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Key Lime Pie

Year after year, this classic makes a statement every time it gets served. With just enough lime to feel sour, the right balance of condensed milk, and just enough egg yolk to stabilize but not overwhelm the color. 

Key Lime Pie with Meringue and white chocolate flower.

I still remember my first key lime pie. I wish I had a picture of it! Only if pictures were that easy at that time. While contain by the cake base it all looked good, but once mama cut it the cream came out like a strong river stream. 

While in school in baking school in Argentina a friend shared her recipe. Don’t take me wrong, I still thank Andrea for sharing her recipe, but in my modest opinion, it was way too yellow for me. It had too many egg yolks that it would tear in the oven. 

Key Lime Pie made in Argentina when it would be too yellowish and tear in the oven.

So, we embarked on the phenomenal process of recipe playing. 12 recipes later, we came up with this recipe. We decided that no zest would be used, we wanted the cream to be plain and smooth.


Recipe

Makes: 1 Pie
Prep Time: 20 Mins
Cook Time: 35 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 80 gr egg yolk (5 yolks)
  • 265 gr condensed milk
  • 100 gr lime juice, I used the lime juice sold at the grocery store
  • 400 gr Sablee Dough
  • 150 gr egg whites (5 egg whites)
  • 300 gr sugar
  • 150 gr water
  • Meringue:
    • 150 gr egg whites (5 egg whites)
    • 300 gr sugar
    • 150 gr water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 330 F.
  2. Prepare the baking tart with the sablee dough. Place foil paper on it and a few beans. Bake it for 20 minutes, remove beans and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool down.
  3. In the meantime, on a medium bowl combine the egg yolks, condensed milk, and lime juice. Mix until all is well intregrated. Pour into pie and cook at 330 for 10 minutes.
  4. Meringue: On a small pot, place the water and sugar on high. When the syrup starts boiling and you could see bubbles on the top, place the egg whites on the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed. Let the sugar syrup to continue boiling until it reaches 113C. From the corner of the bowl pour very softly the sugar syrup, increase the speed to high and continue mixing until the bowl reaches room temperature. Decorate the pie as yo wish. For the Key Lime Pie in the picture I used Wilton tip 1M.

** TIP: The key lime pie cream could be made in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to ten days. The Meringue needs to be used right away.

Bagels

I would simply have to say that there is nothing better than a homemade bagel. After working at my first bakery and realizing how easyyyyy they were, the phone started ringing. My cousin Dani was the first to order 4 dozens! She wanted to sliced, freeze, and have them ready to toast which equals fresh bagels every morning!

Mini bagels, each weight’s 35 grams.

There are four steps to the recipe: the sponge, the dough, boiling and baking. You might have gone back and re-read the phrase. Boiling? What the $%&*@#. So, yes, we boil the bagels to give that glaze, shine that it has and makes it stand out of any other bread. I boil the bagels on boiling water and honey. Some people use boiling water and baking soda. I would recommend that you go out there, make bagels one way, then try the other and decide what you like more.


Recipe

Makes: 20 Mini or 10 Big
Prep Time: 30 Mins
Cook Time: 20 Mins

Ingredients:

  • Sponge:
    • 110 gr water
    • 18 gr dried active yeast
    • 30 gr sugar
  • Dough
    • 1000 gr all-purpose flour
    • 30 gr salt
    • 150 gr butter
    • 130 gr sugar
    • 400 gr water
    • Seeds: poppy, sesame everthing
  • Water bath
    • 500 gr water
    • 30 gr honey

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sponge: In a small bowl mix the yeast, sugar and water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook, mix the flour, salt, sugar, and butter. Add the sponge and mix until you get a smooth and well integrated dough, 5 minutes approximately. Pre-shape, cover and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Flour the surface, divide dough into 35gr for mini bagels and 100gr for regular bagels. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone mat, shape each piece into a loose ball by rolling it on a clean, dry work surface with a cupped hand. Cover the pan with a cloth and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Bring the water to a boil, add the honey and bring it back to boil. Bath each bagel for 10 seconds, scoop it out, draining the water. Sprinkles the desire seeds and place in the oven.
  6. Cook for 20-30 minutes.


**Make Ahead:
 Once cooked the bagels could be frozen for up to 3 months. Slice them in half and freeze them.

Devils Food Cake/ Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Decorated with Callebaut Crispearls: salted caramel

Who does not love a chocolate cake? Well… sadly I know two: my two best friends! I write it and I laugh, I think it is sooo random, but yeap, there are a few who do not like chocolate cake.

