Chai Masala Macarons

Because I had a day off and wanted a project. Chai Masala Macarons, with garam masala spices in the cookies and salted caramel as the filling. You get a punch of black pepper to offset the sweetness and the other spices round it up.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
85g butter, in small cubes
1/2 tea spoon fleur de sel
140g egg whites
90g sugar, two times
160g almond powder
160g icing sugar
gel food coloring
ingredients

***

1. In a large, thick bottom pot, combine the sugar and water. Try to avoid the sugar getting on the sides.
sugar1

2. Turn the heat on medium and let the sugar bubble away. Gently swirl the pan if needed, but leave it mostly alone. It will bubble up and thicken.
sugar2

3. Then it will go from light yellow to amber to copper. The second it reaches copper, remove from the heat.
sugar3

4. Drop in the butter and whisk it in. The sugar will foam and bubble up. Add the cream and whisk it in. Stir in the fleur de sel. Transfer to a heat proof vessel and set aside to cool.
caramel

5. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
prep

6. For the spices, you want to grind them finely.
spices1

7. But remove the cardamom pods.
spices2

8. In a food processor, combine the almond powder, icing sugar, and spices.
dry1

9. Pulse until blended. Set aside.
dry2

10. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, pour the egg whites.
egg1

11. On low speed, beat until foamy. Add the first 90g of sugar. Increase the speed and beat for a further 2 minutes.
egg2

12. When it gets shiny and more opaque, add the remaining sugar. Increase the speed again and beat for an other minute or two.
egg3

13. Add the food coloring of your choice (I used yellow).
egg4

14. Beat until stiff peaks form. Remove from mixer.
egg5

15. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl.
combine1

16. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the eggs.
combine2

17. Keep folding, from the outside in and going underneath the mixture until it becomes more supple, and ribbons slowly, slowly meld back into the mass.
combine3

18. Transfer to a piping bag. If you have someone to help you have them hold the bag. if not, a mason jar will do.
piping

19. Pipe cookies of about equal sizes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bang tray on the counter top a few times to let air bubbles out. Set aside so the outer shell dries (about 15-30 minutes)
bang

20. Heat the oven to 290F. Bake the shells 15 minutes.
cookies1

21. Allow to cool fully on a cooling rack. Then smear one cookie with caramel and sandwich with another. Transfer, uncovered, to the fridge for 24h. Cookies will keep, covered, for about a week.
assemble

 

Chicken skewers with a yogurt marinade

The yogurt makes for extra tender chicken. The garlic scapes are less pungent than the garlic bulb and make for a more subtle taste.

Ingredients
2 chicken breast
4 garlic scapes (or more, to taste)
2 green onions
2 table spoon lemon juice
1/2 tea spoon salt
thyme, rosemary and black pepper to taste
ingredients

***

1. In a small food processor, combine the yogurt, garlic scapes, lemon juice, salt, herbs and black pepper.
marinade

2. Process until no large chunk remains.
blend

3. Cut the chicken into large cubes and coat with the marinade. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
chicken

4. Assemble skewers with vegetables of your choice (I used onions and Bumblebee tomatoes)
skewers

5. Grill. The marinade will stick a bit to the grill as it caramelizes. Serve immediately.
grill

Blueberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberries were not quite out when I started tinkering with this. This is the edited version, as the test version came out a bit too sweet and too heavy on the cardamom.

Ingredients
1 pie dough recipe
8 stalks of rhubarb
4 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tea spoon vanilla seeds
2 table spoon cornstarch
2 table spoon instant tapioca
pinch of salt
zest of a lime and half the juice
egg and coarse sugar, for the top
ingredients

***

1. Roll the bottom disk of the dough and line a pie plate. Put in the fridge so it stays cold.
bottom

2. Slice the rhubarb stalk lengthwise into halves or thirds depending on the stalk then dice finely and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
rhubarb

3. Add the blueberries to the bowl.
blueberries

4. Add the sugar.
spices

5. Grind the cardamom pods. Discard the husks.
cardamom

6. Add the cardamom and the vanilla to the blueberries and rhubarb.
spices

7. Add the cornstarch, the tapioca, and the salt.
starches

8. Stir gently to coat evenly. then put in the fridge for later.
stir

9. Roll out the top of the pie in a squarish shape. Cut into 8 strips.
roll-top

10. Retrieve the pie and filling from the fridge. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
filling

11. Put 4 strips of dough horizontally across the pie.
strips

12. Fold the top and middle strip of dough from the right toward the middle and add a vertical strip. Unfold the dough. Fold the other two bands and add the second band. Unfold and repeat on the left side (starting with the middle and bottom strips). Put the whole thing back in the fridge for 20 minutes for the dough to firm up.
lattice

13.Pre-heat the oven to 375F

Beat an egg in a small bowl and brush the strips with the eggwash. Sprinkle coarse sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. The juices will bubble up and spill and you don’t want them on the bottom of the oven.
eggwash

14. Bake for 55-60 minutes. The spilled juices are awesome over ice cream.
juices

15. Allow to cool fully.
baked-pie

16. Slice and serve.
cut-pie

 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Another recipe I stole from Ros. Makes a great side dish with just about everything.

