Thursday, May 14, 2015

Say Cheese...Cake!

In my opinion, there is no better combination of flavors for dessert then sweet and sour.  Any dessert with citrus is usually my top order at restaurants or the dessert I am most excited to make (and then of course eat)!   Cheesecake always seems too heavy and plain for me so I decided to jazz it up by adding a citrus component to the mix and lightening up the cheesecake filling.  Four layers make up this fabulous full flavored cheesecake!

Graham Cracker Crust  +  Lime Curd+  Lime Cheesecake + Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache = The most amazing, eye catching and delicious dessert you could put on your table for Shavuot!

Lime Cheesecake with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache
Makes 2-14"x4"Tart Pan or 1-8" Round Springform Pan
Lime Curd:
6 Egg Yolks
3/4 C. Sugar
8 Tbs. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tsp. Lime Peel, grated

1 3/4 C. Graham Crackers, finely ground (about 12 whole graham crackers)
1/4 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) Packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
2/3 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
4 Tbs. Lime Juice
1 Tbs. Lime Peel, grated
1 16 Oz. Container Sour Cream

Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache:
2 ½ C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 C. Sour Cream
3 Tbs. Oil

Lime Curd:
Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat.  While whisking constantly, bring to a boil and let boil for 30 seconds.  The ingredients should thicken.  Put the side.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 14x4 inch tart/quiche pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a bowl, mix together the graham crackers, sugar and butter until thoroughly combined.  Press half the crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and on the sides of each pan. Bake 5 minutes. Cool completely.

With an electric hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lime juice, lime peel and sour cream until completely blended.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Pour half of the curd on each graham cracker crust.  Spread carefully with the back of a spoon or side of a knife until the bottom of each crust is covered.  Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the curd and spread evenly.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cheesecake is set.  When cheesecake is done, set on a cooling rack and make the ganache.

In a medium saucepan melt the chocolate chips, oil and sour cream over medium-low heat until thoroughly combined and smooth.  Stir constantly so the chocolate does not burn.  Spread evenly over each tart and smooth with the back of a spoon or knife.  Sprinkle with lime zest and/or sea salt if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.  May be refrigerated for 2 days or frozen up to 1 month.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marvelous Morning Muffins

I am very hungry in the morning but have the hardest time trying to figure out something to eat. I always crave sweet when I wake up, but anything too sugary leaves me feeling just as hungry and tired an hour later.  Mornings are also unpredictable, I love grab and go breakfasts because I never know what the day will bring.  
Muffins were the perfect solution to all of my problems, but they needed to be healthy and keep me full and feeling least until lunch (that's another problem I have yet to fix completely).
Morning Fruit and Chia Muffins fix all of those morning breakfast issues! Loaded with protein, good carbs and good fats, this hits my sweet tooth craving in the morning and leaves me feeling great! 
*I store these in the freezer and pull one or two out to eat in the morning with my morning coffee.  Microwave for about 30 seconds to defrost.


Morning Fruit and Chia Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil (any type)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup peaches, chopped
1/2 cup raspberries
slivered almonds (garnish)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with baking cups and spray with no stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Once combined, stir in the milk, oil, brown sugar, egg and chia seeds.  Mix under completely incorporated.  Fold in the peaches and raspberries.
Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way up with batter.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of slivered almonds on top of the muffins.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Charo"Set" For Dessert

What’s better than a dainty and delicious macaron? A macaron tart!  Much less time consuming, this dessert feeds a full table of guests and is the perfect sweet ending to beautiful seder.  Keeping with the Passover theme, I thought it would be so much fun to create a macaron inspired with the flavors of the seder.  Horseradish, parsley, egg and potato were all out…but charoset caught my attention.  Apples, walnuts and cinnamon…now that is something I can work with!
A cinnamon macaron crust, apple buttercream frosting, all accompanied by a ground walnut and apple butter compote…the result is amazing!
Enjoy and have a very happy Pesach!

