12 May 2022

Sheet Pan Pancakes

Sheet Pan Pancakes / www.delightfulrepast.com

My Sheet Pan Pancakes recipe isn't one of those silly ones you see, with a load of sugar, that's more cake than pancake! This is breakfast, people, not dessert!

Pancakes are my favorite comfort food breakfast. I can't eat pancakes without thinking of my Southern grandmother. Grandma made The Best pancakes—actually, she called them hotcakes (Is that a Southern thing?). She made them really thick and fluffy, about 4 inches in diameter, and served them with lots of butter and hot homemade syrup.

This is my basic pancake batter recipe for thick and fluffy pancakes, arrived at through trial and error over the years, but with directions for sheet pan baking rather than 12 individual round pancakes. If you want to make some really good regular, not sheet pan, pancakes instead, use the same ingredients.

If you like the super thin, but not quite as thin as Crepes, pancakes my mother liked (Is that an English thing?), then try my Swedish Pancakes. What is your ideal pancake? Do you make them yourself or go out for them? Or do you prefer Waffles?


Sheet Pan Pancakes / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Sheet Pan Pancakes

(Makes 12 pancakes)

4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature

In 1-cup glass measure, melt the butter in the microwave (or melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove); set aside to cool slightly. In 2-cup glass measure, measure the milk and stir in the vinegar. 

2 In medium bowl (I use a 2-quart Pyrex glass measure), whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3 In small bowl (I use a 4-cup Pyrex glass measure), whisk together eggs, soured milk, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Pour into dry mixture and whisk gently until just combined. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.

4 Put one oven rack in the middle of the oven and one about 6 inches from the broiler at the top. Preheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas7. Line the bottom of a 15x10x1-inch "jelly roll" sheet pan with baking parchment paper. Brush paper and sides of pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.

5 Scrape batter into the prepared pan and give the pan a gentle shake to spread the batter out. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the center is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

6 Remove pan from the oven and turn the oven to Broil. Brush the top of the pancake with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, watching it closely, until lightly browned, turning pan as needed for even browning.

7 Cut into 12 squares and serve immediately (to everyone all at once!) with warm maple syrup or Homemade Blueberry Syrup/Sauce. Or store cooled squares in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

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

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28 April 2022

Swedish Pancakes - Pannkakor

Swedish Pancakes - Pannkakor / www.delightfulrepast.com

Swedish pancakes came about because a friend asked if I could pick up an order of Swedish pancakes from a local restaurant for her visiting grandchildren because it was one of their favorites. And I, of course, said "Why don't I just make some?"

So I read all about how they differed from crepes and then adjusted my carefully formulated crepes recipe accordingly. Some people use no sugar in Swedish pancakes, but others use crazy amounts of the stuff! Let me assure you the lone half tablespoon of sugar in my recipe is plenty for a sweet pancake.

Lingonberry jam is the traditional accompaniment and cannot be improved upon. The small sour berries make a delightfully tart jam that goes so well with a meal of Swedish meatballs as well as with Swedish pancakes. Some say it is raspberry jam that is "authentic."

But any berry jam will work. That and a light dusting of powdered sugar and a little whipped cream never go amiss. Wonderful for breakfast, but also great for dessert. In fact, they are the dessert following pea soup for a traditional Thursday night Swedish dinner.

And my British readers will notice straight away that Swedish pancakes themselves are the same as British pancakes! But the traditional accompaniment to British pancakes is a tiny sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Scrummy!

Do leave a comment and tell me about your favorite pancakes—Swedish, British, American, or otherwise—because I love them all! 


Swedish Pancakes - Pannkakor / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Swedish Pancakes - Pannkakor


(Makes 12 8-inch pancakes)

1 2/3 dip-and-sweep cups (8.33 ounces/236 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups (18 fluid ounces/532 ml) milk
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 In 1-quart glass measure, vigorously whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.

