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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I had always wanted to be little Suzy Homemaker and baking my own baked goods seemed to go along with that image.  So the first bread I took a crack at?  Challah.  How does that make sense?  Not an easy white or even wheat bread, but a difficult braided bread.  I have no idea what wispy thought was floating through my brain when I decided to delve into my baking prowess with that little goodie, but it actually turned out pretty good!  My next bread?  Good old fashioned wheat bread.  I make no sense.

So what do you think of next when you want to make some home baked goodness that smells amazing and tantalizes your taste buds and melts in your mouth?  Cinnamon rolls!  So I went in search of a great recipe.  So far all of my bread recipes I’ve gotten out of the Williams Sonoma Baking cookbook, but their recipe for cinnamon rolls just didn’t really grab me.  So I turned to my favorite source of recipes that has never let me down, Food Network.  And this is where I started on my Cinnamon Roll journey….

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
  • 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • 20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
  • 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray

Filling:

  • 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons

Icing:

  • 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups

Directions

 

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

This recipe, although a little time consuming, was SO worth the wait!  These were so immensely good I will never make Pillsbury Rolls again!  One hint I’ll pass on that I learned the hard way..make sure you butter your pan very well.  These things stick!    So, once again, although this took a little time, it wasn’t a hard recipe to do and it was was a definite four star!!

Spring Green Risotto

It’s really ridiculous my fascination that I have with the Barefoot Contessa.  Ask my partner.  The DVR in our bedroom is 94% full of Barefoot Contessa episodes that I watch every free moment that I have and want to make at least one thing from every episode.  This is a recipe that I saw one afternoon while watching Ina with my daughter.  I’ve only tried cooking risotto once before and it came out pretty good.  It was a wild mushroom risotto that I took to a family Christmas dinner.

Spring Green Risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped fennel
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Directions

Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender.

Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter.

Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed.

Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl.

When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives.

Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.

*I left out the fennel because I don’t like it and used vegetable stock instead of chicken.  O.M.G.  This was seriously one of the BEST things I have EVER tasted.  My kids were turning up their noses as I was making it and my daughter flat out said she wouldn’t eat it when I told her what was for dinner.  They all had seconds.  I can’t sing it’s praises enough.  I give it 5 out of 4 stars.  It was sooo amazing.  And I give it a moderate on the difficulty scale.  It’s really not hard, just takes time to let the stock absorb into the rice.  I very highly recommend this recipe!!

Double Chocolate Torte

I decided to get a head start on the dessert for our Easter lunch, so I cooked the cake (well most of it) Saturday night.  This is a recipe that I got from a coworker of mine.  It was originally from Epicurious and once I tasted it, I just KNEW I had to make it for our Easter dinner dessert.  OH. MY. GOSH.  This cake is divine!  I think I’m going to have to change the name of the cake though.  I’ve decided to call it So Good It’s Sinful Double Chocolate Torte.  Here’s the recipe:

Double Chocolate Torte from Epicurious

Cake:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Mousse:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons red currant jelly melted with 1 tablespoon water
  • Red currant bunches (optional)

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan; dust with sugar. Melt chocolate and butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and salt, then flour. Pour batter into pan. Bake until cake just rises in center (tester inserted into center will not come out clean), about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cover; chill while making mousse.


For mousse:
Melt butter in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk yolks, 1/4 cup cream and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into bowl with melted butter. Whisk constantly over simmering water until thermometer registers 150°F, about 6 minutes (mixture may appear broken). Remove from over water; add chocolate and stir to melt. Set aside. Beat egg whites and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Whisk 1/4 of beaten egg white mixture into warm chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Pour mousse over cake in pan; smooth top. Chill torte until mousse is set, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Run sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen torte. Release pan sides. Transfer torte to platter. Using electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Spread whipped cream over torte. Top whipped cream with raspberries. Brush red currant jelly mixture over raspberries. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Garnish with currants, if desired.
*I used strawberries instead of raspberries.  They were a LOT cheaper!  🙂

Overall, it took a little while to make the cake but not too bad.  I made the cake Saturday night and the cake and chocolate mousse had to sit at least 6 hours in the fridge.  I let it sit overnight and then whipped the cream right before we had it for dessert.  I’d say this recipe is a moderate on the difficulty scale but a DEFINITE FOUR STARS on the taste scale!

Welcome to my Blog!

My name is Tara and I have decided to start my own food blog.  I moved to Los Angeles 13 years ago and didn’t know how to cook anything other than Hamburger Helper and Macaroni and Cheese.  I had just had my 2nd child so I thought it was time I learned how to feed them something healthy.  I discovered the Food Network and my passion was born.  Every moment the tv on, I had it on the Food Network and completely taught myself everything I know today from that network.  It was my saving grace!

One of my first cooking experiences, I was making chili in the crockpot.  It called for 2 cloves of garlic.  So I cut up the garlic and put it in the crockpot, and the chili is now cooking away and I’m sitting on the couch and watching Emeril.  He’s making a roast and he says “So you make a cut in the meat and put this clove of garlic inside the meat like this.”  I just looked at the tv in disbelief.  That little thing was the clove?  I had put 2 HEADS of garlic in the chili!  Eek!  We choked the chili down but needless to say, it was very overwhelming!  And that’s how I learned about what a clove of garlic is.  🙂

I’m much more advanced now and love cooking new recipes all the time.  I try to cook at least a couple new recipes off of Food Network a week so I thought it’d be fun to start a food blog.  I will be reviewing the different recipes I try, posting pictures of the food, and posting links of the recipes so you can try them yourself.

So join me for my culinary journey and I hope you have as much fun as I do!

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