Tag Archives: recipes

Iron Cocktail Club: Maximillian Affair

The Iron Cocktail Club challenges participants to make a riff on a cocktail based on whatever they have in their homes. I picked the Maximillian Affair because it was highlighted on PUNCH as part of their Tip Your Bartender initiative. In thanks, I tipped the Drink staff for each person in attendance.

The drink is marked by bright acidity, floral notes, and a subtle smokey bitterness. Punt e Mes is a vermouth, somewhere between Rosso Vermouth and Campari. Cazadores Blanco is a silver tequila, notable for its citrus notes, herbal aromas, and smooth finish.

Ingredients

1 ounce St-Germain
1 ounce Cazadores Blanco tequila
½ ounce Punt e Mes
½ ounce lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe.

My Recipe

1 ounce chamomile simple syrup
1 ounce Casamigos Repesado
¼ ounce Aperol
¼ ounce sweet vermouth
½ ounce lemon juice
3 dashes orange bitters

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled mason jar.

Thoughts

I have no clue how I was going to approximate elderflower liquor, which to me is floral with some flavor qualities I also find in grape skin, grapefruit, and lychee. I settled on making a chamomile simple syrup to bring the floral and the sweetness. I thought about adding some rose water or orange blossom water, but decided against it for this case. Most participants used a Campari/vermouth mixture to replace the Punt e Mes. I’m out of Campari, so I used Aperol instead, which I generally treat as interchangeable with Campari in a pinch. I added the orange bitters to bring in some of the citrus the Cazadores Blanco claims to have.

Iron Cocktail Club: Ancho Paloma

The purpose of Iron Cocktail Club is to pick a cocktail and have the participants attempt to make it from whatever they have available.

I picked the Ancho Paloma because it’s the kind of drink I adore, but rarely think to make for myself. It’s turning into spring, and I wanted something light and refreshing.

An ancho paloma, in a peanut butter jar, with a grapefruit wedge.

Ingredients

1½ oz. Siete Misterios Doba-Yej mezcal
½ oz. Ancho Reyes
¾ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
¼ oz. agave nectar
2 drops salt solution (1:1 salt to water)
Club soda
Grapefruit wedge dipped in sal de gusano

Combine all the ingredients except the club soda in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with soda and garnish.

My Recipe

1½ oz. Casamigos Repasado Tequila
½ oz. Ancho chile simple syrup*
¾ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
¼ oz. (potato) vodka
pinch smoked salt**
Club soda
Grapefruit wedge sprinkled with smoked salt**

Combine all the ingredients except the club soda in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a mason jar over ice. Top with soda and garnish.

* Ancho Chile Simple Syrup

To make this, take:
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 cut ancho chiles
Cayenne to taste

Put the sugar in a small pot on medium heat. Add the water, ancho chiles, and cayenne. Now comes the hardest part: leave it alone. Just don’t mess with it. Watch it, but don’t touch it. after a while it’ll turn a caramel color. At this point, turn the temperature down to the lowest it goes and stir it. Once it’s appropriately syrupy (think a a bit thinner than agave), turn off the temperature and remove it from the burner. LET IT COOL DOWN BEFORE TRYING IT. Then, add cayenne to taste. Delicious, delicious taste.

A pot of simmering caramel syrup with ancho chiles in it.

**Smoked salt

½ cup kosher salt (or similarly ground salt)
1 tablespoon liquid salt

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Mix the salt and liquid smoke. Spread out on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet/baking pan. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or however long it takes to try out.

Smoked salt drying on a baking sheet.

Thoughts

I loved it! It was a Paloma with a bit of heat. Very refreshing. Wonderful spring drink!

Iron Cocktail Club: Davy Jones’s Locker

The Iron Cocktail Club challenges people to make riffs on cocktails based on whatever they have in their homes at the time. I picked this recipe out of the book Winter Drinks.

The actual recipe

2 oz. gold rum, ideally Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. cinnamon simple syrup
1/4 oz. fernet-branca
1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
Garnish with a lime wheel

Mix all ingredients and shake with ice until chilled. Strain into a wineglass or coupe. Garnish with a lime wheel.

My recipe

2 oz. Sailor Jerry Rum
1 oz. Medium Pulp Orange Juice
1/2 oz. cinnamon simple syrup
1/4 oz. Campari
1/4 oz. store bought lime juice

Mix all ingredients and shake with ice until chilled. Strain into a small mason jar. Do not garnish.

Some thoughts

I really liked this drink! I thought the Campari brought a nice bitterness without the menthol (that I dislike) from fernet-branca. The orange juice was definitely a lot sweeter than grapefruit would have been. One of the other people that evening referred to my use of store bought lime juice, from a little squeezy green lime, as “the most offensive part.”

Banana Bread

Okay, I don’t have any pictures because we ate this pretty quickly. It was, in my opinion, the best banana bread I’ve made, so I need to capture the recipe. I made this for a friend of mine who loves adding amaretto into baked goods. We didn’t have any at the time, so I used almond extract.

Ingredients

  • 4 over-ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tbsp salted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract (or amaretto)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 and butter a loaf pan
  • Cream the brown sugar and the butter together
  • Mash the bananas in. You can also run them through a blender or food processor before adding them
  • Add in the eggs and mix it all together
  • Add in all the dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) and mix it up
  • Now add the vanilla, almond extract, and the chocolate chips
  • After everything is mixed together, pour it into your pan and bake it for 45-60 minutes!

biscuits

A table, containing a glass jar full of multi-colored roses, and a plate of biscuits.I love biscuits. Here is my recipe for biscuits. It’s based on the All Purpose Biscuit recipe from the New York Times.

Biscuits are good sweet or savory. This particular biscuits are soft and have a bit of a crumble to them.

They’re good for any meal — breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert…

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) butter (or other solid fat)
  • 2 cups flour (alt: 1 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c corn flour)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener (I use honey)
  • 1 cup milk-like-substance (optional 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, if you want to curdle it)

Process

  • Preheat over to 425 F and butter a baking sheet or cast iron pan.
  • Optional: Mix the apple cider vinegar and the milk, so it curdles.
  • Cut butter into small pieces, or use a cheese grater.
  • Add butter, flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Use your hands or a pastry knife or whatever you want to to mix the butter and the dry ingredients.
  • Add the sweetener and milk.
  • Mix some more, but don’t over mix. I’m not sure how to define what over mix is.
  • Scoop onto your baking sheet (I use a 1/3 or 1/2 cup to measure out the dough)
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops are just getting golden and the bottom is also golden.
  • Eat, enjoy, yum.

I recommend, once you’re comfortable, experimenting with adding other things: herbs, spices, cheese, jalapeños, jalapeños and cheese, or whatever else sounds good to you.

v** honey cake

V* usually means “vegan” in my world, but this also has a foot note: If you consider honey non-vegan, then this cake is not vegan. It includes a lot of honey. It’s based on the Moosewood Six-minute Chocolate Cake recipe.

A double layer cake, featuring peaches and blackberries!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water, juice, or almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

A photo of cake ingredients, including (left to right) almond milk, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, oil, honey, and flour.

Procedure

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl
  • Mix the honey, vegetable oil, and almond milk (or whatevs) in a bowl
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Add vinegar, and watch it bubble.
  • Bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes.

That’s it! I like to make this when I’m in a rush to make some dessert, because it takes 5-10 minutes to prepare.

 

pancakes

My father and Fanny Farmer taught me how to make pancakes. Fanny Farmer provided a basic recipe, and Peter de Blanc filled in the details and the important things she missed — the texture of the batter, how you know when it’s time to flip them, the repeatedly emphasized importance of butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sweetener (optional, see note below)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)

Why is the sweetener optional? I think if you sweeten the pancake recipe, it’s enough that you don’t want to cover it in maple syrup, jam, etc, etc. So, I usually go without sugar or honey or putting the maple right in, unless I’m making these to eat on the go. ALSO! If you don’t use sugar, you can make them savory.

