Wives with Knives http://www.wiveswithknives.net always fun ... sometimes edgy Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:03:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Lemon Blueberry Loaf http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/07/29/lemon-blueberry-loaf/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/07/29/lemon-blueberry-loaf/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:03:24 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15829 Life becomes very casual at my house during the summer.  Meals on the patio and days at the beach call for recipes that are quick and easy to fix and pack well for a few hours in the car.  I took this delicious loaf cake with me to the beach several weeks ago and was sorry [Read More]

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Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Life becomes very casual at my house during the summer.  Meals on the patio and days at the beach call for recipes that are quick and easy to fix and pack well for a few hours in the car.  I took this delicious loaf cake with me to the beach several weeks ago and was sorry I didn’t make several more.  It disappeared in a flash.  Blueberries and lemon are made for each other and the sour cream in the batter keeps it moist and fresh for several days…if it should last that long.

PicMonkey Collage

Beach - 2015

I’ve been lucky enough to see many wonderful places in the world, but my favorite place is almost in my own backyard…Oregon’s North Coast Beaches. We spent a week there at the beginning of July at a beach house overlooking the ocean with eight days of 75 degree weather. This stretch of beach is at Arch Cape, just a few miles south of Cannon Beach.  It’s a small residential community that doesn’t attract tourists at all.  All the holiday festivities and crowds were in Cannon Beach.

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We spent a big part of every day sitting in our folding chairs looking at the ocean.  The lawn in front of the house was large enough to play lots of ladder ball, but we were content to just sit and visit most of the time.  Only two of my three children were with me that week because my daughter, Erin, also a food blogger, and my two grandchildren are in Peru for the summer doing volunteer work at an orphanage in the city of Cusco, elevation 11,000 ft.  It’s a fantastic experience for them to learn about Peruvian culture and they have visited places like Machu Picchu. a World Heritage Site, and Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America. They will be home in a few weeks and I can’t wait to hear their stories and see the photos they’ve taken.  We keep in touch daily through Facebook and the photos we have seen thus far just leave us in awe.  They are having the experience of a lifetime and we missed them.20150704_215116

We were in Arch Cape over the 4th of July weekend and, sitting on the little cliff overlooking the ocean gave us a front row view to their spectacular fireworks display.  We had heard that it was something else and felt we could almost reach out and touch the jaw dropping display of light and color.  It was thrilling to say the least.  You can see all the beach fires in the photo.  The night was warm and comfortable (which means very little wind) so there were lots of folks on the beach.

Preset Style = Natural Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = Normal Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

Well… getting back to this cake ~  it’s perfect beach food because the flavors and texture are wonderful, it stays nice and moist, and can be picked up and eaten on the go.  I usually thaw frozen blueberries until they have just a few ice crystals left, but I read a recipe that suggested using them right out of the freezer.  Just toss them in a little flour and add to the batter.  This will prevent the color running into the cake.  What the heck…I tried it but wasn’t too happy with the results.  The berries sank to the bottom (which didn’t hurt the flavor at all) and the batter around the frozen berries took extra time to bake, a few minutes too long for the rest of the cake.  It’s just a little detail but partially thawing the blueberries is the way to go.

Lemon Blueberry Loaf
 
:
Ingredients
Cake
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons whipping cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
Instructions
Cake
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9x5-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, lemon peel and juice. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder. Fold in ¾ cup of the blueberries. Spoon batter into pan. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup blueberries on top.
  3. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Glaze
  1. In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle glaze over loaf. Let stand until set before slicing.

 

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Chocolate Whipped Cream Roll http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/07/15/chocolate-cream-roll-2/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/07/15/chocolate-cream-roll-2/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:14:09 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15809 I have been MIA the past couple of weeks because I’ve been on a much needed vacation to the Oregon Coast.  We had an absolutely wonderful time and I can’t wait to share photos in an upcoming post.   I had family over for dinner before we left for the beach and tried this recipe for [Read More]

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Chocolate roll

I have been MIA the past couple of weeks because I’ve been on a much needed vacation to the Oregon Coast.  We had an absolutely wonderful time and I can’t wait to share photos in an upcoming post.   I had family over for dinner before we left for the beach and tried this recipe for a chocolate roll that I found on King Arthur Flour’s website.  My grandmother taught me to make cake rolls years ago and they are one of the most often requested desserts in my family.  Making a vanilla cake roll has always been easy, but I’ve never tried a recipe for a chocolate one that hasn’t cracked when I filled it and tried to roll it up.  This KAF recipe was no exception, but it was delicious and the whipped cream acts like glue to hold it together.Chocolate roll

Strawberries and chocolate are meant to be together and a spread of lightly sweetened whipped cream makes it perfect.  Be sure to set aside a few strawberries and a small bowl of ganache to make a few chocolate dipped strawberries to garnish the dessert plates.

Chocolate Roll

KAF’s directions said to bake the cake in a jelly roll pan and, since I have 3 different sizes I emailed their customer help line and was told that the standard jelly roll pan is 9-1/2″ x 14″ x 1″.  If a larger pan is used the cake can crack when it’s rolled, If the pan is too small the cake can crack, and if you look at it funny the cake can crack.  Using the proper size pan is essential in this recipes. Line the pan with parchment paper and bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed, about 10-12 minutes.  Flip the hot cake onto a tea towel dusted with powdered sugar, loosely roll it up towel and all, and let it cool on a wire rack. Don’t let the cracking problem scare you off.  It’s easy to repair and the cake is so good that nobody cares if it isn’t perfect.

Chocolate Roll

I added my own touch to the recipe by spreading the cooled cake with homemade strawberry rhubarb jam before I spread on the whipped cream.  It helps the cake stay nice and moist and adds a delicious additional layer of flavor. The KAF recipe calls for chocolate extract, which I happened to have.  I bought it to add to my favorite granola recipe to see if it would add a nice chocolate flavor…no luck.   If you don’t have it in your cupboard just add a little extra vanilla.

Chocolate Roll

This cake roll is wonderful without any fruit…just whipped cream…but I had some sweet, ripe strawberries so I nestled slices into the whipped cream.  Carefully roll the cake on the short side and place seam side down on a dessert plate.IMG_3543

You can shape the cake as you roll it and the whipped cream will hold it together.  Don’t worry about any cracks…the chocolate ganache will cover them up.  At this point cover the cake with plastic wrap and chill it well.  You can reshape it a little bit with your hands if necessary.

 

Chocolate Roll

Chocolate Roll

I haven’t mastered the art of stirring and pouring with one hand and snapping a photo with the other one, but this shows the consistency and pourability of the ganache.  It’s thin enough to flow over the cake and drip (not too much) down the sides. I like to refrigerate the cake several hours or overnight so it can mellow and the cake can absorb the flavors of the whipped cream and strawberries.Chocolate Roll

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Cream Roll
 
:
Ingredients
Cake:
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract, optional
  • ⅔ cup (2⅝ ounces) All-Purpose Flour
  • ⅓ cup (1 ounce) Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) buttermilk
Filling
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Instant ClearJel*
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract, optional
  • ½ cup (3 ounces) finely grated dark chocolate
Chocolate Glaze
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons (1⅜ ounces) corn syrup, light or dark
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment pan and spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
To prepare the cake:
  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until thick and pale, then beat in the sugar, salt and extracts. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder, and fold gently into the egg mixture. Whisk together the oil and buttermilk, and fold in just until combined. Spread the batter onto the pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when pressed gently.
  2. Remove it from the oven, let it cool in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then loosen the edges with knife. Turn out onto a tea towel lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar, roll up loosely (starting with a short end), and let cool completely.
To prepare the filling:
  1. Stir together cream and chocolate extract in a large bowl. Mix sugar and ClearJel, then sprinkle over cream. Whip on high speed until soft peaks form, and fold in the grated chocolate. Refrigerate until needed.
To prepare the glaze:
  1. Gently heat all of the ingredients until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes to thicken slightly.
  2. To finish the cake: Unroll the cake and spread with filling. Re-roll, and place seam-side down on serving plate. Trim edges for a clean appearance. Drizzle with chocolate glaze, using spoon or a squeeze bottle. If the glaze gets too thick for a squeeze bottle, gently reheat the glaze-filled bottle by setting it in hot water.
  3. *Instant ClearJel is a KAF product that stabilizes the whipped cream. Its use is optional.

 

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Fried Chicken and Potato Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/06/20/fried-chicken-and-potato-salad-with-sweet-and-sour-dressing/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/06/20/fried-chicken-and-potato-salad-with-sweet-and-sour-dressing/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 15:45:47 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15759 For some reason, probably just habit, many of our favorite recipes as seasonal:  spritz cookies are for Christmas, potato salad for summer meals on the patio, and baked beans with brats grilled on the BBQ.  And most of us have very definite ideas of how these recipes should be prepared.  I was curious about the [Read More]

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Potato SaladFor some reason, probably just habit, many of our favorite recipes as seasonal:  spritz cookies are for Christmas, potato salad for summer meals on the patio, and baked beans with brats grilled on the BBQ.  And most of us have very definite ideas of how these recipes should be prepared.  I was curious about the history of potato salad…yes, my mind does go to such places…and 8,300,000 recipe sites were listed in my Google search. Most of the recipes I checked use a mayonnaise dressing.  German Kartoffelsalat is an exception with a dressing of vinegar and vegetable or chicken stock.  There are millions of versions of the same recipe with a mayonnaise base.  We love our traditional potato salad recipe but every so often it’s fun to try something a little different…just for the heck of it.  Potato Salad

