Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips!

I owed my friend homemade corn tortilla chips and guacamole because i told her i would make it for her....9 months ago... better late than never! these tortilla chips tasted like they came from a mexican restaurant! fresh and crispy, these chips are perfect for salsa or guacamole :] 

take 1 cup of masa harina flour (yes, this exact brand!) and then add 4.5 oz of water. this amount of water was extremely perfect for 1 cup of flour, but if you need to add more just add 1 tablespoon at a time. you're looking for a soft dough that does not stick to your hands after mixing the flour and water together after a couple minutes. 

add a dash of salt and mix the dough together until it forms a nice soft dough like this! 

wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for half an hour so it'll be possible to roll the dough out pretty thin. i accidentally left the dough in the fridge for three hours because i fell asleep...

i used my scale to divide the dough into 8 equal sized balls, but you can also just approximate. 

put them in a tightly closed container so they don't lose their moisture. 

then take a ball and one of those huge ziploc freezer bags and place the ball inside 

then i used a small pyrex glass tupperware to flatten the ball

while the dough is still inside the freezer bag, i rolled it out very, very thinly with my rolling pin

i took the dough out of the freezer bag (very carefully! or else it'll rip!) and then i used that same tupperware to cut the edges, since the edges looked really gross.. 
i used the excess to make more tortillas so no waste!

the size of my tupperware was perfect! i couldn't get over how pretty they looked while i was cutting them out!  

after cutting them, make sure you cover them to prevent the moisture from leaving the tortillas.
heat up a skillet with vegetable oil on medium and then cook each side of the tortilla. 

beautiful! i added a little more vegetable oil on the skillet after each turn so each side would be golden brown. 

my stack of finished tortillas :) you can use these for tostadas, mamacitas! or you can continue reading if you wanna make nachos!

cut the tortillas like this! 

then season both sides of the chips with vegetable oil, salt, and pepper and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. 

i really hope you try this recipe! it's super easy to make and you'll never want to buy tortilla chips from the store again!

ingredient list
(makes about 10 tortillas)
1 cup masa harina flour
4.5 ounces of water
a couple shakes of salt
vegetable oil

Best Guacamole EVER.

this is seriously the best guacamole i have ever had. it's an easy and fast recipe and it's sure to make you feel like you bought it fresh from a mexican restaurant! did i mention it's easy?!

mince half a red onion, a handful of grape tomatoes, and about a 1/4 cup of cilantro. i didn't really measure the ingredients carefully, but i aimed for equal parts of red onion and tomatoes with less cilantro, but it really does depend on personal preference so measuring doesn't matter too too much.  

i then cut half a jalapeno and took out the seeds and the membrane so it won't burn off anyone's taste buds. then i minced it up and added it to the bowl. 

i added juice of half a lime

and then i cut up one avocado in half and immediately squeezed lime juice over it to slow the oxidation process so the avocado won't turn an ugly color. make many cuts horizontally and vertically in the avocado and then spoon out the avocado out of its skin. then add it into the bowl and mix everything together!
once i mixed everything, i added a couple of shakes of cumin, some salt, and pepper. 

then i had a crazy idea. i saw that i had sharp cheddar in my fridge so i busted out my heavy duty blowtorch and melted the crap out of it. 

rawr fire! it was rather difficult taking pictures of melting the cheese without burning it (or the rest of my apartment, for that matter).  

it was so freakin' delicious!! i think the cumin brought everything all together and the salt just added that extra oomph of flavor. simple spices make everything taste super righteous!

Ingredient List
1 whole avocado 
about 1/2 a red onion
about 1/2 cup of tomatoes 
about 1/4 cup of cilantro
juice of half a lime

Friday, February 17, 2012

Teeny Tiny Red Velvet Cake

I usually don't like red velvet cake because it tastes like food coloring to me...but i bought gel food coloring, which is more concentrated than liquid food coloring so i figured i can use way less dye than the normal amount of 2 whole bottles of the liquid stuff. for the recipe, i used pinchmysalt's recipe because i liked that the vinegar and baking soda were combined separately and then added to the cake batter, while other recipes just dumped it all into the batter without having the vinegar and baking soda react together. for some reason, i felt like letting them fizz separately before going into the batter was more legit. plus i also wanted to see them bubble up. science is cool!

sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt twice to ensure that there won't be lumps in the cake batter...

meanwhile... cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. this will incorporate alot of air to ensure a sexy moist cake. after it's become light and fluffy, add the egg, vanilla extract and red food coloring. 

start adding the buttermilk and the sifted dry ingredients alternately, starting with the buttermilk and ending with dry ingredients. i made my own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. oh yeah, fold the wet and dry ingredients into the batter to make sure that you don't work the flour too much. even though i was using cake flour, which has less gluten than AP flour, i didn't want to risk working some gluten into the flour. moist cake = yummy cake!

