Sunday, November 23, 2014

Seasonal Panna Cotta.


Black specks
encased in silk. 
Brown freckles,
fragrant spices.
Season's greetings
in a jar.

...

Seasonal Panna Cotta

time 30 minutes prep, overnight chilling, 10 minutes finishing
yields eight 100ml ramekins
equipment ramekins

8g (1 Tbsp.) unflavored gelatin
35g water
400ml heavy cream
250ml whole milk
100g whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 vanilla bean, scraped
100g sugar

pumpkin butter and cranberries for finishing

Lightly grease the ramekins.
Either spray them with cooking spray, then use a paper towel to wipe out most of the oil, leaving only a light residue or use the oiled paper towel from the get go.
Bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it over the water in a saucepan.
Let sit for a couple minutes, then heat gently.
Once it is dissolved, add the cream, milk, yoghurt, vanilla and sugar.
After some minutes of warming, dip a spoon in the milk and check the back for distinct grains of gelatin or yoghurt, you want a smooth mixture.
Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared ramekins and put in the refrigerator to chill.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To unmold, fill a large bowl partway with hot water.
Wipe a dessert plate with a damp paper towel (a damp plate lets you reposition the panna cotta more easily if it doesn't fall in the right spot).
Release the panna cotta edge from the cup: Run a thin knife carefully around the sides of a ramekin. Don't slide the knife all the way into the cup; just release the top edge of the pudding from the edge of the cup.
Dip the ramekin in the warm water up to its rim, and hold it there for about 3 seconds.
To unmold, invert the ramekin over the plate and shake gently to help the panna cotta fall out, or press gently on one side to help nudge it out.
It should fall out on the plate easily. (If it does not, return to the warm water bath in increments of 2 seconds.)
Serve with a dollop of pumpkin butter and sugared cranberries.


Homemade Pumpkin Butter

time 5 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking, couple hours cooling
yields 1 small jar

200g pumpkin puree
100g sugar
50ml high-quality apple juice or cider
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
large pinch of cloves

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan.
Heat and bring to a boil.
After the initial boil, turn down the heat and leave it to thicken, stirring once in a while to insure the pumpkin does not burn.
Once it has thickened to your liking (for me it took around 20 minutes), transfer to a jar, cover the surface with plastic wrap and let cool.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chocolate Gingersnap Cookies.


 

Heavy, 
like the clouds that harken this season. 
Dark, 
turn on those fairy lights.
Rich, 
spices accompany fruity and smokey notes.
Bitter, 
and sweet, in all the good ways.

...

Chocolate Gingersnap Cookies

recipe adapted from 'Mast Brothers Chocolate'

time 30 minutes preparation, 30 minutes baking
yields 12 cookies

100g unsalted butter
100g brown sugar
85g molasses
20g water
15g freshly grated ginger
200g all-purpose flour
5g cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
180g chocolate, 70% cocoa content

200g granulated sugar for tossing

Cream butter with brown sugar until fluffy.
Add molasses, water and fresh ginger and combine.
Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and combine.
Add chocolate and mix just enough to blend into a dough.
Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
Preheat the oven to  175°C/ 350°F.
Shape the dough into 3.8cm/ 1.5in balls and roll them in granulated sugar.
Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chocolate Scones with Orange, Cranberries and Pecans.

 

Ruby red
they shine
in darkness.

Crystal specks
offset white
in black.

Crunchy pillow
texture nestled
deep in cocoa.

...

Chocolate Scones with Orange, Cranberries and Pecans

time 20 minutes prep, 20 minutes chilling, 20 minutes baking time
yields 8 triangle scones

dough

150g butter
300g flour
25g cocoa powder
100g granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. himalayan salt
200ml buttermilk
1 egg
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

100g fresh cranberries
50g pecans, chopped & toasted

topping

2 Tbsp. butter
coarse natural cane sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Chop your pecans and toast them for 5 minutes.
Let cool.
Weigh all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Now mix the wets together: the buttermilk, egg, orange zest and vanilla extract.
Melt the butter and add it to the wets, giving it a short stir until the butter seized up slightly.
Mix the cranberries and pecans into your dries.
Make a small crater in the middle of your dries and pour the wets in.
Using a bowl scraper or a stiff spatula, fold the wets into the dries, pressing down the dough at each turn.
You do not want to over mix the dough so you achieve a light texture after baking.
Once all but a bit of the dries are incorporated, turn the dough onto a floured surface and proceed to flatten the dough out, folding it over in the middle and repeating this process once or twice.
Liberally flour your work surface in the process.
Once finished with the folding, coax the dough into a round shape, dust it off with more flour and press it or roll it so it's around 2,5-3 cm high.
Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter, brush the top with the butter and sprinkle it with natural cane sugar.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the scone feels firm to the touch in the middle.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Moodboard No. 9.


from upper left to right:
(1) grey wool sweater thrifted for $5 in Brooklyn. Warmth for the cold season (2) bare branches from the garden as a winter's bouquet (3) my new pride and joy, Olympus OM-1 for capturing my adventures on film (4) a gifted gift: a royal red knit headband (5) developed photos from a disposable from my recent NY trip (6) postcard that came with the check at Paulie Gee's pizza, my new bookmark 60 Greenpoint Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11222 (7) 'North - The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland' a cookbook featuring so many beautiful photos, one of them being these gorgeous blue seabird eggs (8) tips of my toes in my favorite at-home ankle Emu boots

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Black & White Cookies.


Black white
mirror
like buttons.

Flat spheres
reflect
dual flavor.

Cookie cushion
broken
revealing fluff.

...

Black & White Cookies

time 20 minutes prep, 20 minutes baking, 20 minutes glazing
yields eight 12cm cookies

batter

175g granulated sugar
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
150ml milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. lemon zest
300g all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. himalayan salt

black&white icing

200g confectioners' sugar
around 50-70ml boiling water
cocoa powder and extra water for 'black' icing

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper.
In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter.
Mix by machine or hand until fluffy.
Add eggs, milk and vanilla and lemon, and mix until smooth.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir until mixed.
Add dry mixture to the wet in batches, stirring well after each addition.
With the help of a pastry bag, pipe 8cm rounds onto the baking sheet, leaving enough space in between for the batter to spread.
Transfer to the oven and bake until edges begin to brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
Cool completely.
Place confectioners' sugar in large mixing bowl.
Gradually stir in enough boiling water to the sugar to make a thick, spreadable mixture.
Put half the frosting in another bowl.
Stir in some extra water and cocoa powder to give it a very dark, chocolate-y color.
With a brush, spoon or palette knife, coat half of the top of each cookie with chocolate frosting, and the other half with white frosting.
Let dry, and store in an airtight container.