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Posts Tagged ‘Amrita Song’

Baked: Chocolate and Orange Olive Oil Cake

Friday, May 19th, 2017

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I love a simple chocolate cake, unfrosted with a delicate crumb. It’s better still when it comes together in one bowl and bakes in one pan. The olive oil gives a rounded flavor that cuts the sweetness of the chocolate. When I want an easy dessert to serve to company or have something to nibble on Sunday morning, this is the recipe I turn to.

 

Chocolate and Orange Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from a recipe at Baked Bree 
8 servings

6 Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup boiling water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup orange-infused or orange-flavored olive oil*
3 large eggs
¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. orange zest
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
Powdered sugar or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake or pie pan.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and water and let cool slightly. Add the vanilla extract and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar, olive oil and eggs until the mixture is thickened and pale, 2 to 3 minutes.
• Reduce the speed to low and carefully pour in the cocoa water. Mix until combined.
• With a spatula, fold in the flour, zest, salt and baking soda. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
• Bake about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
• Let cool completely before turning the cake out of the pan. Serve with sifted powdered sugar or ice cream.

*Orange-infused or orange-flavored olive oil is available at Di Olivas, Extra Virgin: An Olive Ovation and Vom Fass.

Amrita Song is owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings

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Baked: Caramel and Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

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I always do it up big for my husband’s birthday. He loves anything chocolate, so this year, I thought I’d try a sinfully delicious salted caramel and chocolate combo. These cupcakes are hollowed out and filled with two kinds of chocolate mousse and salty caramel, then topped with chocolate-espresso mascarpone frosting that melts in your mouth. They are airy, moist and irresistibly good. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Salty Caramel and Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes
Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 dozen

½ cup sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup flour
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
¾ cup Salty Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
¾ cup Dark Chocolate Mousse (recipe follows)
¾ cup Milk Chocolate Mousse (recipe follows)
Chocolate-Espresso Frosting (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, buttermilk, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
• When the cupcakes have cooled, use a knife or a cupcake corer to remove the center, taking care not to go all the way through the cupcake.
• Fill each cupcake with 1 tablespoon Salty Caramel Sauce followed by 1 tablespoon Dark Chocolate Mousse and then 1 tablespoon Milk Chocolate Mousse.
• Generously ice each cupcake with Chocolate-Espresso Frosting.

 

Salty Caramel Sauce
1 cup

½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup heavy cream at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract

• In a large deep heavy-bottomed saucepot over medium heat, dissolve the sugar into the water, stirring constantly until it turns amber, about 10 to 14 minutes.
• Immediately remove from heat and slowly stir in the cream and vanilla (the mixture will bubble violently), until the caramel is fully incorporated. Pour the caramel into a jar and let cool.

 

Dark Chocolate Mousse
1 cup

1½ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

• Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
• In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let rest 1 minute.
• Gently whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
• Use an electric beater or mixer to beat on low speed 5 minutes, until it reaches a light fluffy consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Milk Chocolate Mousse
1 cup

1½ cups heavy cream
2/3 cups milk chocolate chips

• Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
• In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let rest 1 minute.
• Gently whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
• Use an electric beater or mixer to beat on low speed 5 minutes, until it reaches a light fluffy consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Chocolate-Espresso Frosting
Frosts 1 dozen cupcakes

2½ Tbsp. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
¾ cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
½ cup plus 2½ Tbsp. sugar
8 oz. chilled mascarpone

• In a large mixing bowl, combine the cocoa and espresso powders. Set aside.
• In a small saucepot over medium-high heat, bring ¼ cup cream to a boil. Slowly whisk the cream into the cocoa-espresso powder until the mixture is smooth.
• Whisk in the sugar until dissolved, then whisk in the remaining ½ cup cream. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
• Use an electric beater or mixer on medium speed to whip the mixture until has stiff peaks.
• With the mixer or beater on low speed, gently add the mascarpone and which until the mixture is combined, fluffy and spreadable.

