Pin this dreamy dessert as it uses a lot of rhubarb in one dish – 4 to 5 cups if you don’t mind. What makes it dreamy? That is for you to decide…. Sweet and tangy rhubarb tops a shortbread like crust. You could easily add walnuts or coconuts or even berries to the mix you wanted. My version has less sugar than some of the others out there and the additions of cinnamon and orange zest for ‘depth’. Serve warm with ice cream al a mode or cold for breakfast.
2/3 cups confectioner sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup butter soften and cut into cubes
5 cups chopped rhubarb, about 1/4 to 3/8 inch wide
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs (or 5 if you have funny odd egg laying chickens like I do)
1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, add your chopped rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon and zest. Mix it up and let it sit for a while and start to macerate and mingle if you have time. If not, no worries.
In a separate bowl, make the crust by mixing flour and sugar with a fork. Then cutting in cubed butter with a pastry cutter. Or do this in your food processor. Don’t worry if if doesn’t turn into a batter like mixture, just make sure that the butter is well incorporated, small pieces, even through out.
Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper or grease. Press in crust mixture. Make sure it is even and packed down.
Bake crust along for about10-12 minutes. It will not be 100% cooked.
Mix up the topping. Add to the rhubarb/sugar/cinnamon/zest mix; the beaten eggs and salt. Combine well and then add in the 1/2 cup flour and mix together.
Pour on top of pre-cooked crust and put back in the oven for another approximately 45 minutes of baking.
I love weekends! The little bit extra time to putter in the kitchen is truly enjoyed. This weekend I attempted my maiden aquafaba voyage.
Aquafaba is basically chickpea or garbanzo bean brine from the can discovered by a likely desperate-for-meringue-egg-allergic-genius. The history of aquafaba still contains more mystery and legend than fact. But there is science to support its function. The basic science involves vigorous whisking/beating to transform the starches, proteins and yet to be discovered substances in the bean brine. For this chocolate mousse recipe you beat the aquafaba into stiff stiff peaks like you would for a meringue. I added a touch of cream of tarter to help it along but that is not required. Fortunately there is an entire site dedicated to informing the globe and growing the aquafaba community. Check it out at aquafaba.com Aquafaba is holds great potential for recipes vegan, egg-allergic or just those of us that like an alternative. It also feels good to not waste something. New hashtag to trend? #magicbeanbrine
This chocolate mousse recipe is very simple, minimal ingredients, giant flavor and the opportunity to make different variations. Try altering the cocao percent (but more than 70%), the extract (almond, mint, orange), or the toppings (berries, ginger, herb, smokey salt, bacon…….). The beans I used had some salt added. If you use a version without salt, you might want to add a touch to the aquafaba to enrich the flavor.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
3/4 cup aquafaba, or the brine out of one 15 ounce can of garbanzo/chickpea
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
range of 1-4 tablespoons powdered or caster sugar, depending on how sweet you want it and how pure your cocoa is
100 – 160 g dark chocolate, again this is a bit flexible. I used a mix of 85 and 90% because that is what I had on hand.
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or other extract, like almond
Toppings: cocoa nibs and almonds (or all sorts of other exciting things)
Other options: try PB2 powder along with powdered sugar or some finely ground coffee (not brewed)
Set up a double boiler or bain-marie (if you are feeling fancy frenchy) to melt the chocolate.
Put the aquafaba #magicbeanbrine into a big bowl that is completely dry, no water, no oil etc (just like a fussy meringue). Add the cream of tarter if you are using it and salt if your base brine is low or free of salt.
Using an electric mixer, unless you have tons of energy and mad whisking skills, beat the aquafaba from at least 5 to 15 minutes on high speed. You will watch it foam up. After maybe 10 minutes or so, taste it. At this point I sprinkled in the first table spoon of powdered sugar and beat it in. I repeated this until it was sweet enough for my sweetheart. You could add the sugar at the very end as well.
You will be done beating/whisking when really stiff peaks are formed
The chocolate should be melted by now. Add in the vanilla bean paste if using. Stir and remove the melted chocolate from heat.
