Roasted Beet & Cherry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Say hello to an old favorite! A version of this roasted beet salad appeared in our digital cookbook, and we loved it so much that we had to dust it off, freshen it up, and share it with you (our beloved internet friends).
Made with fresh cherries, arug…

Roasted Beet & Cherry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Say hello to an old favorite! A version of this roasted beet salad appeared in our digital cookbook, and we loved it so much that we had to dust it off, freshen it up, and share it with you (our beloved internet friends).

Made with fresh cherries, arugula, and roasted beets, this salad is vibrant, naturally sweet, and packed with antioxidants. It’s simple enough for every day (30 minutes and 8 ingredients), but elegant enough to enjoy with dinner guests.

Roasted Beet & Cherry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette from Minimalist Baker →

Cherry Clafoutis

One of the first books that made me fall in love with France and French cuisine was Roger Vergé’s Entertaining in the French Style. Vergé was the chef and owner of Moulin de Mougins, his world-famous restaurant on the Côte d’Azur, near Cannes. I never went, but used to page through the book, admiring the relaxed, friendly lifestyle that always seemed to revolve around a table,…

One of the first books that made me fall in love with France and French cuisine was Roger Vergé’s Entertaining in the French Style. Vergé was the chef and owner of Moulin de Mougins, his world-famous restaurant on the Côte d’Azur, near Cannes. I never went, but used to page through the book, admiring the relaxed, friendly lifestyle that always seemed to revolve around a table, laden with good food and plenty of local wine. It made me want to go and be a part of it all. In fact, there are two empty seats at that table, and I’d like one of them.

Cherry clafoutis recipe

Unlike a lot of chef books, this isn’t “aspirational” cooking, that is, pictures and recipes of foods that you could never hope to make. I recently got a book by a much-admired chef and I wanted to share a recipe. But there was only one recipe in the book that could be made in less than a day, and each recipe had at least one ingredient that I had no idea where I would get it. Don’t get me wrong. I liked the book a lot and his restaurant looks amazing, but it didn’t make me want to run to the kitchen. So I admired the book, and the food, from afar.

Cherry clafoutis recipe

There are so many pictures in Chef Vergé’s book that made me flash back to my past, decades ago, when I was learning more about French cuisine while cooking in Northern California, which shares a similar climate – and ingredients – with Provence. He had dubbed it “Cuisine of the Sun.” The much-loved chef recently passed away and I revisited the book, to relive what excited me about French cuisine, way-back-when.

Continue Reading Cherry Clafoutis...

Chai Cherry Crumble

Chai Cherry Crumble
Fruit crumbles are easy desserts to make all year round because you can use either fresh or frozen fruit as your base. This Chai Cherry Crumble is a spicy twist on a classic fruit crumble, with chai spices in the filling and topping of this comfort food dessert.

Cherries are often …

The post Chai Cherry Crumble appeared first on Baking Bites.

Chai Cherry Crumble
Fruit crumbles are easy desserts to make all year round because you can use either fresh or frozen fruit as your base. This Chai Cherry Crumble is a spicy twist on a classic fruit crumble, with chai spices in the filling and topping of this comfort food dessert.

Cherries are often left almost unadorned in pie and crumble fillings. They do have a delicious flavor on their own, of course, but cherries are extremely versatile and they go really well with all kinds of spices. Chai tea blends have no shortage of spices. Since I didn’t want to add a bunch of liquid to my filling – cherries produce plenty of natural juice on their own in the oven – I simply used dried spices to add those familiar chai flavors. The filling includes cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and vanilla. As always, I recommend using fresh spices for the best flavor (not something that has been in the cabinet for a few years already!). Since there is so much spice in the filling, I used a bit less on in the crumble topping, which only includes cinnamon, ginger and vanilla.

I used black, sweet cherries that I picked up in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s. They have a delicious flavor and I like that rich cherry sweetness in this particular dessert. Tart cherries, which are a good choice for a pie, don’t feel as rich in this recipe with all of the chai spices. Whether you’re using fresh or frozen, cherries give off a fair amount of juice in the oven, so I included cornstarch in the filling to thicken up the juices. They will bubble thickly in the oven when the crumble is done, and the filling will thicken up even more as the crumble cools.

