Saturday, March 29, 2014

lemon blueberry ricotta pound cake

I made this on Thursday and I s#!t you not when I woke up the next day, the plate was in the sink and all was left were crumbs. The lemon is so fresh and fragrant, being so abundant in this peak lemon picking season. The blueberries are also perfect, juicy and plump studded throughout this moist cake. And we'll talk about this more down below but the ricotta cheese gives this cake such a moistness, which also lets us cut on the butter. Moist, tasty, and low-fat, what more could you ask for. 

Ah, lemon, blueberry, and ricotta, such a classic flavor combination and it works beautifully in this cake. But you may be thinking, cheese in a dessert? Well do you like cannolis? Of course you do, and you can thank the italians for figuring out that ricotta is the secret to creamy, rich, delicious desserts. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

coming soon - lemon blueberry ricotta pound cake

Saturday, March 22, 2014

coconut rice pudding - spring break partying pudding style

This week I have for ya'll a delicious Coconut Rice Pudding, the easiest, creamiest, smoothest rice pudding you have ever had, or in this case, read about and saw in pictures. Originally I was going to make something rose infused or scented, but then I got attacked by a colony of spiders living inside my roses. So that can happen. Anyways, that's why this week instead of drawing inspiration from the garden-y, flower-y aspect of spring, I thought about Spring Break. And what food item do you think of first when I say Spring Break. Pina Coladas. I know it's a drink, but you haven't seen those college students, Pina Coladas are spring breakers substinance for an entire week. So long story short, instead of partying I'm making rice pudding. I know, ya'll are the ones missing out.

Rice pudding is a very easy dessert to make. There isn't much skill involved with it and you can make it any flavor you want it to be. This week, I'll be showing you the base of a rice pudding and how you can spike it with a burst of tropical flavors like pineapple and coconut, maybe a little rum if you want but we'll talk about that more later. First things first we need to prepare our rice. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

coming soon - coconut rice pudding

This week I was going to make something rose water scented or infused in celebration of the first week of spring. However, I realized something very wrong when I brought the roses into my house. First I want backtrack a little, you know some spiders live in rose bushes. Well, I didn't know that until I brought an entire colony of spiders into my house. I don't like spiders, I don't think I know anyone who does. Little spiders, momma spiders, papa spiders, they were everywhere. I literally took a heavy saucepan and banged it on every moving thing I saw. So instead of drawing inspiration from the flowery garden aspect of spring, I decided to put my play on this classic spring break drink, Pina Colada. Stay tuned for this one.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

bailey's irish cream chocolate mousse cheesecake - happy st. patricks day!

Happy Leprechaun Day! I hope ya'll didn't get pinched too badly by all those people who take this wearing green thing way too seriously. I know it's Spring Break (well for me at least) but it's time to get back to work. Toiling away in the kitchen, testing recipes and writing blogs. I know, such a tough life. I can't complain though if I get to eat cakes like this afterwards; so let's dispense with the cordial banter and get started. 

I'm not saying I'm an alcoholic but, every chance that presents itself I have to take advantage of it. Sometimes I even play a game where I see how much booze I can slip into a dessert without someone noticing. I'm not sure if I won or lost, I can't really remember anything after that. But that's not the point seeing that this blog is about cooking and not about my personal life. 

coming soon - bailey's irish cream chocolate mousse cheesecake

The name may not roll of the tongue but I can assure you that it tastes just as good as it professes to be. Think of this Irish inspired creation as the love child between a cheesecake, a chocolate mousse, and Bailey's. That's right, we went there. So it wasn't the easiest thing to make but it was certainly worth it. This light creamy cheesecake was absolutely delicious spiked with Bailey's, but the star of the show, I think, was the chocolate mousse. Not to bore you with the details but stay tuned for this scrumpdiliuptious chow-fection. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

dairy-free strawberry banana ice cream with flambeed bananas

Three Ingredients. Three minutes. Strawberry Banana Ice Cream. It's elementary Watson. Do you know why bananas are the best curved fruits on the planet? Well besides the fact that you can bake banana breads and banana cream pies with them, they're also perfect for making creamy, thick, luscious ice cream. Finally a healthy and fun way to get the family to eat their fruits (I've got nothing for those icky vegetables). And for you foreigners and babies who did not understand the title, yes, this is dairy-free. So how do we make a dairyless ice cream? I'm glad you asked. 