Ideally in a dry clean third bowl – pour in your melted chocolate and add about a quarter of the meringue and start folding the chocolate and meringue together. Continue folding and adding meringue until well combined.
If you add the chocolate in a big dump you risk the chocolate seizing up and getting grainy and weird.
It took me a lot more folding that I thought to really get the chocolate and meringue mixed together. It will lose some volume/loft but that is ok, there is still air in there to make if fluffy and mousse-y.
Once combined, pour into glass jars or bowls or wine glasses, however you want to serve. I used canning jars. Just a 1/2 cup serving or so is plenty.
Pop in the fridge to firm up for a few hours if possible.
Part of me next time wants to try a creme brûlée burnt sugar topping on this next time…..
I have seen variations of a paleo chocolate mousse with coconut cream or avocado but i really like the simplicity of this recipe. I might add some coconut cream next time around just to see how it changes it other than extra calories? Your choice of chocolate will also be influence by dairy tolerance and sugar preferences.
A few other of my favorite egg-white recipes better watch out too
There are a few other recipes out there that I reviewed and mushed together to try my hand converting bean brine to a dessert brimming with antioxidants. Check them out too and then share back how you transformed the #magicbeanbrine.
Baklava for breakfast this morning! Do not be intimidate by the thin flaky layers. Baklava is pretty simple to assemble when using a quality pre-made phyllo dough. Use a combination of your favorite nuts, raw or toasted. I like walnuts and pistachios the best. If using salted nuts, do not use salted butter (but I would suggest unsalted nuts). Please share if you have a favorite family Baklava recipe. I based mine off of one posted on allrecipes.com but would love a family rendition to try as well!
Want to make your own phyllo? Here is a useful video. But I am still buying mine for now.
Baklava – makes one 13 x 9 inch pan ; freezes well assuming it isn’t all eaten immediately
1 pound nuts, chopped
1 cup of butter, melted
16 oz phyllo dough defrosted (premade, in the freezer section)
1 large orange, zested (optional)
3 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1 cup water
1 cup sugar!)
1/2 to 3/4 cup honey (crystallized works great too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extra or paste
Defrost phyllo dough (filo dough?) according to package. This can take a few hours. Plan ahead. I didn’t and then gently defrosted in the microwave. Not recommending this as the sheets weren’t quite defrosted and then broke. But guess what, broken pieces of phyllo work just fine.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt the butter in a glass bowl or measuring cup
Chop the nuts and put in a small mixing bowl. I use a nut grinder for this. Toss with cinnamon and orange zest. This is the filling!
Layering the phyllo dough sheets takes the longest. You will have 6-8 sheets for the bottom and 6-8 sheets for the top. the rest of the baklava is based on layering two sheets, filling, two sheets, filling etc. Until your pan is full, you run out of phyllo or you run out of filling.
Layer the sheets two at a time, brushing with butter as best you can. For bottom that means, one sheet, two sheet, brush with butter, three sheet, four sheet brush with butter, five sheet six sheet, brush with butter.
Add a layer of filling. Just a little bit, light even sprinkle. Then one sheet, two sheet, brush with butter. Add filling… you get it by now. When you are nearing the end, repeat the top just like the botton, so you have a nice substantial top layer (one sheet, two sheet butter, three sheet four sheet butter……)
Once all layers are in place, cut the squares in the pan before cooking.
Place in the oven and a bake for 30-50 minutes. Why the variation? Well, i have had one batch that took 30 minutes to be flaky and brown and one about 50 minutes. I think it is related to one batch I didn’t use as much phyllo dough because I ran out of toppling (a few layers were maybe to heavy). But that is ok, this is really forgiving and flexible.
It is done backing with brown and crispy.
While baking, make the sweet syrup. Dissolve the granulated sugar in hot water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes then add the honey and keep simmering until baklava is done backing. stir in vanilla at the end.
Remove the baklava from oven and spoon the hot syrup over the pastry. I used a spoon and repeated light application repeatedly. I don’t always use all the syrup (but when i do…) to avoid soggy bottom baklava.. Sad face.
