Mini Almond Cakes with Black Raspberry Jam

If you love almonds these cute little cakes are for you. I used beurre noisette or brown butter for an added extra deep, rich, buttery, nutty flavor.

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You just need a handfull of ingredients, nothing fancy… The harder one to find would be the almond flour, which nowadays is widely available.

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I decided to fill mine with black raspberry jam to make them a little summery, but this is totally optional, they are terrific plain also. This is what you’ll need to make about two dozen of them, depending on the size of your molds. You can use a financier mold or a mini muffin one like I did.

1 cup of fine almond flour

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

a pinch of salt

6 egg whites

3/4 cup cooled beurre noisette (toast butter until golden brown and fragrant)

Preheat the oven to 425°F

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: the almonds, sugar, flour, and salt. Mix to blend. Add the egg whites and mix until thoroughly blended. Add the 3/4 cup butter and mix until well incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them almost to the rim. Place them in the center of the oven. Bake until they just being to rise, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake until they are a light brown, about another 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the oven heat and let them rest in the oven until firm, about another 3 minutes. You are not going to be able to resist the smell, your kitchen is going to smell insanely good…

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Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the mini cakes cool in the molds for 10 minutes. Unmold.

They may be stored in an airtight container for several days.

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Enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

Guava Juice with Thai Basil Seeds

I love the smell of guavas (guayabas in Spanish), don’t get me wrong, they are very tasty, but there’s something about their sweet tropical smell that I can’t resist… So when my husband brought a container of super ripe, yellow, delicious, smelling guavas I had to make juice with them. There’re also pink guavas, prettier, but these surely made the trick.

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I also added the Thai basil seeds cause when we went to “Bun-ker” A Vietnamese restaurant in Queens and tried their home made limeade, I loved the texture of the basil seeds they added!!! They gel up like chia and flax seeds. Love it!

Super simple, quick recipe! Here is what you’ll need to make 2-3 servings.

4 medium guavas washed and chopped up

2 – 3 cups of water, depending how thick you like your juice

sugar to taste

Thai basil seeds

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Place ingredients using just half of the water in a blender and blend until just liquified (we don’t want to break up the seeds)

Seeds really don’t bother me at all, (as you can see in the pics) but by all means if you don’t like them, like most people, use a strainer and then add remaining water till desired consistency is obtained.

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Guava Thai basil seed juice

Add the seeds, stir and place in refrigerator until cold. Serve chilled and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Whole Wheat Super Seed & Ancient Grain Scones

I love scones but I kind of feel bad when I make them with regular white flour, so I decided to make some that are a lot healthier, with 100% whole wheat flour and a bunch of good for you seeds and grains. This are the ones that I use, I got both kinds at Trader Joe’s.

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With this recipe you will be able to make 6 regular size scones, if you’d like to make 12, simply double the ingredients. Also you can totally skip the sugar if you’d like them sugar free… It won’t affect the consistency of the dough.

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This are the ingredients you’ll need:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons of seed  mix (the sky is the limit, add whichever ones you prefer)

6 tablespoons chilled butter cut into small cubes

1/4 cup buttermilk (substitutes: regular milk, almond milk, etc…) plus 2 tablespoons to brush the tops.

hemp seeds for sprinkling on top of the scones

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In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients but the seeds and grains. Add the butter and incorporate it with your fingers until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the grains and seed mix of your choice and then the buttermilk. With your hands incorporate until dough forms. Do not over mix.

Then on a floured surface form a log and cut the scones shapes. Brush the tops with the extra buttermilk and sprinkle the hemp seeds on top of each scone.

Bake at 400 F for about 15-18 minutes or until golden ground.

Cool in a cooling rack. (if you can wait)

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Enjoy!

Passion Fruit Mochi

I love passion fruit, so tropical, juicy, tangy… I even love how it looks! I also love mochi, so when I saw these perfectly ripe passion fruits at the local grocery store, making mochi came rushing to my mind.

passion fruit mano

Now, let me tell you one thing: Mochi is not messy, It’s SUPER MESSY!!! Sticky and messy all around, but oh so worth it!!!

