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Blueberry Oat Biscuit Cobbler

April 10, 2013

Blueberry_Oat_Biscuit_Cobbler_2

One of the best parts about having a house with plenty of space is that we finally have the room to comfortably entertain friends on a regular basis. Now, when I say “entertain” I don’t mean elaborate dinner parties. It’s more of a casual rotation of everyday meals that Joe and I would normally eat throughout the week. We usually dress things up by eating in the dining room, opening up a bottle of wine and serving a dessert, all things that we don’t usually do when it’s just the two of us on a weeknight.

If you are one of our friends who has shared a meal in our new home with us, the chances are you have been served this Blueberry Oat Biscuit Cobbler. I think I’ve served it almost a dozen times since we’ve moved into our house, mainly because it’s easy, tasty and semi-healthy. Something about serving a fruit-based dessert seems more appropriate on the weeknight that, say, a chocolate cake.

I’ve found over the numerous times that I’ve made this cobbler that it’s incredibly adaptable based on what you have on hand. Sometimes I cut back the sugar a bit depending on the sweetness of the berries I have on hand. Other times I’ll sub in a little almond meal or use 100% whole wheat flour in the cobbler if I’m feeling extra healthy. And I’ve played around with mixed berries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. All yield delicious results and can be used in frozen form for added ease and affordability. Can you tell I love this dessert?

When I’m making this for friends, I usually time it out so that this is coming out of the oven at the same time friends are scheduled to arrive. That way the cobbler has time to cool and set while we enjoy our meal and it’s still a little warm when its served, always with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a strong cup of decaf coffee.

Blueberry_Oat_Biscuit_Cobbler_1

I can hardly take credit for the recipe, although I wish I could. Instead of posting it here, I would encourage you to hop on over to the blog Sprouted Kitchen to get the recipe. The recipe can be found HERE!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Madison

Triple Chocolate Tart

March 11, 2010

Can I confess something to you?

I have a serious case of guilt. You see, in my mind blogs are supposed to be magical, fun, creative, and above all – delicious. But after weighing you all down with my last post full of talk about fruit, vegetable, and calorie counts I figured I owed you an apology. Sure, fruits and veggies are very important, but sharing with you something as mundane as a smoothie, and then having the audacity to name it ‘Fruit and Veggie Smoothie’ (really? eeek!) It all makes me want to cringe

So to say I’m sorry, I’m giving you chocolate, more specifically a chocolate tart filled with chocolate ganache and homemade chocolate pudding. And oh my gosh is this thing good. It’s rich, intense, and may possibly have the power to send you into a chocolate coma, but if I’m going to go, death by chocolate tart sounds like a pretty sweet way to do it.

The process looks long, but don’t let that scare you. The whole thing comes together pretty quickly – it took me less than 40 minutes to assemble. Instead of the more expected, crunchy graham cracker crust, I went in the opposite direction with a cakey chocolate shell that yielded a crispy edge and spongy center. Ganache, the second layer, is a thick icing/pastry cream made of cream and chocolate. Once it cools, the texture is thick and fudgy and provides nice contrast to the lighter chocolate pudding layer.

I’m sorry for weighing you down with the practical side of life. Please accept my peace offering of chocolate – three ways. Because I’m more concerned with your taste buds than your hips. :)

Ingredients:
Cookie Tart Shell
*1 box devil’s food cake mix
*1 large egg
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*1/4 cup water

Ganache:
*1 cup heavy cream
*10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
*1/8 tsp. kosher salt (coarse sea salt)

Chocolate Pudding:
adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Wednesday Chef
*1/4 cup cornstarch
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/8 tsp. salt
*1 cup heavy cream
*2 cups 2% milk
*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
*1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:
*Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a 10-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Set aside. (if you don’t have a tart pan, you can use a pie plate)
*With electric mixer, beat together cake mix, egg, oil, and water until mixture forms a dough. Press dough into tart pan. Bake 12-14 minutes, until crust is puffed up. Cool on a wire rack.
*Next, prepare the ganache. Heat the 1 cup cream in saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until cream begins to simmer (A mixture is considered to be ‘simmering’ when a bubble rises to the surface every 1 to 2 seconds but not more.)
*When mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat and pour cream on top of the 10 oz. chopped chocolate. Stir mixture until chocolate is melted. Pour the ganache into the tart shell. Sprinkle the top of the ganache with the 1/8 tsp. kosher salt. This is important. With all the chocoalte, a bit of salt helps to bring out the flavors and break up the sweetness every so slightly. Do not skimp on this part. Then, place tart in refrigerator.
*Then, prepare chocolate pudding. In saucepan, combine corn starch, sugar, and salt. Stir together until evenly combined. Slowly add in the 1 cup cream and 2 cups milk, stirring until smooth. Place saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, 15-18 minutes, until mixture is thickened. (During this process, do not let the mixture boil or bubble. It should thicken slowly, without boiling or simmering. The mixture may let off steam, which is normal. If it starts simmering, remove from heat immediately, continuing to stir, then return to heat.)
*After the pudding mixture is thickened, remove from heat and add in the chocolate and vanilla extract. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour the pudding over ganache in tart. Refrigerate 2 hours, until pudding is cooled and ganache is set.

Happy Baking!

Madison

*Update: Because I care deeply about each and every one of you, I took it upon myself to have a sliver of this cake for breakfast. I can safely assure you that it’s still good out of the refrigerator the next morning. That’s just the kind of self-sacrificing person I am.

Lemon Meringue Shortbread Tart

February 26, 2010


High school graduation parties are supposed to be for the graduate, right? Wrong. Everyone knows that graduation parties, like weddings, are just as much for the parents as they are for the children themselves. Case in point? My 2006 high school graduation party.

Where I’m from, graduation parties are a big deal – probably too much so since everyone just goes from party to party eating bad cake and the same punch at every party. My cousin and I decided since we had so many overlapping guests, we would celebrate our graduation with a joint party – a joint party with great food. Our Mexican-themed party was catered by my cousin’s favorite restaurant, but we decided to make the desserts ourselves.

So what did ‘we’ decide to make? Lemon bars – 500 of them to be exact. I don’t particularly care for lemon bars. I usually feel like there is an over-abundance of too-sweet lemon custard that, despite the high amount of sugar, never leaves my sweet tooth satisfied. But back to the graduation party. Why did I make 500 lemon bars? Because my dear mother loves lemon bars. Like I said, don’t fool yourselves kids, your big life moments are for your parents.

Four years later, after the graduation trauma of ’06, I finally felt ready to make a lemon dessert for a couple of reasons. First, both with my wardrobe and my baking I’m hoping I can will spring to come to the Midwest after another blisteringly cold week. Second, lemons are cheap right now, unlike many other times throughout the year. The process may look long, but don’t let that intimidate you. They really are simple to make, and taste makes them worth the effort.


Ingredients:
Shortbread

*2 tablespoons powdered sugar

*2 tablespoons granulated sugar
*10 tablespoons butter, cut into 5 cubes

*1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling
*4 large egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
*3/4 cup sugar

*1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 2 medium lemons)

*4 Tbsp. butter (softened)
*1/8 tsp. salt

*2 tsp. lemon zest

*1 tsp. vanilla extract

*4 oz. cream cheese
Meringue
*4 egg whites

*2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Instructions:

*Preheat oven to 325
*F. Lightly grease a 10-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. (if you don’t have a tart pan, you can use a cake pan, baking dish, pie plate, etc. Just improvise. As long as it’s within the 8- to 10-inch range you will be fine.)

*Place sugars in a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Add in butter and pulse until the butter and sugar are well combined. Add in flour and pulse until mixture forms a dough, about 1 minute. Transfer dough to tart pan. Press into pan and half way up the sides of the pan. Prick the bottom of the shortbread with a fork.
*Bake shortbread in oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden but not brown.

*Meanwhile, prepare lemon custard. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice. Add in butter and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until custard thickens but is still pouring consistency, about 8 minutes. Be careful not to boil the custard. Once thickened, add in lemon zest and vanilla extract. Transfer mixture to a blender. Add in cream cheese and blend for 30 seconds, or until mixture is smooth and well-combined. Transfer custard to baked tart shell. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add egg whites to bowl. Beat on high for one minute. Add in powdered sugar. Continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue atop custard, making sure to spread it all the way to the tart edges. This prevents the meringue from pulling away from the sides when baking.
*Return tart to oven and bake for 10 minutes. For a more golden meringue, switch the oven to broil the last 2 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve and enjoy!

Happy Baking! Madison

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