A glass bowl containing flour, salt, and baking powder.

Make the batter

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sweetener if you’re using sugar).
  2. Add most of the wet ingredients (egg, milk, and sweetener if you’re using honey or maple syrup).
  3. Mix together.
  4. Melt the butter in your pan, so the pan gets full of butter. Yum.
  5. While stirring your batter, add in the melted butter slowly.

Cooking the pancakes

A pancake cooking, the top has small bubbles in it.
Bubbles slowly forming

Okay, this is the hardest part for me because it requires lots of patience, which I don’t have enough of.

A  few tips:

  • Shamelessly use lots of butter to keep your pancakes from sticking. It will also help them taste delicious.
  • After  you put the pancakes in the pan, they need to cook at a medium temperature for a fairly long time. You want them to be full of little holes and mostly solid before you flip them over. (See photos.)
  • I recommend listening to music and taking dancing breaks.

How to cook pancakes:

A pancake that has not been flipped yet cooking.
Almost ready to flip!
  1. Over a medium heat, use your nice, hot, buttery pan.
  2. Use a quarter cup of batter for each pancake. Based on the size of your pan, you should make three – four pancakes per batch.
  3. Let cook for a while. As mentioned above, they should be mostly cooked on the top as well. There ought to be a ring of crispy pancake around the outside (see pictures), but if there’s not it’s still okay!
  4. Flip the pancakes!
  5. Let cook a little bit longer, until the bottom has that pretty golden brown color to match the top.

And that’s it. Eat your pancakes however you’d like. The day I wrote this recipe I heated some maple syrup with vanilla, bourbon, and cinnamon. Yummmmm.

A delicious golden brown pancake, ready to be enjoyed.

P.S. I tagged this post “free software” so it would show up in Planet Debian because I was asked to include a baking post there. This isn’t quite baking, but it’s still pretty good.

crumpets

I decided to make crumpets. Some friends were talking about them and, despite never having seen a crumpet in-person before, I became overwhelmed by the desire to make some. I made a batch that seemed pretty good, so I decided to make another using sourdough. (Note: I did not naturally leaven the dough. I used yeast.)

I based my attempt on this recipe. It worked out okay.

To make crumpets you need crumpet rings. For some reason we have one.

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Mix the warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let it hang out with itself until it gets all bubbly. Yum. Do this in one container.
  2. Mix the flour and salt. Do this in a big enough bowl.
  3. Add the milk/sugar/yeast mixture to the flour and mix it up. It will get nice and doughy.
  4. Add the sourdough to the doughy mixture.
  5. Set the dough aside somewhere not as cold as most of my apartment and let it rise to twice it’s size. This takes me about an hour.
  6. After the dough has risen, mix the water and the baking soda and then add it to the dough.
  7. Let your batter like dough sit around for another half hour. It will look something like this:

    A glass bowl full of crumpet batter.
    Your batter should be getting some nice bubbles in it.
  8. COOK THE CRUMPETS! This is how I cooked them. It was probably not the best way to do it. The internet suggests using a griddle; I have two cast iron pans. Since I only have one crumpet ring, using a single (small) cast iron worked fine.
    • Put some butter or oil into the pan. Also spread some butter or oil around the inside of the crumpet ring.
    • Put the crumpet ring into the pan.
    • Add some batter inside the crumpet ring. I used 1/3 cup batter for each crumpet. They were probably way too thick.
    • Cook for a while on one side and then turn it once the first side is a pretty golden color. The internet tells me not to flip crumpets, but I needed to because they were (probably) too thick.
  9. EAT THE CRUMPETS. They’re most delicious fresh.

A stack of crumpets on a white and blue ceramic plate, in a room with blue walls.

