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Wednesday
Dec182013

Recipe: Marshmallows

Marshmallows

Adapted from David Lebovitz 

Yield 25-50

Ingredients

 2 envelopes powdered gelatin

1/2 c plus 1/3 c cold water

1 c sugar

1/3 c light corn syrup

4 egg whites (1/2 c), at room temperature

pinch of salt

2 t vanilla extract or 1 t vanilla paste

Marshmallow Mix: One part corn starch, one part confectioners sugar (about 1 c each)

Instructions

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/2 c cold water to dissolve and soften.

In a small saucepan, fitted with a candy thermometer, mix the sugar and corn syrup with 1/3 c water. Place over medium-to-high heat.

(Note that you will use this saucepan twice, to make the syrup and melt the gelatin, eliminating the need to wash it between use.)

In a bowl of a standing mixer, pour in the egg whites and beat on low speed until frothy. Add the pinch of salt.

When the syrup reaches 210 degrees F, increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat the whites until they are thick and fluffy.

When the syrup reaches 245 degrees F, slowly pour the hot syrup into the whites, away from the whisk.

Scrape the gelatin and water into the pan that you used for the syrup and swirl to dissolve. (There should still be residual heat left in the pan from making the syrup in it to dissolve it.)

Pour the liquified gelatin slowly into the whites as they are whipping. Add the vanilla extract or paste and continue to whip until the side of the bowl is completely cool to the touch.

Dust a 9 x 13 baking sheet evenly and completely with a generous layer of the marshmallow mixture. Make sure that there are no bare spots.

Use a spatula to spread the marshmallows evenly in the pan. Alternatively, pipe individual marshmallows onto a baking sheet using a large star tip (as pictured above).

Allow to dry for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

When ready to cut:

Put about 1 c of the marshmallow mixture into a large bowl.

Dust the top of the marshmallows with some of the marshmallow mixture. Use a pizza cutter or scissors (also dusted with marshmallow mixture) to cut the marshmallows into any size or shape pieces that you like. Toss the marshmallows in the marshmallow mixture and shake off the excess.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Wednesday
Dec182013

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Adapted from White on Rice Couple

Yield: 24-36 cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/2 t sea salt or kosher salt

1/4 t baking powder

1/8 t baking soda

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

1/2 c packed brown sugar

1/2 c sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 egg

1 t meyer lemon zest (from one meyer lemon)

2 Tbsp fresh meyer lemon juice

1/4 c confectioners sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a standing mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, egg, meyer lemon zest and meyer lemon juice until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again to make sure everything is incorporated.

Stir in the flour mixture until just combined, making sure to scrape the bottom to get all of the flour incorporated.

Sift the confectioners sugar onto a large plate. Form the dough into 1 inch sized balls. Roll the balls in confectioners sugar then place 2 inches apart on the lined sheet pans.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies just begin to turn light golden and the tops of the cookies look matte (no longer shiny or wet looking). Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.  

Monday
Dec162013

Recipe: Peppermint White Chocolate Truffles

Peppermint White Chocolate Truffles

Yield: approximately 60 small truffles

Ingredients

1 c cream

Approximately 3 oz finely crushed peppermint candy canes

14 oz chopped white chocolate

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

Approximately 1/2 lb white or milk chocolate, for coating truffles

Finely crushed peppermint candy canes for decorating

Instructions

Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium high heat, and bring to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Whisk in the butter, and then the crushed candy canes, until well incorporated.

Place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl; you will need it to dust your hands and the truffles.

Use a spoon or small melon baller to form balls of ganache; roll them between your hands to make them round. Place on a wax paper (or parchment) lined tray.

Using a fork, dip the truffles in white or milk chocolate until completely submerged; tap fork against rim of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place coated truffles on the tray and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy while chocolate is still wet.

Place the tray in the refrigerate for approximately 15 minutes to set the chocolate.

The truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, and are best served at room temperature.

Notes:

Truffles are all about the chocolate: the better the quality, the better the candy. I used Valhrona white and milk chocolate, which I bought at the NY Cake in Manhattan. It was a king's ransom, but so good! Many grocery stores carry premium Scharffen Berger and Ghirardelli chocolate, which can also be used.

The white chocolate (used for the ganache) just needs to be chopped. However, if you use real chocolate for the shell, you will need to temper it. David Lebovitz has an informative write up about tempering dark chocolate here.  

