Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ginger Crème Brulée

My custards took longer to cook than 1 hour. It will depend on how wide or deep your ramekin style is. Cook them until the centers barely move.

1/3 C sugar
4 egg yolks
2 C milk
2 T chopped crystallized ginger
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
6 T sugar

Preheat oven to 325˚.

Place 6 4-ounce ramekins in a 9x13 baking dish.

Combine 1/3 C sugar and egg yolks, stirring well with whisk.

In a saucepan, combine milk and ginger. Heat over medium heat to 180˚ (just beginning to simmer; do not boil), stirring occasionally. Strain mixture through a sieve, discarding solids. Add vanilla and salt. Gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly.

Divide mixture between 6 ramekins. Add hot water to baking dish to a depth of 1 inch, taking care not to drip or spill into custard filled ramekins.

Bake 1 hour or until center barely moves when ramekin is jiggled. Remove ramekins from pan, cool completely on wire rack. Cover; chill at least 4 hours.

Sift one tablespoon sugar to evenly cover cover each custard top. Using a kitchen torch about 2 inches from custard surface, "brulée" by moving torch back and forth until sugar is melted and caramelized (approx. 1 minute). Serve immediately, or within 1 hour.

If you don't have a kitchen torch...
Put 6 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon water in saucepan; cook, without stirring, over medium heat until sugar is golden (5-8 minutes). Immediately pour over cold custards, gently spreading if necessary to form a thin layer.

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream

Though it's been on the website at least since last fall, I saw this one in the latest Food Network Magazine. It just a bite of fall. If I made it again, I think I'd reduce the filling a little...or reduce it and fold in a little whipped cream. It was delicious, but very rich, and generous on the filling.

For the cake...
¾ C flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
3 eggs, @ room temp.
1 C sugar
¾ C canned pumpkin
¼ C powdered sugar
          plus extra for dusting

For the filling...
12 oz mascarpone cheese
1¼ C powdered sugar
2 T heavy cream
¼ C minced crystallized ginger (dry, not in syrup)


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Betty Crocker's maple bacon frosting -- a seasonal item, on sale today -- inspired my fall baking today. Sorry to say (though not exactly surprising), the store-bought canned frosting with its tiny, totally fake, stale-chewy imitation bacon sprinkles was VERY unimpressive. Makes me want to rebake these pumpkin cupcakes and make my own frosting and real crushed bacon bits.*

1 C butter, softened
1½ C brown sugar
3 eggs
2 C pumpkin purée
1 tsp vanilla
2¼ C flour 
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375˚. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

Stir or sift together flour, soda, salt and spices; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Stir in pumpkin purée and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients. Scoop batter into cupcake liners. Bake 18-20 minutes.

Round or square cake pans (line with parchment paper and/or lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray) would probably require 25-30 minutes. Test them with a toothpick.

* Nov 29, 2015 addition: So...I did bake the pumpkin spice cupcakes again, mini-cupcakes this time. No bacon; brown sugar buttercream frosting with a sprinkle of coarse vanilla sugar and a dusting of cinnamon.  ...much better!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Mango-Tomato Salsa

This is an easy recipe to play around with to suit your individual taste. Add more of what you like, less of what you don't. However, all the ingredients -- sweet, salty, sour/acidic, etc. -- work together and against each other to highlight all the different flavors.

1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes*
15 oz fresh peeled, diced mango
2 T minced onion
1+ tsp minced jalapeno or serrano chili pepper
1 T lime juice
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp rice vinegar
1 T chopped cilantro
1 T chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste

* Yes, of course you can use fresh tomatoes and dice them yourself! :)

Combine mango, tomato, onion and chili in a bowl. Stir in lime juice, sugar, rice vinegar, cilantro and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips.