Ground Cherry (Physalis) & Rhubarb Thanksgiving Practice Mini Pies

Ground Cherry (Physalis) & Rhubarb Thanksgiving Practice Mini Pies – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been dreading making a pie because every time I have made a pie crust it has never turned out right. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I wanted to practice making a pie before I make a pie for Thanksgiving dinner. To date when I make pies they are always a crumb crust and it’s time for me to work on the things that intimidate me.

Yield/Serving: 2 mini pies
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Pie Crust
• 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 11 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
• 6-10 tbsp cold water
Filling
Ground Cherries

• Ground cherries
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp golden brown sugar
Rhubarb
• 2 stalks of rhubarb, chopped
• 1 knob of ginger, minced
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• 2 tsp sugar
Egg Wash
• 1 egg whisked
• 4 tbsp whipping cream

Assembly
Pie Crust

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and quickly whisk.
3. Add butter and work together with your fingertips until mixture is crumbly.
4. Add in cold water little by little until dough comes together.
5. Divide dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured surface and transfer to pie dishes.
6. Poke the dough with a fork all over.
7. Fill pie shells with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 12 minutes.
8. Remove the beans or weights and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
9. One bake set aside and quickly put together the pie fillings.
Filling
Ground Cherries & Rhubarb

1. In your first small bowl; mix ground cherries, cinnamon and golden brown sugar until ground cherries are coated.
2. In your second small bowl; mix rhubarb, ginger, ground ginger and sugar until rhubarb is coated.
3. Fill each pie and roll out the remaining dough.
4. Decorate pie with cut outs and a lattice design if you want to get creative. Just ensure you crimped the edges with a fork to seal the two pieces of dough together.
5. Wash with the eggs wash and sprinkle the ground cherry pie with golden brown sugar.
6. Bake for 1 hr to & 1 & 30 hrs depending on your oven and how thick your crust is. (Ensure the bottom of your crust is golden brown to ensure it has baked through.

Tips
• Have fun decorating the pie crust if you can. It was one of the more enjoyable parts of baking the pie besides eating the filling.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Ground Cherry & Physalis are also known as Golden berries, they all have the same cherry tomato look. Except the Farmer’s market variety were smaller as a whole and less sweet than the non-organic Golden berries from Colombia. Funny enough I actually enjoyed making this dough; because it actually turned out; which never happens for me. I even tried to decorate the pie because I was on such a high. The taste was not bad and I honoured these limited and very seasonal produce. I will have to avoid making pies with tops on them for now as the top was to0 thick and not flaky. This will probably be solved by rolling out the dough thinner; but for now open faced pies will continue to be my thing. I feel confident in making pasta now and I even pulled out my Ravioli stamper for sometime in the near future.

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Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – Candy Coated Culinista

Thanksgiving is this weekend and I was in the mood to do a little trial run for the big day.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 35 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Rock Cornish Game Hen

• White onion, slices from half a small onion
• Garlic, 2 cloves whole
• Dijon Mustard
• Dried basil
• Dried rosemary, crushed
• Lemon, slices from half a lemon
Smashed Potatoes
• Yellow skinned gem potatoes
• Fresh thyme, sprinkle on top
White Haricots with Chives
• White haricots
• Chives, finely chopped
Sauteed Mushrooms
• Handful button mushrooms, quartered

Assembly
Rock Cornish Game Hen

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Slice onions and place inside the cavity of the hen along with whole garlic.
3. Rub spices over hen and spread Dijon mustard over top.
4. Bake for 1 hour and until the skin is a golden brown.
Smashed Potatoes
5. Over high heat boil a pot of salted water with the gem potatoes.
6. When the potatoes are slightly tender drain; set aside and let cool.
7. Once cooled place potatoes on a cutting board and smash overtop with a mug base and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
White Haricots with Chives
8. In a medium size saucepan steam haricots until just firm.
9. Immediately place haricots in an ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking process.
10. Set aside in a bowl and add chives and mix.
Sauteed Mushrooms
11. Using a small frying pan, place a little extra virgin olive oil and sauté mushrooms.
12. Place of platters and serve.

