Tuesday, 30 April 2013

150 Best Desserts in a Jar

 150 Best Desserts in a Jar
by Andrea Jourdan
Paperback, 248 pages

Single serving treats are the best, aren't they? Nothing says love like your own little jar sweetness. Or big jar! Desserts in jars have taken the restaurant world by storm and you can make them in your own kitchen.

Stock up on flea market jars, steal your Grandma's old canning jars or even order jars online from funky retailers. Or, if you are like me, you already have about a hundred in your basement, just in case.

Andrea Jourdan has put together 150 recipes for fabulous desserts in jars, suitable for any taste and any time of the year! Light or rich, borderline healthy or incredibly decadent, you will find the perfect dessert in a jar for every occasion.

Contents include:
Part 1: Warm and Comforting
Crumbles, Cobblers and Other Fruit Desserts
Steamed Puddings and Bread Puddings
Creamy Custards, Flans and Creams
Cakes, Pudding Cakes and Soufflés

Part 2: From the Fridge
Tutti Frutti
Deliciously creamy
Not Your Mother's Jell-O
Trifles, Tiramisu and Chilled Cakes
From the Freezer
Sweet Soups, Parfaits, Frothy Desserts and So On

Try out these delicious sample recipes below from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar this week! 

Tropical Fruit Terrine, page 103

It always surprises people to learn that the first time I saw a banana I was seven years old. We lived in a remote area where tropical fruits weren’t usual (no, I’m not that old!). So when I visited Russia and saw people lining up outside shops in a fierce winter storm to buy “exotic” bananas, I understood their curiosity. While some tropical fruits — such as rambutans, durians, lychees, kumquats, pink bananas and loquats — are still hard to find, this recipe calls for those that are readily available.

To make grapefruit segments, use a sharp knife to remove the peel and white pith. Holding the fruit over a bowl to catch the juices, cut along each side of the white membranes to remove the segments.
Use jars that are larger or smaller than those called for, to suit what you have available. Just be sure to divide the contents equally.

•    Six 8-ounce (250 mL) tall jars

2     packages (each 3 oz/85 g) lime-flavored gelatin 2
3 cups     unsweetened grape juice, divided    750 mL
1 cup    granulated sugar, divided    250 mL
3    kiwifruit, peeled and diced    3
1    large grapefruit, cut into segments,     1
    juice reserved (see Tips, left)
2    mangos, peeled and diced    2
2    passion fruits    2
2 tbsp    crème fraîche     30 mL
1.    In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin powder over 1 cup (250 mL) grape juice. Set aside to soften for 3 minutes.
2.    In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) sugar with remaining grape juice, whisking until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin until dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
3.    Place a few kiwi slices in bottoms of jars, dividing equally. Add enough gelatin mixture to just cover fruits. Set aside excess gelatin mixture. Refrigerate jars for 2 hours, until gelatin sets.
4.    Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine grapefruit segments and reserved grapefruit juice, mangos and remaining 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) sugar. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add remaining gelatin mixture and stir gently to dissolve. Remove from heat and set aside until saucepan is cool to the touch.
5.    When fruit mixture has cooled, spoon over kiwi layer, dividing equally. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
6.    When you’re ready to serve, cut passion fruits in half. Using a spoon, remove pulp and seeds. Place the pulp of half a passion fruit in each jar. Serve immediately, topped with a small dollop of crème fraîche.

Makes 6 servings

Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Burnt Orange Crème Brûlée, page 59

The best crème brûlée I ever tasted was at the now defunct but still memorable Léon de Lyon restaurant in France. I could never reproduce the exact texture and, unfortunately, was never allowed to learn their secret. After years of trying to create the perfect crème brûlée, I finally came up with a recipe that I like enough to share. As for Léon’s crème brûlée — well, it might just have been the sweet Muscat wine I drank with it that made it taste so good.

