Friday, December 31, 2010

Homemade Marshmallow Easter Eggs



Christmas version above!

This is one of those recipes that I pull out once or twice a year and then wonder...why don't I make this more often!! I got it from someone in Relief Society when we lived in San Jose.

It's easy but you have to follow directions exactly and at points move quickly, so, get your ducks all in a row before you begin this process!!

First:
Get out 3 9x13 type pans, or things that will work like them. (I use both sides of a few tupperware marinater thingies) and fill half full with regular flour. (you will be able to put this back in your flour container after we are done!)
Take a plastic easter egg I like the medium sized ones not too small, but not too large. Make indents (molds) into the flour with the egg. You should be able to get 9-12 in one pan. Set these aside on a counter not too far away from the action.

Sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored Geletin in 1/2 C. COLD water and set aside.

Mix in a medium sauce pan: 3/4 C. Light corn syrup.
1/2 C. hot water
2 C. granulated sugar
Bring this mixture to a boil WITHOUT stirring to 240 degrees. Remove from heat immediately and pour into a stand mixer. Add shield and start beating. Bring to high speed and while mixing add softened gelatin 1 T. at a time. It will turn white.
Add: 1 T vanilla (or you can get creative and use another flavor if you like)
Continue to beat till stiff peaks form.

Now you have to work fast!!
Pour mixture into your flour depressions ASAP. I actually use the two spoon method to fill them, either way, you must do this as quickly as possible before the mixture cools and it's just a sticky mess. (The bigger the Egg impression the bigger the spoons works fine) Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the marshmallows in the molds. Let sit 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to dip these little pillows of pure joy into chocolate make sure to trim up all the little imperfections and dust off most of the flour.

Makes about 16 small/Med eggs or 9 large.

For Christmas Version I used round ornaments for the depressions and santa candies etc.

Don't forget to sift out the little bits of marshmallow before re-storing your flour.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Buche De Noel 2! Meringue Mushrooms

This is the recipe I use to make the mushrooms but I am including the entire thing since it's got good information!

http://www.baking911.com/recipes/cakes/buchedenoel2.htm

FOR THE BISCUIT (Cake):
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Granulated sugar, scant 1/2 cup
Whole milk, 1/2 tablespoon
2 large egg whites
Cake flour, 1/3 cup
Powdered sugar, for dusting

FOR THE CHOCOLATE PASTRY CREAM:
1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (see below)
Dove Promises Dark Chocolate, finely chopped, 3 1/2 ounces

FOR THE SOAKING SYRUP:
Simple Syrup flavored with Grand Marnier (see below)

FOR THE MUSHROOMS:
3 large egg whites
Granulated sugar, scant 1/2 cup
Powdered sugar, sifted, scant 1 cup
Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting, 1/2 cup

PREPARE THE BISCUIT (Cake): Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Place the whole eggs and yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar and the milk. Whip with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, until the mixture lightens in color and triples in volume, about 6 minutes. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl, and whip at medium speed until foamy. Make French meringue by adding the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. When all the sugar has been added, increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip to stiff but not dry peaks, about 5 minutes.

Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg mixture in batches into the meringue, incorporating it gradually so as not to deflate the meringue. When all the yolk mixture has been incorporated, place the flour in a fine-mesh sieve and sift over the mixture. Gently fold this in with the rubber spatula. Spread the batter evenly on a parchment-covered baking sheet, liberally dust the top of the biscuit with powdered sugar and place in the oven. Bake just until biscuit begins to brown on top, about 5 minutes. This will lock in the moisture, allowing you to roll the cake later without cracking it. Immediately after removing from the oven, run a knife around the inside of the baking sheet to loosen the cake from the sides. Remove cake from baking sheet and allow it to cool.

PREPARE CHOCOLATE PASTRY CREAM: Make pastry cream as directed and let cool. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a mixing bowl placed over a bowl of simmering water, stirring it occasionally as it melts. When all of the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove it from heat, and add the cold pastry cream to the warm chocolate. Mix them together with a rubber spatula.

PREPARE THE ROULADE: Place the biscuit on your work surface and soak with the flavored syrup. Spread the chocolate pastry cream evenly over the cake, spreading it all the way to the edges. Start at one long end and, rolling toward you, roll it into a tight cylinder. Place the roulade on a parchment covered baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to set.