On Tuesday it was my boyfriend’s birthday. I had followed his request for a chocolate cake, very clearly he specified that chocolate cheesecake would not count. I had no more remedy to go on full mode for a chocolate cake; had to make it double. He wanted one for the birthday party and another one to share with his colleagues. 

I can’t even explain how creamy and chocolate the frosting is. The cake is moist, so moist that when you cut it, you will lose a few crumbs. Too sad! As we shared the cake on Tuesday night with his friends, there were a few who would grab the crumbs as their second portion of cake!

Inside of the chocolate cake.

Recipe

Makes: Three-Layer 6″ Cake
Prep Time: 15 Mins
Cook Time: 26 Mins

Ingredients:

  • CAKE
    • 235 gr All-purpose flour
    • 70 gr Cocoa powder
    • 1½ tsp Baking powder
    • 1 tsp Baking soda
    • 120 ml Grapeseed oil
    • 300 gr Sugar
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
    • 180 gr Leche
    • 240 gr Hot chocolate
  • FROSTING
    • 450 gr Dark chocolate
    • 230 gr Butter
    • 500 gr Confectioners’ sugar
    • 25 gr Cocoa powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 180 gr Sour cream

Instructions:

  1. CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 6-inch cake pans and set aside. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil and sugar on medium speed. With the mixer on, add the eggs, vanilla. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop and scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, pour in the hot chocolate. Mix on medium until combined.
  4. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  5. FROSTING: Melt the chocolate, and set aside. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium until smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low, add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla until incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium-high and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Once the chocolate has cooled, stir the sour cream into it. With the mixer on low, add the chocolate mixture to the frosting. Turn the mixer up to medium and mix until it is combined and creamy.

Hummus

    I love love love hummus! Actually, I fell in love when I lived in Israel for 6 months. I learned that hummus is great with everything. As an appetizer, a dip, as a dressing for a salad, as a condiment for a sandwich! Oh, hummus!

    Everyone in Israel will tell you that either them or someone day know makes the best hummus. haha, it is true. There is such a contest around hummus. You will find the ones who add olives, sun-dried tomatoes, beets, or even avocado. Then, you have the ones who replace the tahini with yogurt (I am guilty of that! Pretty often, if I invite people over and someone is allergic I still make it with greek yogurt and it is pretty good!). Lastly, there are plenty of topping options: za’atar, paprika, egg, cilantro. The options are endless. 

A friend introduces me to Ottolenghi’s cookbook: Jerusalem: a cookbook. You can find it here. The book not only has a phenomenal hummus recipe, but every single recipe comes amazing! It truly is a staple in my kitchen. I find myself using his recipes pretty often. I strongly suggest that you buy it! 

I LOVE his hummus recipe. I think it is pretty accurate. The only problem I encounter is that when I do not have time to boil the chickpeas and I use the can ones, the recipe comes more liquidish. I haven’t found the right proportions yet, but, I would say that do not put as much water and tahini as you will use for home cook chickpeas. 


Recipe

Makes: 500 grams
Prep Time: 30 Mins
Cook Time: 40 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1.5 liters water
  • 270 gr tahini paste
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice, 2 lemons
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 ½ tbsp ice cold water

Instructions:

  1. The night before, put the chickpeas on a medium bowl and cover them with double the amount of water. Leave them to soak overnight.
  2. The following morning place the chickpeas and baking soda on a big pot over high heat stirring constantly, around 3 minutes. Add the water and bring to boil. Occasionally stir removing the foam and any sking as well. Cook the chickpeas for over 40 minutes, they should be tender, not soft. Drain the chickpeas
  3. Place chickpeas on a blender or food processor. Process until you get a stiff paste. With the machine still running add, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Blend for two minutes and the ice cold water, one tablespoon at the time. If using right away, decorate and season.

** TIP: The hummus could be refrigerated for ten days. Always season before serving.

Pizza

Not my pizza! 🙁 last time I made it it was eaten so fast, that did not get a chance to take a pic!

I am NOT a big fun of pizza, or after 9 months of eating pizza once a week I should restate the phrase. I was not a big fun of pizza. Joaquin’s favorite food is pizza. He loves it! More often than I would like we buy pizza from a super small, but super good restaurant around the corner from my house Mister 01.  The pizza is thin, tasteful, few options but they all are very very good! Recently we tried the coffee pizza, and it was pretty yummy! I would have used less chili on it, but still was delicious. 

And then, there are the nights I make the dough. The recipe calls for overnight fermentation, which is true, it changes the flavor of the pizza, however, I still think it is very yummy without it. If you are going to make it, and decide it at the very last minute, please do not hesitate and JUST DO IT! I tend to the “classic” pizza: tomato sauce and cheese, although I really enjoy the onion one. I cut two medium-size onions, slice it, and let the onion cook, slowly for almost an hour. It turns light brown and becomes sweet! It goes very well with mozzarella cheese, but I love to add some goat cheese.  There’s never enough cheese!

