Tag Archives: schlag

Meringue Minis

24 Dec

So… now you have mastered meringues after watching my first forray into vlogging.  And you’re ready to pump it up a bit?  Good.  here is an awesome thing to do with meringues that actually made the president of my company say it was the best dessert he has ever had.   

So how do you do it?  Well… if you won the first NYC Nom Nom giveaway, you can make them yourself in the non-stick baking cups that I am obsessed with.

You just use the same meringue recipe and pour it into the cups.

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 I used my fingers to spread the meringue up the sides of the cup.  I was hoping this would create a divot to fill with whipped cream and berries.

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 But a few minutes into cooking, I realized that just the opposite was happening.

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I wound up getting pretty little mounds of meringues that were perfectly fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. 

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 While the domes made them impossible to fill, they sure looked lovely. (I actually remade this a few days later and didn’t move the batter up the sides… it wound up flat on top.  Still delicious, but these look much more fun.)

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 I wound up having extra batter, so I took the extra and combined it with fall spices (cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) and putting it into a separate dish.  It was delicious, but wouldn’t really come out of the dish.

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 The mounds wound up perfect perched in homemade schlag and some balsamic strawberries.

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Now that it’s winter and strawberries are about $100 per pint, I need to find some fruit to replace the berries.  But if you have access to berries, this is just perfect. 

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Trust me.  You and everyone else will LOVE this!

Merry Christmas Nom World.

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The First NYC Nom Nom Vlog! (Part 3)

23 Dec

So how did it all turn out?  The conclusion of Part 1 and Part 2 of How to Make a Meringue:

(When posted, you can find the rest here:  Part 1 and Part 2)

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RECIPE
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Meringue Shell

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, room temp.
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 275 degrees F
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy (using a standard mixer makes this much easier)
  3. Add cream of tartar and beat eggs untill very stiff
  4. Add sugar by the spoonful alternatingly slowly
  5. Very slowly add vanilla by hand by pouring it down the side of the bowl and slowly folding it in
  6. Pour into buttered spring form
  7. Bake at 275 for 1 and 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off oven, then open oven door slightly and let cool in oven over night
  9. Flip cooled meringue over to expose the concave bottom, which can be filled

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Balsamic Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and place over a low flame
  2. Stir in sugar
  3. Add strawberries and cook under low heat until berries are soft, about 5-10 minutes
  4. Strain out extra juices (into bowl, so you can save it for delicious toppings!)

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Homemade Spiked Schlag (whipped cream)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flavored liquor of choice (such as amaretto)

Directions:

  1. Pour heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl
  2. Add sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Turn on mixer and beat until stiff (about 10 minutes)
  4. Fold in liquor
  5. Serve immediately

The First NYC Nom Nom Vlog! (Part 2)

22 Dec

I know… you are DYING to know what happened the next morning with the meringue.  (If you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, check it out). Here is Part 2:

(When posted, you can find the rest here:  Part 1 and Part 3)

____________________
RECIPE
____________________

Meringue Shell

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, room temp.
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 275 degrees F
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy (using a standard mixer makes this much easier)
  3. Add cream of tartar and beat eggs untill very stiff
  4. Add sugar by the spoonful alternatingly slowly
  5. Very slowly add vanilla by hand by pouring it down the side of the bowl and slowly folding it in
  6. Pour into buttered spring form
  7. Bake at 275 for 1 and 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off oven, then open oven door slightly and let cool in oven over night
  9. Flip cooled meringue over to expose the concave bottom, which can be filled

_______________________

Balsamic Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and place over a low flame
  2. Stir in sugar
  3. Add strawberries and cook under low heat until berries are soft, about 5-10 minutes
  4. Strain out extra juices (into bowl, so you can save it for delicious toppings!)

_______________________

Homemade Spiked Schlag (whipped cream)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flavored liquor of choice (such as amaretto)

Directions:

  1. Pour heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl
  2. Add sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Turn on mixer and beat until stiff (about 10 minutes)
  4. Fold in liquor
  5. Serve immediately

The First NYC Nom Nom Vlog! (Part 1)

21 Dec

I decided to do my first video blog about the first recipe I ever remember making, a meringue.  Meringues are notoriously hard to make since small things (like yolk and oil) can ruin it and it’s hard to tell when it’s right.  It turns out I had so much information to share that the blog wound up VERY long.  Therefore, I have split it into 3 parts.

The following is Part 1.  I can pick these videos apart (I am my own worst critic, afterall), however, for my first attempt, I think it turned out pretty well.  I learned a lot by doing this and I look forward to do more in the near future.  Special thanks to Mike for his awesome taping and editing!

