Caramel, Chocolate and Salted Almond Tart

I got inspired for this recipe when I was looking through “The Art and Soul of Baking,” by Cindy Mushet. I came across this insanely gorgeous “Baci Tart with Frangelico Cream” which, the photo itself is stunning and the ingredients were delectable. So I had to take on this recipe… with a few changes I came up with this decadent Chocolate, Caramel and Salted Almond Tart.

Ingredients

Chocolate Dough Recipe

1/2 Cup Organic Heavy Cream

1/2 Stick Organic Butter

1/4 Cup Water

2 Tablespoons Almond Flavored Syrup or 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract

1 Cup Salted Almonds, chopped

2 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped

Coarse Sea Salt for garnish

Chocolate Dough Recipe Ingredients

1 stick Organic Butter

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Egg Yolk

1 Cup Organic AP Flour

2 1/2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Valhorna is what I use)

Directions:

1: Cream together the butter and sugar. Then add the egg yolk and beat well.

2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Blend just until the dough comes together.

3: Scrape the dough in a tart pan. Use the heel of your hand to press the dough into an even layer across the bottom and up the side of the pan. Press from the center of the pan outward, building up some extra dough where the bottom meets the side. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use

1: BAKE THE SHELL– (You can use a tart pan or 6 small tart pans)Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F. Bake the tart shell(s) for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack while you prepare the filling. You may leave the oven on.

2: MAKE THE FILLING– Combine the cream, butter and chocolate in small saucepan and heat just until the cream begins to simmer and the butter and chocolate is fully melted. Remove from heat and let the mixture sit while you make the caramel.

3: Combine the water and syrup in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the sugar and almond syrup over the top. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear. Turn the heat to high and boil rapidly, swilring the pan occcasionally (do not stir) to cook the sugar evenly, until it turns a golden honey color. Then remove from the heat and immediately add the warm cream and butter mixture. Be careful!

4: Stir with a spatula to blend the caramel and cream. If there are any bits of hardened caramel, put the pan over the lowest possible heat and stir gently until the caramel melts. Add the almonds to the caramel and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel turns a light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately pour the filling into the cooled tart shells.

5: Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Then sprinkle with the coarse sea salt for garnish.

… and oh my goodness!

Mozzarella with Olive Oil, Fleur De Sel and Fried Basil

What is more comforting than eating a ball of cheese? Olive oil, Fleur De Sel and fried Basil leaves is the perfect accompaniment for this lovely dairy product. Serve as a simple lunch or an elegant appetizer. Easy and delicious as can be! The inspirtaion behind this amazing little dish comes from my favorite local restaurant, Cafe Bink. Although, they make a homemade “pulled to order Mozzarella,” and let me tell you, I have never tasted cheese this good, ever! It is creamy, milky, rich and decedent. Then they make it even better by serving it with thin, crispy crostini, red onion marmalade, pesto and confit compari tomatoes. Until I get the courage to make my own cheese, I satisfy my yearning for this gorgeous dish with a good mozerella from the market and a few simple ingredients.

Ingredients

Mozzarella cheese, a few ounces

Sprinkle of Olive Oil

Fleur De Del or any flaked sea salt

Basil Leaves, fried crispy in a little olive oil

Directions

Asemble all ingredients on a beautiful plate or serving plater of your choice.


Fried Sweet Potato Crisps with Rosemary and Sea Salt

All I want right is fried food! Naughty fried goodness… So what better than gorgeous sweet potatoes and rosemary?

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Grapeseed Oil or Olive Oil

1 Large Sweet Potato, Sliced into thin strips

1-2 Springs of Rosemary

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

Pepper to taste

Directions

Pour the oil  and rosemary into a pot and put on med heat. Leave the rosemary into the pot for a few minutes while the oil is heating to flavor the oil. Then remove the rosemary with tongs and set aside. Then, begin to test the oil with 1 piece of the sweet potato to see if the temperature is proper to fry. Once you have reached temp, place a little of the sweet potatoes at a time. Fry for 2 minutes then stir the potatoes then another 2 minutes. Do not let then get to brown and do not crowd the pot. When the crisps are ready to take out, place them onto a paper towel to remove excess oil, (Or if you are like me and LOVE excess oil, place the crisps directly onto your serving plater), Sprinkle the sea salt and rosemary a top the crisps and add pepper to taste as desired.

Enjoy each crispy bite of love!

Almond Truffle Bark with Lemon and Smoked Flake Sea Salt

The other day I experienced a complete “Julie and Julia” moment, when I was gifted two unique culinary items from a kind and dear women. The gifts were two different flavors of Flake Sea Salts; Lemon and Smoked. I was contemplating what to do with these ingredients, and I knew it had to be a something special… Therefore, there is nothing more special to me than of course, CHOCOLATE. So, a crunch from Almonds, melt in your mouth chocolate combined with these amazingly delicious smokey and citrus salts…

I have for you one word for you: SEXY

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Almonds, Toasted

1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 Tablespoon Organic Butter, Unsalted

1/2-1 teaspoon of each Flake Sea Salt

Directions

First toast the almonds in a pan for about 4 minutes on medium heat. As soon as they begin to brown and you can smell them, they are done and set aside. In another pan melt together the chocolate chips and butter. Prepare a piece of parchment paper by placing it on a baking pan. Place the almonds on the paper, and pour the melted chocolate over the almonds and lastly put the Lemon Salt on half of the almond chocolate bark and the Smoked Salt on the other half. Place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours. When you are ready to enjoy, break the truffles into pieces and enjoy each elegant bite.