Charoset Macaron Tart
Serves 6-8

Cinnamon Macaron Crust
4 Egg Whites
1 2/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/3 Cup Almond Flour
Pinch of Salt
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Apple Butter Buttercream
½ Cup Butter or margarine, softened
1 ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
¼ Cup Apple Butter

Walnut and Apple Butter Compote
½ Cup Ground Walnuts
½ Cup Apple Butter
Preheat oven to 280 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  With an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy, slowly add in granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until the egg whites reach stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, almond flour, salt and cinnamon together.  Fold the flour mixture into the egg whites until thoroughly combined. 

On one cookie sheet, scoop out ½ the batter, about 1 ¼ cups.  Scoop the other half on the other sheet. With a spatula, carefully spread each of the mixtures into an 8 inch circle.  With the back of a spoon, try to even out the top.  Let sit for 15 minutes to dry and develop a crust.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

In a bowl add the butter, powdered sugar and apple butter.  With an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is combined and it becomes soft and spreadable.

Carefully turn one of the macarons over and peel the parchment paper of the bottom.  This will be the bottom of your tart.  Evenly spread the buttercream over the macaron.  Carefully flip the other macaron over and peel off the parchment paper.  Place the side facing the pan on top of the buttercream.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar

Combine the walnuts and apple butter in a separate bowl and serve a few tablespoons with each serving of the macaron tart.




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bloody Good Hamantashen!

Purim is all about drinking and hamantashen, and another Purim means another cocktail hamantashen!  Check out the other cookies I have developed over the past few years by clicking HERE.  The development of these cookies definitely taps into my creative side when trying to construct a liquid cocktail in a solid cookie.   Add more or less Tabasco sauce to the filling depending on how spicy you would like your cookie. 

Bloody Mary Hamantashen
Makes 2 Dozen

Sundried Tomato Cookie Dough:
1 Cup Earth Balance or Butter
½ Cup Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
2 Tbs.  Sundried Tomatoes
1 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
½ tsp. Salt
2 Cups Flour
¼ Cup Cornmeal
2 Pieces of Celery

Place the Earth Balance or butter, sugar, egg yolks, sundried tomatoes, Tabasco sauce and salt in the food processor.  Pulse until it all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Place the flour and cornmeal in the food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a ball.  Remove dough from food processor and roll into a 3 to 4 inch wide cylinder.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

As the dough chills, make the filling

Tomato Filling:
1 – 14.5 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
3 Tbs. Tomato Paste
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 ½ tsp. Horseradish
1 tsp. Tabasco Sauce, or more to taste
½ tsp. Worchester
2 Tbs. Vodka

Put all of the ingredients in a sauce pan.  Turn the stove to medium high heat.  When the mixture comes to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and stir every few minutes until the filling becomes thickened, about 10 minutes.  Be careful to watch it so it does not burn.  Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking pan with parchment paper.   Take dough out of the refrigerator and cut into 24 pieces, about ½ inch thick.  Place on parchment paper and flatten with your fingertips or palm of your hand till the dough is 3 ½ inches in wide.   Place about a teaspoon of filling in each circle and pinch the cookie into three corners to form a hamantashen.   Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the dough begins to turn golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Cut the celery into tiny pieces, about 1 ½ inches long and 1 cm wide.  Place a piece of celery on each cookie and serve.

The recipe yields extra filling which may be frozen and used for more cookies at a later time or used as a sauce for pasta or chicken.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Open Face Dumplings!

I have been craving Chinese food almost everyday for the past week and finally gave in and made these amazing open face dumplings! I love scallion pancakes (who doesn't love fried dough?) and I am obsessed with Asian spiced beef.  The scallion pancakes have a soft texture on the sides and a crunch from being fried on the bottom.  The meat is spiced perfectly and the sweet and sour sauce just enhances everything about this dish.  Total winner and so excited to share this recipe with you!  

Open Face Beef Dumplings with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Serves 4; 2 Dumplings Each

Scallion Pancakes
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose White Flour
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Bunch Scallions, Chopped

Combine the flour and the water and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.  This takes some time by hand, but the process can be done quicker and cleaner by using a stand mixer. Let rest for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the beef filling.

Beef Filling
1 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 Onion, Finely Diced
1 Egg
1 Tbs. Honey
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1 Tbs. Rice Vinegar
2 Tbs. Sesame Oil
2 Tsp. Ginger, minced
2 Tsp. Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Water
Salt and Pepper

Mix all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.