 

Baked: Eggs Kejriwal

Friday, April 7th, 2017

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The story behind this Indian dish goes that a man named Kejriwal was from a strict vegetarian community – even eggs were off-limits there. When he would visit a sports club in Mumbai, he indulged in a favorite dish: an egg on cheese toast covered with green chile chutney. It was was so tasty, the club added it to the menu, calling it Eggs Kejriwal.

I’ve created my own version of it using a soft burger bun, American cheddar, a perfectly fried egg and homemade serrano chile chutney. The chutney packs a nice kick at the end, but it’s definitely doable for those who can’t tolerate too much heat. You’ll have quite a bit of chutney leftover, but it will last three months if covered in the refrigerator. It’s lovely smeared on a sandwich with some cooling cucumbers or atop a burger or taco.

 

Eggs Kejriwal
1 serving

¼ medium red onion
3 serrano peppers, seeded
3 oz. fresh cilantro
½ oz. fresh mint
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
¾ tsp. kosher salt
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 split burger bun
2 tsp. butter
2 eggs

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• In the bowl of a food processor or blender, puree the onion, peppers, cilantro, mint, garlic, sugar, lemon juice and salt to make a chutney. Set aside.
• Put 1 cheese slice atop each bun half. Place on a baking sheet and toast 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
• Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Crack the eggs in the skillet and fry to desired doneness.
• Place the toasted buns on a serving plate. Top each with an egg and liberally cover with the chutney. Serve immediately. The remaining chutney will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 months.

Amrita Song is the owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings

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Baked: Thai Red Curry Pizza

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Baked: Thai Red Curry Pizza

Monday, February 27th, 2017

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My husband and I love the red curry pizza at Thai Pizza on The Loop. It’s exactly what it sounds like: Thai curry on pizza crust, held together by lots of cheese. If you think this sounds unappetizing, well, you’re wrong.

I decided to attempt my own version of Thai pizza with a simple homemade red Thai curry spread on a pre-baked pizza crust and smothered with lots of cheddar and mozzarella. The result is an umami-packed pizza with sweet pineapple bites amid the savory red curry.

 

Thai Red Curry Pizza
2 to 4 servings

1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
3 heaping Tbsp. red curry paste
1 8-oz. package frozen bell peppers or Asian vegetable blend
Handful chopped mushrooms
1 Tbsp. Red Boat fish sauce
1 cup shredded or chopped cooked chicken
Handful chopped cilantro
Handful fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
Handful chopped Thai basil
2-3 cups shredded cheddar and mozzarella blend
2 prebaked 10- to 12-inch pizza crusts
Handful chopped green onions

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• In a large skillet over medium heat, whisk the coconut milk and red curry paste together until combined. Add the vegetables, mushrooms and fish sauce and simmer 10 minutes, until the sauce starts to reduce.
• Stir in the chicken, cilantro, pineapple and basil and simmer another 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and is no longer runny. Taste and adjust the flavors.
• Place the pizza crusts on a rimmed baking sheet. Evenly spread the curry atop each crust, then liberally cover each with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
• Garnish with chopped green onions. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

 

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Baked: Sriracha Crackers

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

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Since I usually bake sweet cookies, I wanted to try my hand at savory crackers. The spicy Sriracha kick is nicely balanced with some coarse sugar sprinkled on top. It’s a simple, savory snack that’s great to have around when you’re feeling peckish.

 

Sriracha Crackers
Adapted from a recipe at The Fairy Kitchen
15 to 20 crackers

2 Tbsp. Sriracha
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
½ cup cream cheese
1/3 cup room-temperature salted butter
1 1/3 cup flour, plus more if needed
1 egg
1 Tbsp. coarse sugar

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Make the glaze by whisking together the Sriracha and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter with a wooden spoon. Add the flour and the egg and stir to combine, then mix with your hands and form into a ball, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky.
• Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and flatten into a disc, then roll to ¼-inch thick.
• Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes and place on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between crackers. Bake 10 minutes.
• Brush each cracker with the Sriracha glaze and sprinkle with the sugar.
• Bake another 8 minutes, until the cracker bottoms are brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack to crisp before serving.

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Baked: Brownie Cookies with Early Grey Glaze

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

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I love to pair Earl Grey tea with chocolate. It’s flavored with bergamot, an Italian citrus that tastes somewhere between a lemon and an orange and smells a bit floral. I added bergamot extract and ground Earl Grey tea leaves to the powdered sugar glaze that tops these chewy brownie cookies. The result is a dense, almost fudgy cookie base with a sweet, lightly citrus glaze on top.

 

Brownie Cookies with Earl Grey Glaze
Adapted from a recipe at Smitten Kitchen
1 to 2 dozen cookies, depending on size

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup water, plus more to thin the icing
30 g. meringue powder*
½ Tbsp. corn syrup
½ tsp. bergamot extract
1 lb. powdered sugar
¼ tsp. ground Earl Grey tea leaves (from a teabag)

• In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed until well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and roll the chilled cookie dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on the baking sheet.
• Bake 8 to 11 minutes, until the edges are firm and the center is slightly soft and puffed. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
• Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, beat together the water and meringue powder with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add the corn syrup and bergamot and mix 5 seconds. Add the powdered sugar and tea leaves and mix on low speed. The mixture will be very stiff. Add water 1 splash at a time until the frosting has a toothpaste-like consistency.
• Transfer half the icing to a piping bag fitted with a round decorating tip. Carefully outline the cookies with the stiff icing.
• Transfer any icing remaining in the piping bag back to the bowl. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the icing reaches a glaze-like consistency. Frost inside the outlines as desired. Let dry for a few hours before enjoying.

*Meringue powder can be found at Kitchen Conservatory.

Baked: Frosted Peppermint Cookie Bars

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

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These minty cookie bars are perfect for Christmas. I’ve added crushed candy canes to the cookie batter and peppermint extract to the frosting. I was afraid it would be too sweet, but the mint balances the sugar quite nicely. The cookie is reminiscent of those delicate lovely Lofthouse treats: fluffy frosting atop a soft, crumbly cookie. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Frosted Peppermint Cookie Bars
Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction 
16 cookies

¾ cup granulated sugar
1¼ cup (1½ sticks) room-temperature butter, divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. peppermint extract, divided
2 pinches of kosher salt, divided
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup crushed candy cane pieces, plus more for decoration
1½ tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
Green food coloring

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square cake pan.
• In a large mixing bowl, cream the granulated sugar and ½ cup butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes.
• Add the egg and yolk and beat on high speed, stopping once to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and a pinch of salt and beat until combined.
• Add the flour, candy cane pieces, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda and fold in with a spatula until even and there are no white streaks.
• Pour the batter evenly into the cake pan. Bake 25 minutes, until it is browned on top but still soft. Let cool completely.
• To make the frosting, place the powdered sugar, the remaining ¾ cup butter, milk, the remaining 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and a few drops green food coloring in a bowl. Beat the ingredients together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add more peppermint extract or food coloring to taste.
• Spread the frosting in a thick even layer atop the cookie and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
• Use a sharp knife to cut the cookie into 2-by-2-inch bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

 

More Holiday Cookie Recipes
• Kourambiedes (Greek Christmas Cookies)
Triple Chocolate Cookies
• Black-White Christmas Cookies
• Hannukah Hamantaschen
Springerle

Baked: Pork Meatballs

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

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I love a good meatball, and this is a great meatball. The meat is tender, tangy and tastes absolutely divine paired with a balsamic vinegar drizzle or doused in some marinara sauce. They’re easy to prepare on the weekend and freeze for easy meals all week long. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Pork Meatballs
Adapted from a recipe at A Pleasant Little Kitchen 
1 dozen

1 lb. ground pork
½ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
3 Tbsp. dried basil
3 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar, for serving

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• In a large bowl, mix the pork, buttermilk, breadcrumbs, egg, basil, Parmesan, garlic and salt together and refrigerate 15 minutes.
• Use your hands to form meatballs about the size of golf balls and place on the baking sheet.
• Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the meatball reaches 160 degrees in the center. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.

 

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• Baked: Broccolini Melt
Baked: Chicken Biryani

Baked: Chocolate Chai Cupcakes

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

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Pumpkin spice dominates lattes and baked goods right now, but there’s something special about chai spices. Pairing cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger with deep, rich chocolate gives a boost to each bite. The ReTrailer recently cold-brewed its Don’t Chai Know masala chai blend, and the concentrate is the best part: heavily ginger based and infused with all the best masala spices. It’s available at Larder & Cupboard and meant to be blended with milk, but I added it to these super moist chocolate cupcakes for a tangy, spicy kick. It’s the perfect fall dessert. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate Chai Cupcakes
Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 dozen cupcakes

¾ cup chai concentrate*, divided
1 Tbsp. plus a splash heavy cream, divided
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder, divided
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
• In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup chai concentrate and 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the chai-cream mixture, flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and the chai-cream mixture and whisk until just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, make the frosting by beating the powdered sugar, butter and the remaining ¼ cup chai concentrate, ¼ cup cocoa powder and splash of cream on medium speed until fluffy. The frosting should be thick but spreadable.
• When the cupcakes have cooled, top them liberally with frosting.

* Chai concentrate is available at Larder & Cupboard.

 

More Baked Recipes
Baked: Roasted Sriracha Pumpkin Seeds

Baked: Tropezienne Tarts

Baked: Chocolate Chip-Orange Muffins

• Baked: Chai-Chocolate Chip Scones

 

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for the person you have to shop for

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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It’s not easy to shop for people who have everything or about whom you know nothing, but that doesn’t take them off your gift list. From sweets to splurges to simply pretty things, these are elegant and thoughtful choices that will please just about anyone.

 

1. Flowers to the People
A kitchen bouquet is doubly appreciated during this season of entertaining. Request colors and types of flowers if you’d like, or simply tell the florist the occasion and watch as she swiftly spins together something magical as you watch. Each is a unique work of art, making an elegant and lovely-smelling gift. Bonus: The shop delivers. $25. Flowers to the People, 2317 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.762.0422, flowerstothepeople.biz

2. Masala Chai Tea Concentrate
Village Botanicals (formerly The ReTrailer Tea Co.) recently started bottling this wonderfully spiced Extra Special Masala Chai Tea Concentrate, made with cardamom, ginger and a five-spice masala blend of cinnamon, star anise, allspice, clove and peppercorn. $9. Larder & Cupboard, 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.300.8995; villagebotanicals.com

3. Nordic Ware Egg Waffle Pan
This pan produces fluffy, crispy, eggy mounds that melt in your mouth, like an inverted waffle. Eat them by the bubble or roll them up like a waffle cone and fill with ice cream. Either way, the topping possibilities are endless. These waffles will liven up Sunday morning breakfast for anyone on your gift list. $45. amazon.com

4. Mila, Sweets Macarons
It’s difficult to resist delicate, colorful, full-flavored cookies that fit perfectly into a chic little box. With flavors like chocolate sea salt or raspberry elderflower, these macarons will give someone a taste of Paris at home. Half dozen: $9. Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop, 2201 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.932.5166, milasweets.com

5. Tasting menu at Elaia
A handful of places around town provide tasting menus, but few have the ambiance and style of Elaia. The quiet Botanical Heights restaurant has wonderful service, and with inventive dishes like tartare of lamb, each of the 10 courses is meant to be savored. It’s a splurge, but you’re giving an experience one will never forget. $120; $220 with wine pairings. Elaia, 1634 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.1088, elaiastl.com

 

More Holiday Gift Guides
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your food snob
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts to stock a starter kitchen
• Holiday Gift Guide: 5 gifts for your boozehound
• Holiday Gifts 2015: The Obligatory Gift

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