A neighbor gave me this recipe for potato salad dressing way back in the mid 1960’s.  The sweet and sour flavors are from sugar and vinegar cooked in a light, creamy egg based sauce.  It’s a great change from the tired, bland flavor of a mayonnaise dressing.   I use all the same ingredients in my salad:  potatoes, celery, hard boiled egg, onion, pickle relish, a few chopped olives…it’s this very flavorful dressing that gives it a whole new personality.  My favorite way to serve potato salad is with fried chicken cutlets.  As much as I like it I don’t fry bone-in, skin-on chicken any more.  Way too messy and greasy for my taste,  Cutlets are the way to go and they cook in just a few minutes.  If you’ve never tried them, this is how you do it.  Slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts in half, horizontally.  Even out the thickness which a couple whacks with a meat mallet.  Dip the cutlets in flour, then in beaten eggs, then in panko, and fry in a medium hot skillet until golden brown and crispy on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side depending on the thickness).  The best tip I can give you is to use high quality oil to fry the chicken.  I prefer Planter’s Peanut Oil for this because the flavor is delicate and it produces a beautiful, golden crispy crust.  Splurge on a bottle and save it for frying fish too.  You won’t believe the difference it makes.Potato Salad

I live smack in the middle of Oregon’s great wine region and belong to the wine club at Vista Hills Winery.  I served their 2013 Treehouse Pinot Gris with our meal.Potato Salad

Summer officially arrives this weekend, and from what I hear we may be in for a dry, hot one.  There is nothing better with grilled meats and poultry than a big bowl of homemade potato salad, especially when it can be prepared in the cool early morning hours.  Why not surprise your family with this delicious version of a classic American dish.

Potato Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing
 
:
Ingredients
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the beaten eggs, sugar, dry mustard, vinegar, water, flour, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly, Remove from heat and add butter. Cool and add mayonnaise. Mix well.

 

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Coconut Madeleines http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/06/09/coconut-madeleines/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/06/09/coconut-madeleines/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 17:03:34 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15775 We get a week or two of hot weather here in the Pacific NW, usually in August, but this year it’s starting early and we have been in the 90’s for the past four days.  Ugh, way too hot to do much baking, but I did get up early yesterday and baked a batch of [Read More]

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Coconut MadeleinesWe get a week or two of hot weather here in the Pacific NW, usually in August, but this year it’s starting early and we have been in the 90’s for the past four days.  Ugh, way too hot to do much baking, but I did get up early yesterday and baked a batch of Ina Garten’s coconut madeleines.  I like almost anything coconut and have a love affair with madeleines that I give in to way too often. They are easy to make, rich and dense like poundcake, and are the perfect treat for picnics and cookouts.  You can’t beat homemade cookies and fresh fruit for a great summer snack or dessert.

P1020198I’m not a big fan of kitchen gadgets and pans that have a single purpose.  I’m trying to scale back and get rid of things I use maybe once a year.  I don’t need a dozen different cupcake pans or half a dozen bundt cake pans in varying shapes and sizes.  As I get older there is something comforting about looking into an organized cupboard and not having to take out stacks of this and that to get to the loaf pan that has worked its way to the back.  My one exception to my multi-use rule is my madeleine pans.  I know the divine little buttery cakes wouldn’t taste the same if they were made in any other shape.  The pan is a must.  They are easy to find in any cookware shop in both a nonstick metal and silicone.  They are so worth the investment and once you see how easy to make these little cakes are and how delicious they taste you will wonder how you every got along with the pans.Coconut Madeleines

Madeleines are best the day they are baked and tend to dry out fairly quickly.  I like to add a powdered sugar glaze that seals one side and goes a long way to keep them soft and fresh for several days.  The dough isn’t very sweet so the glaze adds a nice texture to the little cakes, especially when its flavored with something like coconut extract.  Despite the nonstick surface of my metal pans I generously brush them with melted butter to ensure that they don’t stick.P1020207

There are endless variations of madeleines and several of my favorites are buckwheat browned butter (from David Lebovitz’s brilliant book, Ready for Dessert, and vanilla bean madeleines from my Mom’s recipe files.

I’m not a big hot weather person…thank heavens we don’t have many days like this…so early morning is my favorite time of day.  I love having my first cup of coffee on the deck where I can hear birds tuning up for the day and listen to two resident owls “whooing” to each other. This is when I like to indulge in homemade cookies.

Ina's Coconut Madeleines
 
:
: 18-24 cakes
Ingredients
Cake Batter:
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons melted butter, to grease the pans
  • 3 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup sweetened, shredded coconut, coarsely chopped
Glaze:
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • water
  • Several drops coconut flavoring
Instructions
To Make Cakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly butter and flour the madeleine pans.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light yellow and fluffy. Add ¼ pound of melted butter and mix. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Stir in the coconut.
  3. With a soup spoon, drop the batter into the pans, filling each shell almost full. Bake the madeleines for 10 to 12 minutes, until they spring back when pressed and are light golden brown. . Tap the madeleines out onto parchment paper and allow to cool.
Glaze:
  1. Add water to confectioners sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it has a pourable consistency. Mix in the coconut flavoring. Place madeleines on a wire rack and spoon the glaze over them, allowing excess to drip off. Let dry for 2 hours or until glaze has set.

