Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Aunt Sandy's Almond Cream Puff Ring

Megan & Breanne- learn to make this and I promise you'll get boys to take you on "nicer" dates. It worked for me!
1. Preheat oven to 400°. In medium saucepan over high heat, heat 1 cup water with ½ cup butter until butter melts and mixture boils. Turn heat to low; add 1 cup sifted regular all purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir vigorously over heat until dough leaves sides of pan in a smooth compact ball, about 1 minute.
2. Quickly transfer dough to large bowl; with electric mixer at medium speed (or leave dough in saucepan and use wooden spoon), beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; continue beating until dough is smooth and satiny.
3. On greased, lightly floured cookie sheet, using a 7 inch plate as guide, trace a circle. Drop heaping measuring tablespoons of dough just inside the circle to form a ring. Bake 40 minutes, or until golden and firm. Turn off heat and allow to puff ring to rest in oven 15 minutes; then place on rack to cook, away from drafts.
4. With sharp knife, cut ring in half horizontally; with spoon, remove soft interior, discard, leaving a hollow ring shell.

5. In medium bowl, make up 2 small packages of instant vanilla pudding mix with 2 ½ cups milk. Gradually fold in 2 cups whipping cream, whipped, and 2 teaspoon almond extract.

6. In double boiler, over hot, not boiling, water melt ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces with 1 tablespoon butter, 1 ½ teaspoon milk, and 1 ½ teaspoon white corn syrup until smooth, stirring occasionally. Spread on top of ring. Refrigerate.

Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

To watch a video of this being made on Martha Stewart click here.

Makes 8

Vegetable-oil cooking spray
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Individual Chocolate Mousse

*See below for ingredients

2 ounces solid semisweet chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place eight 6-ounce (3 1/2-inch diameter) ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, and coat with cooking spray; set aside.

2. Stir flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and 1/4 cup water; mix on medium-low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.

3. Divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Run a knife around sides of cakes; unmold. Cakes can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic, up to 1 day.

4. Trim each cake to 1 inch high. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut eight 10 3/4-by-4-inch strips of parchment paper. Wrap a parchment collar around base of each cake, keeping bottom flush with baking sheet. Secure each collar with tape; set aside.

5. Transfer bittersweet-chocolate mousse to a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (such as Ateco #808). Pipe a 1-inch layer of mousse into each parchment collar. Refrigerate until mousse is set, about 20 minutes. Repeat with milk chocolate mousse, piping on top of the bittersweet chocolate mousse. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

6. Microwave semisweet chocolate until slightly warm but not melted, about 30 seconds. Scrape at a 45-degree angle with a vegetable peeler, forming curls. Before serving cakes, remove parchment collars, and garnish with chocolate curls.

Individual Chocolate Mousse

Makes enough for 8 cakes
This recipe makes two kinds of mousse: bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate.

3 1/3 cups heavy cream
8 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
7 ounces milk chocolate, melted

1. Put 1 2/3 cups cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate 1 hour.

2. Put 4 egg yolks into the clean bowl of the mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment; beat on high speed until pale and frothy, 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water to a rolling boil in a small, heavy saucepan over high heat. Cook until clear, large bubbles form, about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Carefully pour hot syrup down side of bowl. Raise speed to medium-high. Mix until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in bittersweet chocolate, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt with a rubber spatula.

3. Add one-third of bittersweet-chocolate mixture to whipped cream; whisk to combine. Add remaining bittersweet-chocolate mixture, whisking until completely combined. Press through a large-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard any solids. Repeat entire recipe, substituting milk chocolate for the bittersweet
From Elise

Café Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

Place the following in a blender:
3 fresh tomatillos, cut into quarters
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup buttermilk (or make w/dry buttermilk mix)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package of dry Ranch Buttermilk Dressing
Mix1 cup fresh cilantro (abt. one bunch)
5 stalks (1/2 bunch) of green onions w/ends
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed cayenne pepper
From Elise

Celestial Tacos

You will need:
Chicken Breasts
Corn Tortillas (flour works too- I prefer the Corn tortillas though)

1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup corn oil
1 cup soy sauce
1 T. salt
1 T. pepper
2 tsp. Garlic powder
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup – ¾ cup sesame seeds

Reserve ¼ of the sauce separately in a bowl. Marinade chicken in remaining sauce for 1 – 3 hours. Grill the chicken and cut into thin strips. Dip flour tortillas in the reserved ¼ sauce, and grill on BBQ, turning frequently. Serve immediately. Make the tacos with the grilled chicken and serve with any of the following:

Cheese Guacamole Limes
Tomatoes Green Onions Corn
Cilantro Sour cream Shredded lettuce
Salsa Anything else you want!
From Elise