14 March 2019

Carrot Cake - Instant Pot (or Oven)

Carrot Cake - Instant Pot - with Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com

Carrot cake has always been a favorite of ours. And I usually make one (in the oven) from a recipe my mother and I developed together when I was a teenager and we first had carrot cake but couldn’t find a recipe for it.

Last week I told Mr Delightful I wanted to try a cake in my new Instant Pot and he requested carrot cake. So I cut down my usual Carrot Cake recipe to fit in a 7-inch round pan perfect for the Instant Pot.


Carrot Cake - Instant Pot - with Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com


We really liked it, but one might ask, Why make it in the Instant Pot when it isn’t any quicker than baking it in the oven? And if you need to feed a crowd, you need to bake the larger carrot cake or exactly two dozen Carrot Cupcakes.

But if you only need a small cake and don’t want to heat up your house by running the oven on a hot day, or you're using your oven for other things, making a cake in the Instant Pot makes sense.

Of course, you can also bake this cake in the oven at 350F/180C/Gas4. Have you made any cakes in the Instant Pot? What is your favorite cake flavor?


Carrot Cake - Instant Pot - with Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Carrot Cake – Instant Pot 


(Makes one 7-inch/18 cm cake, 8 servings) 

The Cake

1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (1.25 ounces/35 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted and cooled
1/3 cup (1.67 ounces/47 grams) dried currants
2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar
2/3 cup (5.33 fluid ounces/158 ml) organic expeller pressed canola oil*
2 large eggs, room temperature

1 packed cup (6 ounces/170 grams) peeled and shredded carrots

* I want to try this with organic extra virgin olive oil. 

The Frosting

1 3-ounce (85 grams) package cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 packed cups (6 ounces/170 grams) unsifted powdered sugar

1 After you’ve chopped and toasted the nuts and shredded the carrots, butter well and lightly flour a 2-inch deep 7-inch round cake tin. In small bowl, whisk together flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. 

2 In a small bowl, stir together the toasted and cooled nuts and dried currants with about a teaspoon of the flour mixture, making sure all the currants are separated and coated. 

3 In medium bowl, beat the sugar and oil together well, and then beat in the eggs. Stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and currents and then the shredded carrots. Scrape into prepared tin and cover tightly with foil. 

4 Place rack (with its handles down) in bottom of the Instant Pot cooking pot, and add 1 cup of water to the pot. Carefully set the cake, centered on its foil sling, on the rack.

5 Put the lid in place and turn the steam valve to Sealing. Plug in the Instant Pot. Press the Pressure Cook key. Leave the indicator on High Pressure and change the cooking time to 45 minutes.

Note: It took just a few minutes to reach working pressure. This varies with the amount and temperature of the ingredients in the pot. 

6 When the beep sounds, turn it off by pressing Cancel. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes,* then do a quick release by turning the steam valve to Venting.

* I set my kitchen timer (my favorite timer of all time!) so I don't get distracted.

Carrot Cake - Instant Pot (this photo, my favorite timer of all time) / www.delightfulrepast.com


7 When the float valve drops down, carefully remove the lid. With a paper towel, gently blot any moisture that collected on top of the foil. Using the foil sling, carefully lift out the cake. Remove the foil. The cake should be pulling away from the edges of the pan.

8 Carefully run a knife around the edge of the cake. Turn it out onto a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting.

9 In 1.5-quart mixing bowl, mix cream cheese and butter with electric hand mixer until smooth. Add vanilla extract, salt, and about a third of the powdered sugar; then beat in the remaining sugar. 


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

07 March 2019

Mini Fruit Tartlets - Tartelettes aux Fruits

Mini Fruit Tartlets - Tartelettes aux Fruits / www.delightfulrepast.com

Mini fruit tartlets are the one sweet thing I’m happy to see on the three-tiered stand at afternoon tea. You know I’m all about the sandwiches and scones at tea, but I’m not averse to a well-made mini fruit tartlet or two.

They’re the perfect little dessert to bring out to cap off any kind of “finger foods” occasion. They always get rave reviews. One group declared my little tarts “bakery quality, no, even better than bakery quality!” 


