Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday night fondue...

This week started with lots of rain but finally, THE WEEKEND!   We should be having beautiful cool and crisp weather.  For starters, I’m in the mood for a Friday night Fondue get-together.   Nothing too complicated just simple fun.
Cheese Fondue
1 clove garlic, halved
½ cup dry white wine
8 oz. Guyere cheese (shredded)
8 oz. Emmentaler cheese (swiss) (shredded)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Dash Ground white pepper
Dash Nutmeg or Cayenne pepper (depends if you like a kick or not)
1 pk. Cocktail hotdogs or Little Smokies (pre-cooked)
1 Baguette (torn into pieces)
1 Granny Smith Apple (cored and sliced)
Rub the sides of saucepan with the garlic (I leave it inside mixer because I love garlic).  Add wine and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low.  In a large pan toss the cheeses with the cornstarch.  Slowly add the cheese mixture to the wine, stirring constantly (back and forth) about 4 minutes until melted or smooth. Season to taste with white pepper and nutmeg

Transfer mixture to fondue pot.  Start dipping!
Don't forget the Merlot!

Tips to Fondue
·          If the fondue is too hard…add more wine
·          If the fondue is too soft…add more cheese
·          When you dip, stir in a figure eight (8) pattern
·          Don’t serve cold drinks with fondue…wine is a perfect pair
·          Merlot goes great with any cheese fondue


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Did you know that...

During the Fall, most supermarkets sell specialty teas such as Vanilla Caramel Truffle and Pumpkin Spice?

Dulce de leche Cupcakes

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes!
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 12 Hershey chocolate kisses with caramel filling (this is the trick)
(12 cupcakes or 9x9 pan)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease or flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour batter into half of the prepared muffin pan.  Put one chocolate kiss (filled with caramel) in the middle and continue to pour the matter until muffin pan is filled.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes.  It’s done when the toothpick you put in the middle comes out clean.
Let stand for 15 minutes and frost.
Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting (Delicious)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup powdered sugar

Pour can of condensed milk into a glass pie plate and cover with foil.  Place in larger roasting pan and fill with hot water half way up the plate (for approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool. Stir until smooth.  Place egg yolks in mixing bowl.  Stir in sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a small saucepan.  Whisk in the water first then the dulce de leche and bring to a boil in medium heat (1 minute) whisking constantly.  Remove from heat.  Slowly whisk the dulce de leche mixture into the 2 egg yolks.  Stir in the vanilla.  Strain through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl.  Let cool completely (approx. 20 minutes).  Beat the butter on high in a large mixing bowl until it’s fluffy.  Beat in the cooled dulce de leche mixture.  Beat in 1 cup of powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable.  Put a dollop of the dulce de leche buttercream on each cupcake.  READY TO EAT!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Fall...

The Fall is my favorite time of year although  Miami is not the place to see the leaves change!  It seems that once mid October comes around I spring into action and my tastebuds go wild.  All I think of is what to cook and/or bake.  I have a profound love for the warm colors and the scents of cinnamon, apple spice, eucalyptus, pine, etc.  This weekend I am trying a new dessert...Dulce de leche cupcakes.   Yummy! Can't wait to get started.