White and milk chocolate melt at lower temperatures, and are generally considered more challenging to temper. However, I find that is is much easier to control the temperature of the chocolate when melting a larger amount (1- 1.5 pounds). 

Valhrona has very clear instructions for tempering their chocolate here. Ghirardelli's instructions are here.

The white chocolate peppermint ganache can also be whipped for a lucious frosting or filling for cookies/candies. 

Sunday
Dec152013

Recipe: {Fresh} Strawberry White Chocolate Truffles

{Fresh} Strawberry White Chocolate Truffles

Yield: Approximately 60 small Truffles

Ingredients

1 c cream

1 c finely chopped fresh strawberries (frozen work well for this recipe, when fresh are not in season)

14 oz chopped white chocolate

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

Approximately 1/2 lb white or milk chocolate, for coating truffles

Instructions

The night before making the truffles, mix the chopped strawberries with the cream. Let the mixture steep in the refrigerator over night.

When ready to start the ganache, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove pulp and seeds. Using a rubber spatula, gently press on the fruit to extract the fruit juice; the cream will be a lovely shade of pink when strained.

Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium high heat, and bring to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Add the room-temperature butter and whisk until incorporated.

Place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl; you will need it to dust your hands and the truffles.

Use a spoon or small melon baller to form balls of ganache; roll them between your hands to make them round. Place on a wax paper (or parchment) lined tray.

Using a fork, dip the truffles in white or milk chocolate until completely submerged; tap fork against rim of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place coated truffles on tray and refrigerate for approximately 15 minutes to set the chocolate.

The truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, and are best served at room temperature.

Notes:

Truffles are all about the chocolate: the better the quality, the better the candy. I used Valhrona white and milk chocolate, which I bought at the NY Cake in Manhattan. It was a king's ransom, but so good! Many grocery stores carry premium Scharffen Berger and Ghirardelli chocolate, which can also be used.

The white chocolate (used for the ganache) just needs to be chopped. However, if you use real chocolate for the shell, you will need to temper it. David Lebovitz has an informative write up about tempering dark chocolate here.  

White and milk chocolate melt at lower temperatures, and are generally considered more challenging to temper. However, I find that is is much easier to control the temperature of the chocolate when melting a larger amount (1- 1.5 pounds). 

Valhrona has very clear instructions for tempering their chocolate here. Ghirardelli's instructions are here.

Sunday
Dec152013

Recipe: Coconut White ChocolateTruffles

Coconut White Chocolate Truffles

Adapted from a recipe by Elizabeth LaBau via About.com

Yield: approximately 60 small truffles

Ingredients

1 c cream

1 c finely shredded (unsweetened) coconut

14 oz chopped white chocolate

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 c powdered sugar

Approximately 1/2 lb white or milk chocolate, for coating truffles

Toasted or shredded coconut for decorating

Instructions 

Place the cream and the coconut in a small saucepan over medium high heat, and bring to a boil. Take the pan off the heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let sit for 30 minutes to infuse the cream with coconut flavor.

After 30 minutes, bring the cream to a boil again and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Add the room-temperature butter and whisk until incorporated.

Refrigerate (uncovered) until somewhat firm, about 1 hour.

Place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl; you will need it to dust your hands and the truffles.

Use a spoon or small melon baller to form balls of ganache; roll them between your hands to make them round. Place on a wax paper (or parchment) lined tray.

Using a fork, dip the truffles in white or milk chocolate until completely submerged; tap fork against rim of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place coated truffles on the tray and sprinkle with toasted or untoasted coconut while chocolate is still wet.

Place the tray in the refrigerate for approximately 15 minutes to set the chocolate.

The truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, and are best served at room temperature.

Notes:

Truffles are all about the chocolate: the better the quality, the better the candy. I used Valhrona white and milk chocolate, which I bought at the NY Cake in Manhattan. It was a king's ransom, but so good! Many grocery stores carry premium Scharffen Berger and Ghirardelli chocolate, which can also be used.

The white chocolate (used for the ganache) just needs to be chopped. However, if you use real chocolate for the shell, you will need to temper it. David Lebovitz has an informative write up about tempering dark chocolate here.  

White and milk chocolate melt at lower temperatures, and are generally considered more challenging to temper. However, I find that is is much easier to control the temperature of the chocolate when melting a larger amount (1- 1.5 pounds). 

Valhrona has very clear instructions for tempering their chocolate here. Ghirardelli's instructions are here.

The white chocolate-coconut ganache can also be whipped for a lucious frosting or filling for cookies/candies. 

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