2 In a bowl, whisk eggs together, then whisk in milk and melted butter.

3 To get a really smooth batter, whisk no more than half the milk mixture into the flour mixture until smooth before adding the rest. Whisk well. The batter (about 4 cups) should be about as thick as heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

4 Use a 10-inch nonstick fry pan (I love this tri-ply stainless steel pan!) with flared (not straight) sides to make 8-inch pancakes. Put a tiny piece of butter in the pan and brush it around as it melts. Heat the pan over medium heat until it is thoroughly heated (droplets of water sprinkled onto the pan will sizzle and disappear immediately), about 3 minutes, depending on your pan and your stove. 

Tip: People are always saying the first pancake is just a tester. But your very first pancake will be perfect if you just have the patience to heat your pan properly. Don't waste your batter in an insufficiently heated pan. And remember to gently stir the batter before using it. Give it a stir before each pancake. Tender and seemingly delicate, the pancakes are really quite easy to handle.

5 Here it is now, The Swirl: Holding pan off heat, quickly pour into the center of the pan 1/3 cup of batter, and immediately begin swirling, tilting and rolling, the pan until the batter covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom and looking dry on the top, particularly the edge. The time will vary, depending on your pan and your stove; 1 to 1 1/2 minutes is about right for mine. Using both hands, lift the edge with your fingers and turn it over. The second side will need less time, about half, to cook.

Tip: I use a 1/3-cup measure, from my stainless steel measuring cup set, for just the right amount of batter. And I use a mini silicone spatula to start lifting the edge, then take hold of it with the thumb and index finger of both hands and quickly flip it over. To remove the finished pancake from the pan, just tilt it over the plate you're stacking them on and let it slide out.

6 Repeat until all the batter is used. This recipe makes precisely enough batter for 12 pancakes. For immediate use, stack pancakes and keep covered. Or stack on a plate and store, wrapped, in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 2 or 3 days; may also be frozen for up to 2 months. Allow frozen pancakes to thaw completely before unwrapping, separating, and reheating.

7 Serve with lingonberry jam or another type of berry jam, a dusting of powdered sugar, a dollop of whipped cream, or whatever you like.

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

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14 April 2022

One-Bowl Guinness Chocolate Cake

Guinness Chocolate Cake - Easy and Has No Eggs or Dairy / www.delightfulrepast.com

Guinness Chocolate Cake can be done as a single 8-inch layer with a simple icing or dusting of powdered sugar or as two 6-inch layers filled and frosted. But unless it's going on the afternoon tea table, I just make the single layer. With whipped cream, above, or a thin layer of icing, below.


Guinness Chocolate Cake - Easy, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free / www.delightfulrepast.com


Made without eggs or butter, Guinness Chocolate Cake also just happens to be vegan. I once saved a piece for four days, just for test purposes, and it was still fresh and fabulous! I had thought it might dry out since it has no eggs.

What does the Guinness add to the cake? What does it taste like? I can't really describe it, but it's different. The Guinness enhances the chocolate flavor and gives it a slightly tangy, malty flavor—a bit of an "edge," you might say.

Another thing you'll love about it is that it is so easy and no-muss-no-fuss. No need for a stand mixer or even a hand mixer. A one-bowl cake that will never wear you out or let you down!


Guinness Chocolate Cake - Easy and Has No Eggs or Dairy / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Guinness Chocolate Cake


(Makes one 8-inch round layer)

1 1/3 dip-and-sweep cups (6.67 ounces/189 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces/198 grams) sugar
1/3 packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) Guinness stout
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml OR 1.875 ounces/53 grams) extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Grease and flour one 8-inch round 2-inch deep cake pan (Don't even bother with shallow cake pans!). And a circle of parchment paper in the bottom will ensure successful removal from the pan, if you have that concern. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. 


Note: If you want to get fancy and make a sweet little layer cake (the size I make for an afternoon tea), divide the batter between two 6-inch round 2-inch deep cake pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. (I also love, and have several, Fat Daddio's cake pans.)

