I know it’s already Thursday. And the T in TWD is for Tuesdays…not Thursdays. But I was really lazy! I did make this Torte on Monday. Honestly, I did! I was just too lazy to post it.
Anyway, for the past Tuesday, April of Short + Rose picked Cherry-Fudge Brownie Torte from page 284-285. They were DELICIOUS!!
I was super excited about trying out a flambe!! Before this recipe, I had never heard of Kirsch. It was a tiny bit of a challenge to find this Kirsch in Hawaii…I had to go to a specialty store within the local grocery (Foodland).
I’m guessing a lot of people actually skipped the flambe…do that many people actually keep a torch at home? I was actually lucky because we use fire all the time in dentistry. I had a torch back from my dental school days.
Honestly, I was a bit worried…because the flame doesn’t shoot out that far…was I going to burn my eyebrows? my hair? But I was still willing to give it a try. And it worked just fine!! No poof! and big flame like they do in the restaurant…but the cherries were on fire!
After the Flambe, everything was pretty much just simple baking. However, this recipe definitely did end up with a lot of bowls and dishes to be washed.
But was it all worth it? Goodness…YES! It was one of the best things I’ve ever baked. It was just the right amount of fudginess and the cherries in there were amazing. Oh and the mousse topping? Everyone that tried just went ga-ga over it! This was a fun, delicious dessert, worth all the dishes in the world!
Thursdays are my day off. usually I try to do something interesting…but today, the vog (I’m guessing the word came from volcano + fog?) from the Big Island was all over the island. It looked as if it was going to rain. The vog always makes my throat itchy and makes me tired. So what better way than to stay home and make some baked goods?
This week, I was extra excited about CEiMB schedule, because to be honest, I’m more of a baker than a cook (does that mean I like to follow directions? I don’t know), and Oddball Mitten had chosen Pumpkin Pie Muffin!
I have a confession to make. Before this recipe, I did not have any molasses, ground ginger, cloves, or nutmeg. I know I know…I just said I like baking. How is this possible? I just always felt too lazy to go get these and looked for recipes that didn’t call for these spices. However, no more! Thanks to this week’s choice, now my pantry is complete. I feel like I can bake anything now!
I didn’t have pumpkin seeds, so I used Sunflower seeds that I had around. But they were not peeled, and while cracking them out of their shells, they kept breaking. So I just crushed and sprinkled them all over!
Just like Ellie said in her book, the smell filled the whole place while they were baking in the oven..oh the anticipation!!
They were really really soft. Maybe a bit more soft than I had expected. Should I have left them in the oven a bit more?
But once I got over how soft and airy it was, the taste was just great and I must say, it is absolutely perfect for an autumn breakfast!
So I joined another group called Craving Ellie in My Belly. Funny thing is I was just surfing the web jumping from one blog to another, and I came across this blog…and noticed I already had some of these cookbooks. More interesting was I had never tried any of the recipes. So this was a perfect way to actually make myself try some of it. The postings are meant to be every Thursday. (Please remember I’m on Pacific Time Zone!!)
I must say…flipping those Quesadillas was hard!!! So I made a couple of changes here and there. I never really liked “cubed” chicken. I just think it makes the meat…so…tough. So I decided to shred it!
Just so that I could make it a bit healthier, rather than using any kind of oil to cook the chicken, I cooked it in boiling water for about 15 minutes. And it came out very tender!
The next step was to cook everything…
I loved how the filling to tortilla ratio was very very generous with this recipe. I hate it when I order quesadillas and I get two slabs of tortilla with like 0.2 mm of filling in between!
Also, just to have a little more veggie, I put a layer of spinach over the tortilla before putting the filling on top of it.
The hardest part for me was flipping the quesadilla over after 3 minutes. My first one just came all undone and it was a huge mess!!! So for the second one, I actually cut it into fours before putting it on the pan. Which made life so much easier.
As for the Salsa, I used medium heat.
And for the sour cream. Here’s my 3rd change. I used greek yogurt rather than sour cream! Have you heard of Fage?? It’s my favorite thing right now. I had some sour cream at home, but after tasting it, I went with Fage and it was oh-so-good. And no fat, too! I’ve been hooked on these things…eating it with frozen fruits and agave with some salt sprinkled on top. I’ll post a pic of that later.
And here’s the whole finished product. I definitely enjoyed it! Just need a little bit more practice with the flipping!
Did you know that Oct. 16th is “Boss’ Day”? Me neither. At our office we have about 20-something staff members and 4 dentists. So when the staff got four of us a personal gift each, I was just blown away!! And guess what they got me? A set of beautiful mixing bowls and from William-Sonoma, a spatula that was…are you ready for this? engraved: Dr.Min-The Baking Dentist. Love, your WDC family WHAT?? How awesome is that?
And I actually got to use it for the TWD this week.
So this week’s TWD assignment was Sweet Potato Biscuits (Page 26) chosen by Erin of Prudence Pennywise.
I couldn’t find canned sweet potato and ended up using yam. I have a feeling that this might have affected the result…but my biscuits came out very very cushy and soft. I was expecting a more flaky biscuit. I do know yams have a higher moisture content. Should I have baked it for a bit longer?
