Matcha île flottante with roasted soybean powder and Japanese black honey

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I first thought of this recipe a few months back when I did the chocolate almond meringues. I had put the first batch in the oven and found that I still had a cup or two of the whipped egg whites left. Since I tend to do a lot of midnight baking sessions and I didn’t want to have to bake again late into the night, I decided to make a simple île flottante recipe with the leftovers. Unfortunately I didn’t have the materials to make the cream sauce, so I didn’t bother photographing it.

However I decided to revisit the recipe again, only with an Asian twist. Matcha is a type of green tea that takes the leaves and grinds them into a flavorful, bright green powder. I incorporate that into the egg whites in this recipe. In the cream sauce, I use kuromitsu as a sweetener. Roughly translated into black honey in English, kuromitsu is a syrup made from a special black sugar. It has a flavor very similar to molasses.

I first tasted the stuff in a restaurant in Dallas. They topped a serving of ice cream with the kuromitsu and a dusting of kinako, roasted soybean flour. It was delicious. So, I decided to play with the dessert’s flavors. (For those that have never had kinako, it tastes a lot like ground peanuts, though more nutty.)

Enough with my mini story time, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon matcha

Crème Anglaise, recipe partially inspired from one from Epicurious

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup milk, any type
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons kuromitsu, or extra dark brown sugar if not available
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings:

  • kinako to taste
  • kuromitsu to taste

Step 1: Whip the egg whites until they have soft peaks. While the whites are whipping, mix the matcha with the sugar. Make sure there are no lumps of matcha powder or there will be bitter lumps of color in the meringue. Matcha is too strong a flavor when eaten straight.

Step 2: With the mixer on low, or stirring slowly, add the sugar mix in slowly. Wait until the sugar is mixed in fully before increasing the speed to avoid a cloud of matcha floating out of the mixing bowl. Whip the mixture until you achieve stiff peaks that are sturdy and hold their own in structure. Set aside.

Step 3: In a small sauce pan, heat the milk and cream while stirring occasionally. In another small bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar until combined. When the milk/cream mixture starts to steam, remove from heat. Add a tablespoon or two of the liquid into the egg yolks. Mix to combine. This will thin out and warm up the yolks, preventing them from cooking in the next step.

Step 4: Add more milk mixture into the yolks until they create a thin liquid. Add them back into the warm milk in the saucepan. Return the pan to the heat. While stirring constantly over high heat, continue to cook the milk/egg mix. You will notice the bottom of the pan will start to accumulate a thicker cream as the crème Anglaise cooks. This is the beginnings of the sauce forming. Continue stirring, and cook until you create a homogenous mixture that coats the back of a spoon. You know you are done when you can swipe a finger across a sauce-coated spoon and the liquid keeps the trail open. Set the sauce aside.

Step 5: With a spoon, scoop a quenelle of meringue. You can do this by making repeated, sweeping wrist movements against the rim of your mixing bowl. This will make an almost egg-like shape.  (This video does a good job describing the motion, however meringue will not move as uniformly as whipped cream, so no stress if it isn’t perfect at first.)

Step 6: Place your spoonful of meringue onto a plate, this will not be your serving plate. Add a teaspoon of water onto the base of the plate, try to avoid it touching your meringue too much. Microwave for 15-20 seconds. (Props go to Sorted Food for showing me this technique, I swear they are like my mini cooking school.)

Step 7: Pour some of the crème Anglaise into a shallow bowl. Place the meringue into the sauce. (This is where the name of this dish comes from. Île means island, flottant means floating. So the meringue is an island floating in a sea of crème Anglaise of sorts.) Sprinkle the kinako over the meringue and drizzle with kuromitsu.

*Last note, I strongly urge you guys to go to your local Asian grocery store and find kinako. It may be tempting to skip it as it is not a common ingredient, but that topping is what makes this dish. The nuttiness pairs well with the flavor of green tea.

 

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Quail egg stuffed mushrooms with parmesan and lemon

quail egg mushroom

Since I have never worked with quail eggs before, this recipe was definitely an experiment for me. However my initial struggles were so worth it!

I live in Bloomington, Ind. and I will definitely say that city loves its local foods. I shop at a co-op because they sell farm eggs and for months I have walked past a small section that contains a few cartons of quail eggs. I usually avoid them because they are on the more expensive side for a college student’s grocery list, however last week I decided to splurge for a little cooking exploratory.