Baked French Fries with Sea Salt Pepper and Parsley

French Fries.. Who doesn’t love the crispy, salty goodness? With these baked French Fries, you will satisfy your craving in no time.

Ingredients

2 Organic Russet Potatoes, Sliced into ‘Fries’

2 Tablespoons Organic Olive Oil

1 teaspoon coarse Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground Pepper

1 teaspoon fresh chopped Parsley

Directions

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. On your baking sheet, place the potatoes and drizzle on the olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping and stirring around the fries every 8 minutes or so to be sure they come out perfect! When they are browned and crisp to your liking sprinkle the fresh parsley on the top and serve!

Pairs as a perfect side dish for a burger, steak or a sandwich

Messy Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Macadamia Nut Glaze

Your hands will surely be messy after indulging in these delicious Sweet Potato Fries, combined with this Honey Macadamia Nut Glaze, your ‘Sweet, Salty and Crunchy’ cravings will be ultimately satisfied.

Ingredients for the Fries

2 Organic Sweet Potatoes or Yams

2 Tablespoons Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1-1  1/2 teaspoons coarse Sea Salt

Pepper

Glaze

1/4 Cup Local Honey

1 Tablespoon Mayonaise

1 Tablespoon Macadamia Nuts, chopped

Directions

Rinse the potatoes well then pat dry with a towel. Slice them into thin ‘French Fry’ slices. Toss them with the olive oil, sea salt and a pinch a fresh ground pepper. Place them on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping them every 10 minutes. (Watch them carefully, sweet potatoes contain a lot of sugar and can burn easily.)

For the Glaze, combine the honey, mayonnaise and chopped macadamia buts and whisk together until the glaze has been emulsified.

Top the hot sweet potato fries with the gorgeous glaze and a pinch more of sea salt and pepper.

Enjoy these gorgeous fries to accompany any Burger or just by themselves as a delicious snack

Olive Oil and Pink Salt Chilled Cream


If you love the fruity flavor of Olive Oil and you crave the ‘Sweet and Salty’ tastes, you will adore this recipe. I choose to serve this Chilled Cream as a last course with a beautiful Port dessert wine.

Olive Oil and Pink Salt Cream

2 Cups Organic Half and Half

1/2 Cup Organic Sugar

1/4 Cup Organic fruity Olive Oil

2 Organic Egg Yolks

1/2-1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt

Directions

Combine the sugar, salt and egg yolks. Then whisk them together for about 4 minutes until the mixture is well incorporated. Slowly add in the olive oil and half and half and stir until the mixture its glossy and creamy looking.

You may simply put it in the freezer in a sealed container or put it in an ice cream maker. When it is at the consistency you like, Bon Appetit!


Chocolate Macadamia Cookies with Sel Gris

Gorgeous flavors.

Sweet Chocolate, Buttery Macadamia Nuts and Salty Sel Gris

In my opinion, Cookies fit into the food categories of: Comfort, Snack, Dessert, Hormonally Craved, Just Because and Can I have more please?

Since I believe Cookies fit into so many different categories, I must get creative with the combination of flavor, texture and overall goodness for each one! So for this particular recipe I came up with, I think you should decide which category they fit into.

Ingredients:

2 C Organic Whole Wheat Flour

1 1/2 C Organic Evaporated Cane Juice

1 1/2 Sticks, Organic Sweet Cream Butter

1 1/2 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

3/4 C Macadamia Nuts, Chopped

2 Organic Eggs

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Organic Molasses

3 Heaping Tablespoons Cocoa Powder (non-dutch pressed)

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 1/2  teaspoon Sel Gris

Directions:

Cream the butter and sugar together, then add in the Molasses, Olive Oil and lightly beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is well combined.

In another bowl combine the Flour, Chocolate Chips, Macadamia Nuts, Baking Soda and 1 teaspoon of the Sel Gris, whisk till combined.

Combined the wet mixture with the dry and stir together well, unlike Muffin Batter, you should not see any dry ingredients.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Arrange cookies a few inched apart from each other and top with the remainder Sel Gris a top each cookie and bake for 10 minutes.

Sit down with a cookie, cappuccino and enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk and Sea Salt Cookies

Dense, Rich and Luscious Chocolate Chunk and Sea Salt Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup organic flour

1/3 cup organic cocoa powder (non-alkalized)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick + 4 Tablespoons of organic sweet cream butter

1/2 c organic sugar

1 Tablespoon organic unsulfured molasses

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

5 oz 60-72% dark chocolate, chopped

Directions

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt then whisk together, then add the chocolate chunks

In another bowl, Cream together the sugar, molasses and butter

Mix both mixtures together with a wooden spoon until well combine.

Then form the cookie dough into disks, place on a baking sheet and press the dough down slightly and top with a touch more of sea salt.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 12 min

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool until you are ready to indulge.

Enjoy with a beautiful glass of red wine for dessert…

Chocolate, Sea Salt and Wine. Could life get any better?