Archive for December, 2011

Pizza Power!!!

Posted: December 30, 2011 in cooking
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A couple weeks ago my family had some dinner guests over, and they asked me to make pizza. Of course I had to say yes because I LOVE pizza. I have found that the most difficult thing about pizza is the crust, I have made lots of pizzas over the past months and I kinda have found a way to make the crust the way I like it but I still haven’t concocted the perfect pizza crust, but of course I will keep trying until I triumph and emerge out of the kitchen, fog seeping in through my ankles with the perfect pizza crust. Until then I will just improve on my variation on the pizza crust. The most important thing to do is make sure your yeast is active and well proofed before you start!

The next most important part of the pizza is the tomato sauce. It can’t be too bitter or too sweet, too acidic or too… un acidicey… whatever, you get the idea. Anyhoo, I don’t have an exact recipe for ether of these things but I can give you a general idea of what to do.

Crust

Take about a cup of hot water from the tap and put it in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular bowl) and whisk in a couple packets of yeast and leave for 5 minutes. Then whisk in about a cup of flour and some olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for about 1/2 and hour, it should be foamy and bubbly by then. Put into the mixer and add salt and pepper and add a couple cups of flour and start mixing with the dough hook and knead, by now you need to really feel the dough, if it fells too dry add some olive oil or some more hot water, if it’s too wet add some flour. Then knead on a lightly floured counter the put into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place for a couple of hours or untill doubled in size divide them into two and roll them out onto an oiled and cornstach-dusted pizza tray. Then rub it with olive-oil and garlic and let rise in the pan for about 1/2 an hour then put on the toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°F or until a piece of crust ripped off the edge does not feel doughy, wet and uncooked.

Sauce

Start by chopping up a couple of cloves of garlic and some onion and slowly cook them in some olive oil. Add either a can of diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes or both and slowly let come to a boil, keep the heat low and add some seasoning, spices and red wine if you have it (or red wine vinegar) and let simmer slowly. Then add some honey and taste it. Season it as needed and let it to continue to simmer until it is just how you want it.Let it cool then spread it onto the pizzas. Top them with cheese and whatever else you might want. My all time favorite is prociutto with caramelized pear. Enjoy

Marshmallows

Posted: December 14, 2011 in cooking, treat

The freshest marshmallows you'll ever get!

And finally, the thing you’ve all been waiting for… marshmallows!!! Now before I go in-depth about these delicious treats I will apologise for not posting since november 30th, that’s a long time, a very long time, too long in fact. You see, the main problem was, since I live on a small island our internet gets shut off frequently which really sucks.

So anyways, back to the subject of marshmallows. The main thing you need to know about marshmallows is they are …….messy and if you aren’t carefull you can get the delicious goop all over your kitchen. Another tip is to experiment with flavours and colours frequently, for example, the three marshmallows I made today were peppermint, original and lemon (my personal favourite).

These fluffy pillows of goodness are great for partes, stocking stuffers, smores or in a cup of hot chocolate! Another idea is to take the fresh marshmallow goop and pipe them into individual molds, or cover the finished product in coloured sugar! One thing I plan to do is use a cake pan for the marshmallows and have a marshmallow cake. The only real problem I hade with the marshmallows is that they were so delicious that they didn’t last very long.

The cylinder of marshmallow epicness...

Ingredients

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice-cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray

Directions

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low-speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last-minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For miniature marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners’ sugar mixture.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.