22 June 2017

My New Improved Spoon Rolls - The Easiest Yeast Rolls Ever

My New Improved Spoon Rolls - The Easiest Yeast Rolls Ever / www.delightfulrepast.com

Spoon rolls are the easiest yeast rolls ever. When I'm feeling my Southern roots from my paternal grandmother, I like to make her delectable fried chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and cream gravy, green beans, biscuits, peach pie and iced tea. Now there's a Delightful Repast! Spoon rolls are a Southern thing, too, but I just have to have biscuits with my fried chicken. Other dinners, give me a yeast roll.

Traditional spoon rolls are the quickest and easiest yeast bread going. The problem I always had with them was that, though tasty, they were more like a muffin in texture. So several years ago I started experimenting and came up with a much more flavorful version that has the proper yeast dough texture. Still just as quick and easy, but since they have to hang out in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, you have to plan ahead.

My New Improved Spoon Rolls - The Easiest Yeast Rolls Ever / www.delightfulrepast.com

So next time you want dinner rolls but don't have the time or inclination to make Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls, try my 24-Hour Spoon Rolls, so called because the no-knead dough needs at least 24 hours in the refrigerator. You can even leave it in the refrigerator for several days, so this is a wonderful make-ahead thing for busy cooks.

You can have freshly baked dinner rolls every day! You don't have to bake 18 rolls if you don't need that many. Bake 9 one day and 9 another day, or 12 today and 6 the day after tomorrow, whatever you need!

My New Improved Spoon Rolls - The Easiest Yeast Rolls Ever / www.delightfulrepast.com
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24-Hour Spoon Rolls

(Makes 18 rolls)

3 3/4 packed cups (18.75 ounces/532 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package/0.25 ounce/7 grams) instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons (0.25 ounce/7 grams) salt
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
2 cups (16 fluid ounces/472 grams) water
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In small saucepan, melt butter; stir in water. With dough whisk or large wooden spoon, stir water, melted butter and beaten egg into flour mixture until blended. The dough will be very sticky. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours or up to several days.

2 An hour to an hour and half before serving time (the longer time if your kitchen is cold), remove from refrigerator and stir down the dough (just a few strokes). With a 1/4-cup measure, scoop dough into well-greased or cooking-sprayed muffin tins, filling two-thirds full (scant 1/4 cup). Let rise, uncovered, about 30 minutes (60 minutes if kitchen is cold) or until they’ve risen to the top of the cups. During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6.

Note: I have a couple of very old 6-cup standard muffin tins as well as a 12-cup muffin tin that comes with a lid.

3 Bake for 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from tins. Makes 18.

15 June 2017

Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches

Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches (my version is less sweet than most) / www.delightfulrepast.com

Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches popped into my head this week, mainly because I wanted an excuse to use my new tea set. Our dear friends in New Mexico came for a visit and brought me their Old Country Roses tea set, something they no longer use, having gone over to the dark side, coffee!

Like me, these friends run a tight ship - and do a far better job of it than I! They don't like to have unused things cluttering up their cupboards or garage. So Julia asked me before they left home if I'd like to have the set. But of course, darling! But it meant making a place for it by getting rid of at least as many pieces.

Several days before they arrived I boxed up the teapot and other items to be donated and said goodbye to them. They were all things I liked, but not as much as I was going to like the Old Country Roses tea set and thinking of our friends every time we use it.

I don't have the time or energy just now for a tea party, so I just made some sandwiches and tea and pulled some Bakewell Tart Traybake squares from the freezer. Didn't make Scones, which is a shame since I also have a jar of my homemade Clotted Cream in the freezer.

Many recipes for Coronation Chicken call for Major Grey's chutney, but I don't always have that product on hand. Certainly didn't want to buy a jar (and have most of it go to waste!) just for a small batch of Coronation Chicken. So I just used some of the chutney ingredients in my recipe.

Are you a Coronation Chicken fan? When it's made with chutney, it's much too sweet for my taste. But made my way, I really like it. What is your favorite tea sandwich?

Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches (my version is less sweet than most) / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches

1/4 cup sliced (flaked) or slivered almonds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound (454 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

1/4 cup finely chopped dried mango or apricot
2 tablespoons dried currants
3/4 to 1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon apricot preserves, optional (for those who want to add a bit more sweetness) 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
16 slices buttermilk bread (or other soft, "wide" bread)
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, very soft

1 In dry skillet, toast the almonds over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove to bowl to cool.

2 In same skillet, still hot, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and cook, loosely covered, over medium-low heat about 15 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the pieces. Season each side of chicken with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Remove to plate to cool.

3 Add onion to skillet and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in dried fruits, curry powder, dry mustard, red wine vinegar and apricot preserves; cook over low heat for about 3 minutes. Remove to bowl to cool.

4 Chop the cooled toasted almonds and put in a 1.5-quart bowl. Chop the cooled chicken and add it to the bowl. Stir in the onion-dried fruit mixture. Stir in the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and chill for at least an hour before assembling sandwiches.

5 Spread each slice of bread thinly with softened butter. Divide the chicken salad (about 1/4 cup each) among the 8 bottom bread slices. Top with remaining buttered bread slices. Trim off crusts and cut each sandwich into four fingers or triangles, arranging on a plate in about three layers.

6 Lay a good-quality un-dyed paper towel on top of the sandwiches. Wet and wring out well another paper towel; lay the damp paper towel on top of the dry paper towel. Never place the damp paper towel directly on top of the sandwiches or they will become soggy. Wrap rather snugly with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least an hour or up to several hours. This will make your sandwiches “hold together” and keep them from drying out. Remove from refrigerator and uncover sandwiches just before serving.

08 June 2017

Bakewell Tart Traybake

Bakewell Tart Traybake - the quick and easy way to make Bakewell Tart / www.delightfulrepast.com

I do love a pretty wedge of Classic Bakewell Tart (with a nice cup of tea, of course!), but sometimes I want to serve more people. I could make two proper 9-inch tarts, but that does seem like a lot of trouble, doesn't it? So I decided to try it as a traybake.

A lot of people don't have tart tins anyway. And if you don't have a quarter-sheet pan, you could use a 13x9x2-inch pan; but I recommend you get one or more quarter-sheet pans as they are good for sooooo many things.

What you don't need for this recipe, besides tart tins, is a mixer or food processor or anything that has to be plugged in. You don't even need a rolling pin. Just make the easy pastry in a bowl, throw it into the pan and press it into the bottom of the pan and partially bake it.

Then stir up the filling right in the pan in which you melt the butter. Spread on the jam. Pour on the filling. Throw on the sliced almonds. Pop it into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, and Bob's your uncle, as they say in the home of Bakewell Tarts!

I was actually a bit short (38 grams) on the almond flour and was too cheap to spring for another bag of it, so I just used unbleached all-purpose flour to make up the difference. Perfectly delicious. No need to panic.

Bakewell Tart is very rich, so bear that in mind when cutting portions. For an afternoon tea, where everything must be tiny and cute, you could cut it into 48 squares. For the neatest slices, be sure to wait until it is completely cool to cut it.

Bakewell Tart Traybake - the quick and easy way to make a Bakewell Tart / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Just FYI, I cut this tart into 28 pieces of the size and shape you see here.

Bakewell Tart Traybake 

(Makes one 13x9-inch tart)

The Pastry - No-Roll Shortcrust Pastry 

1 1/3 dip-and-sweep cup (6.66 ounces/189 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce/28 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, shredded
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water, reserve the white for the filling

Note: if you're gluten-free, do my Gluten-Free Pie Crust.

The Filling - Frangipane

1 cup (8 ounces/227 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (7 ounces/198 grams) sugar
2 firmly packed cup (8 ounces/227 grams) super-fine almond flour (ground almonds)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (7 ounces/198 grams) raspberry jam
1 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sliced almonds (also called flaked almonds)

1 Spray a 13x9x1-inch (33x23x3 cm) quarter-sheet pan with cooking spray. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, powdered sugar and salt. With your fingertips, rub in the cold shredded butter to a crumb texture with some bigger hunks of butter remaining. Sprinkle on egg yolk-water mixture and mix in, adding more water, if needed, just a teaspoon at a time. Put dough in prepared quarter-sheet pan and press it in an even layer on the bottom of the pan, just ever so slightly onto the side so that when it shrinks during baking the bottom will be completely covered. Pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5.

Note: You can also line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang on the ends so you can lift the cooled tart from the pan all in one piece. But this time I just cut it in the pan.

