Every weekend for the last few weekends we have been heading out into Stanley Park to pick Salmonberries and Huckleberries. They are in season now and the park is full of them. Once the salmonberries have gone the blackberries will be ready so there is months yet to pick berries in the park.
We find that not only does it give you great satisfaction to pick your own fruit but it also gives us even more of an appreciation for this beautiful park that we live so close to. It gives us our daily walk and exercise we jog and rollerblade the sea wall and at these times of the year it can give us berries for smoothies, jams, pies, or just eating off the bush. So I thought I would share a simple recipe for Salmonberry Huckleberry Jam Recipe. In another post I will cover the process of canning.
Salmonberry Huckleberry Jam or Wild Stanley Park Jam Recipe
Salmonberry Huckleberry Jam
Recipe Type: Preserves, Jam
This basic recipe and canning process will work with a verity of berries so feel free to experiment.
5 cups Salmonberries
1 cup Huckleberries
2 cups Sugar (more if you want your jam sweeter)
1 tablespoon Cardamon
Deseed 3 cups of the salmonberries. Salmonberries contain a lot of seed if you do not mind them just leave them in otherwise you will want them out. Simply mash through a strainer. It is a bit of work but well worth it.
Add deseed salmonberries, sugar, zest and juice of the lemon, and the cardamon to a pot and bring to a boil. Stir to devolve the sugar. Once boiling reduce heat to med low and continue cooking for about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that comes to the surface.
Add the remaining two cups of salmonberries and continue to stir and skim foam for another 20 to 30 minutes. At this point you are looking for the jam to thicken so this will vary on time depending on the temperature you are cooking your jam at. You can always do a jam test by having a cold plate in the fridge, spoon a 1/2 teaspoon of jam on to it and pop it back in the fridge. After 5 minutes take it out and tilt the plate. If the jam does not run it is done.
Once the jam is thickened and the cooking is done stir in the huckleberries. You are done. You can now go about canning the jam or just put it in the fridge and use within a reasonable amount of time. The cooking/reduction/sugars in the jam will protect it in the fridge for a couple couple of months. At least I have never had trouble…..
I love tiramisu and I love macarons so one day I thought “Why not Tiramisu Macarons?”. So I got to work on that. They are not hard to make and they are extremely tasty. Making macarons can be a challenge but that is a matter of technique not that they are actually complicated. If you have the right equipment and especially if you have the correct folding technique you will be successful.
Tiramisu Macarons are the perfect marriage of that classic Italian dessert tiramisu and the French sandwich cookie the macaron. The word tiramisu translates to “Pick me up” or “Lift me up” both ways the meaning would be, its been a long week and I need some tasty relief so I tend to make this dessert on Fridays. The same goes for macarons.
The one thing I would add about macarons is the pronunciation of the word. Almost all the time and without fail people refer to this cookie as if it were the American macaroon. These are entirely different (but tasty) cookies. They have nothing in common other than being tasty to eat and perhaps in basic size. So to ask for one and not the other you need to pronounce the names correctly. Almost every one says them with the same name. The difference is in the end of the word. Macaron ends with RON and macaroon ends with ROON. To pronounce this difference just think ron & moon, Macaron pronounced with ron nice and clear at the end and macaroon pronounced with a clear roon (kinda like moon) at the end. This difference will make it cear the cookie you desire.
Tiramisu Macaron Recipe
Now on to the fun stuff. Here is the recipe for how to make my Tiramisu Macarons:
Recipe Type: Cookie
Cuisine: Italian & French
100 grams ground blanched almonds or almond meal/flour
170 grams confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
5 grams espresso powder
100 grams “aged” egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
35 grams superfine or castor white sugar
225 grams mascarpone cheese at room temp.
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cognac (brandy, amaretto, rum, or other)
5 ml vanilla
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
) Place the ground almonds, confectioners sugar, and espresso powder in your food processor and process until they are mixed together and very fine (about 45 seconds). Then sift the mixture 2 times to remove any lumps.
) In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (can use a hand mixer), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue just holds stiff peaks (when you slowly raise the whisk the meringue stands straight up (no drooping)).
) Then, two additions, sift the ground almond mixture over the meringue. When folding, cut through the meringue and then fold up and over, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Once the almond mixture is completely folded (called macaronage) into the meringue (the batter will fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon) it is time to pipe the Macarons.
) Fill a pastry bag, fitted with about a 1/2 inch (1 cm) plain tip, pipe about 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) rounds onto the parchment paper tap the baking sheet on the counter to break any air bubbles (can also break air bubbles with the end of a toothpick). Let the Macarons sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes (depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen) or until the tops of the Macarons are no longer tacky when lightly touched.
) Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 205c 400 F convection on. When heated and macarons go in drop temp to 160 c(325F) with the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Bake the cookies (two sheets at a time) for about 14 – 16 minutes, If not using convection rotate the pans top to bottom, front to back, about halfway through baking.
) The Macarons are done when they just barely separate from the parchment paper. Remove from oven and let the Macarons cool completely on the baking sheet placed on a wire rack. To assemble the Macarons, take two cookies and sandwich them together with filling.
To make the filling:
) Make the sabayon by beating egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar over a double boiler until it doubles in volume and this creamy. The mixture falling from the whisk should be able to make a figure 8 when falling back into the bowl. Remove from heat and beat another 3 minutes to cool. Allow to cool completely.
) Beat mascarpone a little to soften. Fold into the cooled sabayon.
) beat whipping cream until slightly thick then add sugar, vanilla, and cognac, then beat until soft peak. Fold into the mascarpone & sabayon mixture. Refrigerate to thicken up a bit.
Every friday I like to cook treats and put them in the hallway of my building. We live in a small three story walk up with 10 units. Everyone knows everyone and we all get along. It is lovely to live in a building where you know and get along with all your neighbours and where everyone likes to hang out and do BBQ’s and socialize.
