Pour the hot cream-and-sugar mixture over the gelatin (heat it back up briefly if you have to; it needs to be warm to mix with the gelatin), and stir gently with silicone spoonula in a figure-8 pattern until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the cream. Don't stir too hard or you'll create air bubbles. Check to see that the gelatin is all mixed in by lifting the spoon and looking at the liquid that runs off; if there are unmixed strings of gel, keep stirring.

Divide the mixture evenly into the oiled cups, then chill them in the fridge until they're firm (at least two hours). Be sure there's nothing strong-smelling or spoiled in the fridge, because the smell will be absorbed into the dessert. (Also: Don't keep spoiled stuff in your fridge.)

To serve, top with butterscotch sauce and crushed malted milk balls.

(recipe adapted from Judy Witts' Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen)

FANCY BRUNCH

A step above the breakfast burrito, for a lazy Sunday. If (if? When) you're hung over, remember: Bacon cures all.

Bacon Maple Microwave Muffins

I'm not going to lie: Muffins baked in a microwave don't look as good as those baked in an oven. They don't brown and they don't rise; they may look sad and pale. But the maple-and-bacon flavor combo is a killer, and I guarantee you and your friends will eat more than one. It's all the best breakfast flavors in one bite.

Makes eight muffins

Equipment: muffin papers and custard cups OR silicone muffin cups, glass measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowl, silicone spoon, whisk

6 slices bacon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
maple spread (separate recipe follows)
paper towels

Place two paper towels on a plate, lay bacon slices on top, and cover with another paper towel. Microwave until crisp (three or four minutes), and set bacon aside to cool.

Spoon, don't scoop, one cup of flour out of the bag into your smaller measuring cup. DO NOT pack it down; just fill it to the 1-cup line. Pour it into a large mixing bowl, add the baking powder and salt, and stir them together lightly with a dry fork or spoon. Wipe out the measuring cup with a paper towel.

Crack the egg into your larger measuring cup, then use the smaller one to add the milk, oil and maple syrup. Whisk together until it's all one color. Wipe out the cup again.

Crumble or chop the bacon.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and whisk it gently and lightly. Don't overmix; just make sure there aren't any pockets or lumps of dry flour. Stir in the bacon pieces.

Using the smaller cup as a scoop, pour muffin batter into oiled silicone muffin cups or into muffin papers placed inside glass cups. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full.

Place muffin cups in a ring around the outside of the microwave turntable and cook about three minutes. (You'll probably have to do this in two batches of four muffins.) Muffins are done when a toothpick or sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Once cool, you can top with maple spread or simply serve it on the side.

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