ganache. Needless to say a recipe was not used or recorded. In the future, I am hoping I learn to control my urge for five o clock half priced drinks, so that money can be put towards ingredient purchasing, and time can be put into recipe writing. Wish me luck.