Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Scones

Strawberries and chocolate, I cannot think of a better combination for a scone. Add chocolate to anything and you have my full attention, they're almost like dessert.   These scones come together quickly and easily.  They keep best frozen and then just popped in the toaster or microwave for a bit if you're not planning on eating all of them within a day.  

Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Scones

Yield - 12-16 large scones

3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

4 3/4 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 cup sugar
9 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

topping: additional cream and sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender.  You are finished when the butter is evenly distributed in pea sized lumps.

3. Add the strawberries and chocolate to flour mixture.  Then make a well in the center and add the cream all at once.  Mix with your hands until incorporated.  Depending on the juiciness of your strawberries, the dough might be a little wet and sticky- it's okay.  


4. On a lightly floured surface turn dough out and pat into an evenly distributed square or rectangle.
If the dough is still a little sticky, you can dust both sides with a little additional flour.
cut the rectangle into desired shapes and place on cookie sheet.  Brush scones with a little whipping cream and sprinkle liberally with sugar.  Bake until tops are lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I have a new invention.... and we are very excited!  When I was making king cakes on Monday I had some extra dough, and never for a second did I think what has happened over the course of the last 4 days would.  Instead of throwing out the extra dough, as I typically would, I placed it in a jumbo muffin pan, baked and iced it like a king cake and soon had our king cake cupcake.  I posted it on the Gourmet Girls facebook page and voila, our King Cake cupcakes went viral.  I have to say I post a lot of food on facebook, and seldom does something get this much attention.  Since Tuesday we have had to shift our baking from traditional king cakes to king cake cupcakes.  We are having so much fun making them and can barely keep up. They are the perfect solution for those of us who will eat a whole king cake just because it's there, and it looks good and it tastes divine.... now you can have your own individual little portion! :)

We start shipping early next week, email us for more information at

This is our blackboard, when it's out we have king cakes and cupcakes ready for pick up. Stop by!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's king cake time! We started making king cakes at the shop Saturday, it's the beginning of a very long Mardi Gras season.  Last year we made and shipped over 500, and for an operation the size of mine- that's a lot of king cakes made from scratch in a two week period.  Every day was ground hog day... Go into work,  start a batch of dough, wait 30 minutes, start another one and on and on and on. Every year I swear I don't really want to do it ever again once it's over.  Every year, I forget and start it all over again. 

In order to get ahead, we started a large batch of Brioche Friday afternoon so I could walk in Saturday morning and not have to wait on the first rise.  We put it to bed in the refrigerator in a gigantic bowl, and left for the day in hopes of having dough ready to go in the morning.  Saturday morning I returned to find the very large bowl of dough upright on the floor in front of the refrigerator, and the refrigerator door ajar.  I was the last one to leave and the first to arrive, no one touched the dough.  Clearly it didn't jump out of the refrigerator by itself, right? Well actually, it did.  Unfortunately it took me an entire day  to figure this out.  To J's amazement as I told him about this over dinner, I was more concerned with the fact that the dough looked about the same size as the previous day thinking the yeast was dead, than with how exactly the dough got itself out of the refrigerator and onto the floor.  I was going on and on about how I thought it was the yeast was not active and so on and he kept going back to the bowl on the floor.  Men! (I loathe it when he's right). Had I told him in the morning, I'm sure I would have figured it out then because he would have started with the whole your kitchen is haunted thing and I would have had to prove him wrong.  Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of yeast and flour only to figure out my little mystery at the end of the day.  Suddenly it came to me... the dough rose so much in the refrigerator overnight, the bowl shifted, pressed open the door, and fell on the ground.  When it fell on the ground, from about 4 feet up, it punched itself down and deflated. So in fact, the dough was just fine, it was still cold so it must have occurred shortly before I arrived.  Lesson learned- yeast is a powerful thing!  Hopefully this means I have worked out all the kinks and this will be a trouble free king cake season.  May the king cake gods be with us!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Goat Cheese with Edible Flowers

You may have noticed it's been a little quiet around here.  Well, I've been a a bit busy with work to say the least.  Posting in an of itself would not be the issue, it's really more about documenting everything I do with (beautiful and perfect) photographs that becomes troublesome. I am happy to announce though,  I have resolved to stop being such a freak and just post something I've made at least a few times a week.  I'll try to put recipes up when time allows, at very least I hope to provide some inspiration with the photographs. I made these little goat cheese balls and garnished them with edible flowers for a cocktail party a while back.  They're perfect to serve with crackers or crostini... I hope you like them!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Lump Crabmeat

My new blog, Gourmet Girl - Healthy Every Day is up and running.  Come take a look and get the recipe for this delicious Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Recipe: Israeli Cous Cous Salad with Roast Golden Beets, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese

I live in south Louisiana, and it's hot.  The only time it's not hot is when it rains; then after the rain it's a steam bath.  On the upside of this dreary weather, my skin is not dry and the produce at the market is amazing.  I live for the farmers market! I get the pleasure of shopping for my business and hand picking all my fruits and vegetables. At home in the evening, after cooking in the shop all day, I hardly want to turn the oven on.  This type of salad is great to make ahead of time.  I roast the beets and keep them in the refrigerator.  The salad comes together fairly quickly and is a great vegetarian main dish or can serve as a side.  I've been trying to eat pasta only on the weekends, eating mostly seafood and vegetables during the week.  I'm working on a new blog which will chronicle the way I eat at home a bit more accurately.  Gourmet Girl will remain and I will post all the yummy things I make at work in my business, Gourmet Girls.  I'll update the new website, Gourmet Girl - Healthy Every Day soon... stay posted!

Israeli cous cous is a large version of regular cous cous, basically a little grain of wheat which is then rolled around in semolina flour.  What I love in particular about Israeli cous cous in this recipe is that it's cooked in chicken broth and takes on all its flavor.  Instead of starting out with a rather bland noodle, you get a tasty little morsel. It's so hot in south Louisiana right now that salads are what's on my menu.  I will say that I did try this while is was still warm and it was very good.  This is the kind of salad you can keep in the icebox and snack on (on the weekends only, of course).

I mix the goat cheese into the salad while still warm, which melts the cheese and evenly distributes the flavor.  If you prefer the goat cheese in chunks, cool all the ingredients before combining them.  I used a light tasting French vinaigrette and added extra flavor by using fresh lemon-thyme.

Israeli Cous Cous Salad with Roast Golden Beets and Goat Cheese

2 cups Israeli Cous Cous
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon-thyme leaves
2 cups cubed roasted beets
1 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 cup French Vinaigrette, (my recipe is under the watermelon salad post in the index)
4 oz. goat cheese
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

1. Place the cous cous and chicken broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated.

2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

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