Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pistachio-Citrus Pound Cake

Here’s something that I made and managed not to taste right away, instead stashing it in the freezer for after the baby was born. It’s a pistachio-citrus pound cake that I found on Orangette, though it’s originally from Bon Appétit. I unfortunately neglected to get a picture of the whole loaf when it was made; instead, I cut it in half and froze everything, and I only tasted it recently. It was delicious! Not too sweet, this pound cake might be more of a snack than a dessert. As for the citrus, you could make it as is (with lemon, orange and lime), but if it’s citrus season, consider using Meyer lemon or tangerines, for example. Note that I put fewer pistachios in the batter than called for, because that’s usually not my favorite place for nuts, but I like them on top of the cake!

2 cups (260 g.) all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
1 cup (125 g.) shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped; divided

Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325 °F. Lightly grease a 9”x5” loaf pan. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to line the bottom and the two long sides of the pan, leaving a little overhang. Press the parchment paper into the pan, and grease it lightly, too.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, and beat until well incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add the juices and the zests, and beat until well combined. (Don’t worry if the batter looks curdled.) Add the flour mixture, reduce the speed to low, and beat until just incorporated. Add ¾ cup of the pistachios, and fold in gently. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup pistachios over the top.

Bake the cake, rotating it halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours. Transfer it to a wire rack, and let it cool completely in the pan. Run a sharp knife along the short ends of the pan to loosen the cake; then pull up on the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan. (The flavor of this cake is best the day after it’s made. I can tell you that it freezes well, too.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Granola au gingembre et à l'érable

J’ai fait ce granola et je l’ai congelé avant la naissance du Renard. Je l’ai ressorti récemment pour déjeuner – ça me manquait, le granola! Il s’agit d’une recette du magazine À bon verre, bonne table. J’ai fait une demi-recette, parce que je n’avais pas l’intention de nourrir une armée, quand même; les quantités ci-dessous sont les miennes. (Je ne connais personne qui veut un rendement de 15 tasses pour sa famille!) Pour cette recette, j’ai utilisé des amandes ainsi que des canneberges et des abricots séchés. Selon mon humeur et le contenu de mon frigo, j’aime manger le granola avec du lait sans lactose (végétal ou pas) ou encore du yogourt. Mon yogourt préféré ces temps-ci est le Noosa à la vanille, qui est riche et crémeux et dont les grains de vanille croquent sous la dent. (Noosa, c’est du yogourt australien fait au Colorado, avec des saveurs comme fraise-rhubarbe, miel, cerise et même mangue et chili ou poire et cardamome!)


4 tasses de gros flocons d’avoine
¾ tasse d’amandes ou de vos noix préférées ou encore de noix mélangées, hachées grossièrement
½ tasse de son ou de germe de blé
½ tasse de graines de citrouille
¼ tasse de graines de lin moulues
¼ tasse de noix de coco non sucrée, préférablement râpée
1 c. à thé de cannelle
1 c. à thé de gingembre moulu
¾ c. à thé de sel
1 orange
¼ tasse d’huile végétale
¾ tasse de sirop d’érable
2 c. à thé de vanille
1 tasse de fruits séchés (cerises, canneberges, raisins secs, abricots émincés, pruneaux hachés, etc.), préférablement un mélange
2 c. à soupe de gingembre confit coupé en dés fins

Préchauffer le four à 300 °F.

Huiler légèrement 2 grandes plaques à pâtisserie à gros rebords (ou une rôtissoire).

Remuer dans un grand bol : flocons d’avoine, noix, son de blé, graines de citrouille, graines de lin, noix de coco, épices et sel.

Râper finement la peau de l’orange dans une casserole moyenne. Presser l’orange et verser 3 c. à soupe du jus, l’huile et le sirop d’érable dans la casserole. Chauffer jusqu’à ce que le liquide soit bien chaud. Incorporer la vanille. Verser ce liquide sur le mélange d’avoine et remuer pour bien humecter les ingrédients.

Étaler le granola sur les plaques à pâtisserie. Cuire au four préchauffé en prenant soin de remuer de temps à autre et de faire la rotation des plaques, jusqu’à ce que le granola soit bien doré (40 à 45 minutes). Y incorporer les fruits séchés et le gingembre. Laisser refroidir complètement. (Conserver le granola à la température ambiante, dans des récipients hermétiques, pendant 2 semaines. On peut aussi le congeler. Servir le granola avec du lait ou une grosse cuillerée de yogourt, agrémenté de baies fraîches et d’un filet de sirop d’érable pour en faire un dessert.)

