Monday, December 11, 2006

what? a vegetable?

It's unlike me to get this excited about asparagus. This is my new favorite way to cook it. With 1/2 a stick of butter and a couple of cloves of garlic in the ingredients, what's not to get excited about?

Pan-Fried Asparagus
from kim at Allrecipes.com

1/4 C butter
2 T olive oil
1 t coarse salt
1/3 t ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 pound fresh aspargus spears, trimmed (just hold asparagus and bend the thick end until it breaks. It will break at just the right spot.)

melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. stir in olive oil, salt, and pepper. cook garlic in butter for a minute, but do not brown. Add asparagus, and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender, turning asparagus to ensure even cooking. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 07, 2006

These little truffles are a long time coming. After several tries, I finally created a coconut truffle that fit my requirement of a smooth, fluffy, filling with no coconut chunks.

This is my attempt to duplicate a truffle I used to buy on occasion at Gertrude Hawk, a local chocolatier. It was a coconut truffle under the "Gertrude's Best" line. Now it is only sold in boxes with other flavors that I don't particularly want, like mocha and peanut butter. So I had to make my own.

Then, since I misplaced the paper where I wrote the ingredient amounts, I tried to duplicate it. This is the result of the duplication, which actually wasn't a duplication at all. The filling was not fluffy this time around. Maybe it is because the first time I used good quality Lindt white chocolate, next time I tried Nestle Baking white chocolate. I liked the fluffy better, but ryan liked these smooth creamy truffles better. These were definitely harder to work with, so they aren't so perfectly shaped. If only I had a truffle mold. Also, with a softer filling, it was easier to roll them in almonds and then dip them in chocolate so that the filling didn't melt away in the chocolate.Any way I make them, I eat lots of truffles, so here's the recipe. I found it addicting.oh yeah, and it really isn't that time consuming to make though the recipe looks long.


Glorified Almond Joy Truffles

6 oz white chocolate (don't use white chocolate chips or low quality white chocolate. make sure it has cocoa butter in it)
1/2 C plus 1 T heavy cream
1 and 1/8 t coconut flavoring (or to taste)
1 C finely chopped almonds
10 oz chocolate for dipping (dark or light) More if you want to do 2 coats. I did only one, but it would probably be prettier and tastier with 2.

Finely chop white chocolate and put in a medium bowl.

Pour cream into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When it just comes to a boil remove from heat and pour over white chocolate. Stir until melted. Now you have a white chocolate ganache.

Add the coconut flavoring and stir. You might want more or less flavoring than I used.

Cool ganache until it feels cooler than room temperature. You can just stick it in the fridge, and stir it occasionally, or put it in an ice water bath and stir.

When ganache is cooled, whip it. Whip it good. The first batch I made whipped up until it was stiff enough to make little truffle balls with my hands. The second batch wouldn't whip up quite as high. So whip to your liking- until it is merely frothy, or keep whipping until it is stiff enough to make little truffle centers. If you want a softer center, then you will have to then freeze the ganache in order for it to be the right consistency to roll the truffle centers (or use a melon baller).

So roll little balls of whipped ganache into balls for truffle centers. Put them in a dish in the freezer for 30 minutes.

meanwhile, chop the dark or milk chocolate into little peices and place them in a small glass or metal bowl.

Boil a little bit of water in a small saucepan. Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the saucepan so that the bowl is sitting on top of it. It should not touch the water at all. now turn off the heat and stir constantly until chocolate is melted.

Prepare wax paper with a thin layer of nonstick spray, so truffles will not stick while they harden.

Roll frozen balls of ganache in almonds and press the almonds into the ganache. Immediately dip in chocolate, using a fork so excess chocolate can drip off. Place each truffle on wax paper until cooled.

store in the fridge or freezer.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 20, 2006

The knob on my old oven, when turned to choose the baking temperature, is correct if you turn it left to right. If you turn it right to left, it is about 100 degrees too hot.

This, my friends, is what happens when you try to bake Lucky 32 Sour Cream Apple Pie at 450 instead of 350 degrees.
yes, the picture is blurry. but I think you get the idea.

Since the pie was unfit to bring to the birthday celebration I made it for, it has been sitting on my counter all day. I find all pies irresistable, so despite it's tarry edges, this pie is almost half gone.

The recipe is usually a good one. I like it. If you use apples other than granny smith, then cut down on the sugar. I used a jonagold/granny smith mixture in the tar pie, and I cut the sugar in half.

Also, note that this pie is baked in a 10-inch springform pan. I would put a jellyroll pan underneath, as the pie might overflow and then the juices will be forever burned in the bottom of your oven.


Lucky 32 Sour Cream Apple Pie

1 ¼ cups sour cream
2 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ¼ tsp vanilla
1/3 tsp salt
2 Tbls flour
2 ¼ lbs Granny Smith Apples
1 recipe pie dough
1 ½ cups apple pie topping
¼ lb butter

topping:
½ cup flour
2 oz. walnut pieces
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbls cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Combine sour cream and eggs in large mixing bowl and whip until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla, salt and flour and blend thoroughly. Core and slice the apples directly into sour cream mixture. Toss apples to coat well. Place dough in a 9” springform cake pan. Using fingers, press dough gently until pan is evenly covered and smooth. Add sour cream apple mixture into pan. Spread topping (described below) evenly over the top of the pie. Cut butter into pats and place over the top of pie. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 2 hours and 20 minutes. (Pie may be frozen and served later.)

