Traditional Vanilla Bean Pot De Crème

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Doesn’t come anymore traditional than this! Time consuming, but if you have the time to spare- you will learn why this recipe is a classic ! Deliciously rich, creamy and elegant.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

6 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar + 1 Tablespoon

1- vanilla bean

Pinch salt

1teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

1teaspoon good quality instant espresso powder

Unsweetened whipped cream,for serving

Method:

In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk with the heavy cream and 1Tablespoon of the sugar and the pinch of salt. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape the vanilla seeds into the cream, and drop in the empty pod. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Set aside, and allow the vanilla to steep in the cream for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining1/2 cup of sugar until thick and creamy, about 1 minute.

Re-heat the cream just until warm, and slowly whisk 1/2 – 1 cup of the hot milk, into egg yolks while whisking vigorously; do-not to curdle the eggs. Bring the egg yolks close to the same temperature as the milk. We call this stage: Tempering. Once the cream is tempered into the egg yolks, transfer the tepid egg mixture to the saucepan with the remaining flavored cream. Begin cooking to form a custard.

Over moderate heat, whisk constantly, until it is slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup or bowl to help you poor into smaller serving vessels or molds.

Preheat the oven to 300’F Degrees. Place rack in center of oven. Bring a teapot filled with water to a boil.

Place the serving molds in a large high-sided casserole baking dish. Place the baking dish onto two sheet pans line the top sheet pan with a non slip silicon baking sheet or parchment paper. (This will provide double the insulation so the custards can cook evenly and slowly and non slip surface when you remove it from the oven.) Place the sheet pans with the molds on the center rack in the pre heated oven.

Gently stir the custard on the stove, remove the vanilla bean pod and discard. Carefully fill each mold with the custard mixture while in the oven.

Once the molds are filled with the custard- carefully pour the hot water from the teapot around the molds. ( try not to splash) Bring the water level up halfway – two-thirds up the sides of the molds.

Bake for 30 to 55 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the molds. To test for doneness, reach into the oven and using a tea towel to protect your hand, gently shake one of the molds. The custard should be set, but will still jiggle slightly, like gelatin.With tongs carefully remove the molds one at a time onto a tea towel and then onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Serve the pots de crème with lightly sweetened whipped cream and white chocolate shavings or a dusting of cinnamon sugar.

Makes approximately 8-10 servings depending on the size of your molds.

Note: If eggs begin to curdle in tempering stage immediately cool cream before and further additions and immediately run the mixture through a sieve before proceeding to the next step.

Make Ahead- Chocolate Espresso Pot De Crème!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
6 ounces good quality 60-70 % chocolate,finely chopped
6 ounces good quality 80% chocolate 80%,finely chopped, plus shavings for garnish
2 tablespoons sugar
1- 4 inch cinnamon stick
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
1 teaspoon good quality instant espresso powder
Unsweetened whipped cream,for serving

 
Method:

In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk with the heavy cream, cinnamon stick and sugar. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce heat add the vanilla, espresso and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until creamy, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 1/2 – 1 cup of the hot milk, into egg yolks while whisking vigorously; do-not to curdle the eggs. Bring the egg yolks close to the same temperature as the milk. This stage is called: Tempering. Once the cream is tempered into the egg yolks, transfer the tepid egg mixture to the saucepan with the remaining flavored cream. Begin cooking to form a custard.

Over moderate heat, whisk constantly, until it is slightly thickened, about 5-6 minutes. Immediately add the finely chopped chocolate and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted, then strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup or bowl to help you poor into smaller serving vessels.

Pour the chocolate mixture into desired serving vessels and refrigerate until the pots de crème are chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Serve the pots de crème with unsweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings and an optional dusting of cocoa. Or simply… a candied coffee bean.

Makes approximately 8-10 servings depending on the size of your serving vessel.

Note: If eggs begin to curdle in tempering stage, cool cream before any further additions and immediately run the mixture through a sieve before proceeding to the next step.

The Faux-Re-O! Homemade Vegan Oreo Cookies. Clean ! No additives, preservatives or shelve-stabilizers! 

Aside from the slightly bizarre flavors of the past few years, Kraft Foods – the parent to the Oreo, a Nabisco brand; has a dynasty into the worlds best tasting cookie!  A large corporate box chain foods  company–but, this means highly processed, refined food ingredients. Also, foods contain additives; that might not be so healthy If you are feeding your family clean. Here is my adaption to the beloved, “Oreo” Cookie!

The Faux-Re-O!



Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups AP flour, Yucca flour or GF flour, sifted

1 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 ounces Vegan butter or extra virgin coconut oil, room temp, slightly softened ( extra virgin has minimal coconut flavor)

1 1/2 cups granulated cane sugar

4 Tablespoons of VeganEgg reconstituted in 1 cup water

2 teaspoons pure Madagascar vanilla extract

1/2 cup organic vegetable shortening

Non-stick cooking

Cream Filling ( recipe below)

Method:
1. In a small bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to incorporate ingredients well throughout the flour. Set aside.

