>Lemon Tartlets

School started for me last Monday. All my closest friends have left for school and as they left I made each of them a farewell dessert. These lemon tartlets were for a friend of mine that’s going to Chico state. All though I miss all my friends dearly I have been having a blast with my culinary classes. I have GED classes too so I’m keeping busy. So busy that now I’m sick, so sick that I had to miss knife skills, at least I get to update the blog. These are the perfect size. The crust is flaky and the curd is creamy and tart, its a fantastic combination.
For Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tbsp. cold water
Set oven to 450 degrees.Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening and butter and blend with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Blend until mixture is fairly coarse. Add water, 1 tbsp. at a time, gently mixing dough after each addiction until dough forms a ball.
2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out 1/4 inch thick. Using a shot glass size cookie cutter, cut out dough and put into mini muffin tins.Press down into the center but make sure dough doesn’t break. Put beans or a marble into each tartlet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Lemon curd
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
For lemon curd:
Whisk egg yolks, whole eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and salt to blend in top of double boiler over barely simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water); whisk constantly until mixture thickens and instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 6 minutes. Transfer to glass bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate 40 minutes.
After lemon curd has been chilled put a teaspoons worth of lemon curd in each tartlet. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

breakfast · pastries

>Bread Machine Raised Doughnuts

Back when I was little my dad used to bring home a large pink box on some Sunday mornings and my sisters and I knew they were from the Doughnut Den. It contained many different doughnuts of different colors and textures and I always loved the maple bars. It had the perfect creamy maple frosting and was always airy and moist. As we got older the box visited our house less and then one day my dad just stopped getting the doughnuts, but the excitement still lives. Now I don’t need the pink box because now I have this recipe that makes just as fresh and moist doughnuts as the pink box once held. This is a really easy recipe where everything just gets thrown into a bread machine and all the hard work is done in it.
Raised Doughnuts
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups very warm milk (120º to 130º)
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
Vegetable oil
Put all ingredients in a bread machine and press “Dough”. Let the bread machine do its work. Turn dough onto generously floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Flatten dough with hands or rolling pin to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured doughnut cutter. Push together scraps and gently knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with floured 3-inch doughnut cutter or bigger cutter just depends what you want. Cover doughnuts and let rise 30 to 40 minutes or until double.

Heat oil (1 1/2 to 2 inches) in Dutch oven to 350º. Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula. Fry about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surfaces); drain on paper towels. Roll or shake in sugar or cover with glaze. You can also make it more of a frosting which is what I did.
White Doughnut Glaze
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons milk (depending on your desired consistency)
Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl with a fork. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar. If the glaze is too thick, stir in a little extra milk. Enjoy!


>Raspberry Cheesecake

I was recently invited to another My fair lady party. I planned on going and was asked if I could bring dessert. Of course I said yes so I asked two friends who are twins what they wanted because it would be a few days after their birthday, and they requested Raspberry Cheesecake. I know it may sound strange but I had never made cheesecake until this one. So I was a bit worried. Then to make matters worse I forgot it was my sisters birthday that day so I couldn’t go, but I still made the cheesecake and dropped it off at the party. I was terrified because 1. I never made cheesecake before 2. I didn’t get to try it before hand. The good thing is though that my rep wasn’t ruined and everybody enjoyed it a lot.
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
1 cup red jelly (not jam), such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch spring form pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the cake from the spring form pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the spring form pan for serving.
To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss the raspberries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

cake · mousse and puddings


I have been wanting to make Tiramisu for so long, and I finally did it. This recipe comes from the Canyon Ranch cookbook which is a wonderful cookbook and the book gave me assurance that the recipe would turn out because its a famous health resort. I tweaked the recipe a bit to my liking so its not the exact recipe, but it turned out really good and creamy and with a punch from the coffee it truly was everything I dreamed it would be. I also made mine mini, using mini loaf pans but I said how to make it both ways.
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons white chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ tablespoon gelatin
1/3 cup mascarpone
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ cup brewed coffee
20 ladyfingers for one large loaf or 24 ladyfingers for four mini loaves
Dash of cocoa powder
1. In a double boiler, combine egg yolks, sugar, wine, white chocolate and vanilla. Mix well. Heat until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Do not let simmer. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine gelatin and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan and let sit for 5 minutes to soften gelatin. Heat over low, stirring to dissolve. Cool and add to egg mixture.
3. In a small bowl, whip mascarpone cheese with and electric mixer and add to cooled egg mixture.
4. In a medium bowl, whip egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy. Increase speed and gradually add sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In another, small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Do not over mix. Fold egg mixture into egg whites. Then gently fold in whipped cream.

5. Lay half the ladyfingers on bottom of a 8 ½” x 4 ½” x 2 ½” loaf pan or place 3 lady fingers on the bottom of four mini loaf pans. Brush with coffee. Spread half of the cream mixture over ladyfingers. Layer the rest of ladyfingers on top of cream mixture, and brush with coffee. Top with the remaining cream mixture. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
6. Place in freezer for 2 hours to set. Then cut slices or take out mini loaves. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften and enjoy.


>Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins

I love blueberry muffins,really who doesn’t.Any kind of blueberry baked good has my heart. I made miniature ones because of course I have my mini cupcake liners, which I sadly haven’t made a dent in yet. These aren’t so traditional though, theres a little bit of cinnamon in them which makes these baked good stand out. It’s also really easy.
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries (7 1/2 oz)(frozen,fresh,or dried I have used all three)
Special equipment: a muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups; 12 foil or paper muffin liners
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Put liners in muffin cups.
Whisk together butter, brown sugar, milk, and egg in a bowl until combined well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries gently.
Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.