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Archive for December 2014

Baklava

Monday, December 29th, 2014
Perfect crisp, just the right amount of sweetness - enjoy!

Perfect crisp, just the right amount of sweetness – enjoy!

Ingredients

  • One package phyllo dough, thawed completely
  • 2 ½ cups chopped walnuts
  • 2 ½ cups chopped pistachios
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup orange blossom honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Canola oil for brushing phyllo dough

 Directions

  1. Start with making your simple syrup. Bring 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water to a rolling boil and reduce by one-third to one-half, adding the 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice as the syrup boils. The lemon juice helps the syrup thicken, and the syrup must be cooled to room temperature prior to drizzling over the finished baklava.
  2. If you can’t find chopped walnuts and pistachios, you can use a food processor and chop them yourself. The size of the nuts is up to you, but if you’re using a food processor, you want to stop before the nuts turn into a fine powder. You’re looking for small-to-medium size pistachios and walnuts.
  3. Combine the chopped nuts and place them into a deep heavy-bottom pot and place over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. You want to toast the nuts slightly before adding honey and cinnamon. A good rule of thumb is: if you can smell the nuts, they’re toasted. You want to be careful not to over-toast them because they’ll be baking for another 45 minutes in the oven.
  4. Once the nuts are toasted, add your honey and cinnamon and combine together until it’s a sticky paste. Set aside.
  5. Brush canola oil onto the bottom of a 13 x 9 cookie sheet and start layering your phyllo dough one sheet at a time, remembering to brush each sheet (or every two sheets) with canola oil. However many sheets your phyllo dough package contains, you should use half the sheets for the bottom of the baklava, and the other half for the top of your baklava.
  6. Once you’ve finished the bottom section of the baklava, add the nut mixture and continue layering phyllo dough sheets for the top section. The thickness of the nut mixture is up to you, but a good reference point is the thickness of your pinky finger. You may have some unused nut mixture left over. I call that a snack.
  7. After finishing layering, brush canola oil onto your top-most sheet and use a sharp knife to cut the baklava into squares or into a diamond pattern.
  8. Bake in the middle of a preheated 350℉ oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. As soon you remove the baklava from the oven, spoon your now-cooled simple syrup into all the cuts you made, including the outer edges. You’ll probably have some syrup left over, and the sizzle you’ll hear makes this trip worthwhile.
  10. Don’t blame us if your kitchen smells like the heavens.

Note: Instead of making your own simple syrup, you can use Amoretti syrups to drizzle on top of the baklava. Great flavors to try are Rose, Fiori di Sicilia, and Rock Candy. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Roulade

Monday, December 22nd, 2014
Pumpkin Roulade using Amoretti Artisan Flavor & Extract.

Pumpkin Roulade using Amoretti’s Artisan Flavor & Extract.

Ingredients

CAKE

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ½ tsp Amoretti Pumpkin Pie O.S. Extract
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ⅔ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • Confectioners’ sugar for rolling and dusting (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper. Grease with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. For the filling, beat together yogurt, artisan vanilla, cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking soda,and salt. Set aside.
  4. Use a mixer on high speed to beat egg yolks until thick and frothy. Gradually add pumpkin, extract, and ½ cup sugar, beating until sugar is almost dissolved.
  5. In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites into soft peaks, then gradually add remaining sugar, beating into stiff peaks. Fold egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture.
  6. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet and spread into pan. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until cake springs back with light pressure. Cool 5 minutes.
  7. Turn cake onto a clean towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel parchment paper from back of cake. Roll cake jellyroll style, starting with a short end. Cool completely.
  8. Unroll cake and spread filling evenly to within ½ inch of edges. Re-roll. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm (up to 3 months). Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve in slices.