If you do not have a kitchen torch, preheat broiler. Place jars on baking sheet; sprinkle with a little brown sugar and place under broiler until golden. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, top with orange slices and place under broiler for about 2 minutes, until sugar browns to a dark color.

•    Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)
•    Four 8-ounce (250 mL) wide-mouth jars, buttered
•    Baking pan large enough to accommodate the jars
•    Kitchen torch, optional (see Tip)

6    large egg yolks    6
1⁄2 cup    granulated sugar    125 mL
11⁄2 cups    heavy or whipping (35%) cream    375 mL
2⁄3 cup    whole milk    150 mL
2 tbsp    finely grated orange zest    30 mL
1 tbsp    orange-flavored liqueur    15 mL
3 tbsp    packed brown sugar, divided    45 mL

1    orange, sliced thinly    1
1.    In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Set aside.
2.    In a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, milk and orange zest to a simmer. Gradually add to egg yolk mixture, whisking until incorporated. Stir in orange liqueur.
3.    Pour custard into prepared jars, dividing equally. Place jars in baking pan, spaced evenly apart and not touching the sides of the pan, and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jars. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until center of custards is still wobbly. Remove from oven and transfer jars to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Cover jars with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4.    Place jars on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over each custard. Using kitchen torch, burn sugar just until it melts. Place orange slices over melted sugar. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, dividing equally. Using torch, heat until sugar has caramelized and orange rind is a little burnt. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Iced Mocha Syllabub, page 208

For coffee lovers, this is the ultimate dessert with a punch.

Use homemade or the best-quality coffee ice cream for this recipe. To soften, place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Do not substitute regular instant coffee for the espresso powder, because instant coffee does not have the same rich, aromatic flavor. Instant coffee would result in a bitter taste.

•    Four 8-ounce (250 mL) tall jars, buttered
•    Blender
•    Electric mixer

31⁄4 oz    dark chocolate (70%), melted    100 g
1⁄4 cup    granulated sugar    60 mL
2 tbsp    instant espresso powder (see Tips) 30 mL
1⁄2 tsp     vanilla extract    2 mL
Pinch    nutmeg    Pinch
1⁄2 cup    brandy    125 mL
1⁄2 cup    mascarpone cheese    125 mL
2 cups     heavy or whipping (35%) cream    500 mL
2 cups     softened coffee ice cream     (see Tips) 500 mL
1 tbsp     unsweetened cocoa powder    15 mL

1.    In blender, process melted chocolate, sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, nutmeg and brandy until smooth.
2.    In a large bowl, using electric mixer at medium speed, beat mascarpone for 2 minutes, until creamy. Add cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating constantly. Fold in softened ice cream.
3.    Spoon into jars and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, dust each jar with cocoa powder, dividing equally.

Makes 4 servings

Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Andrea Jourdan has spent over 25 years in Europe honing her skills when it comes to both traditional and modern cuisine. she has published several cookbooks and is also a food writer, a television personality and an innovator of web gastronomy.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

April Bread Baking Buddies Round-Up!

They came,  they stuffed, sliced and shaped!

Congratulations to our buddies for making such awesome Pane Bianco with us!

Our first buddy, Gilad, made a vegan Hebrew version with olives! I love olives and I will definitely be adding them next time I make this bread.

Check out Gilad's beautiful bread here!

Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories tried two different sequences in making her loaves, and also gives some advice on "fixing" a dough that you have forgotten to add ingredients to!

Visit Karen's awesome breads here!

Louise shared her bread with her cooking club and it was a hit! She doesn't blog - but anyone can participate in the Buddy round-ups just by writing in! Thanks for joining us, Louise. ☺

Great colour and shaping!

Carola of Sweet and That's it use whole spelt flour and ground flax seeds in her loaves and loved the smell of Spring in the oven! She also made a lovely ring-shaped loaf.

Visit Carola's breads here!

Soepkipje made hers with fried onions and added fried eggs and extra cheese for serving for a delicious meal!

Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco
See Soepkipje's breads here!

Renee of Kudos Kitchen is joining us for the first time, added roasted red peppers to hers, and did a lovely step-by-step post about making this fun bread.

See Renee's bread here!

Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina baked up two version of the bread, both with soy milk and flaxseed flour and sourdough. One has dried tomatoes and pesto while the other has tomato sauce, dried tomatoes, pesto and capers. Delicious! 

See Natalia's bread here!

Sandie of Crumbs of Love baked hers up 3 ways! She and a friend found them "fiercely delicious" and great with wine! Gals after my own heart.

Check out Sandie's breads here!

A big thank you to all the Babes and Buddies who had fun baking up the bread I chose for this Spring month! Looking forward to the next bread already. 

Happy baking! 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction!

Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
by Bobby Flay
with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson

Hardcover, 288 pages

It's barbecue season!!! 

It's hard to believe that a few short years ago I was afraid of grilling and just did the prep work for the bbq and let my husband have all the fun. Now that I have mastered the grill - a whole world has opened up for me.

We grill with gas, we grill with hardwood briquettes, we smoke foods low and slow.... barbecuing has become a favourite way to cook in our home. (Or, I should say, outside our home!)

Bobby Flay is a master of BBQ. He isn't afraid of bold flavours and he has honed his skills to perfection during his long career as chef and tv cooking host. I especially love his barbecue shows. They are sunny, inspirational and fun - and so delicious!

Barbecue Addiction is just that - Bobby Flay doing what he loves best and sharing it with the world.

Contents include:
Choosing a Cooker
The Right Stuff
Tending the Fire
To 10 Tops for Perfect Backyard Barbecues
Where There's Smoke There's Flavor
Starters, Salads, and Sides
Beef and Lamb
Fish and Shellfish

This is the perfect book to kick off barbecue and grill season, filled with 150 mouth-watering recipes, full coloured photos, and bbq inspiration! In no time you'll be master of the grill with Bobby's delicious and addictive repertoire.

Happy Barbecuing!

Bobby Flay, a New York Times bestselling author, is the chef-owner of six fine-dining restaurants, including Mesa Grill, Bar Americain, and Bobby Flay Steak, and numerous Bobby’s Burger Palaces. He is the host of many popular cooking shows on Food Network, from the Emmy-winning Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, Grill It! with Bobby Flay, and Boy Meets Grill, to the Iron Chef America series, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, and Food Network Star.

Stephanie Banyas has been Bobby Flay’s business assistant since 1996. She is the coauthor of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown!; Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries & Shakes; Bobby Flay’s Grill It!; Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook; and Bobby Flay’s Grilling for Life. She lives in New York City.

Sally Jackson lives in New York City with her husband, their son, and one especially well-fed poodle. This is her sixth cookbook with Bobby Flay and Stephanie Banyas.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Recipes and Dreams from an Italian Life by Tessa Kiros

Recipes and Dreams 
from an Italian Life
by Tessa Kiros

Hardcover, 352 pages

If you have never read a Tessa Kiros cookbook, you are in for a treat! Her books are not only filled with delicious, authentic dishes but also stunningly gorgeous photos and lyrical snippets of life and history.

In this latest book, which she has dedicated to All of the Wonderful Matriarchs I have been Lucky to Meet, we see a decidedly feminine love story of Italy. It is a beautifully crafted celebration of Italian mothers and Italian homemaking, and you will find yourself reading the book cover to cover before even trying the mouthwatering dishes.

The recipes include everything from preserves to dinners to desserts with snippets of Wise Words throughout from the loving Italian mamas she interviewed.

This is such a special book - perfect for Mother's Day!