PREPARE THE MUSHROOMS: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have volume, then add the rest of the sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip until you have stiff but not dry peaks. Gently fold in the powdered sugar. Place the meringue in a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe the mushroom pieces onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Make the stems by squeezing out a dime-sized mound of meringue, then pull the pastry bag straight up, leaving a small tail. Make the caps by piping 1/2-inch mounds onto the sheet. Sprinkle the caps with a little cocoa powder and place in the oven. Bake until firm and dry, about 1 hour, leaving the oven door cracked so moisture can escape. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE TREES AND FENCES:
Bittersweet chocolate, tempered, 16 ounces, see below

FOR THE COFFEE BUTTERCREAM:
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
Water, 1/3 cup
Granulated sugar, scant 1 cup
Cold unsalted butter, cubed, 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon
Coffee extract, to taste
FOR THE IVY AND FLOWERS:
Red, green and yellow liquid food coloring as needed

TO FINISH THE BUCHE:
Powdered sugar, for dusting, scant 1/2 cup
Chocolate shavings

PREPARE CHOCOLATE TREES: Make a cornet from parchment paper and fill half full with tempered chocolate. Pipe a long thick chocolate raindrop on a sheet of parchment paper. Draw a cake comb through the chocolate, starting at the center of the raindrop and moving from left to right. Repeat, starting at the center and moving from right to left. You should have a chocolate pine tree. Repeat for as many trees as you want. Allow the chocolate to set before peeling the parchment paper from it.

PREPARE THE CHOCOLATE FENCE: Fill a cornet half full with the tempered chocolate, and pipe a 3 to 4-inch long railroad track, with the outside rails spaced about 2 inches apart and the inside rails spaced about 1/2-inch apart onto a sheet of parchment paper. Allow the chocolate to set before peeling the parchment paper from it.

PREPARE THE COFFEE BUTTERCREAM: Place the egg yolks and whole egg in a large mixing bowl, and whip until thick, light, and tripled in volume, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the water and granulated sugar into a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Insert a candy thermometer into the mixture. The sugar is ready when it reaches 250 degrees, or the soft ball stage. Pour the cooked sugar down the side of the bowl into the whipping eggs. Continue whipping the mixture until the outside of the bowl is warm but not hot, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the butter all at once, and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Now whip on medium-high speed until thick, smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Remove about 1/3 cup and set aside. Add the coffee extract to the remaining buttercream and whip until well combined.

ASSEMBLE THE BUCHE: Place the rolled cake on the platter you will use to serve it. Use a sharp knife to slice a 11/2-inch-thick slice from one or each end of the roll. These will become gnarls on the log. Spread a thick layer of buttercream over the buche. Place the ends or gnarls on top of the log, 1 at each end, if desired, and cover with buttercream. Run a cake comb through the buttercream along the length of the buche, to make it look like bark. Place the buche in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to let the buttercream set.

MAKE THE IVY AND FLOWERS: Divide the unflavored buttercream evenly among 3 bowls and color each with 1 of the food colorings. Make 3 cornets from triangles of parchment paper, and fill one with pink buttercream, one with green, and one with yellow. Remove the buche from the refrigerator. Use the green icing cornet to make the ivy, by piping long curved lines along the length of the buche.

Place small yellow dots along this stem, for the flower centers. Surround these with pink dots for the flower petals. Cut the tip of the cornet diagonally to make a point and fill it with green icing. Squeeze a dab of green buttercream out of the corner of each leaf.

FINISHING THE BUCHE: Stick together the caps and ends of the mushrooms, using a dab of buttercream. Place the mushrooms, chocolate trees and chocolate fence on the buche. Dust the buche with powdered sugar and sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for 1 hour,then serve and enjoy!

PASTRY CREAM:
Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
Granulated sugar, scant 1/2 cup
4 large egg yolks
Whole milk, generous 2 cups
1 vanilla bean
Unsalted butter (optional), 1 tablespoon

Sift together the cornstarch and half the sugar in a medium bowl, add the egg yolks and whisk until well combined. Pour the milk and remaining sugar into a 2-quart nonreactive heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat. While milk is heating, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Separate the seeds, and add both seeds and skin to the milk. Bring it to a boil. Carefully pour about half of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking so eggs don't scramble. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and continue to whisk, as pastry cream thickens. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, and add butter in small chunks if desired. Stir butter into cream until well incorporated. Pour pastry cream into an airtight container and put plastic wrap on top to prevent a skin from forming. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days, until ready to use.

