Getting My Jam On!

T'is the season to get your jam on...and so I did. 
Strawberry Jam [05.17.2011]

 Candied Rhubarb Compote [05.17.2011]

The first round:
  • Strawberry Jam - strawberries, sugar, pectin, lemon juice
  • Strawberry Balsamic Jam - strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar, pectin, lemon juice
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Jam - strawberries, rhubabrb, sugar, pectin, lemon juice
  • Candied Rhubarb Compote - rhubabrb, sugar, pectin, lemon juice
Like last year, quantities are limited, so contact me if you're interested in a jar.  Only $5 each for 4 oz. of homemade preserves in this cute little clamp jar. 

I hope to go fruit picking within the next couple weeks to get a jump on the next round - cherries and apricots.

*fingers crossed*


A Tiny Bite...

Mini cupcakes really are the perfect treat - self-contained and just the perfect size when you crave just a little something sweet. 

If you haven't noticed, I've made a few cupcakes in my day, but the following is my ABSOLUTE favorite.

Lemon-Passion Meringue Mini Cupcakes [03.20.2011]

Generally, I'm not really into rich desserts, so if you're anything like me, this could be just the treat for you.  Lemon Cake filled with Passion Fruit Curd and topped with a Lightly Toasted Meringue - the perfect combination of Sweet & Tart!

I really like these pictures because they bring a smile to my face.  Not only because I like eating these little things, but because of the bright and happy springtime colors.  Also, isn't the mini macaron on the mini cupcake so cute!?

Lemon Cake
5 oz      Cake Flour
1c 2T    Sugar
1/2t       Salt
1/2        Baking Powder
Zest of 1 Lemon
4 oz       Egg Yolks
1/4 c     Lemon Juice
1/2 t      Vanilla
4 oz       Egg Whites
1/2 c     Sugar

Whisk together first 5 ingredients
In a separate bowl, whisk together yolks, juice and vanilla
Make a French meringue with whites and sugar
Whisk liquids into dries
Fold in meringue
Fill lined mini cupcake molds
Bake at 350° 10-12 min

Passion Fruit Curd 
See recipe on my previous post...

3 oz       Egg Whites
3/4c      Sugar

Whisk ingredients over medium heat until hot being careful not to scorch
Transfer to mixing bowl
Whip until stiff
Use immediately  


Just make something...

Passion Fruit Pot de Creme w/ Dragon Fruit & Passion Fruit Seeds [03.28.2011]

 My Aunt showed up with a Dragon Fruit one day, handed it to me and told me to "make something."  Way to inspire me...  I never really liked Dragon Fruit -  I find it kind of flavorless,  but perhaps I never had a good one.  However, I LOVE the way they look - it's vibrant and contrasting colors. 

For those of you who have never had Dragon Fruit, it's flesh is similar to a kiwi, a firm kiwi speckled with seeds.  Supposedly it is ripe when the skin appears more red than the vibrant pink I have pictured and the seeds are black, not brown.

I ended up making a Passion Fruit Pot de Creme with some leftover Passion Fruit Curd and used the Dragon Fruit and fresh Passion Fruit Seeds as garnish.  Again, I love how the colors pop!

Passion Fruit Curd
5           Eggs
1 1/2 c  Sugar
3/4 c     Passion Fruit Concentrate
1/3 c     Cream
pinch     Salt

Whisk together all ingredients in a pot
Cook on a medium low heat continuously whisking and scraping the bottom of the pot
The curd is ready when mixture has reached a nape

Passion Fruit Pot de Creme
2 c     Cream
1        Egg
2        Egg Yolks
4 oz   Sugar
1/2 c Passion Fruit Curd

Scald cream
Whisk together all other ingredients
Temper mixture with heated cream
Pour base into ramekins
Bake in a water bath at 350° for 30-40, until custard has set


THE Chocolate Chip Cookie

For a few years now, I've been experimenting on and off to create THE Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe - I think I found it.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies & Milk [03.26.2011]

After trying out a few recipes, I found the characteristics I wanted to duplicate: 

Not too sweet
Crunchy edges
Chewy center
Chunks of dark chocolate
Visually appealing

A combination of different sugars definitely helped to achieve the texture and look I was searching for.  A pale cookie isn't very appealing.  One of my favorite things is how the large chunks of chocolate swirl into the cookie when melted.  Every bite is the perfect ratio of cookie to chocolate.

Because I love my cookies warm, one of my favorite indulgences is microwaving the cookie for 30 seconds and having it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. 

Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream Sandwich [04.03.2011]

Want the recipe?  Make me an offer...  :D