Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 18, 2017)
Page 10 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
Winter Holiday Section
December 18, 2017
A berry tart in under an hour,
using an olive-oil cake base
By Melissa d’Arabian
The Associated Press
uring the holidays, we could all
use a fantastic tart recipe in our
hip pockets. Tarts are a perfect
festive end to any dinner party, and they
make a lovely gift for a neighbor. If the
thought of making homemade crust
intimidates you, or if you just prefer not to
take in so many fat calories densely packed
into a sheet of pastry, stick with me.
The tart I’m talking about today uses a
simple olive-oil cake as the base, which is
then topped with fresh berries. I took
inspiration from a fruit-topped sponge
cake and turned the idea into a recipe that
could be made start-to-finish in about an
hour, with much of that time spent baking
or cooling. I whipped up a speedy orange
olive-oil cake (technically speaking, it’s a
quick bread, but that’s our secret!) and
made that the base, which works well with
either regular flour or most gluten-free
flours I have tried.
I used a pie pan with a raised center, a
worthy minimal investment if you do any
amount of baking. Buy one and you’ll find a
thousand uses for it. But if you don’t have
the special pie mold, use a regular tart or
pie pan, and your results will be equally
delicious. To create the pretty filling, I
tossed a couple of cups of berries in a little
GOOEY GOODIES. Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are baked and wrapped in New York. The main ingredi-
ent is one-and-a-half pounds of chocolate, which guarantees an intensely chocolate-y flavor. The cookie’s base
is made of a combination of unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate. (Sara Moulton via AP)
Cookies are a holiday treat
By Sara Moulton
The Associated Press
f, like me, you’re a fan of dark choco-
late peppermint bark, you’re going to
love these cookies. Your friends and
family will, too. But you’ll have to plan
ahead because the batter is so soft it needs
to chill overnight before scooping.
The main ingredient is one-and-a-half
pounds of chocolate, which guarantees an
intensely chocolate-y flavor. The cookie’s
base is made of a combination of
unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate.
Afterward, additional chunks of the
bittersweet chocolate — along with the
crushed mint candy — are folded in.
The key to this recipe’s success is good
quality bittersweet chocolate — that is, a
brand that contains at least 60 percent
cacao. The higher the percentage of cacao
in a chocolate bar, the darker and more
intense the flavor. That’s why we’re adding
chunks of chocolate instead of chocolate
chips — bittersweet bar chocolate contains
much more cacao than most chips.
Chopping the chocolate will take a little
time. I recommend using a serrated knife
for the job. As for crushing the peppermint
candies, the best way is to put them in a
re-sealable plastic bag and gently whack
away at the bag with a rolling pin. The
easiest way to portion out the batter is
with a one-ounce ice-cream scoop rather
than a spoon — and it’ll make the size of
the cookies more consistent, too; just dip it
in hot water between each scoop.
I suggest baking a single tray of cookies
at a time because the cookies don’t cook
evenly when there’s more than one tray in
the oven. Finally, be careful not to
overcook them. The cookies should be soft
to the touch when pulled out of the oven.
That way they’ll remain nice and gooey.
As you might imagine, these cookies are
delicious year-round. If you decide to make
them during a season when peppermint
candies are scarce, just leave them out and
powdered espresso. You will end up with
outstanding mocha cookies.
Editor’s note: Sara Moulton is host of public
television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” She was
executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25
years and spent a decade hosting several Food
Network shows, including “Cooking Live.”
Her latest cookbook is Home Cooking 101.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Start to finish: 1 hour and 45 minutes, plus 8 hours chilling time
Servings: Makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 pound bittersweet chocolate
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
60 grams (about 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (about 5 ounces) hard red-and-white peppermint candies
Coarsely chop one-half of the bittersweet chocolate and all of the unsweetened
chocolate. In a medium metal bowl, combine the coarsely chopped chocolates and
butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the
bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Melt the mixture, stirring often.
Remove from the heat as soon as all of the chocolate is just melted.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl with electric beaters (or in a stand mixer), beat the
eggs and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is very thick and pale, about 10
minutes. Beat in the vanilla. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder,
Chop the remaining bittersweet chocolate into chocolate-chip size pieces. Chop or
crush the peppermint candies into 1/4- to 1/3-inch pieces.
Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture using a large rubber
spatula. Add the flour mixture and fold it in until it is just incorporated. Add the
chip-size bittersweet chocolate and the peppermint pieces and stir gently, just until
incorporated. Cover and chill the mixture overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Line three large baking sheets with
parchment paper, scoop out the batter into balls about one-and-a-half inches wide
(the size of a walnut shell), and arrange them on the baking sheets, leaving an inch
of space between them. Working with one sheet pan at a time, bake the cookies on
the middle shelf of the oven for nine to 11 minutes, until they are shiny on top and
set around the edges but still soft to the touch on top. Let them sit on the sheet pans
for five minutes then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
Nutrition information per serving: 164 calories (90 calories from fat); 10 g fat (6 g
saturated, 0 g trans fats); 31 mg cholesterol; 32 mg sodium; 20 g carbohydrate; 2 g
fiber; 14 g sugar; 3 g protein.
ELEGANT & EASY. Tarts are a perfect festive
end to any dinner party, and they make a lovely gift
for a neighbor. This Orange and Raspberry Tart uses
a simple olive-oil cake as the base, which is then
topped with fresh berries. (Melissa d’Arabian via AP)
orange marmalade thinned with hot
water. Place the syrupy berries on the cake
— maybe take an extra minute or two to
arrange them nicely for a bakery-made
look — and sprinkle on some powdered
sugar to serve.
The cake itself has a mere 1/3 cup of
sugar in the recipe, letting the raspberry
topping offer most of the sweetness. The
result is a gorgeous dessert or afternoon
tea accompaniment that feels more
indulgent than it actually is.
Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an
expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the
author of the cookbook, Supermarket Healthy.
Orange and Raspberry Tart
Start to finish: 1 hour, including baking and cooling time
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one orange, about 2 teaspoons
Juice of one orange, plus enough water to make 1/3 cup
About 2 cups fresh raspberries, or other berries or sliced fruit
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 tablespoons boiling water
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Whisk dry ingredients together and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk
together the egg and sugar vigorously until mixture is pale yellow, about one
minute. Whisk in the oil, extract, zest, and juice mixture and mix until
well-blended. Scrape the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber
spatula and stir gently until combined, but do not overmix.
Line the bottom of an eight-inch pie pan with raised center with parchment paper
(cut round to fit), and spray liberally with nonstick spray. (If raised center pie pan is
unavailable, use a regular eight-inch tart or pie pan.) Pour the batter into the
prepared pan and bake until the center springs back when gently pressed, about 25
to 30 minutes. Let the cake to cool for 15 minutes before gently unmolding and
chilling it in the freezer for 15 minutes to cool completely. (Or, allow cake to cool at
room temperature for another 30 minutes.) Meanwhile, place the orange
marmalade and boiling water into a medium bowl and whisk until jam is loosened.
Add the berries and stir to coat. Add an extra tablespoon of water if mixture is dry.
Flip the cake over so the concave side is up. Use a toothpick, skewer, or fork to poke
holes into the bottom of the cake. Spoon the raspberry mixture onto the cake and
arrange the berries so they are pretty. Just before serving, garnish with a dusting of
powdered sugar, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 215 calories (88 calories from fat); 10 g fat (1 g
saturated, 0 g trans fats); 27 mg cholesterol; 163 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrate; 3 g
fiber; 14 g sugar; 3 g protein.
The staff at The Asian Reporter
wish you and your family
a safe and happy holiday!