2 In a 2-quart bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add Guinness, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously for about a minute, or until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Run a knife through the batter a few times to break up any large air bubbles. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick.

Note: When measuring the stout in a 2-cup glass measure, let it stand a minute for the foam to settle and make sure the liquid, not the foam, comes up to the mark.

3 Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack to cool completely. 


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

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31 March 2022

Baba Ghanoush with Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges

Baba Ghanoush with Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges / www.delightfulrepast.com

Baba Ghanoush, my second favorite Middle Eastern food (after hummus) is another one of those things my texturally challenged husband won't even try. He's just not a dip/spread kinda guy. But since most people are, you should have some of this on hand over the weekend. Make a big batch, serve some tonight and the rest over the weekend. It keeps nicely for a few days.

As with the hummus, don't get too carried away with the garlic. Remember the garlic is just a minor player, the eggplant is the star. You'll have plenty of time to make the oven-toasted pita wedges (see below) while the baba ghanoush is chilling. Tell me, do you or someone you know have these texture issues, or is Mr Delightful the only person on the planet who doesn't like dips of any kind?

If you'd like to make your own pita bread for the Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges (below), it's really quite easy. I hope you'll try it soon. (And, yes, I do know that 'pita' means bread and that saying 'pita bread' is really saying 'bread bread'!)


Baba Ghanoush with Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges (watercolor by me) / www.delightfulrepast.com)

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I have to admit, baba ghanoush is not the most photogenic food in the world and needs some serious styling, which I didn't have time to do, so I used my watercolor eggplant painting for the "Pinnable-size" image in this post!

Baba Ghanoush - Caviar d'Aubergine

(Makes 2 cups)

2 medium (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total) eggplants
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon (1/2 small clove) minced garlic
1/4 cup unsalted tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Cut eggplants in half, score tops with diamond pattern, rub with just enough oil to coat. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast about 30 minutes or until very soft. Cool slightly. Scoop out flesh into colander and let stand a few minutes to drain off any liquid.

2
 In bowl of food processor, place drained eggplant and all remaining ingredients. Pulse 8 to 12 times. Put into serving dish and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate for at least four hours before serving. Can be made a day or two ahead.

3
 Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some finely chopped mint, flat-leaf parsley or pistachios. (I didn't have any of those on hand, so I just used some paprika.) Serve with oven-toasted whole wheat pita wedges (see below), sliced baguette or Armenian cracker bread (I love ak-mak!) and raw vegetable strips.

Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges

(Makes 48 wedges)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Brush a little extra-virgin olive oil on both sides of 6 whole wheat pitas (one package). Cut each into 8 wedges. Place on two large baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little salt, if you like. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until crisp; no need to turn. Can be made day ahead, cooled completely and stored in airtight container.

And here's my favorite kitchen timer, the TimeStack, 'cause if you're like me and have a lot going on at one time, you need more than one or two timers!

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

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17 March 2022

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chocolate Chip Cookies seem to be at the top of every "favorite cookie" list I see. I developed my other Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe years ago, with a few additions/changes to the usual ingredients.

Cutting back on the sugar makes that cookie a bit more "adult," but I wanted to make them even more so. So I experimented with the greater variety of chocolate chips available today and favored the 60% cacao bittersweet chips.

Brown butter is one of my favorite ways to add depth to certain recipes, and they certainly add depth to these, so much so that I had to put it in the name: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

If you're among the one in three people who prefer a crisper cookie, bake the maximum time. But if you're like the two out of three people who favor a chewy chocolate chip cookie, take them out of the oven while they're still a bit underbaked; also, try adding 2 tablespoons of milk to the dough.

If you're gluten-free, I've included directions for one of my favorite homemade gluten-free blends. How do you like your chocolate chip cookies: gluten-free or regular, crisp or chewy, semisweet or bittersweet chips, big or small?

PS My favorite type of chocolate chip of all time is the mini chocolate chip. If you know of a mini bittersweet chip, please tell me!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


(Makes 41 3-inch 30-gram cookies)

2 sticks (8 ounces/227 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour*
1/4 cup oats (1 ounce/28 grams), ground to coarse meal in food processor
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 firmly packed cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
2 large eggs 
1 tablespoon Kahlua or strong coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups (10 ounces/283 grams) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips

For gluten-free, whisk together: 3/4 cup sorghum flour, 3/4 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1 teaspoon xanthan gum to replace all-purpose flour.


1 In a 2-quart saucepan with a shiny interior so you can judge the color of the butter as it browns, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring or swirling frequently, until butter gets foamy and bubbly and just starts to turn light tan and smell nutty. You cannot take your eyes off it; it can go from brown to black in a flash! Let cool to room temperature. You can set the pan in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.

2 In a skillet over medium heat, toast the chopped nuts, stirring constantly, until you can smell their aroma, about 4 minutes. As with the brown butter, you cannot take your eyes off the nuts; they burn easily.

3 In a 1.5- to 2-quart bowl, whisk together the flour (or gluten-free ingredients), ground oats, soda and salt. Note: Measure the oats before grinding.

4 In a large bowl using a spoon or an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, Kahlua or strong coffee, vanilla extract, and vinegar. By hand, stir in flour mixture, chocolate chips, and toasted walnuts. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove dough from refrigerator about half hour (or more) before you want to make the cookies, or else the dough will be too stiff to scoop.*

* Which is how I happened to come up with the 30-gram weight of the dough balls!

5 Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Drop #40 scoops (0.8 ounces or approximately 1.5 tablespoons) of dough 3 inches apart onto ungreased parchment-lined cookie sheets (I use a heavy-duty half sheet pan). With your fingers or something (I used to use a 2 1/4-inch diameter flat-bottomed 1/3-cup from my stainless steel measuring cup sets), press each scoop into a 2 1/4-inch round.* 

* If you don't, you will get domed cookies. Baking times and how much cookies spread or dome are affected by the type of baking sheet you use and your oven.

6 Bake for 9 to 11 minutes (11 minutes is perfect with my oven for a lightly crisp cookie), until lightly  browned. For crisp cookies, bake a bit longer, watching carefully so that they don't burn; for chewy cookies, underbake a bit, but not too much. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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

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03 March 2022

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chicken Biryani is a popular dish of India and beyond that originated in Persia. Biryani is also made with other meats, but I prefer chicken thighs. It varies from region to region (and from cook to cook) in both ingredients and method, and (disclaimer here) I make no claims whatever to authenticity!

If you have made, or even had, biryani of any type, I'd love to hear about it. I have much to learn. There's a great long list of spices used in biryanis, but no one recipe includes them all. I checked my bottle of garam masala to remind myself which spices were included in that blend and then added two that were not in it and extra of a couple that were.


Chicken Biryani / www.delightfulrepast.com


Many people add garlic, but I am allergic. And many people add way too much garlic, which can easily overpower a dish. So if you do add garlic, use just one small clove or even less, so your finished dish will have some subtlety! But it is very flavorful without it, and I doubt that you would miss it.

The Naan - Classic Yeasted Flatbread of India and Beyond that I posted a month ago is the perfect accompaniment.

Have you tried any new dishes or cuisines lately? I think many of us have during the last two years!
 

Chicken Biryani / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Chicken Biryani

(Makes 4 servings)

The Chicken

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 cup (2.88 ounces/82 grams) plain yogurt
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 small clove garlic, crushed, optional
1 1/4 pounds (20 ounces/567 grams) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup tomato puree (fresh or half a 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, pureed)

The Rice

1 cup (6.625 ounces/188 grams) white basmati rice
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small bay leaf 
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

The Onion

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium (12 ounces/340 grams) onion*, quartered and thinly sliced 

* I used a yellow onion, but red or white are fine.