They felt more like bread than biscuit…but the flavor was definitely perfect for a late autumn afternoon.
Yesterday, I got an email from Tuesdays With Dorie that I could join! Yay!! (However, I’m not on the list yet. They must have a million emails everyday! So I’m happily patiently waiting!)
So, I decided to start following the weekly baking assignments. This week was Split Level Pudding from page 384-385 chosen by Garrett of The Flavor of Vanilla. Pudding! I love pudding!
I had some butter that I had picked up from the Farmer’s Market last week (along with the corn).
There was a lot of moving the mix (from the processor to the saucepan to the processor to the…). However, overall, I thought it was a quick and easy recipe. Making the chocolate ganache was simple enough. I was thinking that maybe next time I would either alternate the pudding and the ganache, or put the ganache on the top.
Then came the Vanilla pudding. The recipe called for 6 small separate puddings. However, all I could find in my cupboard were empty jars with caps. So i decided to make 3 larger batches.
It was also perfect for me because there was a hygienist at our clinic who just had her birthday. And putting it in a jar made it easy to simply twist on the cap and bring it to clinic!
In the book, it’s suggested that we use shaved chocolate as garnish. Rather, I decided to place a piece of dark chocolate on top.
And as I said before, I put the cap on, and now it’s ready to go!
Every Wednesday afternoon, there’s a Farmer’s Market across the street from my place. This is perfect because on Wednesdays, I can come home and hop over to the Market for some dinner and maybe pick up some produce.
Last Wednesday, at the market I found some gorgeous Kahuku Corn! Kahuku corn is known to be sweet and ripe and just perfect! Kahuku is located in the North Shore of Oahu and is also a favorite for their shrimp trucks.
I was wondering what to make with these corn. I put some into a salad. And made some soup…but I still had some left. So I decided to bake some cornbread! But just to make it a bit easier to share, I decided to make it into muffins.
I found this recipe that I found on Allrecipes.com, and made a couple changes of my own.
Of course, rather than the frozen corn kernels as stated, i used fresh corn kernels. I was a little worried they might end up being dry, but it actually turned out somewhat crunchy which I liked a lot.
I always put the light on in the oven and sit in front and watch. It’s the most excruciating and at the same time my most favorite part of baking.
Well…actually I lied. The most excruciating part of baking is probably waiting for the baked good to cool off on the rack. It’s right in front of you!
Finally! When they were ready, I cut the muffin in half, put some butter on and microwaved for 15 seconds to melt the butter. It was really moist, not too sweet, and a little bit of chewy-crunchiness from the baked corns were really satisfying. My mom, friends and everyone at work (those who grabbed them before they disappeared) seemed to agree!
Cornbread Muffins (adapted from Lisa K’s on Allrecipes.com)
1/2 cup yogurt based butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup corn kernels
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or line 12 muffin cups. (I simply used non-stick 12-muffin pan)
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs, and salt.
- Mix in flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Blend thoroughly.
- Stir in milk and corn. Evenly distribute among muffin cups
- Bake for 20~25 minutes. Ready when toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.
My mom is visiting me from Korea right now and she was craving some Espresso Brownies. So, a couple days ago, to put in those brownies…I bought some Walnuts and Pecans and Walnuts and Pecans and…was left with too much Walnuts and Pecans!
So i decided to make some Pecan Powder Puff as found in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 156). She also has a version with walnuts as a side note, so I was able to use both.
…and I STILL had some left! So I decided to make some Glazed Walnuts and Pecans to munch on. I forgot where I got the recipe for the glazed nuts. It was just scribbled down and tucked in one of the kitchen cabinets. But these don’t have any butter…and even the eggs, it’s only egg whites! That means it’s healthy, right? Okay…maybe not, with all the sugar that goes in it.
Just be aware that these glazed nuts lack the chewiness that other recipes may have, but they come out really crispy and crunchy which was exactly what I was craving! Although I had written down the recipe for walnuts, I used a mixture of walnuts and left over pecans (after making the powder puffs).
Glazed Walnut Recipe
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp salt
4 cups toasted walnut halves
- Preheat oven to 250
- Have an oiled or nonstick baking sheet ready
- Toast the walnuts on a skillet (no oil) about 1 minute stirring or shaking the skillet so the nuts don’t burn. Set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are light and foamy
- In a separate bowl, mix and whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, red pepper, and salt
- Gently whisk in the dry mix (step 5) into the egg whites
- Mix in the nuts to the above mixture, coating all the nuts evenly
- Spread out evenly in a single layer onto the baking sheet
- Put in oven for 30 minutes
- Stir around and bake for 30 more minutes
- Immediately spread out on wax paper and cool on rack
- After they are completely cooled, store in airtight container for up to a week.
However, I doubt that they will last that long. I actually used brown sugar because I ran out of regular ones, and added red pepper flakes because I didn’t have ground ones…and were too lazy to grind them myself. But I actually loved the spiciness whenever I got the whole flake in the bite. Next time I make these, I think I’ll actually add more red pepper flakes.
They are also very good as garnish on salads or decorative (and yummy!) additions for all sorts of cookies!