Sautéed in duck fat, minced garlic and topped with a sprinkling of lemon juice, this recipe is light with a touch of decadence. For a helpful hint to those who like runny eggs, I recommend precooking the mushrooms in the pan for a few minutes before cracking the eggs in. This way, the egg yolk does not have a chance to cook. I wish I had done this the first time around.

Ingredients

  • 9 medium large sized button mushrooms, you want them big enough to fit the quail egg without overflowing
  • 9 quail eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs duck fat
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Clean the mushrooms by rubbing them with a damp towel. Remove the stems if they are still attached. Next, with a paring knife, cut a thin slice off of the top of the mushroom cap to create a flat surface. This will prevent the mushrooms from rolling around in the pan.

Step 2: Sprinkle the insides of the mushroom caps with salt and pepper. Fill each cap with a quail egg. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper.

Step 3: Heat a large frying pan on high. Melt the duck fat until it starts sizzling. Add the garlic, cook until it’s golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside for plating. This step seasons the fat.

Step 4: Add the mushrooms into the pan. *Hint, have the mushrooms close to the pan to reduce egg spillage in case the mushrooms are nearly overflowing. Cook for a minute uncovered and then add the wine. Cover the pan and have the steam finish the cooking process. Cook on medium for 3-4 minutes. When finished, the mushroom will be soft and tender. Add more water to the pan if the wine cooks away and the mushrooms are not done yet.

Step 4: Plate the mushrooms. Top with a squeeze of lemon juice, the fried garlic, the parmesan and the lemon zest. Sprinkle a little parsley if you are feeling fancy.

Roasted curry cauliflower with lemon yogurt sauce

curried cauliflower

Ever since I found a stray jar of curry powder sitting in the back of my pantry, I have been dumping the stuff in everything.

It really it a miracle spice. Why? Because it can make anything taste good. Not that I am saying cauliflower doesn’t taste good. However I do think that curry has so much flavor that you wouldn’t mind going meatless for a meal because of it.

Which is why I picked it for this recipe.

This is another dish I made with the idea in mind that people are currently trying to cut down on unhealthy food. Like the last post I did on cheat chocolate pudding, I wanted to make something so rich in flavor that you wouldn’t realize that it was pretty good for you.

Still want protein? That’s what the greek yogurt sauce is for. Also, I would not be against frying an egg or two and throwing them on top. In the end, this is a good way to increase your vegetable intake.

Ingredients

Roasted cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, this helps boost the color
  • 2 tsp ghee, which is an Indian-style clarified butter. You can equally use generic unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 1 individual cup of plain greek yogurt (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp finely shopped parsley or mint
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Melt the ghee or butter. Add the curry powder, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper.

Step 2: Put your cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Pour your ghee mixture evenly over them. Mix well and let sit to marinate for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Preheat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Give your cauliflower another good mix. Pour onto the baking sheet and distribute evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Take the baking sheet out and turn all of the florets over, return to the oven. Bake another 10 minutes.

Step 4: While the cauliflower is baking, make the yogurt sauce. Mix all ingredients well, set aside.

Step 5: When the cauliflower is cooked, pull the baking sheet from the oven. All the florets should be tender and have patches of mild toast/burn marks. (It’s hard to tell if everything is golden brown because the cauliflower will already be yellow from the spice mix)

Step 6: Serve warm with yogurt sauce. Also, if you happen to have any Indian simmer sauces on hand, add a dribble. Hot sauce works just as well – a little extra heat is awesome in this recipe for those that like it.

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Creamy mushroom soup

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So I had a craving for mushroom soup for a week before I made this. However, unlike most cream of mushroom soups that are overly heavy, I wanted something that was both light and creamy.

This is where lemon is my best friend. I remembered a recipe I did a few months back for the Indiana Daily Student. I wrote a recipe on quick chicken pot pie. My feature was a homemade filling made entirely from scratch. I used lemon juice to cut the fattiness of the cream sauce.

This is the exact same technique I used here. I also wanted the soup to have a chunkiness to it, so I added some leftover butternut squash to add some texture and a slight sweetness.

