Posts for April 21st 2010
From Food & Wine
10 cups water
2 1/4 cups sugar
17 tarragon sprigs
6 cups fresh lemon juice, strained (from about 40 lemons), plus 12 thin lemon slices for garnish
- In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water with the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 3 1/4 cups, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add 5 of the tarragon sprigs. Let stand, stirring often, until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Discard the tarragon sprigs.
- In a large glass pitcher, combine the remaining 6 cups of water with the tarragon syrup and fresh lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt, stirring until it dissolves.
- Serve the tarragon lemonade over ice, garnished with the lemon slices and the remaining 12 tarragon sprigs.
From Katie Sweeney
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
flour, for sprinkling
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
3 heaping teaspoons dijon mustard
12 slices good quality ham
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until it's thin and about 15 inches wide.
- Spread the mustard liberally across the top of the puff pastry leaving a one-inch border on all sides.
- Top with the ham slices and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Starting with the end closest to you, carefully roll the puff pastry up over the ham and cheese to create a pinwheel.
- Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour and up to one day.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Alternately, spray with cooking spray or rub with oil.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the pinwheels and slice with a sharp knife into 1/4-inch slices. Place each slice on its side on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden. Enjoy immediately.
Makes about 30 pinwheels.
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped*
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving a slight overhang on all sides.
- Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until smooth.
- Remove from heat, and whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. Whisk in cocoa and salt. Fold in flour until combined.
- Pour batter into pan. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift brownies from pan using parchment. Remove parchment, and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely. Cut into 9 squares.
Makes 9 2 1/2-inch squares.
*When I made this, I used mint dark chocolate because I wanted a mint flavor in the brownies.
When it comes to celebratory sparklers, Pommery's POP is one of my go-to brands; its bubbles are consistently wonderful. Just in time for Earth Day, it's added a special new release to its collection of Champagnes. Pop Earth is a non vintage, eco-friendly bubbly. The bottle is made with a lighter glass and the label is printed on recycled paper with water-soluable ink. The grapes are sustainably grown and a limited amount of water and energy is used during the production of the wine. The liquid itself is straw in color with a slight yeasty aroma. It has apple undertones with brilliant bubbles and an easy-drinking smoothness. The only bad thing I discovered about this delightful Champagne was that it was gone much too quickly! Have you sipped Pommery's offerings?
According to Starbucks employees, the newly available Frap is the result of a reformulation of the drink, which is now blended with coffee, a proprietary syrup, ice, and milk, rather than a dairy base. Although caramel sauce and Java Chip are not vegan, baristas can now blend a dairy-free version with soy milk. The vegan option has just soft launched, so it's not officially on the menu; the chain will reportedly make the beverage official on May 4.
I ask for my coffee with soy at Starbucks, so it's nice to know the blended equivalent can be prepared in the same way.
Are you excited about a vegan Frappuccino?
Source: Flickr User mastermaq
A dense, rich cake of Central European origin. Unlike a sponge cake, a torte is made with little to no flour, but instead with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, as well as sugar, eggs, and flavorings. It is typically baked in a springform pan, and may be multilayered and filled with cream or jam, or covered with cream and fruit or nuts. Have you ever made a torte?
Source: Flickr User Maggie Hoffman