dessert


Most people think of millet as bird seed, and to be honest eating it whole kind of feels that way. I’ve been meaning to try something different with the grain and this is what I made up. The millet was cooked in water and almond milk and then roughly blended to break up the seeds. (It would be easier to blend before cooking but I didn’t think of that.) Afterwards, I layered the millet puree/porridge with maple syrup and fresh berries. Topped off with some coconut cream and ta da! A healthy dessert that could also be your breakfast!




Be sure to mix in the coconut and maple syrup! I have been loving coconut milk/cream (from the can) lately. Keep it in the fridge so it’s easy eat straight with a spoon! Just make don’t eat it all at once.

I actually really loved eating this, but I would totally understand if it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. You could make it more palatable/approachable by using regular cow’s milk or cream, and add more sugar, but then it’s not so healthy anymore.

Millet Parfait
(not a recipe, just a rough guide)

Cook millet in equal parts water and almond milk (or all milk, or any kind of milk) until cooked through and soft/a little mushy. This takes about 20 minutes. Using a blender or food processor, grind up millet into a porridge. Add more liquid to your preferences. Drizzle sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup) and add berries. Finish off with a dollop of coconut cream. Enjoy!

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Here is the pizza recipe I submitted for the Hodgson Mill Build A Better Pizza Contest. It’s actually quite healthy for a dessert! The crust is a whole wheat brioche dough, topped off with apple slices and agave caramel sauce. And, you could make this completely refined sugar free! Just use honey/agave instead. The chopped hazelnuts add a nice texture as well as extra healthy oils, too.

I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty this was even with such a large amount of whole grain flour and minimal sugar and butter. Not only that but it came together really quickly. You can throw all the dough ingredients together the night before, stick it in the fridge, and bake it up the next day. It really only took me a few minutes to assemble!

If you are so inclined you may vote for my recipe at the Hodgson Mill Facebook Page!

Healthy Apple Pizza

Whole Wheat Brioche Dough:
2 c whole wheat flour
1 c  white flour
1 tsp yeast
1/2 c water
1/4 c honey
1/4 c butter, vegetable oil, or coconut oil
2 eggs

Agave Caramel Sauce:
1/3 c agave nectar
3 tbsp heavy cream
pinch of salt

Apple Pizza:
1 apple, sliced
1 tbsp sugar or honey/agave
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts, or nut of choice
1 tbsp turbinado sugar (optional)
1/2 portion whole wheat brioche dough
agave caramel sauce, to taste

1. Make brioche dough: In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Gradually pour wet into dry and mix together with a wooden spoon until there are no more dry spots. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about 2 hours. Then, place in fridge for at least 2 hours or until you’re ready to use it.

2. Make agave caramel sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium flame. Stir occasionally until sauce has thickened, about 10-12 minutes.

3. Assemble pizza: Preheat oven to 350 F. Dust the top of the brioche dough with white flour and split in half. Take one piece and stretch into a smooth ball, dusting with more flour if necessary. It’s not necessary to knead the dough, simply pull the dough out and under until the surface is taut. Place on a baking sheet, then using your fingertips, gently press into a circle until 1/2″ thick. Core and cut apple into thin slices, then toss with cinnamon and sugar. Place apple slices in a circle, starting from the outer edge. Cut butter into four pieces and place on top of pizza. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, then bake for 20-22 minutes until apples have softened and brioche is cooked through. Drizzle with agave caramel and finish with chopped hazelnuts.

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I decided to experiment and made a nectarine galette with a cornmeal crust. Cornmeal is one of my most favorite ingredients to use and it gave this free form pie an additional texture. The flavor of the nectarines were a little too delicate to be cooked, but tasted great with the addition of raspberries.  Next time I will decrease the amount of cornmeal I used and use a combination of different fruits.

Also, welcome to the new home of Matchbox Kitchen! Things are still a little bit under construction while I work out the kinks, but I hope you like new design and additional content to come!

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Ever since I had my first bite of Mast Brothers Chocolate I’ve been itching to make a s’more out of it. But of course, nothing but the best ingredients could be combined with the most amazing dark chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Really, if you haven’t tried Mast Brothers I urge you to find a bar ASAP (or just come over because I’m hoarding three bars right now). Their packaging won me over the first time I laid eyes on ‘em but the taste sealed the deal.

While I already knew what chocolate to use, I still had to supplement the other ingredients. I’d made marshmallows several times before but never graham crackers, although they’ve been on my “to make” list for a while now. When I came across the graham cracker recipe in the new Miette cookbook, I knew it was time to create a fancier version of the summer camp snack.

I don’t know if the photos speak for themselves (I’m working on it!) but um, this was the most amazing and delicious smore I’ve ever had.  I’m almost at a loss for words how wonderfully decadent this was. I usually have several “subjects” available to photograph and can’t wait until I’m done taking photos so I can gorge myself on the desserts I’ve been painfully eying, but one bite of this and I was satisfied. The buttery yet toothy texture of the graham cracker, the lightly caramelized pillow of a toasted marshmallow, and just a bit of dark chocolate with chopped coffee beans sent me over the moon.