So on Fridays I like to make a nice dinner for my partner and I and part of my friday cooking is also baking. One dessert for us that is a special dessert to go with our fancier than weekday average meal and a treat of some cookies/pie/cake or candy for the hallway. This week was Mocha Chip Meringues. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart and is a favourite I like to make. It is simple and tasty does not have a lot of ingredients and can be make in little time. It is also a great use of some spare egg whites you might have in your fridge.
A tip for using egg whites in meringues is to age your egg whites. This is done by simply putting your egg whites into a glass jar, putting some paper towel over it, and than securing the ring of the typical two part lid onto the canning jar. The point here is that you want to secure the paper towel on top of the jar so you can use elastic bands or string or whatever works. The paper towel will allow for air flow into the jar of egg whites but keep anything else out. Now leave it in your fridge for at least a day and up to 5 days. These are now “aged” egg whites and will beat up lighter and fluffier than other whites. Perfect for making macarons or Mocha Chip Meringues
Note, I added a teaspoon (5 ml) of rum extract just to give another dimension of flavour.
Mocha Chip Meringues:
Mocha Chip Meringues
Recipe Type: Cookies/Meringues
Author: Martha Stewart
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 148c or 300f, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on medium speed until frothy. Beating constantly, add sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes total (scrape down the bowl halfway through). Add espresso powder and cocoa; beat until well blended. With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips.
Drop batter by level tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake until crisp, about 40 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Cool completely on sheets, about 20 minutes.
Here is one of my recipes I am most proud of. It is for the simple but always a BIG favourite, the chocolate chip cookie. Seriously, if you don’t like a great chocolate chip cookie you may be psychotic.
This cookie has a couple of great things going for it. Firstly it uses brown butter for a great caramel flavour. Secondly I add extra salt for a bit of a salty hit. And last but not least I use coconut sugar where others might use white sugar. Coconut sugar is much healthier for you (not the reason I use it here) but more to the point in this cookie it is less sweet and not overly refined also bringing more caramel notes.
This Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie always is a big hit and disappears when I present them to my neighbours!
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serves: 40 cookies
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown clarified butter
1 cup sugar, preferable coconut sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups mix chocolate chips
1 cup toasted pecans finely chopped
First step is to brown and clarify the butter. On medium heat in a pot add about 1 1/3 cups butter. Stir and watch for it to brown. Scoop off any foam and strain through paper town or fine mesh. All the clarified brown butter to cool and re-solidify.
Preheat oven to 182c convection or 190c regular. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Whisk together flour, espresso powder, salt and baking soda.
With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium for a minute. Add the sugars and beat for another few minutes until well blended and smooth.
Beat in the vanilla and add eggs one at a time beating for a minute between each addition of egg.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts with rubber spatula. At this stage the dough could be covered and refrigerated for upto three days or frozen. If freezing make into rounded tablespoons, this can then be baked as needed without defrosting just add another minute or so to the baking time.
Spoon dough in rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating have way through baking or until edges are brown and golden in the centre; they may still be soft in the middle, and that’s good. Pull sheets from the oven and allow cookies to rest for a minute then cool complete on racks.
You have to love WordPress! There is a plug in for everything! I have just installed the EasyRecipe plugin and it will allow me to post recipes to this blog and have them become easily accessible to you for downloading into your favourite cooking app or print directly from the page. I use Paprika Recipe Manager and I love it. It runs on my mac, ipad, & android phone with syncing between them all. So I can manage my 600+ and growing collection of recipes.
Below you will find my first recipe that I am posting. This recipe is one that I adapted from a basic vanilla panna cotta but here I make it vegetarian using agar agar to set it in place of nasty gelatin. I also like to make this into a tart with brown butter graham wafer crumb crust and it is completely delicious. Using this basic recipe you can adapt this panna cotta to suit many flavours. This weekend I am going to make a rhubarb panna cotta and I will post that recipe as I create it.
Vanilla Panna Cotta Tart, Vegetarian (with agar agar)
Recipe Type: Dessert
This is a simple vanilla panna cotta but it uses agar agar not gelatin so it is vegetarian. This recipe can be easily adapted for other flavours. The agar agar ratio in panna cotta is .5 grams agar agar to 100 grams liquid. Use this to adapt any panna cotta.
3 cups Graham Wafer Crumbs
3/4 cup Butter, browned this will end in 1/2 cup butter once skimmed
1/2 cup butter
600 grams Heavy Cream
400 grams Whole Milk
15 ml Vanilla Bean Paste or
1 whole Vanilla Bean
6 tablespoons Sugar
5 grams Agar Agar
) Preheat oven to 175c/350f
) Melt and brown butter. Skim off foam and measure 1/2 cup browned butter.
) Combine with the graham wafer crumbs and mix well.
) Press into a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom and bake for 10 minutes. Cool.
) Mix cream, milk, vanilla paste, and sugar. If you are using vanilla bean scrape out the seeds and add the seeds and pod to the milk. Remove the pod once cooking is done. bring to a boil, 80c/180f.
) Once cream/milk mixture is at temperature whisk in the agar agar and keep whisking for 8 minutes. Keep an eye on the temperature and do not let it go above 90c/194f. If it does hit 90c reduce temperature and keep it at the 80c mark.
) After 8 minutes of heating and whisking the cream/milk/agar agar remove from heat and let it cool so that it is warm. Poor into prepared tart shell and refrigerate. Agar Agar will set quickly once in the fridge so the panna cotta will be ready within a couple of hours.
) Once set you can serve with your selection of fresh fruit, fruit compote, whatever you would like that you think will work well. This is not an overly sweet panna cotta. My preference is to enjoy with cognac!