SIMPLE SYRUP: Water, scant 1 1/4 cups Granulated sugar, 2/3 cup Liqueur, 2 1/2 tablespoons

Place the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. The sugar should completely dissolve. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Cool before adding the liqueur.

TEMPERED CHOCOLATE: When you melt chocolate, the molecules of fat separate. To put them back together, you temper it. One way to temper is to place the chocolate in the microwave, and microwave it on high power for 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted. As it recrystallizes, it becomes tempered.

Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour

Buche De Noel


The recipe I use for my Yule Log Cake is at the following site:
http://ezinearticles.com/?How-To-Make:-A-Buche-De-Noel-Quickly-and-Easily&id=367109

I added 3/4 C. Sifted dutch coacoa to the cake and went a little light on the flour by about 2 T.

I use a different recipe to make the meringue mushrooms and the owl is by Moonstruck Chocolates.

Here is the text.

Christmas is coming soon and you are wondering what to prepare for this occasion, right? Why not try a "Buche De Noel"?

In this articles I'll show you a step by step method to get this done in record time. So check this out...

The Recipe: Buche De Noel
Yield: 16 Servings
Occasion: Christmas

INGREDIENTS:

For the Buche De Noel:

~ 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

~ 1/4 teaspoon Salt

~ 3/4 cup Sugar

~ 3/4 cups Cake flour

~ 3/4 teaspoon Baking powder

~ 5 Eggs

Chestnut Butter Cream Filling:

~ 1 Egg yolks

~ 1 pinch Salt

~ 1/2 cup Butter

~ 1/2 cup Superfine Sugar

~ 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

~ 2 cups Powered Sugar

~ 2 tablespoons Butter

~ 30 Chestnuts (whole cooked)

~ 4 tablespoons Heavy Cream

Mocha Silk Frosting:

~ 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

~ 1-1/2 tablespoons Corn syrup

~ 1-1/4 c Sugar, powdered

~ 2 tb Heavy Cream

~ 2 teaspoons Instant coffee

~ 3 tablespoons Cocoa powder

~ 5-1/3 tablespoons Butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the Buche De Noel:

Utensils: Cookie sheet larger than jelly roll pan and clean lint-free dish towel.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the 10"x15"x1" jelly roll pan by greasing it, the line base and sides with wax paper. Grease the wax paper. Bring the 5 eggs to room temperature and then separate the yolk and the whites. Combine salt, flour, and baking powder; place aside.

Beat yolks until thick and pale. Slowly add 6 teaspoons of sugar, beating well after each addition. The mixture should fall in thick ribbon when beaters are lifted. Add the 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat again. Beat egg whites until foamy with clean dry beaters.

Slowly add residual sugar while beating continuously, until whites stand in firm, glossy, moist peaks. Fold 1/3 whites into yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold remaining whites in too.

Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture; fold in smoothly but thoroughly. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan, making sure to get it into the corners. Place pan into oven right away. Bake around 10 minutes or until the top is golden and tester comes out clean. Make sure you do not overbake.

This part should be done very quickly: remove from oven, the immediately cover jelly roll pan with clean towel, then with the inverted cookie sheet. Turn over pan, towel, and sheet to turn out cake. Remove jelly roll pan; peel off wax paper.

Slide towel and cake onto counter so that the cake is wrong side up. Slice any crisp edges, fold one end of towel over short end of cake, and roll cake in towel. Place rolled cake seam side down on wire rack or cookie sheet to cool completely.

Chestnut Butter Cream Filling:

Mix salt, vanilla, sugar, cream and egg yolk; beat for around 7 minutes at medium speed. Cream butter until light in the beaters without washing it. Add yolk mixture little by little, beating well after each addition.

Slowly add the powdered sugar, while beating well after each addition. Put the basic buttercream aside. Puree chestnuts with powdered sugar, butter and cream. Mix chestnut puree into buttercream thoroughly. I sometimes add a little more cream to bring to very spreadable consistency.