So without further ado…

 

(When posted, you can find the rest here:  Part 2 and Part 3)

____________________
RECIPE
____________________

Meringue Shell

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, room temp.
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 275 degrees F
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy (using a standard mixer makes this much easier)
  3. Add cream of tartar and beat eggs untill very stiff
  4. Add sugar by the spoonful alternatingly slowly
  5. Very slowly add vanilla by hand by pouring it down the side of the bowl and slowly folding it in
  6. Pour into buttered spring form
  7. Bake at 275 for 1 and 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off oven, then open oven door slightly and let cool in oven over night
  9. Flip cooled meringue over to expose the concave bottom, which can be filled

_______________________

Balsamic Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and place over a low flame
  2. Stir in sugar
  3. Add strawberries and cook under low heat until berries are soft, about 5-10 minutes
  4. Strain out extra juices (into bowl, so you can save it for delicious toppings!)

_______________________

Homemade Spiked Schlag (whipped cream)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flavored liquor of choice (such as amaretto)

Directions:

  1. Pour heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl
  2. Add sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Turn on mixer and beat until stiff (about 10 minutes)
  4. Fold in liquor
  5. Serve immediately

Project Food Blog #3: “Luxury Dinner Party”

1 Oct

I made it to Round 3! I made it to Round 3!

What a week!  It was amazing to be on TV (but I didn’t plug my blog… DAMN!) and honestly, I am beyond exhausted from a weekend of perfecting the recipe and then getting up early to serve it all on live TV.  It was SUCH an honor to serve my dessert to Gail Simmons (who is even nicerand down to earth than she appears!) and Johnny Iuzzini (who was as douchey as he looked, but still relatively nice) and, of course, Wendy (but HOW COULD SHE CALL MY BROWNIES DRY?!?!)  It was such a blast, though.  I’m not overly upset I didn’t win.  It was just fun to have the opportunity.

But I DID advance to Round 3.  And with Round 3 comes another challenge: Throw  a luxury dinner party.  Now in my mind, any time I can get together with my family and cook for them, that’s a luxury.  And when it happens to be for my and my dad’s birthdays (we were born on the same date), it’s a SUPER LUXURY.  So what to write about this time was a no-brainer.  My sister has also moved back home from North Carolina, so it’s still quite the luxury that she can come over for dinner these days.  And, of course, I was honored to cook some of my Grandma’s classics.

Here is the menu from our Daddy/Daughter Luxury Bday Dinner (template courtesy of Project Food Blog and our super cool sponsor, Buick Lacrosse.  I always like when sponsors can make cool things happen.  Maybe that’s the ad girl in me.):

We started our dinner with the corn fritters that we enjoyed a few weeks ago.  Since I already blogged at length about those, here is just a shot of the prep with the beautiful colors.

I asked my dad what he wanted to eat for bday dinner and he said SCHNITZEL.  Grandma used to make Wienerschnitzel often and it was always a family favorite.  It was one of the last dinners I recall her making for us (around Chrismukah last year).  And it was GOOD.  So Schnitzel it was.  I decided to make both veal and turkey (since my picky sister won’t eat veal). 

We decided to fry them in a pan with butter (SO not diet friendly… but the only way to make it just right) and then finished cooking it in the oven so it stayed moist yet was perfectly browned.

We saw the idea for making a crispy cauliflower in Tasting Table and decided it would be the perfect way to finish the meal.

I wanted to make a sauce to go with the schnitzel and had fresh lemon leftover from the cauliflower. So I combined lemon with mayo and it made for a delicious citrus cut to the fried veal (and turkey).

It was a GREAT meal and everyone really enjoyed it. 

We took a break between dinner and dessert for PRESENTS!

We asked dad what he wanted and he told us he needed a kayak skirt for his new kayak (the skirt goes around your waist in the kayak and keeps water out).  We didn’t want to pick one out for him, so we gave it to him in a more creative way:

And then I got a present that I was so excited about that I even hugged it for the picture:


(this would be the aforementioned slow cooker I used in my last PFB post)

I had been plotting dessert for a few weeks and knew I HAD to try to make my Grandmother’s meringue torte.  In my mind, this is one of those things that sticks out as quintessentially Grandma.  A few years ago, she kept trying to make this cake again and it just never worked.  She couldn’t figure out why, so I went into this fully expecting it to fail.  Her problem with it was that it would somehow separate and all the sugar would stick to the bottom, so she’d have to make a trifle with meringue pieces.  But I had to conquer this meringue… in her honor.

She used to stuff it with slightly cooked fruit, but I NYC Nom Nomified it a little and added balsamic to strawberries.  Nom Nom Nom.

One of the first things Grandma taught me in the kitchen was how to perfectly peak egg whites to make meringue.  I remember she had to pull a stool up to the counter so I could press the button on the Kitchenaid to turn it on and watch her make it.  (In the next few days, I will be posting my first ever VIDEO BLOG that shows how to make this recipe… STAY TUNED!)