 

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a medium bowl–combine 10 ounces of the vegan butter with the 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high until combined and pale in color. About two minutes. Scrape sides, add 1/2 the vanilla, and beat an additional 2 minutes.

 

3. Add the VeganEgg and flour mixture in alternate batches. Mix well to incorporate after each addition before adding an additional. Once all ingredients have been added mix until dough forms a ball.

 

4. With a sifter, lightly dust a clean work surface with cocoa powder.

 

5. Turn dough ball out onto the lightly dusted cocoa powered surface. Also dust the top of the dough lightly. Cut in 1/2.

 

6. With a cocoa dusted rolling pin, roll the dough pieces to flatten into 2 – 1/2 inch round disc. Wrap both discs individually in plastic wrap- sealing airtight. Refrigerate flat for a minimum of 1 hour.

 
5. After 1 hour has lapsed – remove a disc from plastic wrap and place on a clean, lightly cocoa dusted work surface. Working while dough remains cold, roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Run the back of a long knife or palate knife under the dough to make sure it is not sticking to the work surface.

 

6. Preheat oven 350’F Degrees. Prepare two high sided baking sheets with parchment sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

 

7. With a 1 1/2 in round cocoa dusted cookie cutter begin cutting cutting 64 round 1/4 inch round cookies.

 

8. Using a metal spatula – place on prepared baking sheet with minimal movement protecting the integrity of its shape. Work quickly while cold. If dough begins to heat up, place back in the refrigerator to cool again.

 

9. Continue to ball up the cookie dough up and re-roll for more cookies until you’re completely out of dough. Repeat with the remaining disc.

 
10. Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are firm. Remove and allow to cool. Make cream filling.


Additional Cream Filling Ingredients:

4 cups powdered sugar sifted

2 Tablespoons nut milk

 
Method:

1. In a small bowl beat the remaining 2 ounces of the Vegan butter with the vegetable shortening until smooth. Add remaining vanilla extract. ( or cut and scrape one fresh vanilla bean pod * optional)

 

2. Once combine, add sifted powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of the nut milk. Mix. Check constancy. If too dry, add the additional nut milk to form a thick cookie filling like paste. Set aside.

 
3. Once cookies are cooled, spread the filling on the bottom of half of the cookies and sandwich them with the other half. Slightly squeezing to completely sandwich.
Serve with ice cold nut milk. Or use to prepare Stephen Dimmicks ( from Glossie Girl ) Oreo Cookie Pancakes. Recipe here!

Variation to filling : For chocolate filling add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1 /2-2 Tablespoons of additional nut milk to the already blended creamed filling recipe.

Thai Fried Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Warm Honey!

Two words- “Luscious Goodness” . 

Ingredients:
6 bananas (yellow with a little green), the firmer the better.

1 cup rice flour (or all purpose flour)

1/4 cup tapioca starch (or organic corn starch)

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tbs. black sesame seeds, toasted

3/4 cup water

4-6 cups coconut oil for frying

Warm honey to drizzle

Vanilla bean ice cream

Your favorite chocolate sauce

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients -flour, baking soda, sugar, salt, and coconut ( except sesame seeds)

Add water and mix well. Mix the batter until thick.

In a large deep stock pot, a wok, or deep fryer slowly heat coconut  oil to 375’F.

While waiting for oil to heat up, peel and cut bananas into bite sized pieces , dip each banana into the batter and coat thoroughly.

Carefully place the coated banana into the hot oil. Deep fry until they turns golden brown and crispy. Turning once or twice while frying- about one to two minute to cook evenly. Remove banana from oil, and drain on paper towel.

Drizzle with warm honey and chocolate sauce and serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream – top with toasted sesame seeds.

Note: The bananas come out of the fryer very hot, so let them cool a little before serving.

Veggie hide-and-seek

Are your little ones eating enough veggies? They probably aren’t specifically asking for extra peas and carrots. That could change by hiding them.

Investigators at Columbia University recently gave this a go. They enlisted 68 elementary and middle school children and gave them two samples to try. One was labeled broccoli gingerbread spice cake and the other simply gingerbread spice cake. The kids didn’t know the cake was the same but they loved the gingerbread spice cake that didn’t have broccoli in the name.

While children were more likely to eat products that didn’t have veggies listed on the label, doctors did encourage parents to introduce their children to a variety of vegetables to find one they like. Then the hiding won’t be necessary.

Let’s give it a try with sweet potato cupcakes with toasted marshmallow frosting. Thanks to Better Homes and Gardens and Lovin’ From the Oven for the recipes, respectively.

Ingredients
For the cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
16 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
17 oz. sweet potato puree
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir together with a fork and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Mix in the sweet potatoes and vanilla extract, beating just until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes; then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160 degrees with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until combined. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
  5. For a fun extra touch, you can use a kitchen torch and garnish with a sprinkle of brown sugar, if desired.