Bakegoods

Day of the Dead, a Tasty Mexican Tradition!

Dia-de-los-muertos_Altar_Frida_Khalo_Diego-Rivera_corazon-de-melon

Dia de los muertos translates into “Day of the Dead”.

The tradition of celebrating Day of the Dead dates from Pre-Columbian times, when the natives of Mexico focused a great deal on the manner in which someone died and rituals were created to commune with the dead and deities from those ancient times. As often happens when two cultures meet, the Spaniards combined the native rituals with their own beliefs which produced a festival that assimilated the ideology, religion, art, agriculture and all the ingredients of the existing culture and resulted in our modern “Dia de los Muertos”.
In 2003 The Day of the Dead, was named by UNESCO as a patrimony intangible of humanity. It is a symbol of Mexico’s cult to the dead and the fascination for the unknown. It is a remembrance of life and the necessity to keep our bounds that seem so impossible to achieve and maintain when our loved ones depart. It is of great importance to remember and maintain these traditions of a rich and colorful culture. Mexico has a lot of good traditions to share with the world…

In Mexico, Day of the Dead is celebrated over three days starting October 31st. November 1 day of all saints, and November 2nd day of all souls. We celebrate the people who departed in hope that they might come back and visit to celebrate with us. And if they are coming all the way from a different dimension we better have some feast worth the trip!

Family altars are decorated with the remembered ones’ favorite foods, photographs, possessions,sugar skulls, drinks and flowers. Candles are placed to illuminate the way for a safe journey back home. This phenomenon it is assimilated with respect and irony, defying the dead as they laugh about her. With a sarcastic bitter-sweet humor Mexicans celebrate the ones that are no longer with us but with the biggest respect they built altars to commemorate them singing, drinking and praying. Now a days people also makes altars for their Favourite historical characters, artist, singers, anybody who means or have influenced in some way your life, or that you just simple admire.
Our Altar in the picture above is made for the 2 most representative artist in Mexico, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera which I admire the most.

Pan de Muerto is one of the elements that can not be missed on an altar, a bread that resembles a skull with bones. Enjoy it with a cup of hot cocoa, warmed up and sweeten up the memories of the ones that are no longer with us. It is a good excuse to make this delightful bread and maybe… acquire a tasty tradition…

And ofcourse you need some music to go with it… who is better than Chavela Vargas to accompany this recipe and also to sing to their friends…I hope you enjoy… This song talks about the simple things in life, about love and time…http://youtu.be/-mnZcErj-SA

DIa-de-muertos_Pan-de-Muerto-and-Sugar-skulls

PAN DE MUERTO

Makes 3 -6” round loaves or 4- 4” liltte round loaves.

Printing recipe at the end of the post

1 lb / 500 gr. unbleached all purpose flour* plus 1/2-3/4 of a cup more flour for dusting when shaping and  kneading. 
¾ cup / 200gr. Sugar.
¾ cup / 200 gr. Butter room temperature and cut into small chunks.
½ cup / 125ml. Whole milk
2 teaspoons dry active yeast or one little dry active yeast package of 7gr.
3 whole eggs
2 yolks, save the whites for egg wash later…
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange blossom water /extracto de flor de azhar
1 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1 teaspoon ground mexican cinnamon
the zest of one small orange

For the Egg wash:
2 left over egg whites you saved when making the dough…
A dash of milk

Coming out of the oven:
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Day one:

1. Measure and gather all your ingredients.

Pan-de-muerto_mise-in-place-ingredients
2. Start by warming the milk just about luke warm, add a teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle the yeast until bloom. About 10-15 minutes. The yeast should look foamy and creamy.
3. Meantime, on a clean flat surface make a “wheel” with the flour using your bowl to make a perfect circle.
4. Sprinkle the sugar around the flour wheel. In the center add the eggs, egg yolks, spices, extracts, anise, cinnamon, salt. Check on your yeast and if its ready add it to the center of the wheel. Mix all this ingredients using the tips of your fingers or a fork.

