Orange/Pomegranate/Almond Dark Chocolate Tart

INGREDIENTS:
makes 1 large 9″ tart
(if making tartelettes, double the pastry crust recipe.)

for pastry crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour (~6 oz/260 grams)
  • 7 Tbspn butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 Tbspn freshly grated orange zest (I used one blood orange)
  • 1 Tbspn almond extract
  • 1-2 Tbspn water

METHOD:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse just until a dough begins to form.
  2. Remove the pastry dough from the food processor, form it into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  4. Roll out the pastry crust.  Prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork.  Then, line the pastry with parchment paper and weigh down with pie weights (or dry beans, which is what I use).  If making tartelettes, just prick the bottom of the pastry without weighing them down.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the pastry looks golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool

for chocolate ganache filling:

  • 12 oz. bittersweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 10 oz. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbspn butter
  • 2 Tbspn Pama pomegranate liquor

METHOD:

  1. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream and butter.  Heat on medium high, stirring and scraping the bottom constantly until it reaches a gentle simmer.  Remove from heat.
  3. Pour the hot cream onto the prepared chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and evenly distributed.  Stir in the pomegranate liquor.
  5. Pour into the prepared tart crust.  Let set until completely cool, about 1-2 hours.  If adding toppings, like fresh pomegranate seeds or almond slices, add these right when the ganache begins to set, about 10-15 minutes.  Serve at room temperature.

Almond & Stanford Citrus Marmalade Crostata

INGREDIENTS:
Three Citrus “Stanford” Marmalade
makes ten 8-oz. jars
Note: make sure to allow two days for the marmalade process.

  • 5 lbs of citrus, total:

~2 lbs grapefruit
~1 1/2 lbs oranges
~1 1/2 lbs lemons

  • 5 lbs sugar
  • 5 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice

METHOD:
Day 1: Fruit Preparation

  1. Starting with the grapefruits, cut each fruit in half and squeeze and strain the grapefruit juice. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator. Place the grapefruit halves in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes. Discard the liquid and repeat the boiling and simmering once more. After draining, cover the grapefruit halves again with enough cold water so that the fruit floats freely in the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and keep at a lively simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring periodically, until the grapefruit is fork-tender. Remove the pot from heat, cover tightly, and let rest overnight at room temperature.
  2. For the oranges, juice each half and add the juice to the grapefruit juice. Slice the oranges. Place the orange halves in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes. Discard the liquid and repeat the boiling and simmering once more. After draining, cover the orange slices with one inch of cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and keep at a lively simmer for 1-2 hours, until the oranges are fork-tender. Remove the pot from heat, cover tightly, and let rest overnight at room temperature.
  3. For the lemons, slice each lemon thickly. Place the lemon slices in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes. Drain and discard the liquid. Return the lemon slices to the pot and cover with one inch of cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and keep at a lively simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, until the lemons are fork-tender. Remove the pot from heat, cover tightly, and let rest overnight at room temperature.

Day 2: Marmalade

  1. Place a few spoons on a plate in the freezer. Place clean jars and lids on a baking sheet and bake at 120 degrees C for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Strain the grapefruit halves from the liquid, reserving the liquid. Over a bowl, scoop the insides out of each grapefruit, scraping to remove excess pith around the insides. Strain the flesh and pith, reserving the juices and adding them back into rest of the cooking liquid. Discard the remaining solids. Cut the grapefruit into thick slices.
  3. In a large bowl, mix to combine the grapefruit, oranges, lemons and their cooking juices with the sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and reserved grapefruit and orange juices. Transfer the mixture to a 11- to 12-quart pot with a wide mouth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook at a rapid boil for at least 25 minutes. Do not stir until the mixture starts foaming. Then stir slowly to prevent burning. Test for doneness once the marmalade starts to darken slightly.
  4. To test for doneness, remove the pan from the stove. Retrieve a spoon from the freezer and scoop a small amount of liquid. Return the spoon and sample of jam to the freezer for a few minutes. Once cooled, hold the spoon vertically. If the marmalade does not run off the spoon and is thickened to a jelly consistency, the marmalade is done. If not, return the pan to the stove and continue to cook for a few minutes more before testing again.
  5. Jar the jams in the sterile containers. Return the jars to the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and let cool, being careful not to disturb the jars during this time. The jars should seal while cooling.
Almond and Citrus Marmalade Crostata
makes one 6 or 7-inch crostata

