Posts Tagged 'citrus'

Favorite Shots: Cut Crystal

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I can’t get enough of how rich and clear this photo is. It’s like I’m drinking colors with my eyes.

L

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Pipe Dream #179: To Forget Your Order and Gleek All Over – Chocolate Clementine Marquise

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If you have ever wanted to eat five truffles, but didn’t because you were embarrassed because clearly everyone else at the table was only going to order one and then nibble on half, this cake is for you.

This situation, which of course has never happened to me, is easily remedied by a cake so chocolately and dense, you might as well just skip your breakfast Nutella in anticipation. I made a similar torte ages and years ago, but it was a flourless version. This cake, while nearly flourless, will not make your GF friends happy, so keep that in mind. It made my dinner party friends happy, in lieu of these chocolate creme pot fails.

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GUYS IT’S CITRUS SEASON TAKE ADVANTAGE. The flavor is delicate and perfect.

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And correct me if I’m wrong, but there is never a season when it is not chocolate season. In my life, at least. And if it’s true in my life, it must be true in yours. Truth is truth, yeah? Yes.

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For decoration, I just cut up some strips of parchment and layered them in a criss-cross pattern to create the diamond effect with powdered sugar you see below. If you wanted to be really cool, you could do this part not on the serving plate, so that your powdered sugar looks clean. Whatever. Rustic elegance?

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Classically bad cutting skills. But who says a cake slice needs to look super sharp to make you gleek? I certainly didn’t. P.S. My mouth waters.

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This one looks a bit better.

My mouth still waters,

L

Chocolate Clementine Marquise

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

Scant 1 cup (200 grams, 7 ounces) white sugar or caster sugar

4 tablespoons (60 mL) fresh clementine (or orange) juice

12 ounces (350 grams) dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet)

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 225 grams) unsalted butter, cubed

5 eggs

finely grated rind of two clementines (or oranges)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour

icing sugar and pared strips of clementine (or orange) rind , to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch x 2 1/2 inch (23 centimeter) round cake  tin with non-stick spray, and line the base with parchment.

Place 1/2 cup (115 grams, 4 ounces) sugar in a large saucepan. Add the clementine juice, and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the the heat, and stir in the chocolate until melted. Add the butter, cube, by cube, until melted.

Whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar in a large bowl until pale and very thick. I was kind of weak, so it might be better to do this with an electric mixer. Add the grated clementine rind. Using a metal spoon, fold the chocolate mixture lightly and evenly into the egg mixture. Sift the flour over the top, and fold in evenly.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, and place the pan into a roasting tin. Transfer the tin to the oven, then pour hot water into the roasting pan sot that it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the cake is firm to the touch. Remove the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Carefully run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake, then turn out onto a serving plate and let cool completely. Chill. Before serving, dust with icing sugar, and garnish with strips of clementine rind.

The cookbook says this serves 8, but I would say it serves closer to 12. Real rich.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

Pipe Dream #164: To Cozy Up – Grapefruit Loaf

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Sometimes, I don’t plan on snow days. Actually, I never plan on snow days, which is ironic, because I live in Minnesota, and that means we get at least three snow days per winter.

 

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A “snow day” is not just a day on which snow falls. Oh, no. Not every swirly, sparkly day can be called a snow day. A snow day is a complete whiteout, an excuse to cozy up. Heavy snowfall all day and all night, making for a morning of crystalline trees, unopenable doors and all the right conditions for a steaming mug of cocoa by a wood-burning fire.

And in my case, a three-hour morning commute for two days in a row. And two hours at night. I know. I was stupid to think I could make it. Whatever, it’s done.

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But the day before Monday! The day before Monday was Sunday. And it was the start of the snow day. And I was at home with no obligations to anyone, ever, and I made this cake. Which almost made up for the hellish drive on Monday.

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I had been meaning to make it for ages, actually. I love grapefruit, especially Costco grapefruit in season. Those massive sacks of gold get me every time. But even if you don’t love grapefruit, you could try it with lemon. That’s how Ina does it, but with a sugary, lemony glaze on top. Which would be delicious, obv. I didn’t add one this time because I was afraid it would saccharine all the grapefruit flavor away.

I also substituted the yogurt for buttermilk and sour cream because I had those on hand. I felt so experimental. :]

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All in all, this cake is comforting and light and perfect. Your sister will probably text you something to that effect from the next room if you make it on a snow day.

She drives,

L

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Adapted from smittenkitchen

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

½ cup sour cream

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3 extra-large eggs

1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest (approximately one large grapefruit)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan, line with parchment, then grease the parchment.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, 1 cup sugar, eggs, grapefruit zest, canola oil and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for around 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Make sure to check the loaf around 30 minutes, in case your oven runs hot.

Dissolve the remaining tablespoon of sugar into the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack placed over a sheet pan, removing the parchment. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Let cool.

Pipe Dream #28: To Make Cupcakes Healthy – Carrot Cardamom Cupcakes with Citrus Mascarpone

So those Maple and Pecan Cupcakes I told you about before? These cupcakes are from that book. This is one of the more interesting flavors in it I would say. Cardamom is so awesome. Pairing it with citrus and carrots? Neato.

A word on cardamom. Please try it. I discovered its virtues on a trip to a farmer’s market up north with Rachel. This charming little boy was selling cardamom bread out of the back of a truck. We asked him where his parents were, then watched benevolently, unresisting as he snatched our cash and stuffed it in his pocket with sly eyes. Ok, so nix the sly eyes part, but that little boy knew how to work a crowd. It would have been a totally unfair play on our hearts except that he was only nine and the bread was fantastic. And we made cardamom bread french toast.

Cardamom is kind of like nutmeg or cinnamon in that you would use it in sort of the same way, like in bread or cookies. Or at least, in my limited knowledge of cardamom, I’ve seen it used that way.

All this to say that these cupcakes are flavorful and interesting. And bonus, they are practically healthy. I am using that word pretty liberally, but let’s be real: there are carrots involved. And mascarpone is the health nut’s version of cream cheese frosting. Um, sort of.

Healhty cupcakes will forever remain a pipe dream, but I’m posting about it anyway,

L

Carrot and Cardamom Cupcakes with Citrus Mascarpone

Adapted from Cupcakes by Susannah Blake

For the cupcakes:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup sunflower oil (or whatever, I used canola)

2 eggs

grated zest of one orange

seeds from 5 cardamom pods, crushed (or just grate some, or buy an ounce pre-grated)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

2 carrots, grated (about one cup)

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

For the frosting:

5 ounces mascarpone

finely grated zest of one orange

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the ove to 350° F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Put the sugar in a bowl and then beat in the oil and eggs. Stir in the orange zest, crushed cardamom seeds and ginger, then sift the flour into the mixture and fold in, followed by the carrots and nuts. Spoon the mixture into muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To decorate, beat the mascarpone, zest, lemon juice and powdered sugar together in a bowl and spread over the cupcakes.


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