Mar 11th, 2011
I had an I-Can't-Believe-I-Made-That moment when this cake slipped out of the new bundt pan. Its surface was like a helmet of crisp, melted sugar; it hit its final destination of a plate with a slight spring. A wave of warm, buttery caramel, with citrus and spruce filled my nostrils. It looked like an Art Deco sculpture of sorts. It was a real moment of victory. And I can't wait for it to happen to you, hopefully, too.
Orange Rosemary Bundt Cake
Feb 25th, 2011
I love Asian ice cream, milkshake and flavored tea flavors, but so often they're sad, powdered relics of the real stuff. The pale green "honeydew" makes me miss the juicy, floral freshness of the real fruit, slushed up, that I'd get in Taiwan. Bright lilac "taro" flavor just plain is not. Although I may never have enough sun to grow fresh, tropical fruit and coconuts here, one flavor I don't see the need to place in artificial form, anywhere, is that of red bean. You can pick up a bag for ninety nine cents at the corner store.
Red Bean Ice Cream
Jan 29th, 2011
When a purchased food becomes such a habit that I can't fathom a day without this item, it's usually when I decide to make something like it at home. This winter, it's been cookies... boxes, and boxes of cookies. All kinds of cookies. Chewy, grainy, nutty ones; flat, crispy sugary ones. It's an awful way to start off the new year, I suppose.
Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Choc-Oat Chip Cookies
Dec 7th, 2010
Holidays are all about traditions -- making them, keeping them. I've got a tradition in the works of coming up with seasonal ice cream flavors. I don't necessarily think this hobby needs a holiday attached to it, but it is a good excuse to make lots of ice cream. Previous holiday seasons have been responsible for creating some of my favorites, like chai, orange spice, cranberry, peppermint, chocolate and five-star anise, and curry-carrot-coconut ice cream. If I could capture the essence of an elf in ice cream form, I'd do it. And actually, I wonder if it wouldn't be so far off from this zingy, ticklish ginger flavor.
Ginger Ice Cream with Candied Ginger Strips
Oct 22nd, 2010
It's always exciting to cook with an ingredient for the first time. With all the interesting seasonal produce that can be found, this will surely never end. Food surprises are one of the main draws of joining a CSA for me, too: you never really know what you're going to get in a given week. Last week, my fruit share from Red Jacket Orchards included quince. Only I thought they were Bartlett pears at first, and then, more outrageously, kumquats.
Oct 12th, 2010
You know, I have never actually owned a cake pan. I've never particularly wanted to use one, either. The spring clasp makes me skeptical. And I guess I don't see why any food should have to be such a perfect cylinder of foam. As you can probably guess, I don't have any cake decorating gadgets, and I've gotten by improvising them every time I've taken on a cupcake task. (Is it a sign of the awesome popularity of the cupcake that I've never baked a cake in a proper pan?) But if you're wary of crowding your cupboards with stuff you barely use, too, here's one way to multi-task your cookware, without sacrificing taste. This upside-down cake takes about 35 minutes to make, and you can do it all in an oven-safe skillet.
Apple Upside-Down Cake (in a fry pan!)
Oct 1st, 2010
It's a simple conceit: peanut butter and jelly, America's favorite sandwich combination, in America's favorite dessert, pie. You could approach this in many ways, and one other person at the pie contest that I baked this for actually did, layering a peanut butter mousse with concord grape mousse in a thin crust. But the way I went about it was more in keeping with pie tradition than pb&j: I made a fresh fruit filling, and instead of just butter in the crust, added peanut butter, too.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Pie (at the Greenpoint Open Studios Benefit Pie Bake-Off)
Aug 24th, 2010
We've gotten our first whiff of fall in New York City this week. This morning, I actually put on socks. But now that summer is beginning to fade (and soon, too, will my flip-flop foot tan), it's officially okay to start thinking about baking, specifically pies. There is so much good fruit around.