 

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Mocha Cream Hazelnut Strawberry Torte http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/05/29/mocha-cream-hazelnut-strawberry-torte/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/05/29/mocha-cream-hazelnut-strawberry-torte/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 14:36:53 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15700   I have lived my whole life here in the Pacific Northwest.  My great grandmother was born in Portland in 1869 and the family has been here ever since. I live in the heart of America’s hazelnut producing area, second only to Turkey in the quantity of hazelnuts (filberts to Oregonians) grown and shipped worldwide.  My [Read More]

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Hazelnut Torte

I have lived my whole life here in the Pacific Northwest.  My great grandmother was born in Portland in 1869 and the family has been here ever since. I live in the heart of America’s hazelnut producing area, second only to Turkey in the quantity of hazelnuts (filberts to Oregonians) grown and shipped worldwide.  My neighborhood is surrounded by hazelnut orchards and in the fall nuts can be purchased in many farmers’ markets and roadside stands.  I’ve collected recipes over the years that use hazelnuts in umpteen different ways and this is one of my favorite cakes. The cake batter is simple and, yes, the amount of flour listed is correct:  2 tablespoons.  It’s the hazelnut flour that makes the magic in this cake:  delicate, light, nutty  layers wrapped in  creamy smooth rich chocolate mocha frosting…what could be better than that.Hazelnut TorteThe beauty of the cake and the frosting is that they are so versatile and can be used in many different ways.  A banana whipped cream cake made with hazelnut cake layers is out of this world, and the creamy frosting that is a cross between whipped cream and butter cream is a great filling for a Swiss cake roll.P1020101The cake ingredients go together quickly and easily.  It may look like you have spent hours in the kitchen but the truth is that it takes only a few minutes to make this delicious, nutty cake.  If hazelnut flour isn’t available where you live you can grind whole toasted hazelnuts in a blender until they are almost like flour.  Be careful not to over grind or you have hazelnut butter.  The recipe doesn’t make a lot of batter…just enough for about a half-inch layer of battter in two 8-inch cake pans.Hazelnut TorteA layer of ripe sweet strawberries was a delicious addition to the cake.  Just press the slices into the frosting and top with the second layer of cake.  Don’t limit yourself to strawberries…bananas or raspberries would be good too.Hazelnut TorteMany of the recipes in my mother’s files are from the early days of the FoodDay Section of the Portland Oregonian.  The insert was in the Thursday edition and my mom read it from front to back.  There were very few cooking magazines back in the 1960’s and no cooking shows that I can remember so this newspaper insert was the main source for housewives to keep up on what was new in the cooking world.  They published recipes from well known local restaurants, bakeries and delis and my mom cut out and saved most of them…which turned out to be very lucky for me. In 2012 The Oregonian published a cookbook, The Oregonian Cookbook, edited by Katherine Miller, and many of the great old recipes are in this 403 page book.  This recipe is from that cookbook.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mocha Cream Hazelnut Strawberry Torte
 
:
Ingredients
Cake
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) raw hazelnuts
  • Or 2-1/4 cups (6 ounces) hazelnut flour
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Frosting
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1-1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
To Make Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with greased wax paper or parchment rounds.
  2. If you are using whole nuts, place them in a blender and pulse until they are very finely ground. Then add the eggs and sugar and blend until well combined. If you are using hazelnut flour, mix the eggs, sugar and hazelnut flour in a medium bowl and stir well to combine.
  3. Sift together the all-purpose flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the nut mixture and blend until incorporated.
  4. Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes until the sides come away from the pan and the tops are just firm. Do not over bake. The layers will be thin.
To Make Frosting:
  1. In a small bowl combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and coffee granules. In a separate bowl beat the cream until almost whipped, gradually adding the sugar mixture and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread the frosting between the cooled torte layers and on the sides. Keep the torte refrigerated and remove about 30 minutes before serving.
  2. Berries can be added between the layers and on top of the cake if desired. Just place them on top of the frosting.
  3. This torte is best if it is made ahead and allowed to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Even on the third day it was moist and delicious and the flavors had mellowed. There is something magical about the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts.

