Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday OriginalCinn!

Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Concord Grape Tapioca and Sorbet with Basil

It has just occurred to me that OriginalCinn has been up and active for two years. With the way this year has gone, with so many things happening, I am happy to turn to my small apartment oven and bake up something that will make it all better. With so many things left unknown, I can be sure that if pie dough does not rest, that pesky gluten will get very upset and sink down into your pie in defiance.


I have learned so many things in my career, things about cooking and baking at home, in restaurants, in bakeries and for my business. I learned that being a woman in a professional kitchen will undoubtedly, even if only once, will make you feel like you are better suited for folding socks and making ambrosia salad. I learned that when I have a line full of tickets, and it’s time to “fire” them all in 10 minutes, that you’d better not speak to me because I have a fu**ing job to do. I’ve become stronger and have encountered so many things in the last two years that have tested who I am and have made me realize why I do what I do.

I love it.

Simple…I love it. Regardless of how many readers, how cluttered my apartment gets with containers of caramel and chocolate sauce, dishes and electrical appliances. Regardless of how many sample boxes I give, or weight I gain to make this ‘thing’ I do something I am proud of. And I am, because in spite of all those things, it makes me feel like I can tell you, whoever is reading what I have to say though food and what I feel through food, something I love so deeply.
The whole reason I thought about how OC has been up for two years is because I made a comment about blogging because you love it. I think constantly about this blog and myself as a professional and I was thinking about the blog post that will address people’s fears and put them into a holiday cheat sheet sort of thing. BAM! “Oh my goodness, Its been two years!”

So thank you readers, my friends, my family and the very few who are not related to me somehow for being a part of OriginalCinn…something I never really thought I could commit to for any long stretch of time. But here I am, ready for some big things in the coming year and completely in love with baking, writing and photography.

RECIPE

This recipe uses whole seeded grapes from the farmer’s market. They are available for a short time in the fall and if you have never worked with concord grapes, you must try them. They are the flavor of most bottled grape juices so if you want, you can use grape juice concentrate to make this sorbet and add a drop of two of rosewater to get the beautiful floral undertones you get from fresh grapes.

Concord Grape Sorbet

3lbs Concord Grapes +1/4 cup of sugar

1 ½ cups Simple Syrup

¼ cup Corn Syrup

Pinch of salt

Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon



Remove grapes from their stem, and put in a large pot with ¼ cup of sugar. Heat until the grapes look full and are about to pop and have given off some juice.

Strain the juice into a measuring cup and you will have about 3-4 cups add 3/4 cup of simple syrup.

Put the grapes back into the pot and mash with a potato masher. Spend about 10 minutes picking out the seeds by hand…you will not get all of them.

Push through a strainer getting as much juice and pulp as you can.

Spend about 5 more minutes picking out seeds, then puree the remaining skin and pulp, 3/4 remaining simple syrup, 2 cups of juice, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust sweetness, tartness or both!

Strain that mixture and you should have about 3 cups. Add the zest of one lemon; stir and pour into your ice cream maker.

Freeze, and then pour into a container to freeze at least 6 hours.

(use the remaining juice for cooking tapioca, or reduce to make it into syrup)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Caramelized Popcorn and Grape Soda Floats



Today is a happy day.

And this is a happy picture. Now here is a happy recipe!

Caramelized Popcorn
1 bag of popcorn, popped and kept warm (about 1.5oz)
4 Tbsp. Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Light or dark corn syrup
1/2 tsp  Salt
1/2 cup Roasted, salted peanuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350

1.  Bring butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil. When the mixture becomes foamy, it is done.
2. Add the peanuts and stir in the salt.
3. In a large bowl, pour the caramel over the popcorn and gently mix it, making sure to coat each piece of popcorn.
4. Pour out the popcorn onto a pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper that has been sprayed with pan spray.
5. Bake for 12 minutes, then take the pan out and stir the popcorn and rotate the pan. Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until it is a light amber color remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with kosher salt if desired.
6. Continue to mix and move the popcorn around the pan for about a minute to keep the pieces from sticking together. Once it cools completely, the caramelized popcorn will be light and crunchy.

For the floats, you can pour grape soda onto scoops of vanilla ice cream, or pour ginger ale over concord grape sorbet and vanilla ice cream.