I strongly encourage you to eat a fresh from the oven corner piece. This is joyful and helps you with removing the rest of squares for storage. Do not store the pastry in the pan for long as it will get soggy. I store them in cupcake liners or on a plate.
Rumor has it these freeze well and spring back to life with a quick warm up in the oven. But I haven’t had a chance to test this.
Happy Lunar New Year! This year’s celebratory dessert was the product of many firsts. First time cooking black forbidden rice, first dessert in the (new) pressure cooker and first batch of rice pudding. The result was a warm, comforting, lightly sweet, simple yet crowd pleasing dessert. This doubles easily, if your pot is big enough, and can be served in a large serving dish (warm or cold) or in mini – jars. Sky is the limit with topping options, I opted for mango and pomegranate (red and yellow colors) with toasted coconut and you could add spices to pudding like cardamom. You could even just cook the rice and stop there as a uber fast route to a nutty side dish. Forbidden rice takes forever to make, as it needs 8-24 hours just to soak (hence why I had not previously done).
For Lunar New Year, I always bring dessert to ensure there is a perfect sweet treat to end the feast. If you know me, you have heard my rant about Asian desserts (beans. really?) Past Lunar dessert recipes include:
I pressure cook in a stovetop All American canner/cooker but this will work just fine in your electric pressure cooker as well. This recipe is based on Pressure Cooking Today’s version based on NY Times so it must be good. And it is.
Forbidden Black Rice Pudding
1 cup black rice, rinsed, but no need to soak
1 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup light coconut milk (1 can 15 oz)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Mix black rice, water, butter and salt in pressure cooker.
Lock the lid per your pot specs and select 15/place weight or program pot to High Pressure.
Let pot reach goal pressure and then cook for 22 minutes. Set a timer!
After the cook time, let the pot sit and use a natural pressure release method for 10 minutes (aka in stove top just let it sit and watch the gauge go down). After 10 minutes, safely release any remaining pressure by opening away from you.
Open pressure cooker and ooh and ah at the miracle of pressure cooked black rice. Fluff it up with a fork.
Pour in half of the coconut milk (about 3/4 cups) and sugar and mix with cooked rice.
For electric cookers, select your version of ‘saute’ or for stovetop, turn stove to medium/medium low heat. Heat and stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. The milk with turn purple too.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, remaining 3/4 cup coconut milk with vanilla extract until well combined; Pour through a fine mesh strainer (or don’t, the world is still turning) into the pot. KEY! Stir constantly while pouring in and until mixture just starts to boil. Otherwise you will have scrambled eggs with rice.
Once boiling, reduce heat to barely a simmer if you would like to keep warm and thicken a little more. Just remember it will thicken as it cools.
You can serve this straight from the warm pressure cooker or chill for later. Let it cool before putting in fridge though. If you like it more creamy but will need to cool, add more coconut milk to reach desired consistency then cool.
If you want to serve in little jars, I use the the 1/2 pint Ball jars filled with about 1/2 to 3/4 headspace or just below the threads. This recipe will make 12 jars.
It’s so nice to have you back where you belong… in my kitchen and on my blog.
Hello Dolly Bars are a favorite of mine and really any other rational person, given that they are gooey sweet with coconut and caramelized sweetened condensed milk (oooh, wee those corner pieces!). They go by other names such as Seven Layer Cookie bars, Magic Cookie bars, Jungle Bars, Double Delicious Bars and Whitney’s favorite Crack Cocaine Cookie Bars (ok, crack is whack and that isn’t super funny nor what I shall call them. Gah.) You can add and subtract the ingredients as long as there is a graham cracker and butter basement and a layer of sweetened condensed milk on or near the top. I like mine straight forward with coconut, nuts and chocolate chips. But feel free to use butterscotch or peanut butter chips, mini marshmallows, raisins, broken pieces of chocolate bars, oatmeal or a variety of nuts. I use walnuts or pecans typically. Nuts can easily be omitted if allergies. Don’t get super hung up on quantities, if you have more or less of the toppings, I am sure it will turn out just fine.
