Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Little Bit of What I Do Every Day

These are a lot of the things I do at work every day. We have multiple banquets every day, and tea on Saturdays. Brunch is also a large event that happens every Sunday.

This is a typical set up for a banquet. Chocolate decadence cake with chantilly cream, blackberry and chocolate garnish. Raspberry glazed cheesecake with assorted berries.

My Take on the Twix

This is my version of the classic Twix candy bar. I added roasted almonds and sea salt to the top. The bar consists of a thick layer of shortbread, white & milk chocolate caramel, and a slick layer of dark chocolate. Before the chocolate sets, I liberally sprinkled on the chopped almonds & sea salt. Next time I would make the caramel with only white chocolate. I didn't have enough this time so I compensated with milk chocolate chips.
The resulting treat is a grown-up candy bar with delicious, deep flavors. I cut the bars into small triangles because they are very rich.

12 ounces Butter, room temperature
6 ounces Sugar
14 ounces Ap Flour
½ tsp Salt
1 cup Sugar
cup Heavy Cream
9 ounces White Chocolate, chopped
¼ tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
4 ounces Dark Chocolate
1 cup Toasted Chopped Almonds
1 tsp Fleur De Sel
1) Preheat oven to 350℉
2) Cream butter and sugar. Add flour and salt.
3) Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

1) Cook sugar using the wet sand method. Keep cream warm while cooking the sugar. Add the cream once you have reached the caramel stage.
2) Pour over the white chocolate, salt, and vanilla.

1) Pour the warm caramel over the cooled shortbread. Put this in the fridge until the caramel is completely cool and solidified.
2) Melt the dark chocolate over a double-boiler and spread over the caramel. Immediately sprinkle on the almonds and fleur de sel. Let set, then cut.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sugar & Spiced Nuts

I adapted this recipe from Joy the Baker's blog. The original called for fennel seeds but I am not a big fan. Instead, I opted to use fresh rosemary. The nuts are very simple to make and can be adapted to your liking! I loved the finished look of the nuts, glossy with caramel and studded with rosemary and hot pepper flakes. These are definitely going into my holiday packages this year!

Sugar & Spice Nuts

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon rosemary chopped very fine

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used sea salt)

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

a pinch cayenne

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw cashews

2 Tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix sugar, rosemary, salt, cayenne and pepper flakes in a medium sized bowl. Add the nuts and water and stir until coated. Pour onto the foil lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.

Bake the almonds for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir almonds around. Return to the oven and bake for another 17 minutes, checking and stirring the almonds 2 to 3 more times. Nuts will turn beautifully dark brown. Remove from the oven and separate with a fork. Cool and remove from the pan to a serving bowl or an airtight container for storage.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Peach Almond Coffee Cake

This cake is sweet, crunchy and tart! Great for using up leftover buttermilk. Very easy to cut into pieces. For the almond flour, I toasted almonds and then ground them in the food processor.

adapted from Not Derby Pie
2 ripe peaches (cling and freestone are both fine)
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour (or finely ground toasted almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.

Cut the peaches in slices.

Cream together the butter and remaining sugar with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts, and stir to combine.

Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth (some lumps may remain). Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth top.

Lightly press the peaches into the top of the cake in a circular pattern. Sprinkle finely ground almonds on top.

Bake cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Apple Galette

Intro to Basic Pastry: Production Station, Day 2

Apples sauteed in Cinnamon Sugar on top of Pastry Cream enclosed in Pasta Frolla

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Intro to Basic Pastry: Cake Station, Day 3

Chocolate Cake base with a 3 inch layer of Chocolate Mousse. Frosted with Chocolate Whipped Cream.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pumpkin Cake

Intro to Basic Pastry: Cake Station, Day 3

Pumpkin Chiffon Cake filled with Cinnamon Cream Cheese. Frosted with Vanilla Italian Buttercream. Marzipan Pumpkins.