12/30/2008

FRENCH YULE LOG.

FRENCH YULE LOG.
The Daring Bakers December Challenge.
This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.
Thanks to all of you for choosing this amazing recipe, I really learnt a lot.







Thanks so much Hilda, For the recipe visit Her wonderful site:

12/26/2008

Dry Fruits Pound Cake.

Dry Fruits Pound Cake.

I got in the kitchen and came out with this; everybody liked the taste and moist texture of this pound cake. I think the flavor comes from the rum. I hope I can manage my depression and cook something nice to celebrate New Year.

Merry Christmas (belated)





Ingredients.
250 gr margarine or butter. (room temperature).
220 gr sugar.
4 large eggs.
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind.
½ cup rum. (milk or other liquor).
375 gr self raising flour.
75 gr candied fruits.
75 gr raisins.
35 gr almonds. .(chopped)
35 gr walnut.(chopped)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon. (ground)
¼ teaspoon salt.
A pinch of clove (ground)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
¼ teaspoon almond extract.

1- Mix the fruit, walnut and almond with two tablespoons of flour.
2- Mix flour, cinnamon, clove and salt the dry ingredients.
3- Lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla and almond extract.
4- Whisk together margarine and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
5- Add the egg mixture and whisk for about 2 minutes.
6- Add half of the flour and mix well, then add the rum and the rest of the flour.
7- Place in a pound cake pan and bake at 180 °C until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean.

12/10/2008

Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate Pound Cake
I have to apologize for not posting with the same frequency as in the past, but my country is facing some political changes that are affecting my mood, I have to admit that I am deeply sad.
It is time that we recover our dignity as a nation, our freedom and democracy.

This pound cake is delicious and easy to make, I love it, and it will taste even better the next day.






Ingredients.

200 cc corn oil.
200 gr white sugar.
4 large eggs.
½ tablespoon baking powder.
200 gr all purpose flour.
20 gr cocoa powder.
½ tablespoon vanilla extract.
½ tablespoon orange peel, grated.

1- Butter and dust with flour a pund cake pan.
2- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture forms a ribbon when whisk is removed.
3- Pour the mixture in the prepared pound cake pan.
4- Bake at 160°C, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
5- let cool. Unmold.

Icing.

1 can sweetened condensed milk.
175 gr dark unsweetened chocolate. Cut into small squares.

1- Place the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat
2- Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it melts and becomes thick.
3- Pour over the pound cake.

11/29/2008

Daring Bakers November´s Challenge

Daring Bakers, November Challenge
CARAMEL CAKE WITH CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

I loved this challenge because it was easy and I have all the ingredients at home, the only changes I did were: did not add 1/4 cup of sugar of the 1 ¼ cup sugar called for in the recipe for the cake and added cocoa powder to one part of the cream to make the decorations. The verdict everybody loved the cake because of the flavor and sweetness, (in my country people love very sweet desserts) but for me it was a bit too sweet.
As we are cleaning, painting and decorating for Christmas at home (all at the same time… imagine the mess) I did not find a proper place for the pictures
Thanks Dolores (http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/), Alex (http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com), Jenny (http://forayintofood.blogspot.com) and Natalie (http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com) for this challenge I learnt a lot and I had a great time making this delicious cake.





The Original Recipe.

