Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gâteau aux carottes et à l'érable, glacé de beurre à l'érable



J’ai fait l’avant-dernier gâteau au carottes qui m’intéressait dans À Bon Verre, Bonne Table (voir ici pour vous rafraîchir la mémoire). Il s’agit du gâteau aux carottes et à l’étable, glacé de beurre d’érable. (Pour le dernier gâteau, il me faudra de la crème sans lactose, alors ça attendra à mon prochain séjour au Québec.) C’était un gâteau absolument délicieux! L’Ingénieur en approuve de tout cœur et a même fini par s’exclamer « Wünderbar! » J’ai fait le glaçage tel quel, donc avec du lactose, et il était super; par contre, je me promets bien d’en peaufiner une version végétalienne, car il en vaut la peine! Cependant, je tire à la fin de mes réserves de sirop d’érable (plus que 3 boîtes), alors je le ménage jusqu’à l’été… Notez quand même que le gâteau est très (trop?) sucré et qu’une part correspond à moins de 1/8 du gâteau (alors qu’habituellement, je tranche mes gâteaux en 8 sans problème). Vous en aurez donc environ 12 portions.

Pour le gâteau
2½ tasses de farine tout usage
1 c. à soupe de levure chimique (poudre à pâte)
1 c. à thé de bicarbonate de soude
1 c. à thé de sel
½ c. à thé de cannelle
½ c. à thé de muscade moulue
1 tasse de beurre, à la température ambiante (j’utilise de la margarine végétalienne froide)
1 tasse de cassonade dorée
4 œufs
2 c. à thé de vanille
¾ tasse de sirop d’érable
½ tasse de lait
4 tasses de carottes râpées

Pour le glaçage
1½ tasse de beurre, à la température ambiante
¾ tasse de sirop d’érable
1 c. à thé de vanille
3 à 3½ tasses de sucre à glacer tamisé

Pour le gâteau
Préchauffer le four à 350 °F. Enduire d’aérosol de cuisine ou huiler légèrement 2 moules à gâteau ronds de 23 cm (9 po). (La prochaine fois, j’y mettrai aussi un papier ciré ou parchemin huilé. Ce n’est pas absolument nécessaire, mais ça m’aurait facilité la vie!)

Mettre la farine dans un bol de moyenne grosseur. La saupoudrer de la levure chimique, du bicarbonate de soude, du sel, de la cannelle et de la muscade. Bien mélanger.

Mettre le beurre dans un grand bol à mélanger et le battre en crème au batteur électrique. Incorporer la cassonade petit à petit, tout en fouettant à vitesse moyenne pendant 3 minutes environ. Ramener à basse vitesse avant d’incorporer les œufs et ensuite, la vanille. La préparation pourra avoir l’air d’avoir tourné. Ajouter tout en fouettant à faible vitesse environ le tiers du mélange de farine. Fouetter jusqu’à ce que la préparation soit tout juste homogène, puis ajouter le sirop d’érable. Incorporer un deuxième tiers de la farine, puis le lait et terminer avec la farine. Incorporer ensuite les carottes râpées.

Répartir la pâte entre les moules. L’étendre le plus également possible jusqu’aux parois du moule. Pour éliminer les poches d’air, frapper le moule cinq ou six fois sur le comptoir. Cuire jusqu’à ce que le milieu du gâteau semble bien pris quand on tape doucement sur le moule (de 35 à 40 minutes). Laisser les gâteaux refroidir sur une grille, dans leur moule. Démouler les gâteaux au bout d’environ 15 minutes et les laisser refroidir complètement sur une grille. Il vaut mieux cuire les gâteaux un jour avant de les glacer et les laisser toute une nuit à la température ambiante. (Je n’ai pas fait ça; j’ai assemblé et entamé mon gâteau le même jour.)

Pour le glaçage
Mettre le beurre dans un bol de moyenne grosseur. À l’aide d’un batteur électrique, travailler le beurre jusqu’à ce qu’il soit très crémeux. Incorporer graduellement ¼ tasse de sirop d’érable, à faible vitesse. Ajouter la vanille. En battant toujours à faible vitesse, ajouter ½ tasse de sucre à glacer. Répéter l’opération deux fois. Continuer à ajouter du sucre à glacer (environ ¼ tasse à la fois) jusqu’à ce que le glaçage ait la consistance voulue pour être facile à tartiner. Arrêter le batteur pour racler les fouets de temps à autre. Réfrigérer le glaçage quelques minutes s’il n’est pas assez ferme.