Chocolate chunk (low-ish carb) cookies

I’ve been getting into making up (baking) recipes, mostly to see if they work. I want to make a delicious, low-ish carb cookie, and this is my result:

  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1 cup (fake) sugar (I use swerve)
    • You could do this without a sugar replacement, or with honey. I think you could also use coconut flakes to bring in some sweetness.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Some amount of chocolate things (I used cacao nibs)

Now, onto how you make them:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Cream the butter and the sugar. This means take a fork (or your hands) and smash the butter and sugar together until it’s a generally consistent mess
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and do the same thing you did above. Eggy, buttery, sugary mess. Yum.
  • Add all the dry ingredients (almond meal, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon) at once, then mix that it. You might want to switch from a fork or your hands to a spoon at this point. But you might not! Go crazy!
  • Add the chocolate things to whatever amount you like.
    • You could add other things here too: freeze dried fruit, dried coconut, sprinkles, nuts, or whatever your little heart desires as long as it’s dry enough.
  • Butter your cookie sheet.
  • Put your cookies on the cookie sheet. I used a rounded tablespoon, so probably about 2 tbsps per cookie.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

This is where I say the thing: these are the best gluten free cookies I’ve had. These are the greatest so called low-carb(ish) cookies I’ve had. I can’t get over how delicious these cookies are.

 

kouign-amann

I made kouign-amann. It feels more honest to say I attempted to make kouign-amann or even I made something a lot like kouign-amann or, perhaps most accurately, I really messed up making kouign-amann. However, I also think it’s unfair to myself (and anyone making it for the first time) to downplay the challenge of turning a bunch of butter, flour, water, sugar, and yeast into a pile of sweet, melt-in-your-mouth flakes of delicious pastryness.

I used the Bon Appetit recipe. I read it through a few times and wrote it down (to keep my laptop out of the danger zone). I don’t like how they presented the recipe / ingredients list–though I do like how it is divided into sections.

It takes -forever-. I anti-recommend this recipe if for no other reason than it takes forever. The dough is also, in my experience, super dry. It was basically a total disaster.

A photo of kouign-amann, a light colden color.
A little underdone, but not bad…

To start off, the kouign-amann was underdone. This was the smallest of the problems.

When working on laminating the dough–when trying to turn it into something with nice, flaky layers–it turned into a mess.

When making kouign-amann–or most laminated things–you make a big rectangle of butter. This is quite fulfilling because you get to bash a one-pound pile of butter into a one-pound block of butter.

Kouing-amann, cut in half, showing an underdone inside.
Nope, dry and just barely not raw.

You then wrap this in dough, like your covering a textbook or wrapping a present. Most descriptions talk about this as though you’re folding an envelope around a big letter made of butter.

You then roll this butter-dough mix and fold it over on itself a bunch of times. This should create those aforementioned layers. If you’re me, on this particular day, when you roll out the dough, you mess it up. Rather than layers, I ended up with an amalgamation of butter and dough, which functions more like a bunch of break apart pieces.

In summary, it definitely didn’t work.

I decided to try Martha’s recipe next. This, it turns out, was only a slightly better idea than the Bon Apetit one, in as much as it took about six hours, rather than overnight.

A well cooked kouign-amann, on the slightly too dark side of done.
At least this one is a nice color.

The dough was dry again. When trying to make the BA recipe, I ended up overworking the dough, in hopes that it would eventually come together into the right texture (like my favorite cinnamon roll recipe does). Instead, it just ended up overworked and chewy. I tried to head this off with Martha’s recipe, by NOT overworking the dough. However, it didn’t hold together very well, and I ended up kind of sticking it together with pressure and little bits of water when rolling it out.

It was -really- dry. I talked with a former pastry chef afterwards for advice, who told me that the air was too humid, and I needed to add more water to the dough.

Sigh.

I had the same problem I did last time, and ended up with butter mottled dough rather than delicious, flaky layers. I also think it didn’t rise enough (did the dryness cause this?).

In summary, kouign-amann takes one and two were a total disaster. Stay tuned for take three.

Two halfs of two different kouign-amann, side by side. The one on the left is fluffier, but underdone.
BA on the left, Martha on the right.