CARAMEL CAKE WITH CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperaturesplash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature
Notes from Natalie for those of you baking gluten-free:
So the GF changes to the cake would be:2 cups of gluten free flour blend (w/xanthan gum) or 2 cups of gf flour blend + 1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum1/2 - 1 tsp baking powder (this would be the recipe amount to the amount it might need to be raised to & I'm going to check).
Preheat oven to 350F
Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth.
Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl.
Scrape down bowl and increase speed.
Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
Sift flour and baking powder.
Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients.
When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. (This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.)
Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.
CARAMEL SYRUP
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand.
Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush.
Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. (Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.)
Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.
CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.
Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time.
When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.
Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light(recipes above courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon)(Optional)
GOLDEN VANILLA BEAN CARAMELS
- makes eighty-one 1-inch caramels -
Ingredients
1 cup golden syrup
2 cups sugar
3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure ground vanilla beans, purchased or ground in a coffee or spice grinders, or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks, softened
Equipment
A 9-inch square baking pan
Candy thermometer
ProcedureLine the bottom and sides of the baking pan with aluminum foil and grease the foil. Combine the golden syrup, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. (Meanwhile, rinse the spatula or spoon before using it again later.) Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more. Attach the candy thermometer to the pan, without letting it touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, uncovered (without stirring) until the mixture reaches 305°F. Meanwhile, combine the cream and ground vanilla beans (not the extract) in a small saucepan and heat until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep the cream hot. When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter chunks. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful. Turn the burner back on and adjust it so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Stir until any thickened syrup at the bottom of the pan is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, to about 245°F. Then cook, stirring constantly, to 260°f for soft, chewy caramels or 265°F; for firmer chewy caramels. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, if using it. Pour the caramel into the lined pan. Let set for 4 to 5 hours, or overnight until firm. Lift the pan liner from the pan and invert the sheet of caramel onto a sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the liner. Cut the caramels with an oiled knife. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or cellophane.
Variations
Fleur de Sel Caramels: Extra salt, in the form of fleur de sel or another coarse flaked salt, brings out the flavor of the caramel and offers a little ying to the yang. Add an extra scant 1/4 teaspoon of coarse sea salt to the recipe. Or, to keep the salt crunchy, let the caramel cool and firm. Then sprinkle with two pinches of flaky salt and press it in. Invert, remove the pan liner, sprinkle with more salt. Then cut and wrap the caramels in wax paper or cellophane.
Nutmeg and Vanilla Bean Caramels: Add 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg to the cream before you heat it.
Cardamom Caramels: Omit the vanilla. Add 1/2 teaspoon slightly crushed cardamom seeds (from about 15 cardamom pods) to the cream before heating it. Strain the cream when you add it to the caramel; discard the seeds.
Caramel Sauce: Stop cooking any caramel recipe or variation when it reaches 225°F or, for a sauce that thickens like hot fudge over ice cream, 228°F. Pour it into a sauceboat to serve or into a heatproof jar for storage. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for ages and reheated gently in the microwave or a saucepan just until hot and flowing before use. You can stir in rum or brandy to taste. If the sauce is too thick or stiff to serve over ice cream, it can always be thinned with a little water or cream. Or, if you like a sauce that thickens more over ice cream, simmer it for a few minutes longer. (recipe from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert)

11/16/2008

Merengón.

Merengón.
I love this dessert is easy to make and so delicious, I decorated this with caramel to add crunch to the soft texture of the Merengón.




Ingredients.
1 can evaporate milk.
1 can sweetened condensed milk.
1 tablespoon custard powder. (Or corn starch).
½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
4 egg yolks.

For the meringue.

3 egg whites
1 cup white sugar.
½ cup water.
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

For the custard.

1- Mix all the ingredients and cook over medium low heat until it is think.
For the Meringue.
1- Put sugar and water in a saucepan and let boil until it boils and bubbles become slow.
2- Meanwhile whisk the egg whites until stiff pick.
3- Then whisk while adding the sugar syrup gradually, whisk until it is cold.

Assembly.

Pour the custard in the glasses or cups top with the meringue, refrigerate then decorate with powder cinnamon or caramel

11/06/2008

Venezuelan Quesadillas.

Venezuelan Quesadillas.

This tartlet like bread is so delicious. The smell of the quesadillas will make you hungry when they are in the oven, they are perfect for breakfast.
CAUTION: They are addictive.






For the Dough.

550 grams all purpose flour
150 ml water.
20 grams yeast
5 grams salt.
1 egg.
50 grams unsalted butter or margarine.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
120 grams white sugar.
50 ml sweetened condensed milk.

Egg Wash.

1 egg yolk.
1 teaspoon water.

For the Filling.