Ditch the canned soup and give this a shot. It will be worth your while.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup finely shopped butternut squash, you can sub in sweet potato or carrots (or both) if you so choose
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs butter, sub out for duck fat if you are feeling fancy (I was)
  • 6 tbs flour
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Melt the 2 tbs of butter in a large saucepan heated on high. When it begins to bubble, add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent and aromatic. Add the mushrooms and rosemary. Cook until the mushrooms have wilted and reduced in size. Reduce the heat to medium high.

Step 2: Add the butternut squash, stir well and then cover with a lid. Cook until the squash is tender and splits easily with a fork. Add water or white wine to the pan if the vegetables begin to dry out while cooking. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Pour the flour into the pan with the vegetables, mix well. Cook a minute or two to get rid of the raw flour taste. Gradually, pour in the four cups of water one cup at a time while stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice. Cook until the soup thickens, it will take a bit of time for the grains of flour to absorb the liquid.

Step 4: Reduce heat to low and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Avocado chocolate pudding with orange blossom water

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With the thought in mind that a lot of people are looking for healthier foods, either in prep for spring break or summer, I thought I would show you guys a cheat dessert recipe.

This is the ultimate chocolate pudding for people who want a guilt-free dessert to soothe that chocolate craving. Unlike most puddings that use eggs and flour for a creamy factor, this uses an avocado. Yes, I know that sounds weird. However avocado blends into a creamy, pudding-like texture that is mild in flavor. As long as there is plenty of chocolate to cover the color, no one would know any better.

To kick things up a notch, and to compliment the light fruitiness that accompanies avocado, I added a dribble of orange blossom water. This ingredient is commonly used in middle eastern food and adds a touch of floral flavor to anything you make. *Do watch out though. If you use more than a dribble, everything will taste like perfume.

Lastly, for those looking for vegan options, full fat coconut milk can be subbed in for milk as an easy alternative. Additionally, the chocolate chips can be taken out and replaced with more cocoa powder – simply add more honey to even out the sweetness. When you add more cocoa powder, do it in increments to make sure you don’t overpower the recipe it as 100% cocoa is bitter.

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey, you can add more to suit your tastes
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus more to help the blender if needed
  • 1/8 tsp orange blossom water

Step 1: Halve and de-seed the avocado. Add to a food processor. Pour in your milk, orange blossom water and honey. Blend until creamy. There should be no lumps. If things aren’t moving smoothly, add more milk in a couple tablespoons at a time until everything blends evenly. The texture when you are done should be exactly the same as pudding.

Step 2: Add the cocoa powder, give the mix a stir before you blend again to prevent powder from being thrown onto the food processor walls. Blend again until the cocoa powder is fully incorporated. Look at the color, the level of brown should be similar to really dark chocolate. Add more cocoa powder if you need to.

Step 3: Melt your chocolate chips for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir. Keep microwaving at 10 second intervals until fully melted. Add the avocado mix into the chocolate. Stir well.

Step 4: Serve immediately with whipped cream and honey. Following the middle eastern feel, I sprinkled crushed rose petals and ground almonds on top. (Pistachios would be preferable)

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Oreo filled crêpe cakes

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Yes. I went there. This recipe takes two of my favorite things (crêpes and Oreos) and mixes them into this deceptively complicated-looking cake.

So I am assuming most of you guys have heard of Oreo truffles? They mix crumbled Oreos and cream cheese and then are covered in chocolate. Well I took a similar route, only I left the mix a little thin so that it would create a chocolate Oreo icing.

This is a recipe I am familiar with as I did a similar crêpe cake for the Indiana Daily Student a month or so ago. This cake is perfect for those that want something that is easy to assemble. With some prep work, this recipe can easily made in a matter of minutes. Taking the traditional aesthetic of a crêpe cake, I cut mini circles out of full-sized crepes to create personal sized portions for you guys. If you have any random cookie cutters that are sitting around, this is a great way to use them.

If you want to simplify this recipe, you can of course leave the crêpes whole and cut into the cake to get slices.

Ingredients:

Crêpes (base recipe partially inspired by one from Alton Brown)

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Oreo ganache

  • 2/3 cups Oreo crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cream, warmed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Step 1: Mix the eggs, flour and butter in a large bowl until you achieve a thick paste. Using a whisk, slowly add the milk into the paste, thinning it out gradually. Keep stirring until the milk is added. Repeat for the water. Set the mix aside.