I think I’ll try it with my Mast Brothers hazelnut bar tomorrow.

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When it comes to baking, cakes are my weakness. And while I haven’t made a complete mess of one in a while, they never come close to what I’d imagined in my head. This cake was just a hair too dense while the frosting/filling was too soft in comparison. I think a stabilizer would have been nice but I am very much a novice with cake baking.

And of course, leave it to me to take photos of the side with the chunk taken out by my finger! The camera and I have not been the best of friends lately, hence the lack of posting and photos. Hopefully this shall be rectified this weekend.

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Matchbox Kitchen is in the June 2011 issue of N.E.E.T magazine (page 190-191)! We came up with a simple raspberry tart recipe that’s perfect for summer picnics.  I do have a few notes to share on it though, because although it might come off a little easy/boring, I am totally in love with it!

Crust
The first thing about this tart is the crust. I think it just might be my favorite tart crust I’ve ever had. Instead of the usual flaky/greasy shell, it is a cornmeal crust that is seriously perfect for outdoor eating.  It is sturdy, clean to eat, and gives the perfect amount of texture.  When you bite into it crumbs don’t get everywhere and breaks off cleanly.  Don’t you hate it when you eat a cookie/hand held dessert and it ends up crumbling everywhere? Not with this crust. It also is sweet but not tooth achingly sweet, and is almost tastes like a sugar cookie. The key to getting using this crust is to roll it out as thin as possible.  And I mean thin.  It’s also very forgiving, meaning when you’re pressing it into your tart pan if it tears you can just press it back together.  Just make sure you roll it out thin! The thicker it is the harder it is to bite through.

Filling
The next part of the tart is mascarpone cheese, which you can buy in a small tub at the grocery store.  Stir it up with a fork to fluff it up a bit and then fill your tart shell. Then top it off with lots and lots of fresh raspberries.

Glaze
The last piece of the dessert is the balsamic honey glaze.  Let me tell you, I thought of so many different sauces and syrups but in the end decided on the simplest of them all.  A part of me didn’t want to use balsamic vinegar just because it feels a little overdone, but I couldn’t help it.  Mixed with some honey it is the perfect accompaniment to the rest of the tart.  You really have to try it all together.  The combination of flavors and textures is amazing. I am kind of at a loss for words to describe it, but if you’ve ever seen that moment in Ratatouille when he combines eating a grape with cheese, it’s kinda like that.


Other
Another thing that might confuse you is the serving.  The recipe states that it makes one long 14×4.5″ tart, but the picture shows one little round one.  You can evenly distribute the components and make about six individual 3.5″ tarts, but if you roll the crust out thin enough you’ll have enough dough to fill about 8.

This came out to be a little longer than I expected, but please let me know if you make it! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Sometimes I don’t want to take the time to set up, style, and photograph my food. Sometimes I just want to eat it! Like today. Who can resist fresh, warm donuts?  Perhaps there will be a better photographed post later this week, but I can’t make any promises.

Anyway, today I made mini ricotta donuts and used this recipe by Lara Ferroni. It’s very simple and straight foward, just combine the ingredients and fry them up!  So easy that you should all try it even if you’ve never deep fried anything before. It takes about five minutes to get all the ingredients together and about 2 seconds to finish eating them.  So soft, fluffy, and light inside.

In the upper right hand corner is a donut cut in half with fresh cream and strawberries stuffed inside.  My friend Kate told me about this place called Donut Man that makes strawberry donuts.  And while I haven’t seen nor tasted them, this is my take on it.  Let me tell you, it almost made the donut seem a little healthier (but I guess the cream cancels out the fresh fruit).

Just a reminder that if you try these out, remember to properly dispose of your cooking oil!

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This was my first attempt at making puff pastry. I was really intimidated by the thought of laminating dough but it turned out to be way easier than I made up in my head. It’s by no means perfect but I’m satisfied with the results. I used a recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but there were two recipes and I couldn’t figure out which one to go with. I just went with the one with less butter, but I think the other one was more suitable for pastries. Next time, I guess.

The simplest thing to do with my puff pastry was to make mille feuille/napoleons. I filled it with one layer of pastry cream and one layer of whipped cream to lighten it up a little. They were certainly delicious the first time around, but after photographing and taste testing and all that I’m having a hard time just looking at the photos. I’m definitely going to take a break from sweets for a while!

Oh, and just as a side note, I did a google image search for mille feuille/napoleons but didn’t come up very many good ones.  After taking these, now I know why!  It is seriously hard to take a good mille feuille photo.

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Sunny side up apricot pastry from Artisan Bread in Five.  This was my first time making brioche dough as well as custard from scratch.  The apricots are from a can, and you’re supposed to glaze it with a jam but it was fine without it.  The crust on the brioche is from a dusting of sugar before going into the oven.

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Mixed berry brioche pastry. Variation of a recipe from Artisan Bread in Five.  This came out huge!  Also I was a little sloppy in making it and made a lot of changes to the original recipe.  There’s a layer of custard underneath the berries but when it came out of the oven it was gone.  There are a few factors in which I made a few shortcuts that probably resulted in the disappearance.  Lesson learned.

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