Showing posts with label sour cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sour cream. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sherlockian Cupcakes Part 2: Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes!

Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes
I hope these photos do a proper job of teasing you with all the delectable components of this cupcake =D. But believe it or not, this tastes even better than it sounds or looks. First there's my favorite dark chocolate cake to get things off on the right foot. Next comes some fluffy marshmallow filling with a delightful hint of smokiness from real, toasted marshmallows (I can't be the only one dreaming of campfire s'mores already, right?). Last but not least we have a perfect swirl of rich yet tangy chocolate frosting topped with more toasted mini marshmallows.

More Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes
Speaking of looks, you're gonna give me some weird ones when I explain why these cupcakes are "Sherlockian." See, there's an inside joke amongst the cast and writers of the BBC Sherlock TV series that Martin Freeman (AKA John Watson in the show) has a round face that's chiseled out of marshmallows. Now I was gonna carve Martin's face out of a huge marshmallow in tribute to Sherlock, but alas I couldn't find one large enough so these toasted marshmallow cakes had to do =p. Next time, folks, next time. But meanwhile you can judge the resemblance yourself from the photos below:

MF Marshmallows
Marshmallow Photo from Sparkling Ink
P.S. - If you haven't watched Sherlock yet, what are you waiting for?! Those in the US can now watch you Season 1 on Netflix Instant and Season 2 on the Masterpiece PBS website for a limited time only.

Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes 2

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Two Pies" Turned Into A Berry Tart

Mixed Nut Crust for Berry Tart

My mom lives a mere 40 minutes from me, so we have dinner every 2 weeks or so. Like many gene-sharing people, we often have difficulty communicating. Throw in an extra language, and it's double the trouble. Mom called me the night before our dinner to ask that I bring "2 pies." I couldn't understand why 4 people needed so much dessert. Between her repeated proclamations that it was "only 2 pies!" And moments away from a fight I realized she was saying "vegetable side dish" in Chinese, which just happened to sound like "pie." As tension dissolved into laughter, we settled on a compromise of 1 vegetable dish and 1 pie.

Now, "what to bring?" was the question left on my mind.
Fresh, succulent summer fruit and cream came the immediate answer (yes, I talk to myself ^_^). Hardly what pops up when most people think of "comfort food." But waist-deep in the middle of a sticky D.C. summer, that's exactly what this magical and refreshing duo is for me. And since we'd already swapped veggies for pastry, I figured no one would pick the nit between tart and pie. Fortunately for my figure, the "cream" in the latest evolution of this pairing turns out to be rich yet low-in-fat Greek yogurt and light sour cream. What's more, 3 varieties of nuts bring complex texture and flavor to the crust, but also heart-healthy unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. What's not to love? And let me assure you that 1 measly tart was more than enough for 4 diners, including seconds. 8p

Berry Tart with Mixed Nut Crust

Fresh Berry Tart with Toasted Nut Crust [Printable Recipe]
Slightly adapted from Vegetarian Times
Serves 8

XIAOLU'S NOTES: I loved this combination of nuts, but feel free to substitute other nuts for 1 or all of the types in the recipe. Buy 1 orange for this recipe and you'll have more than enough zest and juice. If you don't have Greek yogurt, you can make a substitute from a cup of regular yogurt by draining it over a strainer lined with cheesecloth/paper towel/coffee filter for several hours. Make sure to measure the 1/2 cup for the recipe after you drain the yogurt. I always "make" my own brown sugar using white sugar and molasses, about 1 1/2 T molasses per cup of white sugar. That's one less ingredient in my overcrowded [as in, constantly on the verge of avalanche] pantry, and no problems with hardened old brown sugar.

1/4 cup each almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 T cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg yolk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray or a flavorless vegetable oil. Spread nuts on baking sheet, and toast in oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until browned.

Pulse nuts, flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until nuts are ground to powder. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk, and pulse until moist clumps form.

Press dough into bottom and sides of prepared pan, about 1/4-inch thick, and pierce with fork. [If the dough is too soft to press, freeze it at 5 minute intervals until it's easier to handle. I pressed the dough with a floured juice glass.] Freeze crust for 30 minutes.

Adjust oven temperature to 400°F. Bake crust 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden. Let cool.

1/2 cup light or regular sour cream
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 to 3 T light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp grated orange zest
1 1/2 to 2 cups blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 T orange juice

Whisk together sour cream, yogurt, brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest in small bowl. Toss berries with orange juice in separate bowl.

Spread sour cream mixture in crust with spatula. Spoon berries over top a little at a time, until sour cream mixture is evenly covered.

Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes before serving.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rhubarb Raspberry Sour Cream Pie

Hello there! First, I wanna let everyone know I'm still alive 8). Life's simply been getting in the way of posting lately. Though I miss blogging and all of you, I won't be posting regularly for a tad longer as I prepare for some major life changes (finally leaving work to return to school for 5 years!). Luckily, I'm not coming to you totally empty-handed today.

Rhubarb Raspberry Pie

This rhubarb raspberry streusel pie is one of the several recipes+photos I've had ready to go for a while. But the time and energy to give it proper introduction has been MIA. Yet it'd be a bona fide crime for you all to miss out on this creamy yet crunchy, sweet n' tart treat that's just perfect for the season.

Rhubarb Raspberry Pie

So this is my peace offering, and I sure hope you'll be back to see what else I've got in the works. Very (food) nerdy of me, but you simply can't imagine how excited I am that a student schedule will allow me more daytime hours for baking/cooking and (equally important) photographing the products of my labor. For the fellow working bloggers out there, do you confine your blogging activities to the weekend or settle for artificial light? Personally, the more food photography I take and see, the stronger my preference for natural light. Guess going back to school is a good thing (for more than that reason 8p).

Rhubarb Raspberry Sour Cream Pie [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Allrecipes
Serves 8

XIAOLU'S NOTES: I found the melted butter in the streusel to be too much, so I added almost double the amount of flour but only used half of the streusel since I didn't want overwhelming sweetness. I suspect Greek yogurt might work as a healthier alternative to sour cream and will try that next time.

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1 cup raspberries [if using frozen, let thaw and drain]
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Press the pie crust into a 9 inch pie pan. Spread rhubarb and raspberries in an even layer in the bottom of the crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, white sugar, sour cream, 1/3 cup of flour, and ginger powder until smooth. Pour evenly over the rhubarb.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of flour, salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon. [If the pie crust starts warming up, put the filled pie in the refrigerator while you prepare the streusel.] Stir in melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the pie.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges have puffed, and the topping is golden. The center may still be slightly jiggly. Cool completely before slicing and serving.