Typeographic Chocolate

January 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

yummm

 

Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry

December 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Sprinkle Bakes

4 small pears
1 sheet of ready made puff pastry dough, thawed
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
1/2 lemon
1 vanilla bean, seeded with hull reserved
3 sticks of cinnamon
6-8 whole cloves
Peel pears and core from the bottom.  Cut the bottom of the pears strait across, so they will stand upright.  Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the 4 cups water, 2 cups sugar and 1 cup honey.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  When the sugar has melted, add the pears, vanilla seeds and hull, 1/2 lemon, cinnamon and cloves.  Simmer pears until they are fork tender.  This can take 20-40 minutes, depending on the ripeness of your pears.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

When the pears are soft, remove them from the pot and allow them to cool slightly.  Discard solid pieces from saucepan and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the poaching liquid.  While pears are cooling, cut the puff pastry into 1/2″ strips.  One sheet of puff pastry will cover 4 small pears.  Large pears will need a second sheet of puff pastry to compensate.
Wrap cooled pears with puff pastry starting at the bottom and working upwards.  When you come to the end of a pastry strip, brush it lightly with water and press to adhere to the next pastry strip.  Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear.  Tuck the end of the last pastry piece behind the previous dough spiral.  Place wrapped pears on a parchment lined jelly roll pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown.
Simmer the reserved poaching liquid over medium heat until thick and syrupy.  Plate pears and top with syrup.

 

YUMMMMMM

Orange corn could reduce blindness and child deaths

December 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

MNN – Mother Nature Network.

Orange corn

Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a novel solution to the world’s growing epidemic of blindness in children due to vitamin A deficiency: feed them orange corn.
The researchers have identified a gene in maize that, when manipulated, can toggle the levels of beta-carotene content in corn kernels, according to Purdue University. Beta-carotene, which is what gives carrots their orange color, is what the human body uses to create vitamin A during digestion.

“We’re sort of turbocharging corn with desirable natural variation to make it darker and more nutritious,” said Torbert Rocheford, the professor of agronomy at Purdue who led the study.
Orange corn is already a natural variety popular in South American and Caribbean nations, as well as in northern Italy where it is often used for polenta. But in Africa and parts of Southeast Asia, where most of the world’s vitamin A deficiency occurs, only white or yellow corn is typically produced.
It’s a problem with horrific consequences. As many as 500,000 children in the developing world go blind every year because they don’t get enough vitamin A, according to the World Health Organization. Even more alarming, half of those children typically die within a year of going blind. Replacing stocks of white or yellow corns with orange-colored varieties could go a long way toward preventing most of those deaths.
The solution could even be adapted to help fix problems in Western industrialized nations, too. Aside from increased beta-carotene, orange corn can be made rich in the micronutrient zeaxanthin, which makes up 75 percent of the central macula in human eyes. According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 55, and zeaxanthin can help protect against it.
“It’s like a designer gene. We can select one version for the U.S. population to increase zeaxanthin and a different version to increase beta-carotene for the needs of the developing world,” said Rocheford.
The only real obstacle to implementing the change to orange corn may come from picky consumers who have grown accustomed to the color of their corn. But Rocheford, who recently returned from a trip to Zambia where orange corn was readily accepted, thinks the transition could come easily.

 

 

 

Tips – Ingredient Substitutions

November 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

| DianasDesserts.com.

sooo helpful!

A Button Candy Wedding Cake

November 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

Dog n’ Bird Artful Wedding.

this is so fun

buttoncandy weddingcake1 Best Of: A Button Candy Wedding Cake

Martha Stewart’s Oreo Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

September 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

La Mia Vita Dolce.

A photo of 3 Oreo cookies and cream cheesecakes, 1 upside down with Oreo cookie facing up, 1 right side up, and one cut in half.

A photo of 3 Oreo cookies and cream cheesecakes with Oreo cookie side facing up on a white plate, placed on an orange placemat.

Makes 30

  • 42 Oreo, cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 275° F.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Place 1 whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each lined muffin cup.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.  Gradually add the sugar, and beat until combined.  Beat in the vanilla.
  3. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add in sour cream and salt, beat to combine.  Using a large spatula, fold in the chopped Oreo cookies.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the cookie-filled muffin cups, fill each cup almost to the top.  Bake, rotating muffin tins halfway through, until the filling is set, about 22 to 28 minutes.  Transfer the muffins tins to a wire rack to cool completely.  Refrigerate (in the muffin tins) at least 4 hours (or overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.A photo of 3 Oreo cookies and cream cheesecakes with whipped cream and Oreo cookies on top, placed on a white plate.A photo of an Oreo cookies and cream cheesecake with the Oreo cookie side up placed in front of a stack of Oreo cookies.

Baking Obsession – Stuffed Baguette

September 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Baking Obsession – Stuffed Baguette. yummmmmmmm

Stuffed Baguette

A hollowed baguette obviously makes a perfect shell for any filling you are in the mood for. And once stuffed and properly chilled, it becomes a neat appetizer.

This particular one is filled with all my favorite things: goat cheese/cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olives, spicy salami, crunchy bell pepper, and fresh herbs.

Makes one 12-inch long baguette; about 24 slices

Ingredients:

  • Baguette about 14-inch long
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
  • ½ cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Kalamata olives
  • 2 oz finely chopped spicy salami
  • About 2 tbsp minced Italian parsley
  • About 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste (very unlikely since there’re plenty of salty ingredients)

Preparation:

Slice off both ends of the baguette. Using a long thin knife and working from the both ends, hollow the baguette out leaving about ½-inch thick crust all around.

Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump-free. Beat in the goat cheese and garlic. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Working again from the both ends, fill the baguette with the cheese mixture. Pack the filling tight. I like to use a slender tequila shot glass for pressing the filling in. Wrap the stuffed baguette very well in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days. Right before serving, slice the baguette into ½-inch thick slices and serve. For the most neat looking slices, treat it as a cheesecake – each time slice it with a hot dry knife.

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