Pan-de-Muerto_-Flour-wheel
5. With your hand in a spider position, start incorporating little by little the flour from the edges. Be careful and gentle not to break the flour ring. Start in circular motions all around the inner flour circle until you have fully incorporated all the flour and almost all the sugar.

Pan-de-Muerto_incorporating-the-flour-and-liquids
6. Now using both hands start incorporating the butter. At this point you can decide, kneading the dough by hand for about 20-25 minutes, it is hard work, but I love the way the dough develops as the warm of your hands soften the dough and help the yeast making the dough smooth and shiny. This efforts shown when the bread is baked, it comes out with a tender finer crumb. The other option, using your mixer with a dough hook for about 10-15 minutes. Both routes work is just about preference and time. ~for me, the key to making a good dough is to feel the dough, that’s why I prefer to mix it by hand~
As dough is kneaded, you can add up to 1/2 cup more flour  if needed, if after kneading, the dough feels to sticky, sprinkle  1/4 cup  and knead, until your dough feels soft, moist, smooth,and has a shine to it. This dough is very easy to make and as soon the kneading develops the right texture you will know. It will feel soft and it looks a bit shiny, as you can see on the last picture below. So be patient, give the love and knead gently and confident that everything will come out  at the right time.

Pan-de-Muerto_kneading,-kneading

7. Once the dough is ready dust a large bowl with flour, place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and place it in the refrigerator over night. I’ve tried different methods and the bread did not come out as tender and buttery as traditional good bread. 8 to 10 hours over night gives the right time for the dough to develop flavor.

Pan-de-muerto_Dough-texture

Day two:

1. Pull dough out of refrigerator, punch your dough and reshape kneading gently and briefely.
2.Flour a clean surface and cut into 4 equal parts. Shape each part using your hands creating a concave shape, gently surround the dough with your hand like a little cave, and gently, create circular motion with the dough rubbing against the table until you have formed a smooth round ball. Place each ball into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover gently with a piece of plastic wrap dusted with flour and a clean kitchen towel.

Pan-de-Muerto_Punching-and-shaping

Pan-de-Muerto_shaping-the-Bread
3. Shape 3 parts of the dough and save one to make the bones and skulls for the tops. Divide this ball into 6 stripes and 3 small 1” balls equal sizes.
4.With your fingers make a little cylinder strip and gently pressing in between your fingers make the bones. (see picture below)

Pan-de-Muerto_-Sahping_Bones-and-Skulls
5. Place the bone strips, forming a cross and then place the a small ball in the middle, flattening a little making sure it sticks with the rest of the dough.
6. Cover the tray with a piece of plastic wrap dusted with flour to prevent to stick. Let the bread rise for a second time for about 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size. Once they are doubled apply the egg wash evenly.

Pan-de-Muerto_Egg-wash,-proofing-ready-for-the-oven!

7. Preheat the oven at 375F / 190C Place tray in the oven, and lower the temperature to 350F/ 175C .Bake for 25-30 minutes.Until golden brown and hollow sound.

8. Remove from oven, brush them with melted butter and drench in sugar. Cool bread on a rack. Prepare the hot cocoa, a cafe de olla and be ready to celebrate!

Pan-de-Muerto_sugar-dusting

Pan-de-Muerto_Dayof-the-dead

Pan-de-muerto_delicious-buttery-crumb!

Pan-de-muerto_with-coffe-od-hot-cocoa

Enjoy your Pan de Muerto and Celebrate life!

*   *   *

Altar dedicated to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Sugar-skulls_La-catrina_Frida-y-los-caudillos

Traditional Sugar skulls are made with sugar and in the shape of skulls. One of my favorites Mexican cartoonist illustrator artists is José Guadalupe Posada who is the autor of the Famous Calavera Catrina. If you want to know more about him: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/11/02/the-calaveras-of-jose-guadalupe-posada/

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Sugar Skulls

www.yes-moreplease.com

How to make Sugar Skulls its easy and fun, you can decorate with sugar icing , sprinkles, candy, colored sugar crystals anything that rocks your imagination, have fun!


Course Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 2"x 3" small flat skulls

Ingredients

Royal Icing, for decorating:

  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon meringue powder
  • 1-3 teaspoons warm water
  • 2-4 drops of natural food coloring of your choice, start with one drop at the time until you achieve the desired color saturation.

