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Category Archives: Eggs

Baked Alaska

Chef Karen: When I first heard about Baked Alaska many years ago, I remember thinking, “Ice cream? In the oven?” Well, I’ve finally tried it and it was the coolest thing!  I was pretty intimidated to make this dessert but took a deep breath and created it!  I was pleasantly surprised at the turn-out.  A few things to mention: Because  I only wanted to serve 4 people and not have any leftovers, I made individual desserts.  I cut cake rounds out with a cup and used them as my base.  I also put the ice cream in ramekins to make them the size and shape to fit the cakes.  I put cling wrap in the bottom of a ramekin, then put in the ice cream, folded the wrap over to protect from freezer burn and then placed them in the freezer.  It worked perfectly! (I owe this trick to Gordon Ramsey – one of my favourite chefs!)  I used the 8 egg whites but really could have only used 4.  I dumped at least 1/2 of the meringue down the drain because I had too much.  Last thing: don’t worry if you don’t have a small torch to brown the meringue.  I don’t – not YET, anyway- and the oven worked just fine. I was worried it wouldn’t brown on the edges but it did. Last but not least, don’t be intimidated!  It was a very cool experience and one I will try again!

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Chef Jonathan: This is one of those classic desserts that is sort of a rite of passage for every Chef Patissier, and somehow I’ve managed to skip it thus far on my culinary journeys. Thus, I was very happy when Chef Karen suggest that we make it this week. It always sounded like a very challenging recipe, but it’s honestly not if you know a few basic tricks. The cake is easy enough, you can even use a box mix if you prefer, and the ice cream you can buy (if you’re super eager, you can make your own). The fun part of this recipe is the “Alaska”. Like any meringue, just be super careful when separating your egg whites from your yolks, if any yolk gets mixed in, it can ruin the whole meringue. I always make sure my white have reached at least soft peak before adding the sugar. If you add it too early, the whites won’t thicken as they should, and you’ll have to start over. I hadn’t used this recipe for meringue before, so I added a touch more sugar than specified, just to sweeten. I used my special Chef’s torch to darken the edges of the meringue, but a broiler in an oven works just as well, just don’t take your eyes off of it! I really love this recipe, it’s an instant classic and it’s perfect for that dinner party you’ve been dying to plan, enjoy!

Baked Alaska

 

Baked Alaska Recipe

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Lemon Squares

Chef Karen: A few weeks ago, Chef Jonathan made these for an event. I was so impressed, I asked him if we could make it for our blog. He’s so agreeable! 🙂 because here it is! I found this so easy to make! I had only a short window of time to whip these up and I was very pleased at how easy they came together. In the recipe, Paula suggests to mix the butter and flour with your hands. I found I didn’t like this. I’d use a pastry cutter next time. My “arthritic feeling” hands didn’t work as well as a cutter would. I’d also add some lemon zest next time.

We two chefs hung out with each other on the weekend so we were able to have people compare our two recipes. (Pretty unfair, huh?) Everyone was very gracious in saying that they liked both of them but had preferences about each one. I actually preferred Chef Jonathan’s. Hopefully, I can become an excellent pastry chef like him, someday 🙂

Chef Jonathan: Before I made this recipe, I had never made lemon squares before (I know, gasp!), and much to my delight they turned out wonderfully. I love all of Paula Deen’s recipes, especially her desserts, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Since I had made this recipe before, I added a touch more lemon juice than previously, and Chef Karen and I mutually decided that adding lemon zest would be beneficial next time. I would also reduce the amount of crust in this recipe to almost half, as it seemed a bit thick. This is a great recipe for a quick summer lemon square, and I’ll definitely be making it again soon!

Chef Jonathan's are the two top ones. Chef Karen's are the two bottom ones.

Chef Jonathan’s are the two top ones. Chef Karen’s are the two bottom ones.

Here is the recipe. Thank-you, Paula Deen! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/lemon-bars-recipe/index.html

 

Creme Brulee

Chef Karen: One of my favourite desserts that Chef Jonathan creates is Creme Brulee. It’s rich, creamy and I LOVE the crunchy sugar-top. I asked him if we could use it for our blog this week. Thankfully, he agreed! I believe he used a different recipe than his usual one. (He may address this himself). I was very surprised at how easy this recipe was to make. I have the conception of anything that is French being hard to make. Wrong-o! I did substitute 1C of whole milk and 1C of 1% milk for 2C of the heavy cream. It was probably the wrong thing to do because even though I was very happy with the taste of the end product, I wasn’t very happy that it was runny. Chef Jonathan thought that maybe I should have cooked it longer. It seemed set when I took them out of the oven but upon presentation and eating, they were runny. My other issue is that I don’t have a torch. I’m proof of the fact that you really don’t need one. I put them under the broiler for a few minutes – watching them oh, so carefully – and that browned them and created the crunchy sugar-top. All-in-all a great dessert and one that even though perceived to be difficult to make, is quite easy.

Ramekins in the oven ready to bake. Notice the hot water bath.

Ramekins in the oven ready to bake. Notice the hot water bath.

Ready to serve with the crunchy sugary-top!

Ready to serve with the crunchy sugary-top!

Chef Jonathan: Creme Brûlée is one of my favourite custard desserts to make. It’s fairly easy too, if you use the proper methods. This recipe is a new one, that I’ve never used before, so the Creme turned out a bit runny, but my little trick is to just throw it in the freezer one hour prior to consumption, and it thickens up nicely. What I like about Creme Brûlée, is the contrasts: first you have a nice smooth, creamy custard with a crunchy almost burnt brown sugar topping. Second, I love the contrast between the cold custard and the flaming hot (literally) topping. There are many variations on a Creme Brûlée ( ie., Chocolate, Fruit, etc.) but I love this timeless, classic version the best. Hope you enjoy this amazing custard as much as we do.
 

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Here is the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/creme-brulee-recipe/index.html

 

Hazelnut-Mocha Dacquoise

This week we have one recipe in one kitchen……. I made this delightful treat for Chef Jonathan’s birthday.  Let me start by saying it was worth the effort.  That said, it’s A LOT of effort to make this cake.  It takes several hours, as it clearly states, so be prepared. There are no cutting corners with this little project.  I’m glad it tasted so good after all of the time put into it.

Let me give you a few other hints……..

1. Make sure your meringue disks are flat – it will keep the ganache from sliding off.

2. It says to spread the whole thing with the whipped cream and let set for 6 hours or over night.  I think this is a mistake.  The whipped cream begins to separate and run.  This isn’t nice to look at or to eat.  I would spread the meringue disks with the ganache and then let them set in the fridge for the 6  hours and then spread the whipped  cream over the cake just before serving.

3. The FNM’s picture shows a tall cake. Mine wasn’t that tall. Just be prepared for that…..

4. As you cut it, it tends to slide……. just be prepared for that, too.

I loved the cake. I’d make it, again, with the few added changes.

Here is my picture:

ImageHere is the link to the recipe on the Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/hazelnut-mocha-dacquoise-recipe/index.html

 

Sausage and Hash Brown Breakfast Bake

<img src="https://onerecipetwokitchens.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/20130325-155828.jpg" alt="20130325-155828.jpg" class="alignnone size-fullThis week's blog is an original One Recipe, Two Kitchens recipe. It was inspired by a good friend who served us something similar on Pancake Tuesday night for dinner. I'll post the recipe first and then we'll talk about it.

Sausage and Hash Brown Breakfast Bake

2 T olive oil

1 onion – chopped

½ lb of ground Italian sausage

½ t dried thyme

2 C frozen hash brown potatoes

5 eggs – beaten

1 pinch to ½ t cayenne pepper (depending on your preference)

½ C milk

1 C shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. In a frying pan that can be put into the oven, heat the olive oil and then add the onions. Stir until soft then add the sausage. Break it up and fry it until there are no pink pieces left. Add the hash brown potatoes and stir into the sausage mixture. Put in the thyme and left them cook for about 5 minutes until the potatoes are thawed.

3. Meanwhile, put the eggs into a bowl, beat them then add the milk and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

4. Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan with the sausage and hash brown mixture. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes.

5. Test for doneness by picking at the eggs with a fork. If they are set, add the cheese and bake for about 5 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Chef Karen: This is a very easy recipe. It’s a good done for kids to help with on a weekend when you got a little time. I like it because the eggs don’t take long to bake. I’ve made some egg recipes where it has to bake for up to an hour. Not so with this one. If you don’t have a pan you can put in the oven, any glass pan will suffice.

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Chef Jonathan: Love this recipe, this is my new go-to breakfast casserole meal. It’s extremely easy to make, and it doesn’t take very long either. I love the combination of pork sausage, potatoes, eggs and cheese, which I realize isn’t revolutionary, but I think that’s what makes this recipe perfect. Of course, I added more cheese than suggested, but that’s nothing new. Instead of putting the sauteuse pan directly in the oven, I transferred to a casserole dish first, for easy storage later. I recommend this to anyone and everyone looking for a new breakfast meal, and enjoy!

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