Results tagged recipe from David Lebovitz

Hummus Recipe

hummus1

I began my cooking career at a vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca, New York. Although you’ve probably heard of the other vegetarian restaurant in town, I worked up the hill at the Cabbagetown Café. While we weren’t as famous, the food was quite good. (I say we were better, but I’m somewhat biased). I guess the public agreed since by the time we opened the door each day for lunch and dinner, there was already a line down the sidewalk of hungry locals and regulars waiting to get in.

We cooked everything from scratch from produce brought to us by farmers in the area, directly, before it was trendy or cool to pat ourselves on that back and write an article about it.

We just did it.

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Chocolate-Dipped Florentine Recipe

chocolate-dipped florentines

Living in Paris, it isn’t always very interesting watching television, which I sometimes like to do during dinner. Sure there’s some great French channels, but I’m kinda lazy when I’m eating and prefer the English-language ones, which usually means CNN International.

So I often find myself flipping through cookbooks while I dine, glazing over the text and scanning the glossy photos. But when I came across this one, for Florentines, I stopped and bookmarked it right away. I’m always attracted to anything nutty, crispy, salty, or caramelized, and this recipe had them all. Of course, using ingredients that I usually have on hand doesn’t hurt a recipe in the popularity department around here, either.

sliced almondspowdered sugar

Crisp, caramelized almonds, just a few ingredients, and a wide swath of dark chocolate underneath. I ask you…what doesn’t this recipe have going for it? The recipe comes from Ottolenghi, a London-based restaurant that, frankly, I hadn’t heard of. But this cookbook is really gorgeous and makes me almost want to blitz across the channel and check it out. (Damn the exchange rate!) I have a lot of cookbooks and this one truly stands out. And when I saw the jumbo stack of Florentines stacked up on one of its pages, I couldn’t wait to share the recipe.

The book is full of other interesting, and compelling recipes. There’s one for Kosheri, a side dish made with lentils, rice, and vermicelli, that I’m dying to try. There’s a twice-baked Chocolate Fudge Cake that’s up the next time I have guests for dinner.

pre-baked Florentines

These crispy Florentines are super-simple to make, requiring just a few ingredients mixed together and baked. Who doesn’t love that? The authors mentioned that it’d be permissible to slather one side with melted chocolate, like traditional Florentines. The cookies were indeed fantastic without it—but it’d be a shame to pass up an opportunity to put chocolate on something now, wouldn’t it?

florentines

Chocolate-Dipped Florentines
20-25 cookies

Adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (Ten Speed)

I cut the original recipe in half since I wanted smaller cookies, but otherwise followed the recipe pretty closely. I added a few grains of salt, but thought I knew better and tried using a small metal spatula to spread the Florentines. But their suggested fork method worked better. You can put the cookies pretty close to each other on the baking sheet as they don’t spread during baking.

  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (50g) powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup (130g) blanched sliced almonds
  • a good pinch of flaky sea salt
  • grated zest of half an orange*, preferably unsprayed

1. Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush very lightly with neutral vegetable oil.

3. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients.

4. Keep a small bowl of cold water and a fork near where you’re working.

5. Dip your hand in the cold water before lifting each portion of almonds, and place heaping tablespoon-sized mounds of the batter evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet.

6. Once you’ve covered the baking sheet, dip the fork in cold water to flatten the cookies as much as possible. Try to avoid having many gaps between the almonds.

7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Exact time will vary based on how large your cookies are. The authors recommend lifting the bottom of one with a metal spatula to check and see if they’re cooked through. If they’re not brown across the top and bottom, they won’t be agreeably crispy.

8. Let cookies cool, then lift with a thin metal spatula and place them on a cooling rack until crisp. Continue baking all the cookies on the same baking sheet. (I found no need to re-oil it between uses.)

Store Florentines in an airtight container until ready to serve.

To Coat the Cookies with Chocolate

To coat one side with chocolate, melt a few ounces of chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate in a clean, dry bowl, stirring until smooth. Use a brush or metal spatula to coat the underside of each cookie with a thin layer of chocolate. Let cool in a cool place or the refrigerator until firm. Once firm, store Florentines in an airtight container at room temperature.

More Recipe Notes:

  • You can temper the chocolate if you’re not going to eat them within a relatively short period of time, if you want to avoid the chocolate ‘blooming’. Or just dip and cool them a few hours before serving time.