For the sugar skulls:

  • 3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white, from a large egg

Instructions

  1. 1. Mix troughly until you have a mixture that resembles like sand.

    2. Using a plastic mold pack the sugar into the mold really well and level it. Un mold carefully placing a piece of tick cardboard behind the mold, flip and remove the plastic mold carefully. Place cardboard on top of a baking tray and Bake for at least 1 hour on 200F/90C. Remove from oven carefully. Leave  tray on a safe place and let them air dry for an extra day.

    3. Proceed and decorate with royal Icing and a little black coloring or melted dark chocolate.

    This sugar skulls are not meant to be eaten, it is just for decoration since they will just taste like plain sugar…But you are welcome to eat them if you have a strong sugar tooth, have fun!

    You can buy this awesome Guadalupe Posadas Skull Molds and many more on the following link: Mexican Sugar Skulls

posada2-catrina

Day of the Dead a Tasty Mexican Tradition

~ Viva la vida! ~

Music Pairing: Chavela Vargas “Las Simples Cosas”

5 from 1 vote
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Pan de Muerto

This recipe is traditional style, that bread that tastes buttery and the egg yolks give the color and richness to the bread. Anise and orange zest give this bread a unique aroma and flavor. The texture is soft and with a strong crumb to hold up dunking the bread in to a cup of hot cocoa! Enjoy!

www.yes-moreplease.com

Cuisine Mexican
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 lb /500gr. Unbleached all purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup more for dusting and kneading
  • 3/4 cup/200gr. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup/200gr. Butter, room temp and cut in small chunks
  • 1/2 cup/125gr. whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast, equivalent to 1 7gr.package.
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water/ extract de flor de azhar
  • 1 teaspoon ground anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground mexican cinnamon
  • 1 the zest of one small orange

Instructions

  1. DAY ONE:

    1. Measure and gather all your ingredients.

    2. Start by warming the milk just about luke warm, add a teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle the yeast until blossom. About 10-15 minutes. The yeast should look foamy and creamy.

    3. Meantime, on a clean flat surface make a “wheel” with the flour using your bowl to make a perfect circle.

    4. Sprinkle the sugar around the flour wheel.

    5. In the center add the eggs, egg yolks, spices, extracts, anise, cinnamon, salt.

    6. Check on your yeast and if its ready add it to the center of the wheel.

    7. Mix all this ingredients with a fork.

    8. With your hand in a spider position, start incorporating little by little the flour from the edges. Be careful and gentle not to break the flour ring.

    9. Start in circular motions all around the inner flour circle until you have fully incorporated all the flour and almost all the sugar.

    10. Now using both hands start kneading into the butter. And at this point you can decide, mixing your dough by hand for about 20-25 minutes (which is hard work but I love the way the bread comes out tender crumb and the warm of your hands will soften the dough making it really smooth and shiny. Or using your mixer with a dough hook for about 10-15 minutes. Both routes work is just about preference and time. The key to making a good dough is to feel the dough. That’s why I prefer to mix it by hand. You can add up to 1/2 cup more flour if needed, if after a bit of kneading it feels to sticky, sprinkle 1/4 cup and knead, until your dough feels soft, smooth, fluffy. This dough is very easy to make and as soon is the right texture you will know. It will feel not sticky and it looks a bit shiny, as you can see on the last picture below. So be patient, give the love and knead gently and confident that everything will come out at the right time.

    11. Once the dough is ready grease the inside of a bowl with butter and place the dough ball cover with plastic wrap and a towel and place it in a warm place over night. I’ve tried different methods and the bread did not come out as tender and buttery as traditional good bread. 10-12 hours over night is great. You can plan ahead and make it over the weekend. Wake up Sunday or Saturday and bake your bread and have it for breakfast with a cup of warm hot-cocoa or a coffee, cafe de olla.