Pour l’assemblage
Trancher le gâteau en deux, à l’horizontale. (Moi, je ne me donne jamais la peine de faire ça, mais si vous voulez quatre étages au lieu de deux, allez-y!) Mettre le dessus d’un gâteau sur une assiette, sur le côté bombé. Le couvrir d’une mince couche de glaçage en prenant soin de laisser une bordure vierge sur le pourtour. Couvrir du bas du premier gâteau, sur le côté plat. Le couvrir d’une mince couche de glaçage en prenant soin de laisser une bordure vierge. Le couvrir du bas du second gâteau, sur le côté plat. Couvrir d’une mince couche de glaçage. Le couvrir du dernier gâteau, sur le côté coupé. Étaler le glaçage uniformément sur les côtés du gâteau, puis sur le dessus. Il est préférable de réfrigérer le gâteau plusieurs heures ou toute une nuit avant de le servir. (Je l’ai gardé au frigo, en fait.)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Vegetable Pot Pie

I had been thinking about pot pie lately. It was a week when we were already having chicken, so I didn’t feel like making chicken pot pie, and I was looking for a vegetarian recipe. So this vegetable pot pie from Budget Bytes was perfect. The Engineer and I both really liked it! The topping came out much thicker than I had expected, almost like bread rather than biscuit. I used white whole wheat flour, sure, but it also contained a lot of baking powder… In any event, it was very enjoyable. The list of ingredients looks long, but it wasn’t hard to make. I actually chopped the vegetables during the Little Prince’s nap early in the day, so it was all ready to go when I wanted to make dinner. My only modification to the recipe below is to reduce the liquids a bit, because my pot pie overflowed. This recipe makes 4 large servings.

For the filling
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
8 oz. button mushrooms
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth (I’d use ¾ cup next time)
1 cup lactose-free milk (I’d use ¾ cup next time)
½ lb. green beans
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen corn kernels
1 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper, to taste

For the biscuit dough
1 cup lactose-free milk
1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
4 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut in little pieces

For the filling
Before you begin cooking, prepare all of the vegetables. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, chop the celery into small pieces, peel and slice the carrot, and break the green beans into one inch sections. If your mushrooms aren’t pre-sliced, go ahead and slice them.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pot and heat it over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onions have softened. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have released all of their moisture, become limp, and turned dark tan in color.

Melt the butter into the pot. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. Stir and cook this mixture for about three minutes. It’s okay if the flour begins to coat the bottom of the pot, but if it looks like it may begin to burn, turn off the heat.

Warm the vegetable broth slightly in the microwave. Add the broth to the pot and stir to dissolve all of the flour off of the bottom of the pot and off of the vegetables. Warm the milk in the microwave. Slowly add the milk while stirring.

Add the rest of the vegetables (green beans, carrots, celery, corn, peas) and the thyme. Increase the heat and bring the pot up to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the biscuit dough. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent it from scorching on the bottom of the pot. (In the final dish, all the vegetables were to my liking except the green beans, which should have been cooked a little longer.) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 °F and make the biscuit dough.

For the biscuit dough
Mix the vinegar or lemon juice and the milk into the measuring cup and set aside. (This makes a buttermilk substitute, with the right pH for the recipe.)

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the butter to the flour mixture and mix until it is evenly incorporated. (I don’t have a pastry cutter, so I like doing this using two knives, but a fork or your hands would work, too. The food processor is ideal, though. ) The mixture should have a fine, sandy texture.

Stir in the milk until the mixture is completely wet. The dough will be very sticky at this point.

Liberally flour the counter and your hands. Turn the dough out onto the counter, sprinkle with some of the reserved flour and pat it down into a square that is roughly 8x8 inches.

For the assembly
After simmering for 10-15 minutes, the liquid in the pot should have reduced and thickened. If you’d like it thicker, you can sprinkle in about a teaspoon of cornstarch and stir until thickened. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Pour the vegetable mixture in the bottom of an 8×8 inch casserole dish. (I’d recommend setting the dish onto a baking sheet lined with foil, to make clean-up easier if it spills over.)

Transfer the biscuit dough to top the vegetables in the dish. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits in the biscuit dough to allow steam to escape. Bake the dish in the preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until the biscuit is golden brown on top.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Meyer Lemon Bars



Alright, since it’s winter and all, you know what that means: Meyer lemons! My Meyer lemon tree has been working overtime producing tons of fruit, to the point where I’m considering just giving it regular fertilizer to boost its overall health this year, instead of fertilizer to boost fruit production… It’s been wonderful to help me work my way through my Meyer lemon recipes, though! I made a Meyer lemon pudding cake before the holidays, but as more lemons matured, I got to adapt these Meyer lemon bars. I used 6 lemons in all (so all the ones in the picture, plus an extra one when I realized I didn’t have quite enough). I like the concentrated lemon flavor here, as it’s a nice way to show off Meyer lemons; that being said, you could make this with regular (Eureka) lemons if you used more sugar, and I’m pretty sure the recipe could be adapted to use other seasonal citrus.

For the crust
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar, plus more to sprinkle on the finished bars
pinch of salt
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, still cool and cut into 8 pieces

For the filling
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
finely grated zest from the Meyer lemons (see below)
2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice (from about 4-6 medium lemons)
½ tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted margarine, cut in to 4 pieces

For the crust
Cover an 8-inch square cake pan with two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, perpendicular to each other. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Put the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly, about 2 seconds. Add the butter pieces and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then process until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second pulses. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared cake pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the entire pan bottom. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 °F. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

For the filling
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and whole eggs until combined. Add the sugar, Meyer lemon juice, zest and salt until well combined, about 30 seconds.

Add the butter pieces and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency (about 170 °F on an instant-read thermometer), about 6 minutes.

Immediately pour the curd through a fine-mesh steel strainer set over a medium bowl. Pour the curd into the warm crust.

Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Remove the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 2 inch squares, wiping the knife blade clean between cuts as necessary. Sieve powdered sugar over the bars, if you'd like.

Pumpkin Granola

I actually got around to making the granola recipe that Jen suggested in the comments a month ago, which means that I officially made every pumpkin recipe I collected over the fall and then some. So I’m actually making progress in my pile of recipes to try, instead of just treading water. Yay! It turns out that this granola is really good, too, so I’m glad I made it. I changed the spices a bit, basically because I don’t keep pumpkin pie spice on hand, so I’m giving you my version below (the original is on Two Peas & Their Pod).

5 cups rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin purée
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin purée, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. They will be moist. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp. (Note that the granola will finish crisping up as it cools. I left mine a total of 60 minutes in the oven, and while it didn’t burn, it ended up being too crisp for my taste; 40 to 50 minutes would be plenty.) Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries and pepitas. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Tahini-Date Salted "Caramels"



This was a while in the making, because I actually ended up ordering dates online. See, I came across this recipe on The Kitchn, and they recommended Barhi dates, which aren’t in season for long. I ordered mine from Flying Disc Ranch, which only ships during the cooler months. (This has also made me order a few other things that can’t be shipped in the summer, because somehow I always seem to remember about chocolatiers at the wrong time of the year…) That being said, Medjool dates would work, too; your dates just need to be soft.

What first drew me to this recipe was the fact that these “caramels” are vegan, so I don’t have to worry about getting sick because of cream. I then noticed that they are sweetened only with dates, with no refined sugars whatsoever, so I like that! I don’t think that the term “caramel” is appropriate, though, because that’s not quite what they are (hence the quotation marks). They’re sweet and they melt in one’s mouth, but they don’t make me feel like I’m having a buttery caramel. The Engineer hit the nail on the head when he said that these caramels reminded him of halva, which, strictly speaking, I guess they are. I have to admit they really hit the spot when I just want a little something sweet, and since they have the perfect consistency right out of the freezer, it’s easy to keep them on hand!

1 cup pitted dates (ideally Barhi if you can find them, but any soft and moist dates will do)
½ cup tahini
2 Tbsp. coconut oil (just warm enough to be liquid)
½ tsp. ground cardamom (optional)
1/8 tsp. fleur de sel or other finishing salt (I used Murray River salt)

Combine the dates, tahini, coconut oil, and cardamom in a blender or food processor. You should have a very smooth, creamy, and thick paste.

Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined loaf pan (or another equivalent container) and use a spatula to press it down evenly. Sprinkle with salt.

Freeze until firm. Remove from the pan and cut into bite-size pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month.

Maple Apple Ginger Cake

Going through the backlog of recipes I have bookmarked, I found this simple cake from Baking Bites. It was homey and just what I was looking for with this weather. Plus, it made the house smell fantastic! Since it’s not too sweet, it’s also great for breakfast.

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (I always use white whole wheat, though)
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, room temperature (I use cold vegan margarine)
¾ cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup maple syrup (ideally medium or amber)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger root
¾ cup lactose-free sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
2 cups diced, peeled apples (2 medium apples)

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by maple syrup, vanilla extract and fresh ginger. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream, followed by the remaining half of the flour mixture. Mix only until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in diced apples, then pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake will spring back when lightly pressed.

Cool cake in pan, then use a knife to loosen it from the sides. Invert cake onto a large plate, then reinvert onto a serving plate or cake keeper before serving.

Baked Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions



Here’s a great winter dish to warm you up. While it hasn’t been as cold in San Antonio as in the rest of North America, we did have some hard freezes, sleet and freezing rain, all of which are quite cold for these parts (and considering that people here don’t have snow tires or windshield scrappers, it’s pretty bad). So it’s winter here too, and this calls for winter food. As with other warming dishes like mujadara, it’s not pretty, but it’s very good. The recipe is from The Kitchn. It’s simple, as far as risottos go, because this one cooks in the oven! And caramelizing onions is relatively hands-off. While the dish was good on its own, it was really the addition of lactose-free sour cream that made it great for me. If you don’t have access to lactose-free sour cream, you could of course keep it vegan and use a vegan sour cream substitute, but I’d rather use lactose-free Greek yogurt to keep that tang, You could also top it with some chives or parsley for a little green color if you wish. This recipe serves 4 to 6.

½ oz. dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms, finely chopped
2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
4 yellow onions (about 2 lbs.), divided
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ lb. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 cup Arborio or short-grain white rice
½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to garnish

Heat the oven to 300 °F. Rinse the dried mushrooms lightly, to remove any dust or grit. Place the mushrooms in a ceramic bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Set them aside to steep while you cook the onions.

Chop one of the onions into a fine dice. Heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a 3-quart (or larger) ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until soft and golden. Push the onions to the side of the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add all the sliced cremini mushrooms and let them cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Flip the mushrooms and cook for another five minutes, or until they are quite brown and a crust is developing on the bottom of the pan.

Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add the mushrooms and rosemary sprig to the pan and sauté briefly, mixing with the onion and the rest of the mushrooms. Add the rice and cook, stirring once or twice, for about 4 minutes, or until the rice begins to turn transparent.

Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, vinegar, broth, and reserved mushroom steeping liquid. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan as you add the liquid to deglaze any yummy mushroomy bits sticking to the pan. Stir in the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and put it in the oven to bake for 35 minutes.

While the rice is baking, make the caramelized onions. Heat the remaining olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Cut the remaining three onions in half, and then slice them into thin half-moons. Add them to the oil and sprinkle liberally with salt. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a dark mahogany brown. Let them go as long as you can; it’ll probably take 30 minutes, perhaps a bit more.

When the risotto has finished baking, let it stand uncovered for 5 minutes before serving. Dish it up and top each bowl with a spoonful of caramelized onions, a little extra pepper, and, if desired, a scoop of lactose-free sour cream (see above).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Coconut Milk Cupcakes



I saw this recipe from The Kitchn for coconut milk cupcakes and adapted it. It called for a cream cheese frosting, which wasn’t going to happen, so I decided to try a whipped coconut frosting I see everywhere, like here or here. In essence, you put a can of coconut milk in the fridge, then use the fat on top to make frosting by whipping it and adding sweetener (the leftover coconut water can be frozen and used for smoothies, if you don’t want to waste anything). The cupcakes themselves were delicious, but sadly, the frosting fell short of my expectations. I got very little frosting, and it had nowhere near the consistency shown in pictures in my reference posts; mine was both granular and too liquid, as well as unstable. I believe this has to do with inconsistencies between the fat content of various brands (as was the case when I made pumpkin ice cream). Both my reference posts used Native Forest brand, while I still had Goya. I’m going to make an effort to look for it. (I heard Walmart has it, of all places, but I so rarely set foot there!) At least my coconut milk didn’t have any stabilizers or additives to keep it homogenized, which was all I had cared about at that time. I do have another recipe for coconut frosting up my sleeve, but it’s more finicky and I wasn’t in the mood to attempt it. So in the end, I used Rice Whip to make a pretty cupcake for the above picture; the below is what the coconut frosting looked like when I tried it.

1 cup (2 sticks) cold margarine (or softened butter)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
3 cups sifted cake flour (I used 12 oz. and didn’t sift it)
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup coconut milk

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease two standard sized muffin tins (the original recipe said it yielded 20 to 22 cupcakes, but I got 23 and could have squeezed a 24th one out of it, so I’m going to say it makes 2 dozen – I just froze what we weren’t eating right then).

In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and coconut extracts, until batter is well combined.

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter alternately with the coconut milk until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Pour batter into cupcake liners no more than two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 25-28 minutes, until light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Potage crémeux au maïs et au jambon

Voici une recette de potage créée à l’origine par la diététiste Isabelle Neiderer pour les Producteurs laitiers du Canada, même si elle semble être absente de leur site. Elle était très simple à faire, et je l’ai beaucoup aimée, alors je la reproduis ici. Notez quand même que vous aurez sûrement beaucoup trop de garniture pour la soupe (4 à 6 portions), alors vous pourriez en réduire les proportions… J’ai fait comme accompagnement des muffins salés au cheddar et aux poireaux, que j’aimais malheureusement plus en théorie qu’en pratique. (C’était la première fois que l’Ingénieur mangeait des muffins salés et il a dit que c’était « une collusion de goûts intéressante ».) Ils étaient à leur meilleur avec du miel, selon moi!