Mocha Silk Frosting:

Place instant coffee in a plastic bag and crushing it with a rolling pin until powered. Combine coffee, sugar and cocoa. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1 or 2 minutes at medium speed.

You can also add a little more cream to make frosting easy to spread (optional). Unroll cooled cake, leaving it on towel. Spread 1/2 cup frosting evenly over cake, all the way to the edges.

Spread 2 cups filling over thin layer of frosting, pushing generous amount into curved end. Roll up again, without towel but using it to help roll. Put cake, seam side down, on tray or cake plate. Get rid of any excess villing from ends and seam edge. Chill for 1 hour to firm filling.

Trim and remove (or eat) a thin slice from one end of chilled cake; cut and keep wedge from other end. Spread a little amount of filling on top center of cake and press reserved wedge on it to make the "knot-hole." Frost entire cake with remaining frosting, building frosting up around sides of "knot-hole." Do not cover knothold top. Work frosting as far under roll as possible.

Frequently draw narrow metal spatula lengthwise through frosting to create rough texture of bark. Cut pieces of angelica into leaf shapes and cut glace cherries in half to make log decorations. Keep cake refrigerated until serving; it is much easier to slice when cold and firm. Prior to serving, surround cake with cranberries and holly.

Et voila! Your Buche De Noel is now ready! :-)

Merry Christmas! :o)

Jonathan Is The Webmaster Of Quick Easy Recipes & Author Of A Famous Cookbook Called America's TOP Secret Recipes [http://www.easy-recipes-secrets.com/copycat-recipes.html] Revealing The Insider Secrets Of World Class Restaurant Dishes. You Can Also Check His Brand New Website: Favorite Recipes [http://www.recipes3.info].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jonathan_Teng

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Easy Crock Pot Roast


For my Large crock pot this is what I do:

Add in this order:

1 med. bag of Baby carrots
5 to 6 med white potatoes (cleaned and chopped into cubes) Other potatoes work too.
1 med. onion rough cut
1 lg. roast
1 beef/mushroom gravy mix, mixed with 1 cup water. I pour this over the entire bowl.
Liberal amount of Worcestershire sauce on just the roast.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook on high 6 hours or low 8 hours. About half way through I stir the veggies and turn the roast and add more Worcestershire sauce to it and more salt and pepper to taste. (Make sure to TASTE it!)

For a smaller crock pot I would half this recipe!

If you like more carrots, or more potato add it! If  you want to try some herbs I would try Thyme maybe a very small amount of rosemary or toss in some itallian seasoning. It's very easy to adjust to your family's taste!!

GRAVY!
When done, remove veggies to a bowl, beef to a cutting board and cut up. Heat the remaining juice in a microwave safe bowl to boiling with 2 beef bullion cubes. Add mixture of 1/2 C. Water and 1/4 C. flour well whisked and cook 1 min, whisk, cook 1 min more, whisk and taste for salt. Add more if necessary .... serve!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Calzones

Hey all! It's Christina. I just wanted to share a recipe that's been a recent hit in my family lately. They are DELISH!

We have been dividing the dough into four small-medium size Calzones. we just cut four even parts of the dough then roll each out to make a circle, fill it with whatever we want inside and then fold it in half and tuck the edges.

since we make smaller Calzones the bake time is closer to twenty minutes.

Ingredients for Dough
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon dry milk powder
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

For fillings (remember this should make 4 individual calzones)
3/4 cup pizza sauce
4 ounces pepperoni or sausage.
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Any other favorite toppings...
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
Place water, salt, bread flour, dry milk, sugar, and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle. (if you don't have a bread maker you can do this in a mixer or by hand by mixing the dough and letting it rise for 60 min before the next step!)
After cycle ends, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface; cut into 4 equal parts. Roll each one out into a circle.  Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet(I just put mine on parchment).
Add Pizza sauce to half of the dough (you will be folding the other half OVER it making sure to leave a good inch or so on the edges to fold over.
Add toppings!
Mozzarella cheese, Pepperoni, olives etc....(whatever you like on pizza, but don't overfill!)
brush the edge with water and fold over the other half of the dough and seal the edges.
 Brush top with melted butter. (I forgot to do this to mine!!)
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 min and check for doneness. They should be pleasantly browned on top and bottom.
This one is waiting for Dad to get home....

This was mine, just sauce, cheese and pepperoni! yum!