    DAY TWO:

    For the Egg wash:

    1 egg slightly beaten, or those egg whites you saved when making the dough!

    a dash of heavy cream

    For the Glaze:

    1 teaspoon flour

    1/4 milk

    1 egg

    1/2 3/4 sugar for sprinkle the bread

    Directions:

    1. Punch your dough and reshape dough kneading gently and briefely.

    2. Dust with flour a clean surface and cut dough into 4 equal parts.

    3. Shape each part in circular motions. Until you have formed a round ball. Place it into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

    4. Shape 3 parts and save one to make the bones and skulls for the tops. Divide this ball into 9 stripes and 3 small 1” balls equal sizes.

    5.With your fingers make a little cilinder and gently pressing in between your fingers make the bones. (see picture below)

    6. Brush the top of the bread with egg wash and then proceed to place the bone stripes, Egg wash it lightly.

    8. Cover the tray with a piece of plastic wrap dusted with flour to prevent to stick. Let the bread rise for a second time for about 30 minutes.

    9. Preheat the oven at 375F / 190C once the bread is in the oven lower it to 350F/ 175C and bake for 25-30 minutes.

    10. Remove from oven brush them with the flour glaze and top with sugar, bake for 5 more minutes. Pull them out of the oven check the center for doneness. Sprinkle a little more sugar on tops and cool them on a rack.

    Enjoy your well deserved Pan de Muerto and Celebrate life!

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Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_so close you can smell it!

These cranberry walnut Bran muffins are a delicious source of fiber and because of its high fiber content and wheat germ they are a great source of folic acid. They deliver approximately 14-15 carbs per muffin and loads of antioxidants from the dry fruit and nuts.
I like these muffins instead of toast for breakfast with some yogurt or fruit.  As a snack they reduce cravings for refined breads or cookies especially in the middle of the afternoon…  They give me plenty of energy and keep me very full from afer lunch until dinner.
The texture is a bit more dense than your regular muffin, but despite all the fiber content the flaxseed acts like a binder and moisten the inside giving it a soft crumb easy to eat and digest. The cinnamon adds the perfect aroma when you bake them the house smells like apple pie (with out the calories).
These muffins are so versatile; you can create any flavor combination so you won’t get bored, there are infinite combinations; like raisins & walnuts, dates& pecans, golden raisins & orange zest, cinnamon & apples, candied ginger and cashews, anchovies & peanut butter….okay, well almost anything… They are so easy and quick to make and to bake that once you have the recipe you can whip a batch of these babies in no time.
I usually bake this muffins once a month,  The recipe it’s so fast to prepare and freeze friendly if 16-18 are to many for you, you can freeze half a batch, and reheat them in the toaster oven.
So fall in love with them and start baking a batch!!!

Cranberry-Walnut-Bran-Muffins_Fiber-never-tasted-so-good!

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_I love them!

Cranberry- Walnut Bran Muffins

Makes 16-18 muffins -Vegan friendly!!!

4 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
3/4 cup water
2 cups wheat bran
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup wheat germ
1 pinch of cinnamon
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond, coconut, rice)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cranberries
½ cup walnuts

Sprinkle with:

1/2 cup raw sugar cane

Directions:

1.-

Preheat the oven at 400F/200C
Line with cupcake liners or lightly grease muffin tins.
Measure all your ingredients. (it helps a lot when you are baking so you don’t forget any of them! it is worth the step at least the first couple of times you are making them)

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_mise en place

2.-

Whisk the flaxseed and ½ cup of water until foamy.

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_whipping the ground flaxseed

3.-

Combine dry ingredients.(except for the cranberries and walnuts)
Combine wet ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Add together wet and dry until well combined (do not over mix).
Add Cranberries and walnuts fold gently.

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_Dry ingredients and mixing

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_muffin batter and folding the cranberries and nuts

4.-

Scoop into muffin pan, each 2/3 full and sprinkle with some raw sugar cane.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_scooping muffins

Cranberry-Walnut-Bran-Muffins_raw-sugar-sprinkled

5.-

Wash the dishes while they are baking….

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_Wash your dishes while the muffins are in the oven!

6.-

Cool on a rack…

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_muffins on cooling rack

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_spread some vegqan butter

Eat them a little warm with some vegan spread…delicious!

