Monthly Archives: June 2008

Gimme “S’more Cupcakes” and beer

Last Saturday was a friend’s birthday Crawfish Boil. I offered to make birthday cupcakes, but wanted to do something different. A few nights before the BBQ, Nick and I came up with the idea of making a “S’more Cupcake”. It would consist of chocolate ganache filling topped with a fresh homemade vanilla marshmallow.

It doesn’t end there. We purchased a torch and right before serving the cupcake to our friends, the marshmallows were toasted(!) so they were served with a crispy burnt shell and an gooey mallow filling.

Photos by: Nick Bilton

Photos by: Danielle Bilton





Oh and here are a few photos from Jaime and Bob’s birthday Crawfish Boil. She’s from New Orleans and he’s from Queens. Together, they’re known as “The Funn’s”.

This is what 60 pounds of crawfish looks like

This was all very exciting to us New Yorkers (Note: all the feet surrounding the boil)

The birthday girl chowing down. Mr. Funn himself preping Nick for the 20 lbs of crawfish he is about to consume. Thanks Bob.

Last week’s Confection….

 Last week at One Girl Cookies, was exactly what I needed. Aside from chocolate, I go nuts over chevre anything. So when I saw a chevre brulee I ended up licking my plate. It was accompanied by a “sangria sorbet”. Like I said, just what I needed. Until next weekend.

~White Sangria Sorbet~
with Chevre Brulee &
Toasted Almond Crunch

 ~Chocolate Caramel Tart~
with Maldon Sea  Salt Ice Cream
& Lemon Zest Sorbet

~Red & Black Plum Tart~
with Corn Sage Crust
& Star Anise Ice Cream

Mixed Berry Cobbler

It’s Tuesday, and today’s Dorie Greenspan recipe was chosen by Beth of our sweet life

I liked this one for it’s simplicity. It was the exact recipe I needed for my hectic schedule. Nick and I went to my parents house in NJ for dinner and my sister helped bake. She’s a really good cook as well, though she doesn’t show it off enough. So here she is mixing up the filling as I assembled the topping.

Danielle Bilton

As far as the topping goes, it’s OK. It’s a cobbler, cobblers are not suppose to be filled with spices and extracts and oils. It should however be more buttery. Now, Can we all agree that everything is always better with more butter?

Danielle Bilton

A little dollop of whipped cream and all is good in the world…

Danielle Bilton

Special Confection at One Girl Cookies

Last week at Confection, I must play favorites. Out of the three plate licking desserts, my favorite was the White Cherry Pistachio Crostata with peppermint ice cream. Great, well balanced combination of texture and flavors. The peppermint just pulled the plate together.

After indulging, owners Dawn and Dave, came over to say hello. They also brought with them the brains behind the weekly darling desserts. Her name is Francine. She is so lovely, we were very excited to tell her how she makes our weekends special with her confections. So, thank you again Francine, Dawn and Dave and Rebecca.
I didn’t have my camera, but here are some old shots from past One Girl visits:

~Buttermilk Panna Cotta~
with Strawberry Sauternes Gelee
and Sweet Corn Thyme Biscuit

~Peppermint Ice Cream~
with White Cherry Pistachio Crostata
and Pistachio Creme Anglaise

~Caramelized Marshmallow &
Rice Crisp Sundae~
with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
and Cappuccino Gelato

Peppermint Cream Puff Ring

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by: Caroline of a Consuming Passion

My Mom was over so I put her to work. It’s been a while since we both were in the kitchen together. We had some laughs, I showed her some baking techniques, it was a nice time to catch up.

Nick and I have loads of herbs in our garden, including 4 different types of mint: Apple mint, Chocolate mint, Spearmint, and Peppermint

I used Peppermint and Chocolate mint. Chocolate mint tastes like thin mints, very appropriate for this recipe.

I let the leaves steep after boiling, which left my home very fragrant.  I had thoughts of making a chocolate mint cream filling, but forgot to add the chocolate. So I stuck to the original recipe, which turned out just as delicious.

Photos: Danielle Bilton

Photos: Nick Bilton

La Palette’s Strawberry Tart

 This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Marie of A Year From Oak Cottage.

Marie couldn’t have picked a better time for this recipe. Sunday strolled around and my sister and I headed to the Cortelyou Greemarket in Brooklyn. We walked up to the stands, and in the sweltering heat that has taken the east coast hostage, there sat a table filled with the most fragrant strawberries. I bought two quarts at six dollars each.

I can’t believe that the berries aren’t more expensive for the amount of work that goes into them. As you can see I only get a small handful from my strawberry patch, but when I do, I savor every bite.

This is a great recipe for any summer fruit, because it doesn’t cook the fruit down. It just soaks the fruit in sugar and enhances their flavor. I added 1/4 cup of cornmeal to the crust, and we loved it! It added that extra bit of merriment to the dish.

Photo: Nick Bilton

Finally, we get to chow down. We had a tart for dessert and for breakfast. I’m making more this weekend. Needless to say, this recipe hit the summer spot.

French Chocolate Brownies

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by, Di of Di’s kitchen notebook

I chose to flambe the dried cherries instead of raisins. I just think cherries add that extra kick when used in chocolate baked goods.

I must say the brownie batter looked like the perfect chocolate buttercream. Shiny, smooth, and fluffy.

As I took the brownies out of the oven, I could hear Dorie’s guests saying, ‘Ahhh, brownies’! just  like in her background story. The top had a similar texture to that of a french meringue cookie, and the inside was dense, and moist.

I served the first piece to my brother. He was so excited to dig in, I think he finished it in two bites. I gave the brownie a dollop of whipped crème fraiche, sprinkled with cocoa nibs and a nice cup of tea.

French Chocolate Brownies

Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you’re using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It’s important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you’ve got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it’s better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you’ll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won’t be completely incorporated and that’s fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they’re even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

A Brand New Confection!

Friday night rolled around which means Confection at One Girl Cookies night! We decided to introduce our friend Jen to our weekly ‘dessert getaway’. To our pleasant surprise, the bakery had their new seating area open! It looks great.

Nick Bilton

Painted on the wall of the new space are Dawn and Dave’s (the owners) respective family trees. So, sweet. The seating area is the perfect place to eat our way through their menu.

First up:

~Frozen Lemon Mousse~
with Almond Lavender Ice Cream
and Summer Berries

Next:

~Rhubarb & Ginger Crostada~
On Cornmeal Crust with
Whipped Creme Fraiche (Front)

~Chocolats~
Dark Chocolate Pastry Layered
with Hazelnut Cream, Served
with Milk Chocolate Sorbet (Back)

And Last, but in no way least:

The Cupcake trio.

Coconut cake with chocolate ganache topping

Maple walnut cake with maple buttercream frosting

Rosemary cake with a whipped mascarpone frosting

Need I say more. There are hundreds of fantastic adjectives that can describe tonight’s desserts, but I’ll let the pictures of One Girl Cookies confections speak for themselves. (Yum!)