2 c. à soupe de beurre ou de margarine
6 tasses de grains de maïs frais (ou 26 oz de grains de maïs décongelés)
1 oignon haché
3 tasses de lait sans lactose
1 tasse de jambon coupé en petits dés
1 poivron rouge, coupé en petits dés
¼ tasse de ciboulette fraîche hachée
sel et poivre, au goût

Pour le potage
Dans une casserole, faire fondre la moitié du beurre à feu moyen-élevé. Faire revenir le maïs et l’oignon pendant 5 minutes en brassant. Ajouter le lait, assaisonner et amener à ébullition. Réduire à feu moyen-doux, couvrir et laisser mijoter pendant 12 minutes.

À l’aide d’une écumoire, retirer du potage 1 tasse de grains de maïs et réserver. Réduire le reste du potage en purée à l’aide d’un mélangeur à main et passer au tamis. Rectifier l’assaisonnement.

Pour la garniture
Dans un poêlon, faire fondre le reste du beurre à feu moyen. Ajouter le jambon et le poivron rouge et cuire pendant 5 minutes. Ajouter le maïs réservé et la ciboulette. Répartir le potage dans des bols. Déposer la garniture au centre et servir.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tarte choco-avocat



Cela fait longtemps que je voulais essayer un dessert mélangeant l’avocat au chocolat. J’ai beaucoup de recettes de ce genre, surtout pour des poudings et des mousses, mais j’ai décidé de commencer par une tarte, dont la recette est tirée de Coup de Pouce. Et c’était très bon! Cela goûte à peine l’avocat; si je n’avais pas su ce que contenait la tarte, je me serais demandé quel était l’ingrédient spécial (et j’aurais peut-être décidé que c’était une banane, en fait). Il se trouve que cette croûte est sans gluten, alors je l’ai essayée par curiosité et parce que j’avais déjà tous les ingrédients sous la main. Je l’ai beaucoup aimée! Par contre, vous pourriez utiliser une autre croûte, idéalement sablée ou sucrée. Je pense aussi qu’on pourrait utiliser un moule à tarte à fond amovible, pour faire joli, mais peut-être qu’il y aurait alors un peu trop de mélange au chocolat…

Pour la croûte
1/3 tasse de farine de riz blanc
1/3 tasse de farine de quinoa
1/3 tasse de fécule de maïs
1 ½ c. à thé de gomme de xanthane
1/3 tasse de sucre à glacer
7 c. à soupe de beurre non salé froid, coupé en dés
1 œuf

Au robot culinaire, mélanger les farines, la fécule de maïs, la gomme de xanthane et le sucre à glacer. Ajouter le beurre et mélanger en actionnant et en arrêtant successivement l'appareil jusqu'à ce que le mélange ait la texture d'une chapelure grossière. Ajouter l'œuf et mélanger jusqu'à ce que la pâte commence à se détacher de la paroi du récipient du robot et forme une boule. Envelopper la pâte d'une pellicule de plastique et réfrigérer pendant au moins 3 heures. (Essuyer le réceptacle du robot culinaire avec un essuie-tout, mais ne pas le laver tout de suite puisqu’il sert encore pour la recette.)

Préchauffer le four à 350 °F. Laisser revenir la pâte à la température ambiante avant de la travailler. Mettre la pâte entre deux feuilles de papier parchemin et l’abaisser avec un rouleau à pâte. Transférer la pâte dans un moule à tarte de 9 pouces; couvrir l’abaisse de papier d’aluminium et la remplir de billes en céramique.

Cuire au four de 10 à 15 minutes. Retirer délicatement les billes et le papier d’aluminium de l’abaisse. Poursuivre la cuisson pendant environ 5 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que la croûte soit dorée. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.

Pour la tarte
3 avocats mûrs, coupés en cubes
¾ tasse de sirop d'érable (idéalement médium ou ambré)
½ tasse + 2 c. à soupe de cacao
1 c. à soupe de vanille
½ c. à thé de sel de mer
½ c. à thé de cannelle moulue
eau, au besoin (je n’en ai pas utilisé)

Au robot culinaire, mélanger les avocats, le sirop d'érable, la poudre de cacao, la vanille, le sel et la cannelle jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit lisse. Ajouter de l'eau, 1 c. à soupe à la fois, jusqu'à ce que la garniture ait la consistance d'un pouding.