Mini Fruit Tartlets - Tartelettes aux Fruits / www.delightfulrepast.com


They’re quick and easy to assemble on the day you want to serve them if you make your pastry and pastry cream a day or two ahead. You can even bake the pastry shells ahead and store at room temperature in an airtight container. 

I can bake a double batch at one time because I have two pans, but my newest tartelette pan is vastly superior. It’s the Nordic Ware heavy cast aluminum tartelette pan which bakes very evenly and makes very sharp fluting.

If you’re a fan of individual-serving and mini foods, I know you’ll enjoy making, and eating, these little tartlets. What kind of fruits will you use?


Mini Fruit Tartlets - Tartelettes aux Fruits / www.delightfulrepast.com


Mini Fruit Tartlets – Tartelettes aux Fruits 


(Makes 12 2.5-inch/6.35 cm mini tarts)

The Pastry Cream - Crème Pâtissière

(Makes about 1 1/4 cups)

1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces/grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (white reserved for pastry)
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Pastry - Pâte Sucrée 


1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 packed cup (0.5 ounce/14 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg white (yolk used in pastry cream)


The Fruit and Glaze


About 1 1/2 cups assorted berries and sliced fruits such as kiwi
2 tablespoons jam plus 2 teaspoons water, melted and strained

1 In heavy-bottomed saucepan (I use the Le Creuset Stainless Steel 2-Quart Saucier), heat milk to just below a simmer. You'll see a skin forming and the milk wiggling under the surface.

2 In 1- to 1.5-quart mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in egg and yolk. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Use an electric hand mixer if you like.

3 Pour the mixture back into the saucepan (or saucier) and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly (slowly at first, then speeding up as the custard thickens), until the custard gets very, very thick and holds the whisk marks. Pay close attention; if you get distracted for a second, you can end up with bits of scrambled egg in your custard.

4 Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla extract. If you have any lumps of egg, place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl, and press pastry cream through it to ensure a perfectly smooth custard. Cover surface of custard with a round of parchment paper cut to fit the bowl. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill.

5 Add flour, powdered sugar and salt to work bowl of food processor; turn on for about 3 or 4 seconds to combine. Add chunks of butter; pulse to a crumb texture. Add egg; pulse until the dough starts clumping together. This is to be a crisp, more cookie-like crust, rather than a flaky pastry; so there's not quite the concern about over-processing. Flatten slightly into a 4- to 6-inch round disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. 

6 Prepare a 12-well tartelette pan by brushing each well with very soft butter. On lightly floured surface or square of parchment paper, roll out the pastry to about a 10-inch/25.5 cm square; pastry should be very thin, about 1/8-inch thick. With a 3-inch/7.5 cm cutter, cut out 9 circles; reroll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut out 3 circles. Fit the pastry circles firmly into the tin, but do not stretch the dough. With a fork, poke holes all over bottom of the pastry. Place in freezer for 15 minutes while preheating the oven to 400F/205C/Gas6. 

7 Bake tart shells until light golden brown, about 12 to 13 minutes (though it might be different for your oven, your pan, etc). Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before taking pastry shells out to continue cooling on wire rack. 

8 To assemble tartelettes, whisk the pastry cream to loosen it. Fill each completely cooled pastry shell with a tablespoon or so of pastry cream. Smooth the tops. Place fruit on top. Brush with melted jam glaze. Keep refrigerated until serving time. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

Jean

28 February 2019

Yorkshire Curd Tart

Yorkshire Curd Tart - A British Historical Recipe / www.delightfulrepast.com

Yorkshire Curd Tart is hundreds of years old but only came to my attention in January when I posted Richmond Maids of Honour. Around since the early to middle 17th century, it’s something very likely to have been made by my Yorkshire great grandmother, so I just had to make it.

Not a custard tart, it’s more like a shallow cheesecake. With sweet spices and dried currants, it’s a bit out of the ordinary and goes beautifully with a nice cuppa tea. Some insist only nutmeg or only allspice should be used, so I used a little of each.


Yorkshire Curd Tart - A British Historical Recipe / www.delightfulrepast.com


I came up with my recipe for the filling by adapting from several sources, especially Foods of England and British Food: A History, and used my own favorite tart pastry. And I like to completely prebake the pastry before filling to ensure the crust will stay crisp, “no soggy bottoms.”

