Tag Archives: dessert

Lighten Up! Apple-Cranberry Crostata

15 Nov

by Green Gourmet L

The holidays are coming faster than most of us can even imagine. My Thanksgiving countdown says 10 days…can that be right? And everyone knows what comes along with the holidays- sweets, treats, and more eats! I love to indulge in desserts (chocolate, caramel, toffee, anything creamy). I have yet to meet a dessert that I didn’t like. But you can stay within your budget (and your skinny jeans) with this super easy recipe for Apple-Cranberry Crostata. A crostata is just a free form pie, filled with fruit/nuts, and the edges are folded over the filling to create a rustic look. Serve this with some vanilla gelato or frozen yogurt and you’ve got yourself the perfect lighter holiday indulgence!

Apple-Cranberry Crostata

Crust

  • 1 1/2 unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tp salt
  • 1 stick chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup chilled sour cream

Filling

  • 3 TB unsalted butter
  • 8 small Granny Smith apples (about 3 lbs), peeled, cored, and each cut into 12 wedges
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tp ground cardamom
  • 1 tp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

Crust: Combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in food processor.

Add butter and using pulse button, process until mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Add sour cream and process until a moist clump forms.

Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. *Note: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep dough chilled. Then let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften slightly before rolling out.

Filling: Melt butter in heavy, large skillet over medium high heat. Add apples and sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar.

Cook until apples are tender and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with cardamom and cinnamon. Mix in cranberries and set aside to cool.

*Note: the filling can also be made 1 day in advance. Just refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough between two layers of parchment paper sprinkled lightly with flour until dough is a 13 inch round.

 Slide dough (with bottom parchment) onto rimless cookie sheet. Spoon filling into center of dough, spreading toward edges but leaving 2 inch border. Using parchment as aid, fold border over filling. Brush crust border with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake until crust begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking until crust is browned and filling is cooked through, about 20 more minutes. Cool until warm. Using parchment paper, slide tart onto pie plate or cutting board. Serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt.

Enjoy your lightened up dessert and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

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Mr. Almond Obsession

5 Apr

by Green Gourmet L

Someone I know has an almond obsession. And a sweet tooth. I’m not complaining, but it’s hard to come up with new and exciting ideas for incorporating almonds into desserts. Of course, Bon Appetit to the rescue. Apparently someone had written in to talk about an amazing little restaurant in NYC called Locanda Verde (hey I know about that one! Click here!) and wanted their recipe for almond cake. I knew I had to jump all over this one since Mr. Green Gourmet would be more than pleasantly surprised to come home to an almond dessert. In our rental apartment, we don’t have things like spring form pans, so I had to improvise with the baking equipment I do have (a 9X9 in flimsy baking pan from Safeway). I also realized that I don’t have cakeflour (and neither does Whole Foods), so I substituted regular white flour and cornstarch. I kid you not, this dessert (which is meant to serve 10) was gone in a day and a half. I’m just sayin, it’s that good!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1TB almond paste
  • 1 cup cake flour (or place 2 TB cornstarch in a 1 cup measure, fill the rest with all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 tp baking powder
  • 1/2 tp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • garnish: blackberry jam and lightly sweetened whipped cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9X9 baking pan. Blend sugar and almond paste in a food processor until finely ground.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

Using a hand mixer, beat almond mixture, softened butter, and vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Transfer to pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and top is brown.

To serve, top with a few spoonfuls of your favorite jam (we use Bonne Maman blackberry preserves) and some lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Enjoy your almond obsession and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Clementine Cupcakes

11 Jan

By Green Gourmet L

“They were on sale!” says Mr. Green Gourmet as he pulls out 6 pounds of clementines from our canvas shopping bag. Oh boy- considering I can eat about 1-2 clementines a day, that still leaves me with… 5 pounds of clementines!

As the oranges started to go bad in the bottom of the fridge, I realized there had to be a way to put them to good use. Nigella Lawson came to my rescue with her recipe for Clementine Cake. This is a very strange way to use these oranges because you actually use the whole orange. Yes the WHOLE orange, peel, pith, all of it. But when I started to think about it, a lot of the nutrients of fruits are in the skin, so as long as it’s not inedible, it might actually be good for you.

As an added bonus, this recipe is also gluten and casein free. For those of you not familiar with allergy lingo, this means without wheat and dairy. I feel like many more people are realizing that they have sensitivities or even intolerances to gluten, which is in just about everything. I work with many children with autism who are on this GF/CF (Gluten Free/Casein Free) diet. Eliminating gluten and casein really limits what they can eat, and it’s especially hard to find treats to give them for special occasions. This recipe is perfect for that person in your life.

Instead of making this into a whole cake, I decided to make cupcakes so that I could freeze some for later (and give some away). Not only are these cupcakes edible, Mr. Green Gourmet went back for seconds. It’s a keeper!

Clementine Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 5 clementines
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tp vanilla
  • 2 1/3 cups almonds
  • 1 heaping tp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to a boil and cook for 2 hours.