Step 2: Melt the chocolate in the microwave, initially start with 30 seconds. Stir. Return to the microwave for another 10 seconds. Repeat the 10-second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted. Add the cream, stirring until you get a smooth liquid. Add the Oreo crumbs. Mix well. If the mixture becomes too thick, add the milk to thin it out. Add more if it is still too thick. You want this ganache to be reminiscent of pudding. Set aside to let the crumbs soak in the mix and break down into an even, not gritty, icing. (To make this really smooth, it helps to blend the final mix in a food processor for a few seconds.)

Step 3: Heat a frying pan on high. Pour an even, light coat of oil.Take the crêpe batter and pour about 1/2 cup of the batter to the pan, constantly rotating the pan to create a smooth circle. Place the pan back on the heat, reducing the flame to medium. Cook the crêpe uncovered, untouched for a minute. The batter will steam and start to solidify. When the outer edges, think a millimeter, appear to start browning, give the pan a vigorous thrust forward. If the crêpe moves smoothly, it is ready to flip. It should sound dry as you shake the pan.

Step 4: Swing the pan forwards, tilting it up 2/3 of the way into your swinging motion. This should flip your crêpe. Of course, it will take a couple flips to get the hang of this. Equally, you can take a skewer and manually flip the crêpe. Cook an additional 30 seconds until the side cooking is  a patchy golden brown. Repeat this process for all your crêpes until you run out of batter. When you are done, cool them fully.

Step 5: Stack your crêpes, you should have about 10. Taking a cookie cutter, cut out shapes until you only have scraps left.

Step 6: Take your Oreo ganache. It should have solidified some by now, attaining a consistency similar to really thick gravy. It should coat the back of a spoon and not budge. Open a sandwich bag, and fill it with the cream. Make a small cut (about a quarter centimeter) from one of the corners. This will be a make-shift pastry bag.

Step 7: Start layering. Taking a crêpe cut-out, pipe a thin amount of Oreo ganache on the outer rim, moving inwards in a spiral shape. This layer should be less than a millimeter thick in the center, and a bit thicker on the outer edges at the cake will naturally want to swell upwards as you stack. This piping technique will keep the stacking even and prevent a messy accumulation of icing.

Step 8: Top with another crêpe piece. Do not over pipe, or the cut-outs will start sliding. Repeat the stacking process until you accumulate about 3 inches of crêpe cake. Set aside in the fridge for the ganache to solidify. Top with whipped cream and some fruit of your choice.

Check out my other work page for more recipes

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So in the last couple weeks I have spent quite a bit of time expanding my work for the other websites I work for. This would explain my lack of posting so far this month on The Glutton Diaries, sorry for the delay! I have some recipes in the works to release in the next week or so, as well as the recipe updates that are listed as “coming soon” on my recipes page.

However for this post, I thought I would give you guys a subtle push to look at my  “other work” page. I have been working on a lot of projects lately and that page is heavily updated with fresh work. Below are some teasers of a few projects that I have worked on lately.

Click the images to get to the main page that contains the recipe. (The same can be said for the oatmeal photo above.)

amaretto mixed drinks

Amaretto 2 Ways:

For this post on the Lala, an online magazine, I focused on Amaretto, an almond flavored liqueur. While I only feature the one image above, in the post I give two options, one for summer and another for winter.

mac and cheese

Garlic Mac and Cheese

The Lala is an online magazine that caters to college-aged readers. With that being said, I wanted to focus my work on simplifying comfort foods. I also recognize that mac and cheese is a common thing to reach for in terms of instant foods, right after ramen. I wanted this to show that instant foods are not always the best option.

blender pudding

Blender Pudding

Another anti-instant food recipe, however this was for the Indiana Daily Student. I do weekly recipe videos for them and I released this for them a couple weeks back. This is a pudding recipe that only requires one step, which is to blend everything together, and is made from scratch.

cilantro pesto salmon

Cheap Gourmet – Using herbs to make cheap food fancy

The photos above and below were from an herb post I did last week. I wanted to create a series of recipes that showed beginner cooks that inexpensive food can be turned gourmet with the addition of cheap herbs. Above is a cilantro pesto, this recipe also has a video that goes alongside it. Below is a mint lentil soup recipe.

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Sesame oatmeal with soft-cooked egg and ginger

sesame oatmeal with egg

Despite sorting this in the breakfast section of my recipe page, I feel like this recipe is pretty universal regardless of when you eat it. Substitute the oatmeal for rice porridge and you would have an awesome alternative. You could even do this to plain white rice.