I love historical recipes, especially the regional recipes of Britain. Even ones I don't care to make or eat are fun to read. Is that your idea of fun?! 😀 I blame my mother!

Yorkshire Curd Tart - A British Historical Recipe / www.delightfulrepast.com

Yorkshire Curd Tart


(Makes one 9-inch/23cm tart, 8 servings) 


The Pastry - Pâte Sucrée (a sweet shortcrust pastry) 

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 large egg 


The Filling 


6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar
8 ounces (227 grams) curd cheese or Neufchatel cheese (also called 1/3 less fat cream cheese), room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup (2.67 fluid ounces/79 ml) milk
1 teaspoon rosewater, optional (I used 1/8 teaspoon almond extract)
1/2 packed cup (2.5 ounces/71 grams) dried currants
1 teaspoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Add flour, powdered sugar and salt to work bowl of food processor; turn on for about 3 or 4 seconds to combine. Add chunks of butter; pulse to a crumb texture. Add egg; pulse until the dough starts clumping together. This is to be a crisp, more cookie-like crust, rather than a flaky pastry; so there's not quite the concern about over-processing. Flatten slightly into a 4- to 6-inch round disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. 

2 Lightly butter a 9-inch/23cm tart tin (1-inch deep) and set it on a baking sheet. On lightly floured 12-inch square of aluminum foil, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. Transfer dough to tart tin, pressing dough (but not stretching it) to fit the tin. Save the foil; you're not done with it. With scissors or knife, trim the overhang to 1/2 inch or so all around. Fold it in and press it to the sides to form a thicker side crust. Trim the edges* by rolling the rolling pin over the top. Press the pastry into the flutes so that it rises a bit above the edge (in case of shrinkage). Pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5.

* Don't throw away the scraps; they make wonderful cookies (maybe 2 or 3 of them). Just press them out and throw them on the baking sheet next to the tart tin. Save a small piece of raw dough in case your crust needs patching.

3 Cover chilled pastry with reserved piece of foil, clean side up, pressing it to fit well. Spread 2 cups of ceramic pie weights (that's two packages of Mrs. Anderson's ceramic pie weights), also called ceramic baking beans in the UK, over the foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights; continue baking for 10 minutes, until lightly browned to a pale golden. Let stand to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4 Toward end of pastry cooling time, preheat oven to 325F/165C/Gas3 and make the filling. In small mixing bowl (I use a 1-quart glass measure), cream well the softened butter and sugar. Mix in the cheese, salt and spices. Beat in the eggs, milk and rosewater or almond extract (if using) until thoroughly combined. In small bowl, mix the currants and flour, making sure all the currants are separated and coated, and stir them into the filling, reserving a tablespoon of them to sprinkle on top of the filling, if you like. I didn’t do it, but I might next time. I think a few floating on top would look nice. 

5 Pour the filling into the cooled prebaked pastry shell. Put on a pie crust shield to prevent the edge of the crust from over-browning. Bake (with tart tin on baking sheet) for about 25 to 30 minutes, until just set and still with a bit of a wobble in the center. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove from tin. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Dust with sifted powdered sugar just before serving.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

21 February 2019

Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan

Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan / www.delightfulrepast.com

The sheet pan dinner concept is such a timesaver and something I’ve embraced since I began my journey to what I call streamlined cooking, converting some of my favorite time-consuming recipes to simpler versions so that we can enjoy them more often.

Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan is my latest. There's a simple little sauce that requires no chopping and that can be made days ahead. Just throw the ingredients in the pan and let it pretty much take care of itself for about half an hour while you go about your business.

The fresh breadcrumbs you can so easily make yourself are much better than what you can buy and really take no time at all. They can be made ahead as well if you’re heating up your oven for something else anyway.


Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan / www.delightfulrepast.com
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You can even buy organic boneless skinless chicken breasts thin sliced, but since I have a great knife for butterflying, I just do it myself. The thin sliced probably costs more as well, and I do try to be frugal. Speaking of which …

Many recipes for things that are dipped and breaded or coated with crumbs call for way too much egg mixture and way too much flour or breadcrumbs. And they’re simply wasted. I get quite precise with my measures of these things so that there is little to no waste.