Full disclaimer: I do not have a pizza oven, neither a pizza stone, I just cook it on my oven on bake and then broil. You can totally do it too.

The good thing about pizza is that you can put as many or as little toppings you would like. Get creative, recicle those almost going bad veggies in your fridge. I like to precook the veggies for more flavor. No need but thats how picky I am. Enjoy! Put on your favorite movie, keep chatting with your friends and eat it all! 

Ohhh! And I almost forget, if you feel like you did not have enough pizza, you can have a sweet pizza for dessert: chocolate or nutella with banana or strawberries are the house favorite.


Recipe

Makes: 2 Pizzas
Prep Time: 10 Mins
Cook Time: 17 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 355 gr cool water
  • 15 gr sugar
  • 3 gr yeast
  • 10 olive oil
  • 500 gr all-purposed flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. In a big bowl combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Mix with a fork helping the yeast to dissolve.
  2. Add the olive oil, and then pour the flour. Mix using your hands. When the dough comes together but still there are few crumbs, lightly flour the counter and start kneading. Knead for 10-15 minutes. Shape into a bowl and cover. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Remove the cloth and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
  3. If you are using the dough that same night, let it rest for 1 hour and then shape.
  4. Pre heat the oven to 550F. Lightly grease a pan with oil.
  5. Remove from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Flour very well the counter and flip the bowl, placing top of the dough on the counter. Flour the current top of the dough and cut in half. Shape each dough into a ball.
  6. Using your fingers start pressing the dough from the middle out, creating the edge of the pizza. Flour the back of your hands, and start stretching the dough, making sure it does not brake. You can make a 18″ pizza.
  7. Place shaped pizza on the pan, add all wanted ingredients. Cook for 7 minutes at 550, and then on Hi broil for another 10 minutes.

** TIP: The dough could be frozen for up to one month.

Gluten web of pizza right after taken from the refrigerator.

Potato Gnocchi

This Gnocchi I made with a tomato broth: simple and delicious.

I simply love Gnocchi! When I go out for dinner, and I see the restaurant has gnocchi nothing else matters. And yes, I do not share my gnocchi! Potato gnocchi, ricotta gnocchi, pumpkin gnocchi, give other variations and I love them all. 

The issue with gnocchi is that either they are great or they suck! One of those few things in life where there is no middle. 

As a kid, I remember making gnocchi at home, although I do not remember the outcome. Lately, I’ve been craving gnocchi and decided it was about time I try it again. So I did. 

Read a handful of blogs about gnocchi. Most suggest that you buy a potato ricer, so I did. You can find the one I bought on Amazon. Truth has been said it came out pretty good with it, but also I used the food processor and it work just fine. So it is totally up to you if you want o buy a ricer or not.

Gnocchi can be paired with a simple sauce, or just oil and parmesan cheese. 

As I make the Gnocchi I sprinkle with semolina flour so they do not get sticky

Recipe

Makes: 500 Grams
Prep Time: 90 Mins
Cook Time: 2 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 905 gr Russet potatoes (4 big ones)
  • 190 gr all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees, bake potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Let the potatoes cool for 10 minutes after baking, then peel them with a knife or a peeler. Run the potatoes through a potato ricer or smash them. Cool them for another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the egg mixing to combine. Add ½ cup flour, and mix to combine. Add the next ½ cup flour, mixing again, continue adding to see if this is enough to form a dough that does not easily stick to your hands. If not, add 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is soft but only a little sticky, and able to hold its shape enough to be rolled into a rope. Knead the dough together briefly, gently, on a counter, just for a minute.
  4. Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each piece into a long rope. Then cut the gnocchi to desire size. Place the gnocchi on a pan with semolina.
  5. Boil water on a big pot, pour the gnocchis and cook for 2-3 minutes.

** TIP: The gnocchi can be frozen. As you make them line them in a tray and freeze them. After 24 hours you could place them in a bag.

Dulce De Leche Lava Cake

Picture taken by Andrea Lorena

When people think of molten or lava cake, they think of this sophisticated and complicated dessert to prepare, but what if I would tell you that you only need 3 ingredients. Yes, you are reading right, 3 ingredients: eggs, dulce de leche, and flour. 

Ok, yes, those little ramekins which you probably don’t have at home can be easily solved! Go to the closest supermarket and buy a tin foil muffin pan. Cut each “muffin” individually and there you go! You can 6 ramekins!