  • 1 3/4 cups (245 gr) AP flour
  • 1 cup (100 gr) slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) sugar
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 9 Tbspn butter, cold and in chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tspn almond extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • marmalade (~ 1 1/4 cups), recipe above
  • heavy cream
  • turbinado sugar

METHOD:

  1. Combine the flour, almonds, sugar, and baking powder in a food processor. Process until the almonds are finely ground.
  2. Cut the butter into the almond mixture using a pastry cutter or the food processor until the size of small peas.
  3. Add the egg, egg yolk, almond extract, and lemon zest. Process just until a dough begins to form.
  4. Remove the pastry dough from the food processor, form it into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the tart pan.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into thirds. Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. The bottom should be slightly thicker than the edge crusts. Fill the tart with a thin layer of marmalade. Roll out the remaining dough to about 1/8-inch thick and cut into strips. Lay the strips in a lattice on top of the marmalade.
  7. Brush the top of the crostata with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  8. Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes, until the crust begins to turn golden brown. Do not let it darken too much. Remove from the oven and let cool until room temperature before cutting.

Blood orange honey-glazed five spice tart with almond cream

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9″ tart

for pastry:

  • 260 grams AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tspn five spice powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 7 Tbspn butter, cold and cut in pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-4 Tbspn cold water

METHOD:

  1. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, mix the flour, five spice powder, and sugar until combined. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the size of small peas.
  2. Add the egg yolk and gradually add the water just until a dough begins to form when you press it between two fingers. Do not overmix.
  3. Form the pastry into a ball and refrigerate for at least one hour. (or stick it in the freezer for a shorter amount of time.)
  4. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  5. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and press the dough into the tart pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork, cover with parchment paper, and weigh down using dry beans or pie weights. Return to freezer for a few minutes if the dough has softened.
  6. Bake for ~13-15 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden. Remove the beans and parchment paper and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes more, until the crust has completely turned golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

for filling:

  • 8-12 small or medium thin-skinned blood oranges, in 1/8″ thick slices
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar

METHOD:

  1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add the orange slices to the boiling sugar water and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the pith turns translucent. Be careful not to overcook the oranges because they will become mushy.
  3. Strain and remove the orange slices from the liquid. Reserve 2 Tbspn of the liquid. Lay the orange slices out on a wire mesh rack to drain and cool.

for glaze:

  • 2 Tbspn orange candying liquid, reserved from oranges
  • 1/4 cup honey

METHOD:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the reserved liquid and the honey. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the top.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. The mixture should be syrupy.

for almond cream:

  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbspn powdered sugar
  • dash of almond extract

METHOD:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the chopped almonds and 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover tightly with a lid, and let cool. Continue to let the cream steep, covered, in the refrigerator until cold, preferably overnight.
  2. Strain out and discard the almond pieces from the cream. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
  3. Whip the cream just until you reach soft peaks (I like mine extra soft for this purpose.) Gently stir in the powdered sugar and almond extract.

To assemble the tart, layer the orange slices in the cooled tart shells, brushing the honey generously on each layer. Serve with almond cream.

The Lady Grey Trio – Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Ice Cream / Orange Creme Brulee / Chocolate Orbit Cake with white chocolate Lady Grey creme anglaise

Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups manufacturing/heavy cream
  • 2 Tbspn black cocoa
  • 1 Tbspn Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 5 Earl Grey teabags
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tspn vanilla

METHOD:

  1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of cream with the cocoa powders, whisking thoroughly.
  2. Bring the cream and cocoa powder to a boil and simmer for thirty seconds.
  3. Remove from heat and add the chopped dark chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  4. Stir in the remaining cup of cream.  Pour the cream mixture into a bowl, prepare a fine mesh sieve on top of the bowl, and set aside.
  5. In a saucepan (or the same one, if you’re lazy like me), combine the milk and teabags.  Bring just to a boil, remove from heat, and cover tightly with a lid.  Let the milk steep for ten minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together in a separate bowl.  Set aside.
  7. Remove the tea bags from the milk, making sure to squeeze out all of the liquid.  Discard the tea bags.  Add the sugar and salt to the milk and return to just a bare simmer.
  8. Whisking constantly, pour the milk gradually into the prepared egg yolks and return to the saucepan.
  9. Cook the milk and yolk mixture over medium heat while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and can coat the spoon/spatula.  Remove from heat immediately and pour through the strainer into the chocolate cream.
  10. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth.
  11. Chill mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then freeze it in your ice cream maker of choice.

