Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finally back in the kitchen - Did ya miss me?!

admit it. you misssssed me...

okay not as much as i missed you. it has been a long time since i've been back in the kitchen. my trip to india (did i even tell you i was going?) was a whirlwind tour with days and days of wedding festivities, trips to see wild lions, near-death car accidents, loads of time with family - and moments where i missed my grandfather immensely. the whole trip came and went in a blur, but now i am already back at work on my next rotation: outpatient medicine.

the good thing about this rotation is that i've got a little more time on my hands. no more having to take call, work weekends, blah blah. im just in clinic, then im not. it's excellent, especially considering how exhausted i am from writing grant applications and moving forward with plans for my research year (exciting!). 

before i left, sheila got me a great gift: the flavor bible. such an awesome present (though my present to her was better: i surprised her with my trip to india :). apparently this book is everyone's essential guide to improve cooking, and i cant wait to get in the kitchen more to use it.

this baking adventure was my first small attempt at utilizing knowledge from the flavor bible. after flipping to "blueberries" in the book, i saw that "cinnamon" was listed as being an AWESOME pairing with the bo's. now i have never thought about that particular combo (and i love cinnamon with EVERYTHING), but according to a contributor to the flavor bible, "Cinnamon with blueberries really intensifies the flavor of the blueberries." according to google, everyone else already knew that this combination was a winner.  alas, that is why this book is so essential to my culinary learning. stoked! see?!:

since coming from the 80'degree days in india, ive been cold as all hell back home, so i decided to go with a light, airy, summery dessert. and a semi-healthy one too. angel food cake is deliciously fat free, made super fluffy by the butt-load of egg whites. ma and i are attempting to get healthy - needless to say, she didn't like the "rubberiness" of the cupcake version. what can i say? eating healthy is an acquired taste!

angel food cupcakes (makes 36 regular cupcakes)
  • angel food cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  1. prepare the batter as instructed on the box. use a big bowl - the batter gets reaaaal fluffy with the dry egg whites already in the mix. 
  2. fill your double-lined muffin tins* 2-3 full, then bake at 350F for 15 minutes, or until the tops spring back to touch. 
  3. remove from oven, then remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. 
* i double-lined a few of the cupcakes and noticed that it prevented the sides of the cupcake from drying out and sticking to the liner as much. clutch finding.

blueberry cinnamon topping (tops ~1/3 of the cupcakes... sorry)
  • 12 oz frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  1. combine blueberries, sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat. 
  2. once the blueberries start to break down and simmer, add the cornstarch and stir until dissolved. 
  3. keep on heat for a few more minutes or until the sauce thickens, then remove and let cool completely. its up to you how much you want the blueberries to break down - i liked the look of them keeping their shape.
  4. scoop 1 tbsp of topping onto cooled angel food cupcakes and enjoy! you guys see this? do you see how fluffy it is? how gorgeous the blueberries look? it is so light, the perfect amount of sweet... yes, they are a little bouncy as far as mouthfeel goes (another word i learned from the flavor bible). regular angel food cake is made in a special pan, and cools upside down. so, cupcakes are dicey. they can stick to the wrappers if you over cook them - a trick i figured out is you can sweat them in a closed container for a bit. the wrappers peel a little easier after that!

there it is. im back. and guess what else - i've got a bundt pan that should be arriving in the next day or two. expect cake. soon.

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