The Garnish

2 packed tablespoons cilantro (fresh coriander)


1 In 1.5-quart mixing bowl, whisk together garam masala, fennel, salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne. Gradually whisk in yogurt and grated ginger. Add chicken, coating well. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

2 In 2-quart saucepan, bring rice, water, butter, salt, bay leaf, and turmeric to a boil. Stir once and cover tightly with lid. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, leave covered, and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and remove bay leaf. Cover and set aside. 

3 In 12-inch skillet (that has a lid), heat oil and butter over medium-high heat and fry the onion slices until golden brown; this might take up to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside 1/3 of the prettiest fried onions for the garnish.

4 Add the chicken and marinade to the skillet and cook over medium to medium-high heat for about 7 minutes. Add the tomato puree and continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Stir in half of the remaining fried onions to the mix and continue cooking for 3 minutes.

5 Spread the rice over the chicken. Scatter the remaining onions (but not the 1/3 reserved for the garnish) over the rice. Cover with lid and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

6 Stir lightly. Leave in skillet or transfer to serving dish. Garnish with reserved fried onions and chopped cilantro. The cilantro is not just a garnish, it is an important part of the dish, so don't skip it or substitute parsley (unless you're one of those people who really don't like cilantro).

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

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17 February 2022

Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie - Made with Cocoa / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chocolate Cream Pie turned up on my to-do list when a friend told me she had been craving it, didn't have a good recipe, and couldn't find a single restaurant in town that made a good one.

You'll see recipes that call for huge amounts of expensive dark chocolate. I've had those pies, and they're good. But I make mine with cocoa and it gets raves.

I developed my recipe many years ago when I was a chocolate fan but haven't made it in several years. I made it for my friend this week and she loved it, so I'm posting it on the blog.

Speaking of the blog, this week is my 12th blogiversary. For 10 years I posted every week, and for 2 years every other week. I had no idea when I started Delightful Repast that I would still be doing it 12 years later!

Do leave a comment about pie or anything at all. I hope, wherever you are, you're enjoying life each day despite the difficulties. 
 

Chocolate Cream Pie - Made with Cocoa / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Chocolate Cream Pie 


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

The Pastry - Pâte Sucrée (a sweet shortcrust pastry) 

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (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
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

The Custard

3 cups (24 fluid ounces/710 ml) whole or 2% milk
1 cup (7 ounces/198 grams) sugar 
1/2 packed cup (1.5 ounces/42 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa
1/3 dip-and-sweep cup plus 1 tablespoon (2 ounces/57 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) Kahlua or triple-strength coffee*
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter, cold
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

* For triple-strength coffee, I put a tablespoon of ground coffee in a one-cup paper filter and pour over 1/4 cup boiled water. (I don't really know if that's precisely "triple-strength," but that's what I decided to call it!

The Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


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, leaving some visible chunks of butter. Add egg and vanilla extract; 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 5-inch round disk, wrap in square of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

2 Very lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie plate; I usually just run the butter wrapper over it. On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll out disk to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place pastry in pie plate, being careful to not stretch the dough. Leave a 1-inch overhang of dough. Crimp and flute the edge. (Sometimes you need to chill the pastry a bit before crimping.) Cover loosely with the piece of plastic wrap and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5.

3 Fit a square of baking parchment paper that has been crumpled into a ball then opened, or aluminum foil, in the shell and fill with ceramic pie weights (baking beans). Set on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any butter drips). Bake the thoroughly chilled crust for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and pie weights, pop on the pie crust shield and bake for another 15 minutes.

Note: I use two boxes of the ceramic pie weights, and they just fit nicely into a 200-gram tea tin. If you're not a loose leaf tea drinker, though, a quart canning jar works.

4 Remove fully pre-baked pie shell from the oven; let cool completely before filling, at least 30 minutes or hours ahead, whatever suits your schedule.

