Posts Tagged ‘kiwi’

DB November – Chocolate Fruit Crostata

 

So how did it go, everyone?

Lots of family, friends, and love? Some turkey with stuffing?  Mashed goodness? Sweet goodies in crusts?

I was lucky this year and celebrated two Thanksgivings, once with my friends and once with my family. That meant double the fun, double the cheer, double the poultry, and double the dessert. So this month’s Daring Bakers challenge could not have come at a better time! This way, I could make the challenge for one Thanksgiving and make the dessert of my choosing for the next. And ohhh how excited I was to make this challenge! It was actually quite easy and I imagine it won’t be the last time I attempt to make a lovely crostata with some minis for snacking.

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge the Daring Bakers to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Chocolate Fruit Crostata
adapted from the Daring Bakers website and Dorie

Makes 1 crostata.

Ingredients

For Pasta Frolla:

  • scant 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • grated zest of half a lemon
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For Chocolate Pastry Cream:

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small piece

For Assembly:

  • fruits of your choice, sliced if necessary

Instructions

For Pasta Frolla: [I made mine using a food processor but see the DB website if you are making it by hand.] Pulse sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in a food processor to mix. Then add cold butter and pulse until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. Empty contents of the food processor onto your work surface.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the beaten eggs.  Using a fork, begin to combine the eggs with the dry ingredients then use fingertips to finish. Knead until a ball forms – do NOT overknead as the cold butter will get warmed by your hands and you will lose the flaky crust – and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, patting into a round disk. Chill for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch or 3 mm and place in tart pan (or pie plate which is where I made mine). Cut off excess around the edges. Place a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to cover the dough and hang over the edges and place in pan. Fill with dried beans or rice in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes. Take off weights and foil/parchment and bake again for 5 more minutes. If the dough begins to puff up without the weights, gently push it back down with the back of a spoon. Allow shell to cool completely before filling.

You can use leftover dough to make cookies or these little fruit crostatas I made by spooning a bit of strawberry jam atop rounds of dough followed by a lazy lattice (not woven) of dough strips on top.

For Pastry Cream: Heat milk to a boil in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottom saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until thick. Whisk in about 1/4 c of the hot milk, stirring constantly so as not to cook the eggs. Then, slowly add the rest of the milk while whisking constantly. Heat this over medium heat and bring to a boil while continue to stir constantly. Once at a boil, continue to cook while whisking constantly for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.

Whisk in the melted chocolate and let sit for five minutes. Then, whisk in the butter until fully incorporated. Cool the custard either by refrigerating with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface or using an ice bath and stirring occasionally.

To Assemble: Whisk cream briefly, then spoon into pastry shell. Smooth top with back of spoon. Layer fruit however desired.

PS. Don’t forget about the giveaway!

Strawberry Mango Cupcakes

I was going to write about how I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend (I still do hope that by the way) and tell you all about my own weekend which went by too quickly given I was on call Saturday so it mostly just felt like a normal weekend having Monday off.. except now I’m an extra day into the week when I have a bajillion things to do.. so the Monday off threw me for a loop and now my post has gone in a completely different direction.

To be honest, I’m feeling quite overwhelmed. It’s the tail end of third year and I have one more major exam to round out the year. The only problem is that I haven’t been studying like I usually do. It might be the weather, it might be the produce in stores which inevitably finds its way into my kitchen to be made into something delicious (we hope), or it might just be “senioritis.” Either way, it’s not good.

Because I have to do well on this exam.

It’s not just that though. There are graduations (such as little brother who’s going to law school this fall yippee skippee), baby showers, and the casual BBQs that I always want to attend even though I probably shouldn’t. It’s all sort of just added up to the point where I’m completely underwater and struggling to stay afloat.

Friends out there, do you have days/weeks/times like this? When you just don’t see how you’re going to get everything done and you can’t figure out where to cut corners? What if you don’t want to cut corners? What if all your corners are important as in your best friend, your boyfriend, your family, and then school/your career? It feels as if I’m the piece of paper and those are my four corners and if I cut one of them, I cut off a piece of me (temporary, yes, but still). Is this all a little too heavy right now?

Well, that’s how I’m feeling.

In contrast, these cupcakes are light and fresh. They tasted, dare I say, like summer. Even better after they had been refrigerated for an hour or so before eating. This past weekend I chose my family and baked these for my brother’s going-away/Memorial Day BBQ (he’s attending a summer session that will allow him to have to take less credits in the fall). They’re a wonderful pick-me-up. I wish I still had some left over but they went quickly!

My only note is that I strongly suggest using Champagne mangoes. They’re yellow-skinned and can often be found in the Asian food markets. I find them to be much sweeter than the red/green ones I usually find at the supermarket and while you can attempt to use those, I think these really made the cupcakes. Let me know if you try them either way!

Strawberry Mango Cupcakes
cake adapted from Annie’s Eats; whipped cream a STO original

Makes 30ish regular cupcakes or 60 mini-cupcakes.

Ingredients
For the cake:
2 1/2 c cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1/3 c buttermilk
1/4 c oil [I used olive oil.]
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c chopped strawberries
1 c chopped Champagne mangoes (approximately 2 mangoes)

For the whipped cream:
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c sugar, more to taste
1 ripe kiwi, pureed
1/2 Champagne mango, pureed

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with appropriate liners.

Sift flour, salt and baking soda into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl and using a hand or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until combined.  Then add the rest of the wet ingredients (buttermilk, oil and vanilla) and combine.  Add flour mixture, stirring until just combined.  Fold in chopped strawberries and mangoes.  Fill cupcake liners 1/2 to 3/4 full and bake accordingly: 18-22 minutes for regular sized cupcakes, 8-10 minutes for mini-cupcakes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before adding topping.

For the topping, whip the heavy cream using a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until it begins to thicken. Slowly add sugar while mixer continues and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold in the kiwi and mango. Taste and add sugar if desired (this will depend on the sweetness of your fruit). Pipe or dollop onto cupcakes.

A tiny bite of freshness!

– Sharlene