You have to pour it into a spring form, cook it on low heat for an hour and a half, then turn off the oven and crack the door and leave it over night.  When I went to get it the next morning, I was nervous… but it turned out pretty much PERFECT.  And, as it turns out, a hollow forms underneath so I could flip it over and had a perfect place to lay out the fruit.

Which is then topped with homemade schlag (whipped cream).

And then decorated with sliced strawberries.

The strawberries were so beautiful and fresh.

I was so excited when it worked out.  And it tasted JUST as good as I remembered it.  It was quite the luxury to have her with us, in spirit.  And she always loved dinner parties and celebrating our birthdays.

I know I made Grandma proud.

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RECIPES
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Wienerschnitzel (AKA Schnitzel)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds turkey or veal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups bread crumbs (this might be excessive… add as needed)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Place turkey or veal between 2 layers of saran wrap and pound until 1/4 inch thin or less (wine bottles work surprising well for the pounding part when you don’t have a meat hammer)
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Place flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate, shallow bowls
  5. Dredge turkey/veal in flour
  6. Dip into eggs
  7. Coat with breadcrumbs
  8. Heat large pan and add butter
  9. Place coated turkey/veal in pan (it should sizzle) and cook until just browned (DO NOT OVERCOOK!)
  10. Place all turkey/veal cutlets onto a sprayed baking sheet (or lined with a Silpat)
  11. Bake for 6-8 minutes until cooked through

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For the cauliflower recipe, click here.

For the corn fritter recipe, click here.

And for the meringue recipe… you will just have to wait until the video blog comes up.  🙂

An Austrian Brasserie

2 Nov

I have passed by Klee on 9th Ave between 22nd and 23rd many, many times while I lived in the neighborhood. I had heard good things in various blogs and magazines, but it was always right there, so I just never went. Our last weekend in the apartment led me to make sure we knocked this one off the list. I didn’t know much about it, and assumed Klee Brasserie was probably french. Turns out it’s Austrian, which was interesting as I was just reading my Great Aunt’s fascinating book about her departure from Austria during the Holocaust (my Grandmother also left Austria when she was 11 and came here by way of Cuba).

We came a bit before the dinner rush without a reservation, so we sat at the bar and it was quite nice.

The menu looked great, however, when the waitress came to tell us about the specials I knew the “reasonably priced” dinner was going out the window. The Oktoberfest menu featured a few selections made with a special Mangalitsa Pork, however, the special featured pork belly with crispy skin. Pork Belly? Crispy Skin? I don’t think there are four more beautiful words in the English language. (I’m such a good Jew!)

Before I get ahead of myself, however, we did have an appetizer. We chose the side of three roasted squashes with Spanish cheese spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg as an app. This was great, and the cheese really made the dish.

Mike chose the Lancaster roasted chicken and sausage with brussel sprouts, chestnut, and orange whip. (In the pictures, the sausage is under the greens). This is a great example of how what you order at a restaurant really makes a difference. This dish was just okay. The sausage was tasty but the chicken wasn’t anything special.

To contrast, my pork was so good I wanted to lick the plate. I thought she said it came with roasted fingerling potatoes, but it was a purple potato mash (of sorts) with big chunks of roasted potato in it. It was good and all, but the pork belly… wow.

Check out the picture. Crispy skin, layer of delicious fat, then perfectly cooked belly. Nom Nom Nom. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

It did take some time for our desserts to come out, but it was nice that the chef sent out a cranberry drink of some sort. As someone that isn’t overly keen on cranberries, I was impressed by how much I enjoyed this.

Since we were already living indulgently (hey… we were rewarding ourselves for packing all day), we went for a dessert drink of amaretto on the rocks (if anyone doesn’t know how to make that… you take some amaretto… and you pour it over ice). It was quite rewarding.

For dessert, I chose the Sacher Torte with Schlag (they had “shlag” on their menu!) It had a layer of apricot and was very, very tasty. I especially liked the torched top of the whipped cream squiggle. Gave it a toasted marshmallow quality.

Mike chose the Peanut Butter and Banana Pudding with salted honey crisps. The honey crisps were more like VERY sticky popcorn (that was quite hard to eat) and the pudding was quite peanut buttery but not enough banana.

Overall, the food was interesting and delicious, but really varied depending on what was ordered. My dishes were all great (in the 8 Nom Points territory), Mike’s were just so-so (in the 6 Nom Points territory). Therefore…

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

If I’d-a known you were commin I’d-a baked a cake

23 Jul

Mike and I thoroughly enjoy project recipes, so this past Sunday we decided to bake a cake. Maybe we’ve been watching too much Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss, however, we wanted to make it complex.  I’m not a cake person, so I set out to find a soft, vanilla cake I would like.  I also wanted one that would go with an amaretto whipped cream and berries.  I stumbled upon a blog called “House of Annie” and her pictures looked so great of the whipped cream frosted cake with berries that I knew we’d have similar taste.  I used her cake recipe and my own whipped cream (aka Schlag) recipe… though they’re all pretty much the same.

