Tuesday, April 30, 2013

White Chocolate Dipped Lime Madeleines

I found this recipe on a site sent to me by a friend, from a lovely blog written by Sophia Purvis down in Melbourne, AustraliaLittle Box Brownie is the name of the blog.  I'm in love with her photography and her recipes all look like, I want to try!  These gorgeous little gems are an explosion of lime citrus flavor and the white chocolate dipping is my addition to her recipe, I like the drama!  Madeleine's are quite easy to make with very few ingredients, they whip up quick for an impressive afternoon tea with the girls.  

For the cookies...
2 ounces butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted 
1 Tablespoon finely grated lime peel (about 2 limes)
For the syrup...
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

4 ounces good quality white chocolate, melted

1.   Preheat the oven to 375°.  Butter well, Madeleine pan molds, recipe will make about 15 cookies.
2.   Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high until they become light and frothy.  Slowly add the sugar and continue to mix on high for 5 minutes, lower speed and mix in the lime zest until incorporated.

3.   Fold in sifted flour by hand with a spatula


carefully incorporating all the flour without over mixing.  Add the melted butter and fold it into the batter until completely incorporated.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.


4.   Spoon the mixture into the molds about 3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly then remove from pan and cool completely on a rack. 

5.   Mix together the syrup ingredients, whisking until smooth and brush syrup on cookies and allow to dry.  At this point if you like, dip cookies  in melted white chocolate and allow to dry completely, and enjoy! 


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Gingerbread Baby Cakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I remember making Gingerbread cupcakes as a child in grade school,  proudly carrying  my box of freshly made cakes to a special school day function and being able to say, “I made these myself”.   Gingerbread always sparks a warm and cozy feeling in me.  A hot cup of tea with a slice of spicy Gingerbread by a warm fire… ok, I want some now!

These lovely moist and delicious Ginger Baby Cakes have an unusual ingredient, Cola, the caramel flavor compliments the molasses and brown sugar and when topped with a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, they are pure Heaven!  This recipe makes 1 dozen personal sized cakes.  Double the recipe and it makes one 8 inch 3 layer cake.

For the cake...
1/2 cup cola
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick plus 4 Tbs. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
2 medium eggs
candied ginger for garnish, optional
1.   Preheat oven to 350°  Butter a medium sized cupcake pan (12 cupcakes) and lightly flour.  Dump excess flour out of pan.  
2.   Bring cola to a boil in a heavy medium sized saucepan.  Remove from heat;  whisk in baking soda, then molasses.  Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

3.   Whisk sugar, melted butter and eggs into molasses mixture, blend well.  Measure into a sifter, the flour and the next 6 ingredients.  Whisk dry ingredients slowly into molasses mixture.  Blend until smooth. 
4.   Scoop batter into cupcake pan, filling 3/4 full.

5.   Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting...
8 ounce package of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 lemon, grated
1.  With an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix butter on medium high speed about 2 minutes.  Beat until butter looks white.  Remove from bowl and set aside.
 2.   In the same bowl, beat the cream cheese, until smooth, add the butter and mix together until smooth and creamy.  Add lemon zest and confectioners sugar and mix until creamy, don't over mix.
3.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.  Dice optional candies ginger and sprinkle on top for garnish.

For more yummy recipes click the link below

Lavender and Lovage

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chocolate Almond Sandwich Cookies

   My never ending adoration for chocolate leads me to the first of many chocolate recipes I intend to deliver to you throughout my blog journey.  These crispy chocolate filled sandwich cookies are an almond and chocolate bliss.  This was one of the first recipes I tried from Nick Malgieri's Chocolate, and although his book is well worn, Nick's Chocolate Almond Fingers are my favorite!

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Dutch Process cocoa powder
1 cup ground almonds, about 3 1/2 ounces

1.   Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350°.

2.   Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter on medium speed until light.  Slowly beat in sugar and beat until mixture whitens.


3.   Add the egg whites, one at a time and beat until creamy.  Sift the flour and cocoa together several times and add to the butter mixture, mix to combine.  Stir in the ground almonds by hand and mix until well combined.

4.   Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip.  Pipe dough out in fingers about 2 1/2 inches long by positioning the bag at a 45° angle to the pan and letting the bottom of the tube touch the paper.  Squeeze the bag and draw the tube toward you, then release the pressure and pull the tube upwards.  Pipe the cookies about 2 inches apart.

5.   Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies have spread and become matte-looking.  Cool in pans for 5 minutes than transfer to a rack with a spatula to cool completely.

Cookies may be enjoyed at this point, or you may continue and make the chocolate filling as follows...

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound dark chocolate

1.   Combine heavy cream and dark chocolate together, melt in a double boiler stirring occasionally until melted.  Cool to spreading consistency.  Spread or pipe the chocolate onto the flat side of half the cookies and top with the other half.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Meyer Lemon and Lavender Bars

   The combination of lemon and lavender is like a match made in heaven.  Meyer lemons are native to China, they are sweeter and less acidic than the more common lemon varieties.  Lavender is a member of the mint family and has a sweet floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes which lends itself so well with fresh lemon.  Lavender flowers are very strong flavor, so the secret is that a little goes a long way.
   Combine a lavender scented flaky crust and a sweet and slightly tangy Myer lemon filling and you have the perfect tea time indulgence!  They also freeze beautifully!


For The Crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated Myer lemon (regular lemon may be substituted)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 teaspoon culinary lavender flowers (not from the florist) lightly chopped

For The Filling
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups fresh Meyer lemon juice (regular lemon may be substituted)
1 Tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest (regular lemon may be substituted)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Confectioners sugar for dusting

1.   Preheat your oven to 325° F. Butter well a 9X13X2 inch baking pan.

2.   To make the crust, in a mixing bowl combine the flour, confectioners sugar, zest and salt.  Using a mixer on low speed mix to blend ingredients, about 1 minute.  Add the butter pieces and beat on medium speed until the butter pieces resemble small peas.  About 2 minutes.  Do not over mix.  Add the lavender flowers and mix by hand with a spatula.  Dump the course crumbs into the buttered baking pan and spread evenly around the bottom and up about 1 inch on the sides.  Press lightly all over.

3.   Place in the preheated oven and bake just until the edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  Reduce the oven temperature to 300° F.

4.   To make the filling, in a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs just until blended.  Add the granulated sugar, lemon juice and zest, whisk until smooth.  Sift the flour into the bowl and whisk until incorporated.  Slowly pour the filling over the crust.  Bake until the filling is set and does not wobble when the pan is shaken, 40-50 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.  Cut into desired sized squares and sift confectioners sugar over top.  May be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days or frozen for up to a month.

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