I made a big old jar of passion fruit juice by scooping the insides (5 fruits), adding water (2 liters)  add sugar to taste, them blending it for a few seconds so the seeds don’t break, then straining it and there you have it: homemade Passion fruit juice! But by all means if you have store bought passion fruit juice go for it.

Here is what you’ll need:

1 cup of glutinous rice flour (mochiko)

1 cup passion fruit juice

lots and lots of corn starch

a microwave

passion fruit marmalade

mini marshmallows

Mix flour and passion fruit juice thoroughly in a microwavable bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and stir, you will notice that the center  part will be a little more liquidy that the sides. Cover it again and microwave for another minute or minute and a half. Stir it again. By now you should have a mochi dough.

Dust a cutting board (I used granite) with lots of cornstarch and turn the dough into it. Wait a minute or so until the dough is cool enough to handle. Dust it with the cornstarch and shape the dough into a log.

Cover it loosely with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Cut off with a sharp and well corn starched knife a 1.5 inch piece and form it into a circle with your hands also well starched.

Then place a 1/4 teaspoon of marmalade and one mini marshmallow inside and pinch to close.

passion fruit  mochi

Like I said, these are super messy to make, but also very easy and really tasty. Keep in mind that the recipe is totally changeable, you can use pineapple, mango juice or any kind of juice you like. Or if you want to keep them plain use the mochiko with the same amount of sweet water if you want to make them plain. Also the fillings are endless: black bean curd, mango pieces, marmalades… etc.

passion fruit mochi

I served mine on these cute oriental ceramic spoons. Chewy, gummy, sweet, tangy… all you can spec from a mochi

Get your corn starch out along with your vacuum cleaner and go for these, you’ll be glad you did. 🙂

passion fruit mochi

Enjoy!

passion fruit mochi

Ruby Red Macerated Mulberries

I looove mulberries! No thorns at all! So easy to pick… I only had to scare the squirrels away from our tree and the rest… piece of cake. Plus you also get lovely shades of purple and red all over your hands and lips… 😄

Mulberry pickingThese were so sweet and delicious… And my lovely neighbor had just given me a bunch of  ruby red grapefruits so I thought of putting them together with a little bit of cane sugar and they were so refreshing and sweet, tangy… Nom, nom!

Macerated mulberries

My mom used to macerate fresh red strawberries from our garden in orange juice and sugar, and back then also we used to eat berries macerated in red wine and sugar…! Oh my!

Macerated mulberries

This simple dessert, snack, breakfast… can be put together in a few seconds… the berries were sooo ripe and ready that we didn’t have to wait at all for juice to get infused with them. They were gone in no time! Give this idea a try, with really any kind of berries, you’ll love them! Guaranteed!

Macerated mulberries

 Enjoy!

 

Fake-no-Bake Mango Creme Brulee

Here it is… another mango recipe. Mango is one of my favorite fruits. When a mango is good… Oh man! IT IS GOOD!

Also, Creme Brulee has to be one of my favorite desserts, so decadent, rich, silky, sweet, crunchy on top… DELICIOUS!

But this time of the year, who wants to turn on the oven to make it? Really?

Well, this recipe comes to the rescue, it’s not the real deal… but it surely hits the spot. Plus with the addition of fruit (mango in this case, but feel free to substitute with whatever rocks your boat: berries, pineapple, etc…) it lightens it up and makes it more summery and juicy!

Basically you put chopped fruit on the bottom of a small container, make a simple custard and spread it on top of it. And finally with a kitchen torch burn some brown sugar until crunchy. Pretty easy right?

mango creme brulee

Here is what you’ll need to make this delicious, super easy custard:

(makes 4-6 servings depending on container size)

4 egg yolks

4-5 tablespoons sugar (depending how sweet you like it)

1 piece french vanilla bean

1 piece lemon peel

2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon corn starch

In a saucepan place the milk,  the lemon peel and vanilla bean,  heat until it begins to boil, turn off and let cool so the flavors infuse the milk.

Meanwhile in a bowl mix the sugar with the egg yolks and cornstarch. Slowly incorporate the cooled milk mixture (lemon peel and vanilla bean removed) until well combined. Then slowly bring this mixture to a boil stirring constantly until it thickens and it’s totally cooked.

mango creme brulee

Divide chopped fruit among glass containers or ramekins, and do the same with the custard. Refrigerate and when ready to serve, sprinkle dark brown sugar and caramelize with a torch.