Same with the sauce. You will have just enough sauce for the recipe and a bit to garnish the top. It’s my goal in 2019 to reduce my food waste to as close to zero as I can get. If you have small amounts of vegetables that need to be used up, just throw them on the sheet pan, too! 


Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan / www.delightfulrepast.com


Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan


(Makes 4 servings)


The Sauce

(Makes about 1 1/3 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14.5-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


The Chicken

1 packed cup fresh breadcrumbs, from 3 ounces/85 grams sourdough or good white bread
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) shredded parmesan
2 12- to 14-ounce/340 to 397 grams (each) boneless skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied and split to make 4 pieces
1 large egg
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 packed cup (4 ounces/113 grams) shredded mozzarella

1 In 1-quart saucepan, stir together all the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, loosely covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let stand at room temperature.

2 Use food processor to make perfect fresh breadcrumbs. Cut bread into 1-inch pieces. Process until it becomes breadcrumbs. Don't worry about overdoing it; it's pretty foolproof.

3 Preheat oven to 425F/220C/Gas7. Cover a 15x10x1-inch baking sheet with foil. Put the breadcrumbs on the baking sheet, sprinkle on the olive oil, toss the crumbs to coat, spread them out in an even layer, and bake until crisp and golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Check at 5 minutes. If they’re not quite ready, give them a stir and bake another 2 minutes. Transfer to a 13x9-inch pan to cool. Mix the shredded parmesan with the cooled breadcrumbs.

4 In medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg, mayonnaise, and salt. Add the chicken to the bowl and coat the pieces thoroughly with the egg mixture. Then put them in the pan with the breadcrumbs and coat them thoroughly. Pat the crumbs in well, using every bit of them. No waste! 

5 Place the coated chicken pieces on the foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking sheet (there should still be plenty of oil on the foil from the baking of the breadcrumbs). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and spread 1/4 cup of the sauce on each piece of chicken, and then 1/4 cup of the mozzarella on each. Return to the oven until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

14 February 2019

Cherry Swirl Cheesecake - Instant Pot

Cherry Swirl Cheesecake - Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) / www.delightfulrepast.com

I decided a Cherry Swirl Cheesecake would be my first Instant Pot pressure cooker cheesecake. Four years ago I got on a kick developing slow cooker cheesecake recipes, such as my Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

A cheesecake takes 3 hours in the slow cooker. Not bad. But it takes just about 40 minutes in the Instant Pot, including coming up to pressure and pressure release.

Not a big deal for those of us who work at home; but for someone who wants to fit in making a homemade cheesecake before or after work, that speed makes all the difference. 

Cherry cheesecake was the first cheesecake I tasted when I was a young girl. I liked the flavor, but it was sickeningly sweet and full of red dye. But this is organic and natural all the way. 

I had some cherry puree left over because I forgot to put half the filling in the pan, spoon on half the puree, add the remaining filling and spoon on the remaining puree. So I just used what should have gone into the middle as sauce.  


Cherry Swirl Cheesecake - Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) / www.delightfulrepast.com


Cheesecake doesn't have to be a big production. It's just about foolproof in the Instant Pot or slow cooker. Just bring a few simple ingredients to room temperature, mix them up, assemble, pop it in and forget about it. 

The main thing is to make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature to ensure a perfectly smooth and silky cheesecake. I brought everything out of the refrigerator an hour ahead.


You might be celebrating something else today, but
I'm celebrating my Ninth Blogiversary of Delightful Repast!

The 7-inch diameter makes for the perfect size servings of something so rich as cheesecake. The more typical 9- to 10-inch size pans make either huge servings or very skinny, long wedges that aren't very attractive. 

If you don’t already have a 7-inch springform pan, you might try Fat Daddio’s 7-inch removeable bottom pan instead. And I just might get one anyway because I love my Fat Daddio’s cake pans.

Are you a cheesecake fan? Mr Delightful loves cheesecake, so I figure even if I never make anything but cheesecakes in the Instant Pot it will be worth it!


Cherry Swirl Cheesecake - Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Cherry Swirl Cheesecake


(Makes one 7-inch/18 cm cheesecake, 8 servings)

The Crust

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature (for pan)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (6 whole crackers, 3.25 ounces/92 grams)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

The Swirl

3/4 cup or so (5 ounces/142 grams) frozen whole pitted sweet cherries, thawed and drained
2 teaspoons non-GMO cornstarch

The Filling

2 8-ounce packages (454 grams total) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Butter bottom and sides of a 7-inch springform pan with the softened butter. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the buttered bottom of the pan, then butter the top of the paper as well. Combine crumbs, sugar and melted butter until the mixture comes together. If you used a food processor to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust in it as well. If you used the rolling pin/plastic bag method to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust with a fork in a small bowl. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom and one inch up the sides of the springform pan. Place in freezer while proceeding with the recipe.

Note: I use the Progressive International 3-Inch-Deep 7-Inch Nonstick Springform Pan, which I didn't find on Amazon except in this Set of 3 Springform Pans.

2 Using a 20-inch length of aluminum foil, make a “sling” by folding it in thirds lengthwise. This will help you get the hot pan out of the pot. Save it to reuse.

3 In food processor or blender, puree cherries; measure 1/2 cup. Stir in the cornstarch; let stand.

4 With electric mixer on medium speed, mix cream cheese and sugar until perfectly smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and beaters/paddle. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well on low for 20 seconds after each addition. On low speed, mix in sour cream and vanilla extract just until well combined, about 20 seconds. 

5 Pour half the cheesecake filling into prepared pan. Drop teaspoonfuls of the cherry puree on top of the filling in the pan, using not more than half the puree. Pour the remaining filling in the pan, and drop teaspoonfuls of remaining puree on top. Using a thin, pointed knife, gently cut through the batter several times in a figure-8 motion to make swirls, being careful to not disturb the crust. 

6 Place rack (with its handles down) in bottom of the Instant Pot cooking pot, and add 1 cup of water to the pot. Carefully set the cheesecake, centered on its foil sling, on the rack. 

Cherry Swirl Cheesecake - Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) - this photo shows foil sling used to lift hot pan out of the pot / www.delightfulrepast.com


7 Put the lid in place and turn the steam valve to Sealing. Attach the condensation cup to the back of the unit. Plug in the Instant Pot. Press the Pressure Cook key. Leave the indicator on High Pressure and change the cooking time to 25 minutes.

Note: It took just a few minutes to reach working pressure. This varies with the amount and temperature of the ingredients in the pot. 

8 When the beep sounds, turn it off by pressing Cancel. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release by turning the steam valve to Venting.

9 When the float valve drops down, carefully remove the lid. With a paper towel, gently blot any moisture that collected on top of the cheesecake. Using the foil sling, carefully lift out the cheesecake. An instant-read thermometer* inserted in the center should register 150F/66C.

* I have the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk-4.

10 Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Release the spring and remove the sides of the pan. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours before serving.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

07 February 2019

Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway

Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com

This batch of Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches was made for a little casual afternoon tea, but it will be on the menu at my next proper afternoon tea party, along with Cucumber Sandwiches and Sliced Egg and Dill Sandwiches

But before I go on (and on) about tea sandwiches, I want all of you who are not into that sort of thing to know that this knife we’re giving away is not just for tea sandwiches, so don’t click away! 

The New West KnifeWorks G-Fusion Petty Utility Knife is probably the most versatile knife in my collection. For this recipe alone, I used it for butterflying chicken breasts; chopping onion, fennel and cooked chicken; and cutting sandwiches. 

And it does so much more. It’s big enough and the right shape to use as a small chef’s knife and small enough that some cooks even use it as a paring knife. The razor-thin blade makes it great for filleting, boning and trimming silverskin.

For nearly a year, i
t’s been my go-to knife for shallots, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, small fruits and vegetables, chopping or chiffonading herbs, supreming citrus, cutting and trimming raw meat and carving cooked meat. But back to the tea sandwiches …


Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com


I have wasted so much tahini over the years. Love that stuff! And I use a lot of it in my Hummus and Baba Ghanoush (pardon those pictures, by the way, I was just starting out!), but then there’s always some left over. 

What else can I do with it? Mr Delightful is not a fan of dips, so I wanted to use it in a way he would enjoy, too. He likes chicken salad sandwiches, so there you go.

He’s not fussy about his sandwiches being perfectly cut, but (and now I’m talking to my Tea People) tea sandwiches must look as good as they taste. They must be cut very cleanly; squished sandwiches and ragged edges are simply not the done thing. 

So tell me, what is your favorite tea sandwich? And be sure to go to the section below the recipe for details on this very generous giveaway. If you don’t happen to need a knife, you know someone who does; and this knife would make a great and generous gift.


Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com
Blade Length 5.5 inches, Overall Length 11 inches, Max Blade With 1.187 inches


Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches


(Makes 32)

2
tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
3/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons minced onion

1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup minced fennel or celery
1/2 cup unsalted tahini
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
16 slices potato or buttermilk bread (or other soft, "wide" bread)
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, very soft



1 In dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove to 1.5-quart 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 up to 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Remove to plate to cool.

Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com


Note: I used the New West KnifeWorks Petty to butterfly the chicken breasts, so they needed just 10 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool.

3 Add onion to skillet and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes, deglazing the pan with the onion juices, scraping up any brown bits. Add the onion and oil to bowl with sesame seeds.

4 Chop the cooled chicken and add it to the bowl. Stir in the carrots, fennel or celery, tahini and lemon juice. Add the curry powder and remaining salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and chill for at least an hour before assembling sandwiches.

Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com

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 rectangles, 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.

Tahini Chicken Tea Sandwiches - New West KnifeWorks Review and Giveaway / www.delightfulrepast.com


New West KnifeWorks Petty Knife Giveaway



I chose the all black knife, but it comes in 7 other beautiful and unique New West color combinations you must check out. The knife comes with a beautiful leather blade protector.

This giveaway is open to readers in the US* who are 18 years of age or older. To enter, leave a comment below (one entry per person). Tell me the first thing you'd make with the knife and/or which color you'd choose. Please include your email address in the body of your comment. Must enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday February 13.



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




Winner will be chosen by random drawing and be announced here in the comments before noon Eastern time on Thursday February 14. If I don't hear back from the winner of the random drawing by noon Eastern time Sunday February 17, a new winner will be selected from the original entrants (those who commented before the giveaway deadline). 

Disclosure: New West KnifeWorks provided a knife for review purposes and one for the giveaway. The views expressed here are entirely my own. I always tell my readers what I really think!

Jean

31 January 2019

Maids of Honour - Traditional English Tarts

Maids of Honour Tarts - Traditional English Tarts - perfect for your next afternoon tea party / www.delightfulrepast.com

Maids of Honour Tarts, also called Richmond Maids of Honour, are said to date back to Tudor times and have had a tearoom/bakery devoted to them since 1850 not far from Henry VIII’s home, Hampton Court Palace, in the southwest London borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Not a custard tart, the filling is more akin to cheesecake than custard. The primary ingredient is curd cheese, something even people in England sometimes have trouble finding. With a name like that, you’d think cottage cheese would be the best substitute. But no.

Cottage cheese, even pressed through a sieve, is not similar to curd cheese. Curd cheese is, so I’m told, more like Neufchatel cheese (also called 1/3 less fat cream cheese), in both texture and fat content. Though my filling cracked on top, the texture was perfectly smooth and lovely.


Maids of Honour - Traditional English Tarts (tartelettes) / www.delightfulrepast.com

If you don’t have a 12-cup shallow bun tray/patty tin or mince pie/jam tart tin or tartelette pan, those are two I have and recommend. Or you could use a standard muffin tin, though it might be more difficult to get the tarts out.

Don't worry about the cracks. Both the taste and texture are superb. These are going on the menu for my next afternoon tea party, but I'll be making them even before then because Mr Delightful loves them! 

Maids of Honour Tarts - Traditional English Tarts - perfect for your next afternoon tea party / www.delightfulrepast.com

Maids of Honour Tarts


(Makes 12)

Half of 17.3ounces/490 grams package frozen puff pastry
OR 1/3 of my Rough Puff Pastry recipe 
4 ounces (113 g) curd cheese or low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
1/4 firmly packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) super-fine almond flour (ground almonds)
Finely grated zest 1 lemon 
1 tablespoon (0.5 fluid ounce/15 ml) lemon juice
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: a faint dusting of powdered sugar

1 Remove frozen pastry sheet from box and wrapping. Thaw at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes, until pastry unfolds easily but is still cold. Remove egg and cheese from the refrigerator and let cheese soften at room temperature for same length of time.

