Tag Archives: cream

Reaching for the ‘clouds’ for the New Year!

Well hello to everyone… yes I realize it has been quite a while since my last posting, but there were many obstacles that prevented me from having the time to focus. Hopefully this will be a new blogging beginning for the New Year!
With 2015 finally upon us and an annual Holiday get-together with our friends approaching tonight, I felt this would be the best time to kickstart everything into motion.
Starting with ‘what can I bring’ to our amazing hostess, the words ‘how about dessert’ was music to my ears! After thinking about something out of the norm, I settled on a triple layered hazelnut mocha pavlova, with a hazelnut liquor cream filling…
It all started yesterday by roasting hazelnuts [the amount is your choice, but I went with six ounces] in the oven and also melting milk and dark chocolates [another six ounces] over simmering water. Both were set aside to cool…
While the nuts and melted chocolates cooled, six egg whites were whipped with a pinch of kosher salt until soft peaks formed, from there the sugar began to slowly get added until the whites became glossy and stiff. Once stiff peaks were evident, vanilla and almond extracts were added and the mixer then turned off. The chopped hazelnuts and a cup of chocolate chips were gently folded into the shiny pillowy mixture, as well as the cooled, melted chocolate to create a lovely marbled wonder.
Poured onto three parchment drawn discs and spread out, it was then into the 225*F oven for two and a half hours. Once cooked, the door was opened and the pavlova’s left to cool completely.
For the whipped filling, I beat cream and some hazelnut liquor until firm. This boozy filling was spread on each layer and stacked. The pavlova tier was popped into the refrigerator to ‘set-up’ overnight and then this edible beauty was dressed with some shaved dark chocolate on top before packing up and heading to the party!
The end result… crisp exterior with a slightly chewy center and a creamy delight to hold everything together… a total favorite!
What will I bake next???

-R

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taking a ‘dip’ in pure deliciousness!

After realizing that I had a few eggs that would be passing their peak, I decided to make a vanilla bean dipping sauce and a batch of insatiable fried dough!
The dipping sauce was simple, one cup of cream and one of milk [brought to a simmer], into the simmering liquid went a vanilla bean that I split and scraped…
In a separate bowl went four egg yolks and one-fourth cups of sugar. This was whisked until a pale yellow color. The simmering liquid mixture was then slowly added into the egg mixture while constantly whisking.
Once the mixture was incorporated, it was back onto the heat and constantly stirred until slightly thickened. Off the heat a half teaspoon of bourbon was whisked in…
The mixture was set aside to cool until it met its fluffy and golden counterparts…
Dip… bite… dip… bite… this could have went on forever!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Brown, bubbly and beautiful…

So yesterday I whipped up two luxuriously creamy chicken pot pies to send off to a very dear friend! These pot pies hold the secrets of healing like a good ole’ bowl of chicken soup would…
Filled with gorgeous carrots and onions, juicy chunks of chicken and vibrant sweet peas! Everything was cooked together in a sultry, saucy mixture of homemade chicken stock, flour and of course some cream to make this super special and silky. Then this beautiful filling was ladled into ovenproof bowls, tucked in with a puffed pastry blanket, brushed with an egg wash and then took a long nap in the oven…
After an hour, the puffed pastry was golden brown and the creamy filling, bubbly and piping hot.
Once cooled, it was time to carefully wrap this yummy package and send it on its way…

at a low simmer…
-R

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tall, dark and…

On such a chilly night, the only thing I could think of having to warm myself up was a thick, luxurious, spicy hot chocolate.
Shards of chocolate were gently melted in a shallow pan of simmering milk and cream… everything was constantly whisked until completely smooth.
Once everything was melted, a nice hit of cayenne was added in to really bring home the spicy element!
Poured into tall mugs, this sultry and silky concoction was a perfect way to close out the evening… the cayenne gave a gentle poke in the back of our throats, while the chocolatey mixture soothed it all out!
Looking forward to the next wintery evening to enjoy another…

at a low simmer…
-R

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sticky and sweet…

After realizing I had a container of heavy cream in the refrigerator that needed to be used, the thought of making a caramel sauce popped into my head…
Easy enough to make and can hold up well, the process began… sugar, water, a touch of salt, vanilla and of course the cream then we were on the way to sensual, sticky, caramely delight!
One thing I cannot stress enough is the need to have a candy thermometer available because this cooking process goes pretty quick, and can go from gorgeous to the garbage in the blink of an eye…
Once everything is cooked, it needs to cool down before any real enjoyment can be had. The uses are endless and if you ask yourself, ‘can I use caramel here’, then more than likely the answer is YES!
From ice cream to popcorn, rice krispie treats to fruit, the possibilities are at your fingertips… have fun with it!

at a low simmer…
-R

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uh oh… my soup bowl has a ‘leek’

As the evening set in and the air became a bit brisk, the idea of soup for dinner ran through my head…
This past Sunday, I was given a beautiful leek and thought making a potato and leek soup was the perfect way to use this mildly flavored veggie!
To start cooking up this soup, I rendered some pancetta. Once browned, the pancetta was put aside, while the chopped leeks and some minced garlic got a quick sauté in the pancetta fat. After cooking till softened, in went a quart of chicken broth, some water, along with five peeled and cubed yukon gold potatoes. Everything was brought to a boil, then reduced down to a simmer. As soon as the potatoes were fork tender, I puréed them with an immersion blender and then added in a touch of cream, as well as some shredded extra sharp cheddar for a bit of richness…
Back into the soup went some of the pancetta for texture and flavor. Once heated through, it was time to eat!
Creamy, velvety, slightly crunchy and perfectly seasoned… this soup warmed us completely! Seconds were definitely in order…

at a low simmer…
-R

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vodka… not just for shots!

As if I didn’t get my fill of vodka at this weekends wedding extravaganza, I decided to cook with it tonight! Just a simple vodka sauce made with some of the sauce that was freshly made yesterday. Some heavy cream, freshly grated pecorino, basil and of course… VODKA!
The vodka offers a nice bite, while the cream provides a smooth and velvety texture in addition to a wonderful, almost sweet flavor!
What a simple, yet elegant dish this can become in a short amount of time! Why isn’t everything this easy…

at a low simmer…
-R

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summery indulgence…

What better way to enjoy the summer months, than by eating the fruits that come along with it… So I decided to rinse off some juicy little blueberries that were picked up from a local farm and top them off with a mascarpone cream and crushed amaretti cookies. The sweet blueberries were a wonderful highlight against the tangy [although sweet in its own right] mascarpone cream, while the amaretti cookies gave a wonderful crunch and texture to an already divine sweet treat!

Hmmm maybe I should make more for dessert…

at a low simmer…

-R

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