2 Bake for about 20 minutes until slightly browned to a pale golden. Let stand to cool a bit while proceeding with the recipe.

3 While pastry is cooling, make the filling. In 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Take off heat, and stir in the sugar; then the ground almonds, eggs and reserved white, almond extract and salt until well combined.

4 Spread the jam over the bottom of the prebaked pastry shell. Pour in the frangipane. Top with sliced almonds. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Dust with sifted powdered sugar just before serving.

05 June 2017

Broccoli Salad - Daddy's Version

Broccoli Salad -- in half-pint canning jars for lunch on the go / www.delightfulrepast.com

Being half Southern (on my Daddy's side), I always called my father "Daddy." Anyway ... Daddy made a great broccoli salad, the first one I ever had. I've been meaning to post it ever since I posted Broccoli Salad - A High-Protein Version, where I tell the amusing story of one of his rare forays into the kitchen. Years later, after my mother died, he did learn to make a few things. 

Note: As you can see, it's a perfect picnic or lunchbox salad, individual servings easily transportable in half-pint jars.

This salad was something he started making huge batches of anytime he was expecting anyone to come stay with him for a few days. He would just get out his biggest stainless steel bowl, which held at least 6 quarts, and start chopping stuff up until it was filled to the brim. We'd have to eat it at every meal until it was gone, or he'd say "I thought you liked broccoli salad"!

One time we stayed five nights, so we had it at nine lunches and dinners! It was a good thing we liked it because I can eat something once just to be polite, but nine times? This was the first time I've made it since he died. I feel a little rebellious writing this because he was such an introvert he wouldn't have liked being written about on the internet! 

This broccoli salad is a non-creamy, vinegar and oil, "Italian" dressing kind of salad, unlike the other one which has more ingredients and a creamy dressing with a touch of sweetness. Which kind do you prefer? I like both. Oh, at some point I'll have to tell you another salad story--one where Daddy refused to eat "that damn hippie crap"!

Broccoli Salad / www.delightfulrepast.com

Daddy's Broccoli Salad

(Makes 8 servings)  

1 to 1.25 pounds broccoli, chopped
1 large green* bell pepper, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup very finely chopped red onion, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

* Yellow would have been lovely, but the yellow bell peppers were imported; so, of course, I bought the more "local" green ones.

1 In 2-quart bowl, combine chopped vegetables. Aim for 1/4-inch dice on the broccoli stems and bell pepper.

2 Add the remaining ingredients directly to the bowl--no need to make the dressing in a separate bowl. Stir until well combined. 

3 Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. After a couple of hours, give it a stir and taste and adjust seasoning.

01 June 2017

Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate

Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate - the easy way to make coffee for a crowd or coffee a cup at a time / www.delightfulrepast.com

Cold-brew coffee concentrate is something I first heard of decades ago from a doctor I knew who was a coffee aficionado. He was very particular about his coffee and didn't have time to make it properly for himself during the workday and didn't believe that anyone else could. 

So he made coffee concentrate at home and kept a bottle in his office refrigerator. With it he could have a cup of excellent coffee in no more time than it took to heat the water. 

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I can enjoy a cup or two on those occasions when I make it for guests who are. And I use it in cooking and baking. Since regular coffee does terrible things to me (though the caffeine in tea does not bother me at all), I always use decaffeinated (organic, fair trade) coffee. 

My preferred brewing methods are pourover and French press. If, like me, you find making pourover or French press coffee for a crowd a bit of a pain, you'll love using cold-brew coffee concentrate. 

If you have an iced coffee habit, it could quickly break the budget; but not if you make your own fancy iced coffee drinks at home. With your own stash of coffee concentrate, your favorite add-ins and plenty of ice, you'll save a lot of money. 

To make this amount of cold-brew coffee concentrate, you'll need some version of the following: 4-cup glass measure, 2-cup glass measure, strainer, pint jar, stainless steel filter (or unbleached paper filters) and filter holder (dripper).

Just see what you have in your kitchen that will work. I just happen to have the stainless steel filter because someone gave it to me. I imagine you could put an unbleached paper filter or piece of cheesecloth in a large strainer and set it over a bowl. 

I'll leave it to you to decide how much concentrate to use for various purposes, but I think one part concentrate to three parts hot water makes a great cup of coffee.