Through magic culinary voodoo we're about to turn an ordinary tropical fruit into a cold and creamy dessert. Yup, who knew pureed frozen bananas could make such thick and satisfyingly rich ice cream. I did. Okay, now you do too. This recipe basically calls for only three ingredients. Two of which you probably guessed were strawberries and bananas. And you might be thinking to yourself, this is probably one of those yucky healthy recipes that those vegans came up with on their hippie buses to world peace, but I can assure to you that only half of that is true. Yes this dessert is 100% animal exclusive, but no it taste just like a creamy ice cream or sorbet you get from the store. So follow me to creamy heaven as we make the healthiest, surprisingly tastiest ice cream we've made on this blog to date. 

coming soon - dairy free strawberry banana ice cream

Dairyless, guilt-free, creamy indulgence. How is this possible? Check back to find out.

roasted strawberry tart - featuring cheater's puff pastry

A couple weeks ago I made for ya'll a delicious Mini Blueberry Tart. And that was fun and all but, you really haven't had fun until you've made this tart. And I know you're probably thinking to yourself, what's the difference, this one is just going to be topped with strawberries instead of blueberries. It's okay to be wrong sometimes. Instead of a pate sucree for the tart crust, we're going to be using a puff pastry. But not just any puff pastry dough, our own homemade one. That's right, so if you've been itching to now how those fancy french get their dough to become all flaky and such stick around for the answer.

The donations at the Chow Creations studios have been basically nonexistent this week. Which means a couple things. The first is that I'm broke. And the second means that I'm too broke to buy puff pastry dough, or good puns. Which means I have to make my own, which isn't the easiest thing to do, a close second to performing open-heart surgery on a fly. That's why I've devised this Cheater's Puff Pastry Dough which allows you to make puff pastry in less than 5 minutes. What what.

coming soon - roasted strawberry tart

flat and chewy chocolate chipped cookies

Stop! Slowly read these next sentences with all your might and attention. Got it? Good. Okay, I think we all know that nothing is better than a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. Chewy, chocolatey, and warm. Am I right or am I right. But no one likes those doughy dry mounds of crap people call cookies these days. That's why this week I'm bringing back the good ol' days with America's favorite cookie, The Chocolate Chip. 

Howard Taft. I approve of these cookies. In fact my pockets are full of them.

The best types of chocolate chip cookies are the flat and chewy ones. I even prefer them to be slightly bendable. That's the hallmark for a really good choco-chip. Not too sweet, and dotted with chips of chocolate. This recipe is all that and more. If you follow this recipe to the period, I can guarantee that you will be presented with a batch of the most perfect, classic chocolate chip cookies you have ever tasted and or seen. The ones Ben Franklin, and Howard Taft would be proud of. And you can be sure President Taft had a few cookies in his day.

coming soon - flat and chewy chocolate chipped cookies

Get ready cause we're kickin' it grandma style. That is to say this week we're going to pay homage to the things we love our grandmas for, money on our birthdays and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Stay tuned for this one.

mini blueberry tarts

If you are not reading this on President's Day, please omit the first four sentences, not including this one. Well President's Day is here again. How many of you know why we have that holiday? And you call yourself an American.* Well it doesn't really matter why we celebrate it as to what we'll be doing with it, and you know what I'll be doing, eating Blueberry Tarts. It's true, these tarts are a labor of love. First you have to make a crust, then pastry cream, and then macerate blueberries, it's a lot of work. But it's so worth it. The combination of buttery crust, smooth thick cream and sweet berries, I don't think there is a better pie/tart filling combination. Well tied with bananas and cream and cookies and cream but they're all close firsts. Anyways, besides being super tasty, these aren't half bad to look at either. So I hope you guys check this one out, scroll down so you can learn how to be the envy at this year's President's Day party. Just a reminder, all of the ingredients for this and all my other chow-fections can be found at the bottom of the posts. :)

coming soon - mini blueberry tarts

faux chocolate macarons - easy and can't be

Whence back in the olden times of autumn and such, I wrote a column on how to make your own Macaroons. Like I explained there's a difference between a Macaroon and Macaron, one is the coconut meringue drop and the other is the French cookie respectively. I also said that one of these days I would show you how to make a French macaron...but today isn't that day. Today I'll be showing you how to make my PATENTED macaron making method that doesn't require any skill or talent whatsoever, traits I know very few of my followers possess.

coming soon - faux chocolate macarons

peanut butter cupcakes - nutty personal only

Every morning for the past month I've been eating Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Two toasted slices, spreaded with two tablespoons of peanut butter on the toasted side while it's still warm and folded in half. The bread is soft, but crispy on the inside filled with gooey, peanut buttery goodness, it's been the highlight of my day for, like I've said, the past month which is - pretty sad. But because I enjoy my preday peanut butter sandwiches so much, I decided to make a peanut butter dessert that paid a very special homage to that. 