 

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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 kinds it will be great 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 cornmeal 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 in 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 F/ 205C
On a 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 whatever 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.
A 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, sea salt, black pepper and drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil all over the tomatoes. Fold the dough edges into circle creating a 2” border.

Brush the edges with egg wash and sprinkle sea salt all around 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

Heirloom Tomato Crostata

Serves 6-8
Course bakegoods, Brunch, Lunch, Main Course, vegetarian
Cuisine vegetarian, wholesome
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

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 cornmeal it makes a huge 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

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 whatever 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 black pepper.
  • A small drizzle of Extra virgin Olive Oil.

Instructions

How to make the crust:

  1. Measure all your ingredients, and place all the dry ingredients in 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 frezzer and add the butter. With a pastry blender incorporate the butter and flour until the mixture resembles 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

When the dough is ready Preheat Oven at 400F / 205C

  1. 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.

Assemble the Crostata:

  1. Spread ½ of the Goat cheese into the round rolled dough leaving a 2-3" outside border. Place the tomato slices and halves, fresh thyme, rest of the goat cheese, sea salt and add a few cranks of fresh ground black pepper. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil all over the tomatoes. Fold the dough edges into the circle, creating a 2” dough border. Brush the edges with egg wash and sprinkle some sea salt all around the edge. 

  2. Bake at 400 F/ 200C for 35-45 minutes. Serve warm.

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Tomato Salad and Honey Jalapeño Corn Bread

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_heirloom-tomatoes

So I’ve being counting the days to tomato season, since is one of my favorite times of the year I’m in heaven. I live in Austin Texas and my mainly source of vegetables is a small urban farm call Boggy Creek, they open Wednesdays and Saturdays 8am-1pm two of the happiest days of my week. This year they have harvested: Heirlooms Cherokee Purple, Prudent Purple, Azoyscka, Oaxacan Jewel, Green Zebra, Regular Tomatoes ; Big read super fantastic, lemon boy, cherry and cherry gold tomatoes!!!…. This Farm resembles me a bit of my Mexico. The camaraderie, the beautiful freshly cut vegetables, and also and most important “seasonal produce”. Waiting for the seasons creates a momentum between the ingredient and me I crave them. I imagine new dishes and the expectation grows momentum. Cooking with ingredients at their peak of the season is just about the best you can hope for when you are creating a dish. Little preparation is required to enjoy them. I compare them to a string quartet, where everybody is supporting the first violin.This recipe is one of the many examples of this string quartet ensemble, where the Tomatoe has the solo part and its accompaniments make it shine… lets start cooking!

Tomatoe-Salad~-Yes-more-please

Tomato Salad and Honey Jalapeño Corn Bread

Serves 4 – Prep time 10 min.

Use at least 3 different kinds of tomatoes, choose what ever look best to you at your farmer market.
For the salad I made I used:

1 Heirloom Oaxacan Jewels
1 Heirloom Cherokee purple
1 Big Red super fantastic
2 Green Zebra
10-12 Cherry tomatoes
Arugula
Fresh Goat cheese
Fresh sprig of Thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
about ½ teaspoon per plate of Rice Vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Directions:

Slice the  tomatoes a little less than ½ inch. Quarter the smaller tomatoes like the green zebras, half the cherry tomatoes. On a Large platter (or in 4 plates) place a light bed of arugula, and approximately one big slice of the heirloom, one slice of the Cherokee Purple, some quarters and halves of the little ones. Theres no rules, you can balance the plate as you like. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar per plate, goat cheese crumbs, sea salt pepper and fresh thyme. Serve.

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_ingredients-for-baking

Honey Jalapeno Corn Bread

Adapted from : “Boggy Creek Farm recipe”

1 cup of Corn Meal (use the best kind you can find, organic and non-GMO is always preferable)
I used our local, Larry’s Fresh-ground Corn Meal
(Organic, non-GMO fresh Texas Dent Corn from Coyote Creek Organic Mill)
1 Tablespoon of Aluminum- free Baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 or 2 pinches of paprika
1 cup Milk (you can substitute almond, soy or rice milk)
1 egg
1 teaspoon of Honey (I used Local Texas Honey off course!)
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.( you also can use Butter, Canola, Coconut Oil)
½ -1/3 of a cup fresh corn kernels
Thin slices of fresh Jalapeno Pepper.
– 2 extra teaspoons of Oil for Pan-

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 400* F degrees.

