un petit gateau blanc

White Cupcake

Amazing White Cupcakes with Creamy Whipped Frosting

A good friend of ours in LA , (Lower Alabama), requested a perfect cupcake recipe; not dry but super moist, and the frosting smooth and not overly sweet.  Majik this is for you.

 Ingredients For Cupcake

1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup full fat sour cream

Ingredients For Frosting

1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation – Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place oven rack on the bottom third of the oven. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.  In a large bowl and mixer add the oil and the sugar.  Beat them together for approximately two minutes so they are mixed well and the sugar has dissolved.  Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat again for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat on medium low speed just until it’s incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl  with a rubber spatula and then add the sour cream and beat on medium low speed till the sour cream is mixed in very well.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and beat for about 30 seconds more to be sure everything is mixed well.

With a spoon or scoop, fill the cupcake liners slightly over half full.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Preparation – Frosting

Whisk milk into flour in a small saucepan until smooth.  Heat and stir until it boils and thickens.  Cool thoroughly.

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy.  Add thickened milk.  Beat until mixture resembles whipped cream.

Finishing

Frost cupcakes.  If you aren’t serving these  right away, keep them refrigerated but let them come to room temp before serving.

Beignets du Monde

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“A traditional New Orleans-style recipe for their famous beignets! Grab a cafe au lait and you’re set!”

Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F
/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk

7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shortening
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preparation:
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, evaporated milk, and blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening, and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.
Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry in 360 degree F  hot oil. If beignets do not pop up, oil is not hot enough. Drain onto paper towels.
Shake confectioners’ sugar on hot beignets. Serve warm.
Note:  I differ slightly from this recipe.  When I remove the beignets from the hot oil, I pop them into a  paper bag with confectioner’s sugar  and shake them up. Serving them shortly thereafter.

Mother’s Day Brunch

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The hints floating in the sir around Johnson Mansion is that my “Spousal Unit” wants french toast for Mother’s Day.

Ingredients:

For The French Toast

    • 1 loaf French bread, sliced and cubed
    • 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, cubed
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • 12 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 2 cups milk
For the Blueberry Syrup!
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Preparation:

    • Preheat oven to 350°.
    • Grease13X9″ baking pan.
    • Place half of the bread cubes evenly in pan.
    • Scatter cream cheese cubes on top and sprinkle with blueberries.
    • Arrange remaining half of bread cubes on top.
    • Combine eggs, syrup and milk and pour over bread mixture.
    • Cover with foil and chill overnight.
    • Bake covered 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 30 more minutes until puffed and brown.
    • Serve with Blueberry Syrup
To Make the Blueberry Syrup:
  1. In small saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and water and heat over medium high heat.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Add 1 cup of blueberries and simmer, stirring occasionally until most berries have burst, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add butter and stir until melted.
  5. Transfer to serving bowl.
  6. Place French Toast on individual serving plates and top with Blueberry Syrup

White Chocolate Raspberry Tart

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The perfect fruit tart to go with our Lamb Shank dish is so easy to make, yet so elegant to serve.

Ingredients:

Pastry:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tablespoon water
1 egg, beaten

Filling:
1 pound good quality white chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 cups raspberries

Preparation:

Pastry:
Place flour, butter and sugar in food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Add egg and water. Pulse again until ball of dough forms.
Roll out dough and place in 11-inch flan pan. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover dough with sheet of foil and weight with dried beans or pastry weights.
Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned.
Remove foil and beans and bake for 5 to 8 minutes longer.
Filling:
Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Stir in cream; remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Arrange raspberries over bottom of pastry shell and cover with chocolate mixture.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Spanakopita

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I Love Spinach! Those of you in the US will understand when I say that for all of the spinach I have eaten I should look like Popeye – But I don’t!  In fact, I’ve been told I look like a beachball with arms.  Anyway, recently I came across a recipe for “Spinach Pie,” or as our Greek friends say, “Spanakopita.”  You’ve got to try this!

It is in the burek family of pastries with a filling of chopped spinach, feta cheese (sometimes in combination with ricotta cheese, as it is less expensive, and adds creaminess, onions or scallions, egg, and seasoning. The filling is wrapped or layered in phyllo (filo) pastry with butter and/or olive oil, either in a large pan from which individual servings are cut, or rolled into individual triangular servings.