Tips
• Make a quick scratch gravy from the pan drippings

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These little hens are such a simple, gourmet way to enjoy your Thanksgiving. If you are not in the mood for Turkey or have guests that dislike turkey; this is the way to go. One hen per person is a wonderful idea and also having an intimate dinner for two splitting the rock hen in half works just as well. This meal felt very farm to table with the Farmer’s market finds and a more unique protein. I have already bought another hen for a rainy day when I want to make something just a little more special for my guests.

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – Candy Coated Culinista

Cornish Game Hen with White Heirloom Haricots – Candy Coated Culinista

Mini Vanilla Madeleines with Cardamom Sugar

Mini Vanilla Madeleines with Cardamom Sugar – Candy Coated Culinista

These French tiny tea cakes or cookies to some are such a recognizable scalloped shape it is on the list of quintessential French sweets.

Yield/Serving: 40 – 48 mini Madeleines
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10-12 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From: Bake from Scratch

Ingredients
• 3 large eggs, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted & cooled
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup cornstarch
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F and spray Madeleine pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Over medium heat melt butter and let cool.
3. Using an electric stand mixture with the paddle attachment; beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract at medium speed until fluffy; about 3 minutes.
4. Beat in the melted butter.
5. In a large bowl sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
6. Stir in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula and fill pan until almost full.
7. Bake until madeleines spring back when pressed, 10 to 12 minutes.
8. Place madeleines onto a dish and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cardamom mixture.
9. Serve immediately.

Tips
• I piped the batter in to pans and filled them to the top and they turned out great. I found this worked better for me then spooning in the batter.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I bought a Madeleine pan a few years ago and after what I thought was the disaster outcome I have never visited this cake again. I had thought my reproduction was terrible; but I have learned now that this is what Madeleines tastes like. They are only good right out of the oven in most instances and after that they harden quite fast; which is probably why they are dunked in tea or coffee. I am not a fan of the texture of this tiny cake; but now I have the technique down and I can check this off my list.

Heirloom Tomato & Purple Pepper Salad with Marinated Onions

Heirloom Tomato & Purple Pepper Salad with Marinated Onions – Candy Coated Culinista

Another trip to the Farmer’s Market with wonderful results.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. to
Difficulty level is: Easy

Marinated Onions slightly altered from No Crumbs Left

Ingredients
Marinated Onions

• 1 medium red onion, sliced
• ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• Chives, small bundle finely chopped
• 1 tbsp fresh thyme
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Heirloom Salad
• Heirloom grape tomatoes, sliced
• Heirloom Purple peppers, sliced
• Red bell peppers, sliced

Assembly
Marinated Onions

1. Thinly slice onions and place in a small bowl.
2. In a small bowl, mix oil and vinegar and herbs and pour over onion.
3. Ensure the onions are submerged and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Heirloom Salad
1. Slice grape tomatoes in half and slice peppers, keeping their full shape.
2. Place tomatoes and peppers along with onions (not including the marinated oil) on a platter and serve.

Tips
• Marinated onions keeps for two days unrefrigerated.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The original recipe called for just oregano and the use of red wine vinegar; but I had just used both these up. (just my luck) so I worked with what was in my pantry. I didn’t slice the onion as thinly as I hoped; but I still turned out great.

Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

C.C.’s Savoury Stuffed Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 3
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 3 chicken breasts, sliced halfway through breast but not to the end of the breast
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• Season salt
• Dried basil
• Dried oregano
• Garlic powder
• Onion powder
• Greek spices
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 button mushrooms, sliced
• 12 asparagus, bottoms cut off
• 6 grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise
• 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Slice into chicken breast lengthwise down the middle; but not all the way through.
3. Season chicken breasts with spices.
4. Place asparagus, grape tomato, mushroom and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese inside the chicken breast.
5. Heat large frying pan over medium-high heat and pour olive oil in.
6. Once oil is hot sear top and bottom of the chicken breast.
7. Place chicken into a roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes.
8. Serve and enjoy

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have always wanted to make a stuffed chicken and I’m happy I finally have. I have learned that I was too generous with the filling and next time I will scale back a touch. Other than that this was beyond delicious and fresh.