Étendre uniformément la garniture dans la croûte. Couvrir et réfrigérer jusqu'au moment de servir. (Pour une consistance semblable à celle d'une crème glacée, couvrir la tarte et congeler au moins 2 heures avant de servir. J’ai laissé la mienne au réfrigérateur.)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

This recipe, from What’s Cookin’ Chicago?, is one I had bookmarked when I was thinking about foods to freeze for after I gave birth. I didn’t get around to making it then, but now that I’ve made it, I really like it! The cilantro was really bright and refreshing. I actually felt that the pesto was a little too close to typical basil pesto; I would make it with less garlic and cheese and more lime juice, so that’s what I’m writing below. Apart from that, it’s a wonderful recipe that I’ll be making again! I served it with wheat flour tortillas, but you can use corn tortillas if you wish. For toppings, I went with tomatoes and avocado, though I think any of your favorite taco or fajita toppings would work.

For the cilantro lime pesto
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 ½ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. sliced, toasted almonds
2 small cloves garlic
2 tsp. lime juice
¼ cup shredded parmesan
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup chicken broth

Using a blender or food processor, mix together the cilantro, olive oil, almonds, garlic, lime juice, cheese, salt and chicken broth on low speed for 2 minutes.

For the tacos
2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. garlic powder
cilantro lime pesto (see above)
flour or corn tortillas
preferred taco garnishes (salsa, avocado, bell peppers, etc.)

Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, sauté chicken over medium high heat until cooked through. Toss cooked, seasoned chicken with the pesto. Fill tortillas with chicken and top with preferred garnishes.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Paleo Chocolate Cake

This post was a long time in the making. You already know I like flourless chocolate cakes – after all, I made some for my wedding. I’ve been playing around with a few more gluten-free variations, but not always with as much success. There was a grain-free chocolate cake made with coconut flour, which had a more traditional texture, albeit a dry crumb. I used 70% chocolate to make it, but found it wasn’t sweet enough, and even with a springform pan, it was hard to unmold. So all that to say that it was alright, but even with dietary restrictions, I felt I could do better.


Then I saw this recipe on Bon Appétit for a decadent chocolate cake called La Bête Noire. It looked fabulous, but I can’t handle that much butter, and I felt like it wouldn’t be as good with vegan margarine. And let’s not even get started on ganache… Enter this recipe from Paleo Digest, which is essentially the same but with coconut oil instead of the butter! Even then, it took a while to get it right. See, the cake is meant to be cooked in a springform pan set in a water bath. However, on my first attempt, I had leaks galore and water got into the batter. It could be because my tin foil was too narrow and didn’t cover the base of the pan properly. Or it could be because of the brand of my pan, which I bought out of desperation (I won’t name it, but it’s a generally very well-regarded brand that I feel is way overrated, as their appliances are often flawed, and honestly I hadn’t realized that the pan was theirs until this fiasco). So anyway, I tried it again, this time with extra-wide tin foil that could cover the entire pan seamlessly. And wouldn’t you know it, I got leaks anyway. Maybe there was a small tear in the paper and I didn’t notice it? I know I was careful when pouring the boiling water into the baking pan so that there was no splashing… I used paper towels to dab the top of the cake and just baked it some more, and it was better than my first attempt, but still not something I would ever serve to guests.

Finally, the third time’s the charm. I tried once more and decided to make it in a regular pan set in a water bath, so that leaks would not be an issue. I lined the pan with tin foil and greased it, to make sure I could unmold the cake after it was baked. There was too much batter for my 9-inch round cake pans, so I used an 8-inch round one that has 2-inch sides; since this made the cake thicker, I baked it longer and that is reflected in the recipe below. I also omitted the water from the batter, as I don’t think it needs it. And this cake is one I can stand behind. If you’re into labels, it’s: flourless, grain-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, paleo, kosher for Passover. It’s dense and rich and delicious! It’s almost like cheesecake, but without any dairy.

Note that your maple syrup and eggs should be at room temperature, so that the chocolate mixture doesn’t seize up if you add them straight from the fridge.

18 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli; make sure you use quality chocolate, because it’s a lot!)
1 cup coconut oil
¾ cup maple syrup (I prefer dark syrup, like amber or medium or the grade-previously-known-as-B)
¼ tsp. salt
6 eggs

Preheat the oven at 275 °F. Line a tall 8- or 9-inch round pan with tin foil; grease and dust the foil with cocoa powder. Set the cake pan in a bigger baking pan.

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Let melt slowly and stir often to avoid burning the chocolate. Remove from heat when the chocolate is just fully melted. Beat in the maple syrup, water and salt. Beat in the eggs, one by one, until completely incorporated into the mixture. (You can use an electric whisk, but I did it by hand.)

Pour the cake batter into the pan. Add boiling water to the baking pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (I used hot water from the double boiler, but water poured from a kettle would be good too; just make sure it doesn’t splash onto the cake batter.)

