Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cherry Scones

California cherries are popping up everywhere now, but they're not always all that sweet. I had a bag of fairly tart cherries I wanted to use up quickly, so used this recipe. If your cherries are super tart, you might want to sprinkle a little sugar on them. Otherwise this recipe is good as is.
  • 1.5 c cherries
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T cold butter
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  1. Pit cherries and coarsely chop. Drain on paper towel.
  2. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, powder and salt.
  3. Using fingers, work in small pieces of butter.
  4. Stir in drained cherries.
  5. Make a well in the center.
  6. Stir together oil, milk and vanilla. Pour into well and stir just until firm dough forms.
  7. Turn onto floured surface. Knead 3 times. Divide in half. Pat each half into 6" circle 3/4" thick. Cut each into 6 wedges.
  8. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake above center at 450F for 10-12 minutes.
Notes
I eyeballed the milk and the dough was very wet but they were still fully cooked at 12 minutes in the oven. The original recipe calls for sweet cherries (vs tart cherries), so perhaps if you have tart ones, stir in a little extra sugar.

Chocolate Mousse

One of my favorite desserts of all time. I learned to make this in 7th grade but have since lost that recipe. I only remember that it did not use cream. Since then I've searched and it's hard to come up with something as good, or perhaps my memory is only of an ideal. In any case, I found this in some old filed away place with a note that I'd made it in 2001, but no notes on how it turned out. So I gave it another go. This time I doubled the recipe (original portions below), and it came out quite sweet. If I were to do it again, I might do a mix of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate. Warning: Contains raw egg - not good for pregnant women.
12/28/15 Made this again, and again served it to a pregnant woman! Still delicious though.
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 2-3 T water
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  1. Melt the chocolate and water in a microwave according to directions. (Place in large bowl and microwave for 1m30 at 50%. Stir. Continue microwaving at 15-30 second intervals, stirring each time. Mixture should be thick and creamy.
  2. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
  3. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a bowl and dropping the yolks, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture, stirring well after each addition.
  4. Beat the egg whites until they hold a soft peak. Fold 1/4 into the chocolate. Fold in the remaining whites.
  5. Pour into serving containers or into single large bowl. Chill overnight.
Variations
  • Use rum instead of vanilla.
  • Use black coffee instead of water.
  • Top with whipped cream.
  • Serve with raspberries, blackberries or strawberries.
  • Use as filling inside crepes.
  • Spread between layers of cake.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Strawberry Shortcakes

I tried a new recipe for shortcakes, requiring frozen butter. I also made individual cakes instead of in a 9" cake pan. It got good reviews, but when doesn't the combination of fresh strawberries, whip cream and cake? I'll have to do a side by side taste test some day to figure out which recipe is better.
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T powder
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/2 c butter, frozen
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 18 oz fresh strawberries
  • optional: sugar
  1. Mix dry ingredients.
  2. Grate 2 T butter coarsely. Toss. Repeat.
  3. Combine egg and milk. Pour in. Toss with fork to form large clumps.
  4. Lightly press into ball. Add t more of milk if won't come together.
  5. Divide into 6 pieces (approx 3x3 inches, or rounded). Place 1 inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  6. Sprinkle with 1/2 T sugar.
  7. Bake 425F 12-14 minutes or until light brown.
  8. Cool to warm 5-10 minutes.
  9. Whip cream. Add sugar and vanilla. Whip to completion.
  10. Wash, hull, and lightly mash strawberries. Sprinkle with sugar.
  11. Cut cakes in half. Layer strawberries followed by whipped cream. Place cake half on top. Top with whipped cream and strawberries.
  12. Serve immediately or chill.

Avocado-Mozzarella-Tomato Sandwich

Nothing beats going to the grocery store in the US after being away for 1.5 years. I went and got myself a baguette, a ripe avocado, fresh mozzarella, and vine ripe tomatoes, to make the best tasting American lunch in ages. Yum.
  • baguette
  • avocado
  • fresh mozzarella
  • tomatoes
  • black pepper
  1. Cut baguette lengthwise.
  2. Layer slices of avocado, cheese, and tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  4. Devour.