Tag Archives: delight

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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refreshing dinner on a hot day…

With this oppressive heatwave still upon us, there was no way I was turning on the range or even the grill for that matter! Instead I thought it best to make some fresh pesto and have a refreshing sandwich night full of yummy things.
After making the pesto, it was time to assemble these pockets of delight… A healthy spread of the pesto adorned the lightly toasted ciabatta, followed by some spicy arugula, slices of fresh mozz and of course some phenomenal prosciutto di parma!
With the lid closing down snuggly and making this vessel ready for the feeding, there was not much more to do than succumb to it’s will…
A slight bite from the arugula, saltiness from the prosciutto, creamy from the fresh mozz and just an overall freshness from the pesto made this sandwich the perfect compliment to an über hot July evening!

at a low simmer…
-R

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birthday bonanza!

What better way to end a week than with a birthday celebration! This wasn’t just any birthday, but rather one for our little, well I guess not so little nine-year old pup…
No birthday would be complete without a vanilla cake baked from scratch and filled with a glorious vanilla custard between the layers… Topping off this towering delight, a light buttercream frosting [this was for the adults though, plain for the pups]!
After a little singing, blowing out candles, photo-ops including birthday hats and the opening of presents, it was then time to cut into the cake. The birthday boy and his brother both got to enjoy some cake, while we did as well, but also had cleanup duties…

at a low simmer…
-R

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hands off my buns!

For a nod to the upcoming Easter holiday, I decided to whip up a batch of hot cross buns… these spicy orbs of golden delight take a bit of time to prepare, but the outcome is entirely worth the effort!
The standards for creating these little heartbreakers are flour, sugar, salt, some mixed spices [pumpkin pie spice works as well], yeast, butter, an egg, whole milk, water, raisins, currants, as well as lemon and orange zest!
Everything for the dough is combined in the mixer, minus the fruits and zests… After a good ten-twelve minutes of kneading in the mixer, the fruits and zests are added in until incorporated. Once combined, a layer of plastic wrap covers the dough and it’s off for a nap in a warm spot until the dough rises in volume…
The dough, once risen, is separated and rolled into mounds, then set aside to rise again. As soon as they have risen the second time, a cross is piped along the tops of each bun and it’s off to get baking!
As soon as the buns are golden, a quick brushing of a syrupy glaze is gently slathered over each to finish off these treasures!
Warm out of the oven with a spread of butter or preserves [or hell both] is the best way to enjoy… guaranteed these don’t make it until Sunday!

at a low simmer…
-R

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