Ingredients:
Brussel sprouts
1-2 apples
5-6 strips of bacon
1 table spoon maple syrup
Olive oil
salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F
Cook the bacon until half done (still soft) and set aside.
bacon1

2. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and discard any dry of damaged outer leaves.
rinse

3. Trim off any dry part of the root and slice in half.
halves

4. Chop the apples and add to the bowl.
apples

5. Chop the bacon and add to the bowl. Drizzle with the maple syrup and the olive oil and add black pepper and a bit of salt (the bacon is already salty). Toss to coat evenly.
bacon

6. Line a baking tray with aluminum paper and pour the sprouts into a mostly even layer. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
spread

7. The Brussel sprouts are ready when soft.
roasted

8. Serve warm.
serve

Goose breast with cranberry maple sauce

Easier than it looks and very tasty. One goose breast will feed two persons.

Ingredients
1 goose breast
1 french shallot, minced
2/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup veal stock
rosemary
salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Score the fat of the goose breast in a cross-hatch pattern, bring careful not to cut the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
goose1

2. Put fat side down in a cold skillet and turn on to medium-heat. Allow the fat to render for 2 minutes, removing excess if needed.
goose2

3. Turn over and color the other side of the meat for 2 minutes.
goose3

4. Transfer to an oven safe plate and put in the oven for 15 minutes.
goose4

5. Drain most of the fat from the plate. Add the minced shallots and cook until translucent.
sauce1

6. Add the cranberries.
sauce2

7. Add the veal stock (don’t be like me, actually get your stock room temperature first).
sauce3

8. Add the maple syrup and rosemary.
sauce4

9. Bring to a boil and reduce the sauce. Adjust seasoning if needed.
sauce5

10. Take the goose breast out of the oven and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes.
goose5

11. Slice and dress with the sauce. Serve with roasted vegetables and a starch of your choice (I went with couscous).
plate

Chocolate Praliné

Probably the evilest most addicting thing that can be made with simple ingredients. This is better than Nutella. You’ve been warned.

Ingredient
300g almonds
300g hazelnuts
400g sugar
2/3 cup water
355g Milk Chocolate chips
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300F.
Mix the nuts and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put in the oven for 5 minutes then turn off the oven (leave the nuts in the warm oven)
nuts

2. In a thick bottomed pan, combine the sugar and water. Attach a candy thermometer, making sure the probe touches neither the bottom nor the sides.
sugar1

3. Over medium heat, bring the sugar to 224F.
sugar2

4. Working quickly, add the warm nuts. From this point on you’ll want to be stirring constantly.
sugar3

5. The sugar will crystallize. This is normal. Resist the urge to panic and think you messed things up. Keep stirring until it melts back down into caramel (5-10 minutes after step 4).
sugar4

6. Spread the nuts on a parchment lined cookie sheet and allow to cool fully.
nuts2

7. Break the cooled down nuts into small clusters. Add them a few at a time to a food processor and pulse until mostly broken down. Go slow at this step. You don’t want to burn out the motor of the food processor.
buzz1

8. Repeat until all the nuts are in.
buzz2

9. Slowly increase the length of time the blade runs. Take the time to stop and scrape down the sides every other pulse. As it processes the nuts will turn first into a dry mass.
buzz3

10. Then eventually into a nice, shiny, elastic paste as the oils emulsify. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside. The paste will likely be warm from the friction of the blade.
buzz4

11. Measure out the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set-up a double boiler.
choco1

12. Melt the chocolate (no need to temper it)
choco2

13. Add the melted chocolate to the nuts paste.
combine1

14. Mix to combine.
combine2

15. Seal and allow to cool to room temperature. Resist the urge to eat with a spoon.
done

Mini pies

Perfectly cute one bite mini pies. Would probably work with any fruit preserve. Dangerously easy to just eat the whole tray.

Ingredients
1/2 pie dough recipe.
1/2 pint pear butter
Flour
Pam or other non-stick spray

ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Roll out the dough until fairly thin.
dough

2. Spray the mini-muffin tin. Cut the dough roughly into squares or rectangle and push into the tin, making sure it’s all the way at the bottom”
dough2

3. Spoon in the pear butter.
fill

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
cook

5. Remove from the muffin tin with a chopstick and allow to cool.
Enjoy!
eat