 

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Lindy’s Famous Cheesecake http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/05/18/lindys-famous-cheesecake/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/05/18/lindys-famous-cheesecake/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 13:25:40 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15617 I have tried dozens of cheesecake recipes over the years and my favorite is the recipe for the first one I ever made.  I found the recipe for Lindy’s Famous Cheesecake in the first edition (1963) of McCall’s Cookbook that I received from my grandmother at my bridal shower.  It was a very popular cookbook and [Read More]

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P1020050

I have tried dozens of cheesecake recipes over the years and my favorite is the recipe for the first one I ever made.  I found the recipe for Lindy’s Famous Cheesecake in the first edition (1963) of McCall’s Cookbook that I received from my grandmother at my bridal shower.  It was a very popular cookbook and I’m sure everybody who got married in the 60’s got one as a gift on some occasion.   This cake is big and heavy (2-1/2 pounds of cream cheese and 7 eggs), New York style, dense and rich, and if you ever try it you won’t forget it.

FullSizeRender (4)

Lindy’s Cheesecake has a long history in New York when Leo Lindermann opened his first deli on Broadway in 1921. If you are interested in the history of this famous dessert you can read about it here and here.  Cheesecake has been a part of America’s culinary history since the early 1730’s but didn’t evolve into the cheesecake we know today until the development of cream cheese around 1910.

Lindy's cheesecake

The original Lindy’s cheesecake has a cookie crust.  I tried it several times and never cared for it.  It isn’t possible to get a nice crisp crust so I substituted a graham cracker crust early in my baking days and have used it ever since.  I found a big box of Biscoff cookies at Costco recently and made a crumb crust of  them instead of the graham crackers.  The crust was more flavorful than one made with graham crackers, but I like the nuttiness of the graham flour and will stick with that in the future.  The cake is all about the incredibly delicious filling so I never get any complaints about the crust I use. I have included the original crust in the recipe so you can try it if you are curious.

IMG_0187 (1)

This cheesecake is easy to make.  The trick is baking a cake that doesn’t crack.  Let the cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs stand at room temperature for at least thirty minutes before using. After adding the eggs, do not over beat or the air will cause a crack in the center. Baking at too high a temperature or over baking also contributes to cracking. Baking in a water bath reduces the possibility of cracking and produces the creamiest texture.  I try all these techniques and, as you can see in the photos, my cake has the Grand Canyon running down the center. It usually doesn’t matter because a topping covers it up nicely so don’t worry about it.

Lindys Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake for my daughter’s April birthday and passed a selection of toppings rather than choosing one for the top of the cake.  Homemade caramel sauce was delicious and sliced strawberries are always a winner.  I cut small pieces because we had a big platter of fried razor clams and roasted asparagus for the birthday dinner.  If you have never made a New York style cheesecake I urge you to try it.  It’s truly one of the most wonderful desserts and is so easy to make at home.

Razor Clams

Lindy's Famous Cheesecake
 
:
Ingredients
FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • (A graham cracker crust can be substituted for the cookie crust)
FOR THE FILLING:
  • 2½ lb. cream cheese, softened
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1½ tsp. orange zest
  • 1½ tsp. lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 whole eggs, plus 2 yolks
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
Instructions
For the cookie crust: Combine flour, butter, sugar, zest, salt, yolk, and vanilla in a bowl; rub with fingers until dough forms. Form dough into 2 rounds; wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour. Press 1 dough round onto bottom of a 9" springform pan; pull off pieces from remaining dough and press around sides of pan. Set aside.
For the filling: Heat oven to 500°. Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, zests, and vanilla in a large bowl on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until smooth. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition, until smooth; stir in cream. Pour filling into pan, and bake until top begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 200°, and bake until just set, about 1 hour more. Transfer to a rack, and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove cake from pan and cut into slices to serve.

 

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Spring Salmon and Asparagus Salad http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/05/12/spring-salmon-and-asparagus-salad-and-a-time-capsule/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/05/12/spring-salmon-and-asparagus-salad-and-a-time-capsule/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 16:38:14 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15653 What a week!  My Chicago daughter was here for a visit and for the first time in a long time I spent Mother’s Day with all three of my children and two of my five grandkids.  My son invited us to his home for brunch on Sunday and the weather was beautiful so we sat outside and [Read More]

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Salmon Salad

What a week!  My Chicago daughter was here for a visit and for the first time in a long time I spent Mother’s Day with all three of my children and two of my five grandkids.  My son invited us to his home for brunch on Sunday and the weather was beautiful so we sat outside and enjoyed a wonderful Spring day.

On Saturday afternoon my family assembled for another purpose.  In January, 2000, we made a family time capsule.  We all wrote letters to be read in the future (the year 2015) and added memorabilia to the box:  pictures, magazines, the daily newspaper, whatever we thought would be interesting to us fifteen years ahead.  Little did we know…the world has changed a lot since the year 2000 and so has our family.  I was nervous because I couldn’t remember what I said in my four page letter.  My children felt the same way and it was a little stressful to know that we would be reading these missives out loud, to everyone.  But nervousness quickly disappeared as we started reading our letters and it was replaced by intense interest as we listened to each other’s sometimes funny, sometimes very touching and sometimes sad recounts of life in 2000.   My daughter read letters from my parents because they weren’t there to do it themselves.  That got some tears flowing.  Both my son and I added VHS tapes of family activities to the time capsule but we don’t have anything to play them on!  We  never guessed that would be the case.  I wonder what kinds of far out electronic devices we will be dealing with fifteen years from now, in 2030. It might be fun to make some guesses.

