Archive for Recipes

Lemon Meringue Pie/Tart

I love Lemon Meringue Pie. I truly do. Maybe it’s because it’s different from the typical chocolate/cream pie. Maybe it’s because it looks so dang pretty. Whatever the reason may be, bottomline is, I love it.

lmp

Here’s a simple recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie (picture not mine but Edward’s) || Pre-Heat Oven to 350:

– Crust Ingredients: 14 Graham Crackers and 1 Stick of Butter (simple, noh?)

– Crust Procedure: Pulse the graham crackers in your food processor until it’s broken down into bite sized pieces. Add the butter in small chunks. Pulse again until the mixture begins to climb the wall of your work bowl. Press the mixture into a 9″ Pie Pan. Bake for 5-10 minutes.

– Filling Ingredients: 4 Yolks, 12 Ounces of Condensed Milk, 1 Tsp. of Lemon Extract and 4 Ounces of Lemon Juices [Optional: Zest of 1 Lemon]

– Filling Procecure: Mix everything together (tricky noh?). Pour into baked crust and bake for 15 minutes or until set.

– Meringue Ingredients: 4 Egg Whites, A Pinch of Cream of Tartar and 100 Grams of Sugar

– Meringue Procedure: Whisk together the egg whites and the cream of tartar. When bubbles start to appear, gradually add the sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Immediately put atop the still hot filling. Bake at 450 for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

There you have it. My simplest Lemon Meringue Pie recipe. No resting doughs, no rolling doughs, no stove-tops, no nothing. Just chill the pie when it has cooled down and serve after at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

By the way, my apologies for not posting my own picture(s).  My camera broke down soon after our challenge, and it’s under repair for the meantime.

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Daring Baker Challenge: Milk Chocolate & Caramel Tart

Yes, I am now officially a member of the Daring Bakers (at least I think I am). My first challenge, to create an exquisite Milk Chocolate & Caramel Tart (pictured below). I hope any of you who visit my site, will take up the challenge yourselves as well and try making this delectable tart.

whole pie

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Shortbread Pastry (re-scaled for single recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 84 grams unsalted butter
  • 51 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 18 grams ground hazelnuts
  • 2 grams ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 135 grams cake flour
  • 3 grams baking powder
  • 3 grams cocoa powder

1. In a mixing bowl of a food processor, cream the butter.

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and the cinnamon, and mix together

3. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing constantly

4. Sift in the flour, the baking powder, and the cocoa powder, and mix well.

5. Form a ball with the dough, cover in plastic wrap, and chill overnight (pictured below).

ball

Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb (250 g) chocolate shortbread pastry (see recipe above)
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 g) heavy cream or crème fraiche
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (15 g) flour
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 g) whipping cream
  • ½ lb (250 g) milk chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 325 °F.

2. Line the baking pan with the chocolate shortbread pastry and bake blind for 15 minutes. The instructions don’t call for docking, but I docked mine just to be on the safe side.

3. In a saucepan, caramelize 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar using the dry method until it turns a golden caramel color. I tend to want to push the caramel to the limit, since I want a bittersweet flavor, hence the darker color. Incorporate the heavy cream or crème fraiche and then add butter. Mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

4. In a mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs with the extra egg yolk, then incorporate the flour.

5. Pour this into the cream-caramel mixture and mix thoroughly.

6. Spread it out in the tart shell and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

7. Prepare the milk chocolate mousse: beat the whipping cream until stiff. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave or in a bain-marie, and fold it gently into the whipped cream.

8. Pour the chocolate mousse over the cooled caramel mixture, smoothing it with a spatula. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

So that’s it for this month’s challenge. I must admit, the resulting product was quite good, and I had a fun time baking. The pictures posted above are the ones I took on my first attempt. I figured it wouldn’t be right to post pictures from my third attempt. Also, I opted not to do toppings on my first attempt, as I wanted to taste it sans toppings. Here’s a last picture of a slice of the tart…

slice

Sorry for the sub par pictures… hehehe… I’m still waiting for my digital camera, and I’m currently using my video cam to take pictures. I’m not really sure what else to write, so see you again for next month’s challenge.

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Useful Pantry Whachamacallits

Okay, the countdown to Food Bytes’ pilot episode has begun. We’re finalizing our script, finishing our boards, working out the kinks and checking our inventory. Then it hit me.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to make sure our viewers could have SOME ingredients at hand BEFORE the show starts? That way, no one need rush to their closest baking/cooking supply store in case they want to make something they see on the show.”

With that in mind, here are some extra things that we like to keep in our pantry (these are not written in any particular order):

  • Vanilla Sugar [To make vanilla sugar, simply place vanilla bean husks (the more the merrier) into a sealed tub of sugar. After a week or so, the vanilla flavor should permeate with the sugar, hence creating vanilla sugar. Or you could just buzz everything together.]
  • Gelatin [Either powdered or in sheets.]
  • Dulce De Leche [The fastest way we do this is by simply pouring a 12 oz. can of condensed milk into a cake pan, put in in a bain marie, cover it with aluminum foil, then bake it for 1.5 hours in a 425 degree oven.]
  • Cumin [If you’re able to buy them whole and grind them yourself, it’d be nice. But the pre-packaged stuff does quite well too.]
  • Bittersweet Chocolate [While I normally buy them in big chunks, buying them in chips could actually save you alot of time and alot of manual labor. If you don’t use alot of it, consider buying chips instead of blocks. But please, don’t be like other home bakers who HOARD tons of branded chocolate chips at home. Buy only what you need, and give other cooks a chance.]
  • Shortening [I use this on the counter and on my hands when I knead bread. Yes, you could use flour, but it tends to throw off the recipe.]
  • Homemade Tomato Sauce [SPOILER: We’ll be doing a show on this… hehehehe…]
  • Vanilla Beans [Are they worth it? Yes. As long as you only buy one or two, you need not worry… odds are, you’ll use them up before they get the chance to spoil.]
  • Instant Yeast [Kept in the freezer, this will last a year or two after the written expiry date. Just buy a small pack.]
  • Heavy Cream [Yes, I realize they’re not stored in the pantry… but they’re essential in MY kitchen anyway.]
  • Homemade Vanilla Extract [Just take some vanilla bean husks and put them with some rhum or bourbon. Steep for two weeks, ‘BAM’, homemade vanilla extract. I use this for my cheesecake. Yes, we will do a show on that as well.]

Of course this is by no means a complete list. But rest assured that 99% of the ingredients we will use on the show will NOT be hard to find… or at the very least, we’ll tell you where you can buy them. We hope you are as excited as we are as the countdown for Food Bytes continues.

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