Chocolate Swirl Meringues

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So this week’s recipe is actually a spin on a previous meringue recipe that I did last year. I had some left over ganache and a lot of egg whites since I had just made a pair of pear tarts for a friend’s birthday.  What is one to do with leftover egg whites? True, I could’ve tried my hand at french macarons, but I didn’t have almond flour and I didn’t really feel like blending up the almonds that I had, sifting it, blending it again and then sifting it to make them. Okay I was just really lazy. So I made these chocolate swirl meringues.  I found that I love piping the meringues so that they come out looking pretty, but I also found that having just one baking sheet means that half of the meringue batter doesn’t get cooked for an hour and utterly deflates.I guess I have to go check out my neighborhood restaurant supply store soon! Though if you take the slightly deflated meringues and sandwich some raspberry jam, they make delicious and quite impressive treats.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-2 egg whites*
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
-pinch of salt
-1/2 cup sugar
-Chocolate ganache
 
*Use the leftover yolks for pate sucree for a pear tart or mini chocolate pecan pies! 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the egg whites with a electric mixture until frothy.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat until soft peaks form.  Lift the beaters straight out of the bowl, the tops of the egg whites should droop over.
  4. With the mixer on high, beat in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. After you add in the sugar, beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
  6. Add the chocolate ganache and fold the meringue. I wanted to get streaks of chocolate and white meringue, but I ended up overfolding a bit…
  7. Spoon or pipe the meringue onto the baking sheets about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.  Then turn off the oven and let the meringues sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.  For chewier centers, pull them out of the oven after 15 minutes.
  9. Let the meringues cool and peel them from the parchment paper.

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Store in an air tight container with layers of parchment paper or pop them in a bowl and eat right away.  I layered the deflated meringues (flatter ones) with raspberry jam and rolled them in sprinkles for a quick mini birthday treat for my friend.  I think she enjoyed them 🙂

Hugs and puppies!

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Raspberry Tarts

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Hi Everyone!

I hope you’re all doing well! So far, I feel like my resolution to continuously update my blog has been successful (my other resolution to stop biting my nails has also been pretty successful)! I also wanted to make another resolution (is it to late to make one?) to get to know my fellow food bloggers more and maybe if possible, meet up with them in person one day since that seems like it would be fun!

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Anyway,  I know I’m always making mini tarts (pecan tarts, chocolate tarts), but the other day, I made some adorable raspberry tarts and I wanted to share them with you! I know raspberries are definitely not in season, but they were selling this huge carton of them at Trader Joe’s and I just couldn’t resist.  They weren’t as sweet as the summer berries, so instead of eating them by themselves (which I am more than likely to do) I decided to sweeten them up a bit with some pastry cream and of course a tart shell.  I made them for the annual Holiday Gift Exchange that me and my best friends do  and I made half of them with vanilla pastry cream and the other half with chocolate, because well we’re all a little obsessed with chocolate. And then I got a request to make them for game night with my friends tonight, so I thought well I’m making them two days in a row, instead of giving you guys suggestions of tweaking other recipes, I’d just post another blog. I apologize if it’s repetitive. I’m also going to be baking some more today, so if those recipes come out well, I may make another blog post 🙂

So let’s get baking!

Ingredients: 

Pate Sucrée
-1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
-8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
-2 tbsp plus 2 tsp chilled shortening*
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 egg yolks
-1/4 teaspoon water
-4 drops vanilla 
Pastry Cream
-2/3 cup whole milk
-3 tbsp granulated sugar
-1 tbsp cornstarch
-1 pinch salt
-1/4 tsp vanilla
-1 egg yolk
Garnish
-1 box of Raspberries 

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, butter, shortening, and sugar in medium mixing bowl until the butter and shortening is about the size of small peas. Add yolks, water and vanilla and continue mixing until dough is crumbly. Turn dough out onto work surface and gather into ball. Divide the dough into two parts. Flatten each part into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic. Freeze 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
  2. Once the dough has chilled,  preheat the oven to 350ºF and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut out dough circles using a cookie cutter slightly larger than the cups in the cupcake tin.  Carefully press the dough into the pan, making sure to keep the edges straight. Use the excess dough to patch and cracks.
  3. Line the tarts with parchment paper and weigh them down with pie weights (I use rice or dry beans) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the out edges are a nice golden brown.
  4. While the tarts are baking, make the pastry cream.  You can do this on top of the stove, but since I don’t have a smaller pot and I don’t want to lug out a giant pasta pot to make a small amount of pastry cream, I have started to make it in the microwave.
    1. In a microwavable safe bowl, mix together the cornstarch, salt, half the sugar, vanilla and egg yolk. Set aside.
    2. In a separate microwaveable save bowl, combine the milk and the rest of the sugar and microwave until hot.
    3. Slowly stir in the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep the egg yolk from cooking.
    4. Cover the pastry mixture so that plastic wrap adheres to the surface of the pastry cream and microwave in 25 second bursts. Mixing thoroughly between each burst. Repeat until the mixture reaches a custard-y consistency.  I find that about 2 to 3 bursts should do it.
  5. To make chocolate pastry cream, simply pour half the pastry cream over 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and let the heat of the pastry cream melt the chocolate.  Let it sit for about a minute before stirring.
  6. Once the tart shells have cooled, fill them with the pastry cream and top them with raspberries.