Do you have a Hello Dolly memory? What is your family’s name for this chewy gooey goodness?
1 stick (1/2 cup butter) melted in a 9×13 pan
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
At least 1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coconut – i have used sweetened and unsweetened
1 cup of nuts, walnuts, pecans coarsely chopped
1/2 to 1 whole can of sweetened condensed milk (SCM)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Pour melted butter, or melt butter directly in glass pan, into a 13×9 in pan. Create the crust by sprinkling in the graham cracker crumbs and pressing them evenly and lightly. Add the coconut flakes, nuts, chocolate chips and top by drizzling on the sweetened condensed milk. Or try putting the coconut on top of the drizzled SCM.
Bake for 30 minutes or so until toasty brown on top. Resist eating them while warm if you can. One of life’s true pleasures.
Stack cakes – yum. Oft made with fresh crepes or grandma’s secret pancake recipe. Today I present my quick version featuring pannkakor (swedish pancakes) from IKEA with home-canned organic free range blueberry filing and cointreau whipped cream. Fruit and cream stack cakes are great for a special brunch or dessert at anytime of day (remember life is short). You can amp up the sweetness by using a more jammy or compote-y filling or by whipping up the cream, folding in mascarpone or yogurt/creme fraiche and additional sugar. I didn’t really measure and you shouldn’t either, just have fun.
Ikea Pannkakaor (swedish pancakes) or make your own crepes
Whipping cream, about a pint (little less)
1/8 cup sugar
3 tablespoons plus or minus or not at all Cointreau, rum etc.
Fruit filling (jam, fruit packed in syrup, mash up fresh berries, syrup, nutella etc)
Extras: lemon or orange zest for the top, powder sugar, mint leaves for garnish etc
Defrost the pannkakor. The IKEA ones are folded into quarters. This makes them fragile and likely to tear along the seams but that is not a problem in this recipe.
Prep the fruit filling. As you can tell by the noncommittal ingredient list, there isn’t a wrong answer. You could use pie filling, mashed berries, make a compote quickly by heating mashed berries with a little water and sugar (here is a nice tutorial), use jam, syrup etc. Any combination and you can chose how sweet. I am trying to use up some items in the pantry in prep for this seasons canning so it was blueberries in simple syrup for me.
In a large mixing bowl add the liquor and sugar to the whipping cream. Stir and taste, add more sugar at this point if you want. Using your mixer (because doing by hand defeats the WHOLE point of using frozen crepes) on high speed whip up the whipping/heavy cream until steep peaks form.
Start stacking! place the first pancake down on a plate, spread with whipped cream add fruit and layer on the next pancake. Now, I tried to rotate so that the seams didn’t line up, especially the broken ones.
Just keep on spreading and repeating. A few layers just had cream in them.
Be sure to leave enough whipped cream and fruit for the top show layer. Here is where you can add citrus zest, dusting of powder sugar or cocoa, mint or basil leaves (strawberry basil?) etc.
It is best to serve relatively soon after you make it but if you need to make ahead, do all the layers except the top. Save that for right before serving. Slice with a big knife and soak up the oohs and aahs.
Filtered Final Foto for Effect
Next time I will be making a strawberry version with my favorite strawberry balsamic jam! And then maybe a pear, cinnamon, rum and orange version (fall brunch anyone?)
I would love to hear your Ikea food hacks – please share.
Previously, I was not a big creme brûlée fan. No good reason, just meh or I will have the seasonal sorbets please. I also had no idea how simple it is to make. Fancy French dessert? Must be complicated, require stilettos, twelve hours, culinary degree and secret ingredients grown in the shade of the Eiffel Tower. Well, it is not. It is the perfect combination of quality ingredients, topped off with flames! I looked at quite a few recipes as there are many variations and approaches – my version is a mishmash of Joy of Cooking, Ina Gartner, Alton Brown, Martha and Julia. You could certainly make a batch and bake in a single larger dishes (for a little longer) but I love jars and desserts in jars. The 4 ounce canning jars make the perfect personal sized dessert. My recipe makes about eight or nine of the 4 ounce jars; little ramekins work too but will hold a little more volume. I easily tripled this recipe to make two dozen for our recent Lunar New Year Celebration. Dessert and a Show!