  • *I didn’t have any orange zest so added a few drops of orange oil, which worked perfectly.

  • When Twittering, I realized that these cookies are gluten-free.

  • Heidi did a beautiful post with photographs featuring Ottolenghi’s Red Rice and Quinoa Recipe.

  • Visit the Ottolenghi website for more recipes and information about the restaurant.

  • I’d planned to test baking the Florentines using my silicone baking mat, but had such good success with parchment paper I didn’t want to take any chances. If you do try it, let me know how they come out.

  • Julia Child’s Perfect Chocolate Mousse Recipe

    whiskinginchocolate

    My search for the perfect, most luscious and chocolaty mousse au chocolat brought me right back home to America, to Julia Child’s recipe. Although I have a few other versions in my repertoire, her recipe is a classic and has that perfect slightly-gummy texture, backed up by a wallop of pure dark chocolate flavor.

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    Red Wine-Poached Rhubarb Recipe

    Rhubarb with White Chocolate Ice Cream

    A couple of years ago, I was invited to do a demonstration at the Greenmarket in New York City. I jumped on the chance, since I love that market, but as the date closed in, I got a message informing me that they didn’t have a kitchen…although they did have a single-burner hot plate.

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    Arthur Schwartz’s Homemade Kosher Dill Pickle Recipe

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one having wrestling with foreign languages around here. A couple of weeks ago I was buying some olives at an épicerie, and the woman, who wanted to practice her English, as she spooned olives in to a sack, reassured me; “Don’t worry. I will give you some brain with that.”

    sliced pickles

    Thinking maybe it was some odd French thing, but I wasn’t really keen on having someone add a few brains to my bag of olives. After a bit of mental maneuvering, I realized she was letting me know she would be adding some “brine” to my olives—not “brain”.

    Which was such a relief.

    saltuncooked cucumbers

    Ok, so fast-forward back to last Sunday. Noting that Monday was a holiday, since I’d already bought the cukes, it dawned on me that the giant Tang Frères, Paris’ Asian supermarket, was open on Sunday. So I rushed right down there.

    Of course, they’d have coarse salt.

    Navigating the mobs of people, working my way through the aisles, I bought a whole bunch of things.

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    Pajeon: Korean Scallion Pancake Recipe

    Pajeon, p’ajon, pajon, pa jun, pageon, jeon…I’ve seen so many variations on the name that I just decided to go with calling mine—Korean Pancake.

    Pancake in pan

    Like the various spellings, recipes vary as well. Some have the egg beaten into the batter, but I prefer it spread on top (or on the bottom), giving me crispy, eggy edges. Other recipes load up on vegetables and other stuff, yet I tend to keep it simple.

    This Korean pancake is one of my go-to recipes, especially good when I don’t know what to make for dinner. Sure, you can add prawns, chicken, corn, bits of seaweed, tofu, mushroom slices, kimchi, asparagus slices, or some other cooked or shredded vegetables that you have on hand.

    I even have a sweet potato that I’ve lost interest in that I’m eyeballing with great interest. When I bought it at the market, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but if I oven-roast pieces until nicely browned, why not?

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    In A Pickle

    pickle fixin's

    There are two rules that seem to be constant in my life.

    One is that I, like most bakers, crave anything with salt and vinegar. I’m sure it’s working around sugar and chocolate all the time that does it to me, but nine times out of ten, if it’s salty and if it’s sour, I want it.

    The second constant of my life in Paris, is that whatever I’m looking for, they’re sure to have everything around what I’m looking for. And I mean, absolutely everything—but the one and only thing that I’m specifically in dire need of.

    At the end of last week’s Paris chocolate tour, I was craving pickles. Specifically the half-sour spears offered in New York delis. You know, the kind that aren’t the least bit soggy, and have that salty, sprightly refreshing crispness. So I turned to Arthur Schwartz, who’s pretty much the guy that everyone turns to nowadays for all-things Jewish. And New York-ish.

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    Goat Cheese Custard Recipe with Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup

    When I moved to Paris, I moved a whole ton of stuff with me. Plus one yellowed scrap of paper. It was a recipe that I tore out of some newspaper eons ago, for Goat Cheese Custard.

    goatcheesestrawberries

    I had high hopes for the recipe, enough to schlep it with me across the Atlantic and look at it wistfully every once in a while, guarding it for almost a decade, until I finally got around to making it this week.

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