I’m sharing this little story because this was a big event for my family.  We all shook our heads at how fast the past fifteen years flew by and how much life can change from one day to the next.  It was an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our own lives and to celebrate the ups and downs in the lives of family members and how important each person is in the fabric of our family.  We are talking about assembling another capsule for 15 years in the future.  I’ll be 87 years old then…it makes me stop and think. If there are things in life I want to do I need to do them now.  I’m working on my bucket list. If the idea of a time capsule sounds interesting to you and your family I can’t urge you strongly enough to do it.  It’s a very powerful experience that has brought us closer together. And it was fun.

Quail Eggs

OK, so now on to dinner. One of my favorite summer meals is a large composed salad…one that can serve two people or a dozen.  It can be made of whatever is in season and the salads I make are always different. A friend of mine gave me some eggs and the little quail eggs were a great garnish for the salad.   The goose egg (top right) is about twice the size of the four duck eggs, and the little spotted eggs are from quail.  I have seen them at the farmers’ market but have never tried them.  All these eggs are richer than chicken eggs and have huge, dark orange yolks.  I just hard boiled the little ones (4 minutes) and then peeled them and cut them in half.

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We are just getting into salmon season here in the Pacific NW and I chose a big piece of Chinook for our dinner salad.  Wrapping it in foil is one of my favorite ways to cook salmon because I’m not so likely to over cook it.  That is the fastest way to ruin a piece of wonderful, very expensive, fish.  Place the fish on a sheet of foil and season with salt, pepper and herbs (fresh dill here).  Don’t limit yourself to this combo…you can use anything you like for seasoning.  A garnish of lemon slices is nice and just before I close up the foil pouch I add a tablespoon or two of a dry white wine. Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes.  If you aren’t sure if it’s done open the top of the packet and lightly press the fish.  If it feels squishy it isn’t done.  It need to feel slightly firm to the touch.  If it need more cooking, reseal the foil and bake for another minute or two.  If you leave the packet sealed when you take the fish out of the oven it continues to cook.  If it’s done, open the foil and let it cool slightly and then refrigerate.

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What other ingredients you add to your salad is your choice:  tomatoes,  asparagus, French carrot bistro salad,  roasted potatoes, radishes, eggs.  Good alternatives are couscous salad, green beans, grilled zucchini, shrimp, chicken…endless possibilities.  I usually pass a cruet of homemade vinaigrette or a light, creamy herb dressing just in case somebody wants it.

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Big, fat asparagus spears are my favorite and I always look for them when I’m shopping.  Apparently Costco customers like the skinny ones because they toss the packages of the big ones to the back of the display.  Perfect for me.  The big spears are usually tough so I peel them and they become fork tender.  The large spears hold up better on the grill and get nice little char marks from being on the grill longer.  Composed salads are perfect for summer entertaining because everything can be made and assembled ahead of time.  Add some good bread, nice wine and a yummy dessert and you will have a great meal you can sit back and enjoy. With this dinner each person helps him or her self.

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Black Forest Cake Bars http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/04/27/black-forest-cake-bars/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/04/27/black-forest-cake-bars/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:13:20 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15539   If using a cake mix isn’t your thing and you cringe at the thought of opening a can of fruit pie filling then this recipe isn’t for you. I pride myself on my “made from scratch” recipes but every so often one comes along that is so good I have to make an exception [Read More]

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Black Forest BarsIf using a cake mix isn’t your thing and you cringe at the thought of opening a can of fruit pie filling then this recipe isn’t for you. I pride myself on my “made from scratch” recipes but every so often one comes along that is so good I have to make an exception and make it despite the fact that it is full of mystery ingredients.  That this cake takes only five minutes to put together isn’t the issue.  What’s important is that this tender, moist, absolutely delicious chocolate  cake is so close to my favorite Black Forest Cake that I know it will soon become one of our family favorites.

Black Forest BarsI have a stack of old Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbooks that I bought on ebay years ago.  I recently found this grand prize winning recipe for what they called “Cherry Chocolate Bars” in the 1974 edition of the Bake-off book.  It looks so simple, and sometimes those easy recipes are among the best.  The dollop of whipped cream on top  is the perfect garnish and, if I close my eyes, I can picture myself in the Black Forest of Germany with a big slice of this rich chocolate cake mit schlag.

Black Forest BarsThe cake is baked in a 9″x 13″ pan.  While still warm a syrupy chocolate frosting is poured over the cake and it fills up all the indentation made by the cherries. Wait to make the frosting until the cake comes out of the oven because  sets up quickly.