Citrus Cake

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A bright and fresh citrus cake with a tangy, zesty cream cheese frosting, decorated with candied citrus.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 – 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From: Bake from Scratch

Ingredients
Cake

• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ½ tsp lime zest
• ½ tsp orange zest
• 2 large eggs
• 1 ½ cake flour
• ½ tbsp. baking powder
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ cup 2% milk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ¼ almond extract
Candied Oranges and Limes
• ½ navel orange
• 1 lime
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• Bay leaf (optional)
Citrus Frosting
• 1 package of cream cheese
• 1 tsp lime zest
• 1 tsp orange zest
• 455 grams of confectioners’ sugar
• 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
• ½ tsp vanilla extract

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray pans with non-stick spray.
3. Using a stand mixture using the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scraping the sides at needed.
4. Beat in the zest and add in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
5. Using a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger.
6. Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture alternating flour, milk flour ensuring to end with flour.
7. Add in the extracts and divide batter in-between prepared pans. (smooth tops if necessary)
8. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and let cool on a cooling rack.
10. Once cooled, using a serrated knife and cut each layer in half horizontally.
11. Spread frosting between layers and on top of the cake.
12. Garnish with candied limes and oranges and serve.
Candied Oranges & Lemons
1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
2. Cut oranges and limes into ¼” slices and remove seeds if necessary.
3. In a medium sized saucepan, heat sugar, water and lemon juice until dissolved.
4. Add slices and let simmer ensuring to keep slices in a single layer.
5. Cook for 14 to 16 minutes turning occasionally until slightly translucent.
6. Remove from pan and place on wax paper and let cool for a least an hour and hardened.
7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
8. Sprinkle with extra sugar before decorating.
9. Reserve sugar mixture for another use is desired.
Citrus Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and zest at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and beat in cream until frosting is spreadable consistency.
3. Beat in vanilla.

Tips
• I halved the recipe and it turned out great. This recipe can be batched down with ease.
• Use whatever citrus zest you want. I used lime instead of lemon.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I batched down this recipe and it also called for lemons; but I used limes instead. It was a heavy rainy day last week when I made it and my candied limes and oranges would just not firm up. I even tried putting it in the oven hoping to crystalize the citrus; but it didn’t work. I thought for a moment to bring out the hair dryer; but that’s just ridiculous; it was just a bad day to do sugar work and possibly make a whipped cream cheese frosting also. With this recipe and the lack of whipping cream I have no idea how this recipe would achieve fluffy whipped frosting with 4 tablespoons of whipping cream and a [package of cream cheese. I even added more whipping cream after to see and it still wouldn’t happen. The picture shows a whipped frosting and yet the instruction says spreadable which is quite perplexing to me. After I finished the cake I looked up some whipped cream cheese frosting recipes and it called for 1 cup plus of whipping cream; so I’m unsure how a whipped frosting can be made with the recipe given. The cake still looked great and I decided to make a rectangle shaped cake. The layers were perfect and I fell confident in my naked cake skills for the most part now, except for that “whipped” frosting. I actually took a third of the cake for once and I found the frosting sweet even for my palette. This was still a wonderful cake and I am loving the unconventional shaped cake. The other reviews were it was great and also a touch to sweet. Next time I will cut back the sugar even more as this is a good batch down recipe.

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Plantains Assados con Queso

Plantains Assados con Queso – Candy Coated Culnista

One of the few Caribbean foods I have always loved was plantain whether fried or boiled and put in a soup. Probably it was the sweetness of the plantain as is ripened that caught my attention as a child; but even today when I find plantain in the store I think back to my mom frying it when it was over ripped and ooey gooey to serve alongside my breakfast. I went to a food market at lunch, and I saw this wonderfully fried whole plantain just staring back at me and I just knew I had to try it and it didn’t disappoint.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 tbsp canola oil
• 1 plantain, peeled and sliced in the centre, but not all the way through
• 3 tbsp cream cheese
• Fresh rosemary, removed from sprig
• Pinch of sea salt

Assembly
1. Over medium-high, using a frying pan heat up canola oil.
2. Place plantain in and fry all sides until golden brown and the colour has changed.
3. Drain on a paper towel if necessary.
4. Using a small bowl mix cream cheese & rosemary and stuff into the plantain.
5. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Tips
• If you have time bake this bake at 400° for 30 minutes; instead of frying.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I did my own spin on this Ecuadorian dish as the way it was prepared had ricotta stuffed inside. I used cream cheese and added some fresh thyme because it just felt right to me. This is a new preparation for me that I never knew even existed. I am very happy to have stumbled upon this in the market. Plantains Assados con Queso means baked plantains with cheese; but I took a quicker approach and fried it. Try baking it as it would turn out just as well. I made this while preparing breakfast before work yesterday morning, so I had less time. The plantain was soft on the outside and firmer as you got further in. The filling was creamy with the punch of thyme. I’m not really a fan of cream cheese unless it’s on my bagel; but it works so well and I gave a piece to my testers and they loved the cream cheese and thyme combo.