Check the water levels occasionally to make sure the oranges are continuously covered. In the meantime, place the almonds in a food processor and grind to a fine powder.

You want to make sure there are no large chunks of almond remaining.

Once the clementines have cooked, drain, cool, and cut each one in half to remove any seeds (note: mine didn’t have seeds).

Place in a food processor and grind completely until you have a light orange pulp.

Add the sugar and vanilla and mix well. Using a hand mixer or whisk, beat eggs into mixture on at a time. Add dry ingredients (ground almonds, baking powder, and salt) and fold into mixture.

The batter will look a bit wet, but this is the consistency that you want.

Using a lined muffin tin, fill your muffin cups about 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and then cool completely. This makes about 15-18 cupcakes. Note: the texture is different than what you would expect from a flour/butter cake. But I have tried some of the gluten/casein free cupcakes before, and these are far better.

You can eat them plain, but it would also be nice to shave some dark chocolate on top or do a light glaze. You can make an easy glaze with 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 TB of clementine juice. Just whisk it together in a bowl and then pour over the top of your cooled cupcakes.

Good luck using up your clemetines and don’t forget you read it on Green Gourmets!

To print this recipe, click here.

Coconut Black Rice Pudding

10 Jan

by Green Gourmet K

One of the best gifts I received over the holidays was black rice, all neatly enclosed in a reusable glass jar, and a handmade recipe book with 3 recipes for black rice.  I had never heard of black rice but apparently there is not only white rice and brown rice but also black and red varieties.  In fact, there are over 7,000 varieties of rice.  And the interesting thing is that the black and red varieties are better for you.  You might know that our usual white rice has had the husk, bran and germ removed, while brown rice is the entire grain, with only the husk removed.  The rice bran is high in soluble fiber and is effective at lowering cholesterol.  The advantage to white rice though is that it can be stored indefinitely while brown rice will go bad after about 6 months.

Black rice and black rice bran is unique because it is rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, which are shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and help fight heart disease.   These are the same antioxidants found in blueberries, acai berries and grapes.  A spoonful of black rice has more anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries and with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.

Where can you find black rice or red rice?  Try your local Asian market.  It is likely to be there and to be pretty inexpensive.  It may also be at your local health food store.

For my first black rice experience I decided to use the black rice pudding recipe.  It was not too sweet and the nutty flavor of the rice paired well with the coconut milk.  I loved the purplish hue the pudding had.  I will definitely make this again.

Below is the recipe from the book I was given, it is originally from Gourmet magazine.

Black Rice Pudding

Commonly served for breakfast in parts of Southeast Asia, this dish also makes a great dessert.  Chines black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice, works well, but if you live near a Southeast Asian Market you can use this same method with more traditional Thai sticky black rice.

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

1 cup of black rice

1/2 cup suar

1 (13.5 – 15 oz.) can unsweetend coconut milk, stirred well

3 cups of water

1/4 tsp salt

Bring rice, 3 cups of water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 3-4 qt heavy saucepan, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with a tight-fitting lid, 45 minutes (rice will be cooked but still wet).  Stir in sugar, s scant 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1.5 cups coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and rice is tender but still slightly chewy, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool to warm or room temperature, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes.  Just before serving, stir pudding and divide among 8 bowls.  Stir remaining coconut milk and drizzle over pudding.

Rice pudding keeps, covered and chilled, for 5 days.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

27 Dec

by Green Gourmet L

Mr. Green Gourmet has a few favorite desserts that he always requests. I’ve already shared his favorite cookie recipes, but his favorite pie by far is Peanut Butter Pie. I’ve adapted the recipe to include a deliciously decadent layer of chocolate ganache on top. It almost tastes like a giant Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. This is not a healthy recipe, but it’s still the holiday season, so it doesn’t count!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 graham cracker crust (store bought)
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips ( I use Ghirardelli, 60% cacao chips)

Directions

Whip 1 1/2 cups of cream with 1/4 cup sugar.

Mix all other ingredients until smooth.

Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture until well blended.

Pour mixture into crust and chill for several hours.

 

To make the ganache, combine chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of heavy cream in heat proof bowl.

Place over bowl of simmering water and stir occasionally until melted.

 

Once the peanut butter pie has chilled and set, spoon the ganache over the top of the pie and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

To print this recipe: https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-pie

Enjoy Mr. Green Gourmet’s favorite pie and don’t forget you read it on Green Gourmets!

Utter Decadence- Grand Marnier Truffles

21 Dec

by Green Gourmet L

I’ve never met a chocolate I didn’t like- milk, white, dark; whatever you have on hand, I will eat. It’s just hard to have alot of rich desserts, especially when you have a buffet or Christmas table full of them. Not to worry, Green Gourmets are here to help! You can have your cake (or chocolate) and eat it too with this decadent recipe. A few of these and your sweet tooth will be satisfied. And guess what, dark chocolate is healthy! Antioxidants are good for you, right?