These were so delicious and cute, I’m sure I’ll be making them again and again!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

 

Chocolate Sables: Miette style

Hi!

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Wow, how can one epically fail at New Year’s resolutions? I don’t know, but I do know that I promised to make a blog post every week and then last sunday I completely failed.  Okay, to be honest last sunday I had just flown into NYC from Tokyo and I was a little jetlagged, so I guess that’s my excuse, but I also don’t want to let excuses like that crop up willy nilly.  So I rethought my resolution (that’s still do-able right?) and came up with something a little better.  This year, I will try my best to write a blog post as least twice a month and the posts will be uploaded on sundays for consistency.  The reason why I decided to lessen the blog post number is because I want to be able to really think about my posts and post something that is both executed right and photographed appealingly.  I don’t want to scramble to write posts that are sloppy with not that great photos.  Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I want to share this incredible recipe with you.  I got it from the Miette cookbook that my sister’s boyfriend, Scott, got me for christmas.  How did he know that I wanted this cookbook more than anything? I don’t know.  I literally unwrapped it and nearly jumped out of my skin because this cookbook had been on my amazon wishlist for MONTHS and by sheer coincidence, Scott had gotten it for me. Last week, I tried making the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the book. It was DELICIOUS and last night I tried the Chocolate Sables.

I mustache you a question....

I mustache you a question….

They were so delicious and chocolate-y.  The cookies were crisp and studded with little pockets of chocolate.  I shaped them into mustaches, using the mustache cookie cutters that my coworker had gotten me for christmas. Do I get the best christmas presents or what? Anyway, they were absolutely delicious! I thought about adding a Mimi twist to them, but I thought why not try the original recipe first without tweaking anything (with the exception of reducing the sugar a bit) and go with it.  The dough came out really crumbly (is that a word) so I had to add some water to make it come together and to roll it out.  Definitely going to try this recipe again. Chocolate sables are absolutely delicious! I also know that the Bon Appetit sables are to die for as well, so there’s also that recipe that I have to try….whoops getting off track…

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1 cup AP flour

-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter)

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/2 cup granulated vanilla sugar

-1/4 tsp sea salt

-3/4 tsp vanilla paste

-3 1/2 oz 71% chocolate, chopped very finely (the book says grated, but I used thin chocolate bars so I couldn’t properly grate them)

-1-2 tsp water

Directions:

  1. Stir together the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients and the chopped chocolate and mix until combine.
  4. If the dough remains crumbly and doesn’t come together, add in water 1/4 tsp at a time.
  5. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  6. Roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick on a well floured surface (if the dough is too soft, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes). Cut out shapes using a mustache cookie cutter or if you like your cookies simple, into 1 inch by 1 inch squares.
  7. Place them about an inch or two apart on the baking sheet (the cookies don’t spread much) and bake for 10 minutes.  Once the cookies are done, let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

I think next time, I will think about sprinkling a little fleur de sel on top of the cookies before baking so that the salt elevates the flavor of the chocolate or maybe chopping up some nuts and sprinkling them in the dough. Additionally, I thought about rolling out the dough thinner (about 1/3 or an inch or so) and making little cookie sandwiches with almond butter or maybe some homemade caramel.  Of course these cookies are also just as delicious by themselves.  They’re intensely chocolate-y without being overly sweet.

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

 

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!

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Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! I’m so sorry that I haven’t been posting.  I’ve actually been home in Japan and while usually I would try to bake, in order to use my kitchen aid mixer, but unfortunately, Japan is going through a butter shortage.  Which means butter is extremely expensive and you can only buy so much at the grocery store.  I kind of wish I could have sent myself butter from Trader Joe’s.  Seriously. Butter is, at the cheapest $16 here in Tokyo.  Of course I probably could try and use alternative butters like avocado instead or even cook other things, but since I’m actually in Japan to see my grandparents, I’ve been pretty busy running errands and catching up with family and friends.  I guess being in Japan for only 10 days is pretty taxing.

I promise that once I get back to New York (which is in 3 days), I will be baking up a storm to make up for lost time.  I even have some festive New Year treat ideas, though I suppose it might be too late now…

Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know and to thank you for another wonderful year of food blogging! 2014 was so full of amazing experiences such as graduating from NYU and starting a full time position in an immigration law firm. I honestly cannot believe that it’s now 2015! Thank you so much for following my blog and reading and commenting.  I feel like I’m getting better at baking everyday and it’s mostly all thanks to your love and support!

This year, I have some food blogging resolutions as well as some other normal resolutions and I thought I would share them with you!

-Update the blog once a week (I’m thinking of updating a post every sunday, hopefully this will work!)

-Try cooking more Japanese dishes

-Study more Japanese

-Eat healthier (less carbs, more protein and veggies)

-Work out at least 3 times a week

-Read more books (okay, I actually read a lot of books already, but I thought why not actually keep track of the books I read? And maybe try reading books in Japanese….)

-Clean and be more organized

I think those are good for a start. What are you New Year’s resolutions?

Hugs and puppies!
Mimi