Note: I have the Le Creuset stainless steel 3.5-quart saucier, but they seem to be out of stock. Here is an alternative, and it is less expensive: Demeyere 5-ply stainless steel 3.5-quart saucier. A saucier is far better than a straight-sided saucepan for making custards and sauces. No "corners" that your whisk can't reach! 

5 Make filling while pie shell is cooling. In 2-quart saucepan, heat the milk just to a simmer. (If you don't heat the milk, the custard will take three times longer.) In heavy-bottomed 3.5-quart saucier or 3-quart saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa, flour, and salt. Whisk in eggs and Kahlua or coffee until thoroughly combined. Gradually add hot milk, whisking constantly. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until you see bubbles forming at the edge and the mixture thickening, about 5 minutes or so. Custard should be very thick, with the whisk leaving trails.

Note: Food safety guidelines are that any mixture with eggs should be cooked until it registers 160F/72C on instant-read thermometer.

6 Remove from heat. Whisk in cold butter and vanilla extract until butter is completely melted. Let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, whisking occasionally, before whisking well and pouring into pie shell. Pour into cooled crust and smooth top. Press a piece of plastic wrap or a circle of parchment onto the surface of the custard and let cool at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes, until cool; place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours before piping on the whipped cream, garnishing, and serving.

7 With a mixer, beat cold cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed. Pay attention when you start to see the cream thickening. Continue to beat at medium speed, watching for the soft peaks stage, then the firm peaks stage. If you're just spreading the whipped cream on the pie, stop there. If you want to pipe the whipped cream, beat to the stiff peaks stage. Pay close attention at every stage; it can turn to butter before you know it!

8 With a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip or 1M tip, pipe rosettes of whipped cream onto pie.

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

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03 February 2022

Naan - Classic Yeasted Flatbread of India and Beyond

Naan - Classic Yeasted Flatbread of India and Beyond / www.delightfulrepast.com

Naan is India's, and other parts of Asia's, classic yeasted flatbread that I love so much! Not that I'm an expert, but it's my understanding that yeast is traditional, but you'll see baking powder and/or baking soda in more modern variations.

I will likely never try those variations because I like the yeasted version so much. The bread is soft and pillowy and, at the same time, chewy. I like to spread the top with unsalted butter and sprinkle it with finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves. You might like a sprinkle of finely minced garlic as well, but I'm allergic and must refrain. 

You know how much I've been enjoying my cast iron tortilla press, making batch after batch of both corn and flour tortillas. So, naturally, I was going to try pressing the naan. And I am thrilled to report that it worked beautifully! But you can also roll them out with a rolling pin as most people do.

I did a lot of research on this and saw much disagreement on how thick/thin to roll the dough. Most said 1/8 to 1/4 inch. While that might be fine for non-yeasted versions, I found that the yeasted dough starts puffing up right after rolling so needs to be rolled as thin as possible, certainly no more than 1/8 inch (3 mm). 


Naan - Classic Yeasted Flatbread of India and Beyond / www.delightfulrepast.com


Naan can be any shape. To mimic the shape they might naturally assume hanging on the sides of a tandoor (cylindrical oven), you can roll them into ovals or teardrop shapes. I just make mine round because everybody's going to know I don't have a tandoor anyway!

Roll them out or press them one at a time. While the first one is cooking, roll out the second one, and so on. Since the yeast dough rises quickly, give each a final roll/press just before cooking. So easy because you get into a real rhythm. I've put cooking tips for both stainless steel and cast iron pans in step 5 of the directions.

In my research, I found all kinds of tips that different cooks swear by. Cover the pan with a lid for cooking the first side only, cover with lid for cooking the second side only, grease the pan, don't grease the pan. I tried it all. The only one that made a difference to me was this: Rub water on one side before placing it in the hot pan water side down. Doing that and then tapping fingertips over the surface right away really increased the bubbling.

These will be great with my limited repertoire of Indian dishes: Chicken Tikka Masala, Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala, and Dal Makhani. And being such a bread lover, the naan will inspire me to try more Indian recipes. And I look forward to working up a gluten-free naan for my GF friends.

