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Pumpkin doughnut bites (baked)

 

Pumpking_doughnut_bites_texture cinnamon-sugar

October, the month of the most beautiful moons, weather changes and…pumpkins.
Pumpkin shakes, pumpkin coffee, pies, cheesecake, soup, bread, cookies, everything pumpkin!
It’s all about the pumpkin season, spices, aromatics, baking!…what Am I baking? Pumpkin doughnut bites!

Pumpkin is so versatile,it can easily be used in sweet and savory dishes, and it makes the most comforting warm soup for the fall. For me it is always 100% worth the effort to roast them. Its so easy; the house warms up and it taste so much better than the canned stuff. My advice is to buy 3 to 4 small to medium pumpkins roast them puree them and keep them in small batches that you can freeze for feature dishes. Why small or medium pumpkins? They are easy to cut, they cook faster and you do not need 2 oompa loompas to carry them into the oven. But, if you prefer to buy a bigger one they are definitely more meaty and you can cut it into smaller pieces so it will bake faster. The more pumpkin the merrier.

This recipe is incredibly easy and rewarding, so few ingredients transform into the most delightful bites. The pumpkin flavor is enhanced by all the aromatic spices, they are like pieces of pumpkin clouds in your mouth, little pillows of comforting goodness. The pumpkin keeps the batter moist and when you bite into them, the contrast between the soft inside and crunchy sugar crystals make these doughnut like bites irresistible!..

They make the perfect little bite with your morning coffee, or afternoon cup of tea… I love them with a glass of cold milk.

Pumpkin_dougnut_bites_got-milk?

Pumpkin -baked- doughnut bites

Makes 25-30 bites

Dry:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Wet:

1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup whole milk

Roll them in:

1 stick of butter melted in a small bowl

In a separate bowl combine the next three ingredients:

2/3 cup fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice

Directions:

Preheat oven at 350F/ 176C

1.-

In a medium bowl whisk all dry ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients.

With a spatula, combine wet and dry ingredients until well incorporated. (do not over mix).

Pumpkin_doughnut_bites_mixing process

2.-

Proceed and grease 2 mini muffin pans with non-stick spray.

Using a small Ice cream scooper (1.5” inch diameter works best for a mini muffin pan)
scoop the batter immediately.

Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.

Pumpkin_dougnut_bites_scooping method

3.-

Cool them on a rack for about 15 minutes.

Proceed to quick coat them into the melted butter, making sure to drip the excess butter before dumping them into the sugar-cinnamon dust. Roll them until well cover and tap the bites to remove any excess sugar-cinnamon. Place them on a cooling rack and allow to dry for about 30 minutes. Keep them in an air tight container far away from reach… they are highly addictive. Enjoy!

Pumpkin_dounught bites-butter,cinnamon sugar dusting

Pumpkin_doughnut_bites_complete batch

Keep them in an air tight container far away from reach… they are highly addictive. Enjoy!

Pumpkin_doughnut_bites_beauty creaturesBite me!

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Devil’s Chocolate and Ganache Cake…get happy!

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_close up delight

Chocolate, One of the most beautiful words in the world!… Just to say the word makes me happy, and reminds me of the Judy Garland song… when I’m making this Devil’s Chocolate and Ganache Cake. I always think positive thoughts. When it comes out of the oven, Hallelujah!.. get happy… forget your troubles…you better chase all you cares away… Oh yeah! That’s how happy this chocolate cake makes me. And well what else is there to say about the comfort that brings you when you bake your own cake?. The whole house smells like warm endorphins that activate your happy brain cells.
It’s a simple batter. You’ll need one bowl or two, and the best quality butter and cocoa powder you can get. The better your ingredients, the better results you will get.
That’s one of the keys when you are baking: always use good quality ingredients (from the eggs to the vanilla extract). If you care about them, it will be fantastic!. All ingredients when you are baking MUST be at room temperature. Read the recipe twice. Measure everything correctly using measuring cups for dry ingredients and a larger liquid measuring cup for wet ingredients. Get in the baking groove, nice music, enjoy yourself…
Here is some music link that will set your baking mood…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGk3tY4yP7k

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_Coseup slice

Devil’s Dark Chocolate Cake… get happy!

Makes 1 -12 cup bundt cake

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped *
½ cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ – ¾ cup dutch Process cocoa Powder (Valrhona, Cocoa Barry)
1 tablespoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup strong-brewed coffee -not hot just warm.(I used Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso powder)
1 cup of butter milk ( or 1 cup of whole milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven 350F / 176C
Butter and dust with cocoa a 12 cup bundt pan.
Melt the bitter sweet chocolate, using a double boiler on low heat, stirring constantly. Scrape the melted chocolate into a medium size bowl and let cool slightly.
Whisk in the melted butter, oil, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and mix.
In a small bowl, Mix the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt.
Start by combining half of the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture along with ½ cup of the coffee and ½ a cup of the butter milk. Whisk until smooth. Add the remaining dry ingredients, coffee and butter milk and whisk. until smooth.
Poor the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for about 10-15 minutes, then turn it out and let it cool completely.