On a floured surface, cut the scallion pancake ball into 8 equal parts.   Roll each dough one at a time.  Starting with the first piece of dough and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 6 inch circle.  lighting brush the top with oil, 1 Tbs. of scallions and a sprinkle of salt.  Fold in half and press into a ball so no scallions can escape.  Roll the ball of dough again into a 6 inch circle and put to the side.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

In a nonstick skillet, heat up 2 Tbs. of Oil.  Take a scallion pancake  and place 1/2 - 3/4 Cup of the meat mixture inside.  Pinch the sides of the pancake to cover the sides of the meat mixture, leaving the top exposed.  Put to the side and finish filling the rest of the dough.  Place the pancakes in the hot oil, not letting them touch, and fry for about 2 minutes, just until dough starts to turn brown and fried. 

Being VERY CAREFUL, place a lid or piece of foil securely on the top of the pan with the dumplings. Make sure the temperature on the stove is at low and very slowly pour in 1/4 cup of water lifting the lid up slightly so as not to get burned by the oil.  Cover immediately and turn to medium low.  Steam for  15-20 minutes until the meat is completely cooked through.  Drain the dumplings and serve warm with sweet and sour sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Ponzu
3 Tbs. Honey

Combine all in a small pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is reduced to 1/4 Cup.  Serve warm.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Not Your Average Potato Latke

If you are looking for an amazing twist on a classic potato pancake, this is the recipe you will want to make! These can also be served as an appetizer before a Shabbos Hanukkah meal or as an accompaniment to any meal throughout the year! I used red potatoes because their starch content is much higher and water content much lower, resulting in a crispy and not too liquidy batter...perfect for frying!  The recipe was featured in this months Joy of Kosher magazine. You can subscribe to the magazine at (Hint: Makes a great present for Hanukkah)!

Asian Mok Crab Red Potato Latkes
Makes About 2 Dozen Latkes

1 Pound of Imitation Crab, shredded with fingers
1 lb. Red Potatoes, Shredded
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. Old Bay Spice
2 Eggs
3 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
2 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Bunch Scallions, chopped
2 Tbs. Cilantro, minced
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Canola Oil

Mix together all the ingredients just until incorporated.  Turn the stove on to medium-high.  Place a pan on the stove and fill with about a 1/2 Inch of oil.  When hot (but not smoking) drop a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture into the oil and flatten with a spatula.  Fry on one side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, repeat on the other side.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm with Garlic-Ginger Tehina .

Garlic-Ginger Tehina
1/2 Cup Tahini paste
1/2 Cup Water
2 tsp. Ginger, minced
2 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 Tbs. Cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. Maple Syrup
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Salt and Pepper

Mix all together until incororapted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with latkes.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Funny Sounding Dessert

When I was in culinary school we made amazing looking and tasting desserts! Because of the un-kosher status of culinary school, I would go home, mouth still watering, and replicate these desserts using my kosher kitchen and ingredients.  One of my all time favorite was the frangipane.  I love desserts with nuts!  I adapted this recipe by making the crust out of nuts and in turn making this dessert gluten free!
Your food processor will be your best friend in this recipe, making the frangipane only minutes for you to prepare.  *You can also substitute any nut paste for the almond paste.

Almond Frangipane
2 Cups Almonds
1/2 Cup Pecans or Cashews
6 Tbs. Earth Balance
1/3 C. Sugar

1 - 6 Oz Container Almond Paste*
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg White
1 1/2 Tbs. Rum
3 Tbs. Earth Balance

Fruit of your choice: 5 Plums, 2 Handfuls of Grapes, 2 Handfuls of Raspberries, 3-4 Pears, 3-4 Apples, etc.

Preheat oven to 400.  Pulse the ingredients for the crust in a food processor until it forms a soft but crumbly dough. Press into a 9 inch springform tart pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Take out of oven and let cool.  Turn oven down to 375.
In the food processor add in all of the ingredients for the filling.  Process ingredients until thoroughly combined and smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Pour into cooled pie shell.
If using fruit with pits, slice down the middle, remove pit.  Slice each half and fan out over the filling.  If using fruit without pits, sprinkle the whole berries or grapes over the top of the filling.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the almond filling between the fruit is a nice golden brown.  Cool and serve at room temperature.

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