Archive for October, 2009

October 24, 2009

>Cyrus:A Dream come True

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As you all know I am in a small culinary program learning to become a Pastry Chef. When I first started in the program I didn’t know anyone and all my friends left for college leaving me behind, a few days into one of my first classes I started to talk to a girl that looked about my age and we hit it off pretty quickly. We started to talk about restaurants and she presented the idea of going to Cyrus a famous restaurant in the area, its right next to the French Laundry in ratings and reviews. At first I thought she was insane because it’s really expensive dining but we talked about it and came to the conclusion it would be a onetime thing and it would be very educational. When I think of the experience I get butterflies in my stomach. Her sister made our reservations and said we were culinary students. So Cyrus made the experience the best for us. We even got to meet the chef and go in the kitchen!P.S. you can click on any of these images to make them larger.<a The top photo was Canapes which is the starter.

This is the simple Peach starter.

Our virgin drinks they brought out for us. The yellow one Had a metal straw with a little fork at the end to pick out the pears.

Some of the bread we picked from a bread basket that a server carried around. Baked fresh twice daily.

Delectable The key to all the dishes is to eat it the way the chef intended it to be eaten so thats just what we did.

I wanted to try it all and well I did. The picture on the left is Foie Gras which is the liver of a duck just knowing what it was and its texture made it rather hard to eat but I ate almost all of it because I didn’t want the chef to see.

Delish

So this shows that we really had no self control when the food came because often we started eating before I could take the picture. Also we really liked this bean salad it was one of our favorites. One more thing the black little ball in the picture is black garlic and it’s really sweet and great tasting.

This picture clearl shows how much we enjoyed the second dish. It was succulent and scrumptious and I want it right now.

The cheese cart was like a candy cart for foodies. It had all different kinds of cheeses and smells. We had the guy pick for us. One of the greatest things about Cyrus is that they describe everything and where it come from.

First image is of candy from the candy cart yes there wasn’t just a cheese cart but also a candy cart with candy they make right there. The candy got placed in a little box for each of us to take home. Then there’s the sorbet and there was another dessert but we ate it too fast. Then the little glasses of chocolate milk are carbonated and the little chocolate chip cookies came on a marble stone with a dome over it with a balloon attached. When they let the air out of it chocolate confetti sprayed up in the air. It’s supposed to be for birthdays but since were culinary students they did everything for us.

I feel like the evening was a dream it’s like I went to a concert got a backstage pass, met the lead singer and got his autograph which is exactly what happened and I have been changed into a Foodie for sure. Cyrus is the best experience thus far with eating in my life you should try it. We were there for about 4 hours in all and we did the 8 course tasting menu but there’s also a 5 course tasting menu.

October 15, 2009

>Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream-Cheese Filling

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A few months ago I got a book from the library called “Baked”, well my mum got it for me because she loves Oprah and Oprah talked about it in her magazine. I loved the book so I copied as many recipes as I could from it including these Pumpkin whoopie pies recipe but to my dismay the recipe went missing. Instead of there being a sock snatcher I think there’s a recipe snatcher in my house. So I couldn’t get the recipe because there was so many holds on it at the library because Oprah said to check it out but thank goodness for Martha because she had the Baked Boys on her show so now the recipe is on her site. So I got to make the whoopies for my family and my culinary class and the pies are the best whoopie pies ever!
FOR THE PUMPKIN WHOOPIE COOKIES
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cloves
2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE CREAM-CHEESE FILLING
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions
1.Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
2.In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
3.Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
4.Make the filling: Sift confectioner’ sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
5.Assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.

October 9, 2009

>Frosted Pumpkin Cake Squares

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My mum makes this cake every year right around this time. It’s right when the weather changes from hot octobers days to cool rainy ones. Today it’s been raining all day and it’s my day off it’s a day of baking for sure,this is a recipe to add to your fall desserts.
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch sqaure pan.
2.Prepare cake: In bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and eggs 2 minutes. Beat in Pumpkin and oil. At low speed, add flour, and cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; beat 1 minute.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
4. Prepare frosting: In bowl with mixer on low speed, beat confectioners’ sugar and remaining ingredients 2 minutes or until fluffy, frost cake.

October 8, 2009

>Caramel-Glazed Apple Cake

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The other day my mum came to me requesting that I make her this cake. She had been flipping through the Costco Magazine and found it and since she can’t have chocolate she loves it when she finds a good dessert with out it. This cake is great, best served right out of the oven and perfect for the holidays coming. I made it again a few days later for my dads birthday because he requested it and usually likes chocolate so that says a lot for the cake.

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
5 baking apple cored,peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Caramel Glaze Ingredients:
4 Tbl butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions:
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 by 13 inch pan.
2. To prepare the cake beat both sugars and oil in a mixing bowl until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour,baking soda,Cinnamon,nutmeg, and salt; gradually add to egg mixture,mixing just until blended. Stir in apples,nuts, vanilla. Pour into pan.
3.Bake for 50 to 75 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan while preparing the glaze.
4. To prepare the glaze put the butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir in both sugars and salt; cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add cream and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Poke holes in the cake with skewer or toothpicks. Pour on the glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. Makes 12 rather large servings.

October 3, 2009

>Candy Corn Hershey Kiss Cookies

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The other day I went to the store and was surprised to find that they had all there Halloween supplies out. I saw the candy corn kisses and thought of doing a Halloween spin on the traditional Hershey kiss cookies. I am preparing a Halloween package for one of my friends at college and I cant wait for her to see these. There really great.
Candy corn Hershey cookies
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Additional sugar
4 dozen candy corn kisses, unwrapped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Add butter and peanut butter and mix until smooth. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Make balls out of level tablespoons of dough – add flour if needed. Roll in sugar.
Bake 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet for 6 minutes.
Remove from oven and add 1 kiss to the center of each cookie. Cool and enjoy.

October 2, 2009

>Pumpkin Brownies

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After a long day of studying I thought I would explode with all the information. It was the first day that really felt like fall and it was very chilly out. I needed to take a break from studying so I went for a fall dessert. Pumpkin Brownies. I was interested in seeing if it would actually taste good. So I whipped up a batch. When the batch was still warm I cut a square and sat on my couch staring out at the thrashing trees I took a bite and it felt like everything stopped for a minute. My head had been spinning the whole day until I took a bite out of this gooey,moist warm pumpkin brownies. I knew this was going to be my favorite thing to whip up this fall. Then that evening my dad ate most of the plate then brought the rest to work for his buddies to try, they liked them. So try these brownies out there fantastic.
Ingredients
Makes 16
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
• 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 3/4 cups sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
4. Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer the chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with the pumpkin batter.
5. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.