Black Forest BarsDon’t worry about its appearance because a spoonful of whipped cream covers up any imperfections.  I usually don’t have a problem passing on dessert, but this one is too much for me.  My challenge is to not go back for seconds.

Black Forest BarsIf you have a box of dark chocolate cake mix and a can of cherry pie filling in your pantry you can make this over the top delicious cake in a flash.  Be sure to add that spoonful of whipped cream and a cherry.

Black Forest Bars

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Black Forest Cake Bars
 
:
Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 1-lb.2.25 ounce box of Devil's Food or dark chocolate "Moist" cake mix
  • 1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
Frosting:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
Instructions
Cake
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13"x9" baking pan. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, almond extract and eggs and mix until well blended and there are no lumps of dry cake mix. It helps to press the dry cake mix through a medium sieve or whisk with a wire whisk to break up any lumps. Add the can of cherry pie filling and mix well. Spread in the greased and floured baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
Frosting:
  1. In a small saucepan combine sugar, milk and butter; mixing well. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Pour over warm bars and quickly spread with an offset spatula. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Make the frosting right after the cake comes out of the oven and immediately pour it over the cake. It quickly sets up as it cools and won't spread well.

 

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Chicken and Shrimp Paella http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/04/22/chicken-and-shrimp-paella/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/04/22/chicken-and-shrimp-paella/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 17:32:38 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15527 With summer just around the corner I’m looking for recipes that can be easily prepared and served on the patio…one dish creations where everyone can help themselves and I don’t have to be running back and forth between the patio table and the kitchen.  Although I love the dish I’ve never made paella before and when I [Read More]

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With summer just around the corner I’m looking for recipes that can be easily prepared and served on the patio…one dish creations where everyone can help themselves and I don’t have to be running back and forth between the patio table and the kitchen.  Although I love the dish I’ve never made paella before and when I recently saw it on my friend, Sam’s, blog, My Carolina Kitchen, I knew this would be a great addition to our summer menus.  One of the many good things about a recipe like this is that you can change it up each time you make it…chicken, shrimp, sausage, seafood, whatever is best at the market at the time.  I chose chicken and shrimp plus a very small piece of sausage because that was all I had, and the results were fantastic.

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The first time I visited E. Dehillerin in Paris I fell in love with the most beautiful copper tatin pan and I absolutely had to buy it.  It didn’t look huge next to all the large pots and pans in the store but when I got it home I realized a tatin made in it would serve at least 20 people.  I haven’t used it much because I don’t often have that many people for dinner anymore.  But now I’m very happy I have this beautiful pan because it makes the perfect paella for 6-8 people and I’m tickled pink to put it right in the center of the table.  FYI – it’s 12″ x 2″ and 1 cup of uncooked rice fills it up.

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Start off by browning chicken pieces in a little bit of olive oil, then add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until soft.  Add wine, tomatoes and their liquid, broth, rice, spices and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Add shrimp and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

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Stir in the peas, olives and chopped chorizo and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes until rice and shrimp are done. If you have all your ingredients ready to go, this fantastic dish assembles easily and quickly and dinner is ready to serve in about 25 minutes.  I made a few little changes in Sam’s recipe so I urge you to visit her blog to see how she made this paella.  I reduced the amount of tomatoes and added a little more broth.  I didn’t have any saffron and used Hungarian sweet paprika and a bay leaf instead.  Chorizo is an important ingredients in this paella because its spiciness helps flavor the dish. Be sure to garnish the dish with slices of fresh lemon to brighten up the yummy flavors of the shrimp.  The beauty of this recipe is that it can be changed up in many different ways.

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One of the great things about this dish is that it can go directly from the stove to the table.  I served a green salad and garlic bread along side and added a delicious pinot gris rose from Vista Hills Vineyard…just up the road from my house, by the way. If you are out wine tasting in the Dundee Hills this is a must stop place.   Serving a scrumptiously wonderful meal doesn’t have to take all day to put together.  And it doesn’t get much better than this. Thanks, Sam, for sharing this recipe.  I know this will be one of my most often prepared summer meals.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken and Shrimp Paella
 
:
Ingredients
  • i tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-1/2" pieces. I used boneless chicken thighs.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth or clam broth
  • ¼ teaspoon dried saffron (I didn't have saffron and used 1 tablespoon sweet paprika and 1 bay leaf instead)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • ¾ cup peeled and deveined wild caught shrimp (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup pimento stuffed green olives, sliced
  • 4-5 ounces Spanish chorizo, roughly diced (optional)
  • ¼ cup flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish.
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or saute pan over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes per side.
  2. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes and their liquid, whatever spices you are using, rice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until 5 minutes before the rice is done. Stir in shrimp and continue to cook for 5 more minutes until rice & shrimp are done.
  3. Stir the peas, olives, & chopped chorizo into the rice and chicken and cook, covered, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Spoon the chicken and rice into a platter or onto individual plates and sprinkle with the parsley. I did it the easy way and served the paella in the pan I cooked it in. A few lemon slices were added for garnish.