Enjoy this summery Creme Brulee!

Thai Inspired-Non-Traditional Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango

Summer is here, so whenever I do grocery shopping I go like a maniac buying fruits, and the other day I happened to find delicious Ataulfo mangoes, they are skinnier, yellow and sweeter than the traditional mango. My husband calls them sucking mangoes, cause he makes a little cut on its top with a sharp knife and by squeezing all the pulp inside he basically liquifies it and then sucks it all up through that little slit. Delicious!!!

ataulfo mango

So with these beauties I decided to make a non traditional sticky rice, cause… really… who has a thai rice steamer? Not me! and let me tell you I’m known for having a LOT of kitchen/cooking related stuff! So I simply used sushi rice, once again not sticky rice but a very close relative and a lot more common at your grocery store.

Here it is…

Coconut sticky rice with mango

You’ll only need a handful of ingredients:

7 oz (200 grams) sushi rice (glutinous rice or if you have sticky rice, go for it!!!)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of water

1 1/3 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mangoes

sticky rice arriba trio

Place rice and water in a small pot, bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes with a lid. Then remove from heat and cover with a kitchen towel for another 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, stir the coconut milk, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan over low heat until sugar and salt have dissolved. As soon as the rice is cooked, using a wooden spoon, gently mix it with the coconut milk and set aside for another 15 minutes so it thickens a little more.

Meanwhile, peel the mangoes and slice off the two outside cheeks of each, removing as much flesh as you can in large pieces, but don’t get to close to the stone cause the flesh there is fibrous. Cut in desired shapes… lengthwise, or cubed like I did.

Ladle creamy coconut sticky rice on serving dishes and top with diced mango. Stupendous!

coconut sticky rice with mango

Serves about 8 small portions, 6 more generous ones.

Enjoy!

Creme Fraise Gluten Free Corn Muffins

Here I go again with one of my lazy recipes. I had regular flour, but I keep it in my commercial kitchen and I didn’t want to go there first thing in the morning with my pj’s still on, so I made them GF since I keep all that stuff at home. I also had some creme fraise so I decided to use it to make these babies, but if you don’t have any at home feel free to substitute with greek yogurt or sour cream, something thick 😉

GF creme fraise corn muffins

I prefer my popover tin cause I like my corn muffins nice and tall!

I used my favorite GF mix, here is what goes into my mix:

2 cups super fine brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xantham gum to help it stay together. Mix it all good and keep it in an air tight container.

Here is what you’ll need to make these muffins (yields about 9 regular muffins, i got 6 popover ones):

1 cup GF flour mix

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2  cup creme fraise

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 cup softened butter

GF creme fraise corn miffins

Heat oven to 400 F

Cream sugar and butter in a bowl until nice and fluffy. Stir in the eggs and mix until combined and then add the cream fraise, incorporate, and lastly add all the dry ingredients, mixing well until thoroughly combined. I also added a touch of freshly ground black pepper.

Pour even amounts of batter into prepared pan and bake for 18-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm.

GF creme fraise corn muffins

I drizzle mine as you can see with honey! Delicious flowery lavender honey from the french Provence! To die for!

I devoured it with a nice hot cup of tea.

GF creme fraise corn muffins lavender honey drizzle

Enjoy,

Weight your eggs cake

Last December my sister came to visit and she brought me a family heirloom recipe book (what’s left of it, that is…) that belonged to my Great Aunt Margarita. It doesn’t have a cover and some of the pages are missing, some are torn… but it really has lots of charm, I think, for an almost 100 year old book.

Great Aunt recipe book

It’s a little tricky though, I guess back then, cooking was more intuitive than what it is right now… we look for exact measurements, and temperatures and cooking times… this baby leaves a lot of that out, so I’m afraid I’m going to do a lot of experimenting… for example one recipe says: bake a cake anyway you want, (I go like… WHAT!!???) and substitute the flour for potato starch… Yezz!

