17 February 2011

Yogurt Biscuits

Before Chris and I left for a week, I naturally wanted to do something with our short-term perishables, namely our milk. Fortunately, there was a beautiful application that I like doing anyway: yogurt. Homemade yogurt is a bit thinner than store bought as it doesn't have such things as pectin or cornstarch. As such it is much better for baking with. I use my homemade yogurt in my naan and some curries (though that's not baking). I also use it occasionally when feeding my sourdough starter or directly in my bread.

So now that we're back and neither of us has had a chance to go to the store (Chris being quite busy with work and me being sick), we're finding out pretty much everything we can do with what's on hand. The past couple of mornings, we've had some waffles that we froze before we left, and this morning I found a really good recipe for yogurt biscuits.

Yogurt Biscuits
adapted from Mark Bittman via Culinate Kitchen Collection
makes at least 15

5 oz pastry flour
4 oz whole wheat flour
4 oz ap flour
(that's about 3 cups flour total, adjust individual amounts according to preference)
1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (3/4 tsp table salt)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups (~10 ounces) plain yogurt

1. Preheat the oven to 450°

2. Mix together the dry ingredients

3. Either cut or grate the butter into the dry ingredients

4. Stir the yogurt into the dry ingredients, until the dough just comes together. If you still have some dry at the bottom, use an additional spoonful of yogurt

5. Using your hands, press all the dough together into a shaggy ball, and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface

6. Knead gently until the dough holds together; keep in mind that it will probably still be a bit sticky

7. Press dough into a ¾-inch-thick rectangle and cut into biscuits with a round glass or biscuit cutter dipped into flour

8. Place the biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet

9. Reshape the leftover dough, being careful not to overwork it, and cut out more biscuits

10. If you don't have a double bottom baking sheet, place the baking sheet on top of an identical baking sheet as a double pan lowers the chance of overbaking the bottoms of the biscuits and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the biscuits are golden-brown. These biscuits are best served warm.

02 February 2011

Chocolate Mousse

I was looking through the various recipes that I keep on hand, and I realized that this mousse recipe has never made it here to Jammin' Jelly. That's likely because I tend to make it around the holidays, when I either have little to no access to the internet or am just not thinking about blogging a recipe when I could be talking with the people I love.

Regardless, I think this is such a wonderful recipe that I really do want to share it here. I know plenty of other people like it, as I've found it spammed over other food blogs, but it originates from Gourmet Magazine and you can find it here. I will say that I like it with the darker chocolate, but if you don't, you should use semi-sweet chocolate rather than bittersweet.

Without further ado,

Rich Chocolate Mousse
Serves 4-6
adapted from Gourmet

8 oz bittersweet chocolate (60-70%), chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
3 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon brandy, rum, or other liquor (such as creme de menthe)
1 cup heavy whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Melt chocolate and butter, either in a metal bowl over pan of boiling water or in a glass bowl in the microwave. I know some people have trouble with scorching chocolate in the microwave, but it's my preferred method. I melt the chocolate for 1 min, then stir and add butter and put it in for an additional minute. Stir it again when you take it out.

2. If you don't care for washing your beater(s) inbetween beating the different parts of the eggs, start with beating the whites with the salt. Beat until they've formed soft peaks.

3. Beat the egg yolks until they are lightened and thick. A ribbon formed when you pick the beater up should take a few seconds to disappear.

4. Add the yolks and liquor to the chocolate mixture and stir in.

5. Beat the cream until stiff.

6. Fold cream and whites into chocolate mixture gently.

7. Transfer to dessert glasses or bowls, chill for 30 minutes before serving. You can also chill, covered tightly for up to 2 days, though you'll want to let them stand at room temp for 30 minutes before serving if you do completely chill them.