Food & Drink

Triple Mango Macarons

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I’ve been waiting all week for these!  Ian is going out of town for work and this weekend, my best friends are coming down from New York to have a girls’ weekend in Philly.  We’ve been saying that we want to have a fancy tea party, so tomorrow, we’ll be serving so many tea party worthy foods – cranberry walnut scones, crackers with goat cheese and dill, cucumber sandwiches, and so much more.  But the crowning glory to the spread we’ll be having are these triple mango macarons.

I had this idea of making a mango macaron with a mango buttercream AND a mango jam center.  Since summer is here and mangos prices are dropping, I thought there is no better time than now to tackle these macarons.

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Triple Mango Macarons

  • Servings: 30 macarons
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Ingredients

Mango Macarons

  • 100g egg whites
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100g almond flour
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp mango extract (optional)
  • Yellow and red food coloring (optional)

Mango Jam

  • 3 cups chopped mango (I used 3 champagne mangos)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Mango Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup mango jam
  • Yellow and red food coloring (optional)

Method

Macarons

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Over a double boiler, whisk together egg whites and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is frothy, about 2 minutes.  Transfer this to a stand mixer or a handheld mixer with a whisk attachment and beat on medium-high.  Put in a pinch of salt, cream of tartar, and mango extract.  Beat until stiff peaks, about 3-5 minutes.  If you want to color your macarons, add a little bit of gel food coloring at this point and beat for 5 seconds only.
  3. In a food processor, combine the almond flour and powdered sugar.  Pulse 5x.  Sift the mixture into a bowl,  Discard any remaining chunks that cannot be sifted.
  4. Carefully put the almond flour & powdered sugar mixture into the egg white mixture bowl.  Beat on medium-low for 10 seconds.  Use a rubber spatula to fully incorporate the mixture.  Do the figure 8 test by scooping some batter up with your spatula and draw the number 8.  If the batter does not break, it’s done!  Make sure you do not overmix.
  5. Pour macaron mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.  Pipe out 1-inch circles on a baking sheet.  Bang the pan on the countertop a couple times to release any air bubbles.  Let it sit out to dry until the top forms a skin, about 20 minutes.  You should be able to touch the top without anything sticking to your finger.  When it’s dry, it’s ready to bake.
  6. Bake for 13-14 minutes on the middle rack, rotating the pan halfway.
  7. Find matching pair of macaron shells.  Place them side-by-side and belly up.  Pipe the mango buttercream around the outer edge of the macaron to create a barrier.  Spoon about 1/2 tsp of mango jam in the center.  Gently place another macaron on top and press gently to adhere.

Mango jam

  1. In a pot, bring sugar and water to a boil.  Add mango and lemon juice and bring this mixture to a gentle boil and stir.  Use a potato masher and mash the mango until it breaks apart.  Cook until the jam is thickened.  Set aside to cool.

Mango Buttercream

  1. In a large bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar, and mango jam until light and fluffy, about 7-10 minutes.  Add food coloring, if desired.

Recipe notes:

  1. The mango jam will yield about 1 pint of jam.  The rest of it … do with it what you will!

Food & Drink

S’mores Ice Cream

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S'mores Ice Cream

  • Servings: 1 quart
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 graham crackers, crumbled
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup hot fudge sauce
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow cream

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine whole milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder.  Whisk until sugar is melted.  Add vanilla extract and salt.  Whisk until combined.  Refrigerate mixture for 2 hours, or until cold.
  2. Pour mixture into ice cream maker.  Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, or until soft-serve consistency.  Pour ice cream into the desired container.  Swirl graham crackers, marshmallows, marshmallow cream, and hot fudge sauce into the ice cream.  Freeze until ready.

Food & Drink

Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread

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My first copycat recipe!  A few months ago, while I was perusing Trader Joe’s (aka my “fun” store), I saw this Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread in the frozen section by all the pizzas.  Naturally, I was interested.  Burrata, good.  Prosciutto, good.  Arugula, good!  I grabbed one and popped it in the oven that evening.  It’s probably the best frozen pizza I’ve ever had.

Okay, so I’m 98.7% sure that the only reason Trader Joe’s doesn’t call this a pizza is because there’s really no sauce on it.  Since burrata is naturally really creamy, it serves as a sauce base.

Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cup bread flour (+ more for work surface)
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Topping

  • 1 cup fresh arugula (one fist full)
  • 8 oz burrata (about 2 medium burrata)
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 1 Tb olive oil

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar and warm water.  Wait about 5-7 minutes, until the yeast is foamy.  Add bread flour, olive oil, and salt.  Mix until well combined and transfer to a work surface and knead until smooth ball forms.  Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.  Roll out dough to a 9×13 rectangle and transfer to a baking sheet.  Brush the top of the dough with olive oil.  Break open the burrata. Smear the creamy filling all over the rolled out dough and evenly distribute the mozzarella “shell”.  Top with arugula.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Wrinkle each prosciutto slice into a nest and place on top of the flatbread.

Recipe notes:

  • For crispy prosciutto, simply add the prosciutto prior to baking.

Food & Drink

Easy Homemade Marshmallows

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Summer’s here, which means it’s time to make smores.  I’m that weird kid who never liked marshmallows.  There’s something about them that was always so off-putting to me.  If you melt them and made rice krispies, sure I’ll gobble them up.  But as is, no thank you.

Then I was introduced to homemade marshmallows.  Mind.  Blown.  Homemade marshmallows taste less sweet, but has a nougat taste and is much fluffier than its storebought counterpart.

I decided to whip up a batch of homemade marshmallows (they’ll mainly be used for rice krispies later this week).  But I reserved a few for stovetop smores and hot cocoa for dessert tonight.  Best of all, this recipe finally used up all the egg whites that have been taunting me in the fridge for over a week.