Dark Chocolate and Squash Muffins



These muffins were really something. They contain squash purée, which makes them moist and makes one feel like they’re at least somewhat healthful, and they are delicious. As it turns out, they’re gluten-free, but no one here guessed it. They were especially good warm (I called them “perfect” in my notes), but were great at room temperature after a few days as well.

The original recipe calls for kabocha squash, but I used half a small butternut squash that I had left over from this recipe. I’m pretty sure that any winter squash would do, maybe even sweet potato. Note that the original recipe also recommends homemade squash purée, not canned, as the texture is better. (An easy way to do this is to halve a squash, rub the cut sides with oil and bake the whole thing at 425 °F for 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. The flesh can then be scooped out and puréed.)

1 ¼ cups fine brown rice flour
2/3 cup coconut sugar (I used cane sugar for a bit more sweetness)
½ cup almond flour
5 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. fine sea salt
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup kabocha squash purée (see note above)
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used 4 oz.)
cacao nibs, for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 °F and line a 12-cavity muffin tin with liners (I actually ended up with 15 muffins).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the wet a little at a time until combined (I used a wooden spoon), then fold in the chocolate.

Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cavity ¾ of the way. Top with a sprinkle of cacao nibs, if desired.

Bake in the center of your oven until a cake tester comes out clean, about 28-34 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove muffins and let them cool completely before eating.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Green & Black's

For some reason, I haven’t been able to find my regular Godiva dark chocolate with sea salt in stores in a while, I’m not sure why. I bought Lindt’s version again, but didn’t like it as much. So I started looking for a substitute and bought a Green & Black’s pure dark chocolate bar with sea salt, which I really liked. Then, as I was renewing stock in our emergency kit, I found two bars of Godiva, so I decided to do a side-by-side comparison.



The first thing I should point out is that Godiva appears to have changed its ingredients since I first wrote about it. It has less iron than it used to (now 15% of the daily value, when it used to be 30%), and it had also become less expensive (before it disappeared). Green & Black’s is about $5.00 a bar, and bars are ever so slightly smaller than Lindt or Godiva (90 g., versus 100 g. for both others). That being said, it is ethically sourced cocoa, so I’m guessing that’s where most of the money goes. Serving sizes are similar (4 squares, with 2.5 servings per bar), so I don’t notice the difference in size. Green & Black’s is technically vegan, though processed on equipment that also comes in contact with milk and tree nuts. It has more calories, and those seem to come mostly from fat – but it’s cocoa butter, which is a vegetable fat and in my mind is similar to coconut oil or avocado, so it’s a good fat and I’m not worried (if I’m wrong, please don’t shatter my illusion). The cocoa butter gives it a smooth mouthfeel and enhances the flavor. It’s also got significantly less sugar than the other brands, about half as much, but is still very good – I normally prefer lower percentages of cocoa, but I really like this. And it’s got 25% of the daily value of iron, which is nice.

So if I see my Godiva again, I’d certainly stock up, but for now, Green & Black is my go-to evening treat.

On a side note, I also tried Alter Eco’s Dark Salted Brown Butter Organic Chocolate bar and loved it. It may not be strictly lactose-free (it contains butterfat), but I stuck to 2 squares per serving and didn’t have any symptoms. The chocolate is smooth and tastes more like caramel than browned butter, but is very enjoyable!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beef Curry

I got this Japanese curry recipe from Bon Appétit and made it right before having the Fox. The original recipe claims to serve 6, but we had more than 8 servings (without guests, I would have frozen the leftovers). Note that I reduced the amount of curry from 3 to 2 tablespoons and, as always, I prefer mild curry. I served it with rice the first night and with couscous the second – so technically, you do need to make a side for this to be a complete meal, but it’s an easy side, and at least the meat and vegetables are taken care of here. This was really good!