Plum & Apricot Pie
Dec 6th, 2009
This ice cream flavor is an ode to sticking cloves in oranges around Christmastime. They turn out looking a little funny, and it feels a little bit voodoo doll-like doing it, but it's one of those wholesome childhood traditions, and it makes the room smell good. Like orange and spice, and everything nice. This tastes good, too.
Spiced Orange Ice Cream
Sep 9th, 2009
I never did like candy corn. But this ice cream, at first lick, tastes a bit like the Halloween haunt. Perhaps I just got a heavy drizzle of honey stuck on my tongue with it (a main ingredient in candy corn). Then afterward, instead of a slightly sick feeling from the cloying, over-sweetness and gritty mouthfeel, the spoonful burst with the taste of fresh corn and pure creaminess. Sweet corn, sweet cream and sweet, wildflower honey. That's my kind of candy this season.
Sweet Corn and Honey Ice Cream
Jun 4th, 2009
I have a new catch-phrase for the week: that "I erred on the side of awesome." Like the guy who made bubble gum. I didn't invent anything earth-shattering, through scientific debacle, but when something was underestimated in this particular batch of ice cream, it made it all the better. That's a nice surprise.
Chocolate and Five-Star Anise Ice Cream
May 14th, 2009
Now if only I could miniaturize myself after this string of cook-offs the past two weeks. Brooklyn Kitchen's 3rd Annual Cupcake Cook-Off, held Monday night at Union Pool, was the last straw -- yes, the Risotto Challenge is still on, and yes, it will be still awesome, and will help raise money for our friends at Just Food. But until then, folks, I'm staying away from the trays and snaking lines of homemade eats for a while.
Green Tea Coconut Mini Cupcakes (official losing entry of the Brooklyn Kitchen Cupcake Cook-Off)
May 8th, 2009
I have an absolutely sensational, hysterical and eye-opening book on my shelf: Asian Ice Cream for You and Your Kids
by Arron Liu. It's not intended to be funny, but it is. I also don't have any kids, so I'm not sure it's intended for the sole delight of an adult beyond growing age, either. But, it's a powerhouse of serious ice cream recipes, and while flipping through it, I was struck by the saffron glare of a full-page spread depicting one called "Japanese Curry Ice Cream."
Curry Carrot Ice Cream
Mar 28th, 2009
Just a simple twist on an old favorite. I love how a snip of fresh herbs spruces up just about anything. Visually, a sprinkle for garnish adds professional panache, and hidden somewhere in the dish, lends a lurking note of freshness. That goes for desserts as well.
Lemon Thyme Bars
Mar 14th, 2009
Once upon a time, I thought that ice cream "flavors" were just flavoring added to plain, perhaps vanilla, ice cream. "Chocolate" was dabbed in from a vial labeled so along with some fudge-colored dye, and "Strawberry" got its juice in much the same way, save for a few streaks of seeded fruit in some versions of the ice cream. Of course there were the chocolate chips and chopped nuts of Rocky Roads and other stuff-studded ice creams, but the bases would be flavored all the same. It's funny how even in naiveté, you get some things right.
Mascarpone Ice Cream (and “Deconstructed Tiramisu”)
Feb 14th, 2009
Two is better than one. That's what I would be saying if I hadn't just spent five hours making cookies on Valentine's Day morning. (You could say it was a labor of love.) When I asked readers to choose their favorite heart-shaped cookie proposal from six options for me to make today, I never expected such a dramatic split. There seemed to be warring sides: traditional all the way (red velvet cream cheese frosting), and Asian-inspired (green tea red bean paste, toasted sesame ginger). Early numbers had me convinced that green tea red bean was going to prevail. But red velvet turned a strong comeback in the end, and with one more vote than the green tea, it looks to be the winner. But, I had already gotten matcha and soaked red beans by the time the last votes poured in just for the occasion. So here it is, or here they both are: my Valentine's Day cookie double date.