yay science time! add the vinegar to the baking soda in a separate bowl. when it fizzes, fold it into the cake batter. 

because i used small tart pans to bake these, i preheated my oven to 300F and let it bake for just 15 minutes. i checked for doneness with a chopstick, obviously. 

time to make the frosting! cream together the cool butter and cool cream cheese until it looks like this! then add vanilla extract and then the powder sugar. i would always mess up frosting, until i started adding the powder sugar 1/4 cup at a time and tasting the frosting after each addition so it won't come out too sweet. 

so cute!! and insanely yummy. the cake came out perfectly moist and the frosting did not taste too sweet or too much like cream cheese. perfect!

Ingredient list

for the cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon red gel food coloring
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar 
1 egg (at room temp.) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (at room temp.) 
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar (i used distilled) 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

for the frosting:
1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter
1 cup powder sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz. chilled cream cheese
pinch of salt

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chocolate Ganache Tart with Strawberry Marble...

...And spiked with Bailey's Irish Cream! Mmm. On top of my famous shortbread (i think i got the recipe from Martha Stewart, whoo!), the chocolate ganache glistens and the strawberry puree marble just adds a fruity sweetness to the yummy dense tart. i was desperate to give these away because i knew that, if i didn't, i would end up sitting on the couch eating every slice. buut i might as well share the recipe here and make the rest of the world just a little bit fatter :)

cream together a cool 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter and 1/3 cup powder sugar.

...just until it looks like this. 

i wanted to make it chocolate-y so i added 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and it was the perfect amount! i sifted both the cocoa powder and AP flour into the butter and sugar. i also added a cap-full of vanilla extract while this was mixing. 

once the dry ingredients have been slightly incorporated, i started kneading it to bring everything together. whenever i make this shortbread, it always seems like it's too dry to form into a dough, but if you keep kneading, it will happen! 
the dough looks too dry...but keep kneading! 
once that comes together (see, it's beautiful!), wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 10-20 minutes. this will make the dough easy to stretch so it can efficiently fill the cake pan/tart pan. 

you can either roll the dough out with a rolling pin or use your hands to stretch the dough out to the edges of the pan. before you leave it for 30 minutes in a 300F heated oven, fork the shortbread to prevent it from puffing up (even though it doesn't really's going to be covered in yummy ganache anyway...) 

after half an hour, my whole apartment smelled like chocolate brownies. it was great. 

For the ganache, pour 1 cup of heavy cream into a small saucepan on medium high. once it starts to go on a rolling boil, take it off the heat and pour it onto 12 ounces of chocolate (i used one pack of 10 oz. 60% ghirardelli baking chips and then 2 oz of semi-sweet chocolate because that's all i had in my fridge) 
Leave the heavy cream and chocolate to settle and meld for a quick minute and then use a whisk to mix these together. 
While mixing, add 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 cap-fulls of Bailey's. the butter makes the ganache shiny and the Bailey' it a kick :)

pour the ganache into the cooled shortbread crust and shake the pan around so the ganache distributes evenly. 
i had leftover strawberry puree from my cupcakes, so i marbled it on top of the ganache. mmm!

cool the ganache tart in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
so easy to make! 

ingredient list
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup powder sugar
1 cup AP flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. chocolate with 60% cocoa content
 1 tablespoon of butter
2 teaspoons Bailey's (optional)
strawberry puree (optional) 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day?

Hiii you guys... I know. I disappeared. but i'm pretty sure not many people, or any at all, noticed... i've been baking/cooking alot though, perfecting my amateur skills...i've also been studying more than i used to as well, so i've been too busy to keep up with the blog (plus i totally forgot my password). anyway, i've made these yummy cupcakes and i'm so proud of myself! usually there'd be something off with alot of the stuff i bake, but the components of these cupcakes were topnotch! i don't have the recipe on me...but i'll post it soon, seeing as how i used my go-to chocolate cake recipe that i've perfected!

alright, now the food porn begins:

strawberry buttercream frosting on top of a very moist coffee-spiked chocolate cake

the strawberry buttercream was made with strawberry puree, which did not have any added sugar, just strawberries and a splash or two of water in a saucepan, blended when boiled, then simmered for 20 minutes. then i put it in the fridge to let it cool and thicken before adding it to butter and powdered sugar. 

and a hidden heart in the middle! which was just a regular white cake that i dyed pink with gel food coloring 

i also had a little bit of cake batter left so i busted out my mini muffin pan! these were really cute. 

i honestly hate valentine's day simply because people in love should show their love everyday rather than  just one day out of the year, but i do love baking heart-shaped things :]