two skinny jenkins


130307 – Oats ‘n Honey Apple Crisp (w/caramel sauce!)
130308, 1:06 pm
Filed under: DESSERT | Tags: , , , ,

apple cobbler2

OMG. I am never going to waste time making a crispy cobbler topping ever again.  This was the easiest cobbler I have ever made and it was the best.   The cobbler itself intentionally has (comparatively) very little sugar added, so the caramel topping goes really well with the tartness and texture of the cobbler.

[Serves 6-8]

Granola Bar Apple Cobbler

  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • scant 1/4 C sugar (i used about 1/8 C here)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 T unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 10-12 pieces
  • 2 C Oats ‘n Honey granola bars smashed up into pea size pieces (3 packages – just use a cooking utensil to smash them up in the bag)
  • 6-8 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 C honey

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup (210 g) of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (85 g) butter
  • 1/2 C heavy whipping cream

Method

  1. Make the sauce: Heat sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until it turns a amber color (close to the final product above).  Once all the sugar is melted, vigorously stir in the butter to combine.  As soon as the butter is mixed in, remove the pan from heat and wait 3 seconds.  Gradually and vigorously stir in cream and keep stirring until it is all mixed in.  Transfer to a seal-able heat proof container and let the caramel cool at room temperature.
  2. Make the cobbler: Preheat the oven to 350°. Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, incorporate the butter into the mixture. Then add the granola bits.
  3. In the baking dish, toss apples and honey. Sprinkle on the topping and bake for 1 hour, or until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for 20 minutes, then serve with caramel sauce.
  4. Reheat the caramel in it’s container over a pot of boiling water.



130226 – Salted Caramel Brownies
130227, 10:26 am
Filed under: DESSERT | Tags: , ,

Brownies

Oh yeah… Thank you, Smitten Kitchen.  I just slightly adjusted the ingredients to simplify the items I had to buy, and to make it a little less bad for you.  They are still extremely rich and delicious!

Caramel

  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • Heaped 1/4 t sea salt
  • 2 T heavy cream

Brownie

  • 3 ounces very dark chocolate (~70% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • 4 T unsalted butter, plus extra for pan (notice you use less than a stick of butter for the whole thing – Smitten calls for 1 1/2 sticks!!)
  • 2/3 C granulated sugar (Smitten called for 1 Cup of sugar here – after making them I think it could be further reduced to 1/2 Cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t  sea salt
  • 2/3 C all-purpose flour

Make caramel:

  1. Smitten prepares parchment on a plate here – I ended up pouring the caramel directly on the plate and it worked out fine… I’m in Guatemala and didn’t want to buy parchment for the sake of one little dessert.
  2. In a medium, dry saucepan over medium-high heat, melt your sugar, stirring to break up large chunks, until it has turned a nice copper color.
  3. Remove from heat and quickly and carefully stir in butter. It may not incorporate entirely but do your best.
  4. Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat, bringing it back to a simmer and melted again any sugar that solidified. Cook bubbling caramel for a few minutes more, until it is a shade darker.
  5. Pour out onto a large plate and transfer plate to your freezer. Freeze until solidified, which takes about 20 minutes.
  6. To separate the caramel from the plate, one swift yet careful hit with a utensil to the middle of the plate did the trick.

Meanwhile, or when your caramel is almost firm, make your brownies:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  (Again, Smitten calls for parchment – not necessary!) Grease a 9 x 11 baking dish with butter or cooking spray (sides too).
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Off the heat, whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour until just mixed – you don’t want to over stir the flour.
  3. Assemble brownies: Chop the caramel it into rough 1-inch squares. Gently fold all but a small amount of caramel bits into batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan, spreading until relatively even. Scatter remaining caramel bits on top. Bake in heated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool thoroughly before cutting.



130127 – Easy Chocolate Mousse
130215, 10:31 am
Filed under: DESSERT | Tags: ,

130127_ChocolateMousse

I’m so glad we started getting Bon Appetit magazine at home.  It is so inspiring and so far everything has been super tasty!

  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large egg whites (reserve all 4 egg whites so you have backups on step 4…)
  • 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (60-72% cacao), chopped

Preparation

  1. Beat 1/2 cup cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form; cover and chill.
  2. Combine egg yolks, espresso, salt, and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a large metal bowl. Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (the recipe says not allow bowl to touch water, but I don’t know how it was going to reach 160 degrees without touching a little bit – I waited over 10 minutes!). Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is lighter in color and almost doubled in volume and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees, about 1 minute.
  3. Remove bowl from pan. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until room temperature.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat egg white in another medium bowl, gradually increasing the speed from slow/medium speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Keep increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form.  Have patience here or you egg whites will not preform.  Also, once they form peaks, STOP BEATING THEM!
  5. Carefully fold egg whites into chocolate in 2 additions; fold whipped cream into mixture just to blend (this is how the yummy fluffy texture is made).
  6. Divide mousse among six (ahem- FOUR) teacups or 4-oz. ramekins. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Mousse can be made 1 day ahead; cover and keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.