 

 

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Almond Caramel Tart http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/04/13/almond-caramel-tart/ http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2015/04/13/almond-caramel-tart/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:16:29 +0000 http://www.wiveswithknives.net/?p=15471 Desserts is the biggest recipe category on my blog and if I had to pick my top five favorite dessert recipes this heavenly tart would be on the short list.  I hadn’t been blogging more than a few months when I posted the recipe back in 2008 and I don’t think it was seen by more than [Read More]

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Almond tart

Desserts is the biggest recipe category on my blog and if I had to pick my top five favorite dessert recipes this heavenly tart would be on the short list.  I hadn’t been blogging more than a few months when I posted the recipe back in 2008 and I don’t think it was seen by more than a few dozen readers.  I made it for Easter brunch last week and thought I would share it again because it’s a recipe we love and it’s oh, so good.  My mother first made this tart for my daughter when she was in high school and it was the recipe she always requested when we celebrated special occasions.  The recipe is hand written on a small sheet of paper and my mom didn’t make a note of where she got it.  I found a very similar recipe on David Lebovitz’s blog where he wrote that ” the recipe came from Lindsey Shere who was the executive pastry chef and co-owner of Chez Panisse. Her Almond Tart was the most infamous dessert at Chez Panisse for decades until too many customers apparently had a hard time eating it with a fork, so off the menu it went.”   I think David makes this recipe sound much more complicated than it is and I probably wouldn’t have tried it had I read his blog post about it first.  It is a cross between a tart and a cookie and we have never had a problem using a fork to eat it.  If it’s baked in a rectangular pan it can be cut into bars and eaten without a fork.  Either way, it is so delicious and caramely and nutty that using a utensil or not is insignificant.  His post is interesting and he goes through the steps of making this tart so if you are a fan of his like I am you might want to read what he writes about this fantastic, infamous dessert.

Almond tart

The tart crust can be made in a food processor as well as by hand with a pastry blender.  Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the flour and salt in the processor bowl.  Process to a coarse meal, then add egg yolks and pulse a time or two until blended.  If the dough doesn’t hold together add a tablespoon or two of ice water and process a few seconds until it forms a ball. Press the dough onto the bottom and sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom.  Don’t try to roll it out. It’s too sticky and you will have a giant mess on your hands. Don’t worry if the crust doesn’t look perfect.  The filling covers it up.  Save a walnut size piece of dough to make any little repairs in the crust after it bakes the first time.  Sometimes little cracks appear and a patch with the raw dough prevents the filling from oozing out and burning.

Almond tart

Cook the whipping cream and butter in a saucepan for 5 minutes and then add the flavorings and slivered almonds.  The mixtures doesn’t thicken up at this point so carefully ladle it into the tart crust.  Evenly distribute the almonds with the side of a silicone spatula.  In David’s post he wrote about the tart forming a nut crust and the necessity of breaking it up with a spatula.  I have never had that problem, but bubbles do form on the filling as it bakes and I use the side of the spatula to pop them for a smoother top.  Just a little tap or two does the trick. Do this several times during baking.

Almond tart

Bake the tart in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until it is a nice golden brown.  Let it cool on a wire rack and then check to make sure there aren’t spots where the crust is stuck to the removable ring of the pan.  If there are, gently loosen the crust with the tip of a small paring knife.

Almond Tart

 

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All the gooey caramel holds the nuts together well enough that pieces can be picked up and eaten like a cookie.  It can even be made in a rectangular baking pan if you want to cut it into squares and make finger food out of it. I served it with a small scoop of French vanilla ice cream.  A bit of whipped cream is delicious as well.

Almond tart

I managed to snag this last sliver of tart before it was too late so you at least can see how caramely and full of almonds it is. This dessert is so good I’m thinking of making another one so I can have a bigger slice.  I don’t usually eat dessert right after dinner and am hungry for it later in the evening or even with a cup of coffee in the morning.  I better get baking because I definitely need a bigger piece.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Almond Caramel Tart
 
:
Ingredients
CRUST:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1-2 tablespoons ice water if needed
FILLING:
  • 1-1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • dash salt
Instructions
CRUST:
  1. Blend flour, sugar and butter with a pastry blender. Stir in the egg yolks and mix till dough forms a ball. You can also make this dough in a food processor. Press onto the bottom and sides of a 11 – 12 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Don’t try to roll out this pastry. Spread evenly and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
FILLING:
  1. Combine whipping cream, sugar, orange peel and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla, salt, orange peel and almonds. Carefully pour into shell and bake at 375 degrees till lightly browned, about 30 – 35 minutes. Watch carefully. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Carefully loosen the crust from the tart rim and cool completely..

 

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