Posts tagged ‘sugar’

Chocolate Pomegranate Scones Recipe

So… this… this just works. They’re fluffy and moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside. The seeds burst with tangy sweetness when you bite into them, and the chocolate chips add a rich bitterness. If you need a break from dry toast for breakfast, this certainly will get the job done.

Ingredients:

2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 c butter, cut into small chunks, frozen
1 large egg
1/2 c milk
1 c pomegranate seeds
1/3 c dark chocolate chips
1 egg white
Sugar

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Sift the flour and add the sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add in the butter, egg (not the egg white) and milk and mix until smooth. Add the pomegranate seeds and chocolate chips and knead until just mixed. Flour as needed. Because the batter is so thick, I found that they didn’t easily mix in. The best way I found was to pile the seeds and chips in an indentation in the batter, fold the batter over it, and knead a couple times. If any seeds fell out, make another indentation in the batter, and repeat. Don’t knead any more than is necessary to mix them all in. There will be plenty exposed on the outside of the batter when you’re done. If you lose a few here and there, you could always eat them!

Work into a 1″-thick round, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cut into 8 wedges, and separate them by a half-inch or so. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. The egg white will give it an attractive glaze and the sugar will caramelize. Bake for 20-30 minutes until it starts to get a nice, toasty brown on the peaks. Remove, recut the pieces if necessary, and enjoy with a cup of Charles Towne English Breakfast.

Variations:

Substitute pomegranate seeds with pretty much any dried fruit or berry. Substitute the chocolate chips with nuts. Some combinations that were recommended to me: apricot/walnut, cherry/dark chocolate chips, cranberry/white chocolate, blueberry/pecan. Let your imagination go nuts!

January 17, 2011 at 10:40 am 2 comments

Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe

This recipe was passed to my mom while I was in high school. We had recently moved to the Czech Republic and were desperately missing some good ol’ Campbell’s tomato soup to got along with our grilled cheese on winter Sundays after church. I live in the States now and can buy Campbells whenever I want. Truth be told, this recipe is good enough to overcome my childhood nostalgia. For those of you know me well, this is no small feat. I hold rigidly (obnoxiously?) to some of my childhood traditions.

Ingredients:

2 T butter
2 T finely chopped onions (I usually puree in the food processor)
1 clove garlic, minced (again, I food processor it)
2 T flour
6 oz can tomato paste
2 c milk
2 c water
2 t sugar
Dash of oregano, thyme and basil
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

Saute the onion and garlic in the butter until golden. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring quickly until it forms a thick paste. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Add water in small amounts, stirring vigorously until it is absorbed by the flour. Add the milk and heat but do not boil. Add sugar, herbs and salt & pepper.

Variation:

Add 1 T of curry powder. This is how Wifey’s mom always prepared it growing up. For years, Wifey couldn’t figure out why Campbells tasted so much better when her mom made it instead of her friend’s mom. They both came out of the can, so why did her mom’s taste so much better? She found out years later about the addition of curry.

January 17, 2011 at 10:18 am Leave a comment

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe

Wifey and I decided to hold a cooking extravaganza this weekend. On Saturday we cooked and froze enough food to feed us for more than two weeks. Since she’s in grad school and I work full time plus freelance, these frozen meals should be a lifesaver for us. All total, we made 2 lasagnas, 4 calzone pizza doughs, 4 batches of homemade tomato soup, 3 pizza doughs, and homemade pasta noodles. (We also ate a calzone).

In order to accomplish this, I made a quadruple batch of whole wheat pizza dough. I want to share the recipe because we were sorely disappointed by the first 5 recipes we tried. They were all tasted like crumbly cardboard, were hard to difficult to work with, and generally resembled partially set-up cement more than pizza dough. Then we tried this recipe. It decimates the competition. I’d even argue that it can hold its own against white dough.

This is–hands down–the best whole wheat pizza dough.

Ingredients:

2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c white flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2c warm water (110˚F)
1 tsp sugar
1 pkg dry yeast

Instructions:

Dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the warm water. In a large bowl, mix the whole wheat and white flour and the salt. Once the yeast is activated and starts foaming, mix it into the dry ingredients. Knead 10-15 min. Transfer to a large, greased bowl, cover with a clean, dry towel, and set in a warm, dark place to rise. After doubled in size (usually 45 min. – 1 hr.), punch down and cut the dough in half with a sharp knife. (If I’m planning on freezing the dough. I just pop them in a Tupperware at this point and toss it in the freezer). Reform the halves into balls, place on a floured surface, cover and let rise once more. Once doubled in size again, roll the dough out on a well-floured surface and start making your pizza.

Makes 2 large, thin pizzas.

January 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm 1 comment

Beer Cheese Bread Recipe

Beer. Cheese. Bread.

Is there any combination of three words which can top that? I think not.

I got this recipe from the madre. I must say, I was not disappointed. On my first attempt, I used a low-end light beer (PBR? Heineken? Don’t remember). On my second attempt, I upped it to a Guinness. The flavor difference was noticeable. Surprisingly, it tasted much more yeasty with the Guinness. I still want to try using a Belgian ale sometime, but it’s very difficult for me to do anything but drink a Belgian.

Recipe:
3 c self-rising flour
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
2-4 T fresh chopped chives
1 (12 oz) bottle beer
1/4 c melted butter

Instructions:
Mix together all of the dry ingredients. Fold in the beer. (Like pancakes, it doesn’t need to be smooth. Chunky goopiness is a good thing).  Pour into a greased 9 x 5 bread pan. Bake at 350¹ for 45 min. Pour melted butter over the top and bake 10 more minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes then remove from pan and finish cooling.

(Self-rising flour is easy to make if you don’t have any. For every cup of flour add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. For this recipe add 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder to the 3 cups flour.)

Possible Variation:
Skip the chives and add chili powder instead. How much depends on how much you can handle. Since this recipe liberally uses cheese and butter (which counteract the burn), I would recommend doubling the amount of chili that you would usually use to flavor something. I put my slightly more than standard amount in, and could barely feel a burn.

September 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe

We just popped open our first attempt at homemade ginger ale. It was good. Plenty of room for improvements, but I have some ideas. The first issue was the carbonation. It was mildly fizzy at best. I did some research and figured out that if you brew it at a higher PSI, you’ll get more carbonation. Considering I made mine in a milk jug, I suppose the flatness is to be expected. The second issue was sweetness. It probably could’ve used a tad more sugar. Then again, maybe we are all just used to having our drinks overbearingly, diabetes-ly sweet. Anyways, here’s the recipe and method:

3/4c sugar (I’ll probably try 1c next time)
4oz of fresh ginger root (Next time, I’ll use 6oz)
2c filtered water
1/2t yeast
1T lemon juice

Grate the ginger root (a food processor might be your best friend here). Put the ginger in a small saucepan with the water. Bring this to a boil and dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved and the water is boiling, remove it from the heat, cover it and let it steep for an hour. Once this is done, strain the mixture (removing all solids) and let it cool to room temperature. Once at room temp, dissolve the yeast and lemon juice. Pour this mixture into a clean, empty 2-litre. Fill all but an inch with filtered water. Set it on the counter and wait for 24-48 hrs until the bottle is very firm to squeeze (but before the pressure causes it to explode). Refrigerate and enjoy when cool.

On selecting the ginger: I grabbed a hung that was about fist size. I’ll probably go a little bigger than that next time.

A final caveat: I brewed it super spicy, because that’s what I like. It still wasn’t spicy enough for me, though. My goal was to get something like Blenheim Ginger Ale (the most absolutely incredible ginger ale ever made). I’m not quite there, but it was a respectable first try.

April 27, 2010 at 8:44 pm 1 comment


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