These "Double" Peanut Butter Cupcakes are moist and dense on the inside but light, crispy and golden on top. Which aesthetically doesn't matter because we're just going to cover it with a delicious Peanut Butter Frosting. However texture wise it almost exactly replicates what I love so much about my morning Peanut Butter Sandwiches. 

coming soon - peanut butter cupcakes

momma's sour cream cookies - well how i imagined them to be

Despite the title my Mom never made these, but that doesn't mean I can't make them for myself. 

After those Monday Night Football Parties, don't you always have leftover sour cream. Whether it's from that delicious five-layer dip, or those disgusting vegetable platters, I know there will always have extra. And up until now I didn't know what to do with it. Then I thought about cookies, you can make cookies with anything. These cookies are refreshing, simple but delicious and only take a few minutes to prepare, and eat the whole batch. Okay, well I'm not sure about the eating the whole batch part but make them I did, and they did not disappoint. 

coming soon - momma's sour cream cookies

Leftover Sour Cream? Make Sour Cream Cookies. It's just that simple.

strawberry lime oatmeal squares - snack on awesomeness

What's that? I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the awesomeness of this dessert. When you take that first bite your teeth barely crush that crisp crunchy crust, however then it sinks into the soft fruity center. Buttery, strawberry-y, and slightly tangy, I don't think there's much more you could ask of this chow-fection. By the way, just to let you all know, in order to even comprehend this post you need to have read my previous post on how to make Lime Curd. That's pretty much the other half of this recipe so head on down there if you do not want to be just half as smart as everyone else. Seriously stop here if you have not read it. I mean it. He said assuming all of you could see his very serious expression.

Okay, so those of you who are left have either done what I've said, or are internet trolls, whoever you are you're definitely in for a treat. I take an easy shortbread crust, heartened with nutty bursts of oats, and layer it with strawberry preserves and lime curd. Absolutely delicious, and not to mention super easy. Seriously, as easy as mixing things in a bowl. So let's get started!

coming soon - strawberry lime oatmeal squares

Who said you can't bake lime curd into a square. Stick around for this one.

lime curd - easy peasy lime...wait

What do you do when you're mom's co-worker gives you a bag of limes? You cannot make the proverbial lemonade, but you can make this delicious chow-fection! Perfect for filling pies, or even breakfast with toast, this lime curd sure does it all. Did I mention it was easy too. You don't need any fancy equipment, nor do you need to be a very good chef either. If you can follow directions you can make this crud...I mean curd. You don't know how many times I'm going to make that mistake in this blog. This curd has a pudding-like consistency with a light lime flavor. Absolutely deliciouso. So scroll on down so we can get started!

To begin I'm going to separate two yolks and two eggs into a small bowl. Please do not throw those whites away. Every time you waste your whites a whale from Wisconsin wallows. I'm not sure if that made much sense but the alliteration was very satisfying. The point is you can use those whites for macarons, or even a breakfast omelet. 

coming soon - lime curd

Just don't mistake it for Lime Crud.

the best zucchini bread - that's in the world

After staying up all night to watch the ball drop, or in some places a large shoe, a giant peach, or a live possum, you want something super delicious to wake up to. And this, is that somethin' something. Not only is this really tasty, but you can prepare this days before you want to serve. Actually I'll say my peace now, it does taste better if you wait for like two days. The bread sinks down into the tin, and the flavors meld together, I think it's just superb. But please don't wait more than two days because then you will have a different kind of green thing running through your bread, and it won't be the zucchini.

coming soon - the best zucchini bread

What's so special about this zucchini bread? Years and years ago, long before whisks and spoonulas my aunt's grandmothers and their mothers before them made zucchini bread for the entire village. Well I'm not sure about that village part but I do know this recipe is at least twice as old as I am maybe even a little older. I stole this bread from my Auntie Rosa's cookbook last week when we made this together, and I have to say, it was delicious. We quadrupled the recipe and made ten loaves to give to all of our family members. I've never made zucchini bread before and I have to say not only were they easy to make but they're healthy and beautiful. I think it was because I had really good teacher. This is the perfect gift for your favorite grandparents or friends that you want to live for a very long time. The bread is lightly sweet and very moist, you have to stick around for this one. I'll probably have the recipe out in a few short days so... And as always,


strawberry mousse chiffon cake - brought to you from the mystical lands of atlanta!