The crumble is ready to serve about 20 minutes after baking. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave the next day or two. The spices blend and come together even more after the crumble has been refrigerated. That said, I can’t resist eating at least two servings when this is fresh from the oven. The crumble will serve about 8 – but you’ll get fewer servings if you like yours as big as I do!

Chai Cherry Crumble
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

32 oz cherries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, prepare crumble topping. Whisk together flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon and ginger until well-combined. Stir in melted butter and vanilla extract until mixture is crumbly and resembles moist sand. Set aside.
In a large bowl, prepare the filling. Combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, spices and vanilla extract and stir together with a spatula until everything is evenly mixed.
Pour fruit mixture into a deep 10-inch pie plate. Grab handfuls of crumble mixture and squeeze them in your fist to create large crumbles. Sprinkle crumble mixture evenly over fruit.
Bake for 60 minutes, until cherry juice is thickly bubbling around the outer edge of the pan. In the event that the crumble becomes too brown, simply lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the crumble for the last 15 minutes of baking.
Allow crumble to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving to allow juices to thicken. Store leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the microware before serving.

Serves 8.

The post Chai Cherry Crumble appeared first on Baking Bites.

Angostura Cherry Cobblers

Angostura Cherry Cobblers
Cherry cobblers are one of my favorite “comfort food” desserts, and I bake them up on a regular basis. That said, I’m always looking to put a new twist on them to make them memorable and these Angostura Cherry Cobblers are one of my very favorite variations. The cobblers have a jammy cherry …

The post Angostura Cherry Cobblers appeared first on Baking Bites.

Angostura Cherry Cobblers
Cherry cobblers are one of my favorite “comfort food” desserts, and I bake them up on a regular basis. That said, I’m always looking to put a new twist on them to make them memorable and these Angostura Cherry Cobblers are one of my very favorite variations. The cobblers have a jammy cherry filling that is flavored with the potent spices of Angostura bitters, an ingredient used in cocktails all the time, but rarely in baking. It’s a delicious take on this classic and I just can’t get enough!

Bitters are an alcoholic extract that are typically used as a cocktail flavoring. Originally developed as medicines and purported to have many curative effects, they made their way from the pharmacy to the bar when the term “cocktail” came into common use in the beginning of the 19th century, where cocktail was defined as a beverage which used a combination of spirits, sugar, water and bitters. Like vanilla extract, bitters use alcohol to extract the flavors from the botanicals that go into them. They’re typically made with a wide variety of spices, herbs, roots and other ingredients, which come together to form a very intensely flavored extract that is intended to be used only a few dashes at a time. As the name suggests, many bitters have a distinctly bitter note to them, but they can use dozens of ingredients and actually have very complex and layered flavor profiles.

These days, not all cocktails include bitters and, similarly, not all bitters need to be confined to the bar. These individual Angostura Cherry Cobblers are just one of many examples of how bitters can shine in the kitchen because I added a generous dash of Angostura bitters to my cobbler filling!

Angostura is one of the most widely recognized brands of bitters. The secret recipe for the brand’s aromatic was developed around 1820 and has remained unchanged ever since. You’ll pick up notes of allspice or clove and cinnamon in the bitters, along with many other flavors. These warm spices add a lot of depth to cocktails and they also add a lot to the cherries in this cobbler. The cherries are lush, spicy and much more complex than you would expect the cherries in an ordinary cobbler to be. The bitter notes of the bitters don’t overshadow the cherries, so don’t worry about that if you’re not very familiar with bitters!

The cobbler topping is a buttermilk and vanilla biscuit topping that would be delicious with almost any cobbler filling. By keeping the topping simple, the flavors in the filling stand out even more. I baked these as individual cobblers, dividing the cherries and topping equally between four ramekins. I didn’t quite use all the topping because I wanted to see a bit of the cherry bubbling up underneath it, but there is enough to completely cover all four servings. These cobblers are best when served slightly warm from the oven. You can serve them as-is or top them with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Angostura Cherry Cobblers

Angostura Cherry Cobblers
Filling
16-oz cherries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
8 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 tbsp cornstarch

Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
coarse sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 375F. Place four 8-oz ramekins on a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, stir together all filling ingredients.
In a large bowl, prepare the topping. Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add in melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla extract and stir until dough comes together.
Divide cherry mixture evenly into prepared ramekins. Dollop topping (or use your fingers, if you don’t mind getting messy) mixture over the cherries. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cherry filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown.
Allow cobblers to cool slightly before serving.

