Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TWD and Kogi BBQ Truck Cake

Do you like bread pudding? According to the P&Q for this week's pick, a lot of people don't. I admit that mushy bread didn't look good to me for a long time, either. But then I tried it and loved it ever since. This recipe, chosen by Liz, incorporates caramelized apples sandwiched between apple butter covered bread and covered in custard.
 I halved my recipe, but maybe there wasn't enough custard because it was a little dry. I would love to try this with caramelized bananas and peanut butter (and maybe some chocolate in there somewhere).

On another note, have you heard about Kogi? If you don't live in Southern California, maybe not. It's a series of trucks that drive around LA and OC delivering yummy food. Our good friend loves it, so it was only fitting that this was his birthday cake:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD- Quick Berry Tart

I think I'm going to have to go with CB on this- not really that "quick." The tart shell comes together quickly, the pastry cream comes together fairly quickly, but by the time you add that up, not so quick.
But oh, so worth it.
Put plainly, you need to make this.

Go to Cristine's blog for the recipe.


Monday, May 10, 2010


We went to Maui last weekend for a wedding. We were spoiled. Badly. This was the view from our room:
The wedding festivities included a luau with the freshest sushi I've ever eaten- I'm talking melt in your mouth fresh. The reception was a four course dinner. Yum.
The first course: a shrimp stuffed crab cake:
Second course: fig, arugula, proscuitto bruscetta with a balsamic reduction:
Third course: Filet of beef over spinach-stuffed portobello and macadamia nut-crusted catch of the day in passionfruit beurre blanc and purple sweet potatoes:
And my favorite- the wedding cake
We hit a place called Alexander's in Kihei. Yummy (deep-fried) goodness.
Hush puppies and shrimp and calamari basket:
Tempura purple sweet potato (I was loving these purple sweet potatoes):
On Mother's Day, we hit the ever-popular Mama's Fish House, which has been featured on Food Network a few times. Purple sweet potato fries!! And amazing seafood.
My favorite, though, was Paia Fish Market. I first saw it as Curtis Stone's pick on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Then I started hearing about it here and there. It was amazing! The people we were with ordered fish baskets and they looked delicious.
We miss you already, Maui!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies

I checked out The Art and Soul of Baking from the library last week and could not WAIT to try some of the recipes. Croissants, pies, tarts.. where to start? We were having a Cinco de Mayo picnic in the park so I decided to to make these Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies.
These cookies look like normal chocolate crinkle cookies, but they're spiced with cinnamon and ancho chile powder, and ground almonds are mixed in with the dry ingredients. These extras add an interesting little twist- I especially like the ground almonds.

Make sure you watch the clock on these- if they're baked even a little too long, they're dry! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies
adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking ~Sur la Table, Cindy Mushet

3 T unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in pieces
1 T coffee liquer or cooled brewed coffee
6 oz 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 c granulated sugar, divided
3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole almonds, toasted and cooled
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t ancho chile powder (optional)
3/4 c confectioners' sugar

1. Bring 2 inches of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Place the butter, liqueur and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Turn off the heat and set the bowl over the steaming water. Stir occasionally with a spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove and let cool while you whip the eggs.

2. Place eggs and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip on high speed until very light in color and thick, about 5 minutes. Add chocolate mixture and whip until blended. about 1 minute.

3. Place the flour, nuts, cinnamon, baking powder and optional chile powder in the food processor and pulse until the nuts are very finely chopped, about 60 to 90 seconds. Add to egg mixture and beat on low just until combined. Stir gently a few times to make sure there are no patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl. Cover the dough with plastic and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until firm.
4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and position the rack in the center.

5. Scoop the chilled dough until tablespoon-size balls. Place the remaining 1/2 c granulated sugar in one small bowl, and the confectioners' sugar in another. Roll each dough ball in the granulated sugar adn then in the confectioners' sugar. Be sure to coat the dough generously with the confectioners' sugar- in this instance more is better. Space the cookies 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

6. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet halfway through thebaking time, for 11 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and cracked. It is better to slightly underbake these cookies than to go too far- when overbaked they are dry and unpalatable. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TWD- Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

I love ice cream. Have I said that? I love homemade ice cream. Although, for some reason, whenever I make it, it's really icy. Never very creamy.
Except this time.
This week's TWD is Burnt Sugar Ice Cream- burnt sugar mixed with milk and cream and eggs cooked until rich and thick. Pop into the ice cream maker for under a half hour.
I think my husband put it perfectly- this tastes like creme brulee. I only made half the recipe and it's gone.

Make it. The recipe is here.
And Like my Facebook page!