So how have I been? Very busy, being the short answer. At my school, I'm on the Prostart Culinary Team. Prostart is a program for high school students, and they host a cooking competition every year. So everyday after school, I've been working on our menu and trying out new cooking techniques. I am in charge of creating the dessert... shockingly.
 The hard part is, we don't have access to electricity, just propane burners and metal campfire ovens. That and a one hour time limit put up many roadblocks to what can be made. But we are still working on it, and the competition is in about a month so we have plenty of time!


For people that have been reading this blog, you may know one of my favorite desserts in panna cotta. I made a salted caramel panna cotta a while back that was amazing! Panna cotta can be flavored in so many ways, so I decided that a would use all the extra tea I had stockpiled in my cupboards to taste test some tea flavored panna cotta.




I tried four different kinds of tea using the same panna cotta recipe. I found the best two (in my opinion of course) was the chai and the jasmine. They both had great flavor and were not too strong.



Tea Panna Cotta

Adapted from: Hummingbird High

4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup loose leaf tea or 2 tea bags (I recommend Chai or Jasmine)
2 teaspoons powdered, unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Infuse the cream by combining 4 cups heavy whipping cream and tea in a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Once the mixture has simmered, turn off the heat and cover the pan with aluminum foil, poking a few holes into the top to allow steam to release. Let steep for 1 hour.
When the cream has finished steeping for an hour, bloom the gelatin. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin into the surface of a small cup or ramekin filled with 3 tablespoons cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes, until the gelatin softens.
As the gelatin is blooming, strain the infused cream through a cheese cloth into a bowl, pressing on the tea leaves/tea bag with the back of a spoon to release all the liquid. Discard the tea leaves/bags. Transfer the cream beck into the saucepan and add 3/4 cup granulated sugar and the bloomed gelatin, stirring over medium-low heat until the sugar and gelatin is melted. DO NOT boil the mixture.


Once the sugar and gelatin are fully integrated into the cream, divide the cream amongst eight 4-ounce ramekins. Chill overnight. Once set, the panna cotta can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.



So that's it! It doesn't take that long to put together, and its a really fun time finding different flavors of tea to use.

 Until next week!
We are well into January and not only am I going crazy with my over-booked schedule, I'm starting to resent the -3 degree weather. However, it does give me a good excuse to turn on the oven and start whipping up whatever recipes my Pinterest home feed decides to show me!






The idea of avocados and chocolate was not one I had heard of before, but I'm all up for trying new things so I decided to put it to the test. I'm super pleased with the results and its super simple to make!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse Tart

Adapted from: Le Passe Vite
Makes one 9 inch tart


For the Crust:
175 g grated sweetened coconut
250 g roasted salted cashews
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 9 inch round tart pan. Place the grated coconut and cashews in a food processor and grind into a coarse flour.
Add cacao, cinnamon and salt and pulse to combine. Scrape the bowl before adding the coconut oil, sugar, and water, and pulse to combine. Press the dough into the bottom of then pan as evenly as possible. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden.
Let cool completely before filling with mousse.

For the Mousse:
2 medium avocados
4 tsp cacao powder
75g semisweet chocolate, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla paste, or extract
1 pinch of sea salt
Cut the avocados in half, and remove the pulp with a spoon. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until a smooth cream.

For Assembly:
slightly toasted pistachios
sweetened shredded coconut

Fill the tart with mousse, even with a spatula, and sprinkle with pistachios and coconut.
The tart should be eaten the day it was made. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.



Until next week!



Happy New Year everyone!

I'm really excited for another year of baking, photography, and writing.

I got to spend New Years up at my cabin with some friends and family, and we had a great time in the below zero weather.

























My fingers almost froze off trying to take some landscape photos, but I was able to get in some pretty good shots. I kept trying to switch setting which just made matters worse, and I ended up not being able to feel my fingers long after I got back inside.



Also, I got The Contemporary Buttercream Bible as a gift this holiday season. I've been leafing through the pages and am really enjoying the book. It's very informational for beginners like myself, and the cakes all have amazing design. So, if you are interested in cake design I would for sure check out this book.

Today I tried making the buttercream from the book, however I completely over mixed it and it was too dense. So when I tried to frost the cake, the whole thing completely fell apart.
Therefore, I don't have much of a picture this week, but I will be enjoying a very yummy, ugly cake.

So I leave you with a nice sunset picture, a book recommendation, and a promise of an amazing recipe next week. Until then.