Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meringues Chantilly

For this week's Barefoot Bloggers post, BMK of Reservations Not Required picked this great recipe for meringues topped with stewed berries. I made this a few weeks ago when Phillip's cousin Jeremy and his wife Melanie came over to our house to go out to dinner. The meringues came out really nice, but they were not very easy to eat. The meringue part was crispy, while the berries and whipped cream were nice and soft. According to Jeremy, "this thing is pretty good once you tear into it with a steak knife!" I will definitely use this meringue recipe again, but I might make them more bite-sized next time. Also, I omitted both liqueurs (orange and raspberry), I couldn't see buying a whole bottle of each just for this one recipe. I'm sure that they made the recipe better, so if you have some lying around, by all means put it in!


6 extra - large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur, recipe follows
Stewed berries, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star - shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.

Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.

Spread some of the sauce from the stewed berries on each plate. Place a meringue on top and fill with whipped cream. Top with berries and serve.

Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur:

2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I omitted this)
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Don't overbeat, or you'll end up with butter!

Yield: 4 cups

Stewed berries:
1 half-pint fresh blueberries
3 half-pints fresh raspberries, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
2 teaspoons framboise (raspberry brandy) (I omitted this)

Combine the blueberries, one-half pint of raspberries, 1/3 cup water, the sugar and zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise. Set aside.

Yield: 8 servings

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot in Paris, Page 176

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Quail Stuffed with Goat Cheese

The men of the Morgan family are hunters. They get all dressed up in fancy hunting gear and set out after their prey. To see them, you would think that they were off in search of big game - rhinos or grizzly bears. They're not. They are in search of tiny, tiny birds. Quail, to be exact.

To celebrate Valentine's Day this year, I decided to find a different way to make quail for Phillip. They turned out well - they reminded us of my mom's chicken bacon rollups, just on a smaller scale.


4 small whole quail, wings removed (they are so small that they will burn)
olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
4 slices bacon


Season birds with with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Let the birds marinate, refrigerated for at least an hour, up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Cut a slit in each breast of the quail, fill the resulting pocket with the goat cheese. Wrap each breast in bacon. Tie the legs of each bird together with kitchen twine.

Roast for 15 minutes, or until juices run clear.

We served the quail with mashed potatoes and asparagus - the perfect dinner.

Real Spaghetti & Meatballs

When the Barefoot Bloggers choices came out a couple weeks ago, I was surprised to see that the first recipe was one that I had just made recently. Chosen be Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake, this is a wonderful fail-proof recipe for one of Phillip's favorite meals. When I made these meatballs, I froze half of them, so Phillip & I will actually be eating them again this week! Here is my original post, try them, you won't be disappointed!

Banana Split Cupcakes

Most of the cupcakes that I bake make their way to one place - the dental school. I normally take them in and set my carrier on the front desk of our clinic. What happens to them after that is not my responsibility. The students and staff at school know that when they see my pink carrier, they are welcome to help themselves. This is fine with me, but some of my friends are of the opinion that I am too lenient with who gets cupcakes. Because of this, my friend Sean decided to place a custom order so he could distribute it as he saw fit. When I mentioned banana split cupcakes, his eyes lit up and I knew that we had a winner.

There is no real recipe for these, I just used the cone technique to put sliced bananas in the middle of plain white cake, topped it with strawberry buttercream (my basic buttercream recipe with some strawberry jam added), chocolate drizzle, nuts and a cherry!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fluffer-Nanner-Nutter Cupcakes

This is the first new cupcake recipe that I've made in a while. After polling my classmates over the past few days, it was decided that a peanut butter, banana, & marshmallow fluff cupcake should be attempted. The banana cupcake was a little muffin-y, but I guess you're going to get that when you use fresh banana. The only change I will make the next time is that I will put more fluff in the center, you can never have too much fluff!

Banana Cupcakes
from howtoeatacupcake.com

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture and beat well. Add the bananas and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add all the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix until completely integrated.
5. Add the milk and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
6. Fill cupcake liners one-half to three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

I filled them with Marshmallow Fluff using the cone technique.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and 2 Tbsp. milk. Mix well, adding more milk as needed to make a fluffy spreadable frosting.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cranberry Maple Walnut Layer Cake

Happy Birthday, Lynn!! My friend Lynn is my most loyal blog reader. She even reads other blogs just to give me ideas. She loved my cranberry maple walnut cupcakes so much, that she asked me to turn it into a layer cake for her birthday. I turned out great (I'm actually eating the piece that she sent home with me right now), it is a great departure from a normal chocolate or vanilla birthday cake. I've never been able to get a picture of one of my layer cakes sliced, but Lynn made me cut into her cake before her guests got there so that we could get a picture of the inside (talk about loyalty!). The only change that I made to the original recipe was the addition of walnuts around the outside of the cake. I hope your (snow-filled) birthday was great, Lynn!