Heart Attack! Red Velvet Cream Cheese Frosting and Green Tea Red Bean Paste Valentine Sandwich Cookies
Jan 26th, 2009
Happy Chinese New Year! Thanks to all the "students" who came to the Brooklyn Kitchen last night for me and Winnie's dumpling class. I hope you mark a dumpling party on your calendars soon. That was some tight work all around with the homemade dough -- this is tricky stuff to roll out and fold when making dumplings for the first time! Be sure to check out the Brooklyn Kitchen blog and Winnie's blog soon for her braised oxtail filling; a basic pork and chive filling can be found here. And for a less traditional, completely un-Chinese dumpling recipe, keep reading... It's been far too long since I've made dumplings, so before the class, I wanted to brush up on my pinching technique. I took the opportunity of a joint birthday party between three friends on Friday to make a few batches of a certain dessert dumpling.
Apple Dumplings with Brown Sugar Rum Sauce
Jan 11th, 2009
Two winters ago, I bought myself an ice cream maker. It cost $50. It has a bowl that needs to stay in the freezer overnight before attempting to use it (trust me, I've tried without), and it has a plastic insert that churns the cream into ice cream when the electric motor rotates the bowl around and around. It's a simple machine, and it's pretty cheap. And I honestly don't know why everyone who likes ice cream doesn't get one!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Dec 27th, 2008
Happy holidays, food lovers. I hope everyone's had their fill of celebratory treats both sweet and savory. No? Well, there's another holiday coming up in a few days, the eclipse of 2008, but that one's less about food (or holiness) than drink. Perhaps you, like I, are still looking forward to serious snacking on New Year's Eve, but sense that you've maxed out on your monthly caloric intake. Instead of leftover fruitcake, this healthy sweet potato tart might appeal to both dueling persuasions.
Candied Sweet Potato Ricotta Tart
Dec 23rd, 2008
Sometimes, I have an internal speedometer going on when cooking at home. Twice in the past few weeks I made a batch of these cookies in record time, before taking off to bring them to holiday house parties. Even when I'm not in any rush, I get a keen satisfaction out of completing a (good) meal that was surprisingly fast. That's something you don't really get to see through the recipes on this blog. I could add an "estimated cooking time" to each one, like some practical cookbooks and magazines do, but that would betray the fact that sometimes, at no instigation, I'll work at a glacial pace, and other times I might cook like I'm on Hell's Kitchen
and Gordon Ramsay's counting down the seconds in that boorish tone, calling me something like Snozzlehead or Stinkypants or whatever that crazy Brit comes up with in attempt to make me crack.
Cranberry Ginger Jam Thumbprints
Dec 15th, 2008
It's official: My diet is heading into a recession. Chocolate, bacon and cheese -- three deadly food sins. The Devil's Triangle, if you will. All in one sugary, buttery package. Oh, what are we waiting for?
Chocolate Cupcakes with Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting
Oct 30th, 2008
If I told you that this pie tastes exactly like the first cube of grape-flavored bubblegum you unfolded from waxy paper and stuffed in your grade school-sized mouth, barely able to contain its spill of citric acid and high fructose corn syrup "juices," would that go against every fresh, seasonal, farm-to-table objective that this blog (and this pie) strives to attain? Probably. But it sort of does. And when baked with an open-design top crust, it's bubblicious, too.
Concord Grape Apple Pie
Oct 20th, 2008
Things I like about fall: apples... sage... toasty, nutty flavors like browned butter... Oh wait, I guess I'm only referring to food I like in the fall. I have a one-track mind much of the time. Good thing there are occasions for such obsessiveness, one annual Brooklyn tradition being the apple pie contest at Enid's.
Brown Butter Sage Apple Pie (and Enid’s Apple Pie Bake-Off recap)
Oct 16th, 2008
There are many things that have confused me about chai over the years. How did the simple word for tea in India (and much of the world) come to denote this Christmasy spice-infused drink? Isn't it then redundant to say "chai tea"? Does it always need to be sweet (I never sweeten my teas)? What are the spices in it and is there a rigid formula of them? Should the "C" be capitalized? Why did the New York coffee shop I worked at between college semesters always purchase it pre-brewed in cartons (couldn't we be trusted to brew it like the rest of the loose-leaf blends?)? Why is it so damn special?
Chai Ice Cream
Sep 22nd, 2008
Warning: This product contains raw egg.
It has, however, been tested in the Brooklyn kitchen of Not Eating Out in New York, and ingested at a gathering of cupcake enthusiasts in Manhattan, held by the blog Cupcakes Take the Cake. It was deemed delicious by all, and no subsequent injuries were suffered that I am aware of.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Topped Cupcakes
Sep 15th, 2008
It's really the last week of summer. The skies are really becoming darker sooner, and that chill breeze in the evening is really happening. But on the flipside, and in celebration of late-summer local fruits, this watermelon pie is also real. I didn't think it would make it past the dream stage for a while.
Fresh Watermelon Pie
Sep 7th, 2008
Some people like to do a lot of canning, jamming and pickling this time of year, to preserve summer's harvest of ripe fruits and vegetables. Others simply chop them up and throw them in the freezer. In something of a cross between jamming and throwing in the freezer, I decided to take up the age-old tradition of boozy sorbet-making.
Peach Watermelon Sangria Sorbet
Aug 19th, 2008
Sometimes, words don't even come close. Sometimes photos don't do the trick. Sometimes, like when dealing with something as delicious as this ice cream, there is no proper justice. But I will try.
Carrot Cake Ice Cream with Cream Cheese Sauce
Jul 31st, 2008
This recipe is like a southern housewife who just flew back from the Bahamas. There's nothing that smells of home, sweet home like a fresh-baked pan of cornbread, but who wants to forget the intoxicating aromas of the tropics so soon? Heck, a compromise. And to return to reality from that little hyperbole, this dish was indeed a compromise when it was planned for the menu at the BBQ last night, hosted by Finger on the Pulse.
Banana Coconut Cornbread with Peach Compote
Jul 22nd, 2008
This recipe started with a lot of leftover bread. I didn't know what to do with it; it was stale, so I ground it into coarse breadcrumbs in the food processor. Okay, so now I have breadcrumbs, I thought. What to do? This was great fodder for, let's see, meatballs? Frying batter? Savory stuffing? Nothing that sounded too appealing during these hot weeks of July.
Fresh Fruit-Filled Ricotta Tarts
Jul 10th, 2008
To put it in more discerning culinary terminology, these might actually be galettes, the rustic hand-shaped pastry with filling. But as Merriam-Webster defines it, a galette is a flat, round
pastry with filling, and these are heart-shaped (ahem, almost). "Tart" usually implies a similar dessert that takes shape by way of a tart pan, and has a sticky, gooey or custardy filling beneath the fruit topping. Or either/or. These have neither. I'm a sucker for rhymes also, so I'll stick with tart for these.
Blueberry Heart Tarts (well, almost)
Jun 13th, 2008
This is what I've been having for dinner lately. I don't have an air conditioner and don't see the point much when I can dip into a carton of homemade ice cream every once in a while. It does much more than cool the physical senses. It soothes and elates, bringing me back to the emotional state of being on a class trip in kindergarten, when every kid lined up at the local ice cream parlor and ordered the same thing: mint chocolate chip in a sugar cone. (Ever have a similar experience?) Some of them were following the fad, for sure, jumping on the bandwagon at that impressionable age. Though few, if any, would regret doing so.
Just-Like-the-Parlor Mint Chip Ice Cream
Apr 25th, 2008
Warning: it’s gritty. I did not take the advice from the Epicuious recipe I based this variation off of and expel the custard mixture of basil leaves with a “fine mesh strainer” before churning it into ice cream. That would have been more, well, refined. But then, aren’t home-cooked specialties supposed to be a little gritty? I should call this one Brooklyn Basil Lemon ice cream.