Of course, tea drinker that I am, most of my coffee concentrate will be going into things like Brownies, Brownie Bites and Coffee Chocolate Gelato. Do you like coffee? Hot or iced? 

Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate - the easy way to make coffee for a crowd or coffee a cup at a time / www.delightfulrepast.com

Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate

(Makes about 16 fluid ounces/473 ml )

4 ounces (113 grams/about 1 1/4 cups) medium-grind coffee
2 1/2 cups (20 fluid ounces/591 ml) cold water

1 In a 4-cup glass measure or pitcher, stir together coffee and water; cover. Let stand at room temperature for 18 hours. 

2 Strain into a 2-cup glass measure

3 Put a stainless steel filter, or a wet paper filter in a filter holder (dripper) or large strainer, over a pint jar or another 2-cup glass measure. Pour in the strained coffee. When dripping stops, remove filter, put a lid on the jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate - the easy way to make coffee for a crowd or coffee a cup at a time / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Disclosure: Some posts contain links to my affiliate account at Amazon. If you purchase something from Amazon through one of my links, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use toward the expenses of running this blog. Thanks for supporting Delightful Repast when you shop at Amazon!

25 May 2017

Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice - Oven Method

Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice - Oven Method / www.delightfulrepast.com

My restaurant-style Mexican Rice recipe was a real hit with my friend Lily, with whom I've gotten acquainted through the blog. But she is in the habit of cooking her rice in the oven, so she adapted my recipe to her oven method. And then I adapted her method ...

Turned out beautifully and freed up some stove space for other things. So if you want to get the rice off your stovetop - and off your mind - while you're cooking other things, you should try this Mexican Rice - Oven Method.

If you've read my original Mexican Rice post, you know that I think where a lot of people go wrong is in the seasoning. They think any food called Mexican needs to be spicy. But the rice should add some variety to your plate, something mild - but flavorful - to balance out the heat and spice of everything else.

I perfected my recipe using Lundberg organic long-grain white rice and a 5 1/2-quart Le Creuset Round French Oven. To get consistent results, I use the same rice and the same pan each time. This is a lot of rice, but I make this amount every time. Just refrigerate or freeze the leftovers, and reheat in the microwave. Lily thinks it's even tastier after being frozen.

My "rice teacher" Julia, referred to in that earlier post, will be coming for a visit next month, so I put a dish of this in the freezer and will see if it will reheat well enough to suit her.

Do you know of a great way to reheat cold rice? How about frozen rice?

Update 05/26/17: For two generous servings, I put 3 cups of the thawed rice in a 1-quart glass bowl, added 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) of water, topped it with a silicone lid (raised a bit at one point along the edge by a folded bit of paper towel to vent) and microwaved on full power for 5 minutes. It was the fluffiest rice ever!

Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice - Oven Method / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice - Oven Method

(Makes 20 servings)

4 cups (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) chicken broth (vegetable broth or water, if you're vegetarian)
3 cups (24 fluid ounces/710 ml) water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 2-pound bag (32 ounces/907 grams) medium- or long-grain white rice (I use Lundberg organic long grain)
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (I use Muir Glen organic; it is THE best!)

1 In 3-quart saucepan, bring broth, water and salt to a simmer while browning the rice. The amount of liquid called for varies between brands. My preferred brand calls for a ratio of 1 1/2 cups liquid to 1 cup rice, and I think that ratio would be best with any brand.

2 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. In 5 1/2-quart pot, heat olive oil and stir in rice (straight from the package--do not rinse). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally*, until rice is lightly browned. This may take 20 to 30 minutes. Throw in a few whole cloves of garlic at some point, if you like. They can be removed before the next step or before serving.

* Leave rice alone for 5 minutes or so between stirrings to give the bottom layer a chance to brown a bit.

3 Gradually stir tomato sauce into rice and cook for a minute or two, then add the hot liquid to the rice. Bring to a full boil and stir just once. Put the lid on tightly, and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the covered pot in the oven for 25 minutes.

4 If this is your first time making this, take a really quick peek to see if liquid has evaporated and rice is done. Cover and let stand, off heat, for 10 minutes. Then fluff with a fork (I use a pair of forks for this amount). Garnish, if you like, and serve. Garnishes might include a squeeze of lime juice, chopped cilantro, or frozen peas.

18 May 2017

Chocolate Bundt Cake - Quick and Easy

Chocolate Bundt Cake - this one is light, not dense and heavy / delightfulrepast.com

Everybody needs a good recipe for Chocolate Bundt Cake. Most are quite dense and heavy, which can be good. But mine is one for those times when you're in the mood for light and fluffy, even in a Bundt cake.

And it's quite quick and definitely easy, with no special equipment required. You just need a little saucepan to melt the butter and stuff and a big bowl and spoon to give it a quick mix. Bakes in just 40 minutes.

It has plenty of chocolate kick on its own (enhanced by using coffee as the liquid), so I just gave it a dusting of powdered sugar and a bit of whipped cream. Chocoholics could stir up a little ganache to ladle over the top.

Oh, and if you're vegan and/or interested in foods of the Great Depression, or if you just want an easy single-layer cake, check out my One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Are you a Cake Person or a Pie Person? Many people think you're one or the other, but I think I'm both!

Chocolate Bundt Cake - this one is light and fluffy, not heavy and dense / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chocolate Bundt Cake

(Makes one 10-inch Bundt cake)

1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) brewed coffee*
1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces/198 grams) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for pan
1/2 packed cup (1.5 ounces/42 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder*, plus 1 tablespoon for the pan
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 6-ounce (170 grams) container (or 3/4 cup) plain yogurt, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour 
1 3/4 cups (12.25 ounces/347 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) baking soda 
2 large eggs, room temperature

* I buy organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee, cocoa and chocolate products.

1 In small saucepan, combine brewed coffee, butter, cocoa and salt. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly, then stir in vanilla extract. Stir vinegar into the yogurt.

2 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Grease (1 tablespoon butter) and flour (1 tablespoon cocoa powder) a 10-inch 12-cup Bundt pan. Or just spray the pan with cooking spray, if that works with your Bundt pan.

3 In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and baking soda. Add the melted butter mixture, half at a time, stirring after each addition until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until well incorporated. Stir in the yogurt mixture.

4 Scrape the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Run a knife through the batter a few times to break up any large air pockets. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes; then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely before glazing (ganache would be good!) or dusting with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Bundt Cake - this one is light and fluffy, not heavy and dense / www.delightfulrepast.com

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11 May 2017

Raspberry Swiss Roll

Raspberry Swiss Roll - It's easier than you think. Just roll it once, no cracks. / www.delightfulrepast.com

A Swiss Roll with just raspberry jam is a wonderful thing, but the addition of raspberries and whipped cream takes it right over the top. It's one of those desserts that never fails to impress, looking much more difficult than it is.

The problem I had with the first one I made years ago was with the cake itself. Baking a regular cake in a jelly roll pan is not the way to go. It needs to be a proper sponge cake, and I prefer the kind made with separated eggs.

I used to make the sponge cake with four eggs until I had occasion to try one made with five. When I took it out of the oven, I thought it looked far too eggy, even omelette-like. So when I had my first slice of the finished product, I was surprised at the perfect texture.

Though all recipes for a Swiss Roll seem to call for pre-rolling the cake while it is warm and then unrolling it, filling it and rolling it up again, I've found that's not necessary. I don't do it with my recipe. I just roll it once, at a carefully timed moment, and that's that. I'm going to say that again: I just roll it once!

How to Keep A Rolled Cake From Cracking

Cracking when rolled is the main problem people have with a Swiss Roll. There are preventive measures:

  • Beating the yolks and whites separately makes a more flexible sponge that is less inclined to crack.
  • Not overbaking, baking just until set but still springy to the touch.
  • Rolling it while it is still warm enough to be pliable, but not warm enough to melt the whipped cream.

Raspberry Swiss Roll - It's easier than you think - Roll it once, no cracking / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Raspberry and Cream Swiss Roll

(Makes about 9 servings)

The Sponge Cake

1/2 dip-and-sweep cup (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (0.5 ounce/14 grams) cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
5 large eggs, separated cold, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar, divided
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) milk
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Filling

1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (0.5 ounce/14 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup raspberry jam, melted
1 cup halved fresh raspberries

1 Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Line a 15x10x1-inch (38x25x2.5 cm) rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan or Swiss roll tin) with a piece of parchment with an extra 2 inches on each end for easy removal. Spray parchment and sides of pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch and half the salt.

2 In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and half the salt on low speed until foamy (might have to use a spoon to mash up clump of cream of tartar). Increase speed to medium and continue beating until trails become visible and bubbles are very small, about 2 to 3 minutes.

3 Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add in 1/3 cup of sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, taking about 2 to 3 minutes. Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy and medium* peaks form when the whisk is lifted, about 4 to 5 minutes.

* Must beat past soft peaks, but not all the way to stiff peaks.

4 In 2- to 2.5-quart mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg yolks with remaining 1/3 cup sugar until pale yellow and fluffy; this takes a few minutes. Add the cream, melted butter and vanilla extract; mix until combined.

5 Sift the flour-cornstarch over the egg yolk mixture. With silicone spatula, gently fold the flour in. Then gently fold in the stiff egg whites, a third at a time, being careful not to deflate them.

6 Gently scrape the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and quickly spread it evenly. Place a towel (or pair of potholders) on the countertop and drop the pan onto it from a height of about 6 inches two or three times to get out the large air bubbles that would make holes in the cake.

7 Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, just until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean; the cake should spring back when pressed gently in the center.

8 While the cake is baking, whip the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until it is quite stiff. You need to have your filling ingredients ready so that you're ready to proceed the moment the cake is cooled sufficiently but not completely.

9 Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Using the two ends of parchment paper, lift the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool for a bit. Melt the jam.

10 When the cake is still warm enough to be pliable but not warm enough to melt the whipped cream, take the cake off the wire rack and place it paper-side down on the counter with a short end in front of you. Spread the jam evenly over the cake, leaving about a 1.5-inch border at the far end uncovered. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the jam. Distribute the berries evenly over the whipped cream. 

11 Start rolling the cake at the end nearest you, peeling away the parchment as you go. Wrap the rolled cake in plastic wrap, place on tray seam-side down and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Bringing it out of the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before serving makes the texture of the cake superb.

12 When ready to serve, trim the ends of the roll for a tidier look (and a cook's treat!), place it on an attractive platter, dust with powdered sugar, garnish as you like.  

04 May 2017

Raspberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze

Raspberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze / www.delightfulrepast.com

Raspberry muffins are not raspberry cupcakes. One of the things I love about a muffin is that it has a lot less sugar than a cupcake. That is, it should. I've seen recipes with sugar levels nearing that of cupcakes. I've made this recipe with even less sugar than indicated here, but I must admit it does alter the texture a bit.

So I'm writing the recipe here with the maximum amount of sugar, which amounts to under 3 teaspoons per muffin without the glaze. If you've read my Sugar - Toxin or Treat? post, you know I limit myself to 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. So I could have two of these without the glaze. The glaze brings it up to 4.5 teaspoons per muffin.

The texture is wonderful. Of course, the key to proper texture of any muffin is not overmixing, not developing the gluten in the batter. So I've included some tips in the directions.

What's your favorite kind of muffin? 

Raspberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze / www.delightfulrepast.com

Raspberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze 

(Makes 12 muffins) 

The Raspberry Muffins 

6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Milk to make 1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk
1 3/4 dip-and-sweep cups (8.75 ounces/248 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
2 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) raspberries, fresh or frozen 

The Lemon Glaze 

3/4 firmly packed cup (3 ounces/85 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1 Preheat oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. Grease a standard 12-muffin tin or line it with paper bake cups. (I usually bake muffins in a greased tin, but I just happened to have a dozen of these pink bake cups.)

2 In 2- or 4-cup glass measure, melt the butter in the microwave; cool slightly. In 1-cup glass measure, stir together fresh lemon juice and milk; set aside to thicken a bit.

3 In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mace or nutmeg. Take out 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture to coat the berries before adding them to the batter.

4 Add soured milk to melted butter, and whisk in eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Add thoroughly whisked wet mixture to thoroughly whisked dry mixture. Stir as little as possible, just until dry ingredients are moistened. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold in the berries.

5 Scoop the batter from the edge of the bowl so as not to further mix the batter and evenly fill twelve muffin cups just about to the top. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in a center muffin comes out clean.

Note: I used frozen raspberries and baked the muffins for 25 minutes. With fresh berries, they would take less time.

6 Whisk powdered sugar to get most of the lumps out, then whisk in lemon juice. Drizzle over slightly cooled, but still warm, muffins. If you like the glaze to be visible, cool the muffins more before glazing. Serve warm or room temperature.

27 April 2017

Classic Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs - a must for every barbecue, picnic and potluck - organic, of course / www.delightfulrepast.com

Deviled eggs, or devilled if you're in the UK, are a classic party food. Have you ever been to a barbecue, picnic or potluck that didn't have at least a few batches of deviled eggs? There's a reason for that: everybody loves them! Some people say, it's not a party until you break out the deviled eggs!

There are several ways to boil (hard-cook) the eggs, some of which are supposed to be vastly superior to the others; but I'm not even going there, except to say that the best way is whatever works for you. I'm just including one method, in the directions, and leaving it up to you to sort out.

I'm only going to comment on the degree of doneness because, well, they need to be actually done. As you may know, I adore Jacques Pepin, but he and I don't see eye to eye on this subject. I say a hard-cooked egg yolk should be yellow and matte, and he says it should be orange and shiny. That's just wrong!

I'm blogging this recipe at the request of a reader. I do that, you know. So if there's anything you'd like to see here at Delightful Repast, or if you have a cooking question, just let me know. What's your favorite thing to take to a gathering? (Mr Delightful would say, "My cavernous appetite!") 

Classic Deviled Eggs - a must for every barbecue, picnic or potluck - organic, of course / www.delightfulrepast.com
Vintage dish is Indiana Glass Company clear Hobnail Egg Plate first made in the 1940s, other colors being added later.

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Classic Deviled Eggs

(Makes 24)

12 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons country Dijon mustard 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 
1/8 teaspoon dried dill 
1/8 teaspoon curry powder 
Garnishes (fresh dill, pimiento slivers, stuffed olive slices, minced parsley or paprika) 

1 Place eggs in a single layer in large pan. Add enough room temperature water to cover eggs completely and an inch or two over. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as water is bubbling enough to make even one egg rattle, remove pan from the heat and cover tightly with the lid. Let stand for 14 minutes. Drain and add cold water to pan; repeat twice. Leave eggs to cool for 15 minutes in cold water. Drain, and proceed with recipe or refrigerate until ready to use. 

2 Peel the eggs, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Place egg whites on a plate and yolks in a 1-quart bowl.

3 With a fork, mash yolks well. Add mayonnaise, mustard and seasonings; mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

4 Using a spoon or a pastry bag (Pfft!), fill the egg halves. Garnish. Chill until serving time.

20 April 2017

Harney and Sons Fine Teas - Organic Tea Review and Giveaway

Harney and Sons Fine Teas - Organic Tea Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com

Several years ago I was introduced to Harney and Sons Fine Teas by master tea blender John Harney himself, the founder of the company. I was saddened to learn of his death five years later, but his family is carrying on the fine tea tradition.

Wait! Not a tea lover? Don't go away just because you aren't one! Someone you know and love is, and this will make a wonderful gift for that person!

Update 04/27/17: Giveaway is now closed.

Harney and Sons have white, green, matcha, oolong, black and decaffeinated teas as well as herbal infusions. Since I drink mostly organic teas, I was happy to learn that they currently offer ten organic teas and herbal infusions.

The 24-ounce teapot, which happens to have an excellent non-drip spout, makes up to four teacups or two or three mugs of tea. It comes in six colors: ivy (green), red, blue, white, lime and turquoise. Choose your color!

Harney and Sons Fine Teas - ForLife Curve Teapot with Infuser / www.delightfulrepast.com
24-Ounce ForLife Curve Teapot with Infuser

John Harney favored a 5-minute steep for most black teas, as do I, so I went with that for all my tastings. And for each I put 25 fluid ounces of water in the electric kettle (because about an ounce evaporates in the boiling) and 6 grams of loose leaf tea in the fine-mesh stainless steel infuser.

In the case of the Earl Grey, 6 grams was 4 1/2 teaspoons (3 scoops with my 1 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon or 3 "rounded" teaspoons). If you're an Earl Grey fan, you probably know you can get more or less pronounced bergamot flavor by playing around with the amount of tea and/or the steeping time, but I was quite pleased with the balance the first time.

(Oh and try my Earl Grey Shortbread!)

The measurement was the same for the Assam, though the leaves are not quite as bulky as the Earl Grey and so make measuring a "level" 1 1/2-teaspoon measure more, well, level. The resulting brew was perfect, strong enough to stand up to the teaspoon of milk I like to add, but not too strong on its own. Mr Delightful, who never adds anything to his tea and who is a real Earl Grey fan, liked this Assam a lot. Don't worry ...

I'm going to stop now and move on to the giveaway! I'm sure I've already lost some of you who like to drink tea but not go on and on about it they way I do!

Harney and Sons Fine Teas - Organic Tea Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com

Update 04/27/17: Giveaway is now closed.

Harney & Sons Tea and Teapot Giveaway 

The winner of the giveaway will be sent: a 4-ounce tin Organic Assam, a 4-ounce tin Organic Breakfast, a 4-ounce tin Organic Darjeeling, a 4-ounce tin Organic Earl Grey, a package of Walkers shortbread and a 24-ounce ForLife Curve Teapot with Infuser in your choice of several colors.

This giveaway is open to US residents* 18 years of age or older. Leave a comment below (one entry per person); tell me which color teapot you'd like and perhaps your favorite time of day for a nice cup of tea. Please include your email address in the body of your comment. Must enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday April 26.

* If you are outside the US but would like to have this sent to someone in the US (you would have to send them a gift card separately on your own), go ahead and enter! 

Winners will be chosen by random drawing and be announced here in the comments before noon Eastern time on Thursday April 27. If I don't hear back from the winner of the random drawing by noon Eastern time Sunday April 30, another drawing will be held and a new winner selected from the original entrants (those who commented before the giveaway deadline).

Disclosure: Harney & Sons provided product for review purposes and for the giveaway. The views expressed here are entirely my own. I always tell my readers what I really think!

Harney and Sons Fine Teas - Organic Tea Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com

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(And tell your non-virtual friends as well!)

13 April 2017

Fresh Blackberry Scones

Fresh Blackberry Scones - that aren't purple! / www.delightfulrepast.com
Yes, you can make fresh blackberry scones that aren't purple!

I don't make blackberry scones as often as I'd like because I don't often just happen to have fresh blackberries on hand, as I do dried fruits. And frozen blackberries just won't do because I like to cut the berries in half since the whole berries are just too large.

But once I've cut the berries in half, I do freeze them for about 30 minutes before mixing them in so that they don't "bleed" all over the dough in an unattractive way. And I cut the scones in a way that leaves no scraps to be rolled out for a messy second cutting.

Usually I make 16 much smaller scones from this amount of dough because I'm making them for afternoon tea, an occasion that calls for dainty little things. But these are larger, what I call breakfast-size. Serve with a bit of blackberry preserve to punch up the berryliciousness!

What kind of scones do you like? You might also try my Classic Scones, Cream Scones and Fresh Peach Scones. And don't forget the Clotted Cream!

PS Be sure to come back next week for a fab giveaway!

Fresh Blackberry Scones - that aren't purple! / www.delightfulrepast.com

Fresh Blackberry Scones

(Makes 8 breakfast-size scones)

1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) firm fresh blackberries
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Enough milk to make 2/3 cup (5.33 fluid ounces/158 ml)
2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Finely grated zest of half a lemon or one orange
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle an 8-inch circle lightly with flour. Wash and blot dry the firm, fresh blackberries. Cut them in half horizontally and set on parchment-lined quarter sheet pan; place in freezer for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, preheat oven to 425F/220C/Gas7.

2 In 1-cup glass measure, stir together vinegar and milk; set aside. In medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter (or rub it in with your fingers) into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal with some larger bits. Stir in zest and berries to coat and separate.

3 Whisk egg and vanilla extract into soured milk; pour into dry mixture and gently mix until just combined.

4 Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment and gently pat the dough, dusting with flour as needed, into a 7- to 7.5-inch round about an inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Pull the wedges out (I use a pie server) and space them an inch or two apart. If you like, brush the tops with a bit of cream, milk or melted butter. Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Now put on the kettle and make a proper cup of tea. Enjoy the delightful repast!

Fresh Blackberry Scones - that aren't purple! / www.delightfulrepast.com

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