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_baking chocolate

* My favorites: 70% Cacao Bittersweet Scharffen Berger, 72% bitter-sweet Michael Cluizel, El Rey Venezuelan chocolate, 70%- 80% Callebaut.

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream
10 oz. Semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate finely chopped.
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of brandy or cognac or any liquor of your preference. ( omit this ingredient if cooking for kids)

Method:

In a small pot heat the heavy cream until small bubbles form around the pan ( do not let it boil)
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size bowl, pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate let it stand for 3-4 minutes so the chocolate warms through. Whisk gently until the mixture is smooth, add butter mix until is melted, add the liquor mix. Add the agave nectar for a shiny finish.

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_How to make Ganache

Spoon the Ganache over the cake… save extra for plating.. for when you want a little more …

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_spreading ganache
Sprinkle cayenne pepper or cinnamon for a little  accent on the cake…

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_Cayenne

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_ with cayenne

Get happy, Chocolate cake!

Music Pairing:Judy Garland “Get Happy”

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Heirloom Tomato Crostata

Heirloom-Tomatoe-Crostata-Yes,-more-please!

This is one of the recipes I being waiting to make with the gorgeous tomatoes from the market, Heirloom tomato Crostata!…Last time I went to Boggy Creek Farm,( my favorite urban farm here in Austin, TX.)  I bought about 5 different Kinds I could not resist!( honestly If you have 3-2 or even just one kind it will be good too) Looking at all this colors and shapes made me turn my sweet crostata dough into a savory one. I read about this tomato pie with Corn Meal, and honestly I’m not very fond of Pies, I love crostata because of the dough-filling ratio. In a pie usually you have thin crusted and lots of filling versus a crostata in which you have little more crust-less filling (which makes it lighter and balanced to eat. The exposed fruit or vegetables or in this case the tomatoes can get a little roasted and it adds lots of character to it.  I hope you like it. Enjoy!Heirloom-Tomatoes-Variety_Corn-Meal-Crostata_Yes,-more-please!

Tomatoe-Crostata_heirloom-tomatoes,-thyme,-great-fresh-seasonal-ingredients

Heirloom Tomato Crostata

Serves 6-8

For the Dough:

2 Cups of Unbleached All-purpose flour
¾ Cup Corn Meal (I used Larry’s Corn Meal from Boggy Creek Farm, I highly recommend to look for a good quality Organic no GMO coarse ground corn meal it really makes the difference!)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes.
1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
¼ to ½ cup iced water

How to make the crust:

Measure all your ingredients, and place all the dry ingredients on a bowl and mix. Place bowl in the freezer. Meantime cut your cold butter, and Iced water ready to measure. Remove the bowl of dry ingredients from freezer and add the butter. With a pastry Blender incorporate the butter and flour until the mixture resembles to a coarse meal, and the butter pieces are small like the size of a pea. Slowly add the cold water and carefully with your hands form a dough that just holds together. Do not work the dough.
Once that the dough barely holds together cut a piece of plastic wrap and place your dough. Wrap it and shape it into a disk.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, 4-6 is best.(see pictures )

Tomatoe-Crostata-how-to-make-the-dough-step-by-step!

How-Dough-Texture-should-look-like-for-a-Crostata,-galette-or-free-form-pie

When the dough is ready Preheat Oven at 400.
In clean work surface, dusted with flour unwrap the dough let sit for a couple of minutes and roll the dough into a 20-22” round and about 1/8 “ thick. Once is rolled place it into a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Tomatoe-Crostata_Rolling-the-dough

For the Filling:

4 medium size heirloom tomatoes cut into ¼ inch tomato slices, from at least 2 kinds of heirloom tomatoes. I used green zebra, yellow oaxacan, prudence and cherokee. Use what ever is best fresh available at your farmers market.
1/2 cup cherry gold or cherry tomatoes

I used:
1/3 cup of goat cheese.
3 fresh sprigs of thyme.
Sea Salt, freshly ground pepper.
Small drizzle of Extra virgin Olive Oil.

Directions:

Spread ½ of the Goat cheese into the rolled dough, place the tomato slices, thyme, rest of the cheese, salt pepper and drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Fold the edges in creating a 2” border. You can brush the edges with and egg wash and sprinkle sea salt to add crispness to the edge. Bake at 400 F/ 200C for 35-45 minutes. Serve warm.

Heirloom-Tomato-Crostata_How-to-make-a-Crostata,-Gallete,-Free-form-savory-pie

Heirloom-Tomatoe-Crostata_Tomato-Season-Cornmealcrust

Heirloom Tomatoe Crostata

Music Pairing: Pink Martini- Hang on Little Tomatoe

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