Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mostly, Food

I have been on a cooking spree!

Well, first, I have been on a checking-cookbooks-out-from-the-library spree, actually. Cook This Now, The Sweet Life in Paris, Simply Satisfying, and Around My French Table.

Which has caused me to be on a cooking spree!

Walnut cake with mocha whipped cream frosting: Tasty, mildly nutty, light. The frosting is the star of this show - hot cream poured over coffee and bittersweet chocolate, chilled, and whipped stiff. Also I am proud of the chocolate curls on top.

Quickbread with chives, walnuts, and cheddar. Sounds so awesome; turned out kind of boring and a hair dry. However, it's great toasted and spread with...

...cheesy creme brulee! Which, as you can see, was almost a disaster. Certainly the recipe didn't work for me at all; it asked for 40-50 minutes at 200 degrees F, at which point the brulees were still 100% liquid. I turned it up and left them in for another 45 minutes or so, took them out, sprinkled cheese on top, torched them, and then despite my skepticism around the concept of savory creme brulee...

...discovered that they were INCREDIBLE DELICIOUS, reminiscent of super rich mac and cheese, and SO WORTH all the hassle. Great on chips, great on toasted cheese quickbread, great with a spoon.

There was also an entire quart of leftover charoses from Pesach, which Alex and I have been struggling to eat before it goes bad. I mean, it's delicious, and you can eat it by the spoonful, but a quart is still a lot of charoses. So what to do with leftover charoses?

Charoses pie/crisp! Graham cracker crust, mound of charoses, crisp topping with oats and spices, 350 for half an hour. Delish!

And the final project of the two-day period: Milk and honey brioche. Which takes two days. Which requires 3/4 lb of butter and ten egg yolks. Which also requires a mixer with a paddle attachment, which I don't have, so I used my hands, realizing too late that Stella suggests in the comments trying it in a food processor. Which for a long time seemed like an utter disaster, with the texture of extremely sticky cookie dough and an apparent inability to rise at all.

When I at last put it in the oven, trembling for its fate, it did puff up but it also was a very ugly shape and blackened on the outside immediately rather than turning golden. Then I took a bite...

...and it was basically the best thing I've ever eaten. It's flaky, light, rich, sweet, crispy on the outside, buttery, and GLORIOUS. I legit wish I could make it every week. Too bad I can't afford that much butter! (Egg yolks I often do have, given frequent macaronnage. Although ten is still, um, excessive.)

Anyway, that's it so far for this week! Although I have a batch of macarons to make, commissioned on behalf of Paul's cast (for money!! although I'm definitely price gouging the competition). Probably mint or espresso with chocolate ganache.

In the meantime, here are more things I made in the last month, which I haven't posted about yet!


Clam chowder!

AMAZING chocolate torte. Basically, it's a ton of unsweetened chocolate and a ton of meringue, which was confusing and ugly, but incredible and now in my rotation, although unsweetened chocolate is also too expensive to use that much of very often.

Also, only part of this is homemade - the baguette - but I'm posting it because it was pretty much the best lunch ever. That's some kind of blue-veiny expensive cheese from the grocery store, and mind-blowing smoked salmon dip from Trader Joe's.

I also had a ton of leftover black eyed peas from making Hoppin' John (see: Sundays at Moosewood), and was tired of eating black eyed peas. Some dollops of cream cheese, cheddar, parmesan, garlic, and leftover green sauce from Mama's Empanadas, and bean dip it was!

Last but not least, in other news, Alex and I bought an expensive coffee table and I love it!!!! Well, expensive for us. Pretty normal priced for a regular coffee table that is fairly sturdy and pretty and not from IKEA. From now on: coasters and place mats, no exception!

Also, Andy Ball is here! And we have a great new subletter named Lara! And Alex's brother Ben came to visit! And I have a music director master class in programming keyboards with Mainstage coming up on Thursday! It's a cool week. :)


  1. Please send recipe for AMAZING Chocolate Torte.

  2. I thought I sent it to everyone. I'll go make sure you are included!

  3. I know you told me why but I still don't understand why you do not weigh 250 lbs. I keep telling you you could be a food writer. They know what to do with leftover food as do you.