2 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Spray with cooking spray, or lightly butter, a 12-hole shallow bun tray/patty tin/tartelette pan. If you don’t have one, you may use a standard muffin tin.

Note: Some people bake them at 400F/205C/Gas6, probably thinking that's best for the pastry, but the pastry is fine and the filling is much better baked at the lower temperature. 

3 On lightly floured surface, roll out thawed pastry to about 9.5x12.5 inches/24x32 cm (pastry should be very thin) and with 3-inch/7.5 cm cutter, cut out 12 circles. Fit the pastry circles firmly into the tin, but do not stretch the dough. Place in freezer while you make the filling. Melt the butter and leave it to cool.

4 In small mixing bowl (I use a 1-quart glass measure), mix together the softened cheese, sugar, almond flour, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat in the egg and then the melted and cooled butter until thoroughly combined. Spoon the filling into the tart shells, filling them nearly to the top. Bake for about 25 minutes, until puffed and golden.

5 Let cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling. They will sink a little as they cool. You may give them a very light dusting of powdered sugar (icing sugar), if you like, just before serving.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

24 January 2019

Dal Makhani - An Indian Dish

Dal Makhani - An Indian Dish / www.delightfulrepast.com

Dal Makhani (pronounced doll mock-NEE), a buttery lentil curry, is a popular Indian (Punjabi, to be precise) dish introduced to me by Tony of the delightful blog London Calling after his autumn trip to northern India. 

Tony was part of a group of six whose guide organized a cooking experience for them in the home of a family in Old Delhi. This recipe is my adaptation of one he learned.

Dal Makhani is only the second Indian dish I’ve ever made, the first being Chicken Tikka Masala. With copious amounts of butter and cream, this is a very rich vegetarian, though not vegan, dish often reserved for special occasions.

It can be the main dish or an accompaniment. For me, a 1-cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) portion makes a perfect lunch all on its own, but it’s strictly a side dish for Mr Delightful.

The recipe Tony got from his hostess/instructor in Old Delhi called for cooking it in a pressure cooker. But I thought, since I’m brand new to pressure cooking, I’d adapt it to stovetop.

Lentils require no soaking and have quite a short cook time, and by using canned red kidney beans instead of dried, which take a long time, it really comes together rather quickly.

Dal Makhani requires no special equipment, just a 3-quart saucepan and a 2-quart saucepan and a food processor or blender to puree the fresh tomatoes. I’ve converted the difficult-to-find-here spices, such as black and green cardamom pods, to available ground spices.

Though I make no claims to authenticity, I think my adaptation captures the flavors quite well. But feel free to play with the spice amounts to suit your own palate.


Dal Makhani - An Indian Dish / www.delightfulrepast.com

Dal Makhani


(Makes seven 1-cup servings)

3 cups (24 fluid ounces/710 ml) water
1 1/8 cup (8 ounces/227 grams) lentils (I could not find the whole black gram lentils/urad dal called for)
1 15-ounce (425 grams) can red kidney beans, drained
3/4 cup* (6 fluid ounces/177 ml) heavy cream, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or 4 whole cloves
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon or 1/2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/4 teaspoons cumin or 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) tomatoes, pureed in food processor
1 4-ounce (113 grams) can diced green chiles (hot or mild, I used the hot) or 2 to 3 green chiles, minced
Garnish: cilantro (also known as fresh coriander leaves)

* That is a very generous amount of cream. I think next time I make it I'll use half the amount.

1 In 3-quart saucepan, bring water just to the boil. Stir in lentils that have been rinsed and picked over for debris. Bring the water to a rapid boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until tender.

Note: If you use urad dal, whole black gram lentils, they will require soaking and longer cooking.

2 Stir in the kidney beans, half the cream (3 ounces), salt, half the paprika (1/4 teaspoon), ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne. Leave it simmer for 15 minutes or so while you proceed with the tomato mixture.

3 In 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the coriander, cumin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon paprika, tomato puree and green chiles. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes “or till the butter leaves the gravy.” (If you don’t know what that last bit means, don’t ask me; just cook it for about 6 minutes and let that be that!)

4 Stir the sauce into the lentil mixture and cook for another 10 minutes over low heat. Stir in the remaining cream and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice and naan or roti.

Jean
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