Measure all your Ingredients and Place a small 8” Cast Iron skillet in the oven to heat. Add the 2 teaspoon of Oil.
Combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients mixture into Dry mix. Stir until combined small lumps are allowed. Add fresh corn Kernels to the Mix.
Carefully using an oven mitt at all times, remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet, quickly top the batter with the thin jalapeno slices,drizzle a little more honey, bake for about 20-25 minutes until a light golden top. Take the skillet to the table to serve warm with the salad.

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_steps for making corn bread

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_warm-and-delicious-corn-bread

Tomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_yes-more-pleaseTomatoe-Salad-and-Honey-Jalapeño-Corn-Bread_the-table-is-served!

*Note: For the summer if you are grilling you can bake this on top of the grill just cover the pan with a lid, it will be fantastic and smokey. This meal will go so well with any light or amber beer. Take into consideration that you can substitute any herbs, I’m just in love with Tomatoes and Thyme, I think the aromatic lemony taste of the thyme goes perfect with tomatoes…. is my new fav! Enjoy.

Music Pairing: https://youtu.be/CIYS9EQWkXg

 

Tomato Salad and Honey Jalapeño Corn Bread

Serves 4 Use at least 3 different kinds of tomatoes, choose whatever looks best to you at your farmer market. For the salad I made I used: Honey Jalapeno Corn Bread Adapted from: “Boggy Creek Farm recipe”
Course bakegoods, Brunch, dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine wholesome
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 Heirloom Oaxacan Jewels
  • 1 Heirloom Cherokee purple
  • 1 Big Red super fantastic
  • 2 Green Zebra
  • 10-12 Cherry tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Fresh Goat cheese
  • Fresh sprig of Thyme
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
  • about ½ teaspoon per plate of Rice Vinegar
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

FOR THE HONEY JALAPENO CORNBREAD:

  • 1 cup of Corn Meal use the best kind you can find, organic and non-GMO is always preferable
  • I used our local Larry’s Fresh-ground Corn Meal
  • Organic, non-GMO fresh Texas Dent Corn from Coyote Creek Organic Mill
  • 1 Tablespoon of Aluminum-free Baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 or 2 pinches of paprika
  • 1 cup Milk you can substitute almond, soy or rice milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of Honey I used Local Texas Honey off course!
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. you also can use Butter, Canola, Coconut Oil
  • ½ -1/3 of a cup fresh corn kernels
  • Thin slices of fresh Jalapeno Pepper.
  • – 2 extra teaspoons of Oil for Pan-

Instructions

  1. Slice the tomatoes a little less than ½ inch. Quarter the smaller tomatoes like the green zebras, half the cherry tomatoes. On a Large platter (or in 4 plates) place a light bed of arugula, and approximately one big slice of the heirloom, one slice of the Cherokee Purple, some quarters and halves of the little ones. There are no rules, you can balance the plate as you like. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar per plate, goat cheese crumbs, sea salt pepper, and fresh thyme. Serve.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400* F degrees.
  3. Measure all your Ingredients and Place a small 8” Cast Iron skillet in the oven to heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of Oil.
Combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients mixture into the Dry mix. Stir until combined small lumps are allowed. Add fresh corn Kernels to the Mix.
Carefully using an oven mitt at all times, remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet, quickly top the batter with the thin jalapeno slices, drizzle a little more honey, bake for about 20-25 minutes until a lightly golden top. Take the skillet to the table to serve warm with the salad.

Recipe Notes

*Note: For the summer if you are grilling you can bake this on top of the grill just cover the pan with a lid, it will be fantastic and smokey. This meal will go so well with any light or amber beer. Take into consideration that you can substitute any herbs, I’m just in love with Tomatoes and Thyme, I think the aromatic lemony taste of the thyme goes perfect with tomatoes…. is my new fav! Enjoy.

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