However when I woke up a couple mornings ago, I wanted something salty for breakfast, so I went this route.

Growing up, my mom would always add Maggi, a seasoning sauce similar to soy sauce, to her oatmeal. The sauce added a great umami flavor to a relatively bland breakfast staple. Unfortunately, I did not have any of this on hand. What I did have was dark soy sauce and sesame oil – so I thought, “Why don’t I give these a shot?”

Instead of finishing everything with a dash or two of soy sauce, I continued and went all the way, adding a fried egg and some vegetables. When I finished plating this, the recipe kind of reminded me of bi bim bap, a korean mixed rice dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of instant oatmeal (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water (for a twist, use leftover green or roasted barley tea instead)
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg, fried with a runny yolk
  • julienned carrots, sautéed
  • chopped green onion
  • pepper to taste

Step 1: Cook the oatmeal with your water or tea. You can do this in the microwave or on the stove-top. However cook until the oatmeal is thick, you cannot have runny oatmeal as you will cut it with more liquid. Mix in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.

Step 2: Pour oatmeal into a bowl. (Or keep in your cooking dish if you cooked in the microwave.) Top with the egg and carrots.

Step 3: Drizzle with remaining oil and sauce. Sprinkle with green onion and pepper.

sesame oatmeal with egg

 

Salted Chocolate Dipped Strawberries With Lemon

chocolate covered strawberries w/ lemon salt

I didn’t really see the point of doing a full recipe post on this since all you have to do is dip and sprinkle. However I have to admit that I never thought adding salt to a chocolate dipped strawberry would be so good.

I first thought of this after remembering a piece of advice my grandpa would tell me when I was growing up – that is to put salt on slices of sour pineapple. It would make it sweeter, he said.

At the time, I had been too little to realize that a teaspoon of salt on a cup of pineapple would be disgusting, however after trial and error I did figure out his secret. Additionally, salt brings out great flavor in chocolate, so this is a win-win situation.

Only I have brought the chocolate covered strawberry to a new level. This summer, I had an obsession with lemon. I put it on everything. I also loved lemon with strawberry – which you can also see in my roasted strawberry ice cream sandwich post. The lemon zest makes everything taste fresher. Paired with a pinch of black salt and a heaping of dark chocolate, I could make no wrongs.

So I tried the pairing out, took a photo of it, then proceeded to eat everything. I urge you guys to do the same.

Chocolate Almond Meringues

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As promised, here is my meringue recipe I teased in my last post.

These are crunchy, sugary, chocolatey cookies that are awesome if you are gluten intolerant. This is a great recipe to make the night before as it requires time to dry out overnight. However who doesn’t like waking up to cookies?

There are only a handful of ingredients, so let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds (or any other topping you prefer- crushed toffee, sprinkles, cocoa nibs or peppermints would be good as well)

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Take the egg whites and in a large bowl, whip with a hand mixer on high until you achieve stiff peaks. To tell if you achieved this, turn your mixer off and pull it out. The egg whites should pull as you move and leave behind a “peak” that does not sink back into itself.

Step 3: Turn the mixer back on high. Add the sugar gradually until the egg whites have become smooth and the sugar is completely mixed into the meringue. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Step 3: Remove the mixer and set it aside. Pour the cocoa powder into the mixing bowl. Slowly fold the cocoa powder until the powder is mixed in, but not fully incorporated – I want the meringue to have subtle cocoa swirls.

Step 4: Put the meringue in a piping bag or a big plastic bag. Cut the tip off so the cut is about 1 centimeter wide. Pipe the meringue onto a parchment paper (foil also works, but is not preferred) lined baking sheet. For those like me who have a silicone baking mat, it works like a charm. Pipe domes of meringue that are about an inch in diameter.

Step 5: Put the baking sheet in the oven and reduce the cooking temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for two hours, then turn the oven off (leaving the baking sheet in the oven) and leave the cookies to dry out overnight.

Step 6: The next day, melt some chocolate in the microwave (in 20 and 10 second intervals). Put the almond meal in another plate. One-by-one, dip the meringues into the chocolate, then the almonds, and then return them to the baking sheet to cool. Let cool another 5 minutes. Enjoy!