Bacon brittle

INGREDIENTS
– 1 pkg bacon
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/8 tsp baking soda

– 1 1/3c sugar
– 1/2c water
– 1/4c light corn syrup
– 2.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter

PROCESS
1) Fry, bake or microwave bacon, dry and chop up. Add 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp & 1/8 tsp baking soda. Set aside.
2) Grease a sheet pan or place a silpat mat on the pan.
3) In a pan: 1 1/3c sugar, 1/2c water, 1/4c light corn syrup, 2.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter.
4) Cook for 12 min. on high heat until you start to see caramel notes on the edges of the liquid. Continue to cook until you get more of a light color change.
5) When it is all over caramel quickly add bacon mix and stir quickly and in invert onto your pan. Quickly smooth out mix and let cool.

I think I’m going to add nuts too.

Very important: To store you must store in a plastic container or the condensation of a bag or any other material will turn your toffee to goo. Do not store in the refrigerator. Don’t worry about the bacon going bad if not stored in the fridge….this will also turn it into goo too.

Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chocolate Mousse a la Julia Child (a la David Lebovitz)

Just made this absolutely amazing dessert – got the recipe from David Lebovitz…it’s a slight modification of Julia Child’s classic recipe.  Copied it directly from the website.  I’m going to add some bacon brittle to the top.

Chocolate Mousse
Six to eight servings

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Knopf) by Julia Child.

I tried to reduce the amount of butter in the recipe and found it wasn’t nearly as good. Since I’m not one to argue with Julia, I stuck close to the recipe tweaking it just slightly.

6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces (170g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (60ml) dark-brewed coffee
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup (170g), plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) dark rum
1 tablespoon (15ml) water
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.

3. In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer.)

3. Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick, as shown in the photo above. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.

4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.

5. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.

6. Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.

Serving: I like to serve the chocolate mousse as it is, maybe with just a small dollop of whipped cream; it neither needs, nor wants, much adornment.

Storage: The mousse au chocolat can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Geoff’s Classic Baklava

Ingredients
 
1 pound chopped mixed nuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
2. Toss together cinnamon and nuts. Unroll phyllo and cut whole stack in half to fit the dish. Cover phyllo with a damp cloth while assembling the baklava, to keep it from drying out.
3. Place two sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the prepared dish. Brush generously with butter. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture on top. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with about 6 sheets of phyllo. Using a sharp knife, cut baklava (all the way through to the bottom of the dish) into four long rows, then (nine times) diagonally to make 36 diamond shapes.
4. Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes, until golden and crisp.
5. While baklava is baking, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir in honey, vanilla and lemon zest, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
6. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon the syrup over it. Let cool completely before serving. Store uncovered.
Published in: on September 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mango Creamsicles

Yummy, delicious desserts for summer.  You could probably use light cream or milk as well.  But, as they are “creamsicles”, heavy cream is best!

INGREDIENTS

– 2 ripe mangoes, chunked
– 1 tsp. sugar
– 1 tsp. lime zest
– 1 TBSP lime juice
– 1 cup heavy cream

PROCESS

1.  Add mango to a blender and puree.

2.  Add additional ingredients and blend until smooth and thoroughly incorporated.  Stir by hand if necessary.

3.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Easy Pie Dough

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.  Super easy!  I know you can use both vegetable shortening and butter, but I didn’t have any shortening the day that I made it – and it tasted really good with just butter!  The best homemade crust I’ve ever made. Great for quiches and one crust pies. Make it in a food processor – it’s the only way to go!

Makes one nine inch crust.

INGREDIENTS
– 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out the dough)
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1 Tbsp sugar
– 10 Tbsp COLD, unsalted butter (straight from the fridge!), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
– 4-5 Tbsp ice water

PROCESS

1) Process flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined.
2)  Add the butter pieces and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and clumps together (about 10 seconds).  Turn the mixture into a medium bowl.
3)  Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture.  With a spatula, use a folding motion to mix.  Press down on the dough until it sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water, if necessary.  Flatten the dough into a 4-inch disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour (or freeze for 30 minutes) of up to 2 days before rolling.

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 1:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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My Favorite Creme Brulee

Taken from Cook’s Illustrated.com.  I’ve made this recipe many, many times and it is delicious every time. It really makes a difference using a vanilla bean.  The critical thing is not to overcook the custard and to take it out of the oven just as it has set.

Serves 8.   Published November 1, 2001.

Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks after the cream has finished steeping; if left to sit, the surface of the yolks will dry and form a film. A vanilla bean gives custard the deepest flavor, but 2 teaspoons of extract, whisked into the yolks in step 4, can be used instead. The best way to judge doneness is with a digital instant-read thermometer. The custards, especially if baked in shallow fluted dishes, will not be deep enough to provide an accurate reading with a dial-face thermometer. For the caramelized sugar crust, we recommend turbinado or Demerara sugar. Regular granulated sugar will work, too, but use only 1 scant teaspoon on each ramekin or 1 teaspoon on each shallow fluted dish. If you don’t own eight individual ramekins, see the related Family Style version.

Ingredients

4 cups heavy cream , chilled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch table salt
1 vanilla bean , halved lengthwise
12 large egg yolks
8 – 12 teaspoons turbinado sugar or Demerara sugar

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine 2 cups cream, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan; with paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, submerge pod in cream, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Take pan off heat and let steep 15 minutes to infuse flavors.
  3. Meanwhile, place kitchen towel in bottom of large baking dish or roasting pan and arrange eight 4- to 5-ounce ramekins (or shallow fluted dishes) on towel. Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.
  4. After cream has steeped, stir in remaining 2 cups cream to cool down mixture. Whisk yolks in large bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk about 1 cup cream mixture into yolks until loosened and combined; repeat with another 1 cup cream. Add remaining cream and whisk until evenly colored and thoroughly combined. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into 2-quart measuring cup or pitcher (or clean medium bowl); discard solids in strainer. Pour or ladle mixture into ramekins, dividing it evenly among them.
  5. Carefully place baking dish with ramekins on oven rack; pour boiling water into dish, taking care not to splash water into ramekins, until water reaches two-thirds height of ramekins. Bake until centers of custards are just barely set and are no longer sloshy and digital instant-read thermometer inserted in centers registers 170 to 175 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for shallow fluted dishes). Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time.
  6. Transfer ramekins to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Set ramekins on rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
  7. Uncover ramekins; if condensation has collected on custards, place paper towel on surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (1 1/2 teaspoons for shallow fluted dishes); tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage. Ignite torch and caramelize sugar. Refrigerate ramekins, uncovered, to re-chill, 30 to 45 minutes (but no longer); serve.My F
Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 2:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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