Chiffon sounds interesting right? I bet it was the only reason why clicked this link. Well sorry to disappoint you but, a chiffon cake is nothing but a sponge cake in French. Disappointing right…wait, I bet you don’t even know how to make a sponge cake. Hypocritess ;) This cake is light and fluffy, layered with my Five-Second Strawberry Mousse, and covered with whipped cream. For the holidays I flew to Atlanta to see how the great bakers there bake their cakes, and to also share this delicious chow-fection to the entire world (otherwise known as the 5 people who have visted this blog and my immediate family). The recipe demonstrated in this blogpost is none other than of famous Chinese chef, Victor Hsu, also known as my uncle, and also referred to as “who is that guy?” Well you would be right, he is a nobody, but there’s one thing he is known for, Chiffon Cakes. After smuggling from Taiwan the secrets to making perfectly light, fluffy chiffon, he perfected it with his own mad scientific flair. Littered below are his many pro tips on how to make a perfect chiffon cake that will surely impress your relatives and friends this holiday season. So without two twists of a peacock’s feathers let’s get bakin’ so we can get cakin’.

Uncle Vic begins his recipe by weighing out his
 dry and wet ingredients. For me I don't have a digital scale, or any scale for that matter, so in the recipe below I converted all the measurements to volume, however a part of me agrees that weight measurements would be more precise. Once your mise en place is complete we can begin to mix the meringue for the cake. The thing with a chiffon cake is that it doesn't have baking soda nor baking powder in the batter. For a cake to rise you need one of the two components, a mechanical leavener, or a chemical leavener. Usually in cakes and cookies we add baking soda or powder, these are called chemical leaveners. When they are baked they cause a chemical reaction in the batter that rises the cake. In things like puff pastry, or chiffon cake there are certain components in the dessert that cause it to rise. In puff pastry it is because of all the layers of fat and flour that expand when they're stack on top of each other. In chiffon cakes the air pockets in the meringue expand with steam causing the cake to rise. These are called mechanical leaveners. 

coming soon - strawberry mousse chiffon cake

It's been a while and I've been meaning to tell you but I've been on vacation in the far east for the past week. I know so exotic. Well by far I mean having to fly on an airplane, and by east I mean Atlanta. But that's okay I like Atlanta you guys are cool. Anyways while I was there a certain celebrity chef took me through the makings of his famous Chiffon Cake. I won't say who yet, but let's just say he's up and coming. Stay with me for his light and airy Lemon Chiffon Cake layered with my 5 Second Strawberry Mousse, you'll feel like your taste buds have sprouted wings and floated to heaven. So I hope you guys give this one a go, and I'll be sure to have the recipe up in a day or two. And as always, 


nutella no-bake crumb bars - "fudge"ddaboudit

Are you cheap? Is it too much effort for you to get a shopping cart so you end up carrying all your groceries? Are you hungry? If you answered yes to any of the questions above  then, this chow-fection is perfect for you. Not only is this easy to make, but you can have better than store-bought fudge in under ten minutes. Yes, it's amazing what sugar, butter, and chocolate can do in the same amount of time it takes for you to take a dump. And although these bars are certainly fudgy I wouldn't necessarily call them fudge. When you sink your teeth into these bars the chocolate automatically melts on the tongue, but the oats provide a nice chewy, nutty finish. If the kids are itching to give the family gifts this is the perfect activity to get them involved. Not only are these super easy to make, but you're friends and family will finally know that you have the best kids in the family. So scroll down and check these out!