Now, roll your sleeves, and get cooking. 

Picture taken by Andrea Lorena

Recipe

Makes: 4 Cakes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 7 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 150 gr Egg (3 u)
  • 45 gr Egg yolk (3 u)
  • 600 gr Dulce de Leche
  • 56 gr All-purpose flour
  • butter, to butter ramekins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter 4 ramekins, and set them on a baking sheet.
  2. Sift the flour and set aside. On a medium bowl slightly beat the eggs and egg yolks, add the dulce de leche and mix. Fold in the flour.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 7 minutes.

**Make Ahead:The batter can be refrigerated for several hours; bring to room temperature before baking, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I think of flourless my first thought is healthy, gluten free. Well, yes, but this is not a healthy cake. This is chocolate to its extreme. Four ingredients. No excuses that you do not have them at home. 

You can eat it by it self, with some strawberry/raspberry jam, with whipped cream, dulce de leche. The options are endless. It is up to you. 


Recipe

Makes: 9″ Cake
Prep Time: 10 Mins
Cook Time: 30 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 200 gr butter
  • 150 gr chocolate
  • 200 gr sugar
  • 4 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, butter the cake ring (do butter the sides, as the cake rises in the oven).
  2. In a medium bowl combine butter and chocolate. Using the microwave in 30 seconds interval melt the butter and chocolate. Set aside and let cool down.
  3. In a medium bowl using the electric mixer or the paddle attachement on a stand mixer beat the eggs and sugar until it becomes a pale yellow.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture and continue mixing until well integrated. Pour into cake rin.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Cool down and refrigerate, if going to use immediately place it in the freezer.
  7. Decorate and eat.

** TIP: The cake can be store in the refrigerator before decorating up to ten days earlier.

Burekas

Just out of the oven.

Burekas are Israeli equivalent to an Argentinean empanada, to a Cuban pastelito, or an American croissant. 

Burekas are made of puff-pastry (phillo dough) filled with a whole bunch of fillings. The traditional ones are: cheese, potato, and apple. Sometimes depending on the season who would fins spinach, onions and cheese, or some nutella ones for a yummy treat.

Originally from Turkey, burekas belong within the larger category of small savory pies common throughout the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia.

You can buy the phillo dough at any grocery store, or be brave and make your own. I usually try to do the dough from scratch, but this time, having people over, making dinner for all of us, it was just easier to buy the dough and make the tasteful filling.

I went with Cheese burekas. I made two sets. One using only feta cheese, and the second I replaced 60 gr of Feta cheese for Goat cheese. They came out very tasteful and moist.

I like to fill two at the time for fastest production.

Recipe

Makes: 16 Burekas
Prep Time: 10 Mins
Cook Time: 15 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 60 gr cottage cheese
  • 60 gr ricotta cheese
  • 90 gr feta cheese
  • 20 gr melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F, line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, feta cheese, and melted butter. Mix untill well combine.
  3. Place filling on the center of the bureka, brush water on two adjacent edges and close the bureka making a triangle. I like to use a fork to close the burekas to make sure filling would not come out during baking. Repeat process for all the burekas and place them on the baking tray.
  4. Egg wash the bureka and sprinkle sesame seeds.
  5. Cook for 16 minutes. Enjoy!

** TIP: Burekas can be made ahead and frozen for up to three months. To cook after frozen, remove from oven, and place on desire pan with parchment paper. Leave them on the counter until oven reaches desire temperature.

Nutella Pies

I decided to decorate it with Callebaut salted caramel Pearls

I am not a Nutella fan. I repeat, I am NOT  a Nutella fan! I do not like Nutella. However, due to popular demand I had to make some baking goods with it. I think more than Nutella I am not a fan of Hazelnuts. 

But I do have to confess, that these pies do not have a strong hazelnut flavor. It is a gentle. There is a two part to this recipe. The Nutella ganache and the chocolate Sablee. 

In this blog post you will find the Nutella ganache, and if you click here you will find the recipe for the chocolate sablee. You could use the regular sablee dough, from here.


Recipe

Makes: 9-inch pie or 20 mini pies
Prep Time: 10 Mins
Cook Time: 3 Mins

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 330F. Cook the sablee dough and let it cool down. Melt the chocolate and nutella, make sure it is not melted all the way thru.
  2. On a medium pot, combine the heavy cream with the glucose. Warm it up and pour over the chocolate and make emulsion. Once cool down, refrigerate. To use, warm up in the microwave and pour over desire tart.

** TIP: It could be decorated with seasonal fruits, whipped cream or meringue. Could be storage for up to 3 weeks.