Bake for at least 50 minutes (for the 8-inch pan, I baked it a whopping 90 minutes, but it would be less with a wider pan). The cake should be set, but still look a little shiny and wet in the middle when done.

Let cool at room temperature for about an hour, then refrigerate 5 hours before removing from the pan, peeling away the foil and serving. You can let it warm up a bit at room temperature, perhaps 15 minutes or so, beforehand. Cut with a clean, warm knife (run the knife under hot water between slices).

A simple supper of sausages and fabulous potatoes

I adapted this recipe from Stone Soup, a blog I enjoy for its highly adaptable, super simple yet tasty recipes. The recipes usually contain 5 ingredients and require 10 minutes of hands-on time, so it’s great if you’re busy. For this recipe, though, there is what seems like a ridiculously long bake time, so be sure to start early! I’m often a stickler for following instructions the first time around, so I baked everything longer than I would have otherwise, certainly longer that I thought would be necessary. But then, the potatoes were a revelation! The chicken broth made them so creamy that they were a pure delight, and the Engineer called them “mind-blowing”. You could use about any root vegetable, and the original recipe suggested parsnips, but I’d be hard-pressed to sue anything but potatoes now…

2 onions (I only used 1), peeled and cut into segments
5 potatoes, or to taste (or other root vegetables like parsnips, sweet potatoes, etc.), peeled and cubed
1 small head of garlic (I used 5 cloves), broken into individual cloves
4 or 5 sausages (I used mild Italian pork sausages, but use your favorites)
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Place the onions, potatoes and garlic in a baking tray, drizzle with some olive oil, top with the sausages and pop it in the oven.

After about 45 minutes, give everything a stir and add the stock.

Bake for another hour or so until the potatoes and sausages are brown and the stock has reduced to almost nothing.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins



Alright, so here’s more of my forays into pumpkin this season (well, since we’re now in January, the season is technically over, but I made these before the holidays and I might try one more recipe before calling it quits). I tried lactose-free pumpkin ice cream. I started with a vegan recipe, using ½ tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice instead of the 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, but it was too bland and not sweet enough. It also froze into a solid block after a night in the freezer. I did notice, however, that the coconut milk I had used was somewhat watery, and I wonder whether fluctuating fat content in the coconut milk could have affected this ice cream. It was Goya brand, which seems to be more readily available now than what I used to buy (I remember a lot of Thai Kitchen in particular, but couldn’t tell you exactly what I used for ice cream before). For the record, I always buy regular coconut milk, never light, but after doing some research online, it would seem that even then, there is variation not just from brand to brand but also within the same brand, perhaps depending on harvest or changing techniques. Anyway, I then adapted a recipe with a custard base, using coconut milk instead of the cream (I used the full can and reduced the milk to 1 cup, and used 1 cup of canned pumpkin purée). I liked the result much better, though it still froze into something too hard to scoop. It was also a bit blander than I would have liked; it was great with maple syrup (which tells you it wasn’t sweet enough!), and would make a great base to add the spices I mentioned above. So if I found coconut milk with a reliably higher fat content, I would try that again…


The recipe that I think is really worth it, though, is this muffin recipe from Averie Cooks, which my friend Jen shared. It is by far the best pumpkin recipe of the season! They’re not heavy muffins and almost feel like cupcakes. They are moist and absolutely delicious! I’ve made them twice: the first time, I was disappointed by their appearance, because the original blog post shows them with a pleasant orange-y color, but mine were brown. Delicious, but homely.


So I made them again, changing the recipe a bit and baking them at a lower temperature to get a lighter crumb, and that’s what I’m sharing here. I’m also giving you the amount of spices that I used, but of course those can be adjusted depending on what you like.

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (white will give prettier results than white whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 pinch salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (other lactose-free milks may be substituted, dairy or not)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup (light syrup will make lighter muffins than molasses)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (regular-sized chips may be substituted, use about 1 ¼ cups; or use 6- 8 oz. chopped dark chocolate)

Preheat oven to 375 °F. Spray a muffin tin with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, pumpkin purée, coconut oil, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla until combined.

Pour the wet pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined; don't overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter equally among the cavities of the prepared pan. Each cavity will be just under ¾ full. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until tops are domed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pans for about 10 to 15 minutes before removing and placing on a rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Gâteries de Montréal

Nous sommes allés à Montréal pendant le temps des Fêtes. Non seulement nous avons pu voir notre famille et nos amis (bien que ce soit en coup de vent, vu la courte durée de notre séjour), mais nous avons aussi pu faire découvrir l’hiver canadien au Petit Prince. Bon, on s’entend qu’il ne s’en souviendra pas l’année prochaine, mais quand même, c’est une question de principe.

Chère Sœur, qui nous a reçus pendant notre séjour, a fait un dessert de Noël digne de la table d’un roi. Il s’agit d’un pavlova au chocolat blanc et aux fruits rouges, fait avec de la crème sans lactose. C’était absolument délicieux, et de toute beauté en plus! Elle a utilisé des arilles de grenade, mais on pourrait aussi y aller avec des framboises, des groseilles ou encore des canneberges dans le sirop.


J’ai aussi découvert, grâce à mon amie Jen, un endroit où se procurer des gâteries sans œufs et sans noix. Cela s’appelle Anya’s Treats, et l’entreprise est située dans une maison privée près du marché Atwater. Cela veut dire qu’on ne peut pas y passer quand bon nous semble et acheter les spéciaux du jour, mais je n’ai eu aucun problème à entrer en communication avec la propriétaire. Elle fait des gâteaux, des petits gâteaux, des biscuits et d’autres gâteries. Sa cuisine est entièrement exempte de noix, d’arachides et d’œufs, et sur demande, elle peut aussi cuisiner sans produits laitiers, ce qui couvrait toutes nos restrictions alimentaires de la soirée! (À noter toutefois qu’il y a risque de contamination croisée par des produits laitiers, donc ce n’est pas une bonne option pour les gens souffrant d’allergies à ces produits.) J’ai commandé une douzaine de petits gâteaux red velvet, plus originaux que les classiques à la vanille ou au chocolat, mais il y avait aussi des saveurs comme lavande ou beurre « d’arachide » (fait avec du WOW Butter). Le glaçage était à base de soya. J’ai beaucoup aimé le gâteau lui-même et le glaçage, qui était léger et pas trop sucré. Jen a trouvé qu’il n’était pas aussi bon qu’un glaçage fait avec du vrai beurre, mais notre ami l’Acteur affirme qu’il était meilleur que certains glaçages à base de produits laitiers, donc ça doit dépendre des goûts (et des habitudes alimentaires imposées par les restrictions). La douzaine de petits gâteaux a coûté 30 $, donc un très bon prix, surtout si on tient compte de la cuisine spécialisée sans allergènes! Il y a aussi des options de glaçage au fondant ou avec des décorations plus élaborées, qui font monter le prix à 35 $ et à 40 $ respectivement. Je recommande!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Spaghetti bacon, pesto et roquette

Bon, me revoici avec une petite recette. J’ai un peu de retard à rattraper, des recettes que j’ai faites avant les Fêtes surtout, dont celle-ci. Vous me connaissez, j’aime bien les pâtes, parce que c’est bon et pas compliqué! J’ai trouvé cette recette sur Obsessions gourmandes il y a un an. Elle se démarque de celles que je fais habituellement par l’utilisation de pesto ET de tomates, ce qui a l’air de rien dit comme ça, mais ça faisait assez de différence pour ne pas que j’aie l’impression de toujours manger la même chose! J’ai adapté un peu en faisant cuire tout le paquet de pâtes et en n’utilisant pas de piment, et c’était dé-li-cieux!

6 tranches de bacon, coupées en morceaux
2 gousses d’ail émincées ou râpées
le jus d’un demi citron
2 c. à soupe de vinaigre de vin rouge
2 c. à soupe de pesto vert (fait maison ou acheté)
2 c. à soupe de pâte de tomates
flocons de chili, au goût (facultatif)
½ tasse d’eau (j’ai pris de l’eau de cuisson des pâtes)
sel et poivre, au goût
1 bonne poignée de roquette
2 c. à soupe de pignons grillés
parmesan fraîchement râpé ou en copeaux
1 filet d’huile d’olive
spaghetti cuits al dente (1 lb. pour 4 grosses portions)

Faire bouillir les pâtes dans un chaudron d’eau salée.

Dans une poêle, faire fondre les morceaux de bacon à feu moyen-élevé. Quand il y a suffisamment de gras au fond de la poêle, ajouter les fines tranches d’ail et les faire fondre à leur tour.

Déglacer avec le jus de citron et le vinaigre de vin rouge. Ajouter le pesto vert, la pâte de tomates, les flocons de chili; saler et poivrer. Pendant que les pâtes finissent de cuire, laisser mijoter doucement, en laissant réduire presque à sec. Quand les pâtes sont cuites, prélever ½ tasse d’eau de cuisson et l’intégrer à la sauce.

Égoutter les pâtes, puis les ajouter à la sauce avec la roquette et bien mélanger. Juste avant de servir, recouvrir de parmesan et de pignons grillés; verser un filet d’huile d’olive sur les pâtes, poivrer et déguster.