Herbaceous Pattypan Squash

Herbaceous Pattypan Squash – Candy Coated Culinista

A visit to the local farmers markets always gets the creative juices flowing. This summer and fall season I’m lucky enough to have a new farmer’s market just steps from my door and I intend to take full advantage of what they have to offer. Heirloom tomatoes, fresh snap green beans, golden and purple beets, gourmet popsicles and pizza, fresh loaves of bread, honey, cheese and so much more. I found these lovely Pattypan squash for the second time in two years and I wanted to make a simple recipe to highlight and respect the local ingredients.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp vegetarian butter
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 6 large sized pattypan squash, cut into quarters and eights
• Fresh thyme, finely diced
• Fresh dill, finely diced
• Fresh parsley, finely diced
• Fresh rosemary, finely diced
• Fresh Oregano, finely diced

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat let butter and extra virgin olive oil get to the temperature of the pan and melt.
2. Add pattypan squash along with fresh herbs.
3. Cook for 5 min, ensuring squash stays crunchy.
4. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I enjoyed pattypan squash for the first time last month when I visited the CN Tower 360 revolving restaurant. I hadn’t managed to buy the squash I saw last year, so I was very happy to come across it again this year. Simple summer sides are a delight to make especially with the farmers markets finest produce. The squash was buttery and herby and the aroma was delightful. I love a good crunchy vegetable and this was the perfect side to my dinner last night.

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

On a high from making my first naked layered cake I had to make a white cake option so I could actually enjoy a nice slice of cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 7 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Slightly Altered From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp milk
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• Handful of red cherries
• Handful of fresh blackberries
• Handful of blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and milk.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 60 minutes or more.
Buttercream
9. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
10. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
11. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
12. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
13. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
14. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
15. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
16. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
17. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
18. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
19. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The goal of this cake was to be a white cake with white chocolate ganache; but it turned out to be more of a yellow cake as it baked for an hour. I also learned there is no such thing as a white chocolate ganache (who knew) the composition of white chocolate is not conducive to a ganache and the consistency stays runny and never hardens. Lesson learned and I will have to figure out how to make a white coloured cake another time. This cake was so delicious and came from another recipe I made and will post another time. Once again this cake came out moist and I reduced the amount of confectioners’ sugar in the icing to my personal taste. This was given to accompany a birthday present and this time I enjoyed a slice myself. This recipe is now my layer cake base recipe and I can’t wait to build upon this recipe. It looked so wonderful on my cake plate which I never use because nothing is ever pretty enough to go on it in my eyes.

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

P is for … Pea Risotto

P is for … Pea Risotto - Candy Coated Culinista

P is for … Pea Risotto – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20-22 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 900ml low sodium chicken stock
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 cup Arborio rice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup fresh peas
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste
• Handful of parsley, finely diced

Assembly
1. Pour chicken stock into a large saucepan over high heat and boil.
2. Once the chicken stock has boiled, turn down to low heat to keep warm.
3. In a medium saucepan heat extra virgin olive oil and pour in the onion and cook for three minutes.
4. Add in the garlic and continue cooking for another 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
5. Stir in one cup of Arborio rice along with sea salt and black pepper stirring constantly for two minutes.
6. Ladle in a half cup of chicken stock to the rice until the liquid is absorbed.
7. Continue adding chicken stock a half cup at a time until rice is tender with a firm centre and the risotto is creamy, about 20 to 22 minutes.
8. Add in the peas and butter in the last 3 minutes of cooking.
9. Stir in the parsley and grate some Parmigiano Reggiano to taste.
10. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A slow but well worth it process. Creamy and aldente with the fresh peas and parsley along with the Parmigiano Reggiano made this a rich dish.

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