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Blueberry Tart with Walnut Crust

7 Jul
Ingredients
1/2 cup  walnuts, lightly toasted (see Tip)
1 cup  graham cracker crumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Note)
1   large egg white
1 tablespoon  butter, melted
1 tablespoon  peanut or canola oil
  Pinch of salt
8 ounces  reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1/4 cup  reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons  pure maple syrup, preferably grade B, divided
2 cups  fresh blueberries
Directions
1. To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Coarsely chop walnuts in a food processor. Add graham cracker crumbs and process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
3. Whisk egg white in a medium bowl until frothy. Add the crumb mixture, butter, oil and salt; toss to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and slightly darker around the edges, about 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
4. To prepare filling: Beat cream cheese, sour cream and 1/4 cup maple syrup in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly into it, being careful not to break up the delicate crust. Arrange blueberries on the filling, pressing lightly so they set in. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup over the berries. Chill for at least 1 hour to firm up.
Tips:
Tip: To toast walnuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.
Note: To avoid trans fats, look for graham crackers without partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. To make crumbs, pulse graham crackers in a food processor or place in a large sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. (You’ll need about 14 whole-wheat graham cracker squares to make 1 cup of crumbs.)

Linzer Cake (Almond Cake with Raspberry Jam Center)

7 Jul
1/2 cup  whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
2/3 cup  whole almonds
2 tablespoons  low-fat milk
2 tablespoons  canola oil
1/2 teaspoon  almond extract
4   large eggs, at room temperature (see Cake-Baking Tips), separated
3/4 cup  sugar, divided
2/3 cup  raspberry jam
1 tablespoon  confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
1/2 pint (about 1 1/4 cups)  fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
Directions
1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray with flour (see Tip); alternatively, coat the pans with regular cooking spray, line them with parchment paper and spray the paper.
2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Place almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add milk, oil and almond extract and pulse to combine.
4. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar in a slow, steady stream. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
5. Beat egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until pale yellow and doubled in volume, 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Gently stir the almond mixture into the egg-yolk mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture; gently stir until just incorporated. Stir about 1 cup of the whites into the batter until combined. Gently fold the remaining whites into the batter, using long, even strokes, until just incorporated and no white streaks remain. Divide the batter between the prepared pans; spread it to the edges and gently rap the pans against the counter once or twice to settle the batter.
7. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the layers onto the rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, if using, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes more.
8. To assemble cake: Place one layer, top-side down, on a serving plate; spread raspberry jam over it. Cover it with the second layer, top-side down. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the cake. Decorate with raspberries, if desired.

Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes

7 Jul
Ingredients
4 ounces  dark or bittersweet chocolate, (60-75% cacao), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons  unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon  granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons  light cream
2 teaspoons  instant espresso powder, or granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water, divided
1 tablespoon  light corn syrup
1 large  egg
2 tablespoons  canola oil
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon  salt
5 tablespoons  confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon  unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1-3 teaspoons  very hot water
Directions
1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously coat the mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Place chocolate and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. (Alternatively, see “No Microwave?” below.) Microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir well, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until the remaining chocolate melts completely.
3. To prepare filling: Stir together granulated sugar, cream and half the espresso mixture in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High just to steaming, 20 to 40 seconds. (Alternatively, combine in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until just steaming.) Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add corn syrup and half the melted chocolate (reserve the other half for the batter); stir until completely smooth. Cover and transfer to the freezer until cold and firm, about 30 minutes.
4. To prepare batter: When the filling has been chilling for 20 minutes, whisk egg, oil, vanilla, salt and the remaining espresso mixture in a medium bowl until very smooth. Return the remaining chocolate mixture to the microwave. Microwave on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until just warm again (do not overheat). In two batches, whisk the egg mixture into the warm chocolate until well blended. Sift confectioners’ sugar, flour and cocoa over the batter and whisk in just until smoothly incorporated.
5. To assemble cakes: Remove the filling from the freezer. Spoon half the batter into the mini muffin cups, about 1 rounded teaspoon per cup. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon filling onto the center of each (reserve the rest for the sauce). Divide the remaining batter evenly among the muffin cups, about 1 rounded teaspoon per cake. Smooth out the batter to cover the filling.
6. Bake the cakes on the middle rack until the edges look dry and puffed but the centers still look very underdone and puddinglike, 6 to 9 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until firm, about 2 minutes. Place a cutting board on top of the pan and invert the mini cakes out onto it. If the cakes are stuck to the pan, run a knife around and under them to loosen.
7. To prepare sauce & serve: Thoroughly stir very hot water into the reserved filling, 1 teaspoon at a time, until very smooth and slightly fluid. Serve the warm cakes drizzled with the sauce.
Tips:
No Microwave? Melt chocolate in a double boiler instead: Place chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water. Gently stir until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from the heat and stir until it melts completely.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 5, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. After baking (Step 6), the cakes will keep in the pan, tightly covered with foil, for up to 1 day. The sauce (Step 7) will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To serve, reheat the cakes in the covered pan at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Reheat the sauce in a microwave on Medium for about 20 seconds.