Basil Lemon Ice Cream
Feb 3rd, 2008
Gee, I'm single. I don't know the way it is with you, but Valentine's Day traditionally falls on a romantically awkward time for me (except for the last two years). This year, it's pretty bad. I'll spare you the gory details, but I essentially returned from my girlfriend-bonding Moroccan vacation to a live-in who'd decided he wanted out. Home sweet home! Of course, now that it's the first week of February, all the aphrodisiac date menus, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, stuffed bears and stupid cupids bouncing around in attempt to stimulate the love sensors only make me sense a party that I'm not invited to. So, I rather liked the refreshingly morbid title of Culinate's new blogging contest, Death by Chocolate.
Pain with Chocolate (and that’s not in French)
Dec 23rd, 2007
My favorite nut (besides, perhaps, my mother) is the buttery cashew. For a long time I thought there was no better way to enjoy them than alone, roasted, straight out of the can and without the pesky accompaniment of lesser nuts mixed in. A little coat of salt, maybe. But that was all. This may or may not still be the ultimate cashew experience, but recently I've discovered this nut to be a little more versatile to add.
Honey-Cashew Fruit Crisps
Dec 3rd, 2007
"Was that banana?"
Went the first question from everyone who'd tried these, once they unglued their mouths enough to ask. Next:
"I'm getting caramel... nuttiness... chocolate..."
Sounds almost like we were tasting vintage wines. To their credit, it was dark in the bar where we sat. Half turtle bar, partly inspired by the chocolate monkey drink, these lovable turtle monkey bars have the best of both animal kingdoms, in my opinion. Like a well-aged wine, the flavors also seemed to mingle after having been squashed together in plastic wrap for an hour beforehand. Cold, gooey banana indeed pervaded every bite. The mealy texture of graham cracker could be felt throughout. Chocolate chunks prominently lodged in the teeth. The combined sensation is positively that of a kindergarten recess (minus the raisins).
Chunky Turtle Monkey Love Bars
Nov 24th, 2007
So, nobody was exactly clamoring for me to remake a traditional British Christmas mincemeat pie this year at Thanksgiving. Blended dried fruits and the word "meat" in its name doesn't conjure the most appetizing dessert (even though today, meat is commonly left out). It certainly never did for me, especially since I've only had mincemeat once before as a straight-out-of-the-can pie filling. This was at a Thanksgiving long ago, and I recall reading the ingredients on the can: It was essentially a heavily spiced puree of apples and raisins. This irked me. Why mess around with dried and canned fruits when there was plenty of fresh apples and cranberries to go around? Worse yet, nobody seemed to know that this was in fact what was in the can.
Cranberry Orange Mince Pie
Oct 22nd, 2007
super squash-caramel sundae
Not butter rum ice cream, not just butternut squash ice cream (although you can just omit the rum if you care for that), but buttery, yummy rum butternut squash ice cream. Say that five times fast. Now try it after some more of that rum.
Rum Butternut Ice Cream
Oct 6th, 2007
No, it's not my blog's birthday part II. Last weekend was the birthday of a couple friends of mine -- a couple, who happen to share the same birthday. No, they're not twins. So, since everyone loves cupcakes and two birthdays is certainly that much more reason to, I baked up a batch of mini white cake delights topped off with my own mocha frosting. These friends are keen on coffee, as am I and most people I know. But, like myself and probably not
so many others, they're not particularly cake lovers, nor frosting aficionados. I don't know what it is about it, but it takes a little something extra to get me excited about frosting. This mocha one, fortunately, rose to the challenge.
Aug 15th, 2007
A week or so ago, I bought a pint of thick, full-fat Greek-style plain yogurt. I planned on making the most mouthwatering, yet-undiscovered frozen yogurt flavor, but had no idea what it would be. A week of contemplation went by. What about a fresh, spicy ginger flavor with brown sugar? Maybe those sour cherries can be cooked down to a syrup and swirled in. What if I threw blueberry cobbler pieces into it with mascarpone cheese?
Mango Frozen Yogurt (and a discussion on theory vs. practice)
Jun 27th, 2007
Hear me out: I acknowledge global warming. I am sitting in my apartment with two fans on glued to this chair and have ice cubes in my cheeks like a squirrel hoarding nuts. Did they say global humidifying is upon us as well, or is it just these couple of days we're having in the hellishly hot tri-state area?
Chilled Watermelon Coconut & Tapioca Soup
Jun 16th, 2007
Fresh-mint infused ice cream flavors have grown up quickly from the esoteric awe they might have once induced. Now that Ciao Bella even makes a fresh mint chip ice cream, it's no longer the domain of chefs and home cooks, either. Fresh mint leaves are a world of difference from the minty mint chip flavor we grew up with (read: peppermint oil); it's kind of one of those delightful twists on a flavor that you didn't even know needed improving. But since there are so many varieties of fresh mint, I'm curious to see what happens when we begin to discern them in things like ice cream, too.
Wintergreen Chip Ice Cream Cookiewiches
Jun 6th, 2007
me (not Steve) grating zest into a not-so-authentic crust
Don't get me wrong: I've nothing against the venerable institution that is Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies. There is no contest -- key lime pie greatness has been said for, and I couldn't tell you of a better way to spend an afternoon than to go down to the waterfront in Red Hook and sit on the picnic table outside the old warehouse where the key lime pie magic happens and pet one or two of the dogs hanging around in the shade as you kill your afternoon appetite with a 4-inch pie, or better yet, one dipped in dark chocolate on a stick, called a Swingle. But for the home chef, there is nothing like the pride of making a pie that tastes almost as good as Steve Tarpin's. And I'll speak to that.
Not Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie
May 28th, 2007
Is there anything you can do with rhubarbs except make pies and jams and jellies, often in combination with a sweet red fruit? The world may never know. I'm not in any mood to find out myself, because before this I was a virgin to making the classic rhubarb pie.
Okay, maybe I still am, since I chose cherries as its pie partner. They just looked so fresh and plump and made me want to buy more than I could eat. While strawberry is the rhubarb's claim to duo fame, I never quite liked how strawberries cook up: the sad, sagged, muted pink slivers make the fruit's seeds stand out so, and while still delicious the texture is not one of my favorites. Rhubarb mating season has begun.
Cherry Rhubarb Pie
May 21st, 2007
Bartenders all over the city have been loving the lychee, so why can't I? Especially in the summer months, when cool, juicy and sweet flavors rule. And especially when Sugar High Friday, the dessert food-blogging event created by The Domestic Goddess, is calling this month's challenge theme "Shades of White", hosted by Seven Spoons. I'm not sure exactly what shade of white the lychee is. It begins much more white fresh than it looks canned, which is a slight shell-pink or peach hue.
Lychee Sorbet with Mint
Apr 14th, 2007
Because I had such a frustrating time finding the "ultimate" coffee ice cream recipe in cookbooks and online, I decided to share the pastiche of my findings in one neat recipe. Following the cues for premium ice cream in my machine's booklet, which is usually a more custardy, denser variety that uses egg yolks and/or whole eggs, I added a touch of fresh (strong) brewed coffee, and an optional scatter of dark chocolate chunks.
Fresh Coffee Premium Ice Cream
Mar 19th, 2007
Thanks to everyone who offered delicious and wacky ice cream flavor suggestions on my last experiment with white pepper ice cream. I apologize, however, that I haven't gotten around to trying any of them because I've been drunk on this bourbon-drenched one. Sweet, creamy and simple, this was my kind of ice cream -- or nightcap?
Bourbon Sugar Cookie Crunch Ice Cream