250 grams white cheese, grated (or ricotta)
1 egg yolk.
200 grams sugar.
50 grams powdered milk.
10 ml honey.
15 ml anise flavored rum or liquour

1- Blend all the ingredients of the filling and set aside.
2- Mix the ingredients for the egg wash, set aside

For the dough:

1- In a bowl place the flour and make a whole in the center, it should look like a volcano.
2- Whisk the rest of the ingredients until sugar is dissolved, pour this in the center of the flour and gradually mix until you have a sticky dough, place over a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, let rest for 30 minutes.
3- Divide the dough into ten pieces, and roll them to make a circle, then shape (the idea is to raise the sides 2 centimeters and at the same time make a star like shape, the result must be like a tartlet shell) place on a cookie baking sheet, greased. Let the quesadillas raise for 45 minutes, if the sides are low try to shape them again.
4- Fill them with the cheese mix, brush the sides of the quesadillas with the egg wash and bake at 180 °C until light golden color.

11/02/2008

What you do for love Or A Halloween Celebration

What you do for love or a halloween celebration.

What can you do for love? Let me tell you what I did this time…
I decided not to celebrate Halloween this year but my four year old nephew is a fan of Halloween, last Friday he woke up from his afternoon nap and with a sweet sweet voice asked me: Is Halloween here already? Where is my Jack skellintong cake? Imagine how I felt and it was 3:00 pm. so I told him: my dear you know aunty is been very busy with the pre Christmas cleaning, I am so so tired, besides we are going out to the toy shop, your mom will be here at five and you must be ready , and he said: but but…(very sad face and said no more just watched TV)…OK auntie Dada, As he called me, I went into the kitchen and in two hours; I did what you see here, I know it's not nice, but judging from the expression on his face it was perfect. The verdict: 1000 Thumbs Up for Mike (and ketoprofen for my hernia, ouch! my back)

Jack Skellintong Cake



Pumpkin Flan. It looks like the center of the pumpkins are heart shaped.





Awards.
Viji of Viji’s Veg Corner http://vijisvegcorner.blogspot.com/ and Kitchen Flavors of Yummy Food http://kitchenflavours.blogspot.com/ honored me with two beautiful awards, thank you so much

kitchen flavors With warm love invited me into her blog and served me this perfect blend of Trust, Kindness, Honesty, Caring and friendship


Viji I think your blog is very cool and beautiful ,also: I love Indian food



I would like to pass these awards (both awards) on to my Everyday inspiration blogs :
Donna of Ia She Cooking Or What http://www.madeinheaven2.blogspot.com/
Mara of Lick The Spatula http://lickthespatula.blogspot.com/
Tartasacher of Mil Postres http://milpostres.blogspot.com/
Swati of Swati's Sugar craft http://sugarcraftindia.blogspot.com/
Viji of Viji’s Veg Corner http://vijisvegcorner.blogspot.com/
Rosie of Rosie Bakes A Piece Of Cake http://rosiebakesapeaceofcake.blogspot.com/
Kitchen Flavors of Yummy Food http://kitchenflavours.blogspot.com/ now is my time to serve you this blend too

10/22/2008

Double Chocolate Pots.

Double Chocolate Pots.
OOOH My GOD...







This picture is a classic...
Ingredients.
4 eggs.
6 tablespoons ap flour.
2 tablespoons cocoa powder.
4 ounces unsalted butter.
4 ounces dark chocolate.
1 1/4 cup sugar.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
1 pinch salt.
Directions.
1- Melt the chocolate and butter. (I melted them in the microwave oven)
2- In a bowl mix sugar, cocoa powder, salt and flour. (with a whisk is easier)
3- Add the eggs to the dry ingredients and whisk for about 3 minutes, then add the chocolate, butter mixture and the vanilla.
4- Lightly grease the ramekins.
5- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until you see a shiny crust on top of the chocolate pots.
6- ENJOY…yes enjoy….my God …. This is soooo good I can’t believe it.

10/15/2008

Arepas The Venezuelan Bread.

Arepas: The Venezuelan Bread.