Are you a bread fan? Have you made naan or other flatbreads? Tell me all about it in the comments below.


Naan - Classic Yeasted Flatbread of India and Beyond / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Naan - Classic Yeasted Flatbread

(Makes 8)

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (8 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) instant yeast
1 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces/177 ml or grams) hot but not boiling water
1/4 cup (2.16 ounces/61 grams) plain yogurt
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml/25 grams) extra virgin olive oil
For kneading and shaping: Up to 1/3 dip-and-sweep cup (1.67 ounces/47 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour


1 In a 1.5- to 2.5-quart mixing bowl (I like to use the Pyrex 2-quart glass measure), measure or weigh the flour. Whisk in the sugar, yeast and salt. 

2 In a 2-cup glass measure, measure the water; heat in the microwave until very hot but not boiling. Whisk in the yogurt and oil. Check that the temperature of the mixture is very warm (120 to 130F/49 to 54C).

3 Make a well in the center of the flour, then add the warm liquid to the well. With a spoon, slowly stir until soft, shaggy dough comes together. Turn out onto lightly floured (from that 1/3 cup) counter for about 5 minutes, adding only enough flour to keep it from sticking a great deal to your hands. (Set aside the remainder of that flour; you'll need it.) With very lightly oiled hands, make a ball of the soft, tacky dough. Place it in the bowl and cover the bowl with a lid, plate, or wrap. Let dough rise until doubled, about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Note: Naan can be made ahead up to this point (step 3). Just pop the risen dough into the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bring out of the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours ahead of the time you want to be shaping the dough for its second brief rise (actually just a 20-minute rest).

4 On lightly floured surface (from that 1/3 cup), shape the dough into a rectangle and cut the dough into 8 fairly equal parts. (I, of course, am so persnickety that I weigh the dough, divide by 8, and have realllly equal parts! These were 69 grams each.) Shape each into a smooth little 2-inch disk. Place on lightly floured plate and sprinkle lightly with flour. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. 

5 Cast iron: Preheat cast iron pan gradually until it is super-hot (see Note); I use the Lodge Pre-Seasoned 14-Inch Cast Iron Baking Pan with Loop Handles that has lived in my oven for more than 12 years now. To preheat cast iron pan evenly, place over medium heat for 10 minutes, rotating every once in a while. Then wipe on a teaspoon of olive oil with a paper towel and continue heating for 2 minutes. 

Stainless steel: Preheat heavy-bottomed 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 to 5 minutes.

6 Naan can be any shape. To mimic the shape they would naturally assume hanging on the sides of a tandoor (cylindrical oven), you can roll them into ovals or teardrop shapes. I make mine round. They should be rolled or pressed very thin, not more than 1/8 inch (3 mm).


Naan - Classic Yeasted Flatbread of India and Beyond / www.delightfulrepast.com


If using a tortilla press, place a very lightly floured disk of dough between the two layers of plastic* in the center of the tortilla press. Then gently press the dough ball. Turn it 90 degrees and press again. Press and turn until it is about 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter. 

* I use a 1-gallon zip-top bag cut into an open-on-three sides 8-inch square "folder" to line the press. Wash and save the bag for next time; it will last for many, many batches.

7 Peel back the top layer of plastic, turn it on your hand, and peel back the other layer; or pick up the rolled naan and lay it over your non-dominant hand. Brush, or with your fingertips rub, water on one side of the dough. Lay it on the hot pan, water side down, and press the surface all over with your fingertips. Cook for about a minute when the naan gets bubbles on top and is well browned on the underside. Turn and repeat. You can give it another turn, if you like. Put on a plate and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.

8 If serving right away, brush the top of each naan with butter and sprinkle on a little chopped cilantro. If serving later, do that after reheating the naan. 

9 The naan reheats beautifully. Wrap the completely cooled naan in foil and store at room temperature for a day or two. 

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

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