120110 – Southern Farewell – Sweet Potato Souffle

This sweet potato souffle was my first attempt at the dish as well as a means of cleaning out the fridge before we depart from St. Simons, GA.  Needless to say, I didn’t exactly follow the recipe so I learned a little along the way.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes cooked and whipped (recipe called for 3)
  • 1/2 C grated carrots (I probably used more than this)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (recipe called for 1 C – I would further reduce the sugar next time)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 T butter (I would use 3 T next time)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (recipe called for condensed milk)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla (recipe called for 2 t which seemed like a lot)
  • 1 bag marshmallows (you can never have too many marshmallows!)

Directions

  1. Cook potatoes until tender. I like to bake them with the skin on in a covered dish with 1/4 – 1/2″ water (helps to steam them) at 400° for 35-40 minutes.
  2. Drain + peel potatoes and mash.
  3. Add sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix well and put in a 1 1/2 quart casserole.
  4. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes. ** RESIST THE URGE to do marshmallows here.
  5. Place marshmallows on top and return to oven for about 5 minutes or until brown on top. ** I was so excited about the marshmallows that I put them on top for step 4.  Hence the caramelization in the above photo.


120105 – Bread Pudding

I wanted to take a picture of the pudding plated, but it smelled and tasted so good that it was gone before I had a chance.  I combined two great bread pudding recipes - one from Simply Recipes and one from Gourmet – to make this amazing dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette (homemade is best)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 cups milk (I used 1 cup skim and 2 cups plain soy milk)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2/3 cup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped mixed dried fruit such as raisins and apricots

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  2. Cut enough 1-inch pieces from baguette to measure about 5-6 cups.
  3. Stir together eggs, butter, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Then whisk in cream, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Add bread and soak, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, boil brandy and water with dried fruits in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbsp, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
  6. Stir fruit mixture into bread mixture, then transfer to a 2 Quart baking dish. Bake until custard is set and bread is golden in places, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool slightly before serving.


100802 – Blackberry Jam
100802, 4:47 pm
Filed under: BREAKFAST, DESSERT, FUN | Tags:

Inspired by a recipe from David Lebovitz. He made some lovely Apricot Jam.  I just lessened the sugar and used some wild blackberries that I found while wandering around London.

  • 1 pound (or so) fresh blackberries (found at Regent’s Park along the canal path)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  • 2 cups (i think – we have no measuring cup in our rental apartment) sugar
  1. Combine water and sugar in a sauce pan and stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Put a small plate in the freezer.
  3. Add the fruit (blackberries) cook, uncovered, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. As the mixture thickens and reduces, stir frequently to make sure the jam isn’t burning on the bottom.
  4. When the jam looks thick and is looks slightly-jelled, turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the chilled plate. Put back in the freezer for a few minutes, then do the nudge test: If the jam mounds and wrinkles, it’s done. If not, continue to cook, then re-test the jam until it reaches that consistency.
  5. Once done, ladle the jam into clean jars. Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.

Storage: I find this jam will keep up to one year if refrigerated. If you wish to can it for long-term preservation, you can refer to the USDA Canning Guidelines for techniques.



100515 – Banana Ice Cream
100607, 12:28 pm
Filed under: DESSERT | Tags:

More accurately,

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

This delicious and easy (and cheap) frozen dessert is inspired by my favorite lunch.  Anyone who has worked with me knows that i eat a peanut butter banana sandwich just about every week.

First, cut up 5-6 bananas into a plastic bag, or some other container you can put in the freezer.   We get our bananas from Trader Joe’s, and because they are sold at a per banana price, our bananas are pretty huge.  So, our 5 bananas might be the equivalent of 8 normal size ones.

Freeze the bananas solid.  I don’t know why they look so hideous in this photo – they aren’t as repulsive in person.  I just cut them up before work in the morning to make the ice cream when I return home.

This blender requires that I continually prod the frozen bananas down to the blades until it is finally all smooth.  Also, it makes some worrisome whirring sounds when it finally does catch a banana hunk.  Just last week (100601) I made another batch of ‘ice cream’ (this time using cocoa instead of peanut butter).  I tried using a food processor instead of the blender and it was much better!  I guess our blender is prettymuch reserved for margaritas now.

After about 3 minutes of blending/ processing, the bananas should take on a creamy texture.  You can eat it now as soft serve, or let it freeze longer for a regular ice cream consistency.





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