Contents include:
The Linen Cupboard
The Pantry
The Bread Oven
The Snack Box
The Vegetable Patch
The Pasta Pot
The Dining Room
The Sugar Bin
The Ice Box

TESSA KIROS is the author of seven bestselling titles, including: Apples for Jam, Falling Cloudberries, Twelve, Piri Piri Starfish: Portugal Found, and Venezia. No-one captures the spirit and soul of a place quite like Tessa, born in London to a Finnish mother and a Greek-Cypriot father, her family moved to South Africa when she was four. At the age of 18 Tessa set off to travel, to learn all she could about the world's cultures and traditions and discover new ways of living and eating. She has cooked at London's The Groucho Club and in Sydney, Athens, and Mexico. On a trip to Italy, to study the Italian language and food, she met her husband Giovanni; they now live in Tuscany with their two children.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Bread Baking Babes Stuff and Slice! Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco

In matters of bread baking, I have tried many recipes and techniques. I have to admit, the ones that excite me most are the fun fillings and shapings. This bread was a winner in the National Festival of Breads for that reason - it's fun and flavourful. It also goes great with cream cheese... just sayin'.

The dough itself goes together simply and fairly quickly, and the ingredients are easy to handle. I think you could have lots of fun with the loaves, switching up the ingredients and even the shape.

I invited the Bread Baking Babes to have fun with this bread, and all Buddies and home bakers are welcome to join in. If you would like to bake this delicious bread - bake it up, blog it, and let us know how you liked the experience. Send me a link by April 26th, and a medium-sized photo if I can't get one from your site, to kitchenpuppies AT gmail DOT com - I'll put up a round-up on the 27th.

The first loaves I did fairly close to the recipe, next ones I used pesto and roasted garlic with the sundried tomatoes. Next time I'm thinking of using olives, thyme and feta. What will your loaves be like? I can't wait to see!

Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco
King Arthur Flour website
The winning recipe from the first-ever National Festival of Breads, this white bread filled with fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic powder, and shredded cheese has a wonderful soft texture and is packed with flavor. The unique shape is simple to achieve and makes an impressive presentation. Congratulations and thanks to Dianna Wara of Washington, Illinois, for creating this recipe — it's a winner, for sure!

Ingredients by volume: (for by weight, below the photo)

* 1/2 cup warm water
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 4 teaspoons instant yeast
* 1 cup warm low-fat milk
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
* 1 (8 1/2-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
* 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
* 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese, divided
* 2/3 cup chopped fresh basil

First time baking.
 Ingredients by weight: (for by volume, above the photo)

* 4 ounces warm water
* 1 3/4 ounces sugar
* 4 teaspoons instant yeast
* 8 ounces warm low-fat milk
* 2 3/8 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 25 1/2 ounces King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
* 1 (8 1/2-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
* 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
* 6 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese, divided
* 1/2 ounce chopped fresh basil

    113g warm water
    50g sugar
    4 teaspoons instant yeast
    227g warm low-fat milk
    67g extra-virgin olive oil
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons salt
    723g King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
    1 (241g) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
    3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
    170g shredded Italian blend cheese, divided
    14g chopped fresh basil

First loaves - inside.

1) Combine the water, sugar, yeast, milk, olive oil, eggs, salt, and flour, and mix and knead by hand, stand mixer, or bread machine until you've made a cohesive, soft dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 5 to 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the sun-dried tomatoes; lay them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Using kitchen shears, finely chop the tomatoes.

3) Line two baking sheets with parchment. Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Roll one piece into a 22" x 8 1/2" rectangle. Sprinkle on half the garlic, cheese, basil, and tomatoes.

4) Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal.

Second bread - pesto version

5) Place the log seam-side down on a baking sheet. Using kitchen shears, start 1/2" from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1" deep, to within 1/2" of the other end.

6) Keeping the cut side up, form an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8"; pinch the ends together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.

7) While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

8) Bake the first loaf for 35 to 40 minutes. Tent the loaf with foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Bake the remaining loaf.

9) Remove loaves from their pans; cook on racks. Store any leftovers well-wrapped, at room temperature.

Yield: 2 loaves.

Second bread - pesto version
The Bread Baking Babes