Topping: combine flour, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until ingredients are crumbled.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I haven't posted any recipes recently. That's because I haven't been making as many new recipes, and also because I noticed a correlation between the number of new recipes I make/post and the number I see on the scale. It's unfortunate.

Anyway, I have been trying to create just the right coconut truffle for this month's sugar high friday. Since these truffles were good, but not just right, I am posting them before the actual event. Like I said, they were good. But the texture was not quite as smooth as I was hoping. I am actually only posting them because I am embarrassed about the quality of food photography thus far on The Glutton. I am hoping to bring up the average grade here. I spent some time last week with the camera. Hurray for manual focus and natural lighting!

I made the truffles with chocolate ganache made with coconut milk instead of cream. Then I whipped the ganache after it cooled, made little truffles and dipped them in dark chocolate. oh yeah, don't forget to roll them in almonds. That was the best part!  Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 10, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006


I sense that some of you still haven't baked Supernatural Brownies. There is only one good excuse for that- no good semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate with which to make them. well, get some.

Heed the call of the supernatural.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

You Won't Be Sorry

I stand corrected. Molten Chocolate cakes are not the best chocolate dessert on earth. Nick Malgiere's Supernatural Brownies are. His cookbook won the Julia Child award for the best baking book, you can read a blurb about that and get the recipe at the above link. I found them at David Lebovitz's site, and he's a man who really knows chocolate, so I decided to try this recipe. I used Cadbury Dark Chocolate bars for the chocolate, and they worked well. Make sure you butter the parchment paper. I didn't and it was not good. I had to bake mine for an extra few minutes. They are deliciously fudgy. The edges aren't chewy like mix brownies (I wish they were- that is the only improvement the brownies could stand.) Make these brownies. Now.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I just began writing a post about the pumpkin sage pasta from Rachael Ray that I made last night, but who can concentrate on pasta when there are brownies in the oven?

So I will make the pumpkin post a quick one. I was intrigued with the idea of a pumpkin pasta sauce, and I was not satisfied until I made this one. It was yummy, and a very festive orange color. The sauce was a bit thick, but that might be due to the fact that I took the white wine down from 1/2 C to just a splash, and then I cooked it to death so there was no alcohol left (ryan had to drive to the church after dinner - didn't want him to be tipsy). I don't think this will be a pasta that I make regularly, but it is a good one. Plus- pumpkin and onions are good for you, and this recipe is full of 'em!

I would have taken a picture, but after the pasta sat for a little while, it absorbed a lot of the sauce and it didn't look so good. Next time I will serve the sauce on top instead of tossing the pasta with it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sorry- I just can't post pictures of the pears because, as I discovered, I have not a smidgen of talent for food photography.

However, I will post a picture of the pumpkin cream cheese muffins I made. They were delicious. I ate 3 jumbo muffins and one regular-sized muffin yesterday (for the sake of the blog, of course, so it can live up to it's name).














I was thinking of making pumpkin muffins, then I remembered the delicious pumpkin cake roll with cream cheese that we had last year at thanksgiving, and I was inspired to make a cream cheese filling. I think I did the right thing.

I made one and a half batches of the following recipe, and it made 12 jumbo muffins plus 4 regular sized muffins.
Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling
Adapted from Letters, Gourmet,
November 2006 which was dapted from the American club, in Kohler, Wisconsin

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned
solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-oz can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
½
teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt1 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:
beat together the following:
1 8-oz brick of cream cheese
1/3 C
sugar

Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put
liners in muffin cups. Whisk together flour and baking powder.Whisk together
pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, 1¼ cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a
large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Stir
together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.
Put a
spoonful of batter in each muffin cup. Add a spoonful of cream cheese mixture
and top that with batter until each cup is 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops with
cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or
skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and
cool to warm or room temperature.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Last night Ryan and I enjoyed what is possibly THE perfect dessert.
Surprisingly, for those who know me, it doesn't involve massive amounts of
chocolate. It doesn't involve chocolate at all. How, then, can this possibly be the most perfect dessert? The virtues of this luscious dessert are many. It is easy and comes together quickly-- you might even have all 6 ingredients on hand. It is healthier than the average dessert, and even low-fat if you don't scrape up every last bit of the sauce (like I did last night). It has a rustic beauty worthy of company. The spices evoke cozy fall-like feelings, and the aroma fills the kitchen as you bake these delicious pears. I can't say enough about these pears. I am going to make them again tonight, and then I will post a picture. This recipe is from "Anna Rose's Pears" at Cooks.com

Creamy Baked Pears
2T butter
1T Sugar
dash of nutmeg
dash of
cinnamon
2 pears
1/2 C whipping cream

preheat oven to 400
degrees farenheight. wash core, and half 2 pears. Don't peel. Melt 1 T butter in
dish. Sprinkle with 1 T white sugar, dash of nutmeg, and dash of cinnamon. Place
pears face down on top of butter mixture and dot the pear peels with the
remaining 1 T butter. bake for 5 minutes. Pour 1/2 C cream over the pears. Bake
for 10-20 minutes, or until pears are tender.


By the way- welcome to my new blog. Inspired by pears. Powered by gluttony.