I haven’t baked many fully homemade layer cakes.  When I bake a cake, it’s typically a chocolate lava, meringue shell, or something else less traditional.  When I’ve made a layer cake, it has usually involved boxed cakes and canned frostings.  So this was a new challenge. Mike came up with the GREAT idea of making some balsamic strawberries for the middle layer and we made it a mixed berry middle.  I personally don’t love frosted cakes but do have a fondness for homemade whipped cream.  Here was the prep process:

Choppin the strawberries thin enough to make a nice layer in the middle

Tossing the berries in balsamic and sugar to stew in the fridge for an hour or more (NOTE: The better your balsamic, the better this tastes.  Don’t skimp.  It’s worth the extra money for good balsamic)

So upon starting to make the cake, I failed to remember to take the eggs out of the fridge so they’d be room temp. So Mike decided he had an idea for a great warmer…

Cakes in the (terrible) oven

While the cake baked, we spent our time working very hard… aka… drinking amaretto

A lovely golden brown

Making the blueberry sauce to drizzle on top (inspired by, once again, the wonderful Lori) couldn’t be easier.  Stir blueberries in a pot of low/medium heat.  Add a little sugar and smush them with a mashed potato smasher as they cook down.  Strain and put into a plastic bag, cut off the corner, and make pretty lines.

Cutting one of the cakes flat to make a bottom

Action shot of whipping the cream by hand to make sure the texture is perfect

On the bottom layer we put a layer of whipped cream, then the layer of balsamic berries.

Put whipped cream on the bottom of the top layer and lined it up, then hoped my klutziness would manage to line up the layers (I did well).

Frosted the cake with the whipped cream (which doesn’t go on as well as icing since you can’t really layer it nor smooth it all the way, but it’s SOOO delicious).

The finished cake all decorated with the blueberry sauce and fresh berries on top.

Slicing it up

MMMMmmmmm

Mike came up with the name: The Berry Belt Cake

Now this was certainly a learning curve.  Next time I’ll make a few changes  such as thinner layers of cake with more fruit and whipped cream in the middle.  Next time I may go with a more sturdy, icing like frosting (shame… love the whipped cream) and then top with the whipped cream and final decorations right before serving.  The whipped cream wound up absorbing almost entirely into the cake by the evening after, with the blueberry smudging and causing it to look a little more distorted:

Overall, I would call it an absolutely success and one I will make again with a few changes (maybe a fall version with pears, apples, and peaches).  It was a fun project and absolutely delicious.

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Vanilla Butter Layer Cake Recipe 
(Thanks to Annie for her recipe)

Makes two 9-inch cakes.

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray for the pan
10 1/2 oz (2 3/4 cups) cake flour (cake flour means it’s soft and less dense)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp table salt
6 oz (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature (OOPS!)

Method
1. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Lightly coat the sides of two 9×2-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
3. Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I used the normal mixes since I don’t have a real KitchenAid😦 ). Mix on low speed (#2 on a KitchenAid mixer) until the ingredients are well combined.
4. Add the softened butter pieces and mix on low speed for 20-30 seconds to mix the butter into the dry ingredients—the mixture should look a little lumpy, with the largest lumps being about the size of a hazelnut.
5. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed (#5 on a KA) for 1 minute to thoroughly blend the ingredients and aerate the batter. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
6. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed for about 15 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl after the second egg.
7. Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans and use your spatula to smooth the surface. (I also bang the pans down a bit on the counter to level it and get out the air bubbles)
8. Bake until the cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.  (My terrible oven took about 25 minutes so watch closely)
9. Set the pans on a rack, run a table knife around the edge of each cake and let cool in the pans for 30 minutes.
10. Invert the cakes onto the rack, lift the pans, peel off the parchment, and reinvert back and let cakes cool completely. If baking ahead, wrap cakes in plastic once fully cooled.

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Spiked Whipped Cream (aka Schlag)

I think I’ve posted this recipe before, however, I’ll post it again just in case.  It’s SO easy to make and so good with berries or ice cream. 

  • Add heavy cream or whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, and your liquor of choice (amaretto is my favorite, but just about anything works, included rum/vodka/tequila/baileys/kaluha) to taste (Add slowly until it tastes right, but it doesn’t have to be exact… just watch the sugar so it doesn’t taste too sacarine)
  • Whip heavy cream in a stand mixer, with hand mixer, or go hog wild and do it by hand
  • It will take a few minutes for the cream to get enough air to thicken, however, give it time and before you know it the texture will get thicker
  • Whip just until the cream makes peaks when you touch it with a beater/spoon (don’t overbeat or the texture is all wrong)