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Add a little bit of sugar here, a little bit of Jerez there… we are not that intuitive when it comes to cooking anymore I think… The temperature thing I can understand, cause back them probably the common oven was not electric and there was no temperature nob. Some other recipes say: melt 3 pieces of chocolate… what size? how much do they weight? Hello!!! So for my first try at this book I picked a pretty normal recipe although I was intrigued by what the results where going to be. It’s pretty simple but interesting. It asks you get three or four eggs, so when I first read that I went: here we goooo again… but to my liking it said to weigh them, yeap, weigh them with shell and everything, and whatever number you get, use the same of the rest of the ingredients. Intriguing right?

blueberry pound cake

I used grams to be more exact. This is what I used:

232 grams of eggs (4 of my hen’s eggs, 8.18 0z.)

232 grams of sugar

232 grams of melted and cooled butter

232 grams of all purpose flour

2 handful dried blueberries. It called for candied fruits (desired amount) but I didn’t have any, plus I like  blueberries a lot better.

Beat the eggs well then add the sugar. Since it didn’t call for baking powder or baking soda, I thought of giving it a good beat to create more bubbles and help it rise. Then incorporate the flour and at the end mix in the cooled butter and the blueberries.

I lined a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper and I baked it for almost an hour (55 min) in a 350F oven. Remove when toothpick comes out clean and cool in a cooling rack.

Blueberry pound cake

Pretty interesting right? I had the first piece with a lovely tropical fruity green tea.

Since to me it felt like a lot of sugar (in turned out just right, not overly sweet) I didn’t want to make the glaze recipe it called for, so I barely sprinkled it with powder sugar. Check it out 😉

Blueberry pound cake

Since my hens are laying eggs again (Yayyyy!) the cake turned out super yellow because of their corn diet. Pretty!

I was pleasantly surprised when I cut my first slice, this is what I got.

Blueberry pound cake

It came out very good, the minute I cut into it, I thought it would be perfect to cut in cubes (since it holds up its shape so well, very firm) and dip them in a chocolate fondue… Cake and chocolate… What’s not to like?

blueberry pound cake

It also reminded me of Nonni’s Addictables, have you seen them? they are these delicious crunchy thin crisps in a 100 calorie pack. I think that if I manage to cut it thin enough and bake it again I might get my own addictables… 😉

Give it a try.

Enjoy!

Toasted Rolled Oats Almond Granola Bars (Vegan – Gluten Free)

Do you feel that no matter what kind of granola bar you buy is never the perfect one? They are either too sweet, or too high in fat, or not gluten free, or not vegan or not peanut free… Well these babies are just perfect, cause you can do so many with them, the sky is the limit! You can make them vegan, or not, use peanut butter, or sun flower butter, almond butter, substitute the almonds for pistachios or walnuts… Anything really! Whatever floats your boat 🙂

granola bars

The base to make them is four simple ingredients: rolled oats, nut butter of your choice, maple syrup (it can be substituted for honey or agave nectar) and  dates. Healthy, easy and delicious. Here is what I used to make these beauties:

oats cardamom almonds cinnamon

1 1/2 cups GF rolled oats (toasting them for 10 minutes optional)

1/4 cup plus one tablespoon organic peanut butter

1/4 cup plus one tablespoon Grade B (less precessed and better for you) maple syrup

1 cup plump organic deglet dates

1 cup raw almonds

a pinch or two cardamom

2 tablespoons chia seeds

a hand full of pepitas

a pinch of cinnamon

pepitas

Place the dates in a food processor until they reach a “dough” like consistency. Then, place the rolled oats, almonds, dates, pepitas and spices in a deep bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile warm over very low heat maple syrup and peanut butter in a small sauce pan, stir to mix and pour over rolled oat mixture breaking up the date paste so it’s well distributed.

dates

Once it’s mixed, line an 8 x 8 pyrex dish with a big enough piece of saran wrap, place the mixture and with the excess saran wrap cover the whole thing. This way you’ll be able to use a small glass, rolling it all over it to make it even in thickness. Place in refrigerator for about half hour to allow it to set.

rolled oats granola bars

Once cooled remove from dish and cut into even pieces (about 10). You can store them in airtight container at room temperature for a few days if you have the will power to eat all of them in one day… LOL! They also freeze wonderfully.

Enjoy!