I always keep trays of uncooked spanakopita in the freezer as a handy appetizer or side dish for guests. It freezes very well and heats beautifully.

This recipe makes enough filling for two 9×12 rectangular pans or approximately 100 folded phyllo triangles.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs. spinach, chopped (you can substitute frozen, thawed well)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 large onions, diced
  • 2 bunches green onions, diced (incl. 4 inches green)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped (substitute 3 tbsp. dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 lb. ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. phyllo pastry sheets

Preparation:

Wash and drain the chopped spinach very well. If using frozen spinach, thaw completely and squeeze out excess water. Spinach should be dry.

Heat the olive oil in a deep saute pan or large dutch oven. Saute the onions and green onions until tender. Add the spinach, parsley, and dill and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the spinach is wilted and heated through. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

If using frozen spinach, you will want to cook until excess moisture evaporates. Spinach mixture should be on the dry side.

Remove from heat and set the spinach aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the feta, eggs, and ricotta (cottage) cheese. Add the cooled spinach mixture and mix until combined.

Combine the melted butter with the olive oil in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly grease two 9 x 12 rectangular pans.

Unwrap the Phyllo:

Carefully remove the Phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12 x 18 inch sheets when opened fully. Using a scissor or sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9×12 inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other.

 Prepare the Pita:

Layer about 10 sheets on the bottom of the pan making sure to brush each sheet with the butter/olive oil mixture. Add half of the spinach mixture in an even layer and press with a spatula to flatten.

Layer another 10 sheets on top of the spinach mixture making sure to brush well with butter/olive oil mixture. Repeat the process with the second pan.

Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo (making sure not to puncture filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later. I place the pan in the freezer to harden the top layers and then use a serrated knife.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the pita turns a deep golden brown. If the pita is frozen when you put it in the oven, you will need approximately 45 minutes cooking time. If fresh, plan for approximately 20 to 25 minutes of cooking time.

απολαύσετε = enjoy in Greek

Butterhorns

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This is an original family recipe from my mother, Master Chef Leona Johnson.  She was known far and wide for these pastries.  I dare you to eat just one.  There is a caution, however, as each pastry is rated at 750 calories.  Throw caution to the  wind.  Eat Two!

Ingredients:

3 packages active dry yeast

1/3 Cup warm water
2 Cups Milk
Total1 1/4 Cups (2 cubes) Butter or Margarine- softened (1/4 cup for dough, 1 cup to spread)
Total1 1/2 to 2 Cups White Sugar (approx) — (1/2 Cup for dough, approx 1-2 Cups to spread)
3 tsp salt
2 eggs
about 6 Cups flour not sifted.
Brown sugar. About 1 pound. (box)
Cinnamon
Powdered sugar for icing

Preparation:

Mix yeast, warm water and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Set aside to work.

Scald Milk then cool to lukewarm. (Heat until you can see a skin on top of milk, not quite boiling)
Mix 1/4 Cup (1/2 cube) butter or margarine, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and scalded milk in a large mixing bowl.
Add 1 Cup flour.
Mix well. Add yeast mixture, eggs and balance of flour until it forms a stiff dough
Cover with a damp towel.

Set in a warm place.
Let rise until double. About 2 hours on a floured board, roll out approximately 24″ square.
Spread with 1/2 cup (1 cube) softened butter.
Sprinkle generously with brown sugar.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon.
Fold dough into thirds overlapping in center.
Seal edges. Turn dough 1/4 turn so when facing you it’s easy to roll again.
Roll into a rectangle approximately 20 x 28.
Spread with 1/2 cup (1 cube) softened butter or margarine
Sprinkle generously with white sugar
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon.
Fold into thirds (overlapping in center) and turn 1/4 turn and roll out again to approximately 20 x 28.
Cut into 24 strips. A pizza cutter works great.

Roll strips into pinwheels. Tuck ends under.
Put on greased (or parchment covered) cookie sheets. (About 6 to a large cookie sheet)
Let rise about 30 minutes.
Bake in 375 degree oven approx 14 minutes.
Mix powdered sugar with a little milk and a few drops of vanilla to make a frosting, just thick enough to
hold thickly to the back of a spoon.
Using the back of a large spoon, while hot, frost with frosting. It will melt and form a glaze.

Enjoy!