Monthly Archives: January 2011

Jan 29

Strawberry Almond Macarons

By Sharon | Recipes , Tips

Almond Macaron with Chocolate Ganache

I became obsessed with making macarons while watching an episode of MasterChef Australia.  But these were techniques I had never used before so I needed to get my nerve up.  Shortly after seeing this I was watching an American cooking show where they were making Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting.  This was the first I’d heard of this frosting and it sounded really yummy.  Still, I had never been very successful with meringues and had only used them on pies and to make angel food cakes.

So I started by reading blogs about the frostings and then I started my research on the macarons.  I read many recipes and many blogs.  My favorite is from Not Quite Nigella
because it gives great images and lots of little tips.Continue reading

Jan 26

Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake

By Sharon | Recipes , Tips

Here’s a simple and easy dessert to prepare ahead of time for your special sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.  Make it elegant by plating it in special shapes.  It can be served any time during your romantic evening and if you don’t make it to the dessert course have it with your coffee in the morning.  The Godiva liqueur gives it a rich and decadent flavor but you can add Frangelico or any liqueur.  Pick your chocolate to use based on your favorite chocolate; semi-sweet or bitter sweet.  Use the chocolate ganache or a raspberry sauce to compliment the dessert.Continue reading

Jan 15

Semolina Gnocchi – Gnocchi alla Romana

By Sharon | Recipes , Tips

Gnocchi Alla Romana – Semolina Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce

These Gnocchi are like making polenta but use the Semolina flour instead of corn meal.  This was one of the three Gnocchi we made in class at the Austin Whole Foods Culinary Center.  We prepped the entire first part and they put them in the blast chiller for us to cut and take with us.  You can cut these any size or shape but keep in mind that Italian Gnocchi are small dumplings made of potato, flour or semolina that are boiled or baked and usually served with a sauce or with grated cheese.  Cutting them into smaller pieces is keeping with the small dumpling form.  Very small ones are called gnocchetti.

These would be a good Valentine’s menu item as either a starter or main course since they are easy to prepare ahead of time and have in a baking dish ready to go in the oven.  If you want to be really fancy, use a heart cookie cutter to give them a special shape.Continue reading

Jan 13

Experimental Sunday – Mango Panna Cotta

By Sharon | Recipes , Tips

Mango Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Kiwi Jelly

This was my experimental Sunday recipe.  Not everything I make comes out perfect but I think it’s good to share my trials and failures with you as well as my successes.

I have these freeze-dried fruit powders that the Scenic Fruit Company was generous enough to send me samples of to try in my recipes.  I had some fresh kiwi and I thought that since kiwi and mango go well together that I could use the combination to make a panna cotta with a slice of kiwi at the bottom of the glass.  However, while I was doing the research on gelatin for my Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta with Raspberry Jelly I kept reading that you can’t put fresh kiwi in gelatin and have it set because of an enzyme in the kiwi.Continue reading

Jan 10

Gnocchi Alla Parigina – Cooking Class Demo

By Sharon | Recipes

Gnocchi Class

Jason demonstrated this Gnocchi for us first.  He started out by telling us we were making a Pâte à choux Gnocchi and I immediately thought dessert!  I was going to like this. Pâte à choux is a light pastry dough used to make profiteroles, croquembouches, eclairs, French crullers, and beignets.  These are things I could eat on a daily basis. He had my attention right away.Continue reading