Orange Creme Brûlée

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup manufacturing cream
  • 2 oz. vanilla sugar
  • zest of 2 large oranges
  • 1 tspn Grand Marnier
  • turbinado sugar
  • (blow torch)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C. Prepare eight 2oz. ramekins in a water bath, filling the water half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream, vanilla sugar, and orange zest. Bring to just a simmer.
  4. Temper the egg yolks by pouring the heated milk mixture gradually into the yolks, whisking the entire time. Once the milk and yolks are combined, whisk in the Grand Marnier.
  5. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into the eight prepared ramekins. Cover the ramekins tightly with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are set but the creme still jiggles a little when gently bumped. Remove from oven, remove from water bath, and let cool completely.
  7. Cover the custards with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  8. An hour or two before serving, remove the custards from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. (This helps to prevent condensation on the surface of the custards.)
  9. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle a thin layer of turbinado sugar on top of each custard and caramelize with a blow torch. Serve immediately.

David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Orbit Cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 oz. butter, in small chunks
  • 6 oz. bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line the bottoms of two 4.5″ round pans with parchment paper and butter the bottoms and sides.
  3. Combine the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Cook until melted.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and the eggs.
  5. Whisk in the melted chocolate to the sugar and eggs.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and place this cake pan into a water bath, with warm water reaching about half-way up the sides.
  7. Cover tightly with foil. (Don’t forget this step!)
  8. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the cake appears set and your finger comes away clean when you touch the center.
  9. Remove from oven and water bath and let cool completely.

Lady Grey White Chocolate Creme Anglaise

  • 6 oz. white chocolate
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 oz. whole milk
  • 4 oz. heavy cream
  • 3-4 Earl Grey teabags
  • 2 Tbspn vanilla sugar
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  1. Place chopped white chocolate in a bowl with a fine mesh sieve on top. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks until light. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, cream, and teabags.  Bring just to a simmer, remove from heat, and cover tightly with a lid.  Let simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Remove the teabags from the milk and cream, making sure to squeeze out all of the liquid.  Discard the teabags.
  5. Add the vanilla sugar, salt, and zest to the milk mixture.  Bring to a bare simmer.
  6. Whisking constantly, pour a small but steady stream of the heated milk and cream into the egg yolks to temper. Do this slowly, while whisking quickly. Once the milk and egg yolks are combined, return to the saucepan and to the stove.
  7. Heat the egg yolks and milk mixture while stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom so that nothing burns or sticks. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about one minute. Remove from heat immediately.
  8. Pour the hot creme anglaise through the strainer onto the white chocolate. Let sit for a minute and then whisk until the white chocolate completely melts.
  9. Keep the sauce warm in a double boiler.
  10. Top the chocolate orbit cake with creme anglaise and candied orange peel.

Candied Orange Peel

  • 4 oranges, peel of (or any thick skinned orange)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar for rolling

or

  • 8 oz. chocolate for dipping

METHOD:

You can harvest the peel in many ways. Here are two I recommend: 1) Cut the oranges in half and juice them. Cut each half in half again and take a spoon to scrape the pulp out, leaving a clean pith. 2) Lop off the top and bottom of each orange (think of removing the polar caps where the stem and opposite end are) just to the fruit. Score the orange peel like lines of longitude every 60 degrees. Peel the orange and clean the inside of the peel with a spoon. (I generally don’t like to remove too much pith.)

Cut peel into 1/4 inch strips. Place peels in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat on high until water comes to a boil. Pour off the water. Repeat twice more. Combine sugar and water in the saucepan and bring to boil over high heat until temperature reaches 110°C. Add peel and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until peels are translucent (30 minutes or longer ). Remove peels from syrup and roll in sugar if desired, and set on rack to dry for 4-5 hours (well, I dry for 2 days and more humid regions will require more time). Once the peel is dry, you can dip in tempered dark chocolate – shake off excess, and place on foil, wax paper, or baking sheet to dry. Store in a tupperware, or if not chocolate dipped, store in sugar or as is.

Baked Orange French Toast with Almond Crumble

Baked Orange French Toast with Almond Crumble

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 loaf challah bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half or whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
for almond crumble
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

METHOD:

  1. Slice challah bread in 3/4″ thick slices and set aside. Whisk eggs in a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and then add half and half, sugar, vanilla, Cointreau and orange zest and whisk well.
  2. Butter a 2 quart baking dish and layer 5-6 slices of bread in the bottom so the bread fits together tightly without much gap. Evenly drizzle half of the egg mixture onto the bottom layer of bread and then add another layer of bread on top and drizzle the remaining mixture.
  3. Add the brown sugar, butter, almonds, oats and orange zest to a small bowl and mix ingredients together with fingers until well incorporated. Sprinkle on top of the bread, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight.
  4. To bake, preheat oven to 180 degrees. Remove casserole from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about a half an hour. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden. Remove and let set for 5 minutes and serve with maple or raspberry syrup.

OrangeBerry Shortcake Cookies

Orangeberry Shortcake Cookies

Orangeberry Shortcake Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 1 tbs. juice from an orange (or lemon)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon orange zest (or lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ⅔ cup fat free cream half and half

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the strawberries, juice, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the zest and remaining sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until moist and fragrant.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the zest/sugar mixture and whisk to combine. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands) to cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have coarse crumbs. Add the cream to the bowl and stir until the dough starts to come together, then gently fold in the strawberry mixture.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop (about 1½ tablespoons) to drop dough onto the prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool. The cookies are best the day they’re made, but can be kept in an airtight container for 1 day.

Molten Chocolate Orange Puddings

Image

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 4 large ramekins or 8 small pudding moulds

Grand Marnier Ganache Filling:

  • 40ml pouring cream
  • 10ml Grand Marnier
  • 75g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Chocolate Pudding:

  • 150g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids)
  • 90g butter
  • 30ml Grand Marnier
  • Rind of 1 orange
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 45g plain flour
  • 30g Dutch processed cocoa powder

METHOD:

  1. For ganache filling – In a pot over low heat, melt the chocolate with cream and Grand Marnier and mix to incorporate. Refrigerate until ganache is firm then divide and roll into 4 balls for the large ramekins (or 8 small balls). Refrigerate ganache balls until needed.
  2. For chocolate pudding – In a pot over low heat, place chocolate, butter, Grand Marnier and orange rind to melt. Mix to combine.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and thickened (about 5 minutes of beating). Add the chocolate mixture and fold to combine.
  4. Sift over the flour and cocoa powder and gently fold to combine. Refrigerate batter for an hour or two to firm up.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and flour four ramekins (or 8 small pudding moulds). Half fill the moulds with pudding batter, making sure to press firmly into the moulds. Place a ganache ball in the centre and gently press down into the pudding (don’t push it too far down).
  6. Top with more pudding mixture, up to 1cm below the rim and level top. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly risen and just firm to the touch.
  7. Rest for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto your serving plates.

Note – great thing about this type of fondant is that you can flavour the ganache filling and cake differently.

Pasta Flora (Πάστα Φλώρα)

A famous greek tart …

Ingredients: 

For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 tea cup sunflower oil
  • 3 1/2 tea cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teach cups sugar
  • 1/2 tea spoon salt
  • 8 table spoons cognac (brandy)
  • 1 1/2 tea spoon Baking powder
  • 1 table spoon of Lemon peel/zest
  • 8 table spoons of Orange fresh juice

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 tea cups of marmalade/jam of your choice
  • 1/2 cup of peeled Almonds

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl mix the flour with the baking powder
  2. In another bowl, beat the sugar and sunflower oil and add the orange juice, brandy, zest, salt and flour (sift it first), mix them all together and knead until you have a soft dough.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
  4. Grease a tart pan or a round pan and use one piece of dough, spread it to take the form of the tart pan, pierce it with a fork everywhere so that it won’t inflate and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes at 180ºC until browned. Once cooked let it cool.
  5. Then add the jam of your choice and cover it with the other piece of dough (which we have made it have the shape of “strings”/”cords”) adding horizontally and vertically to form diamond shapes (see picture above!). Add and almonds and again put the tart in the oven to cook until browned for about 30 minutes at 180ºC.