To start I am going to bring my sugar, butter, cream, and cocoa to a boil over medium heat. Once the butter has completely melted and the mixture boils, keep it on the heat for another minute. 

coming soon - nutella no-bake crumb bars

I cannot stress how easy this is. I mean you could literally have holiday fudge in less than 10 minutes. These bars are perfect for giving as gifts, or just for you selfish indulgent people. So I hope you check back for this amazing holiday chow-fection. And as always, 


crunchy chewy orange chocolate cookies - happy national cocoa day!

Instead of the traditional single bite shot, I decided to go with the more daring double bite.
As you all know on December 12th it's National Cocoa Day! So in recognition of this truly special food holiday, I decided to make a chow-fection that embodied everything I love about cocoa, while presenting it in a shape we all know and love. Thus the birth of the Crunchy Chewy Orange Chocolate Cookie, and the extra fold in my love handle. But we can work that off later however there's no better excuse to make these cookies other than right now. Using a little bit of my scientific knowledge I was able to combine my two favorite textures to create a cookie unlike any you have ever tried, so stay tuned for the secret shortly. But without further-ado let's get started! 

To begin I'm going to whisk together my All Purpose (AP) flour, my salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder. You don't need to dirty a sifter when whisking proves just as effective. 

coming soon - crunchy chewy orange chocolate cookies

I'll be showing you how to make one of the easiest, most delicious cookies on the market, Chewy Chocolate Orange Cookies! Inspired by my love for oranges and chocolate there's no way you could mess up this recipe. Well, unless you mistook the sugar for salt. Or if you forgot to turn on the oven and waited all day for you cookies to bake. Or if you listened to a song that was not christmas related while you were baking these cookies. But other than that, as long as you don't do the three mentioned before, there's practically nothing that can stop in your way. So stay tuned for that. And as always, 


chewy coconut bars - the brownie's lesser known cousin

The holidays lend me so much to be grateful for, my family, good health, and coconut bars! Well, less than good health after you eat them. But isn't that what the holidays are about. We suffer and scrape by on atkins and or weight watchers for the better part of the year just so we can eat chewy coconut bars today. This holiday season don't you think your family deserves to indulge a little, and what better way to gain back those 3 pounds than with this scrumptious chow-fection.

coming soon - chewy coconut bars

Maybe I have a coconut fetish, or I accidently here I am again will another coconut recipe. In the coming days I'll be showing you the perfect holiday, work, potluck offering that will not only be delicious, but easy to make. These relatives of the fudgy brownie are chewy and gooey, filled with coconut and chocolate. After a heavy thanksgiving meal you want to have something you can carry around while you do your black friday shopping. These bars are so delicious that it's been reported to be deployed to distract shoppers from deals. Reported by me. Nevertheless I hope you make these for your big day, please stay tuned, and as always,


assorted macaroons - welcome to america

Oh boy! Macaroons! I sure love me some of those mini french sandwich cookies that are soooo in style right now. You're really showing us how to make those Chef Chow? EH-UH! That was supposed to be the sound a buzzer makes. No I'm showing you how to make the american coconut macaroons. You know the you always shy away from because they're way too sweet macaroons. The only difference is, mine are delicious!

Now I know not all of you think that they're overly sweet but I do, and so do the members of my weekly, overly sweet macaroons club. But you don't have to worry because I found two tricks to cut the sweetness of the macaroons so they taste just perfect! The first trick is to toast your coconut flakes before you actually bake the cookies. This way the initial sugar from the sweetened coconut gets caramelized, and all you're left with is a deep coconut flavor. My second tip is to add different flavorings. Macaroons are often too sweet because there's no flour or butter to absorb the sugar. Adding citrus or nuts can balance the flavor, and not to mention show people that you aren't just a one-trick pony. 

sweetened coconut flakes - better than store bought

Now if you've been following me since the last post on how to prepare a coconut, you probably have a container of coconut meat hidden in your fridge so take that out now. To turn this fresh coconut into sweetened coconut that you buy from the store you need to boil a cup of water. Add 16 teaspoons of granulated sugar and mix until dissolved, shut the stove off. While your water was boiling you should've taken your coconut and shredded it on a grater or in a food processor. You want small flakes of coconut, it depends on how merciful you are feeling today. Pack cups of coconut and throw them into the sugar water. You should have 4 cups. Buy more if you don't, and eat the remainder if you have extras. The coconut should absorb all of that liquid. Spread them on a lined cookie sheet until dried. To speed up the process every thirty minutes shuffle the flakes around with a spatula.