Baby Tiramisu

7 Jul
Ingredients
1/2 cup  nonfat ricotta cheese, (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons  confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
12   ladyfingers, (about 1 3/4 ounces)
4 tablespoons  brewed espresso, or strong coffee, divided
2 tablespoons  bittersweet chocolate chips, melted (see Tip)
Directions
1. Combine ricotta, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
2. Place 6 ladyfingers in a 9-by-5-inch (or similar size) loaf pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons espresso (or coffee). Spread the ricotta mixture over the ladyfingers. Place another layer of ladyfingers over the ricotta and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons espresso (or coffee). Drizzle with melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
Tip:
Tip: To melt chocolate: Microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium in 20-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Or place in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

7 Jul
Ingredients
3 tablespoons  unsalted butter
3 tablespoons  canola oil
1 cup  whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1 cup  reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup  sugar
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
3   ripe but firm peaches , (about 1 pound), pitted and sliced into eighths, or 3 1/2 cups frozen
2 cups (1 pint)  fresh or frozen blueberries
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
2. Place butter and oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Heat in the oven until melted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add milk, sugar and vanilla; stir to combine.
4. Add the melted butter mixture to the batter and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the hot pan. Spoon peaches and blueberries evenly over the batter.
5. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top of the cobbler is browned and the batter around the fruit is completely set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

7 Jul
1 1/2 cups  whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Note)
1 cup  all-purpose flour
1/4 cup  poppy seeds, toasted (see Tip)
1 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1 cup  buttermilk, (see Tip)
1/4 cup  canola oil
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
2 tablespoons  freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons  lemon juice
2   large eggs, at room temperature (see Tip)
2   large egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups  sugar
3/4 cup  confectioners’ sugar , plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons  lemon juice
1 tablespoon  water
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan, preferably nonstick, with cooking spray and dust with flour (or use cooking spray with flour).
2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice in a glass measuring cup.
3. Beat eggs, egg whites and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until thickened and pale, about 5 minutes.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula, a third at a time, alternating with 2 additions of the buttermilk mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
5. Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
6. To prepare glaze: Sift 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl; mix with lemon juice and water to create a thin glaze. Poke 1-inch-deep holes all over the cake with a skewer. Coat the warm cake with the glaze using a pastry brush. Let cool completely. To serve, set the cake on a serving plate and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Tips:
Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Store in the freezer. Sources: Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores, and from King Arthur Flour, (800) 827-6836, bakerscatalogue.com, and Bob’s Red Mill, (800) 349-2173, bobsredmill.com.
Tips: Toast poppy seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk” the ratio is 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
To bring cold eggs to room temperature quickly, place in a mixing bowl and set it in a larger bowl of warm water for a few minutes; the eggs will beat to a greater volume.
To separate eggs safely: Use an egg separator, an inexpensive gadget found in cookware stores; separating eggs by passing the yolk back and forth between pieces of eggshell or your hands can expose the eggs to bacteria.

Whoopie Pies

7 Jul
Ingredients
1/3 cup  canola oil
3/4 cup  packed light brown sugar
1   large egg
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups  whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon  baking powder
3/4 teaspoon  baking soda
1/4 teaspoon  salt
3/4 cup  nonfat milk
1/2 cup  cold water
2 teaspoons  unflavored gelatin
1 cup  whipping cream
2/3 cup  nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup  confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. To prepare cookies: Beat oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with milk; beat until smooth. Let the batter stand for 15 minutes.
3. Drop batter by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, spreading the batter into a 2- to 3-inch circle with the back of a spoon if it doesn’t spread itself. (Each large baking sheet accommodates 8 cookies; they will be close together.) Bake the cookies until firm to the touch, about 8 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Wash, dry and coat the baking sheets with cooking spray again. Repeat with the remaining batter.
4. To prepare filling: While the cookies cool, stir water and gelatin in a small heatproof cup or bowl. Let stand 1 minute. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the gelatin has completely dissolved but the liquid is not boiling, 20 to 30 seconds. (Alternatively, bring 1/2 inch water to a gentle simmer in a small skillet. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture in the simmering water until the gelatin has dissolved completely.) Stir the mixture until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes.
5. Beat cream, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until very thick, about 1 minute. With the mixer beating constantly, add the gelatin mixture in a steady steam until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until the cream filling is thickened to the consistency of pudding, about 30 minutes. Whisk again until smooth.
6. To assemble whoopie pies: Turn half the cookies bottom side up and top with a generous 2 tablespoons of the cream. Top with the remaining cookies. Chill in the refrigerator until the filling is set, about 30 minutes.