3 egg yolks; save the whites and make a quick batch of coconut macaroons or freeze for future use.
1/3 cup sugar
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 (generous) teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I like the kind in the jar, but you could scrape out a bean too)
2 (generous) teaspoons Cointreau (optional)
Another 1/2 cup or so sugar for topping and burning after baking
Raspberry, mint leaves and other garnishes: I also used coconut chips, sky is the limit
Heat the oven to 325 F. In a baking dish, e.g. 13×9, place the jars in and then fill pan with hot water until it reaches about 60% of the way up the jar.
Whisk the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar, vanilla paste and Cointreau in a large mixing bowl using a fork or whisk. I love my large glass measuring bowl with pour spout.
Scald the cream in a sauce pan. Stirring most of the time. I scald by heating and stirring until tiny bubbles just start forming on the edge.
Pour very slowly the scalded cream into the eggs/sugar stirring constantly until all combined. You don’t want to dump and scramble the eggs.
Stir until well combined and then pour into prepped glass jars. I definitely suggest straining/pouring through sieve to remove any lumps.
Put the dish with jars and water into the oven and bake until creme ‘trembles’ but is set in the middle. This was about 35 minutes when using the 4 ounce jars.
When done baking, remove jars from water bath/pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to finish setting.
About 30 minutes before ready to serve, let the jars sit at room temperature. Then cover with a thin layer of sugar and use a torch quickly melt/burn the sugar. You can do this under a broiler preheated to high. This is a little trickier. Yes, that is me RS babywearing and putting finishing touches on desert. For safety reasons and fun for the hubs – I let him put the “brûlée” in Creme Brûlée.
This easy three plum galette graced our late summer table and will likely make a fall comeback as a pear version. Galette is a Frenchie word describing a variety of flat freeform flakey, crusty desserts. Crusts can be made with puff pasty or pie crust or somewhere in between. I always have a box of puff pastry on hand from baked brie with honey and garlic (self, why no blog post?); top pie crusts, empanadas, beef wellington (on my list!) and caramelized onion tart.
Don’t worry if it is not perfectly rectangular or round or the rolled edges are a bit wonky – call it rustic and take its photo. See below. You can also make them individual portions, like this Bon Appetite idea, using a knife or cookie cutter. Key with puff pastry is working fast so it doesn’t warm up to much. You could also make puff pastry from scratch – never attempted, best left for LeCB chef extraordinaires.
I promise I am done with plum recipes for the year. Pin this away for next year or for inspiration with whatever is seasonal.
Plum Fruit Galette
Approx. 1 lb of plums, I used three colors for flare! Or apples, pears, berries etc.
1 sheet of prepared puff pastry, defrost according to package, about 14 ounces, but this doesn’t need to be exact
1-3 tablespoons of honey for drizzling
Fresh thyme or rosemary or basil or mint – depending on your taste and fruit.
1 T Olive oil
Optional; beaten egg white with water or cream to brush on edges to help brown
Preheat oven to 425 F
Slice and pit the plums into wedges, not to thick but about the same size.
Unfold/roll the puff pastry sheet onto a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Fold or roll over the edges all the way around OR run a knife around the edge about ½ inch in, without cutting through. This will allow it to ‘puff’ up and make a border. It never works all that well for me.
Brush the pastry with the olive oil, lay down the plum slices. Top with herbs and drizzle with honey. You can warm the honey up a tad so it drizzles easier and faster.
Bake 25-35 minutes until brown and fruit is soften with some carmelization. Suggest rotating the pan part way through if your edges are browning up equally.
Sprinkle with salt sparingly before serving. Goes great with ice cream! (but what really doesn’t…)
You can make a lot of modifications to this recipe, could spread jam lightly on the pastry instead of olive oil and pair with a different fruit or savory item, add spices like nutmeg or cinnamon. Sprinkle with sugar, play around with herbs etc. Enjoy!