Serves 4.

The post Angostura Cherry Cobblers appeared first on Baking Bites.

Tapisserie

Years ago, at a flea market in Paris I pickup up some old metal letters from a bakery in France that spelled out PATISSERIE. Being a baker, of course I was thrilled (although still despondent that someone else snatched up the matching BOULANGERIE letters…) and proudly displayed them on the shelf of my apartment. Since my apartment at the time was so small, shelf space…

Years ago, at a flea market in Paris I pickup up some old metal letters from a bakery in France that spelled out PATISSERIE. Being a baker, of course I was thrilled (although still despondent that someone else snatched up the matching BOULANGERIE letters…) and proudly displayed them on the shelf of my apartment. Since my apartment at the time was so small, shelf space was at a super-premium. Yet I was happy to give a lot of it up to have those letters reminding me of my métier.

When I lent my apartment to some visiting friends, I noticed the P and the T had been reversed, and it spelled TAPISSERIE. I got a kick out of it and thought that was very clever. When a new bakery in Paris called Tapisserie from the team of a noted restaurant, I figured it wasn’t a place to purchase a tapestry, but a clever – and original – place to get terrific desserts.

Continue Reading Tapisserie...

Blacker Berry Galette

My Netflix queue has gotten out of control and is entirely too long. And to make matters worse, I keep adding to it. Being out of the U.S. for so long, I missed watching binge-worthy, must-watch classics like The Wire and Breaking Bad when they came out, and I’d love to sit down on the sofa for another few months and watch them now that…

My Netflix queue has gotten out of control and is entirely too long. And to make matters worse, I keep adding to it. Being out of the U.S. for so long, I missed watching binge-worthy, must-watch classics like The Wire and Breaking Bad when they came out, and I’d love to sit down on the sofa for another few months and watch them now that they are streaming, as well as rewatch all five seasons of Six Feet Under, which was one of the best shows that’s even been on television. How they managed to make a show about death so human is beyond me, with a finale that’s lauded as the best ending for a television series ever. Which also made me wonder how they could have left the end of The Sopranos, another incredible show, land with such a thud?

The pandemic and confinements were certainly good for whittling down those “Watch Lists” but one show that jumped to the top of the queue was High on the Hog. It’s an eye-opening, unnerving, and emotionally difficult look at the role that African-Americans, who were brought to America as slaves, had in shaping American cooking. The subtitle of the show is “How African-American Cuisine Transformed America” which sounds like a big bill for fill, but the four-episode show traces how that happened.

And lest anyone doubt the rich contribution African-Americans have made to our cooking, author and Cook’s Country editor Toni Tipton-Martin pointed out in the program that Black Americans have been used by food brands for decades in America to denote quality, by brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, which gave host Stephen Satterfield pause as well, flipping the narrative about those culinary characters (or caricatures) that many of us grew up with.

Continue Reading Blacker Berry Galette...

Easy Gluten-Free Berry Cobbler (Vegan)

We were craving a summery berry cobbler but wanted to keep things gluten-free and plant-based. Gluten-free biscuits can be tricky, so it took a few rounds of testing to perfect them, but we happily arrived at tender, flaky biscuits that pair seamlessly…

Easy Gluten-Free Berry Cobbler (Vegan)

We were craving a summery berry cobbler but wanted to keep things gluten-free and plant-based. Gluten-free biscuits can be tricky, so it took a few rounds of testing to perfect them, but we happily arrived at tender, flaky biscuits that pair seamlessly with this jammy cobbler!

Though butter-free and naturally sweetened, it doesn’t skimp on flavor or texture and would easily please a crowd of all types of eaters!

