Unbaked Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

If you are looking for a healthy yet delicious dessert try this easy to prepare version of unbaked brownies. It’s made with ground dates, walnuts and cocoa powder topped with the best chocolate frosting made with cocoa powder and sweetened with maple syrup.  This is almost a cross between a brownie and fudge. The best part is that the dessert is flourless  in addition to being low in cholesterol and sodium. I like to cut up into little bite size pieces. Enjoy without the guilt!

From by the bay, wishing you guilt free food memories!

Maryann

Unbaked Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

as featured in Health Magazine by Katie Higgins

  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cups loosely packed pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted coconut oil

Directions

1. Combine dates, walnuts, 6 Tbsp. cacao powder, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. water and salt in a food processor. Process until completely smooth.

2. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish, or line dish with parchment or waxed paper. Transfer dough to dish. Press dough very firmly into dish with your hands until dough is evenly distributed.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup cacao powder, remaining 1/2 tsp. vanilla, maple syrup and oil. Stir until mixture forms a paste (this is the frosting). Spread paste evenly over dough in baking dish. Refrigerate brownies for at least 2 hours to set, then cut into squares. Refrigerate any leftovers in a covered container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

 

Normandy Cider Rye Bread

I discovered a wonderful book that is literally a master class on the baking of rye breads. The book is called The Rye Baker by Stanley Ginsberg. Mr. Ginsberg offers not only techniques but a history of the grains along with over 70 classic recipes from all over the world. This bread journey  includes the chemistry of sours, soakers, sponges and scalds. If you are a baker and a bread lover you will want this book in home library. If you think you can’t make bread , I beg to differ. The recipe below was developed by Mr. Ginsberg for The Splendid Table and it’s incredibly easy to make with delicious results. There is very little active time in the preparation and the results are amazing. The aroma of fresh bread will delight you and then taking a slice of your homemade bread will be sheer heaven. I find if you wrap the bread well it will keep well for the next day and after that it’s the perfect slice of toast.

From by the bay wishing you delightful rye bread food memories!

Maryann

Note: I found better results with the bread rising by mixing first into a bowl the yeast, sugar and cider for approximately 15 minutes and then adding the remaining ingredients. Also, depending on the temperature of your kitchen you may need additional time for the dough to rise.

Normandy Cider Rye Bread

Makes Two Loaves

Recipe by Stanley Ginsburg author of The Rye Baker, Classic breads from Europe and America, as featured for The Splendid Table.

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups medium rye flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups hard cider, at room temperature
2 tsp salt
1 pkg (1/4 oz) instant yeast
2 1/2 tsp sugar

Directions

1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and use the dough hook to mix on low until the dough is evenly blended, 6-8 minutes. If mixing by hand, 10-12 minutes.

2. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface, divide in two and shape each piece into a flattened ball. Place the loaves on a parchment lined sheet-pan, cover and let rise at room temperature until the surface shows cracks, about 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 400°F, use a sharp knife to slash the loaves and bake until it thumps when tapped with a finger, 45-50 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Savory Rosemary Parmesan Biscotti

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. I love the taste, aroma and look of rosemary. This is my must have herb that I use over and over again while cooking. It’s especially nice that rosemary also offers some health benefits as well. This recipe is a delicious change up on the traditional biscotti. It’s a savory version prepared with rosemary, parmesan cheese , walnuts, cracked black pepper and fennel seeds. This biscotti is perfect served with a runny cheese and a glass of wine for cocktails or on the side of a green salad , soup or omelette. You’ll love the taste!

From by the bay, wishing you rosemary flavored food memories!

Maryann

 

rose-mar-y

noun

  1. an evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, part of the mint family, which is native to the Mediterranean region, having thick, narrow leaves and pale-blue, bell-shaped flowers, used in cooking to flavor foods, as well as used in perfumery and medicine. Rosemary is a traditional symbol of remembrance.

Rosemary has several health benefits. Some of the benefits are reducing anxiety, elevating mood, boosting memory, offering brain protection, pain relief, headache relief and anti-inflammatory.

Savory Rosemary Parmesan Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted softened butter, 12 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • coarse sea salt such as Maldon for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the peppercorns and fennel in a spice grinder and pulse until coarsely ground. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, fine sea salt, rosemary, fennel and pepper. In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add three of the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the cheese and nuts and mix well, then add the dry ingredients until the mixture just comes together. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and with floured hands roll into logs to a length of about 12 inches and width of 1 1/2 inches. Whisk the remaining egg and brush it over the dough. Place logs side by side on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the logs with the coarse sea salt, and bake for about 30 minutes or until the logs are light brown and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 20 minutes on a rack. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2 inch slices and arrange the slices cut side down on the baking sheet. Return to the 350 degrees F oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Turn, and bake another 5 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool completely before storing.

 

Tomato and Freekeh Soup with Chorizo and Kale

As I continue my discovery and education regarding ancient grains, I stumbled on freekeh, actually cracked freekeh. It seems that freekeh ,serving for serving, actually has more protein and twice as much fiber as quinoa. Please note that if you need to eat gluten free, freekeh would not be the ancient grain for you. Cooked cracked freekeh tastes much like rice. Tomato and Rice soup was my initial inspiration for the recipe. This soup is hearty and can be served as a meal. The taste of chorizo is enhanced by the smoky paprika.  Using chicken chorizo lowers the fat in the recipe. The combination of smoky, sweet and nutty is delicious! Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you smoky food memories!

Maryann

free-keh

noun

  1. is a type of ancient wheat grain. The wheat is harvested young and green. This wheat is roasted over an open fire, the straw and chaff are burned and rubbed off. The grain on the inside is too young and moist to burn, so what you’re left with is a firm, slightly chewy grain with a distinct flavor that’s earthy, nutty, and slightly smoky.

Freekeh has several health benefits. Freekeh is low in fat and high in protein and fiber. Freekeh is high in iron, calcium, and zinc, and acts like a prebiotic, promoting the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system.

Tomato and Freekeh Soup with Chorizo and Kale

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken Chorizo sausages, approx. 12 ounces, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed well and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 13 ounces canned tomatoes puree
  • 14 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup cracked freekeh
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 cups lacinato/tuscan kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

In a stock pot heat 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the sliced chorizo over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pieces start to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside in a bowl. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until just soft approximately 4 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and freekeh. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add broth and sweet and smoked paprika; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 20 minutes, until freekeh is cooked.  Add kale, salt, pepper and the reserved chorizo; cook, stirring, until the kale is wilted about 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper for seasoning. Serve warm.

Earl Grey Soaked Currant Cream Scones

Many years ago when I was just starting my career in fashion, I took my first of many trips to London. It was on that first trip I discovered the culture of  high tea and scones. I also vividly remember my embarrassment when I ordered scones for breakfast , only to be told that they are only served in the afternoon at high tea. Well, it’s many years later and well we live in a culture where we can have any food we want any time of day or night. So with that I do like the luxury of a nice scone on a quiet, leisurely weekend morning. This is my favorite go to scone recipe. This recipe has evolved over the years and my latest twist is soaking the currants or raisins in Earl Gary Tea enhancing subtly the sweetness of the currants. You’ll be surprised how easy this recipe to prepare scones this delicious.

From by the bay wishing you high tea anytime food memories!

Maryann

Earl Gray Tea

noun

  1. a blend of India and Sri Lankan black teas which are flavored with the oil of bergamot. This tea is named after the mid- 19th century British Prime Minister Earl Charles Grey.

Earl Grey Tea has several health benefits. As many traditional teas, Earl Grey tea leaves come from the tea plant — Camellia sinensis — and contain compounds called flavonoids and flavanols which are natural chemicals. These tea components are potent antioxidants  which with regular use may help with protection from digestive cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Earl Grey Soaked Currant Cream Scones

Makes approximately 8 sconces

Ingredients

  • 1 Earl Grey teabag
  • 3/4 cup dried currants ( or raisins)
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • Demerara or raw sugar (for sprinkling)

Directions

In a small bowl add currants and teabag. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes. Remove teabag and strain the currants. Set currants aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and whisk together. Add butter and blend with fingertips until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix in currants. Whisk cream and eggs in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined do not overwork. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat to 1 inch round. Cut out rounds using 3 inch cookie cutter. Gather dough to cut additional rounds. Transfer scones to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake scones for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until golden brown approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature. Scones are best eaten same day.

 

 

Farro Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushrooms

Farro, an ancient grain that is gaining in popularity. It has a nice nutty taste and chewy texture.  I think of using farro the same way I might use rice or couscous. It’s perfect in soups and salads. It’s a delicious side dish, along with any of your favorite proteins. I love it with a great roast chicken.  I love incorporating farro into my meals. This salad is easy and delicious using some of my favorite vegetables and flavors. Enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you farro memories!!

Maryann

far-ro

noun

  1. is a type of ancient wheat grain. Triticum dicoccum or emmer wheat produces what is referred to as “true” Farro, Two other wheat species are also considered farro: spelt (Triticum spelto) and einkorn (Triticum monococcum). All three are whole grains husked from whole wheat.

Farro has several health benefits. Farro is considered a high fiber food and an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron. As an unprocessed whole grain farro added to your diet can assist in reducing risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and asthma. Farro is best used as you would other grains in salads or soups. It can often be used in in place of barley in recipes.

Farro Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushrooms

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup pearled farro
  • 8 ounces mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 8 ounces butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
  • fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • parsley to garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss mushrooms and butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and red chili flakes.  Season with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast the vegetables in the oven until golden and tender, approximately 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Place in a bowl. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan bring salted water to a boil. Cook the farro until al dente, approximately 20 minutes. Drain well and add the farro to the bowl with the vegetables.  To the bowl add the remaining olive oil, vinegar, cheese and pumpkin seeds and mix well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley. Serve at room temperature.

 

Quinoa Granola

Like everyone else, it’s a new year and I’m trying to be more thoughtful about what I’m making and thinking about whether a recipe can be more healthy! This week I made a healthier granola using quinoa one of the super foods.

Perfect for topping your morning yogurt!

From by the bay wishing you crunchy quinoa food memories!

Maryann

qui-no-a

noun

  1. an annual herb Chenopodium quinoa, of the amaranth family, is a tall crop plant native to the Andean highlands. Cultivated for it’s edible seeds.

Quinoa is considered a super food. It is a high protein grain and contains all nine essential amino acids. Some of it’s many attributes include that it’s gluten free, a metabolism booster, high in fiber content, high nutrient density, low calorie food. Quinoa is best used as you would other grains.

Quinoa Granola

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolling oats ( do not use quick cooking oats and check label for gluten-free)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and well drained
  • 1/2 cups pepita (pumpkin) seeds, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, cranberries or golden raisins

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt coconut oil in a microwave. I do in 30 second at a time. It may take between 45 to 60 seconds in total. Combine all ingredients except the dried fruit into a mixing bowl, combine well. On a parchment lined sheet spread ingredients in 1 layer. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until brown stirring every ten minutes until mixture is browned. Remove from oven and cool granola. Once cooled add dried fruit. Mix well. Keep in airtight container. It should keep about one week.

 

Top Five Recipes of 2016-Entertaining by the Bay!

As we come to the end of another year, it’s always fun to reflect and look back.  As I looked at the most popular posts from 2016, it seemed to me that the favorite recipes were for comfort food. These are the recipes that are inspired by family and tradition. So with that enjoy, look back and happy cooking!

From by the bay, wishing you a very Happy and Healthy 2017 filled with many happy food memories!

Maryann

Coming in at # 5 

Old Fashioned Doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind
  • optional: confectioner’s sugar, vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar

*oil for deep fryer , per instructions

Directions

In a small bowl add yeast to water and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer add 1/4 pound butter, sugar and salt. In a small sauce pan scald milk. Pour scalded milk over the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well and add 1 cup of flour and beat until smooth. Add yeast, eggs and lemon rind. Add flour in three portions combining to make a soft dough. Place on a floured board and knead. Add more flour if too tacky to knead. Shape dough into a ball and place in clean bowl brushed , with melted butter. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn our on to a floured board. Pat down until about 1/2 inch thick. Let rest 10 minutes . Use doughnut cutter 1/2 thick and 2 1/2 inch round.  Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F. Don’t over crowd. Use tongs to turn when bottoms are brown. Watch as this will depend on your fryer. When both sides  are brown, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  When cooled sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Or while warm roll in vanilla sugar or granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon. Fry the doughnut holes separately. An easy way to sugar the holes , place sugar in a brown paper lunch bag , add the warm doughnut holes , hold bag closed , shake and serve!

Next at #4

 

Savory Corn Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin pan or line with paper muffin liners. In a large bowl, mix together corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add egg, butter,buttermilk scallions and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Stir gently to combine. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A favorite at #3

Stone Fruit Crostata

Serves 4

Ingredients for Dough

  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter ( one stick)
  • 1cup , plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 1/2 cups stone fruit such as peaches or plums , pitted and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

To assemble

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Coarse sugar

Directions

To make dough cube the butter.  In a small bowl combine sea salt and water. Place both the butter and salt water in the freezer for 10 minutes. In a food processor add the flour and lemon zest. Pulse twice. Add the cold butter and pulse 3 to 4 times to incorporate pieces of butter into the flour. Slowly add some water until the dough is a crumb like texture. You may not need all of the water. Place dough onto plastic wrap and fold wrap over to close and push dough together to combine. Flatten into a disk covered with the plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.  Take a piece of parchment paper and place the dough in the center cover with the plastic sheet and use a rolling pin to roll out and fold turn parchment sheet  90 degrees and repeat another 3 times. Roll out the dough on the parchment on the bottom again with plastic wrap over the top of the dough into a round approximately 1/8 inch thick. Spoon the filling in the center of the round leaving a 1 inch border all around. Fold the edges over the filling partially covering around the border. Place parchment with pie carefully onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and cream to make the wash. Remove from the refrigerator and brush the egg wash on the edges of the pie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and place into oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Slide carefully onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Hitting #2

Fresh Corn and Tomato Cilantro Salsa

Serves Six

Ingredients

6 ears of corn

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup cilantro

1/2 cup olive oil

juice and zest of two limes

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Remove silk and husks from corn. Cut corn off cob and place in a medium bowl. Add red onion, tomato and lime zest. In a blender or food processor add garlic, cilantro, honey, jalapeno, olive oil, lime juice , salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour over corn and tomatoes and mix well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve at room temperature.

and the #1 recipe and farther above the rest is this classic – Apple Cake!

 

Mom’s Apple Cake a.k.a. “Jewish” Apple Cake

Ingredients

For Apple Filling

  • 5 medium apples , preferably those good for baking such as macintosh
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For Cake Batter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use nonstick cooking spray to grease tall tube pan, then lightly dust with flour.  Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the 5 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat the apples evenly. Set aside. In another bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl add the oil, juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. the batter will be thick. Pour half the batter into the tube pan, make sure the batter is spread evenly. Top with half the apples. Pour the remaining batter into the tube, again ensuring the batter is spread. Arrange remaining apples over the top.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely ( at least 25 minutes). Run a clean knife between the cake and pan to loosen the cake before turning onto a plate.

Bourbon Sugar Chocolate Toffee

Getting ready for the holidays? Baking cookies? Looking for an easy , thoughtful and delicious gift to give friends and family? Look no further and try this recipe for bourbon sugar chocolate toffee.  This is easy candy making , simple just minutes to make. I love to wrap in plastic place in a craft box and share !

From by the bay , wishing you hard candy Christmas food memories!

Maryann

blog-salted-toffee-with-bourbon-sugar-2

Bourbon Sugar Chocolate Toffee

Ingredients
1 sleeve saltine cookies or favorite biscuit such as Biscoff wafers
6 ounces butter ( 1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
12 ounces milk chocolate buttons
2 tablespoon bourbon sugar, recipe follows
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt , such as Maldon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with non stick cooking spray. Arrange the crackers or biscuits side by side in a single layer on the baking sheet. In a heavy medium size saucepan place the butter and brown sugar. Stir while the butter is melting and then bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and carefully pour over the crackers on the baking sheet trying to cover all the crackers. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes, so the toffee bubbles and spreads across the crackers. Remove from the oven and cover with the chocolate buttons. Put back into the oven for 1 or 2 minutes so the chocolate softens. Remove from oven. Use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly covering the entire surface of the toffee. Take 3-4 saltines and crush them into small pieces. Sprinkle on top of the chocolate while it’s still sticky and soft. Next sprinkle the bourbon sugar on top and finally the sea salt. Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least one hour, to cool and set. Once set, break into smaller uneven pieces and serve. Store in an air tight container for up to 10 days.

blog-salted-toffee-bourbon-sugar-1

blog-salted-toffee-with-bourbon-sugar

Bourbon Sugar

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Directions

Preheat oven on the lowest temperature or 275 degrees F. Scrape vanilla seeds into a small bowl; stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight or minimum of five hours. Let cool. It should feel like sugar again. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

 

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus

Inspired by all the cauliflower dishes on menus today and the great appreciation of a vegetable that for many years was out of favor, here is a delicious hummus celebrating cauliflower! It’s brightened with lemon juice and given texture with the use of several garnishes. The most interesting garnish being popcorn. I think it’s a great idea to make enough popcorn to not only garnish the hummus but to serve along to guests. If you don’t want to serve popcorn you can easily pop some corn in a small sauce pan with a cover over medium heat just adding a few dried kernels and cover. Shake a few times to ensure the corn does not burn, you’ll know when it’s ready by listening carefully to the corn popping. I like to serve this along with a nice toasted multi-grain bread.

From by the bay, wishing you warm cauliflower food memories!

Maryann

blog-cauli-hummus

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus

Ingredients

  • 28 ounces cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/2 cup
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

To garnish use approximately 1 tablespoon of each depending on your preferences

  • dill
  • red onion  pickled with red vinegar
  • roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
  • fresh popcorn

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roasted in the oven until cauliflower starts to caramelize and is soft, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. In a small dish add the red onion and red wine vinegar and mix. The vinegar will softened and pickle the onions. Once the cauliflower is cool add to a food processor along with the tahini, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Taste to adjust for seasoning. Serve at room temperature or keep refrigerated until ready to use. Garnish with pickled onions, pumpkin seeds, popcorn and dill. Serve with toasted multi-grain bread.