For the raita
2 Japanese or Persian cucumbers (I used baby cucumbers)
kosher salt
1 garlic clove
½ cup plain lactose-free whole-milk yogurt
½ cup plain lactose-free whole-milk Greek yogurt

For the curry
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. potato starch or cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 lbs. beef chuck, cut into ½–1-inch pieces
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
3 medium onions, chopped
1 apple, peeled, grated
3 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. finely chopped peeled ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp. kuro sato (Japanese black sugar) or 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar + ½ tsp. robust-flavored (dark) molasses
1 Tbsp. garam masala
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½-inch pieces (I used half a butternut squash)
1 large Yukon Gold potato, scrubbed, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces

For the raita
Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise. If using Japanese cucumbers, scrape out seeds with a small spoon. Slice cucumbers into very thin half-moons. Toss in a small bowl with a few pinches of salt. Let sit until salt begins to draw out water from cucumbers, about 5 minutes. Massage cucumbers to release liquid, gently at first to keep them from breaking, then more vigorously as they start to expel water. Rinse in several changes of water, squeeze out excess liquid, and place in a clean small bowl.

Mash garlic and a pinch of salt on a cutting board with the side of a chef’s knife to a paste. Mix into cucumbers along with both yogurts; season with salt. Set aside in the refrigerator.

For the curry
Mix flour, potato starch, and water in a bowl. Set slurry aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Season beef with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook beef, turning occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until browned on all sides, 6–8 minutes per batch. Add onions and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 12–15 minutes. Add mirin, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, kuro sato, garam masala, soy sauce, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until beef is almost tender, 30–40 minutes.

Add squash, potato, and carrots, cover, and cook, adding water by ¼-cupfuls if needed to keep vegetables submerged, until tender, 20–30 minutes.

Submerge a small sieve into curry and whisk reserved slurry into liquid in sieve to combine. Return curry to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 8–10 minutes. Serve over rice topped with raita.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Chai-Spiced Medjool Date and Almond Tart



Now here is the perfect dessert if you want something simple and not too sweet! (I mean, I had tried an easy spiced applesauce cake, but it was a bit too one-dimensional for my taste; this tart is different.) It’s a bit more cakey than most tarts and is particularly good served warm, though it was great at room temperature as well. You could use chai tea instead of the spice blend if you want (just grind it well beforehand). The original recipe specified that it could be made in 8 individual tart pans of 3 ¼ inches each, rerolling the dough a few times, but I haven’t tried it. We all enjoyed it (including my parents, who were in town at that point).

For the pastry
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
⅓ cup sugar
1 egg
1¼ cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder

For the date filling
1½ cups chopped Medjool dates (about 15)
½ cup water
1 tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger

For the almond filling
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
¼ tsp. almond extract
½ cup ground almonds
1½ tsp. all-purpose flour

For the pastry
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until combined. Add the egg and continue beating until combined.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour and baking powder, then add to the butter mixture. Beat just until combined. The dough will be very soft. Wrap in plastic wrap and form into a flat disc. Chill at least 2 hours. The dough can be prepared a day ahead.

For the date filling
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over low-medium heat. While the dates are cooking, mash them with a rubber spatula and continue cooking, about 5 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is very thick and almost smooth. Transfer the date mixture to a small bowl to cool completely. The dates can be cooked 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Roll the dough about ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick, and line a 9-inch (23 cm) tart pan with it. Place on the parchment-lined tray. Chill while preparing the almond filling.

Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 °F.

For the almond filling
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and almond extract and beat to combine.

Combine the ground almonds and flour together and add to the butter mixture. Beat until smooth.

Spread the date mixture evenly over the chilled dough. Repeat with the almond filling, spreading it over the date mixture to cover.

Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature. (The tart can be baked 1 day ahead and stored, well wrapped, at room temperature.)

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Mini-tourtières feuilletées



J’ai fait quelques soupers simples, comme un sauté au bœuf asiatique et une quiche aux tomates, qui étaient bons mais sans plus. (La quiche était en fait meilleure que je pensais, puisque la plupart des tomates étaient cuites pour les dégorger d’eau et qu’il y avait aussi des tomates séchées pour un peu d’umami. Mais le Petit Prince a décidé qu’il n’aime plus les quiches, et ça finit par gâcher mon plaisir un peu…) Je suis ensuite tombée sur une recette de Coup de Pouce pour ces mini-tourtières feuilletées. C’était vraiment délicieux! J’ai fait la garniture le matin, puis j’ai assemblé le tout pour l’enfourner avant le souper. Tout le monde a aimé! J’ai servi ça avec une salade verte, simplement.

J’ai utilisé 3 carrés de pâte feuilletée, soit 1 ½ paquet, pour un rendement de 18 mini-tourtières, alors c’est ce que j’écris ci-dessous. Aussi, j’ai utilisé du porc haché comme viande (j’ai trouvé ça plus simple que d’aller demander de petites quantités de ci et de ça au boucher). À noter que sur le site de Coup de Pouce, il y a deux variantes qui ont l’air délicieuses : bacon et poireaux ainsi que canard et pomme.

1 lb de viande hachée (mélange de porc, veau et bœuf)
1 oignon, haché finement
1 gousse d'ail
1 c. à thé de sel
½ c. à thé de poivre
½ c. à thé de sarriette
¼ c. à thé de cannelle
¼ c. à thé de clou de girofle moulu
2 c. à soupe de beurre non salé ou de margarine
1 c. à soupe de farine
1 tasse de fond de veau (j’ai pris du bouillon de bœuf)
2 c. à soupe de chapelure
1 c. à soupe de pâte de tomates
1 ½ paquet de pâte feuilletée (environ 725 g en tout), dégelée
1 jaune d'œuf
2 c. à thé de lait sans lactose

Mélanger la viande, l'oignon, l'ail, le sel, le poivre, la sarriette, la cannelle et le clou dans un grand poêlon et cuire à feu moyen-vif, en brassant de temps à autre, pendant 8 minutes jusqu'à ce que la viande ait perdu sa teinte rosée et que l'oignon soit cuit. Retirer le poêlon du feu et réserver.

Dans une petite casserole, faire fondre le beurre à feu moyen-doux, en brassant de temps à autre. À l'aide d'un fouet, incorporer petit à petit la farine en brassant jusqu'à ce que la préparation soit lisse. Ajouter le fond de veau, porter à ébullition et laisser mijoter, en brassant souvent, pendant 10 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que la sauce ait épaissi.

Verser la sauce dans la préparation de viande réservée. Ajouter la chapelure et la pâte de tomates. Mélanger et laisser refroidir. (On peut préparer la garniture à l'avance. Elle se conservera jusqu'au lendemain au réfrigérateur.)

Préchauffer le four à 425 °F. Huiler un moule à muffins (ou, dans mon cas, 18 cavités de deux moules à muffins).

Sur une surface légèrement farinée, abaisser le premier carré de pâte feuilletée en un rectangle, puis couper l’abaisse en six rectangles d’environ 4 po x 3 po. Presser chaque morceau de pâte dans une cavité de moule à muffins huilée; répéter avec les deux autres carrés. Répartir la garniture réservée (environ 2 c. à soupe) au centre de chaque carré de pâte en pressant. Ramener les pointes vers le centre, par-dessus la garniture et les presser ensemble pour sceller les feuilletés.

Fouetter le jaune d'œuf avec le lait. Badigeonner les feuilletés du mélange d'œuf. Cuire au four préchauffé de 18 à 20 minutes. Laisser reposer 5 minutes avant de servir.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Almond Cake

I had my eye on this recipe from Orangette for a long time. I’m not sure why I kept stalling – maybe because it calls for sour cream, which I don’t keep on hand and I have to go to a specific grocery store to get the lactose-free kind. But anyway, this was really good! The first time I made it, it came out darker and denser than I was expecting. So I made it again, this time making sure to use white flour instead of white whole wheat flour and baking it at a lower temperature while tenting it with foil. The latter precautions might have been too much, but the result was indeed better the second time around (albeit not as beautiful as Molly Wizenberg’s pale golden creation on her original post). The texture is a bit dense, with no crumbs when you cut into it; the cake will cave in the middle, and that’s a feature, not a bug. We really liked this one, though, and I’ll have to make it again!

1 cup lactose-free sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups all-purpose (white) flour
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
1 (7-oz.) tube almond paste, cut into small pieces
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 °F (see note below). Grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, then line the sides and bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper.

In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and baking soda.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the almond paste a few pieces at a time, and beat on medium speed for 8 minutes. (Molly Wizenberg admits that this seems like a long time, but do it. The mixture will get gorgeously fluffy.) Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Beat in the almond extract and the sour cream mixture. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter a couple of times to make sure there’s no unincorporated flour lurking around.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly with the rubber spatula. Bake for about 1 hour: the cake is done when you press the top and it returns to its shape, and also when it shrinks from the sides of the pan. In my case, 55 minutes was too much; I’d try 45 minutes next time. (When I tried it again at 325 °F, I left the cake in there 45 minutes covered with foil, then removed the foil and baked it until it was done, 25 minutes longer. You could just try it at 325 °F without any foil.) Transfer to a cooling rack, and cool the cake in its pan.