Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Chocolate Tart

I had to make a dessert for shabbat and I was debating what to do. I recently got into lemon. I LOVE using fresh lemons in anything I can. I was debating between lemon meringue pie and a spice cake. I've never made either, but I have eaten both and they are both delicious. I couldn't figure out which one I was in the mood for. Finally, I decided to go for something chocolate because you can't go wrong with chocolate.

I found a recipe in an Israeli cook book (Karin Goren) for a chocolate tart. I have made a few recipes from this book and they were all great. One of my coworkers (who recommended the book) also only has positive feedback about all of the recipes from it.

It called for a food processor to make the dough. I used a kitchenaid (because that's what I have) and changed the method and the dough came out great.

You can see the dough formed a nice ball. In a food processor, you start off with the dry ingredients and then add the wet. In a mixer, you cream the butter and sugar, add the wet, and then the dry. The outcome is the same though. Once the dough is done you form it into a disc, wrap it up and stick it in the fridge so that it is ready for rolling. Roll it out and put it in the pan.

Poke some holes in the dough and bake! Once the dough is cool, you can make the filling which includes eggs, vanilla, chocolate, creamer etc. It is important to use good quality chocolate because it can really affect the taste. The recipe called for creamer but I used a container of whipping cream and it was lovely. Once the filling is ready, pour it into the cooled crust and bake for about 20 minutes. It's ok if it doesn't look ready because it sets while it is cooling. Once it is cooled, pour on a basic ganache and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

The tart came out delicious. I, personally, don't think there is such a thing as too rich or too chocolatey, but some might say that it is.

I would post the recipe, but it is in a cook book in Hebrew. If anyone wants it, please contact me and I will be more than happy to share it :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Maple Snickerdoodles

I was having a few people over on Shabbat and I wanted to have something to munch on. Cookies are always easy to make. Snickerdoodles are particularly easy. The dough is pretty basic and it doesn't need refrigeration. And they are rolled in sugar which give them a nice finishing touch.

Since I am still in my experimental stage, I wanted to try something different. I have a recipe for maple snickerdoodles and decided to give it a shot. The recipe is pretty straight forward. The one thing I did differently is that I used pancake syrup instead of maple syrup (it is about 3x the price in Israel). Lesson learned: pancake syrup is A LOT sweeter than maple syrup. If you try the recipe and use pancake syrup, I would recommend using either less sugar or less syrup.

This is what the cookies looked like before they went into the oven.

This is what they looked like when they came out of the oven. Despite the sweetness, they were very tasty (im a big fan of anything sweet).

Maple Snickerdoodles

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt*
½ cup margarine, softened (I used unsalted butter)
1 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for rolling
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the maple syrup and egg until combined. Add dry ingredients. Beat until just mixed.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in additional sugar. Arrange balls on cookie sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake until tops are crackly, about 8 to 10 minutes (My larger cookies actually baked for 12-13 minutes.) Remove from oven, and leave cookies on sheets to cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

bananas in cookies?

I've always been a bit hesitant when it came to playing around with recipes the first time I made something. This is why...

On Monday I made black & white cookies (an old family favorite). I had some applesauce left over from something else that I made and I knew that if I didn't use it, it would just end up in the garbage. BIG mistake. The cookies tasted fine... for Passover cookies! Lesson learned, unfortunately the hard way.

Today I made banana walnut chocolate chunk cookies. I don't like nuts so I decided to leave them out. Nuts are usually optional anyway. I was a bit concerned though because the walnuts in these cookies has to be a key ingredient since it's in the title. But guess what?? The came out delicious!! There are some ingredients that are ok to play around with! Phew!

These cookies are loaded with nutrients- not only do they have bananas, they also have chocolate (which we all know is good for you). In addition to that, they have some whole wheat flower and oats. Now when I eat them, I don't have to worry about eating junk food.... YUM!

Monday, July 5, 2010

a whole new world

Hello. I have to admit that I have never been into the whole blog thing. It's as if there is a whole other world out there that I have yet to learn...

A friend of mine from work (who is an artist) told me that she does more art since she started her blog. I love to bake. I always have. I find it a relaxing and enjoyable past time. The purpose of my blog is to push me to bake more. To help me think of fun, new and delicious things to try and share with whoever decides to read this. And hopefully, people can give me some good suggestions of things to try.

I decided to take on a project that I call the muffin project. I want to attempt to perfect the muffin. The first flavor of muffins I made were chocolate chip muffins. They weren't the best muffins I've ever had but they were tasty. It'll give me something to work on!

Originally, I was going to focus mainly on muffins and blog about that. But after thinking about it, I realized that I enjoy baking way too much and do not want to limit myself to just one thing. Hopefully, this blog will help encourage me to try lots of new things.