Caucasian Curry

Caucasian Curry
Friday, January 25, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Pecan Cookies w/Fleur de Sel. Method #2, FAVORITE !

i know you've all seen this cookie before...but
i've done them before, BUT i used Franscois Payard's Recipe and method.  they are similar in taste, but i hate to say this recipe received better reviews.  i'm not saying Franscois weren't absolutely delicious...i'm just saying these are DIFFERENT and to each his own.
these are more dense and thicker than the "Payard Cookie"...
and, as usual... i've added a touch of espresso and a little kick of cayenne.

these are more like intense little chewy crunchy lumps of chocolate coal.
they seem to hold up better and will package well for for your chocolate loving friends.

these are too easy to pass up...
the flourless chocolate fudge cookie is a must for that intense chocolate fix.  it's definitely the chocolate lover's cookie.  i know you have some gluten-free friends or there's always a gluten free person in the room and you don't want to leave them out.  more and more people are going gluten free just for health's sake, so you better throw some of these delicious lumps of chocolaty goodness in your repertoire.


3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp fluer de sel or smoked more for sprinkles
3 large egg whites
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups toasted pecans
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp cayenne...optional
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

preheat oven to 350F degrees.  line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  give the parchment a LIGHT spray of non-stick spray or a quick swipe of the butter stick.
in a bowl of a stand mixer, mix powdered sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cayenne and salt.
mixer on LOW, add egg whites one at a time.  add vanilla.

#1...mix on medium speed for 10-12 minutes until the mixture becomes slightly thick.
now...stir in the toasted pecans by hand.  i went ahead and threw them in the mixer for a minute, then finished by hand.  let the batter sit in the bowl for about 15-20 will thicken. on prepared sheet and let sit for another 15-20 minutes.  i wanted to shoot the delicious dough so they sat for 25-30 minutes...this is how i got the "lumps of coal look" as seen in the 2 photos directly below.'ve already done this, but there are only 3 egg whites not 4 like Payard's Recipe.  this makes for a thicker dough.
sprinkle with smoked salt while they sit in waiting.

put sheets in the oven and immediately lower the oven to 320F.  bake for 16-18 minutes, until outside looks cracked and shiny.  cool on cookie sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes then move cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
IMPORTANT NOTE about removing cookies from noted in post about the "Payard Cookie", these cookies stick to the parchment even if you give it a light spray.  i do not recommend more spray.
when cookies are completely cool you need to carefully peel the cookie from the sheet.  do not use even a "thin" spatula.  it will mess up the bottom.  just peel the paper slowly from the cookie.

raw dough (above) after sitting out 25-30 minutes.  below is from same batch.

above is an example of the "Franscois Payard Flourless Chocolate Cookie".  as you can see it is a much thinner, but still fabulous, cookie.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Red Curry White Chocolate Peanut Butter Thai Truffles

imagine this...

like nothing you'd ever expect in a typical peanut butter chocolate candy morsel.
upon first bite, instantly you are transported to another country...

but where am I ?...

what are those flavors ?...
yes, i see peanuts and chocolate, but...

lemongrass, coconut, red curry, ginger...
oooh AND there's a spicy kick at the end ?!

it's like some little Thai mother infiltrated the Reese's factory and slipped in a few of her own ingredients...


these are a huge hit among my foodie friends.  some were a bit sceptical...possibly from my description alone.  i didn't know how to explain the flavors.
the best i can do is liken it to that delicious spicy Thai peanut dipping sauce you get with a good plate of Satay...or the sauce you get with spicy peanut noodles and end up licking the bowl...
i all sounds so weird,
BUT i promise you...
this is an unforgettable outrageous truffle. 

makes about 38-40 truffles

14 oz. white chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup creamy "brand" peanut butter
1 Tsp Thai Red Curry Paste
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
zest 1/2-3/4 lime
6 oz roasted salted peanuts, small chop.
crystallised ginger for garnish

put white chocolate, peanut butter, red curry paste, lime zest, cayenne in a medium glass bowl.  set aside.
in a small sauce pan add cream and bring to "almost boil".  stir while heating so as not to scald on the bottom.
pour hot cream over white chocolate mixture and let sit for just a moment.  stir with a whisk (just stir...not vigorously).  as it comes together add in the coconut extract.  when it is all combined, give it a little whisking to make sure it is all emulsified and is not separating.  TASTE TEST.  add a little more something if you see fit.  i usually do a little tweaking at this time.  let come to room temp.  put mixture in the fridge, uncovered.  you don't want condensation from a cover in your chocolate mixture.  in about an hour, come back to it and give it a stir...if it isn't set yet...taste test one more time.  this is the last time you can add anything.  then cover and put back in the fridge for at least a few hours or over night is better.
when absolutely set, make 3/4 inch balls.  USE THIN RUBBER GLOVES...rubber gloves make everything so much easier.  when ball is formed roll in bowl of chopped roasted salted peanuts.  you need to press the peanuts in a little bit to cover the ball.  when these are all done...set aside if dipping in chocolate.  i think they should be close to room temperature when dipping so you won't have any cracks or seepage.
work in a cold room if possible.
temper your dark chocolate.  dip balls half way and set on prepared parchment cookie sheets.   if room is too warm, refrigerate balls for about 15 minutes to set.
drizzle chocolate over full sheet of's easier than one at a time.

you will probably have left-over tempered chocolate so have other goodies on hand to dip or throw into a quick "bark".

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Dieter's Delight" Steamed Halibut and Vegetables

my new favorite toy...
the LeKue Steamer.
it's a rare occurrence when a silly looking kitchen gadget earns it's place in the kitchen.

(above photo of halibut and veg. before cooking)

this is not an infomercial by any means...i'm just passing on my experience so far with a new product i found.  at first glace i thought..."this is so lame".  i'm not going to cook a nice meal and expensive halibut in the microwave.
i am better than dinner from a microwave.
or so i thought...
it really looks like something from Japan or even IKEA, but this funny little gadget comes from Spain. i thought, "i'm not gonna fall for this's 30 bucks!.  well, upon another customer's excitement about the product...i thought what the heck, i'll give it a try.

gift with purchase you say?...
i'm in.
it came with the book shown..."Beginner's Survival Cookbook".  the book is geared towards one person quick meals so i bought the smaller steamer with the tray insert.  the excited customer i mentioned said "make sure you get one with a steamer tray insert".
one recipe sparked my attention.  the cheesecake done in this contraption.  it looks like a Japanese cheesecake i made a few times and LOVE.  sorry, i haven't made it yet, but i'm sure i will be posting about it soon.
BUT for now i've been making fabulous dinners with halibut, salmon, swordfish and i just made basa (white roughy) tonight.   mom said, "one of the best bites of fish i've ever had!"

i bought mine at Sur la Table in Newport Beach...guess what...they're sold out!...but i'm sure they will get more or you can order one here.
OR...check out all the other LeKue products they carry.  i might have to investigate a few more.

NOTE...the book has great ideas, but in my usual fashion...i did not follow the instructions or recipe.  i found that it suggested cooking the vegetables too long for my taste.
use the book as a guide line.


1/2-3/4 pound fresh halibut
veg. of choice
salt and pepper
onion powder
garlic powder
1-2 Tbsp Mirin or white wine
1-2  Tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp water
drizzle of sesame oil
sesame seeds for garnish

season your fish as you normally would.  i use onion and garlic powder, a few drizzles of soy sauce and a few drops of hot sesame oil.  salt if necessary, but the soy is usually salty enough.
cut veggies uniform in size so that they will cook appropriately and the same time...hence the carrots using a potato peeler and snap peas cut on the diagonal.

pour the Mirin/white wine, soy sauce and water in the bottom.  put a few veggies on the bottom of the insert tray and the fish on top.  put veggies around and on top of fish to fill tray, but make sure you can close the lid.
put in microwave for 4 minutes.  be careful removing hot tray when done.  quickly peek inside and see that the fish is flaky.  if not close lid and let sit for a minute or halibut was done at 4 minutes.


4 minute dinner from thawed Trader Joe's Swordfish...before and after.
salt and pepper, onion and garlic powder, Soy Vay Hoisin Garlic Sauce, a dash of Mirin and sesame oil...snap peas and julienne carrots

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