It does not matter what you fill the arepas with, they will always taste delicious, the arepa is the Venezuelan corn bread and we eat arepas as breakfast, lunch or dinner. In my case I made arepas with fried fish and salad (made of carrot, apple, onion, dried oregano, red wine vinegar, salt and corn oil), this is a very traditional dish in the state where I live and in Margarita Island.



I made these for the World Food Day.


http://kopiaste.org/2008/09/world-food-day-event-announcement




Diamon shape


Making the "faces" to the arepas

Face already done

uff ... so hot in here


The happy arepa, can you see the smile?




Big portion



small portion.
I used this Corn flour (The Venezuelan corn meal or corn flour)



Ingredients.



2 cups yellow corn meal. (I used PAN )
2 ½ cups warm water
2 tablespoons oil.
1 teaspoon salt.
½ cup white cheese.(grated)
Directions.
1- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead about 5 minutes or until you have a smooth dough.
2- Form balls with the dough and try to give them a diamond shape then gently press the dough down to form into patty..
3- In a hot frying pan, with a teaspoon of oil in it, place the arepas and cook until they are golden brown, this is called to make the face of the arepa, turn down to form the face on the other side, after you have the faces of the arepas cover and let cook at medium heat, you know they are ready when you tap them and they make a hollow sound. Cut the arepas and spread butter the filling may be cheese, jam or anything you like, your imagination is the limit.
In my country we have various fillings for the arepas and they have their distinctive name like the famous “Reina Pepeada” wich consist of and arepa filled with chickens, avocado and a special sauce; or “Perico” (scrambled eggs with fried tomato, onion sweet chili, cumin,salt and garlic) or avocado and black beans…

Yuca Bread

Yuca Bread
(Mandioca or Tapioca)

Another wheat free recipe, but it is DELICIOUS.





Ingredients.
2 cups white cheese grated. (fresh cheese but it is hard)
1 cup yuca (tapioca or madioca) flour.
1 egg yolk.
1 tablespoon sugar.
Directions.
1- Mix all the ingredients and form the bread the size or shape you like.
2- Place the bread on a greased and floured baking sheet and bake until they are light brown.
3- It is better to eat them hot, that way they are crispy outside but cheesy inside.

10/06/2008

Cheese Balls

Cheese Balls

Hello, I’m back, after a loooong period out. I was supposed not to get in the kitchen because (due to the allergy) the heat of the oven or the range affected me, despite all that I managed to do some yummy food.
Well from now on I will make some special food, I do not dare to say gluten free because it is very hard to find gluten free products here, there is irony in all this, because we produce (Venezuela) most of the supplies needed to make flour and starches that do not have gluten….but you cannot find them on the supermarket shelves….I have to buy them in Caracas, and it is a rally because first: I have to call the store, then ask which products are available, tell the seller what I want, after that I have to make a deposit in the bank and fax them the voucher, then they send a box trough a special delivery service and I also have to pay the delivery, (so my wheat free bread and goodies are pretty expensive), and you know what…ALL this products are IMPORTED from the USA…I wonder what the so nationalist president of (some people… very few in fact) this country would say about that… maybe he would blame the former presidents ( he is –kind of­-RULING this country since 1998…) or the opposition or the USA as always hum this is sooo pathetic.
Ok I am not supposed to talk about politics but recipes here.
I made these delicious cheese balls for my nephew to take to school, this recipe is a tradition among Venezuelans and Colombians, we call them “Buñuelos de Queso “ (Cheese doughnuts) and they are very easy to make. They are so delicious and they make good party food with a sauce




Ingredients.

Cheese Balls.
2 cups corn starch.
2 cups white cheese, grated (this a Venezuelan fresh cheese with a hard texture it is salty too).
1 egg yolk.
¾ cup of milk.
1 tablespoon sugar.
¼ teaspoon baking soda.
½ teaspoon baking powder.
Directions.

1- Mix all the ingredients and let rest for half and hour.
2- Form small balls or sticks.
3- Fry the in hot oil
4- Place the fried ball over towel paper to drain the oil.

Note: although they are fried they do not absorb oil. I also add some oregano to the dough and serve them with tomato sauce.