Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My 2 year adventure, week 99: Butternut sqaush risotto with sugared walnuts

Week 99:
  So yesterday I made butternut squash risotto with sugared walnuts. For the walnuts, I toasted them and the tossed them with butter, sugar, and pepper. I liked them a lot on their own. Then for the squash I tossed it with some oil, roasted it and then added some garlic. I don't really like squash and in addition, I didn't take enough of the rind off so the edges of some of the pieces were hard and stringy. So after I roasted those off, I sauteed bacon, then onion, added arborio rice, and what I thought was white wine. There were to bottle of white wine looking liquid. I totally overlooked the real wine and picked up a bottle of sherry or something that was labeled "wine". Since I am underage and rarely cook with wine, I am unfamiliar with the smell and the bottles. Either way, the product was fine, even with not wine wine. Then, like in most risottos, I slowly added chicken stock that I had warmed up until the rice was cooked. Overall, The dish was good. The walnuts did not work with the finished product but if you left those off, and took and the squash, it was a pretty enjoyable dish. The rice was cooked really well (if I do say so myself) and overall, not a complete fail. My family gave it a 7.5/10. 

See you in the new year internet! Love, Alexa :)        

baking for fun: coconut cream pie

So I've been watching masterchef junior (a little behind, I know), but I just watched the episode where they make the cream pies. I've been baking for a LONG time and I came to the realization, that I have only made a cream pie once before. I have made a key lime pie, but I've never made a chocolate or fruit cream pie. So I did a little digging in my recipe books and I found a really good coconut cream pie. 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2-3 tbsp heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
pinch of salt
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch 
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Whipped cream
Toasted shredded coconut     
     So first of all, the base, the crust. Whisk the flour and 1/2 tsp salt together in a bowl. Then, using the back of a fork or a pastry blender, mix in the butter (cut the butter into pieces first). Add the heavy cream and mix until the dough stays together when you squeeze it (I added a little extra heavy cream, my dough was a little dry). Dump the dough into a 9-inch pie pan and using your hands, press the dough up the side. Pack the dough firmly until it forms a crust. Prick the dough carefully, this type of crust has a tendency to flake and break. Bake the dough at 400 degrees F, for 20 minutes. Then combine the egg yolk and the pinch of salt. Brush the inside of the dough with the egg wash and bake it for 1-2 minutes.
     To make the filling, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. In a different bowl combine the egg yolks, milk and cream. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Cook over a low heat until the filling is thick. It'll take about 15 minutes and it will become almost like a custard. Take the filling off the heat. Add the vanilla and the coconut.
     Top the cooled pie with the whipped cream and toasted coconut. To be honest, I wouldn't put the cream over the pie unless you're planning to eat the whole thing in one sitting. The cream will fall flat and it will make the pie mushy. So if you won't be eating the whole pie, then I would recommend putting the cream on the pieces individually.
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See you next time internet! Love, Alexa :)