December 30, 2011

Chocolate Dipped S'mores on a Stick


Although nothing compete the original recipe, but this one stands on a very unique and creative stage of s'mores. I liked the simplicity of this recipe and how fast it came togther for presentation. That's why it is so  perfect for parties and birthdays. I give it 8 out of 10.


Chocolate Dipped S'mores On A Stick:

Ingredients:
Marshmallows (the flat jet puffed Mallows are great for this)
Chocolate Bars
Graham Crackers
Dipping Chocolate
popsicle sticks
sprinkles

Directions:

Simply stack 1/2 of a graham cracker with a chocolate bar and marshmallow and top with remaining graham cracker.

Place in the microwave for about 10 seconds – just long enough to slightly soften chocolate and marshmallow.

Quickly, while still warm, insert popsicle stick into marshmallow.

Place smores on wax paper lined sheet and put in freezer for about 30 minuets. This will make every thing nice and firm for dipping.

Melt your dipping chocolate (you can even use chocolate chips), I added a little shortening to the chocolate to thin it down a bit. Dip each of your s’mores and shower with sprinkles while still wet.

Place them to dry on waxed paper.

Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from tidymom

December 17, 2011

Mini Fruit Tart


I have made these mini fruit tarts just for my husband's sake, as he loves these tarts. This time, I have added a very delicate touch to these tarts. I have covered the bottom of the tart with chocolate ganache and covered it with pastry cream :) who doesn't love chocolate just in everything! I thought that would enrich the flavour and indeed they were very rich and yummy and my husband loved them...


Mini Fruit Tart

Ingredients:
Yield: 6 mini tarts

For the Crust:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2-5 tablespoons ice cold water

For the Pastry Cream:
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/8 cup (20 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Makes about 1 cup

For the Chocolate Ganache:
4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

To make the crust, in a cold, large bowl, mix together flour, salt and sugar. Add in butter pieces and cut into the flour using a pastry blender or the tines of a fork until the crumbs range in size from small to pea-sized.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the dough and fold in quickly. Continue folding in one tablespoon of water at a time until the flour and crumbs are just moistened and start sticking together in larger clumps. (Note: You may not use all of the water to achieve this.) Use your hands to pull the dough together and form one disc. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and transfer to your pie pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through.
To make the pastry cream, in a medium-sized bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together with a whisk. (Never let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.)  Sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.  Set aside.

Meanwhile in a saucepan combine the milk on medium heat until boiling.  (The milk will foam up to the top of pan when done, so watch carefully.)  Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.  (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.)

Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly.  When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 - 60 seconds until it becomes very thick and it is hard to stir.

Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the vanilla extract.  Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming.  Cool.  If not using right away refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.  Beat before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.

To assemble the tart, Spread the ganache in a thin even layer over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Allow the ganache to set before proceeding. Spread the pastry cream over the cooled ganache in the tart shell.

Starting from the outside and working toward the center, place the sliced strawberries in concentric circles slightly overlapping each other. Gently press the berries into the cream to help keep them in place.  Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired.  Chill until ready to serve.

Source: crust from foodformyfamily, filling adapted from joy of baking 

December 13, 2011

Sugar Ceam Pie


I love cream and I love anything with cream. I have been waiting to try this recipe for so long. But, as we were moving out last month, I have been away from cooking quite a deal. I love my new kitchen. It is big and the best part of it, is the window. :) For, you all know, the secret behind good shots is good light.


Sugar Cream Pie

Ingredients:

For the Pie Crust:
This makes 2 (double) 9-inch crust
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (omit for savoury filling)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-7 tablespoons ice cold water

For the Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn starch or corn flour
4 tablespoon butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 whole pie crust

Directions:

To make the crust, in a cold, large bowl, mix together flour, salt and sugar. Add in butter pieces and cut into the flour by using hand or a pastry blender or the tines of a fork until the crumbs range in size from small to pea-sized.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the dough and fold in quickly. Continue folding in one tablespoon of water at a time until the flour and crumbs are just moistened and start sticking together in larger clumps. (Note: You may not use all of the water to achieve this.) Use your hands to pull the dough together and form two equal discs. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and transfer to your pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

To make the filling, in a small bowl, place the corn starch; set aside.

On low to medium heat in a medium-sized sauce pan, add the butter, the heavy cream and the milk. After the butter has melted, take some of the cream and pour over the corn starch and whisk until completely dissolved. Now add the sugar into the pan and pour the corn starch into the pan through a sifter, to ensure a smooth mixture. Cook, stirring constantly with a wire whisk just until the mixture is thick and creamy. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Immediately pour the mixture into the pie crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake the pie at 375° F until it bubbles. Watch your pie carefully; this will not take long: I set my timer at 5 minutes and that seems to work perfectly.

Refrigerate and enjoy chilled.

Source: adapted the filling from Tasty Kitchen, and the crust from Foodformyfamily

December 10, 2011

Chocolate Cupcake





This kind of cupcake is so moist and fluffy. The last thing you want your cupcake is to be dense and hard, and this recipe has just fulfilled my needs. The original recipe called for 1 cup of flour, however I found it too watery, so I added 1/4 cup more, which was a right addition. You can even enhance the flavor of chocolate by adding chocolate chips or any kind of chocolate available in your kitchen.



Chocolate Cupcake 

Yield: about 16 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup unsweeten cocoa powder, good quality
1/4 cup sour cream, or plain  yogurt
2 larg eggs
1teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 C. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and oil and beat together on medium-high speed until incoorperative, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and sour cream. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Decorate as desired.

December 03, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada


This recipe is by all means so overwhelming. Thanks to my cousin Dalia who introduced me to such an amazing cheesy chicken enchilada recipe. In fact, there are hundreds of different recipes out there but, definitely not all of them worth trying. At the beginning I used to purchase the flour tortillas, but later I start making my homemade tortillas, which I will be posting them separately.
Cheesy Chicken Enchilada
Direction:
Yeild: 6 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 can enchilada sauce
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 green onion, chopped, for serving
1 cup water            
2 cups Cheddar cheese
12 corn or flour tortillas
Directions:
Place the chicken in some boiling water, season with salt and pepper, and cook until it is completely cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool down.
For the Sauce, Combine the onion with 1 tablespoon of oil, in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Now, add tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, water, chopped tomatoes and taco seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
Back to the chicken, by using two forks, start shredding the breasts. Transfer the shredded chicken to the sauce after it has been cooked through. Add ½ cup of cheddar cheese and cilantro to the mixture and stir well.
Preheat the oven to 200˚. Now you are ready to fill each tortilla with this mixture. Oil a Pyrex baking dish and put some sauce on the bottom so that the tortilla doesn’t burn and also so that it can stick to the sauce and not fall apart. Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 40-60 seconds, until warm and pliable. Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.
After they all have been arranged, top each one with more of the sauce mixture (just the liquid not the chicken or pepper. All the chicken and pepper should be inside the enchilada by now). Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until all cheese melts.
Take out and serve with chopped green onions on top. Make Spanish rice is so good with it.

Adapted from: Dalia's Delights