Posts tagged ‘prosecco’

December 3, 2011

Molto Elegante!

Well, ’tis the season for cookies!

What a wonderful wintry welcome to this mild December. It is as cool as a cucumber out there! However, though they are not required, it is the appropriate time to wear your over-sized knit sweaters and indulge in sumptuous sweets. Pairing this mind set with another indulgence, I allowed myself the expensive baking supply SILPAT, non-stick rubber mat-thing, and I made the rather fussy Florentine.

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It is very important to maintain a voluptuous figure during the later months because it is also very important to keep warm and you need a little extra butter and chocolate to fill in the gaps. Plus, how can a treat this lovingly luminous be so terrible?

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I think not my friends, have 6.

Anyhow, the Italian Florentine is a love child between a cookie and a candy so, it is particularly perfect for this time of year. It seems a tad bit daunting, but you will be a stronger person after the anxiety allows absolute appeasement. As per usual, it also seems like a very careless, yet carefully curated recipe after a Prosecco or two. It seemed only right to keep in the Italian family. Capishe?

Almond Floretines

2 Cups sliced, almonds (after chopping, about 6 oz. before)

3 Tbsp. AP flour

Zest of 1 medium sized orange

1/2 Tsp. table salt

3/4 Cup white sugar

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

1/2 Stick unsalted butter

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (or almond if you are a devout lover)

Don’t worry about Pre-heating your oven, there’s a wait time!

First, chop, (or if you are a real person with appliances, pulse almonds in food processor until fine, be careful not to go too far, you are looking for particles not butter!).  In a medium sized bowl combine almonds, flour, zest, and salt. Create a little dip in the center.

In a small saucepan combine butter, sugar,corn syrup, and cream and set at medium heat. Let this mixture come to a boil and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. This is the daunting part because it seems as if at any second it will burn, but you will be just fine. Next, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Then, add this molten sugar to the center of your dry ingredients. Stir to combine and let set for 30 minutes while you drink another Prosecco and watch the Pomegranate seeds float around in there.

Now, Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

After you have waited this eternity, take half Tbsp. scoops, roll in your hands and set on PARCHMENT PAPER PREPARED BAKING SHEETS OR SILPAT. THIS RECIPE WILL DISAPPOINT AND BRUISE THE BAKER WITHIN. Bake for 11 minutes, rotating the pan at the 5 minute half point. Let rest about 2 minutes and then easily slip the beauts onto a cooling rack.

I made a simple chocolate sauce by melting some semi-sweet baking squares to splash on top. Then, some optional Florentine and chocolate sandwiches happened which were absurd, but mostly I just drizzled the sauce to add a little bit of a softer texture.

Buono Appetito!

The recipe is from Food Network, although I’ve made them a few times and made a few changes.

July 13, 2011

The Baking Baker

Living in the city during a heat wave really causes a great deal of melting all over the place. It seems like the usually pleasant 5 minute walk to the subway morphs into a dazed trek through an asphalt dessert, all the while your sandals stick to the syrupy black top. All this confused wandering really makes one want to sit next to the refrigerator with the freezer door open and a bag of ice on your forehead.

Not in this apartment today my friends! This freezer is moy occupado with a beautiful, tangy, frozen Key Lime pie to trick my overheated mind into thinking I’m on a breezy beach somewhere.

Key Lime pie
That 3 PM heat can be a real bother, but the fusion I stirred up today was delightfully frosty.

What to pair with this glacial goodness? At first a stiff G+T popped into my head, however it was a rather too good  an idea and I had some stuff to get done.

So, I was thinking something lighter, perhaps a Mimosa? Eh, kind of over it.

I asked my friend who suggested pomegranate juice instead of the OJ, you know to rock the boat a little. And boy howdy, a unique and surprisingly congenial pair they made.

WARNING! This pie and these Prosecco bubbles deplete quickly on a sultry day. Enjoy serenely but with some degree of haste.

Slice

This may be a bold statement, and I may change my mind, but I’ve made this pie a bunch of times and it really might just be my favorite pie of all time! What?! Can I really say that?

I did have 2 of those Pomegranate Prosecco’s so, maybe I can.

Anyway, I always use the recipe from Ina Garten. Which you can find here:

Ina Garten Key Lime Pie

It is a snap to make and the oven is only on for 10 minutes, perfect for this mid-July fever you may be suffering from.

The only things I have ever changed is adding lime zest to the plain whipped cream. I’ve also played around with the crust, adding nuts and honey to the simple graham cracker recipe.

Make this, close your eyes, and get through your sweltering Sahara.

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May 7, 2011

Morning Has Broken…

And so has the seal on this Prosecco bottle!

It’s a Spring celebration! For me, this means taking advantage of fruits and vegetables that are at their peak of perfection. So, at my produce market I saw those beautiful ruby red rhubarb stalks and the strikingly large pyramid of strawberries. After yelping out in joy, I filled up my basket and my mouth started to water just thinking about this most natural and harmonious combination of flavors.

Rhubarb

I couldn’t find my pie pan (gasp!) thus, a free form Crostata was my next option. It was absolutely marvelous. Seriously, strawberry and rhubarb together in anything means business.

Rhubarb Crostata

Paired with a crisp, refreshing glass of Prosecco, this made a terrific breakfast for me and my roommate Pablo.

BreakfastCheers!

Forks

Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata (Adapted from http://www.sweetpotatochronicles.com/wordpress/)

Crust                                                                              Filling

2 Cups flour                                                                  1/4 Cup cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar                                                          4 Cups rhubarb, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 Tsp kosher salt                                                      2 Pints of strawberries, quartered
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter                               2/3 Cup sugar
1 Jumbo egg                                                                   1 Jumbo egg
1 Tbsp milk                                                                    Raw sugar (for sprinkling)

Mix flours, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Now, grate the very cold butter with the large holes on a box cheese grater. An amazing method that will change your life a little.Whisk together the milk and egg and then stir into the flour. It will seem like not enough moisture to hold into a dough but it is. Use your hands to gather it into a ball. Flatten it into a disk, wrap tightly will cling wrap and put in the fridge for an hour.

Dissolve the cornstarch in about 6 Tbsps of water. Combine strawberries, rhubarb and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir well. Let simmer for another minute or two. Pour the fruit mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or completely cool.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. Whisk the egg and brush the entire surface of the dough. Go ahead and add the mixture to the dough, leaving about an 1 1/2 inch empty border of dough. Fold the edges up just enough to keep the filling in the center. Brush the border with egg and sprinkle the edges with raw sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

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