Easy Gluten-Free Berry Cobbler (Vegan) from Minimalist Baker →

Betcha Didn’t Know All of These Were Stone Fruits

Whether you’re wandering around in a farmers market or passing through a section of the grocery store, odds are you’ve seen the term “stone fruit” tossed around near the peaches and plums. You put your keen mind to the task and gather that the term is …

Whether you’re wandering around in a farmers market or passing through a section of the grocery store, odds are you’ve seen the term “stone fruit” tossed around near the peaches and plums. You put your keen mind to the task and gather that the term is referencing a fruit (great start) with a, well, stone-like pit. Nailed it! But is there more to the concept? What is a stone fruit, exactly?

What is a stone fruit?

We’ve already gone over the obvious: Stone fruits are those with pits in the center. Officially, they’re fruits with a fleshy exterior known as the mesocarp (covered with a skin, or exocarp) that encases a stone or pit (the shell of which is a hardened endocarp with a seed inside). Also known as drupes, this category includes peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots, and pluots.

Read More >>

Stuffed Cherry Amaretti Cookies

These soft and chewy, marzipan-like cookies are stuffed with luscious amarena cherries for a sweet surprise. Cherry and almond are a truly lovely flavor combination, which makes the dark amarena cherries the perfect filling for these soft Italian amaretti cookies. Lately I’ve been… well, languishing. As you may very well have noticed by the fact […]

The post Stuffed Cherry Amaretti Cookies first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

These soft and chewy, marzipan-like cookies are stuffed with luscious amarena cherries for a sweet surprise.

Cherry and almond are a truly lovely flavor combination, which makes the dark amarena cherries the perfect filling for these soft Italian amaretti cookies.

Wire rack with rows of amaretti cookies, one cookie cut in half to show the amarena cherry hidden inside.

Lately I’ve been… well, languishing. As you may very well have noticed by the fact that new recipes have been less than abundant around these parts. (Can you believe there was a time I used to post 3 times a week? The past few years I thought I was easing up by doing two. But lately… well, if I can manage one a week that’s an achievement. 2 or 3  a month is becoming the new normal.)

It’s not that I am not inspired. I’ve actually got dozens of ideas for new recipes in my draft calendar, just no actual motivation to put down my latest book and make anything.

After yet another recipe failure quashed my momentum and vanquished my motivation, leaving me without anything to post for another week… I knew I needed something quick and straightforward that would work on the first try, one that didn’t need hours of prep or planning or fancy ingredients.

Scattered cookies on a white background, one cut in half to show the cherry filling.

Is it a surprise that I ended up making another variety of my favorite cookie: the amaretti (they’re also one of your favorites too, made clear by the fact that at least a few of the flavors typically hovering the top 10 at any given time). This time with a cherry stuffed inside.

Tell me though… at what point am I legally required to rename this blog Love & Amaretti? When the amaretti recipes outnumber the olive oil ones? Because at this point I’ve done flavored and swirled and stuffed. What’s next, amaretti sandwiched or thumbprinted or super-sized and layered into a cake? (Actually, I kind of love that idea.)

If keeping up with a regular posting schedule means unlimited variations of amaretti and coffee cake in lieu of brand new recipes, I’m cool with that. Whatever it takes to get me out of this funk and back into the swing of things.

(more…)

Dark Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake

‘Tis the season for holiday baking and I’ll admit to being on a little bit of a fruitcake bender, recently giving a Black Fruitcake a go and revisiting one of my all-time favorite recipes, Fruitcake Bars which won accolades from several French friends. (They were also surprised at how easy there were to make, too.) A while back, I gave the much-maligned fruitcake a makeover,…

‘Tis the season for holiday baking and I’ll admit to being on a little bit of a fruitcake bender, recently giving a Black Fruitcake a go and revisiting one of my all-time favorite recipes, Fruitcake Bars which won accolades from several French friends. (They were also surprised at how easy there were to make, too.)

A while back, I gave the much-maligned fruitcake a makeover, dressing this one up with plumped-up sour cherries, chocolate chips, a dark chocolate batter, and a boozy bath of liquor added at the end.

Continue Reading Dark Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake...