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Posts Tagged ‘Martha Stewart’

Baked: Strawberry cupcakes

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

 

Strawberries are in season. Everyone is eating them fresh or putting them in salads. I’m putting them in desserts, as usual. These are so easy to whip up and perfectly capture the essence of strawberries — moist, light and sweet. The frosting is not too sweet but very fluffy, and both frosting and cake are packed with plenty of strawberry power. I’d love to try this again but paired with champagne or basil or mint. The possibilities are endless — just take advantage of all the fresh berries around you!


Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes about 24 regular-sized cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups chopped strawberries, divided

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Grease 24 muffin cups. Set aside.
• In a bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time until combined.
• Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix well.
• Then add the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined.
• Fold 1 cup of the strawberries directly into the batter.
• Pour batter into the prepared cups until they are three-quarters full.
• After pouring the batter into the cupcake pans, distribute the remaining strawberry pieces on top of the batter.
• Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until they spring back lightly when you press the tops (or when a cake tester comes out clean or with few crumbs attached).
• Let cool completely before frosting.

 

Strawberry Frosting

5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract*
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries

• In a saucepan, mix the flour with the milk until no lumps remain.
• Once the mixture has been stirred, put the pan on low heat and keep stirring until the mixture thickens and resembles mashed potatoes.
• Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
• Refrigerate until the mixture has completely cooled.
• Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
• Mash the chopped strawberries. (You can do this with a mortal and pestle or in a blender or food processor or chop very finely by hand.)
• Add the strawberries and the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
• Frost the cupcakes.

* You can try adding a different extract − such as champagne or mint − for a more interesting flavor.

Cupcakes can be served at room temperature or stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

By the Book: Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Whenever I’m in doubt on where to find a classic recipe, be it pancakes, biscuits or mac and cheese, I turn to one of Martha Stewart’s cookbooks (or her huge recipe database online). Her new book, Martha’s American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation’s Most Treasured Dishes, From Coast to Coast, is a collection of her greatest American hits, if you will. All that means to me is that they’ve been tested to death, making them reliable sources to turn to time and time again.

The book provides dishes that are from different parts of the country ranging from the Northeast to the Southwest. Most recipes include a backstory about the dish, the history of the dish, as well tips and tricks on making it right. With each passing day, the evenings are getting cooler and cooler and the only reason I’m OK with this change is because of the warming, rich dishes of fall.



So, I chose to make Martha’s macaroni and cheese, which is easily the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had. No joke. I first heard of this recipe when I was reading Deb Perelman’s blog, SmittenKitchen.com, about how much she loved it. When I saw the same recipe in this book, I just had to make it.




It takes a lot of cheese to make this dish – almost two pounds a lot. But I think that’s what makes it so good. It also calls for bold cheeses. Unlike the mellow-yellow cheddar you normally see in mac and cheese recipes, Stewart uses sharp white cheddar and a pungent Gruyere and then folds them both into a velvety béchamel sauce.



Creamy sauces are almost never good when you reheat them because the sauce always separates but not here. This reheats so well the next day and the day after that; the sauce simply reverts back to its original state: creamy, gooey heaven. This recipe is solid without hiccups. It may quickly become your favorite mac and cheese recipe, too.




Macaroni and Cheese
10 to 12 Servings

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, separated, plus more, softened, for baking dish
6 slices good-quality white bread, trimmed of crusts and torn into ¼- to ½-inch pieces
5½ cups milk (Note: I used whole milk.)
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. coarse salt
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne, or to taste
4½ cups grated sharp white cheddar (about 1¼ pounds), separated
2 cups grated Gruyere (about 8 ounces), separated
1 lb. elbow macaroni

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.
• Place the bread in a medium bowl. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; pour into the bowl with the bread and toss to coat.
• Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
• Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add flour to make a roux, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute (do not let get brown). While whisking, gradually pour in the hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove the pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, pepper, cayenne, 3 cups of cheddar and 1½ cups Gruyere.
• Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes less than the manufacturer’s directions. (Note: I cooked it for just 3 minutes.) Drain the macaroni, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Stir the macaroni into the cheese sauce.
• Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1½ cups of cheddar and ½ cup of Gruyere, then top with the bread pieces. Bake until heated through and the topping is browned, about 30 minutes.
• Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Reprinted from Martha’s American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation’s Most Treasured Dishes, From Coast to Coast, by Martha Stewart. Copyright (c) 2012. Photos copyright. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

What are your fondest mac and cheese memories? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Martha’s American Food by Martha Stewart. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Courtney, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won her a copy of The Meat Free Monday Cookbook. Courtney, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

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