Grand Marnier (which is an orange liqueur) can be found in single serving bottles at any liquor store.

Grand Marnier

There is another liqueur called Gioia Luisa Orangecello, which is cheaper than Grand Marnier and tastes just as good (especially when used for cooking). The price difference is $5 for small bottle ($38 for 750ml) of  “Grand Ma” vs. $1 for Orangecello ($20 for 750ml). That way, you can get a lot of flavor for a little money. You can even make your own (recipe to come)! Decadent chocolate treats on a budget? Who doesn’t love that?

Grand Marnier Truffles

Makes approximately 15 truffles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dark chocolate (I used 1/2 bag of Ghirardelli 60% percent chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TB orange peel
  • 1 TB orange flavored liqueur (Grand Marnier or Orangecello)
  • 1/3 tp vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Place chocolate chips into heat-proof mixing bowl. Use a peeler to take the orange peel (but not the white pith) from the outside of an orange. Heat the cream and orange peel in a small pan until just scalded (but not boiling).

Grand Marnier

Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 seconds. Pour cream through sieve (to separate from orange peel) into bowl with chocolate. Whisk together until the chocolate is completely incorporated. If need be, place in microwave for 30 second intervals to melt completely. Whisk in orange liqueur and vanilla. Place in fridge for at least an hour.

Grand Marnier

Once chocolate mixture has cooled, use small ice cream scoop or tablespoon to scoop 1 inch balls. Roll ball in your hands to make it roughly round (this is a messy job, I won’t tell if you lick your fingers afterwards). Then roll in confectioners sugar and serve.

Grand Marnier

If not using immediately, keep in refrigerator until ready to serve, then bring to room temperature. These will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

Grand Marnier

To print this recipe visit: https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/grand-marnier-truffles

Enjoy your decadent treat and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Homemade Holiday Gifts

17 Dec

by Green Gourmet L

Agonizing over what to give your coworkers this year? What about your neighbor or your foodie friends? You can give the same old gift card (yawn) or you can make something quick, easy, and delicious! These homemade treats are nice because they are not too sweet and you can buy in bulk to make enough for all the deserving people on your holiday list.

Ginger Snaps

Crystalized Ginger

These aren’t the crunchy kind of ginger snaps that you buy at the store. These are chewy, moist, and tangy cookies that have become my absolute new favorite Christmas treat. Men LOVE these; trust me on this one ladies. To make a great gift, serve these little goodies with a box of black tea (like Tazo Chai) and your favorite mug.

Ingredients

  • 3/4c butter (12 TB), softened
  • 1c sugar
  • 1/4c molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tp baking soda
  • 2c flour
  • 1/2 tp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tp salt
  • 4 oz crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup Turbinado sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Combine butter, sugar, molasses and egg and beat well. Chop up your crystallized ginger and stir it into the mixture. Mix dry ingredients together; add to wet and mix well. Chill for one hour. Form into 1 in balls, roll in turbinado sugar (also called raw sugar) and place onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. To print this recipe, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/green-gourmets

Rosemary Roasted Cashews

This is a great savory option to all the sweets that get passed around during the holidays. Even though nuts have a fair amount of fat, this is the good fat which makes them great for snacking. To make it into a gift, bring these in a beautiful serving bowl and leave the bowl. Or for a special man in your life, pair these with a 6-pack of his favorite dark beer. These also work well at a cocktail party, but make extra because they don’t last long.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, sprinkle the chopped rosemary over the butter and melt in the microwave (about 15 seconds) in a large bowl. Combine the cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt in a separate bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary butter until the nuts are completely coated. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the nuts and stir to coat. Serve warm or let cool and package for gifts. To print this recipe, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/green-gourmets-rosemary-cashews

Whole Grain Roasted Garlic Mustard

photograzing.seriouseats.com

Homemade mustard is an unexpected gift, yet one that would get rave reviews. Make sure to include a recipe card with your favorite ideas for how to use it (dip with pretzels, glaze for ham, etc). It is most cost effective to buy your mustard seeds in bulk, you’ll want to make some to save for yourself! Credit is given to Eating Well magazine for this homemade treat.

Makes 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 3/4 cup whole brown mustard seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water (more if needed)
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 TB salt

Directions

Combine mustard seeds, vinegar, and water in a large bowl; cover and let stand for at least 6 hours (up to 24 hours). Preheat the oven to 400. Leave the garlic head whole (cloves intact) and slice off the top of the garlic, exposing the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast until garlic is softened about 45-55 minutes. When garlic has cooled, squeeze half of the cloves into a food processor. Add half of the seed mixture and pulse, scraping the sides as necessary. Add water, one TB at a time, until the mixture resembles grainy mustard. Repeat with the remaining roasted garlic and mustard seed mixture. Transfer to a bowl and add the maple syrup and salt. Package your mustard in airtight containers and refrigerate for a month. To print this recipe, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/green-gourmets-homemade-mustard

Tempt your friends and family with these delicious homemade gifts and don’t forget to tell them you read it on Green Gourmets!