Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dulce De Leche Pumpkin Cupcakes (from JC and Josh wedding)

From: Sweetest Kitchen blog 

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
7.5 ounces pureed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Once cooled, using the cone method, fill each cupcake with a dollop of dulce de leche and frost with dulce de leche buttercream. If desired, decorate cupcake with spiderweb design using 3 tablespoons chocolate chips melted together with 1/4 teaspoon shortening.

Dulce De Leche

Adapted from Recipe Girl
Makes just enough to fill cupcakes and use in frosting

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
boiling water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Open up the can and pour the sweetened-condensed milk into a pie pan. Cover tightly with foil. Place into a larger pan and pour boiling water in larger pan & around pie plate (level of water should be about halfway up the pie plate). Don’t let any water seep up and into the pie plate.

Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. At the one hour point, peel off foil and check for progress. If the mixture has thickened and turned a caramelly color, it’s done. If it doesn’t quite look thick enough or dark enough, cover it up and bake it a little longer (mine took 75 minutes).

When the mixture appears to have turned into a nice, thick caramel, remove from the oven. Let sit for a few minutes, and then beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Dulce De Leche Buttercream

Adapted from Joy The Baker
Makes enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons prepared dulce de leche

Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar on low using an electric mixer. Add cream and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth and no lumps appear. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the prepared dulce de leche and beat to incorporate.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Triple-Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie

1 single pie crust
3 T unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
3/4 C packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C (4 oz) pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
6 oz total of semisweet, milk and white chocolate chopped coarse

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a chilled pie shell with a double layer of foil and fill with pie weights.  Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is light in color, 25 to 30 minutes.  Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and remove the weights and foil.  Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees.

2.  Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl set in a skillet of water maintained at just below a simmer.  Remove the bowl from the skillet and stir in the sugar and salt until the butter is absorbed.  Whisk in the eggs, then the corn syrup and vanilla until smooth.  Return the bowl to the hot water and stir until the mixture is shiny and hot to the touch and registers 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.  Off the heat, stir in the pecans.

3.  Pour the pecan mixture into the warm pie crust.  Scatter the chocolate over the top and lightly press it into the filling with the back of a spoon.  Bake the pie until the filling looks set but yields like Jell-O when gently pressed with the back of a spoon, 50 to 60 minutes.  Cool the pie on a wire rack until the filling has firmed up, about 2 hours; serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Rigatoni with Sausage and Tomato Cream Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mild or hot Italian sausages (casings removed)
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes  in thick puree
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup light cream
1 pound rigatoni
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a fork, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat.

Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it almost evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sausage, tomatoes, and salt. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the pepper, parsley, and cream.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni until just done, about 14 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan.