Archive for February, 2013

Pipe Dream #177: To Find It Easy To Be Green – Deep Dish Tomato and Spinach Pizza

deep dish pizza 5

Oooooh-kay. I realize that this picture has been tantalizing you on the side of my blog for weeks without a link. It has been tantalizing me for weeks. Except, I had the link, and I ate this pizza, so I can’t tell if the tantalization of this savory delight was worse or better for you than it was for me.

My father made a decent deep-dish frozen pizza and asked me, “Why is this so addicting?”

I replied that it hits his fat and salt spots, and everyone in the room nodded sagely, because obviously I am sage (not). Being that your salts spots are not hit too often on this blog, and being that that is the weirdest phrase ever, I would like to present you with this deep dish pan pizza, including homemade sauce, spinach for iron and much, much cheese.

deep dish pizza 4

Oh, and speaking of being wise (not), there is fresh sage in this recipe. You just don’t see that in dessert recipes all too often. Or do you?

floured board

deep dish pizza 3

If I were to do this again, I would have used less dough. The dish was quite deep enough, when all was said and done, and let’s be real, I could have made another dessert pizza with half the dough. I also would have made the sauce a little less runny. Somehow. Maybe I would have drained the tomatoes a little better.

deep dish pizza 2

I only put spinach on half the pizza. It was for the sake of my sister, who loves pizza, but has an aversion to the green things on her life’s plate. You can have an aversion, too, I guess. I’ll judge you a little, but just a little, since most of my diet is frosting. Kidding. Except for #saturdays. Am I allowed to hashtag like that? Whatever, doing it.

deep dish pizza 1

Get your health kicks, friends. It’s all about the green.

So easy being green,

L

Deep Dish Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Adapted from Girl Versus Dough and my friend, Chrissy

Boughten pizza dough (enough for a 12 inch pizza)

8 ounces (1 cup) canned crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh thyme, sage, oregano and bay leaf

garlic paste or crushed garlic, to taste

olive oil (or truffle oil)

8 ounces provolone cheese

5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained

Let pizza dough rise according to package directions. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil, spreading around with a paper towel.

Combine tomatoes, salt, pepper, chopped herbs, bay leaf, sugar and garlic in a small saucepan, simmering over low heat while you prep the pizza.

When the dough has risen, press into the prepared skillet halfway up the sides of the skillet. Bake four 9-10 minutes until crust has just set. Remove from the oven and top with 4 ounces provolone cheese. Remove the bay leaf from the simmered sauce, then spread the sauce over the cheese. Top sauce with the spinach, then the other 4 ounces of cheese. Drizzle with a bit more oil.

Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden. In a perfect world, I would have used less dough, so that things weren’t spilling over the edge. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Advertisements

Chocolate Chip Buns, A Variation

choc chip bun 2

Remember these orange buns and all their variations?

choc chip bun 1

Welp, here’s another. In the form of chocolate buns and a rich cream cheese icing. Hello. You could add cinnamon. This could be the best day of your life. It’s Tuesday, and I have no photos to show you except these. What up.

L

Pipe Dream #176: To Be As Far From Rihanna As Audrey – Kicky Fudge Brownies

fudge brownies 5

It might have been a while since you have seen something really chocolate on this blog.

Sidenote, I just went to check on that statement to see if, in fact, it really had been a while. Imagine my surprise when I discovered dark chocolate sugar cookies  and chocolate lava cakes and Nutella cupcakes all in December. Clearly, I went on a kick. More clearly, I have a problem.

All the same, though the end of 2012 was rife with cacao, we now find ourselves at the end of February with naught but stray foil wrappers leftover from V Day, am I right? Clearly, it is time for a fix.

fudge brownies 6

I was playing around with the idea of a Nutella brownie, since we still had Nutella in the house (Incidentally, the promise of Nutella on toast is the reason I get out of bed in the morning during the work week [not kidding], so it is a good thing we still have some). I found some decent recipes promising crackly tops and extreme hazelnut flavor, but I found myself worrying that it just wouldn’t be enough. So I went crazy did the only possible thing a girl could do and added insane amounts of chocolate and booze. 200 grams of semi-sweet chocolate, Frangelico, creme de cacao, cocoa powder and, oh, a buncha browned butter later, we have ourselves a brownie.

fudge brownies 1

Needless to say, these should do the trick.

fudge brownies 4

Crackly top? Chewy edges? Underdone middle? Check check check. Because of the nearly-double amount of chocolate and lack of leavener in this recipe, these brownies are as far from “cake-like” as…as Audrey Hepburn is from Rihanna. Best metaphor I’ve pulled all year maybe.

fudge brownies 2

You should likely have more milk handy than I do. And don’t even think you can slice these larger than 1 inch square. Man, please. Your fudge tolerance is not high enough.

Also, I have it on good authority that these pair well with coffee, for dessert or, you know, for breakfast.

fudge brownies 3

Just can’t get enough? Check out these other chocolate fixes:

Minted Cocoa Brownies

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Secret Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Whiskey Truffles

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate SMBC

Blood Orange Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

Chocolate Churro Cake

Kickin’ it in style,

L

Kicky Fudge Brownies

Inspired by Raspberri Cupcakes

200 grams semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

100 grams butter, browned

scant 1/4 cup creme de cacao

scant 1/4 cup frangelico

2 eggs

heaping half cup Nutella

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8″ baking pan with parchment, letting the paper hang over the edges for easy removal.

Place butter in a small saucepan on medium heat until it melts, stirring occasionally and scraping up the bits until the butter turns an amber color and smells nutty. Set aside to cool.

Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until just melted. Stir in the Nutella until blended.

Whisk together the flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the melted ingredients, creme de cacao, Frangelico and eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for around 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. (Check at around 18 minutes.) Remove from the oven and place tin on a wire rack. Cool completely in the pan before removing and cutting into tiny squares. Serve with much milk.

Favorite Shots: HI

 

736399_10151621987192542_919098791_o

HI I LOVE YOU. #REALLIFE

L

Pipe Dream #175: To Interpret Ambiguous Phrasing – Grandma’s Fabulous Orange Buns

orange buns 3

You probably know by now about my love of yeast cinnamon rolls. Check out the archives. You won’t be disappointed. My mother has an equal love for rolls of the orange variety. They are nostalgia-inducing. Plus delicious. My grandma, the best baker in the world, used to make them for every holiday.

My mum tried to carry on the tradition, and I remember having them every Easter as a kid. But something happened between yeast and my mum, and the recipe “stopped working for her.” I found it difficult to believe that the yeast would be at fault here, so I endeavored to recreate the rolls for her sake as much as mine. Like a present.

This task was a bigger challenge than I expected, mostly because the recipe is peppered with phrases like “Add enough of the remaining flour to make a ‘moderately stiff dough,'” and “Let rise for 1-2 hours.” There is a big difference between one and two hours! And I don’t know what satin feels like (I’m a millenial)–how am I supposed to tell what a “satiny” dough feels like?

But despite my fears, I think things turned out all right. I’ve tweaked the recipe below with my notes.

orange buns 5

This picture looks like a Sunday morning. Easter morning. Except it is not, but it could be your Easter morning this year.

orange buns 2

The zest in this is precious. The thinner you roll out the dough, the more dramatic your swirls will be. I think my grandma doesn’t roll them out so thin. Next time.

Also, I doubled the recipe and made four different variations of the rolls. We’ll be set for a while. #saturdays

caramel nut bun 1

Caramel and pecan and hazelnut stuffed buns, anyone?

gmas cinn rolls 2

gmas cinn rolls

Or you can go with the regular cinnamon variety. Classic.

orange buns 1

The stamp of approval. The rolls were successful, and tasted just like I remembered.

Glad to make you happy, Mum. Thanks for putting up with me especially when I ask you to pose your hands just so,

L

Grandma’s Fabulous Orange Buns

Adapted from Mom’s Favorite Recipe (a family cookbook)

1 cup milk

9 tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature

1 cup white sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 ounces (1 package) active dry yeast

3 eggs

4 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon (or more) orange zest (from one orange)

2 cups powdered sugar

2-4 tablespoons orange juice

Scald milk in a small saucepan (Heat it til it is almost boiling). Remove to a the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and cool until lukewarm (110 degrees F). Add 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and yeast to the milk. Let stand for three minutes, then add egg and 1 cup of four. Beat well.

Add enough of the remaining flour to make a “moderately stiff dough.” This part is tricky and relies on feel. I used about that much, maybe 3 cups. Beat on medium speed with the dough hook for five minutes, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for an additional 5 minutes until the dough is “smooth and satiny.”

Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat the surface of the dough, Cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Divide the dough in half, and roll each into a 12″ by 8″ rectangle.

Stir together the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, the second 1/2 cup of sugar and the orange zest. Spread this over the dough. Roll up each rectangle, starting on the long side and rolling toward yourself. Pinch the seam closed. Slice each roll into 18 buns. From here, you can place them into 3 greased 9-inch baking pans, or into individual muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, checking them to make sure the middle is getting done. If you find that the rolls are getting too brown before the center is baked, cover the pans with aluminum foil.

While the rolls are baking, combine the powdered sugar and orange juice to make a thinnish glaze. Drizzle over the warm rolls. Makes about 3 dozen.

Variations:

Try filling the rolls, with butter, cinnamon and chocolate chips and topping with a cream cheese glazeOr caramel bits and nuts with a caramel glaze! The best.

Random Texture FAIL – Mocha Velvet Cream Pots

pot de creme 1

With a name like ‘Mocha Velvet Cream Pots,’ you’d think this would be the best dessert ever. To parse, via Google dictionary:

Mocha – A drink or flavoring made with or in imitation of fine-quality coffee, typically with chocolate added.

Velvet – A closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon that has a thick short pile on one side. Alternately, soft downy skin that covers a deer’s antler while it is growing.

Cream – The thick white or pale yellow fatty liquid that rises to the top on raw milk, used in cooking.

Pot – A container, typically rounded and of metal, used for storage or cooking. Alternately, cannabis.

However, this was not the best dessert ever.

pot de creme 2

I failed this pretty bad, mostly because I used the wrong amount of egg yolks that had previously been frozen, that I then tried to thaw on the quick in the microwave and cooked them halfway. Which in turn curdled the “velvet” part of the cream pots. I knew I knew I knew that thawing the eggs in the microwave would be a PLC (poor life choice for those of you who aren’t my close friends), but I did it anyway. It was a #bakingsaturday, and I was crazy.

pot de creme 3

They might have been more aptly named Mocha Kelt Cream Pots or Mocha Mocha Velvet Ratiné Pots. P.s. I’ve learned so much about fabric today. They had a lovely flavor, but this recipe is all about texture, and the texture of these was nubby and chunky. Far from velvety. I tried to deal with this by adding a chocolate-covered coffee bean. Heh.

pot de creme 4

I was going to bring these to a dinner party, but declared them unfit. Stay tuned for what I actually brought, which was far better. Try this with real egg yolks. Try not splashing the chocolate up the sides of the dishes (see notes below). It sounds like the best thing ever, and you could probably do it right.

Tuning it up,

L

Mocha Velvet Cream Pots

Adapted from Greatest-Ever Chocolate Cookbook by Christines McFadden & France

1 tablespoon (15 mL) instant coffee crystals

2 cups (16 fl. ounces, 475 mL) milk

6 tablespoons (3 ounces, 75 grams) white sugar

8 ounces (225 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (30 mL) coffee liqueur or creme de cacao (I chucked in the creme de cacao in lieu of the coffee liqueur)

7 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degress C).  Place eight ramekins (120 mL, 4 ounces, 1/2 cup) in a roasting pan or glass baking dish.

Put the coffee granules into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until the coffee and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate (or chips), stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and liqueur if using.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks to blend lightly. Slowly whisk in the chocolate until well-mixed, the strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large pitcher or measuring cup. Pour this equally into the ramekins. I recommend placing the pan with the ramekins into the oven without pulling out the rack that the pan sits on, and pouring the mixture in. This way, the mixture won’t splash up the sides of the ramekins like mine did. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the custard is just set and a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean. Remove from the roasting pan and cool. Once cool, cover and chill. Decorate with a chocolate covered coffee bean before serving. You could also sprinkle on some powdered sugar cocoa powder or whipped cream.

Pipe Dream #175: To Have a Whole Room Full of Cake Stands, I Guess – Lemon Ricotta Cookies

lemon ricotta 1

This post is mostly about this new cake stand. I got it on clearance at Target. It was an impulse buy.

But on the other hand, it was not an impulse buy, because I would say a pipe dream of mine is to have a whole room full of cake stands, so. Anyway, I’m ridiculously happy with it. Someday I’ll style it better.

lemon ricotta 2

And speaking of clearance, these cookies came about because I had some ricotta cheese to use up. Double frugal. I could have made blintzes or a pastry something savory (meh), but I decided to go cookies because they travel well. And I brought them to church for a potluck that was disguised as a meeting. This close to Valentine’s Day? I’ve practically checked that pipe dream off my list. Hello.

lemon ricotta 6

Other neat ingredients in this recipe:

Organic cane sugar

Organic lemon juice called ‘Italian Volcano,’ which I presume comes from lemons that are grown on an Italian volcano. You just don’t see that every day.

lemon ricotta 4

Nor do you see a random eggplant. I did not realize that was in the picture until just now. Welp. Welcome to real life.

lemon ricotta 3

Because I made an error and added too much butter as I was trying to halve the recipe, I decided to bump up the flour and sugar just a tad. I didn’t add more lemon, so it was good that these had a kickin’ glaze. The glaze is essential. Do not skimp. The cookies are soft and fluffy and not entirely flavorless on their own though. Ricotta will do that for you.

lemon ricotta 5

Cheers to cheery lemon and impulse buys,

L

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Adapted from The Church Cook

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons)  butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1 whole egg
7.5 ounces ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (I used organic)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes in an electric mixer. Add the egg, beating on medium speed until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat on medium to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons per cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for around 12 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cooled cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread the glaze. Let the glaze harden for about an hour before storing the cookies.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,947 other followers

Lane Cake

Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Spicy Chai Biscotti

Red Wine Pear Trifles

Coconut Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peach Cobbler

Clementine Ginger Tequila Sunrise

S’mores Cake with Malted PB Frosting

Lemon Mousse Crepe Cake

Strawberry Shortcake

Nectarine Brown Butter Upside Down Cake

Raspberry Espresso Fudge Cake

Cherry Clafoutis

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Banoffee Pie

Blueberry Bourbon Bread Pudding

Pink Sprinkle Cupcakes

Grapefruit Yogurt Loaf

No-Bake Nests

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Black Garlic Herb Bread

Pumpkin Chiffon Torte

Maple Pecan Brown Butter Cupcakes