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Easy Homemade Marshmallows

  • Servings: 20-30
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Ingredients

  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 cup water, divided use
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 Tb honey
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the gelatin powder and 1/2 cup of water.  Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt together granulated sugar, corn syrup, honey, and remaining 1/2 cup of water.  Bring to a rolling boil and cook until the candy thermometer registers 240°F.
  3. Beat egg whites and pinch of salt in a stand mixer until stiff peaks.  Pour sugar mixture in a slow stream.  Beat for about 5 minutes on high speed.  Microwave the gelatin mixture in 10-second intervals until it’s melted.  Pour that into the stand mixture slowly.  Continue beating for about 10 minutes, or until the bowl is cool to the touch.
  4. Mix together the cornstarch and powdered sugar in a bowl.  Sprinkle 2 tbs of this mixture over a 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper.  Spread marshmallow mixture over the pan and let it sit out in room temperature for 4-6 hours.
  5. Spray a knife or pizza cutter with cooking spray and cut the marshmallows into the desired size and shape.  Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Adapted from David Lebovitz

 

 

 

Food & Drink

Lemon Meringue Pie

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Lemon Meringue Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients

Pie crust

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 Tb unsalted butter
  • 2 large lemons, zested and juiced

Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Method

  1. Make the pie dough:  In a food processor (or use 2 forks or pastry cutter), pulse together flour, salt, and butter until crumbly.  Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together when pinched.  Transfer to a floured work surface and knead until dough comes together.  Roll dough out to a 13-inch circle.  Place in 9-inch pie pan, cut off excess and crim the edges.  Freeze pie crust for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Use pie weights or dried beans and blind bake the pie crust for about 20 minutes.   Remove from oven and turn the temperature down to 350°F.
  3. Make the filling:  In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, and milk over medium heat until it reaches a gentle boil and is thickening.  In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks.  Pour in about 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture and whisk to temper the eggs.  Return eggs back to the sugar mixture, whisking frequently.  Add butter, lemon juice, and zest and whisk until butter is melted.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Make the meringue:  In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until it forms soft peaks.  Add sugar and continue to beat until it forms stiff peaks.
  5. Pour the filling into the baked pie pan, top with meringue.  Return to oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops of the meringue is golden brown.  Rest on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature, cool for about 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe notes:

  • For dramatic effects, I chose to use 6 egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.  The recipe will give you around 2/3 of the height of the meringues.

Food & Drink

Chocolate Pots de Crème

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In college, one of my go-to quick desserts were mini pudding cups.  I’d cut up a rolled-out pie crust and place them in a muffin tin and blind bake them.  Meanwhile, I’d make chocolate pudding (from the box) and stuff the cups.  It was super easy and looked quite impressive.

I have nothing against chocolate pudding now, but I do think there are so many other fun desserts that have that pudding-like consistency and taste so much more elevated.  One of them is pots de crème.  Pots de crème literally translates to “pots of cream” in French.  It is a loose-textured custard, quite similar to pudding.  It tastes so rich and decadent but it takes so little effort.  Like seriously you’ll be done in less than 10 minutes (well you do have to wait for everything to cool, that’s the hard part).

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Chocolate Pots de Crème

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

Pots de Crème

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Topping

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tb granulated sugar

Method

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt over medium-low heat.  Continually whisking until mixture is thick and can coat the back of a spoon, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Pour in chocolate chips and whisk until chocolate is melted and everything is incorporated.  Transfer this mixture into 4 ramekins (mine were 5oz ramekins).  Place in the refrigerator to set, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Before serving, whisk together heavy cream and granulated sugar until soft peaks.  Top the chilled pots de crème.

 

Food & Drink

Strawberry Galette

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For many people, Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the beginning of summer.  This means pies, pies, and pies.  I love pies, but sometimes, you just want pie in belly fast.  Or maybe you want something cute to serve but aren’t so sure about your edge crimping skills.  Or my favorite, you are in the camp of people who think the pie filling to crust ratio should be like 2:1 instead of 4:1.  This is where galette shines.

If you don’t know what a galette is, it’s essentially a free-form pie that you bake on a regular cookie sheet.  You roll out the dough, put the filling in the middle, and fold the edge of the crust in so the filling is still visible in the center.  Because we don’t bake this in a pie tin, we opt for fillings that aren’t going to release a ton of juices, since this galette will be quite short in height.

I included my favorite galette dough recipe, but feel free to use store-bought pie crust or any other pie crust recipe that you enjoy.

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Strawberry Galette

Ingredients

Galette dough

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 6 Tb cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup iced water

Strawberry filling

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and quartered
  • 3 Tb granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon, zested and juice reserved

Glaze

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tb water

Method

  1. Make the galette dough:  In a food processor, pulse together flour, salt, granulated sugar, and butter.  Slowly drizzle in iced water 1 Tb at a time and pulse together until dough slightly comes together.  Check frequently by pinching together the dough.  If it sticks and doesn’t crumble, it is ready.  Pour the dough mixture on a floured work surface and knead until it comes together in a ball.  Flatten into a disk, wrap it tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the filling:  While the dough is chilling, make the filling.  In a large bowl, toss together the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon zest, and 1 Tb of the lemon juice.  Let this mixture stand for about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Roll out the galette dough into a large circle (about 15 inches in diameter).  Transfer this dough to a lined baking sheet.  Use a slotted spoon, scoop strawberry filling onto the center of the galette dough.  Do your best to avoid transferring the strawberry juices.  Fold in the edges towards the center, leaving the middle exposed.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and water.  Brush this all over the dough. Bake in preheated oven for about 35-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.